Thangar Bachan’s ‘Solla Marandha Kadhai’

‘Solla Marandha Kadhai (A story that was forgotten to be narrated) is such a quaint and apt title. It is off beat and the hero is unconventional as well – director Cheran facing the camera instead of helming the project.

It does have a feel to it – imagine a raconteur catches you on a lazy evening and decides to tell you the story of a poor but educated man. He got to marry a rich man’s daughter – Cinderella story in reverse. And the story begins from there, did they really live a happily married life or not is the moot question that needs an answer.

There is not much by way of suspense. Sivadhanu (Cheran) belongs to a poor family and he struggles to support his family. He is well-educated but does not find a suitable job. He is spotted by the wily rich businessman played by Pyramid Natarajan. He spots the potential in the young man and decides to get his acquiescent daughter married to him. He plans to have him as a ‘live-in’ son-in-law who will be groomed to take over his business.

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Dear Reader, ‘You & I’ in this beautiful blogging world…

This blog post is based on a simple idea. Possibly after ages, I am not reviewing a book or a movie. Nor am I raving and ranting about life in general or my experiences in particular. It is not even an attempt to create humour and a few laughs. In fact it represents a clear departure from my usual work.

So why am I writing this? It is just to test a simple premise. A fellow blogger wrote a post from the point of view (p.o.v.) of a blog follower. I just felt that a counter from the p.o.v. of a writer would be fun as well. So here we go.

My dear reader,

I have been blogging for about a year and half now. Thanks for ‘following’ my blog at some point of time. It may have been an instinctive click of the ‘follow’ button – an ephemeral moment of appreciation. But it remains quite tenacious as not many ‘followers’ go away. It is a theory of mine that it is a mix of inertia (we are all so very tardy or squeamish to knock off a connection you no longer enjoy) v/s interest (the blogger throws in an odd curve ball once in a while that is a good read) that sustains the status quo.

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Emotional moments in Kamal’s Uttama Villain

Kamal is renowned for his sense and sensibilities. The mythological story of ‘Uttaman’ face off with Muttharasan (Nasser) looks like a straight pick out of Panchatantra. It regales and makes one forget the pain.

But the story belongs to Manoranjan, the ageing superstar, who knows that he will die in about three months time.

Talk about the emotional integrity of a man who decides to pull away the mask and unwrap the life of a popular superstar. And it is not sugar-coated at all – the man is there for everyone to see – warts and all. So you are a superstar, ageing but famous and rich. Your jet set lifestyle comes with a lot of pressure points and you manage to push along by leaning on a variety of vices ranging from wine to women. You have a megalomania that is unquestionable and is the fount of your genius. You have been there and done it all. A wreckage of broken relationships involving affairs, broken hearts, insecure relations and edgy confederates (Andrea and MS Bhaskar).

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‘The Gift of the Magi’ by O Henry

During my school days, English was my favorite subject and I particularly enjoyed the varied selection of stories that would feature in our syllabus. I discovered all the popular short story writers in my text books. And I was most amused by tales with a twist in the tail. 

In this way I discovered Maugham, Maupassant, O Henry, Saki and William Saroyan in no particular order. I simply enjoyed reading their stories and no literary critique was needed to egg me on read their works further well beyond the scope of our curriculum.

O Henry had a troubled past and possibly it reflects in his works as well. Often he showcases the pulls and pressures of daily life that get the better of even the most ‘kind-hearted’ souls. But he makes up the balance in stories that salute the human spirit and warm the cockles of our heart.

I went on read a larger collection of his stories and realized that the twists were not as neat in all of them. Having learnt his style, quite often I would be ahead on the curve and spot the twist before it appeared. Possibly kids enjoy this more since they are so easily dazzled by the gimmicky artistry of a professional writer.

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Love and longing for Uttama Villain

Personal priorities have created a situation whereby I am not able to watch the movie that released recently – Kamal is my all time favourite actor and the rave reviews have whetted my appetite for the show.

Have planned to watch it soon, till then it is a bit of love and longing as I just have to bide my time. The wait makes one a bit impatient but am sure the it will meet a sweet end.

Enough and more reviews have dusted the plot and story to death. It is trademark Kamal movie and the focus remains sharply on him. It is a workable combination of setting an art movie while keeping the commercial aesthetics in mind. To many the ‘story-in-the-story’ is not as pleasing and they wonder why there is a need for it. To my mind it all about enriching the plot by allowing a counter plot to appear – so imagine a dying Manoranjan (celebrated film star of present day) being contrasted by Uttaman (who is nicknamed Mritunjay – one who successfully evades death).

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Big B’s ‘Aakhree Raasta’ (End Game)

The family revenge drama released in 1986 to great success – it was a genre successfully played by Amitabh for years; the makeover only required him to play an angry old man along with the traditional role of an angry young man.

It was a remake of a successful Tamil movie, ‘Oru Kaidhiyin Diary’ (A Prisoner’s Diary) starring Kamal Haasan. Story, screenplay and direction were top class and the hindi cine goers got a second flavor of  Tamil ace filmmaker, K Bhagyaraj, after the successful,’Woh Saat Din’.

The basics of the story are quite run of a mill – it starts with Amitabh being ruined when he is an ordinary grassroot political party worker. The melodrama tops as his leader betrays his trust and lusts for his wife. Unable to sustain the humiliation she commits suicide and Amitabh is sentenced to life imprisonment as a Doctor and Police Inspector, connive with the political boss to blame him for the death. Amitabh leaves behind a toddler with his best friend, Anupam Kher, and vows to avenge the injustice.

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Somerset Maugham’s Rain

Rain is probably the best short story written by Somerset Maugham – in its length and characterization it is more like a novella but of course it conforms to Maugham’s formula for a story – it has a beginning, a middle and an end.

The story’s popularity has sustained over the years as it has been made into movies and plays. It is often selected for anthologies and prescribed reading material for students attempting to master modern English literature.

The adventure begins off on simple terms. A ship headed to Apia is stranded near Pago Pago as a Cholera epidemic is suspected and a quarantine enforced to prevent an outbreak. The travellers are ordinary folks headed on business and personal trips.

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