IR the genius

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Re: IR the genius

Post  counterpoint on Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:20 pm

crimson king wrote:  MR can push IR to switch songs for situations but it is IR who ultimately has to compose them.  MR can tell IR he wants a sad song for Mandram Vandha situation but he can't tell him to mix jazz, rock and Carnatic in unbelievable ways.

MR doesnt have to tell all that. He isnt a MD. He is a film director. If his filmmaking skills, his situations, his narration, inspires IR to come up with such fusion MR has done more than his job. MR's music savviness/knowledge can only be a bonus. Thats why I said it is tricky and sometimes futile to compare artistes across different art forms. I can never for a moment bring myself to argue that IR achieved more as a MD than say a Mahendran or KB achieved as a director.

crimson king wrote:Please try telling people who bore the brunt of the Mumbai underworld, surviving family members of the brave police officers who became victims of the politician-ganglord nexus that Vardhabhai was an angel. And then come back and tell me about what a great film Nayakan was. Mani at his reductive best, making heroes out of anybody and everybody.

Come on, this is cinema, not documentary or even an authentic biopic. Did Mani annouce in the credits before the film starts that this is based on real life incidents of Varadhabhai? He didnt. then what are you complaining about? This is a fictionalized account. Not even that actually. Its just a story.An inspired one maybe.It is even inspired from Godfather the movie/book not just from Varada's life.

 Mani leaves the "nallavana, kettavana" answer to the audience and doesnt try to glorify Kamal's character here exactly. Even Kamal's end comes about as some sort of a comeuppance, a consequence of his previous violent action. Mani could have just left him out there, acquitted and having a happily-ever-after  with his daughter and grandson. That sort of ending would have still made this movie a notch or two above what was dished out as commercial fare in 1987. But he did'nt.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  counterpoint on Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:36 pm

crimson king wrote:People need to make up their mind what is their real opinion on IR. If you accept the argument that IR was at his best in early 80s and faded away thereafter, you can't also say MR got the best out of him.

No one said he faded away entirely. But his classics to middling songs ratio did come down  in the late 80s. There were exceptions of course. But when he associated himself with a KB or MR the results were always good. I agree they were good even the film in question wasnt good like say a Idhayakovil or Pudhu pudhu arthangal.
That tells me IR believed in these directors or the very fact that they were working with him inspired him to create good songs(anyways most songs are composed before the film is made and and shown to IR, so IR has only the narration and the director's credibility to go with while he sits down to compose songs). It only shows the mutual respect they had for each other. Not every barathi raja or Mahendran film was a masterpiece either. Yet most of their films did have good music, again points to the respect IR had for such directors. And regarding Mani's first two Tamil films he himself has said they were commercial compromises done to just get a foothold in the industry. From Mouna raagam is when his true voice was heard. But IR must have seen his potential from long back- right from Pallavi Anupallavi from the way he shot his scenes to the way he narrated his storyline or just from his zeal to push boundaries within the mainstream format. IR must have sensed something special in him.

The fact that IR gave consistently good music for acclaimed directors and their films doesnt mean he was incapable of giving good or even great music for a so-so film. I never did say that. So am not sure why some of you are throwing that out.Strawman. It is obvious that many bad films and directors have benefitted from his music. But it is also true that the good or great film directors have consistently gotten good-to-great music in their films. And that is as much due to the director's credibility(as viewed from IR's perspective) as it is due to IR's own abilities.
Amman kovil kizhakkale might have gotten great music despite the film, but when the same R. Sundarajan made Saami potta mudichu later on he got what he deserved- an eminently forgettable soundtrack from IR.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  crimson king on Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:06 pm

Are you still going to defend the"MR inspired IR to make fusion" argument when counterexamples like Ninaivellam Nithya have already been given? You cannot look at this only from the perspective of commercial success. There is also the dimension of musical innovation. There is nothing to show IR tended to innovate with some directors, much less that he innovated ONLY when he worked with them. Certainly they tended to provide more appetising situations which improved their odds of getting good music from IR but I hardly find that sufficient justification to put them on the same level. I mean even Yash Chopra got some good scores out of his composers but he is not considered a genius.
As for Nayakan, Ardh Sathya was not a documentary either. But it dared to depict a more realistic picture which Mani did not have the guts to. He was hellbent on oversimplifying things to fit certain clichéd approaches he was fond of. Avana nidutha sollu has got to be one of the most hilarious lines mouthed by a gangster. The parallel scenario was handled with a lot more class in Godfather 2. And yes, I insist on that comparison. IR can match a Hans Zimmer then why excuse MR from matching FFC? It has nothing to do with budget and production values, MR is simply not that great a narrator.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  V_S on Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:39 pm

counterpoint wrote:Saami potta mudichu later on he got what he deserved- an eminently forgettable soundtrack from IR.
That's a news to me and a sweeping statement. If mangalaththu kunguma pottu, maadhuLam kaniyE, pon eduththu, kOdi idi are forgettable, I don't have anything to say. Neutral If we always talking about hits and hits, they may not be, but musically they are no way inferior to Sunddarajan's any other film hits.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  fring151 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:42 pm

CK wrote:The parallel scenario was handled with a lot more class in Godfather 2. And yes, I insist on that comparison. IR can match a Hans Zimmer then why excuse MR from matching FFC? 

Music was by Nino Rota. Zimmer isn't capable of a score like Godfather, plus he must have been only 15 odd years old then ...

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Re: IR the genius

Post  crimson king on Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:08 pm

Didn't say Zimmer scored Godfather, just gave an example of a prominent and celebrated Hollywood composer.  I would put FFC as a director on somewhat of the same plane as a Zimmer (and rate Kubrick/John Williams higher).  Ilayaraja is of the Kubrick/Williams/Hitchcock class of artists imo.  FFC is a great filmmaker but Kubrick is a once in a lifetime filmmaker.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  fring151 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:13 pm

counterpoint wrote:It is obvious that many bad films and directors have benefitted from his music. But it is also true that the good or great film directors have consistentlygotten good-to-great music in their films. And that is as much due to the director's credibility(as viewed from IR's perspective) as it is due to IR's own abilities.

Yes, but only relative to the other jokers that went by the title of directors during the period. Still doesn't change the fact that on an absolute scale, MR was competent at best. 

counterpoint wrote:IR must have sensed something special in him.

Compared to P Vasu, yes. Definitely.

counterpoint wrote:I can never for a moment bring myself to argue that IR achieved more as a MD than say a Mahendran or KB achieved as a director.

It's simple. IR has enriched film music in many more ways than KB or Mahendran did cinema. The numbers speak for themselves.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  fring151 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:17 pm

crimson king wrote:Didn't say Zimmer scored Godfather, just gave an example of a prominent and celebrated Hollywood composer.  I would put FFC as a director on somewhat of the same plane as a Zimmer (and rate Kubrick/John Williams higher).  Ilayaraja is of the Kubrick/Williams/Hitchcock class of artists imo.  FFC is a great filmmaker but Kubrick is a once in a lifetime filmmaker.

To me IR is easily a plane higher by dint of his versatility and prolificity, but anyway...

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Re: IR the genius

Post  crimson king on Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:22 pm

That may be so but there is also the question of influence and all these artists were highly influential.  So while I would not say it is not a valid opinion to hold IR greater than Hitchcock, I would not want to venture an opinion on that myself because Hitchcock was also prodigal.  He said he didn't actually look into the camera while shooting the scene.  That is exactly how Ilayaraja writes his music, without having to play it to know whether it will turn out as he intends.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  fring151 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:47 pm

Soozhal nu onnu irukku illa? Adhayum kanakkula eduthkkanum IMO.  Hitchcock et.al were more influential also (primarily) because Hollywood/English movies get so much more exposure and more budding artists have the opportunity to view/hear and be influenced. In TN, the current crop like Imman might well claim IR influenced them, but I am not sure that will necessarily reflect well on IR. We have moved past the point where genuinely IR-influenced work has a chance of having any commercial currency in India...

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Re: IR the genius

Post  Drunkenmunk on Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:31 pm

fring151 wrote:
crimson king wrote:Didn't say Zimmer scored Godfather, just gave an example of a prominent and celebrated Hollywood composer.  I would put FFC as a director on somewhat of the same plane as a Zimmer (and rate Kubrick/John Williams higher).  Ilayaraja is of the Kubrick/Williams/Hitchcock class of artists imo.  FFC is a great filmmaker but Kubrick is a once in a lifetime filmmaker.

To me IR is easily a plane higher by dint of his versatility and prolificity, but anyway...
Amen. Was away for a few days and hence catching up only now. Another important distinction is IR never had any assistants (still doesn't as a matter of fact). Other than the few films he's worked with MSV and the few songs Karthik Raaja scored in the 90s, IR has had ZERO help in scoring songs (and even this was not due to inability but a genuine interest to work with a legend and groom his son) and BGMs and recording them. KB's right hand was Ananthu who actively assisted him in direction and scripting (even otherwise he had a number of able assistants in the 80s. Not taking anything away from KB or his talent but if a comparison with IR is warranted, I will bring in all this) and Mani had his wife for a better part and Sujatha to aid him in scripting. If this is so for the better directors in Tamil cinema, need I say more? Still will defend IR was very right in saying no director rose to his level in Supreme Court if need be Razz

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Re: IR the genius

Post  Drunkenmunk on Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:40 pm

fring151 wrote:
The characters in his films, especially women, possess a kind of brazenness associated with the upper-class urban educated. Without any support from her standard group of comrades, his heroines make the first move and take tempestuous decisions while courting and ascertaining their identities. Such feelings were heightened in the way Mani’s films encouraged both Ilayaraja and AR Rahman to extend themselves beyond the regional boundaries to embrace jazz, rap, hip-hop, techno-funk and even the gentle strains of Sufiana, while also exploring the entire technical spectrum of digital sound.

Typical revisionist propaganda only lackeys of Mani can come up with. IR's foray into jazz long precedes Mani's entry into movies.  And last time I checked, His hip-hop experimentation in Vikram had nothing to do with Ratnam.
When this article did make the rounds, it was widely suspected to be a promotional article ahead of Mani's Kadal Razz

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Re: IR the genius

Post  fring151 on Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:26 am

Drunkenmunk wrote:
fring151 wrote:
The characters in his films, especially women, possess a kind of brazenness associated with the upper-class urban educated. Without any support from her standard group of comrades, his heroines make the first move and take tempestuous decisions while courting and ascertaining their identities. Such feelings were heightened in the way Mani’s films encouraged both Ilayaraja and AR Rahman to extend themselves beyond the regional boundaries to embrace jazz, rap, hip-hop, techno-funk and even the gentle strains of Sufiana, while also exploring the entire technical spectrum of digital sound.

Typical revisionist propaganda only lackeys of Mani can come up with. IR's foray into jazz long precedes Mani's entry into movies.  And last time I checked, His hip-hop experimentation in Vikram had nothing to do with Ratnam.
When this article did make the rounds, it was widely suspected to be a promotional article ahead of Mani's Kadal Razz

Little surprise. The language is a give away.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  counterpoint on Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:38 am

crimson king wrote:
As for Nayakan, Ardh Sathya was not a documentary either. But it dared to depict a more realistic picture which Mani did not have the guts to. He was hellbent on oversimplifying things to fit certain clichéd approaches he was fond of. Avana nidutha sollu has got to be one of the most hilarious lines mouthed by a gangster. The parallel scenario was handled with a lot more class in Godfather 2. And yes, I insist on that comparison. IR can match a Hans Zimmer then why excuse MR from matching FFC? It has nothing to do with budget and production values, MR is simply not that great a narrator.

Comparison of IR with Zimmer is as futile(and borderline silly) as trying to compare Mani directly with Coppola. I am not going to waste my time any further on this. Two different worlds, entirely different scenarios and requirements and so on. If Zimmer composed for at least 100+movies where has to compose 5 tracks for a love duet,a  club dance number , a standard pathos number and so on, and for Bollywood films, then it can warrant such comparison. Even then it might not be exactly apples-to-oranges.Otherwise what he sets about doing and what is IR required to do are completely different. And Iam not discussing non-filmi scores or private albums and such.
"IR can match a  Hans Zimmer" - sure, in your opinion. why just match Zimmer, he might even exceed Zimmer in your world. But such a comparison is meaningless to me.

What MR did in Nayakan should be put in the context of what the mainstream Tamil cinema looked like in 1987 and what the other directors were doing. Not with 70s Hollywood. why should Mani make his films "realistic" or "ardh satya"-like? He operated in a  different realm, he wanted to be in the mainstream commercial cinema space. Nothing wrong with that. Next what, are you going to blame all our directors for having songs in their films and not having the guts to eschew music totally like Hollywood and be more "realistic"? Then everybody from Sridhar to Selvaraghavan will have to be blamed. All of them have made such commercial "compromises" if you wish to view them so. What Iam more interested is in seeing what they managed to achieve within the constraints of the medium they operated in and view their accomplishments against what was the prevailing standards at that time. In the 80s, barring 2 or 3 filmmakers' works Tamil cinema was abysmal as far as mainstream cinema was concerned. The visual style was missing even in soem of the noteworthy filmmaker's films and there was  a serious lack of panache/individuality in the visual storytelling style.

And Hariharan knows what he is talking about. If somebody is dismissing him here as just another Mani-lackey then a lot of people(including some here) can be dismissed as being just IR-lackeys, no? So lets not go there. Plus there is a book on him and his works out there written by a noteworthy filmcritic. why would somebody bother to do that if his works didnt create an impact? Unless you are going to dismiss that book also as another "lackey''s work?

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Re: IR the genius

Post  Drunkenmunk on Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:34 pm

counterpoint wrote:
And Hariharan knows what he is talking about. If somebody is dismissing him here as just another Mani-lackey then a lot of people(including some here) can be dismissed as being just IR-lackeys, no? So lets not go there. Plus there is a book on him and his works out there written by a noteworthy filmcritic. why would somebody bother to do that if his works didnt create an impact? Unless you are going to dismiss that book also as another "lackey''s work?

Err, the noteworthy film critic is well known for his pro-Mani bias and talked up Raavan and Kadal, two of Mani's worst films imo. Not that there is anything wrong with such a bias. He is entitled to it, just like how I am entitled to my IR bias (as seen by you or others) or Kamal Hassan bias. But my point is being a noteworthy film critic would not make him the center piece of neutrality while commenting on films (not doubting his integrity but rather pointing out his bias) and imo, his fanboism does cloud his eyes (you could very reasonably turn the tables and say the same for me too but I feel I know what I am talking about and will objectively defend IR as among the greatest in the film world, Hollywood or the many woods in India). In any case, you have been quoting the Baradwaj Rangans and the Hariharans. I am keen to hear why you think KB and Mani are a class apart in Indian cinema. IMO, only Kamal comes anywhere close to an all time great pantheon in Indian films and MR is incapable of providing the cinematic depth (apart from the Besant Nagar/elite Chennai types where he is, I admit, an Ustad) that Kamal does across genres and milieus (can expand on this if everyone is not bored but maybe this is not the right thread for it).

As for the comparison between Zimmer and IR, why not? He makes music, IR makes music. It's a case of apples vs apples again. I don't see why the choice of mainstream vs parallel and Indian films vs Hollywood makes things any different when we are comparing directors with directors and composers with composers. In fact, scoring 5 songs and scoring the background music makes it harder for the composer so the task in Indian cinema is more challenging for any composer IMHO (Note: this does not mean I say a Chandrabose or a Pritam or any Tom Dick and Harry is > Zimmer. A wizard in scoring for Indian films, Raaja, can hold his own against a Zimmer. That's all). Even otherwise, a Raaja, as much as he has done music for commercial/trashy films, could adapt to the dynamics of a Nizhalkuthu or an Onaayum Aattukuttiyum and provide us with just world class BGM that could give any world composer a run for his money.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  fring151 on Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:14 pm

counterpoint wrote:And Hariharan knows what he is talking about. If somebody is dismissing him here as just another Mani-lackey then a lot of people(including some here) can be dismissed as being just IR-lackeys, no? So lets not go there. Plus there is a book on him and his works out there written by a noteworthy filmcritic. why would somebody bother to do that if his works didnt create an impact? Unless you are going to dismiss that book also as another "lackey''s work?

Couldn't resist that insinuation now, could you? I dismissed HH as a Mani lackey, not you, understand the difference? If Srinivas Murthy makes a ridiculous statement like the brass section disappeared during the 80s, I will label him as a lackey because he works for ARR and is a paid propagandist. Likewise for singer Srinivas, bass guitarist Keith Peters and so on.

No one, to my knowledge gets paid by IR for posting here. Sure, many of us go overboard at times and tend to hyperbole, but we don't twist facts to suit our agenda, which is what HH has done in that article. Besides some insufferably pretentious writing, that is. That is why I dismiss and (continue to dismiss ) him as a lackey. I already pointed out one instance of revisionist nonsense perpetuated in that article, namely

Such feelings were heightened in the way Mani’s films encouraged both Ilayaraja and AR Rahman to extend themselves beyond the regional boundaries to embrace jazz, rap, hip-hop, techno-funk and even the gentle strains of Sufiana, while also exploring the entire technical spectrum of digital sound.

Here's another:

Mani Ratnam was still questioning the virtuality of the liberalised Indian nation and the ambiguity of citizenship. Be it Kannathil Muthamittal , Guru orYuva he continues to be the liberal voice in mainstream cinema, even after almost three decades.

Ok, the 1st sentence, frankly I don't understand. As for the 2nd, say what? That's nothing but propaganda. Kamal Hasan for one has explored liberal themes in the dialogues of Hey Ram and Anbe sivam (directed by Sundar C of all people) to the extent MR can only dream of. Almost 40 years back, the movie adaptation of Sila nerangalil sila manidhargal was far more forward than any story MR has ever written or directed. The writer is peddling falsehoods to somehow portray MR as some sort of messiah for Indian cinema, some kind of trailblazer, the sole liberal voice,  when all his supposedly liberal ideas and themes have been worn threadbare in mainstream Tamil cinema of the past 30 years.


P.S: From my experience, Baradwaj Rangan's words on Mani have about as much credibility in this forum as Dick Cheney on Iraq and WMDs. So, like Drunkenmunk says, you are probably better off stating your own justifications rather than quoting these people's views. But if, as you have also repeatedly indicated, you consider that to be a waste of time, then it saves you even more time to say nothing at all rather than cite Baradwaj Rangan's opinions.


Last edited by fring151 on Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:01 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: IR the genius

Post  app_engine on Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:38 pm


even the gentle strains of Sufiana

rotfl , from an IR context (could be really true w.r.t ARR who possibly got pushed into all those genres first by MR).

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Re: IR the genius

Post  kiru on Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:09 am

To some extent I think I have a taste for good movies .. Mani Ratnam is a over-hyped director. He stands out because he is a smart individual like you and me and not like the bunch of idiots or school/college drop outs who think they have creative skills when they cannot memorize some ramayanam or silappathikaaram in school or college, but start directing/making movies (thanks to some equally dumb investors as well Smile )
A few days backs I tried to watch Raavan  and could not get past the pretentious direction/camera work and silly dialogues and closeups of Aishwariya Rai .. however beautiful she may look ..
In a way MR and Rahman are similar .. as they get older they want to produce more high quality work but they did not cultivate their creativity or improve their fundamentals..MR directed good stuff earlier (not great stuff) but now he is trying to over-achieve and he is falling flat.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  SenthilVinu on Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:23 am

ravinat wrote:Extraordinary geniuses can be classified in two ways: 1) Clever and 2) Magical 

In general, a genius mind sees things that talented did not even know existed. 

The 'clever' genius is one, where the talented can understand what they missed once the idea is explained. 

The 'magical' genius is one, where even the talented cannot understand what they missed even after it is explained.

Most inventive geniuses are 'clever'. Once explained, the talented ones can replicate the 'genius's' ideas. 

Magical genius is hard to replicate even for the 'talented' ones.

All geniuses are very original. The magical geniuses generally operate on first principles. This 'first principles' is not a buzzword but an extremely simple process that is very hard to practice. It is like starting off with a clean slate every time and coming out with the final picture. This takes enormous intellectual power.

As an example, Feynman, the American physics genius was exactly like that. Researchers would wait for a review from Dick for months and finally, when they got an opportunity, he would not let him/her state their problem in full. He would stop them half-way, once he understood what the problem was, and would start off with his own solution. In most circumstances, it turned out to be one of two things: 1) Feynman already solved the problem several years ago and did not bother to publish or 2) Feynman solved it to a different result that the researcher never imagined. Both these results makes the researcher look so small after months/years of effort. This is what I meant by 'working from first principles'. 

Those in computing would have heard of Von Neumann, the mathematician. Here is an interesting story of his inner working. He was known as a super fast mathematician but does not write his steps. A student stops him in the hallway and asks him for help on a problem. VN tells the answer. The student does not follow as he did not tell him the steps. He wants another solution. A few seconds later, VN tells him the same answer. When the student asked him what the difference was, all he says is, "I used two different methods as you were unhappy with my first one". He still did not tell him the steps! Sounds familiar?

Some of Raja's workings and thoughts are very similar. He has foredawn conclusions based on his own workings/experiments that it lands as a totally weird statement. Having said that, most recipients of this message are like the fellow researchers of Feynman. At least those guys knew physics - the interviewers hardly know music. That's what complicates matters.

Michael Faraday was a great British scientist who invented the dynamo. Once he explained how he saw the idea of an electromagnetic field can be mechanically disturbed to generate electricity, everyone understood and we do have commercial electricity as a result.  Faraday was clever.

My earlier example of Feynman showed what 'first principles' in practice mean. This is ridden with minefields that feeble minds do not attempt. What good a scientist are you if you are not familiar with others' work? That's however not a problem with minds like Einstein and Feynman. Einstein learned all about 3-d geometry after he conceived the idea of space-time continuum. He was himself not a great mathematician.

In my view, Raja has both traits.  The last of these posts will showcase both these traits of him...

+100. Wonderful post. Just to add to your note. There is difference between inspiration and realization. There are great geniuses who get inspired from something to produce phenomenal works but it is extremely hard to produce work through just pure realization (Just like spiritual awakening & revelations). The form and content can seemingly appear out of nowhere. I believe an artist reaches this stage by internalizing very fundamental aspect of their respective art. They can transcend that fundamental aspect. In Raja's case, he seem to have internalized the basic swaras or something required to do music so deeply that he can realize music out of it, without thinking about it or get creative with it. Once an idea pops into his head, he probably realizes everything that comes along with it all at once or it flows like a stream for him. I have heard him say several times, that as soon you sing the basic swaras, there is nothing more to do or add. And tunes are just a trick job. From his point of view, it is probably the same realization juggled in different ways, just like a juggler uses same balls to juggle in different patterns.  

By the way, lot of such great geniuses are polymaths. Von Neumann and Feynman are polymaths. (Among other things Feynman can draw really well). Raja is definitely a polymath. I believe if he wanted he can be a good film director too Smile He seem to have consciously dedicated himself to music.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  groucho070 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:10 am

kiru wrote:To some extent I think I have a taste for good movies .. Mani Ratnam is a over-hyped director. He stands out because he is a smart individual like you and me and not like the bunch of idiots or school/college drop outs who think they have creative skills when they cannot memorize some ramayanam or silappathikaaram in school or college, but start directing/making movies (thanks to some equally dumb investors as well Smile )
A few days backs I tried to watch Raavan  and could not get past the pretentious direction/camera work and silly dialogues and closeups of Aishwariya Rai .. however beautiful she may look ..
In a way MR and Rahman are similar .. as they get older they want to produce more high quality work but they did not cultivate their creativity or improve their fundamentals..MR directed good stuff earlier (not great stuff) but now he is trying to over-achieve and he is falling flat.
Point-u. MR burnt out, I think (hope he makes a glorious comeback). ARR, still got mileage, that what makes composers live longer fame-wise than film directors. IR started with BR, got fame and all, but when on on his own he continued to rule. I hope ARR could do the same, do some silly experimenta (percussion Siva Mani ishtyle) shit he did back in 90s before getting, I believe, self-conscious and...gad, I hate this expression, Politically Correct. HE should do the good, the bad and the ugly. Alll will be forgotten and we will still be listening to him. ARR bro, don't get pretentious. Remember prog-rock in the 70s...they are all frickin' dinosaurs....ambudutheyn.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  crimson king on Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:53 am

counterpoint wrote:
crimson king wrote:
As for Nayakan, Ardh Sathya was not a documentary either. But it dared to depict a more realistic picture which Mani did not have the guts to. He was hellbent on oversimplifying things to fit certain clichéd approaches he was fond of. Avana nidutha sollu has got to be one of the most hilarious lines mouthed by a gangster. The parallel scenario was handled with a lot more class in Godfather 2. And yes, I insist on that comparison. IR can match a Hans Zimmer then why excuse MR from matching FFC? It has nothing to do with budget and production values, MR is simply not that great a narrator.

Comparison of IR with Zimmer is as futile(and borderline silly) as trying to compare Mani directly with Coppola. I am not going to waste my time any further on this. Two different worlds, entirely different scenarios and requirements and so on. If Zimmer composed for at least 100+movies where has to compose 5 tracks for a love duet,a  club dance number , a standard pathos number and so on, and for Bollywood films, then it can warrant such comparison. Even then it might not be exactly apples-to-oranges.Otherwise what he sets about doing and what is IR required to do are completely different. And Iam not discussing non-filmi scores or private albums and such.
"IR can match a  Hans Zimmer" - sure, in your opinion. why just match Zimmer, he might even exceed Zimmer in your world. But such a comparison is meaningless to me.

What MR did in Nayakan should be put in the context of what the mainstream Tamil cinema looked like in 1987 and what the other directors were doing. Not with 70s Hollywood. why should Mani make his films "realistic" or "ardh satya"-like? He operated in a  different realm, he wanted to be in the mainstream commercial cinema space. Nothing wrong with that. Next what, are you going to blame all our directors for having songs in their films and not having the guts to eschew music totally like Hollywood and be more "realistic"? Then everybody from Sridhar to Selvaraghavan will have to be blamed. All of them have made such commercial "compromises" if you wish to view them so. What Iam more interested is in seeing what they managed to achieve within the constraints of the medium they operated in and view their accomplishments against what was the prevailing standards at that time. In the 80s, barring 2 or 3 filmmakers' works Tamil cinema was abysmal as far as mainstream cinema was concerned. The visual style was missing even in soem of the noteworthy filmmaker's films and there was  a serious lack of panache/individuality in the visual storytelling style.

And Hariharan knows what he is talking about. If somebody is dismissing him here as just another Mani-lackey then a lot of people(including some here) can be dismissed as being just IR-lackeys, no? So lets not go there. Plus there is a book on him and his works out there written by a noteworthy filmcritic. why would somebody bother to do that if his works didnt create an impact? Unless you are going to dismiss that book also as another "lackey''s work?

If our opinions are so meaningless to you, why do you bother discussing at all, may I ask?  What's your agenda?  I am entitled to have opinions on artists and I am trying to buttress them with logic.  It may be MY logic but it is stated in plain and simple English so it's perfectly intelligible. So why don't you try to engage in the discussion...what if we compared IR and Zimmer?  If you want to wait until the discussion happens only on your own terms, you may as well wait until eternity.  What exactly makes Dark Knight Rises, for instance, more arthouse than Aval Appadithan?  Both composers have done a lot of commercial work so it's possible actually to make a comparison there.  

And if you really want so badly for the discussion to focus only on a strictly Tamil cinema-oriented comparison, then I don't think it needs to be stated that the margin by which IR outperformed his contemporaries in the 80s far exceeded that by which MR outperformed, if at all he did, BR, KB or BM.  If you are prepared to actually look at the scenario rather than only seek critical validation for each and every opinion, you might perhaps see that my stance or fring's or DM's is not really very unreasonable at all.  So what if books or articles are written about MR?  In the modern, commercialised world of publishing, the existence or absence of books on a particular artist by itself does not necessarily indicate how significant he is or he isn't.  Last I checked, there are no books on the life and times of Alan Holdsworth, Steve Hackett or Annie Haslam.  I shudder to think what would happen if somebody were to conclude only from this fact that these artists did not achieve anything significant.  

If books are written about a particular artist, it simply indicates that he is popular.  And nor have I made any attempt to deny that MR's films were, for a long time, commercially successful on a consistent basis.  I have also not denied that he tried to break away from the love-love-love cul-de-sac of commercial cinema to some extent and explore more interesting themes  (I shall not repeat my views on his treatment of said themes here).  But I am sorry to say that I simply cannot see how that equates to a seminal achievement of achieving a seamless blend between Indian melody and Western harmony and for the first time ever creating a paradigm, a conceptual foundation where such a blend could exist and not just as one-off experiments.  In a nutshell, MR made good films but there is nothing earth shattering about it, however much critics may seek to contextualise it as such.  Just because there are bad music directors in Bollywood does not make Pritam a genius.  Likewise just because lots of mediocre films were made in TN in 80s does not make MR a genius.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  crimson king on Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:58 am

One more thing.  The comparison with Ardh Satya is not as far fetched as you want to pretend.  Firstly, it is India and it is from roughly the same era - the 80s.  Secondly, the condition of Bollywood was even more dire than TN at that time.  So were people like Govind Nihalani, Shekhar Kapoor or Sai Paranjpe fools?  No, they just had a lot of guts which I question whether MR really has.  He will go thus far and no further.  He will always try to dilute the subject to appeal to certain, simplistic, 'middle class' values.  It's just that these directors have either moved abroad or faded away so there's no one to talk them up to MR-esque proportions.

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Re: IR the genius

Post  crimson king on Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:11 am

groucho070 wrote:
kiru wrote:To some extent I think I have a taste for good movies .. Mani Ratnam is a over-hyped director. He stands out because he is a smart individual like you and me and not like the bunch of idiots or school/college drop outs who think they have creative skills when they cannot memorize some ramayanam or silappathikaaram in school or college, but start directing/making movies (thanks to some equally dumb investors as well Smile )
A few days backs I tried to watch Raavan  and could not get past the pretentious direction/camera work and silly dialogues and closeups of Aishwariya Rai .. however beautiful she may look ..
In a way MR and Rahman are similar .. as they get older they want to produce more high quality work but they did not cultivate their creativity or improve their fundamentals..MR directed good stuff earlier (not great stuff) but now he is trying to over-achieve and he is falling flat.
Point-u. MR burnt out, I think (hope he makes a glorious comeback). ARR, still got mileage, that what makes composers live longer fame-wise than film directors. IR started with BR, got fame and all, but when on on his own he continued to rule. I hope ARR could do the same, do some silly experimenta (percussion Siva Mani ishtyle) shit he did back in 90s before getting, I believe, self-conscious and...gad, I hate this expression, Politically Correct. HE should do the good, the bad and the ugly. Alll will be forgotten and we will still be listening to him. ARR bro, don't get pretentious. Remember prog-rock in the 70s...they are all frickin' dinosaurs....ambudutheyn.


Aiyyo please don't insult prog rock by comparing them with the desperate-to-please-all-ARR.  If anything, it was the penchant for bluntly speaking their mind that got many of those artists in trouble with the press.  As Gabriel told the dumb press way back on Lamb Lies Down on Broadway itself, "If you think it's pretentious, you've been taken for a ride."

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Re: IR the genius

Post  jaiganesh on Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:49 am

BR joined the bus late.
IR started with unknowns like Devraj Mohan with one movie called AnnakkiLi. I hope you remember that.
BR the guy who was supposed to burnout, exploited his assistants and merely survived in the industry this long - very similar to stage director
'effects' Balachandar. Mentioning raaja's name in the same breath as these gentlemen - well . paavam vandhu soozhum. Hans Zimmer, Hans Zipper. ivanlaam comparisonae kidayaadhu nammaalu ooda. JOhn williamsa ittaandha konja neram pesalaam...

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Re: IR the genius

Post  crimson king on Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:52 am

Actually, I had used Zimmer's name to show that IR could be favourably compared to top notch Hollywood composers whereas the same cannot really be said if one compares MR to top Holly directors.  Of course, IR is beyond any of these directors  -BR, MR, KB - and he did what he wanted to irrespective of whom he was working with.  You are preaching to the choir.  Smile

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