Monday, December 5, 2011

Where the heroes have gone?

Today, Kannada cinema lacks the focus and vision. 

It lacks a leader to take up on the drama created by the system it has created on its own.  Movies have failed to influence the people and the best among the produced movies try to make an effort to make some difference. Off late, the movies have failed to create hero’s who are having mass appeal across all segments and every individual are trying to cater to specific set of people.

Darshan constantly chooses scripts which glorify violence. It has created an audience and has reduced the market of B segment Telugu and Tamil movies to some extent. In long run, his movies are not a good influence on the society especially the youth.
Ganesh, Sudeep, Puneeth and many others want to play the role of lover boy who can fight, dance, sing, sacrifice for love etc ; but these actors fail to connect to the audience on all occasions. Some of the notable movies or characters played them don’t offer anything new to learn for a common audience. 
Diganth and other set of new actors seem to be confused about choosing script and tends to make mistakes often by selecting new ventures. It better that I dont talk about 50+ year old actors who still think that they can rule the silver screen with their loosely made scripts and so-called comedy flicks.
In present context, heroism is not just about showing courage, superhuman abilities, sacrifices etc. It’s all about the strong characters that understands the social, political and economic situation and shows the way out of the mess. A hero has to know how to talk to the masses and ride the storm on which he/she is sailing across.
I doubt that too many of you might have noticed but never thought in the same lines as mine. Writing down these thoughts into a clear message or understanding it might be an issue for me/you. But, to start off; we all know that there are few things which we care about in this land.

‘First Cricket, next is Movies… Rest all can wait. ‘

Time to time, the movies have influenced our lives, our food habits, dressing sense, talking mannerisms etc. Back in the 70’s, one could see lot of youth’s working in the cities opted to migrate back to their village inspired by the Rajkumar movie Bangarada manushaya. the degree of influence is so varied that , it  ranges from being a life changing decision for few folks  to being a ‘choice of the season’ while buying the clothes (ex: women flok going ga-ga over the saree worn by Soundarya in Apthamitra movie).  

Today, we tend to see that most of movies in last 10-15 years have failed to influence our thoughts, never provoked them nor provided an entrainment value. Most of the movies are created to please the front bench section or it’s made to satisfy the aspirational needs of the film makers. 

During the golden period of the Kannada cinema, we could see so much of versatility and variety in the content offered by the industry. It could be in terms of subject, character, issue in question or the depiction of the life style itself.
There were set of people focusing on creating movies which can be termed bold attempts to change the mindset of the people. 

Film makers produced movies on various social topics like Kasinath debunking the taboo around the sex , GV Iyer giving an raw feel of the social stigma’s  , Suresh heblikar with his signature documentary styled movies, Puttana Kangal who made powerful screenplay oriented movies and so on. Raj Kumar (Annavaru, namma Annaavaru :-) ) was one of the leading actors who took roles of grape farmer in Bangarada Manushya, entrepreneur in Kasturi Nivasa, social activist in Bidugade and so on.

This various set of producers, directors and technicians lead to creation of a platform for many actors and actress alike.  Movies set in the rural background with contemporary image setting become an instant hit with the masses who could connect well with subject, plot and issue on celluloid screen.
One could Ananth Nag dressed in dhoti and short towel even though; he was playing the role of educated youngster in the village. We could see Ambarish, Vishnuvardhan acting like any commoner found on the streets of Mysore/Bengaluru.  In short; actions, mannerisms and minute details of the character were executed so perfectly that people used to feel the presence of the character even after the movie is over.

Artists were ready to mold into the role of character instead of worrying about the stardom, image of last movie etc. Therefore, we could see Lokesh playing the Kaaka in Kakana kote and effortlessly changing into a village boy in next movie , Shankar Nag being auto driver, thief, journalist etc in various movies and still maintain his charm, Jayanthi being pampered girl, prostitute, devoted wife according to character in the movie or Balakrishna playing the role of villan, comedian and character artist so easily. It shows that even artists placed trust on their colleagues and were ready to shed their image in the quest of providing the best to the present assignment.

Movies created today, seem to be disconnecting from the reality or unaware of the present happenings in the state of Karnataka. For ex:  underworld/ rowdies is not a major issue concerning the city of Bangalore, thanks to efforts of the police and other government agencies. Even then, every 10th movie churned out from KFI talks about hero taking the route of rowdism to ensure justice is done.

Whats even surprising is, one actor plays the role of honest cop and takes on rowdies in movie A. 

Few months earlier or later, he does a movie B where he takes on the system i.e politicians, police etc in order to restore justice in the system. So, this leaves the audience confused and wondering; which role is right!  

Note : The posters of Darshan movies are just a illustration, this act is done by others in the KFI too. 

During the 70's and 80's ; the actors used to act as ambassadors of the language. Raj Kumar took the lead and others supported him during the Gokak chaluvali movement. People flocked to see Rajkumar, but he also ensured that they are educated about the need of the language. 
Today, Govt. is trying to close to 700 Kannada medium schools. I have not seen anyone from film industry taking a note of this and trying to bring some change and awareness about this dangerous move. 
This shows that present artists are only concerned about the commercial aspects and fail to see the social side of the mass media which they represent. 

In short, what does it finally result in?
The movies rolled out from the offices of Gandhinagar fail to impress the people since they are neither a reflection of the past, present nor future.

so,where the heroes have gone??? 


Anil Kumar said...

Well said Harsha, i would like to add one more point lack of creativity. Today's movies are remade from either Hindi, Telugu or a Tamil movie. People are not dumb to see the same movie again and again. We want our own movies rather than copying the movie including character and even the name of characters are same.
We don't want this Maki-ka-Maki to happen in Kannada films.

Rakesh said...

ಒಪ್ಪೂ ಮಾತು.
ಕನ್ನಡ ಚಲನಚಿತ್ರಗಳು ಹಣ, ಹೆಸರು ಮಾಡುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಸೀಮಿತವಾಗಿ ಬೆಳೆಯುತ್ತಿರುವುದು ವಿಷಾದ. ಮೌಲ್ಯಾಧಾರಿತ ಚಿತ್ರಗಳು ವಿರಳ, ಯಾಕೆ೦ದರೆ ಪ್ರೂತ್ಸಾಹ ಇಲ್ಲ!! ಇನ್ನು ಚಿತ್ರಗಳನ್ನು ಮಾಡಿ ಹಣ ಕಳೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಯಾರು ತಾನೇ ಸಿದ್ದ?? ಒಬ್ಬ ಉತ್ತಮ ನಿರ್ದೇಶಕನಿ೦ದ ಮಾತ್ರ ಎರಡನ್ನೂ ಗೆಲ್ಲಲು ಸಾದ್ಯ.

M.S.Sunil said...

Very well said harsha. The Kannada cinema industry is failing in leaving a lasting impression on the audience. Its also losing its entertainment value. Though we make some good movies once in a way, none of our movies are hard hitting or outright hilarious to captivate the audience as it was happening during the times of Bhakta kumbara, Guru shishyaru, Bangarada manushya,Bandana, Muttina hara etc.

valunique said...

Hello Harsha,
Very nice post. You have captured the very essence of current day Kannada movies in comparison with the golden era in the past. There is indeed a sheer loss of taste from both the audience as well as the film production units. Seeing the current trend of Kannada movies, people don’t know what to expect and the other hand the script writers are not aware of what best story can lure the audience. The best support system for any regional language is the Regional movie industry. It’s time regional move industry should keep an eye on what’s happening around today. In our case the target audience being kannadigas, it’s so important the taste and moods of the people here are weighted properly .In the end, I wish only a balanced Kannada movie should make it to the screens.


Very well written, Harsha! You have depicted the state of kannada cinema very well by quoting examples of Bangarada Manushya as compared to today's silly movies! Today corruption is such a big deal and kannada being "raped" in Bangalore..but as you rightly said the industry is more worried about the "underworld" clean-up than reality!
May be they want to make some quick money and it is not their responsibility to send a moral message!
If this state continues, I would give kannada industry 10 years to close their shops!

Deepak said...

Rajinikant had to tell the Kannada Directors to look into our Novels for stories and scripts. That says the sad state of our movies.

Very agreeable with comments on Darshan's useless movies. Can we find another movie like Muttinahara. It takes guts to tell a story without thinking of a commercial aspect. Darshan's fans were right in their behaviour, during his arrest...because that was the only thing that he has portrayed all these years.

Today people speak of crores for movies. Most goes to actors and for useless roles.

A Shankar Nag could move flawlessly from movie to tv and from direction to acting due to enormous passion for what he did. 100+ movies at 35 and TV. We knowwhy people love him after ages.

Hope to see age old culture of Kannada Movies and Great Directors. We lack Directors with Conviction.

Mayur said...

i think problem is with the market we have for Kannada films. smaller the marker smaller is the budget. people who watch Kannada movies many times are middle class or below middle class. they prefer to see such commercial masala flicks rather than drama kind of movies..:). payment for story writer is very high in other languages, in Kannada industry its miserable. so things will change if kind of audience change..:)