After three years of intensive technological recuperation, Karnan paced the silver screen yet again, his commanding voice booming through the latest audio systems, while the loyal, curious and the sceptical lined up for an audience. Students from the Bharathidasan University, Tiruchi share whether black and white classics should be revived and if this was a trend to stay.
Flawed, yet celebrated Karnan is one character from the Mahabharata that endears itself to most of us. Portrayed through the majestic gait and distinctive dialogue delivery of Sivaji Ganesan, Karnan was immortalised. Or so we thought. With a damaged audio track and an equally fragile audience memory, Karnan needed careful reviving.
Screened this time at par with its contemporaries, the film came complete with theatrical trailers to evoke curiosity among the younger generations, and create a sense of nostalgia in the original fan's heart. “It’s a great idea it can bring to the theatres those who had stopped watching films, because they could no longer identify with the subjects,” says G. Arun, whose parents still listen to audio versions of movies like Saraswathi Sabadham, Thirumal Perumai, and Thiruvilayadal. While the rest of the group felt that the re-entry of Karnan could be a trend setting event, S. Bhuwaneswari seemed to think, “the interest would peter out long before this could be tagged a trend.”
The group, which debated upon movie casts and what exactly happened in particular scenes, thought that lengthy old movies with their many songs could be the reason why the trend might not hold up.
S. KANAGASUNDARI, M.Phil. Library Science: “I would like to see the film ‘Chitti’ being revamped like Karnan. The actors Padmini, M. R. Radha and Muthuraman have portrayed the emotions so naturally and the movie is full of great songs, especially, ‘Kaalam Idhu’. The amazing story line and a brilliant actor like Padmini completely justify a re-release. Also, the colour film will further enhance the beauty of Padmini.”
PRASAD SINH A.DALWI, M. tech. Geographic Information Systems: “If Raja Harishchandra, the first full-length feature film in India, could be brought back, it would be a great revelation. Though a silent movie, its story has a resonance in today’s circumstances as well and I would want to see how the very first Indian production appeared in colour. With the story being so popular throughout the country, it’s bound to draw the crowds.”
H. JERALTINE VENCY, Ph.D. Educational Technology: “For the sheer strength of its dialogues, symbolism and values, ‘Iru Kodugal’ directed by K. Balachander should be brought back. The story, which revolves around a man, his present wife and his former wife, explores the emotionally charged setting. Things like office gossip have been dealt with great subtlety, reflected in the drawings of a child. The scene where Jayanthi responds to her husband Gemini Ganesan with a single word “acha” is my personal favourite.”
B. ANANDHASANKAR, MBA (Financial Management): “I wish they would restore ‘Edhir Neechal’, for the simple reason that it showcases the flawed human nature with such ease. Being a K.B. fan, I think this is one of his classics that project the importance of education and the greed of fellowmen. The film, which thrives on the extremely believable acting of Nagesh, Muthuraman and Jayanthi, has some great songs as well.”
S. BHUVANESWARI, Ph.D. English Literature: “Though I am not a great fan of the climax in ‘Nenjil’ Or Aalayam’, where a doctor dies trying to save his patient, the movie would definitely make a popular comeback. As a film that has been entirely shot within the confines of a hospital, it makes up for the lack in visual variety through the believable acting by Devika and the beautiful song ‘Sonnadhu Nee Dhaana’.”
G. Arun, Integrated M. Tech Remote Sensing: “I am a huge fan of Sivaji Ganesan and if his ‘Navarathiri’ would be restored, it would make for such an interesting watch. The entire film is anchored by Sivaji’s distinct portrayal of the nine different characters encountered by Savithiri. In fact, I would be there at the theatre whenever a Sivaji movie gets restored like ‘Karnan’.
Well past its silver jubilee year, the Bharathidasan University was initially spread over 1,000 acres. Over the years, educational institutions like the Anna University, Indian Institute of Management, Trichy and the Bharathidasan Insitute of Manangement were allocated land from this sprawling acreage. The university trains its focus on research activities and at the moment has over a 100 ongoing research projects. Bharathidasan University, which covers Tiruchi, Pudukottai, Karur, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam, has 123 affliliated colleges. Recently, the university has established four constituent colleges.