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Thursday, February 11, 2016

A great film song in 3 languages

There may be hardly a few Indian film songs that befit the title. I know of one that I simply love to hear in all three languages, except that the singers are only two. Yes, if you guessed right, it is from the legendary film AMANUSH, starring the charming Bengali actor Uttam Kumar with the yesteryear blockbuster actress Sharmila Tagore, wife of the swashbuckling former cricketer Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan (Tiger) Pataudi, in the lead roles.

Amanush (1975) was a trendsetter in its day. The script appears to be pedestrian compared to a Deewaar or Don, but sensible and sensitive acting by the above named lead actors capped by a saucy villainy of that unfailing genius, Utpal Dutt, takes the film to dizzy heights making it an unforgettable experience.

The story is as simple as it comes - a kind-hearted ruffian in love with the heroine, a teacher and makeshift doctor who loves him for his gentleness beneath the rough exterior. He gets into trouble quite often to help others, being a sort of communist local do-gooder, and is whipped by his remorseful police officer friend (Asit Sen) who admires the hero's honesty, courage and goodness. How the hero finally confronts the conniving villain and wins his love forms rest of the story.

Now for the song sung so soulfully by Kishore Da in Hindi:
The same song rendered so beautifully in Bengali (Ki Ashay Baandhi Khelaghar):
But when the film was remade into Tamil as THYAAGAM, starring the unrivaled thespian Chavalier Sivaji Ganesan and actress Lakshmi in the lead roles, ILayaraaja, then reigning maestro of film music gave the tune a refreshing twist and adapted it to Sri. T. M. Sounderrajan's commanding and mellifluous voice. Kaviyarasu Kannadaasan's lyrics in its inimitable style pack quite a punch:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

KNOWING THE END - it's GNAWING!

Of the handpicked disaster theme movies, there are hardly any that left me deeply impressed, let alone shaken to the core. There has just been only one, the gnawing of my heart - KNOWING. This Nicholas Cage starer (with him as an MIT Astrophysics Professor), has all the right and heady mix of a mindful disaster movie - believable science, leisurely paced story build up to a shocking climax, sensible acting (there are detractors who aver otherwise, specially about Nick's acting, but they are entitled to their views) , and a really haunting musical masterpiece towards the very end of the movie. it's my first exposure to the legendary masterpiece Beethoven Symphony 7 in A Major, Op. 92-II Allegretto. The haunting, deliberate ascent ending in a torrential crescendo and the pastoral but whimsical swings of the magical notes that follow, would leave any musical prodigy astounded, not to bespeak poor me! The ending scenes of KNOWING actually forewarns a knowing of our own possible end as a civilization. As I watch the following video with jaw dropping amazement even as of today, I continue to get those goosebumps. Watch the video below till the end, and I bet you will definitely agree with me.

And for certain mindless idiots out there that call disaster movies as "disaster porn", you have no clue about the psychological effects a disaster movie has on its audience, as opposed to a pornographic movie. Either you are that insensitive to morality or a know-all loudmouthed fake. Disaster movies normally leave a viewer pondering over serious philosophical and spiritual inquiry. Porn makes a viewer with a respectably average intelligence, a completely mindless, moronic, salivating dud. Thus it is said "KNOWING, the difference":

Saturday, November 29, 2014

WHAT THE YOUNGSTERS DO ON THANKSGIVING!

It is indeed a sad spectacle to see the dichotomy of human behavior on a day like Thanksgiving. Nothing can be more stark or apparent as the attitude of the younger population in how they go about celebrating it. On the one hand are those who, even if not overtly religious, are quite humanistic and openly demonstrate their love and care for the less privileged of our society. And on the other hand is a chasm that will be hard to bridge through any number of patient sermons or exemplary personal conduct.

The meaning of the holiday season has once again resurfaced thanks to the Facebook appeal of this homeless man. Presenting to you two facets of how this holiday was celebrated:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

DOES GOD EXIST?

This has been the endless debate from time immemorial. The famous American novelist Avery Corman provided his own insights to this debate in such a human and humorous way in his 1971 novel Oh, God! that subsequently was made into a masterful movie in 1977 starring the legendary George Burns (who lived to be 100) as the God. The number is mentioned to at least avoid debates on the man who played God in reel life.

Presented below are two views of the famous court scene where God comes personally as a witness to save His protagonist protege from his certain conviction (sounds ironical does it?). One is from Oh, God! and the other from an inspired Tamil screen version Uruvangal Maaralaam, starring Y.G. Mahendran and the redoubtable thespian Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan himself in the indisputable role as The God:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

ROCK ON - A TRIBUTE TO WESTERN ROCK

Contrary to lay beliefs, wise men do get turned on by good music. I am no exception! Today, as I got into a sudden mood to hear a film version of western rock music, lo presto I was reminded about the most popular song of ROCK ON. This cult Hindi movie pays rich tribute to pop/rock culture while openly displaying an unabashed affection and euphoria for the unforgettable rock legends - The Beatles. So much so, even one of the central characters of the movie Joe Mascaria (role played impeccably by the award winning actor Arjun Rampal) is fashioned squarely on the rock stud George Harrison, all the way up to that grizzly hairdo. Sharing my love for homegrown versions, no less enchanting than the original:

Friday, September 27, 2013

KUMKI IMMAN - ILAYARAAJA OF 80s NOSTALGIA

D. Imman is the new composer whizkid to storm the golden gates of Kollywood. Presenting Imman's bio followed by a music jukebox of KUMKI, the film that launched Actor Prabhu's son Vikram Prabhu (Nadigar Thilagam's grandson). Without further ado, I will let you soak your ears in the lilting musical treat.

D. Imman (டீ. இமான்), born in Chennai, is a composer, singer, conductor, and orchestrator of film music specifically Tamil films. His first film as music director was Thamizhan in 2001. Since then he has composed music for a total of more than 25 films. Imman was 15 years when he scored music for his debut film Kadhale Swasam, but that film was not released. He has composed the title songs for TV series like Kolangal, Kalasam, Sivashakthi, Vasantham, Bandham and Thirumathi Selvam. He has also scored music for Bollywood films - Kis Kis Ki Kismet and the background score for Khwahish and Garam Masala.

Imman is the son of J. David Kirubakkara Dass, who was a teacher. Imman started playing piano at a very early age. His early years were spent in Chennai and he subsequently attended Don Bosco School, Egmore in Chennai. He received his Masters' degree from the University of Madras. Married to Monica Richard, the couple are blessed with two daughters, Veronica Dorothy Imman and Blessica Kathy Imman.