Talking Movies : Into the Wonderland
The writer is the entertainment editor of The New Indian Express
The second most popular topic in the country in the last week, after covefefe—Donald Trump’s excellent contribution to the lexicon—has been the eating of cows. In that sense, the timing of the release seems quite perfect for Oru Kidaiyin Karunai Manu, even if the story is narrated from the perspective of a goat, not a cow. If they had gone ahead with the latter, some central government support may well have been forthcoming. On a serious note, Oru Kidaiyin…, which has done well at international film festivals, will also benefit from the lack of any serious competition. The interest in Baahubali, regardless of what the burgeoning box office figures will have you believe, has waned. The signs are all pointing at a good run for the film. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t provoke outrage over the killing of goats.
A female saviour, finally
After all the possible narratives in the superhero universe have been exhausted—after Superman took on Batman, after Captain America took on Iron Man, after Spiderman became a teenager again, after Wolverine sunk his adamantium claws into a gazillion people over several hundred sequels, after more than one actor played the Batman—finally, we have again a superhero film starring a heroine, and more importantly, one that is directed by a woman too. Initially, there was some concern over what some deemed needless sexualisation of the character. But that seems to have died a natural death over the two years that the film has been in the making. A film about Wonder Woman has supposedly been getting floated for over 20 years now, with reports indicating that actresses like Sandra Bullock were originally considered. Wonder Woman isn’t just standing for female superheroes, she’s also standing for the success of the DC franchise itself, which has struggled for success. Gal Gadot’s bright cameo in Batman v Superman likely clinched the deal, and should this film get out to great reception, it will do what Tarantino intended with Kill Bill: “Empower girls by giving them a female warrior to look up to, a woman who can kick a**.”
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who has done little wrong at the box office in recent years, finally has a challenge on his hand, considering that Baywatch has released in America to mediocre reviews. He and the others who are part of the film can, however, take heart from the kindness the Asian market has shown sometimes towards Hollywood duds. We saved 2012. We made Michael Bay. And in Baywatch, we have additional motivation in the form of an Indian actress who’s part of the film: Priyanka Chopra. The only problem is, Asia has generally been kind towards the action genre. In all their wisdom, the Baywatch makers have reinterpreted the TV series as an adult comedy. Can Dwayne and Priyanka save the film in India? It will be of Paramount importance, pun definitely intended.