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Crank’s Corner

Stalk Home Syndrome

The Tamil film Remo, starring Sivakarthikeyan — who has emerged to be an unlikely star in his own right in the last two-three years, has run into a couple of controversies, which have hit the movie very badly and he is now urgently forced to look for an alternative career.

Of course, I am kidding only. As ever, the controversies have come in handy for the film’s publicity and Sivakarthikeyan and his team are probably praying for more such contentious developments when his next film gets ready to make it to the theatres.

Before Remo‘s release, some feminist groups went on a strong campaign to boycott the film as the hero was playing a stalker character. This they managed to deduce after just viewing the trailer. But quite frankly, with Sivakarthikeyan’s films they could have leveled this charge even without seeing the film’s stills.

The campaigners pointed to the recent slew of crimes in Tamil Nadu targeting unwary young girls by some ‘pursuers’ and said that this was a fall-out of films heroically glorifying such stalkers. The filmdom, on the other hand, countered this by saying that a film story is mostly just that: a story. And to expect fictional characters to be politically correct is both silly and unrealistic and a boycott call against movies goes against the canons of creativity and freedom of expression. At any rate, there is no scientific study to imply that such films inspired the killers. Also, correlation is not causation. No, again kidding only. Tamil filmdom as a group is not capable of any such nuance and is doubtful whether it can even spell correlation. Basically, Kollywood didn’t even bother to respond to the protesters.

However, as a senior journalist, who has been in the field for over two decades, my position on this sensitive issue is understandably balanced, in that I quickly agree with the position of whoever I am talking to at any given point.

***Digression Alert***

This philosophy, I confess, I generally extend to other issues too. Agreed, this may come off as being hypocritical. But on the positive side, no one will drone on and on to me with their views and convictions.

Hillary supporter: Don’t you think Trump is vile and venomous?

Me: No doubt about it. It is a tragedy that such a man has ended up as a Presidential candidate.

Hillary supporter: Rightly put. (*Having nothing more to say*) So how is the weather in your city?

Some time later…

Trump supporter: So the Hillary group is into all kinds of mischief, and misrepresenting things he purportedly did and said in private.

Me: That seems true.

Trump supporter: *Starts groping me*

As you can see, save for hazards like Trump, you can generally get away by having no real personal stand on most things.

***Digression ends***

Getting back to Remo, I went and checked out whether it was boycott-worthy or not. The film was discerningly packed with all the senseless and silly elements that usually work at the box-office these days. The hero is a committed and no-nonsense wastrel. Luckily, he has some close buddies who are bigger losers than him as their only work seems to be hanging out with him. Life, understandably, is never tough for them.

The hero may be poor and jobless, but he possesses those things that any thinking and modern woman will look for in a guy: Never-ending sets of designer clothes. The hero falls in love with the girl, who happens to be a doctor. And she is already engaged to another doctor who is handsome and, by all indications, wealthy. In such a scenario, anyone, even if endowed with just the IQ of muskox, would think that getting such a lady would be impossible. Our hero, however, understands the power of true love. He knows that if if the love is honest and sincere, it has the power to melt the heart of the director to think up an illogical climax.

In the spare time when the hero is not stalking the heroine, he is a she. This is the film’s big USP. The hero turns up as a female nurse in the same hospital where the doctor heroine is employed. By most evidences, it is a fun hospital. The doctors don’t refer any patient to MRI or ultrasound scans. No, that would be too unbelievable even in an illogical film like this. The hospital has designer wards where kids play around, the elder patients are mostly smiling and flirting and in general everyone is having a good time, giving us the vital clue that it is not Apollo Hospitals.

The emotional high-point of the film is when the hero (that is, when he is a he) formally proposes to the heroine, after triggering off Olympic closing ceremony-level fireworks in the air, and as a token of his incalculable love and affection, presents to her — I have goose bumps even as I write this — a whistle.  Yeah, go figure!

As you can see, I wasn’t impressed with the film. My honest verdict? Well, I wholeheartedly agree with whatever your views are on it.