News Time Now’s Sunday Special By Ravi V S
Most Indian movies (whether Telugu, Tamil, Hindi or any other language) are referred to as ‘family entertainers’ or ‘social films’, two terms which are broadly supposed to mean that all the members of the family can enjoy watching them together
Firstly there are several scenes of fights for the kids, involving the use of any weapon of assault, e.g knives, revolvers, cricket bats, and even thick ropes to strangle the opponents.
Secondly, there are scenes of love and passion for the youth depicted as ‘duets, in which the hero and heroine chase each other in gardens, all over the world, singing love songs with suggestive words. The duet is quite often triggered by the ‘indifferent’ heroine falling accidentally into the hero’s arms, and suddenly developing love, for him. She clutches the pillow to her bosom and imagines what is known as a” dream sequence” (sometimes about 50 girls in similar diaphanous costumes and 50 boys dance along with them)
The story is usually a theme involving the interaction between the members of one family with those of another with others causing complications. Of special importance is the villain who entertains lustful thoughts for the heroine, not to mention his lust for other women also. For obvious reasons, he hates the hero. He gets more opportunities for physical contact with the heroine, whereas the hero has to maintain a constant distance of six feet except perhaps in one scene in which he has a chance to rest his head on the heroine’s lap or embrace her for a minute. The hero is the ideal son, ideal husband, and also an ideal brother! But he has double-standards because he cannot stand the idea of his sister being courted by anybody. By chance if he happens to notice her and her lover in a park he develops a homicidal fury. Of course, the sister always ‘throws up’—a sign of pregnancy but the heroine apparently has been taking sufficient precautions!
If the hero is a trade union leader, the heroine is the superintendent of police. But if he happens to be the head of the police force, she is the defence lawyer. The grandfather is the judge. As far as court procedure is concerned, anybody can intervene at any time, and the Evidence Act is conveniently ignored. Whether the hero is a police chief or a doctor or a trade union leader he is unrivalled in Kung Fu, having been trained probably by Bruce Lee, but then what is comical is that while he dispatches 40 of the villain’s minions in four minutes, he takes 40 minutes to tackle the limping, one-eyed villain in the last scene, after himself coming out of the jaws of death 20 times! (Even if the villain is getting away in a Jeep, our hero in a bullock-cart catches up with him!)
There is practically no film without a rape; the victim is usually the hero’s sister or a blind girl; in either case the rapist is compelled to marry the girl in a strange form of justice. And the heroine, when accused of infidelity walks towards ‘nowhere in particular’ on a railway track, and is rescued by the hero in time or jumps into a river from a bridge only to be rescued by a priest!
Cobras are used for all sorts of purposes; often the heroine is a cobra who disappears at night and returns before the hero wakes up in time to give him tea.
There is also another feature present practically in every film—twins being separated at birth by the villain or by accident and getting reunited in the last scene in which one of them has to die for the benefit of the heroine, unless she also has a twin.
The last scene is chaos with so many people fighting so many others in so many places and in so many ways that one tends to lose track of things. Babies are thrown in the air but just saved in time. Out of this chaos, the hero emerges unscathed and victorious and saves the heroine, her mother, his mother, etc.
Of course, for the intellectually oriented there are the so-called ‘art films’ in which the hero and heroine mumble two words, between long gaps of silence. The other woman or man causes all the complications. Incest, lesbianism, adultery or various forms of social injustice are the raw material on which the theme is based but one is expected to appreciate the ‘realism’ of the film even if one had been bored to death while watching it!