No Kids Please!
This is just a rant on parents bringing their children to theaters, something I've seen in theaters screening Tamil movies here in the US. Though this is a common occurrence in almost all Tamil movies, the timing of this rant was prompted by the screening of Kanaa Kanden last weekend. Kids crying, running in the aisles and parents trying to console/control them spoils the moviegoing atmosphere for other viewers in the theater but I'm not going to go there in this post. This one's more on behalf of the kids.
There were three families with kids in tow for Kanaa Kanden, the kids ranging in age from probably 4-5 yrs to 9-10 yrs (older kids probably won't accompany their parents to any movie, let alone a Tamil movie!). And from the parents' conversations, it was obvious that they were film buffs, well aware of the kind of film Kanaa Kanden was going to be. There was no part of the movie that offered what could be construed as wholesome entertainment for kids that age. I mean, do the kids at this age really need to see a husband and wife talking about rape, skimpily clad women dancing suggestively and people being killed rather violently? I'm no psychiatrist but I can't think of anything constructive arising out of these kids watching the film.
And I have seen worse. I have seen kids at movies like Hey Ram and Kaakka Kaakka (I have personally heard a kid asking his father "Daddy, what is that uncle doing?" during a particularly unsavory scene in Hey Ram). I have seen sleepy babies being carried to night shows(this usually happens during popular movies), fed during the intermission and then carried back to the car in the cold night.
Indian(particularly Tamil) obsession for movies is well-known(I contribute to that obsession too :-) but isn't this carrying things a little too far? Why is it that the same Indian parents, who go to great lengths to make sure their children have the best life possible, do not realise the trouble they are putting the same children to, for their personal two and a half hours of entertainment? Is it that difficult for the parents to 1) find a babysitter among their friends 2) leave the children at a friend's place or 3) find some friends in the same situation so that dads and moms can see the movie at different shows? Worst case, they can just wait for the tape/VCD/dvd!
Btw, the last mentioned suggestion above is what my wife and I do. In fact, I usually end up going alone since none of my friends here share my enthusiasm for Tamil movies and my wife goes with her cousin, though there have been a couple of movies she had to see on her own too. The only 2 movies we have taken our daughter to have been The Incredibles(which we had to walk out of in 10 minutes anyway since she was scared) and Pooh's Heffalump Movie. I can't think of greater movie buffs than me and my wife and if we can find a way to watch movies without troubling our daughter, I'm sure other parents can too.
So parents... have fun at the movies. Just leave your kids out of it!