India is a big country – it is one-third the size of USA and the second most populous country in the world. What is most mind-boggling about the country is, how diverse the Indian culture is. You cross a state-line, you are in a new world – different fauna/flora, different language (no, not dialects people, a different language with its own script and grammar), different cuisine- superficially, an entirely different culture. So, it is excusable when Hollywood makes a movie like ‘Indiana Jones – Temple of Doom’ and portrays Indians as eating monkey brains or the foothills of Himalayas as having rainforests with elephants in it or that the people of the above mentioned foothills look suspiciously like Sri Lankans. But for an Indian movie to confuse the southern states, that is unforgivable!
Since I had seen a part of the shooting of the movie, I was excited to watch the trailer of Chennai express. The movie is supposedly about a north-south inter-regional relationship. Chennai, the city formerly known as Madras (yes, it’s a celebrity), is the state capital of Tamil Nadu. And I am a Tamilian. So please take my word for it, Chennai Express has as much to do with Tamilians as say Chappathi has to do with curd rice!
If the director wanted cliches (the movie is supposed to be a comedy) and wanted to make fun of Tamil movies, by all means he should put in as many scary looking thugs with ‘Aruval‘ as he pleases. But to confuse Kathakali/Kalaripayattu from Kerala with Tamil culture requires extensive brain-damage! Don’t even start me on how the heroine’s dress and her speech are at odds with each other. Would a little research have hurt them? Perhaps ask a few friends in the Tamil movie industry? Even watching a few Tamil movies could have helped! Women in Tamil Nadu wear white-sarees if and only if, they are conservative widows, even if the saree has a gold border! And there is a difference between the white Veshti (with Angavastram) and the Lungi (which is colored and is usually a stitched one-piece)! Arghhh, I am sure the movie probably even shows the Aapam from Kerala and not the Appam from Tamil Nadu!
I am sure there will be huge protests in Tamil Nadu replete with slogan-shouting, effigy-burning crowds trying to bar the release of this movie in Tamil Nadu!
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