Malayalam Flicks Breathing English
English words and sentences in Malayalam cinema: Is it for art or for the viewer's sake?
"...Your wretched repulsive nauseating audacity!!!"- The King and The Commissioner (2012)
It's quite fashioning the way actors dub for Malayalam cinemas and this ain't any new generation ideal; it began way back in the time of Prem Nazir and Jayan. Later, the master of not so polished English swished in- Renji Panicker. He was and still is considered as the man of intended swear jargons. A journalist by profession, he turned towards Malayalam cine town with his comedy 'Doctor Pasupathy' directed by action king Shaji Kailas. It was after a few flicks he shifted to the world of actions and valorised heroes. All such movies had his own touch of popular action dramas and torture stunts. It started with 'Ekalavyan' till 'The King and Commissioner'. He will be the only writer who might have gained tremendous popularity among youths for his naughty tones.
So what's there for the Mallus?
Yes, Malayalam Industry is large and people love movies. But, such movies with grinding meanings will not get accepted by everyone. That's what happened during 'Commissioner 1994 and The King 1995'. How many would know the meaning of "No soda, on the rocks" Well it means 'Give a dry hot drink' and can the laymen guess this "I won't stand any sinister deals being shoved up my a**." This was 'the' Malayalam cinema during the 90s. When it came to the 20s, the layout hasn't received much change. The routine of mixing long English sentences still continues. Writers like Renjith, Jithu Joseph, and many other directors follow this method to intensify the plot. Jithu Joseph's 'Oozham (2016)has English dialogues pretty much in every scene.
Now, English has become a sort of second language for the Mallu world. Writers intentionally started interlacing English words with and without minding the situation. If one unpacks the “new generation cinema”, even though this word is just a mirage, the most common ingredients are lifted plots, English titles, a new set of young actors, hybrid-language, new technicians, digital production and a host of ready-made special effects. Now, this south Dravidian language has received a lot of outside emotions through various other influences. Now, there is this superstition that, Movies will only run if they have an Anglo-Mallu title. Will this become the next conspiracy for boosting promotions? Maybe.
Meet the author
An Existential Nihilist who loves scribbling and editing. Doing Masters in English and Cultural Studies from Christ University. A Malayali Movie buff who hugs and squeeze screenplays and scripts.
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10 July 2019