For my next writing gig, I thought I was going to write my first fully fledged romcom feature. But later, once I started brainstorming on the given concept, I realized it wasn’t turning out to be a romcom but actually a dramedy.
At this point I haven’t the slightest clue on how I’m going to mix both genres and come up with a dramatically funny screenplay in a months time. Not writing one would be funnier. Okay, jokes apart, I think I would need two or more months to wrap it. But first I need to go through something like a guide for dummies on how to properly write a dramedy, if there is any available. And looking at my projects in the pipeline, next in line is also a dramedy. What! More dramedy? I think at this very moment I better stick my head into the keyboard of this laptop. At least that would be less painful than the tiled floor underneath my feet or the bricked roads outside. But luckily that expression which is related to a unique habit of ostriches, no kidding, they don’t actually stick their heads in the sand, but they just duck down, usually in high grassy areas. Hallelujah! My grey matter is saved from becoming mashed potato.
So for reasons to pull me out of this dispirited feeling, I’m going to look back at some of my stints at comedy and maybe get inspired for this project in hand.
As I quickly run through memory lane as fast as I could, I have come to a conclusion that I have actually written some bit of comedy mixed with romance in few movies and some television serials. On all these occasions, they were more like loose segments which was a build up to the ensuing drama that follows later on. But good thing is that I have tried comedy. So I consider myself funny. Now I’m trying to laugh by tickling my funny bones.
It all started with HUREEMEY INTHIZAARUGAI (Waiting For You) released in 2005, directed by prolific director, Abdul Fatthaah. This film could be dissected into three or four mixed genres or even more. It starts off with a romcom segment of about fifteen minutes or more. Rest of the film then becomes a tragic/drama and then the latter half becomes a suspense/ thriller respectively. And hilariously enough, after outlining the whole screenplay, I first wrote the third act to ease production scheduling conflicts. But it was a good experience. I guess it’s always a good feeling to break rules, as long as one avoids going behind bars.
Anyway, the audience loved the romcom segment of this mentioned film. They kept laughing at my one-liners and luckily almost everyone understood the jokes thrown here and there, thanks to a solid delivery and on-screen opposite attracts chemistry between Zuhura and Ravee in their debut starring roles. They definitely shone in the first segment.
My next effort at comedy came in a 13 episodes television serial called KURAMEY VADHAA’EE SALAAM (I Say Goodbye). In each episode I used acidic one-liners for the main villains played to evil best but in a cheery tone by Saeed and Hajja. Their bits were hailed and enjoyed by almost all the viewers. This serial was also directed by Fatthaah.
Comedy mixed with romance or viceversa was offered abundantly in the popular 52 episodes television serial, HINITHUNVELAASHEY KALAA (Smile, you). The whole serial was once again directed by Fatthaah. Yes, him again! I must admit that this serial was the turning point that fortified my writing skills in every way. The first 32 episodes were treated lightly with comedy thrown all over. This serial captured a nationwide following. Since I still have a never ending admiration for this serial, and in an effort to save my keyboard, my fingertips and my eyes, I’ll discontinue talking about it any further. I have already written so much about this serial in my previous posts. They are just a matter of few clicks away.
I also added comedy, but very sparsely for VAALOABI ENGEYNAMA (If You Knew How Much I Love You) which went on to win 12 National Awards including best picture and screenplay. On the premier night, my greatest gratification was the audience laughing at almost every one-liner I have used rather than them sobbing at the melodramatic second half.
Short film, ROCKY which was released on DVD was a failed attempt at slapstick comedy. And also I was credited under a pseudonym… whoops! I just spilled a lot of beans here.
After staying away from anything comedy for a while, I returned with my very first full comedy mini-series called AHARENGE LHA DADDY (My Youthful Daddy). Oh boy, the viewers really enjoyed this 5 episodes serial about a wannabe womanizing father who wouldn’t want to grow up. Legendary actor, Jambu Afeef gave a noteworthy performance as the title character. This serial was again helmed by Fatthaah. He sure knows how to direct comedy, I mean, of course, comedy written by who else but me. See this grin Mr. Cheshire cat. Now beat that.
My latest comedy mixed with romance came last year with SAZAA (Punishment). The film was kind of two films rolled into one. The first half was a romcom while the second was a violent drama. The reason I made the first part a no-holds-barred romcom was to subconsciously make the audience also suffer the gritty violence of the second half which befell upon the protagonist. While the audience laughed constantly at the one-liners in the first half, they were in complete silence in the second half. Mission accomplished.
This is where I snap my finger in front of my own face. Snap! With a sudden twitch to my head, clapping my eyelids several times, I finally return from memory lane and jumps into reality. I ask myself, am I inspired now? Now I ask whoever asked me that, are you talkin’ to me? I see right before my eyes written in bold, dramedy! Oh no! I don’t feel funny anymore. I could best write a horror film in this state. Keyboard, here comes my head!
Then there’s static sound…