Tuesday, 22 January 2008


I'm not a die-hard fan of Tamil cinema. However, to my utter disbelief, I managed to catch Bheema at Satyam Cinema's Studio 5 within two days of its release. I was told that actor Vikram was returning on-screen after a long gap of more than a year and expectations from the film were quite high.

Bheema is different in the sense that the 'hero' dies in the end. As I was watching the movie, I wondered how the director would treat Vikram's character given the series of cold-blooded murders committed by him in the movie. I wondered if the director Lingusamy would break free from tradition of commercial cinema. Surprisingly, he did. The audience's reaction was expected. There was a walkout immediately after the scene showing Vikram's death.
The director didn't stop there. He had a message for the youth. From whatever little I could make out from the Tamil words written on screen, the message went like 'While choosing your path, you choose your end!' Good message save for the fact that only a handful of people remained in the hall besides me!
The director's intention seems to have been to showcase the ill-effects of being a witness to horrifying violence in one's childhood. However, the end-product ended up glorifying violence more than anything else. No doubt then that in the words of The Hindu, Bheema is '
violence with a capital V'
And ironically, for a movie which speaks about impressionable childhood minds, the audience had many under-age viewers enjoying the violence. This, in spite of the A rating for the movie.