A simple tweet from actor Siddharth on 17th July was enough to make us all realize that the films that we watch, the actions and reaction of the actors playing scripted roles on screen have a very big impact on our life. What we see on screen appeals to our minds in many ways, some of us are smart and capable enough to differentiate between reality and fiction. Unfortunately some of us are not. Not everything that we see on screen is true, nor are the consequences that are portrayed in a lavish, dreamy and fictional world of the cinemas.
This is what he tweeted:
We’ve been selling a terrible dream in our films for long. That any man can get the woman he wants just by wanting her enough. Must change!
His tweet was meant as a guilt plea after the brutal murder of techie Swathi,in Chennai by an alleged stalker at the Nungambakkam railway station last month. No one would have thought that an actor would ever accept responsibility on a public platform, although we all know that many unrealistic stalkers are often inspired by the romantic notions that they watch on screen.
Actors like Dhanush and Silambarasan have turned on-screen stalking into an art, states Deccan Chronicle Columnist Soumya Rajendran. If we analyse movies made in the Tamil industry, we will see plenty of examples that glorify stalking as a sound form of expressing love. For example in “Paayum Puli”, Vishal plays the role of a cop who stalks and threatens a woman (Kajal Aggarwal) to fall in love with him and never for a moment are we supposed to think that this is anything but romantic. “Nanbenda”, starring Udhayanidhi Stalin, is yet another stalker-lover movie which, as an added bonus, also teaches the audience how to find out if a woman checking into a hotel with a man is his wife or a sex worker.
The lone suspect in the murder case of Swathi Ramkumar, revealed that he had fallen in love with her at first sight in September 2015 when he moved into the city.”Ramkumar would be waiting for Swathi to pass his mansion. He would be there waiting to have a glimpse of her every day. He had also taken her pictures on his mobile from a distance. During last year’s stint in the city, Ramkumar was also engaged in looking out for opportunities in films and he had kept his love for Swathi to himself. He came back with the sole agenda this time of befriending Swathi, in which he failed miserably,” an official privy to the investigation told Deccan Chronicle.
Ramkumar reportedly first expressed his love to Swathi in a temple to which she replied with a stinging slap, after which a wordy altercation ensued. This incident angered Ramkumar and he then further stepped up his stalking, hounding her on her way to work, to the temple and to her home. Police suspect that he was hurt with her rejection and his anger finally led him into killing her, although a confession is still due from the culprit.
And while one can argue that filmmakers have the right to tell stories of all kinds, horrific crimes like these should make them stop and take stock. Like Siddharth did.
Feature Image Credit: Deccan Chronicle