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Agony of Protagonist
|by Seshu Chamarty|
The young man was handsome and also neatly dressed. He held a knife in his left hand. Like his cruel expression the weapon was a curved one. Sweat was pouring from his face. He was about to pounce on a group of 'rustics' who thronged at a bus stop. A pretty girl, probably the heroine, was looking at the hero with a terrified expression (She should be taking a pity on those who assaulted her.)
I realized the young man was none other than the protagonist, a hero in the movie telecast as a rerun on TV. The current heroes in films as well as TV soaps are letting loose real tyranny on big and small screens alike in the name of agony returned by protagonists. Moreover, the channel I was watching scrolled a caption that it was a special treat to the viewers on the festival day.
Next I saw the hero beating up all those bad guys severely. So bad were the blows inflicted by the hero on the hapless ‘ruffians’. It evoked sympathy from me for all those 'bad' characters, be they dummies or dupes. After all they were human beings. I wondered how a hero can be that bad, whatever the situation is. To me it was most un-hero like on his part.
For that matter, I saw many mythological films since my childhood. They depicted Lord Rama and Krishna and the other avatars playing their roles to the scripts. They too were unsparing as far as bad guys were concerned. But there is a redeeming thing; they used to spare the baddies in the last minute, had the latter asked for mercy. Moreover a chance used to be given to them with regard to the kind of death to be delivered for moksha (liberation of soul).
So heartless are the present day tastes, though the heroes are nice per se. What else they could do, they only enact the roles. Pity, they are the puppets in the hands of film directors and story writers, not speaking of stunt directors. The gory scenes on screen have come to stay for good. Our film producers are hell-bent to exploit the evil side of humanity using up all their weird and sadistic imagination.
One wonders how such violent films are passing the scissors or 'delete' buttons of the censor boards. Also blame the lay consumers of the commercial cinema, who demands formula movies. The producers think the viewers are turned on by sex alone. They seem to like the violence part too, i.e. before going to bed. After a long time I saw one exception in the form of a recent Telugu movie called, Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu. A great part of Indian cinema conditions the otherwise sensitive viewers, hooking them on to the gory, sleazy, and sexy side of life for the sake of entertainment. There can be many positive subjects for seeking diversion from the routine. But no one takes the risk of producing the right kind.
The women section of TV viewers is exclusively catered to, with a dish full of histrionics at the hands of some cunning-looking female characters in soap operas. I for myself avoid those serials (say serial killers).
The earlier tearjerker genre is a passé now and it is not evoking empathy or apathy anymore. Apparently, the sensitivity of the average viewer has crossed the threshold of decency. To what extent this cultural annihilation continues is anybody's guess.
Ultimately, children become the unfortunate victims of this mindless tyranny inflicting wounds on the young psyches to the extent of brainwashing our culture and ethos in the coming generations. Can we call it renaissance of a kinky kind? In that respect most villains like heroes are of that kind. In the formula picture the hero tries to be kinkier than the villain.
Kids in their formative years are exposed to a shift in the value judgment. Besides, children are allowed sit beside the elders while watching this rubbish paraded on the tube. Unfortunately some of the dirty movies are given Universal rating. Government alone cannot be trusted to arrest this trend. Their certifying organizations permit liberal film ratings based on some parameters known best to them in this confused secular- liberal-democratic society with the capitalistic overtones.
So it is for parents and other adults in the family to control the remotes and keep TVs switched off, or selectively allow very small children watch only certain channels like BBC and National Geographic and the like. Maybe Doordarshan is good for such kids unless it runs movies of violent kind.
I wrote this, even as I watched a film which was coming to an anticlimax and my own family undergoing a catharsis of sorts.
God save this culture erosion sold in the name of entertainment, and entertainment and again entertainment.
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01/29/2013 13:30 PM
01/29/2013 08:09 AM