19 October, 2020

One Big Shakedown

Tamil cinema is past master at the risque stuff. But arousal? Nah.

One Big Shakedown
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The Tamil film industry is unlikely to be fazed by the new CBFC directive to award adult ratings to objectionable item numbers for TV. This is a cinematic genre that is more than adept at inventing scores of ever-ingenious ways to circumvent all moral gags. Not because they are anarchists who want to thumb a nose at bourgeois morality, but because they are misogynists to the core. You can trip them on a political innuendo here or an ill-timed comment on caste or religion there; but on risque stuff, they are past masters. If there is a language that celebrates the ‘double entendre’, it’s Tamil and, by association, this is extended on to the visual field too.

The item number is the oxygen of Tamil/Telugu cinema. In many cases, the movie itself is a bit-item in between extended item numbers. And in the last decade, a tremendous expertise has been brought to bear upon its conception and execution. They come packaged as racy, pulse-thumping repeat-rhythms, often using onomatopoeic or gibberish sounding refrains—like ‘Kalakalaka kalasala’ or...

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