"ENTHIRAN - MOONDU MUGAM VERSION 2.0"
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By Behindwoods Visitor S.Jeyaraj, Madurai
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Enthiran is making many waves across the film industry. Superstar Rajinikanth has displayed a stupendous performance in the three characters (though there are only two roles – the scientist and the robot) viz. (1) Dr.Vaseegaram - a low profile and gentle scientist, (2) Chitti – a humanoid autonomous robot which obeys the orders of his creator and (3) Chitti version-2 – a deadly humanoid autonomous robot with ability to think and want. All the three characters have been done by the superstar in a phenomenally different ways and biggies like K.Balachander are extending their complements to both Rajini and Shankar. Even K.Balachander has gone to the extent of saying that “I have introduced Rajini as a bad man. You (Shankar) have made him worse. But, wonderfully worse”.

There has been many discussions and debate about the movie from different perspectives. This article is from a different perspective of comparing Enthiran (EN) with one of the blockbuster movies of superstar in 1980s – Sathya Movies “Moondru Mugam” (MM). The basic reason for this comparison is that after the first triple role in Moondru Mugam (1982), only in Enthiran superstar has done triple characters, which is after a period of 28 years.

Endhiran

The film “Moondru Mugam” was a phenomenon. Even today, this movie has a lot of attraction among the masses, especially from Rajini’s fans. The reason for this is the three different roles performed by Rajini, viz. (1) Arun - a US educated young entrepreneur, (2) Alex Pandian – a straightforward, dynamic and hardcore DSP and (3) John – a mischievous and funny youth.

It is reiterated that the comparison is not based on the story or the screenplay as such. The comparison is only based on the three different roles performed by the superstar in the two movies and their placement and performance in the respective screenplays.

Comparisons:

1) Both MM and EN begins very casually. MM begins narrating how a young man who returned from US surprisingly as a sannyasi, is converted to normal life style. It takes about 25 to 30 minutes in the first half of the movie, before a sudden twist turns the screenplay unexpectedly and the pace of the movie jumps at jet’s speed with fire cracking dialogues and actions on the arrival of Alex Pandian into the movie.

EN also begins on a usual and unconventional way with Dr.Vaseegaran in the process of creating a humanoid robot and putting it on practical experiment for a while, which extends upto 25 to 30 minutes. The screenplay gets momentum and seriousness inconspicuously with Chitti being rejected by the AIRD Chief on some pretext.

Thus, the first 25 to 30 minutes both in MM and EN are revolving around the first character viz. Arun in MM and Dr.Vaseegaran in EN.

2) The 2nd role in MM is the grand role – Alex Pandian, whose introduction was received with huge accolades. for about 30 to 35 minutes he is in the movie, it is full of fireworks – both in words and deeds – i.e. firebrand dialogues and fighting sequences with the villain Ekambaram, by whom he gets killed. As DSP, his walking, talking, beating, staring, fighting, everything was in unique style. His appearance was very attractive with curling hair, buffed cheek and sharp looking in Police uniform, wearing round black spectacles.

In EN, Chitti Version 2.0 (the villainy robot) claims this credit. Right from his introduction (especially the background music during the introduction) almost upto the end of the movie, he rules the rust. His handling of the hero, Dr.Vaseekaran in the marriage hall and while searching for the “black sheep”, are simply unimaginable and terrifying. In short, it is something similar to watching Alex Pandian in a negative role.

3) The 3rd role in MM is of John – a mischievous youth who finally falls prey to the villain Ekambaram @ Ambar. He is funny, playing spoilsport of the efforts of Arun to bring Ambar to books, by impersonation as Alex Pandian. At the climax, having understood that Alex Pandian is the father of John and Arun, John sacrifices his life fighting with Ambar and saves Arun, his brother.

In EN, the initial Chitti role is comparable one. Being innocent in the beginning, Chitti turns into slightly mischievous on getting “feelings” fed into the neural schema. Finally, it rescues Dr. Vasi from the wrath of Law and gets itself dismantled.

4) Both in MM and EN, the introduction of first character of Rajini is very casual and in a manner which is unconventional to Rajini fans.

5) In the end, the death of John in MM and dismantling of Chitti by itself in EN, brings wet in the eyes of many.

6) Co-incidentally, both MM and EN were released in the month of October. MM was released on 3rd October, 1982 and EN on 1st October, 2010.

7) Both in MM and EN, the comedy sequence has been predominantly carried on by the superstar himself, though some comedy actors were available (Thengai Srinivasan & Khaja Sheriff in MM and Santhanam and Karunas in EN).

After the above comparison one thing that comes to mind is that it is highly impossible to remake “Moondru Mugam” at present unlike other films. Only the superstar himself can do those three characters or even above those characters, which is evident by superstar’s phenomenal performance in Enthiran. The commitment and hard work exhibited in Enthiran by superstar at the age of 62 is exemplary to the young artists of today.

S.Jeyaraj, Madurai
yesjey2@rediffmail.com

Tags : Endhiran, Rajinikanth, AR Rahman, Shankar, Aishwarya Rai

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