Tuesday, July 05, 2016

The thathuva padam

In a time when opinions are rained through free and porous internet mouth pieces, some still choose to collate their opinions and present them as fictional, but exemplary motion pictures. This remains a smart strategy because of how powerful motion pictures still are and how they have a longer lasting impact than the average mouthpiece. I personally enjoy deconstructing a good issue/message driven movie, even if I may disagree wholly with its content; just good food for semi-productive parts of the brain. However, for consideration at the present time, are some basic rules to be a quality moral-instilling motion picture that deserves at least grudging respect. If they do not fit these rules, they haven't met the bar.

1. They must satisfy the Bechdel-Wallace test.

Not because these rules are inspired by the Bechdel-Wallace test (which they are) but because if you are not going to trouble yourself with content that appeals to roughly one half of your target audience, potentially alienating them, then your message needs more work.

2. There is no prize for being good.

So the person that chose to be kind to the beggar on the street does not get rewarded with a sexy girlfriend halfway through the movie. That is not the world we live in.

3. Target stereotype may not have unrelated flaws.

Your movie probably involves some straw characters that you will tear apart and burn to fuel the smoke of your fiery message. Do not make him boring and whiny (and ugly) just because he also decided to extol the virtues of some form of badness. Bonus positive points for your movie though, if target stereotype has other potentially redeeming (but unrelated) virtues. That makes things fun.

An optional (essential) fourth - Your concept must have some validity outside your straw universe.

Otherwise your discussion is a mountain of an expense for a molehill of an issue. We have social media for that.


Note to Alison Bechdel: Alien may have passed this test but the underlying message has been elusive.

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