Saturday, July 09, 2005

Happy Birthday KB - Part I

[Pic Courtesy Sify]

Iyakkunar Sigaram K.Balachander turned 75 today and marked the occasion by launching a new film Poi for Prakashraj's Duet Films. The film has an catchy tagline "Ilamaikku Poi Azhagu" and will be a youthful love story with newcomers as leads. Prakashraj's track record of producing low-budget movies with interesting themes(Azhagiya Theeye, Naam) and KB's tendency to put a different spin on any theme, provides an interesting combination.

I was planning on listing some of my favorite KB films and trademark KB moments on this occasion but could not get to it today. Look for a longer Part II of this post sometime during the week.

Updated 7/10:
Q1: The Sify article mentions that KB's first film was Neerkumizhi. I was always under the impression that his first film was the controversial Arangetram.

Q2: I might be mistaken on that one but I'm pretty sure Server Sundaram, which the article mentions as one of his movies, was not directed by KB.

So has my memory deserted me completely or does Sify need a fact-checker?


At 11:26 PM, Blogger Sriram said...

Vannakam all,

I was watching KB's 'Manadhil urudhi veendum' today. KB is a great director. Happy Bday sir...wishing you good health!

At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

happy b'day, kb...

thro my friend director vasanth, i got the chance to meet him earlier this year...have a look:

At 10:09 AM, Blogger anantha said...

fitting that i found a way to see Rayil Sneham again! I dont remember how many episodes where originally available, but i saw 7 out of (first?) 9 episodes (could not see 2 and 3)!

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, wherrrrrrre did u find rayil sneham??? that and suhasini's penn-- i can never find them...some links please?

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Parthale Paravasam might have been a failure...but a neat family drama and great songs.!

I've always admired KB for his offbeat themes with a message to the society.

Long Live KB...and good luck for his 101st Move venture.!

At 7:39 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

anti, same question as ram. how did u see rayil sneham?

ram, 'penn' wasnt KB was it? revathi right? i dont remember the stories but i remember i absolutely loved 2 episodes. 1 of them was with shobana.

narayanan, moviesla namma taste different pola iruke. u didnt like 'autograph' and i didn't like 'paarthaale paravasam' at all. but am hoping 'poi' sees KB back to his old form :)

At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji,server sundaram IS directed by KB..
suhasini's peNN is an awesome collecton,why dont u ask ur friend vasanth..he must have a copy,
considering his wife penned or directed one of the stories?
NV, i agree with u,PP had this awesome song azhagay sugama sung by sadhana and srinivas,lyrics by vairamuthu sir..
doesnt it point to skill of the MD if the same singer said alagae in july malargalae!!and spashtama aZHagae in this song..!!!:)
me thinks KB was far ahead of his times..and was a trend setter and a guru to many...:)
incidentally balaji along with KB Unnikrishnan and anuradha sriram also share a bday!:)

At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PP wasnt grt shakes storywise or treatment..but this song was good..autograph had an universality to it that many ppl cld identify with..thats why it was a bb!;) blockbuster!illiya???

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

rekha, :) did some googling after seeing your reply and found out that KB wrote only the dialogs for SS. it was directed by krishnan-panju. yaanaikkum adi sarukkum?!

At 9:25 PM, Blogger NS said...

Server Sundaram was KB's kadhai-vasanam. Not direction. I am sure. But then, I dont know who the director is.

KB's entry into cinema was thru dialogue-screenplay for MGR's Deiva thaai. And first directorial venture was Neerkumizhi. Interesting trivia there, he was told that "Neerkumizhi" signifies transience and is aba sagunam for a first venture. But then, the movie was a hit, and every critic was proven wrong by this amazing guy who went on to direct 99 more movies!

Belated wishes to my fav director..:)

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Ram C said...

Hope he delivers 'Poi' to suit the taste of the new movie going generation. Eventhough, some secotrs liked his last few movies like 'Kalki' 'Paarthaale Paravasam', they didn't click well.

Anyhow, belated best wishes on his day and hope to see his touch again in 'Poi'.

At 10:49 PM, Blogger ioiio said...

I like his Maramadhesam.. My favorite teleserial

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, i know that penn was written and directed by sushasini...just mentioned that as one of the best tele serials that i wish i had in my favs were the episodes with Bhanups, Amala and Radhika (in that order)...the one featuring Suhasini and Parthiban was the worst...

reg. KB, yes Neer Kumizhi was the first movie he directed...and yes, he only scripted Server Sundaram...rekhs, temporary loss of form is it:)

At 11:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sincerely wish, hope, pray that KB doesnt venture into bigamy/polygamy AGAIN in this movie!!

At 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...
this was where i got misinformed!!besides thinking he IS the director of my own accord!:) u said even elephants can slip!!!BB i hope the animalsynonym
is regds memory retention and not size;)
isnt poga poga theriyum song fm S.S
and fm his avargal ppl usually talk abt junior( the ventriloquist song) whereas there r these other 2 gems..kaatrukenna vaeli (S.J)and angum ingum(S.P.B)
Bb u shd have a sep section on songs in KB's movies..
cos they really have a tch of class!

At 12:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bb, if u have a section on lyrics, then rest assured that u will have a hit every time rekhs takes a break from work:)
what say u, rekhs???!!!

At 5:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ram,Bb is turning a deaf ear to my pleas..( pardoned 4 a while cos he is a dad again!)neeyaavadhu ONOK and selvam songs kaytutu un theerpai solriya??
waiting for ur comments...
hey ur vasanth is starting a TV serial en thozhi en manaivi en kadhali..i might have got the sequence mixed up!kaylvipatiya??:)
hey guys..i4got to add..nammavar in best kanna best..i liked the dialogue bet gauthami and kamal and the poonguyil song..
naanum andha vcd or dvd chennai fulla thaeditaen!:(

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paarthale paravasam was a mega mega disaster. You wonder how the same guy who made all those movies in the 70s could come up with that. Poi could only be better.

Anyways, Happy B'day to KB!

The things I like in his movies:

1. Memorable characterization/characters
2. Yadhaarthamaana dialogues - something which the present day directors including Manirathnam seem incapable of
3.A wonderful sense of humour/wit in his dialogues - usually there is no need for a separate Koundamani-senthil track in his films since the main characters themselves sparkle with wit all the time.

KB's best came between 1970-85

At 9:08 AM, Blogger anantha said...

Ram/Balaji: Sent you guys an email.

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anti, thanks for the links...will check 'em out soon...

rekhs, sorry marandhutten...will look again for nammavar...yeah, spoke to vasanth abt the serial...he's in delhi now...he's on the national awards jury...what is ONOK? oorukku nallavan oravukku kettavan-nu KB ode 75th birthday-kaaga Visu edhaachu padam panraaanaa?!

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought ONOK was Oru Naal Oru Kanavu..

At 12:10 PM, Blogger ioiio said...

incest vittutteenga :)

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Server Sundaram was directed by KB.

At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lazy - you are partially correct! :-)The stage play of 'Server Sundaram'was written and directed by KB..The movie version based on his play was written by KB and directed by Krishnan Panju.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

nithya, interesting trivia :) i guess the same holds good for rajni too. he was introduced onscreen with the title 'abaswaram' (i think) and his friends advised him against it since it was a -ve word. we all know what happened after that :)

ioiio, my wife raves about 'marmadhesam' too. but me never seen it :(

rekhs, true. i remember 'katrukkenna veli' had some amazingly clever visuals to go along with the lyrics.

and still listening to ONOK. i usually hold off commenting till i've listened a few times. first impressions may be wrong :)

vijay, i think he kinda peaked with 'sindhu bhairavi' though 'vaaname ellai'(it came after SB, right?) had its moments.

anti, thanx for the links :)

At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

his oru veedu iru vaasal was a gr88 movie...esp the scenes portraying the sorry state of affairs for cinema's "junior" artistes...

At 5:36 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

vijay, a big nod to your #1 ingredient of 'great characters'. amazing that his older movies like edhirneechal, bama vijayam, etc. had so many characters but each maintained his/her individuality and was memorable.

aruvi, don't think many will disagree with u on that! PP was a very bad movie. KB almost seemed rusty since he took that one after a long break. hope that doesn't happen again...

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not just PP. Duet, Kalki, PP. All three were disasters. KB started overdoing the relationship thing. And there was this serial kai aLavu manasu. Initially it was good. But again he treaded the familar path of bigamy/polygamy. If not for Rajas songs even pudhu pudhu arthangaL would have been a huge flop!

Wish he comes up with something like varumai niram sivapu or unnal mudiyum thambi or ek tujhe ke liye or achamillai achamillai.

At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite KB films are, in the following order,
a) Pudhupudhu Arthangal - for the problem with over-possessive ever-suspicious wife
b) Achamillai Achamillai - Good take on the politics..kinda surprising to come from KB
c) Ethir Neechal - For the +ve message
d) Unnal mudiyum Thambi - For the big social message.
e) Nizhal Nijamagirathu - Breaking the myth on human perceptions about relationships
f) Sindhu Bairavi - An artist-fan relationship -Beginning and end, told the different way
g) Vaaname Ellai - Positive message
h) Aboorva Ragangal - A complicated web of relationships
i) Ek Duje Ke Liye - A love story to die for
j) Punnagai mannan - For Kamal..

At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

vijay, mani doesnt have wit at all!!bingo on yr analysis on KB's strengths!:)
lazy geek ,welcome to my world of misconception reg Ss:)
sindhu bairavi...vijay...i thot a stalwart like KB cld have said somewhere in that much acclaimed movie that a man and a woman CAN HAVE A platonic rel..u just dont have to jump into bed cos u rasichufy his music or art ..same time mudhal mariaydhai was made and the rel bet radha and shivaji was so subtly portrayed..
why is it such an alien concept?
..cant a woman have a best friend in a man other than her dad bro or husb???is that too much for ppl to accept??sindhanaiku oru oondukOl!:)
1 veedu 2 vaasal, ram, showed that violinists shd fiddle with what they know best!pun not intended:)
aruvi, disagree with whom abt pp?every1 seems to say it was a fiasco included..didnt u think azhagae sugama is an awesome song??
i think the best out of his latter efforts were punnagai mannan and unnal mudiyum thambi ...
guess why his former movies have a tch of class..cos he had his muse ananthu by his side:)very few ppl relate to this fact but thats the key to KB's success:)

At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gp what abt iru kodugal and thanneer thanneer..iru kodugal gave me such a thotful msg that in life if u get a bigger prob than what u r already facing the bigger line takes precedence..and the smaller line which was at first seemed priority is trivial after all!:)
both these movies bagged govt of india award..
varumai niram sivappu???
kamal-sridevi combo..besides which i feel if u r rating an excellent audio-visual then chippi irukudhu wld easily rate the highest.. considering it was the 1980s!!tho andhi mazhai wld follow in close pursuit:)( non kb)

At 12:42 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

ferrari, thot PP was far worse than the other 2 u mention. KB's movies always had some weird stuff. but 'duet' was a simple love story wasnt it?

gp, i think my list will have a majority of his older movies only. but 'sindhu bhairavi' will defly be on top :)

rekhs, KB did say a man and woman could have a platonic relationship in 'pudhu pudhu arthangal' right?

At 1:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB...when ur marriage goes for a toss,only then u show the world ur rel can also be platonic?
ilata mudiyadha???
i object to the basic attraction bet suhasini and can def flourish at the musical level.who is stopping that..but u dont have to take it further..
..doesnt suhasini realise he is a "happily" married man?? how can she step into that space of his?!!
then her initial love for his musical genius is all an excuse..
wasnt sk aware his wife was gnyanasooniyam when he got married
..even if she was,(s)tone deaf, so what???GRRRRRRRRRR
u dont have to have common likes and dislikes to remain faithful u?
guess its all the way it is percieved..after all who penned SB?
a man who is living "harmoniously"
with 2 wives!!!!!!!so avarukkay eppadi thappa padum???
i can even pardon u for getting attracted,thats natural, but if u r married or the recipient is married then U CHOOSE NOT TO ACT UPON IT..adhaan naagareegam
...nallavarukku ariguri!:)
how many kids r affected by this??
do u know the trauma these kids experience esp if born to celebs?
if only ppl thot b4 they pounced!!!
then this world wld b a better place to live in:)
give it a thot b4 u go gaga abt SB!
any day mudhal mariaydhai was better portrayed and conveyed
..with due apologies to KB whom i hold in high regard..this one doesnt deserve the accolades it got.
basic foundationay thappu..apparam eppadi andha kattadam nirkum?
sorry to ask u this..but wld ur wife agree to bring up yr kid that ur "woman" gave birth to,by u cheating on her.. or worse..WLD U if the shoe was in the other foot??its a diff q if both of u plan cos u cant have kids!!!
i am sorry but if more ppl followed
basic decency and principles of morality we wldnt b so decadent...
tell me ONE ACTOR/ACTRESS who is faithful to her/his spouse???
mail me if u dont want to post it in such a public spot,yr BB thot!!
this q holds good for all the readers...
we were even ruled by a polygamous cm!!and he wasnt arrested was he?!!
why? cos many rave abt SB!:)Q.E.D

At 1:44 AM, Blogger ioiio said...

A classic case of Less tensom more work.. but more work more tenson :)

Calm down Calm down ..

At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rekhs, I did like them but IMO, both had shades of depression running through.. If you see my list, I have stressed on the +ve message.. When I saw the movies like V.N.Sivappu, Nizhalgal, etc. as a school kid, I was so worried about whether I would get a job by the time I finish my degree.. Took a while to realize the real truth..
I would give more credit to Komal Swaminathan for Thanneer Thanneer than to KB, so didnt include it..

And, the controversy in SB (even SankaraBharanam is SB !!), IMHO, was nothing for surprise for someone who sits to watch the movie knowing that it is KB's.. Though I discourage bigamy personally, it is there as part of the society at both the top and bottom, to certain extent. Nothing to glorify, but I have seen a platonic relationship turning sexual often..

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Me too said...

Belated birthday wishes to 'Iyakkunar Sigaram'. Immensely enjoyed watching 'KB - Oru Sagaptham' show recently.

Almost all of his b/w movies were classics. 'Varumaiyin Niram Sigappu' tops my list with 'Agni Satchi', 'Achamillai Achamillai', 'Unnal mudiyum thambi' etc.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

rekhs, a movie is just a story. SB is simply the story of a singer, his wife and the other woman. u r taking your personal principles, morals, etc. out on a few movie characters. sure there can be a movie where the 2 remain friends but that would just be a different movie probably directed by vikraman!

me liking a movie does in no way mean i condone everything the characters do. the movie simply captures something a few characters do. i may not agree with them or even like them. But i need them to be believable. liking a movie about a serial killer doesn't mean i'm gonna go about killing people or that i condone murder, right?

i loved SB for the way the story was told, for the characterization, for the directorial touches, for the music, etc. i accept its characters for who they are - people with weaknesses - and i am more interested in the way the movie tells their story.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Potpourri said...

Server Sundaram IS directed by KB as many've pointed out. Apparently of all his findings Nagesh is KB's chellam. It seems, when Rajni or Kamal or anyone else for that matter, did not produce the output that KB expected , he would say "Idhuve en Nageshaa irunda eppadi panniruppan teriyuma"..
This was quoted by Kamal when there was some special program on KB.

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But i need them to be believable. liking a movie about a serial killer doesn't mean i'm gonna go about killing people or that i condone murder, right?"
ahhahahahaa...ok point taken BB...
but i do hypervent cos i know the pain i come across when i counsel many broken homes and plight of the women or kids..blame my reaction on that!!!and cinema and veterans in cinema can def make movies that r thotprovoking..iliya?i just get upset when SB( not shankarabaranam gp:))is raved abt!just ignore it like ram's rain inside an umbrella

potpourri i too thot that but apparently thats a wrong presumption...join the gang tho!

At 2:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

balaji just read gp's post reg his mom's opinion abt suhasini in SB:)
mayb i belong to her generation reg morality!!!:)
i still feel some where in that story KB cld have asked balakumaran
to suggest atleast subtly suggest that what suhasini and sk did is morally wrong...
just cos lots of ppl r unfaithful and is a common event..
2 wrongs dont make a rt..rt? bb?

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Potpourri said...

I was just reading thru the rest of the comments..mann this is SOME discussion.

I want to know too, how can I lay hands on rayil snegam ? I remember the song so well "Indha veenaikku teriyadhu.." I was a very little girl then..want to see it now..can someone tell me abt it.

and yes, abt server sundaram , point noted :)

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

rekhs, u mean gopi and not gp right?
maybe KB could've done what u say... but for me(and gopi), we didnt really analyze the moral implications of what sivakumar and suhasini did. we just looked at the way the movie was made... personally, what they did is defly wrong but it is a great movie about 2 people doing something morally wrong :)

potpourri, not sure if u r into the whole downloading thing. but if u r, anti sent me some links from where u can download RS and i can fwd them to u...

At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i want to see the serials kadhal pagadai and rayil sneham of balachander. can u pls give me the links? u can also send the links to

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