Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Three pages from 1967.


   "My Moviminutes"is my life time with movies,from childhood to now on;from the touring talkies,to Amazon Release.Film watching  spread over a period of golden time spell,is a matchless mind blowing experience,woven with slender and beautiful threads of memories of the past and perceptions of the on going meeting points of the present.Each one has a passion for something special in life that makes their living time,worth its salt. Mine is a quest for the grandeur of the unreal.In fact,at times what is unreal,becomes more heart warming than what is real.

  The dream world has its own delightful characteristics such as,clean story telling, capturing moods of nature and mankind through the camera concepts,composing musical masterpieces closer to one's heart,bringing into life,the varied profiles of mankind through acting and above all, admiring what is to be admired,as a matter of the mind.In this respect,I am just an admirer of the celluloid glories of time and nothing more or less than that.

  From my backfile,I have brought forth to the world view,numerous influences of cinema,especially Tamil cinema on my mind,though the view is yet to reach a significant section of movie lovers. Themes and storylines of films,film making institutions and individuals{ as actors, directors, singers and music makers}have emerged from my memory shelf,to let me masticate the minutes spent in theaters,for nearly six decades. One of my weaknesses is even to remember the names and places of theaters,where I watched some special films.

    To mention a few,I remeber to have watched'Dheiva Piravi'in Thrissur, 'Mani Magudam'in Kumbakonam,'Olivilakku'in Vridhachalam,'Sorgam'in Madurai, 'Engirundho Vandhaal'in Karaikudi,'Oru Vellaadu Vengaiyakiradhu'in Namakkal 'Thirisoolam'in Thuraiyur,'Enakkul Oruvan'in Neiveli,'Ulakam Pirandhadhu Enakkaaga'in Guruvayur,'Citizen'in Pazhani,'Ramana'in Athur and all the other films either in Mayiladudhurai,or in my native town Tiruchirapalli,or in Chennai . 

  Besides these vagaries,{if one wants to call them so}when I casually perused my memory file,I came upon three pages from 1967,displaying three films{which would have been already discussed in this blog under other heads}that struck a similar cord,on account of their time of release and another most important personal element linked to those films.

  This year pulled out from my memory file,vitally recalls my second year of under graduation,in a prestigious college in my home town.Usually,those were years known for utmost parental control and acute scarcity of money on hand,for any student.Larger families and income restrictions, prevented many parents from parting with even small amounts,leave alone any lavish financial bounties to their wards at school,or college.With no Television or mobile phones in those days and with only a modest radio set that would bring home film songs and news bulletins,theatre visits were the only entertainment outlets open to the youths.Even for this,one had to undergo a rigorous course of exhortation from the paternal heads,before drawing a couple of rupees from them.   

   But more than authorised film watching,the thrill of skipping an afternoon session in college for the sake of watching a matinee show in a theatre,without the knowledge of parents,was considered to be a revolutionary experience.Such a dereliction from the academic routine,would definitely cause a sense of guilt and distraction from viewing the film,by the frequent pulls of one's conscience.

   Usually,any student would skip an afternoon session,only after confirming the fact that the afternoon classes were not going to be either that important,or inspiring.To me poetry,drama and criticism were important subjects and fiction or prose,was not my preferential food for thought.A Charles Dickens''Oliver Twist' or'Pickwick Papers'or an essay of Robert Lynd or G.K.Chesterton could be read any time and understood by self interpretation.

   But poetry and drama were subjects demanding emotional participation in the class. Competent and committed teachers doing their rounds,unfolding theatrical skills, certainly posed a better alternative than a film show.Thus,many of us would choose to skip only an unimportant afternoon session,for an important matinee show.

   This is how I watched the three films pulled out from my memory folder.Of the three,one was the MGR film'Kaavalkaaran'released on 7th September 1967 and the other two were Sivaji Ganesan films,both released on 1st November 1967.The two Sivaji Ganesan films were A.C.Thirulok chandar's'Iru Malarkal'and C.V. Sridhar's Ooty Varai Uravu.Can any hero release two of his films on the same date now?Such things happened mostly in the case of MGR and Sivaji Ganesan,the two endearing superstars who ruled the Tamil film industry successfully,for nearly three or four decades,besides creating furore among their most dedicated fan base.Moreover,today the number of heroes and the number of films released during a period,would make such a happening highly impossible. 

  Of the three films that overtook my afternoon sessions in college,'Kaavalkaaran'was screened in Jupiter Theaters,Trichy.I was an admirer of both MGR and Sivaji Ganesan though the latter's extraordinary acting skills created an emotional bonding in me.I love'Kaavalkaaran'because of its intricate story line as in the case of many other Sathya Movies'films.Half of the film was shot after MGR was subjected to a gun shot in real life,that considerably affected his speech delivery.As a result of this,MGR's dialogue delivery would be shuttling between the pre and post gun shot eventualities,with absolute clarity in many scenes and a little difficulty in voice mould,in others.The great hero effectively managed this impediment,during the rest of his acting career,as well as in his dynamically evolving political career.

  I enjoyed'Kaavalkaaran'frame by frame,becasue it was one of the excellent films of MGR,with delicate touches of romance between MGR and Jeyalalitha,stunts that included boxing and musical splendour reverberating from the tunes of M.S.Viswanathan.Sivakumar who had acted only in a couple of MGR films,was a sweet addition to the film with his juvenile charm,just blossoming moustache and grumbling tone.M.N.Nambiyar, S.A.Asokan and R.S.Manohar,formed a formidable force of villainy,to be thwarted by MGR in his usual style of chivalry and challenging mode of heroism.This popular MGR film,easily crossed the 100th day in the same theatre. 

   One of my very close friends who is no more today,made me skip an afternnon session and took me to the Prabhath Theatre,Trichy,to watch a matinee show of'Iru Malargal. Even after four weeks of its release,the theatre was hugely crowded and hence we had to struggle to get the ticket and run for our seats.'Iru Malargal' was a unique film of A.C.Thirulokchandar abounding in pangs of a profound romantic experience,between the Chevalier and his best female pair Padmini. Who will forget the peacock dance of Padmini for the most popular T.M.S number"Madhavi Pon Mayiaal Thogai Virithaal" for which Sivaji Ganesan lent his lip movements in perfect sync,as he ever did for any song in any movie.It was a stage competition in college and both Sivaj and Padmini,made the scene last in audience memory,as an immortal film event.

  The entangling story line involving a man caught in between his former lover and present conjugal pair,made the climax a heart throbbing event. Both Padmini and K.R.Vijaya played their roles,with consummate perception of the emotional quotient of their characters and proved to be a perfect foil for the colossal hero Sivaji Ganesan. Nagesh as Principal and little Roja Ramani as the daughter of Sivaji & K.R.Vijaya,did their roles with perfect grasp of dramatic efficacy.I would have seen the film many more times after this errant entry.Every time when I watch it,I turn nostalgic about my student days and the small circle of valued friends that I was blessed with.

  'Ootyvarai Uravu'made by C.V.Sridhar was a fabulous comedy that repeated the success of his earlier hit'Kadhalikka Neramillai'.In'Ootyvarai Uravu',Sridhar teamed up with Sivaji Ganesan, R.Muthuraman and Nagesh with the patronising support of salient character-cum comedy actors like T.S.Balaiah and V.K Ramasamy.If"Madhavi Pon mayilaal"in 'Irumalarkal'was a classical dance show''Thedinen Vandhadhu''in 'Ootivarai Uravu'was a ravishing,novel visual,with the energising dance movements of K.R.Vijaya.

  The rejuvenating song by P.Suseela in M.S.V.'s tremendous musical vibration,made many among the audience dance in the theatre.How breezy the whole narration was with romance and rapturous humour sequences!Chitralaya Gopu joining hands with Sridhar, the most enchantic romace specialist,enriched the quality of comedy on the big screen through several films and 'Ootyvarai Uravu'could be called one of the most felicitous comedies of Tamil Cinema.All the song swquences of the film were a marvellous audio visual treat.I skipped another afternoon session in college,to watch this comedy extravaganza at Raja Theatre,Trichy.Today the aforesaid three theatres do not exist.But my memories of them still do exist,not only because of the films I saw there,but also because of their invisble presence,as location identifiers of the rock town.

    This post notifies three afternoon aberrations.Only three instances of violation of student ethics,betraying parental expectations!No doubt, there was a nagging fear,letting my heart beat faster.The fear was due to the unfounded prospect of someone seeing me at the theatre and then informing my parents.But now in retrospect,the fear that surrounded me like the theatre crowd,looks silly and childish.

  Instead,the three'wrongful'matinee shows are getting projected as a paramount,three page singular file of 1967,elegantly rising from the memory folder of mymovieminutes blog. This post doesnot and need not imply any mood of compunction or tone of confession.Contrarily,it is a confirmation of the fact,that the three cheers of my student delinquency,resulted in a lasting celebration of'hidden hours',surmounting the gains of listening to six hours of prosaic and fictional pastime at college.   



  1. படிப்பதற்கே மூச்சு வாங்கி கொண்டேன். படைப்பிற்கு, படைப்பாளியின் பங்கு அளவிடற்கரியது என்பதில் இரு வேறு கருத்துக்கள் இருக்க முடியுமா என்ன? ஒரு சிறு சந்தேகம் சார். ஃபிலிம் நியூஸ் ஆனந்தன் உங்கள் மாணவராக இருந்து பாடம் படித்தவர் தானே?(Just for Fun Sr)

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