I am starting this article with a spoiler alert. If you ever would watch this Tamil movie, 'Ponmagal Vanthal,' the below article would spoil the surprise. I will do my best to save at least one surprise in the process.
And, I mean this post for 18 plus readers, in age. There is no graphic content, but it is important that elders evaluate and give to their young ones, to read, if and when they want to.
I watched a Tamil movie, 'Pongamal Vanthal.' The screenplay could have been tighter; some logical loopholes could have been avoided, etc. Yet, the film won my heart as it raised questions that are relevant today.
And Hats off to Jyothika, I am one of her fans. What a performance!
In the movie, two youngsters who are addicted to sex and drugs, regularly kidnap girls, any girl, those who have not attained puberty, included. It is horrible, but an accurate portrayal of reality for some girls in this part of the world, sadly. The boys usually murder the girls, or the girls die out of the brutal handling itself.
The father of one the boys is a violent man, but absolutely one who hides all violence in his expression - 'WORDS,' and 'ACTIONS,' publicly. He always speaks polite words, honorable words, helps society, and is known for his 'outwardly philanthropy.' His generous acts are the cover for how he is actually. With his close ones he is open about his nature and with his victims, he is liberally and genuinely violent.
A mother of one of the victims recovers a girl from the boys, but in the process ends up shooting the boys who were determined to kill her, to death. On experiencing the injustice and the plight of her child, she loses herself and expresses grief aloud. There were many children, found along with her daughter, all girls. Most of them were found dead.
The so-called polite man, who loses his son, kills the mother. This is the least of his violence in a sense. He inflicts a greater violence by damaging the mother's name that she was a psycho murderer who indeed killed all the violated girls who were recovered as dead bodies. He damages her name forever, and his innocent supporters and the ones who support the mother are defenseless against his lie. The story happens in a small town, where almost all people believe that the mother was an unbalanced psychotic woman. One woman fights to reclaim the mother's name and, in the process, bring the actual perpetrator to justice. Her fight makes the rest of the film.
I paid attention to: "His innocent supporters." How are the people who are benefitted by his charitable acts also his victims in addition to being 'unknowing partners in his crime'? Something to think through.
Dignified words, honorable and meaningful words are the foundation of civil society, for sure. So are genuine acts of philanthropy. Yet, when men such (in this case of the film) use them to protect their crimes, unfortunately, innocent supporters who only witness the 'outwardly good side,' of such men, unknowingly take part in his crime. Let's say, he meant those acts and has goodness also as his part of psychology, it is still a blind spot and a partnership in his crimes when his supporters are unwilling to see everything.
The ability to discern bad from the good is lost when we are not willing and, in some cases, not able to embrace all perspectives.
And if we leave alone intent but see the actions as they are, we will thank the man for the good deeds but hold him to justice for the bad ones. His intent can be left to become his prison or paradise, and it is his own doing; his doing alone. I harmed myself in assuming intent and share my version of the truth in some instances. I think those who experience injustice directly or the experts should decipher such a man's intent, not people like me. And people like me could stand by and support the truth.
Another scenario; It does not happen in the movie, but I have seen it in another film. An affected woman screams at the man who injured her, calls him names. This happens when he is amongst his supporters. The supporters immediately denounce the woman as uncivil, uncultured, and hysteric.
For a long time, I spoke against swearing. There is a concept in Yoga about how a pure word can impact the environment. Suppose I say a word always backed by hatred, and many people follow suit, then over time, that word gains the power and the momentum of hatred. Even just seeing the word in written could evoke teh negative energies associated with it. The same goes for words always used with love. If not all the time, but most of the time, swearing is backed by anger or hatred. So, it is preferable to refrain from swearing, in my opinion, to create a pleasant environment.
So I still speak for a choice of pleasant words and refrain from calling names, except in one scenario, when it is an honest expression of a grieving and injured person, and it is from their gut. They are raw, and their pain is true. Such is the expression of this woman's character in the movie.
If I judge her as uncivil and if I am stuck in the un-evaluated steadfast expression - 'what kinds of words should be spoken,' then I defeat the very principle and purpose of that expression itself. The principle to hold truth and love to build a civil society.
And when people of goodness are stuck in 'a need to hold the expression of the principle,' that shadows the principle itself, people who committed crimes could escape from their consequences, in society, by shifting attention to 'so-called uncivil behavior.'
When we understand this better and, above all, learn to embrace a person's painful experience when we do not have any equivalent ones, such false needs will fall apart, and the principle will prevail.
So, to quote Einstein, 'Civilization is a good idea.' It is in our hands to build it.