Reel rewind – Classics.

Reel rewind – Classics series.

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

Film details

Mudhal Mariyadhai – 1985/Drama/Tamil
Story, Dialogues – R.Selvaraj
Music : Illayaraja
Produced & directed by : Bharathirajaa

மீண்டும் ஒரு கிராம‌த்து ராக‌த்தை என‌து ப‌ரிவார‌ங்க‌ளோடு பாட‌ வ‌ருகிறேன். – BR.

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.

He has contributed valuably right from the opening song to the end title card. The initial dialogues of Ponnathaal slowly dissolve into the flashback without any break – the dialogues just continue. The divide starts with a slow violin bit [ when she serves food ] and the peppy music his outside world once he comes out of the home. BGM for trying to lift a rock [ guitar ], for his daughter rasamma’s introduction, when they fish out, when kuyilu gets arrested, the final deathbed of Malaichamy [ No need to worry about revealing the fine moments , when it comes to writing about old classics 🙂 ].

Above all, the parts of the songs are also used perfectly in the flow of the story. The song ‘Ye Kuruvi’ has this line ‘பொல்லாத வீடு.. க‌ட்டு பொன்னான‌ கூடு’, which travels upward from the plane where it started.The original mark of IR.

Kanaiyazhi magazine quoted once IR as – அங்கீக‌ரிப்ப‌தின் மூல‌ம் புற‌க்க‌ணிக்க‌ப்ப‌ட்ட‌ க‌லைஞ‌ன்.,இளைய‌ராஜா. How true !
R.Selvaraj has written the story and dialogues very beautifully with perfect mix of melodrama and other feelings. The characterization of Malaichamy was so fantastic [ even his interest in good food is used – அரிசி சோறு க‌ஞ்சி தானே.. இருக்க‌ட்டும் 🙂 ]. The dialogues are remarkable [ ஆத்தை க‌ட‌ந்து அனுப்ப‌றியே.. அங்க‌ என்ன‌ அர‌ண்ம‌னையா க‌ட்டி வ‌ச்சிருக்கு, அவ‌ங்க‌ குடும்ப‌ம் ந‌ட‌த்த‌, உன‌க்குத்தான் ஒரு கூடு இல்லை, the dialogue Malaichamy talks with his grandson [ similar resemblance in Thevar magan ], the emotional dialogues with aruvaa towards the climax – even the village profanity [ ..க்காளி was perfectly used 🙂 ]. The village shown is not from TN but KA. In a scene, Malaichamy returns from Andipatti in red colour Karnataka bus – the movie was majorly shot near Mysore. One more trivia is that the photographer who takes the photo of Malaichamy and kuyilu, in the village market was Illavarasu [ he worked as asst cameraman to B.Kannan ].

Sivaji – I really don’t know how BR narrated scenes or shots to him. Because, the moment he gets into the frame, everything changes. Sivaji just answered so politely back with his under-play acting to all his critics.

“I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the make-up made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked onto the stage he was fully born.” – Charlie Chaplin.

This suits for Sivaji too. Vairamuthu wrote a particular line for Sivaji in பூங்காற்று திரும்புமா..– உங்க‌ வேஷ‌ம் தான் கொஞ்ச‌ம் மாற‌ணும், just keeping his overcoat and strange wigged useless n usual movies, he was doing those days. He requested him trhough a song :). Radha also did a commendable work.

The technicians neither had pressure nor had boundaries, I guess. The entire team has done a neat work and the final form is an unforgettable experience.

ஒரு ந‌ல்ல‌ திரைப்ப‌ட‌ம் க‌தையை ம‌ட்டும் சொல்வ‌தில்லை.அதில் எல்லாம் இருக்கிற‌து.ஆழ‌மாக‌ப் பார்க்கிற‌வ‌ர்க‌ளுக்கு ப‌ல‌ நுட்ப‌மான‌ விஷ‌ய‌ங்க‌ள் அத‌னுள் இருக்கின்ற‌ன‌. எந்த‌ ந‌ல்ல‌ ப‌ட‌மும் பார்க்கிற‌ பார்வையாள‌னை ஏமாற்றுவ‌தில்லை. ‍ ‍‍
– செழிய‌ன்.

It’s always better to watch a mix of films ranging from old classics to world classics.




  1. Irshaad' kku innaikku story board la comment pottadhu, indha review kku oru prelude thaane!!!
    any way, i liked the movie a lot. BR utilised Sivaji and showed how he can be made use of with out exaggerated over acting. Radha deserved almost equal accolades for depicting a vivacious bubbly character.Gandhimathy and Satyaraj too have done their roles justice.The songs and camerawork were highlights.I think selvaraj can still come up with good scripts and was a very good trip down the memory lane with your review.

  2. Thanks Rajan. Yes ! The photo comment was the effect of watching this movie. R.Selvaraj used too many proverbs/similies – ஓட்ட‌ பானைக்குள்ள‌ ந‌ண்டுங்க‌ மாதிரி :). Btw, ponnathaa character was done by Vadivukkarasi. [ ரொம்ப‌ முக்கிய‌ம் :). ]

  3. u r correct. it was Vadivukkarasi.
    Gandhimathi was in a similar character in 'Mann vasanai'. thanks.

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