Sirichchukkittay Sudalaamay

“Sirichchukittay Sudalaamay !”


Sirichchukkittay Sudalaamay 1

Sirichchukkittay Sudalaamay 2


Dedicated to all the readers who magnanimously stuck with this article series till this Third and Concluding part of the  Trilogy


(Contd. From Part II)

Part III : The Last Stop Before Tucumcary

To borrow a line………. from an unassuming classmate of mine  (rhyme intended), this film in many ways was the last stop before Tucumcary, a figment of our imagination, an oasis after a hard, long ride across  tough terrain, where you popped into the nearest saloon for a drink and stayed in familiar civilization or changed horses and continued the journey to a different experience. (Original line : This train does not stop at Tucumcary)


For a Few Dollars More

This film was  a List of Lasts.


It’s the Last movie in which the gang of smugglers  meet in a den in full ‘get up’ with leather jacket worn over a sweater  in the searing, sweltering 104 degrees Madras heat.

Its the Last movie in which the police spies (Kamal and Madhavi) do a song and dance routine a la  Billa (the Don hangover) during the smugglers ‘summit’ in the gang headquarters.


PooPoatta Davani

It’s the  Last movie carrying veteran dialogue writer A.L. Narayanan’s alliterative Karunanidhi style dialogues.

Its also the Last movie in which Kamalahasan speaks English with an ‘English’ accent ……..

– not to be mistaken for a Brit or American accent, this is a region  neutral, stylized form of English spoken only by Kamalahasan which is passionately well enunciated ……..and when alternated with equally well enunciated Kamal style Tamil, enhances the impact of the dialogue delivery and also the brand value of the actor.


This was shamelessly routine masala fare and since it is produced by Sathya movies, the regulation homage is paid to MGR posters making their appearance during fight scenes, the Egyptian costumes and sets from  MGR’s ‘Adimai Penn’ in love duets and an MGR photo in police garb in the hero’s pooja room.

You also have the atrocious spectacle of Kamal in FULL formals and jacket  and Ambika  in a FULL saree dancing around trees to the foot tapping “Vaanilay Thaynila Aadudhay”, the saving grace being the proceedings of the “gang summit” chaired by Vicky (Sathyaraj) during  the interludes of the song.


The diversion caused post the ‘Singaari Saarakku’ song where the hero escapes from the police and  makes his entry into the gang of smugglers is Don / Billa all the way.


The police mole (Senthamarai in Rayban coolers) in the smugglers  gang – more of the same.

Paattanaarayay sandhaygappaduvayn

“Onnoada PARTNER  enna…… Onnoada PAATTANAARAYAY sandhaygapaduvayn ! “

No one ever lost money underestimating the exasperating tastes of the Tamil cine going audience – as heterogenous and schizophrenic as they come – willing to sample unfamiliar and alien dishes but scurrying back to the familiar protection of thayir sadham when it comes to the crunch.

Even amidst technical wizardry, Tamil movies couldn’t break out of the screechy melodrama mold – and sometimes looked like photographed plays meandering between colloquial dialogues ,  Senthamizh Soliloquies ( Hey that rhymed ! ……  I  must be  channeling A.L.Narayanan)  and alliterations  ad infinitum (Like Exhibit A : Ambika tearing up her own painting – “Adhula Art irukku aanaa Heart illa ! “  Exhibit B – Kamal confronting Sathyaraj on the non-existent thagudu  “Onnoada PARTNER  enna…… unnoda PAATTANAARAYAY sandhaygapaduvayn ! “

Art Not heart 1

“Adhula ART irukku…….Aanaa  HEART illa”


The Madras audience is an open hearted audience and has been more welcoming of the better Hollywood movies unlike the other metros but Madras is not representative of the Tamil cine going audience which, in many ways, is  heterogenous –  leading to an A center, B & C center divide which forces movies to be cobbled together with disparate elements with ace Western style choreography in one scene and “ladies’  sentiment” in another scene.


The script plays along this safe route.

Murali (Kamal) is supposed to be a constable’s son but he moves effortlessly between Madras lingo, senthamizh (in the serious dialogues) and  stylized English.

Why would someone with such formidable talents want to join the police force and become an IG ?

It seems some things dont change even after thirty years. In Gethu, Amy Jackson is an Iyengar , who wants to become a newsreader on Doordarshan. Why? Because it was the unfulfilled dream of her “thoappanaar.

Cho has the last word on this.

In his ‘Saraswathiyin Selvan’, the hero turns the full chilly blast of his personality on the heroine.

“Naan BSc padichchayn, MBBS padichchayn, London-la FRCS padichchayn………Adhunaalathaan ippo AUTO DRIVER vaylaila irukkayn !!”




‘Kakki Chattai’ is a potboiler to the power ‘N’ but one can sense the restlessness to try something new.



By accident this film marked a  major course correction in the way Tamil movies were structured in terms of dialogues and characterizations i.e with shades of grey.

Like this bit from another subsequent A.L.Narayanan collaboration (Makkal En Pakkam).

Sathyaraj “ Naan yengapaa desa droham pannitrikkayn ? Naan Ghazni thirudina thangaththa India vukku thirumbi yeduththundu vandhundrukkayn. Idhukkupayr samooha sayvai ! “

(What I’m doing is not smuggling – I’m bringing back the gold which Mahmud Ghazni looted from India – This is not smuggling – its Social service !).



Also, Tamil cinema was slowly gaining the  ability to laugh at itself.

Kamal in ‘Thoongaadhay Thambi Thoongaadhay’  addresses his  twin in a drunken stupor

“Hey Nee yaaru man ?……. Namma Manasaatchithaanay ?”



Come to think of it – Paramount  should pay A.L.Narayanan  a royalty fee.

Three years later from Brian De Palma ‘s Untouchables –

(Al Capone)  “What is bootlegging ? When I’m involved its bootlegging – when its Lake Shore Drive its hospitality”


In the ‘70s, director K.Balachandar did what Ambani did for the stock markets in the eighties, he brought the middle class into the equation and created  a niche audience.


Not on the same scale, but a quiet revolution was taking place in the background – like Mani Rathnam quitting his Management consultancy and cutting his teeth in films in an obtrusive fashion in Kannada and Malayalam.

Pushpak was still a couple of  years away.


The ground was being prepared …………………….


The audience was slowly getting ready …………………..

so were the next generation of film makers………………….and

so was that ubiquitous mentor of all experiments that had the potential to transform Tamil cinema…….. a  gent  going  by the name of  Kamalahasan.




The Villain Becomes the Hero


If it was Comedy Ka Kamal  with Ambika thrown in in the first half, its Sathyaraj all the way in the second half.

It is evident that the script underwent a major overhaul after the ‘Thagudu’ appeared on the scene .

It would be fallacious to infer that this  film was intended as a Sathyaraj vehicle – that would be akin to saying you could actually have predicted that India would win the 1983 cricket World Cup.

The film’s makers just happened to stumble on a rich vein of gold and  kept following its trail upstream to see where it would lead them.

It would be uncharitable to say that Sathyaraj stole the show all by himself.

The course correction was backed by Kamal to the hilt.

More than  just an actor or star, Kamal is a high powered movie exec and representative of the Tamil film industry and needs to be credited for his shrewd instincts in recognizing  Sathyaraj’s potential in transforming the film into something more than a routine Masala almond studded candy bar.

There was no way any script could get past Kamalahasan  just like there was no way the dwarfs could be reds (closet communists)  under Snow White’s bed unless Walt Disney wanted them to.


This film set off a trend of delicious  lines for the bad guys and making them pivotal characters.


In Act II, we are dropped hints of what is to come but never expect it just the same – like  Vicky’s  (Sathyaraj) reactions while issuing orders to his henchmen. “Sarakka lorryla yayththiyaachchaaa ?”

(Lorry Driver hood) “Yes. Sir”

(With a  wide grin) “Porappadu” – Short and sweet  and  tickles the senses. When the lorry driver  again calls the boss on the walkie talkie while approaching a police checkpost, his (Sathyaraj’s) instruction is  ultra brief

– “Maattikkaadhay ! ”.


We are fed one punch line after another but are still taken unawares when the next one is delivered.


Rather than mocking the material, Sathyaraj digs into it with relish and communicates his enjoyment to the viewer. He does not take himself seriously but he takes the audience very seriously and comedy is serious business.


(After his partner is shot dead by Madhavi) “ Vitturu !  Avan Over Brain-aa irukkarudhunaala Overtake pannittaan nnu soldrayn !”
Its not as if actors hadnt thought of this aspect before.

M.R.Radha wasn’t averse to trying this out. In Dharmam Thalai Kaakkum he plays the father of the heroine and incidentally the villain . When the police force arrives as usual in the penultimate scene to arrest him and ask him to get in the police jeep, he responds by pointing to his Studebaker……………

“Costly car …..idhuliyay poalaamay ?



That was thirty years ahead of its time.


Considering that   Sathyaraj  is tall for  a Tamilian, his neuromuscular agility (both physical and mental) is awesome. Its like watching a big, mobile, silent  cat getting into position lightning fast –  like a well organized batsman.

Whether its sitting and crossing his legs all in one swift motion into a plush sofa and lighting a cigarette at the same time or arriving just in time to accidentally eavesdrop on a mole in his gang.

He patrols the area from square cover to long-off very well and he does it all with flair.

Smugglers Den Smoking Pipe


He walks the dangerously thin line between casual comic timing and  not taking himself (or the script too seriously) with devastating dexterity, a class trapeze act which in the hands of a lesser actor would have degenerated into –

at best,

a spoof which would have evoked nothing more than a few chuckles and then been forgotten – or,

at worst,

a tragic farce sending the film’s producer into the bankruptcy court before the editor even lays his scissor on the reel.


His fake servility when agreeing heartily  and at the same time ordering  the police mole (Senthamarai) to shoot Murali (Kamal) is a case in point.

“Correct  Correct  Correct  !!- Uh Bhaskar ?  Sudu paa ! “

Bhaskar Correct Correct Correct

And he does all this  with his eyes CLOSED !

or nearly closed since he’s got these trademark small round coolers on all the time, you can never see his eyes and an actor is supposed to use them to emote, remember ?


With his casual dialogue delivery, he makes light work of AL Narayanan’s alliteration which belongs in a different era.

“Dei Murali…..Nee porandhadhulayrndhay CID……….Naan porandhadhulayrndhay Kaydee



Once Murali (Kamal)  is produced in front of Vicky at his  hideout after his failed interview for police force selection, the wheels are set in motion.


Sathyaraj in Don Corleone like fashion makes Kamal an offer he cant refuse – (or rather) should not refuse

i.e to switch loyalties from the police force to Sathyaraj’s gang.

He finishes his piece of advice almost whispering “Solldradhu puriyudhu illa ?”

(Kamal) “Aamaam puriyudhu….Naasookkaaa Desaththukku Droham seidaa nnu solldra, illa ?”

(Vicky’s punchline delivered in soft but fascinated tones) “ Paravaa illiyay !  Purinjikkittiyay !”


An Offer You Cant Refuse

It doesn’t stop there.

After Kamal issues a proclamation saying that the next meeting with him would be in police uniform ending up with Vicky (Sathyaraj) in the prison cell, the henchman reacts in customary loyal indignation.


(Jana the henchman) “Dammit ! Avan paattukku paysittu poaraan ? Oru vaartha sollunga boss. Avana suttu thallarayn”


{Sathyaraj’s  oh so casual backhand dismissal}


“Deidei.      Avvalavu seekramaa ivanellaam thyaagi aakkidakoodaadhu. …………………………Valaiya poattukkuttay irukkanum………….Vizhavayndiya nayrathla………..VIZHUNDHURUVAAN.”


It helps that for a change the characters are well etched and have endearing quirks.

Vicky maybe an underworld ganglord but he’s hundred percent  focused on business and comes down hard on partners who don’t pay attention to the task at hand and  get distracted by wine and women.


He’s also  got  sound business ethics.

“Pandradhu yennavo kadaththal thozhil….Aaanaa Adhilayum oru NAANAYAM irukkanum illa”.



Smugglers Summit


(Smugglers Summit)



Shippies are restless people. And my youngest paternal uncle was no different. Like all shippies, he yearned for a taste of home. The moment he landed in Madras (he used to put up at my grandparents’ ) the first thing he wanted to do was catch the latest tamil flick.

My father was no different. I remember being dragged along for a tour of the city well  past my official bedtime till we landed up watching of all films ‘Samsaaram Adhu Minsaaram’ .  My brother and sister politely demurred and since I was the “good” boy, I had to tag along. The next time it was ‘Mouna Ragam’  when it was still running to empty houses before word of mouth publicity did the trick.

Visiting our uncle at our grandparents’ place was  something we eagerly looked forward to. There was the attraction of the latest Sansui sound system, its electronic fragrance fresh off the ship’s cabin and the latest Beegees song collection on original FOREIGN pre-recorded cassettes. (He didn’t bring a VCR because VCRs were still too costly and the Video Library had not yet made its appearance).

In the mornings after polishing off grandma’s brunch, we spent the lazy days, sitting on the floor of the  balcony, our legs dangling through the grill, watching the new shiny red PTC buses with yellow wheels, plying on PT Rajan road.
KK Nagar had no topline theatres and so the inauguration of the brand new Udhayam theatre was a godsend.

Kaakki Chattai was the first film to be released in it.


My uncle lost no time in dragging us along.

Quoth the uncle “Kamal movies attract the “decent” crowd. I liked him in ‘Aval Appadithaan’ man ! ”.

My uncle was a renegade.

Of all the Kamal films he had to mention ‘Aval Appadithaan’ !


After the underwhelming start and after sitting through the movie, he came out with mixed feelings – not too amused at the hyper masala fare dished out but thoroughly tickled by the reprieve in the form of  Sathyaraj’s second half heroics.


Rewind again to the  Doordarshan interview   mentioned in the Prologue (Part I of this article)


Last question of the interview.


(Interviewer) “Unga favourite villain yaaru ?”


(Sathyaraj) “Mmmmmmmm………..”


“English padaththula …………….Mackenna’s Gold – Omar Sharif………….”


“Hindi padaththula…………………Sholay  – Gabbar Singh………………….”


“Tamizh padaththula……………………….”


“Sigappu Rojakkal – KAMALAHASAN !!






The Interview


Marlon Travolta – The Bollywood Mis-Adventure


  1. Oh, I was so eagerly awaiting this! Very nicely written…lots of nice scenes that you brought back to life…I loved the Senthamarai scene too…

    I don’t remember what the word was but I do remember Kamal saying something in “Thagudu thagudu” style to Satyaraj in the climax…it just didn’t work…(say the way Rajni’s “Kootu kazhichu paaru…” comment after the auction scene). I agree with you that Satyaraj simply stole the show with due permission from Kamal 🙂 Then again, Kamal has been quite generous at times…I mean, Jayaram owned the second half of Thenali…Avvai Shanmugi was – apart from the make-up – really the movie that it turned out to be because of Gemini, Manivannan and Delhi all coming up with the best lines of the movie…

    And, I am glad you mentioned Makkal En Pakkam…though it’s not aged really well, you can see Satyaraj doing that part with grey shades with elan…for this reason, I also really liked him in “Vidinja Kalyanam.” Have you seen that one?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ram Murali : Tons of Thanks for your kind words ! Yes – Kamal said something like ‘Police Police !’ in response to Sathyaraj’s frequent double refrain throughout the movie (Patchee Sollichchu Patchee Patchee) but as you rightly pointed out it invited only guffaws from the audience. It was like “Oh God get on with it will ya “.

      I missed seeing Vidinjaa Kalyanam. Probably the video cassette wasnt available on that day 🙂
      and re: Avvai shanmugi , Thenali you’re spot on (again). Avvai Shanmugi was a mix of Mrs Doubtfire and Tootsie but more entertaining than either. Though ofcourse Dustin Hoffman was simply mindblowingly beautiful in Tootsie . He was unlucky to run into Ben Kingsley in that year and didnt get the Oscar. Robert Downey Jr reminds me a lot of him, dont you think ?

      I hope this write up hasnt been anything heavier than a Raayar’s cafe Rava Dosai with their trademark chutney 🙂

      Thanks again for your vicarious whatsapp chat on this forum !


  2. Ravishanker – Sure thing. It was a very tasty dosai for sure!

    By the way, I quickly looked and I see Vidinja Kalyanam on youtube…as a heads up, after the first 10 minutes, there’s a long flashback that goes for around 35-40 minutes…it’s with Satyaraj’s re-entry at around the 55-60 minute point that the film picks up…typical Manivannan style revenge saga enlivened by the nakkal mannan!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. no words. full respect. salutes. I wish I cold read something like this on “vikram”.

    Why cant shankar/gautham menon think of making Vikram 2 with an aged kamal and sathyaraj……of course, they cannot bring back Sujatha (Vikram was Sujatha’s first movie outing)……

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vivek : Thanks so much !

      Glad you brought up Vikram. I thought it was an ace screenplay and I referred to it in an earlier article of mine on MMKR.

      Love your imagery of an aging Kamal and Sathyaraj in Vikram 2. Hope someone latches onto this sooner rather than later. My hope is that YOU will be the one to come up with the first draft !


  4. Ram Murali : Thanks so much for the link ! This will be my long weekend watch for sure.

    I remember like yesterday the times when Video Libraries were the hot thing. Everytime there was a bandh it was a boon for the libraries and VCR rentals.

    We had to quickly choose which movies to watch for the 12 hour rent . Vidinja Kalyanam was already rented out that day and so I missed it.


  5. Detailed and smooth in style it’s like relaxing on a Friday with your favourite poison in hand … simply brilliant da.. didn’t imagine you watched the movies with such awe… still remember the movie well, Sathyaraj was always a great actor who never reached the heights (I know he is a tall actor) he deserved. Possibly ahead of his times … plus his range was restricted to playing characters that leaned to the negative.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hari : “Relaxing on a friday with your favourite poison ” 🙂

    What a line ! Couldnt ask for more. Grazia paisan !

    Actually I didnt watch the movie with awe. I think it was the total lack of expectation which made Sathyaraj’s performance even more mindblowing.

    “great actor who never reached the heights (I know he is a tall actor) ”

    such dry wit tch tch.

    Thanks heaps !

    Oh by the way. The uncle mentioned in the article had a sense of humour which is strongly the CSH brand of humour !


  7. Zola, yet another outstanding piece of writing !! Believe it or not, as I was reading this article Sun early morning around 145am, singari sarakku was running on TV – I think this is our combined poorva janma punniyam 😉

    Look forward to your next commentary


    Liked by 1 person

    • Athul : Thank you so much ! I feel thrilled that you stayed way past midnight to read this. And heartily agree with you….it is Divine providence that the Singaari Sarakku song was playing at the same time :):)

      We should take a day s leave and watch it together !


  8. Zola (I guess that monicker is official ?) – Great flow to the writing. Haven’t seen many movies of that era (pls remember that in over traditional strict TamBrahm households, girls going to movies was a small % if not a mutually exclusive phrase in itself) – hence not able to relate to some of the movies. For sure, feel like seeing these films armed with your “sunday afternoon musings”.
    Ah yes- as for the few that I have seen (not confined to the ones that you have written about)- wish I had paid more attention then! I wasted a lot of time mugging plant body parts like xylem and phloem and other vague stuff – who gives a ……. about that now??

    Liked by 1 person

    • SG : Great hearing from you on this forum ! I suppose with the demands on our time there is only a finite number of movies we can see, books we can read and concerts we can attend. Very kind of you to mention that your interest in seeing the movie is kindled (not the Amazon one!). Thirty years later is also fine I guess. Thats what I was attempting to do in part.
      You recall that pesky friend everyone has who kept pestering you to see a movie. In a sense this write up is that friend !

      Liked by 1 person

  9. sorry for the delayed response..probably the preview did not come under my purview..AL Narayanan’s family might forget him but not you Ravi..I put off writing this because my “singari sarakku” theerndhu poachu..did not know what to say …man you have really captured the nuances of the film and acting itself with your excellent essay…not to say how you have woven it with the reading group’s need for nostalgia and emotional connect we have with OUR times…family, neighbour hood , friends etc…which we seem to take refuge in, to escape our me things you mentioned about your father, uncle and “those times” appealed..don’t get me wrong..i am not saying it’s cleverly packaged..I am saying it’s heart felt. I don’t see what you have written as just a movie review…that would be boring..clinical… the appeal is in taking one back to the days of innocence..simple joys of walking into a neighbour’s protocols hangups..since your essay is also about a movie and it’s about Kamal Hassan..i wanted to mention 2 scenes in Micheal show how he potrays the charcter he plays .1) Raju the fire brigade guy finishes using the rest room and the other Kamal enters …he says “Poanga..poanga..phrie dhaan”..just how a charcter with that intelligence and background would indulge a stranger..his expression outstanding.. 2) the same Raju , who is a die hard theatre artist “dramaaa..” in his language..believes being a man is having a big moustache exchange their places the other Kamal suggests that he shaves off his moustache. ..he just says “Never. …”again he brings the expression of a person who belives in his identity..just amazing ..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Praveen : What can I say ! You’ve completely CATCHED my point ! Thats exactly what I wanted to share – growing up in Madras of the eighties. And you’ve made a great point about the days of innocence (as you put it).

      And you’re absolutely spot on about those 2 scenes involving Subramanya Raju in MMKR. I’ve actually seen characters like this visiting our place.

      After reading your comments I’m going to do what Captain Malory’s boss (Gregory Peck) suggested viz. “You can put your ship about and take a well deserved leave and a long overdue promotion”.

      Catch my point ?


  10. (Reproducing a mail sent in response to the article from a fellow Vidya Mandir alumnus who passed out in 1988.)

    Zola Budd

    Brilliant ones to read, thanks.

    ” (He didn’t bring a VCR because VCRs were still too costly and the Video Library had not yet made its appearance).”

    – what would have been the price of VCR’s then?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Jagdish : Thanks so much for going through my write-up (I hate the word movie review because it reminds me of performance review – yuck).

      In 1985, VCRs were imported and the duty was about twice the cost of the VCR.

      My memory’s hazy but it could have been anything from 50 grand to a lakh.

      Doesn’t seem much now but I remember I’d stated my father’s annual income in my VM school progress card as Rs.36,000 per annum.

      Does this help a bit ?

      Thanks again !


  11. the same Raju , who is a die hard theatre artist “dramaaa..” in his language..

    –> The Kamal – Kushbu exchanges were so cute in this movie.
    “Naanum artist-nge…”
    “Oh really? Painting? Sculpture?”
    “Chi chi…drama!”
    Love the “chi chi” there. Absolutely innocent.

    “Meesai ilaama romba handsome-a irukeenge”
    “Girdha-va kooda eduthutaange”
    “Ipo ena panradhu daddy” (referring to the flight cancellation)
    “Adha udunga…(girdha) thanaala valandhudum!”

    And finally…
    “Chi…romba naughty”
    “Ahh…nee mattum…kaminaati-ya…neeyum romba naughty!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘White outfit’ Murthy can be so hilarious given the right script…too sad that he got saddled with the inane professor roles where he spouted tons of double meaning dialogues…he was much better than that…

      He was side-splittingly funny in “Thedinen Vandhadhu.” There’s this scene where he gets drunk and is fooled by Prabhu and Coundamani. Have you seen that one? He was HILarious!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ram Murali : Many Thanks for the Venniraadai Murthy thread ! I think this warrants a separate article. The first time i got to watch him was in Nenjathai Killaathay (THUMMBBRRREEEEE).

    Absolutely agree on what he is really capable of. Even in seemingly non roles like the hen-pecked husband in CosTheta = GOD (Kaasaydhaan Kadavuladaa LOL) he really made an impression.

    Will check out Thaydinayn Vandhadhu.

    Thanks !


  13. Thanks Ravi. Excellent commentary. Though I can remember few scenes. I don’t think I have seen this movie but now I want to see this movie (fully). Yeah Sathyaraj stole the show in this movie. I think thagadu thagadu will be first thing come into our mind when you think of kaaki chattai. I always think Sathyaraj is an underrated actor. He is capable of playing a much bigger roles. The point is the ease at which he carries the show.

    You should try comparing major and kamal. That will be hilarious.

    Sorry for late reply

    Thanks a lot

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sundar : Thanks a lot ! Whenever someone says they havent yet seen a particular movie, and if its one of those evergreen movies, I always response with “Vow ! You’re Lucky ! “. Now I’m not sure whether this one would fall in that category but as you can plainly see, its special and for the reasons I’ve shared.

    So, here’s one more time “You havent seen Kaakki Chattai ? Vow You’re Lucky ! Now Go and SEE it !”

    I love the imagery you’ve conjured up “Major and Kamal”. I thought their father and son / Tom & Jerry act in Aboorva Raaganagla was thye best I’ve seen of them.

    Thanks !


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  16. (Reader MANK’s post on Baradwaj Rangan’s Blog on this article series)

    Ravishanker Sir,hope your son is better now
    THAGUDU THAGUDU – THE KAAKKI CHATTAI CHRONICLES was awesome. just as much fun as your cartoons. read all the parts in one go and haven’t stopped laughing

    some real gems – “Its also the Last movie in which Kamalahasan speaks English with an ‘English’ accent” , huh. but loved your take on Sathyaraj. absolutely spot on

    “He walks the dangerously thin line between casual comic timing and not taking himself (or the script too seriously) with devastating dexterity, a class trapeze act .” – cant put it better. Kakki sattai is an ultimate guilty pleasure majorly due to SR’s performance.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Would have missed this gem but for the bumpity-bump. Brilliant writing, as brilliant as Sathyaraj’s essay in that role. Walt Disney reference was an unreadable googly.

    By the by, I had no idea that Kaaki Chattai was the first release on Udhayam. I have fond memories of Udhayam. Once upon a time in Chennai my grandparents stayed in Bharathidasan colony and though Kasi theatre is much closer, mostly we went to Udhayam to watch films (whenever I visited Chennai, that is). Remember watching Singaravelan there, vague memory of an opening scene with Vijaykanth behind bars (from which I later worked out that it must have been Bharathan), last film I saw there was Friends. By some coincidence, all the films I have watched in Udhayam were scored by You Know Who. I assumed for some reason that Udhayam must have been an old theater. Had no idea it opened only in the 80s.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ah Madan…Welcome to my Parlour again !

    Really humbled by your comments coming from a no mean writer – especially the one about the Walt Disney reference 🙂

    I really enjoyed writing this one -a kind of coalescing of all my thoughts on growing up with Kamal (uncle) and Rajni (uncle) in that period.

    It was so good to see Udhayam theatre for the first time. The existing theatres were becoming an eyesore.

    I saw MMKR and Roja there – ofcourse that was years later.

    “all the films I have watched in Udhayam were scored by You Know”


    If I may add on to what you were saying in that article, my friend and classmate who is a Carnatic vocalist and also a very perceptive gent made an observation say about 6 months before Roja was released. “Avanukku head weight roommba yayriduthu. Something is sure to happen sooner rather than later”

    Very prophetic if I may say so.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. There were actually plenty of lines in your article that had me in splits, but I was pressed for time while typing the comment and decided to select the delivery of the match.

    Re IR, that is indeed one heck of a prescient comment (especially if your friend wasn’t in the industry/music scene yet). Because for most people, a newcomer dethroning the king would have been unthinkable. I remember in my household as well as those of my extended family, we went from Rakkamma in 1991 to Urvasi by 1993. I wasn’t old enough yet, not nearly, to follow the news; I can just imagine Vikatan & Co having a field day as it unfolded.

    I wonder what IR would have done in Hollywood. A line from a New Yorker article about the plight of Hollywood composers:

    “A few years ago, I heard a film composer tell of a director’s reaction to his labors: “O.K., now make it twenty per cent more Cuban.” ”

    Would Rasa have gone, “Yo, ennaya adhu 20%?” 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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