Under the sun

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

In Search Of The Teahouse Of The August Moon

I was searching for some info on "The Teahouse Of The August Moon", a 1956 Marlon Brando film when i landed here. I remember reading that article when it was published at the time of Brando's death. The comments of somebody called Ravi - in response to the usual anti-Kamal ignoramuses - interested me, because many of the points he made were ones i would have made. Especially, this

Let me recall about De Niro. OK, here it goes - Mean streets, Taxi Driver, Raging bull, Godfather II, Goodfellas, Cape fear, Casino, Jackie Brown, Ronin, Heat, Untouchables so on...he's a great actor, but in most of his good movies, he has acted as a thug/somebody with an element of thuggishness. Even in this movie 'Sleepers', he plays a rough priest! His experiments with comedy - Analyse this, Analyse that, Meet the parents - are just mediocre stuff.

Let me recall a few of Al Pacino movies I've seen - Dog day afternoon, Godfather I,II,III, Devil's Advocate, Carlito's way, Scarface, Donnie Brasco, Serpico, Insomnia - in all these movies he's either a mobster or a cop. In the recent 'The recruit', for a change, he's both a cop and a thug. Except for the highly overrated 'Scent of a woman' and the recent 'Simone', does any other movie come to your mind?

These are the two best Hollywood actors of my generation, there's no second opinion about this - but they are also infected by the 'genre' bug so special to Hollywood. Meet the truth. In considering the variety of roles, they don't stand a chance before Sivaji Ganesan. Of course you have the right to laugh

idha thaan naanum sonnen.....


  • It's surprising how the most insightful stuff is often to be found in the comments section of articles/blogs. You may not agree with the comments, but they sometimes make you think really hard. BTW, the other guy William, to whose post Ravi made this post did make a valid point - Emotional display is not the sole criterion for good acting.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 08, 08:42:00 AM  

  • bnb,
    "BTW, the other guy William, to whose post Ravi made this post did make a valid point - Emotional display is not the sole criterion for good acting."
    - Who denies that but the problem is he says it in the context of Kamal.
    Wonder if he's watched "Sigappu Rojakkal", "MMKR", "Ullasa Paravaigal" [STYLE na idhu style] or "Anbe Sivam"????

    William madhiri aalunga ellam edhavadhu onnu rendu De Niro/ Al Pacino padatha paathuttu vandhu vethu scene poduvanunga. And Jack Lemmon[!?!], LOL :)

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Thu Jun 08, 12:57:00 PM  

  • Agreed. Talking of Anbe Sivam, I watched it again a couple of days back.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 08, 09:13:00 PM  

  • bnb,
    Its an "infinite loop" movie, perhaps not His best, but enjoyable nevertheless :)

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Fri Jun 09, 07:36:00 AM  

  • bala(karthik):
    Yeah Anbe Sivam is great - chance of a lifetime for Maddy as well. Virumaandi is my favourite Kamal movie. I am from Madurai and you can literally smell Marudai and southern districts in that movie. Most people from elsewhere won't be able to appreciate the nuances of the Thevar-Nayakkar community clashes and the rest of the stuff in that movie. No one, but Kamal, who is from Ramanathapuram could have made Virumaandi. The only other movie which has a faithful, not contrived, Madurai flavour is Kaadhal. I saw on Sun TV long back Madhavan addressing students of SRM college and sharing his experiences of acting with Kamal. He said he used to get goosebumps whenever Kamal came close to him to explain something. Yedho adanginaa seri, unlike Vikram, who when asked if he was the next Kamal in a recent interview said Yes! Poda Vennai.

    Hmm, that's a little off-topic :-). Getting back to the original topic of this post, on second thoughts I would say that being a genre actor or niche actor is actually good for most actors and in that respect that William fellow is right. For instance if only Rajini, Sathyaraj, and Ajith had stuck to their original niches, they wouldn't be so contempt worthy today.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jun 09, 09:09:00 AM  

  • bnb,
    1) Neenga Madurai-a???????
    Though my birthplace is Pudukkottai, somehow i love Madurai and speak with an authentic Madurai accent [i know, mathavanga sollanum!], even at home. According to nadi josiyam, naan pona janmathla Madurai-la irundhenaam :)
    2) Kaadhal is right up there along with the best movies made in Thamizh. A classic
    3) Vikram-a??? Yaaru avan? Avan appa yaaru, amma yaaru? Yenna kulam, yenna kothram?
    Seriously, he is nothing but an allakkai, a jalra who thinks and tells the media Anniyan is the first Thamizh movie to be a hit in Kerala and AP. Namma Aandavar panna records ellam endha nayalayum [incl Rasini thatha] break panna mudiyadhu?
    He is the joker who said in an NDTV interview that it was Rasini thatha who was giving "different" movies initially while Aandavar was "just doing his masala movies with his step-cut". Bastard!

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Sat Jun 10, 01:09:00 PM  

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