Tamil director CS Amudhan is back with the same question he had asked in 2010 when he made Thamizh Padam: Are the Tamil film industry and fans ready to laugh at themselves (again)?
Going by the teaser, the sequel appears to be in the vein of the original spoof, which poked fun at a host of recurring narrative devices, plot developments, character types and mannerisms of popular actors in Tamil cinema. The tone of the latest parody seems to be inscribed in the title itself – a clear dig at Shankar’s yet-to-be-released 2.0, the sequel to the Rajinikanth starrer Enthiran (2010).
The original movie sent up characters played by Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Suriya and Vikram, among others. The teaser of the sequel has widened the net to include Vijay, Ajith and Madhavan. Even the Baahubali franchise is not spared.
Amudhan also takes potshots at non-film personalities such as the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader O Pannerselvam. Actors Shiva and Disha Pandey return as the lead pair in the sequel, which describes itself as a “Police athyayam” (police chapter). After all, nearly every Tamil actor has played a police officer at least once in his career.
When it was released in 2010, Thamizh Padam was lauded for its bravery and understandably so, since it has never been easy to get away with poking fun or criticising the Tamil film industry, especially its male stars.
The film begins with a scene from Bharathiraja’s female infanticide-themed drama Karuthamma that is turned on its head. On a rainy night in the village of Cinemapatti, a man learns that his wife has given birth to a son yet again. He coldly instructs his mother (Paravai Muniyamma) to kill his newborn son Shiva because the village headman has issued a diktat that the village will not tolerate any male children. The headman’s rationale: men from the village end up migrating to Chennai in order to become film stars. Within a year, they announce their political ambitions, which angers the party in power, and which in turn cuts off Cinemapatti’s access to basic facilities and funds. A reasonable fear, indeed.
Predictably, the new-born manages to survive and ends up in Chennai. He goes on to do almost everything that his village head had tried to prevent. From entry songs for heroes to climactic showdowns with evil villains in godowns, Amudhan lampoons some of the most common and over-abused devices in Tamil cinema. When a young Shiva tells his grandmother who has brought him to him to Chennai that he cannot wait to grow up and become a hero, she asks him to sit on a cycle parked near their hut and start pedalling. The wheel turns, time passes and Shiva (played by Shiva) is an adult in the next scene.
The screenplay of Thamizh Padam is a string of gags directed at specific scenes from a number of hit films. The list is long and is a thick-skinned fan’s paradise because it includes such successful films as Mani Ratnam’s Thalapathi (1991), Suresh Krishna’s Baasha (1995), N Linguswamy’s Run (2002), Dharani’s Dhool (2003) and AR Murugadoss’s Ghajini (2005).
Amudhan spares nobody and nothing, whether it is the reasons scriptwriters invent for making heroines fall in love with the heroes or the plot twists that ensure that the hero always arrives in the nick of time to save the day.
Even the songs are not spared. The track Oh Maha Zeeya, for instance, is a romantic song full of gibberish lyrics – nakumuku naaka, shakalaka oho randaka – and ridicules every generic love song filmed against scenic backdrops.
A lot of Amudhan’s humour is of the in-your-face kind, but it lovingly calls attention to the existing ridiculousness in our cinema. Among the best scenes is the parody of Shankar’s Anniyan (2005), in which Siva unsuccessfully tries to convince a herd of buffaloes to attack the villain and kill him. He even shows them a video of the scene from Anniyan on his laptop. The villain does die, eventually, but of a heart attack induced by excessive laughter after watching Siva and the buffaloes. “Bad guys can be killed this way too,” Siva declares.
The next Industrial Revolution is here – driven by the digitalization of manufacturing processes
Technologies such as Industry 4.0, IoT, robotics and Big Data analytics are transforming the manufacturing industry in a big way.
The manufacturing industry across the world is seeing major changes, driven by globalization and increasing consumer demand. As per a report by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd on the future of manufacturing, the ability to innovate at a quicker pace will be the major differentiating factor in the success of companies and countries.
This is substantiated by a PWC research which shows that across industries, the most innovative companies in the manufacturing sector grew 38% (2013 - 2016), about 11% year on year, while the least innovative manufacturers posted only a 10% growth over the same period.
Along with innovation in products, the transformation of manufacturing processes will also be essential for companies to remain competitive and maintain their profitability. This is where digital technologies can act as a potential game changer.
The digitalization of the manufacturing industry involves the integration of digital technologies in manufacturing processes across the value chain. Also referred to as Industry 4.0, digitalization is poised to reshape all aspects of the manufacturing industry and is being hailed as the next Industrial Revolution. Integral to Industry 4.0 is the ‘smart factory’, where devices are inter-connected, and processes are streamlined, thus ensuring greater productivity across the value chain, from design and development, to engineering and manufacturing and finally to service and logistics.
Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics are some of the key technologies powering Industry 4.0. According to a report, Industry 4.0 will prompt manufacturers globally to invest $267 billion in technologies like IoT by 2020. Investments in digitalization can lead to excellent returns. Companies that have implemented digitalization solutions have almost halved their manufacturing cycle time through more efficient use of their production lines. With a single line now able to produce more than double the number of product variants as three lines in the conventional model, end to end digitalization has led to an almost 20% jump in productivity.
Digitalization and the Indian manufacturing industry
The Make in India program aims to increase the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the country’s GDP from 16% to 25% by 2022. India’s manufacturing sector could also potentially touch $1 trillion by 2025. However, to achieve these goals and for the industry to reach its potential, it must overcome the several internal and external obstacles that impede its growth. These include competition from other Asian countries, infrastructural deficiencies and lack of skilled manpower.
There is a common sentiment across big manufacturers that India lacks the eco-system for making sophisticated components. According to FICCI’s report on the readiness of Indian manufacturing to adopt advanced manufacturing trends, only 10% of companies have adopted new technologies for manufacturing, while 80% plan to adopt the same by 2020. This indicates a significant gap between the potential and the reality of India’s manufacturing industry.
The ‘Make in India’ vision of positioning India as a global manufacturing hub requires the industry to adopt innovative technologies. Digitalization can give the Indian industry an impetus to deliver products and services that match global standards, thereby getting access to global markets.
The policy, thus far, has received a favourable response as global tech giants have either set up or are in the process of setting up hi-tech manufacturing plants in India. Siemens, for instance, is helping companies in India gain a competitive advantage by integrating industry-specific software applications that optimise performance across the entire value chain.
The Digital Enterprise is Siemens’ solution portfolio for the digitalization of industries. It comprises of powerful software and future-proof automation solutions for industries and companies of all sizes. For the discrete industries, the Digital Enterprise Suite offers software and hardware solutions to seamlessly integrate and digitalize their entire value chain – including suppliers – from product design to service, all based on one data model. The result of this is a perfect digital copy of the value chain: the digital twin. This enables companies to perform simulation, testing, and optimization in a completely virtual environment.
The process industries benefit from Integrated Engineering to Integrated Operations by utilizing a continuous data model of the entire lifecycle of a plant that helps to increase flexibility and efficiency. Both offerings can be easily customized to meet the individual requirements of each sector and company, like specific simulation software for machines or entire plants.
Siemens has identified projects across industries and plans to upgrade these industries by connecting hardware, software and data. This seamless integration of state-of-the-art digital technologies to provide sustainable growth that benefits everyone is what Siemens calls ‘Ingenuity for Life’.
Case studies for technology-led changes
An example of the implementation of digitalization solutions from Siemens can be seen in the case of pharma major Cipla Ltd’s Kurkumbh factory.
Cipla needed a robust and flexible distributed control system to dispense and manage solvents for the manufacture of its APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients used in many medicines). As part of the project, Siemens partnered with Cipla to install the DCS-SIMATIC PCS 7 control system and migrate from batch manufacturing to continuous manufacturing. By establishing the first ever flow Chemistry based API production system in India, Siemens has helped Cipla in significantly lowering floor space, time, wastage, energy and utility costs. This has also improved safety and product quality.
In yet another example, technology provided by Siemens helped a cement plant maximise its production capacity. Wonder Cement, a greenfield project set up by RK Marbles in Rajasthan, needed an automated system to improve productivity. Siemens’ solution called CEMAT used actual plant data to make precise predictions for quality parameters which were previously manually entered by operators. As a result, production efficiency was increased and operators were also freed up to work on other critical tasks. Additionally, emissions and energy consumption were lowered – a significant achievement for a typically energy intensive cement plant.
In the case of automobile major, Mahindra & Mahindra, Siemens’ involvement involved digitalizing the whole product development system. Siemens has partnered with the manufacturer to provide a holistic solution across the entire value chain, from design and planning to engineering and execution. This includes design and software solutions for Product Lifecycle Management, Siemens Technology for Powertrain (STP) and Integrated Automation. For Powertrain, the solutions include SINUMERIK, SINAMICS, SIMOTICS and SIMATIC controls and drives, besides CNC and PLC-controlled machines linked via the Profinet interface.
The above solutions helped the company puts its entire product lifecycle on a digital platform. This has led to multi-fold benefits – better time optimization, higher productivity, improved vehicle performance and quicker response to market requirements.
Siemens is using its global expertise to guide Indian industries through their digital transformation. With the right technologies in place, India can see a significant improvement in design and engineering, cutting product development time by as much as 30%. Besides, digital technologies driven by ‘Ingenuity for Life’ can help Indian manufacturers achieve energy efficiency and ensure variety and flexibility in their product offerings while maintaining quality.
The above examples of successful implementation of digitalization are just some of the examples of ‘Ingenuity for Life’ in action. To learn more about Siemens’ push to digitalize India’s manufacturing sector, see here.
This article was produced on behalf of Siemens by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.