Smaller than Life
Why a blog? Simple. Cacoethes Scribendi -- the urge to write! My literary pretensions and caprices bring me here. Like any writer I write to be read. All my posts, though fettered to my small world and trivially myopic, will live and yearn that somebody connects to them someday. Cognitive frenzies, sardonic musings, aimless banters, incoherent ramblings and trivial indulgences; this is simply an episodic narrative of my trivial world -- in a grain of sand… Smaller than Life.
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Thursday, June 03, 2004
The Letter of the Aegis
Watched Maniratnam's Ayudha Ezhuthu -- the Tamil version of Yuva, rather the flick, of which Yuva is the Hindi version -- over the weekend. A thoroughly enjoyable movie. Made a few jots mentally during the movie:
Madhavan impresses one and all -- well, at least he impressed me -- with his portrayal of the recidivistic hireling-thug. What impressed me most was that he had studied the character extremely closely; it was evident from his portrayal -- the gait, the animalistic instinct, the makeover, the lingo. Even little things like salaaming the goonda way, and grabbing the phone disdainfully, brushing the receiver over the other shoulder in a quick jig, almost arrogantly, and holding the earpiece to the ear were executed with a careless flourish that comes with careful study.
Meera Jasmine plays perfect foil to Madhavan in the movie. A plaudit-earning performance. The brooding wife thrown in between the pangs of love and family, present and posterity was remarkably essayed. The screen chemistry managed to hold viewers riveted onto their seats. Rani Mukherjee and Abhishek Bachchan were never quite the same forceful combination in the Hindi version.
Surya and Siddarth also impress, the former with his sheer screen persona and energetic action and the latter, simply because he fits the stereotype of the sophisticated upper middle class kid very well. In fact, Surya almost carries the film on his shoulders in the second half. The face-offs between him and Bharathiraja make for good viewing.
Bharathiraja communes with the audience with his eyes. A brilliant depiction of the corrupt minister. Encore!
Esha Deol sleepwalks (if she doesn't hinder the tempo) a bovine stroll through the movie. Trisha is passable as the modern day girl with a modern volitional temperament.
The screenplay was refreshing. Though throughout the movie, I was plagued by the feeling of already having watched a similar portrayal of a single incident from three different perspectives -- probably the earlier of Kurosawa flicks, probably Rashemon -- the narrative was well knit and well edited. Basically the incidences were well contrived.
If there is one thing without which the movie simply wouldn’t have been - it's A R Rahman's background score. The lilting fast-paced background scores simply set the tempo for the viewer. But, on a tangent, I couldn't help feeling that Maniratnam had once again succumbed to the commercial elements of cinema. As my good friend, The Rod Lord, would lick his lips and quip, the film is a 'Made for an Award' film, which is not necessarily a good thing always. Also, I felt that the unbridled optimism, in the face of a brilliant beginning and an absorbing screenplay, seemed a little ostentatious and could have been tempered. Looked like towards the end Maniratnam himself got a little carried away by the avalanche of built-up events that he had conjured up which set up for a grand finish.
But these were barely minor glitches in a brilliantly packaged cinematic expatiation.
The Hindi version was hardly a shadow of its Tamil counterpart. It was distinctly lacking in ethnic flavour.
The one reason for which I would most cherish the movie: P C Sreeram's camerawork. A visual delight. I have never seen good old Madras captured in so picturesque and grand a manner by a camera. Ever.
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