The last alphabet Z is for Zoo in Tossing it out - the last one on the A to Z April 2013 challenge!! I want to taken a moment and think through on what happened in the month of April and how i chance hit on the atoz challenge - while i decided to write about Indian regional movies on the same topic selected by Arlee on his blog, I was unaware of how much of fun and challenge it is to get this done!! Thanks to the team who initiated this challenge and specifically to Arlee!
While there are many movies around animals and some scenes on zoo, this movie called Annai or aalayam is evergreen in my memory. This is a 1979 Tamil regional movie which was a family drama with typical mother sentiments around an orphaned elephant. The little elephant and its naughty actions were a great attraction for me at that time - i remember pestering my parents to go and watch this movie the second time in the movie hall - which in those days is a real luxury. The hero (who is a hunter) ensures that the little elephant is united with its mother at the end of the movie and the entire movie revolves around the little elephant. One specific song sequence where the little elephant equally dances with the hero/heroine is something very interesting.
Venice in regional films would have been tough in the past, but in the recent times most of the Indian movies at a minimum have one song sequence shot at a foreign exotic location. So, there were many movies which had songs shot at Venice, though this movie in Telugu language was shot majorly in Venice. Nenu Naa Rakshasi is a 2011 Telugu romantic drama. Having the limitations of understanding Telugu, I still felt compelled to watch this movie till the end to figure out the story line - unlike the typical south indian romantic drama, this movie had lots of twists and unexpected turns in the story (ok, call it illogical turns) - i doubt if this movie is something which i will remember but for the location it was shot and the beautiful heroine.
Europe brings in lot of nostalgia in me… It also brings in lot of expectation in me - one of these days, it is in the bucket list to go around in Europe with no specific plans with like minded folks - may be also get paid for that trip and evaluate the places around Europe - it is something which will happen when the soul of the universe aligns again to make it happen …!!!
Utopian movies can be what is listed in Tossing it out OR can be the real drama where the main characters are so idealistic that the whole movie feels utopian. Here is the letter U for A to Z challenge.
Kalki is a 1996 tamil regional movie directed by one of those famous directors of south India, K.Balachandar. While the movie is a drama, the main character in the movie was portrayed so differently, it made the whole movie utopian. Almost 17 years since that movie, I am still looking to meet someone with atleast 10% of the idealistic heroine’s character in real life. Ofcourse, the heroine’s boyfriend who waits and accepts her AS IS adds to the flavor of utopian movie!!
While the movie revolved around women and their rights and the challenges of a patriarchical society, I still felt that this movie is more of a wish of the director than of a reality! I may be sound sarcastic, but that is how i feel!
In general, Indian movies have lot of dance sequences,stunt scenes and loud arguments and lots of dialogues (are Indians the most expressive community among the world !!). It was in the late seventies and early eighties, there were new experiments in the movie making industry - one of them is using lesser dialogues.
Uthiripookal is one of the movies which made an impact on me - It is a 1979 movie, directed by Mahendran, who is considered as one of the pioneering directors of south Indian cinema. I like more of easy romcoms - so, i will not add this movie into my favorite movies. This movie left me disturbed, left me thinking on the need for a society which acknowledges that mental state of balance is equally important as physical health and to be treated. Many of the folks who influx terror on others, hurt others are those who need that support.
The hero of uthiripookal is a sadist who gives a hard time to his immediate family (wife & Children) and also to his colleagues. AFter losing his wife and going through a traumatic experience by himself, he realizes his faults - by the time the damage is done and his children are orphaned. This movie had minimal dialogues and left people with lot of introspections! Maniratnam, one of the successful regional directors always has less dialogues in his movies. He considers Mahendran as a role model and a
Being Quiet is a virtue - While I am in general a quiet person, there are aberrations in my style when I have that right company (aliens under cover) at the right place.!
It is letter P for the A to Z challenge.
When i clicked on “Tossing it out” and saw P is Prison movies, I know this one was easy. Lot of regional movies has prison in its main theme.
But the first thought when to the movie called Chirai (Prison) - It is a Tamil regional movie of 1984, based on the story written by a Tamil novelist Anuradha Ramanan. Apparently, this storyline was very progressive - it handled a sensitive topic, where an orthodox traditional married women makes a decision which is beyond the tradition! This movie brought in the stunning logic for the then traditional society (it is still the same in many parts of the world). When the married women gets assaulted sexually, her husband disowns her - now here is this lady who already is a victim and also being held responsible for being a victim! She makes a bold decision to move into the house of the assaulter himself, who already has realized his wrong-doing and supports her till the end and gives a very decent quality of life! The story ends where the lady decide to live as a widow of the assaulter than her husband who deserted her ! What this movie portrayed was the biassed outlook of a society - which is way off from being a gender-neutral society!
In general, even today, many parts of the society look at the victim of sexual assault condescendingly - the victim itself is considered partly responsible for the crime - when the infamous Delhi incident happened as recently as December 2012, there were unprecedented supporting voices for women safety from every corner of the world. At the same time, there was this view of “can one hand clap?” from some parts of the society !!
While there is lot to be said about this sensitive topic of women safety around the world, it goes without saying that we not only need stricter laws but a sweeping mindset change, where every human being is looked at as a human being than as a women or men…!
Am sure we are progressing as a society, but have still a long way before we say we arrived! Till then – for those lovely women folks around the world - TAKE CARE, BE BOLD & STAY SAFE!
To put it simply, these are films whose ending is not clear, confusing, or not an ending at all - Anniyan (2005) was one of those movies which fall into this category - there was no ending at all or to be more precise, the ending was more like the beginning of the story line again. This movie used the medical condition of Multiple Personality Disorder and weaved a thrilling story line around it - the lead actor Vikram had put in great efforts to bring in the difference between the differences between his two split personalities. This movie did make a tremendous impact on the south Indian scene and was equally a box-office hit.
In an analogy, our lives is open-ended - when at times we feel that we have figured out it all, it opens up a big set of surprises! Probably that is what makes all of us interested in life - the surprise factor, the factor that there are millions of things which we will keep coming up new every day for us to understand and appreciate, the ever-lasting secrets of nature - what makes a flower bloom? what will the worms think? why is the planetary system following the standard routine?etc etc…..
Life, ofcourse is beautiful………being open ended adds to that beauty!!
So, Tossing it out really made me rack my memory for a regional movie under nuclear films - the atozchallenge is getting tougher!!
For whatever reason, only one movie came near this nuclear theme at all (i did take help from one of my confidante to firm this movie up) Vikram(1986) is a regional movie where the plot is about the Indian intelligence officer going in search of a stolen nuclear capable Intercontinental Ballistic Missile - the movie was one of those sensational movies which introduced a different theme, new technology to the otherwise conservative south Indian movie world in 1980s. The best part was that this movie’s story was coming every week in a tamil weekly magazine (kumudham) with nice movie stills. I still remember those days where I use to wait at the gate for the paper vendor to come and deliver that week’s magazine and all the time acting as though I am seriously involved in my school text books
Nuclear disaster became more of a reality when the recent fiasco happened in the Japan nuclear power plants after the Tsunami. While that was still induced by nature, in the last couple of days I was really disturbed by the trend of bomb blasts across the globe. Just on this monday late night IST, I was shocked to see the tweet on Boston blasts at the Boston marathon - and today (Wednesday IST) there is the follow-up news of blasts in Bangalore.
While it is awful feeling to think of the bomb blasts and the innocent public getting targeted for someone’s criminal attitude, there is also that anger in me - what are our intelligence agencies doing? how much does it take to make stern decisions against these mindless terrorism? Be it Boston or Bangalore, the world around us need not only pure compassion, but that courageous decisions and actions from everyone! Let the light lead us in the right path of global peace!
This was easy one from “Tossing it out” on letter M for april challenge.
Velli thirai ( “silver screen”) is a 2008 Indian regional movie(Tamil) which candidly exposes the stark realities of movie world clouded with jealousy, intellectual cheating, money, power, casting couch culture, etc. while the plot itself is a brilliant refresher, the way the movie was shot is something of an tremendous effort from a debut director, Viji. Prakash Raj, the producer and also the lead actor in this movie has once again proved that he can do a good job of nurturing the right talented entrant directors.
While the theme of “EVIL PERISHES, GOOD SUSTAINS” is reinforced, the last few scenes where the crew ensure to complete their movie (within the movie) is intelligent and keeps the viewers guessing on what will happen next - the actors were in the form, story was flowing naturally and it was a perfect ending !!
I watched this movie twice and am sure will watch it again!
India is one of the world’s oldest living civilizations - many great leaders, philosophers, saints, scientists, mathematicians (Aryabatta gave zero to the world) have been helping the world (beyond India) and making it a better place to live for all of us. While there are many movies across India depicting the life stories of many, what came to mind as a first movie (I believe that probably is the best movie in my view) is the life story of a Hindu saint Sri Raghavendra who lived in late 1500 and early 1600. While he is a hindu religious saint, he is also a philosopher (like most of the religious saints across the world) and supported the humanity at large with his supernatural powers - people believed that he was the reason behind many miracles which helped them!
While Sri Raghavendra was a well known saint across the south of India, this 1985 regional movie Sri Raghavendra definitely made its mark - when Rajnikanth played the main role, people were stumped! He had been an action hero till then and in his 100th movie, he played the saint which was a surprise to many of his fans - apparently, he did well and even today, when I think of Raghavendra, this movie and his good acting fills my memory.
While it is a lot to talk about any saint across the world among various religions, the common factor tying all of them is their extreme devotion in making this society and world a better place to live for many generations to come! They did it through religion, god, philosophy, music, literature, etc. I salute all those saints across the world - reminds me of the song Endaro Mahanubhavulu from Indian Carnatic music written by saint Thiyagaraja - which means “salutations to all those great men of the world!!”
ps-I was humbled that tossing it out author Arlee Bird http://www.blogger.com/profile/11663942782929929334 feels that my postings are counter to his posts and likes the regional flavor. Thank you, Arlee.
Across regional movies, to my limited span of knowledge, i hardly remember any movie which has knowledge has the key element of the movie - while there are few movies which I can think of, the theme is either around family drama or around some supernatural forces.
Eeeram(2009) is one such movie. The hero is a police, who is investigating the unnatural death of his ex-girlfriend. During that process, he gets the knowledge about the unnatural death through the supernatural force (his ex-girlfriend’s spirit if you believe in life after death!) - which comes in the form of water - while it was a fresh breath for the Tamil cinema, it had its regular mix of romance and family drama. It is one of those brilliant plots from a new comer director Arivazhagan and Shankar (the famous director of Rajnikanth’s Robot movie) is the producer.