Friday, August 11, 2006

Thiruttu Payale

Thiruttu Payale was the first movie I watched in Chennai. It had all the ingredients of a Masala potboiler and yet it was fresh and different. With enough twists and turns to keep your interest intact. I'd even call it a sensitive film though I think the gore was on the higher side.

It made me wonder why Malayalam film industry prefers remaining so stale. In terms of themes as well as presentation (and even actors). Even in Hindi mainstream there are experiments happening, even if most of it is inspired by some Hollywood films. We've seen it in some of the FACTORY products, and more recently in films like Munnabhai MBBS, Bluffmaster, Taxi No 9211, Omkara and Anthony Kaun Hai.

We (Malayalees) talk high about our intellectual supremacy and often make fun of Tamil moviegoers that they can't accept Rajni dying in a film. So what-- the Tamils have not got stuck on a Rajni or a Kamal. New heroes keep making their presence felt, and many of them actually go beyond being a one film wonder. And you know what, at least some of these films even have women characters who have a character. (RGV deserves special mention in this category. I think one of the weakest points in an otherwise interesting Bluffmaster was Priyanka's character). Thiruttu Payale in particular has two striking female leads.

Whereas Malayalam cinema appears to be stuck on same old stories, same old narratives.. Only expections I can think of (among recent mainstream films) are Udayananu Thaaram and Rajamanikyam, and to a much lesser extent Thanmathra. Even those films fell back on the same ancient heroes. Is there any reason for hope? I'm eagerly awaiting Rosshan's Notebook.


blah_blah_blogger said...

Hi...caught u from orkut...frankly, i don't rate thanmathra very highly. It's just that the other movies are so bad that even an average film looks good. Even the experimental film makers seem to have gone into hiding. Nice post.

jenny_under construction said...

even i don't rate thanmaathra highly. but i agree with waht u said. malayalam is one of the stalest movie industry ever in this world. and me and some others too think that it is because malayalee culture is so caught up in high caste imagery. if you look at tamil cinema and its thrills it all coming from subaltern energy - though very masculine - and anything good and adipoli in malayalam also draws from this - like udayanaanu thaaram, and the other films mentioned. in such films there is a lot of questioning of typical structure and i think that is what makes such films so attractive - would you agree?

sudeep said...

i agree with both of you, and yesterday i sat through the first half of "vadakkumnathan"! (my mom was keen on watching it)

yes, most of the times questioning of the typical structure falls into the masculine, but some of the RGV films are exceptions. i have also mentioned about v k prakash's films (mullavalliyum thenmavum, police and now moonnamathoral) in a recent post.

gramathil said...

ellavarkum onam ashamsakal

sudeep said...

everyone is saying "classmates" is a relief.. esp the second half. i couldn't watch it yet but i'm looking forward to..