(for SI Blog Reader Twig)
Twits and Twigs have more in common than four alphabets.
Both also lack the gene for good taste, and share the inability to separate wheat from chaff.
At the repeated urging of SI Blog reader Twig, I watched the Tamil film Mahanadi (1994) last night.
Mahanadi has often been hailed as one of the tours de force of Tamil cinema.
Although a commercial failure, the film went on to win a bunch of national awards, burnishing its sheen and endearing it all the more to some Tamil movie fans.
Besides featuring as the ‘hero’ of the film, Tamil cinema’s jackass of all trades a.k.a. Kamal Haasan proudly takes credit for story and screenplay and shares credit for dialogs with the late Ra. Ki. Rangarajan.
Like most Indian celluloid atrocities, Mahanadi is a lengthy ordeal, clocking in at 2-hours and 42-minutes.
Mahanadi reeks of mediocrity.
At the end of the movie, I got up in high dudgeon incensed that 2-hours and 42-minutes in the autumn of my life had been frittered away on piffle.
I have since vowed to never again be taken in by persistent little Twits or Twigs.
The fundamental problem of Mahanadi is that the treacherous knave Kamal Haasan substitutes high art with low trickery.
In an endless Kollywood Sahara littered with talentless clowns like Ajith, Vijay, Simbhu, Vombhu, Kombhu, Arya, Surya etc, Kamal Haasan is a passable actor.
That much I will concede.
But this pygmy talent Kamal Haasan is all at sea in the story department.
Bereft of any skills in scripting and completely adrift on the shoals of his incompetence, Kamal Haasan resorts to a cheap trick – He substitutes a plausible story with an endless series of exploitative scenes designed to tug at the heartstrings.
To discerning viewers like SI, Kamal Haasan’s goal is clear – To weave a series of infantile sob episodes of “How Bad Things happen to Good People while Bad People Lead an Epicurean Life” so that viewers are beguiled into professing sympathy for the unfortunate hero.
Boy, and did that trick succeed in pulling the wool over the eyes of naive film-goers!
After all, if there’s one thing hypocritical Indians love more than anything else it’s to feign sympathy and shed crocodile tears over the plight of their miserable brethren.
And unscrupulous filmmakers like Kamal Haasan have blatantly exploited these hypocritical elements of Indian society for personal gain by churning out several “Evil Trumps Good” trashy films. It’s not unlike Indian professors and social workers getting rich on poverty studies via foreign grants, international conferences and publishing academic papers.
Mahanadi – Exploitation, Ad Nauseam
Compared to the trials inflicted on our hero Krishna (Kamal Haasan), the lot of the planet’s most deprived and oppressed people - tribals in Jharkand, Jews in Nazi Germany, aborigines in Australia, Blacks in America, Hindus in Pakistan, Muslims in Gujarat – is a happy, idyllic existence.