Readers Write In #457: Grammar, Vocabulary, Kaadhal, and all that


By Kailasham R

in article 1

In a submit on Prashant-Simran motion pictures from the 90s that went stay shortly after Diwali 2021, I made a remark that “on-screen romance in Tamil cinema would see a tectonic shift in grammar and vocabulary” within the decade or in order that adopted. A reader requested that I elaborate on this level. Whereas this request varieties the cue that triggered this submit, I spotted {that a} correct response would want to cowl how the portrayal of the hero and heroine characters modified over this era, earlier than attending to how the romance between these characters was captured on display. You are actually getting into a narration that meanders and have been warned.

Nobody is claiming that on the stroke of the midnight hour on the primary day of the present millennium, drastic adjustments had been witnessed in Tamil cinema. The transition was gradual, and a number of other motion pictures within the early 00s retained the 90s ethos. Just a few of them nonetheless clicked with the viewers. Those who had been too anachronistic had been consigned to the refuse heap accordingly.

Mechanical Engineering student-na oru fireplace vendaan?

Actor Murali in Idhayam is a medical scholar, Arjun and Vineeth are aspiring medical doctors in Gentleman, Prabhudeva is an arts faculty scholar in Kaadhalan, as are Vineeth and Abbas in Kaadhal Desam. Kunal is a enterprise college scholar in Kaadhalar Dhinam. Arjun has accomplished a level in visible communications in Mudhalvan. Ajith is an aspiring composer in Mugavari and a filmmaker in Kandukondain Kandukondain. The twins Prashant run a catering enterprise in Denims. Many motion pictures of Sarathkumar and Sathyaraj present the protagonists as college dropouts. A number of motion pictures that launched within the 90s didn’t deal with the skilled background of the lead characters and this lack of element, in lots of circumstances, didn’t actually have an effect on the story and its development. Express references to engineers throughout this era, had been few and much between. There have been exceptions: Prashant is launched as an electronics engineer in Kannedhirey Thondrinaal, whereas Rajinikanth’s character is an engineer in Padayappa. Madhavan is a software program engineer in Alaipayuthey

It could take a 2001 movie to formally burnish the picture of an engineering scholar because the film’s protagonist. Whereas the machinations of wooing the belle in Minnale didn’t stray too removed from the concepts developed within the 90s, the scene the place Maddy is launched as a rebellious mechanical engineering scholar was a cinematic acknowledgement of the rising variety of engineers in society. The engineer had arrived on the silver-screen, at 4 AM queues outdoors the embassy, as a statistic ready for H1B approval, and an identification in themself. 

It could take a wake-up-call, greater than a decade later, within the type of Velaiyilla Pattadhaari to acknowledge the challenges and travails confronted by the male Indian engineer.

American Mappillai

Once more, a case of artwork reflecting life, as the brand new lifestyle promised by the land of the free and residential of the courageous, additionally offered a cinematic plot level within the type of a groom from the USA being launched as a wrench within the wheels of romance between the lead pair of the film. The Groom-of-Doom character makes a short look in Alaipayuthey, earlier than receiving a extra full-fledged picturization in Minnale. In lots of motion pictures, this plot factor is handled as a minor inconvenience that could possibly be brushed away, as proven in Endrendrum Punnagai. Santhanam delivers a superb parody of this plot factor in Thillu Mullu 2.

The idea was turned on its head in Sivaji, the place the lead character is an expatriate who returns to India, discovering love and fulfilling his true calling.

Manamedai Blues

We’re within the 90s. We’re getting into the final half an hour of the film the place regardless of their finest efforts to unite, the lovers have been separated by destiny and appans-with-weapons. The lady is getting married off to another person, probably an American Mappillai. Our hero, within the remaining throw of cube, snatches the microphone from the insipid performer singing on the marriage ceremony, and pours his coronary heart out. The girl leaves the altar and runs into the open arms of our hero. Oru poiyaavadhu sol kannae is an archetypal instance of such a tune. Cue quick speech from the teary-eyed couple to the elders, and all ends nicely. 

The trope of last-minute drama within the marriage ceremony corridor will get repeated nicely into the 2000s and 2010s, that includes in motion pictures like Thiruvilaiyaadal Aarambam, Boss Engira Bhaskaran and Oru Kal Oru Kannaadi, with the key exception that there would now not be any tear-jerking symphonies at this stage of the film.

Decide up. Drop. Escape

In an period the place the narrative largely adopted the arc of two lovers versus the world, the idea of infidelity was portrayed, albeit in a barely heavy-handed method, in Manmathan. It’s laborious to think about that STR was solely 21 when he acted on this film. Amongst the Tamil motion pictures on this interval, the one different motion pictures to sort out this matter have to be Pachai Kili Muthu Charam and Naan Avan Illai.

The agricultural-urban divide

Within the 90s, motion pictures set within the villages would contain themes of household honour, rivalry, scheming and plotting, comedy scenes that includes Goundamani-Senthil, and the works. Romance, if any, within the film would play out amongst the backdrop of components mentioned above. 

By the early 2000s, romances set within the metropolis had a predictable sample to them: the position of the heroine in these motion pictures had been so peripheral as to be crammed by vacuous imports who couldn’t communicate the language. For each gem unearthed within the type of Laila, Simran or Jyothika, we’ve got had a number of one-film and no-hit wonders fall by the wayside. The meek heroine trope is apparent to see in Dheena, Saamy, Dhill, Dhool, Ghilli, and Pokkiri, to call just a few. Pithamagan and Ghajini, regardless of their darkish themes, offered welcome aid within the type of heroines with an impeccable humorousness. 

Subramanyapuram and Paruthi Veeran renewed the enchantment of rurally filmed motion pictures and kicked off a development which has not but peaked. 

I’ve fallen for on you

In a daunting variety of motion pictures from this era, the precise spark of romance between the lead actors is kindled when certainly one of them bodily and fairly actually runs into one other. This marked a change from the “kandavudan kaadhal” (love at first sight) idea from the 90s. Rendu and Maruthamalai are a few examples that readily come to thoughts.

Three Karthiks and their love tales

Lastly, if I needed to decide three definitive motion pictures from this decade that could possibly be thought-about veritable treatises on romance, I’d decide the arc that begins at Alaipayuthey and ends in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya, passing by Unnale Unnale. The male lead in all of the three motion pictures is known as Karthik. All of them are engineers. Whereas all of them include the love-at-first-sight plot level, additionally they faithfully seize the vagaries of romance. VTV significantly exhibits that unrequited love needn’t finish in self-destruction for the lover.

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