New wave. Mallu Style.

I have always wondered what would it be like to be a part of an audience experiencing movements like “new wave” cinema in a particular country or culture. Whenever I read about Godard or Truffault or Rohmer or other giants who were part of the French new wave movement during the 50s and 60s – I’ve always paused for a moment. What would it be like to be a part of an experience that actually challenges notions and sets an alternative standard of thinking? Even Indian cinema witnessed a movement during the 60s and 70s where a bunch of people created films and scripts popular known as “parallel cinema”. I wasn’t even born during those decades to experience it first hand.

Thankfully, over the past 6 months or more, I’m lucky to experience a “mini new wave” in (hold your breath) Malayalam cinema! I have always believed that Malayalam cinema had a superior approach to story-telling and always had characters that are so well defined and crafted. It seems to me that this entire initiative might be actually powered by a whole new breed of directors, producers, distributors and actors. From a cultural standpoint, the life of an average Malayalee is definitely undergoing a drastic change in these times. Political thought based in communism has had its limits in Kerala and knowingly or unknowingly they have learned to embrace the fact that globalization is here to stay. Reacting to such a challenge from a industry protectionist perspective is the most easiest option. But raising up to that challenge by producing world-class cinema must indeed be recognized as a movement. I have always believed that American cinema has always produced “genres” and not “movements”. If regional Indian cinema like Malayalam cinema is successful in creating a movement – then, it is a great achievement in itself. It means we are able to rise up to a challenging situation and also think laterally. I must say that the quality of Malayalam cinema released during recent times has been at par with that of world cinema. Especially movies like ’22 female Kottayam’, ‘Indian Rupee’, ‘Spirit’, ‘Ustad Hotel’ and ‘Salt and Pepper’. I salute directors like Ranjith for coming up with compelling stories structured around societal issues like ‘alcoholism’ and ‘youths dreaming of become rich instantly’. I also salute writers and directors like Anjali Menon who constantly push the envelope to create something new. Needless to say – producers, distributors and actors like Dulquar Salman & Fahadh Faasil have also contributed in a huge manner.

I’m waiting to see more of this “new wave” movement.

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~ by rb on August 4, 2012.

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