Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Youngest Cub

    Suriya who serially roared in Singam, Singam 2 and 3 has now produced Kadaikutti Singam with his younger brother Karthik as hero. Pandiraj who directed the award winning Pasanga,  has directed this action packed rural family drama.The narration abounds in family sentiment, action shows and romance.There are too many interlinking layers of themes such as the emphatic cry for agriculture as the base of life,the usual craving for a male child, the customary practice of girls marrying their maternal uncles and the gusto and politics of a huge family of three generations. Sundar C is a specialist in portraying the nuances of large families with his conventional sense of humour and action.But Pandiraj marks his distinct lenience to the rural soil with its invigorating bullock cart race and various other rural ingredients that would draw the audience from the B and C centres, despite the fact that most of the events we watch in this movie have been watched several times.
  The thematic thrust given to the primacy of agriculture is something special here, on account of the briefly shown commitment of the hero to the relevance and importance of professional farming, as a discipline and career in the line of medicine and engineering.This he does more through dialogues than through valid sequence of action.He is rather busy with his other schedules of romance and dedication to family unity.Scenes pass by at jet speed as in the case of a Hari film.Comedy segment is a natural by product of the film thanks to the presence of Soori as a member of the large family tree, besides the leg pulling tone of mockery, resorted to by the four co brothers consisting of Saravanan,Ilavarasan,Seeman and G.Marimuthu. D.Imman who is specially acknowledged for his melodious music composition for many films,has taken the route of instrumental assault.Excepting"Sengadhire"which solidly reaches our ears in the sonorous voice of Pradeep Kumar,the other songs pass away unheard.
   The climax of the film is definitely a special treat with emotion packed dialogues thanks to the special efforts put in by Viji Chandrasekar and Karthik.In fact the finally outpouring emotional appeal made by Karthik in his uniquely natural and subdued style, brings in a change of heart in all the sisters and their spouses as well as the two nieces of the hero who want to marry him.No doubt this is another grand show of Karthik, both in stunt scenes and in the display of genuine emotions.But something keeps on telling the audience that most of the family emotions are a clear repeat of various  other family dramas. 
    Personally speaking,it was rolling in my mind that Karthik's Komban was truer to the rural soil because most of the scenes finely narrated in that film comprising the interpersonal relationship of Karthik,Lakshmi Menon,Raj Kiran and Thambi Ramaiah would  spontaneously get recalled as a better stuff,cleanly stuck to the ground realities.The song Karuppu Nirathazhaki alone will do, to remember Komban as the most memorable rural film of Karthik. However, what is special about Kadaikutti Singam is the absolute fact that the cub does not waste time in roaring but moves about struggling all the time,with a clear cut focus on cobbling together the divergent groups of the Palmyra family, headed by the ever sweet and tall actor Satyaraj. 

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Pelting Stones from Inside the Glass House.


    Satire is one of the wonderful ways of probing into the existing pitfalls in a system with a view to laughing at them. Satire may be a verbal weapon or a visual voice.Silent satire through looks and gestures is some times more effective than what words could do.But verbal satire always creates instant laughter as in the case of late Mr. Cho Ramasami the ever sparkling writer and actor for whom satire was a tool for causing rib tickling laughter through parodies and power of words, targeting his victims with tenacity and grit.His subject was mostly politics and his victims were usually politicians. 
  However when a film resorts to hitting its own themes,profiles and performers, it becomes extraordinarily exciting because of the intrinsic risks involved in washing one's dirty linen in public. Tamizh Padam2 following its earlier journey of self satire in Thamizh Padam,continues to ridicule the way Tamil films project  their themes, events and characters, in addition to grooming and blowing up the hero image, into superhuman dimensions.
   At the outset, it should be stated clearly that one needs a different mind set to watch the film with enjoyment because it is altogether a different type of film.In fact even my mindset is not fit for that.When I say this it does not mean I undermine the quality of presentation of the film or the hard work put in by the team consisting of C.S Amuthan,Shiva,Satish and others who have shouldered the major responsibility of making the film reach a wider level of audience.When I watched the film at a local theatre I was really stunned to see a huge audience,which I have not recently seen, even for a Vijay movie or a movie of the Superstar.The crowd at the ticket counter triggered my expectation for a vigorous enjoyment of the film.
   Those who would have witnessed Imsai Arasan Irubadhumoonram Pulikesi of Simbudhevan would have left the theatre with memories of laughter generated at the theatres by the grand show of comedy by Vadivelu&co because the spontaneity of humour was vitally linked to characters and situations, that made the show unforgettably rejoicing.But here, you have periodical bouts of laughter like the intermittent feeble showers in Chennai during the months of July /August.There is enough to laugh about but not much to absorb and retain.
      The film has touched upon various  funny aspects of film making and political programming.It has not even excluded a sly reference to the meaningless visits of politicians to the tombs of their departed leaders, purely to indulge in meditation and swearing.From Devar Makan to Kabali,from Thuppaaki to Vedhalam , from Endhiran to Vikram Vedha it is a panorama of satirical inclusion of scenes.To make the audience chuckle, Venkat Prabu and Premji Amaran appear specially for an item number{Kasturi is 'honoured'}that ends with the glamour dancer getting paid by the police department for her job.The payment  by cheque to the dancer is a cheeky reminder of the 'avoid cash payment' dictum of the present regime.The film touches upon demonetization too,as 'a Cop measure' to trap the villain.
    The mythological flashback revolving around the theme of immortality blessed by a jack fruit, becomes an irrelevant intrusion that could have been jettisoned.But the dance performed by Shiva and Satish at the mythical palace,seems to have been scrupulously filmed to amuse the audience.Music{ Background score and not the songs that hurt the ears} and visual effects make the film reflect and echo the splendour of a superhero film.Nevertheless,the determined role play of Satish and Shiva {sorry Shiva and Satish} under the astute supervision of Amuthan make the film live up to the yardsticks of a full fledged parody. On the whole it is a film meant for a selective audience,though in reality,it has undoubtedly become s crowd puller.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

SARAN the Felicitous Film Maker.


        Born as Saravanan,Saran a diploma holder in Visual communication and a one time cartoonist for Aananda Vikaden got into the film world out of his ardent admiration for veteran director K.Balachander and assisted him in the direction of Unnaal Mudiyum Thambi, starring Kamalahasan,Gemini Ganesan and Seetha. His love for making films pushed him ahead, towards directing the highly acclaimed film Kaadhal Mannan. His association with Ajit almost became a firm bond that made him direct four of his films including his first hit.His other three Ajit films were Amarkalam,Attakaasam and Asal all starting with letter A.
   Barring Alli Arjuna in which Bharatiraja's son Manoj was the hero, almost all the films of Saran received either best or moderate reviews.Apart from his Ajit films which were grand shows,his other films like Paarthein Rasithein,Jay Jay,Gemini, Vattaaram and Vasool Raja MBBS were great entertainers worthy of a theatre watching experience of films.
    His two major flops were Alli Arjuna and Modhi Vilaiyaadu. Paarthein Rasithein and Jay Jay were enchanting romantic tales and Gemini was a racy entertainer. Vattaram was a unique gangster story with Arya's macho might and Napoleon's composed acting. Vasool Raja MBBS was a creditable remake of the Hindi hit Munna Bhai MBBS. It was a Kamal special, with crazy Mohan's sparkling witticisms coupled with Kamal's pranks and the ever enjoyable banter of Prakash Raj. Saran's other moderate film Idhaya Thirudan, with Jeyam Ravi in the lead role,was produced by his mentor K.Balachander.
   What is distinct about Saran is the vigour he consistently reflects in narrating the story on hand,be it a tale of romance, or a commercial entertainer,like the film Gemini.Besides his predominant preference for Ajit, his exclusive choice of Bharatwaj to compose music for all his films{with the exception of Alli Arjuna and Modhi Vilaiyaadu,that went into the hands of A.R.Reheman and the Colonial Cousins[Hariharan and Lesle Lewis] respectively} is an indicator of his prioritization,in the process of his film making.
    Another extraordinary thing about Saran's films is the abundant energy levels portrayed by the heroes of his films. Throwing challenges and meeting them with confidence and grit have been the inherent strength of the theme,story line,character presentation and narration of events,scrupulously adhered to by this film maker, who carries the essence of  juvenile zeal and gusto.
    His heroes are quite often seen on a track of adventure attempting to do the impossible. There is an undercurrent of aberration in character formation,as witnessed in some of the films of K.Balachander. Saran's hero might fall in love with a girl betrothed to some other guy{Kadhal Mannan }or he might be one ex-convict attending college {Gemini} or a medical student who cleared his entrance test through proxy {Vasool Raja MBBS}.
    But ultimately,their intentions are genuinely harmless,though they achieve their goals through robustly romantic and unconventional means.The all pervading element of mischief is a special appealing factor of Saran's heroes.The hero{Ajit} carrying the villain's chair {played by Mahadevan} in the climax scene of Attahaasam,after an ironical adoration of the erstwhile gang leader,is a memorable sample of this trait.A similar inspiration was passed on by Arya's passion for the gangster head Napoleon's rocking chair,in Vattaram.
    Saran's heroine might be from Assam or Kerala,Goa or Karnataka,Rajastan or Andhra Pradesh or West Bengal.She may even be an Indian woman either born or living abroad.He has hardly gone in favour of a purely Tamil heroine.Barring Shalini and Sneha most of his heroines were either glamour additions or excessive hero doters.But among his villains,starting from Girish Karnard and Raguvaran, all have made a mark in carrying out their roles with adequate stamp of crookedness and fury.In fact,his villains could be said to have played as vital a part in his films,as his heroes, because Saran's focus has chiefly been on the ecstasy of crimes with the enthusiastic participation of garrulous gangsters.  
    Saran could take credit for drawing the melody maker M.S.Viswanathan into acting.The late music director's meaty role as Mess Viswanathan in Kadhal Mannan,was truly rib tickling,with his strict advocacy of teetotalism in public,while at the same time enjoying  his own series of stealthy smoking sessions, that get unwittingly exposed to the ever curious cigarette bound Vivek. The hilarious moments he created in association with Vivek, formed Saran's endearing show of the friendly ruckus of bachelorhood.In addition to this, MSV was also made to sing a lovely song,adding pep and style to the role that the music director played.
    The same way,Saran did something special by taking into his fold yesteryear comedian Kaakaa Radhakrishnan as a crazy Carom game buff in Vasool Raja MBBS.The kidnap of the old man by Kamal &co by alluring him for a Carom game and thereby forcing his intelligent doctor son Crazy Mohan, to do the medical entrance exam on behalf of Kamal, provided a vibrant comedy show for the audience.
   The spicy touches of Saran include the choice of location for narration,such as an old unused bus or a theatre that becomes the centre of activities involving the main action sequence. There is always a thrust of chase and run, whether it is a romantic race or a gangster chase.
    Saran is capable of creating an unusually fabulous screen experience,by presenting a distinct frame of criminality and genuine human emotions, that exist in effective juxtaposition. The turbulent behaviour of his heroes, including his anti hero Manoj in Alli Arjuna,hardly failed to trigger higher voltage of action segment in most of his films.It was lovely to watch Ajit,Vikram and Arya playing roles of rugged orphans and captivating gangsters, in Amarkalam, Gemini and Vattaram respectively. 
    Saran's comedy skit was mostly compact in films like Kadhal Mannan,Amarkalam,Gemini and Vasool Raja MBBS.Popular Comedians like Vivek,Dhamu,Charlie and Vaiyapuri have kept the momentum in full form in their respective movies directed by Saran. In Vasool Raja,Parabu too joined the Kamal wagon,to boost the comedy element as relevantly as possible. 
   On the whole,Saran is one of those film makers who would like the audience to spend a happy time in the theaters and carry on their film watch with all their family members.He has no itch for projecting negative emotions.On the other hand, he revels in his gusto of narration that leads to a spontaneous reverberation of energy, from the beginning till the end of each and every film that he directs,with invigorating spicy ingredients, lavishly used by happy-go-lucky guys.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Singer with a Mesmerizing Voice.

      This blog has paid consummate tributes to most deserving playback singers and music composers of Tamil Cinema, either in isolation or in comparative group frames.Singers need more than a voice compatible to the norms and dictates of music.Any voice made up of sweetness and natural rhythm in the vocal cords,can either enrich or bypass the rules of musical composition.Most playback singers of Tamil cinema have succeeded in carrying lyrics and tunes directly to the ears of music lovers, by their classic voice pattern and dynamism in rendition.Some of them have shown comparable voice quality like Mano and Unii Menon resembling that of SPB and K.J Yesudoss respectively. C.S.Jeyaraman on the other hand had always stamped the image of a special category of singer, with his rarest of the rare, voice mould,leaving an eternal note of nostalgia.
    Similarly, we have come across another playback singer whose voice has consistently struck a mesmerizing impact on the listeners through a sonorously soothing way of singing,while at the same time creating feelings of joy and sorrow penetrating into the soul of everyone.It is P. Jeyachandran who every time creates indelible impressions,with his profound involvement in the singing process,with a magic voice that felicitously travels along with the lyrics and the inseparable instrumental core.
     "Ponenna Poovenna Kanne"from Sridhar's 'Alaikal',was the first song of Jeyachandran I heard in my early twenties.The hero Vishnuvardhan for whom Jeyachandran sang the song was from Karnataka and Jeyachandran himself was from the soil of Kerala.Besides the fact that Alaikal was a richly appealing film on several counts,the song of Jeyachandran became more soothing than the movie.The next enthralling solo song with thought provoking lyrics that got into my memory was "Ethanai Manidharkal Ulakathile/Ethanai Ulakangal idhayathile" from MGR's different film Neethikku Thalai Vanangu. It was M. S. Viswanathan the melody king who composed music for these two solo songs and the mind blowing duet song 'Kavithai Arangerum Neram'sung by Jeyachandran with S. Janaki for'Andha Yezhu Naatkal',one of the earliest hits of K.Bhagyaraj.
   Jeyachandran's next solo song that comes to my memory is from the great film Oruthalai Raagam.The song ''Kadavul Vaazhum Bhoomiyile Karpoora Dheepam Kalaiyizhandha Maadathile Mukaari Raagam"in an anguished tone,brought out the essence of agony caused by one side love.It was excellently rendered by him under the unique musical composition of T. Rajendar. 
     Later some of the best  solo and duet numbers of Jeyachandran came from the amazing musical composition of Ilayaraja,the prophet of music.'Sithira Chevvaanam Sirikka Kandene' {Kaatrinile Varum Geetham}'Maanjolai Kilidhaano' {Kizhakke Pogum Rayil} and'Inraikku Yenindha Aanandhame' '{Vaidheki Kaathirundhaal}are the most ecstatic solo songs from the  delighting voice of Jeyachandran.The other two immortal solo songs that came from the film Vaidheki Kaathirundhaal are "Raasaathi Onne Kaanaadha Nenju"and "Kaathirundhu Kaathirundhu Kaalangal Ponadhadi.''
   The first of the two songs was an exemplary song in a lullaby form and lasts for many, as one of the haunting melodies before going to bed.The heart throbbing duets of this fabulous singer are 'Poova Eduthu Oru Maala Thoduthu Vachene' {Amman Koivil Kizhakkaale} 'Kodiyile Mallikapoo"{Kadalora Kavidhaikal}with S.Janaki and the soul searching number 'Mayanginen Solla Thayanginen'{Naane Raajaa Naane Mandhiri}with P.Susheela.
    There are three special songs of Jeyachandran under A.R.Rehaman's composition.The first one 'Kattazham Kaattu vazhi' from Bharatiraja's Kizhakku Cheemaiyile was an award winning song.The other beautiful song is 'Kannathil Mutha mittaal' from Mani Ratnam's most popular film bearing the same title.The third one'En Mel Vizhundha Mazhaithuliye' is an exalting duet with K.S. Chitra  for the film May Madham. All these songs are worth cherishing in the archives of Tamil film music.
    Jeyachandran is a voluminous singer in Malayalam cinema.In Tamil in the midst of huge competition of voices,he has made his significant innings purely through his brilliant capacity for unadulterated grandeur of voice reach and pure performance of qualitative vocal music.I would have listed here only a part of his creamy musical stuff purely on account of my personal priority. Jeyachandran's captivating voice and its characteristic charm have made him one of the worthiest playback singers, capable of mesmerizing the audience with songs that would outlive those of many others.