Wednesday, January 19, 2011

RAJA - Movie Review

Most of us know that 1972 is the hilarious successful year in NT's career and for that, RAJA wrote the 'pillaiyaar suzhi' for that. (Eventhough the continous success started from Babu of 1971 Deepavali, but it fell in 71). Started from Babu till Bharatha Vilas (wow, both are from 'Cine Bharath' banner, what a coincidence) two Silver Jubilees (Pattikkada Pattanama, Vasandha MaaLigai) and six, more than 100 days (Babu, Raja, Gnana Oli, Dhavaputhalvan, Neethi & Bharatha Vilas) and with a dhirushti pottu 'Dharmam Enge'. (this continuous success only made Sreedhar to put title for his movie as 'Hero-72')
RAJA was produced by Balaji's 'Sujatha Cine Arts' and it was released on 26th January 1972. It was the re-make of Hindi film Johny Mera Naam starred by Dhev Anand and Hema malini. But in Tamil version it was still polished by Director C.V.Rajendran. Songs were written by Kaviyarasar Kannadasan and Music by 'Mellisai Mannar' M.S.Viswanathan. Camera handled by Masthan-Thara and art by Thotta (daddy of Thotta Tharani).

No doubt it is one of the best entertainment movies for NT, with eye catching Camera work and beautiful Eastman Colour by Gemini lab. It is a story of a detective and NT shined that role like anything. The maximum credit should go to his lean body at that time which very well suited for that role, with a beautiful hair style. He will not wear coat and tie in any scene, but fully with 'Zipped Jerkins' with scarf in his neck. Not only for NT, the costumes for all artists will be very nice.

I think this may be the first film of NT having more number of Villains, as Balaji, Manohar, Renga Rao, K.Kannan and 'Wrestler' Randhava. Everybody have done their portions very well. Even before that, 'Thanga Surangam' was a detective story for NT, but Raja is most entertaining in all aspects.

Story (in small version):

Sekhar (Shivaji) and Chandar (Balaji) are brothers and in their school age their father was killed by villains Renga Rao and 'Kavarchi Villain' K.Kannan, by appointing a killer. Both sons witnessed for their father's death. Elder son (Master Vadhiraj) takes the sword from his dad's back, and kills the man who killed his dad. After that he was hiding in a car's dicky. Actually Renagarao (Nagalingam) and K.Kannan (Jambu) are travelling in that car. They found the boy in the car-back. The camera brings close up to the boy and freezes the face and suddenly the face of Balaji appears. Yes, he became one of the gangsters of Rengarao. Madras Police Commisioner Prasath (Major Sunderrajan) tells his sobordinates to watch Manohar, another gangster of Renga Rao, who is coming from Singapore with smuggled diamonds. They followed him up to Hotel Asoka, were he stays. When he was playing tennis, police searched the whole room but nothing available there. On hearing this matter Major arranges some other ways to arrest him. He enquired Manohar by showing a photo, with whom Manohar was shaking hands. Major arrest him and put in lock-up.
THERE COMES NT'S INTRODUCTION. He is predicting as another one who was arrested by Police. He makes friendship with Manohar (Viswam) and Manohar give NT (Raja) a job to steal a Tennis Racket from Ashoka Hotel tennis club, and give it to the one to whom he has to call by phone. When he gone to the hotel room, he meets the cute Radha (Jayalalitha). She is also in the same gang of Babu (Balaji). The conversation between Shivaji and Jayalalitha will be very interesting in that scene. She gives five thousand rupees for his job and tells if he comes with her to Cochin with the smuggled diamond she will give ten thousand. Raja is much happy that the routes are coming very clear to meet the gang boss.
In Cochin Airport he they were recived and taken to Balaji, who is his elder brother, but dont know each other. There they beat Raja to know the truth about him, and he tells that his real name is 'Kumaresa Othuvar' and his father is in mylapore as Palmist and his name is 'Murugesa Othuvar'. To clarify this, they phoned to their Madras guy to enquire. When that man (with orange coloured hair) visits there, constable Pattabiram (Chandra Babu) is acting as Palmist, and that man leaves that place by believing it.

As I thoought eloborating the story will occupy more space, let the story hang-up. Just we will discuss some points about Raja.

Regarding NT's action, we thought it is being a detective story and there will be no scope for his acting performance. But NT made us fools by giving his wonderful actions. The best one which everyone knew and wish to say is, HIS LAUGHING WHEN MANOHAR WAS BEATING PANDARIBAI TO GET THE TRUTH THAT 'RAJA' IS HER SON, in front of his boss Renga Rao. Nadigar thilagaththin andha srippu verum sirippu mattumalla, avar kangalil 'ayyO ammaavai kAppAtra mudiyAmal soozhnilai nammai kattip pOttu vittathE' endra thavippu avar kangaLil theriyum. Another scene his angry,when Major told him Nagalingam, which is in the photo, is the one who killed their father.

The scene, where Balaji understand Shivaji is his younger brother, will be well shown by showing the 'boxing competition in the school' (but the same as in Hindi version).

Regarding the songs, I surprised why the songs of Raja are NOT well popular outside the movie, in fact they are good ones.

"நீ வரவேன்டும் என்று எதிர் பார்த்தேன்
வரும் வழி தோறும் உந்தன் முகன் பார்த்தேன்
காலம் கடந்தால் என்ன ராஜா
காதல் கவிதை சொல்லு ராஜா"
Jayalalitha, who was followed by the police from the Railway station, acting as the lover of Shivaji, who is standing on the top of a wall. Kannadasan's lines are beautiful in charanam also
கொஞ்ச நேரம் என்னை தாலாட்டு
கொஞ்சும்போதும் என்னை பாராட்டு
இன்பத்தை இருவரும் கொண்டு வருவோம்
கொள்ளையில் இருவரும் பங்கு பெறுவோம்
காதலை இணைப்பது ஜாதகமே
காலமும் நமக்கினி சாதகமே 
உன் மனமும் குணமும் நாடகம்
உம் மடியினில் நான் ஒரு குழந்தை...குழந்தை

It will be enjoyable to watch NT's ' சேஷ்டைகள் ' with Jayalalitha in this song "nee vara vEndum ena edhir pArththEn'. In one stage, NT will touch her cheeks and JJ will push out his hands. NT, showing the policemen around them (like saying"ellorum pArkkirAnga pAr"). Then JJ will take his hand and rub with her cheek. Camera will show the jealous Inspector ('Shanthi' Kumar) in close-up.

The next song "
கல்யாண பொண்ணு கடைப்பக்கம் போனால்"  Picturisation is somewhat good, in Kerala locations and in a boat. NT's steps when starting the song is nice and his action with hands in his hips for the line "nEril vandha RathiyO mathiyO". But we should accept the fact that, this song did not attain the level of original Hindi song "Nafrathkar-nE-vA-lOngE" of Johny mera nAm.

The third song, for Padhma Kanna from Mumbai, not only in dance but she acted in an important role also in 'Raja' as a pair of Randhava. This is one of the bests of L.R.Eswari, start with humming


"நான் உயிருக்கு தருவது விலை
என் உடலினி உனக்கொரு கலை
கண்களை கொண்டு வா... பெண்மையை காணவா"

கண்களை கொண்டு வா with her specialized husky voice)  
the orchestration will be somewhat terrific and MSV poured the instruments like anything. Very heavy instrumental experience. No dabala, no bangoes, but fully drums, with Guitars, Violins, Truphet, Saxophone... and what not. MSV stands with his viswaroopam in this composition. But the very sad thing is, this song was also kept under shadow. WHY.....?????. We don’t know.
Next song, by PS for Jayalalitha in the Krishnan temple, when looting the jewels.

Before this song, there will be a nice dialogue between Jeya and Balaji, in their hiding place.

பாலாஜி: "ராதா, ராத்திரியோடு ராத்தியா கோயில் நகைகளை களிதாஸ் (நாகையா) துந்தனாவுக்கு மாத்திடுவான். சரியா நாலு மணிக்கு கோயில் கதவு திறக்கும். கிருஷ்ணன் சிலைக்கு முன்னால் நகைகள் அடங்கிய துந்தனா இருக்கும். மீரா வேஷத்தில இருக்கிற நீ கடவுளை கும்பிட்டு விட்டு துந்தனாவை எடுத்தால் யாரும் சந்தேகப் பட மாட்டாங்க".  

ஜெயலலிதா: "பாபு, இதுவரைக்கும் மனிதர்களை மட்டும்தான் ஏமாத்தினே. இப்ப கடவுளையும் ஏமாத்தனுமா"

பாலாஜி: "என்ன ராதா இப்படி சொல்லிட்டே. நம்ம எல்லார் மனசிலேயும் அவன் தானே இருக்கான். இப்ப என்னமோ என் மனசுக்குள்ள இருந்துகிட்டு 'எடுடா நகையை'ங்கிறான். நான் எடுக்கிறேன் .thats all".
(there will be a big laugh and applause from audience).

The song will start with the chorus

கங்கையிலே ஓடமில்லையோ என் கண்ணன் கைகளில் நான் வர,
எண்ணி வந்த சேதி சொல்ல ...
hare hare  krishna... hare
hare hare  krishna... hare"

then PS starts the charanam:

கிருஷ்ணா... கிருஷ்ணா...கிருஷ்ணா...

தீபங்கள் கோயிலிலே மின்னுவதென்ன
அவை பாவங்கள் கூடாதென்று சொல்லுவதென்ன
வைரங்கள் நெஞ்சினிலே ஆடுவதென்ன
அவை வஞ்சங்கள் வேன்டாமென்று பாடுவதென்ன"
Jayalitha will act for this song very nicely with little dance movements then and there. Balaji will be there in the make-up of a 'sAmiyAr'.

But for this song, Dir.CVRajendran and art director Thotta done a mistake that, the temple will seems in a North Indian style, thus it resembles that it is a remake movie. They should change it as a Tamil Nadu style temple.

The last song,

இரண்டில் ஒன்று.. நீ என்னிடம் சொல்லு
என்னை விட்டு வேறு யாரு உன்னை தொடுவார்" by SPB.
In fact it is his second for NT, after  'பொட்டு வைத்த முகமோ' in SES. It is an interesting song mixed with comedy, when JJ closes the doors one by one, he will appear from another, and at last he will enter her bedroom. NT will be in a dark blue pant with dark blue half shirt (as usual without banian inside) and Jayalalitha will be in a dark green mini skirt. (She will wear the same type of dress in Pattikada Pattanama also).

Apart from the songs, we must definitely mention about the back ground score re-recording of the Great "Mellisai Mannar" MSV. The title music itself will give a big expectation about the movie. In the title music and in stunt scenes, he is not only using instruments but also vocal effects with special voices. (the title music also released in the form of record along with the songs).

We should also accept that, RAJA's back ground score was several times better and in high level comparing to its original Hindi version 'Johny mera nAm'.

During the fight with 'Wrestler' Randhava, he will give the sound

ராஜா... ராஜா... ராஜா... ராஜா...
and NT's fight with K.Kannan in the mid night (the code word 'mani pannirendu') in the forest house, MSV will give heavy back ground score with instruments and also vocal as
ரம்ம்ம்... பபம்....ரம்ம்...பபம்"

and in climax fight, he will mix all the above and also add.
"து து..து..து..ஜும்...துஜும்...துஜும்...
"து து..து..து..ஜும்...துஜும்...துஜும்...
"து து..து..து..ஜும்...துஜும்...துஜும்..."
and gradually he will increase the speed.. to the high pitch. 
When we are talking about the actors of "RAJA", we should not forget to mention about the the great comedianm Chandrababu. He acted in three roles as Constable Pattabiram, Air-hostess Janakiram and Bar-man Seetharam. He rendered his acting very nicely with different style. The one Janakiram, who stands in the entrance of Cochin Airport and say 'hello' to passengers. Wow 

Raja was released in three theatres at Chennai at Devi Paradise, Agasthiya and Roxy and crossed 100 days successfully in all the three theatres with big collection. It also ran more than 100 days in Madurai Central, Trichy Palace, Salem and Coimbatore also. I always prefer this movie as one of the best entertainment movies of NT.  

Thanks for reading my posts about RAJA and I will come back with another entertainment movie of the great Nadigar Thilagam, soon.

Anbudan... Saroooo.... 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Saradha madam. Yes Raja is definitely one of best entertainment movie of NT and this is one of movie liked by many MGR fans. In our Madurai this movie always made huge collections with housefull shows.

    You did mention about our NT stand in the beginning of the song oh Raja.... what a pose and another one with tennis rocket meeting JJ first time.