Escape from reality
The old and the new
If senior actors had any fears of being sidelined with the entrance of young filmmakers, those have been systematically dispelled over the last few weeks. First, Karthick Naren brought back Rahman into the fold with his Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru. And then, Charlie, who usually gets relegated to playing slapstick comedy roles, was reinvented in Lokesh Kanagaraj’s Maanagaram. Last week saw another beloved actor, MS Bhaskar, who has always lent much dignity to his characters, playing an important role in Sri Ganesh’s 8 Thottakkal. The guard may be changing, but not entirely at the expense of the old.
Form over content
Heated debates over form and content were the order of the day after the release of Mani Ratnam’s Kaatru Veliyidai. While the technical finesse of the film came in for much praise, the opinions over the film’s emotional resonance were rather divided. Rajamouli, whose Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, is up for release in a couple of weeks, is decidedly clear on what he values more. “Craft can never be a substitute for emotion,” he said in a conversation with this writer. “Emotions alone are capable of carrying a film, often even in the face of very average VFX.”
In an interesting development, the production team of Kaatru Veliyidai revealed on social media that the prison-escape portions of the film were inspired by a true story. This revelation was floated in the hope that it would act as a rejoinder to those criticising the escape scenes for being ‘too easy’. In the same week, a rather underrated independent comedy film, Colossal, operated with a premise that is as far-fetched as can be. The film is about a woman, who realises that a monster that’s terrorising a country thousands of kilometres away, is merely mirroring her everyday movements. It’s the sort of brazen story that doesn’t need any basis in reality, none necessary to help it gain credibility anyway. A well-made film justifies itself.
The writer is the entertainment editor at The New Indian Express