Kamal’s Ponmaanai Theduthey


(The many faces of the great man in multiple roles all these years and he still making headlines even now. Image source: http://www.bollywoodlife.com)

In terms of acting, after the great Sivaji Ganesan, we were lucky to have Kamal Haasan taking up the lead when it comes to powerful acting. And over the years, he has not let us down with powerful storyline and acting (still remember this?).

Kamal Haasan is also a good singer when he wants to be and he takes the lead (again) with being the first actor (an “A” star actor that is) to sing for another actor (Mogan – another well name from the 1980s). This was back in the 1980s – after his hit “Sakalakalaa Vallavan” and for this, maestro Illayaraja gave Kamal one of the best compositions as well (rest assured it is in my collection). The fast & easy going tune has been in my mind for the past 2 weeks and it does not seem to be getting any boring even if I am humming the tune whilst I am doing up this post.


Original Tune (I could not find the original movie song scene)

And there is a remix version too (it sounds good too)

P.s. there is no clear sign of the next generation of actors who can produce, write, act and sing (an all rounder) as well as Kamal Haasan but let me tell you this upfront, Vijay is not one of those in the lead. He is a good actor but not in the same class as Kamal Haasan.


Seeing Double

(Perhaps this is just the distraction that one needs from the National Feedlot screw-up by yet to be retired BN politicians)

Still remember when you were young and you used (and still) watch those old Tamil movies where the star actor acts in more than one role (usually playing the role of the father & son or the good & evil brothers)?

(Seeing Sivaji Ganesan in action is one thing but seeing the two of them could be a double whammy. Both interacted well on screen but still there are some limitations as to how both characters blended in on screen. Image source: Business Line)

When both roles is shown on the same scene, one character would be on one side of the frame whilst the other character on the other. The only time when these two characters overlapped each other is when one of the characters is played by someone else (it will be shown without showing the face). It was good and highlighted the difficulties that the actors, director and editor have to go through to ensure that that particular scene comes out just perfect.

Even so, seeing the same person on two different roles at the same time in a movie was a big thing back then and we knew that it was not easy to do. Just imagine the number of takes just to get the actor acting as if there was another of “him” standing next to him and the film editors cutting and stitching the film rolls at the right places.

But those were the years when technology has yet to catch up with the art of story telling.

It is a whole different ball game now and we have seen it in great deal in special effect laden Hollywood movies and they seems to be getting better at it year in, year out. Tamil movies have seen some improvement when it comes to CGIs as well. We saw a great deal in Dasavatharam (where Kamal Hassan played 10 different roles and interacting with each of them at some point of the movie), Enthiran (ya, the stupid climax) and recently Shah Rukh Khan‘s Ra.One (the storyline sucked big time but the CGI is top notch).

Now with computer animations, blue screens (green screens as the above) and well choreographed acting, the result is simply amazing. You can have more than one characters on the screen played by the same actor and they blend and interact with each other as if they are played by different actors.

Take for example this song scene from the movie Thillalangadi (2010) where the hero and the heroin is shown in different roles and interacting with each other in a very fluid manner (it makes it even better with Yuvan Shankar Raja‘s lovable music, very meaningful lyrics and well coordinated choreography).

Now that that is mind-blowing! Add that with a clean, logical story-telling, superb background music and fine acting and you will have a real winner.

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Tamil Movie Sad Moments

We cannot separate “crying scenes” from Tamil movies but sometimes sadness can come in other forms as well.

I may have my “bad moments” with Tamil movies but I have to admit that some Tamil movies or scenes are simply gems. I talked about comedies in Tamil movies and (one of) my favorite sad moment from Tamil movies has to be this:-

(Note: Sometimes this video shows an error message – video is not available but a retry later show it is working. I don’t know why. Alternatively snippets of the scene can be found in Google video here)

The scene from Kamal Haasan’sApoorva Sagodharargal” where he plays a dual role of a midget clown and car repairman – the role of midget was superbly done.

The background story:

Appu (Kamal Haasan) works as a clown in a circus. The circus owner’s daughter have been close to him lately so much so Appu begans to think that the daughter is in love with him. One day, the daughter gives him a ring and asks him to keep it safely and couple days later, tells him that she is taking him to the wedding registrar which Appu thinks for his and the owner’s daughter marriage.

Scene 1 (at the registrar office):

Appu gets down from the taxi happy but when he turns to see, the daughter is with another guy. Apparently Appu was brought in to be the witness for their marriage. Appu is made fun by the guy’s friend and the registrar. Illayaraja’s haunting background music and the sadness on Appu’s face say it all – it was a heavy moment.

Scene 2 (at the circus):

The owner is very angry and scolds Appu for his actions (Appu unable answer the owner). Appu’s mother comforts the owner by saying that the guy is a good partner for his daughter as he is a doctor and comes from a good family. In the same statement, Appu’s mother says that unlike his son (Appu) who is a retarded (Appu gets a shock and walks away), the guy is more suited for the daughter.

Next (not in the video):

The scene moves to Appu singing a sad song (a great hit by SP Bala) and attempts to commit suicide

What I liked about the above scenes is where Kamal Haasan manages to give the expression of being cheated and humiliated but at the same time, of not being able to tell what is in his heart. You need not know Tamil to understand the scene – Kamal’s excellent acting says it all .