Come Back, Illayaraaja

Listening to a Kolla Kuthu (meaning a gaana) song called Sandai Kozhi from Dhanush‘s latest flick Sullaan, me and my friend pondered over the music sense of the current tamil music dierctors.

We both agreed on the fact that Illayaraja‘s music was free flowing even in a Kolla Kuthu song. These days, even if it is a melodious song, either you sit, listen and concentrate to enjoy it. Or shut it down, because it hinders your jobs.

But now, even as I am connected to the net and typing this very blog post, Illayaraja’s 80’s hits is playing in the CD player. Not a slightest disturbance it does to my thinking nor does it affect my flow. It serves as perfect background and still makes me jive. Ok, so you might argue that it is one of those Illayarajaa’s melodiest song that plays now. No way. It is Muthaduthey Muthaduthey Raagam from Nallavanukku Nallavan. It is fairly a fast paced song with disco beats. The amazing way the music flows given S P Balasubramanian‘s lovable voice, I think we are dearth of such music these days.

A R Rahman to a huge level filled up this gap. But because of his recent association with Hollywood, the gap has widened and gives me a feeling that tamil film music is getting down to ditches.

Even Yuvan Shankar Raja or Vidhyasagar comes out with some amazing tunes. I recently fell in love with Bharadhwaj’s Manasukulley song from Autograph, especially that malayalam accent was a great blend and the recent YSR’s Kanna Kaanum Kaalangal from 7G Rainbow colony are precious ones, hard to find stuff in the given tamil music scenario. But they don’t fill up the quest for good music of a tamil music fan. They don’t even come near it.

At this juncture, I can’t hope more except to shout, COME BACK ILLAYARAAJA !!

The road to Nirvana…

Guest Blog #21 – Anand C

It is frustrating when people you like do things you aren’t proud of. Case in point: the suicide note of Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of rock-legend Nirvana and singer/songwriter of Never Mind, one of the most influential rock albums ever produced. The last line of the rather depressing note is reproduced here:

“I’m too much of an erratic, moody baby! I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.”

Why did this come to mind all of a sudden? Because this response in a recent interview by Kamal Hasan is something I would have hoped Kurt realized, that would have provided more A-class music to thousands of fans (like me!) for a long time to come (He was 27 when he died!)

How do you analyse your performance objectively?
Very easy. If you keep criticising yourself, the zenith of it is suicide. You hate yourself so much that you are ready to kill it. Yes, I said ‘it’ and not him or me. So criticism is easy. Some people suffer from it because they don’t know when to stop criticising. It is like eating sweets. You must know when to stop.

Call it a selfish fan speaking… RIP, Kurt!

Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11

Michael Moore
[Typos intentional through out this blog post]

The moore I read the moore I’m anxious, the moore I’m anxious the moore I’m lost.

As the world goes on and on over the controversial Michael Moore‘s Fahrenheit 9/11, the hype goes on and on like the bullish stock market. And before it begins to fall down, I would love to watch the film to get a glimpse of the controversy they talk about.

Read moore about moore here, here and here. Moore also has started a blog, Mike’s Blog. Welcome Bloggie.

Every move of Moore is watched here, Anti Michael Moore.

Ok. So this isn’t a blog post to place all the links of Michael Moore. These were just some(!) of the interesting news that I have been reading about Michael Moore. I observed one thing, the maker is reviewed moore than the movie itself. That sounds very biased to me but that alone kicks my entu to watch it soon.

I am sure by the time you read all these articles, you would be atleast half confused as me. Yeah, just reading all the news without watching the movie takes you nowhere. I realised it just when I finished reading these articles. There is just one moore thing, read the column Unfairenheit 9/11 – The lies of Michael Moore by Christopher Hitchens in Slate. This one gets you a clearer picture and sums up all the above said articles well.

But then, let me watch it and talk.

Kanaa Kaanum Kaalangal – 7G Rainbow Colony

Ithu Idaivelli Kuraikindra Tharunam
Iru Idhayathil Melliya Salanam
Ini Iravugal Innoru Naragam
Ilamayin Athisayam !!

Ithu Kathiyil Nadanthidum Paruvam
Dhinam Kanavinil Avaravar Uruvam
Sudum Neruppinai Viralgalum Virumbum
Kadavulin Raghasiyam !!

I am drowned in this song now. Very Feverish, Very Classy. Harish Raghavendra and Madumitha at their best. Ustad Sultan Khan just mesmerizes with his alto pitch. And three cheers to lyricist Na.Muthukumar.

Yuvan Shankar Raja strikes again. Listen to Kanaa Kaanum Kaalangal from 7G Rainbow Colony. A quick review later.

Goodbye Godfather

Marlon Brando
[Pic : Time]

Very coincidental that there are two goodbye blog notes this week. This one is very close to film lovers.

Morgan Freeman still remains my favorite Hollywood actor. But Brando is also one in my small list of personal favorites. I haven’t got a chance to see all those 50’s movies, which they say, is Brando’s best. I understood that he is a great guy when our own acting university, Sivaji Ganesan called Marlon Brando as an actor’s actor. That’s all I needed to get an opinion on Brando. With that same opinion in me I watched Godfather and that opinion became more and never less. Having enjoyed his acting, which I hate to call as method acting and restrict it to that school of acting. We have/had parallels of Marlon Brando in India too. Still he has inspired our Indian actors with his unparalleled performances in The Godfather trilogy.

If you were to ask Tamils who were teenagers during 80’s about their most favorite film, they would have uniformly replied Mouna Ragam. If you ask the same to the 70’s teenagers all over the world who knew Hollywood, The Godfather would eventually be their reply. My Brando favorite till day is his flamboyant performance in The Last Tango in Paris. This movie could be overlooked as a yet-another French erotica, if you watch it for the first time. But there is more to that. As I watched a couple of times more, I saw that clandestine and the versatile genius in Brando. This was exactly when the Brando bug bit me.

The closest that I have come to Brando is that I had been to the village in Illinois called Libertyville, where he grew up. Libertyville is en-route to Wisconsin. It is a small village/town, which is very English-like, and a scenic place. People there still mention and are proud to have the greatest actor of time, grow up there.

So even as the actor’s actor is dead, we hope, that his performances would continue to inspire the millions of actors who are still about to be born. Goodbye Godfather.

Update 5th July, 2004 :
I am the son of BrandoKamalhassan

In Brando’s films, he dared take up subjects which very few actors have done. He was a role model not only for American actors but international actors too. Read more here.

Ini Bhayam Illai – A shortfilm review

Ini Bhayam Illai

While Prasanna wrote the huge applauding comment for the Virumandi review, I didn’t know he was as passionate as he is about movies. He had mentioned in a comment that he and friends had tried their hand on a short film and he would like to send a copy to me. So we fixed up and met at Prasanna’s place to watch his short film Ini Bhayam Illai.

Ini Bhayam Illai runs for just 16 minutes. It has a very simple theme. The short screenplay however has added a lot of value to this rather interesting piece of work. All the 15+ minutes I was glued to the screen to see what would happen next. IBI talks about the guilt of two people who are unconnected. One’s guilt was due to a simple act committed. And the other for a guilt uncomitted. So the shots move back and forth among these two people and finally gives an philosophical ending to the theme.The theme has been well thought about, very well re-created on screen.

Prasanna who has written, directed and starred the film has done a good job. He and Jithin are the protagonists and he has carried the role of a student who commits a simple act which leads to a guilt that is unsurmountable. The other suprise package comes from Rajesh, who has done a supporting role, amazingly well.

As Prasanna said that the whole movie was shot with a HandyCam in MinDV format, I was suprised for the quality of movie which was so good. With 10 hours of editing in a professional editing studio, this shortfilm really deserved one for the movie itself has more scene cuts than the number of actors in it. That clearly elevates the movie to higher standards. I have to appreciate prasanna for the ‘telling-without-telling’ idea in the screenplay.

With people taking such good shortfilms with just a handycam, films are no more the toys of a rich producer. And as more and more such shortfilms are being shot, more and more reality creeps in. What a welcoming move that is.

P.S: Prasanna would be happy to screen you the movie. you can reach him at his email, rsprasanna[at]hotmail[dot]com. He also acted in the play Death by Vaanam Vasappadum fame Karthikkumar’s Evam group. This play was a recent hit in chennai and it is inspired by Woody Allen’s movie by the same name(?). Here is the piece of introductory text by Prasanna about the shortfilm.

Two men. Each burdened by guilt.

One, for an act committed. The other for an act not committed.

The Beach. The sound of the waves. Only their fears holding them back

Will they confront their fears? Ini Bhayam Illai.

Goodbye, blue skies?

Guest Blog #20 – Anand C


It is no doubt a historic moment when the first successful private space flight was launched in Mojave. The achievement ranks up there in grit with Chuck Yeager and the breaking of the sound barrier. It is legalizing every pipe dream ranging from relocation to tourist resorts, that have been the stuff of science fiction.

And yet, it seems like Pink Floyd‘s words from long back (Goodbye, Blue Sky) are resonating now more than ever:

Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter,
When the promise of a brave new world,
Unfurled beneath a clear blue sky?
Goodbye, blue sky.