Sunday, September 2, 2012

How to make a 'hatke' love story

Make a list of all your favourite rom-com tropes:

  • Hero-heroine meet cute: check
  • Contrasting personalities: check
  • A series of coincidences keep them bumping into each other: check
  • One of the meetings involves a party or meeting full of whacky people gone bizarrely violent: twice check
  • Neither of the two have a pair of parents intact: check
  • One of the living parents objects to the match: check
  • Said living parent is a loony wretch: check
  • One amicable and understanding grandparent: check
  • One amicable and understanding aunt: check
  • One tragic backstory entailing familial responsibilities: check
  • Hero helps heroine shoulder the said responsibility: check
  • Hero has his special place to go when he is sad: check
  • Hero-heroine almost kiss at the said special place: check
  • Hero happens to strum the guitar pretty decently: check
  • One friendly gesture misunderstood as invitation: check
  • Disapproving mom humiliates girl: check
  • One misunderstanding: check
  • Hero-heroine pine and cry: check
  • Friendly aunty talks sense into the girl: check
  • Family attempts to fix up the guy with another girl: check
  • Said girl has a boyfriend: check
  • Emotional outburst and please-let-me-be-I'm-breaking-free-of-lifelong-shackles-and-it-feels-like-an-orgasm speech in front of the whole khandaan: check
  • Attempt to go back to the girl gets botched up by interfering neighbours: check
  • Touching confession/make-up speech: check
  • Weddings: twice check
Now that you have used all the cliches that have only been used, like, in every romcom ever made anywhere, how do you make yours stand out? Oh, here's an idea: let's have a guy and girl from a 'different' community, say Parsi. Most Indians don't know that Parsis fall in love too, so that will be pretty entertaining. Now change some insignificant details about your guy and girl - how about the guy has an embarrassing job, a scooter with side-car, some gimmicky casting for the leading lady and oh, the guy and girl are about two decades older than those in most stories!

Never mind character development, thinking about how a blossoming romance between two 40+ people would differ in some fundamental ways than that between two teenagers. Never mind doing things differently because your lead pair is different. The guy can keep reminding the audience that he is 45. Never mind making your characters sane, believable and having them act their age. They're 45, they look 45, and your movie can be promoted on the strength that it is different, because look! THE LEAD PAIR IS 45 AND THEY ARE BOTH PARSI!

All the humor can be derived from the fact that these are two 45-year-old Parsis doing everything befitting a pair of 25-year-old Punjabis. If the audience still don't get the joke, lets have the leads strut their stuff dressed up like some of our most beloved on-screen romantic pairs.

Now sit back and enjoy the accolade.

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