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Tamil Cinema’s Development and Deterioration
|by G Swaminathan|
The Indian Cinema industry has completed one hundred years and the entire nation feels proud about it since it is considered as the most popular and powerful entertainment for the masses and classes. It is deliberated that Indian cinema not only just entertains the people but also reflect their life, changing trends and styles. Well, in a way it is true and the celluloid heroes are considered even popular than our age old mythological, historical and political heroes. There is no gainsaying that Indian cinema has been making greater strides in the areas of technical finesse. Next to Hollywood, India’s Bollywood and Kollywood are supposed to be making a lot of films.
While we take pride on the above mentioned facts, we should also look into the other grey sides of the Indian cinema. The make believe world had showed its bad and uncouth influences on the public and it continues even after the country has become almost partially liberated and westernized.
Tamil movies, especially, are now sliding down in their contents and quality. In Tamil filmdom today the star value has been considerably lost its power. After MGR and Sivaji, there was a vacuum and Kamalhaasan and Rajinikant emerged as the next super stars. But, in the present circumstances, stars like Vijay, Ajith or Surya do not command as much of dedicated fan following as the late MGR or Sivaji enjoyed or those of Kamal and Rajini. Indeed, it is in a way good; the doors are open to new comers and fresh talents. But, what happens really is mediocrity and substandard films are churned out in the name aspiring film makers and actors.
I have been seeing movies for the past sixty years at various stages of my life. I am not averse to truly realistic movies or absolute fantasies. Each one had its own charm. There are movie makers both in Hindi and Tamil who could strike a fine balance between realism and fiction. But, what I have been watching in recent times as Tamil films are, to say the least, absolutely shocking. They are not even mediocre but grotesque. In a recent movie which is supposed to be a box office hit, justifies and shows the ways of kidnapping and blackmailing even for small gains. In another film, the teenage hero and heroine indulge in premarital unsafe sex and give birth to a child to be abandoned in an orphanage abetted by the parents. The boy and the girl go for happy marriage with least prick in their conscience. Murders and mayhem form the major constituent if they have been made with the background of the celebrated town of Tamil Nadu Madurai. Blood, gore and violence are depicted with graphic details with the aid of the technical wizardry. Melody in music has given way to cacophony churned out of computer techniques.
I was watching a recent successful and critically acclaimed movie on the television where for half an hour the same dialogues have been spoken by the hero who is supposed to have lost his memory and his friends that too in a marriage reception of the hero. I cannot tolerate it either as realism or comedy. Another successful movie I saw had the hero and heroine with a tragic pasts get married out of compulsion. There is absolutely no maturity in their behavior before marriage or after marriage though both of them are shown as elite and affluent. The comedy is silly, the acts are clownish and irritating and the logics are just thrown in the wind in the narration.
Aesthetics have no value. The uglier the hero better will be reception because of common man identification. Selfishness, crime and suicidal tendencies are promoted by these new gen writers’ movies. We claim India is a culturally superior nation. But, if we see the glorification of gun culture, debauchery and double entendre in movies we could hardly make such a claim.
It is true that the younger generation is easy going but at the same time arrogant and reckless. Tamil movies today act as a wonderful catalyst for the dangerous creative urges of the writers and directors who try to cash on it and promote irresponsibility among youth to the extent possible. The film criticism in Tamil Nadu is also at the lowest ebb. The reviewers are very generous in showering encomiums on such worthless and dubious creations and alas, the public lap them up. The television channels spotlight is also on these one film celebrities and in the name of interviews they reel out unabashed nonsense.
Cinema is a powerful two edged sword; wish even it does not create better citizens let it not poison the young minds of this already corrupt country.
|More by : G Swaminathan|
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