Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Heroism; Really?

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

Every entrant into the movies is touted as a hero, and with a small entry with a large background and family background is constantly hyped as heroism albeit in the movie.  The synonyms of heroism; boldness, courage, daring, fearless, gallant, noble and many great words that are attributed to heroism are seldom found in the person being depicted as a hero.

They are typically small, timid, meek and cowardly without the hype of the family background, and would probably not qualify for even the smallest role in a movie.  Today we hear huge titles to everyone getting into the movies as some star or the other, and absolutely there is no relevance to the titles being given.  Every person entering into the movie business is given some star, irrespective of their performance or success.

Coming from the generation where ANR, NTR, Sivaji Ganesan, MGR, Raj Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Rajnikant, Dharmendra and many other heroes played the hero in every aspect imaginable on celluloid, it is hard to imagine the new generation of youngsters being touted as superstars.  I by no means want to exclude the greats of the yesteryears, and the senior actors that played multitude of roles in hundreds of movies over generations of movie making, but seldom hyped their performances or their success as today’s actors do.

Every movie that is being released only focuses on the first few days in the theaters and how much money they collected, rather than the movie running to happy audiences for a long time in the theaters.  I still remember the days where movies ran for 100, 150, 175, 365 days in the same theater with repeat audience seeing the movie again and again, and enjoying the movie as if they are seeing it for the first time.  The pure enjoyment of the movie and the great following that the actors and actresses enjoyed was beyond comprehension.

There was also days when these actors and actresses would reach out to the public when needed, such as raising money for the army or during floods, and would reach out to the people on truck tops or tractors and touch fans as they asked for help.  They never had the airs about who they were and were almost pleasant to the public who paid to see their movies, and supported the movie industry without reservations and pure fanfare.

People still have the same fanfare and following of the movies, but every movie that comes out has the same sinking feeling to the public who is watching the movies.  Even comedians today act as superstars and simply imitate the yesteryear’s actor’s mannerisms to the teeth, and make absolute fool of the audience.  Heroes and heroines were graceful and beautiful with the start quality that clearly enthralled the audiences, rather than pretend to act beyond their natural and physical abilities.

Granted that the audience today is much larger than just the people visiting the theaters, with added audience on television, overseas and internet, the quality of everlasting movies is no longer in the making.  The only movies that are being made are to hype the heck out of every guy that is a hero with some massive title and name, and try to promote the movie as a blockbuster before even people see it for the first time.  There are no longer functions organized for a movie running for 100 days or more and reaching out to the public for appreciating the quality of the product.

Perhaps my time in India depicted the heroes who really were fantastic performers and great human beings, who took their profession of entertaining people seriously and strived to make as many movies as possible, with each one memorable.  I no longer think we really have heroes making movies; rather we have hype of so and so making as much noise as possible to get first week’s eye balls.  We need to redefine the meaning of heroism in the dictionary or really find heroes who represent the real meaning or heroism.  The public is very smart and will catch-up with the reality quickly.

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