From masala movies to melodramas

By M Bharat Kumar Published on Jul 18, 2018 10:27 AM IST

After the arrival of mega serials in late 1990s on private television channels, it was said family dramas and emotional potboilers would take a back seat in cinema.

 Kollywood ran behind the formulaic action stories and comedy fares. The likes of Visu,  V Sekar whose flags were flying high thanks to their family-oriented themes on big screen, chose to retire.

Veteran filmmaker K Balachander and Visu even took to the small screen and came out with tearjerkers.

Even the stage drama scene was dominated by comedy plays by artistes like of S Ve Shekher, Crazy Mohan and Y Gee Mahendra.

But came 'Kadai Kutty Singam' and the scenario has changed. Released last week, the movie stressed on the need for joint family and spoke highly about tradition, culture and bonding between relatives.

It managed to even win the praise of Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, who after watching the movie in Telugu, hailed it  for conveying family values and upholding our culture.

Box office collections too indicate a grand opening.

Speaking to 'News Today'Sridharan, a veteran film distributor, said, "Happy to see women come to the theatres in large numbers. Emotion wins. It was a great risk taken by a popular actor like Karthi to be part of a family drama after a mass hit in action fare 'Theeran Adhigaram Ondru'.'

Vasuki, a housewife, said, "Mega serials have become repetitive. They portray women as villains. They are full of  polygamy, cheating, anger, deceit. Serial directors seems to have lost their plot. These days, people prefer reality shows on small screen than serials."

Films that glorify family values are always welcomed. The recent success stories include 'Mayandi Kudumbathar',  'Veeram',  'Pichaikkaran', 'Kadaikutty  Singam'.

Murali, a senior citizen and a movie buff, says, 'Sivaji was admired and adored by all those days because he played a doting father, adorable brother, charming lover and a caring husband. People watched his movies with their families. Almost all were big hits. Unfortunately, today, filmmakers are afraid to tread the path, because there isn't another Sivaji, who can pull it off in style.

Violence, double-meaning dialogues and skin show are the order of the day in Tamil cinema. Hope a change is around the corner."

Family dramas need not be tearjerkers. Take the case of 'Baama Vijayam' by K Balachander. It was light-hearted and still conveyed a strong message. Such attempts need to be taken today. The industry will thrive only if families start to come to theatres .

'We have 'Maniyar Kudumbam', a film by Thambi Ramiah, ready for release. Post 'Kadai Kutty Singam', more directors will be emboldened to explore family values and make movies that have a connect with audiences, says industry tracker Kannan.

Pandiraj, the director of 'Kadai Kutty Singam', says, "Irrespective of what genre it is, if a movie is well made and tries to serve a cause, audience will welcome it."