Talking Movies: Techno tales
With Thiruttu Payale 2 releasing this weekend, the writer takes a look at the potential myriad tales that are possible in this age of privacy debate
In Susi Ganeshan’s Thiruttu Payale, the protagonist, Manickam, blackmails a woman after videotaping her cheating on her husband. The film was made in 2006, and naturally, Manickam needed a camcorder for his devious plan. Much has changed in the last ten years though. Susi Ganeshan, while discussing the film’s sequel that released yesterday, mentioned to us that he could make ten more sequels, given the decadence in today’s society. He could, but I humbly submit that he’s got the reason wrong. Decadence, after all, is as old as mankind itself. What’s new is how increasingly easier it has become to record it, to capture it. With each new phone, with each tweet, with each device that’s connected to the internet, we are becoming more and more isolated, and yet, the ironical consequence is that we have never been less private.
Acclaimed Netflix series Black Mirror, of course, woke up to the new story possibilities of this development. Its stories are a dark, exaggerated look at the urban lives of today. There’s one story about all the obsession with virtual approval from strangers. There’s one about the addiction to social media. There’s one about the ease of surveillance in today’s camera-friendly world. For the most part, the stories are contained, and often about everyday individuals in an ostensible world of tomorrow.
We have tried our hand at films based on scientific exaggeration, of course. However, our creative forays have generally been big-budget, ambitious attempts. We have made a film about a robot that falls in love with a human (Endhiran). We have made one about a man who has to travel back in time to rescue his parents (24). And now, a space film seems in the offing (Tik Tik Tik). Yet, it appears that in over-reaching when it comes to these stories, we have remained unmindful of the simpler stories of people and how their lives are increasingly intertwined in technology. If Thiruttu Payale 2 turns out to be anything like its predecessor, it will likely tap into this promising reservoir of untold stories.
Think about the possibilities. A couple whose relationship goes awry, thanks to their addiction to mobile phones. Or how about the amusing story of an old man and his love for video games? Or perhaps you’d like a heartwarming story of how technology has made a long-distance relationship easier? Or hey, how about a tale of an unlikely internet friendship between an actor and a commoner? Susi Ganeshan said he could write ten more stories. I imagine there are hundreds, if only we cared to pause and observe.