Friday, September 18, 2015

Why Trisha illana Nayanthara may be a movie to hate, but is definitely a movie we need!

Watched Trisha illana Nayanthara today. First day. It was a complete shocker. It is an out and out teenage/coming of age/romance/ sex comedy, a genre tamil cinema has not seen in a long time. Interestingly and incidentally I happened to watch Manmadhaleelai in Raj Tv a couple of days back and was wondering what happened to such films and to wherever sex comedies or honest adult themed films disappeared from tamil movie industry.

Now, I didn't like many things in/ about the movie. For one, I hated the regressive note throughout the movie brought out by the hero, that it is absolutely unacceptable for girls to drink and suggestions to women about 'asingamana' dressing and partying (but how it is okay for men to drink, party and do whatever) and how 'virginity' is an important necessity in love and how men who don't care if a girl is virgin are 'thiyagis' and how the film's hero claims he is not one such 'thiyagi' (read 'loser').

(Btw, to the director's credit,  the movie also shows the male lead to be a hypocrite who is himself a virgin only due to lack of opportunities and who would buy beer to a woman if it suits his cause.)

But these are the very reasons that make me feel so strongly about why we need  'Thrisha illana Nayanthara's more often.  With its cheap jokes, taboo themes and innuendos, the movie shocks some of us, makes some of us hide our faces, some shift in our seats, some of us cover our laughter, but makes all of us check the next seat after we let out that guilty chuckle. The very same things we Indians so righteously criticize, scorn and so refuse to enjoy - in public. This is very important.

We need these shocks from time to time to make the us, the Tamil/Indian audience break from the bluddy, Super Sensitive , Intolerant, mindsets we have developed through decades of being fed only carefully picked, culturally 'sensible' , chauvinistic stereotypes acceptable to our 'culture'.

For eg. like how  the heroine, even if portrayed a widow or divorcee should always be a virgin (either the guy she marries compulsorily  dies or gets separated before consummation of the marriage), or how the heroine can never get raped (by anyone other than the hero), and how there is never any actual talk on anything intimate like masturbation, or making out, or any other physical personal sexual activities. Even 'intercourse' is mentioned only if it somehow changes the course of the story, and how fancying luxury and wanting to make money (esp for female characters) is evil, etc.,

Feeding us with these same beaten ideas has made  us, the audience, insanely sensitive to anything else that we are not used too.  Which is why, the huge cries and outrages and hartals and violence when anybody says anything even remotely different from what we know, what we believe, what we like or  what we are ready to accept.

Come on, it has been 30 years since a #panneer pushpangal, #manmadhaleelai, #arangetram,  #vedham pudhidhu  or any such bold attempts. It has been 12-15 years since the last attempts at decent, honest coming of age / adult comedies like #boys or #thulluvadho ilamai.

More movies like Trisha illana Nayanthara, from time to time, will get the audience more used to themes that are in the shadow and make them more acceptable to cultural shocks and other taboo ideas which all of us may not agree with. And more such creative works, (Movies, Arts, Plays, Albums, Shows) will get us used to seeing, hearing, coming across things we don't feel okay about.

More movies with bold and shocking themes and content like Trisha illana Nayanthara, (not only sex comedies, but adult themes, religious criticisms, introspection on the society, alternate views on historical events or figures, etc.,) will actually distribute the outrage and over sensitivity of the audience and get people used to sensitive things being brought out in public. More importantly,understand people have the right to say what they want, and you may not always like what they want to say.

I do not know if the director realises the importance of his work. Heartfelt wishes to this game changing attempt.

#trishaillananayanthara, #adhikravi, #richardmnathan, #umeshjkumar

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