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All Time Favourite Tamil Movies

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All Time Favourite Tamil Movies
#1
Filmmakers’ favourites

<img src='http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/fr/2007/07/13/images/2007071350330101.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />


From October 31, 1931, when the first talkie ‘Kalidas,’ was released, Tamil cinema has come a long way. Different directors, different styles... it has been a rich fare. Eight directors list their best ten and explain what makes the first three superior.

Sridhar: ‘Sindhu Bairavi,’ ‘Roja,’ ‘Vedam Puthidhu,’ ‘Thillana Mohanambal,’ ‘Nayagan,’ ‘16 Vayathinile,’ ‘Udhiripookkal,’ ‘Thiruvilaiyadal,’ ; ‘Servar Sundaram’ and ‘Saraswathi Sabadam.’

‘Sindhu Bairavi’ is a masterpiece in its own way. The screenplay and the actors’ performances make it the best. I choose ‘Roja’ for its patriotism. ‘Vedam Puthidhu’ appeals because of its message that all humans are the same.

K. Balachander: ‘Andha Naal,’ ‘Chandralekha,’ ‘Kalyana Parisu,’ ‘Thillana Mohanambal,’ ‘Pasamalar,’ ‘Ulagam Sutrum Valiban,’ ‘16 Vayathinile,’ R 16;Mullum Malarum,’ ‘Kadhal Kottai’ and ‘Kathal.’

‘Andha Naal’ was released in 1954 starring Sivaji Ganesan and Pandaribai. It was the first talkie in India without song or dance. I like the way director S. Balachander tackles this experimental film, an unusual attempt at that time. Just like ‘Sivaji’ today, people talked about ‘Chandralekha’ in the past. Produced at a cost of Rs 30 lakhs (a huge sum at that time), it has grand sets. I have seen it 12 times. ‘Kalyanaparisu,’ a love story, is the first of its kind. I became director Sridhar’s fan after watching it.

<img src='http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/fr/2007/07/13/images/2007071350330102.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />


J. Mahendran: ‘Chandralekha,’ ‘Ratha Kaneer,’ ‘Thillana Mohanambal,’ ‘Nenjil Oru Aalayam,’ ‘16 Vayathinile,’ ‘Veedu,’ ‘Kadhal,’ ‘Imsai Arasan 23r d Pulikesi,’ ‘Paruthi Veeran’ and ‘Mozhi.’

I choose ‘Chandralekha,’ a remarkable film, because of its grandeur in all departments of filmmaking. There are no graphics or special effects. If anybody tries to remake this black and white film, they will make a mockery of it. ‘Ratha Kaneer,’ made in 1954, has progressive ideas and great acting by M.R.Radha. ‘Thillana Mohanambal’ must make all Tamils proud. It not only fuses Bharatnatyam and nagaswaram, but has an outstanding screenplay and a great cast.

Balu Mahendra: ‘Parasakthi,’ ‘Devadas,’ ‘Ratha Kaneer,’ ‘Pasamalar,’ ‘Silanerangalil Silamanidargal,’ ‘Unnaipol Oruvan,’ ‘Aval Appadithan,’ ‘ Kalyana Parisu,’ ‘Nenjil Or Aalayam,’ and ‘Thanneer Thanneer.’

<img src='http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/fr/2007/07/13/images/2007071350330103.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

‘Parasakthi’s’ heavy dialogue (written in chaste Tamil by the current Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi) coupled with a stunning performance by newcomer, Sivaji Ganesan, make it a favourite. ‘Devadas’ has superb lighting by B.S.Ranga, excellent performance by A. Nageswara Rao and Savithri and haunting music by C.R.Subbaraman. As a teenager, I saw it 40 times. As a filmmaker, I saw it for the 50th time a couple of years ago. It still captivates me now as it did, when I was a teenager.

‘Ratha Kaneer’ has brilliant dialogue and inimitable performance by M.R.Radha.

K. Bhagyaraj: ‘Adutha Veettupenn,’ ‘Parasakthi,’ ‘Nadodi Mannan,’ ‘Uthama Puthiran,’ ‘Kalyana Parisu’ ‘Thillana Mohanambal,’ ‘Ulagam Suttrum Valiban,’ ‘Aval Oru Thodarkathai,’ ‘Mullum Malarum’ and ‘16 Vayathinile.’

I like ‘Adutha Veettupenn’ for the natural acting, ‘Parasakthi’ for its message of social awareness, reform and powerful dialogue. In ‘Nadodi Mannan’ and ‘Uthama Puthiran,’ I enjoyed the way both heroes combine acting prowess with entertainment.

Mani Ratnam: ‘Udhiripookal,’ ‘16 Vayathinile,’ ‘Aval Oru Thodarkathai,’ ‘Andha Naal,’ ‘Mullum Malarum,’ ‘Uthama Puthiran,’ ‘Anbe Vaa,’ ‘Pitha Mag an,’ ‘Moondram Pirai’ and ‘Pasa Malar.’

I had just stepped into the industry and Mahendran’s ‘Udhiripookal’ just bowled me over. It was a breakthrough film in commercial cinema. The negative character in it and the way it ends make it outstanding. ‘16 Vayathinile’ is memorable for its script, high standard and realism. K.Balachandar has done some of the best films before and after ‘Aval Oru Thodar Kathai.’ But I choose it mainly for its storyline. It is not the plot or the story, but the character that carries the film through. Although it was released about 25 years ago, the character remains fresh in one’s memory. That is the greatness of the film.

[Image: 2007071350330104.jpg]


K.S.Ravi Kumar: ‘Pasamalar,’ ‘Nenjil Or Aalayam’, ‘Aval Oru Thodar Kathai’, ‘Kadhalikka Neramillai,’ ‘16 Vayathinile,’ ‘Mullum Malarum,’ ‘Nayagan,’  216;Deivamagan,’ ‘Ulagam Suttrum Valiban’ and ‘Puthu Vasantham.’

As a kid I saw ‘Pasamalar’ and cried. As an adult, each time I have seen it I was moved to tears. Recently when I saw it, the film left a lump in my throat. That is the power of the script and the performance of lead players. Sridhar’s ‘Nenjil Or Aalayam’ depicts the supremacy of love. Through his script and direction, Balachandar brings out the tender core of his middle-class heroine, assailed by problems, in ‘Aval Oru Thodarkathai.’

Ameer: ‘Andha Naal,’ ‘Nenjam Marappadhillai,’ ‘Thiruvilaiyadal,’ ‘Ulagam Suttrum Valiban,’ ‘Moondru Mudichu,’ ‘Aval Appadithan,’ ‘Udhiri Pookal,’ ̵6;16 Vayathinile,’ ‘Moondram Pirai’ and ‘Sethu.’

‘Andha Naal’ by S. Balachander was a trendsetter. When songs were the mainstay those days, this film was a bold attempt as it did not have any. Each camera angle makes watching it worthwhile. In fact one can say that this film changed the sound concept in Tamil cinema. ‘Nenjam Marappadhillai’ not only breaks free from the formulaic screenplay but director Sridhar does something revolutionary by introducing new faces in it. Recently I read in a paper that the film has been remade in Hindi. This is the power of Sridhar’s script. Director A.P. Nagarajan’s ‘Thiruvilaiyadal’ is imaginative. It treats a mythological subject in an interesting way. It is one of the best films in the annals of Tamil cinema.
  Reply
#2
My favriot is J Mahendran, all his films are a classic, excellent.

Also watched chandralekah sometime recently, so enchanting. The director G.K. Vasan incedently comes from my native town, thiruthirapoondi.
  Reply
#3
My all time favorite Tamil movie is Nayakan (since it's the only Tamil movie I've seen <!--emo&Tongue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tongue.gif' /><!--endemo--> )
  Reply
#4
My favourite?

Padayappa - Super performance by Super star Rajanikanth <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  Reply
#5
Veera Pandya Katta Bomman.
  Reply
#6
which was that movie.. Kamal Hasan & Shivaji Ganesan...remade in Hindi with Anil Kapoor, Amrish Puri...?

edited - it was Shivaji Ganeshan...and movie Thevar Magan.
  Reply
#7
<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Jun 24 2008, 05:01 AM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Jun 24 2008, 05:01 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->which was that movie.. Kamal Hasan & Gemini Ganesan...remade in Hindi with Anil Kapoor, Amrish Puri...?
[right][snapback]83252[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Kalatthoor Kannamma (1960 movie, when Kamalahasan was 6 years old)

I think you are mentioning 'Unnaal Mudiyum Thambi' (1988) <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Nayakan is a classic. Anjali is another favorite of mine. But I gravitate towards 'Thiruvarutchelvar', 'Thiruvilayadal', 'Thillaana Mohanambal', 'Veera Pandiya Kattabomman'. For some reason, I have Vikram's Anniyan and Indian in my favorites list.
  Reply
#8
<!--QuoteBegin-Sunder+Jun 24 2008, 06:38 AM-->QUOTE(Sunder @ Jun 24 2008, 06:38 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Kalatthoor Kannamma (1960 movie, when Kamalahasan was 6 years old)

I think you are mentioning 'Unnaal Mudiyum Thambi' (1988) <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
[right][snapback]83255[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

no I had mixed sivaji with gemini ganeshan. I meant Thevar Magan.
  Reply
#9
Here is a link to buy old hindi/tamil/telugu and other language movies

http://www.moserbaerhomevideo.com

i had bought thier CD's on retail shop and its good, have not tried thier online shop though.
  Reply
#10
AP/TN movie Maya Bajaar. Ghathothkacha. Made me want to be a Rakshasha just like him and his gang when I was little <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Lakshana Kumar is soooooo endearing in this one, everywhere else I always booo at the one who murdered Abhimanyu. But you can't hate the comical way this actor has portrayed him - he plays Lakshana Kumar as hysterically vain. The story ends long before the Mahabharata War.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I have Vikram's Anniyan<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->I know some people who briefly appeared in that Vikram Joseph movie.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->1960 movie, when Kamalahasan was 6 years old<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->He changed his name to the more psecular Kamal Hassan. Both his new first and last name are very Middle-Eastern and therefore very psecular now.
  Reply
#11
1) Nayagan
2) Veera Pandya Kattabomman
3) Kurudhi Punal
4) Thevar Magan

Thats all I can remember.
  Reply
#12
We can list more than one?

Well then, here are a couple of others not yet mentioned I think that I also loved since I was a kid:
Konjum Salangai (with Gemini Ganesh, Savithri - with magnificent Bharatanatyam in it) and Karnan


<b>EDITED:</b> It was Savithri in Konjum Salangai.
  Reply
#13
In no particular order,

Karnan
Veerapandya Kattabomman
Thevar Magan
Thiruvilayadal

Even though I was born in 1988, I find that old movies are infinitely better than the useless, disgusting crap that is produced now.
  Reply
#14
<!--QuoteBegin-Pandyan+Jun 25 2008, 01:32 AM-->QUOTE(Pandyan @ Jun 25 2008, 01:32 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Even though I was born in 1988, I find that old movies are infinitely better than the useless, disgusting crap that is produced now.[right][snapback]83303[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Nodding in agreement here. (Though I do like Kandukondain Kandukondain, which was made in 1999 or 2000 I think.) The old movies easily bear repeated viewing, which proves how good they are.
  Reply
#15
ok, I will throw in names that nobody mentioned....
1) Thookku thooki
2) Avargal
3) Autograph
4) Aval orru thodarkathai
5) Azhagi
6) Kaadilakka neramillai

just from the top of my memory :-)
  Reply
#16
After Veera Pandya Kattabomman, the next favorite one is Kandukondain the Tamil rendering of Jane Austen's 'Sense and Sensibility.' Its the best rendering of that great English novel.
  Reply
#17
<!--QuoteBegin-ramana+Jun 30 2008, 10:24 PM-->QUOTE(ramana @ Jun 30 2008, 10:24 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->After Veera Pandya Kattabomman, the next favorite one is Kandukondain the Tamil rendering of Jane Austen's 'Sense and Sensibility.' Its the best rendering of that great English novel.[right][snapback]83583[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Personally I think the Brits have rendered Sense and Sensibility better at least in 2 out of 3 versions I've seen (don't much find the Thomson/Winslet/Grant one that memorable). Brits just do their own literature <i>and</i> American literature better than others. They are terrible at adapting French or Russian literature, I must say. Filled with distracting impossibilities like Latin rites in Tsarist Russia (Russia is Orthodox not Roman Catholic, even I know that), and English uppitiness vis-a-vis Republican France even when <i>playing</i> the French.

But as a Tamizh movie in a Tamizh setting, with a typically Indian plotline (come on, the story is <i>so</i> general, one can mistake it for a number of stories/books/movie plots you've often seen before), Kandukondain Kandukondain is exceptionally well-executed.

<b>ADDED:</b>
The plot elements that it shares with Austen's book:
- family of mum and 3 daughters kicked out by greedy sister-in-law
- middle sister's more into a 'romanticised' idea of romance, but finds out that her 'ideal' choice isn't all that great. Older steadfast soldier wins in the end.
- thwarted romance of more careful/rational older sister and her lover that comes out alright in the end.
I think that about covers the 'striking' similarities with Austen. Sounds like every other story. Next to that, these similarities are only in the <i>general</i> lines as described here; the details differ greatly. Plus, those general elements hardly constitute enough material to make a 2.5 hr movie: the rest derives from Kandukondain's own plot. That's why Menon didn't bother crediting Austen: a number of old films could sooner claim credit for inspiration. (In comparison, can't fathom why Herbert never sued Star Wars for blatantly ripping off a great many and very particular elements of his Dune series in detail <i>as well as</i> obviously the very unique larger setting, all while not mentioning Dune or Herbert in the credits.)

IMO, Kandukondain is not the better "Austen adaptation" compared to the 3 other Sense and Sensibilities I've caught on tele, but it <i>is</i> the better film.
  Reply
#18
<!--QuoteBegin-Husky+Jun 24 2008, 04:37 PM-->QUOTE(Husky @ Jun 24 2008, 04:37 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->AP/TN movie Maya Bajaar. Ghathothkacha. Made me want to be a Rakshasha just like him and his gang when I was little <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Lakshana Kumar is soooooo endearing in this one, everywhere else I always booo at the one who murdered Abhimanyu. But you can't hate the comical way this actor has portrayed him - he plays Lakshana Kumar as hysterically vain. The story ends long before the Mahabharata War.[right][snapback]83268[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Some info on the making of that movie:

http://www.cinegoer.com/mayabazar.htm

http://www.cinegoer.com/themayaofmayabazar.htm

The actor who played Lakshmana Kumara was rElangi, a comic actor in older Telugu movies.

NTR was Krishna, SV Ranga Rao was Ghatothkacha, Savitri was Sasirekha, & ANR played Abhimanyu.
  Reply
#19
<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+May 9 2009, 09:46 PM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ May 9 2009, 09:46 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-Husky+Jun 24 2008, 04:37 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Husky @ Jun 24 2008, 04:37 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->AP/TN movie Maya Bajaar. Ghathothkacha. Made me want to be a Rakshasha just like him and his gang when I was little <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Lakshana Kumar is soooooo endearing in this one, everywhere else I always booo at the one who murdered Abhimanyu. But you can't hate the comical way this actor has portrayed him - he plays Lakshana Kumar as hysterically vain. The story ends long before the Mahabharata War.[right][snapback]83268[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Some info on the making of that movie:

http://www.cinegoer.com/mayabazar.htm

http://www.cinegoer.com/themayaofmayabazar.htm

The actor who played Lakshmana Kumara was rElangi, a comic actor in older Telugu movies.

NTR was Krishna, SV Ranga Rao was Ghatothkacha, Savitri was Sasirekha, & ANR played Abhimanyu.[right][snapback]97121[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->One of the greatest movies of all time. Up there along with the rest of the Best Of The Best.

In the Tamizh version Gemini Ganesh played Abhimanyu. NTR and Savitri were retained from the Telugu version of the film. The one who played Ravana in Sampoorna Ramayanam played the great Ghatothkacha (he would be a Telugu actor since SR was a Telugu film). But I'm not sure whether the actor playing LK was the same in both the Tamizh and Telugu films. I know he acted in another Tamizh film where he played the husband who couldn't bring himself up to tell his wife about having lost his job.

MB is such a great movie. Can't help but love it.
My Kannada friends have the version in Kannadam. Must find out whether the cast is all the same or whether certain scenes were redone with locals - that is, whether the Telugu film was just dubbed completely for them or whether the filmmakers did a triple take in Kannadam along with the Telugu and Tamizh. (If the latter, Telugu actors would have been retained in the Kannada version, but who played Abhimanyu?) Mmmm, Maya Bazaar in Kannada, must sound really good too...

For many years, I thought Savithri was a Tamizh actress since she had also starred in Konjum Salangai, again with Gemini Ganeshan, and some other Tamizh films.

BTW, your Chitrakala playing Sita in SR is a *beauty*. Between her Sita and Shobhan Babu (?)'s kallai Rama, I'd have gone cross-eyed not knowing who to look at <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> they're all so attractive. Ravana was also excellently chosen. You can't boo at him since Ravana was always a sympathetic character - a dangerous grey: his good side is laudable, his bad side is reprehensible and plunges everything into ruin; but he's obviously not beyond help even if it takes death for him to be restored. That's just Ravana. One cheers with utmost ease for Sri Rama. The entire romantic scene just before Rama and Sita's marriage is about 10 or so minutes without dialogue and perfectly done. The way Sita looks at Rama and the way he glances back at her. Sita's face when she fears Ravana will string Shiva's bow, the smile that escapes her when the super-powered Ravana gets squished trying to lift the bow. Her hope when Rama's turn has come to try and her incredible relief when Ramachandra lifts and strings (and accidentally breaks) it with impossible ease. The wedding games where the white beads she throws over the blue Rama turn blue because of him - after they had turned pink in her own hands - and her surprise at his colourful effect on them. The very peaceful and composed Rama and his profound love for his parents, brothers, wife, his heroic animal friends (Jatayu, Hanuman and the other Kapis, Jambavan and the Squirrel), all his people (from those in his kingdom, to everyone he meets). It's so obviously a love-story throughout, right upto the climax where he finally shows his swaroopam as Mahavishnu to the defeated Ravana who thereby gets Moksham upon realisation. It's an unabashed romance movie - to be expected, because that's what the original epic is and the film keeps to it.
Spectacular. The opening veena plays Thyagaraja's exquisite Raghuvamsa Sudha extra-fast and sends chills up one's spine. It is the pinnacle of film-making.

MB and SR are among my most favourite movies of all time <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->, so I can't help gushing - even though SR is a Telugu movie and this is a Tamizh film thread.

Advertising (for the zillionth time): The Sampoorna Ramayanam DVD has the Telugu original audio as well as Tamizh, Kannada and Hindi audio. English, Spanish and Japanese subs. A film that belongs in everyone's collection, IMO.
  Reply
#20
I thought they just dubbed from Telugu into Tamizh but apparently not, I checked Tamizh version online & the actor who played Lakshmana Kumara is different in Tamizh.

Savitri acted in many Tamizh movies & also a few Hindi ones but most of her movies were in Telugu I think.

Watched SR a long time ago so can't remember much.

Ravana as a grey character was explored more fully in NTR's Bhoo Kailas where he plays Ravana as a Shiva Bhakta. Not sure if there has been a similar movie on Suyodhana in Telugu but there is a Sanskrit play by Bhasa called "Uru Bhanga " (Shattered thighs) where this is done.
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