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    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    January 25, 2006

    Thavamai Thavamirundhu

    We saw Cheran's "Thavamai Thavamirundhu" a few months after its release. It took us three sittings at night to watch the entire movie, because of its length and since we could only have watched it peacefully after Jaagruthi had slept, close to midnight typically!

    Ganesh briefly reviewed it a couple of weeks ago. My attempt here is not to review the movie per se.

    Cheran's earlier movie 'Autograph', reviewed here two years ago certainly has a massive influence on the movie making style he chooses for this one. His earlier movies like Bharathi Kannamma, Vettri Kodikattu, Porkaalam and Paandavar Bhoomi didn't rely as heavily on flashbacks as Autograph and Thavamai Thavamirundhu have.

    Raj Kiran is best known for prompting the question "Raj Kiran-ukku veshti thevaya?" thanks to his numerous thigh exposures in the 1980s and 1990s. I had never seen a shred of evidence that he could actually act and emote. For Cheran to make him act the way did is, in my opinion, even superior to Mani Ratnam getting Rajinikanth to emote in Dalapathi.

    I always felt that Rajini had, in his early movies, shown a potential to act capably. Unfortunately superstardom meant that he started belting out masala movies by the half-dozen every year and his acting ability was completely overshadowed by the theatrics of popping the cigarette into his mouth, catching live grenades while diving through the air, mouthing meaningless punch dialogues etc.

    If Cheran made Raj Kiran's acting memorable in the movie, it is full credit to both of them. Perhaps Raj Kiran is a director's actor after all.

    While it was plainly obvious that Raj Kiran would eventually die in hospital, the timing was wonderful. All he wanted from his son was a confirmation that he hadn't erred in bringing them up the way he did and his sacrifices had not been in vain.

    What did puzzle Krithi and me was why Cheran chose this theme. We had three answers. Take your pick:

    • His father is/was very similar to the one portrayed in the movie.
    • His father is/was the total antithesis of the one in the movie.
    • He possibly missed out on having the canopy of a father-figure in his childhood, for various reasons. So he tried to fantasize about how he'd have loved his father to have been.

    As an aside, is there any site which replicates IMDB for Indian movies exclusively?

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