Another contribution from a reader like you...
Contributed by Ilango Thangavelu
I have only watched movies made in the 70s and later, and even among those I've missed many good ones. I havn't watched many Gemini Ganesan or Sivaji movies either, and of those I have watched, I dont particularly remember any romantic aspect that stand out. So none of their movies figure in my list (except MM). Maybe it's just that I am not as enthralled these days by movies as I was during my school/college days, but none of the current crop of movies figure in this list either. Vijay, the new kid on the block, has acted in 3 movies that deal specifically with the subject of love - Poove Unakkaaga, Love Today, and Kadhalukku Mariyathai. Popular movies, but I didn't like the message that any of them conveyed. Bharathiraja was the ultimate film-maker on this subject. One can come up with a list of 10 great BR romance movies and it can hold its own against anyone's top 10 all-time Tamil romance movie list anyday. Music and songs picturization played a very important role in the selection of these 10 movies that I would consider to be the 10 best 'romansicals' I've watched. In no particular order:
|Mudhal Mariyathai||This is definitely not a typical 'Sivaji' movie. The best movie on middle-aged love I've ever seen. Surprisingly restrained performance by Sivaji. Did Radha put on some weight for this character? Awesome performance. Caught in an unhappy marriage, Sivaji has to balance his love for this low-caste girl, who brings a whiff of fresh air into his life, with his responsibilities as a village elder. Standout song(s): Poongatru thirumbuma. Music Ilayaraja (IR).|
|Ninaithaley Inikkum||Great movie, a young Kamal and Rajini romance (with their respective lovers!) all over Singapore. My all-time favorite sound track. The songs are so full of joy, and youthful exuberance. Standout song: Barathi Kannamma. Music MS Viswanathan.|
|Oru Thalai Raagam||A mature love story, this time by T Rajender. The only romance movie I've ever liked where the main characters are 2 ordinary-looking people. Though set in a college environment, they are not typical students who run around and have fun. The way Shankar hides his love for the girl (for fear of rejection?) and the end result is very poignantly told. The sadder songs are absolutely wonderful. Standout song: ithu kuzhandai paadum thalattu. Music TR.|
|Niram Maaratha Pookal||2 concurrent love jodis. Vijayan-Rathi, Sudhakar-Radhika. This BR movie's theme is that after having loved once, one cannot change one's niram! Standout song: iru paravaigal. An absulutely exhilarating song, perfect honeymoon material! Music IR.|
|Mann Vasanai||Another one by BR, introduces Pandian and Revathy. A great tale of rustic love, Revathy was a real find for the industry. Standout song: pothi vacha malligai mottu. Music IR.|
|Meendum Kokila||Stars Kamal and Sridevi. Dunno why it appears in this list. Maybe because of romantic interplay in the song Radha Radha nee engae. Or was it because of Kamal's nature in the movie that I can sympathise with, a good husband, but tending to stray a little. Sridevi was really sexy in this movie. Surprising because she appeared throughout in that traditional brahmin madisar sari, or maybe that was part of the (sex) appeal. An enjoyable movie. Standout song: Ponnana meni - especially towards the end, where Kamal gets back home and sings the same song with Sridevi. Music IR.|
|Punnagai Mannan||KBalachander directed, starring Kamal, Revathy, Rekha. Ordinary movie IMO, Kamal looked like a gorilla with that beard. The only reason it made in the list was the song enna satham intha neram. What a song! Great picturization, great lyrics, and absolutely awesome tune. Forget Gemini. Kamal is the real Kathal Mannan. The amount of creativity Kamal can bring to a love song (keeping in mind that it will have an audience) is unbelievable. Another example is the song valai osai from the movie Sathya. Music IR.|
|Vaidehi Kaathirunthaal||A VijayKanth movie making the grade? Before you laugh, please watch this movie, then decide. RSundarrajan's greatest movie to date. Revathy, a widow, is destined to be unlucky in life. So her love for Vijaykanth, a guy whose lover dies due to a stupid prank of his, is never going to work out. They end up helping a young kathal jodi escape the wrath of the girl's brother - Vellikilamai Ramasamy (a great character played by Radha Ravi). Standout Song: Raasathi unna. Another song that I really liked was indraiku ean intha anandame. Music IR.|
Kaalamellam Kaathal Vaazhga
|In this list only for 2 reasons - Kousalya, and the song oru mani adithaal. Decent movie. Starring Murali, Kausalya. Amazing thing about Murali is that he can keep playing the college-student part for ever without appearing out of place. Story is about Murali falling in love with this girl whom he has talked to only over the phone. The climax sucked big-time, but Kausalya looked heavenly throughout the movie, and the song oru mani adithaal was out of this world. Say what you may about Deva, some of his songs are just too good. The fact that they may be copied doesn't bother me. As long as he doesn't claim to be a genius I'am happy.|
|Alaigal Oivathillai||BR directed, introduced Karthik and Radha. Inter-faith love story. Good performances by all the characters. Thiagarajan (Radha's brother) is the village bigshot and all hell breaks loose when he finds out that his sister is in love with a Hindu guy. His wife (a demure silk smitha) is sympathetic to the young lovers. Love triumphs in the end. Awesome soundtrack. Standout Song: Kathal oviyam, padum kaviyam. Music IR.|
Send your picks to Balaji Thirumalai!