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Badri's Tamil thoughts
Ganesh's Happily Haphazard
Raghu the reluctant Delhiite
Sankhya the busy idler
Srini the movie critic
We saw the Deepavali release Tamil movie 'Pithamagan' over the weekend. The movie stars Vikram, Surya, Laila & Sangeetha, is directed by Bala (of Sethu & Nanda fame) and has some amazing music by Ilayaraja. One of the first things I wondered about was the title. If you expect to see Vikram or Surya do a Mukesh Khanna (Bheeshma in BR Chopra's Mahabharat) so he can be called 'Pithaamah' everytime, that's far from the truth. If someone knows why the movie is called so, please inform me. On a related note, the new Ajit starrer titled 'Anjaneya' also has no correlation whatsoever between the title & the contents/cast/characters etc. (or so I heard)
Pithamagan is about Chitthan (Vikram, an undertaker - I think thats the right term) and his friendship with Sakthi (Surya playing a first degree conman). Vikram has nearly no dialogues until the climax while Surya is totally garrulous. Vikram is depicted having never really interacted with people/civilization etc. and having superhuman strength. They become friends after landing up in jail for different reasons. Laila and Sangeetha play Surya & Vikram's lovers, even though there is thankfully no prancing around trees in duets.
The movie is quite gripping and fascinating. Unfortunately, Bala's preoccupation with making movies bordering on the macabre, does tend to affect the viewing. With Sethu first and then with Nanda, there was an undercurrent of death in the movies. (Even though these were quite good movies, it'd be an awful pun to call them 'deadly' movies *grin*) With Pithamagan, death is virtually the protagonist, well very close to it given Vikram's occupation. If Bala's next movie is also as grim as his others have been, then he risks losing his audience. Serious cinema is good to have, but at the same time the director shouldn't make himself hopelessly repetitive.
I did notice a couple of points about the movie which readers could clarify.
Big game coming up tomorrow, the final of the tri-series at Calcutta. India v Australia at Calcutta yet again. With India overwhelming the Kiwis at Hyderabad, the Kiwi coach's comments on how his boys would be making history by going through the entire tour undefeated by India went straight back into his mouth. I really do wonder why coaches and captains go to two extremes: either patronize hopelessly weak opposition (such as Steve Waugh when Australia played Bangladesh) or shoot their mouth off when it's a winner-takes-all game.
Spot the odd man out: Jayasuriya, Afridi, O'Donnell, Boucher, Marillier, Lance Cairns, Agarkar, Kapil, Sehwag & Dravid. Two days ago you'd have picked Marillier and had very long odds on Dravid being in that list. Now you'd certainly pick Dravid. As recently as a year ago, there were lots of folks (and possibly still are!) who felt that Dravid was able to find a place in the oneday setup just because he volunteered to keep wickets. If he hadn't, then the youth brigade of Yuvraj, Badani, Kaif, Sehwag etc. would have forced him out. Far from it. He has blossomed in the last couple of years into an exceptional one-day batsman. Lest people forget, it was he (in the company of Yuvraj & Kaif respectively) who guided India home on a couple of occasions in the Natwest Series in 2002 and against Pakistan & New Zealand at the World Cup. Anyone who saw his innings at Hyderabad would have oooh-ed and aaah-ed at the quality of the strokeplay. It was the kind of innings you expect from him, the classy player that he is. None of the ugly slogs over midwicket or nicks flying through thirdman for four or over fineleg for six etc. It was pure classical batting. The six over extra-cover he started off with (off Styris?) was an awesome hit as was the pull off Oram's fulltoss which went for six. Go Rahul go! Australia beckons.
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