Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Moondraam Pirai Remake

Tamil cinema is completely hero-centric and all our leading stars, in their eagerness to become the next Rajnikanth, have turned almost exclusively to ego-massaging masala films. There is no shortage of directors who pander to their egos and churn out formulaic films with larger-than-life heroes either. Another noticeable trend these days is remaking older films under the name of updating them for the present generation. The combination of these two phenomena could result in some truly scary scenarios. As an example, here are a few ways how Balu Mahendra's classic Moondraam Pirai might be altered in the hands of one of the actor-director combinations mentioned above.

- With a top hero, the film's name has to refer to him in some form. Poetically meaningful titles like Moondraam Pirai just won't cut it. So it'll be his name(lot of choices here) or refer to his character (Kaavalan?) or - in keeping the current fad - the name of some animal or bird that could be seen as being protective(Kangaroo?).

- The accident where the heroine loses her memory will be disposed off quickly. The song, in particular, is a definite no-no, instead of which the hero will get an intro song(the location doesn't matter though the brothel where he meets the heroine for the first time is an option). The song will repeat the movie's title apart from incorporating words like annan/thambi, thozhaa and thamizh.

- The neighbor paatti's character will be transformed into the hero's funny friend so it can be played by Vivek or Santhanam. They will make frequent jokes about the heroine's condition.

- The Poornam Viswanathan-Silk Smitha track will turn into the film's comedy track. The wife will be played by a buxom actress like Shakeela while the husband will be played by an old comedian like 'Venniradai' Moorthy. There will be atleast one scene near one of those water pumps with dialogs about pumping and pots and the track will be loaded with double entendres.

- The heroine will have momentary lapses into clarity so that she can dream of duets with our hero(maybe a Loosu Penne... remix). There will be a couple of fast numbers and a maximum of 1 slow number and atleast 1 of them will take place in a foreign location.

- The heroine's attempted molestation will be followed by a full-fledged fight with the usual punches, kicks and gravity-defying leaps. This is where the hero will utter punchlines like "Indha ponnu paithiyam. Unakku naan paakka poren vaithiyam" or "Indha ponnu loosu; ippo un bulb fuse-u".

- The hero's race to catch the heroine after she is cured will be a stylish run as he jumps over cars(instead of getting hit by them), leaps over ditches(instead of falling into them) and swings on the poles(instead of dashing into them).

- The heroine will remember the hero as soon as she sees him and brush off her parents' entreaties to jump off the running train(with his help ofcourse) and unite with him. Her dad will immediately summon his henchmen(who will arrive in Tata Sumos, clad in white shirt and veshti and armed with sticks that they twirl above their head) so our hero can fight with them for an action-packed climax.


At 10:17 PM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...


Kamal mela evalavu naal pagai :), dasavatharam nalla illa adhukaaka ippadiya ... hehehe

P.Vasu director you missed the vital point.

At 11:25 PM, Blogger Bart said...

This post has a tinge of 'ram'ness in it :)

At 11:29 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

that was really funny balaji..

I got visions of

T Rajendar
Sarath Kumar and

and for some strange reason, guys jumping off a tall building with a rope and doing a horizontal entry into a train.

this stunt seems to be a must for todays hero!


At 12:09 AM, Blogger KayKay said...

Ha!Ha! Good one BB. I had commented on this in Baradwaj Rangan's blog as well, that it's this very "hero-centric" culture taken to macho extremes that's constantly going to be a lodestone around the neck of the Tamil Film Industry.
My memories of "Moondram Pirai" is shrouded in a nostalgic mist that may render my recollections less than pristine in its clarity. I saw it more than 20 years ago, on video but it's a measure of its impact that I still retain vivid memories of certain scenes, most notably the emotionally manipulative but nevertheless powerful climax.
Could you make a movie like that today with a "big" star, jettissoning all the elements you so eloquently listed in your postings, "must have" items that guarantee said star's fan clubs returning in droves for multiple viewings to ensure maximum returns at the box office?
One of the many thingsI remember of the movie was that Kamal's introductory appearance was so...ordinary. There was a cut to a scene and there he was in conversation with a friend, I think. No cheesy graphics and fireworks set to a bombastic fanfare, announcing the hero's "arrival".
Ironically, the Kamal-Silk Smitha dance will be retained as it perfectly fits today's hero-centric plot lines which stipulate every attractive female within a 100km radius should fall madly in love/lust with the hero, never mind the fact that the object of their ..ahem.."attraction" usually resembles one of those nondescript extras playing waiters, janitors, mechanics and hired thugs back in the good old days when some modicum of good looks and personality was required to be a Tamil Film Hero:-) Sincere apologies of course to the select and tiny minority of actors who are genuinely easy on the eye (currently I need utilise just one hand to count them)

At 12:58 AM, Blogger Rajesh Thiagarajan said...

Awesome! You have a good sense of humor. This post had me in splits. But, I should admit that it falls way short of the excitement I had while reading your review on the movie 'naagamuni' or something like that (hero babu ganesh or so).

I just hope that this vision of yours does not come true.


At 1:09 AM, Blogger srijithunni said...

Lol..! Hilarious post, Balaji. It definitely is possible.. While there are some good films being made, it is sad to see that a majority of actors give such a lot of importance to these hero-centric movies.

Will Vijay ever act in a movie like Mozhi, Will simbu ever act in a movie without a dance and fight. These actors are so wary of their image, that they even narrow down the no of directors whom they will work with.

At 4:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You already reviewed Deepavalli the movie :).


At 5:12 AM, Blogger பதிவுSpot said...

ayya saami... mudiyala :P

... kalakaringa ponga.. :))

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Raju said...

Though hilarious, a nightmarish idea..

They sasy that one should not see "Moondram pirai" (crescent) bcos they will be blamed for some mistake which they havent done. That will be valid for our directors/heroes too. If our present directors/heroes watch the movie now, they will have at least some wish in a corner of the brain to remake it and if one of them goes ahead and does it, then there would be no bigger mistake than that in their entire cine life.

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was a hilarious piece balaji...the bulb fuse "punchline" was very funny! so was the line abt tata sumos...

very nice imagination!

here's what simbhu would've said in the climax - "viji...viji...paaru yaa..ena paaru yaa...naan thaan cheenu...twinkle twinkle super staru...little little super staru...nyabagam iruka? viji...danush pathi sammandham ilaama punchline pesi kazhutharupene...aadra rama, poadra drama, rajni un mama? ena viji...uh...(starts rapping) manmadhan yo manmadhan kaavalan naan thaan nallavan..."

heroine (some new face from mumbai named nadipnahin sharma) throws off a dollar and says, "indha chain-a vechu polachuko..."

tr makes a guest appearance in the final frame and says, "my son...nee chinna pullaiya irukarchey nee enge veetu vaelaru...ipo un moonjila thooki erinjitta murugar ode dollaru..."

The End

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The punch lines defintely reminded me of Chimbu. I was like oh no he's making a re-make!

Balaji I've recently decided watch films from the late seventies, eighties and early nineties. Classic Kamal or classic Rajini, Mohan suggestions would be much appreciated.

I've already watched, Salangai Ozhi, punagai mannan, Thalapathi, Nayagan,Mouna Ragam-(Loved them)

I also recently watched 16 vayusiley, moondru mooditchu,payanagal alivathilai(mohan and Poornima), meendum kokila and Udaya geetham(?revathi and Mohan)-(Not such a big fan)

any other top suggestions that I must watch. Please and thank you :)

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

Funny stuff, man :)

A movie like Bhama Vijayam could be a better choice for a remake since it could be done with the existing pool of talent out there today. For a Moondram Pirai, if a serious remake were considered, there is no alternative available for a Kamal...unless they "make" it the way you have outlined.

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your article and Ram's comments on it were too funny :) I shudder to think if this one happens for real.

I was picturizing Vijay and Genelia (who unintentionally played a retarded role to perfection in Bommarillu/ Santosh Sub)

Oh, btw the dog Subramani will be an animated character with Special effects from Ocher studio/ Soundarya Rajnikanth.
- Shwetha

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right. And its not his tail that Subramani will be swishing but his paws :)

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Vijay Kumar said...

Your choice of movie for this narrative is interesting. I think Kamal got his first national award for this heroine-centric movie. The Hindi remake of this movie was a colossal flop.

At 5:33 PM, Blogger D.E.V said...

i dunt think any hero would be stupid enough to remake a Kamalhasan's film. His films are all performance oriented and our actors simply just cant copy it!!!they know at the very first frame itself they would fall flat...

At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ram said:

"heroine (some new face from mumbai named nadipnahin sharma) throws off a dollar and says, "indha chain-a vechu polachuko...""

LOL, if I had been drinking something when I read that "nadipnahin" line my monitor would be drenched!

What bothers me the most about today's heroes is that so many of them copy Rajini's "ishtyle." Did Rajini ape MGR? No, he created his own image and niche. When you look at the trend of remaking old films, remixing old songs, and even reusing old film titles, today's stars and filmmakers are utterly afraid of attempting something new.

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Shanthi said...

Endha remake paathu ivlo tension aagitteenga?


At 10:04 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

srivatsan, kamal mela illai. other heroes mela dhaan :)

bart, considering how funny ram usually is, I'll take that as a compliment :)

sundar, thanx. i know u saw 'kuruvi' but didn't know u've seen 'arasaangam' :)

kaykay, agree completely with ur first line there. our heroes refusing to take risks and repeating themselves in cookie-cutter films set to a certain formula is killing off quality real fast :)

rajesh, thanx! and i think u mean 'nagalingam' :)

srijith, ah u brought in the 'image'. thats what our heroes resort to and hide behind whenever questioned about their movies :)

kp, but 'deepavali' was 'moondraam pirai's sequel :)

padhivu, thanx :)

raju, wow, nice comparison to the superstition :)

ram, that was hilarious. a perfect - much better - end to my post. the 'twinkle twinkle' and 'dhanush' references were top class :)

sivajini, though i'm sure there r several more, i'm unable to come up with a list off the top of my head. do send me an email if u're seriously looking for recommendations :)

anon, i agree. hence the scary visions :)

shwetha/anon, LOL. oh yeah, how could i miss the graphics :)

vijaykumar, yes he did. though pretty much everyone was surprised that sridevi didn't get an award :)

skanda, the fact that no actor has even mentioned a kamal film as a possible remake candidate shows what u've said is true :)

ravi k, good point. rajni is truly a trendsetter who came up with so many things that have since become commonplace. our actors r satisfied with copying him to reach his place :)

shanthi, remake edhuvum pakkala. ellam imagination dhan :)

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Ganesh said...

Whenever I watch this film,I do wonder how TR might've rocked during the climax!:D
I think if he's done it,he might even given a big lecture towards the climax.:D

At 3:08 AM, Blogger Gayatri said...

you just might've written perarasu's next script. make sure you ask for royalties :)

At 3:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilarious !!!

... but so true

At 8:02 AM, Blogger ரவிஷா said...

That was a good one Balaji! But why do you think the song(s) should be shot in a foreign country? Why can't the whole story be happening in places like London or New York! Or the hero brings the White woman to India without everybody's knowledge! So at the climax scene, the hero can run alongside the jet and hop onto the landing gear and get through the cargo area and meet the heroine inside the flight! And the heroine can - when the jet is about to take off - can tell the pilot to turn the plane back to the gate!

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji I sent you an email. Hope you got it :)

At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha....i think surya might be able to attempt it if it were to happen.....and i don't think he would fare tooo badly....:)....as for the girls, maybe meera jasmine?? but i agree, let's hope it NEVER happens.....

At 12:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rajini came with his own things but none of them were "good" for cinema.. if he was also an actor like kamal, every actor would be aspiring to be one like them.. he was a bad influence on people..

he remade too many masala films from hindi for a start


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