Serious Lessons or Silly Entertainments?


A song sent by a friend through Whatsapp triggered me to watch a Kamalahassan movie of 1994, a critically acclaimed, commercially successful and a few award winning Tamil ‘Mahanadi’.

Though I remember vaguely that story and movie was one that was least entertaining and most regressive, one of the village landlords Narayanan. He loses his properties, happy life and children in his sudden petty greed for pelf.

Here, the hero is shown as a contended, educated man but falls prey to a total stranger and gets into the trap. He goes to jail for cheating the public by running a fake chit company and loses his children and his old mother in law dies.

The villain not just stops with swallowing the money but also sends his teenage daughter to another wealthy sex pervert and the girl lands in a brothel in Kolkata. How the ‘good’ but ‘brave’ hero solves his problems forms the rest of the story intertwined with a lot of violence, gore, blood and crude sex. 

At every instant our public and media never stop talking about our great Indian culture and ethos. My question is even after 3 decades of this movie, has this Indian society changed at least a wee bit? We still read more about financial scams, sometimes even involving banks. Child trafficking is highlighted in this film very poignantly and how the teenage girl is saved from a big bordello was talked about. Cinema is considered as a powerful medium of propagating societal awareness. 

Has this come down and awareness created among the public in any way? In fact, today we read and see news items every day that several old and young men are arrested under POCSO.

It clearly shows that the country had neither learnt any lesson nor improved in any way but deteriorated further with involvement of more people.

Some may argue that cheating and brothels are historical and cannot be eradicated. Then what is the purpose of showing them so elaborately and pathetically? For educating the public or entertaining the gullible?

India is definitely a unique nation with innumerable contradictions.


More by :  G Swaminathan

Top | Cinema

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