ek gaun mein


Subhash said...

Now that you posted it, I was interested if there were any funny comments it got. Sadly none. I think youtube sucks compared to rediff.

Subhash said...

I didn't realise you just posted it.

Suresh said...

Yeah, youtube's 'Indian community' is catching up in commenting, although tend to leave mostly stupid comments (probably can't beat rediff though).

I got the VCD last July. I clipped the scenes then too. I don't know, for some reason I forgot to put them together and upload it then. edho, ippovachum potane.

Subhash said...

The acting in the film from some of the leads wasn't great, But original, I think. The film was very funny though. What do you think about the actors nowadays? They either try to ape actors in the past or go the Kamal Hassan way, both of which are irritating.

Is there one good actor in Tamil movies now? If there is, they are all doing the wrong roles.

I think Chennai 600028 is the only film that came close to being absolutely enjoyable like this film. Acting wise too.

But then I guess casting director's job is something the Tamil movie industry doesn't take very seriously.

Ofcourse, this coming from a guy who hardly saw a tamil film for the past 4 years is a bit rich.

Subhash said...


I am interested to know your view on the right wing in India. Their claim that Indians were robbed off their culture by western thought seems justified.

They particularly attack the people doing humanities for propagating this disrespect for anything that comes out of India. Since you are a sociologist, I thought there is something you could say about this.

Also, Is their claim of Hindus living in India dominated by Islamic and Christian ideas justified?

Suresh said...

I think bad acting is one of the primary reasons for degradation of Tamil movies over the last decade.
1. Most of them cannot talk properly: pronunciation, intonation, dialogue delivery - everything is messed up. And when they seem to get it right, their body language is totally out of place. (I like watching Prasanna on screen. I think he's one of the few of "this generation" who do well in this area.)
2. They all seem to make the most bland expressions. Take Arya for example, what the hell is up with that guy? Actors like Surya have improved a bit (but then they have also become irritating yuppies).

Those who switch over from TV serials seem to perform decently, though. TV serials still rely on a lot of close up shots and perspective switches that focus on the speaker (including long pauses with zooms in and out, with loud background music). So they have to get their act together. Even acting for a few episodes in TV gives quite a bit of 'experience'.

Movies, on the other hand, seem to be stuck with pseudo-aesthetic appeal. (North-Indian, fair skinned actresses who cannot act all etc.) Although a lot of people complain about their inability to speak Tamil, I think it can be somewhat ignored if they can act (ex: Tabu, Nadita Das, and to an extent, Simran). The same with the 'extras'. They are cast because they have fair skin and are "able" to wear mini skirts, and with men it's "good" physique and lately, long hair.

I think I mentioned it in one of the podcasts -- extras are one of the main reasons for a scene to look really awkward. They either overact (like in Shankar's movies) or don't act at all (like in Gautam Menon's movies). And you get to hear the same voices over and over again (because of they are dubbed; there's seem to be dearth of dubbing artists). Repetition aside, dubbing artists themselves are pretty irritating (e: Sonia Agarwal's voice, the fat guy etc in 7G Rainbow Colony).

To top it all, most of the extras are characterized with little or no thought. They just lift a stereotypical extra from one movie and put in another (ex: a young barber from Chennai 28 to Oram Po. They are both smart asses, "talking too much"). It's almost like an unwritten rule: extras cannot have any individuality. (well, when the lead roles themselves don't seem to exude any individuality, expecting it in extras may be a little too much.)

Just to contrast:
Take the 'dobi' guy in 'Indru poi naalai va', he brings in so much appeal to all the scenes in spite of playing an 'insignificant role'. The little kid (gaja payyan) in 'Suvar illadha sithirangal' is a good example too.

Suresh said...

The Indian right, as you know, has various factions varying in their degree of emphasis in Hindutva (talking just about Hindu right wing factions, that is). Then we have the confusing dichotomy within them. There are people like Gurumurthy who are closer the left in terms of his economic views (especially with regard to globalization) then there are the ones who were in the cabinet favouring privatization etc.

In general, it's hard to comment on the "right wing of India" (you know, as it is with any large group). I have my views about them regarding specific issues.

As for their claim about "Indians being robbed off their culture by western thought": it is quite true. But so what? Even here in this blog, we have had exchanges contesting how worthy the "Indian culture" actually is. There's a vast literature on both sides: one side trying flaunt what they call Indian culture and the other side critiquing it.

The role of the Indian intellectual (in social sciences and others involved in social commentary) in India is more or less the same as any intellectual vis-a-vis his/her country. You won't really find many respected scholars who are all in praise of their country. That's their job, that's what they do.

Indian social scientists are probably a little more critical because of the disconnect between their research (or research interests) and public policy. Funding of research to implementation of academically uncontested conclusions, the Indian state would rank among the worst. You'll surprised when you try to write a paper and look for some data. There's dearth of any valuable data in a lot of fields. Getting this data is not even that hard. India is a country in which labour is dirt cheap (especially when you think about the free volunteers). (I'm digressing.)

{{Also, Is their claim of Hindus living in India dominated by Islamic and Christian ideas justified?}} - This claim has various facets. If they are talking about Christian journalists in various media houses and how they are funded by missionaries etc, there's some truth to it.
But if they are talking about the nature of criticism you'll find in scholarly literature, then it's just BS.

Subhash said...

That was a nice response. Thorough enough for me. I have one more question.

Is the lack of enough criticism of Muslim world by their own sociologists one of the reason for the damning actions of Muslims today? Or is it some kind of a flashpoint that Muslims have reached with the Israel thingy that sociologists simply are willing to patronize and may be even romanticize the action of their right wing.

I am sure there is a difference between western media criticizing muslim actions and one of their own respected thought leader doing it.

Suresh said...

A quote from one of our previous conversations:

"So given the mockery they face from people like me and prejudice from, well, most of the industrialized world, I can understand (not sympathize) why Shoaib Malik said what he said. It's a forced homogenization that the primary element - the individual involved - readily accepts assuming that it consolidates the 'fight' against the very force. Just reminds me of the hijab defending feminists of my campus."

Disclaimer: I don't want to sound like some middle-eastern studies scholar, but I'll give my views based on my limited knowledge.

You're right, there's little scholarly work that directly questions the belief system that holds "their" lifestyle and operates from within, from a scientific/rationalist point of view (Middle-East, Iran or whatever). Last week, there was a relatively interesting exchange of ideas in BBC's Doha Debates. The two who were for the motion, 'that Muslims are failing to combat extremism', who were relatively critical of how Islam is practiced, were still using expressions such as "we need to show what true Islam is" etc.

That's how most of these debates have been: they all revolve around deciding which version of Islam is more acceptable. Some of the most objectionable verses of the Quran -- from a relatively 'modern' stand point -- are not discussed or pointed out at all. Nobody really seems to care how a holy book can contain them in the first place (as opposed to arguing which ones to pick up). Nor I have seen a lot of atheists -- who were formerly Muslims -- who step-in to question the very aspect of having a religious belief. Giving up the identity of a Muslim altogether doesn't seem to be an option or a point of discussion at all.

Most of the scholars who seem to be hell bent on blaming everything but religion for Islamic terrorism, emerge from 'anti-Orientalist' school of thought. Like Edward Said and others who did a great deal of work on how the West, in the past, clubbed the entire East as Orientals and homogenized them to form a vague, valueless identity etc. What they failed to do, however, is to be a little positivist for a change and criticize the lifestyle and discourses that were central to the "Islamic world". Islam also has reasonable support from Western scholars who do not want to be branded as pro-Israeli for speaking against Islam.

Democracy, in spite of all its flaws, is essential for this to change. And you count the number of democracies in the "Islamic world". Not just democracy, but 'effective democracy'. With a very effective constitutional machinery that actually enables its citizens to do whatever the constitutions permits. Unlike the Indian state which respects the unruly mob more than anything else.

Subhash said...


Anonymous said...

This comment has really nothing to do with "ek gaun mein", although am a die-hard Bhaygaraj fan. So kudos to you, for including him in the post.

This is more of a chinna request:

Why don't you post/podcast some more of your "random ramblings" (re: society, beliefs ...etc). ....unless um.. they're being posted somewhere I'm unaware of.
Anyway, I appreciate the way you shed light on things.

Suresh said...

(Don't worry, it's not like the other comments have a lot to do with 'ek gaun mein'.)

Thanks. I've been trying to be a little more 'regular' with my podcasts (I know, it's a lie, but what the hell?). I've been posting all my podcasts in this blog for a long time. There are, however, other 'programs' that I did much before I started posting them here. You can give it a try if you're interested: this page has them all.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I have that page bookmarked. lol. I throughly enjoyed "religious vegetarianism".

I guess why I liked it a lot: because you were able to admit why you were vegetarian, as opposed to others who like to sugar coat their reasons. Not many people I know can admit to being vegetarian because to say "like attention". It's a gun shot to their ego.

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