Unnal Mudiyum Thambi

This movie was released in the year 1988. Written and Directed by ‘Iyakunar Sigaram’ KB. People from yesteryears do tell that ‘Ulaga Nayagan’ was about to fall after the movie ‘Vikram’ but came back stronger than ever in this movie. Was released in Telugu and was remade in Tamil staring Kamal Hassan and Seetha in lead roles.

Should be a longer write up. Rather a review can be stated as an admiration. The movie can be admired for various reasons, leaving one confused on what to admire more; Dialogues or the dialogue delivery or ‘Isaigyani’s’ music. One would end up in confusion. The credit for acting to be given to entire crew. All deserve standing ovation for doing one’s own part well. 

To start with dialogues. Starting from scene one, as the young lad hesitates to help the blind old woman; the aged man telling Why the hands are for?, to till the last scene,  there are many thought provoking dialogues. The movie has many social messages. It speaks about humanity, equality and it’s intersection, alcohol addiction and it’s ill effects; all beautifully captured in the rifts between a father and son and a mute brother who calm fights with his art Nadasswaram. 

Even the minute details in the movie speak loudly. The change of plants frequently at Villain’s residence tells all about the good vibrations that matter and the effects of bad words and the vibes they radiate. 

Next is the characterization. Gemini Ganesan as ‘Bilahari Marthandam Pillai’; comes around has a ‘Puli Soppanam Father’, bothered about legacy all time and the change that is being forced on him by his younger son. Sensational acting from ‘Kadhal Mannan’ as a strict father. ‘Aachi’ as ‘Angayarkanni’. What an acting! She would have lived in that character. Anni by role but a mother. Prasad Babu as mute brother. Ironically speaks aloud while supporting his brother and keeping his head high walking out of the house for his father’s mistake. VK Ramaswamy’s bloody acting in guest role. 

Now the character of hero. ‘Udhayamurthy’. Inspired by Chemical Engineer turned writer, social activist. ‘Ulaga Nayagan’ would have performed brilliantly. Just like in ‘Aaha’ movie, here the hero is constantly said ‘Udhavakkarai’ alias ‘Sellakasu’. If had been released after 8th November 2016 could have been ‘Selladha 500’ alias ‘Selladha 1000’. Kamalahassan proves his carnatic music talent singing 10 sec ‘Bilahari’ aalap and practicing ‘Oothukadu Venkata Subbaiyer’ kriti, with a lemon on his head sitting inside an anda full of water. Anger, love, music all beautifully portrayed by him. 

Seetha as Lalitha Kamalam. Comes as a strong, independent woman. Plays connexion with her guy on her name. L.K.A 💩. Sorry for the emoji! ROFL! A beautiful love story stemmed out of mutual love and respect; standing together at hard times; giving birth to a child, ‘Amaidhi Puratchi iyakkam’. The dialogue Karaharapriya family banupriya tells the typewriter effect on words while trying to put love in words. 

Dharini, Ramesh Arvind, Delhi Ganesh, Nasser, Janakaraj, Charlie; a crew of well chosen supporting actors. Need to mention in specific about ‘Meesai Murugesan’ who comes as Anjayya. While surfing came to know that he is music pithu. He even comes in the movie ‘Poovae Unakaga’, where people shut doors as he starts singing. But in real life started his career playing ‘Kottankutchi’ and he knew to play over 25 musical instruments. In the movie tests Kamal’s knowledge on Panchanadai. He is yet another exemplary example of, sung heroes list is shorter than those unsung. Like stars. 

Samayal thatha is the real spark in the movie. His attitude is infectious and the dialogue “Indha mannuku nambha yedhavadhu pannanum” is a ‘semmattai adi’ for all. On costumes, Wow! Vellavi la vechu velutha clean veshties, appa kalathu style tailored shirts, formal but beautiful! 

For such a musical plot, Music is the DNA. An Illaiyaraja musical. Best of his bests. Title song in Pulamaipithan’s lyrics is a thought provoking folk number. Though the dialogue ‘Pasi is Abaswaram’, all swaras on place. Blemishless. The shift from ‘Panchanadesha Pahimam’ to ‘Manida Sevai Dhrogama’ is a beauty in Poornachandrika. 

Happened to know from an interview that as heroine’s name is ‘Lalitha’, few places where she comes has BGM in Lalitha raga and the song ‘Idhazhil Kadhai yezhudhum’ is composed in same raga. A classical duet in Himalayas back drop. ‘Punjai Undu’, composed in Suddhadhanyasi; motivational number ‘Unnal Mudiyum Thambi’ in Hindolam (if right) both beautifully penned by Pulamaipithan. ‘Yenna Samayalo’ a musical feast in Raga Malika, penned by Illaiyaraja. Anyone with cooking experience will love it deeply. All about self cooking impediments. Not mentioning about KJ Yesudas, KS Chitra, SPB is an Injustice. Brilliant renditions!

The review could be timely with Ulaga Nayagan’s entry to politics. In a recent show in Z Tamil ‘Yadhum Thamizhe’, he spoke on age just being a number in good deeds. This KB’s entire script can be summed in the lyrics of Maha Kavi as stated in movie’s climax, 

“அக்கினிக் குஞ்சொன்று கண்டேன் – அதை

அங்கொரு காட்டிலோர் பொந்திடை வைத்தேன்

வெந்து தணிந்தது காடு – தழல்

வீரத்திற் குஞ்சென்று மூப்பென்று முண்டோ?

தத்தரிகிட தத்தரிகிட தித்தோம்”. 

‘Iyakunar Sigaram’ just spun his script around a spark! A musical journey, a Ganna katcheri, a Gyana katcheri all in one! Beauty of it’s kind!

P.S. Not giving courtesy to Raj TV is a crime! Thank you.

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