Friday, August 11, 2006
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.