Saturday, February 28, 2015

Homage to R.C Sakthi and A.Vincent.

    Tamil Film industry is consecutively bereaved of two eminent film personalities in Feb 2015.One is R,C,Sakthi,a remarkable film director of the Nineteen Seventies to Nineties and the other is A.Vincent  an illustrious Tamil cinematographer who has also been a cinematographer of several Telugu films as well and a couple of Hindi films like Dil Ek Mandhir and Nazrana.Vincent has also directed a lot of  Malayalam films including award winners like Aswametham andThulaabaaram .He has directed the Tamil version of Thulaabhaaram too.Both R.Sakthi and A.Vincent were fascinating creators in their own respect and their loss creates a feel of contemporary nostalgic effect, because of their outstanding and valued association,with many directors,actors and cameramen during their period besides making the audience brood over their quality and precision in creativity.
   R.C.Shakthi has made the two memorable movies of Kamalahasan and Rajinikanth,namely Unarchigal and Dharmayutham.{Incidentally it should be mentioned here that A.Vincent has direted a Malayalam film with the title Dharmayudham starring Prem Nazir} While Unarchigal discussed the physical and emotional side of man woman relationship,Dharmayudham was an emotional thriller with a revenge perspective and presented  the hero's psychic predicament in relation to the waxing and waning of the moon.With this movie Rajini was reborn as an action hero of ruggedness and charm.The movie is also remembered for the two wonderful songs rendered by late Malaysia Vasudevan,one a solo number 'Oru Thanga Radhathil' and the other a soothing duet with S.Janaki, 'Aahaaya Kangai'.
     Some of other great films of Sakthi are,'Manitharil Ithanai Nirangala' {another film with Kamala hasan}'Sirai' 'Santhosha Kanavugal','Mana Kanakku','Varam' and 'Koottu Puzhukkal'.Of these,Sirai was an extraordinary film dealing with the delicate theme of a married woman from an orthodox Hindu family, being spoilt by a thug and let down by her husband for this stigma, for which she was not at all responsible..The woman who chooses to live with the other man, accepts widowhood after he dies.Lakshmi who donned that difficult role gave her usual, subtle touches to that pitiable woman character and mad it a poignant portrayal. Rajesh who played the thug gave a neat performance and the film was highly spoken of,like the original short story of Anuradha Ramanan,on which the film was based.
     Sakthi has worked with differently talented heroes like Kamal, Rajini, Vijayakanth, Prabu,Rajesh and Raguvaran.During the course of nearly a dozen films R.C.Sakthi has obviously established a name for himself as a flawless filmmaker of neat skits and framer of amazing characters not just to appear on the screen for a brief spell, but to live longer in the minds of the audience, as extraordinary human beings.This is certainly a distinct victory point for a film maker  and this why Sakthi's death is disturbing to the creatively committed film makers and film lovers.
      A.Vincent who created great sensation for being the cinematographer for Sivaji Ganesan's blockbuster movie Uthama Puthiran,made success waves with C.V.Sridhar, by being his pet cinematographer for many of his great hits like Kalayana Parisu,Punar Jenmam,Kadhalikka Neramillai,Thein Ninalvu,Sumai Thaangi,Nenjil Oer Aalayam,Nenjm Marappadhillai Meenda Sorgam,and Policekaaran Magal.Sivaji Ganesan's box office hits like Vasantha Maaligai and Savaale Samaali and MGR's mega hit movie Enga Veettu Pillai owe their success story, also to the grandeur of cinematography, displayed by A.Vincent.
   Like K.Balaji who loved to work with Sivaji Ganesan,A.Vincent also preferred to be on the Chevalier's camp for about a dozen films.As a film director, he has created indelible impressions on the Malayalam film industry. by making many qualitative films in addition to the two films mentioned in the first paragraph of this article. Precision,appealing impact and neatness coupled with compactness in presentation, have remained as the permanent hallmarks of A.Vincent.The award winning Thulaabaram, remade in Tamil,with actors of conviction like A.V.M.Rajan, Muthuraman, Saradha and Kanchana, made the Tamil audience know him,as a film maker harping on the fundamentals of realism without pretension.As a cinematographer, it has been an endless saga of remarkable achievements for him, because, he had both the vision and  will to entertain, with all relevant and rewarding  yardsticks of transforming cinema,into an aesthetic experience.Both Sakhi and Vincent deserve a hearty salute from everyone interested in cinema.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Taxing Among the Trilogy.


       No doubt Gautham Vasudev Menon's ''Ennai Arindhaal'' was eagerly looked forward to, not because of the hype made by the media about the film, but because of the quality stuff, that the director is capable of, as a film maker.What a brilliant show 'Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu' was,as a  a differently narrated cop story and how compact Kaakka Kaakka was, frame by frame as an emotionally told police story.But here, the monologue kind of narration,the shuttling between breezy and noisy picturing of events, with out anything new in the story line, make the whole process of watching the film a frustrating experience.The solacing moments are the few scenes involving Ajith and Trisha and the break that Ajith takes with his adopted daughter to Jodhpur. Vivek's talent for sensible humour has been under utilized and the reasons for the hero's aversion for the gangster world has not been poignantly presented.
     The most redeeming factors of the film are the rich lyrics of Thamarai and a couple of melodious numbers by Harris Jeyaraj. The film should definitely give a break for Arun Vijay but he should learn to control his decibel.The pre climax chase and run events are worth watching, thanks to the speed in narration. Ajith looks chic and charming and does not disappoint his fans as a performer with style and grace. Gautham Menon continues his adoration of fatherhood and his dignified presentation of women.But on the whole,in spite of the exquisite aesthetic components in narration, the film is taxing with its background music score and the intermittent bouts of loud delivery of dialogues.To me, it seems to occupy only the third place in the trilogy of police stories of Gautham Menon, for want of a valid and creditable story line and lack of fresh course of events, that would otherwise have made it a great film, on the uniformed service.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Versatile Beard.

       Bearded men are rare in Tamil Cinema,that too among those who have a screen image as popular heroes.The recently successful director -cum hero in this category is M.Sasikumar.Earlier we had Manivannan who with his  beaming beard was a dynamic director, character actor,comedian and villain.The other reputed Tamil director P.Vasu is quite often seen with a beard.But Tamil Cinema can never ignore the most vibrant T.Rajendar whose constant beard speaks of his versatility in the film field.Like Oliver Goldsmith in English literature known for his manifold accomplishments as poet,novelist,essayist short story writer and playwright T.Rajendar has displayed his creative might as film director, story and dialogue writer,lyricist,actor,singer and music composer.
    Starting his film career with Orudhalai Raagam,T.Rajendar made a clean sweep for quite some time,coming out with great hits like Rayil Payanangalil,Thangaikkor Geedham,Uyirullavarai Usha,Uravai Kaatha Kili,Mydhili Ennai Kaadhali,Samsaara Sangeedham, En THangai Kalyaani and Oru Thaayin Sabadham. His other moderate entries were,Sonnaaldhaan Kaadhalaa,Kaadhal Azhivadhillai and Veeraasaamy.
      What is special about T.Rajendar besides his cheek bound beard, is his Tamil, with its innate flair for alliterations.His felicity in the deliberation of Tamil dialogues with copious alliterations would at least partially remind one of Kambar's great legacy of high sounding words making sense and substance. T.Rajendar is synonymous of sentiments.His  creative thrust has emotional well being as its core and he would not bother if he has to resort to melodramatic narration, for the sake of dramatic efficacy of delineation of events,situations and  characters.
    I would say T.Rajendar is the most emotional of all makers of Tamil films, because, he never lets down the spontaneous urge for shedding tears, whenever he cannot control his emotions.One who cries naturally, while being emotionally disturbed, is a true human being, because weeping under emotional stress is one of the basic characteristics of human life.Very often, one can see T.Rajendar crying even on stage, whenever he is emotionally struck.This is a valid demonstration of a film personality of traditional mould and T.Rajendar is undoubtedly an upholder of the traditional base .
     Oruthalai Raagam with all its ingredients of juvenile gusto,pangs of romance, positive energy of friendship,fascinating power of music and the stout interlinking emotional chord,was one of the grandest Tamil films of the Nineteen Seventies. Rayil Payanangalil that followed Oruthalai Raagam continued to reflect all these ingredients with a little bit of decline in the power of narration. Shankar, Rooba,Jothi,Usha,and Ravinder whose tenure in Tamil Cinema did not last long were definitely great talents spotted out by the ever versatile T.Rajendar. Nalini who first appeared in a secondary role in Sathya Movies' Raanuva Veeran and Amala who made a successful and sparkling round in Tamil films for nearly a decade and a half, were introduced as heroines by T.Rajendar, in his mega hit films Uyirullavarai Usha and Mythili Ennai Kadhali, respectively.  
     One can see even the titles of T.Rajendar's films singing rich musical tunes into the ears of film lovers. Mythili Ennai Kaadhali was a mind blowing film with fantastic music and dance components and the exclusive contribution of T.Rajendar at all levels, made the film a historic piece, displaying the aesthetics of film making.Thangaikkor Geedham gave a lift to the career of Anand Baabu the actor son of Veteran comedian Naagesh. The film also showcased Sivakumar's newer dimension in acting. Nalini scored reasonably for her capacity to emote without overacting.This talented actress made use of the base created in T.Rajendar films for her later and stronger performance in films like Paalaivana Rojaakkal and Nooravadhu Naal.
     As a music director T.R.gave beautiful melodies like 'Idhu Kuzhandhai Paadum Thaalaattu' 'Naan Oru Raasiyillaa Raajaa, Kadavul Vaazhum Boomiyile' Vaasamillaa Malaridhu {all from Oruthalai Raagam},'Salangaiyittaal Oru Maadhu'Naanum Undhan Uravai{from Mydhili Ennai Kaadhali} Vagaikkarai Kaatre Nillu,Indhira Logagathu[Uyirullavarai Usha}Endhan Paadalgalil Nee Neelaam bari{Uravai Kaatha Kili},Amaidhukku Perdhaan Saanthi, Noolumillai Vaalumillai{Rayil Payangalil and many others.Of these Naanum  Undhan Uravai is a high pitch number powerfully rendered by SPB, pouring forth the agony of the soul. The other similar songs were Nan Oru Raasiyilla Raaja and Noolumillai Vaalumillai from the masterly voice of TMS. Majority of the songs in T.Rajender's composition, were delivered by  veteran singers like TMS,SPB and Jeyachandran,
     T.Rajendar delivered in his own voice a couple of sweet melodies like Thatti Paarthein {Thangaikkor Geedham}and Ada Ponnaana Manase Poovaana Manase {Mythili Ennai Kaadhali}. T.Rajendar has proved to be a qualitative music composer by enriching Tamil Cinema not only through his solo hits,duets and melody songs but also through gaanaa type,high spirited songs like 'Ada Goppa Mavane' {Uyirullavarai Usha} 'Ennaasa Mydhiliye'{Mythili Ennai Kaadhali}and 'Emmaadi Aathaadi' {Manmadhan} all in his  gruff but receivable tone and tenor. What makes him an exceptional music composer is his right awareness of mixing rhythm with lyrics and making  perfect instrumental addition to vocal presentation.Being a poet himself, he seems to have no difficulty in turning words into musical units,in tunes worthy of  wonderful auditory experience.
       Tamil Cinema during its expansive growth and progress has been immensely proud of the valid and invaluable contribution of very many talents in a number of fields related to the  art of film making .Mostly, we have seen them as independent talents in their respective area of specialization, such as acting,singing,music composing,choreographing,directing and other activities concerning over all cinematography.But here is an individual, who can contribute meaningfully as story and screen play writer,lyricist,music composer and actor.He is all in one, doing a little more than the director-cum-heroes like Bhagyaraj,Paarthiban,Cheran and Sundar C. Like the beard that has come to stay with him,his talents have ever remained as his perpetual assets, making him more distinguished by the term 'the versatile beard' .