Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Fim Maker without Sound and Fury.

    Film directors of the action genre are of different kinds.Tamil film industry has the singular pride of having enrolled and patronized a galaxy of men, in making action films.Starting from P.Neelakandan, M.A.Thirumumugam T.R.Sundaram, and A.Jaganathan,the list will go unending. Modern Tamil cinema has been enriched by astute action film makers like Shankar, Lingusamy, P.Vasu,A.R Murugadoss and many others.Of these Shankar has established a unique position as the most technically savvy director.But there is one action film maker who proved to be distinct in his approach to the action genre, through subtle touches in narration along with a racy focus on the vital segments of an action film such as romance,crime and social justice.It is K.Subash,who breathed his last yesterday, in his mid fifties.
    Starting with his moderately reviewed Kaliyugam released in 1988,K.Subash has made about fifteen Tamil films.The other notable fact is that he wrote the story for five Hindi films of which the most popular Chennai Express is also one.His last film was 1,2,3 pictured on a lighter vein, depicting the interesting vagaries of three physically impaired guys, falling in love with the same girl.The best two films of Subash were Bramma,starring Sathyaraj and Banupriya and Chatriyan with Vijayakanth and Banupriya. These two films could be called big action bonanzas, keeping completely intact,the gripping factors of speed, tempo and vigor in narration from the beginning till the end.
      While the thriller effect was more in Bramma, the toughness and devil may care attitude of the hero was an impressive feature of Chatriyan. Both carried the aesthetic components in narration significantly enriched by delicate touches of romance and the grandeur of music. Kushbu remained as an enchanting addition to Bramma, Revathi was a symbol of piety and submissive womanhood in Chatriyan. In both the films Banupriya gracefully contributed to the over all visual grandeur. Vijayakumar was a sweet tongued villain in Bramma and an unflinching police officer in Chatriyan. Thilagan  remains memorable as the crude and devilish Annachi of Chatriyan. Both  Satyaraj and Vijayanth took their respective films to highly creditable levels by their commanding grip of their character potential standing up in spirit, as the incarnation of bravery. Subash needs a special pat for narrating these two action films with well knit dynamism and dauntlessness in character evolution and contextual validity.These two incomparable films will always stand to his credit.
      Pangali was another Sathyaraj film directed by Subash. Here too Banupriya was paired with the hero.But in this film which was a revenge drama, Satyaraj played dual roles.Napoleon played the ruthless villain, keeping his nephew in a cave with guardian Vijayakumar, whose tongue the villain did not hesitate to slash.Some of the scenes in the movie reminded the audience of a few happenings in the MGR blockbuster Adimai Penn.The film went in for mixed reviews.However the Sathyaraj and Goundamani team did not fail to provide their usual cheeky side of humor.
       Subash has worked with leading heroes like Prabu,Satyaraj,Vijayakant,Ajith  Parthiban and Prabu Deva. He needs a special acknowledgement for showing Raguvaran in two totally diagonal dimensions, as the meekest lawyer in Kaliyugam and the most menacing villain Masilamani, in Abimanyu. Similarly Parthiban was shown as an aggressive youth with an innate vengeance, to kill his devilish father Raguvaran in Abimanyu and as an extremely astute guy, outsmarting his wicked friend Ranjith in Sabash. The word sabash means "well done!" .At the end of the film Sabash, one could say 'well done!' not only to Parthiban but also to  director Subash for cleverly contriving the course of events in a tricky story line.Both Abhimanyu and Sabash are two special films of the action genre with elements of crime and justice carried on in two different ways.
      Prabudeva has the privilege of being inducted in three of the  films of Subash.There was a negative undercurrent running through all the three films. Poverty,social neglect,anguish of love and its related disappointment and the usual criminal element,dominated in the films Ninaivirukkumvarai and Ezhaiyin Sirippil. The third film 1,2,3 was both a farce and a silent tale of pain ably withstood by the three differently powered youth. Keerthi Reddy was fascinatingly compact in Ninaivirukkumvarai and Roja added both glamour and grace to Ezhaiyin Sirippil. Jyothika adeptly handled the three men with dignity and grace. Uthama Purushan the other film of Subash, was romance cum family drama. Subash was perhaps influenced by the memories of L.V.Prasad's great film Iruvar Ullam starring Sivaji Ganesan and Sarojadevi, in making the film Uthama Purushan with Prabhu Ganesan and Amala. This moderate film carried reverberating memories of the former.
     Some of the other films of Subash were Ajith's Pavithra and the multi star movie Suyamvaram.
It is really a sad thing that a film maker of merit died of an organ failure.The fact that as the son of Krishnan,the first part of the Director duo Krishnan Panju, K.Subash remained as a highly talented film maker and his films like Chatriyan,Bramma,Abhimanyu,Sabash,Kaliyugam and Ezhaiyin Sirippil will perpetually celebrate his memories, both as an action film maker and a director with a perfect understanding of the vital parameters of film making, aimed at entertaining the audience .In doing this, he had always been genuine in the sense, that he never resorted to needless moralizing, by raising the voice of reform or reorganization.It was his natural and modest handling of the action genre, with a precise perception of romance and sentiment, that came in handy for his narration of stories, events and characters.In other words, he was ever a self confident film maker, without sound and fury.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Musical Genius is No More.

       This blog has dwelt upon many singers and music composers of Tamil film industry.With the blog writer's passion for Indian Cinema in general and Tamil cinema in particular,many aspects of the celluloid world were discussed recalling the grand moments of watching movies with absolute involvement and appreciation.But the writer of this blog did not so far venture into any deliberation on Carnatic music or on the most reputed Carnatic singers, for lack of knowledge and competence to delve into the most sacred stream of music.The writer's longstanding esteem and admiration for one of the most venerable musicians of the Indian subcontinent, who was extremely regarded for his multi dimensional musical calibre has to be recorded now, because the consecrating voice is now part and parcel of divinity. Yes. Dr. Balamurali Krishna who came to be naturally adored for his voice grandeur and instrumental efficacy, has reached the abode of God.
     The writer earnestly cherishes in his memory Dr.Balamurali Krishna's magnificently vibrating rendering of the song 'Chinna Kannan Azhaikkiraan' from the film Kavi Kuyil and the thought provoking soothing number 'Mounathil Vilaiyaadum Manasaatchiye' from Noolveli. So does the writer absorb into his soul the scintillating song Orunaal Podhuma?{Is one day enough for me to sing?} from the myth making veteran A.P.Nagarajan's Thiruvilaiyaadal. The song stays remembered for three reasons.Number 1}.It is from the splendid musical composition of K.V.Mahadhevan,an expert in classical music. Number 2}.The scenic tie up between the legendary actor T.S.Balaiah and the voice of the immortal singer Dr.Balamurali Krishna being in perfect blending. Number 3}.The competitive exuberance between  'Oru Naal Podhuma' and 'Paattum Naane' by the stentorian singer T.M. Soundarajan, being a prominent feature of this magnum opus of A.P.Nagarajan. It can rightly be said that the song 'Orunaal Podhuma' is not meant  for a day but for all times.
     As a singer Dr.Balamurali is indisputably a class by himself.This blog writer would also salute him for his wonderful role performance as Naradhar, for the fascinating mythological film Bhakta Prahlada, that came from the A.V.M banner.The film would never fail to create nostalgic moments for any film goer with aesthetic and spiritual quest  Dr.Balamurali, definitely enriched the quality of that film in his own way, along with the veteran actor S.V.Rengarao as Hiranya Kashipu and the then child artist Roja Ramani as Prahlada. This is what the writer  knows about Dr.Balamurali Krishna. The voice of the sacred singer would ever flow in the mind of the writer with its mighty rhythms of music. It is no exaggeration  to say that the world would rarely come upon a musical genius like him..

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

M.S.Bhaskar,the under utilized Comedian and Character Actor.



      Comedy actors performing character roles, is not new to Tamil Cinema.Comedians like N.S.Krishnan,T.S.Dorairaj, K.A.Thangavelu, Nagesh and Thengai Srinivasan have shown their brilliance as character actors.Similarly character actors like V.K.Ramasamy,T.S.Balaiah and Delhi Ganesh have also beautifully reflected their flair for comedy shows.In these lines there is another actor who set his foot as an actor on the big screen years back in 1982 and there after maintained a slow and steady race, on the double tracks of television and cinema.It is M.S.Bhaskar who has simultaneously created a track record as a television serial actor and Tamil film comedian and character actor.
     Many of us may not remember his role in his first film Thirumathi Vegumathi,directed by Visu. Nor has he retained a stable position in the film industry in terms of consistency and continuity.He would have seen ups and downs and even a period of hiatus.If it had been some other actor,they would have lost hope and left the field.But he sustained the trials and periods of neglect and proved his resilience. This is something special about him.
     It is directors like Perarasu and Radha Mohan who regularly made use of his talent for comedy and character role performance.One extraordinary thing about him is his effortless mode of acting. Whether it is comedy or character role, he does it with spontaneity and ease, that makes his delivery a casual occurrence.With his sobre looks, one would doubt if he can deliver humour so as to generate instant laughter.But a scene like the one showing him in a fully drunken state, causing a lot of flutter for Vadivelu and Pandiarajan, in Enga Anna, is enough to show his capacity for generating a great blast of comedy.His other memorable role was in Dum Dum Dum, as a family doctor, periodically playing a foul game of cards, that creates havoc to the extent of breaking a marriage.
     His Nellai Tamil accent in that film was so natural that it would have been a cake  walk for him to speak the same dialect of Tamil, as a tea stall owner, in Kamal's latest film Paapanaasam. His three other Kamalahasan films are Unnai Pol Oruvan, Dhasaavadhaaram and Uthama Villain. Whether it is the character of a lawyer[Sivakasi],or broker [Thiruppachi] or coach {Azhagiya Thamizh Magan}or conductor [Thamizhan]  or police constable[Arima Nambi] he would perform each role with its inherent layers perfectly reflected in  role delivery. He has even appeared as the personal Assistant of the Chief Secretary in Rajijikanth's blockbuster Sivaji. He was equally convincing as a  Christian Father in Mozhi. He also created a significant impact as a mad guy in Varalaaru and as a sleeping accountant, in Kaavalan. One could see him sleeping even while standing, in the latter film.No one can forget his hilarious role performance as the shamelessly casual maternal uncle of Vijay, in Velayudham.
     Most of the recent Tamil releases have included him at least in a minor role.One such role is that of an astrologer [Naadi Josiyer] in Demonte Colony. His other latest films are Vellakaara Dhurai, Ivanukku Thannila Kandam, India Pakistan,36 Vayadhinile.His recent appearance as a local bigwig in Radha Mohan's Uppu Karuvadu created a sterling impact with his flair for poetry and the final powerful poetic outburst on the elopement of his daughter.
     M.S.Bhaskar's entries are many and the types of characters he has performed are equally innumerable.His bald head and untrimmed beard are his popular trademarks showing him as a simpleton and not as a heavy weight in appearance.But when it comes to performance he truly fulfills all necessary requirements, of the role assigned to him.Though he has acted in more than one hundred films and nearly a dozen serials, [of which Vizhudhugal, Chinna Paappaa Periya Paappaa,Arasi and Selvi are most popular] he has not yet got the right position and recognition he truly deserves.Perhaps that is the reason for his not being able to establish a solid place either as a comedian or character actor. Within the limited space made available to him so far,he has certainly proved to be a buoyant comedian and character actor.