Bala's Paradesi

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Re: Bala's Paradesi

Post  app_engine on Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:49 pm

An article in "The Hindu"



If you don’t mind the negative emotions, as a film it’s hard to find fault. The sets and attire are authentic. There’s some dark, typical Bala humour that’s amusing. Bala is uncompromising in his vision even though he’s produced the film himself. The acting is amazing especially Atharvaa whose eyes speak volumes. Bala has a penchant for choosing and bringing out the best from fringe characters. Watch the actors who play the hero’s grandmother and uncle. The cinematography is brilliant. G.V. Prakash’s music is good, but you miss Ilayaraja simply for his innate ability to enhance emotions. ‘Paradesi’ is set in sordid surroundings and the ending could numb you. There may not be hope for the protagonist but there’s hope for good, meaningful cinema.


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Re: Bala's Paradesi

Post  jaiganesh on Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:41 pm

Watched the film and it reinforced my faith in Bala after that 'i dont care' Avan Ivan.
The control is strong and the focus on suffering of the tea estate workers is narrated (not in too much of gory detail) - still befitting the U certificate,
The movie can be summed up as Bala's quest into searching for the clues to the psychological framework of south TN. Though the movie is presented as a simple "untold story of a human migration" in the Raj days - there is a whole lot of visual metaphors on a broad range of topics. This movie is also a logical throwback to the helpless 'protagonist' of Sethu template. Helpless even when he is united with his wife and kid. Bala has cast people so carefully that not one person is out to grab eyeballs with clever performance or histrionics - yet atharvaa performs so effectively in the climax - unfettered, completely devoid of any pretense. That last scene wailing on the top of the rock is the best scene in the movie and that happening to be the climax only helps. Music is effective - GVP is kinda forced to go back to his "Veyyil" days and has delivered a neat sound track and effective BGM score - keeping in tune with the melancholic mood. Contrary to the reviews that it is single tone one punch two punch cryfest, the movie is tongue in cheek and splits u up into a smile and laughter here and there. Yeah, the bold and audacious "conversion" sequence and the depiction of major religions in this movie is a coup de grace to political correctness and pretense that has plagued thamizh cinema all these years. This movie cannot be rated or "star" marked just after one viewing. Need to think more and write in detail. The movie is a must watch and is in no way comparable to world cinema, schindler's list et al. This is one for local people's sensibilities and mind. It is sufficiently amped up and tailored to the eyes and ears of thamizh community - and in the same token it is universal to all people who suffered mind numbing exploitation and are living with scars and untold stories of suffering hidden behind cheerful veneer. This is purely my initial knee jerk reaction to the movie.. will crystallize more and write it in a formal template.. later.

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Re: Bala's Paradesi

Post  Nerd on Mon May 06, 2013 7:44 pm

I posted this in twitter. Reproducing it for the sake of posterity.

Finished watching Paradesi. 3 minutes into it, Anurag Kashyaps comment on the film struck me. 'Authentic recreation of time and space'. That's exactly what that long, tracking shot (camera mounted on a vehicle?) achieved. Bala is not particularly know for his craft, by craft I mean the sophisticated technique directors employ, especially with the camera, like, say Mysskin. So glad to see him do this. That first scene worked out with maximum effect.

The first 20 minutes or so was typical Bala, the Bala we already knew about. The casual yet zany humor, the camaraderie shared by the characters and the seamless transition between scenes.

Right from the kaNkaaNi's intro, we see Bala attempting something which is sort of new to him. We saw a glimpse of it in naan kadavul but he did not go all out. There he balanced every scene of exploitation with a bit of humor or with the 'hero'.

The main motif did not work for me, more on that later, but first what worked. Little things, which were not so essential to what the film sets out to achieve

1. How Bala chose to highlight Raasa's flaws. He was portrayed as such a paavam, borrowing from the original story and this side of him was not central to the film. But it was quite refreshing to see that being explored. He looks down upon a rape victim but has no qualms about copulating with a girl before marriage. After all, those were the values he learnt when he grew up. Periappa while shamelessly flaunting his 'manthiri' teaches how to be a 'man'. So delightfully audacious.

2. Dhansika. What a wonderful performance. And the way she straightens raasa out. She is the mother character Raasa never had. And we don't know her side of the story which was a nice touch.

3. Karuthakanni, thangaraasu and the paatti. Made memorable by their performances. Thats the biggest strength of Bala. Making each side character count. Including Elizabeth :-)

4. The entry of one parisuththam who we pin all our hopes on. And when we learn that he has an ulterior motive and the sly things he does, devastating. Those scenes do change the tone of the film quite a bit, but such an affecting portrayal.

5. The kaNkaani, cruz, and all their adiyaaLs could well be the raasas and thangaraasus in a different universe. I mean we really don't realize it and more importantly they don't realize they are torturing one of their own. They easily outnumber the English etc.,

6. The panchayat scene. The panjaayaththu is for the angamma-raasa relationship and that is exactly where they plan the next step. Not to forget the paatti trolling everybody there.

7. The final scene. Raasa wanted to merrily announce their marriage, but ends up announcing the most painful reunion ever.

Now coming to what I did not like:

1. The biggest flaw was to make the people of an entire village choose to believe kaNkaaNi's word and go behind him. I mean they all seem like leading a contended life with the occasional fun and frolic like what we see in the wedding scene. The transformation was not well established. Bala could have taken a leaf out of Vasanthabalan or Balaji Sakthivel. They did dramatize a little but it worked in those films.

2. The original idalaakkudi raasa story being used as a mere tool to build up the louu. Completely diluted the essence of the story. Their romance worked better only after they split actually. That letter scene was such a lovely.

3. The exploitation scenes, including the scene which made Raasaa immobile did not work for me. Somehow Bala lacked finesse in portraying such endless suffering. The interval block which shows an outstretched arm asking for help. Looked clumsy. It was WAY better in Naan Kadavul. Can't put my finger on what worked there and what is lacking here.

4. White folks and their non-acting. Unintentional hilarity. The completely random Gandhi is God monologue by one of them was, to put it mildly, unfathomable.

5. Way too many songs for a Bala film. I see that he has tried to use them as tools to move the story but the songs are so poor that they end up distracting and taking our focus away from the film. Some beautiful moments in that Gangai Amaran song but the song itself spoiled them.

I feel that Bala is getting purer and purer with each film of his. But I don't know if its a good thing or a bad thing.

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Re: Bala's Paradesi

Post  app_engine on Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:16 pm

This article says 'paradEsi' didn't make money


பரதேசி: விருது உண்டு வசூல் இல்லை

மார்ச் 15 அன்று பாலாவின் பரதேசி வெளியானது. இந்தப் படத்தின் முன்னோட்டமும் பெரிய பரபரப்பை ஏற்படுத்தியது. படத்தில் நடிப்பவர்களை நடிப்புச் சொல்லிக்கொடுப்பதற்காக பாலா குச்சியால் அடித்துத் துவைப்பதுபோல் அந்த முன்னோட்டத்தில் காட்சிகள் அமைந்திருந்தன. இதை ஒரு சாரார் கடுமையாக விமர்சித்தாலும் மற்றொரு சாரார் பாலா செய்வதும் நடிப்பே என்று ஆசுவாசப்படுத்திக்கொண்டார்கள். மொத்தத்தில் இந்த முன்னோட்டம் படத்துக்கான எதிர்பார்ப்பைக் கூட்டிவிட்டது.

ஆங்கிலேயர்களின் தேயிலைத் தோட்டத்தில் சிக்கித் தவித்த தலித் தொழிலாளர்களின் கண்ணீர்க் காவியமான ரெட் டீ (தமிழில்: எரியும் பனிக்காடு) கதையைத் தழுவி படம் எடுக்கப்பட்டிருந்தது. மற்றைய பாலா படங்களைவிட இருண்மையான விஷயத்தைப் பேசிய இந்தப் படங்களின் காட்சிகளில் பாலாவின் வழக்கமான திரை ஆளுமை அதிக வீரியத்துடன் வெளிப்பட்டது. காட்சிகளின் யதார்த்தம், அனைத்து நடிகர்களிடமிருந்தும் இயல்பான நடிப்பு, பாத்திரத்துக்கேற்ற உடையலங்காரம் என பாலா படத்துடன் தொடர்புபடுத்தக்கூடிய அனைத்துச் சிறப்புகளும் இந்தப் படத்துக்கும் இருந்தன. அதர்வா, தன்ஷிகா ஆகியோர் சிறப்பாக நடித்து நல்ல பெயர் சம்பாதித்துக்கொண்டார்கள். செழியனின் ஒளிப்பதிவு உலகத்தரம் வாய்ந்ததாக அமைந்திருந்ததாகப் பாராட்டப்பட்டது. ஜி.வி. பிரகாஷின் இசை அவ்வளவாக ஈர்க்கவில்லை. பல காட்சிகள் திரையில் நடக்கும் சோகத்தை பார்ப்பவரின் நெஞ்சுக்குள் இறக்கிவைத்தன. இறுதிக் காட்சி கண்ணீர் சிந்தவைத்தது. வெகுஜனப் பத்திரிகைகள் படத்தைக் கொண்டாடின.

ஆனால் படம் மிகக் கடுமையான விமரசனங்களையும் சந்தித்தது. இரண்டாம் பாதியில் கிறிஸ்தவ மருத்துவராக வருபவர் அனைவரையும் மதம் மாற்ற முயற்சிப்பதுபோன்ற காட்சிகள் கிறிஸ்தவ மதத்தை மிக மோசமாக இழிவுபடுத்துவதாகக் கண்டனங்களைச் சம்பாதித்தன. நாவலாசிரியரான பி.எச். டேனியலைத்தான் இந்தப் பாத்திரத்தின் மூலம் பாலா இழிவுபடுத்தியிருக்கிறார் என்று கருதவும் இடமிருந்தது.

தலித் மக்களின் வாழ்வியலை முறையாகப் பதிவு செய்யவில்லை என்றும் 1940களில் தொடங்கிவிட்ட தொழிற்சங்கப் போராட்டங்களைக் கணக்கில் எடுத்துக்கொள்ளவில்லை என்றும் விமர்சனங்கள் முன்வைக்கப்பட்டன.

சமமான பாராட்டுக்களையும் விமர்சனங்களையும் பெற்ற பரதேசி வசூல் ரீதியாக வெற்றிபெறவில்லை.

The article also talks about the demise of kadal & annakkodi.

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