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TAMIL CINEMA’S CANINE TURN!
By Arun
As 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 possess.

However, it is not just the friendly side of dogs that is portrayed in cinema. Their feral instincts
 
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!
Tags : Nadunissi Naaygal, Gautham Menon, Vishnuvardhan
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