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Rajini and Kamal appreciation thread.

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Post  crimson king Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:55 am

I agree Siva was not good at romance. But neither were/are amrish puri, om puri, Naseeruddin shah or anupam kher. If that makes Salman Khan a better actor than them, I'll be damned. It's simple, some of you are looking for masala must haves in an actor like romance, dishum, comedy etc while I am looking for the ability of the actor to become the part he plays. Sivakumar could do that in spite of his desperately uncharismatic personality or maybe because of. Rajni is always Rajni, no matter the role. As for non RK Nasser (though how is that a disqualification?), Walter Vetrivel?
you may not agree with my approach to rating actors and in that case, there is no point in further discussion. But I cannot consider an actor who cannot surrender to the role a great actor. I am not sure if I could consider anybody other than sivaji in my list a great actor but I am certainly not convinced of Rajini qualifying that condition.

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Post  fring151 Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:33 am

crimson king wrote: I am not sure if I could consider anybody other than sivaji in my list a great actor but I am certainly not convinced of Rajini qualifying that condition.

I am looking for the ability of the actor to become the part he plays

Kamal and Nagesh would certainly qualify in my book. 

By your criterion is Al Pacino a great actor? What about De Niro? Jack Nicholson?
My view: Only Bobby would qualify from the above three.

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Post  crimson king Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:01 pm

I agree. Al and jacko have given great performances but depend too much on certain mannerisms to let you forget it's them. De niro was a lot smoother that way. I rate laurence olivier and alec guinness at the top. Also loved William holden and ned beatty in Network.

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Post  Wizzy Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:54 pm

But neither were/are amrish puri, om puri, Naseeruddin shah or anupam kher. If that makes Salman Khan a better actor than them, I'll be damned. It's simple, some of you are looking for masala must haves in an actor like romance, dishum, comedy etc while I am looking for the ability of the actor to become the part he plays

avar avlo ellam worth'u ellingo, I cited romance to accentuate B(k)'s point about him being a single bit
actor, for any given situation we exactly know how Sivakumar will act/try to, like actor Suresh
he spent most of his 80s career in playing second fiddle to lead actresses so he never really carried a movie to be even
talked with the names discussed here.

Walter was Pee.Vasu caricature of a crooked copper/dravidian politician so wouldn't add too much weight.
outside of Raaj Kamals comfort zone Nasser didn't do much to be talked so highly imo, may be him burning
fingers with his own production got him to do lot many junks is clouding my views on him.
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Post  crimson king Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:25 pm

whether Walter was a p Vasu caricature is not the point, point is about how Nasser played the part
and speaking of caricatures, 90% of Rajini/ tn masala hero roles are caricatures anyway. Where are the solid characters that sivaji played in aalayamani/puthiya paravai. That's why I am sympathetic to sivakumar, not his fault that in the 80s dancing and/or fighting became the main criteria for hero, with the exception of mike Mohan.

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Post  sagi Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:51 pm

God the condescension. எங்கேர்ந்து சார் வருதிந்த ஆணவம்?

That 'we' look for daans / fight in an actor. And 'we' venerate actors as stars?

If you just give ONE, I mean ONE example for Sivakumar (he was worse than horrible in that film anyway) and say that he is a better actor than Rajini and do not even care to look beyond the padayappaas for Rajini, not to mention the condescension, Gawd, இதெல்லாம் டிஸ்கஷனாய்யா..

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Post  sagi Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:52 pm

Bhagyaraj, Yogaraj, Vaiyyapuri all of them played 'characters'. Heck even Sivaji played 'hero' on at least 30% of his films. So the conclusion is Vaiyyapuri > Sivaji. Gaadit.

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Post  crimson king Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:08 pm

Interesting to know that you dislike condescension when you are the recipient of it.  I am much the same, thank you.  Can we move on?

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Post  Wizzy Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:29 pm

whether Walter was a p Vasu caricature is not the point, point is about how Nasser played the part

save for Gounder, movie was littered with Cardboard characters so not sure Nasser had much of scope.
don't think that will feature in his top 10 roles anyways. 

speaking of caricatures, 90% of Rajini/ tn masala hero roles are caricatures anyway. Where are the solid 

characters that sivaji played in aalayamani/puthiya paravai. That's why I am sympathetic to sivakumar, not his fault that 

in the 80s dancing and/or fighting became the main criteria for hero, with the exception of mike Mohan.

90% ah? guess RK underselling himself/being humble in recent public appearances has its victims.
[you are turning me into RK counsel here] just compare the set of directors RK got to work for the most part in 90s/00s
vis-a-vis 70s/80s, if KH the writer didn't popup in the 90s and save the day KH would have suffered similar fate.

going by CK's staunch support, Sivakumar's subterfuge of blurting out 100 flower names/dumbing down epics via his expert commentary at various colleges(ladies) has somehow straitjacketed him to ivy league of TFI top actors
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Post  crimson king Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:37 pm

Got to work?  Sorry, Rajini had the TN film world at his feet by the mid 90s.  After Annamalai, he was unstoppable.  He made certain choices..and not in the 90s but in the 80s itself that dictated his repertoire.  I think 90% is quite fair.  I am including his earlier, better roles in the 10%.  From around early 80s itself he was toeing the superstar pattern.  Once in a while there would be a Puthu Kavithai, even Dhalapathi was different from his usual fare.  Probably the last, after that was a masala riot.  You can't use the same argument in Rajni's favour that you reject for Sivakumar.  In any case, as much as you or Nerd are desperate to fit my opinions into certain boxes, no, I am not a huge fan of either of these actors.  Sivaji is the only one I would rate highly (I mean, great/greatest kind of stuff).  He was justifiably praised by Dileep Kumar and Sanjeev Kumar also, the only two Hindi actors I would rate on somewhat of a par with him.  I only named these actors (Siva, Nassar) to throw in some names that I would consider better than Rajini.  Substitute them with some other if you like but my point is not about those one and one comparisons but simply that Rajini is not a top 5 actor.  You are free to disagree but don't act like I refused to obey Newton's law...kindly...it's very annoying.

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Post  sagi Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:01 pm

OK, so next time do not say something which you can not really substantiate. I mean you are free to replace 'Sivaji with Vaiyapuri' etc., are not really 'arguments'. If you got nothing to say, say nothing.

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Post  sagi Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:15 pm

Btw, I did not mean to be caustic or anything. Take it easy. No hard feelings.

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Post  jaiganesh Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:26 am

yaarume singam suryavayo, alladhu mugamoodi jeevaavayo aattathil saethukkaadhadhaippaththi naan kandikkaren.

Aside, was wondering seeing shantanu bhagyaraj in one of the inane songs in kalaignar tv, his father came across 
presentable in 80s and he had a wig, not so great physique, loads of makeup on his face. How come a more fit 
and smart shantanu is not appealing? Fact is ever since we kissed goodbye to the studio confines and old make up and camera techniques,
also went our ability to set up a movie in a studio/indoor confines and focus on dialogues and script - now we seem to be conditioned to 
fringe areas of film when watching movies. and no more great performances possible because of this lost focus.
No dialogue is worth recalling (remember how we used to recall every single dialogue that vijaykanth spoke in the courtroom in captain
prabhakaran?). I know this is not a cohesive post, but I guess ppl can get what i am implying here..

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Post  crimson king Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:13 am

Nerd wrote:OK, so next time do not say something which you can not really substantiate. I mean you are free to replace 'Sivaji with Vaiyapuri' etc., are not really 'arguments'. If you got nothing to say, say nothing.

I am not obliged to substantiate it AS PER YOUR TASTES.  Just because you believe something, doesn't make it the only correct position, so get off your high horse.  My point was simply that I had only wanted to say Rajini is not among the top 5 of TN.  I did not say the 5 I mentioned are the only ones I would rate over him, so arguing endlessly over a couple of my choices is not going to establish anything.

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Post  plum Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:52 am

1. Sivaji
2. Daylight
3.Night-darkness
4. Kamal/Nagesh/whoever. I'd put in Rajini here in this same row(sacrilege!)
5. Character actors - take your pick - Prakash Rai, Raghuvar, Nasser, SV Rangarao, SV Subbiah(boy, what a riot as Bharatihyar in K Ottiya T, ivaraiyllAm vuttuttu SivagumaaraiyO thuNaikku azhaikkaRadhu?), Rajkran.

For a brief period in early 90s, Vijayakumar was the next Sivaji and Rajkran was the next (Kamal/Rajini/whatever?). Later, Vijayakumar lost even that brief acclaim and Rajkran morphed into "next Sivaji/SV Rangarao/whatever")

I'd even put Prabhudeva's candidature above Sivagumaar - much as I despise Prabhudeva.

When I was in School, the argument was usually "MR Radha/SV Rangarao better actors than Sivaji". Because jivAji was only hero, do-gooder, these people played a "variety" of characters(conveninetly ignoring that pretty much they played the same personality EVERY SINGLE TIME)

Sivagumaar is an inferior version of the same - in that he plays himself as a personality no matter what character he is given, the self-righteous, sing-song intonating, limited ordinary actor. A sort of a non-masala Vijay, if I may.

Sivagumaar is limited from every angle you can see - Sindhu Bhairavi or Unakkagave VaazhgirEn or Gayatri, it's all the same character for him. oru self-righteous pongal is his best suit and a pretty unwatchable one at that.

I dont believe Rajini would have blown off Kamal or something like that if he didn't go the masala path. But he wouldnt have been blown away either. 
In the 80s, Rajini masala >>>> Kamal masala. Rajini was still not lost as an actor in these movies even up to, perhaps Annamalai. From there, yes, he is pretty much lightweight, a sort of a super-Vijay, nothing more.

But the Rajini up to Thalapathy was no lightweight. 

I also believe the 70s Rajini vs 70s Kamal is overstated, and that Rajini shined because he got the characters with the better scope to make a dashing impression in those Kamal-Rajini moves.
Nevertheless, there are characters that *even* Kamal can't pull off - kaali of MM being the top of this list. I can see only a mid 90s Mohanlal coming anywhere near the intensity. 

* There is not a role that Nagesh has done that Sivaji couldnt have pulled off. Take that, "I am different, I like Nagesh better than Sivaji" pretenders
* There is not a role that SVR/MRR did that Sivaji needed to prove himself in. Those were limited roles needing limited talent and SVR/MRR did it. Period
* There are Kamal roles that Rajini could have easily pulled off- Velu Nayagan for instance. A Godfather reprise, with Rajini in the lead, and Kamal in the director's chair in the 80s was the need of the hour. It didn't happen. "ungaLa thAnE nambaNum" could well work with Rajini as well
*  There are Kamal roles Rajni cant pull off - Salangai oli for one. Moondram Pirai for another.
* There are Rajni roles Kamal cant pull off - MM, and the whole masala genre(Kamal's intelligence comes in the way of being a convincing Annamalai, Baasha or even a Padikkadhavan). Nerrikann - no way I am buying Kamal as Chakravarthy.

Net-net, in terms of what was achieved as an actor in their career, Kamal >>>> Rajni but in terms of potential, that would be a closer match, with Kamal still prevailing but not so easily as now.
As for Amit-ji, if Rajini choses to do the roles Amitji did as a kezha bolt, he can easily blow Amitji off the park. Sadly, that wont happen.

Here's my dream scenario:
Le's hope Soundarya manages to kill Rajini's fan base in one stroke with Koch, and Rajini becomes a pauper and is forced to do old man roles for surivival. 

Meanwhile, VR2 flops, and Kama does Marudh, which succeeds artistically but is commercially average(not flop). 

kAlathin kattAyam gets Rajini and Kamal together, one behind the camera and another in front.

Rest will be history.

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Post  crimson king Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:06 am

rajini could plausibly manage cheeni kum type of roles but i personally cannot see him playing paa. I continue to disagree about lost potential of Rajini, nothing more to add.

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Post  plum Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:22 am

Let's leave Paa for Vikram. #idhukkuEnAssistantE pOdhum

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Post  Bala (Karthik) Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:50 am

1. 80s coolster template RK > KH. 
2. MM RK > hypothetical KH 
Adhukkaaga rendu perum equala? Nalla vela, PD, Shadow Ravi laam adhe varisayila podala. 
Coolster, bad ass, sensitive bad ass (MM). Old man template laam oru idhu nu build up vera panreenga. Idhukku KH direction vera Sad


Last edited by Bala (Karthik) on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Bala (Karthik) Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:51 am

Amit a blow away panra alavukku difference irukka? KH, RK same bracket, aana RK (who made a career out of Amit) blows away Amit? Based on MM? This is Sivakumar level stuff


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Post  Bala (Karthik) Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:53 am

Indran chandran will whip netrikkan mama (similar not identical)

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Post  Drunkenmunk Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:50 am

I would also say 80s Masala of Rajni >>> 90s masala of Rajni. 80s Rajni was accessible as a hero. Post Annamalai, the films have been insanely over-the-top but he has pulled his act off convincingly till Padayappa. adha othukkaNum. avar padam nallA irukkO illiyO, makkaL have lapped it up throughout the 90s and the near frenzied mass acceptance is missing in the new age Vijays (only Ajith has managed to get close to the opening). And I immensely enjoy the formula films of the 80s, Dharmathin Thalaivan, Guru Sishyan, etc. Of course there are unbearable duds like Maaveeran and Viduthalai but the Rajni of the 80s, despite not taking the risk of competing with Kamal and going for challenging roles, was very enjoyable. Acting potential, top 5 in Tamil cinema debates aside, Rajni may not be the greatest actor, but if we are to expand the horizon to performers, he has his own space. ashtE Smile
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Post  Bala (Karthik) Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:08 am

Plum
Another thaazhmaiyaana karuthu. Indha X first daylight second laam only for Swamigal in India. Nobody else.

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Post  plum Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:40 pm

kOvuchukudAdhInga. enakku Kamal as actor avLo mukkiyau illa. He is too intelligent to play most of the roles he did. Of course, Swathi Muthyam I forgot. 
Thinking about it, edge koduthE AgaNum but jivAji is my bias. apdi dhAn pEsuvEn.

Also, thAnai thalaivar bossukellAm boss grouchar vaguththa pAdhaiyil nadappadhu en kadamai...

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Post  app_engine Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:12 pm

dEvar magan

savukku jokes Laughing

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Post  fring151 Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:06 am

*Ticket for Kamal*

I second Bala(K). Kamal>> Rajni in terms of  actual career achievements, potential career achievements, versatility...contd. below

1*Pure acting ability - Guna, Mahanadhi, Moondram pirai
2*Dialogue delivery, diction, command over language - Devar magan, Kuruthi punal, Virumandi,
3*Mastery over dialects - Sathi leelavathi, Devar magan, Virumandi, MMKR, Thenali, need I even give separate examples for Madras baashai and Brahmin baashai?
4*Understatement -Hey ram, Guna (Partha vizhi alone will prove this. That's a Bhang induced trip btw, for those who don't know), Anbe sivam
5*Artsy subjects - Salangai oli. Case closed.
6*Spooky roles - Sigappu rojakkal
7*Comedy/comic timing - MMKR, Sathi leelavathi, Thenali, Panchathanthiram, kadhala kadhala.....
8*Professionalism and attention to details - Hey Ram, Nayagan. 
9*Romance - Is there even a case to be made here?


Frankly, there's not even a comparison as far as I am concerned. Rajni falls behind in nearly every aspect listed above, gapingly so in  Nos 2,3, 7 and 8, in which Kamal simply stands out from nearly every other major actor in the industry. I didn't find anything terribly impressive in Rajni's performance in MM, but ok, I watched it almost 5 years ago and don't recall it too vividly. I am planning to rewatch it sometime to see if I missed something glaring. And I don't consider Rajni> Kamal *in masala movies* as something that even slightly tilts the scales in RK's favour as far as a discussion on acting ability goes. I mean, I don't even see such a large gap, (if at all) between Kamal and Sivaji.


DM,

I myself like Guru sishyan, Dharmathin thalaivan etc too and like Rajni' *performance* in those movies. I mean, I LOVE Baasha too, believe it or not, and also Arunachalam, padayappa blah blah. I can imagine myself watching those movies from beginning to end all over again. It is this RK-KH comparison on acting skill/potential that bothers me, much like an ARR-IR comparison. Yes, I think that's about the talent gap we are talking about. Maybe even the lost potential/choosing commerce over art comparison with ARR works...

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