What’s with Tamil cinema? No, let me correct myself! What’s with B-grade Tamil cinema? Most of them are stupid love stories made with unrecognizable actors with totally contrived situations and even more contrived fight sequences! Like the one that was playing some time back on Jaya TV. Hero and heroine are in love, but they have never seen each other. They run around the city playing hide and seek before landing up on the same train. The minute they see each other, they hug and kiss and live happily every after! And before you ask, I didn’t waste time watching. You know the entire plot in less than 45 seconds of the climax scene. That way, I must admit the story is conveyed with incredible effectiveness! Change channel, one more love story with an equally nonsensical storyline. Boy meets girl and falls for her. Girl’s father is the villain. You see, he wants the boy to first get a job and then ask for his daughter! Oh the scandal! After much argument, tears, running away, coming back “Kaathalukku Mariyaathai” style…dad says ok! And they live happily ever after!
No matter how many times you change channels and to which language, you’re met with much the same bullshit masquerading as love stories. Makes Mills and Boon romances seem like they deserve the Man Booker! Oh! You don’t know what they are? Good for you! Means you’ve never been corrupted by impossibly perfect heroes and heroines. Practically every Mills and Boon has the same plot, and the same set of characters. Just the names and places change. Let me enlighten you! Heroes are always tall, dark and handsome. They are dashing princes of a feudal era, or self-made millionaires, or hotshot executives. They are uniformly over 6 feet in height with straight dark hair and a regal demeanour. And did I tell you they are also sensitive, amazing cooks, don’t mind babysitting and changing diapers? C’mon! Of course it’s not possible! But you’re supposed to suspend disbelief people! Who asked you to use your brains? That’s meant for lesser mortals!
Oh! The heroine? Sure…here we go! She is not more than a couple of inches above five feet in height. You see, our publishers seem to have a problem with tall heroines? Perhaps they are too intimidating? They have jobs of course! A secretary, or a clerk or maybe, if she is particularly talented, a receptionist. She is shy…terrified more like! Of the hero of course. He’s Mr. Perfect after all. Demure, submissive and whatnot! She may or may not be dumb. But if she really is intelligent, she never uses it against her man. You see…we want our women to be traditional, yet modern!
The plot is quite simple really! Complexity is too difficult for our minds to grasp. Boy meets girl. They hate each other at first sight. After much fighting, the heroine trips over (or meets with an accident, or chips a nail) and hurts herself. And our dear Mr. Perfect is around to nurse her back to health! Now, what stupid woman wouldn’t want a man to wait on her hand and foot? Hell! I would! I’d even feign illness so he pampers me! And bingo! They fall in love. About 50 pages later (overcoming obstacles posed by jealous ex-lover, villain of an uncle, inheritance, etc etc.) they walk into the sunset holding hands!
And what happens after that? Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! It’s a romance novel dammit! Not a tragedy!