Monday, June 29, 2015

Radiance of flowers + liquor = Love?

शोखियों में घोला जाये फूलों का शबाब
उस में फिर मिलाई जाये थोड़ीसी शराब
होगा यूँ नशा जो तैय्यार वो प्यार है

Mix the radiance of flowers.
Then add a small measure of liquor.
The state of giddy stupor
That you get from all the above
Is what we call love.

For a full and a beautiful translation of the whole song, you must visit 
by Shivani Mohan. Amazing translations of all those beautiful songs we are fond of)

These are the lyrics of a song from the Hindi film, Prem Pujari. But then we know that love is not so simple as that, isn't it? But why am I talking about love? Well, if love could have a formula, why not films? Just suppose there was a formula like H2 + O = H2O everyone would make a hit film. No one would be worried about giving a flop and losing a lot of money. This is exactly what a guest, a complete system's man, said the other day in my office. He was completely convinced that if he would be able to develop a formula which would help the producers to make a successful film every time.

Would this really work? I mean why don't we really develop a formula which will help producers and directors, with a hit every time? I'm sure no producer or director in the right frame of mind suddenly wake up one fine morning and say, "Hey! Let's make a flop today." But then, why do some films go on to become box office hits, while some turn out to be duds?

One reason could be polysemy. A simple meaning to polysemy is 'many meanings'. The meaning I derive out of a media content could be different than the meaning derived by you. However, the content that you and me see is exactly different. So a heavy rainfall in a scene might gladden one person's heart, whereas for another it might bring out feelings of horror of a flood. Not only there are different meaning derived, but it also depends on the mood a person is in.

So if I get a lot of traffic while driving to work, the vehicle moving at a snail's pace, honking and shouting all around, I would prefer to watch a Nat Geo, or a Discovery channel with pleasant visuals than the cacophony of a slapstick comedy when I get home. But if I enjoy my drive home, I might burst out laughing at the silliest of jokes.

How then, could a movie be made to please everyone in the audience? Even with a formula, can one guarantee a box office hit? Because a formula may work for one type of audience, but not other, and it may work depending the overall mood of the public.

But still, that discussion made me curious. I decided to explore if any such formula does exist. The results of my search are interesting. More tomorrow....