A scene from the movie Sivaji. The hero is trying to woo the heroine and is trying to gain access into her house. Her neighbour comes to the hero with his daughters. The hero sees these two seemingly dark girls and vanishes from the spot. The theater erupts to applaud the so called comedy in the scene. I was dumbstruck for a second. The whole scene was shown in bad light. I had no words to describe my disappointment on the way the scene was filmed.
Amidst pranks in schools and colleges, the dark character has to give in time and again to the endless stream of jokes played on him by the jumbo boys. He is made to look like a morally starved creature devoid of everything in life. The incessant chatter would end up hounding the hapless guy and he would have no choice but to stare silently at the comments made on his physical traits. This doesn't happen in the American or European countries, but in our very own land, and within our very own community. I have always wondered how anybody can make fun of the other depending on the physical characteristics of the individual. This is one of the things I have carefully avoided. It is not uncommon to hear comments like He is dark (there are worse adjectives!! I am underplaying it here) and other notorious statements that can leave you totally disgusted. It happens in a community gathering, college meet up and in fact, even in a fresher's party.
What about the advertisements. Name Fair & Lovely, Lakme or any of those dozen products that advertise in the media. A typical sequence would be a girl going for an interview. She is rejected because of her dark complexion. She comes back home disappointed. She applies one of these ultra skin whitening products, and lo and behold, in a matter of days, she is transformed into the shiniest creature on earth. She walks into the interview room with a new found confidence (why the hell I don't understand!!), and even before she utters a word, she is granted the job. She is happy, her parents are happy and we, as audience have to look for every possible hair to tear it in fury. How in the world did the fair complexion turn her confident, I just can't fathom. Replace the sequence with the girl looking for a groom or studying for the exam or applying for an air hostess job, the end result would depend on that gleaming paste.
I would love to ban these advertisements and ask the so called creative thinkers to come up with a better concept. But then, reel life follows what happens in real life and we are left with no choice but to put up with these nonsensical characters, again in reel as well as real life. In plain words, ultimately nobody has any respect for a person who tries to bring down another based on his physical features, even if he does not really mean it. But then, if he really does not mean it, why in the world bring this up. Don't ask me for the answers!!!
At the end of the movie, I went home reflecting on this scene that had created an impact in me. It lingered on for a long time, and not just me, even my friend who could not understand any bit of Tamil, was sighing at the idiosynchracy of the scene. But, finally, the movie makers know the pulse of the audience. The audience loved it, loved the so called comedy and all that matters for the producers is the fact that the movie is raking in the moolah. What a sad plight!