A discussion with a friend* on steamy love scenes in Tamil cinema (yes, feel free to judge me us) led me to think of those movies that were banned at my house over the years.

The first one that comes to mind is Boys. Now you must understand that Boys captured our imagination like no other movie before that. I remember learning all the lyrics from the paper that would be stuffed behind the cassette, and listening to the soundtrack over and over, singing along in that awful voice of mine. And then the movie released. Before I could say Sa Re Ga Mae, I was told I couldn’t watch it. Maybe the supervision units at home thought my young impressionable mind needn’t be subjected to such drivel (haha!).

I also remember Thulluvadho Ilamai. Yes, Dhanush’s first movie. (Or should I say the movie starring Sherin?) School kids running away from home, sex, drugs, and hormones. It goes without saying this movie was banned too (my cousin and I finally succeeded in watching it four years after its release, on one lucky day when we are left behind at home and the movie happened to be playing on K TV).

But both these movies do not stand a chance when I tell you what the third movie on this list is. Kalaba Kadhalan. Of course, this movie makes you squeamish even if you are just watching it by yourself; for there is something very awkward about the setup (I still can’t find words to describe it). Aforementioned cousin and I sat watching this movie in silence (even though we knew anything not wholesome would have already been censored), with one hand on the remote, to quickly change the channel if somebody walked in. We were two seconds too late. It took us almost a year to watch the rest of the movie.

*Similarities to actual people are definitely intentional.


5 thoughts on “Taboo!

  1. Ha ha ha…this does bring back memories! It is only in my early twenties that I started going to theaters to watch any and all movies that came out. Before that, theater going didn’t catch my fancy, so all the movies that I did watch was from TV. So, more than the latest ones, lots and lots of old movies were banned for me. Vattathull Sadhuram and Arangetram are the top most in this list. My mom would go to the extent of taking me out to some place, rather than letting me watch these. Needless to say, I ensured that I did watch it and kept wondering till the end, what was the big deal about it. Kurudhi punal, Mahanadhi, and also some older movies which had the some main character involved in the flesh trade got banned. And one day when I confessed to her that I absolutely loved Mahanadhi – though, I told her, for the life of me I can’t watch it again because I cried too much the first time around – and she has to stop doing this banning to me, she agreed.

    By the way, I have watched Mahanadhi a lots of times after that, I still cry when his daughter talks about the pain of prostitution in her sleep. Kurudhi punal, though, I found terribly violent and heartbreaking in a bad way (just like my mom said) back then. I haven’t somehow watched it again, should do so…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The funny thing is, none of the older movies were banned, maybe they thought I wouldn’t be interested in watching those in the first place. 😛 YouTube helped matters considerably. Hehe.
      Thanks for your comment! 🙂


  2. Ah. The Bans. It is always very difficult to censor what children watch.

    My own parents usually adopted a view more liberal view than those around. Except the realllllly naughty ones not many were banned.

    I remember we went to Prathana to watch “Indhu” with my uncle who just could not stand it beyond the first 1 hour and brought us back home. Looking back, Indhu is a movie that plays as if it was directed by a harmonal teenager. The naughty sort.

    My mom’s friends objected to my mom taking me to Kalki with a “enna Ranjini, ithula divorce ellam varummaam”. My mom stood her ground saying that teenagers already know divorce is. True, I don’t see what is wrong in children watching Kalki.


    1. Oh, your mom’s name is Ranjini and yours is Rahini. Neenga ‘ini’ family’a? 😀 I really like the rhyme and the names…like a breezy and drizzly evening.

      Btw, your mom’s friends objected to the divorce and not to the pre-marital sex? Wow! I am amazed. It is yet another K.B’s flick that I get annoyed with the heroine’s intention. Ok, so she decided to give a taste of his own medicine, fine. But that portion ‘chellamakkaga dhaan naan indha kuzhandhaiyai sumakkaren’ is way too masochistic for the movie’s theme and the heroine’s character, IMO. Ahh, those 90s movies. I need to revisit some now and check if I have the same response now as well! I loved Malgova maami and Karpagam though.

      Liked by 1 person

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