South Indian movies are not just different due to their language and the fact that they come from the southern part of our country.
From its inception Tollywood (interestingly even Bengali film industry is called the same) has managed to create its own niche and carve out its own space even after getting tough competition from Bollywood.
South Indian cinema is now slowly being recognized for its films what with Baahubali literally taking over the entire world and Tollywood is finally making its mark as a legitimate film industry.
But there are definitely certain quirks that I have noticed about South Indian movies after having watched my fair share of them. These quirks both make me love these movies and cringe at them too.
No one can deny that South Indian music is on a level of its own. There was a time when I wasn’t that eager about it since I believed the language barrier to be too much.
However, over time I have developed an affinity for it and now the case is such that for some songs I almost prefer the South Indian version to the Hindi translated version.
With some great composers like A.R. Rahman, Ilayaraja, M. M. Keeravani and more, who have a great grip on their field, you are sure to get some of the best music you could find.
2. Naval And Boobs Obsession:
Coming down from a positive point, I would like to direct attention to a negative thing I have noticed about South Indian movies and that is the naval and b***s obsession that many of these movies have.
In a lot of the scenes, you can see the Hero grabbing and squeezing the stomach of the heroine to the extent that it just looks vulgar.
There is a definite sexual objectification of both these areas of a woman’s body and the insistent fixation on women having curvy and meaty bodies is borderline harassment.
I understand such things are done to appeal to the masses, but is that what we must feed them even now, in order to get their attention?
3. Dance Moves:
If we set aside the South Indian movies obsession with certain areas, one thing that I applaud them for is their flexibility and dance moves.
It is amazing to see a 40 or 50-year-old man, dancing with agility and energy akin to a 20-year-old. And the thing is, sure it might seem funny in the beginning, however, after some time, it truly doesn’t look that bad and you might even enjoy it.
4. Patriarchal Roles:
Going by the order of a positive, negative and so on, a negative thing I have noticed featured heavily in South Indian movies is the patriarchy.
And not saying that it doesn’t exist in any other film industry, Bollywood still has oodles of it, however, we are slowly trying to change the habit and give women a bigger role in certain movies. Away from just being a doll dressed up nicely.
This is something I have found is still missing from South Indian movies, where even in a couple of recent movies I have watched, women are shown as no more than the damsel in distress that the macho hero must save from the goons.
And even if they are shown as a bad-ass character, that is limited to just 1-2 scenes and then they go back to standing in a lab dressed in a short dress, high heels and with full hair and makeup.
The last but not the least point which I have noticed South Indian movies have a fixation on is thrustiness or thrusting moves.
With heroes and heroines both doing this more in practically every song, I believe it can go a bit overboard.
Of course, this is not meant to stereotype the South Indian film industry as just like any other, they too have their own exceptions who are working to change the regressive parts of it and establish Kollywood as a better film industry.
While music composers like A.R. Rahman and others are making a name in international sectors, directors like Shankar, Rajamouli and Mani Ratnam are creating exceptional films that are being recognized on a global level.
Then there are actors like Siddharth, a south Indian actor, best known for his role in Rang De Basanti who has also spoken out against the sexual objectification shown in their movies.
So although there might be some cringey things about South Indian films, there are definitely positive changes cropping up that give us hope.
Let us know in the comments below if you have noticed any cringey moments in South Indian cinema.
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