It was a bright Sunday afternoon in the early 90s..[ கதை சொல்ராறாமாம் ] In Doordarshan, after the 1.15PM news for challenged, I was waiting for the national award movie [ Even the newspaper TV schedule shows just as regional film without the title – nobody knows till the film is screened ]. Surprisingly, there was an interview before this movie. The interviewer was Srividya – gorgeously dressed in silk saree with untied wavy hair [ போதும் பிரதர் ! ]. The interviewee was BR. I cannot forget the question and this particular answer.
Q : Sir.. You have used a phrase ‘Easppaatu’ in this film. What does it mean?
A : You see.. If one kuyil kuckoos, the other kuyils replies with an answer cuckoo. This is what Esappatu is.
His language might not have been convincing as Srividya’s. But the passion, emotions he showed with his facial expressions was the most memorable one for me. Though I had seen the movie already in theatre, I watched the movie again.
The movie didn’t have exotic foreign locations, noisy BGM, comedy track, eye-catching photography, fast cut editing, club dances, furious chasing or fights, violence but the key is it had a beautiful story, well etched characters, extraordinary BGM and wonderful visuals
Mudhal Mariyadhai – 1985/Drama/Tamil
Story, Dialogues – R.Selvaraj
Music : Illayaraja
Produced & directed by : Bharathirajaa
Every artist has their own peak periods in the career curve. Interestingly, every artist involved in this film was at their peak artistic form. The story & dialogue part is already established by R.Selvaraj. What BR could do to establish his talent ? How he converted the story on the paper to the celluloid ? That’s the talent of BR. Like Alfred Hitchcock, he neither formed the story nor wrote a single dialogue in the movie but he had the enormous confidence in executing this project [நான் விஸுவல்ஸ்ல வெள்ளாடிருவன்யா..].
He aptly used flashback, a suspense, love, fidelity, interestingly woven characters, narration and of course, songs. He is one of the directors who believed in story rather than the stars. This was really a craft in his career.
Music : If you ever happen to watch this film without music or BGM, it would have attained 50% of its essence, what it has achieved. IR added life to this project. If a MD is interestingly working in a project, the output is always brilliant – this movie is a beautiful example. Similar to Hollywood musicals, we too had our other art forms mostly depending on music. The first 40 mins of the film has 4 songs ! The script just flows along with the songs – to mention specifically short songs were also used in this movie. The music is blended very aptly in this movie; there’s never been a forced situation for a song [ Innaiku night party-la international smugglers varaanga..:) ] The main character is introduced with his interest on songs to overcome his personal shortfall at home.
I have to appreciate the peppy title song which aptly sets up the mood for a perfect village film. To make it simple, this film can be kept as a lesson for how a BGM should be. If BR used visuals to narrate the characters, IR in parallel plays his role to elevate the flow. The flute bit music used when the character Sevili dies and the following sequences – exotic visuals with a fantastically accompanied music.
It’s always better to watch a mix of films ranging from old classics to world classics.