While the buzz around the latest superhero movie Avengers: The Age of Ultron is still loud, there is another video that is slowly stealing the limelight. What if The Avengers were from South India? — a over-6-minute YouTube video by Put Chutney (a channel under the banner of digital video entertainment company Culture Machine) — is being tossed all over the social networking sites, and has already got four lakh views in the last three days. This is soon after their first video ‘What if Batman was from Chennai’ went viral, getting one million hits in two days.
“Avengers video had me in splits! I haven’t watched the movie yet, but one doesn’t have to watch the movie. Just a rough idea of the characters (Hulk, Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America and Thor) is enough to follow the video,” says Sharanya K Prasad, a MBA student. “The part in which Giri Thor strikes a nail on a calendar with his hammer, apparently making good use of the prop, had me gasping for breath!” she says, breaking into a laugh. “And Fury telling him to use the shampoo for his long hair...,” she adds, in between chortles. For P L Anand, CEO of a construction firm, it is Black Widow’s mother telling her to put a bindi and dupatta before stepping out with the Avenger boys, that cracked him up. “It was epic, especially Mano Bala playing the role of Samuel L Jackson, as Director Fury Jagannath!” he says.
According to Aswin Rao, associate creative director (South)-Culture Machine Pvt Ltd, the team wanted someone who is the exact opposite of the rugged man that Nick Fury is. “And veteran actor Mano Bala was the exact opposite. He is lanky, thin and funny, but at the same time he can show anger. So we tweaked all Nick Fury dialogues and approached him to play the role. He immediately agreed. At the end of it, he said that he has never spoken so much English in his life,” he says, with a laugh.
Each character is from a particular South Indian State. For example, Captain America Return and Pachaippa (Hulk) speak Telugu, Andhoni Ithyanath Starch (Iron Man) speaks Malayalam and Black Widow, a Tamilian. However, these characters, along with Giri Thor and Lokesh (Loki) and Kakai (Hawkeye), do not have any Ultron or aliens to save the earth from, unlike in the movie. So what do they do? They are employed through the The Super Hero Immediate Employment Liaison Department (S.H.I.E.L.D) to do menial jobs — from washing clothes to breaking coconuts. One wonders what director Joss Whedon would have to say for that?
“Soon after we released these videos, we have been getting demands from the viewers to do the spoofs of Fantastic 4, Harry Potter, X Men and Lord of the Rings. However, we don’t want to be just spoof makers. We want to bring in newer forms of content,” says Aswin. With the channel making a brand for itself in the south, Sameer Pitalwalla, CEO and co-founder, Culture Machine Pvt Ltd., the Digital Video Entertainment Company, says that there are plans to bring out one video every week. “We had always wanted to cater to the South Market. Enna Da Rascalas was a hit, and now, Put Chutney is also getting an overwhelming response,” he says.