Vijay angry at villu press meet saritha

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Though the news was doing rounds ' for the past fortnight or so. Initially Vijay's camp was terribly upset with the fee demanded by A.R. - . daniel-richard-press-meet/articleshow/cms T + .. devarakonda- -kaalam-first-look-why-is-nayanthara-so-angry/articleshow/ cms. Tamil Cinema Hitherto, the academic study of Indian cinema has focused primarily on Bollywood, despite the fact that the Tamil film industry.

Many of these sentiments were subsequently incorporated into the nationalist Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam DMK founded in by the charismatic scriptwriter and playwright C. Ramachandran also worked magic through their contribution and role in Tamil cinema. The DMK continued to strongly oppose the caste system Sanskritic and Brahmanism through the celebration of Tamil civilisation, culture and language using various artistic means such as stage dramas, poetry, literature, musicals and, most successfully, film Perinbanayagam ; Sivathamby The symbiotic relationship that exists between Tamil cinema and politics is in itself a fascinating study see Baskaran ; Dickey ; Hardgrave,; Hardgrave and Neidhart ; Pandian; Sivathamby All the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu since the late s have been involved in the Tamil film industry.

Ramachandran MGR and J. Along with the power of language, Tamil cinema is always about Tamilians. This is not to suggest that Tamil cinema does not partake in Indian nationalism or privilege an Indian identity but rather, even in those scenarios, India is conceptualised through and from a Tamil male subject position. Films are normally set in Tamil cities and villages even if they are fictional. These settings present recognisable differences and a social milieu that is specific to Tamil Nadu.

For instance, the construction of gender in Tamil society places particular emphasis on male and female bodies. Tamil masculinity is epitomised by the wearing of a moustache, physical prowess, authority, sexual virility and the capacity to control women. Clean-shaven male Tamil actors on screen are an exception, as opposed to Hindi cinema where it is a norm. Femininity or womanhood is resolutely contained in the virtues of obedience, righteousness, chastity and purity see Lakshmi and Chinniah in this volume.

In Tamil cinema, male and female gender identities remain fixed and unchanging. Similarly, the veshti white loincloth is the traditional attire of Tamil men and the sari among women. Though modern Indian and western outfits are also worn, these traditional costumes and style are employed to ground the identity of the characters in the film.

Indeed, Tamil cinema, like the other language cinemas of India, always tells a simple story with fanfare, melodrama and predictability. It is deeply moralising, self-righteous, and parochial and upholds the social order; it also seeks to entertain as well as maintain the dominant values of a Hindu Tamil society. Tamil cinema for a Tamil audience speaks volumes about being Tamil.

Tamil Cinema: The Cultural Politics of India's other Film Industry - Free Download PDF

Where Bollywood nominally transcends such particularistic identities, depicting mostly generic characters, Tamil cinema employs Tamil-Indian identities both as a matter of fact and strategically. Thematic overview This volume on Tamil cinema is not an attempt to present a celebratory account of one of the most important but often overlooked film industries in India.

Rather it offers a critical study of the social role, representations, cultural meaning and circulation of films of the Tamil film industry. The Introduction 9 chapters in this collection deal with a wide range of issues from different disciplines. Tamil cinema pervades every aspect of Tamil society and everyday life. As a form of popular culture, it provides not only entertainment to the masses but also an array of existential and ontological points of reference, from cultural identity to the production of norms, values and beliefs, and dissemination of dominant values.

In this sense, the subjects addressed by Tamil cinema say as much about Tamil society, its people and culture as they do about Tamil films. The volume begins with two chapters on the topic of gender. The bad woman on the other hand is presented as having virtues that are diametrically opposed to the good woman.

She is always portrayed as a temptress, wayward and deceitful. This apparent binary opposition between the good and bad woman in Tamil cinema is never masked or subjected to interrogation. Rather, as Lakshmi points out, the oppositions are presented in a straightforward and uncomplicated manner.

Continuing with the same theme, the second chapter by Sathiavathi Chinniah posits a transformative reading of the kata-nayaki heroine from being a passive subject to a pleasurable object.

The passive heroine seldom possesses an independent voice and could only speak in her capacity as the mother, sister, wife and girlfriend, and always in relation to the patriarchal male. Her passivity is reaffirmed by her peripheral and subservient role within the film narrative. The passive kata-nayaki as Chinniah points out was also represented as the traditional, sari-clad and docile protagonist. Going by appearance, the contemporary kata-nayaki is an object of sexual desire because she is portrayed as a modern, scantily clad and mischievous woman.

However, despite the liberal interpretation of the appearance of the kata-nayaki and her role in recent Tamil cinema, Chinniah argues that she rarely transgresses the qualities of the good Tamil woman and inevitably remains subservient to the patriarchal order.

The religious or devotional film genre has a long history within Indian cinema. Hindu mythologies and epics were the main subject for films right from the beginning. To date, there are more than two hundred religious films made in Tamil, based on various Hindu epics and mythologies. Here 10 Selvaraj Velayutham two subjects are unique to Tamil cinema. The first are films that are dedicated to Murugan the second son of Shiva, revered as the Tamil god and the other to Amman an incarnation of Shakti.

Amman worship is commonly found in South India and it is no surprise that Amman films are a commonplace in Tamil cinema. Here too there is a distinction between the well-known Sanskritic goddesses such as Kanchi Kamakshi and Madurai Meenachi found in the big cities and the village Amman of rural Tamil Nadu.

The genre of Amman films mostly spoke to the village people and in particular to the subaltern women. The position of the camera, the portrayal of the goddess, the audience interaction and so forth blur the line between cinema spectatorship and worship. For many subaltern Tamil women, the powerful Amman of the cinema who ultimately kills the wrong doers, offers a sense of hope and social justice. Kalpana Ram explores this relationship using ethnographic field notes and analysis of some recent Amman films.

As pointed out earlier, Tamil Nadu politics and cinema are highly intertwined. The chapter by Robert Hardgrave one of the first scholars to write on this issue reprinted here, is an important historical piece that draws on interviews with film stars and politicians and film analysis to trace the rise of the DMK.

The politicisation of Tamil cinema through the involvement of political figures in various capacities scriptwriters, actors, directors, songwriters, etc. Hardgrave examines the way in which films stars like M. Ramachandran catapulted into politics through cinema. Another pioneering Tamil film scholar, Sara Dickey, set out to research the relatively unexplored field of fandom, fan culture and class identity in Tamil Nadu almost two decades ago.

The popularity of film stars has a far more spiritual dimension in its manifestations especially in South India. Film stars are not only revered but also worshipped as gods. It is not uncommon to see garlanded portraits of popular film stars placed on the family altar.

In particular, the adulation and fanaticism that developed for MGR was profound and continues to exist even after his death in Returning to her field site inDickey was struck by the level of intensity and reverence that fans still had for MGR. In her chapter, she explores the contemporary significance of the late MGR and his relevance to his fans in present day Tamil Nadu. Tamil cinema also enters the public arena in two other ways.

One is in its various larger than life manifestations as banners and cutouts right across Introduction 11 urban centres in Tamil Nadu and in print media.

The reader is transported onto the streets and is confronted by gigantic and colourful images that have an imposing physical and visual presence in urban spaces. Jacob argues that the gradual shift from handpainted to vinyl printed banners and cutouts signals the coming of age of the Tamil film industry now reaching out to a techno-savvy and sophisticated audience. Film advertisements were quickly embraced by the public and they co-exist as an integral part of the film industry. This however is not the case with critical writings on Tamil cinema and that takes us to the second point.

Theodore Baskaran, one of the foundational scholars of Tamil cinema, explores in his chapter how Tamil writers and scholars responded to the new medium of cinema since its inception. This was largely due to the low-brow status of cinema within Tamil society. In terms of critical and scholarly engagement with cinema, Baskaran argues that academics only became interested in the subject rather belatedly in the s.

He suggests that these writings, especially film reviews and criticism, given their peripheral existence have not entirely influenced the film industry and he calls for more research and mainstreaming of Tamil film studies. The chapter by Anand Pandian takes us to the Tamil countryside and explores the intersection between Tamil popular cinema and rural everyday life.

Writing on the villagers in the Cumbum valley, an agricultural region west of Madurai, Pandian narrates the way in which cinema permeates their lives or rather how they live their lives through references from cinema.

The Cumbum valley is in more than one way connected to the Tamil film industry. The region has produced several famous film artists and has been the location for a number of films. The representation of rural India in Tamil cinema, Pandian argues, is helping its interlocutors to reaffirm their sense of identity and belonging as they draw on songs and dialogues from movies to articulate their lived experiences.

He adds, for many rural people in South India, like those in the Cumbum Valley, cinema is a powerful means of grappling with the challenges and imperatives of modernity. The idea of caste which 12 Selvaraj Velayutham remains a fairly elusive category in Tamil cinema not always explicitly articulated and fairly limited is a relatively understudied topic see for instance Srinivas and Kaali But as Krishnan demonstrates, the Thevar caste has figured regularly in the movies in recent times.

This, he argues, is privileging Chennai as the forefront of civilisational and economic progress. The last two chapters in the anthology continue to consider the question of territoriality and cinema. The authors present a range of examples of movies that propagated anti-colonial sentiments and the spirit of nationalism.

Hand in hand, the emergence of the Dravidian movement and its political ascendancy in Tamil Nadu politics pointedly led to the valorisation of a Dravidian, Tamil identity.

The authors argue that the ambivalent relationship that Tamil cinema has had between articulating a Tamil and an Indian identity is not a shortcoming on the part of the film industry but unsettles the notion of a homogenous Indian national identity a trademark of Bollywood cinema. The final chapter explores the position of the Tamil diaspora in relation to Tamil cinema production and consumption.

There are an estimated 70 million Tamils around the world. It continued to grow in the postcolonial period driven by economic and humanitarian in the case of the Sri Lankan Tamils imperatives.

This chapter investigates two related issues concerning Tamil cinema in the global context. One is a critical analysis of how diasporic Tamils are portrayed in Tamil cinema and a brief look at the diasporic Tamil film production. The other aspect is the global circuits and circulation of Tamil films. I argue that Tamil cinema is a growing tour de force within Indian cinema and has the ability to engage a global audience. However, the powerhouse that is Bollywood, and to some extent the legendary Bengali cinema, have been the much favoured film industry among scholars of Indian cinema.

This anthology is the first that is dedicated in its entirety to the study of Tamil cinema and to give scholarly recognition to a major cinematic force in the arena of Indian cinema. South India also has the most cinema theatres per capita of anywhere in the world.

In Tamil Nadu alone, there are more than 2, theatre halls. Notions and indeed representations of homosexuality and transgender are largely absent in Tamil cinema.

Cam bridge University Press. Dwyer eds Pleasure and the Nation: Dwyer, Rachel and Patel, Divia. The Visual Culture of Hindi Film. Gokulsing, Moti and Dissanayake, Wimal. A Narra tive of Cultural Change. Action Genres in Contemporary Indian Cinema. University of Texas at Austin: Center for Asian Studies. Joshi, Lalit Mohan ed.

Making Meaning in Indian Cinema. Kaur, Raminder and Sinha, Ajay J. Prentice Hall Pandian, M. Ramachandran in Film and Politics. Industry, Ideology and Con sciousness. Rajadhyaksha, Ashish and Willemen, Paul. Language Devotion in Tamil India, University of California Press. The Secret Politics of Our Desires: Innocence, Culpability and Indian Popular Cinema. Roja against the grain. Indian Popular Films as Social History.

Lakshmi For those growing up in the fifties, the song from the film Manamagal that enumerated what a good woman was became a kind of theme song. The woman who did not fall into the purview of the song was, of course, the bad woman. Good and bad women, in clear black and white divides, have been the obsession of Tamil cinema in a way.

Not only are their physical features different but even their language, dress and body structures are different. The good woman embodies all that Tamil culture stands for where women are concerned. She is chaste, intelligent, motherly and divine. The bad woman is a coquette, a temptress and a loudmouth who finally gets her dues. Built into these oppositional black and white portraits are complicated symbols like the thali, turmeric, kumkum and widow-white.

That is how the basic ground plan is drawn. This paper attempts to understand how these images came about. The purpose of this paper is more to look at these images in a way similar to that which Elizabeth Cowie suggests in one of her articles.

Elizabeth Cowie says that the images have to be seen in terms of what different definitions and understandings are of what women and men are and what their roles are in society. The good, the bad, the mothers, the whores After its formation as a separate party inthe Dravida Munnetra Kazagam DMK in Tamil Nadu needed a vehicle for projecting its identity, political claims and elaboration of Tamil culture.

Cinema was the effective vehicle it chose. Apart from its rational and anti-exploitation themes, these A good woman, a very good woman 17 films constructed particular meanings of what women were in the emerging political climate.

Mothers, sisters, educated women; vamps and widows were presented in stark bad versus good, pure versus impure contrasts, through dialogues, songs and visualisation. Tamil mothers were presented in a cleverly woven pattern of sequences that gave them the illusion of centrality while really being marginal. They are seen as controllers of their sons, and as sobering presences in the lives of their warrior sons; as the beloved who loved Tamil and Tamil culture, happy to lay their heads on the valorous shoulders of the warrior, poet or self-righteous husbands.

The fact that two men emerged as the all-Tamil male heroes while no single heroine emerged as the essential Tamil woman is a pointer towards the fact that the male was firm, steady, rock-like and active; whereas the female was the element of secondary importance, manipulated, venerated and set aside. The Tamil woman of these films spoke alliterative dialogues; called her lover by his name; sang songs recreating the kalavuneri, but was constantly in danger of losing her karpu; had to deal with wayward husbands and wait for their return; and bring up her sons and daughters preparing them for battles and marriage respectively.

The mother versus the whore contrast was presented effectively in Manohara with the screenplay and dialogues written by Karunanidhi. Manohara was a successful play of Sambanda Mudaliar, known as the father of Tamil drama.

It is the story of a king enticed by a woman who plots to take over the country by alienating him from his wife and son, who is the crown prince Manoharan. The real queen and son succeed finally and the temptress is punished. In his screenplay, Karunanidhi introduced elements that characterised the queen as the true Tamil woman.

The temptress who has enticed the king also has a son but he is a coward implying that an impure woman cannot have a warrior for a son.

Manoharan goes to war to retrieve the sword and the throne of his grandfather from an enemy king. His mother, the true Tamil woman, applies the vermillion mark to his forehead, sends him to war, and asks him to return as a victorious warrior who would bring joy to his mother.

The temptress lacks such qualities. She tells her son who is pretending to go to war like Manoharan, that he must not go because his health will get affected. Manoharan wins the war.

Now Manoharan is the Tamil lover as he parries with her.

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It does not hurt fruits. Manoharan returns with a sword, throne and a woman. His mother the personification of a true Tamil woman worships her husband and puts up with everything even being called a whore by her own husband.

But the 18 C. Lakshmi task of protecting her and proving her purity lies with her son. In a dramatic court scene, Manoharan declares: My mother is one from whom love arises; virtue resides in her; she is the image of kindness; she is the personification of chastity; she is the precious stone with no defects; she is as pure as gold After a series of dramatic events, Manoharan is in chains and his mother commands him to fight, taking back her command asking him never to fight his father.

She speaks against the temptress and her gang and swears by the purity of her motherhood, and the chains break: If it is true that the tears of mothers born in valorous clans have power, if it is true that Manoharan, who has never bowed before others is my son, let the chains break Not just by these overt assertions of the Tamil woman, but also by subtle signs the screenplay reveals its true spirit. The Tamil mother has not only to prove constantly that she is not a whore but she also has to prove that her mother is not a whore for otherwise her tears have no effect.

The queen swears by the purity of her clan that gives power to her tears. The pure Tamil woman stands by her husband whatever battle he takes up.


As such, women turn into collaborators in wars to win swords and thrones. The collaboration extends to several levels of existence. This event is packed with cultural connotations it is born in the jail on hay and, what is more, it is a boy. If a child is born in a jail, on the hay, and its mother is from a clan of warriors, the child cannot but be a boy.

No such dramatic build-up is associated with the birth of girls. This need to assert clan purity through the bodies of women is something that has continued to obsess the Tamils. The entire film is built on the conflict between purity and impurity with two women physically embodying these two notions. In the film Velaikari Servant Maid for which C. Annadurai wrote the story and the dialogues, two women were presented in total contrast as good woman and bad woman.

The good woman is poor, beautiful and the epitome of Tamil culture. The bad woman is rich, English-educated, interested in social work and insolent. She plays tennis and wears pants. The members of these organisations were not considered Tamil mothers although their concept of a woman was not all that different. These women were considered part-time social workers who lacked the finer human qualities in which Tamil women were nurtured.

And all such women are brought back to the fold, if these films are to be believed, by a Tamil man. The film Ratha Kanneer was also built on a similar framework with its dominant motif being the purity versus impurity theme.

One of the staunchest supporters of the Self-Respect Movement, M. Radha, acted as the hero.

Tamil Cinema: The Cultural Politics of India's other Film Industry

Rathak Kanneer Tears of Blood is about a man educated abroad who has forgotten many elements of the Tamil culture. But one aspect of the culture he remembers is womanising and, on his return, he faithfully follows it. He becomes a gruesome-looking leper and requests his faithful wife Chandra to marry his friend Balu, who is a social worker. The tears of blood are supposed to be that of the oppressed wife.

The wife is the pure one and the dancer who entices him is the impure one. The wife thinks of herself as a pattini, a woman who is totally dedicated to her husband. The wife is used as not only a symbol of purity but also one of change. She has her pride and dignity and while she believes that as a wife she has to be totally faithful to her husband, at one point she also thinks of starting a new life with another man.

When she pleads with her husband, he calls her a whore. Who is a pattini and who is a whore is a matter to be pronounced by someone else and the greatest insult to a Tamil woman is for her husband to invoke the exact opposite image and call her a whore.

Since Manohara, whether a woman is a pattini or a whore has been the crux of all debates. But how exactly women should respond to this exploitation is actually to be guided and decided by men.

The film makes several points clear. One is that a woman who is oppressed by her husband must make a new life for herself. But this new life can only come from a good-hearted man. If not, she should take up a life of service for others. Another aspect the film is careful to guard is the virginity of the woman. The husband never sleeps with her and even at the end he literally forces her to marry the good guy, as she is unable to make the decision.

The film also alludes to the fact that what she is really yearning for is physical intimacy. In the classical style, she blames the moon for torturing her.

This is shown as her moment of faltering as she is driven by her own sexual needs. But the good Tamil man saves her from making a mistake. This particular sequence is shown as a sympathetic gesture towards women, but actually it 20 C.

Chandra attempts suicide and her conscience tells her: If you want, surrender yourself to a young man and live. Why should you give up what the world has given you? Announce it to the world that to withdraw within oneself like a tortoise and begging men is the task of lowly people.

Marry a young man who suits you and be happy. See a new world. Women like you can take a new path. Balu arrives What is this Chandra? I want to remarry, Balu. When your heart is full of worries, teach blind children; love orphaned children. I did show love that way. But I need a companion to take care of my loneliness. Nature has provided us so many companions.

Look at the creeper there. Look at the bird. And there is the mullai flower blooming. I saw the creeper. It is trembling looking for a support. I saw the bird. It told me about happiness and flew away. I asked this mullai and it told me there is no happiness.

What can I do about it? If you will it, there can be a way. Let a new chapter begin in our lives. Before Balu can reply and let the audience know how the issue is resolved, the husband enters accusing her of infidelity and adultery.

At the end of the film, the husband allows her to marry and thus the question of her purity is resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned. In her case, it is also a dual punishment because she is trying to get into a relationship with a Hindi-speaking gentleman from Bombay. The wife who waits, overcoming her loneliness and need for a companion is rewarded with marriage and a husband who is a social worker.

A good woman, a very good woman 21 Structured space, language modes and gender Parasakthi was another film, which was a kind of manifesto of the DMK. And as such, the images of women and memories of Tamil culture it invoked are of great significance.

The story revolves around three women characters. Two of the women are like two different aspects of Kannagi, while the third woman, who appears for a short time, is Madhavi, or the harlot. The obvious story moves in a particular way. The dialogues, songs and the visual presentation add several layers of meaning to the story. The widowed sister sings a song with her husband after her marriage.

He calls her the lamp that lights his married life and goes on to call her a fruit and virgin Tamil. In Tamil, the word fruit and virgin are similar except for one additional middle letter in the word virgin and they are often used together in alliteration.

It is rather convenient for those who look upon women as edible virgins. Local goondas, a religious person and a temple priest try to rape her. Unprotected by a man, she is open to the danger of losing her chastity. Several visual metaphors are used to evoke certain connotations that go with her widowhood. There is a long shot of her sitting under a tree. It is, of course, a barren tree.

To mete out justice to all the characters concerned, the film culminates in the court where the widowed sister stands accused for attempting to kill her own child. The family gets together once again and the hero is appropriately dressed in western clothes to marry the radical girl. The national movement and the Self-Respect movement had altered the geography of cities and smaller towns. The reviewer further wrote: Her first release was the family entertainer Yaaradi Nee Mohini.

She breaks into tears when needed, shows vicious contempt when rubbed the wrong way in the name of love, and looks endearing in songs". Her subsequent releases were KuselanSatyamVillu and Aegan. In she released Aadhavan. Inall her releases, which featured her as the female lead, turned out to be commercial successes: The latter three, in particular, were particularly good for Nayanthara, with Simha becoming one of the highest-grossing Telugu films of the year and Boss Engira Bhaskaran releasing to positive reviews, and becoming a financial success.

Her performance was well appreciated by critics when it was screened at the International Film Festival of India. She received critical acclaim for her performance in the film, with Rediff. As Sita, she too has played the role of her lifetime.

She gave a fine understated performance conveying a kaleidoscope of emotions. Playing the role of a wife in an unhappy marriage, a critic from Sify. Nayanthara's rising popularity as an actress led to her being cast in female-centric films, a genre considered a rarity in South Indian cinema. Sekhar Kammula cast her in the titular role of his bilingual Anaamikaa remake of the Hindi film Kahaaniin which Nayanthara portrayed an IT professional who moves to Hyderabad to look for her missing husband.

Portraying a single mother with a mysterious past, Nayanthara won acclaim for her performance and her decision to portray an unconventional character, with Sify.

She then went on to win her second Filmfare Award for her role of a deaf and mute girl seeking revenge in Vignesh Shivan 's black comedy Naanum Rowdy Dhaan