A magnum opus called Shankar…

If there is one Director whose movies are most anticipated they are that of Shankar’s. He remains a Director par excellence technically and technologically. A Director who is known to take as much time to complete a project as his desire for perfection, he leaves no stone unturned until his movies are certified picture-perfect. His movies bedazzles us with his penchant for perfection.Spectacular locations, seamless scene transitions , brilliant cinematography , chart topping numbers and curious experiments in “animatronics” technology and special effects are compulsory in his projects. He is not known to churn many movies in rapid succession and carefully plans his projects at his own desirous pace.

Shankar also has the uncanny ability to shroud his movies under a blanket of secrecy, getting a whiff of his anticipated projects happens only under his terms. Under the current threats of piracy, Shankar is a step ahead and rightfully so.The highlight of Shankar’s movies lie in his ability to convey a social message wrapped with a bright red bow of commercial appeal that the audience eagerly clutch on. Shankar’ movies are grand and elaborate. It would be best if the Producer of Shankar’s movies just goes with the flow as there is no room for shoe string budgets. Shankar became a Producer himself and under the S pictures banner he has encouraged upcoming Directors with his knack of identifying upcoming good talent. S pictures have had a good run with production ventures with movies like Kaadhal, Imsai Arasan 23 Pulikesi ,Veyill, Kalloori, Eeram.

In 1993 he debuted as a Director with the block buster film Gentlemen. It was with this movie that his successful partnership with AR Rahman eventuated. Rahman has worked for every film of Shankar’s with the exception of the 2005 film ” Anniyan” where he used Harris Jayraj due to differences with AR Rahman. I recall watching Shankar attend a AR Rahman concert in Melbourne in 2005 when he made up with his favorite Music Director and roped him for the 2007 Rajnikanth extravaganza “Sivaji”. Every movie of Shankar’s from 1993 has been a commercial success and has ranked high on the entertainment quotient. There have been some notable highlights in the nine movies he has directed so far. These are my favorite aspects or rather much savored bits and pieces of the fabulous nine –

1993 – Gentleman – Starring Arjun Sarja, Madhu – The catchy ” Chiku Buku” song propelled Prabhudeva to fame. An entertaining Robinhood story where Jeeva’s cinematography is captivating.

1994 – Kadhalan – Prabhu Deva, Nagma, Vadivelu, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Raghuvaran, Girish Karnad – Every song of this movie was delightfully refreshing. “Muqala Muqabla” became a chart topper and Nagma for once fitted the role. Vadivelu’s comical ugliness was his stepping stone to success. A refreshing love drama.

1996 -Indian -Kamal Haasan, Manisha Koirala, Urmila Matondkar – Enjoyed the comedy scenes and great dialogues penned by the creative Sujatha. Kamalhaasan’s acting as the principally correct father from the era of freedom fighters is unforgettable. Manisha and Urmila provide ample fluff.

1998 – Jeans – Prashanth Thyagarajan, Aishwarya Rai, Nassar, Lakshmi – Wonderful locations for song sequences, the best being the romantic interlude shot at the seven wonders of the world. Aishwarya breaks free in bits and pieces from stiffness finally, shades of her talent was revealed by Shankar.

1999 – Mudhalvan – Arjun Sarja, Manisha Koirala, Sushmita Sen, Raghuvaran – A second time lucky hit for Arjun. The late Raghuvaran gives a fine performance as the corrupt Chief Minister. A favorite song is ” uppu karuvadu”.

2001 – Nayak: The Real Hero – Anil Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Pooja Batra, Amrish Puri, Sushmita Sen – A remake of Mudhalvan, I preferred Mudhalvan.

2003 – Boys – Siddharth Narayan, Genelia D’Souza, Bharath, Nakul – Each one of these stars had a sensational head start with this movie . Lovely songs and a yuppy refreshing story.

2005 – Anniyan – Vikram, Sadha, Vivek, Prakash Raj – A wonderful thriller and a brilliant performance from Vikram. Yet to come across a better thriller in tamil movies. An all time favorite of mine under the Shankar banner.

2007 -Sivaji: The Boss – Rajinikanth, Shriya Saran, Vivek, Suman, Raghuvaran – Enjoyed the comedy tracks of Vivek and Rajni. “Mottai” Rajni is delightful and watching this movie first day, first show in Melbourne remains an experience. Thotha Tharini’s magnificient sets remain etched, art direction at its best.

Not one of Shankar’s movie has bored me and he has entertained us to the hilt and continues to do with his refreshing ideas. He remains my favorite Director and I await Endhiran, the perfect ten ( th ) with bated breath.


13 Responses to “A magnum opus called Shankar…”

  1. I love Shankar !!!! His films are so much fun!! No doubt the Tamil showman of sorts! Anniyan remains a favorite ! I’m a huge Vikram fan !

  2. Also shankars films as a producer deserve a special mention! Maybe a complementary piece?on mudhalvan it was a better film however amrish in nayak was as good as raghuvaran! Hindustani too was excellent!!

  3. Sharmila, you have paid a wonderful tribute to Shankar. I look forward to ‘Endhiran’ and more than that to your review of the movie. BTW, did you say a brilliant performance by Vikram in ‘Anniyan’? I guess you meant a brilliant expressionless performance by Vikram.

  4. Thank you and sorry for the confusion. A lot of Vs there, eh?

  5. Yet another brilliant post!!!!

    No other words to share,for I lack any knowledge over this topic.But well written Sharmila…….

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