If a playlist were to be created for the Tiruchi city, then these songs featuring the city's most prominent locations would be among the best in capturing the city on celluloid in recent times
There are number of movies filmed in Chennai and Madurai every year. But the average Tiruchiite is lucky if he catches a few glimpses of the city on celluloid.
One of 2011’s biggest hits that struck a chord with many a film buff was the poignant ‘Engeyum Eppodhum’. This critically acclaimed feature had Tiruchi written all over it by weaving the city’s prominent locations into the narrative. In the last decade, both commercial blockbusters and their critical cousins have employed the city either as a characteristic feature or a suitable backdrop to visualise their tale. Here’s many more such cinematic avatars!
Song: ‘Theradi Veethiyil’
Movie: Run (2002)
The Tiruchi factor: Though set in Chennai, the opening scenes of the blockbuster that gave Madhavan a makeover from chocolate boy to action hero were filmed in Srirangam, from where the protagonist hailed. This opening song like the movie was a runaway success.
Celluloid moment: The song kicking off with Madhavan and pals running on the Cauvery bridge and through the streets of Srirangam not only symbolized the title of the movie but was a sign of things to come - there was a lot of ‘running in the movie if you remember! A sensational hit a decade back, Srirangam decked up in festivities is the theme of the song featuring temple gopurams, traditional agraharam houses and flower stalls characteristic of the place. With young damsels clad in half–sarees, sporting ‘malli poo’ and wheeling away bicycles, director Lingusamy proved that folksy numbers can turn chartbusters without semi-clad women.
Song: Maasama Aaru Masama
Movie: Engeyum Eppodhum (2011)
The Tiruchi factor: The movie oscillates between Chennai and Tiruchi while capturing two love stories and touching upon lives of dozens of passengers journeying on two buses between the two cities. With three songs set in the city, this one where Jai confesses his feelings to Anjali after a six month hide-and-seek affair, brings alive life in the old part of the city.
Celluloid moments: The rocky outcrop that lords over the city is captured in various angles in the song. Watch Jai trot through the streets and lanes around Rockfort, shrugging his shoulders at school kids, traffic policemen and sundry shoppers. A song canned in the streets, brightly painted houses, nondescript roadside shops and vantage commercial points are highlights of the song. The hero rollicking on mounds of onions in the vengayam mandi at Gandhi market and ambling through the West Bouleavard Street are well-shot scenes in much frequented places.
Song: Mazhaiye Mazhaiye
The Tiruchi factor: This sleeper hit of a thriller set in Chennai, evoked images of the city in the protagonist’s flashback. A short lived romance is captured vividly through telling visuals set in Srirangam and Thiruvanaikoil.
Celluloid moments: Rain and romance have always made for a heady combination. Perhaps one of the best rain songs in recent times, ‘Mazhaiye mazhaiye’ celebrates the enigmatic Aadhi and the demure Sindhu Menon
Fall in love: The actress dancing on the terrace with raindrops splattering across her face while the Srirangam temple looms behind is a scene-stealer. A stroll on the Cauvery bridge, near the St. Joseph’s College church add to the visual poetry of the song
Song: Devathaye Vaa
Tiruchi factor: No guesses for the location site of this movie. An action packed entertainer, the film raked in the moolah with the story of one man cleansing Tiruchi city of goons and baddies.
Celluloid moments: A lilting number, the song opens with a bike ride at the Upper Anicut or Mukkombu as it is known. Shots of the Mainguard gate and popular shopping complex featured in the song. The couple in conversation are filmed in the backdrop of the Srirangam temple. The Cauvery bridge as a favourite nightspot for locals with ‘sundal’ and ‘bhel puri’ vendors selling their wares to walkers and young people figure in the song.
Song: Enna Enna Aagiraen
Movie: Kadhal Solla Vandhen (2010)
Tiruchi factor: The film was shot in Perambalur and Tiruchi and almost all songs were filmed here.
Celluliod moments: A male solo, the song like the one above is yet another portrayal of the male lead falling in love with the woman of his dreams as he runs into her in various places across the city. Popular commercial and well-known streets apart, a segment filmed on the terrace in the heart of the city provides aerial view of Tiruchi’s skyline. Scenes around Mukkombu and the Cauvery bridge complete the song.
Catch glimpses of the city in the Ajit-Trisha starrer ‘Kireedam’ and two Dhanush starrers, ‘Thiruda Thiruda’ and Vengai. The ‘Gala gala’ song from another 2011 hot movie ‘Ko’ threaded prominent locations with those in Chennai and Madurai.
TOP FILM LOCATIONS:
Rockfort: The majestic rocky outcrop is often all it takes to let movie audiences know when the story moves to Tiruchi.
Srirangam Temple: Movies would never tire of showcasing the majesty of the world’s largest functioning temple from the many gopurams to the wall inscriptions. A favourite establishing shot is the magnificent Rajagopuram.
Jambukeshwarar Temple, Thiruvanaikoil: Cameras has feasted upon beautiful pillars and sculptures here, many a time.
Cauvery bridge: The Marina beach of Tiruchi, this bridge that connects the island of Srirangam with Tiruchi mainland is one of the most popular hangouts for youth and families. Needless to say the titanic pipes double up as an ideal spot for lover’s tryst on the silver screen.
Our lady of Lourdes Church: The steeple of the stately St.Joseph’s College church said to be a replica of the famed Lourdes church is something our cameras can hardly resist.
Upper Anicut or Mukkombu: Movies set in the city hardly fail to cash in on the only popular picnic spot in a city starved of entertainment .
Kollidam: Water always look good on screen. The river banks, marshes and gushing water have not been left untouched by the lens.