03 August, 2006

Today's Tamil Cinema

There are many fields in which we are ignorant, but we learn to be masters as we deal with them. One of such is parenting. I was impressed by two kids in a function. The elder was quite big to lift the second one and was handling the younger one for more than half an hour, while the parents were involved seriously in the baptising function of their relative child. At that time I was a parent of only one child. The thought of having a gap between two children gained strength. Though there are so many advantages of this, there are few disadvantages too. The elder is in his early teens, and the second one is just nearing five. One of the disadvantages is watching Tamil movies. We have to be very choosy before we could think of seeing a recent Tamil movie.

It is not a big deal to choose English movies. They have a good rating system. If we decide to buy a new movie (DVD) we go according to the rating about the movie. Even minute details about nude scenes and vulgarity of words are clearly mentioned on the DVD. So, it is easy to choose English movies.

Our regional films do not have good rating system. It is still a mystery to know about the way they rate our movies. What is the standard adapted to rate the movies as ‘U’ and ‘A’?.

Recent Tamil movies are so violent, you need a strong heart and mind to see those ones. In the name of reality, head rolling, knife piercing the body and blood oozing out has become a common scene in our movies. I really doubt whether anyone gives thought to such things.

Will they not consider the range of audience?

Is it a bad taste to expect a movie without any such scenes?

Why are they constantly showing such scenes?

Do they not have any children at home? If it is that violent, why can’t it be mentioned on the movies?

I understand that some could ask me “Why all this moaning? If you do not like, do not watch”. But how do we know about the movies in advance? For example, when we go to the shop, we had to depend on the salesman to know about the minute details of the movie. Once a friend of mine lent me a Tamil movie and I was shocked with the first few minutes viewing of the movie. The first few minutes were so shocking. From then, I have made it a point not to see a Tamil movie without asking anyone in advance about it.

The sad part is again we have multi channels in our language. Even the trailers show a bit of violence which is heart breaking. Leaving alone the violence, let us think about the sensational dances. Even the adult rated English movies do not have so much of sexual sensations than our Tamil movies. I happened to see couple of recent Hindi movies and they seem to be pretty decent.

The style of screen play is also slowly changing. Again in the name of reality certain words which were taboo once are being used fluently. Nowadays they are showing funerals to the minute details. Nobody understands how much it could affect a young child. In those days, even if they wanted to show that the girl was raped, it was shown by a flower falling down, or a candle light being blown off and etc. Just compare the same with today’s scenes.

I remember my younger days when we used to go as a family to watch Tamil movies. By the time we return home we remembered the good moral we learnt from the movies. There were no scenes that could stir any violence or bad thoughts in our mind. Any film was viewable by a family in those days. I have stopped watching Tamil movies in Theatres since ages. We watched an old Rajini movie couple of days before. It was pretty decent. I was able to freely sit with my family and watch it. It was a real entertainer. I remember many olden goldies. We used to return home with wet eyes after seeing them. The films like ‘Thangaikaga’, ‘Pasamalar’, ‘Deivamagan’, ‘Vietnam Veedu’, ‘Gouravam’,’Thangapathakam’, ‘Yenga Mama’, ‘Nalla neram’ and many more. I remember more of Sivaji’s film, because my Dad preferred us watching them. Those were the days when Devar films, came with movies involving animals. He had a greater vision towards entertaining the viewers especially the children. Our Tamil cinema industry has produced great directors and producers. There had been very good movies with different stories.

But what is happening today? Why has the standard deteriorated? No doubt, the music has reached great heights. It is not so in the quality of films. Are our directors lacking in thoughts and subjects? Why everyone is revolving again and again on love stories, a wicked brother, a politician father, and a widow sister. Why there are no movies to show self motivation, confidence for youth, and entertainment for children, with a good moral? Though the usual formula is broken in films like ‘Kannathil Muthamittal’ ‘Anjali’, ‘Chippikul Muthu’ ‘Salangai Oli’ ‘Thavamai Thavamirunthu’ ‘Autograph’ why there are not many films of different subjects?

We cannot blame the Tamil Cinema Industry for this. Cinema is a Industry and every Industry is there to make money. They produce according to the taste of the public. I would blame the audience for the sad plight of Tamil Cinema. If we shun watching movies of bad quality, then the Tamil Cine world will change. Let us improve our taste of watching movies.

There are wonderful directors in our language too. Let us encourage them and try to bring in more good talents and taste.


Jeevan said...

In this year releases 75% of film are over violence and ugly. Now days I first read the review of that movie and ask dad to take me their. If I watch any English movie in DVD, first I fast forward the movie, and see which places have vulgar scenes. a good rating system to movies, if it was DVD or Theater, they have to give a notice, to audince which place the violence scene come. The films which releseas are pointing the youth, I expect movies which show the farmers and village’s life. Nowdays I listen to the songs which mention about the agriculture and villages and its resources. I agree with my friend.

ambi said...

well written. we need to be choosy.
intha censor boardaa nalla naalu saathu saathanum.

btw, last post ans sollave illayee?

Karthik S said...

That's because cinema used to be art and not an Industry !!!!!

Ghost Particle said...

its the tastes of the audience that these movie makers are catering to. Theyre satisfying the lust. For starters we cant ever move away from the formula of a musical. Whatever the subject matter...and even the great directors such as Maniratnam has lamented on the power of the masses. We jsut cant change the current moviegoers mindset. Okay, lets have 5 or 6 songs in the album, but dont put all in the movie...or picture all as dreams songs...and u will shave of half the profits. There is no salvation in this part and as long as monsters like namitha continue to strut her fat around, we wont make much progress either.

The rating systems MUST be implement in all areas and must be defined. We alreadh have ratings in Malaysia and some or most violent tamil movies are rated. And in the future violent movies will be banned. I hope it happens soon..cant understand the logics of trash like the ones coming from Vijay or surya (muchless) and vikram. If i'm on the cencor board...I would have made this happen long time ago! Even trailers for English movies have rating systems.

The concepts of movies are seeded deep in our cultures. It used to be a cultural refference where movie mimics real life and shows us what has happened and is happening. But today movies dream of a crooked future and crooked fate. While they do try hard to show the vices of the society, they dramatize it to a point of we outside of India believing that India is really a trash center for crooks and villains. The culture ministry should do all they can to right this wrong.

I will sit through any sivaji or post Batcha rajini or any Kamal movie and be satisfied that sitting trough the post modern tamil films going nowhere. How do we ratify this>? we focus our attention to a different world..a different view and look back into formula that made such great sivaji movies. We DONT give chance for newcomers who doesnt have a sufficient coda for acting and just be there because their fathers are producers.

And finally, Tamil mvoies caters for a huge diaspora, not only the village savants who are dying to watch ghana songs. Remember that, we need quality movies or not we would watch english movies showing caped man for all we care. We are spiritually connected to India for one reason only...Culture...so dont let culture die in the movies.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Jeevan - Your statistics should be right. We see the ratings before we buy the DVD's of English movies. You are right. If they could give the ratings it will be fine for people like me who view with the whole family. I cannot afford to go to the theatre, considering the time and money. I would prefer to watch DVD's. Sometimes unexpectedly there is a violent fight, and vulgar scenes.

Ambi - Thanks for your comments. Why only naalu saathu... anju saathu sathalamey. I have put the answer for the picture.

Karthik S - Hmmm...mm. you are right.

Ghost Particle - You have analysed well. I am happy that there are people who think alike. My frustration grows more, when I need to chose movies in a DVD library, or shops. Most of the names of the movies sound unheard. We hardly realise whether such movies were released. There is no boundary for violence. Some of the movies are giving ideas for youngsters to instigate them with crime thoughts.

xbster said...

In Today's tamil cinema, if it has to succeed and become a hit, the hero of that movie should be a rowdy or a mental!!

Anonymous said...

Its really making me feel awkward when me and my husband watch a tamil movie with our two daughters.Some of the scenes are really very bad and not appropriate to watch as a family.Anyhow some movies are really filled with good info and morals but the "love scene" are those which we coudn't eliminate at all.Even if its nowadays director or old and gold director concent much on love scenes as the taste of viewers are this.They eagerly expect such kind of scenes.And if there is none,the movie will be floop!Take Kuselan for intense, this movie has a lot of moral,even if there is some scenes like (vadivelu watching nayanthara in the room)the movie is still a floop as there is not enough of such scenes like how some dirty-minded people expect.