Finally got to watch a tamizh movie after almost two months !! It was one of those movies that was downloaded free by the wife and mother-in-law and was in 4 parts.. Managed to watch it over two days in bits and pieces.. Usually I never watch movies in parts, but considering the circumstances, this was more than welcome.
During the break I got to think about the villains and ruffians in the movie and couldnt help but realize that the villain has evolved from a single guy to almost a corporation. If I had invested my money in the Tamizh movie villain instead of Tech. stocks, I would have made a killing !!
If you look at the way the bad guys have changed over time in movies, we can definitely see the strong hollywood influence on Indian movies. With the exception of movies where the spouse or ex-es of spouses are the villain, the rest of the movies have a standard format for the heirarchy of the bad dudes. I have taken the liberty to summarize it below..
Behold, the Org. chart for the Tamizh movie Villain !!
Thirty something years ago, the Villain was a solitary bad guy who was opposed to the hero, mostly in matters of the heroine. This was pretty much true in Western and Eastern movies where the finale was a duel and the hero got to sing the final duet.
James Bond movies singlehandedly changed this trend, at least in my opinion and popularized the bad guy sitting on a high chair commanding over all his direct reports, just like your executive VP or CEO runs his boardroom ! Of course, this leads to situations where the CEO, when unhappy with the number of attrocities commited by one his members can press a button and swooosh goes that bad guy, into the floor to be eaten by sharks or if the meeting is happening on a plane, just gets flushed into atmosphere ! I am glad that our CEO does not have trap doors in the boardroom. This changed the villain in Indian movies along similar lines. He just wears an eye patch and his direct reports or their reports usually do all the bad stuff.
Over time, Western movie heroes have become more heroic, thanks to special effects, super powers, ability to handle more complicated weaponry etc.. Tamizh movies dont necessarily lend themselves to this type of heroic elevation. Just think about it !! If Arnold can fire a bazooka from one shoulder while hanging on to a thin wire with the other hand and the heroine is hanging from his leg, somehow you can belive it. If your run of the mill Tamizh movie hero does the same thing, especially after having run around a few trees with the heroine just a few scenes ago, wearing bright yellow or green shirts with flowers on them, it just doesnt give you the same visual !!
So, the tamizh movie hero has adoped the same stategy as upper level managers in big corporations to make them look bigger! How, you ask ? Well just pad yourself with layers of middle management. The pyramid has to grow bigger if you keep adding layers at the base ! Of course this strategy has backfired in a lot of big corporations and they collapse. But that is exactly what is supposed to happen to the bad guys anyways!! and so it all works out. Todays hero is still a puny guy who wears florals and dances around trees, but when it comes to the climax he beats up layer after layer of bad guys starting from the weakling underthugs to the local gang bosses and proceeding on to the head honcho.
This is more believable because the head honchos usually dont do a lot of physical fighting themselves as they are typically past sixty and run their business with a cell phone. When our hero finally reaches them and removes their cell phone, they cower and quiver in fright and act powerless. No bazookas are required in this situation. Our hero still looks very heroic because all the lower level bad guys are usually portrayed as inept guys who should be glad that they are on anyones payroll.
The only funny trend is that out of the last 15 or so Tamizh movies I have seen, 11 have a minister or higher up COP as the bad guy with an extended organization behind him. This pretty much sets the plot for the movie, because you have to allocate more than an hour of the movie for the hero to locate the CEO of Villain Inc. We need a new type of villain for a new type of movie....