On the need to protect culture and women from 90ml

I recently saw an interview of a renown film producer, where he spoke at length about how he felt repulsed about a film like 90 ml and his guilt about not condemning a  similar adult comedy that released a while ago. He seemed genuinely disturbed about the taint women talking lesbianism, lighting cigarettes and quaffing alcohol willy nilly onscreen. might bring to the Tamil culture.

Titanic ran for an entire year in this country. And the nude sketch sequence and the love making in the car were witnessed by lakhs of Indian families that hitherto thronged the theatres with similar fervor only for a Barjatya/Vikraman film. So the myth about making films for “ladies” and “family audience” was busted. As far as nudity and sex fit in aesthetically to the scheme of things, they weren’t complaining. But instead of breaking the taboo, Titanic remained a lone anomaly in an oxymoronic country obsessed with navel and cleavage of actresses, while continuing to worship its several goddesses.

As far as the culture of a place goes, it’s a fluid concept. A begged, borrowed and stolen thing on the constant lookout to usurp newer aspects, extramural into its scheme of things.What we observe as culture of our time is nothing but a recent addition in the pile of similar iterations stacked one over the other. Its relevance exists only till the next paradigm shift adds another layer over it. So it absolutely makes no sense to become romantically involved with something as ephemeral as culture.

The times we live in is characterised by Whatsapp conversations, breakneck speed inter-connectivity to one another,unfiltered-hassle free access to porn, heightened sexual awareness and alcohol soaked weekends to name a few things off the top of my head. Live in denial under the rock for as long as you want, but this is the continuum which most likely will extend into the distant future. And as you guys keep censoring cuss words and cleavages in movies, hundreds of porn sites, graphic shows like Game of Thrones are going to be made and consumed parallelly.

And coming to the joke of protecting…rather preserving women dignity onscreen, nothing really destroys a self respecting woman’s dignity than the bad cardboard roles that are written, almost as an after thought. Forget brawn, she doesn’t have brains of her own. In mainstream cinema, she either has to be his object of desire, his fluffy distraction from higher purpose or a damsel in distress waiting for her proverbial rescuer to arrive, if not his muse. One way or another she has to satellite around him. Even our most beloved movies tow this line. Seriously, why did a revolutionary film like Indian need two exotic North Indian actresses fighting for Kamal’s attention? Why did Padayappa keep snubbing Neelambari‘s advances? Was it because she was sophisticated, wore her heart on her sleeves, was chivalrous enough to make the first move or was not the kind of woman who would put up with her man categorizing womankind by the lakeside? And the sad part is this trend seems to continue in most mainstream movies till this very date. Case in point being a Mersal or Kaththi. Take the women out of these films, you wouldn’t miss a beat. So where were these woke activist types all this while?

Women empowerment isn’t merely a Wonder Woman, Irudhi Suttru, Dangal or a Mahanati. It is also a 90 ml. Why should she be moving mountains all the time, train for a sports tournament, do things deemed consequential onscreen to earn one’s respect. Why can’t she tend to her below the belt pangs, be turned on or have an inebriated conversation with her cohorts? Why can’t she just scratch her itch and not be judged for that. Why should that itch come with only one man or only as an expression of true love. Why can’t it be mere lust? Promiscuity isn’t an exclusive male franchise after all.

With regards to low brow adult comedies like Hara Hara Mahadevaki and Irutu Arayil murattu Kuthu doing really well, there’s nothing to get alarmed about. These are like the American Pie movies that were made in Hollywood. They aren’t meant for a well rounded man with a regular sex life or for viewing with one’s family. They cater to the section of the youth grappling with their puberty and coming to terms with their sexuality. They are meant to be crass. They are supposed to be riddled with innuendos and suggestive visuals. They’re designed to titillate. Not to provoke one’s thought, but his penis. And I seriously don’t understand what’s wrong with an A rated movie doing that? And something’s psychologically twisted with being irked about the fact that these movies can’t be viewed with one’s mother and sisters. And if the society wasn’t teeming with misogynists, chauvinists and hypocrites, the director wouldn’t have used a pseudonym after all.