Hate is a strong word. For the one who feels it, it is at best an emotion. For the others, it is a cause for dissection, to conclude the primal reason for such a strong emotion. Most often, we encounter both these aspects ourselves, holding a particular reaction of hate under the scanner of reason long after we have experienced it.
If this were to prompt hysterical laughter, so be it. I would too. Happens when you listen to what a clumsy teenager then, coming of age in the late 80’s, felt about a blockbuster from yore.
With some movies, even though you wouldn’t classify them as innately cerebral or artistic, pop appeal gains credence and places them on a mantel that is pure adrenaline. Name it style or what, oomph or razzmatazz, anything that closely resembles a 190 proof shot of alcohol can be deemed a knockout and then some. Irupatham Noottandu came all guns blazing, no pun intended, when it hit the cinemas in 1987.
Intricate and innocent – hardly the pair of words you would associate with the quintessential species called the ‘house-owner’ seen in Malayalam movies through the years. In my college years, I spent a great deal of time living in rented houses and had my share of interaction with this species. None of it was heavenly and, if at all I did gain a perspective about them, it wasn’t the least laudatory.
They would fight with you for the rent (inevitably late!), spy on you lest your female friends made it a habit to visit you for socially questionable reasons, and face a barrage of questions every time your mates descended for a raucous party which would shake the neighbourhood and leave everyone’s eardrums in tatters. Life as a tenant was essentially about time spent in pursuit of clandestine arts – how to hoodwink and how to deal with a pest called the ‘house-owner’.
Way back in the mid-60’s, Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone transformed spaghetti westerns to such a degree that these movies walked right out of Hollywood and caught the fancy of millions of cine-goers all around the world. It still maintains its chunk of admirers in India – the Texan drawl, the ‘fastest draw’ and a fancy for Louis L’Amour – all of them pointers to the fascination for the sheer effect of incredulity and larger-than-life characters who were progeny of a harsh, unforgiving landscape and glorified the underdog’s tilt at social class windmills.