on swordplay !!!

picture this: a young man, slightly fat, always dressed in tights. he's a commoner, but largehearted and a skilled swordsman. a happy-go-lucky fellow whose favorite pastime is playing the fool with his friends and standing up for the villagers' rights. it is this latter avocation of his that pits him against the king's cruel brother-in-law and his men. he confronts and chases them away with his deft swordsmanship (swordplay is perhaps a more appropriate term). from here on chasing them away becomes one more of his favorite pastimes. scaling up the palace walls to woo the princess, becomes another. he has bumped into her during one of his numerous adventures and decided she's it. planning an insurrection with the dhoti-clad peasantry in a cave-like hideout, befriending wizards and holy men, outwitting the evil tantrik, uniting his estranged parents etc., are some of the feats he accomplishes before winning the crown and the princess.... play around with any permutation or combination of the above elements and what you'd come up with is a 'folk movie' or what can be better described as a fictional, period drama. except, the period any movie 'x' of this genre purportedly refers to is never properly defined, in the tradition of all folk lore, and the drama part of the
movie is always hopelessly melodramatic.
movies of that genre of telugu cinema has few takers now, the pundits say. adventure, romance and rebellion- out of fashion?
now, a confession: i like those movies. and the more i see of today's fare the more i like those old flicks. their approach to storytelling was breathtakingly simple. and so were the stories, or, should i say story? the devil, like always, lies in the details. for instance, why does the hero wield the french rapier most often when he could have chosen from a wide variety of indian swords? more questions in the next post...

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