Nandalala – Another proof of Raja’s greatness

I caught the movie this weekend and it is among the best to have come out of Kollywood. Where most movies focus on the actions of the characters, Mysskin delves into the characters themselves, analysing the psyche – their ability to love and their vulnerabilities. But the heart of the movie is in the music, which was pretty clear seeing the promos featuring Ilayaraja.
The use of music and silence to express emotions stands out in Nandalala. I’ve always preferred Raja’s music to others’, and was delighted to see a movie where his music communicates to the viewers in a fashion rarely seen in the past decade. Bala’s movies have always had soothing scores but somehow the raw emotions that signify vintage Raja’s music didn’t shine through, partly due to the themes of his movies.

Nandalala gives the maestro a theme where emotions play a major part, and he treats the viewers to an aural treat that strings at our souls. For me, music means expressing emotions, and Raja stands non-pareil here. The ability to portray raw emotions via music is his own domain. Although several of Rahman’s songs portray powerfully the emotions of the characters – En kaadhalae comes to mind immediately – his use of technology has, while giving us many peppy and memorable numbers, denied him this ability. I do not criticize him, our movie makers have become too dumb. Fast paced action, racy numbers and plotless movies are the order of the day, and that is not Rahman’s fault.

Ilayaraja’s music shines through the movie and his use of silence to emphasise it makes for pleasant listening. I wish more movies like this are made, if only to let us rejoice, fear, cry, laugh and feel the emotions of the characters.

If you have not seen the movie yet, watch it. It is a good movie on its own, but Raja’s music elevates it to its own level.

Breaking News: More Robotic freebies for next TN polls

In what is seen as a historic decision by Sun Pictures and their network of TV channels, the Tamil Nadu government today decided to throw in tickets to the movie into the brimming basket of pre-poll freebies. In an exclusive interview to be telecast when there are no other TRP-worthy programs on Sun TV, the producer will talk about this move and its repercussions. He chides Yash Chopra for saying that the government is not doing enough to promote cinema. “What more can a government do,” he asks, “more than owning the two big production houses in the state, and giving free tickets to its citizens.”

After this news leaked out, the opposition party leader in TN has resorted to the usual remarks about family politics and corruption. She demanded that robots be sent to the parliament in place of corrupt MPs from the ruling party, and – as is her wont – demanded an independent inquiry into this issue. Another leader of a political party wanted the government to implement quota for his caste, allowing them to see the movie before the elections at Escape cinemas.

Independent watchers view this move as a ploy to lengthen the screen run of the movie as well as the the current ruling party’s stay in power. In related news, Vijaya T. Rajendar says that he has been approached by Sun Pictures to do a movie Thanthiran where he portrays a scientist trying to create human emotions in a bear(that bears an uncanny resemblance to the man himself, we’re told) . They’re having difficulties finding a bear that doesn’t run away or faint at the sight of TR.

Note: In case you haven’t figured out, this is just a fragment of my (at times wicked) imagination and not real. There is no malice in this post, only

Endhiran: My opinion

I saw Endhiran today afternoon. The movie has a passable plot, awesome graphics, and did Rajni rock!

The plot, it seems, was dumbed down to cater to the masses. And whatever some people may say (out of jealousy, of course), it is a good movie. This is not a typical Rajni movie, although the fireworks come out late in the movie. There are no  punch dialogues, but many cliches. Typical Shankar.

I can’t accept the ‘Nureal schema’ spelling goofup in the initial scenes though. The ‘mutations’ of the robots towards the end more than make up for any plot issues or goof ups. Indian movie graphics have matured now, and Endhiran is the pinnacle of CGI in the Indian movie industry.

Seeing Rajni in a non-protagonist role after a long time was amazing. I was reminded of his early movies with Kamal as the protagonist. He’d have been the most stylish villain had he not become a hero.

As for the music director, Rahman, what a man. Awesome BGM as always. Suited the theme very well. I thought that Aishwarya looked a lot like Fergie from Black Eyed Peas in the Irumbile oru idhayam number. I liked the way Kilimanjaro  was rendered, but the song was unwarranted in the movie and dampened the flow of the movie. Santhanam and Karunas try to evoke laughter, but end up looking like clowns, and are probably baby sitters for Chitti, the robot. Rajni as the robot also has several mokkai dialogues up his sleeve (sounded a lot like my mokkais).

I’d give this movie 3 on 5, purely for Rajni’s acting and Shankar’s imagination. But please, I’d like to see a movie without unnecessary songs and drag-along scenes.