Time Travel – Eee (#atozapril 2013 challenge)


Ok,  Time Travel for T is a simple guess for every Holly wood watcher -  Just the Back to the Future series will cover it all……..Tossing in Out got a long list!!  But then, i again  realized  that  the entire Indian cinema thrives on family drama ……… and how will I get the time travel movie for A to Z challenge!!

Is it very rare for a pure sci-fi movie in Indian cinema?  While Wiki lists many Indian science fiction movies here - many are on aliens, next life, etc. I did one loner Indian movie under the time travel in the list of Bollywood movies, which I am yet to watch

So, I went to the next nearest -  where the characters travel from one life to another life  -  it nicely aligns with the Indian mythology -  the soul is all persistent and moves from one body to another and never perishes.  What is left behind when a person dies is only the physical body.   With that as a background, the recent movie I enjoyed is Naan Ee.   Naan Ee is a 2012 drama and released in  many Indian languages including Tamil and Hindi. What made it unique was the live action animation and visual effects.  The storyline is simple  -  The hero gets killed by the bad guy as the bad guy wants the hero’s girlfriend.  The  hero is born again as a house fly (yes, that little small insect!) and the house fly takes revenge on the villain and protects his girl friend!  Fun movie -  there was actually a song sequence where the house fly dances!!  Kids will love it!!  

School movies – Panneer Pushpangal (atozapril 2013 challenge)


Letter S is for School from Tossing it out for the AtoZ challenge.

Though there are many school regional movies,  I had to mention this movie for a reason! - just a look-alike reason which my school buddies know!.  Panneer Pushpangal  -   is a 1981 tamil regional School movie which was a big box-office hit. 

Twenty years later,  there is another movie –  Sattai.   Sattai (2012) is  compleletly set in the school environment and conveyed good social messages loud and clear -  while at times the hero went into a preaching and sentiment mode, it was still a good watch considering the messages it supported.   It was one of those movies which proved that the audience will support movies with good messages if delivered well.

The theme of this movie was  very similar to Paneer Pushpangal movie in some way -   the challenges of teachers handling the kids in a matured way, the teenage love (mostly infatuation!) coming on the way of the students future, etc.  It still hurts to know that as a society we still are handling basic challenges on child education across the country for the past twenty years.

School is a necessary part of any child’s growing years.   At the same time, I feel the education a child gets outside the class room in the society is the one which shapes up the child  -   life skills is the most important part of education and I wish more schools focus on the holistic development of children.

Rain movies – Mazhai (#atozapirl 2013 challenge)


Easy peasey selection of film topic with alphabet R by Tossing it out for the AtoZ challenge.

While there were many movies with rain, the one movie with the name Mazhai (meaning RAIN) has to be mentioned for name sake!  :) Mazhai is 2005 regional Tamil movie, which had rains almost through every scene of the movie.  Whenever the hero and heroine meets, there is rain in the background which makes them think it is a divine direction.  Then follows the regular Indian mix masala (song and dance sequence included!)-  villain falling in love with the same girl, enticing the girl’s father to give his girl to him,  creating a rift between hero and heroine and finally a big huge stunt sequence between villain and hero and then the hero and heroine are happily married every after  -  EVIL PERISHES, GOOD PREVAILS.  :)

Rain brings in lot of lovely memories (ok -  i am ignoring the fact about bad roads after rain, sudden storms from the Bay of Bengal, and sometimes even loss of lives, which is very sad).   Who can resist the piping hot ginger tea along with the Bajji and Pakoras (Indian spicy snack) when it is raining.  Also, all of us have those memories of the childhood days in the rain -  where we were out on the rains with our friends  -   playing, laughing and running around and finally getting those scoldings from parents and sometimes even falling sick with cold and flu!

What is unique for a country like India is that the HOPE rains bring in  -  hope that we will have enough water for a good harvest in the coming season, hope the dry interior villages will have enough water to sustain their livelihood.  It has been a long dream for the Indian farmers that the Ganga-Cauvery river plans really take off -  that will enable the entire country -  use the excess waters from the norther plains to feed the dry seasonal rivers in the south -  it is still a vision and lot of work need to go in to make it a reality.  Hope it happens in the coming days.

This song from the famous Lagaan (2001 Hindi movie)  shows how much the rain mean for us in Indian villages. 

The theme of Thanneer Thanneer (1981 Tamil movie) highlights the challenges faced by villages -  this is another song in that movie which again reinforces about what rain means for us in India -  a single drop of water and look at how much joy it brings to the village folks! http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xlfoku_megam-thiraluthadi-thaneer-thaneer_music

Rain is GOD!!

Quiet films (#atozapril 2013 challenge) – Uthiripookal


Quiet films are not silent films as defined by Tossing it out  -  they are films where there is less dialogue and more introspection.  Letter Q in AtoZ challenge.

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.!

Prison movies – Chirai (#atozapril 2013 challenge)


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!

You may also like: Pati, Patni and Rs.10,000 scheme  ||  International women’s day || Women and empowerment || Indian Women

 

Open ended movies – Anniyan (#atozapril 2013 challenge)


Very innovative sub-genre from Tossing it out for the letter O of the A to Z challenge.

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!!

Nuclear films (atozchallenge) – Vikram


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!

 

Movies about making movies – Vellithirai (#atozapril challenge)


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!

Life Story Movies – Sri Raghavendra (#atozchallenge 2013)


The word is L and Tossing it out uses Life Story movies for the atozapril challenge 2013.

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.

Knowledge movies (#atozchallenge 2013) – Eeram


It took me some time to understand what Tossing it out meant by this micro genre of movies  for letter K for a to z challenge.

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.

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