Under the sun

Friday, January 12, 2007

She Is Like That ONNNLY

If there is any Thamizh film which can be called avant garde, it has to be Aval Appadithaan. It is one of the best films to be ever made in Thamizh. The film is schoking - some shots are in documentary style, what present day technicians in TF indutry would call "candid camera style". Infact, the film shows a documentary being made. If the film were to be made now, in 2007, i don't think it would escape the censor board's scissors. You will have every 'madhar sangam', every Dravidian political party, big and small, up in arms against it. People would still call it "ahead of its time" were it to be released now. Remember, it was made in 1978. Aandavar gave a subdued performance as the documentary film-maker [i guess the style of role-play Mohanlal fans praise him for], Sri Priya wasn't bad either though one could see the K.B style of dialogues and delivery here and there, and Rajini was superb as the chauvinistic lecher.
Now, ippo idhellam naan yen solrenna, what happened to the film's director Rudraiah after that? Did he make any films before or after AA?

P:S: In the scene where Aandavar receives a letter from his father, a voice-over reads the letter. Is that Ananthu's voice?


  • //ippo idhellam naan yen solrenna//

    kadaisiya idha post panna oru karanam venum...adhuku thana ipdi ilukureenga!

    anyway...i have just heard abt the movie!

    i dont understand that mohanlal fans part...

    By Blogger vigneshwaran shanmugam, at Fri Jan 12, 12:12:00 PM  

  • vignesh,
    Blog-ulagathla edha post-pannavum endha karanamum vendaam.. the only prerequisite is vettiness :)
    Adhavadhu, remember what you had mentioned about Lal in your last post? Quote
    why did he act like this...any normal man would react more than this at that situation
    Not quite saying the same thing here but to put it more simply 'alattal illama nadikkaradhu' endru solluvaargal...
    Of course, that type of style is dictaed by the role/character being played...ella role-um appadi nadikka mudiyadhu/kudadhu enbadhu en karuthu...

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Fri Jan 12, 12:17:00 PM  

  • okok... :)

    in "nizhal nijamaagiradhu" also kamal gave that type of performance...cool-a alatikaama!

    regarding //ella role-um apdi nadikka koodadhu//

    yeah...a village guy will cry like virumaandi...he wont just shed his tears closing his mouth...

    but normally in all mohan lal movies that ive seen..his facial expressions are similar(yet powerful) ...!

    thala maari varuma...!

    By Blogger vigneshwaran shanmugam, at Fri Jan 12, 12:28:00 PM  

  • Vigneshwaran, Bala.....
    This method of acting less, does not always work....Infact sometimes I find Lal's unnnnnderplay more irrtating than Sivaji's ooooveracting.........For example in Bharatam(as Vigneshwaran observes in his blog), I found his style rather too bland....One keeps expecting a major emotional showdown and the man disappoints big time......
    BTW I have never unserstood why Lal is rated above Andavar by a few.....
    Bala, back then Rajini used to act I guess......

    By Blogger Sridhar(mutRupuLLi), at Fri Jan 12, 01:37:00 PM  

  • Rudhraiya also made Graamathu Adhiyaayam after Aval Appadi Thaan, a totally forgotten -- and forgettable too -- film which had Chandra Haasan in it in one of the lead roles. Nevertheless, it had a pretty good score by Raaja.

    By Blogger Zero, at Fri Jan 12, 02:56:00 PM  

  • bala, you are one CINEASTE. Aval Appadi Thaan was a milestone in TF. Only, nobody ever noticed it.
    I think the director of Amaran, Seevalaperi Paandi etc, one Mr Rajeswar was also associated with AAT in some way.
    Good observation on Kamal's natural performance in AAT.

    I dont think it is fair to accuse ML of always underplaying. Bharatham character was a kalluli mangan - annan sethadhai kooda veettula kalyanam mudiyara varaikkum maraichu vekkara alavukku nenjazhutham irukkiravan. Avan dham-dhoom-nu expression kaattara character illai. So I think ML's interpretation of the character was spot-on.
    BTW, he has definitely done over-the-top roles as well , mainly in the masala rajni-type movies. Sanmanasullavarukku Samadhanam showcases his ability to do not-so-subtle stuff in not-masala movies as well. BTW, dont tell me thats only one movie. Kamal has done hundred movies like that. I was just quoting a sample.

    To reitreate, Kamal is great becauase he is great. He need not be compared against Rajni, Mohanlal, Amitabh etc. This need to put down others as less-than-Kamal is not mature. He is great in his own way. So is ML. Any attempts to put down either of them is the work of a fanatic.

    By Anonymous raj, at Fri Jan 12, 06:45:00 PM  

  • Vignesh/Sridhar,
    Right said.. And yeah, Rajini had some noteworthy and remarkable performances back then...

    Thanks! Yeah, as usual full marks to Raaja.. my fav is Panneer Pushpangale

    Thanks for the trivia.. Amaran??? mmm...

    I'm afraid you've made some incorrect assumptions again :)

    ...i guess the style of role-play Mohanlal fans praise him for
    This is a descriptive statement and i'm not putting down Lal by saying this. While i firmly believe and know that Aandavar is a better actor, what i meant in this post was this:
    I've seen quite a few people having the notion that ONLY underplaying is good acting. More often than not, they would be Lal fans. The role in this film is what such fans would like. This remark just refers to these people and tries to explain this is the kind of performance they would like. There is nothing wrong in saying this because its no harm to remember that Aandavar has also played 'subtle' and 'natural' roles.

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Fri Jan 12, 09:05:00 PM  

  • bala, I didnt mean you had said that. I was addressing mutrupulli, who obviously hasnt seen much of Mohanlal.
    Kamal and subtle performances - Unnal Mudiyum Thambi, Mahanadhi(inspite of the climax), Mumbai Express come to mind. Yes, even MExpress.
    I agree with whatever you have said in your latest comment. Basically, you are irritated by one extreme(People saying Kamal sucks), I by the another (kamal thavira ellorum sucks kind of people). Mathabadi, I think we pretty much concur on the issue in hand :-)

    By Anonymous raj, at Fri Jan 12, 10:43:00 PM  

  • Bala, I was talking about IR's score for Graamathu Adhiyaayam. "Pretty good" isn't how I'd choose to describe a score which includes the marvellous "Uravugal Thodarkadhai"!

    By Blogger Zero, at Fri Jan 12, 10:51:00 PM  

  • //I think the director of Amaran, Seevalaperi Paandi etc, one Mr Rajeswar//
    Wasn't seevalappEri pAndi by Pratap pOthEn ?

    AA, excuse the pun, is great.Was the film in 1978 ? Moondru mudichu , 16 vayathinilE and AA in the same year ??!!

    Right from the off-camera lines that are heard on the blank screen at the beginning , with Kamal's voice engaged in an argument about films.

    Disgaree with the KB style on SriPriyA's role but I can see why you say that. KB's heroines are irritating sure of themselves.Manju was sufficiently unsure of herself while putting up a face. Watch her slipping defencelessly when Kamal asks an unexpected question about her parents (when she comes to her place).

    Rajini's is great in this film. There is a scene where Kamal meets sripriyA after a long time. She is standing beside a car on the road and cuts him off in her usual way."naan yaar kooda intha partykku pOrEn theriyumA ?"

    Cuts to - Rajini walking out of a shop to the camera. He descends the stairs sideways, throws an empty cigarette pack away and literally walks into the camera oozing style.

    The writer vaNNanilavan co-wrote the dialogues for this film. Not sure about Ananthu's voice, must watch again.

    By Anonymous msp, at Sat Jan 13, 12:07:00 AM  

  • msp, pratap pothen is correct. Thanks for the correction. I actually bended the gender on a -heart-as-gold vigilante outlaw movie. The Rajeshwar movie was Kovilpatti Veeralakshmi!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jan 13, 08:04:00 AM  

  • raj,
    Fair enough. BTW, i haven't seen much of Lal either :p but that doesn't change matters one bit :)

    My bad! Completely missed the line on your rating scale :)

    "-heart-as-gold vigilante outlaw movie"
    I like this.. captures the genre aptly :)

    Trivia godown-nga neengalum Zero-vum :)

    About the KB style - Too verbose for comfort, at times. The monotonous dull tone of dialogue delivery etc.. The characterization was, of course, as you've explained...

    Rajini: He was superbly stylish throughout but two scenes which are my picks: The scene where he gives his drunk 'gyan' and the scene where after the unreciprocated advances to manju, he goes like "MD manju... MD.."
    shoke-a sonna ya.. idhellam apdiye varradhu dhaanla?

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Sat Jan 13, 09:04:00 AM  

  • Yeah, Seevalapperi Pandi was directed by Prathap Pothen. But, Raj isn't entirely off target. I think K Rajeshwar wrote the film. (Also, I guess they must be good friends: Vetri Vizha too was written by Rajeshwar and directed by Prathap Pothen; also, Prathan Pothen had a cameo in Amaran.)

    But, coming back to the point, I don't get how he's connected to Aval Appadi Thaan.

    By Blogger Zero, at Sat Jan 13, 04:21:00 PM  

  • Raj...agreed that probably I have not seen Lal's best.......but I think having watched Siraichalai,Iruvar,his Highness Abdullah,Bharatam,the malyalam orginal of Kadhanayagan(the name slips my mind) and its part two, Harikrishnas and a couple more.....I can say that I do not always like his form of underplay or nonacting as I call it...Acting need not mean Nayagan type crying, the eyes should themselves speak...where I will reiterate Kamal,Om Puri, naseeruddin Shah and Sivaji score better than Lal.

    By Blogger Sridhar(mutRupuLLi), at Sun Jan 14, 12:32:00 PM  

  • mohanlal is the finest indian actor ever...he is just so special,peerless in acting..i do think kamal can b compared to him..but KH fails to match up to Ml jus bcoz of his tendency to overact on most occasions & SE;F INDULGENCE..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jan 14, 07:11:00 PM  

  • Anonymous said://
    but KH fails to match up to Ml jus bcoz of his tendency to overact on most occasions///

    Can you name few movies where KH overacted . ML has not given much variety like KH . Dont just comeout with a statement if you cant substantiate it.Regd self indulgence its shows the passion for cinema and KH is one among them . In a recent interview of Lal he said direction is tough job and I dont want to do it . Does it ring something to you , anony .

    By Anonymous great, at Sun Jan 14, 07:33:00 PM  

  • Anon,
    Overacting perusa, non-acting perusa? Kootti kazhichu paar

    Ungalukku theriyadha? Nammavarukku mattum dhaan self-indulgence. Mathavanga ellam oru social service-a dhaan acting panraanga.. infact they are reluctant to show their faces, talent and get recognition and applause :)

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Sun Jan 14, 10:24:00 PM  

  • "Nammavarukku mattum dhaan self-indulgence. Mathavanga ellam oru social service-a dhaan acting panraanga.. infact they are reluctant to show their faces, talent and get recognition and applause :) "
    Bala-------LOL :)

    By Blogger Sridhar(mutRupuLLi), at Mon Jan 15, 08:03:00 AM  

  • bala, mohanlal and non-actor? actually, it's ironic that for an actor widely known for his subtleties has of late become bound by the same "effort" to live up to that reputation. in his recent outings, especially the ones with shaji kailas as director, he tended to overdo this whole business of "look at me, i'm being casual and natural". the effort has started showing.

    but having said that, he is the definitive indian actor who has altered the very grammar of movie-acting. in hindi, motilal, balraj sahni and uttam kumar were his kind of actors but none of them had to balance the act with their superstardom. mohanlal is not just about underplaying, he is about raising ordinary scenes and movies above the ordinary, even when weighed down by badly written roles. and on that count, i can't think of anyone other than amitabh bachchan who can at least offer competition.

    and great, lal has not given variety? how many of his films have you watched really? i can list out at least 25-30 films where he APPEARS the same (no fancy jing-bang make-up, i mean) and still maintains incredible variety through his behavioural touches to the character.

    By Anonymous Krishna, at Mon Jan 15, 02:00:00 PM  

  • anonymous,

    under-acting pandra herolam kamaloda compare koodadhu

    By Blogger vigneshwaran shanmugam, at Mon Jan 15, 04:32:00 PM  

  • krishna,
    That comment was in response to our Anon's statement that Aandavar 'overacts'. It's been well established and accepted that Lal is a great actor. However, comparison with Aandavar is a futile excercise.

    Versatility, range, depth, going out of the comfort zone, body language, accents, carrying off make-ups/getups, romance, action, innovation etc....... ippadi sollikitte pogalaam. Game over. Next!

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Mon Jan 15, 05:17:00 PM  

  • And Krishna,
    By any chance, does Mithun figure in your list of top Indian actors? How would you rate Kamal, the writer as against Kamal, the actor?

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Tue Jan 16, 03:20:00 AM  

  • krishna,
    You are Poornima from the hub!

    Ennamo poda Bala, unnala mattum eppadi da mudiyudhu????

    P.S: Please don't deny it. I'm very proud of this discovery and it'll break my heart otherwise, especially since i KNOW. Seriously

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Tue Jan 16, 03:36:00 AM  

  • I remember being dumb struck after watching this movie many years back. I think I would still feel the same if I watched it again now!!

    By Blogger Me too, at Tue Jan 16, 07:18:00 AM  

  • bingo, bala!! :) i knew it was a dead giveaway... but anyway, blog on!

    By Anonymous Krishna, at Tue Jan 16, 11:40:00 AM  

  • Aparna,
    Ella pengalum indha padatha paakkanum.. but mukkiyama aangal pakkanum...

    Aanaa, nejamave neenga Krishna-va illa Poornima-va? :)

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Tue Jan 16, 06:45:00 PM  

  • poornima-nne vechukkongale :)

    about Aval Appadithan, whatever happened to rudriah? i remember some years back, vikatan reviewed the movie again... their take was, since the releases of the season had nothing much to write about, we thought of revisiting a classic.

    the writer had also said how refreshing it was to see kamal and rajni, without the baggage of stardom, having a great time together on the screen. class stuff.

    By Anonymous Krishna, at Wed Jan 17, 01:37:00 PM  

  • Krishna(!),
    Definitely class stuff.. BTW, AV reviews are so bad these days they are competing with Sun TV Thirai Vimarsanakkuzhu

    mmm... vasthavama thaan irukku neenga solradhu..

    Hey, this post of yours

    is spot on. Superb!

    By Anonymous Bala (Karthik), at Fri Jan 19, 11:06:00 AM  

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