Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Even at his birth, Rajini is declared to be someone almost divine and extraordinary.
He grows up as a Non-believer. At a stage, a holy-man in the guise of a beggar (Sayaji Shindae) takes him to the Himalayas. At the mountains, the saints teach him 7 mantras. These mantras have the power to make any wish come true. Initially, Rajini is skeptic about the power of the mantras and playfully wastes some of them away. He then begins to give up his lack of faith in God and begins to transform into a Believer. His lifestyle begins to change. He uses his final mantra to create an honest, non-corrupt Chief Minister of the state.When the other corrupt politicians kill the honest CM, Rajini reluctantly gives up his path of Saatvik lifestyle by choosing Karma yoga. He does this by entering active politics himself. The film ends with an ' it continues' note.
Rajini carries the film squarely on his shoulders. What captivates the audience the most is his undiminishing youthfulness and energy.
Rajni had a light beard in this film to give a carefree image to the Characterization. Rajni's name is associated with the style and he performed each and every moment of Baba character with great élan. Rajni's introduction is shown with the song 'Tippu Tippu, in a railway station set. He also did different dances for the songs 'Baba Kichu Kichu and 'Maya Maya in the dance direction of Prabhudeva and Lawrance respectively. His mannerism in the film is saying 'Gatham Gatham' (past is past) by showing his trademark Baba symbol (see the image of Baba). Another interesting mannerism is giving shake-hand to his pal for every dialogue he or his friends crack.
Rajini's dance is the best thing that had happened to the song sequences. His dance, his rapid dialogue deliveries and his fast paced gait are received by applauses of joy and jubilation by the audience.
Since he clashes directly with the 'CM' and 'Deputy CM' in the film, the dialogues are laced liberally with political overtones. These too are greeted with whistles and applauses. Towards the end of the film, Koundamani plainly tells him, "Why don't you become the CM yourself, Baba?" Even before the dialogue ends, the fans go crazy with their shouts of joy and affirmation.
Manisha's character was put together in a big rush or that's what it looks like. One doesn't get the feeling that she is the heroine of the film. She doesn't have the appeal or glam of the heroine. Pretty dry she looks.
Aashish Vidhyarthi's character adds strength to Rajini's role.
Koundamani is very hilarious in the first half of the film. Sujatha's character portrays motherhood sentiments to perfection.
The song 'rajjiyamaa' with AR Rehman's score gels beautifully with the story and spins magic. When seen along with the film, Rehman's music score works. The music has supported the film very well indeed! Cinematographer Chota K Naidu and editor Vijayan deserve special mention. They have put in tremendous effort in further strengthening the scenes that portray Rajini's might and strength.
It's an interesting twist when the Babaji gives the boons to a Non-Believer like Rajini. The film picks up speed when Rajini has only one more manthra to use. The story has some good instances of screenplay, like when everybody starts compelling Rajini to take up the CM position himself with the Opposition too trying to capture the coveted position, and when Rajini attempts to use his last boon to create an honest politician.
Rajini has done the story and screenplay of this film. So, director Suresh Krishna couldn't do anything much there. But, he has done his best in bringing out the opulence in the framing of scenes and song sequences.
Rajini is very much into Spirituality. Rajini's fans are very much interested in seeing him enter into Politics.'Baba' is a coming together of both these desires.
Rajnikanth's intention of mixing the Indian philosophy with mass elements is commendable. At the end of the film Rajni asks the Baba to tell him what everybody should do to have a harmony in society. Baba replies Rajni 3 principles 1. You should keep your body and heart very clean 2. one must keep his/her family very happy 3. One must help the society. Even if you don't help society, you should never harm it.
The film moves almost along the lines of a 'God and goddess' film. The film doesn't offer a wide option in entertainment elements. So, the only entertainment factor of the film is Rajini and his styles
The story starts with a young single mother, Anu, moving to Madras from Bombay and being stranded without a house and company. Janardhanan, who is a colleague offers to help her and find her a house. With difficulty, she finds a house with his help and tries to settle in. The puzzle of her current position is solved by a flashback. She was in love with Bharani who had to leave her and go to his struggling family. Forced by her ailing father, she marries his boss, Rajinikanth. She soon realizes that he is a sadist and cannot stand his poisoned words and actions. She leaves him and lands at her current job with her child.
Janardhanan, a widower and a ventriloquist, starts developing feelings for Anu and is struggling expressing himself. But, fate plays its hand in their lives and it turns out that Anuís ex-lover, Bharani, is living in the house right opposite hers looking after his sick sister. When the lost lovers meet, sparks start and Anu, after a long time starts being happy again. Ramnathís mother, Leelavathi who hears about his sonís misdoings, wants to take care of her daughter-in-law and grandson and enters Anuís house as a maid.
When all things seem to be going well, Rajinikanth returns to his estranged wife seeking forgiveness, and she is in a total soup. The climax is very different and shows the resolve of the heroine.
The movie was way ahead of its time in many ways:
Single mother, divorcee phenomenon was not particular in the ë70s, leave alone now.
To show that a woman can stand by herself and also can lean on others for support, if required, both do not demean her character.
Kamalhasan is said to have learned ventriloquism to help with the character. The song ìKatrukenna Veliî by S.Janaki is very catchy, yet melodious.
"Arunachalam" is a story about a village hero (Rajnikanth) who has 2 brothers and a sister and a happy family. Ravichandran and K.R.Vatsala are his parents. "Vedavalli" (Soundharya) is the daughter of Jaisankar and 'Venniraadai' Nirmala. Nirmala is Ravichandran's sister and they all come to Ravichandran's home for Rajni's sister's wedding. That gives the opportunity for Soundharya and Rajnikanth to fight first, then to kiss and fall in love with each other.
Rajnikanth finds himself to be an orphan by interval. He goes out of the village. He goes to Madras where he meets Janakaraj, who gives him a job. By some magical situation Rajni discovers himself to be a son of a (dead) millionaire - through Visu. Visu is the guardian of Rajni's father's trust. If Rajni wants his inheritance, he has to follow certain rules. He can get an inheritance of 3000 Crore Rupees if he can spend 30 crores in 30 days. The conditions are: no contributions to charities, not to own any assets at the end of 30 days and above all, no one else should know about this! Receipts should be provide for all the expenses. If Rajni fails to spend the money according to the rules, all the money will go to his father's trust which is managed by V.K.Ramasamy, "Nizalgal" Ravi, Kitty and Raguvaran. These four form a team of "villains". They want to spoil Rajni's efforts and get all the money for the trust and kill Visu. Ramba is Visu's daughter and she is appointed as the accountant for Rajni for 30 days.
What happens next is the main part of the story. Rajni tries hard to spend his money and many times, the money comes back! He spends on Horse races, lottery tickets, makes a movie with Senthil as the hero and he even starts his own political party with Janakaraj being the candidate. All these events are good opportunities for situation comedies.
Does Rajni win this competition? Does he get all the 3000 Crore rupees for himself and live happily ever after? (see it in silver screen!) is the rest of the story.
The first half of the movie is an original Tamil story. The second half of the story has been lifted from the English movie "Brewster's Millions" (with Richard Pryor in the lead role). I saw "Brewster's Millions" just before watching Arunachalam. See the bottom of this review for my "Review of Brewster's Millions" . Eventhough the story has been borrowed, it has been modified well to suit the Tamil culture and audience.
Super Star Rajnikanth satisfies all the requirements of Rajni fans - style, acting, good dance movements, fights and comedy. What more can one ask for? As usual Rajni's comedy acting is enjoyable. Particularly his comedy with Senthil is Superb. His love scenes with Soundarya is very interesting.
Soundarya is not only beautiful, but she also acts well. Her love scenes with Rajni is worth mentioning again.
Senthil deserves a special mention for his decent comedy. On several scenes, he is really funny. Janakaraj has been given a good role after a long time. He has done it well too.
Vadivukarasi has done a totally different role in a superb way.
Other actors/actresses who have done good acting includes: Jaishankar, Ravichandran, V.K.Ramasamy, Raghuvaran, Manorama, Visu and Crazy Mohan.
Eventhough the dialogues by Crazy Mohan are not upto the level of "Avvai Shanmugi", they are good and they bring laughes throughout the movie.
The fight scenes are not that great. There are not different from any other masala tamil movie.
If making a typical entertaining Rajini movie is all that Director Sundar C. wanted, he has succeeded in that. The movie flows smoothly. The editing is also good, particularly the several slow motion scenes in this movie have been done well.
Also, it has been a recent trend to show the shooting scenes at the end of the movie (thanks to "Jackie Chan" movies for inspiration!). At the end of this movie also, there are some shooting scenes which are interesting to watch.
Music is by Deva. The two songs which are good are: "Athanda Ithanda.." (reminds us of "Naan Autokaren" from Batcha) and "Nagumo ai Sugamo..". Deva could have done a better job. The director has compensated for the music by filming the songs rich.
With the one exception of songs, "Arunachalam" is an entertaining movie.
Double Visil (for Rajni).
Annamalai(Rajnikanth) and Ashok(Sarathbabu) have been friends since childhood. Annamalai is a milkman while Ashok is the only son of a rich businessman(Radharavi). When Ashok falls in love with Geetha(Rekha), a poor girl, his father is naturally against the wedding. But Annamalai holds the wedding and earns his ire. Plotting to drive a wedge between his son and Annamalai, the businessman hints that he would like to build a hotel on Annamalai's land. Annamalai gives the land to Ashok without even accepting money for it but when Ashok later talks about bringing down his house, he slaps Ashok's father in anger. Ashok orders Annamalai's house to be bulldozed to the ground which drives Annamalai to challenge that he would become a bigger and more successful hotelier than Ashok.
Annamalai is a Rajni fan's dream come true. Suresh Krissna picturises the important scenes in a rousing manner. The standout scene is the one where Rajni is elected the new head of the Hotelier's Association. Right from the moment the doors open with Rajnikanth waiting with pipe in mouth to the point where he grandly takes his seat after blowing smoke directly into Sarathbabu's face, this scene is an example of good picturisation embellishing a scene. The scenes where Rajni strides out of Sarathbabu's house after throwing the challenge at him and later, makes him buy a house at an auction thereby pushing him even further into debt, are other exhilarating scenes.
There is a light vein of comedy running throughout the first half with clever scenes like Kushboo mistaking Rajnikanth to be a prince, a milkman and a robber due to circumstances. Laughs peak in the scene where Rajnikanth deals with a snake in Kushboo's hostel. Both his incoherent babbling when the snake crawls on him and his dazed walk while chanting "Kadavule Kadavule" until Kushboo pulls him over evoke lots of laughs. The movie doesn't go overboard with political double entendre and serves up just the right amount. There were just hints of trouble brewing between Rajnikanth and JJ when this movie was released and the palmist's warning about trouble coming in the guise of a woman hints at this. The proclamations to the minister to leave him alone are also well-timed.
One department where other Rajni films have lacked is the realistic portrayal of relationships. Usually they tend to be cliched and dramatic like the mother-son relationship in Padaiyappa. But the relation between Rajni and his daughter here is very nicely portrayed. The advice he gives her regarding not taking all-important decisions at her age rings true. Even the importance he places on his mother is brought out well in a short scene where he falls at her feet on his wedding day instead of going to the temple.
Fight sequences are impressively staged with the encounter in the Minister's house taking the cake. The slow-motion shots in this sequence highlight the fact that Rajnikanth has performed many of his own stunts. The climax also includes some clever turns like the breaking of glass in the office room(a lift from Die Hard) and the huge number of similar cars(with one of them containing a bound and gagged Sarathbabu), instead of a long and continuous fight sequence. Song sequences are imaginative, especially the Annamalai Annamalai... which features Rajnikanth in the three roles imagines by Kushboo. Kondaiyil... is fast and incorporates scenes from early Rajni and Kushboo films while Vetri Nichayam... is the usual song during which Rajni climbs the rungs of success.
Rajnikanth lights up the screen in both the comic and serious portions. Kushboo serves as a nice foil for him. She shares a good chemistry with him and shows nice flair for comedy. Sarathbabu, who has shared the screen in several of Rajnikanth's hit films, and Rekha are adequate. Radharavi, with a mannerism of scratching the back of his neck, is impressive when he asks for forgiveness from Manorama. 'Nizhalgal' Ravi is an effective wolf in sheep's clothing.
The story itself is not much different from numerous other movies Rajnikanth himself starred in, much later in his career. Movies like Padikkaadhavan and Dharmadurai too had Rajnikanth being cheated by his brothers after he had devoted his entire life towards their success. But its the treatment of the subject that differs here. There are no grandiose, overdone scenes to show his affection for them nor is there any artificiality in his reactions to their behavior. There is no comedy, there is just a single fight sequence and even that is quietly done and there is only one dream sequence(and not with the heroine).
Rajnikanth is Santhanam, who lost his father when he was a boy, and has been supporting his family ever since. He joined a printing press at that time and has grown step-by-step, while accumulating enough debts to put his two brothers and a sister through college. His poverty leads to him being jilted by the woman he loves and he then gets married to Lakshmi('Fatafat' Jayalakshmi), solely on the belief that this would get him the money needed to conduct his sister's marriage. But after sacrificing his whole life for his siblings, Santhanam watches on as they leave him once they find greener pastures, leaving him to fend for himself.
The movie is definitely heavy with no attempt to lighten the atmosphere whatsoever. Not until the very end do we see any kind of happiness in the movie. But inspite of the pessimistic tone and chance for sentiments, most scenes are handled in a mature and realistic way. For instance, though Rajnikanth incurs huge debts to keep the family afloat, we don't see him treat his brothers with softness always. He barks at them at the right time(like his reaction to his brother's criticism to the shirt he buys for him) and points out his own inabilities. Similarly, his silent reactions to the brothers leaving him, speak volumes. His reaction, when the second brother asks him for permission to leave, with his bag already packed, is one such very effective scene.
The effect of many of these scenes is embellished by the sharp script. The feelings are brought out very well in Rajnikanth's lectures to his brothers. His reaction to his brother ill-treating Cho and the way he restores peace and calm after quarrels between 'Fatafat' Jayalakshmi and his sister sound natural, mainly due to what he tells them. Even the lecture of a Jeya's father to her when she expresses her wish to marry Rajnikanth is logical with no unnecessary shouting. There is also a very telling comment on why poor people have more kids that rings true while being funny.
Not that the movie is completely devoid of exaggerations though. The behavior of Rajni's sister, especially when he takes a present for her child, appears cinematic and unnatural. Normally, its the reversal of fortunes in such movies that makes us cheer and lifts our spirits. But here, these portions seem rushed. They give the feeling that S.P.Muthuraman did not have the courage to maintain the sad tone of the movie until the end and slapped together a happy shift in the story. The background voice that narrates the story only gives credence to his line of thought.
Rajnikanth here will be a revelation to those who have been exposed to only his recent movies. He makes a very believable, sympathetic protagonist during all stages of life. His outbursts towards his brothers and sister are as effective as his crying over his wife's death. 'Fatafat' provides good support. Cho plays the kind of friend any of us would be lucky to have. His friendship with Rajnikanth is one of the strongpoints of the movie. Surulirajan is cast against type and portrays a man easy to hate. Ilaiyaraja has a classic in Kanmaniye Kaadhal..., though the picturisation leaves much to be desired.
Tamil Cinema was revolving around Four Walls for along time and all the movie were Family oriented and hard subject stories. Then came a Change i would say a revolution.I hope BARATHIRAJA was the first person who changed the FOUR WALL subject and took the cameras to VILLAGES and started to make movies on FEELINGS and DREAMS of an ordinary human. I really appreciate his Service to the movie field.The story starts with a Young Good Looking Village girl MAYIL (MY ALL TIME DREAM GIRL SREE DEVI) dreaming to become a Teacher. Her mom GANDHIMATHI who is a widow and is a Village Roudi. All that she does is fight with females in that Village which really affects our Dream girl Sree Devi.
One must see SREE DEVI's acting when she Jumps with happiness when she is done with her 10th Standard.CHAPPANI (KAMAL) gets introduced as a innocent and Half Crack guy who works for SREE's mom doing the needful for the family and for the village people. His primary job is to give an OIL Massage to PATTARAI (RAJINI) who gets all information about SREE DEVI and about Village people. One must see how all these three legends (RAJINI, KAMAL, SREE DEVI) has acted in this movie. Really Fantastic and great.
Especially in a village festival when RAJINI sees SREE DEVI in a PAVADAI and when his friends say "LOOK At MAYIL how beautiful she is in her PAVADAI" RAJINI in turn will reply "AVALU KENNA AV ATHALUKU PAVADA POTTA KUDA NALA IRRUKUM"The story runs without a single deviation and without any overacting which really made me cry seeing the Talents at their best on my Screens. KAMAL dreams marrying SREE DEVI as KURUVAMMA (GANDHI MATHI) calls KAMAL as "MARUMAGANE" !! But our SREE who has much better dreams falls in LOVE with a Veterinary Doctor who visits the Village who looks like a "SAIDAPET SONGI" with a SODA BODDI GLASS and BELL BOTTOM PANT. Sree gets attracted to his modern Life and she starts her dream !! She even ignores her TEACHER JOB which was her long time ambition in life for her IMAGINARY DREAM with the doctor.The Dream World of the sad Village girl comes to an end when that Stupid Ugly Looking Irritating Doctor says that "HE DIDNT LOVE HER AND SHE JUST LOVED HER AGE" !! I really felt like slapping that guy. Then KAMAL Takes care of the family and asking MAYIL not to worry ! Then comes the Directors talent who made us to FLY IN DREAMS for 1 1/2 HOURS make us to CRY FOR another ONE HOUR as KURUVAMMA (Sree Devi's Mom) dies.
VILLAN RAJINI whose aim is to SLEEP with SREE DEVI once gets into the house when she was Sleeping and At last KAMAL kills RAJINI by throwing a big stone and the DREAM AND EMOTIONS die and the Story ends.
Punch Dialogue : Idhu Eppadi Irukku............ How is it?
The movie starts with the song thillu mullu thillu ullam ellam...!The story is about a talented youngster who is none other than our thanga thalaivar super star Rajnikanth. The hero wants to enjoy life with his friends like our lollu boys. But those are the days when the Bosses used to be very strict and they expect employees to be very much disciplined. After completing his studies he is forced to take up a job as the family situation demands, it is the conventional Tamil Cinema centiment vayasukku vandha thangachi and fortunately vayasana amma and the brothers are missing in this movie. One of his family friends "Poornam" Viswanathan tells him about a opening in a company like Sun/Cisco/Microsoft owned by "Thengai" Srinivasan and he also tells him the expectation of the owner. Rajnikanth pretends to meet expection of the Boss by giving fake certificates that he knows C++,Java, Oracle, Corba,Blue tooth and what not. He gets the job.
The real story starts when Thengai sees Rajinikanth in a football match. The trouble starts because Rajini asks his friend to make a phone call saying that his(Rajini's) sister is sick but that guy sodhapifies it saying mother is sick. And from that point Rajini claims that he has a brother who is good for nothing etc and builds a story on that. Then Thengai offers a job of a music teacher to his daugher for the fictious character for which Rajini has to shave off his mouche. And atlast because of a servant boy thengai comes to know the truth and starts chasing Rajini for cheating him and as usual the story ends with a subam and thengai accepts to give his daughter to Rajini.
The imporant thing to be appreciated in this movie is the screenplay by K.B. He portrays thengai as a man with great values especially a man with a value story behind a huge mouche. Thengai is a man who believes that honesty should be there in every aspect. A man with a huge mouch will be very good at heart. Office things from telephone to stationery and even the lu should be used only for official purposes. He believes that a person working overtime is inefficient. His employees should respect elders and follow them without asking any question even if they are wrong! Last but not the least he is a great patriot. And Thengai has done a great job in this movie as per the expectation of KB.
Rajinikanth has done a great job in this movie in fact this is the first movie in which he has acted without mouch. His name in this movie is "Ayyampettai" Arivudai Nambi Kaliyaperumal Chandran. And the name of the fictious character his brother without mouch is "Ayyampettai" Arivudai Nambi Kaliyaperumal Indran. The interview scene and the scene in which thengai describes Rajini in the football match was really great, the way Rajini portrays the situation and making it favourable was simply great.
Thengai is no doubt a great artist. Priya, Krishnan Varuvan, Kasethan Kadavulada are few examples. In this movie he has done a great job acting as a man of values. His name in this movie is SriRamachandramoorty. Especially the story behind the mouche and the way he behaves with soukar janaki who acts as Rajini's mother saying that "Indha laddellam inga sapida koodadhu prasadama veetukku eduthuttu poi sapdanum enna idhu andha Mahatma Gandhikke samchu potta kai!" And in a party scene a person asks him "Sir whiskya Brandya" for which he retaliates saying "Nan Gandhi da" was great. Good Job Thengai.
Though this character doesn't have any connection with the story(as if there is something). The trouble starts when the Servant of Thengai sees Rajini & Nagesh talking about aalmarattam and the meesai episode. While suggesting Soukar Janaki for acting mother of Rajini the way he describes Soukar was great.
This female is hired by Rajni to act as his mother in front of Thengai. She has really done a great job. Especially when thengai sees her for the first time and asks her religiously Onga veetukku Mahathma Gandhi vandhu irundhappo enna senjarnnu sonnenga indha kadhu kulira kekkalam and for which she says enna senjar vandhodane sattaiya kazhatti coat standla pottar! Then Thengai asks Mahatmakku edhu sattai and she samalifing was great. And when thengai sees her in a party wearing a pattu saree and jewels all over her body like our foster mother and her close associate he gets shocked and wants to verify so he comes to Rajini's house and before that she enters the house from the back door and again a great samalification. Great job soukar.
This column is not usually found in most of the LE reviews but this film deserves it.
1. The interview scene when thengai asks one candidate "Adhennai Bommai sattaila" and the candidate says with pride "Poonai Sir" thengai reacts saying "Adhula enna avlo perumai Get out" and comments "Nalla kamban koothadi madhiri dress".
To another candidate he asks "Onga peru enna" for which he replies saying "Suppi Sir". Thengai gets irritated saying "Suppiyavadhu kuppiyavadhu Get out". To another candidate by name Subramanya Baradhi he gets up and says "Vanakkam thiru Subramanya Baradhi onga pera kettale porandha kozhandhaikku kooda sudhandhara dhagam edukkumnnu solvangale ongalukkum Baradhiyar madhiri kavidhai ellam ezhutha theriuma" the candidate says "Palakkam illenga". Thengai's facial expression for the word palakkam was excellent his face changes like a 3 year old kid while shitting in a place where it is not supposed to! Then he asks "Ongalukku indha zhanna varadha" the candidate replies saying "varum konjam kasta padum". For which again thengai reacts with a great facial expression. Then he says "nan solradha appadiye thirumba sollunga - Oru kattu sullila oru sulli kona sulli" for which the candidate says "Vendam sir risku". Thengai gets pissed off and says "zhanavum varadhu, shanavum varadhu, llanavum varadhu peru mattum subramanya baradhi neer avarukkum indha nattum periya dhrogam panreer aia". When the candidate comes out, Rajni asks him how was the interview for which he says "Aala theermanichuttangappa interview ellam sutha Eyewas". After this thengai asks his manager to continue with the interview that guy starts asking the prices of cigarettes which again irritates Thengai and asks both of them(Candidate & the Manager) to get out. Then comes Rajini with a kadhar dhothi for an interview! This scene cannot be further described in words You have to really watch it to enjoy it. I have watched this scene atlest 100 times(Sorry I don't remember the exact count each time I hire the cassette I keep it for 25-30 days and everytime I watch the movie I watch this scene alone 10-15 times)! I was the only customer for that video cassette and it was scratched only by me!
2. Rajini and his friends go in Gangs everywhere and even to the football match. Rajini wears a ballon around his head and dances pettai rapand in his usual style lights a cigratte thengai sees it, the facial expression of thenga in that scene was great. And next day the way Thengai describes the Football match in which he saw Rajini was simply great. He starts with saying was it fair for the refree to give penalty.....!
3. The way Thengai talks to Soukar Janaki with great respect thinking that She is an illitrate,Gandhiyavadhi and so on. And when thengai says "Pleasure is mine" she unconsiously responds saying "so is mine" and he gets shocked and again a great samalification.
4. The way fictious Rajini without mouch behaves with thengai calling him "he thottakkara on modhalai sriram irukkana.." was great he lights a cigratte in front of him. It appeared as if Rajini was taking revenge on thengai for the way he made him behave in the office.
No doubt its an all time hit one can even get his own VCD for this because You watch it any number of times You won't get bored. This movie deserves morethan 95/100 and again Prabu has to decide on this.
Surya(Rajnikanth) was abandoned by his mother as a baby and has grown up as a rowdy in the slums. The area is ruled with an iron hand by local dada Devaraj(Mammootty), whose thug is killed by Surya. The two are against each other initially but become thick friends soon. Surya thereafter becomes Deva's thalapathy(commander), carrying out his orders. Surya's mother(Srividya) has since married and has a son Arjun(Arvind), who comes to the town as collector. Surya loves Brahmin girl Subbulakshmi(Shobana) but her father marries her off to Arjun while Surya weds Padma(Banupriya) whose husband he had earlier killed. Surya and his mother soon comes to know the truth but are torn between relations and loyalties since Arjun vows to eliminate Deva and Surya while Deva swears revenge on Arjun for police atrocities.
Manirathnam uses the Mahabharath as the base with modern day versions of the main characters here and makes several nods to leave us in no doubts about this fact. So we have characters named Surya(for Karnan) and Arjun(for Arjuna). There also a couple of other hints like the name of a town where Arjun goes to quell some riots(Pandavapuram). The ending is different here, though I believe this might have something to do with the standing of its main stars.
Thalapathy gives us some strong characters and then builds on the emotional interactions between them. Naturally, the movie works best during the scenes of confrontation between these characters. Sparks fly during Rajni's meeting with Mammootty in the rain and later, when the two go up against Arvind Swamy. This scene is picturised very well with the camera cutting between the two teams on opposite sides of the table and Rajni's aggression providing an effective foil to Mammootty's calmness. Sentiments take the upper hand once the hidden relationships are revealed. Rajni's loyalty to Mammootty and Srividya's desire to see neither Arvind or Rajni hurt provide ample fodder for sentiments.
Romance takes a backseat to emotions and we see very little of Manirathnam's touches in this department. Shobana falls for Rajni a little too quickly but the scene where she reveals that she likes Rajni's 'goonda' activities is nicely picturised in a great location. Their meeting after her marriage to Arvind is also conducted naturally and decently.Rajni only has a 'guardian' relationship with Banupriya inspite of their marriage but the girl who plays her daughter is cute and delivers her lines well in her conversations with Rajni. Mammootty and Geetha make a nice radiant couple.
Rajnikanth gets a chance to emote quite a bit more than his other recent movies and does quite well though his fans would not have been happy to see their hero being tortured by a policeman and not fighting back(though he gets his revenge later) or losing the girl he loves. He displays some nice footwork in two songs. Mammootty is dignified and the Manirathnam's clipped dialogs suit his character well. Arvind Swamy looks young and smart in his debut and stands up well to the much more senior artistes. Shobana uses her large, expressive eyes to good use in the initial scenes when she is scared of Rajni and later when she tearfully asks Mammootty to let go of her father. It looks rather odd to see Srividya, who played Rajnikanth's wife in his first movie, play his mother here but she does her job well while Jaishanker gives her good support. Banupriya is underused.
Thalapathy, like all Manirathnam movies, is technically excellent. Manirathnam stuck with Santosh Sivan, his cameraman for Roja. The photography though is completely different. Here, all the scenes have an orange hue and this lends an even greater effect to the already glorious scenes like sunsets. Ilaiyaraja reserved some of his best songs for Manirathnam and things are no different here. Adi Raakkaamma... is extremely catchy and the change into the slow tune towards the end is surprising and done very smoothly. Yamunai Aatrile... is melodious and its shortness leaves us asking for more. Sundari... is another melodious duet while Kaattukuyilu..., with SPB and Jesudas lending voices to Rajni and Mammootty, is fast-paced and nicely choreographed.
Ranganathan(Rajnikanth) is a man who is dejected about not finding a job. He runs into Raju('Karate' Mani), a career thief. While Ranga advises Raju to give up his life of crime, Raju talks to Ranga about giving up his ideals and joining him. Both their advices work as Raju reforms while Ranga embarks upon a new career as a thief. Their lives intersect again when Ranga is hired to kidnap the son of a rich man(ARS), who Raju swears to protect. What Ranga doesn't know is that the kid's mother(K.R.Vijaya) is none other than his sister, from whom he had been separated as a kid.
Ranga starts off with an interesting premise. The idea of Rajnikanth and Mani accepting each others' advice and turning their lives upside down, though in directly opposite ways, is intriguing. But the opportunities offered by this exchange of ideals are not exploited. Instead, the movie turns into a childish game of wits between the two. The behavior of both Rajni and Mani after they meet in the kid's house doesn't make a lot of sense. Rajni moves into the house to turn the affections of the family members away from Mani while Mani keeps mum about Rajni's real intentions, even when he knows the kid is in danger. Neither decision is realistic and serves to take all semblance of seriousness away from the movie.
Ofcourse we realise in a little while, the logic behind Rajni's decision. It turns the movie into a comedy by introducing a variety of situations where Rajni gains the confidence of the family at the expense of Mani. This segment drags on for quite some time though only a few of the situations(like Mani being caught with drinks) are clever. With Rajni being K.R.Vijaya's longlost brother, there is no dearth of sentiments either once the truth is revealed. While the reactions of Rajnikanth and K.R.Vijaya to this revelation are natural, ARS' behavior is difficult to digest.
Radhika is a completely superfluous character who is on hand purely to take care of the romantic interest and the need to insert duets. She is a club owner and when she attempts to dupe Rajni by posing as her homely, traditional sister, it dupes us into thinking that this romantic track too might hold some interest. But the issues are cleared a little too soon, in a completely uninteresting manner and she moves out of sight, reappearing only to dream up a duet.
Rajnikanth shows signs of his comic talent during his taunting of Mani after one-upping him. But Mani is rather rigid and displays no voice modulation either. Shankar Ganesh come up with some dappanguthu tunes like Purushandhaan... and Pattukottai Ammalu... for the duets. But Toothpaste Irukku... is quite catchy(in a childish kind of way!) and was quite popular in those days.
Anand(Rajnikanth) is the unbeaten motorcycle champion six years in a row. Winning the championship brings him into contact with Uma(Jyothi), the daughter of Thilakavathy(Sukumari), a haughty, rich woman. Uma hates him for his dark complexion but this naturally soon turns into love(a forcible kiss is all it takes!). But Thilakavathy has more aces up her sleeve. She deceives Anand and Uma into thinking that she agrees to their wedding while secretly planning to get Uma married off to a boy of her choice. She gets Anand locked up on the day of the wedding. Anand escapes but is unable to stop the wedding. The next time they meet, Uma sees Anand happily married to Kalyani(Sarita) and with a child while she informs him that she too is happily married with two children.
The movie starts off just like any other poorly handled Rajnikanth movie. A rather long motorcycle race that tries but fails to be exciting, a sparkless love story that starts off with a quarrel before turning romantic and a confrontation with the haughty, landlady(a la Maappillai) all give a sense of 'been there, seen that'. The romance between Rajni and Jyothi is weak with no inkling of chemistry between them. Her ploy of dismantling her car battery to get him to offer her a ride raises a few smiles.
Things start to get better once Sukumari's plan gets into action. There is genuine suspense as Rajni's plans for marrying Jyothi and Sukumari's alternative plan for Jyothi marrying a boy of her choice, proceed in parallel. The resolution of this is an even bigger surprise as Sukumari wins this battle by getting Jyothi married as per her wishes while Rajni has to be a silent onlooker unable to do anything about it. At this point there is some real suspense about how the rest of the movie is going to unfold.
But the movie again sinks into predictability after a little while. Poor handling of the sequences makes the truth apparent and so happenings on screen seem forced and an unnecessary postponement of the inevitable. The only suspense is how the truth is going to be revealed to the players. And there are not many thrills or surprises in this either. In fact, the sequence of events in the second half forget to address many of the issues from the first half. For instance, there is no mention of Rajni's brother 'Thengai' Srinivasan at all.
Rajni fans must have been disappointed to see their hero in such an anti-trademark role. He never fits into the purely romantic mode needed for the hero in such a movie but the movie doesn't offer him much oppurtunity for comedy or action either. Jyothi lacks both glamour and acting skills and naturally, was lost after this movie. Sukumari makes a mark as the hard-hearted mother. Ilaiyaraja does his turn with the melodious Vellai Puraa Ondru... and Vaa Vaa Vasanthame.... For the nostalgically-inclined, the latter was a staple of Doordarshan for the 'Oliyum Oliyum' that occurred close to Diwali!)
This movie has a strong dramatic story. Sivaji Ganesan is a highly respected Jameendar in a village. Lakshmi is his wife. AruPadaiyappan (alias) Padaiyappa (Rajnikanth) is their son (please stop clapping and scroll down to read the rest of the review !!! ;-)) and Siththara is their daughter. Manivannan is Sivaji Ganesan's brother. Manivannan and his family live together with Sivaji and family. One day, Manivannan claims his share of the family wealth. Sivaji writes off all his properties to Manivannan and walks out with his family. While doing so, Sivaji dies. At that point, Panakkara (rich) Padaiyappa becomes Pauperappa ! Padaiyappa owns a small dry land property and by the turn of luck, he finds granite stones in his land. We hear the song Vazkayil aayiram thadaikallappa..... in the background and before it is over, Padaiyappa becomes Panam'appa (a rich man) !
Lakshmis brother is Radha Ravi. Naasar is his son and Nilambari (Ramya Krishnan) is his foreign-educated, arrogant daughter. Vasanthira (Soundarya) is a servant maid in Nilambaris house. Nilambari falls in love with Padaiyappa for his Five good qualities (one of the questions in next years Fifth standard final exam would be What are the Five qualities of Padaiyappa for which Nilambari falls in love with him ?!). But, Padaiyappa falls in love with Vasanthira. Padaiyappa overcomes all the hurdles and tricks of Nilambari and marries Vasanthira. So, it is just another Triangular Love story right ?! Well, it would have been, if the movie stopped here. Nilambari keeps her disappointment and vengeance deep in her heart. Time flies by and Padaiyappa is old now and he has two daughters (Preetha and Anita). Nilambari tries to take revenge on Padaiyappa and his family after 18 years, using Padaiyappa's daughter Preetha Vijaykumar. How will Padaiyappa handle this ? Will Nilambari win her battle ? - forms the rest of the story.
Rajnikanths acting is very good. He portrays enthusiasm in the younger role and seriousness and maturity in the older role. His comedy is enjoyable. He does a new style of throwing a shawl, and a new Rajni Salute ! (he does a variation of his good old cigarette style - in this movie, he does it with a cigar !). Super Star looks Super Slim ! (looks like he lost some weight - he looks thinner than everybody else in the movie). The makeup for Rajni could have been better - in some scenes, the wig (toupe) is obvious and for the older Rajni, the beard is not so natural (the olders Rajnis make up is similar to his makeup in the movie Batcha). Rajnis punch dialogue in this movie is "My way is unique way'' !
The real heroine of this movie is Ramya Krishnan. She has a powerful role and she has done it well. Contrary to the rumors in the media, her role does not portray the Tamil Nadu political leader Jayalalitha (except that Ramya Krishnans character also has a lot of arrogance and anger). However, some of the dialogues delivered by Rajni to Ramya Krishnan would also fit - if he said those dialogues to Jayalalitha. Even though Soundarya acted as Rajnis pair, her role is a 'jujubi' (small) one in this movie ! There is no need to mention, but, Sivaji Ganesans acting is good (ayya, kalakiteengalae !!). Sivaji portrays the role of a serious, yet, loving father in a nice way. The scene where he runs like a kid and feels the pillar of his house for one last time - is touching. Lakshmis acting is nice. Manivannan has done good acting - for a change, he has done comedy plus serious acting. Senthil and the rest of Rajnis friends have done good comedy acting. Senthil's comedy in a scene where he goes to see a bride (along with Rajni and friends) is hilarious. To compensate for her lost movie career after "Arunachalam" movie (for doing a 'Villi' role), Vadivukarasi has been given a small, but safe role in 'Padaiyappa'. Prakashraj has acted (well) in just one scene - he should not waste his talents by agreeing to act in 'one scene' movies. Siththara, Radha Ravi, Naasar, Ramesh Kanna, Anu Mohan - all have done their roles well. Preethas acting is just OK. Abbass acting is Adapas ! (people who know Coimbatore Tamil will understand this!).
Lets talk about the Music: Singa nadai pottu sigarathil aeru.....en paru Padaiyappa is an regular intro song for Rajni and it is OK (one more question in next years Fifth standard final Tamil exam would be Singa nadai pottu sigarathil aeru..." endra paadalai adi piralamal ezuthuga !!). This song also has the tune of Suthi Suthi vantheeha... in between the verses. The dance sequence for this song is good in the movie. Vazkayil aayiram ......Vetrikodi... (Sriram) - is a good motivational song and it is OK to watch along with the movie. The lyric in this song is good. This song sounds like some very old song (Srirams voice also sounds like some old singer). Minsara Kanna'' (Sriram, Nithyashree and Srinivas) song is OK. The dance for this song is not good in the movie. The costumes in this song are similar to that of Muthu. "Suthi Suthi Vandeeha...'' (SPB and Harini) song is the best in this movie with nice music and melodious voices of SPB and Harini. Harini's voice is very sweet in this song. It is also good to watch in the movie. Every body except for A.R. Rahman knows (if he knew, he should not have done it !) that "Oh oh oh... Kikku aeruthae..." (Mano and Febi) song strikingly resembles (the tune and Mano's voice) 'Ayirathil naan oruvan...' song from the movie 'Iruvar'. This song has a good beat and it is good to watch in the movie. The CD / Tape has an additional instrumental music of "Suthi Suthi Vandeeha...'' song and it is good to listen. There is nothing worth mentioning in the background score. It is very disappointing to watch the songs in the movie (except for 2 songs) - it looks like they filmed the songs in a hurry. Also, Vairamuthu (lyrics) is invisible in most of the songs.
Director K.S. RaviKumar has clearly understood the way a Rajni movie should be and has delivered a good product. The weakness of Arunachalam movie is the strength of Padaiyappa movie - the story that is. The basic plot of the story has similarities with some of Rajnikanth's previous movies like 'Mannan' and 'Nallavanukku Nallavan'. The story (by Aruncahala story discussion group) and screenplay (K.S. RaviKumar) have been planned and executed well (except for the last parts of the movie). The strong dialogues are a plus. This movie has all the elements (except for good songs) of a typical M.G.R. movie (love, drama, sentiments, fights, some political dialogues,.....). Well done K.S. RaviKumar ! Also, K.S. RaviKumar should be appreciated for giving good comedy opportunities to Senthil, Ramesh Kanna and other people who have acted as Rajnis friends.
The editing is good - there are a few good continuity scenes - where the ending of a scene leads to the beginning of the next scene. The cinematography (by S. Murthy and Prasad) is OK for the most part (since most of the movie happens in indoors). There is one scene where the camera pans a huge crowd of people and that scene is completely out of focus. The dance choreography (Tharun Kumar, Lalithamani and Brinda), art backgrounds (G.K.) and costumes could have been better. Some songs settings and costumes resemble that of the movie Muthu. Considering that it is a Rajni movie, the fight scenes are so-so. They are below average and there is no style or bravery in them (what happened to 'paranthu paranthu fighting' of Rajni ?!). The movie also has some masala car chasing. This movie has some computer graphics - it is good for the most part - except for the climax (the flying Vel) - where it has been done with poor quality.
Whether Rajnikanth would enter into politics is debatable. However, if he is planning to enter politics, this movie would place him in the right track (similar to the MGRs movies that were made before he entered into Politics).
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
The story is about the weakness (what else gals) of a very successful Enterpreneur/Multi Milloinaire Chakaravarthy (Father Rajini) with a little bit of self pride on his achievements who is the Bill Gates of yester years in the Textile City of Tamil Nadu (Coimbatore). He is a great womeniser (perhaps his only weakness) a typical Sabala Case who is capable of picking up any cute chicks. At heart he is too good a person he treats his employees well, highly charitable. He has a son (Santhosh Chakaravarthy) and a daughter Sangeetha (who else the great goluttu super fighter (Vijayashanthi) and an OFFICIAL wife Meenakshi (Lakshmi). Radha (Saritha) gets introduced as a candidate for PRO (Public Relations Officer) interview and eventually gets selected and she is sent to Hong Kong for training. Our Sabala Chakaravarthy goes to hong kong and rapes her. In the meanwhile his son gets to know his weakness and starts reforming him. Later Radha joins Santhosh and his mother in this "Critical" mission. The rest of the story is how they reform chakaravarthy a highly perverted, influencial person with little bit of typical Tamil Movie Masala!!!!
He has done a great job as ever in this movie. Both father and son are either extremes and performing the character of the Perverted Sabala case in the previous shot and the same person doing the character of a pious person in the next shot is extremely difficult job. I would say he has lived the father role. The peak performance of the super star is exhibited in every inch of the movie and the self pride he shows is at its best when he says "Nee Yuvarajana nan chakaravarthy da" and accomplishes What he wanted.
She has done a great job as a person got raped by her boss. But in the last scene too much of sentiments and cries which was irritating to some extent. Lakshmi As usual lots of cries for her in this movie as every one knows she is too good at doing it. So it requires no special comments. Goundamani
OOOOPs.... no one to get beaten by him in this movie so he had to show some real stuff in comedy and he did a great job in doing it. Dominating others many a times irritates the viewers. In this movie he has acted without his usual slang and beating senthil for no reason. His performance was at its peak when he corners charavarthy and says samandhi nan kilabukku(club) poi pillieeeds (Billiyards) veladaporen.
Though he comes for only one scene as a doctor he did a great job he comes as Dr. "Kopparai Thengai Srinivasan" with a large pattai on his forehead a striped shirt and tie with a panja dhothy. The way he delivers dialogs and they way he responds to Rajini and the way he drives Rajini out of his clinic was really great. His performance was simply superb and its worth mentioning.
Though his character demanded some amount of acting he failed to do. It was a just a come and go for him. Menaka
I am sure no body will be knowing this female to my knowledge she has acted as a heroine only in this movie. For those who want to findout who she is watch "Ramanin Moganam Song". Just she comes and goes with little bit of weeping and nail biting here and there of course on her fingers.
In our view every scene Charavarthy appears is a punching scene. OOOOPs then the whole movie sans the songs/Typical Tamil Cinema Masala and romance becomes a punching scene. Anyway to highlight few good ones.
1. The time chakaravarthy gets up is 7:30 in the morning (with an alarm clock) as soon as he opens his eyes, sees a porn poster in his room, Kalailla muzhikkaradhe oru two piece ponnoda poster. One servant comes with a variety of juices (bed juice have u ever heard of) on a trolly and the tray on the trolly contains porn poster, the way he keeps the empty glass back on the tray....it was really excellent then another servant comes with a tray full of cigars and another guy comes and crackles his knuckles (Kalla sodakku eduthu vida oru aal!!). He exhibited a great style when he flicks his left knee and the pillow which was on his leg falls on the bed!!!!! One has to see the number of desses/shoes/watches/googles Charavarthy has in his room. I was shocked to see that.
2. On the other hand his son gets up at 5 in the morning as soon as he wakes up, sees Thiruppathi Venki (Those who don't know Venki he is Ammu's husband) very rich god. He has a very simple life style, not venki our Hero Santhosh.
Priya(Sridevi) is the daughter of Rajasekhar(Girish Karnad), a rich industrialist. She falls in love with Vijay(Rajnikanth), a photographer, after he rescues her from some rowdies. Going against her parents, she runs away with Vijay and they get married. The differences in their status and the attitude of Priya's parents leads to some friction between the couple and finally, a small fight blows out of proportion and ends up with Priya returning to her parents' house. There she gives birth to a son and is all ready to mend fences with Vijay. But her father's machinations prevent this. He lulls Priya into believing that her child was still-born while Vijay raises the kid.
Like Alaipayuthey, Naan Adimai Illai too doesn't stop with the lovers overcoming all opposition to unite and proceeds to focus on their life after they marry too. Unlike Manirathnam's movie, the romance here is a small portion of the film and the little that there is, is handled unimaginatively and in a rushed fashion. Both Rajni rescuing Sridevi from the rowdies and Sridevi falling for him are cinematic and we never connect with them as lovers. Its not only in the romance department that the director seems wishy-washy. Rajni's meetings with Girish Karnad too lack fire with the writing seeming a little tame.
As always, the director overdoes things by presenting the standard caricature of a ladies club-frequenting woman as Sridevi's mother. On the other hand, Girish Karnad's character earns respect during these portions (like the talk he has with Sridevi during breakfast). But strangely, the roles are reversed as the movie proceeds. The mother's attitude towards Rajnikanth and Sridevi seems more natural while Girish Karnad's actions become increasingly illogical and unbelievable. It is debatable if any man, however money-obsessed he may be, will act the way Girish Karnad does, towards his own grandson.
The arrival of the couple's son definitely improves the movie. The kid's questions about his mom are not overdone and he too doesn't overact and turn irritating. The climax too is executed well inspite of the foregone conclusion. The reactions of Rajni and Sridevi as they spontaneously display happiness at each other's arrival and then pull themselves back after a moment is very natural.
I have no idea why the director chose to have Vijayakumar's character since it does nothing to the story. While it is obvious that Sridevi will not fall for him, making him a man who has just been released from jail is also unnecessary. And to make things worse, everyone, including Girish Karnad, believes that he has just returned from a foreign land. As was the case with Vinu Chakravarthy in Mappillai, his dialect and behavior make it clear where he is from and just makes the people believing his story seem like fools. The character takes another beating when he tries to kill an infant.
Rajni seems distinctly uncomfortable in the predominantly romantic role and not much chemistry is evident between him and Sridevi. He has applied a whole lot of makeup that gives his face an unnatural color. Sridevi looks nice and performs well. Considering Girish Karnad's similar role as the strict father in Kaadhal Mannan, one could say that his debut here typecast him. Vijay Anand has some good tunes of which Oru Jeevan Dhaan... is the best. But he turns out to be S.A.Rajkumar's guru in using different versions of the same tune in every possible situation.
Vijay(Rajnikanth) is a tamil professor living with his widowed mother and his sister. He is in love with Uma(Ambika), a lawyer. During a visit to his friend Ravi's('Nizhalgal' Ravi) house, he is disgusted by goings-on in his neighbourhood. Illicit liquor is being sold at a tea-stall while prostitution is flourishing in another house in the same colony. But his complaints to the police yield nothing since the policeman is on the villains' payroll and manages to warn them before making a raid. When Ravi's sister is raped and killed and the perpetrator Mohanraj(Satyaraj) gets off scot-free with help from a minister, Vijay and Ravi take matters into their own hands and clean up the tea-stall and brothel on their own. Wanting to teach Vijay a lesson, Mohanraj and his goondas rape his sister(who then commits suicide) and kill his mother. Vijay then turns into a vigilante, walking the streets at nights and dealing out his own brand of justice - shoot first and ask questions later - to the rowdies and goondas. He soon becomes known as Robinhood, helper of the poor and the police sends Singaaram(Bagyaraj) to unmask Robinhood.
This is not an easy movie to watch. The body count is quite high and the two rape scenes are long and brutal. The atmosphere is serious (atleast whenever Bagyaraj is not around) and anybody picking this movie with the intention of watching a light-hearted movie like many of Rajnikanth's other movies, will be sadly mistaken. The mood of the movie can be illustrated by the fact that two actors, Y.G.Mahendran and 'Venniraadai' Moorthy, who have traditionally donned comedian roles, are villains here.
Right from Mullum Malarum, Rajnikanth has shone in roles where he is an affectionate brother showering love on his sister. Here too, the few scenes he shares with his sister in the beginning are soft and illustrate their closeness well. The picturisation of Kanne Naan... is sweet, especially when Rajnikanth brings in a whole troop of doctors when his sister pricks herself with a thorn. This brother-sister relationship is surprisingly effective in the short time it is shown. The romance between Rajnikanth and Ambika too has some nice moments.
The movie is involving and kept moving at a fairly good pace by director S.A.Chandrasekharan. Rajnikanth shooting down the criminals doesn't get too repetitive due to the variations in the situations. Background music by Ilaiyaraja during these scenes is especially effective. The movie also perks up after Bagyaraj's introduction. With his casual attitude, he infuses life into the film. Though it is not clear how he shows up at Rajnikanth's college in the first place and how Rajnikanth seems to know him, his later deductions about Rajnikanth's second identity are quite clever.
The climactic court scene is completely cinematic with Bagyaraj having fun in the witness stand. He has some nice lines about how the hands of the police are tied when it comes to bringing criminals to justice. There is also a scene in the judge's house which is rather unexpected and somewhat clever. The director probably had a tough choice to make on the judgement to be delivered. While arbitrarily releasing Rajnikanth would have seemed like a mockery of normal judicial proceedings, punishing him would not have been an option since he was the hero with quite a rabid fan following. He has resolved this rather cleverly.
Muthu(Rajnikanth) is the loyal servant of a zamindar(Sarathbabu). The zamindar falls in love with Ranganayagi(Meena), a drama artiste, but circumstances cause Muthu and Ranganayagi, neither of whom know about the zamindar's love for her, to fall in love. The zamindar's mind is poisoned by his uncle(Radharavi), who harbors hopes that the zamindar would wed his own daughter and he drives Muthu out of the house. But his mother reveals the truth about Muthu's past and explains to him that it was Muthu who was actually the zamindar.
As was the case with the recent Friends, Muthu is another movie that has its origins in Malayalam cinema but underwent several changes keeping in mind the requirements of tamil cinema with respect to the image of Rajnikanth. It is based on the Mohanlal-Shobana starrer Thenmaavin Kombathu and maintains the basic story of the original while adding the whole storyline about Rajnikanth's past. This enables introducing a double role for Rajnikanth, allowing him to spout even more philosophies about life and making his fans doubly happy.
Most of the comedy is seen in the first half with the segment where Rajnikanth and Meena get lost and end up in Kerala providing most of the laughs. Rajnikanth's encounters as Meena provides with the wrong translation for asking directions and the end result are wholeheartedly funny. His initial friction with her also provides some humor, especially during the fight sequence. Though Senthil, Vadivelu and co. are also at hand, their comedy is cheap and except for a few lines, rarely funny.
Enough political lines are scattered throughout the movie to keep the Rajnikanth fan delirious and applauding. Ravikumar does quite well by avoiding an overkill in this respect. Jayalalitha is the obvious target during Rajni's question-answer session with Meena, after he disturbs her performance on stage. The dialogs in this scene are designed to bring any fan to his feet. Even romantic songs are not left alone as Vairamuthu manages to introduce some obviously political lines in the songs, especially Kuluvaalile....
Apart from these, the movie has some segments that stand out. The segment with the older Rajnikanth is handled well, with the character of the quiet, good-hearted zamindar suiting Rajnikanth very well. Similarly, the whole sequence with the love letter(culminating in the Thillaanaa... song) is choreographed in a funny manner. But things get a little messy towards the end. Sarathbabu's appearance after his fall is nothing short of miraculous while his abrupt aboutface is a little too convenient.
As in any recent Rajnikanth movie, he dominates the proceedings, leaving little for the others to do as he successfully carries the movie on his shoulders. Meena looks sweet and acts cute, especially during her initial altercations with Rajnikanth. Sarathbabu has always been a lucky actor for Rajnikanth with all of the movies where they appeared together being hits. Muthu adds to this list. A.R.Rehman delivers a hit soundtrack with Oruvan Oruvan... and Kuluvaalile... being the picks. Thillaanaa Thillaanaa... is catchy and picturised extremely well with the bright colors and fast steps.
Bhaarath(Rajnikanth) learns that his mother was cheated and left in the lurch by Gopinath(Satyaraj), who has since then gone on to earn great wealth in the contruction business in Madras. Swearing to make his father publicly admit that Bhaarath was his son, Bhaarath travels to Madras and enters the construction business. Mostly employing dishonest ways, he one-ups Gopinath in the procurement of several contracts and pretty soon, Gopinath comes to recognise him as a worthy adversary. With the help of a teashop owner(Koundamani) and his sister(Viji), Bhaarath also enters Gopinath's personal life, setting up the marriages of both his son(S.V.Sekhar - Wonder what Shashi Kapoor, who played the role in the Hindi version, thought of this choice!) and his daughter.
The bulk of the movie is occupied by the business rivalry between Bhaarath and Gopinath and the ways in which Bhaarath wins most of the contracts right from under Gopinath's nose. These segments are handled entertainingly. The way Bhaarath first earns his money and the ploy he uses to bribe a supposedly uncorruptable officer are pretty clever. There is also an element of surprise since Bhaarath also loses one contract(though this sets the stage for his romance later on). The conversations between Rajnikanth and Satyaraj during these segments are well-written. While Gopinath's portion of the dialogs are purely to a business enemy, Bhaarath's portions also include some double entendres about the relationship between Gopinath and him. Both have fun during the Ennammaa Kannu... song, one of the highlights of the movie. It is sung heartily by SPB(for Rajnikanth) and Malaysia Vasudevan(for Satyaraj).
Rajnikanth's involvement in Satyaraj's personal life leads to both the best and worst parts of the film. The scene where he plays Kadhiresa Kounder, when Satyaraj comes to fix up the wedding of his daughter, is very well handled. This gives him an oppurtunity to echo the same dialogs that Satyaraj spoke years ago to his mother. There is more fun ahead when Satyaraj returns with his wife, only to find the original Kounder(Visu). Vadivukkarasi's reaction, when she thinks he might be seeing visions, is hilarious. On the other hand, his fixing up the marriage of S.V.Sekhar and Viji leads to the least interesting portions of the movie. For this segment, Rajnikanth plays Mannaaru, a rickshaw driver and alongwith Koundamani and Viji, sets up tent in Satyaraj's house. This segment seems cheap and Viji's dance for Pacha Molagaa... is vulgar and targeted at the front benchers. The sequence also ends rather abruptly and in the end, seems to have achieved nothing at all.
Rajnikanth has perfected the angry, young man role and breezes through the movie. But there is little scope for comedy or romance and he goes through most of the movie with a scowl on his face. Satyaraj's dialog delivery is his strength as a villain and he puts it to good use here, both in the scene where he brushes off Sarada after cheating her and later, when he competes with Rajnikanth. With these two big players, others in the cast scarcely have any screen time. Ambika is the biggest loser, completely disappearing in the second half before reappearing for the climax. Koundamani and S.V.Sekhar have a few funny lines.
Aarumugam(Rajnikanth) makes a blazing entrance, gatecrashing a marriage to abduct the bride. Geetha (Amala), the bride's friend, gets him arrested but then learns that he had rescued the girl from a forced marriage. Further revelations about him (he is a gold medallist, has a good heart, etc.) make her fall in love with him. After some convincing, Aarumugam reciprocates too. Meanwhile, Aarumugam's sister is in love with the son(Raja) of a rich woman Rajarajeswari(Srividya). When Rajarajeswari learns of this, she foists a false case on her and puts her in jail. It is then that Aarumugam has his first encounter with Rajarajeswari. He then learns that she is none other than Geetha's mother. He marries Geetha against her mother's wishes. Rajarajeswari vows to separate Geetha from him while he vows to prevent that and make Rajarajeswari understand that love and affection are more important than money.
The one-on-one confrontations between Rajnikanth and Srividya are the highpoints of the movie and each of these has been handled superlatively. Rajnikanth bristles with energy during their meetings and Srividya is suitably haughty and hits all the right notes. Their first encounter in her house, their private conversation immediately after the wedding and their talk in the garden before the climax in the house all reveal excellent execution by the director. The final moralistic talk Rajnikanth has with Srividya before she is deserted by her near and dear also contains some nice points about love and affection without going overboard.
The attempts by Srividya and gang to undermine Rajnikanth are also fairly interesting. Ofcourse we know the outcomes but the plans are not so childish as to make the entire process obvious right away. The exact way Rajnikanth is going to foil a couple of the plans does offer some suspense. But Amala exhibits an alarming tendency to switch her allegiances in these portions. All it takes is one hint of misconduct for her to suspect Rajnikanth before calming down and hugging him after his name is cleared! Her character could definitely have been drawn up better.
The comedy of Vinu Chakravarthy and S.S.Chandran seems like a miscalculation. Suspension of disbelief becomes extremely tough when Pakkirisami (Vinu Chakravarthy), who comes out of jail, is said to be Srividya's brother and Srividya swallows his story about his being a millionaire, to allow him and S.S.Chandran, his buddy, to stay with her. Their past history enables S.S.Chandran to makes some wisecracks about jail but one wishes they had been brought into the story in a different way.
Just as things start to get monotonous with Srividya's plans and Rajni's counteractions, Jaishanker's introduction as Srividya's ex-husband spices things up. But surprisingly, the reason why Srividya split up with him is never mentioned. There are some patches of conversation which say he left her because of her obsession with money but a little more background on their past life would have made the proceedings more interesting.
The movie is a remake of Chiranjeevi's Athaikku Yammudu Ammaikku Mogudu, a huge hit in telugu. Chiranjeevi is the producer of this tamil version and also appears in a well-staged fight sequence. Infact, all the fights in the movie are exciting with Rajnikanth involved in some impressive leaps and flips without a stunt double. The usual "kambu" fight also introduces something novel by blindfolding Rajnikanth and his opponent, thus forcing them to fight based on noise alone. The other important parts of a Rajni masala movie, the song sequences, are also imaginative. Unai thaan... is fast, bright and colorful and was Rajni's first fast dance sequence. Maanin Iru... and Enna dhaan Sugamo... are melodious while Ennoda Raasi... is the typical song with the lyrics praising Rajni.
Rajni is Rajni throughout and mouths enough dialogs to make his fans delirious. This movie was released before his dalliance with politics (that began with Annamalai). Otherwise, many of his dialogs with Srividya (like when she says she is like the queen of Tamil Nadu and he stops short of saying he is the king) would have taken on a whole different meaning. Srividya delivers perfectly in her role. Sure its over the top but that is exactly what is required for the movie. Her dialog delivery and gestures bring out the rudeness very well. Amala looks gorgeous throughout and has the right chemistry with Rajnikanth.
All things considered, Maappillai is an enjoyable motion picture. Rajni fans will be extremely pleased while those looking for nothing more than two and a half hours of entertainment, will not be bored. And one can't ask for more from a movie.
The superstar is a super actor too — an aspect which both he and his directors seem to have forgotten in the past few years. P. Vasu breaks the norm with gusto, as Rajini, the actor, takes over and finishes with a flourish in the last 20 minute s of ‘Kuselan’ (U). Joining the league of meaningful films that warrant a watch with the family, ‘Kuselan’ is a colourful treat from Kavithalaya and Seven Arts. And despite the imposing image of Rajini to contend with, Pasupathy makes his presence felt, with a natural portrayal — a little more could have made it melodramatic, a little less, listless. He manages the balancing act beautifully!
If Rajini is brilliant in the moving climactic portion at the school anniversary, Pasupathy scores in the finale when he comes to face to face with the superstar.
Fifth time together
This is their fifth film together and once again Vasu’s screenplay has been moulded with a clear understanding of the psyche of the fans of the phenomenon — he did it in ‘Chandramukhi’ and he’s done it in ‘Kuselan.’ So what if they are remakes of films from God’s own country? The screenplay makes them all Vasu’s. Cleverly he’s seen to it that the Rajini factor looms large throughout. And the explanation for the title is not what you surmise — it’s a surprise!
The tether of the story is strong and the narrative, taut. Into the simple line of childhood friendship between hairdresser Balakrishnan (Pasupathy) who as a grown-up is struggling to make ends meet, and hero Ashok Kumar (Rajinikanth) whose status makes him unapproachable, is woven several strands of interesting subtexts.
She played the role in the Malayalam original. The choice of Meena as a mother of three may sound strange, but the lady slips into the role with the ease of a veteran. After watching tearjerkers where poverty spells sadness and unbearable melodrama, seeing this happy housewife unfazed by odds is a real relief! As the heroine of ‘Kuselan,’ Meena sparkles. (Though her starched saris and matching blouses belie her penury.) Nayantara fills the glam bill, sings and dances in heavy costume, or sizzles in the rain. In fact, the latter sequence is a tad too contrived. That goes for the ‘Chandramukhi Part II’ concept and the ‘Mannan’ - like number.
The goal of Vadivelu and Pasupathy is the same, but Vadivelu meets the superhero after some hilarious escapades, while Pasupathy’s meek, complex-filled attempts lead him nowhere. The comedian has been effectively used in ‘Kuselan.’ The next light character that stays in your mind is Livingston. A perfect choice! Otherwise the battalion of comedians tickles little. Santhana Bharati’s half-head-covering wig is awful. So is M.S. Basker’s. In fact wig makers have worked overtime for ‘Kuselan.’
Many popular faces come and go. But the purpose is perplexing. Was it Mamta Mohandas playing the director’s associate? Did you actually see Kamalini Mukherjee in a song sequence? Was Sneha there or were your eyes playing truant?
Composer G.V. Prakash Kumar’s ‘Paerinba Paechukaran …’ reminds you too much of his earlier hit, ‘Veyyilodu Vilayaadi …’ The melodic tune, however, has caught on, and how! The lyric of the piece glorifies the hero to an unbelievable extent. Eulogy unplugged! Editor Saravana’s skill comes to the fore in the ‘Cinema Cinema …’ number. Outdoor (‘Sollu … Sollu’ song) or indoor (the barber shop and Balakrishnan’s home) Arvind Krishna’s camera works wonders. And the grandeur of the backdrops is typically Thotta Tharani. Rajini’s entry on a Pegasus marks the deft use of graphics (Ocher Studios) that continues throughout the film.
After quite a while Rajini proves that without gimmickry, stunts and his brand of humour, he can still win hearts. Here he achieves it with a dash of sentiment.
Cast your votes for this Vasu-Rajini alliance once again! The team is worth it!
This two legends of Tamil Cinema Rajini & Kamal Combination is a magic combination. RAJINI is a big business magnet. KAMAL works as the GM of that firm and who grows in RAJINI's place. KAMAL & SREE PRIYA who are in Love roams in Eliots beach, Mahabalipuram, drinking "SUGAR CANE JUICE" and watching movies in Devi theatre eating pop corn and cone ice cream in interval etc. One must see the Love scenes of Kamal and Sree Priya with Kamal wearing his BELL Bottom Pant that too in dark brown color and dancing with Sree Priya. Simply superb. Especially that
" Ore Nall Unnai Naan ..
Nilavail Parthadu ..
Ulavum Unn illami naan ...
Oonjal Adudu .. Song.
The story runs for half hour showing Kamal and Sree Priyas Love in 1980's Style. Those who want to know how our hero's and heroine's make Love in 1980's ... The hero will be riding a 1980 HARDLEY DAVIDSON BYKE and it will make sound like a "KARI ENGINE" that runs from Chengalput to Vizupuram and the heroine who will be wearing a Saree Preferable White Color and a White Jacket and All her inner Cloths will be visible who will be sitting with the hero in that HARDLEY byke and the hero will be riding that byke in Mount road. The hero will be wearing a GLASS which has a BLACK FRAME and it will cover half of his face and SPB will be singing a song.
JAYA CHITRA gets introduced as a Steno for KAMAL and who is a widow and who stays with Sree Priya in the same house. Jaya who sees the 'LOVE GAME' between KAMAL and SREE PRIYA and who cant those love game suffers and she is desperately looking for some one to satisfy her Love Needs. Rajini who happens to give a lift to JAYA CHITRA happen to interact closely with her but JAYA thinks that its wrong and gets out of the car. The story runs for another half hour showing the Love Feelings of the Young hero's and the Love feelings of the widow.
SREE PRIYA and JAYA CHITRA happens to go to their village to spend their vacation. KAMAL who wants to give a surprise to SREE PRIYA happen to come to her village but could'nt find her. JAYA asks KAMAL to stay that night in her place. JAYA who is suffering from 'LOVE ..' asks KAMAL to satisfy her Love Desire. "PANJUM NERUPUM PATIKICHI" and Jaya becomes Pregnant. SREE PRIYA who cannot take what happened ignores KAMAL from that point. RAJINI takes over the ball game and Saves SREE PRIYA from an accident and moves closely with her. Her father decides to get her married to RAJINI who is a close friend of KAMAL and her previous lover. The story ends in a classic climax and both RAJINI and SREE PRIYA comes to know what happened in the past and the movie ends as KAMAL and SREE PRIYA joins their hands.
1980's RAJINI & KAMAL:
I think both these guys are very talented guys. Especially the first scene in which RAJINI Projects him as a Owner of the company and calling Kamal and changing his Pen from Left hand to right hand and KAMALS response with his HIPPY STYLE Hair cut. Simply superb. I think they started to act together in 16 VAYADINELE, Avargal with Sujatha, Ninaithale Inikum with Sree Priya and this movie. All these movies were super duper hit and one specialty is Illayaraja's Music ! Rajini had his golden touch in this movie too with his weird Printed Coat and tie and a Big Glass. The scene in which he goes and Asks Sree Priya for a Lift and she rejecting it And casually starting his Car with a Cigarette in his mouth. I think Rajini is the only actor of last century to give a casual acting like that.
KAMAL as usual comes as a Lover Boy and "ORDERS HOT DOG" in a Restaurant. Guys just imagine ordering HOT DOG in 1980's. I think if a female is with a guy they will order "HOT DOG" "HOT PIG" etc etc. I don't know who invented that Bell bottom pant that too a irritating Brown color with a big think belt. It was really ugly. But good Job by both of them.
SREE PRIYA & JAYA CHITRA:
Both were really good in this movie although they were fat like a small Water Elephant (NEER YANNAI). Especially Sree Priya was too good. I think the movies that came after 1980 were really having good story line and the heroines did a good job doing those characters. Example SreeDevi in Jonny, Sree Priya in this movie. Etc. But JAYA CHITRA's acting was little too much for 1980. She literally invites Kamal to have that with her.
One has to really praise SRIDHAR who did a good job in his movies with a Strong Story line. In this movie he projects a Feeling of a Young widow who hardly had Love in her whole life and who is ill-treated by Public. He also projected that any female will have the same feeling regardless of what she is doing and who she is. Also he has Projected that "ALL MALE GENERATION" in this world are the same and who are "READY TO UTILIZE THE SUITUATION WHEN THE FEAMLE IS IN THAT MOOD". That is all males in the world will do LOVE if they get a chance.
In this movie although KAMAL and SREE PRIYA are in deep LOVE when JAYA is ready to give her KAMAL did it and got a bad name to all Male's in this world. I would say that female in this movie invited KAMAL to have Sex with her and Kamal who was in a Dream world satisfies her and feels bad for what he did. So mistake is from both sides and no single person has to be blamed for that.
An Excellent movie which projects the feelings of an young female who is in Love and a female who longs for Love. My only advice is Don't make love in front of your friends or else you will end up like Sree Priya in this movie. HA HA HA HA !!! An excellent movie with RAJINI staying top in his acting. SRIDHAR an excellent director who gave lots and lots of hits and one more to his list. I grade this movie to be 85/100 for its excellent story line and wonderful.
Ejamaan also brought back to the fore, the controversy about old heros being paired with young heroines. Ejamaan highlighted the issue since Rajni's heroine was Meena, who had acted as a child performer with him in movies like Anbulla Rajnikanth and Engeyo Kaetta Kural. But the controversy died a natural death and Meena went on to act with Rajnikanth in Veera and Muthu, both of which were hugely successful.
Vaanavaraayan(Rajnikanth) is the village leader, adored and respected by the people. Based in his advice, they abstain from voting in the elections and instead, pool the money given by the candidates to get themselves some basic amenities. Vallavaraayan(Napoleon) is his arch enemy. Their enmity is further sharpened when Vaanavaraayan wins the hand of Vaitheeswari (Meena), whom Vallavaraayan had also wished to wed. So Vallavaraayan convinces the priest at the temple to mix a potion in the holy water that Vaitheeswari drinks. This destroys her ability to become a mother. When Vaanavaraayan learns of this, he hides this news from Vaitheeswari so that she is not hurt. But surprisingly, Vaitheeswari soon becomes pregnant.
The movie incorporates more sentiments than usual Rajnikanth movies. Both Rajni and Meena compete in showering love and affection on each other. These sections are designed to touch the hearts of the womenfolk. Every woman in the audience will wish for a husband like Vaanavaraayan, especially when he says that "a husband who allows tears in his wife's eyes is no man". The sequence where he lists out the things he would get for Meena(before dashing off to catch her a butterfly) is another such sequence. But the overemphasis on a woman becoming a mother and the continuous talk about begetting a child tends to get on one's nerves.
Rajnikanth's characters are always a mix of both action and comedy. But that does not fit into the character here and results in poor characterization. One hand he commands the respect of the villagers and on the other he steals food from the lunchboxes of the villagers. But his encounters with Napoleon offer solace to the Rajni fan with enough bravura challenges and double entendre dialogs which hint at his personal appeal and political stance. The bullock cart race sequence (particularly the list of comparisons between Rajni and Napoleon before the actual race) is the pick of the lot. The scene where the government officials come and ask him for accounts of his land is also funny.
The comedy, usually one of the strongpoints of a Rajnikanth movie, oversteps the boundaries of decency to descend into vulgarity. Nambiar's actions, where he hides the Kamasutra inside the Bhagvad Geetha and reads it, are an insult both to his age and the holy book. Aishwarya's accusation about Rajnikanth and her song when she tries to seduce Rajnikanth also make the movie more adult than other Rajni movies.
Rajnikanth plays the role softly and in a very mellow manner. His style in this movie is flipping the towel on his shoulder. Meena looks pretty and the pairing proves to be a good one. She melts our heart when she thanks Rajnikanth for getting her what she wants. Napoleon looks royal and dignified in portraying a ruthless but classy villain. Aishwarya(with some extra make-up to fit into the village milieu) is adequate. Koundamani and Senthil have a fun time spoofing the Prabhu-Karthik encounters in Agni Natchathiram. Ilaiyaraja comes up with a very melodious soundtrack. Aalappol Velappol..., Oru Naalum Unai Maravaadha... and Nilave Mugam Kaattu... are all very easy on the ears. Adi Raakku Muthu... has very impressive beats and is very well choreographed.