The Brain Behind The Brawn - Analyzing A Fight Sequence

Regular commercial movies are an amalgamation of a plot, dance, action, romance, comedy and music. Some of us like the dance tracks, some like the emotional scenes, while there are a few that like action sequences. And I belong to the third category. Action scenes are what actually get me going.

Since I love action scenes a lot, I deconstruct them regularly in my head. At that time I noticed that action scenes are hardly talked about and action scene breakdowns rarely happen. So I thought, “Why don’t I do this?” So the first fight I’ll be analyzing is the fight that occurs in Upendra's house in “Son of Satyamurthy”.

Allu Arjun goes to Upendra's (Villain's) house to whisk away certain property documents by hook or crook but ends up being found out. Obviously, Upendra is furious with him. But Allu Arjun gets a chance to redeem himself by saving Upendra from an attempt on his life at that precise moment.This is when the action scene occurs and then I had the following questions.

1) Is an action scene required at this point of time in the narrative?

2) What did the scene want to convey to the audience?

3) How was the sequence constructed and what were its technical aspects?

1) Is an action scene required at that point of time in the narrative?

- Yes, as it is the best way for Allu Arjun to make a favourable impression on Upendra. Allu Arjun is in trouble and the attempt gives him a "free - get - out - of - jail" card. Also, Upendra lords over the village like his personal fiefdom and recognizes a good fighter when he sees one. Therefore, the fight is a perfect platform for Allu Arjun to earn Upendra's respect.

2) What was the action scene conveying to the audience about the characters in the movie?

- Upendra's opponents were trying to finish him off and the hero protects him. This the hero would have done anyway. However, now his motive takes on another dimension - of protecting his interests. Another thing that works for Allu Arjun is that he doesn't let Sneha (villain's wife) get a whiff of the fight taking place. This takes him a notch higher in Upendra's eyes because he gets to know Allu Arjun is not all brawn, but has brain too and could be useful to him.

Just when the hero feels he has surmounted all troubles, comes another one. Upendra wants Allu Arjun to marry his sister and be his successor. Allu Arjun isn't interested but can't outright say no. With respect to Sneha's character, she is under the delusion that her husband has given up violence. And Upendra wants to keep it that way.The inherent inter-dependencies among these characters moves the plot ahead.

3) How was the sequence constructed and what were its technical aspects?

Peter Hein, the Action Director has choreographed the action scene in such a way that each individual stayed true to their character. Like an ailing Kota Srinivas Rao coughing and hitting the stick on the table (to signal Sneha's arrival),a worker raising the radio volume (to drown out the fighting sounds), and the 90 year old lady hiding the opponent from Sneha. The actors were in sync with their characters and at the end there is no trace of a fight. It is also a chance to for the Director to show the dynamics between two contrasting characters - Upendra and Sneha.

Peter Hein marvelously made optimum use of the set design. For example, the falling gunny sacks, the powerful fan to remove the dust, etc. The chemistry and understanding between the characters elevates the scene to another plane. The added humor makes it a brilliantly conceptualized and executed scene.

Here is the link to this beautifully crafted sequence:

Do let us know if you have any such sequences in mind and we will try and feature them. Also, congratulations on making it this far. If you liked this, spread the love by sharing this on your social media handles. Until next time then.

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