Sunday, July 15, 2012

I watched the movie "The Help". A good watch. It was about racism in the late fifties and early sixties of the twentieth century. The camera, screen play, acting were all above average. Not too predictable, but definitely a feel good film. Like all average non intellectual movie watchers, I love feel good films. The face of the actresses who played the stoical, talented and loving black nannies and maids made an impression. One  of the faces was unforgettable, that of Octavia Spencer's. I later read that the film won an award for outstanding performance of the cast.
Reading this made me realize that the 'bad' white women in the film had acted extremely well and looked extremely good and well dressed. Wiki said that some black people's human rights organization had considered the film and the book on which it was based, to be an unrealistic portrayal of the plight of black people, as it did not portray the sexual harassment the women were subject to. The article in Wiki points out that there is a discussion in the film about such ill treatment meted out to some other characters.
It was a feel good film. It portrayed a social evil, but focused on the funny side,and at the same time made the more spirited, kinder, cleverer people its main characters. The aim of the film was to entertain and make people feel that we were once racists and had been cruel to a whole race, but were over that part. I realize that but let me repeat! It was a good watch. A very visually strong film with faces and images lingering on in my mind.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Today I listened to some songs sung  by M.L.Vasantha kumari. How original, creative, refreshing her singing is! I also listened to a song she had sung for a film. The difference in presentation was great. The film song had an elementary rhythm and MLV had dutifully fitted the song to the rhythm. But it did not carry the flavor of the raga. It was monotonous when compared to the song sung in the traditional carnatic style. In the carnatic song, she had let herself go in a relaxed way and come up with variations that brought life to the words. And the irony was that, the lyrics for the film song was by Bharathiyar and had a life of their own. Even someone like me, passionate about language, had to accept that language became subservient to music, when some one like MLV took over the lyrics.