This Write-Up By RGV About Filmmaking, Style & Aesthetics Is A Must-Read For All The Aspiring Filmmakers

Ayn Rand said “if you see a beautiful woman with a pimple on her face you would think nothing of it but if an aritiste draws a painting of that same woman without removing the pimple it will seem offensive. Of course there could be some people who would like the pimple being there and they will be ones who will have the same character as that of the particular artiste and that in effect would reflect their own personal view of life.”

But unlike in life, in cinema when a director uses style, dialogue, background score, characterizations etc to capture reality he will be just wanting to enhance and beautify what could be very ordinary in real life. He in effect is trying to show what is, in a manner of what it could be and what it should be and that would be his view of life…

And from that very specific point of view of his towards life is where his personal art will arise from. Whether his art is good or bad is subjective depending on who’s perceiving it from which background..

1.RGVIt’s nothing but a filmmakers interpretation and presentation of an emotion which creates a feeling in a viewer sitting in the theatre. The way the director presents his own view is where we as an audience will just get sucked into. So once we finish watching, his view will become a part of our view.

What a filmmaker is really saying through his film is “this is how I want to see things ” Read it as “ this is what life means to me ”. and also very rarely a filmmaker’s purpose would be wanting to communicate his view of life to the audience. His intentions will be more to capture his personal view in a physical quantity on the screen. But since cinema involves commerce and various peoples time and efforts he has no choice but to bring it down to communicable terms unlike a painter who while painting would never think of what will make people buy his painting.

Since we always strive to reshape the world for our own specific purpose we have to first identity our own individual value systems so as to have a specific personal view of everything in life in order to reshape both the world and ourselves. To an extent we can possibly reshape ourselves both physically and mentally but it’s only from our desire to reshape the world where our art arises from.

2.RGVFor instance if I have depicted gangsters in “COMPANY” in a certain way that’s just my artistic interpretation of the underworld. It says about my desire to see a guy like malik in the underworld but not necessarily it tells that there is a guy like malik in the under world. Similarly in “SARKAR” what I am saying is “this is how I would like to see Bala Saheb Thackeray” thereby giving my personal view of him.

On the other hand for a guy who has no personal view of anything in life at all the concertized projection of his malevolent non view towards anything and everything in life will serve not as an energy to move forward but as a delusional moral premise to stand still and just make mindless comments on people who move forward. These are the inane majority who keep screaming that values are unattainable that struggle is futile, that fear, guilt, pain and failure are mankind’s predestined end.

Between these two there also lie a sea of other minds with completely mixed premises whose issues in life will inevitably and permanently remain unresolved as most of the time they just precariously balance on the edge of their little or no logical brain.

In cinematic art It’s my conviction that more than the story it is the style in which it is told which is most creative and the most beautiful in it’s sheer artistic representation. A story is given and a scene is given and a character is played by an actor which is a physical quantity, but how they are amalgamated by the director with the use of the cinematic medium in his style is what which creates a sum total emotional catharsis in a viewers mind.

3.RGVOf course it goes without saying that style cannot stand in for lack of content but at the same time without the application of style there cannot be cinema.

This best was put in the words of a corporate executive who once said about a certain film “ It’s quite a nice story but if the director did not apply any cinematic style to it why did he make a film out of it.” I completely agree with that executive because style is truly where a director comes in. He might have other talents such as writing etc… but primarily by definition the director is the link between the performing and the primary arts. He is a performer in relation to the primary work of others namely actors, music director, cameraman etc… in the sense that they are a primary means to what he is designing with his style to be his specific end.

But to integrate the primary arts he will require a first hand understanding of all the arts applicable to cinema and then he will have to have a very individualistic view of them combined with an unusual power of abstract thought and above all aided by cinematic imagination.

Directors with this kind of tremendous sense will be of course rare. Most of us directors most of the time ride on the talents of others and merely put the actors and technicians through randomly thought motions which will accidentally result sometimes in a great movie and most times in a movie with clashing intentions of all concerned due to the lack of a central thought to guide the film towards it’s emotional finale.

A film is at the end of the day an emotional experience. It can make you cry, it can make you laugh or it can thrill you etc… and a good story gives the director a means to heighten that emotion and a great director will enhance and beautify that emotion with his artistry. For example if the script says “ she is very beautiful” in a cinematic application the director can make people in the theatre feel “she is verrrryy beeeauttifull.”

In written language this will come across as wrong grammar but in cinematic language the girl will come across verrrryy beeeauttifull and that ‘s why I love cinematic EXAGGERATION!

~ Ram Gopal Varma

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