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Thread: Reviews of Old Tamil Films

  1. #1
    Administrator Platinum Hubber NOV's Avatar
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    Reviews of Old Tamil Films

    These days it is relatively easy to catch reviews of recent releases, through googling. However, the same cannot be said of older movies. Taking advantage of the flexibility offered by this new discussion forum, let us do some reviews of older movies - 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.

    I hope to have a good collection of reviews of older movies, to rekindle fond memories and also to leave a legacy for future generations. Let us all Hubbers contribute to this effort. We will use Page 1 here as the index and anytime in the future, we can check out the review of a movie we are about to see.

    (in alphabetical order)

    Badhrakali - Page 1
    Meenda Sorgam - Page 2
    Punnagai Mannan - Page 1
    Vennira Aadai - Page 1





















    To continue....

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  3. #2
    Administrator Platinum Hubber NOV's Avatar
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    I managed to watch Badhrakali on TV today. There were a few notables about this movie.

    1. Heroine Rani Chandra died in an aeroplane crash towards the end of the shooting of the movie. A replacement had to be used to complete the movie. Rumours were abound that the names Kali and Badhrakali are jinxed. If you remember during the shooting of Kali, Rajini almost lost his life in fire.

    2. The song Kettele ange athai paarthelaa inge was a huge hit. Ilayaraja was relatively new at this time and in this movie he also used devotional album singer MR Vijaya for cinema for the first and last time.


    Badhrakali

    Starring : Sivakumar, Rani Chandra, Major Sundararajan, Sugumari, Thengai Srinivasan, Manorama, Surulirajan
    Music : Ilayaraja
    Lyrics : Vaali
    Directed by AC Thirulokachander

    The movie begins in the divorce court and Sivakumar is granted divorce from his wife, Rani Chandra. Father-in-law Major accepts the divorce and laments that he is not fortunate to have a son-in-law like Sivakumar.
    Sivakumar returns home to his wife, Gayathri, who pays him wifely duties!

    Soon we learn that Gayathri is of unsound mind when Major fetches her back home. Through a series of flashbacks, the meeting and wedding of Sivakumar and Gayathri is revealed. Born in an orthodox family, Sivakumar is controlled in his movements. He laments that he is unable to enjoy himself. Gayathri turns on her charm on him and performs record dance for him – Kettele ange athai paarththelaa inge.

    Gayathri passes her exams and decides to go to work. Their plans are interrupted by her pregnancy. The joyous couple celebrate the news with – Kannan oru kai kuzhandhai kangal sollum poong kavithai. Their family life is further strengthened by the birth of their daughter, Alamelu. Gayathri resumes her search for a job. One day she does not return from an interview and Sivakumar goes in search of her. He finds her in disarray running wildly. He brings her home and discovers that she has lost her mind.

    From then on, his peaceful life is disrupted with Gayathri behaving strangely. One thing leads to another and eventually she kills their child by accident. Unable to accept the death of his daughter, Sivakumar files for divorce and the flashback ends.

    In the meantime his mother Sugumari arranges for another marriage for him and after intial disagreements, he settles down with his new wife. He even gets to sing a duet with her – Oththa rooba unakku thaaren. In spite of the divorce, Gayathri visits the house from time to time. One day, unable to see Sivakumar in close proximity with the new wife, Gayathri physically harms her. Without any choice, Major leaves the area and settles elsewhere.

    Even in the new place Gayathri goes missing from time to time and one day sits outside a temple and claims to be Kali. Another day she returns with a tiger tooth chain and with blood in her hands. She is calmed down by her parents and made to sleep. The next day she awakes and is of stable mind again!

    She then reveals what led to her insanity. Apparently she becomes witness to an unexpected murder and runs for her life when the villain spots her. That is the time she loses her mind.
    And when she meets him again, miraculously her fear disappears and she is consumed by hatred. That is when she recovers and now the villain is now in her pursuit!

    In the meantime we learn that the villain was once the lover of Sivakumar’s 2nd wife and he is now out for revenge. He kidnaps their new born baby and leaves a note for her to meet somewhere.

    It is now the end of Navarathri and on Vijayadhasami day, singer MR Vijaya is on temple grounds singing Aandha Bhairavi Agilaanda Eswari, leading to the climax.

    The movie ends typically with evil being won over by good.

    While the story may seem similar to the 100s of Amman movies made these days, Badhrakali was different in it being non-religious and with good acting. A rich movie made in black and white, with Illayaraja at his best, this movie is worth collecting.
    Never argue with a fool or he will drag you down to his level and beat you at it through sheer experience!

  4. #3
    Senior Member Diamond Hubber madhu's Avatar
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    nice writeup..

    BTW in the original story of Maharishi, the heroine is alive at the end, but "in her sense", of course. May be the cruel end of Ranichandra made the director to change the climax of the film.

    I heard, a look-alike acted for the climax scenes, where the lighting plays a major role.

  5. #4
    Administrator Platinum Hubber NOV's Avatar
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    A song by KJJ and PS, for the road!

    Kannan oru kai kuzhandhai
    Kangal sollum poongkavithai
    Kannam sindhum thEn amudhai
    Kondu sellum en manadhai
    Kai irandi naan eduththu, paadugirEn aaraarO
    Mai vizhiye thaalelO, maadhavane thaalelO

    Un madiyil naan uranga, kannirandum thaan mayanga
    Enna thavam seidhEnO, ennavendru sollvEnO
    Ezhpirappum inaindhirukkum, sondham indha sondhammamma
    Vaazhvirukkum naal varaikkum, thanjam undhan nenjam ammaa

    Annamidum kaigalilE aadi varum pillai idhu
    unarugil naan irundhaal aanandhaththin ellai adhu
    Gaayathri mandhiraththai utcharikkum bakththan ammaa
    KEtkkum varam kidaikkum varai, kannurakkam marandhadhammaa
    Never argue with a fool or he will drag you down to his level and beat you at it through sheer experience!

  6. #5
    Senior Member Diamond Hubber madhu's Avatar
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    HI !

    there is one more charanam.. which is available only in film..

    manjal kondu neeradi mai kuzhalil poochoodi
    vanji magal varumpodhu asai varum oru kodi
    kattazhagan kangalukku mai eduthu ezhudhattuma
    kangaL pada koodum enru pottu onru vaikattuma

    (kannan oru )

  7. #6
    Administrator Platinum Hubber NOV's Avatar
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    Good points Madhu. Trivials like this will help to make the reviews more interesting. Yes, I did hear of another actress, but couldnt really differentiate, as Rani Chandra herself was a new face in this movie. I also missed most the early credits.
    Never argue with a fool or he will drag you down to his level and beat you at it through sheer experience!

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    Punnagai Mannan (1986)
    *ing KamalHassan, Rekha, Revathi, SriVidya


    The movie starts out with two lovers (Kamal and Rekha) running away from their homes, Rekha leaves a letter behind for her parents. There is a beautiful song, Ethetho Ennam..., then the lovers commit suicide. However, things don't work out as planned because only Rekha is killed. Kamal Hassam hangs on by a twig. Then the police and everyone come to clear the scene
    Enters the second Kamal Hassan who is a stand-up comedian and the uncle of the first Kamal. His match is SriVidya.
    So moving on, the lover Kamal goes back to visit some cliffs and sees a young girl (Revathi) about to commit suicide. He converses with her and finds out that failing an exam was what drove her to do this. He convinces her to think stop.
    The lover Kamal also runs a dance school and Revathi decides to join. Kamal first takes it easy but then realizes how serious Revathi is. In the meantime, Revathi manages to learn the truth about the lovers through the comedian Kamal. After some tribulations, the lover Kamal decides to move on and falls in love with Revathi. However, Rekha's family still has not gotten over their hatred for the lover Kamal, so right after Kamal and Revathi get married, they place a bomb in his car, which unfortunately the newly weds take. Along the way the car blows up and they die. The ending scene was heartbreaking, when the comedian Kamal carves Revathi into the rock where there were already carvings from Rekha and Kamal from before.
    This is a movie which will always live on in my heart. I saw the version where the newlyweds die, but I heard there is a second version out there which I want to see.

  9. #8
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    I think Rekha recorded her voice in a tape recorder or something in the beginning, not a letter.

  10. #9
    Administrator Diamond Hubber RR's Avatar
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    NOV: no idea about the movie except the songs (& Rani chandra's death). There's one sirkazhi song rite?

  11. #10
    Administrator Diamond Hubber RR's Avatar
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    vijaymania: are you sure there's a second version? Never heard about it. I would think KB won't compromise on his climax.
    The theme of the movie is apparently Kamal's idea, and KB went with it.
    Music is big highlight. We all know ARR did music programming for the movie. Picturisation was also pretty good.

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