‘Officer’ – A Steady Guide To Unlearning Filmmaking
When I opened Book My Show to book a ticket for the Nagarjuna starrer Officer, I was very much aware of the punishment I was going to give myself. Many a time, RGV did mention that he barely gives a rat’s ass to what the audience think about his movies. That is fine! He did make some unconventional movies that changed the fate of Indian cinema as a whole. And he never boasts about that stuff much. But, he equally made cinema which embarrassed many, including the actors featured in them.
So, after knowing the kind of person he is, the movies he’s been making (at least that is what the credits read) and the buzz the movie generated, I knew I was up for some self-torture. And I also knew walking out of the movie, I would either learn or unlearn something. In fact, it was one of RGV’s statements that pushed my curiosity to watch Officer. ‘Watch bad movies to learn how NOT to make a movie’ and this has been one reason I always love (or rather trip) watching flop movies.
Here I just wanted to pen down my thoughts on what I picked from the movie that one should NOT inculcate in making a movie or rather keep in mind before one thinks to entertain people.
Building The Protagonist’s And Antagonist’s Objectives:
When one looks to make an intense (going by the tagline ‘Cops were never this scary’) story, the objectives that the main leads want to achieve in the story should also be equally intense, definite, strong yet convincing. Fives minutes into the story with the antagonist ‘Pasari’, a senior Police Office, being introduced, we still wait and wonder what the director wanted to convey. This makes objectives for the protagonist also weak. Shivaji, played by Nagarjuna, looks like he is just jumping from one action sequence to another and in between visiting his daughter.
Don’t Compromise On Casting
Never compromise on the actors, don’t cast actors who don’t fit the bill ‘best’. Myra Sareen is my first no-vote in the cast. In the bizarre climax chase, which was shot just because these guys had money and cameras, Myra Sareen suddenly emerges, Tomb Raider style, out of the window and over does her role. She should have kept in mind that she is a cop and not a bandit queen. The next character was Baby Kavya, who also was overdoing her role. Maybe she is a good actor, but Officer is definitely not the movie she was supposed to be placed in.
Unpolished Script – A Big NO!
Sometimes there are movies that sound good on paper or in a narration but fail to impress the audience when they release. This mostly happens with Mahesh Babu’s movies. We cannot do much in such cases. But, with Officer, though it had a story that looked luring, maybe the entire screenplay should have been read thoroughly. Even if the writer is convinced, giving it to a couple of friends for a second opinion does no harm. They might instead help with points that could shape the script better. If I was given a chance, without a thought, I would first erase that act of Shivaji throwing his mug in his house when he sees his daughter for the first time in Mumbai. I mean who does such stuff, is he a cop or a madcap?
The Editor Is Your First Audience. Keep That In Mind!
Most of us might not be aware of the editor’s role in bringing out a movie. But, he is the person who can make or break your movie. Though Officer to some extent had a story that could work (if executed with more care), it could have been saved to some extent (I’m doubtful) with decent editing.
A Cinematographer Should Add Value
The vision of the director is complete only when the cinematographer gives him the right frames and narrative. He should have a perspective of his own, but at the same time not be eccentric. He should add value to his line of work by checking if his camera work makes sense or not. Composing unconventional angles doesn’t amount to a different style of cinematography. And overdoing it will only put the entire theatre into splits like it did in the hall I was watching.
Choose Your Music/BGM Composer Wisely
Oh yeah! You might give credit to a few tracks that were released before the movie hit the theatres, but apart from those which were actually the job of a sound designer rather than the composer, nothing seemed to have blended with the narration. And don’t talk to me about the songs. The theme track looks like as if RGV was pissed with the allegations against him, drank loads and was almost passing out when the music composer poked him to finalize the title track, as the movie was coming close to release. And till the track came out, even RGV might have been unaware of the track – ‘Officerrrrr…Veede Officerrr…’ – Seriously? WTF is this?!
And finally, just one etiquette to keep in mind while writing your bits- SHOW SOME RESPECT TO YOUR AUDIENCE!