10.31.2006

Kaaka Kaaka and Gautam Menon

I got a chance to watch the overseas DVD version of Kaaka Kaaka which has commentary of Gautam Menon. Though I have seen lot of English movies with the commentaries of directors, it was a new experience to watch a Tamil movie like that and I really enjoyed it. As far as I know no other Indian director has done that before. In a recent interview on some 24X7 news channel, while asked about Tamil cinema, Gautam Menon replied, “Go International” and though that doesn’t show up in the quality of the content in his movies, it shows up in something else like such DVD releases which go Hollywood way.

My immediate thought after watching the DVD was that the commentary could have been in Tamil. Not that Gautam’s English was bad but just to avoid the odd factor in watching a Tamil movie with an English commentary. Mostly he was praising one of the cast or crew for every other scene and talked about the technicalities involved in each scene especially he praised Editor Antony a lot. He said a lot about how he shot exactly the way he had written the scenes in paper.

If you want to know why such a horrible character called Pandiya (Jeevan) was conceived, you can watch this DVD. All the explanations he gives in Pandia’s scenes about how he wanted the character to be and what was the intention of having each scene involving him clearly tell us what went wrong in Gautam’s script. Thank God, Gautam took out the love angle between Maya and Pandiya; it would have made things even worse. I should laud Gautam for being very frank and honest at some places when he says about how badly he executed some of the scenes, for example the Maya love proposing scene. Of course, there is an alternate climax and the reasons for choosing the one that is there now.

Though, I don’t think it was a great movie, I liked the sweet love story between Maya and Anbu Selvan, and it is one of those rare movies where we love the lovers and their love. From his commentary, it was evident that Gautam has put in a lot of effort in making this movie and I really like his intentions to go international and it would be better if his real intentions get converted into reality well with a good script. For now eagerly waiting for the release of “Pachaikili Muthucharam” which Gautam said is a bound script initially written for Kamal Haasan.

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