Friday, August 20, 2021

Tamil cinema's directorial face of elegance


   Film directors are mostly of two kinds.Those who reach the audience directly as sun light, lightning and thunder and others who keep radiating their creative flashes into the minds of the audience and make them reflect and react rather than merely enjoy the show.Film makers like K.Balachander,Balu Mahendra,Parthiban,Bala,Gautham Vasudev Menon,Vetrimaran and a few others besides Bharathiraja,who was a poetic narrator of simple and complex human emotions with a substance of subtelity and fascinating felicity,belong to the second category.This second brand would narrate stories either with stark realism,or through their enhanced formulas of imprinting realism,through intricate channels.

  But a majority of  film makers would like to reach the audience directly,with their scope of story falling upon a wide plateau of action field,as events taking place through a grand,make believe power programme.The film viewers are easily carried away by the larger than life events,doing their perceptive progress on the big screen.A gripping story line,an engaging action bonanza, image boosting heroism and an ear invading digital musical parade,call for a little less than three hour celebration at the theatres,with popcorns and snacks as inevitable additions.

  To make a full fledged action movie is not that easy.There is a huge line of action movie makers starting from Shankar.If grandeur is the trade mark of Shanker, speed is second nature for Hari especially in his films like Samy and the Singam series.Bhagyaraj has ever been the most light hearted film maker of action and family dramas.P.Vasu and K.S Ravikumar have been straight film makers,filling their action agenda,with force of dialogues and performance thrust.Of the two the latter,most often took the rural highways for his film journey.Lingusamy made the audience run along with the events of his hit films like Run and Sandakozhi.Dharani's Dhil,Gilli and Dhool were action treats from the beginning till the end.Ezhil's Thullaadha Manamum Thullum,Pennin Manadhai Thottu and Poovellaam Un Vaasam were high breed romantic action dramas.In this list,we have A.R.Murugadoss who in addition to speed and tempo,is capable of adding elegance as something special in his course of narration.

  Murugadoss may not have the Himalayan grandeur of director Shankar.But he has a little bit of magic to transform his heroes with an extra touch of elegance and charm,to perform theri roles with a striking note of difference from their earlier ways of acting.Murugadoss of course failed to achieve this in his first film'Dheena'with Ajith.It was in a way,a raw narration of action sequences and the moderate success of the film was mostly due to the fan base that Ajith had already established.Inspite of the presence of Ajith and the Malayalam action hero Suresh Gopi,the film failed to create the impact it wanted,because it was a usual story of gansterism told in its cliched mode.Moreover,the miracle of elegance that Murugadoss is capable of,was missing in Dheena.

  But his second film 'Ramana' made it to all the theatres, irrespective of the variously classified centres known to the film distributing agencies.I saw a night show of the film in a theatre at Athur,with one of my close friends.Ramana redefined the style and role play of Vijayakanth to the height of elegance. After Chinna Gounder,one could see the underplay of the Captain.But in Ramana,Vijayakanth moved from the rural soil to the urban block.From the very first shot,the film marched on the track of elgance in narration of an action film,with astonishingly reduced decibel,that is the normal practice for an action film.

  The scene showing the hero taking a dead body to a money sqeezing hospital for treatment and the subsequent course of narration,is a single cinematic event to remember how elegantly the crimes of the health sector could be narrated,not only entertainingly,but also with a touch of beautiful common sense.During the course of his elegant narration of the entire film,Murugadoss made even a secondary character like that of a constable {memorably performed by Yugi Sethu}live long by his smart statement'If you hit here,it will pain there'.''Ramana'was on the whole,a neat tale elegantly told.It could also be called one of the most lovable films of the captain, that preceded his last spell of  interesting entries like 'Sokka Thangam','Enga Anna' and Perarasu.

   Next came the film 'Gajini' refreshingly filmed by A.R.Murugadoss.I think it was the first film that showed Suriya in an exuberantly handsome frame,carrying on an exotic romantic experience with Asna,by spinning winnable yarns about his personal side and enjoying at close watch,all the cheeky responses of his most loved woman.But this cute flashback is preceded by a wild Suriya undergoing the trauma of memory loss,with frequent bouts of past events knocking his brain. 'Gajini'was a precise and flawless mix up of brand new romance and beastly villainy,fascinatingly told,tying the audience to their seats.From then on,Suriya's demeanour and demonstration of acting,took an upward trend on the elegant side.Unfortunatley,Murugadoss could not continue his success story with Suriya,in his next most ambitious project,'Ezhaam Arivu'.

   Everybody knows the fan width of actor Vijay since the days of his full fledged action film 'Thirumalai'released by K.Balachander's production house.After 'Thirumalai',Vijay did many powerful roles as action hero.But the style and elegance of Vijay took a new turn in 'Thuppakki' which became a block buster and took action hero Vijay to a more competitive,performing  level with an appeal for the urban elite.His single utterance"I'am waiting"became popular for a repeat by other heroes and even comedians like Santhanam in a few films.

  In between the dismounting and boarding of trains by the hero,a dedicated officer of RAWof the Indian army,'Thuppaakki',took up the entire course of narration of events,on the ladder of elegance.Starting from the scene of bride seeing by the hero,until the culmination of the story's events showing the hero falling into the backwaters of the sea,after setting things for the explosion of the boat carrying the terrorist chief,each and every scene of the film was elegantly framed.The choregraphy of the song' Antartica'{beautifully sung by Krish}was marked by elegant fusion of visuals.Thuppakki was the masterpiece of elegance in the hands of Murugadoss.

  After 'Thuppakki',Vijay joined the Murugadoss wagon twice,for 'Kathi' and'Sarcar'.The story lines of both the films carried political undertones and the latter intelligently scripted the electoral rights of citizens.In elegant narration,Sarcar oudid 'Kathi'.Though'Kathi' would have made money on account of Vijay's dynamic dual role play,there was nothing new in the story line.Moreover, it looked like Vijay's most other films.Sircar's elegant touches were born of novelty in subject matter and exsquisite presentation of the action sequence.

  Finally,Murugadoss got a chance to work with the superstar in 'Darbar'.The elegant frames of this film were,the hero's daughter struggling to get her widowed father married to Nayantara  and her video recording addressed to her father just before her death,caused by gangsters' brutal attack of the car,happily driven by her father,along with her.The other elegant features of 'Darbar'were the Super star's rejuvenated looks and contrasting patterns of levity and gravity in performance.However,Murugadoss could not completely bring the Superstar under his directorial ambit,as he could do it with Vijayakanth and the two younger heroes.This is because, Rajini like MGR,can not completely become a director's actor,on account of his inherent chemistry with his ardent fans.Besides,Rajini's style has its own elegance.

  Apart from directing seven films Murugadoss wrote the script and produced 'Maan Karathe'.He has also produced films like 'Vathi Kuchi','Raja Rani'and'Pathu Enradhukkulla'.Though Murugadoss is a specialist in the action genre,his three films'Ramana','Gajini'and 'Thuppakki' will remain as outstanding exhibits of action drama,when compared to his own other four films.

  This is because the three films marked by me have imbibed special ingredients of elegance in their over all presentation.His action core does not make'sound and fury,signifying nothing'. On the other hand,it opens up the gates to action, gaining numerous notes of charm and beauty,to score an immortal place in the minds of the viewers.It is this singular touch of elegance,that raises the quality of the films of Murugadoss,and makes him different from other action movie makers.



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