My Year of Prakash Raj

Some people spend a year
cooking Julia Child's recipes, or following all of the rules in the Bible, or reading books by people who spent a year doing something. My quest is to watch the 200-some films of South Indian character-actor-extraordinaire, Prakash Raj. (It'll probably take more than a year... and I'll post about some Prakash-less films here as well.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Guide to the Roles of Prakash Raj

I'm going to start doing some blog posts for specific movies, but I thought I'd play catch-up on the 46 films I've seen so far by cataloging them by the "types" of roles that Prakash Raj plays in each one. Credit goes to the folks at BollyWHAT/Beyond Bollywood forum for the initial identification of these types, which I've fleshed out a bit and will elucidate in further posts.


"Prakash Bad"
Oversize sunglasses with dark tint=Evillll!!!
Definition: villain (noun), a character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot. Generally an urbane kingpin, a diabolical rural factionalist, or a conniving in-law.
Citations to date: 12, see Pok(k)iri, Arjun, Okkadu, Samba.
Note: often forms a hybrid with "Prakash Dad", to create "Prakash Bad Dad." (See below.)



"Prakash Pal"
Oversize sunglasses with graded tint = friendly
Definition:  friend (noun), a person whom one knows and with whom one has bond of mutual affection. Generally a co-worker and romantic wing-man.
Citations to date:  3, see Mozhi, Kannathil Muthamittal.
Note:  the most rare of the types, although "Prakash Dad" sometimes features "Pal' elements (see Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam).


"Prakash Dad"
Sweater with sleeves= paternal


Definition:  father (noun), a man in relation to his natural child (uh, ok OED.) Generally a sophisticated businessman or a respected village leader.
Citations to date:  23 24, see Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana, Abhiyum Naanum, Chakram, Kanchivaram.
Note 1:  Variations of this type include "Hero's father" and "Heroine's father".
Note 2:  Has sometimes filled the "dad role" as a brother (Thiruvilaiyaadal Aarambam) or uncle (Rajakumarudu).
Note 3:  Often hybridizes with "Prakash Bad" to create "Prakash Bad Dad"-- 5 citations, see Kantri, Munna.


"Prakash Cop"
Sweater vest= honest
Definition:  police officer (noun), a member of the civil force of a national or local government, responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the maintenance of public order. Generally a morally upright supporter of the law, or an inept-appearing-yet-savvy investigator on the trail of the hero.
Citations to date:  7, see Athadu, Bombay, Tagore.
Note 1:  occasionally inlcudes "Pal" elements, though a true "hybrid" is not yet part of the database.
Note 2:  it is believed that "Prakash Bad Cop" hybrids also exist, and merit further research.

6 comments:

  1. Haha! Nice! So here's a challenge: where does Iruvar fit in?

    And you absolutely must add Varsham to your Bad Dad list. It's one of his finest IMHO! :D

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  2. And Jalsa has Prakash Cop and Prakash Dad! It is good that our categories have been made official. Awesome!

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  3. Dolce- I own Iruvar, but I'm holding off on watching it until I hit 75 or something, sort of a reward for getting through some other films. I figure I'll do a longer post on the variations of each type, so Varsham will get it's due, don't worry!

    jjake- that's right, I totally forgot that in Jalsa he was a cop, too. My spreadsheet is going to have a whole new range of categories just for Prakash!

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  4. Oooh!! A LONGER post! Can't wait! Can't wait! :D

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  5. Ah, Prakash and his many varied roles! :) ^I think Iruvar should go in the "Sexy Prakash" category (or maybe "Ladies Man Prakash"?), but only because of that scene he does with Tabu! And of course I'll be interested to see if you find any other films of his in which he's meant to look sexy. :)

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  6. I think I just found you a hybrid between Prakash Cop (well, more like government official), Prakash Pal AND Prakash Dad! In Indra. He's so awesome in it too :D

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