Thursday, March 22, 2012

'Karnan', The 1963 Tamil Classic Movie Part II - Theatre Experience!

We went to the theatre and watched 'Karnan', the famous Tamil movie classic, yesterday! I have already written about this movie here.  Like they did with Mughal-e-azam, this, 1963 movie has been digitalised and screened now.

We went to Sathyam theatre, here, in Chennai, which was houseful on a working day! The audience was mostly of elderly people and some came with small kids, one, with a 2-3 month old baby! It was very very cold inside the theatre during the second half of the movie.  The vegetable puff, the theatre sold was salty (Rs.40!) and the muffin was cold and tasteless. We used to love their puffs until a few years back.  This theatre has got many screens, but Sathyam is the biggest and it had been full for this movie for the past many days, I was told! They have got huge parking lot and online booking service makes going to this theatre, a pleasure.  The food in their small restaurant is very good.  As it is now with all the latest multi-plexes, the sound system is very good.  It was not hitting the ears.

I told my husband that I wanted to watch this movie in the theatre just to look at the eyes of Shivaji Ganesan! I really enjoyed watching him in his famous role.  The first half of the movie was not very clear - it rained in the screen - looked like a typical old movie.  We were not very happy with the sound of the dialogues also. They were not very clear. But the second half which is mostly about the Mahabharata war, was very clear and beautiful.  We can watch this movie just for the second half and the songs! MS Viswanathan-Ramamurthy's music to Kavi Arasu Kannadasan's lyrics... ever greens!

The second half looked like digitally mastered and very clear.  The war scenes were superb! Quite huge armies of elephants (each and every elephant had minute drawings on their faces!) and horses were used.  Overlapping war scenes were beautiful! B.R. Pantulu, the director must have spent a lot of money for this war scene alone.  Many soldiers from our Indian Army were used (read from my earlier post on this subject).  So many colourful chariots!

Actor Savithri Ganesan (Duryodhana's wife in the movie and Gemini Ganesan's name is included with hers in the title!) is beautiful and her Tamil is superb.  She has justified for her title as 'nadigaiyar thilakam' and everybody knows about Shivaji's acting, the 'nadigar thilakam'!  Asokan, the famous actor who was famous for his roles as villain, did very well here as Duryodhana. 

The best was NT Rama Rao, the late-Telugu super star.  I know that he studied here, in Chennai.  Still, I am amazed at his dialogue delivery in Tamil and his acting was superb. I must mention about Kunti, Karnan's mother (M.V.Rajamma).  Nobody else would have done justice to Kunti's role other than her.

I liked the audience yesterday.  Many claps were heard for the way Shivaji was walking (I too admire!), Krishna's and Arjuna's war field dialogues (they were quoted often in those days - Geethopadesha verses - and revived once more now!) etc.

We enjoyed this movie.  Watch at home at least...this is worth watching, esp. for the 'Iravum nilavum' song! It looks beautiful on the big screen.

The video shows the quality of the movie.  Enjoy!





P.S.: The last movie I watched in the theatre was 'Enthiran', I think! For many years now, I had never seen 'Films Division' clips or State Government's 'what we have done to the people' clips. Yesterday they showed Jayalalitha's speech for full 15 mts. about how much she has helped for the Cuddalore Thane relief scheme.  Every dot and wrinkle on her face was clearly visible! But nobody can beat her intelligence...her Tamil was flawless and we didn't feel bored at all!


12 comments:

Bikramjit said...

what fun :)

Bikram's

KParthasarathi said...

Excellent write up.Ihave seen the film more than once long back and your post brought in the mind the scenes as they were.I think Karnan is the Magnum Opus of Sivaji's films.It is good you had not confined only to actors but also had a word for the great BR Pantulu.Some films are remembered long after they are made.Sivaji was a Colossus in filmworld and such talented actors do not come by often.He is non-pareil.
Thanks a bunch for the video too

Sandhya said...

BIKRAMJIT: Yes, Bikram,thank you!


K.PARTHASARATHY: Yes, this movie was one of Shivaji's best films. Did you read the first part? More details of the movie are there.

He is a gifted artist. No one is there to compare with him.

Thank you, Partha Sir!

Destination Infinity said...

Oh, I want to see this movie in theater but due to my laziness I keep postponing my visit. I have not seen the older version of this film, as well. With Sivaji and NTR, this movie should be good! I will try and watch it, as you have given a good review about it.

Destination Infinity

ashok said...

I have only seen this movie in bits and pieces on TV...wish to see it once

kavita said...

Sounds like a great movie. Watching movie on hall is always a better experience.I never catch up complete movie played on DVD or TV because when at home I need to get up after every fifteen to twenty minutes for various reasons (kids,kitchen,guests .. ,blah,blah).Movies like Karnan need full attention specially when the lead role is played by a veteran.

Sandhya said...

DESTINATION INFINITY: If you like mythological stories, if you like Shivaji/NTR, then you will love the movie. If you think that the actors are too loud or overacting, then you may not like it. We grew up watching Shivaji movies, so we tend to like his movies. I like many of the latest movies too!

Just go and have a look. The songs are good and you will like them.


ASHOK: Even my son said he can watch it once!


KAVITA: Yes, watching movie at home is comfortable, that is all. We can't watch with full concentration. Like you, I too get up often from my seat to do some small small things. The impact is gone.

I watched 'Awakening' and 'Shawshank's redemption' in this fashion, recently, which is wrong. They are 'too good' movies. Some more mythological movies are good. Hope they also get re-released soon!

radha said...

My husband says it was a fantastic movie! He would have shared your views too.

Roshmi Sinha said...

Nice! Nice!

Vaish said...

I haven't seen Karnan movie, but my mum is a huge fan! I somehow never like Sivaji Ganesan's over reactions...so I've kept myself away from his movies...although I like the song "Ullatthil nalla ullam.."..awesome lyrics! Now having it digitalised does seem to make some interest for me! Satyam always has been the best cinema theatre for god knows how many years! I loved it from My dear kuttichattn times to jurassic park to Avatar there!

Sandhya said...

RADHA: It was a good movie, well-made movie, Radha. I liked the war scenes now. The movie is an old one and the director had taken lot of pains to shoot the scenes. And songs are good. Like all old movies, the dialogue deliveries are stage-like...loud and too pronounced!


ROSHMI SINHA: Thank you,Roshmi!


VAISH: We too find it difficult to digest Shivaji's acting now, but we grew up seeing his movies. We WERE used to it! He came from theatre background and that influence was there for all the actors of those days.

Very rarely we go to theatres and if we go, it is always Sathyam!

Prasoon said...

I'm non Tamilian. A colleague told about it recently. I googled it and found out that it is based on story of Karna and it is one of the greatest Indian movie.

I love watching movies in theatre. They r fun :) :)

Whistling, screaming, clapping.. Just love the typical Indian audience. Hard to believe you didn't watch for so long.....

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