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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Etiquette ?

Last weekend I went to the local Indian Movie Complex (IMC) in San Jose. This is my fifth movie watching experience in this theater. The movie was "Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu", in Tamil(Tamizh) starring Kamal Hassan. Considering the star cast it was bound to be an entertainer.

My wife and mother in law watched it Friday night in the same theater, while I babysat the kids and I went sunday afternoon when they watched the kids. This is the usual routine for us. It has been ages since I watched a movie with my wife. Usually I team up with the men and she goes with the women (all families take baby sitting turns), at least all the normal families that I know.

Well, this movie should have gotten an NC-17 rating. There was enough sexual content and Violence that would put Quentin Tarantino's movies to shame. But the real shame was the audience.

There are some morons who come with their kids (infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, pre-teens, I saw the entire range!). The kids were in the ages of 6 months to 10-11 years old. The worst hit were the pre-school kids. The theater owners made no effort to stop these families from taking their kids inside, knowing that the content of the movie was not suitable for these kids.

The volume soars in the theater as throats are being slashed (in close ups) and the kids start screaming. What do these parents(?) do ? They take turns in the aisle with the kid and try to calm them down. But their focus is still on the screen and the kids are also looking at the screen. The guys or ladies that were walking up and down the aisle made no effort to even turn the kids faces away from the screen !!

This is where I felt that god (or evolution, whichever you chose to believe) has played a cruel trick on us. When they taught me the "survival of the fittest" theory, I thought it had something to do with being fit in the body or mind. Apparently the biology books had a typo. It is "Survival of the Fit-Test". All it takes is something to fit into something and it is enough for these morons to procreate and survive !! If only god had set some minimum IQ standard to make people parents !

What kind of excuse do these guys have to expose their kids to this kind of violence ? Especially the families where they bring the kids and the grand parents along !!!! If your parents are here, why wouldn't you let your kids be with your parents while you watch the movie with your spouse and then let the parents watch the next show ? Why arent your parents telling you not to expose your kids to such movies at that age ? Well that one is obvious, you are just proving you are your parents creation !

But most of all, What the hell is the FCC doing ? This is happening in America. Granted, that for all I know these people could be playing violent video games or watching porn in their houses with their kids sitting next to them and granted the very same kids could end up being in kids classmates a few years down the road and also granted that there is nothing I can do to prevent what goes on inside their house !!

One thing I can do, is save myself of the embarrasment of watching NC-17 movies with 3-10 year olds sitting next to me. I wanted to go and talk to the theater owners. But this is the third or fourth time I am witnessing the kids in the theater in movies which are clearly not for kids. So the least I could do was to send a detailed letter to the FCC commissioner today. Let us see if I get a response and if they actually do something about this!

It is high time they start rating these movies in the US !!


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:17 PM, Blogger Balaji wrote...

i've seen kids turn away from the screen or say stuff like "I'm scared" to their parents in particularly violent movies like 'aaru'. the parents just consoled them and continued watching the movie. one just feels real sorry for those kids. disgusting!!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:48 AM, Blogger Kavi wrote...

If patterns of thought in young minds are getting influenced in the wrong way, here is one answer. As much as it is the responsibility of movie owners, it is the responsibility of parents too.

Wonder where they leave their brains.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:31 AM, Blogger Anu wrote...

Sundar, wanted to blog about that myself. Same movie, with kids behind me and first they were saying "bad uncle", by end of the movie they were used to the guy decapitising women......i wanted to kill the parents , no wonder violence is growing daily

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

As Kavi said, what are the parents doing? All these people who bring their tiny-tots to these movies are supposed to be the "educated" folks... Another nail to the "Education doesn't mean anything" coffin! I will never forget the face of the screaming 2+ year old kid who just froze on seeing the violent scenes from Virumandi.. FCC only recommends these ratings. It is still up to the parents to use their judgement/brain.. Don't get me started on that... I might start a blog in your comment section!!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:03 PM, Blogger Balaji S Rajan wrote...


This is another topic which I always keep raising. Last week I saw a old MGR movie which was adorable and my kids loved it. Even the fight scenes were comedy... The movie you were talking about is being screened here too and just because my kids will not be allowed to watch we wanted to stay away in taking them. As everyone has pointed out in your comments education is irrelevant. Many of them get kids before they mature mentally. Our people have to still grow mentally.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:37 PM, Blogger Adaengappa !! wrote...

I've witnessed similar incidents here too.
It would be nice of you to write to FCC rating foreign films.
We,as bloggers,can campaign/collect signatures/create online petitions and forward them to FCC.
And i should tell about the theatres that host the Indian films.Cleanliness,sound effects,seatings,bugs etc..Uh!I had a feeling that i saw a movie in a "tent kottai" rather at a theatre in NYC !

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:44 PM, Blogger Unknown wrote...

all, please see today's post with response from FCC.

i am still trying to understand if
I can take my kid to an NC-17 movie and it is not against any regulation ?


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:54 PM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu wrote...

Great job Sundar! I am glad I found a sitter for my kids. Very gross movie indeed.

Shame on the parents who are so stupid. What do they expect their children to be? How much will it affect the kids? Are all these people idiots?

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 5:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

In India, all pottu podusu kamal fans watch the movies.
Who is there to control them ?

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:26 AM, Blogger Ram C wrote...

That's good point, which you had brought up, Sundar. Definitely, this is not a move for the kids, whatever be the excellent.

I believe parents need to take some sort of responsibility on this count.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 2:18 AM, Blogger Visithra wrote...

Im kinda torn on this post

over here movies are highly censored and they are very stricts on the guidelines - ppl are stopped at the counter itself - since children under 12 get a disc - they know if ure smuggling a kid in but at smaller theaters anyone could get in - we had a kid in the theater too a baby i think - who started crying seeing kamal dance ;p hehehehe rotfl

but i remember watching exorcists at 8 - did it impact me? Not really - plus as long as ive remembered we've watched tamil movies and horror movies

the point is im not pro showing kids the good in the world only - my point is its an opportunity to show children how to be street smart that life isnt a bed of roses - child needs to just watch the news to get freaked out

being as honest as always - i just dont believe in shielding children too much


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