Stunts & Thrills Of Malayalam Cinema: Reading The Transition And Counting...
Is there a difference between 'Dishoom-Dishoom' fights and the Ruthless ones?
Over the past few years, stunts in Malayalam cinema have been wheeling towards real, ruthless, and raw action. Action today is more of an organic offshoot of the plot. This wasn't the case during the 90s. Back then, everything was obvious and predictable. But, all those had its own charm to it. Now, it's the renaissance age. Big B (2007) was the starting point of a particular stylised filmmaking in Malayalam. The stunts were stylised according to the background score. The score will enhance the visuals leading to a much better fight. According to Mafia Sasi, one of Malayalam cinema’s favoured stuntmen, exposure to international cinema and advancements in technology and graphics have radically changed the entire cinematic language. Even a few decades ago, when stunt sequences were the formulaic dishoom-dishoom, Malayalam cinema carefully exercised restraint. Now, fewer ropes and pulleys are used. Instead of such archaic techs, most stunt directors use specialised equipments. From period movies with sword fights to the 70s and 80s when the action was completely composed, to the high-speed frames of the 90s, action has come a long way. Today, everybody wants live fights where the protagonist’s characterisation comes out. His emotions, the story, are all essayed through the fight. Today’s stunts are those that will make you ‘feel’ the 'realness'. According to Malayalam directors are concerned, It is about movement and timing; And when the two come together, there is a rhythm. Malayalam cinema, even in its dishoom-dishoom phase had a fair share of films that visualised fight sequences realistically. Many of Padmarajan’s, Bharathan’s, Sibi Malayil’s, Lohithadas', Ranjith’s, and Shaji Kailas' films showed believable fights. Malayalam fight scenes usually had a duration of 3 to 5 minutes. It will have a calm period, full action period and fight climax. These three stages consisted of a typical fight sequence.
Now, in this 21st century, it's all about sophisticated techniques. Peter Hein and Stunt Silva are some among the masters of Film Thrills. They have new techniques that can portray the raw, in its gory formats. One fine example is Mohanlal's 'Odiyan'. Hein has spent more time on 'Odiyan' than any other movie he has associated with till now. The completeness of his knowledge about the action can be seen in reel. Still, film fanatics don't know where this is going. This new, techy fights. Can they expect an augmented reality fight kits for the upcoming years?
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