Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Indian science fiction -What's the deal?

This post is partly due to the Tamil movie 'Endhiran'(Translation: Mechanical man. Robot will not be a proper translation as the word Robot originally referred to a bonded labourer) releasing in theaters around the world(And I'm currently located in one of the places it isn't :( ).It has been marketed from its pre-production as one of India's first science fiction flicks.I wondered about the veracity of this claim as I recall having seen a number of Tamil movies on TV that fit into the genre,when I was smaller.After some intense Googling, I made the following discoveries about the genre:
The earliest Science fiction Indian movie was a Tamil movie, 'Kaadu'(The forest) and was released in 1952.It was about a group of researchers investigating the abnormal behaviour of animals in a jungle,who eventually stumble upon a land where woolly mammoths are still alive.The plot seems very similar to Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost world and the producers were probably inspired by the same,as Conan Doyle was a very popular author in India in the 1940s.The producers must have decided to use Mammoths instead of Dinosaurs,to limit production costs.The move was a moderate critical success but failed to make high earnings from the box office.

In 1962,Kalai Arasi(Queen of the arts) starring MGR,Bhanumathi and Nambiar was released.The film's storyline involved Aliens abducting the lead actress with the intention of learning the performing arts from her.MGR ,in his role as the protagonist,brings her back to Earth,after rescuing her from a rogue alien(Nambiar).The movie can be found on this webpage:http://www.rajshritamil.com/Video/Kalai-Arasi

'The Alien' was a planned Satyajith Ray production which was eventually cancelled.The script was based on a story by Ray which was inspired from Spielberg's ET and involved a friendly alien who become's a young boy's best friend.The project eventually resurfaced recently as 'Koi Mil Gaya'.

Mr.India ,starring Anil Kapoor and Sri Devi was released in 1987 and was about a man who could make himself invisible.One can also say that this was Bollywood's first foray into the Superhero genre as well.The movie is still considered a classic in India.

Dasavatharam,released in 2008,had many science fiction elements in it,and the main plot involved the butterfly effect.

Apart from these,there are a lot of other Indian movies that can be categorized as Science fiction and / or as Science fantasy and I'l post a followup to this post later.

1 comment:

Thunderbird said...

Like like...!!!!
Anyways enthiran is a stupid movie dude....:-D