Friday, May 29, 2020

The first Digital Tamil Release.

   The digital release of a Tamil film by Amazon Prime Videos is the first of its kind and Suriya's Ponmagal Vandaal takes the credit for enabling home watch of a just released film on the day of its release.Watching a new film from home,on the first day of its release, is of course an exciting experience for film lovers during these tough corona times.But the pleasure of a theater watch with d t s effects along with the large gathering of audience and the loss of income of everyone related to theater maintenance,cannot be undermined.
  The film does not add any freshness to story line,because it is an oft seen and heard tale of kidnap of girl children and their physical abuse.But the freshness lies in its narration and the most convincing role play of the woman protagonist Jyothika and that of other actors like Bagyaraj,Paarthiban, Pandiarajan{all the three  branched out from the school of Bharathiraja,one following the other} Thiagarajan and Pratap Pothan. Usually this type of a story line will call for a crime thriller mode of narration.But here it becomes more and more court bound,with the voice of truth getting choked by the criminally well versed lawyer Partiban and the dedicated struggle of Jyothika to relieve truth from the clutches of continued suppression of  evidence,by the thickness of the criminal cord.
  Though subdued narration of films has at times clicked,as in the case of Malayalam films like Drishyam and Lucifer, Pon Magal Vandhaal seems to suffer from a lukewarm presentation of scenes most of them taking place in the court room.The climax suffers for want of clarity in categorically fixing past events of crime surrounding the vulpine and virulent character of Thiagarajan.Though in the climax scene a witness against Thiagarajan is shown in the court premises by Jyothika and Bagyaraj,its follow up is elusive.In fact it is the passionate and emotional outburst of Jyothika,that seems to vaguely and speedily end the film.
  Similarly just before the climax, the Judge Pratap Pothen is shown as asking for some favour from Thiagarajan and receiving a suitcase from him,following which Pandiarajan is found to be snapping his long term association with Pothen,for breaking his norms of integrity.Later just before the verdict is given Pratap Pothen is heard to be telling Thiagarajan that the latter would achieve his ends,through any means.The climax of the film suffers a lot,on account of this jumbled narration.It is not clear whether Pothen has changed his honest course of life or remains honest.
   Jyothika is the sole strength of the film,with the added  verbal vibes of Parthiban and the earnest portrayal of characters by Bagyaraj and Thiagarajan.Suriya might be right in opting for a digital release of his film,directed by debut film maker J.J.Fredrick.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Last century's Two Fabulous Second line heroines of Tamil Cinema

   Like second line heroes,there are second line heroines too.Every film industry cherishes the role play of women,as primary and secondary heroines.During the early decades of Tamil cinema when heroines themselves were not too many,every actress was almost treated alike.But there were two women in the Tamil film industry who acted more as secondary heroines,than first line heroines like P.Bhanumadhi,Padmini,Savithri and several others.They were the widely acknowledged  M.N.Rajam and a bit less known Rajasulochana on account of her larger contribution to Telugu cinema.
   Between the two women,M.N.Rajam who married the popular playback singer A.L.Raghavan hailed from Madurai.Whereas Rajasulochana was from the Telugu region Bezawada.Both these actresses shared certain similarities.They played the roles of dancers, vamps, mistresses and as wives of villains. Both were paired with the famous comedians K.A.Thangavelu and K.Sarangabani. But when compared to M.N.Rajam,Rajasulochana was a professional dancer.
   Moreover, both Rajasulochana and M.N.Rajam were the pairs of M.G.R and Sivaji Ganesan. Rajasulochana was paired with MGR in Nallavan Vaazhvaan and Arasilankumar{in addition to her role play as one among the three heroines in Gulebagavali} and with Sivaji Ganesan in Padithaal Mattum Pothuma,her most significant movie with him, besides Sarangadhara. M.N.Rajam was paired mostly with Sivaji Ganesan in very popular films like  Pennin Perumai,Padhi Bhakthi,Mangaiyar Thilakam and Pasamalar though she came as the wife of Nadodi Mannan  besides sharing screen space with him,in films like Mahadevi and Thirudaadhe.Apart from these two heroes,it was S.S.Rajendran who was convincingly paired with these two actresses 
   Both Raja Sulochana and M.N.Rajam have acted together in a few films like Needhipadhi {1955} Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum,Thedi Vandha Selvam,Rangoon Radha K.Bala Chander's Naan Avanillai and R.Pattabiraman's Gayathri.Though they were close contemporaries in their career, Rajasulochana was five years older than M.N.Rajam and passed away in 2003.Their acting patterns were well set, to mark a significant difference between them.
   Rajasulochana used to blend a mesmerising touch in her dialogue delivery,similar to that of the dazzling actress T.R.Rajakumari. Whereas,M.N.Rajam who had a sharp and cutting tone stuff, was able to imprint her words with clarity and categorical thrust of emotions.With her emphatic and assertive voice, she would display her malicious roles dipped in venom and virulence,as she perfectly performed the role of Kantha in Ratha Kanneer, and that of a vindictive vamp in Jupiter Pictures'Thanga Padhumai.Later she did a hateful role as a hurting mother in law in Visu's Penmani Aval Kanmani.But the same actress was beautifully meek as the helpless wife of a wolfish villain{P.S.Veerappa}in M.G.R's fabulous film' Mahadevi'.In this film,her noble character would go to the extent of sacrificing her own child for the sake of saving the king's kid.
   RajaSulochana performed a distinct role alongside K.A.Thangavelu in Modern Theatre's Kaidhi Kannaayiram.When one hears P.Suseela's marvellous song 'Konji Konji Pesi Madhi Mayakkum"which came in that film as a modus operandi to trace a jailer's kidnapped kid [performed by the child artist Baby Savithri},one could immediately recall the impressive role performance of this unforgettable actress,known for her sparkling eye movements and melting voice charm.One of the most remembered scenes of Rajasulochana's appearance is from the most illustrious film Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum,in which she was paired with the fascinating Malayalam hero Prem Nazir and the scene recalled here is for the song Amudhum Thenum Edharku,sung in the clearest  and high sounding voice of Sirkazhi Soundarajan. Rajasulochana also did dual roles in a film entitled Kavitha{1962}
   The successive decades of both M.N.Rajam and Raja Sulochana pushed them to perform as supporting characters. Raja Sulochana's meaningful supporting roles were in M.G.R's Parakkum Pavai[as the physically challenged elder sister of the heroine and the wife of a ruthless villain}and Idhayakani[as the owner of a dance club}as well as in Sivaji Ganesan's En Thambi, Thirumal Perumai and Bharatha Vilas, and as the anti hero Rajinikanth's greedy elder sister,in the film Gayathri. Her last three films were Manaivi Solle Mandhiram,Ambikai Neril Vandhaal{as Urvasi's mother} and Kudumbam Oru Koil{1985}
   M.N.Rajam has a huge list of Tamil films spread over a period of five decades.From a second line heroine and wicked woman to an appealing mother and grand mother M.N.Rajam has carved an invincible place in Tamil cinema,as an active and admirable performer of roles, commanding shades of variety and value.Her transition on the big screen,from a vanquishing woman to veritable mother,was both compact and commendable. M.N.Rajam was adorable both as a mother{ in Arangetram, Oorukku Uzhaippavan,Gayathri,Thirumathi Oru Vekumadhi,Ullasam and Marumalarchi} and then as grand mother in films like Pammal K. Sambadham{as grand aunt}Winner,Thiruppachi and Marudhamalai.
    Some of the ever treasured films of Rajasulochana are,Nallavan Vaazhvaan,Arasilankumari,
Padithaal Mattum Podhuma,Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum,Kaidhi Kannaayiram Thedi Vandha Selvam and Sahodhari. Similarly the most outstanding films of M.N.Rajam among her many entries are,Mangaiyar Thilakam,Padhi Bhakthi,Pennin Perumai, Paasamalar, Mahadevi, Pudhayal,Dheiva Piravi,Kuladheivam,Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum,Makkalai Petra Makarasi,Nadodi Mannan,Thanga Rathinam,Thirumanam,and Thedivandha Selvam besides her two detestable negative roles in Ratha Kanneer and Thanga Padhumai.
    During those decades,when thespian skill was adjudged solely based on one's body language and verbal reach,these two women fully justified their presence in their movies by clearly demonstrating their histrionic ability,without any failing notes in the delivery of characters.Be it as the main woman of the story or as a supporting woman,these two actresses proved their calibre without any inhibition or lack of motivation.Dedication was a delightful component of their performance mettle.
   Among the many powerful and highly performing heroines,these two women were always seen to perform with competitive vigour so as to establish their own commitment and credibility,in mightily occupying their screen space,along with their women contemporaries.  Now it is the presence of M.N.Rajam with her unsurpassed screen power,that keeps us naturally reminded of her contemporary {late}Raja Sulochana and the winning years of both of them in Tamil cinema.

Monday, May 11, 2020

கதாநாயகர்களைக் கடந்த சில ஒருவரி வசனங்கள்

    எம்ஜிஆரும் சிவாஜிகணேசனும் தமிழ்த்திரையுலகில்  கொடிகட்டிப் பறந்த  காலங்களில்,முன்னவரின் சமூகச் சிந்தனையும் பாட்டுகளும் ,பின்னவரின் ஈடு இணையில்லா நடிப்புமே பிரதானமாக இருந்தது. காட்சியை ஒட்டிய நடிகர் திலகம் பேசிய பல வசனங்கள் இன்றைக்கும் நம் நெஞ்சைவிட்டகலாமல் நிற்கின்றன.
   ஆனால் பின்னர் சூப்பர் ஸ்டார் தொடங்கி வைத்த ஒருவரி பஞ்ச் டயலாக்ஸ் அனைத்தும் ரசிகர்கள் மத்தியிலே பெற்ற மாபெரும்  வரவேற்பின் அடிப்படையில்,ஒரு சில கதாநாயகர்கள் அவரின் வழியைப் பின்பற்றத் தொடங்கினர். 
   வழக்கமாக, இதுபோன்ற ஒருசில கதாநாயகர்கள் பேசிய பஞ்ச் டயலாக்ஸ்  மட்டுமே ரசிகர்களின் நினைவில் நின்றாடும். இருப்பினும் சில நேரங்களில், நகைச்சுவை நடிகர்களோ,வில்லன்களோ,அல்லது துணை நடிகர்களோ பேசிய சில ஒருவரி வசனங்கள்,காலத்தை கடந்து நினைவுகளில் நிலைப்பதோடு,அந்த வசனங்கள் இடம்பெற்ற திரைப் படங்களையும் சம்பந்தப்பட்ட காட்சிகளையும் நினைவு கூறும். அப்படி நம் நினைவலைகளைத் தாக்கும் ஒருவரி வசனங்கள் சில!
   "இது வேரு அது வேறு" எனும் கே.ஏ.தங்கவேலு விட்டுச்சென்ற'அமர தீபம்' திரைப்படத்தில் வரும் ஒருவரி வசனம் என்றென்றும் வெறும் வசனமாக நில்லாது தமிழ் மொழியின் இரட்டுற மொழிதலின் பொலிவை பறைசாற்றும். இந்த ஒருவரி வசனம் நிறைந்த காட்சி, சிவாஜி சாவித்திரி பத்மினி இணைத்து நடித்த அந்தத் திரைப்படத்திற்கு மெருகூட்டியது  என்றே சொல்லவேண்டும்.
   'முதல் மரியாதை' திரைப்படம் பாரதி ராஜாவின் இயக்கத்தில் ஒரு மாறுபட்ட சிவாஜியை நம் கண்முன்னே நிறுத்தி வரலாறு படைத்தது. ஆனாலும் அந்த திரைப்படத்தில் அவ்வப்போது சிவாஜி கணேசன் முன்னே தோன்றி  A.K வீராச்சாமி  பேசும்,"எசமான்,எனக்கு ஒரு உண்ம தெரிஞ்சாகணும்" என்ற ஒருவரி வசனம்,இன்றைக்கும் அந்த வசனத் தாலும்'முதல் மரியாதை'திரைப் படத்தை மறக்கமுடியாமல் செய்தது.
    இதேபோன்று 'ரமணா' திரைப்படத்தில் கேப்டன் விஜயகாந்த் பேசிய 'மன்னிப்பு தமிழ்ல எனக்கு பிடிக்காத வார்த்த' என்ற வசனத்தையும் தாண்டி யூகி சேது பேசிய 'இங்க அடிச்சா அங்க வலிக்கும்' என்ற ஒருவரி வசனம் தனிச் சிறப்பு பெற்றது.
   'நாட்டாமை' திரைப்படத்தில் ஒரு கிராமத்தில் பஞ்சாயத்தில் ஊர் நாட்டாமை நடத்தும் கூட்டத்தில்,சாதாரணமான ஒருவர்,"நாட்டாம தீர்ப்ப மாத்தி சொல்லு" என்று  கொக்கரிக்கும் ஒருவரி வசனம்,நாட்டாமைப் புத்தகத்தின் வரலாற்றை மாற்றி எழுதியதென்றே சொல்லலாம்.இந்த வசனம் பல திரைப்படங்களில் மீண்டும் நக்கலாக எதிரொலித்தது.  
   சூப்பர்ஸ்டார் பஞ்ச் டயலாகிற்கு முதன்மை பெற்றவர் என்றாலும் 'சந்திரமுகி' திரைப்படத்தில் பிரபு பேசிய 'என்ன கொடும சரவணன்' எனும் ஒரு வரி வசனம் வேறு சில திரைப்படங்களிலும் நையாண்டியாக எதிரொலித்தது.
    நகைச்சுவையில் தங்கவேலுவிற்குப் பின்னர் விவேக் பேசிய 'எப்பிடி இருந்த நான் இப்பிடி ஆயிட்டேன்' எனும் வசனம் நம்மில் இப்போதும் பலரை நினைத்த நினைத்து சிரிக்கச் செய்கிறது.அவ்வளவு ஏன், போக்கிரி திரைப்படத்தில் விஜய் பேசிய "ஒருதடவை முடிவு பண்ணீட் டேன்னா என் பேச்ச நானே கேட்கமாட்டேன்" எனும் பஞ்ச் டயலாகையும் கடந்து ,வடிவேலு பேசின 'வட போச்சே'ங்கிற வசனம் ஒரு தனிரகம் தான்.வடிவேலுவின் வாய்க்கொழுப்பில் விளைந்த இன்னொரு வசனமே , சரத்குமார் கதாநாயகனாகத் தோன்றிய 'கம்பீரம்' திரைப் படத்தில் இடம்பெற்ற"அவனா நீ?"எனும் அகம் பாயும் சொற்களாகும்.அதே வடிவேலுவை, ''நீ அதுக்கு சரிப்பட்டு வரமாட்டாய் " எனும் சிங்கமுத்துவின் விளக்கம் தரா ஒருவரி வசனம், பாடாய் படுத்தியதைக் கண்டு  வாத்தியார் திரைப்படம் பார்த்தவர்கள்  குலுங்கி குலுங்கி சிரித்திருப்பார்கள்.    
   வில்லன்களில் அன்றைய பி எஸ் வீரப்பாவின் "சபாஷ் சரியான போட்டி" எனும் 'வஞ்சிக்கோட்டை வாலிபன்' வசனம் மிகவும் பிரசித்தி பெற்று பல சூழ்நிலை களில் பலராலும் அடிக்கடி நினைவுகூப் பட்டது. அதேபோலதான்  'பதினாறு வயதினிலே' திரைப்படத்தில்  ரஜினிகாந்த் வில்லனாகத் தோன்றி  விஷமத்துடன் அடிக்கடி பேசிய "இது எப்படி இருக்கு" எனும் வசனம்.இந்த ஒருவரித் திருவிழா, பின்னர் பலதிரைப் படங்களில் உலாவந்து.  
   இந்தவகையில்,சத்யராஜ் வில்லனாக நடித்த காலத்தில்,'காக்கிச் சட்டை' திரைப்படத்தில் அவர் பேசிய "என் கேரக்டரையே புரிஞ்சிக்க மாட்டீங்கறீங் களே"எனும் அமர்க்களமான ஒருவரி வசனத்தை,அவரே மேலும் சில திரைப் படங்களில் பேசித் தீர்த்தார். 
    இப்படி நிறைய வசனங்கள் கதாநாயகர்களின்'பஞ்ச் டயலாக்கை 'வெட்கப்படச் செய்திருக்கின்றன என்றால்,அது மிகையாகாது. அவ்வளவு ஏன்? 'சொப்பன சுந்தரி'ங்கிற பேர கேட்டவுடனே, 'கரகாட்டக்காரன்' திரைப்படமும் கவுண்டமணி- செந்திலின் நகைச் சுவை அட்டகாசங்களும் நம் நெஞ்சங்களில் "ச்சும்மா அதிருதுல்ல". 
 ப.சந்திரசேகரன் .   

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Mysskin's Mind sweats


   Each film maker's mind rolls over certain pet zones in search of new notes for insight and interpretation.The individuality of a film maker forms an integral part of his creative perceptions and mode of narration.He might succeed or fail in his mission.But his individuality will remain as his eternal asset.There are film makers who pass on abundant positive energy through their theme, story line and mode of narration.On the other hand,there are some creative individuals, who penetrate into our psyche and keep nagging our hidden side, impacting a sudden jerk on our minds' interiors.Though it becomes an acutely disturbing experience,many among us are willing to undergo that, however traumatic it could be.
  Even K.Balachander who was a specialist in family dramas and felicitous promotion of exalting characters and events,created disturbing moments for us,through his films like Thappu Thaalangal and Varumaiyin Niram Sigappu. Similarly Bala has created neatly interwoven  negative pathways, for letting his creative vehicle drive to unfamiliar zones.We know how he made those negative destinations familiar to us,through his riveting  narration of agonizing events, shown on the big screen by his extraordinary films such as Nanda,Pitha Makan,Naan Kadavul,Paradesi and Nachiyar. But unlike K.Balachander and Bala we have Mysskin who is a film maker  bent upon tracking the nuances and intricacies of morbid and blood chilling experiences,that replicate themselves through his series of narrations in films like Nandalala,Aattukuttiyum Onaayum, Pisaasu,Savara Kathi and Psycho.
     It is of course true that Mysskin started his film journey with his street side romance Chithiram Pesudhadi, that had very many unique features fresh from the oven.Naren,Bhavana, Dhandabani and Ulakanathan's song 'Vaazhameenukkum vilaangu meenukkum kalyaanam' are the exotic traits of the film,still rocking the audience memory.This was a debut film in Tamil for Bhavana,but she was found performing a kind of miracle in her role delivery. Ulakanathan's song was repeatedly heard and celebrated by music lovers. 
    Mysskin's next film Anjaadhe starring Naren,Ajmal, Prasaana and Pandiyarajan carried enormous entertainment quotient based on street shows of friendship and rivalry,besides making fresh waves through projection of villainy by actors like Pandiyarajan and Prasanna, who could hardly be imagined to be villains{ But Prasanna later grew into a chic and stylish villain without pomp and fury}.This film too had the intoxicating number"Kathaazha Kannaala Kuthaadha Nee Enna"
   Two of Mysskin's special cop stories are Yudham Sei and Thupparivalan.Both are not mere detective stories,extracting conventional dedication from men of the uniformed service.Instead they extracted enormous cerebral strain,in tracking the nature and root causes of the criminal events that the cops unusually come across and relate them to the riddling psyche of the agents of crime.Beyond the suspense element, it is the morbidity thrust of the crimes,that made them challenging not only for the cops but also for the audience witnessing the gory narration.
  There is always a tremendous amount of interpolation in Mysskin's way of story telling that makes actors fade into characters and characters dissolve into the ocean of the human psyche. That is why we remember Mysskin's films,more than the actors who played the protagonists.I am sure both Cheran{Yutham Sei} and Vishal as well as Prasanna{Thupparivalan}would have willingly undergone the ordeal of losing themselves as actors,in the characters who in turn have passed on as mind blowers.
   Mysskin who is said to be an avid reader of books,especially those of the famous Russian novelist Count Leo Tolstoy,could be called the master narrator of street events.With his unique perception of street dynamism based on solid psychological and supernatural moorings, Mysskin evolves the volume and velocity of his mode of narration of events and characters,on the big screen.
    There is a persistent throw of darkness both physical and psychological,governing the course of events taking place in Mysskin's films.He also opens the doors for Christian musings,over the conception and development of his themes and story lines.Physically and mentally challenged people,homeless street dwellers and beggars,find a place in his focus on the agony of the under privileged and the down trodden sections of humanity and the amount of crime bound mischief, born of the deprivation of the right to claim a space,both for their body and mind .
   Travelling on the darker pathways with single minded devotion,Mysskin traces lone souls with their specific pangs and pushes them into limelight,with their sagas of sufferings.Psycho is one such film dealing with the mental anguishes of a boy put to needless punitive measures and unsympathetic instructional approaches, adopted by the defective side of the educational system.When a victim of maltreatment turns into a criminal with  retrospective pressures on the mind,the respective individual becomes a threat to society.Wronged individuals always become doubly armed to wrong,with vengeance and virulence.
     Mysskin is a specialist in telling crime stories.It does not mean that he is trying to justify crimes.Starting from petty street crimes narrated in films like Chihiram Pesudhadi, Anjaadhe, and Mukamoodi he moved on to subtleties in narration of thrillers,with a riper comprehension of the intricacies hovering around the acts of crime,as narrated in Onaayum Aattukuttiyum and Psycho.
  Mysskin's Pisaasu was intensely supernatural, reflecting the truth that sometimes  motiveless acts of crime could be blessed by the victim of such a crime,transforming into a benevolent ghost.This is because the person who gets involved in an accident, is under an illusion that somebody else has committed it and he is struggling to save the victim of the accident,who dies during the act of saving.The victim is a little girl who turns into a ghost, and understands the psychological predicament of her killer.Hence the ghost does not harm him.Later when the hero realizes that he was the cause of the accident, a deep sense of guilt and compunction pushes him to commit suicide.But the ghost saves him by cremating itself.
   In addition to being a film maker,Mysskin donned the the protagonist role of a mentally retarded adult in Nandalaala and as the baddie Wolf Edward, in Onaayum Aattukuttiyum with guilt dominated  patterns of behaviour. Mysskin has also acted in his films Super Delux,Savara Kathi and Suttu Pidikka Utharavu. In Mysskin's purview, crime and punishment or sin and retribution frequently get juxtaposed for reformation and atonement,depending upon the the psychological journey undergone by the respective criminal or sinner.
   In other words,for Mysskin,acts of crime/sin should be judged more by their reasons than the actual events of crime/sin.May be Mysskin believes that the untold stories of the mind have to be taken into consideration,while assessing the actual revelations of the mind.It is in this respect,Mysskin surpasses other film makers and their ways of handling the highly creative medium of cinema.
    The distinct directorial ability of Mysskin travels into the mind of man,looks upon its good and bad sides and deals with their consequences,by relating them to a precise psychological ambiance.His characters are controlled by the inner psyche as much as by the external happenings.As a director, Mysskin seems to share a little bit of the mindset of Bala,who focuses more on external crimes and their impact on the victims.Bala's negativity in perception and narration,is a product of the actualities that prevail and are visible.Whereas Mysskin's negative trajectory is a far deeper phenomenon, passing through the barriers of the mind and creating psychological protocols for stranger,vitally influential vibrations.Streets,Orphans,Physically or mentally challenged individuals,nuisance lovers,musical relief promoters and even dogs and pigs,fill the shots of Mysskin one after the other.
   On the whole, it is not only a different world but also a difficult one that Mysskin creates for the grasp of the common man.With his indecipherable mind sweats, Mysskin  is a rare find for Tamil cinema and he makes the Tamil film industry rarer than ever.