Hope for a Healthy 2014

Hope for a Healthy 2014

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As we are currently in 2014, it is important to reflect upon the movies that were released in 2013. It is essential to note that 2013 saw a rather peculiar trend in the quality of movies. This was eminent when noted filmmaker Selvaraghavan coined the term ‘Dark phase of Tamil Cinema’ making reference to the movies that released in 2013. Furthermore, It looked like producers and directors resorted to comedy movie genres that were based on a tried and tested comfort zone formulaic template that resulted in decent fiscal revenues from both producers and distributors.  One can argue for the above inclination that the stakeholders involved namely fans, film technicians, producers and distributers are happy with the outcome hence creating a win-win situation in terms of box office collections and audience satisfaction. However, this diminishes the credibility and competence of the Tamil Film Industry with reference to executing films with excellent scripts and story lines. There were several examples of movies that were released last year that were critically acclaimed yet failed to make a positive impact at the box office. 
2013 saw the release of low budget, powerful script driven story line movies (Paradesi, Thanga Meengal, Onaayum Aattukuttiyum to mention a few) that were widely appreciated by film critics, but the audience neglected it as too intellectual, emotional or hard hitting and hence did not appreciate the movies at the theatres. Yet very few of us know that these movies won awards at prominent film festivals. Where were the days when movies of the calibre mentioned above were appreciated at the box office and became hits? Movies such as Sethu, Pithamagan, Veyil, Angadi Theru, Kumki (the list goes on) both achieved the dual success of critical acclaim and financial gains. How come the achievements of these movies are not replicated in current times? One must remember that the credibility of a film industry is accredited and tested by the quality of movies released in terms of story, script, acting qualities and the message it conveys. Nevertheless, not all industries follow this. For instance, Bollywood is crazy about the 100 crore club where movies that are commercially driven with a masala flavour compete against other movies of the same genre and seeing who reaching the speculated number quickly. 
We should break from the formula of comedy or commercial quick money spinning films and learn to appreciate story driven content films. A filmmaker dedicates countless number of hours, works hard to convince a producer and goes out of his or her way to get a film released. From an audience perspective, we should at least appreciate their effort and hard work. I am not saying we should not encourage commercial or comedy driven films, as they too are a form of entertainment especially for social gatherings, but develop a mindset to appreciate both genres of films. In that way, filmmakers are motivated to make films that have good script quality and achieve financial success simultaneously which in turn will enhance the credibility of the Tamil film industry resulting in enjoying National Film awards as evidenced in 2011 when Aadukalam received 6 national awards.
I strongly feel the above can be achieved because South India is one of the most educated and affluent places in India with a rise in middle-income earners. Hence the mindset and mentality is such that we can adapt to new and innovative scripts that filmmakers can execute. If this lovely state can produce competitive graduates from all disciplines who are successful both in India and around the world, why can’t we accept excellent scripts like how we did before when the movies I mentioned were released. 
Let us take this issue seriously as failure to follow it up would result in the Tamil industry losing in value and hence not receiving international recognition. 
dhivahar sri ranjan

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