பாயும் வேகம் ஜெட் லீ தாண்டா
பன்ச் வெச்சா இட்லி தாண்டா
Rated PG - for Pseudo-DK, DMK, Liberals, Marxists....
ஊர்ல சொல்றது சொலவடை
உண்மையைச் சொல்றது இட்லிவடை

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

P.A.Krishnan on Jeyamohan -"I wish the writer good luck"

ஜெயமோகன்-விகடன் கட்டுரை பற்றி பி.ஏ.கிருஷ்ணன்.....

Slaps and sticks for calling 'em slapstick
Jeyamohan is one of the well-known writers in Tamil. He is also an occasional iconoclast who manages to anger the establishment. He once annoyed the revered Chief Minister of Tamilnadu by stating that he, the Kalaignar, was no great shakes when it came to literature -- a statement which prompted an indignant poem from the old man. The poem more or less highlighted the point Jeyamohan was trying to make, but the Tamils didn't notice it. They don't easily dig irony.

Jeyamohan is again in trouble now. A few weeks ago, he wrote two rip-roaring pieces on the two great icons of the Tamil filmdom -- MGR and Sivaji. He published them in his blog as he thought no magazine in Tamil would dare to publish them. This is a rough version of what he says about fighting scenes in the MGR movies: "Our priest Kesavan compared these scenes with distribution of Prasad in his temple. The villains came -- almost neatly -- in a row, got whacked by MGR, returned to available corners to imbibe at leisure what they had received and came back to be whacked again." This is his complaint about the other thespian, Sivaji: "He breaks into singing at the most inopportune moments. The taxi will be waiting, the guests will all be in a hurry, but Sivaji has to sing an interminable song to bid farewell to his sister."

When I was young, I was infected by MGR. He used to come in pantaloons which would have looked garish on horses, but I loved him and his skill in fencing. In his earlier movies he paired with thick-waisted heroines who looked like his older sisters. He was perhaps not allowed to choose. When he was, he chose girls young enough to be his grand-daughters. I didn't mind at all. I was sort of neutral about Sivaji, but I hated his thick jowls. He was called, for some mysterious reason, the Marlon Brando of Tamil Nadu, but unlike the Hollywood mumbler, he spewed his dialogues like ticker-tapes which came out thick, convoluted and fast. I didn't know what good cinema was. Most Tamils still don't know what good cinema is.

What makes a good movie? I am not talking of a great movie. Just a good movie. I read somewhere that a good movie has a capacity to keep you engaged. I have no problem with this simple definition except that it should be able to keep you engaged 50 years hence. Watch Casablanca or our own Raj Kapoor's Awaara. You will know what I mean. Jeyamohan says in his piece on Sivaji that his children burst into laughter when a paunchy Sivaji, acting as the great destroyer Shiva, tried to open his third eye to burn to ashes an elephantine Shakti. This movie was supposed to be one of the many 'master-pieces' of Sivaji. I feel differently when I watch these movies today.

My stomach churns.

It is not that these two thespians have not acted in good movies. Some of their earlier films, which were shot when these actors were not contaminated by fame, are still watchable. But these films are not what these two great men are identified with.

Jeyamohan's essays were shortened and re-published in one of the famous Tamil weeklies, Anandavikatan. The magazine accused Jeyamohan, among other things, of irresponsible writing. The die-hard fans of MGR and Sivaji who would have never read the writer's blog had a chance to read what he wrote. They naturally did not like what they read. Jeyamohan now feels like a miniature Taslima Nasreen. Maniacs, he says, ring him everyday and threaten to tear him limb from limb. The plus point is that his blog now scores a zillion hits.

The Tamils are justifiably famous for many things. Unfortunately, subtlety and satire are not among them. Their cinemas, excepting the greatest of them, want to underline, highlight, repeat, exaggerate, and do whatever they can to make the audience understand what they want to convey. This was perhaps necessary initially, when people were new to the medium of cinema. But one would have expected the audience to grow up. That they haven't and are still less than juvenile in their appreciation is largely due to the long dominance of the duo.

"I've done a few things that have been comedies," Canadian actress Kathleen Robertson was supposed to have remarked during an interview. "But not intentionally." MGR and Sivaji too had done hundreds of comedies, without any intention of doing them.

The trouble is Jeyamohan has identified them as unintentional comedies, but the duo's fans haven't. I wish the writer good luck.

( Source: Dailypioneer)

4 Comments:

ஜயராமன் said...

சரியாகத்தான் சொல்லியிருக்கிறார், பி.ஏ!

நம் தமிழ்க்கூட்டம் இன்றும் உணர்ச்சிவயப்பட்டு பொதுவான விமர்சனங்களை எதிர்நோக்கும் முதிர்ச்சி இல்லாமல் இருக்கிறது. இந்த இழிநிலைக்கு சமீபத்திய திராவிட அரசியல் கலாசாரமே காரணம்.

நன்றி

ஜயராமன்

geeyar said...

இது விகடனின் தவறே. வேறென்ன சொல்ல

Manikandan said...

Absolutely i do not have any problems if P.A Krishnan or Jeyamohan don't consider Sivaji's/MGR films as classic. But I do believe Sivaji's movies were more classic than we tend to believe. And i like to see them.

with regards
maniknadan

prabhuraj said...

Vikatan did a filthy Job.