Performers: Rajnikanth, Ramyakrishna
“Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you…”
If it’s one actor who can create astounding resonance and electricity amongst a somber theatrical crowd, it’s Mr. Rajinikanth. The icon of Tamil film industry with relentless success stories delivers his vintage style kit in this scene which has turned out to be one of the most charismatic moments in my viewing.
The scene starts with Padayappa(Rajni) entering Neelambari’s (RamyaKrishna) house to negotiate his daughter’s love affair with Neelambari’s nephew (Abbas). This meeting is stated to happen after several years of Neelambari’s ‘dark room self-refuged’ life owing to Padayappa’s rejection to marry her. It is the situation where Neelambari decides to capitalize on Padayappa’s vulnerability to his daughter’s love. As he enters, all the furnitures are cleaned up and the hall looks like a completely empty chamber. Then Neelambari orders a chair for her alone and sits with a stylish arrogance that could stimulate any sort of challenge for the protagonist. The protagonist is by all means insulted to stand before her.
Now, here comes Rajni’s terrific style and carriage of the scene to enthrall every fan’s eyes. The slow paced beats of ARR picks up the pace as Padayappa strolls towards a spot that is exactly opposite to where she sits. The camera is tricked in Slow Motion that gives an amounting anticipation of what the protagonist would do in an empty space to sit. A magnanimous background score on trumpets begins and there he takes the shawl on his shoulders, lifts it high and grabs onto the big-swing that is hooked up on the ceiling. The hooked-up swing comes down and Padayappa comes round the swing, all set in slow motion, and sits on the swing with his usual cross-legged whish-whish style. Then comes the swift salute with swirling hands instigating a complete feeling of sweet revenge in every viewers mind. Although, the scene is purposely meant for Rajni’s fans, It’s all Rajni’s complete sweep in the scene with a superb BGM from ARR almost building the entire scene in slow motion.
That was a charismatic, stylish and without a doubt, the inimitable ‘Rajni’ moment in Tamil cinema…
Indru Poi Naalai Vaa (1981)
“Ek gaav mein Ek kissan rehthaatha…”
Any staunch follower of Classic Tamil Cinema wouldnt forget this. Any fanatic of classic comedy of tamil cinema wouldnt give up on this. This is one scene that made me feel good even after umpteen times of views. All the performers are secondary supporting actors (of whom I still do not know real life names)which gives the challenge of thoroughness as a classic or ‘ever-rememberance’.
I would do justice to brand it as a “Directorial masterpiece” and actors’ expressions that brings out a burst of laughter as always. Bhagyaraj and his two friends are obsessed about a young next door newshift- Radhika. They start planning individually as an explicit challenge of winning the girl’s heart. One of his friends who is comparatively rich gets into the groove by trying to impress her father who is a very strict Hindi Pandit. So the scene starts with the Hindi Pundit coming to his house for conducting Hindi tuition which brings the irritation on the rich guy’s face as its a missed opportunity to see the girl.
He plans to torture the pundit so that the tution could be attended in the pundit’s house itself. So, initially, he instructs his Alsation dog to bite the pundit as he enters but it happened to be that the pundit easily milked the dog with buiscuits in previous visit. My most favorite moment – The pundit starts off with, “Ek Gaav Mein EK kissan rehathaatha” which is asked to repeat by the guy. The guy is amazing at this point. He says, “Ek Gaawn mein ek kissssssssssan ragu thaathaa” which is repeated as and when instructed by the pundit. Simply superb and funny how they express!!
The high point of this scene is where the pundit asks him to say “Reha Reha – he he” whereas he repeats “he he” with his toungue partially panting – it gives a riveting laugh. Then the guy lounges on his grandmother’s lap who scolds the pundit for not allowing him to eat Laddu. She rebukes the pundit, “Kozhandha Shappiduthulla!!” which is hilarious. The guy then gets the pundit to peak of irritation by saying, “Paati! Saarukku Oru Laddu kodu Paati”. MIssion accomplished! the pundit accepts for the tuition to be conducted in his house itself from the next day.
A superb scene which gets better everytime watched…
Sabash Meena (1958):
Performers: Sivaji Ganesan, Chandrababu, SV Rangarao…
This is my first ever reckoning on Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan’s elite sense of humor. Many people have the image of Sivaji Ganesan as an artist with only a good melodramatic sense but that’s a glaring misconception and this scene certainly proves that.
Sivaji and Chandababu are friends who are passionate about acting in stage dramas. However, Sivaji’s father believes his son lacks proper objective in life and so sends him to his old-time friend (SV Rangarao) in Madras who is a very stern disciplinarian. Sivaji hates this. So he takes his friend (Chandrababu) along with him to Madras. He then sends Chandrababu to meet SV Rangarao in Sivaji’s identity so that Sivaji can enjoy a ‘life’ the way he wants to. There begins the comedy riot with lots of hilarious and spontaneous situations with some great acting. At one point, Sivaji’s father comes to madras to visit Sivaji and fix marriage with SV Rangarao’s daughter (Saroja Devi).
The scene begins. Sivaji and Chandrababu are at office. Initially sivaji’s father enters. Sivaji acts as the manager with a series of shouts over Chandrababu who sits as the typist covering almost his entire face with a hat. Sivaji’s father is elated and praises his son. Sivaji’s reaction as he recognizes his father watching him from behind is absolutely amazing. He shifts from tone of being arrogant to respectful with enormous ease. His father leaves, SV rangarao enters some moments later. Now Chandrababu plays the manager whereas Sivaji sits as the typist. A series of effortless scorns from Chandrababu makes SV Rangarao proud of how he has pruned this young man. SV Rangarao is a class act with his repeated monologue of “correct correct” in this movie. The way Chandrababu shouts at Rangarao with his head down“Will you get out of this place, I don’t want to see anybody right now!!!” and the way he changes that arrogance to complete shiver in the next frame is mind-blowing. Kudos to that great and unavailable actor!
Here comes the best part. Now both SV Rangarao and Sivaji’s father come in together. The two youngsters who start rejoicing of their extraordinary feat come to a stunning silence on seeing the old men standing together at good distance. What happens? Sivaji’s father speaks to sivaji on the inherent assumption that Rangarao also watches Sivaji while Rangarao watches Chandrababu thinking that Chandrababu is addressed by Sivaji’s father. Both old men think they are speaking to the right person and that’s where the beauty of this scene lies.
This is one of Tamil Cinema’s most original and funny moments which was strongly inspired in Ullathai Allitha by Sundar C in recent past…
Kaasedhan Kadavulada (1972)
Performers: Thengaa Srinivasan, Muthuraman, Lakshmi, Srikanth.
The greatest Slapstick of the 70s; Thengaa Srinivasan in my opinion was greatly a talent-driven artist who can arrest the viewer in ecstasy with his funny ‘dialogue delivery’ and expressions. He was one actor who could just sail fluently on the river of “Madras Tamil”. He was amazing with those words like “Muneema, kannyamma, Keeshiduven”.
In this movie, he is a local mess owner who has friends from a rich family played by Muthuraman and Sreekanth. Muthuraman and Sreekanth plan to steal big money from the mysteriously protected godown in their own house by Manorama. They need the key. So they set up Thengaa Srinivasan as a Saamiyaar (saint) visiting their house to find the key by flattering Manorama who is very religious.
After he has successfully entered their house in the disguise of a Saint, Thengaa, Muthuraman and sreekanth discuss about their plan in a room. Thengaa removes his false beard because of itching. Lakshmi who lives in that house enters the room and speaks to Thengaa with respect and admiration and then leaves as normal as it should be. It’s then they all get into a late shock that she must have seen thengaa without his beard. Dipped in fear, they call lakshmi to confirm if she saw anything in Thengaa’s face. After Lakshmi enters with milk to serve the Swamy (thengaa), they ask a series of questions. One must just relish the exquisite expressions of thengaa srinivasan, tackling dialogues of Muthuraman and Sreekanth and innocent expression of Lakshmi. Its truly a pleasure to watch. The spontaneous question of thengaa srinivasan in Madras slang “Malay Potrukiyama” as lakshmi gives him the milk glass is simply a timing genius. The other memorable line is spoken by Muthuraman to lakshmi, “Adhagapattadhu, indha jodhi irukiradhe jodhi! Adhu aaru mani aana ‘OFF’ ayidum” is also hilarious and tickling.
One amazing collective effort that makes it a true classic…
Gokulathil Seethai (1996)
Performers: Karthik, Suvalakshmi, Manivannan.
It’s a masterpiece by Agathiyan who is now a sadly lost director in the field of Tamil cinema. He has the amazing skill of analyzing complex emotions that curtails any human conviction. Most importantly, it’s the ability to bring it on screen using powerful ‘matter of fact’ dialogues through actors. In this case, it is through Karthik and Suvalakshmi.
Karthik is an industrialist with a westernized set of attitudes over sex. He is a strong disbeliever of Love. His simple philosophy of “Have sex, No commitments, Enjoy life” starts gradually and painfully changing into a complexity of confused feeling called “Love” towards a girl who has straightforward ideologies on sex. By series of interesting incidents, Nila (suvalakshmi) gets the chance to stay in Rishi’s (Karthik) bungalow which has his father (manivannan) and servant as residents.
It’s the climax of the movie where it gets to the superior point of filmmaking. Rishi, interestingly sends his father to Nila as the messenger of mysteriously discovered love on her since he gets palpitation to even talk to her about this. But his father changes the lanes by provoking Nila with false accusations that her attitude is on Rishi’s money. This makes Nila leave the house with a burst of self-dignity which is excellently played by Suvalakshmi. This is where it gets splendid. Rishi who senses Nila leaving the house tries to stop her and blurt the reason of her decision. Rishi’s mindset at that point where he doesn’t know what his father proposed to Nila is a sheer masterpiece of acting by Karthik.
He goes onto the extent of begging like “Nila, Nila, Nila, Pogadheenga Nila” with a complex ego, anxiety and fear of losing something that he doesn’t want to lose in his life for the first time – ‘Love’. She leaves the house with a stone-cold heart of provoked dignity. Rishi returns to ask his father what he proposed. When he knows the truth, he starts accusing his own father and tells him with childlike agitation, “Get out Dad! This is my house! Old man! What do you know about love!” since it is the first moment in his life where he feels “I have responsibility”. His father feels happy since it was the only thing he expected after all this Rishi’s aimless life. Rishi, however leaves the house in agitation to bring Nila back with him from where it reaches the finale.
Karthik’s acting stands tall and an awesome direction gives the scope for it to stand taller. Kudos Agathiyan!