Budha didn’t get high for Nirvana
By, Sachin Benny (MACE Alumnus)
I think there will be a lot of kids born in the early 90s who grew up on a steady dose of Suresh Gopi (dishoom..dishoom),graduating to advanced forms of action thrillers in the form of James Bond and The Terminator,apart from Mohanlal class acts like Devasuram,Ustad and Aaram thamburan.
I had a personal liking for sci-fi stuff like the Matrix,even though I could barely understand what the guy giving the blue or red pill was trying to say.Now there was some sort of a takeaway from each movie and Im pretty sure I spend a lot of time in my boyhood,trying to emulate the hero.(No broken body parts luckily).I wonder what boys of the present era would emulate,what is the most stylized part of the movies of our times-smoking weed,getting high and more smoking. Yeah,I pondered for a while and thought-“boy,age has caught up,Im talking like my grandpa now”,but then I watch a Malayalam movie and Im like “woh!how many close ups of cigs and rings of smoke do they show”.
I belong to the category of people who get irritated when “smoking is injurious” pops up at some corner,it takes the attention off the narrative.When a character like the lead in “Spirit” or a hoard of characters in “Departed” smokes,it tends to be overlooked unless the warning pops up,smoking is not glorified there,those characters are messed up beyond recognition and it would underplaying the scene if they don’t smoke.
But then when you come to films like “anchu sundarikal” or the recent trailers of “Idukki gold”,it seems like its setting a bad example.Smoking and getting high is portrayed like it is the elixr of life out of which all great ideas and ingenuity is born,it is the “cool” thing that is in,getting high becomes life changing for the hero of “Neelakasham..”,that’s when he realizes he should take care of his parents!Ironic or funny???. We can make a list of people who smoked weed ,but still made it big-Che Guevera,Martin Scorcese,Tarantino,but their end products were not borne from weed.Martin Scorcese quit and became a devoted catholic,it was after that,he started making movies,he is quoted as saying”Catholicism and movies are the only things in my life”.There are similar stories with all the above mentioned people.
When film makers dart their narratives with ill placed expletives and glorified scenes of smoking,it seems like they are making up for lack of talent and creativity.True creativity does not need disguises,in lal-sidique directed “Godfather”,you feel Anjoorans power in his voice and mannerisms,he doesn’t have to smoke for that.You know Indrajiths character in left right left is “Psyched” ,from his brilliant portrayal,he doesn’t have to get high for that. Cinema is the most democratic art form of our times.It has the power to inspire thought and make us feel human at the end of a long tiring day.Kids look upto film personalities,they are searching for an identity or a role model.As always, with great power comes great responsibility.