K Balachander, Tamil Movies

The Dancer and her Muse

Consider the following story.

A beautiful lady has had deep passionate interest in dance right from when she began walking. She is about 30 year old and has been married to a sweet compassionate man(aged 35) for the past 8 years. Theirs was an arranged marriage. He is a Chartered Accountant and not somebody who is really into the Arts.  He has a knack for the culinary skills, especially exotic milk sweets. He indulges in it as a weekend hobby. Our heroine does not relish his dishes for weight maintenance reasons.

She is a sort of pedant when it comes to the dances and is mostly into the Indian Classical Dances. You can also say that she is quite partial to Barathanatyam. Her skill in her chosen art is positively legendary. Enter an energetic dude who is about 28 years and is a dance teacher in an elementary school.  He challenges her pedantic outlook and argues about the story telling and fluidity that is available in Ballet and the richness of folk dances across the globe. He convinces her that she can grow in her own skill by learning a bit more of the European Dance forms. She admires him for he is so well-learned that he can have any extent of fame, and that he only wants to teach children and be be taught by children. She also begins to admire him physically as he is a dancer and very much in shape.  Soon she gets obsessed with him and finally admits his feelings for him. An affair ensues.

Now Question Time. How much do you think that the three parties of this story be blamed for this affair? Woman vs Husband vs Lover, whose fault is it?

I think it is a fairly straightforward story. The fault should be placed predominantly on the woman and to a lesser extent on the loverboy. But what about the husband? Is he to be blamed too? I am sure that the very idea sounds preposterous, doesn’t it? But this is what happens when the tables are turned. This story is (if you have not guessed it already) the ulta of Sindhu Bairavi.  The dancer is JKB, the Chartered Accountant Husband is Bairavi and the Dance Teacher is Sindhu.  The truth is, people do place a certain extent of blame on Bairavi for not satisfying JKB’s intellectual needs(whatever that may be).  Ok, it may not be as much as we blame Sindhu herself, but a little.  You can think of other stories like Chinna Veedu or Sathi Leelavathy too were the weight-problems of the Wife is seen as the reason why the Husband strays.

My question is basically this. How much of this blame throwing comes from the movie/story/director and how much from the prejudices of the audience themselves? How much of what you see in a movie is actually coming from us, rather than from the screen?