Mind over Matter*

A week ago, I watched Indru Netru Naalai (fun!). In the movie, Karunakaran is introduced to us as an astrologer trying hard to break into the big leagues, and he is seen writing an examination that would ostensibly distinguish qualified astrologers from fake ones. We then find out he has bribed the examination authority so that his “question paper” is in fact his friend’s horoscope, about whom he knows almost everything. I liked this sequence, and while watching it, I was reminded of (here we go again!) Thadaiyara Thaakka.

In Thadaiyara Thaakka (which I watched mostly because I felt bad for Arun Vijay, and with some gentle prodding from A), the hero and heroine are in love by the time we meet them. Therefore, we are spared horror cute scenes involving the logistics of how they met and why they fell in love (maybe she was kissing her Pomeranian dog, and the wind blew, lifting her hair off her face, thereby allowing the hero a glimpse of his angel?). When the time comes for him to speak to her parents, her father informs them that he will proceed only if the horoscopes match. She then gives him a copy of her horoscope, and asks him to create one which matches. And this is the scene I thought of during Karunakaran’s introduction sequence. (That I must recall this particular scene should tell you a little about my state of mind, having been subjected to endless discussions revolving around this very subject.) This is a slight variation of an everyday occurrence we are all aware of, the slight variation making it slightly more enjoyable. In another sequence, Arun Vijay chances upon Mamta Mohandas in some state of undress (but nothing comes out of this). She is shown complaining to her friend that despite seeing her in her bathrobe, her fiance did nothing, and surely this is cause for concern. I was worried that this would turn into another one of those asexual-hero-instances, but later, he tells her he has been distracted ever since he saw her that way and he gifts her lingerie. Oh, what a relief! We now have two adults in a relationship that seems somewhat real.

In Tamil cinema, when a man and woman are in love, we usually have one of the following setups. (a) Hero is lustful, Heroine is coy. When he tries to be physically intimate, she says she is “not that kind of girl”, pushes him away, only allows him to hold her hand, or they exchange pecks on the cheek (ey, chi, po!). (b) Hero is asexual, Heroine throws herself at him. In this category (observed mostly in mass movies catering to stars – recently in VIP), hero looks at all women (including the one he loves) as thaaikkuLam. When the heroine attempts to kiss him or get closer to him, he pushes her away with sagely nods and some condescending dialogue along the lines of “why are you in such a hurry” or “wait until marriage” or “good girls don’t behave this way”. When I say this, I am not including GVM heroines who declare they want to make love, because (a) they are too few to be significant in the context of Tamil movies, and (b) they are a little too urbane, too sophisticated.

What if a heroine said “innikku oru madhiri mood-a irukku” and the movie didn’t judge her or make fun of her? I want to see more of that.

*For meaning of matter (at least, the one I meant): Click here.

Also, my apologies for the poor joke.

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