Couple days ago, Astro showed one old movie starring Sivaji Ganesan and whilst I admit that he is a great actor, the movie itself was a big pain in the neck (there are many similar Tamil movies sharing the similar storyline).
It goes like this:-
The main character is a retired old man (he just retired – what a coincidence!) living in the same large house with his aged wife and 4 children – 3 sons and one daughter. And if you have not figure it out by now, the sons are married but the daughter has not.
The father has big plans for his daughter’s wedding and confidently says that his sons will bear the cost. The sons’ wives are not happy to be staying with their in-laws and been pestering their husbands to leave the house and stay in their own house. The wives are also not happy of the fact that their husbands always give away their salaries to the father at the beginning of the month and then ask their father for their daily expenses.
One day, the wives managed to influence their husbands (don’t ask me but it all happens in the bedroom) and all hell break loose – the sons leaves the house with their wives, they stop giving the father the usual monthly salary and this in turn jeopardize the wedding preparations for the daughter.
Usually at this point, there will be other characters adding more pressure on the father for money – the future in laws or the landlord or the Indian Ah Long – anything to show that the sons’ actions were downright evil! Justice seems to side the parents who are left high and dry and the sons despite how logic may be seen, is shown as treating their parents unfairly.
I hate this kind of stories in Tamil movies because some of the things that are portrayed simply do not make any sense and not practical. Most of us get along just fine unlike in the Tamil movies.
1. Giving away the monthly salary
In Tamil movie, the son’s or the husband’s salary is given wholly to the father or wife because of a notion that he does not know how to use the money or more often spend away on alcohol (easy excuse). For me, that is downright insulting.
You work hard for the money but you are too stupid to manage the money? Get real and if that is the case, when will the son ever learn to manage his own financial affairs?
This is setting the wrong precedent. I keep my salary and decide on how to manage it. I have been doing that since I started to work and so far, things have been good.
Just giving away your salary in full to someone else does not mean that the money will be managed well.
2. A big issue when the son moves out
I don’t know what is the big fuss all about – when the son’s leaves, usually in the movie, the mother tries hard to stop him from leaving (waste 30 – 45 minutes of the screen time for crying, wailing and dramatic actions) and when he does, she cries like a funeral have taken place. The remaining family doesn’t eat and sleep well for the next few weeks.
Well I say, wake up you dumb fools! Learn from Dr Huxtable who been pushing his kids to leave the house as soon as possible. Let them have their own place to stay – they can learn a lot and have some privacy as well.
My parents are staying with me (not me staying with the parents – 2 different things) so the master of the house is me. In the movie, the maser of the house is always the father although the main income comes from the son. The reason is simply because it is not the son’s house.
So, it makes sense to move out – but the parents are not happy with it? I don’t get it. I already planned for my son to move out (at least rent a room) once he get his first stable job.
3. Big wedding plans
Ok, this one is a bit hard to comment. Different country, different time era makes a big different. Luckily these days, marriage in Tamil movies been simpler – only registration with friends as witnesses and they are done. But I still hate the old movie because the father will agree to do more than what was asked by the bridegroom father.
Haven’t the father had heard something called “Let me discuss with my sons first before I give the answer” or “Why I should give more – let’s negotiate”? It is because if he had done that, a lot of trouble could be saved and the wedding could have gone on well.
Then again, because the father was the “master of the house”, the sons were not called for discussion. So, read back issue no. 2 above.
4. Crying, crying, crying
Look, I know it is very, very emotional movie (especially when it involves family affair) but do they need spend a lot of time crying?
Shouldn’t the father need to strategize on how he is going to proceed or even better, use the situation to educate the viewers to save up for their old age? Any parents in the same situation could learn a thing or two – instead of leaving it to faith.
Maybe they did not have something like EPF back then but some small saving plans should be devised just in case the sons decide to “abandon ship” at the last moment.
In some good Tamil movies, this is known as Plan B. Maybe this is why the story starts when the father is in his last day of working.
Gosh, the same trend is used by the Tamil serials to torture the viewers – when the good story fails; they resort to the crying session to cover the time.