Monday, May 17, 2010

Short Takes

And here is my take on the movies watched over the past 3 weeks.

Wall Street (1987)
I saw this 1987 movie  for the first time and what a compelling movie it was! 'Greed is good', is the motto of a high flying stock broker, Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas). A young stock-broker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) gets acquainted with him by trading some inside info and grows up as he gets sucked into the a world of insiders, greed, women and double crosses et al until Gekko shorts Bud by trying to break up the airline company, Bud's father works for. Bud retaliates on Gekko double crossing him with consequences and eventually trapping Gekko. An out-and-out Michael Douglas film, no wonder he got an Oscar for it. There is a sequel to it,  "Wall Street Money Never Sleeps" which is being premiered at the Cannes feastival currently going on.

Pudhiya Vaarpugal (1979)
This 1979 movie launched Bhagyaraj as hero and Rati Agnihotri as heroine. Simple story, typically Bharathirajaesque. Teacher (Bhagyaraj, with his eye glasses as tall and wide like the windshield of a bus, as was the norm those days) comes to a rural school, falls in love with a belle (Rati), a lecherous village head-man and his side-kick (Goundamani excels here), teacher's false implication in a murder of a social worker and banished out of the village, Rati's marriage to Goundamani on a crooked plan by the headman and the headman's murder on the night of the marriage by Rati as he eyes her and Goundamani removing the thaali and asking Rati to run away with Bhagyaraj. There was no exaggeration in the village life portrayed and Ilaiyaraaja lilts with rousing songs. Never felt bored as I watched this movie and its incidents unfold at leisure.

Angaadi Theru (2010)
A unique view of the not-so-lovely life of the people behind the facade of the glamourous multi-storeyed shops in T Nagar, Chennai. No doubt that it was a dig at Saravana Stores, the behemoth there. What struck me from the movie's portrayal of gloom, squalor, the harsh working conditions of the sales people and their helplessness at being run over rough shod, were the strains of optimism that run throughout the movie. Down to earth acting by the actors and a completely different view from the director shod of beautification or sugar coating makes this movie a worth watch.

Iruvar (1997)
First time, I am seeing this movie in its entirety. Wow, Maniratnam had guts to take his view in a mildly camouflaged fashion, of the holy cows of Tamil politics, to celluloid. Anna, MGR, Karunanidhi, Jayalalitha and the subtle power plays between them. Those who do not have a view of the political background in Tamil Nadu cannot appreciate what this saga is all about and the inherent subtlety in the dialogues and casting. It was a movie for those who understand the currents of Tamil politics of yore. Though the standard disclaimer comes up as the first few moments in the movie, it is his take on the folks that ruled Tamilnadu (or have been ruling Tamilnadu). Mohanlal as MGR, Prakash Rai as Karunanidhi, Nasser as Anna, Aishwarya Rai as the first wife of MGR and as Jayalalitha, Gouthami as the second wife of MGR, Revathi and Tabu as the wives of Karunanidhi do justice to their roles, the protagonists more so. I spent my time mapping the screen actors to their real life equivalents. Aish looks the same now as what she was in her first film.


Anonymous said...

I liked Iruvar for the tamil verses spilled (Prakashraj) throughout the movie, especially the last scene at the mandap after his friend's death. Touching, it was!

To make a movie like that, it really takes the guts of maniratnam.....

A journey called Life said...

Have heard so much about Angadi Teru..should watch it some time..
Nice and concise reviews Ram..

gils said...

me waiting for d new wall street..with mike doug and shea beoulf..semma casting..

pudia varpugal..puzhia puzhia sogamnu kelvi..songs ketruken..nachunu irkum..raaja songsna solanuma enna..

iruvarla kadupu ennana.mukaiamaana portions elam drum soundla silent aakirupanga..the useless censor board. tht movie wud've been a raging hit if not for censor..songs pathi solalaye neenga...hello mr.edirkatchi songla aishu...avvvvvvvvvvvvvvv..that green dress n her green eyes..enna oru combo!!!

angadi theru paathay theeranumnu oru verila iruken..wl review it after tht:) aval appadi ondrum azhagillainu song semma cute btw

zeno said...

I read wall street and thought shld tell you there is a sequel and it is there at the end of paragraph :)

Kounds always rocks and rocks. I think bakyaraj has executed all permutations and combinations with thali sentiment!

angadi theru is definitely not my kind of movie!

Iruvar, wow wat a movie it is. I too saw it in entirety very recently. Whenever i thought i should write about it, i ended up watching it again and again. Have felt the song ayirathil oruvan itself deserves a spl post. he has taken delibrate steps to camouflage it. [like say killin jayalalitha]. sometimes its too obvious, K's second wife having a daughter ;).I also think you as well as mani need a visit to ophthalmologist!

RamMmm said...

@Anonymous-Was it RS? Those short sharp monologues were crisp. Mani seems to have the 'Thirumalai Naik Mahal' fixation. He has used it in a lot of his movies.

@AJCL-AT is a serious kind of movie with a single thread of optimism moving through it. I have to tip my hat to the director for picking a topic that hasn't been looked at in any form in a movie (afaik).

RamMmm said...

@gils-New Wall Street seems to be having mixed reviews. :(

Pudhiya Vaarpugal is not a heavy sogam movie. In fact the movie name derives from the last scene where Bhagyaraj and Rati elope after being goaded by Goundamani. :-) 3 songs are scintillating. Thamthana thamthana thaalam varum, Vaan Megangalae, Idhayam Poguthaey.

I think Aish did really well for a first movie. :-) Adhukku mela yaedhaavadhu sonna enakku adi vizhum. :)

AT is a relatively serious movie. Saravana Storeskulla ponaa nichchayam indha padam will flash back. Paarunga, would like to see how you feel about it.

RamMmm said...

@zeno-The first one is really really good. Michael Douglas was stupendous as the stock market manipulator. :) Sequel will come only in September. Cannes previews are not too positive till now. :(

Kounds was superb here with his body language and jalras. This movie's director was Bharathiraja. The thali sentiment (revocation) may have started off from here and probably was unique in those times. (Well, K Balachander made it all look simple with his complex characters, before)

:-( AT is worth a look. Veerasamy paaththa neenga, ATvum paarunga. :)

I'd say Mani played with fire in Iruvar. I thought K wasn't the CM at that time, looked it up and he was CM when the movie was released.

Hee Hee Hee at the opthalmologist comment. To be fair (and to rub more salt into your angst), she is probably better than what she was at that time. She is plastic in her emotions a lot of times, but she does one helluva job where the directors are strong. I loved her in Kandukondein Kandukondein as well. :-)

chennaigirl said...

1.Sorry no idea.
2.Havent watched the movie, only songs. I sometimes feel Rathi stands out in the village subject, she doesn't gel with it.
3.Angadi theru- I usually avoid those heavy subjects.
4.Iruvar - Only bits and pieces. Yet to watch the whole movie.
IMO, Aish sans beauty cannot survive. Emotional scenes betray her, and 35+ she really knows how to hog the limelight- right from controversies to choosing the hubby. It cannot be determined who stands gained the most - whether AB family or Aish

Ramesh said...

Yippeee Yay ; at last a movie review that i can at least relate to somewhat. Have watched one of these movies, (not the one you would expect from a business blog writer though), but I won't say which one to protect my youth :):)

RS said...

Yes,Ram. it was me, RS. Just one of those lazy monday mornings :P

RamMmm said...

@chennaigirl-Rathi does stand out like a sore thumb as a struggling village belle with her complexion, but maybe it was a novelty to see someone like that introduced in a rural themed Tamil movie. The first of the 'R' series heroines by Bharathi Raja.

Yaenga Aishwarya mela ivvlo kovam? Being pretty is not her issue. Actually the same applies for all heroines (and unfortunately not heroes :( who don't have a retirement) Her family or her controversies are her problem, not ours. :) And it all depends on the director. Not knowing a language well also dents the emotional expression. Let us see Raavanan and then decide.

RamMmm said...

@Ramesh-:-) :-) :-) Deduction by exclusion...


zeno said...

@Ramesh, I guess that should be puthiya varpugal. [If that was right, read this dialogue, edhai ellam kandi pudikka CBI ya varuvanga ;)]

@Ram, KB simplified with complex characters a? nan onnum sollala.

enna pechu pesitinga. veerasamiyum AT yuum onna? enakku ella mozhilayum pudikatha orey vartha sogam!

Reg Aish, I think you are talkin about the acting prowess. I too still like her ;)

I would agree with CG in terms of the limelight. If you see through out her career she would have been associated with the guys who were at their peak at the time. In terms of AB, i think it is a symbiotic one

RamMmm said...

@zeno-KB characters munnaadi thaali sentiment ellaaam jujubeennu sonnaen. :-)

Aanaanapatta TRey Thangaikkoar Geethamnu oru dandanakka soga padam onnu eduththaaru. :-)

You should not be worried about Aish's choices. If she picked and chose her way to glory, so be it. Maybe, she knew how to manipulate people. We can do nothing about it. :)

Anonymous said...

avvvvvvvv...moovee review aish review aaidcha :D :D u knw wat..intha post comments padicha epecta ennanu therila..heatrhow closed due to ash apdinu headlines pathutu..aishu paakarathukaga vantha gumbala solrangalonu one nimit thot!!! :D :D


ambulisamma said...

And a movie review which i cannot relate to.Seen none of them,but was thinking to watch AT.And the fear is i cannot stand such heavy subjects.

R-ambam said...

wall street paakalai..
iruvar - bore
angadi theru - disturbing aka azhu moonji
puthiya varpugal - paakalai

R-ambam said...

somehow , masala rathnam manages to prove he stands out. particularly these days his market is solely for the bachchans and ARR.

Matangi Mawley said...

puthiya varpugal is no doubt a gr8 movie! goundamani was truly fab in it...
iruvar- no words.. suhasini has written the dialogues! she has guts! wow.. "thamizhla jenanga emaanthuduvaanga"! goodness! too strong.. bt so true!

bhagyaraj was really off-beat... antha 7 natkal..mundanai mudichchu.. chinna veedu.. very nice plots.. "normal people"-plots!
oh yeah.. not to forget-"ek gaanv mein ek kisaan raghu thaaththaa"! :D

RamMmm said...

@gils-Aishum ashum onnu. Both have a potential to disrupt your schedule. :-P :-)

@ambulisamma-tch tch tch. padamellaam paakka maateengala. :-) AT is heavy in theme. Certain scenes are injurious to people who cannot stand sogam. :)

@R-ambam-Iruvar borennutteenga!!! It is one of Mani's best movies, by me, more so for the way that he mirrored Tamizh politics. :-) Masala Rathnam!!! Ha Ha Ha :) :) :) (Neenga anti-Mani brigade pola :))

@Matangi- :) :) Bhagyaraj seemed to catch the people's pulse with the right movies. He played with slightly risque topics, but they are nothing compared with the movies that come these days. :)

Ek Gaanv Mein, simply one of the most hhhhhilarious scenes ever in Tamil movie era. Evergreen... :-)

Sandhya Sriram said...

Hey i hadnt seen any of the movies except Eruvar. But then, got a great review of the movies. maybe i will catch up sometime on them

Nice short takes