Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Five Fabulous Roles of Sivaji Ganesan.

     
























      'Give him any role,he will excel'.That was the acting spirit of Sivaji Ganesan,who was born with theatrics in his blood.He was the first Tamil film hero,to don nine roles in a single film and the film Navarathiri was a big hit.Like Oliver Goldsmith the illustrious English writer, who is said to have left not even a single field of literature untouched and whatever he touched he adorned,this great actor, would not have left any role not portrayed and whichever role he did,he did to his best.But there are certain roles which remain extraordinarily brilliant, making them timelessly incomparable.I am giving here five such roles that appear to me immortally magnificent.Of these, three are historical roles and the other two are mythological and spiritual.
    Fictitious characters are at times easier to play than any historical or mythological roles.This is because, the first type is more open than the latter.The pressures are usually more on an actor who attempts to play important historical or mythological and spiritual characters, that have gone deeper into the socio-cultural roots,as well as into the human psyche of a region. Tamil cinema has periodically visited some of the important historical events relevant to the Indian and Tamil soil with a view to throwing light on life's real time occurrences with verity and value.But all such shows do not yield the intended result on account of either poor narration or actors' lack of involvement in becoming the real life characters.Even Sivaji Ganesan's films like Ambikapathi and Chittor Rani Padmini became failures in bringing history back to life with its inherent layers of interest.
    But there are three historical characters that Sivaji Ganesan played as a poet,a provincial ruler and  a Swadeshi business man, that live as monumental roles purely because of Sivaji Ganesan's indisputable authenticity in role performance.Yes,as the ripe, Telugu Poet Tenaly Raman who was the incarnation of intelligence,Sivaji Ganesan demonstrated his highly committed acting skills with poise and perfection. In fact it was one of the earliest roles of Sivaji Ganesan. The movie was simultaneously made in Telugu and Tamil, with N.T.Ramarao doing the role of King Krishnadevarayar in both the languages,while Nageshwararao depicting the role of Tenalyraman in Telugu and Sivaji Ganesan in the Tamil version.
   Being a Telugu remake with quite a few Telugu actors moving through the screen, the film did not reflect Tamil fragrance.But the fact remains that, it was Sivaji Ganesan who brought the film closer to the Tamil audience and made a Telugu poet pass through the linguistic barriers and become part and parcel of the Tamil soil. The film Tenaly Raman might not be said to have become a great hit.But the character Tenaly Raman got closer to the Tamil people, mainly because of the realistic presentation of role by the actor par excellence.
     Sivaji Ganesan who created dramatic waves by his very first movie Parasakthi, began to rule Tamil cinema not only through his verbal efficacy for lengthy ranting dialogues, but also through his credentials for natural acting. Tenaly Raman was an early sample of this marvelous actor's flair for underplay of characters with effortless humor and instant punch.Today if any one makes a reference to the historical character Tenaly Raman,those who know the days of nascent Tamil Cinema, would instantly fix Ganesan's profile on this historical figure of literary fame.
   After this film, it was no wonder that this actor whose body and mind were consummately made up of the acting stuff, spontaneously poured forth his entire energy levels for becoming Veera Pandiya Kattabomman,a provincial ruler who fought tooth and nail, against the British Raj and bluntly refused to be enslaved by the invading forces, indulging in a process of taxation and hateful enslavement.
    This epoch making film produced and directed by the Padmini pictures' B.R.Panthulu, was a Summer release in 1959 and was the first Tamil film to be made in Technicolor. Sivaji Ganesan became the personification of a firebrand rebel, stoutly raising his voice against the alien oppressive rulers,who came to India, in the guise of the East India Company.The story line for this war film was written by M.P.Sivagnanam,a famous Tamil scholar and political representative and the dialogues were written by Sakthi T.K. Krishnasaamy. 
    The force of the dialogues and the way Sivaji Ganesan uttered them made the film a lasting show of historical events on the big screen.Every aspect of the film was invincible and every actor made their role play precisely true to life.It was a block buster film and would ever be one of the most fabulous shows of Sivaji Ganesan.
   Following the victory of this film B.R.Pantulu was inspired to make another film based on some notable events that took place in Tamil Nadu as a close corollary to the Indian Freedom Movement.This film Kappalottiya Thamizhan which was a Deepavali release of 1961,biographically narrated the life story of V. O. Chidhambaram Pillai,who founded a Swadeshi Stream Navigation company, to lift the image of India in the midst of the aggressive East India Company, which came to India under the auspices of the imperialist forces, to conquer and suppress both the business and freedom of Indians. Sivaji Ganesan lived as V.O.C. 
    Unlike in Veerapandiya Kattabomman there were no ranting dialogues in Kappalottiya Thamizhan.It was a black and white film,for which the story line was provided by the same M.P.Siva gnanam but the dialogues were penned by'Chitra' Krishna swami.Though the film was a moderate show, no one could fault the natural, down to earth performance of Sivaji Ganesan and the equally impressive acting of Gemini Ganesan,Savitri, S.V.Renga Rao,K.Balaji, S.V.Subbiah,T.K. Shanmugam and others.
   As poet Bharathi and as Subramanyam Siva S.V.Subbiah and T.K.Shanmugam gave a brilliant performance.The narration was so realistic that the scenes showing the last days of V.O.C and Poet Subramanya Bharathi brought tears to the entire audience at the theatres. Perhaps the low profile dialogues and the composed acting of the cast, failed to take it to the level of the very lively narration and vigorous action display witnessed in Veerapandiya Kattabomman.Though the film fizzled out at the box office, till date when one thinks of V.O.C it is Sivaji Ganesan with his turban would stand before them bringing to one's focus the aristocratic nobility,the righteousness in approach and the historically recorded commitment of V O C to the Swadeshi movement,as an inspiring force of the Freedom Movement of India.
    Besides the dazzling shows mentioned above,Sivaji Ganesan performed two other awesome roles,one from Hindu mythology and the other from the life of a divine Hindu saint. Sivaji Ganesan played both the roles with utmost veracity and credibility in looks and portrayal of emotions.The first one was that of the Surya Puthra Karna and the second was the sacred Tamil, Hindu saint Thirunavkkarasar also known as Appar.
   It was again B.R.Pantulu who made the outstanding mythological film Karnan produced under his Padmini pictures and released in 1964.While A.P.Nagarajan took up the screen play it was Sakthi T. K. Krishnaswami who wrote the dialogues for the film,after Veerapandia Kattabomman.This color film had most of the Kurushetra war scenes shot in outdoor locations in Jaipur.The film had an excellent cast with Sivaji Ganesan as Karnan S.A.Asokan as Dhuriodhana,N.T.Ramarao as Lord Krishna and R.Muthuraman as Arjuna.The female cast included Devika and Savitri as the wives of Karna and Dhuriyodhana respectively and M.V.Rajamma donning the role of Kundhi Devi,the mother of Karna and his half brothers the Panja Paandavas.
     Sivaji Ganesan as the most wronged and harmed Karnan, passionately embraced the character and literally made an outburst of his pent up emotions of anguish and despair,that necessarily formed the base of the characterization of the forlorn hero of the Maha Bharatha. He would roar against the injustice that was serially meted out to him and at the same time melt down the moment he saw his mother who disowned him.Charity,chivalry,and gratitude were the three major virtues that Karna, inhaled as his life breath and he remained as the incarnation of those virtues till his last breath. So perfect was Sivaji Ganesan's portrayal of Karnan in body and spirit, that words go wanting,if one tries to talk about this peerless hero's perfect role absorption of Karna.
   The fifth in my favored list is that of the character of the Tamil Savaite saint Thirunavukkarasar who was also called Appar. Sivaji Ganesan took up this role for A.P.Nagarajan's spiritually inspiring film Thiruvarutchelvar. It was one of the most difficult roles,even for a highly involved and talented actor like Sivaji Ganesan. Besides the flawless make up manual meant for the saint's aged looks,the excellent way Sivaji Ganesan imbibed and delivered the sacred intricacies and subtleties of the role, carried a venerable demonstration of the saint on the screen.
     The two songs"Pithaa Piraisoodi Perumaane"and ''Naadharmoodi Melirukkum Nallapaambe"were beautifully pictured to enhance the quality of portrayal, by creating saintly vibrations in celluloid form.In looks, gait and governance of words,Saint Appar was unquestionably reborn on the screen.I doubt if any other hero could have succeeded to this extent, in taking the body and soul of a saint, closer to the audience.
    This article is born of my life long love and admiration for a Tamil hero, who frequently crossed the conservative,stipulated barriers of acting, to conquer the unconquerable.Though the much deserving Chevalier title was conferred upon him, it was really unfortunate that this high profile actor's grandeur was less recognized in India, in terms of awards and titles.The numberless challenging roles he took up to deliver, are all being listed and remembered only by Tamil film lovers, who are known for evaluating an actor's credentials mostly in terms of their emotional admiration for his/her inspiring and appealing portrayal of roles.
    While a majority of Sivaji Ganesan's roles were born of creative imagination,the five fabulous characters focused here,were reflective of history, mythology and Hindu spiritual reality.That Sivaji Ganesan made all the five characters revive and reverberate in the larger than life spectrum of cinema and that he left indelible impressions of those five roles,are the undying  wonders of Tamil film history.
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Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Mellifluous Malayalam Actor.














       There are voices that vibrate like that of the Superstar, Rajini kanth.There are voices that conquer our ears in a mighty majestic frame, like that of Sivaji Ganeasan. But there are mellifluous musical voices too, that do not sing, but deliver dialogues in a soothing manner, making the hearing process a wonderful experience.If in Tamil films,we have had such a voice in Muthuraman, in Malayalam cinema it is the enchanting voice of Nedumudi Venu, that creates a mellifluous effect.Never in his dialogue delivery does Venu hurt the ears.The more he talks,the more lovely it is, to listen to him.It is not just an anguished tone but is also one of contextual control and authority.Besides,it is also a reassuring voice,a voice ever willing to comfort and console.
   I have not seen too many movies of this winsome character actor.The first I saw him was in Fazil's film Manjil Viringna Pookal {Incidentally it was Mohanlal's debut film too}.This was followed by Bharathan's Vishaali. Nedumudi Venu has been the most favored character actor in many of the films of Mohanlal. The list of films that I watched,would include Mohanlal's great hits like Chitram,HisHighnessAbdullah,Thalavattam,Then Maavin Kombath,Thacholi Verghese Checkavar,Bharatham Chathurangam,Akkare,Uncle Bun, Kaakka Kuyil,Madampi, AkkareAkkareAkkare,Devasuram,Spadikam,Thandavam
Life is Beautiful,Manichitrathaazh,Nirnayam,Mithunam, Pavithram,Alexander the great and the most recent Oppam.
   With Mammootty, Venu's entries do not appear to be many.I could only recall films like Lekheyude Maranam Oru Flash back,The King and the Commissioner and the most memorable Prajabadhi in which Nedumudi Venu played a very impressive, villain role.It is very difficult to imagine Venu in a baddie role,because his profile and pattern of acting would resemble those of the venerable Telugu and Tamil actor V.Nagaiah of the last century,who could breezily fit into lovable character roles.But Venu excelled as a villain too, making indelible impressions in every scene of the movie.
    Nedumudi Venu also seems to have found space in a good number of films with Dileep playing the lead.The latter's films like Ishtam,Vettam,Vinodha Yaatra,Maya Mohini,Sringaara Velan, Mr.Marumagan,Nadodi Mannan and Villaali Veeran had a notable role play for Nedumudi Venu.The first three films in the list, would find a special place in Venu's career.I am not here to talk about the favorable position that Venu enjoys with the heroes of Malayalam Cinema.But I am here, to categorically state,that Venu has certainly demonstrated an endearing camaraderie and warmth with Mohanlal in films like Chitram,Thenmaavin Kombath, Bharadham and Oppam.The team spirit between these two actors could be reasonably compared to the endearing rapport between Sivaji Ganesan and R.Muthuraman.
     What makes Nedumudi Venu as one of the true faces of Malayalam Cinema, is the element of poise in his delivery of characterization in almost all his films and the natural way he embraces his characters, without violating the yardsticks of realistic presentation of character portrayal, that always forms an integral formula of Malayalam film making.
   The fact that Venu was associated even at the start of his career,with distinguished  men of the Malayalam film industry, like actor Bharath Gopi and directors G.Aravindhan and Padmarajan is an indicator of the creative stuff that Nedumudi Venu is made of.His entire career has come under the aesthetic scanner of fine film makers of Malayalam Cinema,like Bharathan G.Aravindhan, I.V.Sasi Padmarajan,Sathyan Andhikkad, M.T.Vasudevan Nair,Fazil,Pryadharshan,Sibi Malayil and so on.
     Nedumudi Venu's under play of characters and avoidance of melodramatic traits in acting, have secured him a prestigious position in Malayalam Cinema.Venu has also done a few Tamil films of which Indian and Anniyan directed by Shankar need a special mention.In certain frames,his grasp of role and the anguished tone in acting, might carry a semblance of Late Murali's style of deliberation. But Murali's show was always of a sober type. Whereas,Venu would spontaneously reflect a comedy flair wherever necessary, without deterring the dignity of the role he is vested with.
    Beyond his ever controlled body language,it is his perfectly captivating voice mould, blended with a unique kind of rhythm and flawless intonation of utterances,that crisply carry his roles closer to the audience.I love his voice and I can imagine his right mode of acting, just by listening to his mellifluous voice and the singular effect it creates, on his subtle depiction of the character that he naturally dons and neatly delivers.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Dialogue Component of Tamil Cinema.

     If the story of a film is the skeleton,dialogues constitute its flesh and blood and characters bring life to the dialogues.In other words, dialogues and the actors who deliver them, become complementary components of the cinematic process. Each language has its special attributes towards expressing thoughts and emotions in a way that would make the power of language closer to its soil.Cinema as a creative medium became full fledged only when it came out of its silent movie days.The sound track of cinema is its soul, setting the process of communication as a prerequisite for transporting the events on the screen into the grasp of the audience, as factors of entertainment,enjoyment and enlightenment.
    Film dialogues delve into a comprehensive course of introspection and revelation of a galaxy of human experiences, in individual and collective compartments.However, dialogues find their relevance and magnitude,only when individuals come together as friends,families and wider social groups.The nature and quality of dialogues will vary, in terms of the social base and the contexts,generating dialogues.So a good dialogue writer should first take these two aspects into his mind and then formulate the right course of dialogue.A realistic and relevant study of the dialects of the respective regions of any language, becomes the most important criterion for dialogue writing, besides the family and social layers involved in the portrayal of themes and characters.
    As far as Tamil films are concerned,the pertinence and force of  Tamil language as film medium, gained its significance only during the Dravidian era.Till then Tamil was under the spell and impact of the Devanagari sound and script.If one has to talk about the grip of chaste Tamil trying to find its strong foothold in Tamil Cinema, one has to gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Kalaignar M.Karunanidhi for his forceful and enriching quality of Tamil dialogues that he wrote for films like Parasakthi,Manohara ,Raja Rani and so on.In writing dialogues he could be said to have surpassed Arignar Anna himself, by adding greater semantic thrust,twist,punning and alliteration, to the dialogues that he wrote.Even these days, Tamil film directors and actors proudly recall the powerful dialogues, from the fertile and fiery imagination of this great creative force, in Tamil Cinema.
    There were many films which were enriched by the dialogue component.Various dialogue writers with a right perception of the diverse strata of society and regions of Tamil Nadu, contributed their stuff to the most vital, dialogue segment of Tamil Cinema.For instance,many of the successful films of A. Bhimsingh, owed their grand dynamics of  narration to the probing dialogues of M.Karunanidhi, M.S.Solaimalai, Kannadasan, A.L.Narayanan, Aroordas, Javert Seetharaman, Jeyakanthan and several others .Of these,A.L Narayanan and Aaroordas made their long time, emphatic contribution as dialogue writers of many popular films.Jeyakanthan created indelible impressions as a meritorious fiction writer and it was actually his two critically acclaimed  novels Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidharkal and Oru Nadikai Naadakam Paarkiraal that A.Bhimsingh made as films and it was  these two films that were adorned by Jeyakanthan's dialogues.
    Later K.S.Gopalakrishnan not only wrote the screenplay and directed his films but also wrote gripping dialogues, reflecting the power of family values and the unique cultural base of the rural soil of Tamil Nadu.Some of his films specially treasured for dialogues are Karpagam,Panama Paasama,Kai Kodutha Theivam,Vaazhaiyadi Vaazhai and Kulama Gunama.Great actors like Sivaji Ganesan Gemini Ganesan, S.Varalakshmi, Padmini,Savithri and Pramila added life and vocal splendor to the dialogues penned by K.S.G.One of his most memorable dialogues from Panama Pasama is that of the words spoken by the heroine to her mother who hates her son in law and plans to do away with him"Mom, I have had of mothers who want their sons dead because they want to see their daughter in law a widow.But you are one who thinks that even if your daughter becomes a widow, you want to see your son in law dead"
   Unlike K.S.G who wrote dialogues in an open and direct form, his contemporary K.Balachander had his package of dialogues written in subtle and suggestive mode as well as in clear argumentative style, with a flair for rationalizing and modernizing the dialogue format.His dialogues for films like Punnagai,Major Chandrakanth,Iru Kodukal,Arangetram,Aval Oru Thodar Kadhai, Apoorva Raagangal,Thamarai Nenjam, Nootrukku Nooru,Thanneer Thanneer, Varumaiyin Niram Sigappu, Thappu Thaalangal,Puthu Puthu Arthangal and Kalki had a lot to suggest things through hidden meanings and punch in dialogues.Whereas his other films like Server Sundaram Ethir Neechal, Velli Vizhaa,Bhama Vijayam, Kaaviya Thalavi ,Poova Thalaiya and Sollathaan Ninaikiren, were full of direct thrust of words with their mind blowing meanings. 
    K.B's play with anagrams like 'life' and'file' in Iru Kodukal was discussed as an exceptional aspect of the dialogue form those days.In Arengetram the heroine would tell her mother. "There can be any number of skirmishes between a mother and daughter, but not that of two wives of the same husband, fighting over him."Similarly,in Sollathaan Ninaikirein, Kamalahasan doing the role of the Casanova, would proudly declare after seducing his last victim,"the last in the list is lost at last"This single utterance simultaneously brought out the filth of male arrogance and the ace director's ability to play with English words.It was no wonder that the driving pull of his dialogues and  his directorial excellence,fetched him awards for his films like Ethir Neechal,Iru Kodukal,Thamarai Nenjam, Apoorva Raagangal, Aval Oru Thodar Kadhai,Thappu Thaalangal and Thanneer Thanneer.
    A.P.Nagarajan took Tamil Cinema to a different level through his impressive dialogues written in pure literary Tamil format for his movies depicting religious and spiritual themes. His mega hit films like Thiruvilaiyaadal,Saraswathi Sabadham, Kandhan Karunai,Thiruvarut Selvar and Thirumaal Perumai bear clear testimony to his grasp of literary Tamil.He also handled colloquial Tamil with its local and contextual dialect varieties in these films as well as in his other films like Navarathiri,Thillaanaa Mohanaambaal,Vaa Raja Vaa, Thirumalai Thenkumari, and so on.In the peerless thespian skill  of actors like Sivaji Ganesan,Nagesh,T.S Balaiah, Padmini and Savithri and many others, all these films ruled to the roost, with Nagarajan's resplendent dialogues.The argument between Lord Shiva,played by Sivaji Ganesan and Tamil Poet Nakeeran portrayed by A.P.Nagarajan himself, showed not only the might of Nagarajan's creative mind but also his brilliant Tamil accent, intonation and clarity of utterances. Sivaji Ganesan as usual demonstrated the grandeur of his body language,with infallible verbal flair.
    Following these eminent dialogue writers there was a line of other qualitative dialogue writers like Sornam,Vietnaam Veedu Sundaram,Kaaraikudi Narayanan,Panju Arunachalam,Rama Arngannal,Valampuri Somanadhan,Malliyam Rajagopal, R.C.Shakthi,Madhurai Thirumaran,Visu,K.Bharathiraja K.Bhagyaraj, R.Parthiban, Liaqat Ali Khan,CrazyMohan, Vikraman, Agathyan K.S.Ahiyaman, K.S.Ravikumar,Bala kumaran, P.Vasu A.R.Murugadoss, Seemaan, Pandiraj and a few others. Most of them in this list have got awards for their dialogue composition. 
   But the present scenario is slowly changing with a clear shift in priorities from language heard to visuals expressed with minimum words.Most of Manirathnam films have dialogues less said, than visuals more seen.The slowness in dialogue delivery and the use of minimum words with maximum focus on wordless narration are the specialties of directors like Manirathnam.
  The last time we witnessed forceful dialogues were in Ramana and Thambi for which A.R.Murugadoss and Seeman wrote the dialogues, respectively.May be these days people do not want to listen to too many utterances in the place of impressive action play.Already language has shrunk on account of the social network exigencies.The decline of dialogues in Tamil Cinema is perhaps an indicator of the situation calling for the maxim"the less said the better"But let not film makers forget the fact that dialogues are the teeth of the film medium.If you pluck the teeth,cinema loses its power of place,by missing its focus on the sheen and charm of the human race.
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Friday, September 1, 2017

The Unconventional Hero of Tamil Cinema.





   

     Four decades ago, when Rajinikanth hit the big screen, he was considered to be an unconventional actor because of his novelties in portrayal of roles and his brave new style that broke the earlier conventions meant for donning the role of a hero.As a negative hero with ruffian roots, he created new waves and sensations and this soon began to create a new chapter in Tamil Cinema.But soon Rajinikanth was seen to consolidate his style components in acting, to become a conventional hero in the line of MGR and Sivaji Ganesan, besides capitalizing a favorable situation that transformed him into a Superstar.In the early years of the new millennium there entered another unconventional actor into Tamil Cinema, so far unrelenting to change his unconventional approach and that is the brave Vijay Sethupathi, born afresh, in each of his new releases.
      After playing insignificant roles in films like M,Kumaran S/O Mahalakshmi,Puthupettai, Lee Anjaadhe,Vennilaa Kabadikkuzhu,and Naan Mahaan Alla, he played the lead role in Seenu Ramasamy's award winning film Thenmerku Paruvakatru. Then we saw him in Sasikumar's 'Sundarapandian', playing a silent, negative role, with some excusable reason to be a baddie.At that time, no one would have thought that here was a person with his own hidden agenda for acting, with a grit to drive the audience imagination, to a maddening craze for seeing him more and more as a hero of unconventional stuff.Well, when the audience first saw Rajinikanth  playing the role of the sickly, docile husband of Srividya, in 'Aboorva Raagangal', who would have thought that he was going to  rock in his next film Monnru Mudichu with a rebellious and unconventional pull in his body language and dialogue delivery.This is how Vijay Sethupathi continues to haunt the imagination of the audience, by playing even serious roles with a self surrender, towards creating glimpses of a hero, without an iota of heroism and personality projections.There is a perennial store of innocent mischief in him, waiting to take a new avatar in each film.
      Film after film,Vijay Sethupathi's  irreverence to the conventions of hero norms, took him to greater reception and higher acclaim from the audience.There is an unending list of films like Pizza,Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom,Soothu Kavvum,Idharkuthaan Aasaipattaaya Balakumara,Kadhalum Kadandhupogum,Sethupathi,Orange Mittai,Naanum Rowdy Thaan,Rekka, Dharmadhurai,Aandavan Kattalai,Kavan and the recent blockbuster Vikram Vedha. Most of the films fetched him awards from one source or the other.What is special about this new wave hero is the special impact he creates in not claiming to be a hero.In this respect he reminds me of Nivin Pauly of Malayalam Cinema.{His film "Action Hero Biju"is one big sample of his quest to crush the image of the action hero}.Vijay Sethupathi's big image is born of blowing off the projections of being a hero.When you break and crash the existing norms of the hero base, a new base is constructed and this new base takes wings like a phoenix and creates wonders.We do not know whether Vijay Sethupathi does it purposely, or it is his way of acting.But the end result is the fresh appeal and the new lease he has given to what it means to be a hero.
      There is always the layer of a thug in most of the role performances of Vijay Sethupadhi and there is ever a uniqueness in making the thug look clumsy and funny.Humor -blended negative role play, always carries a charismatic touch. Rajinikanth and Sathyaraj were successful in negative roles because of their singular stylish approach to display villainy.The Superstar's sense of humor began to reflect itself only from the film Ninaithaale Inikkum directed by the commendably professional K.Balachander. Whereas Vijay Sethupathi like Nivin Pauli, makes himself a butt of ridicule and silently pushes himself along with the character he plays,for an instant reach with the audience.No one can forget how he beautifully destroyed the rowdy image, in Naanum Rowdythaan. Even in the latest, wonderful movie Vikram Vedha, it is the fun impact during every encounter between the Cop Madhavan and the Rowdy Vijay Sethupathi that rules  every frame of presentation and makes the film a trend setting phase, in Tamil Cinema.
    As matters stand, Vijay Sethupathi  has come to be a broadly acceptable hero, without being a hero.How long this unconventional endearment will continue with the audience,will be decided by factors like difference in story line, characterization and the actor's unflinching motivation to preserve the ongoing gusto.However as on date, let us wish him well for a long journey through the Tamil big screen for being one of the most viable and desirable segments of the Tamil film industry. The number of entries he makes every year shows how much viable and desirable, this unconventional hero is.If this trend continues it will create new records for Tamil Cinema.
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Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Twirled Moustache of Thamizha.


 

                                                          Meesaya Murukku.jpg



     Aadhi known as Hip hop Thamizha in his twenties, has ventured upon a rap mixed genre of music with Tamil words bearing the Afro American musical notes, in association with his musical mate Jeeva. Flying his alien musical wings from behind the scenes he has now flown into the fairy land of Tamil cinema,After making some soundtrack contribution to films like Aranmanai,Aambala and Thani Oruvan,Aadhi has now come to display his versatile skills in acting ,composing music and dialogues and in direction through his debut film Meesaya Murukku,under the production of Sundar C, the multi faceted Tamil film personality.
    Films on School and College life, with their inherent attributes of ragging, friendship and calf love are there in plenty, as part of the variety component of Tamil Cinema.There were trend setting films on these aspects such as Late Balu Mahendra's Azhiyadha Kolangal and Thangar Pachan's Pallikoodam showing the vagaries of adolescence in different dimensions.Tamil cinema's entries on college campuses, are so numerous, that it would be quite a lot to talk about.Similarly movies on career aspirations have made indelible impressions through Vikraman's Pudhu Vasandham and Ajith's Mugavari.So this almost autobiographical film entry of Aadhi cannot be expected to make wonders with the audience.
  But still it makes wonders on one count.The courage of a man who is yet to see his thirties to take up the onus of too many tasks of film making on his shoulders and making his first project a watchable show, doing visible justice to all the tasks he has taken up. make the film a wonderful outcome.The most awesome thing is the impression he gives, as if he has acted in a dozen films and knows his job by the tip of his fingers.Each generation wants to do something different or at least do the same thing differently.Hip hop Aadhi hardly fails to deliver the relevant emotions in all the scenes.His dialogue delivery is absolutely natural and he dances at ease.His musical scores create the intended effect and his focus on the humor element of the film successfully takes the film on the humor track.So Aadhi succeeds both as an actor and film maker.
    The next positive aspect of the film is the role of Vivek as the father of Aadhi. From a Comedian Vivek has transformed into a character actor in the line of K.A.Thangavelu and Nagesh.The last time I fully enjoyed his comedy show was in Danush starring Uthama Puthiran.In Radha Mohan's Brindhavanam he appeared as himself and delivered a character role mixed up with humor. Vivek is one of my pet comedians and I do enjoy seeing him in character roles of this kind and talking proudly about the grandeur of Tamil.If only Hip hop Thamizha also comes out with songs like 'Thamizhan Enroru Inamundu Thaniye Adharkor Gunamundu' ,'Thamizhukkum Amudhenru Per' and 'Thamizha Thamizhaa Naalai Un Naale',it would add more meaning to the language and the race.Perhaps Hip hop Thamizha wants to take Tamil closer to the global instinct, by mixing Tamil words with alien tunes.May be this is what the new generation expects and Aadhi has presumably felt the pulse of his generation.With these factors in mind, let us congratulate Aadhi and welcome him as another valuable addition to Tamil Cinema.
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Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Unique Narration of A Cop and the Gangster Story.

                                             





                                       

                                                       Vikram Vedha poster.jpg

       Tamil Cinema has come upon quite a few captivating cop and gangster stories that have pointedly found an immortal place in the memory gallery of the audience.The recent sparkling addition to this category of films is Vikram Vedha, with no qualms other than that of not buying his life at the cost of his self dignity. starring the smart Madhavan and the ebullient Vijay Sethupathi. This  is another special addition to Tamil Cinema on account of the niceties in narration similar to those of M.Raja's Thani Oruvan. 
     In Thani Oruvan, all the cops of the team were upright and  the gangster{if you want to call him so} was ravishingly charming, with no qualms other than that of not buying his life at the cost of his self dignity. Whereas in Vikram Vedha,an honest cop unknowingly carries on an encounter mission with his untrustworthy team mates, which fact is brought to his mind, only at the fine close of the movie. The narration of the film might create the impression of being on the track of Vetrimaran's Visaranai,where again an honest cop is taken for a dishonest ride by the higher ups of the uniformed service he belongs to. However the gripping tragic climax of Visaranai still stays fixed in our memory, with a single line, suggestive audio in the dark, stating "both are over"which meant both the honest cop and the innocent victim of police atrocity were done to death.
    But what a natural and true- to -life portrayal of the cop that R.Madhavan comes out with.He is certainly a natural actor in the line of Kamalahasan at least to some extent.That the most fascinating chocolate boy of Alai Paayudhe and Run and the warring great guy of Seeman's Thambi does a great job as an amazing cop, takes the film to its deserving heights.From a cowardly cop in Lingusamy's Vettai, Madhavan has drastically moved on in to the role of a cop, in its neatest and most compact form ,with an absolute commitment to the police uniform {of course not wearing the uniform in any of the scenes}.
    For Vijay Sethupathi, who has grown by leaps and bounds as a new wave sterling actor,the role of Vedha appears to be an easy game and his casually impressive performance is no surprise to the audience.The three contexts with three different stories narrated by Vedha to Vikram, with suitable sub headings for the stories,are the most intelligent patterns of narrative technique adopted by the director duo Pushkar-Gayatri and become a telling factor for the refreshing quality of the movie.
  Both Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi have effectively underplayed their roles and for this too, credit must be given not only to the two actors, but also to the two directors. Shraddha Srinath and Varalakshmi Sarath Kumar have convincingly contributed their might to the success of the film,by taking on very relevant female roles. one as the wife of Vikram and the other as the love interest of Vedha's younger brother Puli .The same should be said about Prem, who plays the role of the cop Sam and Kadhir, who appears as Puli,the younger brother of Vedha.
    There is not much music here, nor is it needed for a film of this kind.The movie is certainly not an entertainer.But it is a perfect sample of purposeful film making and another qualitative inclusion into the archives of Tamil Cinema, that would make an eternal impact on film lovers, without sound and fury. For all this, the director duo deserve a special pat,because they have meaningfully succeeded in creating a new narrative form, to an otherwise usual cop and gangster story.
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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Sweet Mother Saranya















    This blog has to its credit two articles on motherhood as interpreted through character delineation in Tamil Cinema.The two articles were those that discussed the positive and formidable traits of motherhood and various artists like P.Kannaambaa,M.V.Rajammaa, G.Varalakshmi, Pandaribai, S.Varalakshmi, S.N.Lakshmi and Aachi Manorama  found their relevant place in those two articles.In recent days, another delightfully different  profile of motherhood has drawn the attention of film makers and the popular actress Saranya Ponvannan has got into this new profile, to reflect motherhood in modern dimension.It is the role of an understanding mother with a cheering and humorous attitude that has got into the creative imagination of film makers, for an appealing thrust.Interestingly, like all other previous films which mostly focused on the mothers of heroes rather than heroines,this new trend also lays its projection, only on the hero's mother, helping him out of his financial or love issues, either without the knowledge of her husband or against his interest.
    Saranya is the daughter of noted Malayalam Film director A.B. Raj who has directed about 75 films.She has acted in the films of all the four South Indian languages and is known for her flair for play back singing too. Saranya who made her entry into Tamil Cinema through Mani Rathnam's stupendous film Naayagan and was paired with Kamal in that film could not find a firm footing in the industry for doing a round as heroine.But no one can deny the fact that she got back in to the Tamil big screen as an enchanting mother, making every young man  long for such a sweet mother.From Jeeva's Raam till this day, she has adorned the spirit of motherhood, with meekness and dignity with an addition of humor component.
    As an energetic and understanding mother she has established a very unique position that enabled her to win a national award for her role performance in Themerku Paruvakatru. Even before this she secured another prestigious award from the Tami Nadu State Government, for her vigorous performance in Em Magan. Besides these, she has also won the Film fare award several times.
   She has acted with all popular heroes and exhibited the same amount of emotional equation and compassion reflecting the mother-son affinity with utmost involvement in role play .The vast line of heroes will include  Jeeva {Raam and Thenavettu} Bharath {Em Magan and Thambikku Indha Ooru}Vijay {Sivakasi and Kuruvi}Ajith {Kireedom}Vikram[as his elder sister in Arul and then as his mother in Thaandavam}Ajith {as his mother in Kireedom}Dhanush{Thiruvilaiyaadal Aarambam Velaiyillaa Pattathaari and Kodi}Udhayanidhi Stalin {Oru Kal Oru Kannaadi}M.Sasikumar {Kutti Puli}and Siva Kaarthikeyan { in Remo}.Among these films mentioned, Saranya's humor sense took an upbeat in films like Em Magan,Oru Kal Oru Kannadi and Remo.As a mother she has revealed a sense of absolute confidence in the courage and goodness of her sons, in films like Thenavettu and Kutti Puli.
    The most convincing element in her acting is the casual ease and spontaneity, with which she grasps the base of her character and makes an infallible access to the audience as a natural performer, with a right mix of  submission, warmth and self dignity, that constitute the grace and charm of womanhood and maternal grandeur.There were days when Tamil Cinema was proud of possessing at least half a dozen great women to don the role of motherhood.But today there is truly a dearth of talents to take up character roles, particularly those of maternal grandeur, with commitment and dedication.After the recent death of Manorama, there is certainly a vacuum in this specific domain of acting.No doubt Saranya fills this void both responsibly and beautifully, holding an instinctive frame of mind to embrace the supremacy of motherhood, with an extraordinary dimension of sweetness and modesty.    
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