After 8 years since it was released, i caught up with watching our superstar thalaiva Rajni Kanth’s Sivaji, tamil film, only last evening in Prime. Of course I have loved the songs tuned in by AR Rahman always, given a voice by S P Balasubramanyam. Rajnis pictures are gross (no pun intended) entertainers. I like him over Kamal Hasan in that, he seems to treat his heroines with a bit more of respect. In case of Kamal, I have the opinion that he is vulgar with his women on screen and makes you squirm in your seat. He can never become the family entertainer that Rajni is.
I have enjoyed Rajni’s Robot made by director Shankar in the cinemas starring Aishwarya Roy opposite him. In Sivaji, it was a visual treat watching the car fight scene although generally i abhor violence. Mostly switch off death scenes/violent scenes or fast forward. Switch off tv if they show macabre scenes or present gloomy news with disturbing visuals. No point in carrying that baggage in your mind. According to some people, i am already negative! The truth is, I block a lot of negativity from my life and focus much more on positivity than I really speak about. Never psycho or terror or scary pictures for me. To fill my home with positive vibes, I play bhajans, classical music etc., in an effort to offset any negative energy present. Mind is cleared of clutter.
As for art, i am no connoisseur of art but having a spouse with artistic leaning has helped me appreciate art better. Europe tour was much more enjoyable thanks to our familiarity with art, that way. While most tourists just walked past, we stood rooted for a time studying art and debating the artists’ mindset. Thanks to my husband who himself is a scrap artist as well (he is a self-taught amateur artist) and thanks to my friends who are Rangoli specialists, i am discovering the many facets of art such as myriad surfaces, tools etc., apart from about some remarkable art installations. The art installations are a challenge to our imagination. Thought provoking. They define a new plane of art taking art to another dimension.
In celluloid pictures, i have been able to somewhat guess what can constitute art. By art here, i am not talking of award winning pictures. Art also need not have to be limited to scene settings. Art can be sublime as well relating to frames. For instance, the word ‘art’ hit me when i watched the car fight scene in Sivaji last evening. One thought in my mind then was that, this car fight sequence is like an art installation. Modern art. Abstract. The wastage hurt me nonetheless. Still I have to appreciate the stunts director and the screenplay-direction that came up with such a stunning and unprecedented scene for the first time in Tamil silver screen. Not ruling out the possibility of copying from Hollywood. Or even Bollywood. But knowing director Shankar and his originality, I have no doubts that this is his matchless ingenuity. This is what I thought of when watching ‘Robot’ dubbed in Hindi as well. Once I watched Shankar’s interview and the director said, how ideas keep popping up in his mind and how he imagines them in 3D and tries to visualize them in his mind’s eye and how he tries to match up film making with exactly what he pictured in his mind. This conceptualization that is strikingly similar to his visualization is what his pictures are all about. Great director of Indian cinema. Legend. Many of his Tamil productions are dubbed/remade in Hindi including Robot, Hindustani etc.
‘Prarthana’ the outdoor theatre also used to be my favourite drive-in cinemas by the sea (although the sea is invisible). I think now it is redundant. Not too sure how it is faring now in the digital age of Prime/Netflix and Inox cinemas. Looks like the scene is shot here. No copyright infringement intended. This is what sets Shankar’s films apart.
(This is a dubbed scene from Hindi version 😀 that hardly does any justice to the sequence. Better footage in Prime HD)
To me, anything with an aesthetic appeal to not only your eyes, but also to your heart and mind, qualifies as art. Art is ever evolving. One is reminded of Dan Brown’s ‘Origin’ with its gala science/art museum that is surreal. Art transcends levels and planes and is of a multi-dimension that is beyond one’s imagination here. I am lucky that i could expand my horizons of thinking where it concerns art. The possibilities are endless. The rustle of a leaf in the soft breeze is art as much as the buzzing bee about it. The gentle roll of the waves is an art as every beautiful twilight and sunset. Corona has spared us time to pause and take stock of art that is omnipresent about us 360 degrees. Nature or otherwise. And most importantly you don’t have to have this creative genius to reckon art for what it is. All it takes is the elusive eye that can wring art out of the ordinary.