The biggest plus point of Tamil cinema is its ability to be different. It tackles out-of-the way subjects like the camera phobia of a village, pigeon racing, child abuse and so on.
Director Bala's upcoming Kadikara Manithargal centres on a lower middle-class family in Chennai that finds it is difficult to get a flat on rent. Actor Kishore -- who plays the lead along with Latha Rao (a popular television actor) -- said recently that every big city posed a challenge when it came to renting an apartment. These days, with more and more people moving to metros in search of a livelihood, accommodation is getting scarer.
What is worse, landlords -- particularly in cities like Chennai -- have so many prejudices that it is an uphill task to rent a flat. One knows of several landlords who would not entertain single men or women, because they tend to walk in late at night or create a ruckus with their friends. Then there are issues like food, with those who eat meat being unwelcome. Some landlords go to the extent of having only upper class Hindus. Other castes and religions are a strict taboo.
Hopefully, Kadikara Manithargal -- which was shot in and around Puducherry and Chennai -- will address these issues, with Kishore essaying the father of three children. What is the problem here? The family is large, and landlords are not keen on renting out their flats in such cases. The father is in a dilemma. He cannot go back to his hometown, for that would be loss of face.
With about 50 per cent of the families in smaller towns slated to migrate to large cities in the next 10 years, housing is going to be a big impediment, especially in places like Chennai with its umpteen biases.