I don’t care how much I’m mocked and made fun of, I love Kollywood. It’s been there for me as a best friend should. It’s been a support, it’s inspired, it’s made me laugh, cry and many days even question my sanity and love for it; however, it has been there for me like a rock. And when people tell me they don’t get my love it, I simply shrug my shoulders and flick my hair like a Kollywood heroine. Because that is how it is done.
Look, Kollywood, for the most part, is not an intelligent cinema. But it is definitely not stupid cinema. There is a reason it’s been around for a century now. As an industry, we have them all – filmmakers who are smart, cheesy, wacky, senseless, eccentric and some that are simply savvy enough to make films that hit home every time. Kollywood in actuality is like mushroom soup – good for your soul. I know for it’s probably more hip and cool to know every single Scorsese film and the various popular dialogues that are associated with those films, but I know none. However, I can recite dialogues from a number of Mani Ratnam films which are as deep and profound and entertaining as Scorseses’. I can’t sing to you the title song of the new James Bond film but I can definitely sing to you a number of Mother India songs by heart and explain the depth behind each line of the song.
And if you think the west is sitting and laughing at us, you couldn’t be any more wrong. They know we have a winner on our hands what with all the money we generate and with the growing popularity. But they subtly take inspiration from us and now, they even invest in our films happily. Tamil (Indian) cinema has evolved quite beautifully over time. It has changed in style and taste. It’s more modern and relatable which makes it that much more interesting. Whether it’s the story lines, the fashion, the lyrics in songs and even the execution of the films, it has all changed rapidly.
Looking to the future, you can be sure that Kollywood will only grow to become bolder and more beautiful. And its popularity will grow, this is for sure. So here’s to an industry that is more than 100 but doesn’t seem to age and we know, will only get younger with time. In the meantime, thank you Kollywood, for amazing dialogues, for music so vast that we are baffled during weddings, for actors that allow us to drool, for fashion that adds to our wardrobes and for controversies that make us laugh.
And on a more personal note, thank you for being with me over the last 25 years. You’ve been a solid friend!
Written by Rubini Shetty.