Saw Premam today. Now for the second time. The theatre was almost empty. The buzz is clearly gone. The people who wanted to sabotage the movie seem to have found their mark. This time those thunderous claps and sharp whistles were missing. To an extent this helped me enjoy and feel the movie much better than the previous time I watched it. However, those sad, empty seats made my heart go out towards those vibrant bunch of youngsters who set out to do something different. I would not say Premam is an extra ordinary movie, but it is fresh in its treatment of cinema as a whole. The casting is the punch. Almost all the faces are new. These are not the same old boring faces we see in movies or in TV every day. The USP of this movie is freshness in every aspect of cinema making. Now the entire cast is enjoying a super stardom. Good. Hats off to team Premam!!!
As I walked out of the theatre, a thought struck me. What if these Super Stars, in their next movie or the next or the next fail to strike gold? Will we have the same feeling towards them? Will we still go ga-ga over them? Are we as viewers in some way responsible for the kind of movies we get? Are we the real reason behind those empty seats and empty theatres? (except for the theatre that played Premam, the other theatres were virtually empty). Are we not going a little over board in the way we appreciate or shun a movie or the actors in them? Lost in these thoughts I crossed the entrance of the theatre. For some reason I turned back. Then I saw things that welcomed an average theatre goer.I understood why we are completely messed up as a society. I understood why our movie industry is in shambles and how immature we are in our attitudes towards cine artists.
There were fluxes in every size and shape. Some had garlands and some stood without them. Fluxes of actors whose movies were not even running in theatres were put up there. All the superstars were getting drenched in that innocent evening rain. I wondered why some of the diehard fans who put them there did not stand with an umbrella to protect their so called deity from the showers. Alas, all these wonderful actors had one thing in common. They were all happy and they were all smiling. Why would they not? There were at least ten or more youngsters who had taken the pain to register an association in that actor’s name, put fluxes all around and celebrate like mad when their movies released.They were so professional that the had a secretary, president and cashier. Well defined hierarchy yeah?? Putting up a flux indeed requires money and I wondered from where the money came from. Did the actor pay for these? Did they borrow money from friends or parents? Again I had no clue. But there was considerable money and time involved in doing all these. You are reading this blog because I set aside an hour or so of my evening writing this. You maybe watching a movie because some individuals put a huge amount of money, effort and commitment for making it. You are reading a news paper or book because someone has put their untiring efforts into that. Well, coming back to fans associations; they seem to have considerable number of youngsters associated with them.That means a lot of energy,time and money. But most important, it is the youngster’s mentality that gets negatively influenced.
But you see, the ‘Fans Association Name’ itself gives a very positive connotation of spreading welfare; both social and cultural. “All Kerala XYZ Fans and Welfare Association” seems to be the accepted naming convention. They are profusely thanked in the beginning of every movie.
Then all of a sudden, this question hit me hard. So if these actors, who belong to one of the smallest film industry in the world have fans associations, what about internationally acclaimed Hollywood actors? Do they have the kind of fans associations that we have here? Do they register associations in the name of Hollywood superstars elsewhere and use them for ‘welfare of humanity’?
So here we go… I ran a Google search on none other than the great Robert Downey Jr. (one of THE most famous and highest paid actors in this planet). This is the result I got :
The best I could find was a FB fan page which did have a lot of followers and a website with a mere 6K members.
Next I ran a search on another big gun, Leonardo Dicaprio:
Almost the same result. An odd website, a FB fan page and some fan forums.
The case with poor Tom Cruise may look funny. If you run a search “Tom Cruise Fans Association” you will be shocked to find Google return Rajinifans.com as top search result.That’s Thalaiva for you!!!
The interesting point here is that, in Hollywood no one seems to be even bothered about raising a flux, putting a garland, performing a pooja or even registering a Fan’s Association in the name of a super star. People seem happy taking a selfie or two with the star or getting an autograph or at the max shake hands. And oh yes, Hollywood stars like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Leonardo Dicaprio etc. are engaged in a lot of philanthropic activities. But they do not organise these activities under the banner of “Fans and Welfare Associations”. They do charity to satisfy their SELF. Well the point is that, there the people does not seem much bothered about these actors or so called ‘matinee idols’ beyond a certain limit.
What about our State? Where do we stand? Let’s have a look
A Google peep in to god’s own country (100% literacy…yeah. Great intellectual minds…yeah..We should be proud..right?) and this is what we get to see:
Thank god there is an elephant fans association in the middle. Credit goes to the wonderful people of Thrissur!!! OK…now lets get serious. Leave prominent actors, artists who hardly delivered a solo hit till date seems to have their share ( I have seen the fluxes for the actor on right)
They justify their existence by claiming that they are doing charity work. Does an actor or anybody for that reason need an “All Kerala Fans and Welfare Association” to work towards a social cause? If your answer is NO, then you are absolutely correct. There is no need for any such fans associations. And their very existence seems to serve no greater purpose than careless wastage of precious time. Or is it that my little brain fails to fathom the dynamics of such Fans Associations? I don’t know…but there is something terrible happening out there.
If Stars really want to do charity, they need to go to some NGO who works in grass root level or they can do it ON THEIR OWN. The biggest charity they can do right now is give fresh movies and abstain from churning out the same old boring stuff.
Every year at least ten to twenty people die either in a stampede for a movie ticket or by falling down from buildings performing milk abhishekas (milk shower) over the big cut outs of their Super Stars. The actor later regrets over the loss of his fan’s life. But does he come forward and tell that he is against this absurdity called Fans Association Culture? No. He will never do that.
Why do they still use these youngsters? The reason is fairly simple. Create a brainwashed culture. Create a mind blowing base of zombie followers who are ready to do anything. Give them freebies like special screening and stuff like that. The actor earns in crores for a movie, drives a Jaguar, lives his life in perpetual luxury and those poor fans follow him like a god. They keep praising their star even when the movie is bad. Some actors (not all) start believing that he/she is a Super Star when just one movie clicks at the box office (don’t blame them, that is the kind of fake impression we give).This ruins them as artists. We force them to think they are THERE, but the reality maybe something else. When there is a good movie, we push them sky rocketing to glistening galaxies and when things start going wrong, they find themselves dumped in a ditch. But do they accept that they are screwed up and are really in a ditch? No. Stars keep thriving under the safe shelters of fan clubs. To avoid that sudden plunge into darkness, they use this soft cushion called Fans Association. For every failure, there is one excuse:
“Whatever… I have fans…”
Does Fans Associations improve the quality of cinema in any way? Do they stop piracy? Most of the Hollywood movies or any movie of good international standard, take years in making. There, an actor (even the likes of Hugh Jackman or Leonardo or RDJr.or Tom Cruise) lands in trouble if more than two films fail at the box office. Hence, they are very choosy and professional as far as doing a movie is concerned. Here things are much different. You can have a string of 21 flops; still run the show just because an actor has a huge fan base and people call him mega star or super star or whatever.
Remember, fans can save an actor, but not cinema.
Why so many youngsters are wasting their time and money on someone who is just doing a profession like any other? There are doctors, social workers, journalists who risk every second of their life for the welfare of the people. Latest news is that IS terrorists are thriving in POK (Pak Occupied Kashmir) and they are trying hard to infiltrate into India. The only force that stands between them and ‘Fans Assoc. Fluxes’ are a few brave men of Indian Army. If you are really into hero worship, worship them. It really does good. Those are the people we need to respect and follow, not a movie star. Even when government is trying hard to do away with fluxes, our hard working youngsters have found enough time and money in putting them up on roadsides.( Please do not take this as an urban affair, the fans associations culture is kind of universal.It is deep rooted. Rural, urban…you find it everywhere.)
Does creating such zombie followers do anything good for this society or cinema as a whole? We need to think about this.
At least one actor (who has enough balls and a bit of common sense) should come forward and put an end to this pitiable situation. Actors need to concentrate on doing good movies instead of strengthening their fan base. Fans/ Fan base should be a consequence of great acting, not the other way round.
As viewers and lovers of good cinema, let’s play our part i.e. watch movies. Enjoy the songs, dances and the stories in them. Appreciate when it is good, criticize if it is bad. Let us look at actors as professionals who entertain us. Then leave the theatre with a felling of appreciation (or otherwise). Go, watch them act at shooting locations once in a while. A struggle through the crowd to touch your super star is fine. Try taking a selfie with your favorite actor. Make that your FB DP and tag all your friends. Get his/ her autographs and add those to your treasured archives. It should all end there. The moment we start finding gods on screen, we are killing the actors. Not only actors, we are killing cinema. Let us understand that cinema is just a form of entertainment and most of the time is far from reality. The best thing to be done as a lover of good cinema is give word of mouth, call up the actor or text him and appreciate his work, send out a message on Facebook or shoot a tweet appreciating the work. Go and tattoo your favourite actor’s name or even his face if you love him that much.
But please do not brainwash youngsters, register fans associations in the names of movie stars and put up fluxes. It simply shows the standard of a society that lacks individuality or quality.In other terms, there is nothing more mundane than a Fans Association when 90% movies do not run even for a week.
Quality cinema is weaved out when actors pile up quality efforts. The more you woo them unnecessarily, the more spoilt they become and in turn would never play up to their true potentials. Give them a chance to challenge themselves 🙂
And to you wonderful actors out there- when there are top-notch movies screened, when you set those screens ablaze with your terrific acting skills, the world becomes your fan base!!!
If you end up making a good movie, people will go to any length and make it a hit. The people are the real fans and they are the real heroes. If you have the power to make, the public has the power to break.There was a time when Malayalam cinema ran shoulder to shoulder or even ahead of other industries in this country. But today we seem left far behind.The future of Malayalam cinema looks bleak if people do not come up with movies like Premam or Drishyam or Bahubali that has some kind of universal appeal.
Ohhh… and regarding the title of this blog… it just does not exist my friend 😛
**This site is in no way affiliated to Robert Downey Jr. And the title is purely fictional. The subject given herein is not intended to hurt anyone, neither appease any individual interest.
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