Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Majority of the Malayalam films that are being celebrated, as cult art films by critics did not fascinate much for one reason, their thematic detachment from current society or their too much attachment to literature. Adaptation of film from literature is definitely acceptable, but while the world is moving towards a cinema of ‘today’- cinema of the truth of today- it is an irony to see the celebrated art filmmakers of Kerala trying to do and redo cinema of and for certain period in the history, vanished in memories following the literature of a certain period. The problem is when they look too much into the accuracy of the visualisation of those periods, more than the theme and their closeness to reality of today, meeting the objective of speaking a truth for the current generation or their situation.

I was seeing Shaji N. Karun’s, Piravi’ yesterday. Unlike many of the cult films from Kerala, that I was always been forced to read as ‘a story happened sometime, somewhere in the history of Kerala’, ‘Piravi’ immediately took to the state of ‘present day’. Arguably, now it is difficult for me to enjoy any other Malayalam film in future, as there arise a natural tendency for a comparison with the standard of this film. The only other film that was rooted on its closeness to reality and the very meaning of a journey of existence could be John Abraham’s ‘Amma Ariyaan’. Living people, life on land, light of love,

the simplicity, the touch, the smell, the attachment to the reality of life as a component of nature and culture of Kerala – these films have no pretentious state to represent or a proud statement of solution to make, but present you with a reality of ‘being on the earth’.

Forgetting all the stubborn statements that ‘Cinema is all about camera movement’, ‘cinema is all about montage’, ‘cinema is all about literature’, ‘cinema is of and by auteurs’…. Well, who is bothered on ‘what cinema is’ and who the hell are we to judge or define ‘cinema’. Considering it so down to earth as a basic ideology of representation of a theme in an artistic manner to the society we live in, what other goal cinema is promising to achieve? Cinema is not about giving solutions; cinema is not about ‘that’, it being called today. As a celebrated cinematographer once said ‘cinema is not a place of worship’ nor it is a ‘factory’ as titled by a known director. It is neither an industry nor mere communication media. At the same time it is all of this at a time for each. Every single person associated with cinema has his own definitions about it. For sustaining our life, we all have our own definitions and reasons. Being human had become the twisting of truth for convenience like a piece of clay. Making various models with same clay and call it ‘This is truth’. Well, each of those models stay as individual truths, with the ultimate truth being the clay. Greatness of an artist is not in his choice of making ten bad art works and one good one, but the choice of not making any of those if they are not from heart in any sense...

This could be the weirdest statement about cinema and I don’t know whether I am eligible to make it. But let me just say this, I consider cinema to be mature as a medium and art, when people identify that there is no experience/environment of difference between the reality they live in and the screen reality. At that moment they might even identify that they don’t need a cinema anymore for their life and happiness. The death of cinema is the maturity of cinema…

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