Tuesday, September 6, 2016

On Recent Tamil Movies… !

On Recent Tamil Movies… !

I have never been an avid fan of  Tamil movies – lengthy shows, highly choreographed dancing to loud numbers around trees, corny dialogues, fight sequences where the heroes always win the fight and the women, calamity comedies and totally socially anticipated endings!

English movies on the other hand ………..

Recently due to pressure of time – only after 10 pm, our family (who prefer Tamil movies and far outnumber me!) outings in Coimbatore appear to favour movies in Fun City Mall!

A host of recent Tamil movies has really impressed me. Of late,movies appear to have a simple story content, creative young directors, small time but talented actors and no long songs!

There is an intent to keep a shoe string budget, as the directors and money strapped producers employ a host of average looking heroines; pock marked, common looking, insipid heroes with dark complexion who can effectively deliver the message.

Modern India has changed a lot as one learns from the newspapers and TV shows such as ‘Saudhaan episodes’ on ‘Life is OK’ Channel. One learns much from these true police episodes …..that life is not that rosy, people are not that polite, crime is not that uncommon, dowry system still exists, woman is still at risk at nights on the road, the average blind beggar on the road has most probably been made blind by beggar mafia, the abundant greed of humanity, that woman is not that gullible, that man is not always the oppressor ( but converse is more common), girl child is still not wanted in many parts of the nation, caste system raises its ugly head everywhere, the con man uses the greed of the common man and what not.

The modern cinema opens the can of worms in the open and the young directors depict them in a direct way!

I have had no training in movies but I cannot but notice the change in Tamil movies – like a breath of fresh air.

I have outlined 4 recent movies ( I watched two during a bus journey!) which were by no means, a box office hit – but made an impression on me.... a non-movie going, average, non-artistic person!


The story involves around Madurai Medical College graduate, an average rural MBBS doctor at that, a love between different status, dowry evils, suicide of a self-made village lass. I liked the role of the heroine, a village girl who makes a mark with her writing in magazines for a small fee; and the educated female sub inspector – a family friend of the heroine – who tells her family that she knows the hero is at fault in the suicide of the heroine and she will lock him up by any means required.

A lot of honesty and bravado for the woman power in the average Indian village set up! Definitely enhanced woman empowerment! And finally how the hero meets his old classmates and how they stand up for him despite their previous enmity during college days – that is what old classmates do!

2. Saduranga Vettai

The story of a con man who uses the greed of the average common man to make money, which he is able to defend even in a court of law. It involves true past events in South India like the sand snakes increasing sexual stamina, the emu – bird scam, ‘rice – pulling’ conning , the 50% off gold schemes, and what not! The movie pointed out that so long the common man is greedy and wants ‘quick money’, he is going to be taken for a ride! …. In a humorous way!

3. Appa

It depicted the social evils of how we are spoiling the next generation and losing them to a life of competition, winning at any cost, rising suicides among students due to peer and parent pressure . A lesson for us all!

The tuition centres which only imprison the children with the sole aim of getting the highest marks are the target of the story. The owners of such institutions along with their hospital doctors appear to withhold information of a dead little boy saying he is still alive. Only to be told the truth by some other doctors who cannot watch the agony of the parents!

4. Kutrame Thandanai

A Tamil movie without songs with music by Ilayaraja!! About a guy with 'tunnel vision' – apparently a witness to a crime who keeps changing his story, to blackmail 2 suspects of a murder! The story telling is simple, superb with wry jokes –from a police constable. Problems of a visually challenged person, changing morals in young women who only wish to marry for money and not for love, the  money power of the rich over the poor to alter police statements, honesty of the police inspector, dishonesty of corporate hospital administration which makes its doctors advice eye transplantation for a glaucoma condition with no such treatment, how money is collected in increasing fashion by big hospitals depending on the urgency of patients; and finally and most importantly how you should never underestimate the prowess of anyone in life – handicapped or not!

Kudos to these young directors and actors who manage to deliver these social messages to the public so directly despite constraints of budget and expectations!

Listen, incidentally I am not against high budget movies! They have their messages too , but tend to get lost in the glitter, glamour and the much anticipated action!

Enjoyed Kabali immensely.

The part I loved most (which was repeatedly shown in every trailer) in Kabali was – the book superstar Rajini Kanth was reading in jail- MY FATHER BALAIAH – by Satyanarayanan. In the book, 50 acres of land issued by the king to a Dalit is taken away by the high caste landlord. The Dalit and his poor family are threatened, his women leered  and finally made to leave with his dead wife on his shoulders and a child son walking away from the village. This Dalit father single mindedly educates his children with the help of the British and Anglo Indians and gets them jobs in railways on par with the non Dalits. A moving, soul-stirring true life story of the caste system!

This powerful book is the essence of the movie. Social message concerns Dalits and non Dalits caste system, which exists in India even now! I bought and read the book since the movie. If only we followed the lessons learnt in the book, …...........

Enough ranting… now back to work!