Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Film maker after names of places.




      Film directors hold their unique positions in several aspects of film making.Apart from the choice of their pet themes,suitable story line and course of narration, they reflect their singularity in the choice of titles for their films. Gautham Menon for instance, is enamoured of lengthy titles such as Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaayaa?Pachai Kili Muthu Charam and Acham Enbadhu Madmaiyada.Some of his titles also reveal his fascination for MGR's film songs. Mysskin is known for disturbing titles such as Pisaasu and Savara Kathi. In a similar manner, we have Perarasu who has named all the seven films he he has directed,after names of places.The only film that does not bear the name of a place as its title, is a Malayalam film directed by him{Samrajyam II Son of Alexander}
    Before directing his first successful film Thirupachi,Perarasu has acted in insignificant roles{as a reporter and a doctor} in films like Edhirum Pudhirum and Arasaatchi. His first film with Vijay as hero, became a great commercial hit, because of its highly energizing sequence of events,siblings' sentimental attachment,speed in narration and heart throbbing music, composed by three music directors like, Devi Sri Prasad,Mani Sharma and singer Dhina.The film had a huge cast with abundant scope for villainy exhibited by Aryan {as Paan Parag Ravi},Pasupathi{as Pattaasu Balu} and Kotta Srinivasa Rao{as Saniyan Sagada}.
    By giving distinct names to rowdies, Perarasu took the onus of narrating the story effectively, by loading its weight completely on the shoulders of Vijay, who played the role of an unflinching villager, bent upon eradicating rowdyism fouling the city of Chennai.This he does, not simply for the sake of his sister married to a city guy, but for all men and women, to breathe the fresh air of peace and happiness in the crowded metropolis.The film was a total entertainer and became a dynamic launch pad for the directorial prowess of Perarasu. The fact that Super Good Movies of R.B Chowdhri produced the film,added to its distribution value and success formula besides the victory tag of actor Vijay.
     Perarasu was fortunate to have big production houses to produce his films.Apart from R.B.Chowdhri,it was A.M.Rathnam who produced Perarasu's next film Sivakasi, another Vijay film and later on, Dharmapuri,a Vijayakanth movie.While Thirupathi starring Ajit was an AVM film,his Thiruvannamalai starring Arjun went into the hands of Pushpa Kandasamy of Kavidhalaya Production unit. Perarasu's Pazhani and Thiruthani, both  Bharath films,were produced by Sakthi Chidambaram and Chokkalingam Subburaj respectively.Though all the seven films of Perarasu were watchable in terms of their vibrant action mode, it is only the first two films with Vijay as Hero, that speak high of his directorial efficacy.
   The themes and story background of Perarasu's films are backed by rural happenings as family and social events. mixed of good and evil.If Thirupaachi was a tale of brother sister fine bonding of affection,Sivakasi unfolded the tug off war between an evil elder brother and his redeeming younger brother.The film was a cauldron of challenges between the two revolving around both funny and furious sequences. Pazhani once again focused on sister-brother equations with the younger brother struggling to reform his ruffian brother in law and bring harmony in the married life of his sister.Here too,there were challenges and smart execution of challenges.All the films of Perarasu delve into the world of social and political crimes involving M L As{Thiruvannamalai}medicos{Thiruppathi} and anti social thugs.Thiruthani is the only film where the hero dies in the hands of the police.
    The musical quality of his films belong to the moderate category because excepting the first two films which carried the mesmerizing effect of music, the rest of his films did not leave any memorable mark.While Srikanth Deva composed music for Sivakasi,Pazhani,Dharmapuri and Thiruvannamala,Bharadvaj took up music composition for Thiruppadhi and Perarasu himself took care of the music segment for Thiruthani.Perarasu is not only fond of places as titles of his films  but is also consistently dedicated to his passionate zone of sentimental melodrama and retrieval of family and society from the deeply infected evils of criminality,violence and injustice.
   Most of his films were action bonanzas with Thiruppachi and Sivakasi stealing the show.Just as his films carry the names of places as their titles,the names of the places will some how or other bring to one's memory the films of Perarasu and their level of impact on the minds of film viewers.Incidentally,there came a film bearing his own name Perarsu as its title and this action film starring Captain Vijayakanth,Prakash Raj and Sharat Babu reiterated the power of his name through elements of dynamism and force,making the the title of the film and name of the director after names of places, stay long in the memory of the audience. 
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Monday, March 4, 2019

The off the track films of Bharathiraja










    Everybody knows that P.Bharathiraja is the prime film maker of rural romance,succulent with the unsurpassed quintessence of village routine.Starting from his Padhinaaru Vayadhinile he took us on a sweet journey,through the cute and crooked streets of hamlets and bigger villages,to experience the precious happenings in most villages,especially those  in southern Tamil Nadu.Films like Kizhakke Pogum Rayil,Niram Maaraadha Pookkal, Nizhalkal,Pudhiya Vaarpukal,Puthu Nellu Puthu Naathu,Alaikal Oivadhillai, Karuthammaa, Kadalora Kavidhaikal,Vedham Pudhithu,Nadodi Thenral, Mudhal Mariyaadhai,Kizhakkuch Cheemaiyile and Pasumpon would ever remain as rural masterpieces,from the sublime creative soul of this amazing film maker.
    But there is another side of this outstanding director of Tamil films.He has not hesitated to travel off the track and make action films,action thrillers and psychological thrillers for a change.At least six films stand to his credit in this regard.They are 1}Sigappu Rojaakkal 2}Tik Tik Tik 3}Oru Kaidhiyin Diary 4}Kodi Parakkudhu 5}Captain Magal and 6}Thamizh Selvan. Kamalahasan was the hero of the first three films in the list. Kodiparakkudhu was made as a special Rajinikanth action thriller. Kushbu and Raja shared the screen space in Captain Makal. Captain Vijayakanth as district collector made Thamizh Selvan a different kind of movie for the director. While Bharatiraja himself wrote the story for the first two,K.Bhagyaraj took up the onus of writing the story for Oru Kaidhiyin Diary.It was R.Selvaraj who provided the story line for Kodi Parakkuthu and Captain Makal.The film Thamizh Selvan travelled on the story of M. Rathnakumar.
   Of these six films,Sigappu Rojaakkal and Oru Kaidhiyin Diary received rave reviews on account of the classic role performance of Kamalahasan as a misogynist and psychologically perverted male in the former and as a personally victimized political follower,wreaking vengeance against the wrong doers in the latter.That too in dual roles,as the wronged father and dutiful son in police uniform in Oru Kaidhiyin Diary,Kamal created new performance records at the early stage of his acting career.While Sridevi meekly fascinated the audience in Sigappu Rojaakkal,Radha and Revadhi stole the show by their charm and smartness in Oru Kaidhiyin Diary.Both these films received repeated audience at the theatres during the years of safety of Tamil Cinema,free from the threats of Video Piracy.
  Tik Tik Tik was a suspense thriller with a kind of usual spicy additions of glamour and stunts of an action film.It was a moderate show depicting sophisticated romance and subhuman violence.It revolved around a tale of nefarious smuggling of diamonds inserted in the body of women models without their knowledge {by drugging them}and killing them after removing the diamonds from their body.It was a film of abundant glamour,contributed by the three popular actresses,viz Madhavi,Radha and Swapna.With absolute thriller effect,it brought out the fact that Bharathiraja was far above his stamped image of an exclusive rural film maker.Despite all the enticing ingredients,Tik Tik Tik did not toe the victory march of the other two Kaml films made by Bharatiraja.
    Kodi Parakkuthu was an indisputable Rajini film with his inimitable style formulations and dialogue delivery.This was once again an action thriller with Manivannan first donning the role of a horrid villain,with the powerful voice support of Bharati Raja. Murder mysteries formed the crux of the story line and Rajinikanth as a dynamic cop under the mask of a local rowdy did not fail to throw his pep and performance,potential to the utmost satisfaction of his fans. Amala's charming role play and Sujatha's pathetic profile,were the other supporting factors of this action thriller,though it failed to make a hit at the box office.The other action thriller Captain Makal which was greatly anticipated became a dampener,for want of consistent vigour in narration.
   Tamizh Selvan was in fact a decent action film,with political undertones reflecting the conflict between upright bureaucracy and the corrupt political system.Subdued narration and Vijayakanth's underplay of the role of a district collector without resorting to undue verbal blow ups,were the major positive factors of this action film blended with breezy narration.I still remember the peaceful march of all bureaucrats lining up with candles in their hands for the recovery of their collector hero,from a political attack on his life.Unlike most other Vijayakanth films,it was a slow moving course that would have left his hardcore fans high and dry.But for those who would look for a direct and realistic portrayal of events and characters,the film was undoubtedly a qualitative product.
  The intention of this article is to show how film makers at times deviate from their pet paths and travel on different tracks,just for the sake of experiencing something uncommon in their creative process,as and when they get inspired to try something diagonal,to their ideologically compatible genres of narration.In this respect,Bharathiraja has delightfully travelled off his most inspiring rural track.
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Sunday, February 24, 2019

A movie strictly rooted to values.





   It needs greater grit to make a film totally theme bound and give a clean product. Seenu Ramasamy has been a hard core adorer of absolute conviction as an evolving and commanding goal of life.He does not like to visit the ugly side of life through his cinematic vision.Starting from Koodal Nagar he has carried on his mission of beautifying themes,events and characters through his creamy narration in films like Then Merku Paruvakatru {for which he won the national award for best film} Neerparavai and Dharmadhurai.His latest release Kanne Kalimane is no exception to his exalting process of film making. Goodness is the core value of this film..Here all characters are good and even a greedy money lender is made to apologize for his wild behaviour.
  Nature is budding with its high energy levels of freshness and charm.Organic farming gains currency.There is a lot of critical observation of the existing low downs in the system,such as the predicament of farmers laid up with the burden of agricultural loans,the onslaught of NEET on rural students,the support that the weaving society needs and the higher interest rates involved in raising bank loans for education.The film captivates the audience through the visual greenery of a rain fed village.In the midst of the pleasant locales and loving family norms,there comes an enchanting love story where nothing is exaggerated and nothing is unreal.
  Events take place as they do in most villages in Tamil Nadu.Characters move on gliding through the line of the story,like people sailing through their daily routine in real life.There is no silver screen romance.It happens in the simplest manner as a man and woman coming together on positive notes,with clear perceptions of whether their love would end up in marriage or not and if they get married,how their  life is going to be.Love fructifies into marriage as a sequel to a kind of Satyagraha resorted to by the hero Udhayanidhi Stalin,who in his usual vein,walks through the delicate pathways of his assigned role,without any of the conventional celluloid hero norms.It is good that Udhayanidhi is becoming a director's actor instead of trying to do the impossible of a mass hero.His histrionic calibre has been growing on an upward scale and the one scene where he breaks down into the shoulders of his paternal grand mother will prove his innate capacity to emote as naturally as possible.
  Tamannaah is exuberantly compact in her role with a ripe understanding of her character requirements and she is impressively convincing in her levels of acting.It is Vadivukkarasi who steals the show with her brief cutting dialogues pregnant with profound emotions and possessive parameters.A lovely grand mother she is,both to her grandson and later on to her to her grandson's wife,whom she passionately declares as her grand daughter.Her contextual comparisons of her grand daughter in law to late Prime Minister Indhira Gandhi,carries a powerful punch and creates instant laughter.
    Poo Ramu as the hero's father excels in his role play with a mature grasp of life's realities and a meek facilitation of his son's post marital life.It is a lucky team of father and son with a silent understanding of their love and dedication to each other.In this way it becomes a perfect unison of the paternal-filial formulations.Everybody does their role neatly including Vasundhara Kashyap who appears as Muthulakshmi,the school mate-cum friend of the hero.
  Jalandhar Vasan's Cinematography is as much rooted to the theme of the film,as the narration of Seenu Ramasamy is,to the story line. Kasi Viswanathan's editing keeps the narration as a continuous progress of seamless weaving,seemingly in tune with the fact,that the heroine hails from a family of weavers. Yuvan  Shankar Raja's music is a fascinating chunk of felicitous numbers, letting the audience sit up to the tunes without hurting their ears.Starting from the initial rural festival song, all songs were a pleasant audio treat especially the last one with a splendid tribute to love,is really heart warming.Two lines of this special song, if translated into English,will go as follows."There is nothing either small or big in love.All drops of a river are equal"{அன்பில் சிறிது பெரிதென்று கிடையாதே; ஆற்றில் சகல துளியும் சமமே} 
  The other melodious number Neenda Malare Neenda Malare by Yaazin Nizar and Shwetha Pandit will keep lingering in audience memory for long.Altogether Yuvan and Vairamuthu deserve a lovely pat for ideally enriching the musical quotient of the film.
   The pathway to good goals,needs considerable patience and determination to achieve them.The same way it requires commendable patience to watch a film of this kind,rooted to the nobler values of life and goodness of mind.In both the cases the patience is definitely worth the experience.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dhanush,the delightful actor



















    Natural ease,nimble movements, and naughtily rebelling homely voice,rightly fix the acting style of Dhanush,who has hardly failed in his endeavour to contribute his best to the field of Cinema. His interest in film making and love for vocal music,are additional feathers to his lovely profile as an actor.If he delights in acting,he has equally delighted us by his acting.In a short spell of his career,he has carved a niche for himself as a special category of hero,not falling in the line of mass heroes who mostly choose a single path to deliver variety.Whereas, Dhanush has chosen a variety of tracks,to establish his position as a challenging actor,at a very  early age.
    Starting from the days of Thulluvadho Ilamai and Kaadhal Kondein,it was an arduous film journey for Dhanush,which he has casually undertaken.He has been one among the interesting actors in depicting juvenile vagaries, in many films starting from Thulluvadho Ilamai.The challenging role that he took up in Kaadhal Kondein, brought out his extraordinary calibre for combining subdued intelligence with psychological depression and made a mark for himself as a budding actor of latent talents.Subsequently,the vibe and energy levels he demonstrated as his strong points in Thiruda Thirudi,became a special treat for the younger generation and because of these elements,the film became an instant hit.After this,films like Sullan,Puthukkottaiyil irundhu Saravanan,Parattai Engira Azhagu Sundaram and Puthupettai were modest shows not taking him to the next level though the last in the list was a greater show than the others. 
    In all the four films mentioned above,Dhanush played rugged roles which almost became a trade mark in films like Mari 1 and 2, and Mariyan.In fact,most of the roles that Dhanush performed were similar to those of Rajinikanth,during the first two decades of his acting spell. Like Rajinikanth,Dhanush is also a rugged romantic playing tough with is love interest.But as a stalker and  unrelenting lover in films like Thiruvilaiyaadal Aarambam and Yaaradi Nee Mohini, he is different from Rajini.The way he keeps throwing challenges to Prakash Raj in the former and the tense moments he creates for Nayanthara in the latter,would vigorously showcase Dhanush as a hard core romantic.However Yaaradi Nee Mohini was a felicitous combination of tough romance transforming into a breezy family drama and filial devotion.In fact,[late] Raghuvaran.In a similar way, Dhanush has beautifully depicted filial devotion to his dad Manivannan in Sullaan and his mother Saranya in Velaiyillaa Pattadhaari 1 an 2{to the portrait of his departed mother}
    Dhanush is a wonderful blend of sobriety and humour both in displaying romance and action.His humour component was visibly effective in films like Padikkadhavan and Uthama Puthiran indulging in exceptional spoilsport moves with Vivek.His two great family dramas are Vengai and Thangamahan,one with a rural base and the other bordering on the urban side.
    Dhanush has in his archives quite a few distinct films with a romantic perspective.Movies like Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam,{a film by the historic film maker Balu Mahendra} Dreams{directed by his father Kasturiraja},Kutti,{Mithran Jawahar}Mayakkam Enna{Selvaraghavan},and Anegan{by K.V.Anand} would belong to this category.His special directors are his elder brother Selva Raghavan,Vetrimaran and Mithran Jawahar.His brother gave him beautiful films like Kadhal Kondein and Mayakkam Enna.Vetrimaran who enabled Dhanush to get the national award for his meritorious performance in Aadukalam,also cast him as hero in his other memorable films Polladhavan and Vada Sennai.Mithran Jawahar came out with fascinating tales of romance like Yaaradi Nee Mohini,Kutti and Uthama Puthiran.All the three films of Mithran Jawahar carried abundant scenes generating instant laughter.The other worthy watchable films of Dhanush were Velaiyillaa Pattadhaari directed by Velraj and a sequel of this film made by Danush's sister in law Soundarya Rajinikanth.
    Like Kamalahasan and Vijay,Dhanush is also a charismatic singer and his most moving song has been 'Amma Amma' in Velaiyilla Pattadhaari,followed by the robustly inspiring numbers like 'Naatu Sarakku','What a Karuvad'' and Why this Kolaveri'.Anirudh Ravichandran takes credit for the mesmerising song 'Why this Kolaveri.'It is going to be a pretty long journey for Dhanush on the big screen and he is going to prove his stuff with substantial dynamism and dedication as he has done so far.Any one who is true to his profession will not miss the journey and the destination. Dhanush is one such committed guy with governing principles of modesty,underplay, naturalism and conviction.
    Even in a film dealing with a political subject like Kodi he exhibited a kind of inner glow in character delineation without overdoing his role in any scene.No doubt he has thrown challenges to characters in some films including Kodi.But he never raises his voice to any abnormal level to show that he has an over riding hero material.Most often he is seen as a person next door,so familiar and friendly in his moves towards endearing himself to the viewers of his films.He can be soft and tough at one go.He was once called the Bruce lee of Tamil Cinema,because he could fight with agility and grace, like that immortal actor.Above all, he is one of those loved heroes of Tamil film industry exhibiting a mega mart,on a minuscule lay out, I mean,his unenviable constitution.The fact that all age group people like him is an indicator of the delightful attributes of this meticulous hero.Here goes the maxim,small is beautiful.As far as Danush is concerned,small is more beautiful than most other Himalayan profiles.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

R. Sundarajan,the rocking film maker

 

     Film making could be a fascinating and enriching experience more for a film maker than for any one else.Every film is the product of the frame of mind of a film maker.One can see the diagonal difference in the process of film making between film makers with a positive mindset like Saran and Vikraman and those with a negative thrust like Bala and Vetrimaran. 

    Romances,thrillers, tragedies,comedies,supernatural depictions,action dramas, social and political satires and horror subjects are all reflections of the creative domain and personal quests of film makers.During the Nineteen Eighties,Tamil Cinema came under the felicitous influence of a great line of film makers like S.P.Muthuraman,Bharatiraja,BaluMahendra,Bhagyaraj,Manivannan,P.Vasu and K.S.Ravikumar.{K.Balachander's hey days were during the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies}In this list was a film maker with a hat trick for giving a cluster of Silver Jubilee hits.It was R. Sundarajan who later turned into a character actor-cum comedian like Manivannan and Manobala.
    R. Sundarajan was a specialist in narrating romantic tales with throbbing energy and enlivening sentiments,blended with the power of music,generated by the musical prophet Ilayaraja.R. Sundarajan would have directed around 25 films of which many were block busters.His successful march on the celluloid road,started with Payanangal Mudivadhillai starring Mohan and Poornima Jeyaram {before she became Poornima Bhagyaraj}.All the songs with their charm of melody and musical vibration,still remain as mind blowing numbers,throbbing in the hearts of film fans and music lovers.Most of the songs of his films were unparalleled hits and the emotional sequences of a majority of his films,were a revelation of life giving love.
    Starting with Payanangal Mudivadhillai,Sundarajan's film journey continued with the remarkable romantic components and soul making music,in films like Naan Paadum Paadal,Vaidheki Kaathirundhaal,Kunguma Chimizh,Amman Koil Kizhakkaale,Mella Thirandhadhu Kadhavu,Rajathi Raja,En Aasai Machaan, Thirumadhi Pazhanichaamy and Thaalaattu Paadavaa.How great it would have been for a film maker to consistently give silver jubilee hits,with most memorable songs. Sundarajan did that and Tamil Cinema truly owes him a lot in this regard.
    Songs like"Ilaya Nilaa Ezhukiradhe"{Payanangal Mudi vadhillai}"Paadvaa En paadalai"{Naan Paadum Paadal} "Chinna Mani Kuyile"Poove Eduthu Oru Maala Thoduthu vachene"{Amman Koil Kizhakkaale}'Nilavu Thoongum Neram"{Kunguma Chimizh}'Raasaathi Unna Kaanaadha Nenju' 'Azhaku Malar Aada"{Vaidhekhi Kaathi rundhaal}"Vaa Vennilaa Unnai thaane Vaanam Theduthu' 'Ooru Janam Thoongiduchu"{Mella Thirandhadhu Kadhavu}'Meenammaa Meenammaa' 'Maamaa Un Ponnakudu'{Raajaathi Raajaa} Aadiyile sedhi solli''Karuppu Nilaa Yeinthaan"{En Aasa Machaan}'Amman Koil Vaasalile  Vaasalile''Kuthaala Kuyile Kuthaala Kuyile"Nadu Saamathile Saamandhipoo Aala Asathuthu"{Thirumathi Palzhanichamy} and"Varaadhu Vandha Naayagan"{Thalaatu Paadavaa}are some of the mesmerizing songs that Ilayaraja composed for the movies of R.Sundarajan. I stand earnestly apologetic for forgetting a few more songs in this regard.
    Sundarajan's most frequent hero was captain Vijayakanth {most importantly Amman Koil Kizhakkaale,Vaidhekhi Kaathirundhaal,Gandhi Pirandha Mann, Engitta Modhaadhe and En Aasai Machaan and a couple of not very successful films}followed by Mohan{Payanangal Mudivadhillai,Naan Paadum Paadal, Kunguma Chimizh and Mella Thirandhadhu Kadhavu}.He did one mega hit film with the superstar {Raajaathi Raajaa}produced by Paavalar Creations.His other heroes were Sivakumar, Sathyaraj, Paarthiban,Prabu,Karthik Muthuraman,Murali and Vijay {Kaalamellaam Kthirupein}.
    All his films were breezy narrations of romance mixed with a compact display of sentiments, comedy and action scores.Poornima Jeyaram,Ilavarasi,Roobini,Amala Raadhika,Saranya, Nadhiya,Ambika,Jeevitha,Revathi and Radha were the women who constituted the fine force of feminism enriching the romantic quotient of a Sundarajan film.Of these Ambika, Radha and Revathi exuberantly  excelled in their role play. While Naan Paadum Paadal and Thazhu vaadha Kaigal were big shows of Ambika,Radha performed brilliantly in films like Amman Koil Kizhakkaale,Mella Thirandhadhu Kadhavu and Raajaathi Raajaa and Revadhi in films like En Aasai Machaan and Vaidhekhi Kaathirundhaal.
    The unforgettable pages of the director's romantic book would contain the unfulfilled desire of the hero Mohan to see the veiled face of his beloved girl Amala in Mella Thiran dhadhu Kanavu,the mutually teasing moments of love between Vijayakanth and Radha in Amman Koil Kizhakkaale and the unrealized marital dream of the widowed Vaidhekhi,in Vaidhekhi Kaathirundhaal.
    Any one who happens to view or read this article might be forced to think that it is a package of mere titles of films and songs as well as the names of heroes and heroines.But here,the titles carry a feel of revisiting the glorious experience of film watching in the Nineteen Eighties  and Nineties that had set a distinct pattern of narration of clear romance with its inherent cry for the other soul.The melting down of minds was felt by a journey through the vehicle of music driven by a prophetic music composer,whose inspiring music travelled  through the veins of each and every lover of the other soul. 
   R. Sundarajan was mostly bound to the rural soil.He made us all pass like air, through every nook and corner of the village routine of Tamil Nadu,to be a part of the breathing process of love,the vibrating levels of comedy of all sorts and the natural fall outs of each one's personal predicament,caused by disappointments and frustrations.
   R. Sundarajan enriched the Tamil big screen with the power of his story line,the presence of his characters and the pulse of Ilayaraja's musical grandeur.Most of his films rocked at the theatres,to be remembered for ever,recalling the magnificence of cinema surpassing time.
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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Tamil Cinema's Two Glorious,Spiritual Biographies .

    






















     Biography and History are meant for a specific group of persons who have an exceptional interest to travel with time.Be it books or films these two genres survive on the structure of factual veracity and genuineness in narration.Tamil films have celebrated history,myths and several other genres of narration to the extent of keeping the audience greatly involved in the experience of watching grand events on the big screen.In this regard this blog is proud of recording two fabulous biographical narrations in the form of unique category of films carrying many similar notes and a few contrary aspects too.These two films despite their moderate show at the box office would remain as irreplaceable assets in the archives of Tamil Cinema.
   Both the films were released in the Nineteen Sixties one in 1962 and the other in 1964.The former was titled Pattinathaar,depicting the profile of a staunch Shiva devotee and the latter was named Arunagirinadhar,portraying the spiritual grandeur of the saint who wrote a collection of spiritual verses called The Thiruppugazh.The story line of the film Pattinathaar was a joint contribution of the famous Tamil lyricist,Thanjai Ramaiahdas and Akilan,the reputed Tamil writer of historical novels.The film produced under the banner of J.R.Productions was directed by K.Somu. In fact there was an earlier version of Pattinathar released in 1936 in which M.M. Danapani Desikar portrayed the role of Pattinathar.T.C Vadivelu Naickar wrote the story line and produced the film which was directed by M.T. Rajan. Whereas,Arunagirinadhar produced by Baba Art Productions,was directed by the well known director T.R.Ramanna.The story line was the creative work of Sakthi T.K. Krishnasamy.
   There were many similarities between the two films with regard to their thematic content, casting and musical composition.As far as the theme factor is concerned,the chief characters of 'Patinathar' and 'Arunagirinadhr' had an infamous past. While the routine of Pattinathaar alias Thiruvengadar was entangled in wealth and greed,Arunagirinathar was notorious for cherishing a routine of debauchery and moral depravity.Both the protagonist roles were played by the monumental playback singer T.M.Soundarajan and it was M.R.Radha who played the villain in both the films.It was G.Ramanathan who composed music for the two films though for Arunagirinathar,T.R. Paapaa happened to complete the musical composition of the film after the passing away of G. Ramanathan in 1963.
    However,there were also remarkable differences between the two films in various other aspects.For instance,Thiruvengadar living in Poompuhar{earlier known as Kaveripattinam} was chosen by Lord Shiva to head the spiritual path,on being gifted with a divine baby who would later on teach the wealthy merchant-cum-adopting father,the futility of wealth reflected by a meaningful display of cow dung cakes and a needle without eyelet.
   Whereas Arunagirinadhar hailing from Tiruvannamalai,was hell bent after sensual pleasures in the line of Dr.Faustus of Greek mythology,who entered into an evil agreement with the devil Mephistopheles,that thrust his soul in the hands of the devil in exchange for a life bound for the pleasure zone.But unlike Faustus whose cry for redemption was not heeded to by God, Arunagirinadhar who became a leper ended up in frustration and was about to end his life when Lord Muruga the supreme god of the Tamil race and the Tamil language,retrieved him from his wretched state of leprosy and transformed him into a saintly poet,capable of creating commendable hymns that became a classic called The Thirupugazh,one of the literary treasures of the Tamil language.
     Both Pattinathaar and Arunagirinadhar were of no use to their families.The wives of these two real life men,were a forlorn lot.Gemini K.Chandra as the wife of Pattinathaar and Sharadha as the wife of Arunagirinadhar were devoted wives,notwithstanding their sorrow laden married life.The life of Arunagirinadhar's wife was still worse,because he was irredeemably after other women. Both Pattinathar and Arunagirinadhar had sisters,but the latter was blessed with a good one who gave up everything for the sake of her brother and was untiringly struggling to reform her brother into a better lease of life.Contrarily,Pattinathar's sister{ played by S.D. Subbulakshmi} who hated her brother for renouncing wealth and resorting to beggary,tried to poison him to death.It was Pattinathar who purified her foul intentions through flames caused by his throwing of the plate containing the poisoned food,into her house.
   Though both Pattinathaar and Arunagirinathar underwent a transformation in their mind and spirit,the course of redemption was more significant in the case of the latter who proved the theory of the sinner becoming a saint.Compared to the gross sensuality of Arunagirinadhar,the materialistic life line of Pattinathaar was a less vicious journey through the streets of desire. Besides,while Pattinathar was divinely chosen to attain bliss,Arunagirinathar was destined to become a saintly poet after passing through the ills of life. Pattinathaar ultimately attained godhood by becoming a Shiva Linga at Tiruvottiyur.Whereas Arunagirinadhar became a true disciple of Lord Muruga singing in praise of the Lord,so that others could experience spiritual exaltation through language and music.
   Another notable feature in the lives of these two spiritual men was the movement of Pattinathar from Kaveri Pattinam to Tiruvettiyur,the extreme north of Tamil Nadu in contrast to the journey of Arunagirinadhar from Tiruvannaamalai to the Southern interiors of Tamil Nadu. With regard to the musical portion of these two films,though G.Ramanathan did a good job for both the films,songs like "Muthaithiru Pathithirunakai"and"Ethanaiyo Piravipetru" from Arunagirinadhar were frequently heard and appreciated by the audience.
   These two biographical movies have stoutly championed the cause of Hinduism as a resplendent way of life capable of mitigating human agony through God realization.The grandeur of Hinduism is not only found in its age old magnificent temple towers and the power of prayer,but also in the myths and real life stories,that are not mere miracles but are interpretations of the essence of truth,towards humanizing and deifying humanity,both as a choice of divinity and a mark of destiny.It is in this respect,the two films discussed in this article,find a place for themselves as glorious treasures,in the archives of Tamil Cinema.
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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Two thriller narrations on the Tamil big screen.

    

   Like all other events of life,films come and go.Like some events that refuse to leave our memory,there are a few films that create records and find a permanent place in our memory archives.Sometimes there are unforgettable scenes from movies that keep knocking at our mind's doors,for a retrospective enjoyment,as frequently as possible.It may be an exquisite  romantic sequence as the one we witnessed in the film Sathya,with Kamal and Amala travelling on a bus enriched by a background song tuned by Ilayaraja and Amala showing her biceps prompting Kamal to touch it gently,or the climax of a movie like Mozhi,where the newly wedded Prakashraj and Swarnamalya would come out of the Church and the latter would throw the bouquet in her hand at Jyothika, celebrating the moment of Jyothika agreeing to marry Prithviraj,.
   This blog already carries two articles with comparative notes on similar scenes,one involving a banana issue as shown in Padikkadha Medhai and Karkaatakkaaran and the other presenting the fiery argument between Lord Shiva and Poet Nakkeeran from Naan Petra Selvam and Thiruvilaiyaadal.
    Here comes a scenic comparison of two thriller narrations,one by Nagesh in Sridhar's Kaadhalikka Neramillai and the other by Rajinikanth in Sivaji Productions' Chandramuki. Kaadhalikka Neramillai was a run away comedy hit of the Nineteen Sixties.Each scene and each song of the film,would be worth revisiting.With new faces like Ravichandran and Kanchana,the film breezily travelled through the imagination of the audience,to remain as an immortal experience of film watching.However,the one liveliest scene which showed the film- crazy Nagesh,narrating a little bit of his proposed skit,to his parsimonious father T.S. Balaiah,became a stomach curdling comedy show.
    Incidentally,it was the stingy father who just for a time pass,would ask his son to narrate at least one scene from his film under discussion,so that he could decide if he could fund the production of the film.Thinking that his father's approach was genuine,Nagesh would tell his father that the scene would be horror filling and warn his father not to get rattled.To this Balaiah would say that only cowards would get bowled over by horrifying tales and he was a hard nut to crack. Taking his father's spirit of nonchalance as a challenge,Nagesh would squeeze out the thrilling effect of the scene,so as to bring the horror element into his facial expressions and tone delivery.
    In a series of closeup shots,Sridhar would vigorously present the ongoing fear psychosis transmitted by Nagesh,into the body language of T.S.Balaiah,with gripping words and groaning sounds.At one point,Balaiah would say that the story was really horror prone and his mind was completely disturbed to the extent of getting him unnerved.Soon Nagesh could be seen dreaming about the prospective financier of his film project showering money on his film skit. The pitch of the comedy on the contrary would be,Nagesh demanding money and T.S.Balaiah simply shrugging his shoulders and walking away,with a big 'No' to funds. The whole scene would throw the audience into reels of laughter. How many times we would have watched the scene both on the big and small screens and how many bouts of laughter would have made our jaws ache! 
    There can not be a second opinion that P.Vasu's Chandramugi was a blockbuster show of action,comedy,sentiment and suspense.Likewise,it is an agreed fact that the comedy sequences of the film involving the Superstar and the Vaigai storm {Vadivelu} was a clear breakthrough in generating spot humour.Though the film carried several comic episodes combing Rajini and Vadivelu,the one about the existence of ghosts was one of the super scenes of the film.
    The scene would go on like this. Vadivelu would ask Rajini if ghosts really existed.Suddenly  the superstar would burst out asking "What do you mean''.Soon his face would be seen moving to different angles,travelling between the graveyard and the jameen bungalow,inviting the howling of dogs,the sound of anklets worn by women ghosts and so on.Vadivelu would ask Rajini why he was twisting his face so many times,to create a world of horror.The subsequent audio visuals would be a consummate blending of the mood of horror with that of hilarious ruckus created by Rajini and its impact on a spontaneously gullible Vadivelu. At the end of the narration,when everyone would see Nayanthara wearing white dress and anklets crossing the door and Vadivelu swooning at the turn of events,the horror component would  become a perfect laughter bonanza for the audience.
    Creativity is at times a process of conceiving ideas and situations,similar to the ones from other creative sources.But what makes the difference is its presentation.The change of bottles quite often makes the wine taste different.These two thriller narrations exemplify the grandeur of film makers in using the same concept for an original presentation.In the former,a character actor fools a comedian.In the latter,the hero takes the comedian for a ride.Consequently comedy is generated at the cost of comedians.
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