CINEMA’S CANINE TURN!
the saying goes ‘Dogs are man’s
best friend’, the canine species
has always found its share of takers in
the film industry. As much as people around
the world love to have dogs as their pets,
film makers from different parts of the
world frequently turn to dogs to tell
a warm, feel-good tale. There are few
films that can make you feel better than
watching a cute one made on canines. If
you do not agree with this, you haven’t
watched The 101 Dalmatians or Eight Below
or any number of other movies which underline
the wonderful qualities that dogs innately
However, it is not just the friendly side
of dogs that is portrayed in cinema. Their
too have been fascinatingly explored in cinema. Though,
it is this facet of dogs that we do not like to see
or experience, film makers have regularly turned this
way too to provide thrills and chills. The first thing
that comes to mind is the ferocious canine in Omen
which induced as much fear as Damien.
Indian cinema too has had its share of experiences
with the animal kingdom. But, they have been mostly
restricted to a few fun sequences, especially with
children and nothing more. And, with animal protection
laws becoming even stronger in our country, film makers
have become increasingly reluctant to use animals
in their movies, lest the film should end up in court
a couple of days before its release. Consequently,
the most commonly and perhaps only consistently used
four-legged one in our film industry in the horse;
that too in historic flicks.
Of course, there has been the occasional instance
of certain animals being given the very important
(even though small) turning point roles in few films;
remember the role of the monkey in Arunachalam!
Dogs have been more or less out of the question in
Indian cinema; though they have got the opportunity
to give a lot of trouble to our comedians now and
then. But, Vishnuvardhan showed the way to use dogs
effectively in film making down south by introducing
the Rottweiler to Tamil cinema through Sarvam. It
was quite an imposing presence. Even though the movie
in itself could not do much at the box office, there
were certain shots of the dogs and its ferocious eyes
that made an impact.
Now, we have Gautham Menon bringing back the Rottweilers
to Tamil cinema through Nadunissi Naaygal; that will
be going in without any soundtrack. It is indeed a
brave step from a director whose USP has been his
ability to select absolute gems of tracks, extract
the best from his music directors and paint the songs
beautifully on screen. A year back, just after VTV
had released, if someone had told you that Gautham
Menon was going to make a movie without a soundtrack,
one would have laughed out loud. Come on, songs are
this man’s bread and butter! But, he has thought
differently and opted to keep the thrills as original
as possible without using manipulative loud sounds.
It is certainly going to be a brave experiment.
Now, coming back to the Rottweiler. Perhaps, you have
heard about the breed by now. But, for the uninitiated!
There is a polarization of opinion about the Rottweilers.
While some have described them as a fairly obedient
and reliable dog; there have also been reports of
them being involved in human fatalities because of
being over-protective of their own territories. The
grip of their jaws is famed to be one of the strongest
in the canine family; something that has also been
called ‘mythical’ because it is a perception
that seems to have risen from the portrayal of Rottweilers
in various films. Well, it is this facet that Gautham
Menon too seems to have chosen for Nadunissi Naaygal.
And, we can look forward to some real jaw snapping,
snarling ferocious canines on our screens. As some
might know; there are few things more fearsome than
a couple of shiny eyes staring at you from the darkness,
the sounds of a throaty growl and panting breath.
The only thing you can do is run! And, we will be
seeing a lot of that in Nadunissi Naaygal, we guess!