Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Movies with energy themes—sugar coat the pill!!

Erin Brockovich is definitely a movie which managed to touch the masses and the classes though the theme was serious. The same can’t be said of all movies with energy theme though. For instance, for the recent ‘There will be blood’ I hear there have been hardly any takers (in spite of the Oscar awards) and it has been totally panned in my country by the movie-going- public. But Erin Brockovich had a very decent run and captivated quite a few hearts. The film reportedly grossed more than $125 million at the box office.

Having seen both movies, I feel the treatment is the key to make movies with serious themes a success. Well, why such a commercial attitude, do I see raised eyebrows? The way I see it, it’s important for such messages to reach as many people as possible. Only then awareness can be created at the grass roots level which can be translated into action. Presenting a serious theme in dark somber shades can get you a few awards but most laymen prefer to miss such movies.

In Erin Brockovich, the environment theme was cleverly woven into the narrative and the overall presentation still adhered to tried and tested successful formula. It was a tale of human beings trapped in a situation and triumphing and made for a feel-good movie. The environment issue came thru as well—that’s a double whammy, in my opinion.

So in a nutshell, here’s my take on movies with energy content: sugar-coat the pill and try and reach out to the masses as well. It’s good to win the approval of the educated elite but better still to grab the eyeballs of the rest of humanity as well!!

1 comment:

Stephanie Freeman said...

I totally agree with Shyaam. I’ve seen both movies and Erin Brockovich definitely had the right approach to really affect the American audience. Of course the portrayal of the power company as an evil, polluting, non-caring company was a bit over the top, but that is the Hollywood part.

Both movies undoubtedly center around energy, but EB was just more effective in raising important environmental or political issues. I went into There Will Be Blood not knowing what it was really about (didn’t read many reviews, did not read ‘Oil!’ by Upton Sinclair) and came away a bit bored and uninterested. Both movies had a large parts of the movies focused on family and relationships, but EB took a more Hollywood approach to make it a back drop for the main story of the trials and legal matters. TWBB took a different approach and used the energy/oil production as the background for showing the psychological break-down of a man due to the desire for power and money coupled with alcoholism, family issues, and loneliness.

As far as being an effective vehicle for exposing the average American to genuine energy issues, EB took the cake while TWBB just drunk itself into depression and overly dramatic familial tensions.