Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Is it Sickening Sycophancy and Grovelling Humility or is it merely Poor Language Skills of Indian Film Stars?

One of the most irritating things to watch on Kannada television is interviews of people in the television or movie industry. The obsequious flattery of the interviewer toward a person in the film/television industry especially if the person is a famous 'star' is to say the least, 'sickening' .  
Some of the things I really cannot stand are:
(1)Use of the word  'Sir', either before or after the name of the personality. "Ramu sir; you acted very well. I really enjoyed your acting Ramu Sir". Of all the obsequious behaviours, I think the use of the word Sir, irks me the most. I want to slap the interviewer each time he/she uses the word is about 100 times in a half hour interview!
(2) Often, the interviewee's skills are national or international or even local standards. Yet, the interviewee is never challenged during the interview. The interview is one of hundred percent flattery!
(3)There is of course no depth in the interview and one never gets the feeling of having heard or learnt something worthwhile.
(4)Now most interviews and programs on Kannada television have 25-50% or more of English words in them. It seems that the Kannada language has not evolved to accomodate today's ideas  and therefore people  are unable to express their thoughts in Kannada often intersperse their talks with English words and phrases.
It is ironical when the interviewee happens to be a 'Kannada' actor or film director or whoever and is unable to express his ideas in Kannada..... especially when these so called fighters for Kannada themselves cannot express their ideas in Kannada without using English words in their talks.
I  also find it hard to accept their half English and half Kannada conversations  when these folks   are constantly blocking the screening of other language films and serials in Karnataka.

(5)Several big shots in the  Kannada (and maybe the entire movie industry in India)Movie and television industry behave like megalomaniacs. I can accept poor acting and poor direction and poor everything else. What I cannot accept is their lack of talent coupled with their insufferable arrogance and despotic behaviour with the people lower down the ladder. They resent any criticism to boot!
If one reads the newspapers reviews of Kannada movies, one will see that the movies with the 'powerful' folks in it, will get a 'good' review, even if the movie is of pretty poor quality. The reviewer will go to any extent to find something good to say about the movie. The reviewers do not feel safe to call a spade a spade in Karnataka.
Apart from the megalomania of these film and televison stars who will not tolerate any criticism, we also have the absolute "hero-worship" of some or several people. I do not know whether it is sycophancy which makes them talk in such a manner or is it simply poor language skills?  I am convinced it is sycophancy and not poor language skills, as I do not see such fawning flattery anywhere outside the film and television world in India (except Indian Politics!...Indian politicians will take anything to newer  and worse-r depths!)
In India, you will see one megalomaniac film personality obsequiously bowing to another bigger personality! However he/she expects the same bowing and scraping from a lesser personality towards him/herself!

I do know that humility is a virtue in Indian culture; that showing respect to 'elders' is part of the Indian or Hindu tradition..........but humility and showing respect in Kannada film & television and Indian political fields is taken to the extreme extent of ass-kissing!(pardon my language).
I have not seen a single interview where the interviewee has been confronted about some particular piece of poor acting or direction or whatever. I have never seen any interviewee tell that they goofed up and will try not to do so again.
The interviews are such a farce, they are not even funny.
It is as if the Kannada film and televison personality is strongly averse to objectivity, truth, any critical analysis of their work, any reccomendations for improvement.

Here are 2 excerpts from 2 interviews of a Hindi actress and a Kannada actor I happened to find on the internet. I have highlighted in red, the sentences which I found most ridiculous, but which is repeated in various ways in various interviews of film folks. In fact, it is the sentences in red which made me write this piece. On Canadian television too (Omni...Hindi programs) I see the same obsequious behaviours of Indian film stars.

".....It was one of my dreams to work in a Yash Raj film. I'm terrified at the thought of working with SRK. I have watched him at an event and am dumbfounded by his energy. The shooting of our film is yet to begin and I wonder how I will manage to act with him......."
 Katrina Kif on September 6th 2011to Sonil Dedhia in an interview( movies)

".....I forgot that he(Devraj) was my father, but could not forget the fact that I was performing in front of a big actor. I was shivering....."
Prajwal Devraj  on August 10th, 2011 to  S.Shyam Prasad in an interview (Bangalore Mirror)

I know the two actors mean to express their humility or they probably mean to flatter SRK and Devraj. But is it necessary to show 'respect' by telling the world you are 'afraid'?

Generally I admire and respect the humility of most people coming from the east(Westerners seem to have a kind of  easy confidence or lesser humility  in comparision) But such words as " I am terrified at the thought of working with him" or "I was shivering..."  coming from the mouths of people from a egoistic filmworld, sounds so fake!

I do not know when the film goer in India finally stops his hero-worship;
I do not know when the Kannada film and television personalities will wake up and face reality....that they are lacking in quality and have a long way to go...
Until this happens, I will be fighting with my parents and siblings in India, trying to tell them not to watch television.........they will continue to watch and also defend the quality of Kannada cinema and serials....while I smash my head against a rock in frustration(literal translation of a Kannada phrase...Nanna  tale nanu che-chi-kolla-beku)

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