|Karnan, Tamil Classic Movie|
When my children admired English movies and discussed about how they were made, what class they have got, etc. I went defending our regional movies, saying that we don't have that much funds or technical facilities, world viewers, etc. But after reading about the movie, Vijeta (1982), I did a post on it here), wherein I came to know that some of our films were made with great effort. I take a passage from my review:
The film is notable for some rarely seen aerial photography of combat aircraft active with the IAF in 1980's. The central character of Angadh himself, is a MiG-21 pilot and is shown flying the aircraft in ground attack role in the 1971 India-Pakistan war. Much of the movie, including the climax involving MiG-21bis, was shot at Pune. The IAF No.4 squadron (the Oorials), provided the pilots and planes for the film's aerial sequences. The movie included good colour footage of the Oorials aircraft in fight and in operations.
But even before that, in 1963 Tamil movie 'Karnan' a lot of effort was taken for the authenticity of the war scenes. It was not given much light until now, or I have never read anything about it. The Hindu article about the Centenary celebration of the Director of that movie, Shri B.R.Panthulu, his son said this:
“The money involved was on a mind-boggling scale. For the first time, a story from an epic was shot in opulent locations such as the palaces of Jaipur. Huge moving chariots were made in Chennai and transported to Kurukshetra, where the war sequences were filmed.Government permission was sought, and cavalry and infantry from the Indian Army were brought to the locations at Kurukshetra and the first rows of the charging armies on horses and elephants had soldiers from the Indian Army”
I still remember the war scene where in Karnan speaks to Krishna...Bheeshma in the arrow-bed etc. We keep seeing the movie at home too, often. Shivaji is a great actor and the Andhra super star of those days, N.T.Rama Rao acted as Krishna in that movie. As everybody knows, Karna is a story in Mahabharata, our Hindu classic epic. Karna is the son of Kunti from Surya Deva...wikipedia gives a short summary here!
The music for the movie is by the famous M.S. Viswanathan and Ramamurthy duo. They used Hindustani ragas for all the songs and rare instruments which were never used earlier in Tamil films like sarangi, dilruba, Santoor, Shehnai etc. Each and every song is a gem of its own. Now, let me show some videos of the songs. You can see the grandeur of the picturization here:
The above song is in raaga Hameer Kalyan. Savithri looks so beautiful...lyrics is interesting! Shivaji is best for historical movies...his features, his accent suit them very well.
You can see the Beluru (Karnataka) architecture as the backdrop in the above song. Raag Saaranga, I think.
The next one is sung in the war field. Krishna says that the whole world is acting according to his wish, whether good or bad. Seergaazhi Govindarajan is singing:
I searched for other beautiful songs from this movie, but couldn't get them. I love the song 'aayiram karangal neetti' a lot. But couldn't get it. Anyway, the above songs show the calibre of the music in this movie.
Edited to add (21.2.12) a scene where Karnan and Duryodana's wife (Savithri) are playing chess. As you know, Karna and Duryodana are very close friends. Still, when Karnan took the liberty to pull his friend's wife's waist chain, he feels awkward, she too. But Duryodana ignores it and discusses about the game. This story is often quoted for true friendship. I wanted to include some war scenes but no, I couldn't get any in you tube. So this scene will show the people who have not seen the movie, a glimpse of how it will be. This movie was made in Telugu(Karna) and Hindi (Daanveer Karna) too!
P.S.: Second part of this post is here
Top still courtesy: Google