Thursday, January 19, 2006

Udhaya Geetham (1985) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 4.5/5

Cast: Mohan, Revathy, Lakshmi, Anand Babu, Sendhil, Goundamani
Director: I need to watch the movie again to note this
Music: Illayaraja

This movie was released sometime around 1985...So around twenty years ago...But even today it is more fun to watch than movies like Aaru and Majaa...Wonder why they cannot make movies like these any more. Not only is this movie a memorable but so is its music. I was watching this movie for a second time after twenty years and I still remembered most of it. Ask me the story of any recent ones...The stories today seem to contiguous.

Arun (Mohan), a prominent singer is in jail with a death sentence looming over his head. He meets Shanthi (Revathy) during one of his concerts and is followed by her on many occasions into the jail and outside too. He shows nothing but animosity towards her behavior and keeps pushing her out of sight. But Shanthi is persistent and does not give up either.

Leela Chowdry (Lakshmi) is the newly appointed Superintendent of Police for the Madras Central Jail and is merciless. However Shanthi with her smartness talks Leela into getting her married to Arun. Arun also agrees to it after a lot of thought and deliberation. Leela arranges for the wedding to take place in her home.

During their first night Shanthi drives a knife into Arun's stomach and explains that she is none other than the sister of Anand (Anand Babu) whom Arun was accused of killing. Arun and Anand sang and danced for a music troupe before Anand's murder. Arun explains his side of the story in pain and proves his innocence to her. Shanthi realizing her mistake now starts to set things right.

The story has an amazing comedy track. If you remember earlier Sendhil and Goundamani comedies (this is much before Chinna Gounder) you will surely remember jump lingam, thengai la bomb, naina, the rogue tree swami, and so on. Looking back it seems like even Goundamani did some sensible comedy (like what Vivek is doing now) back in the eighties before kicking Sendhil became his norm.

Mohan a hero who has delivered so many hits in his hey day is forgotten now...Only the music from his movies are remembered. I cannot say that he was as good as Rajni or Kamal but in his own way his movies were entertaining and had at least 80% assurance of making it in the theatres. Plus all his movies had some of the best music composed by Illayaraja. I think he might have been the only Tamil actor who could not speak Tamil but still made it big with dubbing. I also don't know how many of you remember Anand Babu, comedian Nagesh's son, as far as I remember he was one of our own Tamil Industry's first disco/break dancer. It was nice to see him do some of his moves in this movies. He was a decent actor lost in the annals of movies just like Mohan. Revathy and Lakshmi are good as Shanthi and Leela chowdry.

The movie is really good and worth watching if you can get hold of the DVD and like most movies from that era it is rated for family viewing. So enjoy watching our very own Mohan holding his trademark Mike on a stage...


Rajesh Vishwanathan said...

Dear Anu,
It is fantastic that you have such amazing thoughts abt this great film. Yes, it is one of the most memorable movies of all time. Just this morning, I was watching this song Thene thenpandi.. wow.. what a number and what stunning music by Illayaraja. I just wonder why music doesn't evolve these days. yes, there is great music even these days but somehow I miss our days. Probably the same with western stuff as well. Just yesterday I was watching one of my all-time favourites Suburbia by Petshop Boys and was doing just what you do - I wonder why, I wonder how... That takes me to another great number That thing you do! Time to recollect all the magic of those days I suppose.

Anu Russell said...

Thank you so much for visiting and the kind words.