Malayalam Cinema Stars and their Online Habitats – 1

Pic Courtesy : Shane Waltener

Deeply saddening. This is the one emotion  that comes to mind as you go through the online domains of our actors which are meant to be their online legacies for future generations. Almost all of them come across as something “begun-with-good-intent-with the wrong-tools-and-perspective-before-leaving-it-halfway”. None of them realise  the gravity and importance of the very reason WHY the website is there in the first place. But you can’t blame ALL of them. Most of them seem to be  built as tribute by fans who then employ their own yardsticks when creating them. As a result, all you get are over-the-top fawning and salivating text that sometimes borders on the hysterically bizarre ( which I intent to share as we go along)  with howlers as text and thumbnail photographs in photogalleries that refuse to pop-up.On rechecking you find,ummm..well..that is their set size!

The Bio’s are conveniently plagiarized from their WikiPages, if not, translated in the fawning tongue in Manglish. Check this for starters from Jayan’s ‘Official’ Site – “With majestic, commanding voice and clear distinct comverstion style, the heart throb of Malayali audience who shot to immediate fame was none other than Jayan.” (What follows is a paste-job from the Wiki). The disappointing fact is none of them offer you anything more that what is already available online. And you can’t expect anything current too as you can almost hear the wind blowing when you reach these places after the initial euphoria and the ‘inauguration of website’ ceremony passes. I live for the day when all these web presences are regularly updated (even once a year is fine by me), made according to current web standards that make spending time sheer joy, and above all be able to tell me something about the artist that I would never be able to find elsewhere online. So here are the online habitats of Malayalam Cinema Stars that I have stumbled upon in my online travels looking for answers to nagging queries and trivial doubts that kept maddeningly pester you.

Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair


Possibly the earliest online place created for a Malayalam Cinema personality amongst all that exists now. Created sometime around 2003, the site doesn’t offer anything much on the legend of Malayalam Cinema other than a cursory photo tour (thumbnails, thank you very much).

Website | www.thikkurissy.com

Jayan

Malayalam Actor Jayan Official Website

Nothing different from the rest of them out there, and what is really painful is the language used. Starting with howlers like “SPREAD THE WORLD” right on the Home page and an introduction that reminds of old Renji Panicker’s Manglish industrial-grade dialogues, the only worthwhile aspect is again, the photogallery. If only the makers took some inspiration out of the microsite at Manorama Online for the content sources, had them interviewed and put it up here, it would have been a worthy effort. Most of the actors who worked with him are still around, including one of his greatest well-wishers, Srekumaran Thampi, whom I personally know is a treasure house of information. If only the makers went that extra mile. If only.

Website | www.theactorjayan.com

Jagathy Sreekumar

One expects the world when it comes to Jagathy Sreekumar’s online presence and you cant be blamed for it. For someone who has been right with the industry, through the golden years to the current years, having close to 1500? movies to his credit, you just can’t help it. The website has NOTHING that you could take with you that you already didn’t know and that’s heartbreaking. The design is tacky to say the least, something that doesn’t even do an iota of justice to the legend.

Website | www.jagathysreekumar.com  ( THE WEBSITE IS DEAD AS OF SEP 3, 2011.)

S.Sukumari

www.sukumari.com

The makers have thankfully declared that it is a work in progress.  There are some delightful photographs  from Sukumarichechi’s childhood which makes it worth the short time spent there. That is pretty much all that is there, sadly.

Website | www.sukumari.com

Revathy

Revathy's Website ScreenGrab
The smartest one for its time, designed for those times. The last update is from 2005  but I guess that is fine as she maintains an active presence in the biggest walled-garden ( virtual, of course) of our times, Facebook. Probably the few handful that seem to have embraced , understood and leverage the power of the new capabilities of the web to its fair level. Though I really really wish that Website could be relaunched on a better Content Management System like this and a sleek interface.  I guess its just a matter of time.

Website | www.revathy.com

……….   Continued

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5 thoughts on “Malayalam Cinema Stars and their Online Habitats – 1

    1. Hi Rajesh,
      I am aware of them and will get to them slowly but surely. As with the case of all the others that I just wrote about, it is exactly in those very same conditions. The Latest news at Shaji’s site is from 2002, and Madhu Amabt’s site has his main pages still under construction! A cursory look at the Whois states the domain live from 2002! 8 years to create two sections?? Thanks again for leaving your imoressions on the same. Regards, CM

  1. On a cue from this, I just typed in couple of searches. One of them was Prithviraj (CM knows why!) and I just learned that he is contemplating putting an abrupt end to his career and start off in the online shopping business. http://prithviraj.co.in/

    With respect to actors of yore, “oru websiteum venam nammuku” is a constant refrain by the Foundation usually started in memoriam. Somebody knows someone who knows someone who knows Frontpage by the Kayamkulam kayal and lo, a website is up. If a pic of the actor adorns the homepage, that is decided on as ample proof that a website is indeed there. Most of this tech-illiterate committee members get taken for a ride and without a proper brief, you can’t even blame it on the part-time web designer.

  2. I think the difference is that many actors usually hire someone to do their websites (as they may not be technically inclined) and may not be actively involved, so you get the wikipedia-paste jobs and such. Jagathy Sreekumar’s website in particular set off alarm bells for this kind of thing.

    What I like about Revathy’s is that she worked closely with the designer and wrote practically every word herself, so it feels more personal and more valuable than just reading off an impersonal list of movies or awards that you can find anywhere.

    1. Hi Prasanth,
      Being ‘actively involved’ is the key and operative word. The ‘boys’ go one step furthur and even brand it the ‘Official’ website even though the actor concerned stays blissfully unaware of the same. Leaving an online legacy is something that you do with the same amount of care, dedication and diligence that you would do for a similar activity offline – building your own house! Sadly, most do not seem to ‘get it.’ And that is where Revathy’s effort shines through. Thanks …. CM

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