The anatomy of crime and the anti-hero
For many, the short-cut to success is through the dark alleys of crime.
The story of the bad guys are almost a guaranteed winning proposition at the box-office, and for the actors, it’s a chance to make good their careers for they get that rare ability to actually perform and showcase the range between good and evil.
The fascination for the bad guys, however, isn’t a new thing.
Don’t we all remember how ‘Parattai’ made a Superstar?
But the profile of the bad guy has changed many shades since ’16 Vayathinilae.’
Today, he’s the guy around whom the story and the film revolves: the anti-hero. Because, he’s no do-gooder, good-for-nothing, even.
Today, he’s the prototype who made the gawky, scrawny Dhanush a sensation, the character that gave Jeevan a fresh lease of life, a formula that a Parthipan goes back to, when everything else fails, a role the biggest stars love to play to cover the audience in the B and C centers, the mould directors use when they have the task of making a hero out of an unlikely candidate.
After the stalker-glorifying ‘7G Rainbow Colony,’ Selvaraghavan and Dhanush will soon return with their gangster-flick ‘Puthupettai’ as a move to revive the fading star’s career. ‘Thiruttu Payale’ in spite of its two-twists too many is having crowds throng theatres on a weekday.
‘Pacha Kuthirae’ has a usually original Parthipan playing it safe, walking the ‘Pudhia Pathai’ line all over again. ‘Pattiyal’ has created the new generation Surya and Deva (Rajnikant and Mammooty in ‘Thalapathy’) and signaled the arrival of Arya, who shot to fame with
‘Arindhum Ariyamalum’. With ‘Ghajini’ and ‘Aaru,’ Suriya’s found himself home under the skin of the violent guy, because it helps him win over the mass. ‘Chithiram Pesudhadi’ had people flocking to the theatres despite the fact that it had newcomer Narain in the lead.
<!– D([“mb”,”\’Manmathan\’ gave Simbu a career.
So broadly, the anti-hero is of two types: the bad good guy and the
good bad guy.
The bad good guy is the prototype the big stars go in for, because
they continue to do good, inspire good, even if their means are wrong
— he\’s the messiah. He\’s the guy people looked up to. The guys people
wished they were. The alter-ego. They look good or are at least well
built and get to romance the girls.
The good bad guy is the chap who used to be good until time and
circumstances pushed him over to the wrong side of the law, sometimes
just obsessed, a victim of unrequited love — he\’s the victim. The guy
people don\’t want to be but fear to be. And empathise with. They could
look as bad as the people behind the scenes, they are the rejects, the
guys women have a problem falling in love with.
If Vishnuvardhan (director, Pattiyal) found the lives of gangsters
fascinating because of their attitude towards life despite their
random encounters with death, Susi Ganesan says that he found the knot
of the first irreparable mistake and the root of crime the premise for
How and why do people begin rooting for the bad guy when they are used
to seeing the do gooder as the hero?
Because, there is always the legitimisation of the crossover from good
to evil. Usually, a flashback sequence that explains what led to the
transformation from good to bad: an episode of violence and the need
to avenge, unrequited love and a dream that needs to be fulfilled or
sometimes, as simple as bad influences and bad company since childhood
(as in \’Pattiyal\’ and \’Thiruttu Payale\’).
Even at their baddest point in the movie, the anti-hero is
quintessentially the good guy, failing which, he becomes the villain.
A villain dies a villain, his death is relief.
An anti-hero dies a heroic death that further immortalises him.
For, he was a man who tried to cross over to the good side but life
wouldn\’t let him be.
For, it\’s written the scriptures of screenwriting: The man who took
the knife must die by it.