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Tamil Cinima's Epiphany
If there ever was a poster for Tamil Commercial Cinema, this would be it and if there ever was a star who could wield the South Indian box office dynamics by merely starring in a movie, it was and it will be(for ever) Thalaivar Rajinikanth. This movie is for Tamil Cinema; what Sholay is to Bollywood and what Gone with the Wind is for Hollywood, a classic that would never get old for eons.
This movie follows a classic three act structure with an inventive twist. Manickam(Rajinikanth) is a peace loving auto driver who wants to provide a respectable life to all his step siblings. He gets his one of the younger sister married to a respectable family. He helps his another sister to get an admission in a medical college and his younger brother a police officer job. He does all this honestly. Even though he runs into trouble with local goons time and again he never turns to violence. His brother gets in trouble with one of the local goon called Indran. Indran traps his brother and threatens to assault him fatally.Manickam offers to get beaten in his brother's place . He does not even flinch while those goons beat him to pulp and moreover laughs at the end when his brother questions his stupidity. Even though each and every viewer inherently knows Manickam would retaliate sometime, we would sympathize with the character for his sacrifice.Finally, when Indran tries to molest his sister to avenge Manickam's brother. According to Indian culture(movie culture also), women are highly respected and molesting one's sister, mother or wife would generally bring out the worst in a man. Thats what audience want too. Manickam gets violent for the first time.
This movement when Manickam hits one of the sidekicks of Indran and he flies off for what seems to be few yards, marks the high adrenaline, action packed, nerve throbbing performance of Thalaivar as Basha and Rajini's Box Office Supremacy. This particular scene is shot so well, that it is the example by which many punctuating action scenes in the Tamil and Telugu cinema are shot even today. A right mixture of silence, music, lighting and editing makes this violent scene all the more exciting ,memorable and possibly poetic. The only other scene in Tamil Cinema which could almost match the adrenaline rush of this scene would be one another scene by Thalaivar in Padayappa, where he sits on a swing(sounds simple! yet you would have to be Thalaivar's fan to experience this free Ecstasy).
Following this much awaited and welcomed outburst of Manickam, we are introduced to his alter ego in flashback, Basha. Rajini's getup as Basha was so stylish and sophisticated, his image as Basha is what most of his fans might remember him. Basha, is a mafia don of Bombay, whose only ambition is to destroy another evil don Antony. As far as any action commercial cinema goes, its the strength of the villain that makes the movie and not that of hero's. Raghuvaran(who played Antony) gave such a performance as Antony, that he cemented his character as a legend of celluloid villainy. He was equally sophisticated, stylized and articulate as the hero of the movie. At the high point of their battle Antony looses to Basha and is arrested by police. Basha, according to his promise to his dad leaves Bombay after staging his own death and lives a simple life of Manickam in Chennai.
In the climax, Antony learns that Basha is still alive in Chennai and escapes from Bombay prison to avenge Basha and gets killed in the end.
The movie had an effect of a fantasy movie of Hollywood worth millions of dollars, with just Thalaivar's menacing looks, snappy dialogues and thumping background score. The dialogues in this movie gave rise to new form of dialogues in Tamil cinema called punch. A punch is basically a comparatively small catchy phrase, which is capable of communicating a much larger meaning. One such punch which became so popular that, literally every kid in the state was reciting it on a day to day basis was-"Na oru thadava sonna nooru thadava sonna mathiri", whose literal meaning is "If i say once, Its like i have said it 100 times". It might sound stupid, but in a weird thalaivar's connotation it means a lot to fans and cine goers alike. Apart from dialogue, the movie had a pretty impressive background score. They had borrowed Terminator's theme music as theme music for Basha, which also helped in elevating Rajini's appearance in each and every frame. That being confessed, every aspect of the movie, from story, screenplay, direction, music, costumes, cinematography changed the landscape of South Indian Commercial Movie for ever. This movie showed what happens when every one working in a movie tries to accentuate what Rajini could do on screen.
This movie elevated Rajini from stardom to a demigod status. This was such a success through out South India that Rajini was considered to be the next Star turned Politician(after M.G. Ramachandran and Miss Jayalalitha) who would rule Tamil Nadu in future. People of Tamil Nadu literally went berserk over this movie, including myself(i was around 9 years old at that time).
Tamil Cinema's history can never be complete with out this classic. Even though its just a pure entertaining ,commercial, action flick. Tamil audience witnessed the birth of a demigod called Thalaivar in this movie. This movie pushed the boundaries for Tamil Cinema and made it commercially viable to produce big budget Tamil movies, which were otherwise done by Bollywood alone. Whole Tamil Industry owes a lot(for big budget movies and crappy masala flicks) to this movie and its star Rajini.
Nobody can replace Rajini in Tamil pop culture and no movie can replace Basha in the annals of Tamil Cinema.
Skrzydlate swinie (2010)
enjoyable formula movie
This movie is based on a formula. The normal formula which any movie adopts happy beginning, problems in the middle, fight and then happy ending. This movie is based on football fanatics. A guy who feels like cheering for his team is the only thing he lives for is the lead and the story runs around him, most of the time. The story is what happens when business and fanship mix.
A wealthy guy hires our lead to cheer for his team which happens to be arch rival of the team he previously supported along with his brother. He accepts the offer and fight kicks off between him and his brother along with other supporters. The fight costs a arm fracture for our lead, wile his wife is leaving him because of his hooligan nature. Finally brothers unite and bring back heroine. Happy Ending.
New kind of a happy ending movie. Enjoyable
Mil cretins (2011)
abstract and funny
This movie will surely be considered as classic someday. This is an abstract collection of different incidents involving different characters, parody of classic stories and real life of the author who puts these classic characters and modern characters in his story. It is like phantom of liberty or dreams.
This movie exploits the freedom of movie making to the fullest but remains to be entertaining as well. It seems the only aim of the director was to make us laugh. It makes you remember Lindsay Anderson's movie making style. It touches some philosophy as well. I enjoyed this movie to the fullest.8/10
I watched this movie in an international film festival. I regret that this was the first movie i watched in whole of the festival. This movie is based on a novel. It depicts the memories of a soldier who is a womenizer and his affair with three women, while he is living his last few hours. It is flashback non chronological kind of movie. It was difficult for me to relate to any of his flashback episodes, because they jump from one girl to another girl in an uninteresting way. You never look forward to any of the flash back episodes and none of them mean any thing to you. I think the main lead did a good job. The movie was kind of artistic but sometimes very dry. It seems to have been inspired by Tarkovsky's work.
You can watch it for its artistic cinematography and art work but apart from this it falls short of every thing a movie stands for.
Otelo Burning (2011)
I saw this movie in Chennai International Film Festival. This movie throws light on SouthAfrica's fight against Aparthied, though thats not the main theme of this movie. It captures the aspirations of young boys who aim to make it big in surfing while the background is the revolution. The characters in this movie see surfing more as a realization of freedom rather than a sport. It kind of parallels the revolution while it shows all the aspects of adolescent age group.
This movie never left any impact on me. It's a honest movie but lacks in the over all feel. You won't regret watching this movie and not watching also.