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Chennai's academicians decode 'Kaala'

Stalin Rajangam, faculty, American College, Madurai said Ranjith has shattered several stereotypes of Dalit characterisation that Tamil cinema had come to accept not so long ago.

Published: 30th June 2018 05:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2018 11:19 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI:  Pay attention to the little sounds in Kaala; they will tell a bigger story, said Jeny Dolly, from the direction team of the recently released Rajinikanth-starrer. Jeny was speaking at the panel discussion on ‘Talking the Political Culturally: Kaala Reel or Real’, hosted at the Madras Institute of Development Studies. “The dubbing for the movie went on for over a month because of the numerous characters packed into almost every frame of the movie,” said Jeny, who has worked with Pa Ranjith from the time he directed Madras.

Referring to questions over how the protagonist could afford a house as large as that, she said “If you look at Kaala’s house, it is what is called a mala veedu in Tamil. It was not built as one whole structure, it was built bit by bit over a period of time,” she said.

A scene showing Kaala's house in Dharavi (Photo | YouTube screengrab)

S Pralayan, playwright and theatre artist who was also a part of the panel said that despite the movie’s numerous religious references, the reason the film got away without crippling censor cuts and opened to screens as widely as it did, was because of Rajinikanth.

Observing the treatment of families in Kaala, he said, “ For a long time, a family has been seen as something that holds the hero back from achieving what he wants to. Here, Ranjith breaks the stereotype.”

Independent journalist Kavitha Muralidharan said the portrayal of Zarina, Selvi and Puyal in Kaala has pushed the boundary in a way that many other political movies in recent times have failed to.

“Here you see that Zarina, a single mother, makes a mistake but she is her own woman and she learns her own lessons. No man is seen schooling her on what is right and wrong,” she said.

Stalin Rajangam, faculty, American College, Madurai said Ranjith has shattered several stereotypes of Dalit characterisation that Tamil cinema had come to accept not so long ago. The scene for the fight for land rights has been shifted from  villages to the cities in PA Ranjith’ s movies, he said. C Lakshmanan, associate professor, MIDS, chaired the discussion.

More from Chennai.

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