varnachitram

A Blog on Cinema

Heights of Absurdity

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Recently we came across this blog post which says that Malayalam Superstars are out to ruin Cinema. Now this is a giant allegation and we wanted to know if there is any truth to this. So let us look at the article and see if it makes sense.

Wow! Malayalam film industry have superstars too, heavy, bulky, talented and of course aging superstars. These superstars refuse to accept the fact that its time out for them so they pave way for younger lots.

By reading this, it seems there is some “fact”  or rules out there which says that superstars have to retire, when there isn’t. Why should they go away when they are talented?  Now superstars may have a “fact” which says that the writer of the article stops writing forever.  Will he do that?

The industry is always in news for all reason except cinema. This time it is about ego.

Mostly.

Wondering when was the last time the industry delivered a movie worth mentioning.

That would be in 2009 with the release of Pazhassi Raja.

Malayalam film once considered to be of world-class is today gasping. Their very own superstars are out to gag the industry to death just to keep their ego.  A strange tryst is going on; the superstars along with their cronies are after a veteran actor Thilakan for his blood. The reason, Mr. Thilakan spurned venom and showed guts to speak about the way industry are taken into ransom by these aging stars.

Thilakan has been spewing venom for sometime now. In 2008 he argued that superstars were having inferiority complex because he outperforms them.  But still the Superstars acted with him in 2009 which deflates that balloon.  In 2008, Thilakan had made caste accusation against Nedumudi Venu.  In 2009 you can’t do that againt Mammotty, so it has become something else.  So it is hard to believe that superstars are unhappy because Thilakan spoke the truth. (See Thilakan’s grouses)

They say Mr. Thilakan, is an arrogant old man, who is insane, physically weak and frustrated and seeks attention. Those who say this will not deny the fact that Mr. Thilakan is a fine actor and has equally contributed to the success of many movies that had the above superstars

No one has ever said that Thilakan is a lousy actor. Not even the superstars.

There is no point talking about what led to this stink in the industry involving the superstars, because it is a silly issue, it is all about ego. Ask them and all will give huge statements, but none have done a close introspection as to why in Kerala they need so many Unions in movie making unlike in other parts of the country.

Why not have unions? We have unions in Kerala for everything. Our culture is like that. Our unions have successfully made Kerala the waste basket it is now. So why not have unions in Cinema also and kill that industry also?

The superstars are insecure and they tame fans association who act like goons. C’mon what are you trying to prove.  We have seen better and bigger stars in India and they are generous, take for example Big B, Rajnikanth, Chiranjeevi, Kamal Hasan, Nagarjuna etc., and while they are still active you see so many younger faces too, and don’t forget they are more popular than you and have bigger fan clubs that act like PR and not hooligans.

What do you mean bigger and better stars?  Better Actors than Mammootty and Mohanlal? How do you compare this?  Enlighten us. If you read this, you will think that Malayalam Cinema has only Mammotty and Mohanlal. Ever heard of Dileep, Prithviraj, Kalabhavan Mani, Vinu Mohan, Vineeth Srinivasan, Jayasurya, or Indrajith ?
There were ten movies which were hits last year. Let’s look at the heroes of those movies: Pazhassi Raja (Mammotty), In Harihar Nagar (Mukesh, Siddique etc), Makante Achan (Srinivasan),  Puthiya Mugham (Prithviraj), Bhagyadevatha (Jayaram), Ivar Vivahitharayal (Jayasurya), Gulumaal (Kunchacko Boban, Jayasurya), Passenger (Dileep), Neela Thamara (Archana), Chattambinadu (Mammotty)

Mammootty had two hits, Mohanlal had none and you can’t see any young stars?

Why not follow the Live and let live policy, for the sake of the industry, for the sake of Cinema. Just, closing your eyes doesn’t mean no one is watching you, get your act together.  Accept the fact that there is a problem; the so called superstars should get the insecurity thing out before they are thrown out, they should generate feel good factor.  Accept the fact that there are few takers for your movies now and you need to do better.

“Live and let live policy” ? Is this a policy by which a capitalist for-profit industry runs?  In which planet?

The problem is not that there are superstars, the problem is that there are no good script writers.  Most of the existing ones are recycling old stories like old soap in new package. There are no movie theaters to show all the movies which are being released.  There is competition from TV serials and other language movies.  Have you ever looked into the economics of movie making in Kerala?  It would be enlightening to read this statement from Maniyanpilla Raju whom we interviewed few years back.

Even if the newcomer is hero , the other actors in the movie, would not reduce their salary. Film price could not be lowered. Rental rates for the camera could not be lowered. Hotel rooms cost could not be lowered. So every other cost other than newcomers salary is fixed and could not be bought down. On the other hand if we have Mohanlal or Mammootty or Suresh Gopi or Dileep as hero, they would have to be given a big amount as salary. But if these persons are lead actors then we can negotiate good amounts as foreign distribution, satellite, TV and many other rights, which will recover the cost we have paid these actors. Where as if it’s a new comer I would not even get 5 lakh rupees as rights. That’s the reason why producers hesitate to have newcomers as leads. And since newcomers don’t have initials, the movie won’t stay much in the theatres.[Interview : Manian Pillai Raju – Part II]

Now the final paragraph

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I don’t want to speculate that the days are numbered for these so called superstars, but if they let their ego rule the industry then either one will perish without any sign.  Last but not the least, every dog has a day

If you are assuming that either Mammotty or Mohanlal will perish without any sign, just look at their call sheets for the next few years.  It does not matter that Mohanlal did not have a single hit or Mammotty had only two; they both have 5-6 movies planned per year.

There is nothing wrong with self-righteous indignation, but it should be backed by substance not hollow emotional arguments.

4 Comments

  1. hey can u give the review of Nayakan directed by a debutant or atleast metion how its business since i read some reviews tat its good
    thanks
    we need to appreciate good works rather than making fun of some stupid blog writers!

  2. Completely agree with your views.

    To criticise the superstars and ascribe all blame to them for all that is wrong with the industry has become a fad, almost an industry. The current situation involving Thilakan was aided and abetted by a cynical media. All concerned including superstars, Thilakan and sundry uninvited meddlers like Azhikode competed against one another in producing glib sound bites.

    What is badly needed is film makers who have some exposure to Malayalam literature. We need directors who are writers too. We need original ideas, new thinking and firm literary base. We used to have these but the demise of Padmarajan, Bharathan, Lohithadas and other of their ilk have cost us very dearly.

  3. VC alias Bala

    Posting fake comments on your own blog to start a conversation and encourage others to comment is a great idea. dude change the style of your writing at least while commenting, by the way for which superstar are you lobbying for. (wanna see if you have the guts to post my comment)

  4. yes what ur said is correct.young stars are doing a good job.mummy & me starring kunchacko boban is doing gr8 now.we want such type of family movies,which gives a message to the society 2 raise our industry.

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