Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tollywood - the Green Industry

We're big on saving things, us Canadians: seals, world peace, refugees, but most importantly: the planet! The refrain we use around here to raise awareness on the latter is Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In that order. So because I have a trained eye for it, I started noticing that Tollywood has been doing great with becoming more and more responsible and getting involved in all three Rs.

Reduce - Ok, so we don't see much reducing, since the budgets seem to have increased and so have the production values. But we should nonetheless award points for other areas where Tollywood has been reducing, such as the hero's lungis and the heroine's skirt lengths and the heroine's age. It may not seem like a lot, but every little bit counts, folks!


Reuse - This they do slightly better with, since we see quite a bit of reusing older films as a background. After all, it is cheaper than decorating the walls only to have them pierced by bullets or bombed by grenades.

"Athadu" running in the background in a scene in "Prasthanam"

Posters seem to be reused a lot as well, so a smaller runner-up trophy goes to that effort.


No points awarded for reusing songs and tunes, since that doesn't save the planet's resources in any way.

Recycle - this is the category where they're really raking in the awards, because so many images and themes get recycled, so I'll spend a bit more time on each category while we award the winners. Now let me be clear, I'm not talking about movies or stories getting recycled, but rather about classic, dare I say iconic, images that are a staple of South Indian cinema. You know, those things you'll see referenced in a Farah Khan movie 20-30 years from now if she's still alive and well and making movies.

So without further ado... the awards! Drumroll!

The PAPER Trophy - easily lost and and the one item that really could use more recycling because it has so much potential (even if it consumes more energy to get used again than all the others) is the Punch-o-rama under duress. In other words, it's when the rascals are so afraid of the hero's anger, that he can make all the bad guys beat each other to pulp while he sits back comfortably enjoying the view: a lavish garden where kicks and punches blossom like weeds! We really could use more of those!

Wish I could have found a youtube link, but for lack of one, just think of this when you watch Yama Donga and Aradhana. I'm getting a flash of one other such fight involving some of the comedy guys, but can't remember the film for the life of me! So if you find any others, I'd love to know, it's one of my favorite recurring displays of badassness!

The PLASTIC Trophy - more reliable than the paper and therefore more prominent: the obligatory bus fight. (You thought I was going to say plastic surgery, didn't you? Nope, that ain't it!) Rowdies flying out the shattering windows (usually in duets or trios for added emphasis), roundhouse kicks galore and the hero gets to drive off in style. There can never be enough recycling of the bus fight in my humble opinion! Just doesn't get old.

Of my favourites, Arya 2 has a delightful one, and not just because I love that movie! Other great ones can be found in Kantri, Bujjigaadu, and on the olden but golden side: Yamudiki Mogudu (Chiranjeevi).

The GLASS Trophy - the sturdiest, most enduring of them all. Until it breaks.

Therefore the award had to go to a dependable image that one can not forget easily. And what else could that be than the truck of angry rowdies waving their machetes before offloading next to where the hero is patiently waiting? And then the hero breaks all their limbs. Ah... Seen in a million movies and I still love it every single time!



(Technically this one's from Kollywood, I know, but I own the Telugu dubbed version, so I think I may stand a chance to win in court.)

The BEER CAPS Trophy - yes, they get recycled too, and even though they are useless, they still make a difference by sheer volume!

In this category, the undisputed winner is the feckless posse. Some think of it as a Greek chorus, meant to reflect the hero's (or the villain's) deepest feelings. Some think that it's there to raise the important questions and to guide the audience's reactions. Personally I think that, just like in high school when you simply were not cool enough if you were walking by yourself instead of in a trio at the very least, they're only there to beef up the presence of the hero or the villain (and sometimes even the heroine).

Two of my favourite posses are in Darling and Okkadu. I mean seriously, could they be more useless? Ok, fine, maybe they help a bit in Okkadu. Let's go with Parugu then.
Of course, if we're talking posses for the heroine, then Kantri is the place to go to, as is Happy. For the villain, nothing beats Arya 2 and Bujjigaadu. This just off the top of my head, but more recommendations are welcome as always!


The BATTERIES Trophy (bet you didn't know you can recycle those too! Well.. only if you're in Europe or on the University of Toronto campus, but hey, it's a start!).

It wasn't hard to pick the winner in the batteries category because clearly the only item that gets recycled and recycled and recycled without ever losing it's capacity to light up the bulbs of our TV screens... is Prakash Raj.

Especially when he pulls off the craziest looks...

...and the best looks...


Well, fine, I'll admit it was a bit of a tie with Mumaith Khan, but then I decided to create a separate category just for her, so I can sleep in peace. So the last recycling category of our Eco Awards is...

...Why it has to be The TEXTILES Trophy! No, I'm not talking about the obvious way in which Mumaith herself is extremely eco-friendly and pays very close attention to reducing the amount of fabric used to make her outfits (and I do love her for that, the woman's got it and she's flaunting it! Cheers to that!). The textiles award goes to Mumaith Khan for being the most versatile, flexible and colourful presence in Tollywood! And just like your favourite sweater, you can count on her to never let you get cold!

Now, after such a rich display of eco-awareness, who will sit there and tell me India is not a responsible country, eh?

Disclaimer: The above post is meant to be taken lightly, with a spoonful of whipped cream. Any person living or dead who will take this personally or seriously is purely delusional. And they will be excused from the table before desert! Oh, and no drinks for them either!


dustdevil liz said...

I love the feckless posse! It's my favorite SI film trope. To me it's a quick way of showing that the hero isn't an antisocial freak (even when the posse is a bunch of hoodlums, see Pokiri and Jagadam.) Plus all of my favorite guys like Subburaju, Srinivas Reddy, and Ajay show up in the posses.

What!? only one photo of Mumaith? travesty!!

Dolce and Namak said...

I know, it's so endearing to see all our favourite second fiddles over and over again :) I love the posses, the bigger the better! I have yet to see Jagadam, but the one in Pokiri is indeed worth a mention (even if, for a change, they prove to be relatively useful in that elevator scene ;)).

Oh, I apologise for the one picture of Mumaith, I wanted to have her in the beginning too, but then I found Trisha and thought she'd be more appropriate. And then when I got to Mumaith, I found that one picture and sort of fell in love with it. It must be my favourite pic of her right now (helps that she's wearing my favourite colours :P)!

jjake said...

Great Post Dolce! I too love the feckless posse. Just to let you know the great state of Minnesota recycles batterries too, or at least Minneapolis does. Love the photo of Mumaith too. I personally am fonder of train fights as opposed to bus fights. So many options of fighting in, on and under a train plus the obligatory getting thrown off and than running to get back on a la Naaga, Takkari Donga and Endhiran.

Dolce and Namak said...

Haha! Yay for recycling batteries! :D That way Prakash-garu isn't left out in the cold :D

I agree about train fights! Thet ARE awesome!! :) Actually I had to leave out quite a few of my favourite tropes that didn't make the final cut: the train fights, the villain spitting paan, the random slapping (of which my favourite version is the slapping with slippers, of course!), so many were left out... Sigh...

Ah yes, and Takkari Donga really needs some attention STAT :P

Gauri Radha गौरी राधा said...

The batteries trophy? Very funny Dolce!
PR with the white hair bowl-cut there looks hilarious. Like an SI Santa Claus after a drastic haircut or something. Hehe.

Dolce and Namak said...

Haha! Yes, isn't that wig just marvelous!?! By far the most hilarious look I've seen him sport! :)

Dolce and Namak said...

LOL Thank you :D

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