The debate over Dhanush’s voiceovers in Gautham Menon’s ‘Enai Noki Paayum Thota’

Posted on December 2, 2019


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Every time someone tries something new, audiences are amused. Take Mani Ratnam’s dialogues. People used to laugh: “Mani Ratnam padam hero maadhiri pesaadhe.” (As in, don’t speak in those clipped tones.)

Spoilers ahead…

For the past couple of days, I’ve been getting memes based on Enai Noki Paayum Thota (ENPT). Some of them are very funny — I’ve always maintained, at least when it comes to comedy, that the people who make these memes are brighter than most of our screenwriters. I also agree that there is nothing we can do about these exaggerated reactions. A filmmaker puts out his or her work. And the audience responds. Some of these responses are like mini-reviews on Facebook. These come in a (mostly) respectful tone, even if the reviewer did not like the film. But on Twitter, anything goes. You can control neither the content nor the tone of the response.

So I get this — and this piece is not about whether we are being “fair” to a filmmaker when we mercilessly begin to troll a certain aspect of his/her work. That is the way the world is, and you can’t turn it back to a more “civilised” time. Now, I have to take a “civilised” tone because reviewing is my job, and I have to be “professional” about it. (Well, unless the film is terrible and really gets under my skin, but more about that later.) The average viewer has no such restrictions. They can be as cruel as they want — it’s all in the spirit of fun. Every filmmaker knows this: Don’t enter the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat.

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