Sunday, June 28, 2015

35mm: Kaaka Muttai

Whenever I go for a movie with great expectations, even if it turns out to be reasonably good, I won’t usually be satisfied. But Kaaka Muttai is no such movie. Go in with great expectations and it will deliver a lot more. (Well I should warn it’s no typical mass pot boiler as well.) it has a simple plot of two young brothers from a Chennai slum and their desire to eat pizza. But it’s actually an allegory of the disparity between the affluent and the poor in our society.

The film is all light hearted and feel - good and witty on the surface but it pivots around the serious issue of class divide. The rich throwing their influence and money around for further advancements of their interests, wily politicians and their cunningness to exploit both the rich and the poor according to how the situation suits them, the poor and their hardships with no chance of any advancement, the media with its penchant for sensationalizing any news, it’s all very well depicted.

There is a scene where the brothers, who unassuming to them are in the middle of a media/social storm, walk by a TV reporter covering about them, are shooed away from getting in the ‘frame’ of the shoot. The message is not emphasized upon. But it gets through clearly.

Vignesh and Ramesh who play the lead characters.. how can they act so well? Iyshwarya who plays the kids mother, have given a performance that could shame any established star. And what a directorial debut by Manikandan! He is a name to look forward to.

It was heartening to see subtitles being played in a theater in Kottayam. The film having had a run in the festival circuit before its mainstream release might have had something to do with it. Subtitles would only bring in more crowd to theaters and I don’t understand why regional movies don’t use them.

Beautifully shot, very well written, Kaaka Muttai is definitely worth a visit to the theater.

Friday, June 5, 2015

OST, Where art thou?

The movie Premam is amassing both critical and mass appeal. I was sent a recording from the theater, of a particular piece of music played in the movie, over whatsapp. It’s an incredibly beautiful piece of music. It corresponds with the character Malar in the movie. The piece evokes the romance, the desire, the loss associated with Malar. Rajesh Murugesan! Thank you!

I wonder how a music director feels after creating such a beautiful piece of art! Truly blessed they are! I have been listening to the said piece on loop in spite of it being a recording from inside the movie hall. Am hoping the producers would release an official version of the tune soon.

Background music plays a really really important role in setting the mood and tone of the film. But very few tones make it to the music CD. Even A R Rahman’s bgm scores, in spite of them being acclaimed over the years, don’t make it to the CD. Mostly one tune, named ‘theme’, would be released but the others remain just as background to the main movie. Many fans rip these bgms from the movie DVDs and post it online and cater to the satiety of technologically inept music lovers like me.

But these pieces of music deserve more respect. It deserves to find an audience as complete works than as ‘dialogue fillers’. Hollywood movies release such tunes as part of their soundtrack. Well, of course they don’t have original songs like our movies do. But even our movies should release them. If releasing as part of the music CD is not feasible then at least online. The music director deserves that. The music deserves that.