Sunday, September 27, 2009

13 Years of Kamalism

13 Years of Kamalism

One fine morning in 1996,I was walking towards Sathyam theater, holding my dad's hand to book tickets for a movie called "Indian". I was a 7 year old kid then who knew zilch about movies. Fascinated by the "Telephone Manipol" song, I pestered my dad to book the tickets and so it happened. But unfortunately Mr. Deve Gowda had other plans. Just an hour before the show, we were stranded in the streets, thanks to Gowda because of whom the roads had to be blocked. As a result, we were late to the movie by half an hour. I wasn't disappointed much as I got what I wanted- the song. The old man who was on a killing spree through out the movie, looked cool to me. Little did I know who the old man was. Much to my shock, I discovered after getting back home that the old man was Kamal Hasan himself. I was hoping somebody would call bluff. That was the first time Mr. Kamal Hasan impressed me, and what en ever-lasting impression it has been...

After the stunning performance in Indian, I was getting desperate to watch his other movies and thanks to the idiot box, I got to see his old classics. The second movie of his' that I watched
was Moondraam Pirai(I vaguely remember). This time I was completely stunned. The climax left me weeping for about ten minutes. This movie is unforgettable for another reason that I came to know of the existence of another legend Ilayaraja. But that's for another blog post. Following the mesmerizing Moondraam Pirai, It was then the turn of Devar Magan, Guna, Mahanadhi and Nayagan to hit me for sixes. Nayagan made me a hardcore fan. And from then on, there was no looking back for I had decided if I had to be a fan of an actor, it had to be this guy.

Another thing about him that makes us all like him is his versatility. Little did I know about
his comedy classics until I saw Avvai Shanmugi. Then followed Sathi Lilavathi and Singara Velan. I still remember the way I was running around in my apartments singing the "Sonnabadi kelu, makkar pannadhe" song like a lunatic. Those were the times. Very recently, I caught up with Michael Madana KamaRajan- a rib tickling comedy with a script that has been weaved well. I for one, forgot that it was Kamal Hasan playing the 4 roles for I could only see Michael, Madan,
Kameswaran and Raju as 4 different persons and not Kamal Hassan as a whole. Such was his voice modulation and body language. He so easily pulls off different dialects that leaves you
speechless. Be it the Pakka Madras baashai in "Pammal uuuuwaaaaee Sammandham", the palakad baashai in MMKR, the Nellai slang in Dasavatharam, the Srilankan Tamil in Thenali, the US return slang in MMKR and Dasa.

Another fascinating thing about him is his vast knowledge on anything and everything under the
sun. For instance, take his interviews. He would speak as though he had taken those lines from
the book of some famous author. Don't fool yourselves if you think so for his views are always
candid and have some meaning in it. His proficiency in Tamil can give the likes of Vairamuthu and Kalaignar a run for their money. His english is not that bad either. His views on things are
thought provoking and inspiring most of the times. Such an eloquent public speaker he is, for he
hits people hard with his views. Where does all the knowledge come from? we may wonder. For
starters, he is a college drop out. Go figure.

There is not a thing in Cinema that he has not done. Actor Kamal, singer Kamal, director kamal,
lyricist Kamal, Choreographer Kamal, make-up man Kamal, Producer Kamal you name it, he's done it. Except for music maybe which is not possible for quite some years cos the man himself has said- "I will not compose music in the era of Ilayaraja" . Such is his respect for Raja.

There was a time when Kamal and KB created waves through out Mumbai with - "EK Thuke Ke Liye" which was a smashing hit that ran packed houses for 365 days in Mumbai. The movie literally rattled the likes of Amitabh Bachchan making him insecure, if sources are to be believed. But thankfully, he chose to stay in Chennai and give movies for our people.

Coming to the most improtant part now. In 2000, Kamal's first directorial venture happened - Hey!Ram. Sadly, I couldn't check it out thanks to the idiotic CBFC certificate. The people in the
sensor board are lunatics I say. Yes yes. I can hear many people seconding me. Amidst all the
political chaos that was created cos of the movie, it released. But it bombed miserably in the
"Box Office" which is THE bad word I hate most. Let's not get into that. I was glad that I could
watch his second directorial venture Virumaandi. A mad fan of the "Kombula poova suthi" song that I even know the drum beats in it pucca. Very recently, I got to watch two of his classics in
Hey!Ram and Pushpak(Pesum Padam) thanks to Aravindan, a good friend of mine for he was greatful enough to lend me the DVD. Trust me when I saY Hey!Ram,Pushpak and Anbe Sivam are the 3 best Indian movies ever made. Call me biased, whatever. But that, my friends is a FACHT.

A man who doesn't give a rats ass to what people think of him, a man who leads life his own way,
a man who strives hard to take Tamil Cinema to the next level, a man whose heart beats "cinema.. cinema...", a man who inspires a nation with his thought provoking speeches and views, a man who literally shows his middle finger to the critics time and again, a man who dares to make different attempts even after getting hit many a times, a man who has the guts to break
stereotypes in every single movie of his', a man who "LIKES AN IMAGE SO THAT HE CAN BREAK IT SIMPLY".

As Tony Montanna puts it in Scarface-
"What you lookin' at? You all a bunch of fuckin' assholes. You know why? You don't have the guts to be what you wanna be? You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fuckin' fingers and say, "That's the bad guy." So... what that make you? Good? You're not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don't have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth. Even when I lie. So say good night to the bad guy! Come on. The last time you gonna see a bad guy like this again, let me tell you. Come on. Make way for the bad guy. There's a bad guy comin' through! Better get outta his way! "
Imagine Kamal mouthing off this dialogue to all those twits who criticize his personal life!!!

Long live Kamal. Long live Kamalism.
Udal Mannukku, Uyir Kamalukku.
Anbe Sivam.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Green Mile

Very recently, I saw this movie "The Green Mile"( featuring Tom Hanks in the lead role. This movie got me very emotionally disturbed. I cried buckets all through the movie and it is one of the best movies I've ever seen. I don't remember the last time I cried profusely for  a movie barring a few Kamal Hasan movies. This movie has got a very strong message, and lays emphasis on the belief that "Miracles do happen". The character of John Coffey will remain etched in my memory till I die or even after my death, such was his influence. 

Now I don't know where to begin. Everything in the movie, almost everything made me cry. Right from the tiny mouse to the gigantic 7 foot tall, innocent John Coffey(played by Michael Clarke Duncan) . There were many tear-jerking scenes in the movie. The mouse-stamping scene, the expressions of Delacroix post-stamping, the electrocution of Delacroix, the pre-electrocution scenes of John Coffey, the last meal ordering scene of John Coffey and I can go on and on and on. It is a 3 hour long movie and not once did I check my watch during the course of the movie. For those of you who think movies are for time-pass and have no values whatsoever, I strongly recommend this movie. 

I still wonder how this movie missed out on all awards that went to a movie called "American Beauty" of which I have no idea. Quoting Tom Hanks:

"We each owe a death, there are no exceptions, I know that, but sometimes, oh God, the green mile is so long"


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What the f***

I got up at 10 o clock today and was wondering how to effectively indulge in time wasting for the rest of the day as almost all my friends' holidays got over. I had no place to go and just when I was thinking I'd go mad, the idea of watching a movie flashed. There is this movie called "The Departed" which has been in my system for quite a long time. I decided to watch it only because my friend told me the movie had almost a similar story-line to that of Kurudhi Punal. 

Just minutes into the movie, the profanity begins. The F word is uttered  every 30 seconds. F this, F that, you're a F-ing this, why the F, what the F and what not. Some one please give Martin Scorsese an award for the maximum usage of F word in a movie, he is so desperate. Maybe he wanted the movie to look kewl with all these profanities. Imdb says- 237 F words and it's derivatives. Now, that's some record. That apart, the movie was a good movie and I liked it a lot. 

I have had an over dosage of F word today and I f-ing seriously hope I dont f-ing blabber the F word in my dream for my mum to wake up and f-ing ask me what the f I was blabbering. Now do the F count in this post. 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wierd Superstitions

I have these wierd superstitious practices before I watch a Manchester United game. 

1. I make sure that I take bath before the match begins (Taking bath on weekends is a sin, I consider it as a waste of precious time).But for Man United's sake, I do it.

2. I make sure that I don't wear anything RED(How ironical, cos the two times I wore read, my team got beaten apart)

3. Now comes the "spacial arrangement of the immovable objects" part. I place the deflated football of mine(the one in my profile pic) in one corner of the hall and it stays there for the next 90 minutes. I make sure the bathroom doors are closed, the mats outside are in place and are never disturbed during the course of the game (How silly can I get!) 

4. I take my seat on the sofa, place the 2 remotes by my side(one for the TV and one for the Set Top Box). I set the TV volume to either 24 or 28 (I like multiples of 4, especially these 2 numbers)

5. Here comes the most irritating part. The MOBILE. My inbox gets flooded with approximately 500 messages per hour. Ok, I think I'm exaggerating. Make that 100 per hour. Still not that good a number, or is it?!! I clear my inbox before the game begins and I delete the messages that I get during the game, without even reading them most of the time. (Ofcousre my eyes will be glued to the televison, can't take them off even for a second) . It's a good thumb exercise though, constantly pressing the delete option. Mind proposes, thumb disposes. That'w how it is. 

Here are my some other wierd practises

.Whenever I set an alarm in my mobile, I set it 4 times ( Ah, the magic of the number 4, the best number ever in the history of numbers)
.I don't move an inch, whenever Sachin is batting, not even for a loo-break. I'm not alone, I'm pretty sure there are many people who have this wierd superstition. 

That is all I can remember as of now. I have to take bath now, not because Man United are playing, it's because I'm smelling so good right now. Ciao!!! 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rain guaranteed

Chennai will surely see heavy rains from december 11th. Why Dec 11th? Yes, you guessed it right. Chennai is hosting a cricket match. Thankyou BCCI. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Near Death experiences

You may wonder what this topic is about. Just read on.

Nov 15th, 2008
It was one hectic day in many ways. Firstly, I had my first  exam on that day. Power System Analysis. Now I am throwing an open challenge. If anyone could sit through the class for 3 full hours, I will give them 500 bucks from my own pocket(don't have that much at the moment because of economic crisis, but I'm confident that no one would sit through). So, sitting through those classes were considered as "death experiences" by many, and I am no different. Coming to the exam part, the paper was ok, not too tough, not too easy. We were done with the exam and whole of EEE(3rd years) assembled outside the hall and we all decided, it's time to release the stress and what better way of doing it than watching a movie. It was decided that we were going to see the newly released "Vaaranam Aayiram". I am a big fan of Gautham Vasudev Menon and was eager to watch the movie. If not for the exam, I'd have seen it FDFS itself. 

Around 50 of us assembled in the World's best theater "Ganapathiram" at the LB Road. We were shocked to see the theater crowded and plenty of girl fans in the theater, which made us wonder "Wow!!! Is this Ganapathiram??(sivaji Rajni stlye)" ! To add to the comedy, plenty of family audiences who had done "Advance booking" (advance booking in Ganapathiram? Ulagam enga da pordhu?!) . We couldn't get the tickets in the counter, or let me put it this way, we were such lazy bums that we decided to watch it in black. 80 Rs/ticket and we were done buying 60 of them. 80*60=4800, as you'd all know. Now comes the main part. We were asked to enter via the side entrance and the entrance is just 2.5 to 3 feet wide, 6 feet high. There were no seat numbers and so people were all ready to crush their way through first. I was caught in the middle of the crowd. There wasn't an inch to move. The more and more the theater officials delayed our entry, the more the crowd got excited, half of them being CEGians. We started shouting "Deii,, ulla udra ulla udra(no double meaning intended)" . I was almost crushed to death and it was the first time I experienced such chaos in a cinema theater. I couldn't get out of that crowd. There were heavyweights crushing me from all directions. Somehow, I found my way out of the crowd, was a great relief. Uyir thappi vandhen. Another near death experience. Thank goodness there was no stampede. Naan appdiye shock aaitaen.

We stormed into the theater and the movie started. There were comments thrown every 2 minutes. Most of them were mocks. I was watching silently, while most of them were restless. People started shouting "mokka mokka mokka" just 30 minutes into the movie. One of them reached the saturation point and shouted "Which is better? Sakkarakatti or Vaaranam Aayiram??"!! One shouted "Appanaaya ivan? Uruptamaadrithaan"!! There were all sorts of comments. People got so fed up and started chanting inside the theater "we want song, we want song, we want song" (Lollu sabha Bakery stile). As soon as the first half got over, huge applause in the theater, now hold on, they were for the wrong reasons though, people ran out of the theater. 

Second half was no better either. More comments, more sighs. People were wondering when the movie would get over. Just 5 minutes before the end, I saw people literally running out of the theater. I could make out from people's faces that most of them didn't like the movie. One of my classmates admitted "Machaan, intha padam 3 PSA periodukku samam da". That pretty much sums it up. A near death experience for most of them. But I liked the movie although it was very slow and a bit mokkaish in many places. I went home satisfied. Went to Prakash's place and watched Man United thumping Stoke City 5-0 and the day was complete. A day to remember. 

Unfulfilled dream

Right from my childhood, i have always wanted to become a dancer. It was in the mid 90s that I felt this sudden urge to become a dancer. Who is the reason for this urge? It is Mr.Prabhudeva. A crazy fan of the "Chikku-bukku raile" song I am. Then came Kaadhalan, and I go mad whenever I listen to the "Petarap" song. It took me a day to memorize the song, and the song has some kick-ass lyrics, the lyricist is none other the director Shankar himself. Ofcourse, special thanks to AR Rahman, the music director. But the urge to dance was not severe at that time. Very recently, Vijay TV started a program, as you all know, "Ungalil yaar aduththa Prabhudeva". I wish I could dance atleast half as good as those contestants. I wish, I wish...

Now, coming to reality, I can't even dance for peanuts. I mean, in a dance competiton finals between Sam Anderson and me, Andy would get "minus 76 out off 10", where as I would get "-126 out off 10" . No offense to Sam Anderson fans, please don't burn my house for this. One fine afternoon when I was watching this programme, I suddenly started to dance like mad and my mum was staring at me, absolutely shocked. When I finished, i raised my collar and asked her "eppdi en dance?" , she replied "Sahikkala". That was a slap in my face. Believe me, My dance was not that bad. Poraamai, enge naa periya dancer aaiduvenonu, that's all. 

All you folks out there, one fine day, you will be seeing me on tv, as a contestant in "Ungalil yaar adutha prabhudeva-part 29". No prizes for guessing who the winner would be. Until then, see you.