Monday, December 9, 2013

The Two Elder Sibling Directors of Tamil Films.

      Film directors belong to an extraordinary tribe of makers of myth and reality.Age is no criterion to excel in creativity.In the music field, we have the Oscar winner A.R.Rehman who began to fly high from his teen age.Tamil film directors have begun to rule the game usually from their early forties or may be from their late thirties.But there are two youngsters who started spreading their wings much early, to fly high with an incomparable creative zeal and capacity.Perhaps as a mark of coincidence,both these men have their film ancestry,inheriting the power and will to reign the centre stage.Of the two,one is the elder son of the noted film director Kasturiraja and the other is the elder son of eminent film editor Mohan.These two young talents are Selvaragavan and M.Raja. Both these directors have the other similarity of capitalizing their creative excellence mostly on their younger siblings Danush and Ravi respectively.
     Selvaragavan first wrote the script for the critically reviewed film 'Thulluvadho Ilamai',directed by his father Kasturiraja. His first directorial venture 'Kaadhal Kondein' became an instant success. Following this,he directed his younger brother for a couple of movies like 'Pudhuppettai' and 'Mayakkam Enna' and wrote the script for 'Yaaradi Nee Mohini' starring his brother but directed by Mithran Jawahar{who also directed the other blockbuster film 'Uthamaputhiran' of Danush}.Apart from these films Selvaragavan has directed the most hyped 'Aayirathil Oruvan', that became the second film of Karthik Sivakumar.The other most talked about film of this young director is the latest 'Irandaam Ulagam' starring Aaryaa and Anushka Shetty.In about half a dozen films, Selvaragavan has created a distinct position for himself as a director of fantasies and fascinating romantic extravaganzas.
     What makes Selvaragavan different from others,is his uniquely reflective approach to evolving themes and characters and narrating the story line on a fantasy track.The focus on psychological intricacies of the protagonists of his scripts and the narrative techniques he adopts towards displaying his all round compass of creativity,make us identify his dreams and aspirations as those of a rare kind of film maker.The human mind's flair for guilt and compunction and the extent of criminality that embraces psychic aberrations, find ample scope in Selvaragavan's subtle delineation of scenes and characters in films like 'Kaadhal Kondein' and 'Pudhuppettai'.
      However on the fantasy side,both in 'Aayirathil Oruvan' and 'Irandaam Ulagam',obstructions seem to take the audience by surprise and one wonders if the absence of an impressive link or sense of continuity is accidental or due to lack of perspective in narration.There is definitely an all pervading presence of exquisite visual aspects and freshness in presentation of scenic sequences, but beyond all these,there is a constant feeling that an exuberant creative formulation is going futile,not yielding the intended result.What would strike the mind of the audience is the concern and sympathy for a powerful creative film maker missing the mark, that he very much deserves.Is it a flaw in the genesis of the creative process, or an enigma of the parts of the process not contributing to its wholeness and totality, is a question remains unanswered.
    The other elder sibling M.Raja is an openly vibrant film maker concentrating purely on  the thrills of romance and family sentiment.His is a stuff meant for the larger audience, with an unfailing commercial formula in the line of Lingusamy and Hari. Starting from his first venture Jeyam,almost all his Tamil films have been Telugu remakes and except in 'Velayutham',it is his younger brother who made his debut in 'Jeyam' and became Jeyam Ravi, {to be differentiated from Nizhalgal Ravi}has been shown as hero.His second film 'M.Kumaran S/O Mahalakshmi' was a sensitive family drama, unlike his first energetic show of romance in Jeyam. Besides bringing back Nadhiya to Tamil Cinema,his second film had Prakash Raj doing a powerful father character which he did again in Raja's 'Santhosh Subramanyan',a healthy family entertainer. Santhosh Subramanyan was a very decent film known for a powerful display of paternal responsibilities and filial inheritance of love and family sense.It celebrated the clean movie concept in all respects and became a crowning experience for this young director.
    His other film 'Unakkum Enakkum Something Something'that preceded Santhosh Subramanyan was equally demonstrative of the invincible family link. Raja's 'Thillalangadi',a remake of his Telugu 'Kick' effectively portrayed how the  innate spirit of adventure and longing for thrilling moments could drive an individual to the edge of enchantment and endangering predicaments.In most of Raja's films, either Prabu or Prakash Raj, made a dignifying mark in elderly, character roles.In all the films including  his 'Velayutham', Raja has unflichingly promoted his concept of making life a  self satisfying course of adventures and excitements,be it romance or a riveting family drama.'Velayutham' wonderfully dramatized sibling affection and intimacy in the line of Vijay's Thiruppachi, but the scenic displays were totally different from those of the Perarasu movie .Raja always guarantees that moments of continued entertainment will never be found wanting in any of his films. Unlike Selvaragavan who restrains the scope for comedy in his films, due to their introspective predominance,Raja opens the doors wide, for hilarious moments and consummate joy, mostly with comedians like Santhanam,Sathya and Soori, dominating the humour zone.It was only in M.Kumaran S/O Mahalakshmi Vivek took care of the comedy side of a Raja film.
     As far as romance is concerned,Raja's focus is on the degree of excitement it generates for the lovers and the way it takes the romantic wagon to the family station,initially with resistance and opposition from the family members and then as an energizing addition of a new member to the existing family unit.In Unakkum Enakkum,it was a case of acceptance of a highly positive guy to the girl's side and in the other film Santhosh Subramanyam the boy's family took into its fold,an exuberantly positive minded girl,as an enthusing element.Whereas,Selvaragavan looks upon the romantic experience as purely a psychological drive,either enriching or disturbing the mind of the lovers with a poetic feel of joy,suspense,awe and at times even horror.
     M.Raja invites the audience with an open mind to watch his films and stay delighted for a while.Whereas, Selvaragavan is bent upon involving the audience in an introspectively valid, mystifying and demystifying cinematic experience.One wants to entertain with a hearty sense of light mindedness, geniality and exultation, while the other tries to offer tantalizing,possessing, couple of hours of show, of an incredible world in celluloid form.One has a pragmatic and down to earth formula for success and the other is devoutly abstract in narration.The flow of positive energy is the dominating element in Raja's films;but Selvaragavan's mode of narration can not help pulling him to the negative fathoms as a compulsive psychological push. It is finally the individual's choice, for the kind of show that one wants to watch and enjoy, being glued to the big screen,in one's frame of mind, for a self satisfying course of movie watch.

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