I’m not an movie expert, not even close but I think there are two ways you can make a (Tamil) movie successful.

Option 1: Give a good movie. Now, this is not quite as simple as it sounds. You’ll need a good story – one that would appeal to the ‘youth’ and can also qualify as a family story. A family here comprises of two kids, mother, father, one or more grandmothers, zero or more grandfathers and sometimes a great grandmother too; and the movie has to be certified ‘ok’ by them all. And then comes good music – A.R. Rehman, may be, if you can afford him. Item numbers, again catering equally to ‘youth’ and ‘family’ needs. Catchy script with the right amount of punch. Loads of luck and a horde of other factors I’m not aware of. Now, even if you do have all this in you, this option is still considerably risky. (your name closely resembling ‘Mani Rathnam’ might help..but just might)

or

Option 2: A risk-free option. Get Dhanush to star in your movie.

Is it that simple? I’m not kidding. It is. You need to take care of certain things in the movie though

1. First things first. The story. Pick ad-hoc scenes from a variety of movies and string them together. Now, it doesn’t matter how cliched the scenes are or how badly they fit in. Just collect what you can get and be quick. We won’t waste much time here.

2. Remember our hero is an action hero. Ok, now stop laughing. He is and there has to be a fight sequence somewhere in the movie to prove that. Again, you can pick some random fight scene from some random movie and fit it somewhere randomly. But one scene would do. Don’t over-do it. We don’t want our hero in bed for long.

3. Item numbers are a must but care should be taken with respect to the strategic positioning of the hero during the item song. Remember our hero is ‘a good man who will never look, let alone drool, at any girl other than the heroine’. Keep fixating on this point until it hits the heroine (and the audience) like raw spirit, stays through the night and gives them a hangover the next morning.

4. There’s no need for a separate full-paid comedian. Our hero is entirely capable of comedy all by himself.. No, we’re not talking about the laughter he evokes inadvertently with his looks (that’s always there) but the real ‘comedy’ comedy. He has a inborn talent for it (actually it was inherited thru marriage…but that’s not relevant to us anyway).

5. Remember, our heroine will have to be both modern and traditional. How you handle this seemingly oxymoron situation is entirely up to you. I can give you some hints though. A modern and hence, obviously obnoxious heroine will at some point listen to a brash tirade from the hero (which on translation to English would involve a lot of four-lettered profanity), after which point she will automatically become traditional. Now this proven technique, apart from working all the time, also has the advantage of reminding the audience of our hero’s father-in-law, thereby increasing the movie’s chances of success a hundred fold. But on the negative side, too much camera focus on our hero during the tirade-delivery might lead to unwanted consequences … for the audience. So, another way (rather unconventional and untested. So, use at your own risk) to handle this would be to have the heroine explain at some point in the movie why she was modern until now and why, from this point onwards, she will be traditional. The explanation does not have to make sense if the heroine is pretty (in both modern n traditional wear) or if the scene comes at a point where the audience are already too bugged to care anyway.

6. The last but most important point. The heroine should fall hopelessly in love with our hero and preferably, for effect, choose him over some rich cute guy. You might wonder why use a cute guy here when obviously our hero looks like a dork next to him. Well, this contrast should be there to make sure the message reaches crystal clear to the audience – “A good heart will always triumph over good looks and wealth”. You see, educating the public is very important in a movie. The moral science is what the audience pay for, after all. Ofcourse, make sure the rich cute guy never gets enough focus anywhere in the movie. We don’t want the audience sympathizing for him when he gets his bulb. Beats the whole morel science purpose of the movie.

A lot of points to remember, I know, but definitely easier than Option 1, don’t you think?

Case Study:

Yaaradi Nee Mohini – A successful movie of the highest degree…and pathetic to the same degree.

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