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When you think of the historical genre of movies, can you spell out a name that tops your mind? Yes, you can and I can too, but isn’t it a name that was a rage in the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s and not a recent one. Why is this deficit? An in depth analysis of this simple question will truly shake the patriotic gene in you that nothing has been created of late in the prestigious genre of history. Aren’t we depriving today’s generation of such classical movies?

Tamil Cinema in the 50’s had a respectable share of historical releases along with the commercial ones running purely on the entertainment lines. Chevalier Sivaji’s Parasakthi, a super duper hit of those days travelled through a family’s separation and reunion during World War II. Veerapandiya Kattabomman of late fifties, again a hallmark creation, showcased the rise of a brave rebel hero in the pre-independence era. If we start naming creations in these lines, the cream of yester-year
productions will start inundating our thoughts and if we start thinking on that aspect in the present scenario, we will only sadly end up flooding our eyes. Some more penned and filmed on a similar note were Mathrubhoomi and Thyagabhoomi of 30’s, Sivagangai Seemai of late 50’s, Karnan based on Mahabharatha, Kappalottiya Thamizhan of early 60’s, Rajapart Rangadurai of early 70’s, Aayirathil oruvan, etc. After the grey cells are madly ruffled, the net is continuously surfed and all known numbers dialled, plenty spill out as fabulous creations spanning across 8 decades of successful Tamil cinema with only a handful belonging to the last two decades. It really sounds bad in a vibrant and versatile industry with no dearth for talents and resources.

Latest ventures like Bharathi in 2000 and Kamaraj in 2004 did play their parts to ruffle the monotony of the Tamil film industry. ‘Hey Ram’ was a rare gem in this type once in a blue moon creations. The latest feather in this kind to bash the theatres was Madrasapattinam, a fine portrayal of romance blooming in pre-independence days. Pre and post Madrasapattinam days, you cannot instantly recollect a movie on similar lines. There are some movies like Marudhupandi either stalled half way through or decomposing in ready to serve stage. But all these movies can be categorized as ‘pseudo-historical’ just taking a reference from the past.

Shouldn’t silver screen, the most powerful tool of communication, be used to enrich the audience with the abundance of our culture-rich land, which has the best history to pride over? There are plenty of novels beautifully depicting historical stories that no day will there be paucity for stories. The ventures that touch upon independence or civilizations or patriotism give unmatched chances to the teams to use their versatility to their best. Inspite of this why is there not a reasonable number of movies breezing through history? Isn’t it time to think beyond running around trees when energy rich historical stories aye lying in waiting?

Isn’t it time Tamil Cinema rose to yester year’s golden era of a good number of historical movies? Isn’t it time the big banners encouraged such films? Isn’t it time to take the responsibility of preventing this dying style of the tinsel world by capitalising on the rich literature and talents latent here? Isn’t it unfair not to dream of the floors of Tamil studios getting flooded with such projects?

When we start thinking that its time to introspect on this rewarding genre, there is our ace Director Mani Ratnam working on a new project based on the novel Ponniyin Selvan. Taking this lead, we will hope for more such films to knock the theatre doors and make the world look up at Tamil cinema.
Tags : Sivaji, Veerapandiya Kattabomman, Madrasapattinam, Mani Ratnam
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