It was a couple of years back that I began watching TV for a decent amount of time. Before that college and projects and Internships did not give much time with the idiot box especially since we had to start holiday Internships from second year of college. When I finally got to watch some TV and surf the Malayalam channels, the movie song sequences shocked me! It was as if I was watching a Hindi or a Telugu song sequence!!
I have been bought up on a staple of good Malayalam movies due to the extensive collection of movies in my Dad’s collection. Growing up on this kind of filtered collection makes you rather spoilt. You end up thinking that all Malayalam movies are good. Unlike Malayalees in Kerala, who have watched both good and bad movies and seen the evolution of Malayalam cinema, we the NRK’s have no such luck. We are still stuck in the Golden Era of Malayalam movies as we get only the good movies in CD parlors. Our first brush with modern Malayalam cinema starts with the Malayalam TV channels that air the songs from the latest movies. And the preview of the new Malayalam cinema is not very appetizing.
For us NRK’s Malayalam movies were the only channel to keep in touch with our roots and culture. Malayalam movies were a part of our daily lives. Sundays in Bangalore would see VCDs selling like hot cakes and people would even bribe the VCD delivery boy to keep their favorite movie for them for the weekend. Malayalam movies were a little piece of Kerala in our homes.
The commercialization of Malayalam movies is big loss to the huge NRK population that lives outside Kerala. Our intention of seeing a Malayalam movie is not just for the purpose of entertainment, but to keep the tenuous bonds with our naadu alive and to escape for a few moments to a place we call home. The Bollywood type of Malayalam cinema has little appeal for us.
I guess our numbers are too small and do not justify movies like the ones they made some time ago. Perhaps there is more demand for Bollywood type masala Malayalam movies in Kerala now.
I watched “Classmates” the other day. A really nice movie very rooted in the Kerala realities, yet entertaining and engrossing. “Classmates” may not be the best in its class, but it does give hope that the dying embers of good Malayalam cinema is still flickering.
Presently listening to this song. Thanks to Emmanuel for the link.