Sunday, March 18, 2012

Karnan - A Revisit

Every weekend lot of movies gets released.But this weekend is a bit special.One of the greatest classics in the history of Tamil Cinema,Karnan, got released.I mean re-released,but with additional some technical works.With DTS effect "Karnan" simply rocks.I have seen this movie 'n' number of times in TV and CD,but still I wanted to watch it in theater.I was startled to see such a huge crowd for such an old movie.Lot of people came with families and almost 70% of the theater was full.This blog post is not exactly a review of the movie "Karnan"..If you are an atheist and if you feel all this Mahabharatham and Karnan are nothing more than fiction,consider it just as a story instead of debating about the authenticity of the characters involved.

I have heard both Ramayanam and Mahabharatham from my elders.But Karnan's character has made me emotional so many times.I have watched this movie so many times,right from my childhood.That may be a reason.If a movie is able to create such an impact,we can easily understand its quality.Performance by lead artistes,dialogues,music,lyrics etc.,everything together makes this movie an immortal classic.To act as a king, you need a dominant personlity(I mean physical appearance). Just see the pic on the top of this post.Can you really think of anyone better than him? He has a manly voice and a great screen presence.For me, acting means Sivaji..Sivaji Ganesan - the great.

As per the story Kunthi Devi gets a wish from a saint.Funnily she tries to find out whether the wish would really work.As a result, through the Sun God's(Surya Bhagavan) radiations,she gives birth to a kid.Though she gives birth to a kid,she still remains a virgin as its a divine kid.As she was still not married, she feels having a kid would spoil the reputation of her family,so she locks the kid in a box and leaves him in water.A charioteer brings him up and he gets the friendship of Dhuriyodhana,head of Kauravas,who is considered a demon.But this Dhuriyodhana does lot of help to Karnan.As a token of courtesy,Karnan fights for the Kauravas,against the Pandavas.

Karnan is a highly talented person.He is a brave warrior and true friend.He is a great philanthropist and he would dare to give even his life as a part of his charity work.In this movie,the charioteer takes the kid(Karnan) to a saint and asks him to name the child.When the saint opens his hand and calls the kid,he(Karnan) places a jewel on his hands.The saint will say he is born to give.This scene is enough to understand Karnan's character.Whoever asks him something,Karnan never refused to give.

Karnan is believed to be born with Armor(கவசம்) and Kundala(a unique ear jewel). Lord Indira comes in disguise of an old man asks Karna to give him his Armor and Kundala.Without any second thought Karna donates it to him.As long as that Armor is with Karna,none can harm him.But to save his Arjuna(one of the Pandava brothers), Indira gets the Armor from Karna.As a result of this act of Karna, Shakuni, Dhuriyodhana's wicked uncle, forces Karna to learn the usage of 'Brahmmasthiram' from a saint called Parasuraman.But Parasuraman will teach this art only to brahmins. So Karna lies to him that he is a brahmin and learns the art.When Parasurama finds out that Karna is not a brahmin,he curses him.As a result Karna forgets the art learnt from him.

The movie moves seriously though there are some funny one liners and songs. Probably the modern day audience might feel that there are too many songs in the movie and it spoils the tempo.Nevertheless,the songs are simply awesome.The Viswanathan-Ramamurthy duo has provided the best possible music.Be it songs or background music,it simply mesmerizes the audience.And Kannadasan's lyrics adds meaning to the mindblowing music.Especially lines like 

"மன்னவர் பொருள்களை கை கொண்டு நீட்டுவார் மற்றவர்
பணிந்து கொள்வார்
மாமன்னன் கர்ணனோ தன் கரம் நீட்டுவார் மற்றவர்
 எடுத்து கொள்வார் "

[means - for other kings charity is for their satisfaction,but Karna is more concerned with the satisfaction of people who gets things from him]

Anyway, as a Vaali fan,I feel atleast one song should have gone to Vaali sir.But am fully satisfied with Kannadasan's lyrics.

In this movie the protagonist is Sivaji Ganesan and next to him, only actor Asokan(Dhuriyodhana) has more no. of scenes.But the actual show stealer is NTR(N T Ramarao).He comes only in few scenes,but his make up,acting and dialogue delivery is highly impressive.He acted as lord Krishna in this movie,which is an interesting character in Mahabharatha.He dubbed for himself in Tamil too.His pronunciation was perfect. Being an Andhrite,he speaks Tamil so well.Absolute professionalism.To be honest,everyone were too serious in the theater.But NTR's intro scene got a huge round of applause.When you are making a period film or a mythological film like Karnan,its very difficult to have a 'mass' character.But director Banthulu satisfied the masses through Krishna's character.NTR's presence does some magic for sure.Undoubtedly NTR is one of  the main reasons for this movie to remain immortal.

Dialogues are like back-bone of this movie.Satire,sarcasm,emotions, friendship etc everything can be 'felt' in the dialogues.Best example is when Kunthi comes to know that Karna is her son,she says to Krishna that she will try to bring Karna to Pandava's side.Immediately Krishna will agree to this and when she is about to step out of the door,Krishna stops her and says,atleast when your attempt fails,follow my advise.Kunthi replies,"ok fine my attempt will not be successful,tell me what to do". When you watch this scene you can understand the sarcasm.

And emotional dialogues means,the best scene is Karna refusing to join Pandavas.The conversation between Kunthi and Karna will be really touching.

When someone is highly talented and yet fails due to circumstances,it really hurts.This happens in day to day life too.Not every hardworking/talented person gets a break.Most of them fail due to the selfishness and mistakes of others.Here Karna is highly talented person.We can even say he is unbeatable in most of the aspects.But he couldn't defeat Pandavas.Throughout his lifetime,he gets humiliated by people around him as he is not aware of his parents.Is this his mistake?No.But he gets punished.Krishna helps the Pandavas to defeat Kauravas.Shakuni brainwashes Dhuriyodhana to avenge his father's death and as a result Dhuriyodhana commits lot of mistakes which destroys the entire Kaurava brothers.But it is Dhuriyodhana who gives recognition to Karna's talent,so Karna joins him.As Karna joined with the evil force(Kauravas), he falls into the trap and dies at the end.

Though Karna joins Dhuriyodhana,he still remains a good person by heart.When NTR enters and asks for a compromise,Dhuriyodhana insults Vidhura(half-brother to the kings Dhritarashtra and Pandu of Hastinapura) and talks ill of his mother.When he talks ill of his birth,Sivaji will show an expression in his face,which will clearly say that he was deeply hurt by Dhuriyodhana's words.Because even Karna gets repeatedly humiliated mainly because he was unaware of his birth.

The most difficult situation in life is, when you have so many problems around you and you have a solution for all the problems and you are desperate to solve them,yet for some reason you can't implement the solutions. You may feel like your hands are tied.That's what happens to Karna here.Had he used the 'Nagasthiram' one more time,he might have killed Arjuna.But Kunthi asks Karna to promise her that he will not use the 'Nagasthiram' more than once.When he uses it for the first time,Krishna presses the Chariot down and the 'Nagasthiram' misses Arjuna's head.And as promised he will not use it anymore.

Finally, Karna dies.In the climax,when Arjuna(actor Muthuraman) realizes that Karna is his elder brother, he accuses lord Krishna of forcing him to kill his own brother.He will keep on saying "en sagotharanayaa naan kondren,en annanayaa naan kondren".Which means I killed my own brother,I killed my elder brother. Krishna will say,

"Don't feel so proud that you killed Karna.You alone cannot kill him. Already 6 people killed him.Lord Indira killed him first by taking away his Armor,then saint Parasurama killed him by cursing that he will forget how to use Brahmasthira,then a Brahmin who lost his son due to Karna(once when Karna was riding his chariot,accidentally a boy came in between and died) cursed him that your chariot will not run on an important occasion,then your mother Kunthi urged him not to use Nagasthiram more than once and finally when he used the Nagasthiram for the first time,I killed him by pressing the chariot down and saving you.. Like this already so many people have killed him..Don't feel proud that you killed him,you just beat a dead snake(verum setha paambai adithu vittu naan kondren naan kondren ena maar thattaadhe)"

Now don't expect any special reason for this blog post.We come across so many things in our day to day life.We see deserving people struggling and undeserving guys enjoying high positions.When we are not able to figure out the reason for this,we are forced to believe that there is something called fate,which always troubles only people with good intentions.There is something called luck,which never favors a deserving candidate.Karna is one such person.Right from his birth,he got punished and humiliated throughout his lifetime for the mistakes committed by others.What should we call this? "It's all fate". 

All said and done,a lot can be learnt from Karna's life.He respects his friend, who gave him the much needed recognition,till the end of his life.Dhuriyodhana,though he is perceived as a demon,trusts his wife and friend.Sahadevan - one among the Pandava brothers,is good in astrology.When Dhuriyodhana consults him when to give 'kala bali'(sacrifice to field),he predicts the exact date and time and says if he gives 
'bali' on new moon day,he can win the battle.Even though Dhuriyodhana is his enemy,Sahadeva is sincere to his profession.This is called professional ethics.When Kunthi says,blood relation is superior to friendship,Karna refuses to accept it and remains loyal to his friend.When Arjuna refuses to fight against his own relatives,Krishna advises him that if he doesn't fight with them now,world will call him a coward.He further says,instead of thinking what to become,think what not to become.Make it sure that history doesn't name you a coward.We may also learn from this.If we are honest and sincere,we may not be rewarded.But if we are not,we will be branded as 'dishonest'.We can atleast try to avoid getting bad names.

Every incident(or every scene in this movie) can be interpreted differently and we can learn so many things.If you are not interested in it,ignore it. This blog post is completely for my satisfaction.

Coming back to movie,as I said earlier,the modern audience might feel there are too many songs.But again as I said earlier,the quality of songs will keep you tied to the movie.I believe in our generation not many have seen Karnan.If you like watching good cinema,go for it.Even though we have seen this movie so many times, watching it in theater is still a special experience.After watching Karnan,I feel some more classics like Salangai Oli,Sindhu Bhairavi,Nadodi Mannan etc can be re-released in DTS.

My verdict about Karnan - Go for it!!!

உள்ளத்தில் நல்ல உள்ளம் உறங்காதென்பது வல்லவன் வகுத்ததடா கர்ணா,
வருவதை எதிர்கொள்ளடா!!!!

P.S. : There is a mistake in this post. I have mentioned that NTR dubbed in his own voice. But after publishing this post only I came across in The Hindu that it was Mr.Srinivasan who dubbed for NTR. I would like to thank வெசீரா(one of them who commented for this post) for reminding this to me.


Vengat said...

Nice blog!!! True there are many talented people who can 't reach great heights because of many unknown factors and a person should not be insulted(hated) or ignored for reasons which are not under his/her control(like birth,caste,sex,colour ,race,physical status,appearance,religion etc..A human has got many dimensions no person is good no person is bad all are relative It is stressed throughout Mahabharatha.In Ramyana, Lord Rama suspects his wife Sita for her chastity whereas Duryodhana never suspects his wife Banumathy or his friend Karna even after seeing that his friend pulled her Megalai(Ornament worn around women's waist)to continue playing.

Harish.M said...

@Vengat - that is not a valid comparison.. I mean the one u made between Rama and Dhuriyodhana.. Both r different

Anonymous said...

Superb... Karna is my favourite in Mahabaratha :)

Harish.M said...

Anitha - Thanks for commenting :-)

Anonymous said...

அன்புடையீர் வணக்கம்.
நல்ல பதிவு.
பழசோ, புதுசோ இரண்டிலும் உள்ள நல்லவற்றைப் பிழிந்து எடுத்துக்கொள்ளும் தன்மை வளர்க்கப் படவேண்டிய ஒன்று.
என் சில கருத்துக்கள்:
1."மன்னவர் ...மற்றவர்..கொள்வார்": கண்ணதாசன் இரண்டு 'முரண்'களை இங்கு இணைப்பதாகப் படுகிறது.
"அதாவது மற்ற அதிகார மன்னவர் பொருள்களை சுட்ட, மற்றவர் பணிந்து ஒப்புவித்து ஒதுங்குவர்;
கர்ணனோ இதற்கு நேர்மாறு" என்பதுபோல் கருதுகிறேன் .
2.எல்லாப் படங்களிலும் என்.டி.ஆர்.-க்கு தமிழ் பேசியது பழம்பெரும் கலைஞர் சீனிவாசன். இப்போது அகவை 80+.. !!
3.கர்ணனைக் கொன்ற ஐந்தாவது ஆளைச் சொல்லவில்லையே..! தேரை 'நட்டாற்றில்' விட்டுச்செல்லும் சல்லியன்.!


Harish.M said...

@வெசீரா -

கருத்துக்களுக்கு நன்றி.. மன்னவர் பொருள்களை வரிகளைப் பற்றி தாங்கள் குறிப்பிட்டதையே இந்த பதிவில் நானும் குறிப்பிட்டிருக்கிறேன்.

என்.டி.ஆர் பற்றி தாங்கள் குறிப்பிட்டுள்ளது தான் சரி.இந்த பதிவை வெளியிட்டு சில நாட்கள் கழித்து The Hindu பத்திரிக்கையில் ஸ்ரீனிவாசன் அவர்களைப் பற்றி தெரிந்து கொண்டேன். இங்கு மாற்ற வேண்டும் என நினைத்தேன்,ஆனால் மறந்து விட்டேன். இப்போது அதை திருத்தி விட்டேன்.

பதிவை முடிக்கும் அவசரத்தில் ஐந்தாவது ஆளை விட்டுவிட்டேன்.நினைவூட்டியதற்கு மிக்க நன்றி.

இங்கு வெளியிடப்படும் பதிவுகளை தொடர்ந்து படியுங்கள்.தொடர்ந்து ஆதரியுங்கள்.