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Showing posts from October, 2010

The etymology of Tamil movies demystified

What's in a name? The lines that appear in Shakespeare's ever-immortal love classic, Romeo and Juliet, definitely mean a lot to the film producing community from Kodambakkam, who know that on many an occasion, it is the film's title that can pull in the crowds, or can at least be their lone saving grace. Piracy, escalating budgets, intervention from the so-called 'protectionists' of Tamil culture and undue attention on the attire of the leading lady in the movie form just the tip of the iceberg of the issues that producers may need to invest time than just making the movie (with the last two factors being synonymous with one another).
Hence, I take the liberty of suggesting a few guidelines to such beleaguered entertainment inducers to help them arrive at suitable movie titles.

Guideline no 1: Adapt the protagonist's name as the movie title
Perhaps the easiest method to name a movie, this technique is also the most common practice in vogue. Examples for this are …

Kouravargal: A cheap imitation of Thalapathy

Thalapathy, Mani Ratnam's magnum opus in 1991 starring Rajinikanth and Mammootty, focused on the Karna-Duryodhana sub-plot of the Indian epic Mahabharatha. That filmmakers continue to evoke inspiration from this movie even 19 years after its release is an ode to its profound impact on Tamil cinema.
Meanwhile, the makers of Kouravargal, a movie that 'adapts' portions of Thalapathy blatantly, as have many films in the past, need to realise that not all imitations of past blockbusters have met with success.
The plot in Kouravargal, if it can be called that, revolves around the friendship between Thondaiman (Satyaraj), a godfather like figure who upholds morals by punishing the un-righteous, and Ganesan (Vignesh), an unemployed youth.
Kouravargal begins with Ganesan getting jailed for beating up the son of Dandapani, the local MLA, for misbehaving with a woman (Geetha (Monica)).
Finding out that Ganesan has been jailed wrongly, Thondaiman frees him and requests him to be a part …

Book review: Children of a different god

A crash course in human emotions

How many times have we seen people getting admonished as ‘mental’ for doing something stupid or silly? Haven’t we as children teased or labeled our classmates for doing something similar way back in school, without fully knowing what the word implies? Apart from conditions such as progeria and dyslexia that have been popularised by the recent Bollywood releases Paa and Taare Zameen Par, can our country’s educated populace list out a few more disorders that afflict the differently-abled, without having to google for them?
That the portrayal of the differently-abled in Indian commercial movies is far from realistic needs no introduction. In fact, it would be an understatement to say that our woods - Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood and the like – have created the most inaccurate of the impressions in our minds about such persons. Think mental, and you immediately conjure the image of individuals with unpleasant appearances who are always subject to violent …