Sunday, August 31, 2008

50 yrs of Nadodi Mannan -Part 3

The movie meant everything to MGR and he invested heavily on the project. Justifying his decision to produce the movie himself.MGR wanted the best and got it too. The amounts that were being expended towards the project were simply mind-blowing. The industry was agog with speculation at MGR nonchalantly putting all his eggs in this basket. His well-wishers were filled with anxiety, for if the movie did not fare well, MGR would be facing financial ruin. Commenting wryly on the title, MGR is said to have confessed that if the movie did well, he would be a King; if it flopped, he would be a homeless nomad. The movie was some years in the making . MGR had initially requested the brilliant K. Ramnoth to direct the movie, and the venerable veteran had accepted the offer with pleasure. But fate willed otherwise- K. Ramnoth passed away on 4th Octoer 1956. Not wanting to give the responsibility to anyone else, MGR took upon himself the responsibility of directing the movie. All dedicated members of MGR’s entourage were put to work night and day on the project. With characteristic foresight, MGR ensured that no other movie of his was released in 1958, so that his fans would wait eagerly for ‘Naadodi Mannan’ and ensure its success. His last movie immediately preceding ‘Mahadevi’ was released on 22nd November 1957 and his next movie after ‘Naadodi Mannan’ was ‘Thaai magalukku kattiya thaali’, released on 31st December 1959. He put all other projects on hold, so that he could devote all his time and attention for ‘Naadodi Mannan’.

courtesy: dhool

(to be contd)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

50yrs of Nadodi Mannan- Part 2

MGR was being entirely truthful when he declared that his ‘Naadodi Mannan’ was not a scene-by-scene adaptation of ‘The Prisoner of Zenda’. While at Calcutta in 1938 where he was acting in ‘maaya machindra’ for Metropolitan Pictures, MGR had watched the movie adaptation of Justin Huntly McCarthy’s stage play ‘If I Were King’. The movie and its catchy title made a lasting impact on MGR. Another English movie that MGR found inspiring was ‘Viva Zapata’ (1952). Marlon Brando playing the role of Mexican revolutionary Emilinao Zapata who defies the tyrant president Porfirio Diaz stirred MGR’s imagination to great lengths.

MGR made his crew consisting of R.M. Veerappan, Vidwan V. Lakshmanan and S.K.T. Sami watch the three English movies and gave them his suggestions regarding the outline he had in mind. Several brainstorming sessions later, the team came up with an imaginative admixture of the three stories, tailoring it skillfully to suit the Indian context.

(to be contd )

courtesy :Dhool

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

50 yrs Of Naadodi Mannan-Part 1

One morning people woke up to find the front page of ‘dhina thandhi’ bearing two advertisements side by side that caused ripples all over the state- they were for two proposed remakes of the Modern Theaters’ classic ‘uththama puththiran’. This 1940 blockbuster was now suddenly in great demand- both MGR and Sivaji Ganesan were interested in donning the dual roles that had propelled P.U.Chinnappa to instant stardom. MGR intended to produce it himself under his Emgeeyaar Pictures banner. As for Sivaji, Sridhar spearheaded the movie backed by Venus Pictures. And in the end, it was Venus Pictures who succeeded in securing the rights to the story (itself an adaptation of ‘The Man in the Iron Mask’) from Modern Theaters and went on to make the movie with Sivaji Ganesan.However, though MGR lost out to Venus Pictures, he did not give up the idea of playing a double role. Then there came an advertisement in the papers heralding the making of ‘Naadodi Mannan’.

MGR had to face a hurdle here again,the advertisement had barely appeared when there came a rival advertisement announcing that Bharani Pictures had also embarked on an adaptation of ‘The Prisoner of Zenda’. MGR and Bhanumati spoke to each other, each of them requesting the other to give up the project. MGR explained to Bhanumati how much the project meant to him and confided to her that he had pinned all his hopes on ‘Naadodi Mannan’.

(to be contd )

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Their first project was titled ‘Vidivelli’,

MGR, along with his brother M.G. Chakrapani set up a company called ‘MGR Productions’. Their first project was titled ‘vidivelli’, to be scripted by M. Karunanidhi. However due to various reasons of Karunanidhi’s imprisonment for participating in the Kallakkudi protest, the project had to be shelved. “MGR Productions’ was soon wound up and MGR and his brother M.G.Chakrapani Started ‘MGR Naadaga Mandram’ and took to producing and acting in stage plays.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kudiyiruntha Koil’ -featuring L.Vijayalakshmi and M.G.Ramachandran.

Figuring in this list is the famous Bangra beat in ‘Kudiyiruntha Koil’ (Aadaludan Padalai Kettu Rasippathilethan Sugam ... Sugam) featuring L.Vijayalakshmi and M.G.Ramachandran.

On her Bangra dance with MGR in ‘Kudiyiruntha Koil’, she said: “You know... I am yet to receive my payment for the dance. Bangra sequence was new to Tamil movies then. Chopraji master had introduced the dance to the State for the first time in that film. And that is why it is still a superhit. On the shooting day, MGR watched me dancing and was horrified. ‘Ayyayoh… I cannot match Viji’s fast movements…’ he said, and withdrew.”

“I saw him discussing something with Chopraji and the shooting was put off. The song sequence was shot after a month. I was told MGR had practised Bangra for a month to dance with me.”

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Monday, August 18, 2008

‘Vaathiyar’ (teacher)

MGR would also make sure that he will teach good manners and discipline to the masses through the movies. Therefore, in the characters he played in 120-odd movies, he would never smoke or take alcoholic drinks. On top of that, he would never physically or mentally abuse women. This self-imposed rigidity restricted the character roles he would play and movie critics ridiculed him for this 'un-natural style' of his characters. But MGR would have the last word. Ultimately, he claimed the respected honorific ‘vaathiyar’ (teacher) in its proper sense of the word.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

When MGR heard this, he became so emotional

It is a well known fact that MGR was born in Kandy for an Indian immigrant couple in 1917. Aroordhas had visited Kandy nearly six decades later, when the shooting for Pilot Premnath movie starring Sivaji Ganesan took place in Kandy.

“When the shooting for ‘Pilot Premnath’ movie took place in Kandy, I grapped a handful of soil from that city and filled it in a plastic vial. After returning to Chennai, I met MGR.‘Elder, I’m offering you a gift now, which othes might not have given it for you until now.”‘Is that so? May I know what is it?’‘Will you open your palm?’[MGR] offered his palm.I placed that particular plastic vial in his sandal wood-colored palm.‘What’s this? Soil?’‘Yes of course. This is your birth soil. I collected this from Kandy, and brought it especially for you’, I explained. When MGR heard this, he became so emotional and touched both his eyes with that vial.He opened the lid of the vial. Like picking the holy ash (viboothi), he pinched a little of the soil by his thumb and index finger, and placed it in his mouth. Then he applied a little soil onto his head as well.I saw both his eyes were welled [with tears]. Like a child, he asked me, ‘Can I keep this vial?’I replied, ‘Elder, what are you talking? I brought this especially for you.’‘Thank you. I’ll keep this gift forever with care.’ he said and grapped my hands.”

Article From : Tamil Nation website
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