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NENJIRUKKUM VARAI - Cinematography and BGM

 
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madhuraman
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:12 pm    Post subject: NENJIRUKKUM VARAI - Cinematography and BGM Reply with quote

Dear Friends,
It may look strange that I bring together Cinematography and BGM respectively credited to Mr. N.Balakrishnan and Mr.M.S.Viswanathan. Some reference to these two personalities at this juncture would be timely and pertinent since the 3 [includes CVS] represent a different combination under the banner of Chitraalaya.

My observations are as under:

N Balakrishnan came to CVS's fold from Kalai koil produced by MSV and Ganga. [ Post Vincent era of CVS] This movie -N V was a landmark for CVS -MSV since this was the first occasion that MSV [WITHOUT TKR] worked for a Sridhar movie. Another interesting feature about this movie relates to its cinematography in B&W. In fact, NB has already shown his ability in colour in Vennira aadai. Though CVS has made the best of colour movies in Tamil, he resorted to B &W perhaps as an ideal tool to handle a subject of poverty and sacrifice. The visual impact was strengthened by presenting the artistes without make-up. Certainly presentation in colour may have rendered the movie weak and critics would have heaped uncharitable remarks on the technical crew-especially Cinematographers.
As for MSV - a man of abundant talent, he was in the process of reestablishing his supremacy as a composer after that separation of MMs into MM. With no clues then to reasons of their 'falling apart' music lovers were honestly divided over the merits of the two , with equal numbers on either side of the line. That MSV emphatically proved himself is now history. But , in the then dispensation, music lovers expected double bonanza from their segregation, but it was not to be. Nenjirukkum varai the songs would trumpet the glories of MSV as a master composer giving the best to a movie.

Now on to my critical points of observation.

CINEMATOGRAPHY - N.BALAKRISHNAN.
A distinct feature in this film has been the subdued lighting in all locales except the wedding scene and some shots on the then Mount road. This seems to have been adapted as a simultaneous strategy of depicting poverty of the characters without betraying their cinema image as stars . Except on a couple of scenes, tight close-ups are few and far between so as to be a systematic reminder to the scene of their living. Also, a brilliant exploitation of UNILATERAL lighting is visible so that the viewer stays anchored to the central characters on any occasion. There is just no distraction and even scene changes are rather transient and never abrupt.
All the technical crew including the editor must have sat over these aspects of presentation. All the song sequences have been picturised to perfection, the best of course was of "Ninaththaal podhum paaduvaen" where a top angle has been used to depict the low emotions of the characters. Another top angle shot is when KRV and Sivaji approach a point of divergence and take to physical separation. The shot is used to contrast KRV -MR's alignment as well. Though done in subdued lighting , the work itself stands majestic after 4 decades plus.
BGM
There is a reason why I club BGM to cinematography. A substantial load of impact has been generated by BGM. In fact, what ever pictorial efforts are shown, their value has been enhanced by the apt scores of BGM.
MSV has shown his class in scoring the scenes mostly by strings with almost no percussion except in the nuptial sequence that too in the initial few moments when an expecting KRV looks for the arrival of MR. Typical MSV Class is explicit in all places, where even the few instruments take a dip to a very low decibel as the conversation opens up. The play of strings have been judiciously utilized , the notes indicating the mood before dipping down. Indeed any one who watches the movie now can not miss appreciating the nuances of MSV who has stood by the visual requirements by aptly embellishing a sequence. This , MSV has done near 42 years ago giving absolutely crisp tonal values when the industry had to survive more on human skills. Such pieces of work deserve being protected in archives for later generations to learn to how to go about a task like movie making. My impression is this is one of the movies where an MD has implicitly followed the visual line and rather strengthened it by polite and elegant musical scores. Hats off to MSV once again.

Warm regards Prof.K.Raman Madurai.
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msvramki
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Prof Raman,

Your decision to combine Cinematography and BGM for your write up
is great and your write up very clearly bringsout how MSV could
weave his background score to support the scene so aptly. Whenever I watch a movie, I give almost 50% my attention to BGM and 'felt' the scene so beautifully because of the background score (of course of MSV's). What a great creator our Master is ?

Even yesterday, sitting quietly at Ram's US home , myself, my wife and Ram were watching the movie UYARNDHA MANITHAN and we had to rewind many scenes for its unmatchable BGM score.

Ram ran to the key board for each of the scenes' score to play the
out-of-the-world BGM presented by MSV, the great ! He says each bit of the BGM is also opening up multiple opportunities to get itself developed as a song or full blown instrumental.

Oh .. Tresure hunting MDs of the day ! Are you listening ? You have
an abudant wealth in stock all over here for you and your generations to survive on !!

Thanks professor. Pl continue..


Ramki
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madhuraman
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:51 am    Post subject: NENJIRUKKUM VARAI - Cinematography and BGM Reply with quote

Dear Mr.Ramki,
Thank you for the response. US or UK or any part of Europe, it is MSV through his nusical scores keeping company with you. On Nenjirukkum varai , I had to discuss BGM almost as an integral of Cinematography and really I felt so right from scene one that is cast as the movie opens immediately after Chitraalaya logo. At all critical spots BGM has elevated the mood. Hence this 'deviation' in my so-called analysis of NV.
While those with open mind and ears can readily recognize that MSV offers a treasure in BGM scores amenable to a full-scale song, how many are endowed enough? You have invited MDs to those treasures. Sadly, it is taste and frankness that determine one's attitude to songs. ALSO IT IS TRUE THAT THOSE MUSICALLY-MINDED would certainly find the phenomenon in MSV. People with preconceived notions can not understand anything; same as those delighted by MSV find it hard to accept some other styles of music scores.
Even granting that , some adopt MSV's pattern , I am sure they would find it extremely demanding to arrange and 'play' the notes even half elegant as has been manually done by MSV, decades ago.

Warm regards Prof.K.Raman Madurai.
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