Whistle Hustle.

A few months back, I had gone to the theatres to watch John Carter (4th row from behind the back, I think, accompanied unfortunately by family) and as soon as Taylor Kitsch jumped up the air to interfere in that Barsoom mid-air war scene, set in a pretentiously kitschy setting ,whistles started to whiplash from around the back seats. Now, at that time, some part of me wanted to whistle is another matter (you see why I said “unfortunately by family”?). (That these same whistles made entry during Deja Thoris’s (Lynn Collins) entry is another matter -note: iron-clad skimpiness) , but these whistles were the same ones that filled the hall when I watched Surya in Ezham Arivu and Ajith in Billa and Vijay in umm.. (it’s been a long time since I watched an Ilaya Thalapathy’s movie), well never mind, but by now it’s obvious that it’s just not about the whistles.

Although, what was interesting in the John Carter film is that it reminded me of the wide Transformers (also replace Deja Thoris with Megan Fox’s strategically angled bike seat entry, yeah well come on!, it was obvious) fanship that had gathered around in metro cities last year, like forest fire. Megatron could very well match a Vishal or a Jeeva here. But the key being, John Carter is a film that had hit the theatres for the first time, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ (Tarzan’s creator) first of Barsoom series (A Princess from Mars), hence the characters that walked on screen were totally new and still Carter’s long jump got the same treatment as Dhanush’s triple swirl somersault in Sullan or Vijay’s facing-the-villain-sodakkusodakku (insert “seriously guys, there is only one Rajini” dialogue) or Ajith’s demonic laugh, say, here {http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFEvLfauKYE} . It’s interesting to note how the heroism trope works among us. It’s almost so easy for us to embrace a hero jumping 30 storeys high to land on a space shuttle for the first time (allthough, here it has a scientifically constructive explanation, not that it matters, because the adoration is equanimous) and this, {http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdAJtmiFvVk&feature=related} (say), like a hundred times.

As much as cinema in Tamil filmdom has changed and extensive hero worship has annealed (I would rather call Vijay, Ajith, Surya and Vikram a compulsive hangover) to a comfortably warm region, we still have films like Vettai with a pudgy Madhavan trying to relinquish the fact that during his thinner days where he used to Run more often, he was the one who closed the shutter i.e “Ennake Shutter moodriya?” or roughly something like that. Yes, self-laudatory punch is the new “coming back to formula film” milieu while two cheery heroines {ofcourse one of them should be a Sameera Reddy or a Tamanna (cuz she’s the real Theni-maavatta ponnu) to do/dance/hip-swing the village belle template} sing a “naughty” song about their prospective husbands while the group dancers alone are not that priveleged enough to be bright or that fair and lovely. These are trinkets in our film universe that have formed a natural trope (that has grown tolerable) of that Migaithanmai (yet again am forced to invoke that link, because it’s a very well talked debate in Neeya Naana), here {http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo5rQTBRejM}. What I found interesting is when Radha Mohan cheekily pleads our heroes to avoid the bullet-biting and later spitting it out like an aftermath of a paan-debacle. But what’s more confusing is to see when people take a constant dig at Vijaykanth for his antics while Vijay, Ajith and other Tamil heroes are forced to take part in the very same circus, almost like they are all part of a wicked Tim Burton plan.

Also, simultaneously there are films like Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Epdi that has Sidhharth narrating the film relentlessly to us ( a little tiresome, but defniitely enjoyable) and I heard the same audiences giggle at those well-etched simple witty moments. I am sure they were smiling too.

With respect to Udhav’s piece {http://clapsandboos.com/w/c/article/20034f65166a0663c2_66886175_01/gazing-at-our-hero}, when Nanban was about to realease, it was talked about almost (too quickly) as if Vijay has graciously come out of it his “usual template film” and that his fans might look out for something “different” (yes, different is the word we easily borrow many times) and soon after the film delivered, critics took notice of this new Vijay in a clearer, or rather “different” light. But here, there is a need for a rational gaze and it can go both ways. The fact that Vijay had chosen to do this film creates an argument that tickles his fanship. In ordinary journalistic terms, “Did he select the film because he liked Pari’s character and thought he could do justice to it?” or was it just a curt finger squiggling under the thundu since it was a Shankar-banner and he has been jumping and fighting (mundane) too long that his audience (note: his audience) started whistling for somebody else? Or maybe his legs were just paining. Also, after the film, do all his fans think about how much the Pari character is in consistency with his earlier “loose-unbuttoned-shirt-sporting-rough-tough-uneducated-mechanic doing street justice with hooligans” or maybe all these string of questions don’t have a purpose, because each film is mutually exclusive? Well that’s for the (whistles) to know and these heroes to be worried about constantly. The actors who fortunately/unfortunately fall under this trope (hero, in this case) becomes a puppet of audience obssession.

I also read Sabari’s interesting piece on the “Psychology of Hero worship” (http://clapsandboos.com/w/#article/20034f68b8b41e8419_78008647_01) and stumbled upon this blog by the same Eric Klein (http://dharmaconsulting.com/2008/hero/) and he explains with a specific example of Mighty Mouse (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_dTGGFctDfJw/S9Z0HH3KTuI/AAAAAAAAAAM/F0yubCC0H40/s1600/mighty-mouse-movie.jpg) and after reading it we come dangerously close to whether our films need to come with a parental advice viz. “Please do not try this at home” (cc: WWE). The question is whether we treat our films with the same failed seriousness as that of Tom and Jerry. If so, I would like to make a cutout for Speedy Gonzalez and do melted cheese abhishegam (Oh, nothing big, just something like this—> I mean; http://www.sify.com/movies/Paal-abhishekam-for-Rajini-on-opening-day-imagegallery-kollywood-kkbqykgcfag.html?html=5), because Speedy taught me how to help/stand for a friend even when he is slow (Slowpoke)- he brought the good qualities inside me and made me a better person, hence. Is Surya’s Singam treated with the same predetermined playfulness? How much do we take from our films? Do we really need to take anything from a film? If so what is that we take. Well whatever *that* maybe, there seems to be a need for more rational sense for our godmen heroes (http://reviews.in.88db.com/images/Velayudham-Audio-Launch/Velayudham-Audio-Launch-photos.jpg; http://mrinkenti.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/pawankalyan_cutout.jpg) to come out of our nostalgic classroomgiri (remember the days when we used to fight about Rajini and Kamal?), out of our Sura vs Billa, out of ourselves.

Times are a changing. There is only so much one can believe from what’s on the screen. Ofcourse, this is something different (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI1KhOP3St4) 😀


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