Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Shortest Movie Titles

Mindless surfing is a good thing. I recommend it to anyone who leads a pointless life. It can be particularly therapeutic to the bored mind that has ventured on a journey of sweet nothings down the river of drift on a yacht named Whatever-floats-your-boat.

On one such futile voyage, I discovered the longest horror movie title. It reads: Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D! The very sight of this grotesque reticulated python kind of longness made me lust for stark-naked short movie titles shorn of all imaginable fluff.

That’s when I thought of Ram Gopal Varma’s D. Presumably the abbreviation for Dawood, D was hyped as the prequel to Company. Considering that Company itself was an allusion for D-Company, the title D was indeed a masterstroke. When I heard of it first, RGV grew taller in my eyes by a whole 70 mm. I mean, here was a man who had coined the the Sabse Chota Hindi Movie Title, and the media didn’t even acknowledge this fact!

Exactly one year after D, came E, the crispest ever Tamil Movie Title minted this side of Cooum. The very intriguing E is not a story about the housefly. It’s a character-study of a chap named Easwaran (played by Jeeva) embroiled in a bio-warfare saga. If the director SP Jananathan had named the film Easwaran, I reckon E wouldn’t have fared as well.

Fritz Lang deserves all the credit for pioneering the shorter-than-the-shortest-movie-title trend way back in 1931, when he unveiled the first ever serial killer movie M (short for Murderer). Costa Gravas made this even more popular by choosing the title Z (pronounced zee) for his French Political Thriller in 1969. The one-letter gamble worked like a blockbuster. And ever since, we’ve had a rash of films like Q (horror flick), H (a South Korean thriller) and O (aka Othello). To cut a long story short, sometimes it might just help to take the shortest cut.