Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Knife is Sharp.



   .A.R.Murugadoss seems to be inexorably stuck to the soil.In Ramana,it was the struggle of a College professor to relieve the soil from the real estate mafias and corrupt elements.In Thuppaakki it was the efforts of an Officer from the RAW of the Indian Army to retrieve the soil from the terrorists outfit.In Kathi it is an all the more valid crusade against a criminally greedy corporate house bent upon exploiting the rich water resources of a rural soil, for its personal gains.Here, the struggle is carried on with utmost fire and commitment with an atmosphere of grim events governing the narration almost from the start till the end.Though there are certain humorous scenes involving Vijay and the Naan Yee fame heroine,the film compulsorily turns to a course of sobriety to make the narration more authentic and gripping.
    Th ever agile Vijay has put in all his genuine efforts in emoting,dancing,fighting and in articulating dialogues with force and veracity.The stunt scenes are perfectly in fresh form.The heroine is compact and Sathish the hero's companion, does a neat job.The villain performer from the northern belt,finely fits into the Corporate house with all its negative projections. Aniruth's music scores more on the percussion side at times even swallowing the lyrics and dialogues with his background music.Two of his numbers are enjoyable at the theatre but do not compel one to recall later.
   The movie despite the necessitated reduction of the usually rich entertainment quotient of a Vijay film, can not be said to be boring at any stage.But one can not deny the fact that a couple of scenes here and there are reminders of earlier movies like Dharani's Dhool, Aith's Citizen and Ramana of Murugadoss. The exhortation of the hero in the climax scene also seems to echo a few previous films of the same hero and a few others.On the whole the Murugadoss/Vijay combination has really worked hard and takes credit for a solid show, though their earlier joint parade in Thuppaakki contained greater aesthetic components in creating a lasting over all impact on the viewers.The climax takes us closer to the pattern of a Malyalam movie, of this kind. On the whole the knife is sharp and sleek.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Satirical Voice of Tamil Cinema.{Homage to the Intelligent Comedian and Invincible Critic.}




     Tamil Cinema has taravelled on several tracks and has celebrated a galaxy of themes and styles of narration.There have been actors of all kinds enriching the fundamentals of Tamil cinema as an effective medium of entertainment.However,in promoting the satirical tone of narration there has been only one film personality who is greatly esteemed as a creative and critical expert in the line of Girish Karnard in Kannada.That is the most experienced, multi faceted Cho Ramasamy,the noted Tamil playwright,actor,comedian, prolific commentator and bold critic of political and social foibles.It is his pragmatic vision and poignant element of satire that has made his performance very interesting in all the activities mentioned above.As this blog is confined to films I am constrained to restrict my focus on Cho as a film maker and actor.
    When compared to his contemporary comedian Nagesh,Cho's participation on the big screen was not voluminous.But in whichever film he appeared either in isolation or being teamed up with other comedians like Nagesh and Thengai Srinivasan, Cho's contribution would stand apart as a factor motivating audience intelligence and analytic mindset along with humour.This he would pass on, through an assertive element of satire with an aggressive component of caricaturing individuals and social systems, embedded with untenable loopholes.In this regard, his main target would be the political whims and fancies filled with inherent follies, looking for instant and permanent remedies.
     Cho's exclusive cleverness lies in giving contextual twists to any dialogue that would ultimately end up in taking a dig at individuals or groups.He would see to it that he cracks spontaneous and timely jokes at the expense of others  and make the audience enjoy his verbal dig.Though Tamil film comedy has never been lacking in verbal force and humour,Cho's additional score would always be the satirical thrust infused in words mostly genial in content and at times pungent in tone if the situation warranted.
     If Nagesh was closer to MGR in the earlier years of his career,Cho began to find a place in the later films of MGR.Some of the popular films of MGR that included Cho's comedy flair were Sange Muzhangu,Adimaipenn, Maattukkaara Velan, En Annan and Engal Thangam.The same way he enjoyed equal amount of confidence with Sivaji Ganeasan in films like Paar Magale Paar,Gowravam, Galaattaa Kalyaanam,Thangapadhakkam,,Nirai Kudam,Thavapudhalvan, and Anbaithedi,The last three were from the Mukta Films'production house and it is a known fact that Cho was a regular addition in the films of Mukta.V.Srinivasan.The fact that Cho was the most valued comedian in other Mukta Films' movies like Thein Mazhai,Ninaivil Ninraval,Aayiram Poi  Bommalaattam and Sooriyakanthi, showed the amount of rapport he had with that film company.In Thein Mazhai and Ninaivil Ninraval his comedy scenes with Nagesh became the talking point.
     Cho has worked with all great heroes like MGR, Sivaji Ganesan,Gemini Ganesan,Jai Shankar, Ravichandran Kamalahasan and Rajinikanth.Cho's  association with the Superstar appears to be stronger than with Kamalahasan and  the number of films he has worked with Rajini would be an evidence of this fact.His comedy scenes in Guru Sishyan, Manidhan and Adhisiappiravi created a lot of fun .As Visithiraguptan in Adhisiappiravi,Cho led the audience to wonderful moments of laughter. Besides these films his character in Rajini's Aaarilirundhu Arubadhuvarai was of special significance.
     If Cho had just been another actor, his popularity yardsticks would have been confined to the celluloid world.But he has established his position rather unshakably as a film maker and exuberant writer with an exemplary critical frame of mind.Some of his stage plays that were made into films like Mohamadbin Tuklaq,Yarukkum Vetkamillai,Unmaye Un Vilai Enna and Mr.Sampath speak of his trade marks of satire and social perceptions.Particularly,the film Unmae Un Vilai Enna was thought provoking.Besides these he wrote the dialogues for the famous thriller film Neelagiri Express released in 1967,in which he gave a sterling performance as an innocent guy, with a flair for comedy and commonsense.Cho definitely deserves a special place as a film personality, because of his variety in focus and versatility in  execution of his creative capabilities.Very few actors have set the audience to think,by their contribution on and off the screen,like Cho Ramasamy.
    Cho's egg like eyes and the vibration in his usually excited voice, are his special attractions.His sense of humour and comedy fundamentals have always remained perfectly decent.Vulgarity would be the last thing he would ever resort to, in generating laughter.The vibe of his satirical tone is enough to kindle laughter and set the audience to thinking aloud.As a Tamil movie comedian Cho will always occupy a distinct position and his space with his singular voice of satire will ever remain incomparable.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

AACHI,THE GREAT.{Rededicated to the Departed Actress}

                                                      
    













      Aachi is a very popular brand name for quite a few food products made in Tamil Nadu and sold around the world. But here  it is Aachi, the most  famous Tamil comedienne and character actor I am talking about. Manorama who is affectionately called Aachi,first acted as heroine in the film Konjum Kumari  after appearing  in a few movies like Maalayitta Mangai and Kalathoor Kannamma released in the Nineteen  fifties.
    Tamil Cinema has successfully introduced and patronized quite a lot of women talents, performing as heroines, comediennes and character actors. Among comediennes there have been  robust performers like T.A.Madhuram,T.P.Muthulakshmi,M.Saroja,Kumari Chachu, Madhavi and Kovai Sarala. But none of them ruled the Tamil big screen for so long a time, as Manorama, acting in a wide variety of roles, in more than one thousand movies. She stands apart,as a colossal actress surpassing the claims of any other woman in the Tamil film industry.
     As a vibrant and winning comedienne, her hey days were with Nagesh, contributing equally to the humour segment of many MGR and Sivaji Ganesan movies, competing with that veteran and at times even overshadowing him.From the Nineteen Seventies to Eighties, Tamil films without Manorama were not many.Besides Nagesh, she would be a perfect pair with other comedians like ThengaiSeeinivasan,Cho,Surulirajan,V.K.Ramasamy and M.R.R Vasu. Manorama was not only a versatile actor like Sivaji Ganesan,  but was also a good singer lending her voice to music, in films like Edhir Neechal,Poovaa Thalaiyaa, Dariisanam Bommalaattam,Sooriyakandhi and so on.Some of her best shows in humour  were in Anbe Va,Baratha Vilas,Pattikkaadaa Pattanamaa,Galattaa Kalyaanam, Thiruvilaiyaadal,Anubhavi Raja Anubhavi. Kaasedhaan Kadavulada, Saraswathi Sabadham,Kandhan Karunai,Edhir Neechal, Bommalaattam,Kaasedhaan Kadavulada, Thillaanaa Mohanaambaal,Samsaaram Adhu Minsaaram and Nadigan.
    Like SivajiGanesan,Manorama  was adept in using different dialects in Tamil with native ease and felicity.Her bold and clear tone was ever her asset and with that she would deliver dialogues with consummate force and confidence, making a deliberate audio  visual impact on the audience. Emotions of anger and righteousness would naturally rise through relevant intonation in her utterance of dialogues and the same way her tone would settle down to adequate levels of submission and modesty whenever  the context warranted humility and grace. She could comfortably reach levels of sentimental melodrama and realistic patterns of behavior without any semblance of overdoing, from her side.
    While no one can forget her comic roles in several films, she has also been invincible in performing character roles particularly that of a devoted mother reflecting  powerfully, the positive energy and compassion of motherhood. Manorama  stands as the most cherished and loved mother character in films like Sooriyan [where she shows immense love to the hero Sarathkumar whom she treats as her son}Pudhiya Paadhai [in a similar role with Parthiban as hero],Chinna Thambi,Kizhakku Vaasal,Pangaali, Gentleman ,Jaihind,Saamy, Annamalai, Chinna Gounder,Marumalarchi,Vallal,Gemini, Honest Raj, Parambarai,Periya Kudumbam, Thaamirabarani, Naattamai and Natpukkaaga. In all these movies as the mother of heroes like Rajinikanth, Prabu,Karthik Muthuraman, Sathyaraj, Sarathkumar, Vijayakanth,Arjun and Mammootty,she has represented  the inspiring, emboldening  and sacrificing dimensions of  an unflinching mother, creating a vacuum in the life of her sons through her death or separation.
    She has definitely been a creditable addition into the films of two great heroes. One is Sivaji Ganesan and the other is Rajinikanth. Though she would have acted in the films of every other hero, Sivaji and Rajini  have inducted her as a valued colleague and senior artist respectively, in most of their films.She has certainly reciprocated their gesture by her open adoration of Sivaji Ganesan  and categorical statements of gratitude to Rajinikanth. A couple of scenes in the epic like film Thillaanaa Mohanaambaal  would  show how much she admired and  respected Sivaji Ganesan as an actor of grand scale. The number of Sivaji Ganesan films she acted were many  and one could see her even in the later year films of the Chevalier such as Thiagam,Viduthalai,{a combined show of Sivaji and Rajini} and Needhipathi released during the Eighties.
      As far as Rajini  is concerned, starting from  Kuppathu Raja she has often joined the films of Rajinikanth in a vital character role. While Annamalai  showcased her as the  beloved and dignified mother of the hero, she has generated spontaneous humour in other films like Pokkiri Raja,Billa,Thee,Thanga Magan,Adutha Vaarisu, Guru Sishyan,Naan Adimai Illai, Ejamaan, Mannan and Arunachalam. Both in Pookiri Raja and Guru Sishyan, she appeared as a greedy woman getting caught in the hands of Rajini, thereby generating moments of laughter. In Thangamagan she was compact as the adopting mother of Rajinikanth. She has also acted in other Rajikanth films like Bhairavi,Aaru Pushpangal, Sivappuchooriyan and so on.
    With Kamalahasan, apart from Kamal’s first film Kalathoor Kannammaa, Manorama has  been the world hero’s pet actor in his  most popular films like Aboorva Sagodharargal, Per Sollum Pillai,SingaraVelan,Unnaal Mudiyum Thambi, Savaal,Sattam, Enakkul Oruvan, Michael Madhanakamarajan and Vaazhve Maayam .
    The major Tamil film  production houses have utilized Manorama’s talents as many times as possible. Though she was introduced as a heroine by Modern Theatres, other film makers like Devar films, Vijayalakshmi Pictures, A.V.M.Pictures,Muktha Films and  Sujatha Cine Arts would usually have a script with a provision for an important comedy or character role for Manorama. In this respect, her number of entries will be more with Sujatha Cine Arts and AVM pictures. Manorama’s personal popularity as a meritorious artist should have been the major reason for her inclusion in a vast number of movies produced by these production units.Similarly a huge line of eminent directors starting from A.P.Nagarajan and K.Balachander down to P.Vasu ,R.V.Udhayakumar, K.S.Ravikumar and Shankar, have brought out the best layers of acting from Manorama.
    Aachi  has reached a monumental status in Tamil Cinema, which even many outstanding heroines could not attain. It is really an extraordinary thing for some one to stay wanted in a field  after making a long standing contribution through dedication and magnificent performance. As an artist of  individual potential and versatility in demonstration, she will ever occupy the foremost place in Tamil Cinema, in the line of Sivaji Ganesan. She would not have got an award like the Chevalier.But she is ever our Aachi the great.

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