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03-16-2004, 09:09 PM
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Cast: Richard Madhuram, Anandi, Charuhasan, Sampatraj Sumant, Kanakaraj
Director: A Balakrishnan

Not many politicians can boast of virtues like simplicity, austerity in personal and public life and total incorruptibility. But Kamaraj was one of those rare politicians. A. Balakrishnan was so struck by the qualities of this leader, often referred to as ‘Karuppu Gandhi’, and ‘Kingmaker’, that when he decided to enter the film-scene as a producer and director he chose Kamaraj as his subject.

Shot in documentary style, the narration spans 60 years, chronicling not only the incidents and people that helped mould Kamaraj but also touching upon the important events in India’s history and how it affected him and vice versa.

The narration is divided into three phases. The pre-Independence period, depicting Kamaraj’s childhood, the influence of Satyamurthy, Kamaraj’s growth as a politician and his prison life.

The second phase depicts his taking over as the Congress Chief Minister of the state, the reforms he tries to bring in, especially in education, his largesse and his bending the rules for a good cause-like for the urgent eye-operation of a kid.

It also displayed his sense of humour (like his response when his mother in the village sends word that she needed a fan and a blanket), his refusal to take advantage of his position (asking for the newly-installed tap to be removed from his village-house).

The third phase where he puts forth the Kamaraj Plan, resigns from the post of CM, involves himself in party work; his influence on national politics, his emergence as a kingmaker and finally his disillusionment with the emerging non-ethics in political life.

The closing scene (taken from the record files of the actual funeral), show swarms of humanity mourning the death of their beloved leader.

Richard Madhuram fits well in the role, his resemblance to Kamaraj helping him, the guidance of the director aiding him to give a controlled and a subtle performance. :b:

03-16-2004, 09:14 PM
Though it's naturally impossible to cover the entire life-time of a legend in a capsule lasting about two hours, the director should be commended for his sincere attempt to bring to celluloid the life of a great politician and to tell the new generation of KamaraJ's greatness and simplicity.

First, we need to appreciate the courage of A Balakrishnan, the director, to have had the nerve to produce a film about Kamaraj. There are so many good directors and producers in Tamil cine industry but, none had come forward to do this project. In this film, Balakrishnan has introduced a great leader that today’s generation isn’t familiar with.

The film describes Kamaraj’s life from his birth in Virudhupatti, his limited education and his remarkable growth in politics that made him the King maker- he had gone to New Delhi and twice made the candidates of his chouce the Prime Ministers of this country. Such was the power he had. The film ends with the dejection he suffered due to Indira Gandhi’s acts.

Though the film talks about different stages of Kamaraj’s life, the most impressive ones were the scenes which has him as the Chief Minister. In spite of the documentary-like tone of the film, even ordinary film goers were able to laugh and enjoy these scenes. Scenes worth mentioning are the one in which he asks the police to shut down the siren, his belief that eggs are non vegetarian, and his statement that mother first need a blanket then fans. His simplicity has been depicted beautifully. Scenes in which he appreciates district collector Pasupathy in spite of his party chief’s warning and in which he scolds the Municipality Board officer for installing a special tap connection inside Kamaraj’s house for his ailing mother’s sake makes us annoyed and angry about the politicians of our times.

When he says that it is alright to violate the law and customs in order to go to London for his eye treatment, he shines as an administrative genius. We get goosebumps when he announces that he is ready to beg for money in order to keep the Free Noon meal scheme going in schools (Kamaraj was the one who had started the free education scheme for poor children who werent able to afford an education. When children were still not coming to school, he decided to start the free noon meal scheme).

They could have tried to remove the documentary-feel from the screenplay. They could have elaborated the two incidents that had played a major role in the defeat of the Congress party in the 1967 elections- the Anti Hindi protests and the shooting of MGR. The fim’s second half is understood clearly by only those who are aware of the political situation of those days. This is its big drawback. The concluding song, ‘Naadu paarthadundaa’, brings tears to your eyes.

Richard Maduram lives the role of Kamaraj in the film. MS Bhaskar’s voice perfectly suits that of Kamaraj.

Sampath as the young Kamaraj, Kovai Ramasamy as Periyar, Aravamudan as Si Subramaniyam and TS Anandhi as Indira Gandhi are perfect selections for their roles. Only the actor who played Rajaji looks out of place.

Sembur Jayaraj and T Francis Kiruba had written the screenplay and dialogues. The dialogues are crisp. Rangasamy has done the cinematography and VT Vijayan has done the editing. Both the songs and backgroudn score are excellent, thanks to Ilayaraaja.

Newyork Times had described Kamaraj as the King Maker. The film brings back the memories of this great man.

05-11-2004, 03:15 AM
hay, naan ippothaan padam paartheen... good one and wondered if all the events depicted thee ever happened...how great man he was..

Btw, it depicts Indra as a bad politician... Was she that bad...? Naan porakkubothu ithu ethuvumee nadaalai... so can anyone explain me what happened during the Emegency period?... and if tis post seemsto be out of place moderators have all the rights to move it to the appropriate section...

05-16-2004, 12:19 PM
lollu yogesh :ahha: