Abishek Raaja



A fast and the furious roundup ... Fast and Furious 7, Fast and Furious


If a clutch was stomped, the rubbers were burnt and the car seeped through the air to notch over 100 miles per hour, then it was either a scene from 'The Fast and the Furious' franchise or the last minutes of Paul Walker. Since June 22nd 2001, car enthusiasts all over the world have managed to get a hot girlfriend, modify their vehicles into a mean - machine, learn the art of drag racing or get a speed ticket. Universal Pictures never really knew a film about illegal car racing based on a newspaper article 'Racer X' would transform into one of the biggest franchises ever. 


FF series never really intended to also become a heist film and later develop into a revenge saga, but the characters portrayed by Vin Diesel and Paul Walker grew so much into us, the producers wanted to keep spending more and earning even more. FF is not just about cars, it has lots to do with unity, fight against evil and following the heart. If this column is solely dedicated to how much I regret not knowing about Paul Walker before he died, this will also talk about an idea that went onto have a shelf life of over 14 years, gross about 2.5 billion dollars worldwide and entertain a generation of film lovers.


FF movies are known for the hair-raising stunts, mind-blowing cars and some jaw-dropping girls. Every installment has been made at regular intervals creating hype and catering to the changing audiences all over the world. When the first ever movie of the franchise told what it was all about, introducing characters, the second didn't have Dom and spoke more about Brian O Conner (Paul) and Tyrese along with Eva Mendes taking a drug lord down. Tokyo Drift, as the title suggests was a complete contrast to all the previous films including the lead cast but for a cameo from Vin towards the end. This story was actually based on the events after the sixth and during the seventh film. A scene from the Tokyo Drift coming in the 7th tells us how the story-writers of FF have conceptualized the whole idea and it is inspiring. 


Dominic (Paul) showed confidence, Brian (Paul) was all about following the heart, Mia just wanted a happy life and Litzy (Michelle) wanted the thrill. Tyrese (Roman) and Ludacris (Tej) brought in the comic relief and the villains gave all the edge. When enough of racing was shown, the makers wanted to attract viewers all over and not right off FF films because it was just about cars and race culture. FF 5 brought in Dwayne (Rock) to the franchise to make it a team and add lot more flavors. FF also emphasizes about relationships and brotherhood. The way the characters get connected, bringing back Michelle into the story-line and modifying the whole representation of the franchise into an action-heist-revenge film with brawls, gun fights and also lot more of cars has made FF one of the most successful and highest grossing franchises ever. Every film of the series has been growing with regard to the number of cars that's been demolished, rate of explosions, cranking the top speed, winning races and not forgetting the gravity defying stunts.


Each and every star in the film either had the natural inclination for speed or was properly trained in a particular form of martial arts. To the maximum, FF films were real and authentic. To make it even bigger, Jason Statham comes into the franchise and takes a revenge for his brother who got killed in the sixth by Dom and team. FF films were also flashy, funny and breath-taking. The makers had a vision and it was every time justified at the box-office because of the production value. Be it the racing or the graphics or the VFX or the BGMs FF films had it all. Bringing a worldly appeal to the franchise, the films roped in artists from all over the world. White, African-American and Asian, FF had everybody representing us.


FF was also meticulously watched out by the fans for the cars, locations, coming together of all the stars and one cool soundtrack to blast the streets. When it comes to the writing, lot has gone into connecting the plots, defining the conflicts, back-story of the characters and definitely fusing action with the stories. There is a high-point throughout the film and there is always room for another FF film. Vin, apart from leading the franchise has also been a producer for the films thus contributing much more than starring. If a team could stay together for 14 odd years and make films that have been awaited across the world, then FF deserves all the praise and the ticket money. The sudden demise of Paul during the filming of the seventh deeply affected the co-stars and especially Paul's brothers finishing what their brother started is where you realize, love takes over even the fastest car ever used in the film. With the recent version managing to gross over 100 crores in India and set to become the highest grossing Hollywood film in India, expectations for the 8th is beyond comparisons. If a FF marathon is happening at your friend's place on a Sunday morning, all the films would give you a wholesome idea about the best cars ever made, how to jump off anything into anything, break buildings and not get caught by making friends with cops.


Paul is a rarity. He is genuine and always humble. It’s so much fun to be with him and he loved every bit of what he was doing. He loved to be daring and fearless. FF 7's direction team came together, faced the reality and made a film that was a tribute to Paul. Now the world grieves for the loss of Paul. 'If one day speed kills me, do not cry because I was smiling'. 


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