Films and Reality
Most of the times we compliment films saying “It is damn realistic”. We compliment a film maker with the tag “realistic”. We compliment actors saying he gave a “realistic” performance. People often fail to distinguish between “real” and “realistic” and get worked up. The former is “what it is” and the latter is “trying to be real”.
Recently I read a review of the film “Mayakkam Enna” which discussed how Selvaraghavan twists the world of reality and ideality. I was thinking about this, waiting for the train. One thing I felt is that people fail to understand that films are never real, they are just warped reality and it is not a mistake to be so.
People get worked up and judge films if they are not depicted as what they are in the world we live in. In that review, the reviewer was pointing out a thing that “kumudam prints sleazy photos on cover photos and not wildlife photographs”. This is a classic example of what I am talking about. Films are just reality which is warped according to the whim and fancies of the film maker.
The Film maker creates a world which has its own laws. It is just like a parallel universe, not everything that exist in reality should exist in his self created warped reality. He pretty much takes up the mantle of God. What we need to judge is whether all the characters follow the laws of the created world. But what we end up doing is questioning his judgment of laws he has built into to the movie like “Come on! There is no shit like Hogwarts or magic” or “What crap is this! A radioactive spider bit him and he gets super power instead of dying”. If you see things that way, you can never rightfully judge a film. It then boils down to the bias of the critic towards the film maker.
Another point that I want to drive home is that reality is utterly boring. Come on! Think about it! Why would you want to live your day twice? That being set aside if people still want real films, “Nadunisi Naigal” is a good example for that. The film did not have any BG of any sort. That is pretty real, isn’t it? No one plays a music when you meet your love interest or plays the eerie violin when you are sad. Did you know, how the lack of BG made that film move at a snail pace apart from the freaky story of child abuse?
Now hold that thought! Let us move on to the other vista of film making which many despise and think low of, the commercial movie. Why some people hate masala films? . A hero jumping over miles to hang by a train is what comes to my mind when I think of the laws of the world completely breaking down. That is a case where the film maker has failed to mold a character within the laws of his world. He never created a law that the protagonist was gifted with the special power of flight nor was he travelling via a cable towards the train.
But then brushing things like that apart many people do enjoy masala films. They come to movie theatres to escape from reality and put themselves in the shoes of the protagonist and imagine doing stuff which they wouldn’t be able to do in real life. Those people just want films to be real, only to an extent that would allow themselves to connect to it. Looking down upon those kind of films and branding people who like them as non-intellectual is something I can never agree.
Take MMKR or Vasool Raja for example, quadruplets really? really? MBBS? A fucking thug? Most of situations in that film hardly can ever happen and yet they are cult classics which everyone likes. It is not the realness which makes a film good but how well the film maker has created his world.
People have turned more cynical, anything that is unlikely or rare is considered to be “Olu da machaan” or “Bakwas”. Do you know what the are odds of a sperm cell fertilizing the egg? What is the possibility of life in this universe? Yet we still reproduce. Yet there are life forms. But we always are cynical when the protagonist or the antagonist pulls off something unlikely.
Be it a masala film or be it a non-masala film, everything has only that much reality built into them and only with varying degrees of it. The more you try to make the film real the more difficult it gets for you, to make it interesting. In my opinion there is no need for a film maker to depict reality as it is, it is just his version of reality and they are bad films only when the laws of its world contradict and break down.