Unlike the years gone by, movie artists have to sell their image and their work outside the medium more than inside. Manju Warrier is one such artist who understood the nuance and has been very conscious of the image she projects to the public. If you glance through her body of work, after the noisy comeback into the movies, you can see a pattern in the roles she played. Divorced, independent, wronged, fierce, single, mother and all these do reflect in the image she projects about her personal life through various social media platform. Well it wouldn’t be fair if I simply quote her name alone, but today most of the mainstream artistes have professional PR people to sell their work to the unassuming public.
This has been much very obvious in recent times when a rising star of Malayalam movie, suddenly changed track and went on to do a testosterone loaded role with a liberal dose of misogyny. The movie went on to do huge business and made a lot of money for the star.
In a very much result oriented world, professionalism is synonymous to profit a business generates. Hence the risks are to be avoided and maximizing the probability has to be focused upon. Manju has been very sure about her image, role and cinema she does. As a female actor, well past hey youthful days, she knows her opportunities are very limited in a male dominated arena. And it is not a fault to ensure the success of ones work. But in the long run screenplay and script are the two areas which have lost to this instant mix for success.
Malayalam Cinema had enjoyed a huge array of artistes, suited for playing varied roles and characters. This did lent a multi-dimensional hue into our scripts for years. There was a possibility of many layers and complexity could be woven into a conflict. Today our scripts are very unidimensional. Within minutes of a film opening, we will be hit with a sense of multiple deja-vu and a fair good idea of what’s happening in the next 2 hours.
The real challenge for the script writer is to bolt the viewer to the seat with what is known as ‘twists’. Now the effect of a twist in a shallow script is like masturbating to a poorly done porn movie. You will be left wondering ‘Why the hell’.
The characters themselves will be wearing a monochromatic hue, resembling a plastic toy, with even the appearances being very boring. They get off by being populist and catering to the perversions of the bourgeoisies . The characters mouth the dialogue an average viewer wants to hear and acts in the way he wants him to. The whole process creates a negative creativity and spins off chauvinism and misogyny. The relationships are defined in a very peripheral perspective and in the end the hero winds up the whole saga with a dose of morality.
Well this sums up the entire ‘Sairabanu’ in a nutshell. Nevertheless, it has been the story of many popular movies released recently. The Malayalam cinema has consolidated itself after a brief stint of anarchic period of what we call- period of new generation. The good part being, we inherited a team of brilliant technicians. The Sairabanu has some very brilliant sequences and the good part of the film ends there.The film caste two heavyweight female actors in the lead and bends down miserably from the sheer weight of projecting them in a feel-good light.
Most of the quality time is dominated by the two heavyweights and in an attempt to satiate the egos, the whole story falls shallow in the end. The hollow script becomes so evident from the beginning as many sequences looks forced. There has been no real groundwork on the characters and as for an example it’s been particularly traumatizing to see students from law college ask very childish questions to an imminent lawyer during a interactive session.
I wouldn’t want to elaborate further on the weaknesses of this particular film, as I’ve been trying to point out the malice evident in this mainstream art as a whole. This is an art form majority of the population relates to. And hence it turns gangeric when there’s an attempt to make it exclusive
Summing it up I felt like the unknown ‘Bengali’ who was conveniently left for the dead.