At first there is a story. Then there is an audience. The need is to deliver the story to the audience. So there are mediums like; put the story in a book, or narrate it over radio a la Neelesh Mishra, or show it on a screen – Mobile, TV, Cinema. The last medium, Screen, needs the story to be transformed into screenplay. So, we can say. the medium is the screen, the technique is the screenplay and the content is the story and finally, the target is the audience. The logistics has four parts – medium, technique, content and target.
Let’s consider medium and target as constants. This leaves technique and content as variables. I am attempting to scrutinize these two variables, technique and content, in light of the movie, “AK vs AK.”
As far as the technique of screenplay is concerned, “no stones have been left unturned.” All arts of racy movie making which is on display in many hollywood movies on streaming platform have been copied into “AK vs AK”. Bollywood is Chinese in technical copycats. Wish it had good role-models for stories too.
Now let’s consider the content. The wonderful medium of screen allows the content, the story, to be either like “one grain of rice” or like a “godown.” Meaning, the story can be slim, wafer-thin or expansive, with many details. A movie can have a fixed duration, say 2 Hours, yet it can be made to handle a shoestring story or a complexity. There are excellent movies with slim storylines, like – just two characters talking while waiting for a train. (Ijaazat) Or just one character and a voice. (Her).
In “AK vs AK” the story idea is great – compared to other Bollywood products. It starts brilliantly but by the time it ends there is a great feeling of being let-down. If two Ak’s are playacting against each other then why should one AK, Anil Kapoor, is shown firing actual gunshot into the belly of another AK. When everything is a drama, it should have ended as a drama. Or, if the character of Anil Kapoor was going to use actual bullet in the end, a valid reason for this action should have been created earlier in the story to validate such an action.
“AK vs AK” is a contrived story to showcase a concocted screenplay. It’s like a newspaperman delivering yesterday’s newspaper on a Rs. 1,00,000 bicycle. At first when you see the newspaperman on his swanky bicycle you’ll be enthralled but when you discover he delivered yesterday’s newspaper, you won’t notice the swankiness of the bike but the relevance of the delivery.
When the movie started I was on the edge of my “bed” with a feeling that, well, oh, finally Bollywood “has arrived.” But towards the end I felt cheated. Comparatively, Coolie No. 1 (2020) seems an honest movie. It didn’t waste my time. Within 10 mins had I quit. “AK vs AK” strung me along for 01 Hour 45 Mins and then kicked my face.