Mangaluru: Opposed to this misplaced, misguided, often vicious opposition to dubbing - Belawadi

Deekshith R Pai

Mangaluru, Mar 10: Opposing protest against dubbing and the present norms of remakes in Kannada cinema, noted theatre and film personality, Prakash Belawadi critically said that there was something wrong with the Kannada film industry and it was not able to diagnose itself. He alleged that those against the 'dubbed' films were depriving the kids from the best content in the world, just so that they can safeguard their market.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event at Nitte Institute of Communication (NICO), the veteran-media person, who made his debut in Girish Karnad's film Kanooru Heggadithi (1999) candidly admits that he has not watched 18 of his films, bulk of them which were in Kannada.

"While the new wave of cinemas are coming and a lot of good is happening, there is a also a host of really bad film making style. Kannada is an industry that does not seem to understand its problem. "They will take a Telugu film and remake it. Telugu people would have spent Rs. 80 crore to make that film, Kannada will try to make it in Rs. 15 crore," he said.

In the bargain however, Kannada films take the entirety of culture, story, setting, gestures, mannerism from other region and is embedded in the so called 'Kannada film' "This leaves nothing 'Kannada' for the audience, except the language maybe, which is sad. Remakes must be made because you love the 'subject', but it must be communicated in your own culture (context). For instance, while remaking Malayalam films, they (Kannada film makers) do not understand the finesse, commitment, depth of Malayalam cinema which they are copying from. Ultimately, they are neither able to make artistic film properly or the commercial film," he says.

Citing examples of movies such as 2017 release 'Ondu Motteya Kathe', Belawadi said while it was a excellent film, it could have become a norm for Kannada cinema, then we would have done a paradigm shift. "The important question is whether we have a critical mass of films which will create this paradigm shift. If they come and go (new-wave films) once in a while, its not a paradigm shift. It is just an exception," he said.

According to Prakash, Kannada cinema can do much better than its done now. "This (New Wave) what is coming now is to become a critical mass of films that will make a new cinematic expression possible in Kannada, otherwise it is best to let it die," he says.

Applying the same scale of judgement to dubbing in Kannada films, Prakash says that the original idea behind 'sound sync' was to protect native language. "Back in the days, Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy demanded that Hollywood films must be dubbed first in their home language before their broadcast in the respective country. The idea was to protect language. These guys (Kannada Film Makers) are trying to protect their market, which is not as great an idea," he added

Prakash even recounts that in the backdrop of Unification of Karnataka several Kannada artiste including Dr Raj Kumar had requested the Tamil industry that Kannada film industry should be allowed to grow. "They immediately relented to the Kannada fraternity's demand. Actually the first south Indian film that was dubbed into another language was that a Kannada film made into Tamil and Telugu, it was done under a friendly arrangement," he says.

He reminds that people have the customary right to get the content they want in their language. "Tamil children can watch the best channels, films, educational programs, in the world in their languages. Why are Kannada children are denied that? Just to protect the Kannada film industry ? So that these guys can make remakes from other languages. I am totally opposed to this misplaced, misguided, often vicious and malicious opposition to dubbing," he said.

"If I support dubbing or I dont like dubbed films - thats my personal choice. I am lucky to have known some language, at-least I can follow the film. But if somebody wants dubbing, who are you to come in the way. I think you should allow dubbing to save Kannada in Karnataka cinema and to save to give access for the Kannada speaking children to the best content in the world," he says.

"Shut down CBFC"

Lashing out on the censorship of films by the Central Board of Film Certification(CBFC), Prakash Belawadi says that the government must shut down the body and do away with the archaic British law of censorship. Film-makers are facing serious problems because of censorship and are victims of; selective censorship, partisan censorship, censorship due to political ideology, this must be first dealt with, he says.

"There is no board of certification for print media, television, books. Why sword is placed on the head of film-makers. Who wants such organization. Its stupid," Prakash says. According to Prakash, there is absolute no necessity of censorship. "Why do you need this arbitrary, qualitative decision making body (governed) by a set of good people or a bunch of jokers, as it turns out we don't know. I would say shut down the Censor board and let the industry regulate its own content. If there is going to be a certification let the film industry do it," he says.

On being asked on the context of films stirring the sentiments of the communities such as recent released Padmavat (2018), Prakash says that it was not the film-makers responsibility to control riots. "Film-maker's responsibility is to make honest film within the framework of the law. As long as it is withing the legal framework and has obtained CBFC classification, then it is for the state to control the rioters," he says.

Prakash also points out that selective outrages irks him and he does not support the cause of so called 'Liberals', who according to him are only partisans. "Where were this 'protestors', when Jodha Akbar was disallowed in Rajasthan or Madras cafe was not released in Tamil Nadu. They selective protesters commit outrages sometime, and keep quite during others. This sends as wrong message.," he says.

State should protest dissenting voices,no one came in support when some elements called for ban on Sunny Leone's performance. "The state Home Minister conveniently said that the artiste must wear Sari and dance. Why was there no outrage. This is selective outrage," he says.

Prakash adds 'Selective Outrage' is the reason that people don't respect the 'Liberals' voices. "Because they see it as a fake thing and there is a very good reason for that," he says.

Content provided by (Subs and Scribes Media Ventures LLP).



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