varnachitram

A Blog on Cinema

Beating the Clichés to death

| 2 Comments

In the review roundup for T D Dasan Std VI B Review Neo left the following comment:

Seriously, how many movies should we make mentioning evil Cola companies exploiting a village and so on. MNCs esp the so called Cola companies are the favorite punching bags of any Malayalam movie director who wants easy applause. The anti-industry slant of our movies must change first for an investment friendly atmosphere to develop in the state. Why should the “businessman” be the villain in every damn movie

Seriously we agree. Cola companies depleting ground water is an issue. But there is a bigger issue. According to a study published by Indian Institute of Science Environmental Centre, “Coliform bacteria were found in 93% of river samples, 96% of well samples and 99% of tap water samples.” According to one blogger:

I am very much interested in finding out what Kerala Government does next. This is the government that banned Coke/Pepsi from Kerala based on an unscientific result published by an NGO. The experts have argued that if the same NGO sampled the water samples in and around the country that common people are using they could have found more deadly impurities. Now a study by a reputed institution in India has found that 99% of the tap water supplied by Kerala Government is polluted or has bacteria level greater than one mandated by WHO. Now there is a good chance that since the findings are against the state government they will question the intention of Malayala Manorama or other people involved rather than trying to solve the real issue at hand. Based on this study, if a foreign government advises its citizens visiting Kerala, not to drink water provided by Kerala government they cannot be blamed. It makes more sense than the senseless act of Kerala government in banning coke/pepsi based on unscientific study.

So why isn’t our intelligentsia making movies on this topic instead of beating a dead horse?  For one, as Neo thoughtfully  pointed out,  it gives a smug satisfaction to both the film maker and the viewer to fight a foreign power. The irony of this was pointed out by Lal Jose’s brilliant movie Oru Arabikatha, where Cuba Mukundan makes a living by working as waiter giving Coke to customers. So why aren’t they tackling a bigger problem which affects almost everyone living in Kerala?  Hartals, Excessive politicization, alcohol consumption, flesh trade,  pollution,  deforestation – there is no dearth of topics.  The answer lies in – what/who gives more impact as villain?  Remember Lal Jose’s Achanurangatha Veedu?  Despite touching upon a very topical and sensitive subject the movie didn’t do well in box office.  We love stereo types, and we choose to turn a blind eye to social ills happening around us.

2 Comments

  1. Fight against Cola companies is not phenomenon restricted to kerala.

    water is essential for life and the struggle for the free access of it and corporates who selfishly use that to earn profits are on different sides of a coin and that will remain so.

    so beating the dead horse over and over is another issue but trivializing the issue altogether for a “better investment” scenario is quite juvenile.

    to understand the gravity of such struggles, you need to know the kind of stranglehold water corporations place on people. for example, in in Bolivia a betchel led consortium who was handed the water distribution placed a ban on rain water harvesting.

  2. I dont think T D Dasan is a film about fighting Cola companies. Its just one of the many issues that the film takes a look at.

    And even if it did, how many films would it take to erase Plachimada from our minds?

    Why should we move on, when the core issue remains unchanged?

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