Friday, February 06, 2009

End Credits

In total agreement with this post, I felt that I should add my two-penny bits to the point.

Till end-90s, most Hindi films never had end credits. They had beginning credits, which gave ample time for latecomers to settle down. Even then, as soon as the last villain would collapse in a heap and before the entire cast would get into position for a group photo/hug, people would rush out as if a time-bomb would explode the moment 'The End' came on screen.

A huge draw for me was how The End would come about. Most of the times, it was a simple The End. In Aradhana, it was "Aradhana is complete". In Dostana, it was "Thus, Dostana lived forever..." And in several movies, it was "This is The Beginning!"

English films had the end credits but the same rush-before-it-explodes phenomenon happened. I remember only two English films in which people sat through the credits. One was Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and The Bodyguard, because they had the music videos running through the credits and beyond.
Actually, you also had to sit through the James Bond credits because the title of the next film would come right at the end.

When the end-credit concept started, being a slightly obsessed trivia buff meant that I always hung around till the screen was switched off. And I got mighty pissed with people stepping on toes to make a mad dash for the exit. Guys - haven't you paid the full ticket price?
And I did get a lot of trivia from the credits. The last one I remember that Agent Fields of Quantum of Solace was actually Agent Strawberry Fields.
Music & Lyrics had a brilliant credit sequence, spoofing the pop singers of the 1980s.
One of the earliest trivia I got from sitting through the end credits of Tin Cup (a golf movie starring Kevin Costner and Rene Russo) was that Costner's parents played "Autograph-seeking Couple" in the movie.

And to end, I will narrate a story I heard from Aparna Sen in a TV interview.
The day her first film (36 Chowringhee Lane) released, Sen was a nervous wreck and wanted to visit theatres to gauge audience reaction. Being an eminently recognisable star herself, she couldn't have gone into the hall for fear of getting mobbed. In any case, she would have got biased responses even if she did. So, she went into the projection room of Basusree (a cinema in South Calcutta) and tried peeping through the small windows to get a feel of the reactions. She could hardly see anything. When the film ended and the credits rolled, she got really desperate and asked the old projectionist, "Chhobi kemon lagchhey bujhbo ki korey?" (How do I know if they are liking the film?)
The projectionist said, "Chhobi shesh. Titles cholchhey. Kintu ekta loko seat chherey otheni. Apnar chhobi cholbey." (The picture has ended. The titles are rolling. But nobody has moved. Your film is going to run.)

As Issac said, its all in the end titles!
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