Friday, 8 June 2018

Trolling movies is a serious business since 1942

The recently released teaser of Tamizh Padam 2.0 has made it be the most anticipated movie of the year. Within a stretch of just 42 seconds, the teaser has trolled at least 30 Tamil movies released after it's first installment Tamizh Padam(2010), the first full-length spoof of Tamil industry.

I just wanna look back how the concept of spoof has evolved over the years in the industry. Though Tamizh Padam is the first full-length spoof in Tamil, the idea is not new to the industry. The history dates back to pre-independent era. The earlier spoofs were mostly sticking to a specific genre or were just adaptations. Here's the list in a chronological order.

Naveena Vikramadityan - 1942

Starring the first superstar-comedian Kalaivanar NS Krishnan, this movie is, as per available record, the first spoof of Tamil cinema. The movie had a modern version plot of the famous mythological tale of king Vikramadityan. With the flavour of NSK, apart from trolling the Vikramaditya tale, the movie spoke a lot about the social and political issues persisting at that time. There are some trivia about the pre-production of this movie. To show off modernisation, NSK's role was characterised a crazy person who will always be on roller skates to complete his works as quickly as possible. For this, the legendary actor had been practising to skate throughout the pre-production phase of the movie even inside his house where he treats the guests, film industry members, and visitors, skating around.

Pattanathil Bhootham - 1967

Based on the popular Arabian Nights story of Aladdin and magical lamp, this movie is set in 20th century where two urban inmates of a bachelor room find a big antique jar, from which a genie comes out. The genie makes all the wishes of the two friends and the plot takes twist eventually leading to a gangster and kidnap drama. The spoof element of this movie lies in the production design. If it was magic carpet in the Aladdin folklore, this movie had flying cars. If it was sword fighting for Aladdin, this spoof had leads playing basketball. Starring Jaishankar and veteran comedian Nagesh, this movie is one evergreen flick that is enjoyed even by kids of 21st century.

Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi - 2006

This is one of the most epic comedy flicks of Tamil cinema till date. With the versatile comedian Vadivelu in the lead, this movie is a spoof of Uthamapuththiran released in 1940 starring PU Chinnappa and TA Madhuram, which was also remade in 1958 with the same title starring Sivaji Ganesan. However, the serious plot of Uthamaputhiran was trolled end to end in Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi. The film scripted and directed by Chimbu Devan also deals with a lot of social issues of its time. It had references to actors and cricket players acting in advertisements. It also has a very famous scene trolling cookery shows and influence of multinational carbonated beverages in the country.

Tamizh Padam - 2010

Having seen a couple of spoof movies already, Tamizh Padam is the first complete spoof made in the industry. The film had elements of a spoof from his very name 'Tamizh Padam'(means, Tamil movie). From its title card which shows different variants of titling in Tamil films across decades, to its end credits where the director closes with voice-over note(Ivan kadanthu sellum paadhaiyil...), the movie had trolled every aspect seen in films. There were also some scenes where the director trolled an advertisement, a Telugu movie and even the political entry of actors. The movie was so successful at the box-office and was praised by film critics, and led to its sequel with the tagline 'Police Athiyayam'(Police Chapter).

Irumbukkottai Murattu Singam - 2010

After the success of his first spoof Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi, Chimbu Devan made Irumbukkottai Murattu Singam(though, after his second movie Arai En 305il Kadavul). The premise of the movie is set in a fictional Tamil-cowboy hamlet Jaishankarpuram. The movie is a spoof of a number of cowboy movies acted by Kollywood and Hollywood actors of the 60s and 70s including Jaishankar, MG Ramachandran, Ashokan, MN Nambiyar, Clint Eastwood, and John Wayne. The movie's geography and their names itself are based on the names of these actors. Jaishankarpuram and Ashokapuram are named after Jaishankar and Ashokan. While the villain's name Kizhakku Kattai literally means Eastwood. The movie was starred by Raghava Lawrence and was also scenes trolling Tamilnadu politics to world politics.

Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasayaa - 2013

The literal remake of 1981 blockbuster comedy movie Indru Poi Naalai Vaa by legendary filmmaker K Bhagyaraj, this movie stood out from just being a remake. Trolling some stereotypes in Tamil cinema like the comedian's going as a third wheel for a hero-heroine couple, the movie had its comedian Santhanam as one of the protagonists and the ever trolled Powerstar Srinivasan as another protagonist, other the regular hero. The movie also trolled advertisements, the frequently seen Gaana songs in Tamil films and romance sequences of a lot of love flick in Tamil cinema. The usage of the song Chinnanjiriya Vannaparavai from Sivaji Ganesan's Kungumam movie was one of the most hilarious spoof moves in the movie.

Tamizh Padam 2.0 - 2018

With the expectations created by its predecessor Tamizh Padam and the recently launched teaser, this much-awaited flick will likely troll a lot of Tamil movies released. But, not stopping there, the film will be taking a dig at the political scenarios as well. From the first look resembling deputy Chief Minister OPS' dharma yudham episode and the teaser having a still of the hero Shiva holding an idli while giving press meet, resembling 'Amma idli saaptanga' moment, the movie's writer and director CS Amudhan is expected to have more such elements in the flick that is set to release next month.

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, June 8, 2018.