Tamil cinema news

Walking down Tamil cinema’s memory lane

Tamil cinema has a rich history that dates back to over one and a half centuries. The first Tamil silent film, Keechaka Vadham, was made by R. Nataraja Mudaliar in 1918 and created quite a sensation those days.  This was based on an episode from the epic Mahabharata. The first talking motion picture, Kalidas, was a multilingual and was released on 31 October 1931. All this featured prominently in the Tamil cinema news of those days.

Initially, the Tamil film industry was heavily influenced by Tamil theatre. Tamil theatre with its dramatic expressions and music and dance captivated audiences who flocked to watch Tamil plays. Cinema tried to translate this euphoria onscreen and managed to pretty successfully do it. When we look back on these movies today, we might find that they are overly dramatic and over-the-top. However, Tamil movie goers those days loved them.

How did the focus shift from Hollywood to Kollywood?

Tamil cinema went over a long period of evolution. In the 1920’s, it was Hollywood films that ruled the roost, Tamil cinema took its time to gain its footing. It was the time towards India’s independence when the foreigners started shifting that Hollywood lost its popularity and Tamil cinema became sought after.

Can cinema go anywhere without the stars? Many of the bigger stars acquired a larger-than-life persona and people were curious about their lives and activities. Most of them those days shied away from publicity. However, the Tamil cinema news of those days was filled with interesting tidbits about the stars, movie launches and so on.

Have you watched films from the rocking 80’s and 90’s?

The eighties and nineties had some great films by directors like Maniratnam, Bharathiraja and Balu Mahendra and K. Balachander. Each of them had their strong stamp on screen and were directors who themselves had personas as big as the stars.

Director Bharathiraja showed us the beauty of the rural world, its romances, the little nuances and all the microcosmic characters that made up films with impact. His Pathinaaru Vayathiniley brought together two of Tamil cinema’s biggest stars Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth. His films are known for their strong emotional quotient.

K.Balachander is a master storyteller and his characterisation was strong and provided deep insights into human nature. Sindhu Bhairavi and Punnagai Mannan were a few of his masterpieces that examined the flaws in human nature without being condemning. He has won multiple National Awards.

Director Maniratnam brought an elegant style into film-making. His characters were mostly urban and his work contemporary. Agni Natchathiram, Mouna Raagam, Roja, Kaatru Veliyidai and others examined the fabric of modern relationships especially under duress.

Balu Mahendra has been known as an artsy director but his movies like Moondram Pirai, Rettai Vaal Kuruvi, Sathi Leelavathi and so on struck a chord with all sections of the audiences. A master cinematographer too, his every frame resonated with emotion and stayed on in the heart long after. Tamil cinema news has always given enough space to these iconic directors. These are just a handful in the giant arena.

Today, Tamil cinema has evolved in a big way especially technologically. However, it’s these iconic directors who have been massive influences.