Would you like to make this site your homepage? It's fast and easy...
Yes, Please make this my home page!
TAMIL CINEMA 2000 - MUSIC DIRECTORS
Cinema, with its long acquaintance with Tamils, has intoxicated them in two
aspects. Our movie-goers have become hero-worshippers and addicts to fine music.
This week, let us have a peep into the music world of Tamil Cinema. Let us
analyse the achievements made by our Music Directors.
It was Ilayaraja who had crowned the music of Tamil Cinema with the highest
honour. He has staged a remarkable comeback in 2000. The films, 'Bharathi' and
'Hey Ram' catapulted him once again to the zenith of fame. 'Bharathi', in
particular, has given him a quite new image. The magazines praised not only the
picture but also the music scored therein.
Hindu' had this to say:
Ilayaraja has come once again with his wonderful orchestra. He has utilised the
violin very well in the songs. Certainly, Bharathi is a watermark film for
Hats off to Ilayaraja!
Ilayaraja has held aloft the national flag and paid his tribute to it through
Through his music, Ilayaraja has made good the shortcomings of this film. Truly,
he has given an attractive dimension to the film.
all magazines have praised Ilayaraja for the good work done by him in the film.
As for 'Hey Ram', he visited Hungary and scored the background music for the
film making use of 'Sympathy' music.
Kamal had this comment to make on the announcement of national awards. "I
am not sorry for not having won an award for myself. What irks me is that they
have not given an award to the music maestro Ilayaraja who has done the Worlds'
best re-recording for the film." His open-minded statement bears ample
testimony to the greatness of Ilayaraja's music. Ilayaraja remains one of the
few music giants who has escaped the tirades of Subbudu, the veteran critic of
arts who calls a spade a spade.
A.R.Rahman is selective in accepting the chances that come his way. But he makes
the most of the tasks undertaken by him. He is highly successful and leads a
rich brand of life. He has found himself many times in the midst of varied
reviews. But he has a high reputation, irrespective of the nature of reviews,
rave or otherwise the cause of all those films. His song 'Snehithane' serves as
a lullaby. Many fall asleep lending their ears to that soft song in the soothing
silence and dim light of night-time. His music has adorned the five elements of
nature in 'Rhythm'. The music employed by A.R.Rahman at the beginning of the
song 'Kaatre En Vaasal Vandhai' is all melody, pure and pristine. Until now, he
has been masquerading within the barriers of India. In 2001, he is going to
establish his fame as an exemplary and exceptional Music Director in the
Overseas also. Our joy knows no bounds, on account of this achievement of his.
another front-ranking Music Director. Year after year, it is he who sets music
for more number of films than the other music directors. He started the year
2000 on a commendable note with 'Mugavari', giving a virtual feast to the
youngsters through his youthful music in 'Kushi'. His song 'Yappa Yappa Aiyappa'
has caught the attention of specially adolescents and urchins . He continues his
firm status in the field of music with some interesting songs like 'Karupputhan
enakku pudichcha kalaru'.
Bharatwaj has rendered fine music in the film, 'Parthaein Rasithaein'.
Vidyasagar has scored endearing music in 'Snehithiye'. His re-entry has sent a
chill down the spines of his peers. These two people vie with each other in
producing music as sweet as honey. They never fail to rise to the occasion
whenever opportunity knocks the door.
Good Films produces more films than other film companies. S.A.Rajkumar is the
official Music Director of Super Good Films. He has also got many films to his
credit during the year 2000. Deva duplicates from other people's songs whereas,
S.A.Rajkumar used to copy from his own songs. Right from the very beginning of
2000, he has reaped a rich harvest, starting with a resounding success in 'Vaanaththaippola'.
Small wonder, he had received the prestigious award, 'The Best Music Director'
from the hands of Chief Ministers Karunanidhi and Chandrababu Naidu. But he has
a drawback. He doesn't apply his mind on background music at all. A music buff
had this to say about him at the entrance of a theatre: "In the whole world
there is only one Music Director who can set the background music without using
any musical instrument . And that is RajKumar! What he wants is a bevy of four
women. He will ask them to sing a 'chorus' and that forms his background
As we have already stated in this essay, the Tamil film fans enjoy themselves in
becoming slaves to good music. But it is a deplorable fact that our Music
Directors continue to create a lot of sub-standard songs that fail to remain
etched in the memory of those ardent music lovers. Why do they create such
high-sounding, noisy songs when the people here from age six to age sixty are
enamoured of melodious songs? Who stands to benefit by this? We simply don't
But every cloud has a silver lining. The phenomenal growth in the stature of
Ilayaraja, the world renown of A.R.Rahman, and the arrival and achievements of
new Music Directors of quality will no doubt take the Tamil film music to higher
and higher planes in the next century. Let us hopefully wait and look forward to
hearing high-class music in the years to come.
S H A N T H I - M A D H A N
"Vaseegara En Nenjinile
La la la la la la"
"How nice to hear you singing! Are you in a jubilant mood, Shanthi?
"Hmm. Only the song is luring. The picture is not so "
"What! Are you not impressed with 'Minnale?"
"Yes, Madhan! The director has depicted the first half very well. But he
has done injustice to the second half. Some of the fans in the theatre have
virtually started crying - 'Let someone marry Reema Sen or, at least, allow me
to marry her!' Such was the sarcastic remark passed on the work done by the
"The word 'marriage' reminds me of one thing. Sarath Kumar and Radhika have
married long before, it seems!"
"I see. Then, Radhika has become a 'Chithi' in real life also!"
"You can take it for granted. Of late, one reporter has sought the
explanation in this regard from Chaya, the former wife of Sarath Kumar. She has
replied that she would make the facts about this known, at the appropriate
"Well said. Everybody saw Sarath Kumar and Radhika coming together as a
couple to grace the function 'Roja 100'. The pair drew more attention than Roja
"Shanthi! Do these things look nice? I wonder when our cinema people would
leave the habit of marrying those who have already entered into wed locks! By
the way, are you aware about the return of a personality paving way to hot news?
"Are you by any chance referring to Abhavaanam?"
"Yes! Obstinacy is not a welcomable trend. No doubt, Abavaanam is a
talented person. But there are talks about him in the film circles that he
spends money lavishly. He produced a film with the title, 'Karuppu Roja'. That
was the first Tamil film to have effects in sound recording. The film misfired
at the box-office but Abavaanam was not scared. Unmindful of his earlier loss,
he is taking steps to make another movie with the auspicious title, 'Manjal Roja'.
His unit members have reposed their full confidence on him. They are hopeful
that 'Manjal Roja' would turn out to be another 'Oomai Vizhigal'. Ramki and Roja
would be the lead artistes in that film."
have another example for self-confidence. He has become a hero with ample
"You mean Vivek?"
"You are right!"
"Vivek has held the puja last week, for the film in which he is playing the
role of a hero, with the blessings of his mentor, K.Balachander. Impressed as he
is with the rich popularity of Vivek, R.B.Chowdhry of Super Good films himself
had come forward to make him a hero. At first, Vivek hesitated that it may
affect his market as a comedian. Subsequently he grew bold and has now become a
hero for all practical purposes. However, on my part, I am praying to Goddess
Karumari Aththa whom I worship, to grant success to Vivek."
"Aththadi Aththa! You must save all.
"What, Madhan? What happened to you? Why do you dance as if you are in a
"What can I tell you, Shanthi? How can I explain those things to you? The
number of people who bring out Tamil albums is increasing day by day. They just
don't care to know whether the Tamil albums are being sold at all! Now, it is
Mansoor Ali Khan who has been caught in the pop trap. 'Aaththadi Aaththa' is the
title of his album. It deals with the folk arts, which are in vogue in our
villages. Well, if it is Subramaniam Swamy who is the center of the storms in
our politics, then Mansoor Ali Khan is his counterpart in the celluloid world.
What more can I tell?"
"You cannot say anything. You will have to fret and fume within
"What happened to you, Shanthi? Have you any grievance to share with
"So, so. You can see for yourself. It has become a habit with Tamil Nadu,
of all the states in India, to provide more opportunities to the people hailing
from other states in preference to the local talents. Rather, it has become a
common place matter and a regular feature in Tamil filmdom".
have to endorse your view by all means. Truth to tell, three out of the six
directors of the films released on the occasion of Pongal speak languages other
than Tamil. Suresh Gopi and Vijayalakshmi have bagged their chances in the
films, 'Deena' and 'Friends' respectively with the help of people belonging to
their own languages. A Malayalam Director fixed only a Malayalam actress as the
heroine of the picture made by him. This has almost become an unwritten law. The
Malayalam directors prefer to have Malayalis as members of their crew. In short,
they want to give a flavour of Kerala to their films. In the name of making
Tamil films, the Malayalis enjoy themselves the most. What kind of justice is
"Take Karnataka into consideration. It is Tamils who form the backbone of
Bangalore's Software export industry, today. But the city hesitates to put up a
statue there for Thiruvalluvar. Sorry! I should not have opened my mouth to
speak like this. I am off from politics from now on! Why should I get caught in
"Why are you afraid, Shanthi? It is because we shut our eyes like this,
others find it easy to enter into our fortresses. It is we who make the elbow,
room for these people who are capable of making their way even through a 'cycle
gap'. One must not leave any quarter to one's competitor. Let us not lose our
grounds anymore. It is foolish to bend our backs when we are hit on the heads.
It's high time we held our heads high, keeping with the poetic lines 'Thamizhan
enru Sollada, Thalai Nimirndhu Nillada' (Proclaim that you are a Tamilian; stand
erect in a stately manner holding you head high)". The pride of Tamils is
the pride of Tamil land.
SOME MORE THINGS ABOUT
the course of his visits to many countries abroad, in connection with the
shooting of his films and for the participation in the cultural shows, Prashanth
had stayed in posh hotels of all comforts. Impressed with those stately star
hotels, he had expressed a desire to his father. Resultantly, the father and son
have focused their attention on building a super-specialty star hotel of
international standards at Thyagarayanagar in Chennai.
Prashanth is in the habit of collecting the photographs of the eye-catching,
exotic locales of the Overseas in his computer. Whenever the Producers and
Directors are in search for ideal locations for the song sequences in his films,
he would display the well stocked, beautiful locations recorded by him in his
computer, thus causing a pleasant surprise to all of them. Several locations
picturized in the films, 'Parthaein Rasithaein', 'Good Luck', 'Kadhal Kavithai'
and 'Jodi' have been selected actually from the collections kept by Prashanth
are girls who send 'talis'(Mangal sutras) to Prashanth with a request that he
should tie them around their necks. So many girls have expressed their soulful
love for him over telephones and through e-mails. Some over-zealous fans write
letters to him making use of their blood instead of ink. Prashanth has
instructed them all not to write such letters.
Everyday, his fans send him gifts such as wrist watches, gold chains, ties,
vests and shirts with due request to him to use those things at least in anyone
of the scenes in which he acts in films. He has been receiving nylon and woolen
apparels with handwork decorations on them from some of his fans. He has also
been receiving many packets of biscuits and chocolates day in and day out. He is
able to smell the fragrance of the love of his fans, both males and females,
from various lands separated by seas and oceans. The friendship between his fans
and him gets stronger day by day. "Our friendship does not wane or fade
away" Prashanth says with legitimate pride.
Immediately after his very first film 'Vaikasi Poranthachchu', he won the honour
of 'Belt new face hero' from many organizations. No other hero won such an
honour from so many establishments.
can easily be tipped as the hero who had acted alongside more number of young
heroines than any other hero. So many new faces such as Amisha Patel, Rinky
Khanna, Preeti, Jankiyani, Mamta Kulkarni, Pooja Bhat, Anu Agarwal, Vinodini,
Sharmila, Mounika, Kaveri, Roja and Sneha form the list of actresses who have
paired with him.
During the 'Star night' cultural shows conducted in the foreign countries like
Malaysia, Singapore, London, Canada and Sri Lanka, Prashanth had proved his
dancing talents in no uncertain terms. Everyone was stunned and dumbstruck in
Malaysia when he danced non-stop on the stage for four hours with different
heroines. Among the actors, he is second to Kamal Hassan only in performing
Bharat Natyam Arangetram. All acknowledge him as the second greatest all-rounder
among the actors of Tamil filmdom. Malaysian Minister Mr. Datho Samuel has given
him the title, 'Master of all arts', along with a golden shield weighing five
kilograms, while felicitating him on the stage. Prashanth is an admixture of
abounding youth, attractive sweetness, ardent desire for modernity and an
abiding patience. All these factors remain as pointers to the fact that he is
going to emerge as the top sax of Indian filmdom in the years ahead.
adhavan is not happy about Hrithik Roshan. He is rather averse about him.
His wife has chided him, it seems, as she was all in praise, for the physical
prowess of Hrithik such as the strength of his arms. This has spurred Madhavan
on. Now he wants to equal Hrithik not only in his filmy fame but also in having
an exercised and cultured body. These days, he has started undergoing
specialized physical training to keep his body in good shape and fine trim. He
has stocked all the necessary equipments in his house too. He has an aim to
become an action hero. As such, he has already been doing so many exercises to
tone up his personality further. Maybe, the day is not far off when we may see
yet another Hrithik Roshan.
Even though his film, 'Ennavale' has ended as a failure, Madhavan is not
diffident. Still, he is full of confidence. From his school days, he had
confronted with many bottlenecks and emerged unscathed from many ordeals. And he
has come a long way from his days of trouble.
With all this, he has become the hero for the one hundredth film of Veteran
director K.Balachander. Much is expected of him from the film, 'Minnale'. He is
going to wear another crown shortly with the release of the film, 'Dum Dum Dum',
in which he is acting now.
'Dum Dum Dum' would be a suitable film for the ever-smiling hero, Madhavan.
Apart from doing merry-go-rounds as a romantic hero, Madhavan has dished out
high-class comedy in that picture joining hands with Vivek, they say.
Koundamani is a unique person. He is made of sterner stuff. He refuses to be a
prisoner of circumstances. He has not changed his characteristics and ways of
behaviour because of the adversity he is facing now. His market had fallen
because of the growth of Vivek, Vadivelu and the ilk. But Koundamani is not
scared at all.
It is only that his fans are at a loss because of this. And the first
beneficiary, as a result of this, is Vivek!
So his fans were forced to see him and enjoy his comedy in the satellite
Television Channels, these days. Now, they are in for a pleasant surprise.
Koundamani had been a Mani to be searched for, practically, after the pictures,
'Unakkaga Ellam Unakkaga' and 'Malabar Police'. He is going to stage a comeback
now, with a little plumpy cheeks.
We can see him shortly in 'Citizen', the Ajit starrer and in 'Vedham' to be
produced and directed by 'Action king' Arjun.
actresses do not stage a successful comeback, sometimes, they fall by the
wayside even after staging a comeback. But different things have happened to
Nalini Ramarajan, nay, Nalini, simply.
She has drawn the attention of the Tamil film world through her excellent
performance in the serial play in Television called 'Krishnadaasi'. She has won
the acclaim of Subbudu, the noted art critic, in recognition of her histrionic
Encouraged by these unexpected successes, Nalini is going to enter into the
arena of party politics. She is friendly with people like K.Rajan and Isari
Ganesh. Already he has conducted the election campaigns for Ramarajan. Maybe
these factors might have emboldened her to try her hand in the sphere of
politics. It is expected that she will join the AIADMK party only, as it is that
party which had left Ramarajan in the lurch.
It is a fact that more number of Telugu films are being dubbed into Tamil than
Why is it so? The stories and lyrics are better in Malayalam films than their
Telugu counterparts, but the Malayalam films do not have a successful run in
Tamil Nadu because the cast is quite new and unfamiliar to the Tamil
movie-goers. Hence we have lesser number of Malayalam movies dubbed into Tamil.
(But once in a way we would come across a Shalini starrer as an exception!)
In the light of this state of affairs, we would soon be chancing to see the
Tamil version of a Malayalam picture called 'Cover Story'. The Producer has
taken courage to do so as Tabu and "Deena's" Suresh Gopi are in the
cast of that film. The two-some are well known to the film buffs of Tamil Nadu
and moreover, the film is an action thriller. The Tamil fans are famous for
backing up action-oriented films.
Tabu would generally look like an elder sister to our heroes! See the photograph
here. Verily, Suresh Gopi seems to be the eldest uncle of Tabu herself!
been a long wait for Prashanths' fans. At long last, his film 'Piriyatha Varam
Vendum' has hit the silver screen. There is an unprecedented wonder in this
film. Prashanth, although being the hero of this film, has meted out the
expenditure incurred for filming a song sequence of this film, himself!
The whole of the film was ready except that single song scene. The song, 'Vasco
da Gama' had already caught the attention of all ears. Prashanth evinced much
interest in shooting the song-scene. But, already, the film was caught in the
midst of many problems. Prashanth had to rise to the occasion. All of a sudden,
he has become a temporary Producer. He succeeded in filming that particular
song-sequence under the direction of Madesh who is a deputy to the famous
In that much-talked-about song, Prashanth has danced together with Minky, the
pretty face from Mumbai who had become famous by figuring for the song, 'Jimbulakka'.
And Prashanth has proved himself to be right. The song has turned out to be the
highlight of the movie as expected by the imaginative hero. This has immersed
the Prashanth team into a sea of joy.
Good films has a reputation for making films that would never fail at the
box-office. Similarly Media Dreams has carved out a niche for itself in
producing pictures of high quality. This has become a common knowledge.
Now, Media Dreams, the quality film-makers and Cheran who directs classic films,
with social consciousness have come together for good. Cheran could not refuse
the offer for directing a film for Media Dreams.
For quite some time, Cheran was confounding himself. He stood confused like
Hamlet - "To be or not to be?"
"Prabhudeva would be my hero!", he would tell one day. The next day,
it would be, "I would play the hero's role myself!". Yet another day,
his announcement would be, "It is not me. Vikram alone would be the hero in
the film to be produced by me!". Gone are the days in which he carried too
many bullets in his gun. Now he has set aside his oscillations and vacillations.
He has said 'Yes', to Media Dreams.
In all these days Cheran had felt his hands as having been tied down by the
commercial crises. But he has a soft corner for films with a social message.
Media Dreams has given him full freedom to express his concerns for the society
and the common people who form a part of it. It is very heartening to notice
these welcome trends in Tamil cinema.
Director V.Sekhar, the master of family subjects, is raring to go once again,
with the caption being, 'Veettoda Mappillai' (The groom in the brides house).
Who is the bridegroom? New face Napoleon!
Yes! for the first time in his life, Napoleon steps into V.Sekhar's Kalaikkoodam
(The Hall of Arts), as the brand new bridegroom following the tradition of
Sivakumar, Livingston, 'Nizhalgal' (Shadows) Ravi, Nasser and the like. The
Formerly, V.Sekhar has conducted a durbar in comedy combining the multi faceted
wits of the comic stalwarts like Koundamani, Senthil, Vadivelu and Vivek. This
time he is going to make use of the talents of Vaiyapuri and Charlie.
What is the reason for this change?
Sekhar's reply is sharp. "They all demand a very high remuneration. After
all, I am the person who had helped them grow fast. As they had quoted a high
amount by way of honorarium, I didn't approach them at all!" Hence the
mantle has fallen on the small shoulders of Vaiyapuri. Indeed, it is a jock-pot!
Hitherto, Vaiyapuri has had a stunted growth as he had to grow under the shadow
of some established comedians. He had no tangible scope to display his comic
talents at all. We were able to see his glimpses alone. This time, he need not
play second fiddle to anyone. Now the bird has been let off from the cage. Let
us hope that the free bird would do wonderful comedy.
atrocious things are occurring in Tamil Cinema, both, On and Behind the screens.
But good things are also happening here and there.
Media Dreams, which has the credentials of making good films, has done another
good thing recently.
They had planned to hold a puja on February 7 and to start filming a movie with
the title 'Pandavar Bhoomi' under the direction of Cheran. But, suddenly, they
have stopped conducting the puja, paying heed to the request of their chosen
"When the people of Gujarat are reeling under abject poverty following the
great calamity of an earthquake of massive proportions, let us not hold any gala
puja. Let us avoid any such paraphernalia and send the would-be expenses of puja
straight to the Gujarat relief measures".
Accepting the timely suggestion of their Director, Media Dreams have sent the
probable amount of puja expenditure to the Gujarat relief Fund.
Were we not dumb-founded witnesses to the fireworks performed during the grand,
gala puja functions that took place in Tamil film world before the Pongal
festival wherein money was spent like water?
The good gesture of Media Dreams moves the mind.
The Boost of the Week:
was booked for the film, 'Friends'. After some days, when Ilayaraja learnt that
I have been selected as an actor in that film, he had told Director Siddique
that I am the right choice.
After the release of 'Friends', I have become a much sought after person. My
cell phone as well as the telephone in my house are ringing constantly. I am
being congratulated by one and all."
This Week's Allegation:
don't attach importance to the criticisms made on me. Rumours have no sense at
all. I need not bother about those baseless scandals. You will have to learn to
give respect to the love of actresses also!"
This Week's Felicitation:
"Whenever I have to talk about 'Friends', I must thank Vijay first. When
the Producers wanted me to act in the film, he gave his nod to the proposal. He
had encouraged me a lot and is a broad minded person. No wonder today, he has
grown up to the level of a super star."
T I T B I T S
Murugadass who had directed 'Deena' is going to bank upon yet another action
movie. He is busy with the spinning of his next story.
Mannukkum' has come out in good shape, Vikram had shared his joy with the
members of the film unit by presenting some mementoes to them.
is in the air that Simran is going to quit the world of Cinema. Yet, her hands
are full; she has seven films, at the moment, to her credit.
is determined not to accept any other film before finishing 'Suri', for, the
film has a good story charged with strong emotions. The story is the brainchild
of Shelvan, a deputy of Director Shankar.
having played a different role altogether, Ramesh Khanna has started refusing
the opportunities of acting as a part and parcel of a comedy group. As of now,
there are ten films in his hand.
Kumar is not going to contest in the forthcoming elections for the Tamil Nadu
Legislative Assembly. He is going to confine himself just with the campaigns.
film, 'Nayak' has reached its final stages. The shoots of this film are being
done now at the AVM studio in Chennai itself. 'Media Dreams' has already picked
up momentum in doing the preparatory works in connection with 'Robo', the film
to be made by them under the direction of Shankar.
distributors who paid a high price for the movie 'Vanchinathan' have burnt their
fingers. They have incurred heavy losses. On account of this, Vijayakanth has
taken special care to effect necessary changes in his next film, 'Narasimha'.
going to act in a film to be directed by Charan, after finishing the films,
'Citizen', 'Poovellam Un Vaasam' and 'New'.
Vairamuthu is the official lyricist in the music durbar of A.R.Rahman. Likewise,
Thamarai has become the favoured lyricist of Harris Jeyaraj. She is penning the
songs for all the three films in the hands of Harris Jeyaraj.