Thursday, August 18, 2005

Gajini is Memento

I am not sure if Gajini has been released in theatres. However, I have known this "inside info" for quite sometime. Now that the Aug 15 program should have made this obvious there is no sense in not blogging about it. Gajini seems to be at least a partial rip-off of the movie Memento. I am not actually sad about this but in fact very happy. If at all Tamil Cinema has to raise its standards it is better to use movies like Memento as inspiration.

Memento is a unique film even by American standards. It is probably one of the best movies I have seen in recent times. The story is told in a fashion never before ( okay..its been tried once in Seinfeld and once in an older movie) tried in Hollywood cinema. Chris Noolan (Director of Batman Begins, Insomnia) handles a very strange and challenging script with competence. Memento is a exhausting narration of a man caught in a infinite loop. He executes tasks 1 through N and starts once again at task 1 and goes on forever. He does not know he is in an infinite loop. The movie goes from a "good movie" to a "wow! blow me down" levels because of the way the director chooses to present the movie to the audience. This narrative style of telling the story in reverse order is not merely a trick to do something new. There is a motive behind telling the story this way. I won't tell the story (because really I can't .. even if I try hard). But will try and probably give a gist of it to try and bring out the way Noolan and his script writers have handled the story presentation.

The color sequences of the movie go backward in time i.e task N is shown first and then task N-1 is shown and so on.. The black and white sequences are shown forward in time. The key is you do not know whether the BW sequences happen before in time to the color sequences or vice versa. The BW and color sequences are interspersed cleverly to make the movie pretty exhausting (but very interesting) to watch. The intention here is to develop the same limitations ( handicap is a strong word here) in the audience's mind that the central character of the movie suffers from. The man going through the infinite loop has met with an accident and has poor recollection of events after the accident. He suffers from what is called as "short-term memory" affliction. In this situation he remembers everything that happened to him prior to the accident but cannot remember anything after that for more than 15 minutes. He has to execute all tasks he is "meant to do" in the 15 minute quantum and then stores important aspects (by writing it down etc) of his memory before he forgets it. So that when he forgets everything related to that 15 minutes and begins on a new 15 minute quantum, he can see his papers and know what to do.

Because of the way the story is presented -- the 15 minute packets told in reverse order -- and because a black and white sequence is placed inbetween two 15 minute sequences -- you as the viewer lose track of what happened in the previous 15 minutes. If you want to hold on to the story track you have to rely on the hero's technics to remember stuff. So in effect you have his disease. Cool isn't it? So now do you get the point of telling the story this way? This is just a gist of the movie. The style and class with which the movie is presented is in a league of its own. I am not sure if Gajini's screenplay will handle the story in the same fashion as Memento's script did. Memento was too heavy for American audience. Gajini wont even register a blip if it goes the Memento way. With Asin and Nayanthra it does appear that Gajini will tell the story linearly. Btw does Gajini mean the Mohd. Gajini who tried to invade India 17 times? The movie will tell us, I am sure.

Surya has become my favorite hero over the years. I rank him among the best heros in the curent era. While so many people have been talking about being the next Kamala Hassan, by choosing movies like Gajini and going the off-beat path -- Surya is doing it.

18 comments:

Kaps said...

How is the US treating u?

The movie has not yet been released.....some of the blogs and film focussed sites have already hinted that Ghajini is inspired by Memento.

Anonymous said...

bharath,

good to see a movie blog from you after long time.
nice...

do u have an online link for downloading the movie ???

~sriki123

rekhs said...

aiyoooooooooooda,nethu i barged into AARU shoot and met him,naan kaytirupaynay!!!
i read this only 2day:(
we just hv to w and w( wait n watch):)but he is darn gd.

anantha said...

Memento rocked....So did Insomnia, which was Chris Nolan's next!

Nayantha and Asin's presence in Gajini is what makes me feel uneasy! Any more news on the starcast? Joe Pantoliano's role?

anantha said...

Namma ooru directors kitta idhu dhaan prachanai. Murugadass did not have to give everyone a soundbite with the outline. Does he think that no one in Chennai/TN/India watches obscure Hollywood movies? God!

ada-paavi!!!! said...

i am waiing for Gajini!

its scheduled to release first week of september (before deepawali season)

asin kosarama padatha pakkalam, nayanthara i dontlike

Ram said...

The music of Gajini was outstanding! Good foundation for the movie. I think it may not be entirely based on Memento.

Hawkeye said...

Hi kaps,

yep its treating me allright so far.

i havent been visiting blogs lately. am hoping to read up on all the missed stuff once i get my comp in order.

Hawkeye said...

sriki123,

it may not be available online but ill check

Hawkeye said...

rekhs,

so u met him in a shoot. i also happened to chance upon surya in AE shoot (the opening in scene in mayajaal). guess what karthi was doing? roaming around like a cop with that walkie talkie..

Hawkeye said...

anti,

chris noolan did batman begins recently .

ya i guess the editor for gajini is a super dude. but the director i guess cannot comment on memento w/o giving away the credibility of the script writer :-) .

Hawkeye said...

vatsan,

asin is certainly good looking. but i think i'll just go to see because i am curious.

Ram.C said...

Am confident of Murugadoss & Surya. LadyLuck should smile favour at them for their efforts.. that's my wish

Anonymous said...

does Gajini mean the Mohd. Gajini who tried to invade India 17 times
I think it does... especially when taken into context with the Memento reference...
the way Guy Pearce doesnt tire of his efforts to find what he is trying to find....

Anonymous said...

i like the way surya works in each character. even if the film flops, his performance stands out.

why am i saying this?
because i've seen the original memento ( i should not have, but but i couldn't wait the release of gajini).
it will be hard to do better than that.

indian remakes always smell curry powder, and song and fight sequence grumble the movie.

being a surya fan, the film must be good! like you all guys, i hope so.

But with this experience i come to this conclusion : watch the remake before watching the original copy of a movie...
or this conclusion is a better one : watch the better film first!!!

leomitra said...

erm erm soorya has been my favs... so no harsh comments abt him and have liked him since neruku ner days.... he's gd looking simply sooperb

Dhinesh said...

Hi Guys,

One thing that I feel about Indian especially south Indian directors remaking Hollywood movies. Hollywood movies have a high budget and they can do a lot in their movies. South Indian movies are low budget movies. If a Director can successfully remake an Hollywood movie (adding spices that might interest the B and C audience), then he is a real good director. I know one of them - Takkali Seenivasan - He directed the movie - JENMA NATCHATRAM - which is the remake of the movie OMEN.

So, we should appreciate the directors who are trying to do something new in Tamil (Like Jeeva's 12B and the Karate fight sequence in Anniyan) English padatha copy adichuttaannu sollaaama...

Sheae said...

Good work Man.Watch Gajini Video Songs Online.