From a movie buff
Last week when my friend kitty mentioned to me that he is off to watch ‘mozhi’ for the second time in theatre, it got me thinking as to when was it last that I felt this way about a tamil movie? I irksomely remembered the last flick I had watched of ‘pokri’ which I almost branded as tolerable before the item number with cheesy lyrics like “my name is apple” had made tolerable an understatement. For goodness sake, I was not in a theatre.
However, the movie of ‘mozhi’ from last night, I watched in a theatre in Belmont in Mass, the single show that was being played for the three hundred odd tamil movie ‘rasikars’ from Boston and around, had gone a long way to bring faith in good movies back to the tamil industry. The little theatre set-up had the feel of a theatre in India in the 80’s, with tattered seats (may be a mice or two running underneath), concrete floors, home-theatre type screen, intermissions and not to forget the howling and whistling I missed so much when the favorite stars came on screen. ‘Mozhi’ was a complete entertainer, with roles and story having ingenuous emanating from every scene and dialogue. I had laughed till my tummy ached for the spontaneity of prakash raj and prithvi (I recall the last time being for ‘raam ji rao speaking’ in Malayalam). The blend of subtle move from one scene to next, laughter, emotions, and soft numbers simply made this movie touch your heart and wear an engaging smile for the two and half hours!
Nevertheless, as I walked out of the theatre, mesmerized and satisfied, still hanging in aura of the feel-good factor the movie provided, I couldn’t help but analyze, why was it that tamil industry had such few actors who actually lived the role and brought such refinement to the movies with ease. My thoughts were driven to the much hyped and worshipped god Rajnikanth and his obscenely commercialized cinema lines. I am sure every rajni-fanatic is going to kick my ass if I said that he had turned the most beautiful movie of ‘manichitratazhu’ into a practical joke in ‘chandramukhi’ which was a run away hit not only in Tamil Nadu, but in Japan as well.
I must confess that living in a Chennai for four years and bragging of a friend circle of two hundred percent rajni fads didn’t turn me into one. I have for the love of the theatre spirit and finding out about the frenzy rajinisms enjoyed his high-spiritedness, on which tamil-nadu thrived. So much is his potential to live in the minds of these people, that his biggest flop ‘baba’ was watched by my pals atleast thrice, to be able to do justice to rajni ‘talaivar’! Satiric? As if breaking into my reminiscence, my friend exclaimed “ I can’t wait for Shivaji, rajni’s next movie!”
It easily got me into the argument with my friend on why the tamil industry lacked the charm and simplicity Malayalam industry did. I, owing to the passion for feel-good movies had quoted my favorite lal-etan (Mohanlal) and his myriad of roles and artful cinemas of Bharatan and Adoor gopalakrishnan. After ten minutes of exchange of view points, I was just left with some conclusions. The people in tamil nadu simply accepted their films, the way they are and worship them and follow them. How else can you explain the film stars turned politicians? And the public in kerala was demanding. They simply expect movies be made for their tastes.
I, in the sea in between both worlds, simply sank in my seat, complacent that I could understand and enjoy movies from both ends. I would love to shed a tear at lal-etan’s ‘Thanmatra’ and cheer and attempt to whistle at Rajani’s self-made tornado from a twist of the feet!!