Daily News Online

Wednesday, 2 June 2010



Tamil Cinema:

Film Appreciation with K S Sivakumaran

Positive aspects in today’s films

During the last decade and at present there is tremendous improvement in production of Indian Tamil films.

M. Sasikumar

The changes could be seen in the field of technology, new techniques in film making, depiction of contemporary social issues. portrayal of slices of life in Tamilnadu (in Chennai, Mathurai, Coiamputhoor and other cities and villages in such areas), depiction of characters from the underworld and the double faces of politicians, the use of appreciable colour, cinematography with a purpose and relevance, trained actors and actresses and directors entering the tinsel world, the resultant influence of globalization, alluring locales, fascinating new dances , contemporary fusion music, pretty faces –glamorous and scintillating- from the north of India and from neighbouring Kerala and Aandhra and Karnataka, variety of speeches representing different regions in the state and the like are observable features in film production in ‘Kollywood’ (Koadambaakam).

It’s difficult to analyze each of the above aspects in detail in a column like this, but despite weaknesses, the contemporary Indian Tamil films give the discerning critic some sense of appreciation.

Sasi Kumar receiving an award

We must remember the taste of the film audiences in Lanka and India differs very much. The reason is that the literacy rate is very much higher in Lanka than in most parts of northern and southern India.

But in west Bangla Bengal) and southern Kerala the film society movements have educated the people in the art of appreciation of films. Further, the literacy rate in these states is relatively higher than in other states in India.

However in all states in India including Thamilnadu, the educated middle and upper middle class people appreciate quality films, The Central Government’s International Film Festival of India (presently at the only venue is Goa – the state between Maharashtra and Karnataka - and the regional international film festivals in Kolkatta, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Bengalooru and Hyderabad have certainly improved the tastes of discerning filmgoers. The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune train a new generation of young graduates and knowledgeable people to understand the medium of cinema.

These positive aspects have inevitably influenced the filmmakers in southern India too.

While there are successful colossal box office filmmakers most of them make stupid films in Thamilnadu, there are also among the film makers socially conscious and studied artistic filmmakers that have produced entertaining and realistic and thought provoking films.

I avoid mentioning such filmmakers because one needs an extended article to explain the finer points in each of their films. My personal liking is to appreciate films of Cheran, Bala, Sasi Kumar, Santhosh Subramaniam, Gautam, Kamal Haasan, Santhosh Sivan and one or two others.

As things change very fast in this technological world the appreciations of the arts too depend on changing fads and trends.

Art Cinema is no more in many countries. They don’t even say films. It’s called ‘Movies’ now.

That’s why Hindi films of the commercial oriented Bollywood dishes satisfy the average cinegoer to be entertained even though he may not have digested the film as a wholesome dish.

Cinema is now only a product of the Dream Factory.



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