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12 December, 2005

Muscles or talent?

Cross posted this rant from my blog for comment on writing style, or the absence of it!

Just a thought struck me as I was watching an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie (whichever, whatever, all of them look the same to me!) yesterday.

When, I mean really, when, did this thing of acting prowess as muscles take root? I mean, when did the likes of muscle-and-brawn men like Arnold and Sylvester Stallone come to be called exponents of the fine art of acting. True, neither can act. The former confessed that directors have to make him lie down on a table to bring some expression into his immobile face. The guy just can’t act to save his life. He is an actor because of his muscles. Ditto for Sylvester, why, he can’t even speak.

Back home in India, our heroes-in-waiting have taken to the idea of brawn as acting skills as a fish takes to water. If you visit your local gymnasium you will find at least a hundred youngsters pumping iron in the hope that they would get to be actors like Arnold, Sylvester, Khan, and Kapoor. I guess our own wanna-be Khans and Kapoors must have been inspired by the Hollywood duo to beef up their pectorals and fight, sorry, scare the villains with their biceps!

Acting? What acting? We are into the “looking good” business. Acting is for sissies and grumpies who sit with books the whole day.

A big “ha!” to that!

Now, can biceps, triceps, or, for that matter, pectorals, compensate for good acting skills? Agreed Arnold, Sylvester, the Khans, and the Kapoors have churned out a lot of hits. That’s what biceps do to acting talent.

Confession: I have watched a lot of these capers, and have, ummm, liked them too. But can they really, really, act? Can they?

If they can act, then “Wat r u ding?” is great literature. And the following is great poetry:

“Honey came in and she caught me red-handed
Creeping with the girl next door
Picture this, we were both butt naked
Bangin' on the bathroom floor”

Written by some pop or rap star called Shaggy who is also a shabby writer. But, come on, he sells millions of records. That’s what biceps do to music. Don’t you know?

What does it say about the state of humankind when a fine art form like acting is not done with brains but with biceps, triceps and pectorals? Is acting and poetry no longer an intellectual pursuit?

Is it all about flexing the above-mentioned muscles?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking about muscular bodies and men in gymnasiums is so 80's and I seriously think a better part of the world is out of it. I recently read a vogue article that suggests more women are voting for the non-muscular pro-feminine looks of tom cruise, clooney and Ashton Kutcher rather than the muscular, chiselled look of men like pitt, stallone or Arnold.

I think it was definitely popular appeal and the whole heavy metal/rock-n-roll movement that led to those 'macho' actors but now, the times are definitely changing, and thankfully so.

For example, look at the new line of youngsters on either of the 'wood'z (holly/bolly) and we see more focus on method than the man or his muscle.

I guess there is a lot of people who have been thinking like you for sometime now, thankfully so!

- archie

31 December, 2005 12:01  

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