Saturday, July 5, 2008

Southern Spice

The ire and angst in this post is directed at just one category of people - actresses down here in South India. I should have timed this well and perhaps written it near Women's day way ahead in March, but bleh, I didn't. First the description of these people, characteristics which describe one, skills which describe all.

Vital statistics: If you are waiting for something like 36-24-36, I am guessing you are either a Martian or you have never seen any movie and/or the actress. They come in all sizes, even size zero. The only difference here is, size 0 is preceded by double digits. Deprived perverts that they are, the cameraman, at the behest of the director of course, never fails to zoom in on the assets, top-down shot, more often than not in the introduction shot. Now I don't know if that's the reason why these women refuse to slim down. Didn't get my point? Here's why - the wider you are, the farther the camera has to go or rather more out of focus the cameraman has to go. This saves the woman her modesty and at the same time the cost of a trainer and gym fee. Clever, eh? There are two words that aptly describe these healthy women - thunder thighs.

The irritating voice: Who in this messed up world came up with the thought/idea/plan that a shrill voice is the trait of a sexy/sweet/anything/ideal woman? I may have a possible explanation or reason behind it. Let's break it down first.

a.) Who dubs for these females?
- Not them, of course! Shooting for so many days, trying to hunt for a rich enough businessman to marry, keeping the date at all those eat outs, all these take time dear friends. An actress, no matter how good her manager, which in most cases is another horizontally challenged woman-her mother, just does not have the time to lend her voice to the movie. So there are these two women(I have no concrete evidence to support my theory, it's just a guess) who can be Pooja, Shwetha, Manasa, Pushpa, Tony(err..), all in a day! Since their "skills" aren't world class, why would they be here in that case, all they manage to do is come up with this one nasal voice, the voice that is suited for Jerry(of Tom n Jerry fame) or that irritating anchor who comes on Headlines Today! On second thoughts, perhaps it's one single guy giving all those voices. single(for obvious reasons), twisted guy. That makes more sense!

b.) Chauvinism: This is a theory the feminist in me has come out with. I tried to think on the lines of a typical MCP, in most cases, most men. Who needs to be saved, protected, cared for? Women, of course! Wouldn't a woman who has a normal voice not seem feminine enough? Well if she can shout loudly and make herself heard(figuratively and literally) instead of shrieking and waiting to be rescued, she can as well protect herself and that would mean not needing a man. Oh gosh! No no, we need the shrill voices! Man has always been the hunter and he shall always take care of the weaker beings.

Import: When you import something of high quality, it makes sense. But when you import refuse from your brother from another mother, Bollywood, it beats all logic. It is not just a one time occurrence. It has been happening since decades! If you are an actress in Hindi movies, rather an upcoming actress, and you and your career have failed to capture the imagination of the audience, don't lose heart. Pack your bags, grab those cans of butter, ghee, fat inducing products and head down south. The fairer you are and more alienated from this land of the lungis, the higher your chances and prospective rate of success. You don't have to bother about your diction, vocabulary,everything is forgiven, as long as you flash that smile, not talk about "western" concepts like sex and learn one single line of each language, to be spoken at premieres and press gatherings.

Costumes: I have actually watched a couple of interviews of contemporary actresses and let me tell you this, it's not their fault. They may not dress like divas, but they surely don't wear anything close to the ghastly costumes that they are handed out during the shooting of the movie. The same cannot be said about the yesteryear actresses. I don't think a few years back there was even a concept of designers. If I am not mistaken, the late 80s and early 90s were the Dark Ages for the fashion industry. Unluckily, the southern film industry(Kannada in particular) still seems to be under its grasp. Garish colours, mismatched clothes, too short, too long, too loose, too fit. Stylish? Not from any angle. The situation is the worst when the girl has to be depicted as a rural character. Show me one rural woman/girl who dresses like that and I will show you a cow with four horns!

The only argument I could think of, in their defense, is that if the chariot continues to run smoothly, why would anyone in their right mind poke a stick into the wheel, just for change, just to make things seem "better"? Nobody likes change, except perhaps a baby in need of fresh diapers. And that's the way the cookie crumbles.


  1. uhmm..not really in a position to comment on this..neva seen movies down-south! I like a few normal-figured actresses though, dont remember the her! :D

  2. Typical karunic blog this!! Thats the first thought that came to my mind when I read this. :)
    But yeah... You have a point. Down south, god knows how heroines get picked. And god knows how even a hot looking chick becomes this plump heroine who looks ghastly. Prolly to match the size of those fat uncles who are shown as heros. Argh!!
    I can totally understand your ire and angst and thats exactly what I feel when I watch some of these south movies. :|

  3. @TGO..its "Genelia"!! :P

    "to match the size of those fat uncles who are shown as heros"...hehe..probably :D

  4. Wow!! I was planning to write a post on exactly this topic after seeing this voluptous (read: fat) lady in vulgar skimpy clothes in an A4 size snap on the front page of Bangalore Times.. She even has a temple dedicated to her .. WTH!!

  5. "A cow with 4 horns"
    I saw one the other day, near KR puram.... :)

  6. @amk that was the pt of the comparison..highly improbable, but quite possible! :)

  7. hmmm now I realize why Daisy was like that in match Ganesh

  8. They must be out of their minds to build temples..

    speak about sex or anything related and they will destroy the temple they built for the same person!

    @Tejesh : :D Bingo :P
    Poor thing was looking Ghastly in the movie!

  9. I happened to see Dasavatharam...seeing Mallika in it, gave the same feelings that you described in terms of dubbing!!
    The torture they lend us to people..!
    Nice write!!

  10. i dont really agree with this... the stuff u're talking used to happen way back (happens only in 1 industry rite now)... anyways... most actresses in recent Tamil n Telugu movies are quite good looking... and talking about imports, well, Bollywood has a few imports from down south... some of their most popular ones i'd say.. Sridevi, Jayaprada and Hema Malini (they used voice overs in their movies)... and of late, Asin, Shriya (though only a small role so far), Genelia. So its a mutual thing... you gotta open up and look at the good movies that southern industries have to offer and you'll find that a lot of them are way better than most of the stuff that the ppl from Mumbai stuff into the projector rooms at those theatres.