This is fondly dedicated to a “Kanyakumari Evangelist ”
Credit : MSI
Kanyakumari (1974), directed by KS Sethumadhavan based on MT Vasudevan Nair’s screenplay also had a unique pairing onscreen that was never repeated ever – Kamal Haasan with Rita Bhaduri ( NOT to be confused with the younger sister of Jaya Bhaduri), that too in a Malayalam film production! It was her second movie in her career having graduated from the Pune Film Institute in 1973. Zarina Wahab, her batch-mate, however decided to stick with Malayalam films along with her work in Hindi, and even started off paired opposite, guess whom – Kamal Haasan in Malayalam, in Madanolsavam (1978).
This was also Kamal Haasan’s first film in Malayalam in a leading (?) role, after his debut in Kannum Karalum (1961), which again was by KS Sethumadhavan. Kanyakumari (1974) portrays a brief increment in time, centred around the three focii – Kanyakaumari and its enduring myths, the main Rest House of the tourist destination and the vistors to the coastal town who stay there, the squalid tenement of the leading protagonist, Parvati and the events that bind them, riding on sheer chances and coincidences. In a way, as I see it, Kanyakumari is an interesting study of helplessness, sexual and spiritual – of the leading members of the cast pitted against unbridled virility without any morality, and the how destiny addresses each in its own celestial logic. Continue reading
Kamal Haasan and Rita Bhaduri in Kanyakumari (1974)
KS Sethumadhavan’s Kanyakumari (1974) had 2 songs in Malayalam written by Vayalar, set to music by MB Sreenivasan. There is an English song credited for its lyrics and music to MB Srinivasan but I strongly contest that and feel a collaborator on the lyrics have been left out. There are two instrumental pieces, catering to two disparate forms of dance as it were, a Shiv Parvati Lasya piece, and a music montage of Jayan’s memories of his Bohemian life, of a life-time of drugs, sex and rock-n-roll. Continue reading
After watching Kanyakumari (1974) by the KS Sethumadhavan – MT Vasudevan Nair duo, there are places your eyebrows go, at times in puzzlement, at times in amusement and at times with sheer curiosity. These are what I felt had to be put down in a separate, yet related note. Who knows, you would find more, once you have watched the movie, or recall it from the times you watched it four decades back. Continue reading
And, We are three years old.
The operative word is we, and that was exactly the objective when this initiative began, on my own terms, to contribute and put on record online , on whatever I could on the sepia years of Malayalam cinema , solely because, there weren’t any for me to immerse myself in, you see. Continue reading
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter
Read books are great, but those unread are greater.
Movie lovers ! Cinephiles ! It’s time to bring to your attention some books, some classics which redefined the way we watched movies. May I welcome you on a journey across my celluloid shelf ? As I riffle through, the first title that catches my eye is Palunku written by Ravi ¹ in 1969. This book has an interesting history. Continue reading
Credit : DNA
Songs in my earliest memory consist of my parent’s favourites – KPAC Drama songs, and movie songs by Kamukara, Dr PB Sreenivas and AM Rajah. Though I am a diehard KJ Yesudas fan, I have always had a special place in my heart for the songs of Dr PBS. Continue reading
Once again, thank you Jay for the reminder. Today is Jose Prakash’s birthday ( would have been, if you are the “grammareligious” kind ), and even one year since his passing, his body of work ensures that he is still around, talking, sneering, bellowing, hollering but mostly sending a chill up your spine with the different ways that he conjured up Hate onscreen. As I caught the news of Pran Sikand being chosen for the Dadsaheb Phalke Award the other day, it didn’t fail to cross my mind on he similar aura both held onscreen in two different corners of the great cinema planet of our country, the highest recognition of the land reaching them almost with an apology, and the consummate gentlemen both were, off-screen. Continue reading
“ Dasan : Vijayaa, namukkentha ee budhdhi neerathe thonnaththatu?
Vijayan : Ellathunum athintethaya samayamundu Dasaa”
Those words that reverberate across each Malayalee’s mind are going to make a comeback. In an exclusive interview to Narayan Radhakrishnan for Old Malayalam Cinema, Sreenivasan opens his mind. Continue reading
Pix Credit : sjanaki.net
The late 50′s fifties saw the entry of a 19-year old singer capturing everyone’s attention with her magical voice, easily traversing thehighest and the lowest octaves with ease. Sishtla Sreeramamurthy Janaki, popularly now known as S Janaki had the looks that could light up the silver screen. Yet she chose to stay behind it lending her voice to almost all the leading ladies of her times, across all south Indian movie productions, for starters.
Though her debut ( first released movie) was Citadel’s Magnalanattu Mary (1957) – a duet with PB Srinivas, what shot her into prominence in Tamil was Konjum Salangai (1962). Legend has it that S M Subbiah Naidu, who was in the look out for a singer to sing his challenging song Singara Velanin Deva for the film Konjum Salangai (1962), where the singer had to match or rather compete with the Nadaswaram, was recommended this young lady’s name by none other than P Leela, a proficient classical vocalist herself who was offered the song in the first place. With not much of classical training, young Janaki’s performance got noticed by the South Indian film fraternity. Continue reading