Topic started by Sathish (@ 18.104.22.168) on Sun Nov 18 12:18:33 EST 2001.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.
I happened to step on the review on "Abhay" in www.rediff.com and hope most of the viewers might have been able to read it. I couldnt digest the review , but a review on "Tera mera saath rahen" the next day in the same webpage has aggravated my opinions about these reviews. I just wanted to know if you people have a similar kind of opinion. Why are the south indian talents being disregarded? Why is this double standard?
My friend wrote back to rediff.com and I am also including the contents of his letter. I am just curious to know people here have similar views.
It is with great regret that i am writing my opinion on this review. I had rediff's views as one of the most respectable so far, but this article definitely made me have second thoughts, to put it vry very mildly. If the writer does not have a clue abt the hard work which went into Abhay, he can probably refrain from talking about a genius like Kamal Hasan. It is different issue if the movie is not interesting or if "you dont like it", but when you talk in an oepn forum, its better you know what you are talking about. It is sad to note that movie like Hey Ram, Abhay and Asoka dont get their due, while senseless and the so called make-me-feel-nice movies like HAHK, DDLJ and all those bunch of movies with meaningless storylines and stupid acronyms catch the eyes of not only the viewers but the so-called movie intelliengetsia of the country. I can understand the author not accepting the efforts of someone from the South, but there sseem to be so much of hypocrisy in the reviews- again to be extremely mild- a movie like Asoka which was probably one of India's technically best movies gets a review from Rediff that its a "typical hindi movie" ( to quote you exactly) and Tera Mera Saath Rahen gets the movie of the year. Kamal's effort in Hey Ram/Aalavandhaan, Santosh Svian's genius in Asoka and Maniratnam's techincal mind in a Dil Se are "good", but Ajay Devgan's performance in TMSR ( i am just trying to be a part of the latest fad!!) is "nothing-shotrof superb"!!! So, what are you guys trying to say, that a normal hindi movie is upto the quality of a "Saving Private Ryan" or a "Schindler's List" when it comes to the script, a "Beethoven's 5th Symphony" when it comes to music and a "Jurassic Park, "Termintaor 2", when it comes to technical brilliance" , or is that there is "more " to it that meets the eye in Hindi Cinema that i cant see???
They ways of the Indian Film committee in deciding the National Awards is nothing short of a spoof of the Oscars. When A.R.Rahman comes up with a list like - Kaadhalar Dhinam, Alai Payudhey, Mudhalvan, Kanduknden Kandukonden in Tamil and then to please the National (Bollywoo, i thought this might be a better title for the awards) awards committee he comes up with a Taal and Thankshk- the whole world expets him to wrap up the awards- and lo and Behold the "critics" have the ears of a Mozart where they can feel Ismail Darbar's "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" to be a class apart from all the movies quoted above. I want to make sure this mail doesnt fall into deaf ears... I hope i am representing a huge representation of people here in the US who really appreciate Indian Cinema, that these so called critiques. If you can respond to this one, then i would be more than happy to find out the "magic" of Bollywood ,correct my eyees ane ears but never become a part of this cabal of senseless movie-watchers.
With deepest regrets,
- Old responses
- From: Trend (@ 22.214.171.124)
on: Mon Nov 19 10:34:08 EST 2001
"Tera Mera saath rahen" is an adaptation of a movie called "What's eating Gilbert Grape" starring Johnny Depp and Leonardo Di Caprio(played the mentally challenged character and got an "Oscar" nomination).That was a good movie.Looks like the adaptation is good too.
- From: email@example.com (@ 126.96.36.199)
on: Mon Nov 19 10:50:50 EST 2001
Satish , I understand your sentiments but I think you are going overboard here by suggesting this north/south divide. Hey Ram was really a great movie and rediff never said it was a bad movie. Kamal went completely wrong with the marketting by trying to lure people by highlighting the steamy scenes. Everyone ackowledges that Kamal is good actor and technichian but goes wrong in publicity. Anyway I can't comment on TMSR since I have not seen it. Neither Abay nor Asoka justify the hype. Both are average movies. Lagaan was a far better movie. No question about it.
Do you surely think DDLJ was a bad movie? I just loved it.
- From: TNS (@ 188.8.131.52)
on: Mon Nov 19 11:26:30 EST 2001
Kamalhaasan goes on and on big EGO trips with extra baggage....Thats why the audience stop him at the entrance itself....Earlier GUNA than Heyramand now Alavandan...Chey enna story da ALAVANDAN La....Thambi wife marriage ku munnal thambiyoda sex vaichukittalam...This matter is informed to mental elder brother who feels she is not fit tobe thambi's wife and wants to kill her...Stupid this is main theme...and here Satheesh wants us to cry for this...TNS
- From: Ramki (@ 184.108.40.206)
on: Mon Nov 19 11:28:00 EST 2001
Trend the only similarity between TMSR and WEGG is the mentally handicapped character..otherwise both are very different.
WEGG had excellent supporting characters esp the overweight mom. WEGG is a beautiful movie, same cannot be said abt TMSR
- From: raycas (@ 220.127.116.11)
on: Mon Nov 19 11:38:13 EST 2001
really interesting discussion...
well satish, i'm not that much involved in all these review affairs, don't know quite well how the masses (and the reviewers) there in india appreciate hindi more than south films.
but i must say that i always disliked these typical hindi films...sorry for being biased and prejudicing...but it's just this picture of typical hindi films one has in mind. last year i think, in an aeroplane i came to see this film 'dhadkan'....bamm....what a bad film. i really hated it. at this moment i don't quite remember the whole plot...but i still remember these highly dramatic scenes, where the father of urmila (i think) condemnded her affair with 'poor' sunil shetty, and those scenes with sunil's blind mother and so on....my god!!! such kitchy scenes (cheap sentiments) are so typical for hindi films (am not saying that this doesn't appear in south films, here and there it surely does, but this is something really typical for hindi films, IMO)
yeah, i think they are called 'nice-feeling-movies'...it's okay, if there are some such films now and then for the people to feel nice...but the problem is, such films are making the people kind of stupid! and the other problem is, the producers realize how they can make money with making the people stupid...and they do it the whole time...greed (for money) is their problem (motive)...
it's also the same with hindi film music IMO...just hear to typical hindi music with simple structure, simple tunes....just there to appreciate the masses... and the problem is, in many cases the taste of the mass is just 'junk'! when i was in india around 94-95 i saw how kids were getting crazy about ARR music...i was one of them...and was happy...then when i visited india last year, the same kids who were crazy after ARR music told me, that ARR and mainly tamil music was out now and that now hindi music was ruling! (when i say i visited india, then i mean kerala, not tamil nadu, here i guess tamil music will always rule, right? hehe)...and at this point, when i heard that, i really got sad...cause best example kaho na pyaar hai...great hit and all that...but if u listen to that song, what has it got except a really nice main tune which everyone can hum to? i'm telling u friends, nothing! the 'sound' of that song...is just soooooo old...typical hindi... really disgusting i must say...if this is all that the masses appreciate good music to be (a nice tune to hum)...then i'm seeing black for future...
if this message of mine leads to a north-fight battle...to be frank, i don't care at all...cause some battles ought to be fought...
'what's eating gilbert grape' was actually an excellant western movie dealing with this topic of being outsiders in a society...on the one hand the case with johnny depp's mother, and on the other hand of course di caprio's mentally disturbed character. if u watch this movie carefully...it's so silent actually...just a pleasure to watch actually...no really over-dramatic scenes and cryings and cheap sentiments...but the blank truth of their lives.
don't know how the 'adaption' of this movie to hindi (TMSR) has become...but to be frank (and prejudiced again)...i don't expect it to be good.
about comparing films: i just noticed that suresh said 'TMSR' is a better movie than 'abhay'. haven't seen both films, but i think i know what they are dealt with.
u can't compare a melodrama with a 'thriller' (if u want to call 'abhay' a thriller). it's the same with all other genres. u can't say this comedy film is a better movie than that action film, cause if u compare films, then u should do it with films which belong to the same genre. otherwise it's useless.
all this IMO.
- From: raycas (@ 18.104.22.168)
on: Mon Nov 19 11:42:37 EST 2001
oh... i just read that TMSR has only the mentally disturbed brother theme similiar with 'what's eating gilbert grape'...if that is true and if TMSR is not a melodrama...then of course my comment about comparing films (TMSR and abhay, which suresh made) may be wrong...
- From: raycas (@ 22.214.171.124)
on: Mon Nov 19 11:45:37 EST 2001
one more thing:
in my first message i meant: north-south fight. forgot to write 'south'...
- From: Trend (@ 126.96.36.199)
on: Mon Nov 19 12:23:03 EST 2001
I didn't see TMSR but one of my friends told me it is based on WEGG with extra and indianized romantic angles.
"WEGG had excellent supporting characters esp the overweight mom. WEGG is a beautiful movie"
I fully agree with you on that.
- From: suresh (@ 188.8.131.52)
on: Mon Nov 19 12:47:29 EST 2001
a few clarifications:
1) My quoting TMSR and Abhay in the same context was only because Sathish had quoted this very comparison as reason for his getting upset
2) I haven't seen "what's eating.." though i've heard the storyline; knowing mahesh manjrekar's (director of TMSR) penchant for inspiration/adaptation from western flicks, it would be no surprise if this was one more successful attempt of making a 'tandoori pizza'
4) I can understand your gripe at simplistic hindi movies and songs. But would you extend the same argument to malayalam songs, which have retained their simplicity in structure for decades now?
We make up an elitist segment that will appreciate the complex score in ARRs "mandmada maasam" more than Deva's "male, male, maruthamale" (the current rage in mumtaz-besotted TN), but our opinions do not make or break a movie even a fraction like a frontbencher's can. Case in point - the success of the mediocre "Chocklet" as opposed to the thundering flop of the equally mediocre "Star"
5) Yes, i agree with you wholly on the syrupy costume dramas of HIndi that are so hollow, but aren't you in danger of over-generalising? A north indian contemporary to us can make a similar sweeping generalisation of "pot-bellied, ugly, powder-coated, wrinkled heroes" and support it with some fairly accurate examples
6) Hindi films address a much wider audience than regional, and a savvy marketer today can earn his profit without releasing the movie (taal, yaadein, mohabattein) just by overseas rights alone. If the target audience - NRI - is comfortable watching designer-clad young kids performing 'karva chaauth' and extolling the virtues of the 'khaandaan', then that's what the likes of Subash Ghai, Aditya Chopra etc. are going to dish out for a long long time... We live in a market economy my friend; doesn't Mohanlal have to do a Rajini-ish "Ravanaprabhu" to get out of the mess that "Vaanaprastham" landed him in?
- From: Sathish (@ 184.108.40.206)
on: Mon Nov 19 14:15:53 EST 2001
I did not want to compare TMSR with Abhay as such. As raycas pointed out they are different movies. I just wanted to know why there was no appreciation of kamals performance in abhay while ajay devgans performance was praised like anything in TMSR. Of course I dont mean to say that Ajay Devgan did not act well. If one acts well it should be praised.
I was worried if it was the same case with all the films. Are all the films criticized with the same ground? Again I want to be clear here. I do not want to compare films of different genres and stuff like that. Talent should be appreciated in whatever form they are presented. I too admire old hindi masterpieces of RD Burman . Similarly is there a recognition of south indian talents there? Of course there are exceptions of rahman being recognized in a couple of films.
Media is national. I know hindi films cater to a large group of audience and as you said catering to the masses is the sole aim. But recognition should be given for talents not based on their region but for their quality.
I very much agree to the fact that our partners can point our wig clad heroes for comparison with their heroes. I agree. But fearing this, should we refrain from speaking out what we feel?
These discussions are not meant just to accuse or blame somebody because i didnt like it. I started this thread to find out whether there were similar views like mine on the recognition given to southi talents. As I told earlier I put the question in the wrong way which has dragged this into a different plane. Anyway thanks a lot for all your suggestions.
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