Tuesday 18 May 2010

Of Anticliches and their abuse

I just finished watching In Bruges, a movie starring Collin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralf Fiennes. I loved the film. The music, the screenplay, everything was just about perfect. Farrell was surprisingly good. Brendan Gleeson as Ken, an aging hitman was simply brilliant. But hey, this post isn't about the plot. It's not even a review.

Cliches have been plaguing cinema for quite a while now! (Ask Vijay fans). Movie-goers were no longer willing to lap up whatever the production houses threw at them. The directors at hollywood realized that and thus was born the era of the Anti-Cliche.

Consider the classic cliche :

Good guy always survives

No matter what the villain does to him, the good guy survives. If he's thrown off a building, he lands on really soft stuff. If he gets shot, the bullet hits a locket that he wears around his neck. If he's Vijaykanth.... hell he just cant die!

So the directors wanted to change things a bit and thought "Hey lets knock off the good guy!". This has been seen in a lot of movies as well. Arlington road, The Road to perdition, Pan's labyrinth, Titanic, anything to do with Nicolas Sparks, Gladiator, and urm Departed (where just about everybody who had a 20% or more screen presence got killed). We have had a lot of movies which show the protagonist dying. So many that this has become a cliche.

So along came another plot device.

The Open Climax :

Ok, good guy living is cliched, good guy dying is cliched. So what do they do? They feature a monologue by the protagonist, while the film runs in black and white, as he lies, barely alive, with people rushing about him in slow motion. And then the credits start rolling
While watching In Bruges, it was kind of obvious that this is what was going to happen in the end. A variation of this was featured in Truffaut's 400 blows, where you don't know if the kid is captured or runs free. Heck even "Yaaradi Nee Mogini" featured an open climax.

Thinking about this, I can only recall that I have never hated fairy tale endings. (Unless it was some really sissy movie loaded with cheesy stuff, that is). So do directors have to really come up with convoluted endings, just to show that their film is not treading the beaten track? Or are directors going to come up with another new trick?

2 comments:

VIJITHA said...

ha ha nice one :)

Vijay Krishnan said...

The directors need not have convoluted endings in their movies.. That's why, Ilaya thalapathy rocks da ;)