Oh how formula movies of the 90's are dearly missed by everyone!
What is a formula movie?
In India, in an industry called Bollywood before the name Bollywood got popular, there were action movies made. Like all matter is governed by laws of physics, all action movies were governed by the laws of "formula movies".
Watching a formula movie is like watching WWE, you know its all rigged.. you know every dialogue before its spoken.. you know every move of the villain, hero and heroine. But you still sit and watch it!
If you consider your self too good for the 90's Hindi action movies.. then you should just have some mother's milk f*%ker!
The rules of the formula movies fell in to many categories.
Character based rules:
This is a very central character in the movie. It is this character that will shape the latter half of the movie. (Hero's sister may or may not be his blood relative, pls refer to the point number 1 of this post)
There will usually be an annoying song involving how gullible she is and how elder brotherly the hero is.
If you look closely at the forehead of this character, you will see the word 'DEATH' written on it. Yes, this character will die at the hands of the villain or villain's henchmen. The usual ways of death include:
- Raped by villain or the henchmen OR the villain and the henchmen... she then chooses to stab herself. It is only after this will the hero make his appearance... so that she can ask him 'how she looks on a scale of 1 to 10 with that trickle of blood from her mouth'.
- A variation of the above is that the villain or the henchmen close in for the rape, and the lady smartly finds a giant-ass dagger lying around. Then she gives them her 2-step warning... "don't come any further.." "don't come any further..". Once she's done with this.. she then rips her guts out with the dagger. (Somehow she decides that trying for the villain's guts is of lower priority). Once this is done.. the villains quickly get away and the hero makes his entry as in the case above.
- She could be the sole inhabitant of the house which is rigged with a bomb by the dastardly villains. Just as the hero screams out her name, she will be sent into a zillion pieces. (at that time she's most probably humming a pleasant, soothing tune)
- Thrown off the roof of a tall building, or jumps off.. which ever comes first.
In any case, her death will pave the storyline of the remaining movie.. which is : Find villain and henchmen and destroy them with bare fists.
This is the second most important character in the movie. If the hero doesn't have a sister, then this is the most important. The villain usually is a rich character because he's a super mob boss, or a major smuggler or weapons dealer or woman trader or illegal land seller... usually he's all off the above. He's probably the best dressed guy in the movie. He will have an elaborate house with plenty of henchmen living with him (in the hall). The following characters could be the villain:
- stand alone mob boss who is not related to the hero or heroine other than the fact that he's killed the hero's or heroine's sister / mother / father or all of them while laughing and saying yo mama jokes. He could have done this in the recent past or may have done the killing at a time when the hero or heroine was a kid.
- the heroine's father stands the greatest opportunity to be a villain, its never the hero's father. (It is possible that the villain can turn out to be the hero's father in the end - like star wars, but otherwise the declared father of the hero is never the villain). The heroine's father on the other hand can be either the main villain or a team lead to the henchmen. This character will surely die and at the moment of death, the heroine will care less for her father than Donald duck cares about wearing pants.
- the minister. This character is an accurate description of how a minister would act in front of a mirror if no one were looking at him.
The end of the movie will always see the villain beaten to near death by the hero's fists. To understand why 'near death' you'll need to read on.
These are a constant in all the movies .. not just the characters, the actors as well. They have the same sinister laugh in all pre-rape sequences - the same noise you'll hear when you kick a horse in its nuts and play the resultant sound in slow motion. They are also dressed in the same clothes.. through the 90s you can actually see the color of their clothes fading. Their moment of fame in the movie is when they fall off a tower or through a wall of glass while performing a triple spin, double flip slam to the concrete floor. Most of their necks and backs will be broken by the hero.
There are always single characters in a movie (as in guy without a chick or vice versa). They could be single right from the start of the movie or could have been made single coz their better half was driven over by a truck, usually driven by villain. This character also has DEATH on his/her forehead but there is a catch. If the better half was killed in the movie, then the character will last till the end but will be finished off somewhere during or before the climax. If the character is a single, over-jovial character, then you can see a well deserved colorful death by the mid of the movie.
This is the main chick of the movie. Though she might be initially introduced with a bunch of girls, they will be erased from existence once the heroine makes her first full sentence. The heroine always opens her innings in the movie by having petty fights with the hero. Her first dialogues usually involve the words "scoundrel" .. "idiot (mostly pronounced eej-iot)". All this will then be quickly replaced by "how she sees the studly hero in the otherwise apparently rural, stinky, uneducated, uncouth roadside person". The heroine is good for one almost-rape sequence, one kidnap and one climax sexy song at the villains den.
Oh yeah.. and at some points in the movie, the heroine will get slapped for something or the other. (by the mother, villain, pet dog etc)
These are girls who are picked up from railway stations and pavements. They are then given clothes and a hair-do. Their faces are left unwashed coz this helps boost the quality of the heroine's looks in comparison. They are given key lines in conversations like "Hehehehe" or "Hi friends" or "Hehehehe".
The police is there to give the reality feel to the reel. They always arrest the wrong guy, stay asleep through the entire movie's happenings and don't have any real guns. The fitting of their uniforms makes you wonder how they can run or sit without spitting their balls out from all the pressure.
There is always a bad cop all the way on top, powerful and fully medal-ed.. who visits the villain's house to fall on his feet now and then and for some free biscuits. You can hear this man call himself a "faithful dog" many a times in the movie.
This is the most boring character of the movie. His actions are controlled buy all of the other characters. The Sister and Lonesome Friend give him his story line, the Heroine gives him the songs, erection and direction to the villain's house, the Police to run from and Villain to beat up.
Situation based rules:
Death of the villain
The hero will never beat the villain up and follow through with a kill. Nope, he will always spare him and make sure the villain lies next to a gun, bazooka, knife, nunchucks, dildo, tank etc. Once the hero turns his head the villain then picks up the weapon of choice and attacks the unsuspecting hero. This is a fine moment in the film to get rid of extra characters like the hero's mother, Lonesome Friend, etc. Any of the said characters will intercept the attack of the villain on the hero and roll over and die. Its after this moment that the villain will be killed.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
There is a constant rule of opposites. Either the hero's dad is rich and the chick's is poor or vice versa. Both can't be poor and both most definitely can't be rich. And invariably the girl is rich coz that's the only way you can dress her up and give her a big intro in slow-motion (if the girl does happen to be poor, then this intro scene would be a dream sequence). The gap between the rich and the poor is also fixed. The rich heroine is usually gifted a restaurant every month by her dad and she eats every recipe just once in her life. The poor hero's dad would usually read out loud a recipe book to the family as their dinner.
That just about covers the rules of the "Formula Movies".
A variation of these formula movies were the super-big-budget-action films. This would involve three heroes, three heroines, lots of singles, lots of villains and a finale climax song which would then explode into a massive one for all fist fight brawl. In spite of all the commotion and noise created by the brawl, the cops still wouldn't show until they are told - "dudes, you might wanna show up now, the next scene in the movie are the credits!".
- humble me