City of God/ Mudhal Mariyadhai

City of God

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I can’t say I ever wanted to be a gangster, maybe a lawyer, a scientist, etc…but no not a gangster.Well I ask myself did I ever want to be what I am, I can’t tell.My father is a banker, his father was a temple priest and I guess my ancestors were all priests.It’s highly unlikely that any of them were gangsters.Now I might get into a different profession someday and my descendants probably do something different (for a living) from their antecedents. Probably one of them is going to b a gangster. Point is a normal middle class Indian has a very little probability of being a Gangster.I guess it can be applied to middle class families around the globe. Take for instance Brazil and the colorful Rio, fernando meirelles confirms the point.But I do seem to like gangster movies like Nayagan, Godfather, Good fellas, Pattiyal, Pulp fiction and yeah City of God. Not to mention the gangster/mafia novels like The Sicilian, Fourth K, Omerta and a few others. If I were given a list of people and asked to pick the gangsters out of the list, my first step would to eliminate anyone under the age of 20. I would have been terribly wrong, City of God is about Gangsters who are mostly Kids. In fact the main gangster in the movie is named ‘Kid’ until he got his name changed.I cannot read long passages on a computer and hence I tend to limit my posts to few 1000 words and I will briefly tell why I felt the movie was so good.

  • I watched the movie with subtitles (characters in the movie speak Portuguese) and after I watched the movie I read somewhere that one can follow the movie with the sound/subtitles turned off, I tried it and it worked.Credit to the director/ actors.
  • All the other gangster movies in some way glorified gangsters (if they form the main character(s)), this movie doesn’t.
  • Non linear nature of the movie, brilliant story telling.
  • Superb acting by mostly non professional actors.
  • Highly realistic,
  • and as the director says, the movie is about hope, in some way hoping that children born in slums/poor families need not have to become a gangster to survive.
  • and yeah some of what the director says in the interview here

Mudhal Mariyadhai

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I am mostly a very reserved person, I could go without speaking to anyone for a number of days without any problem. This movie is full of great songs/dialog’s.If I could watch the City of God without subtitles/sound, I wouldn’t do this with this film. Don’t watch this film if u don’t know Tamil, and if u do know the language, please watch it.

Kamal Hassan is a very talented Indian actor, in Devar magan he was Sivaji’s son, an excellent film with wonderful performance by Kamal.There was this particular scene just before Sivaji dies, when they r talking, the camera first shows sivaji expressing a feeling and then it shows kamal expressing the same (of, I guess father-son affection), and just that one scene made me realize that even a veteran/versatile actor like Kamal is not even close to the dizzying talent heights the late Sivaji had reached.Anyway, it is therefore assumed that Sivaji gave a splendid perfomance in the movie that is part of the title of the post. The move has some excellent songs and conversations that are lyrical and extremely enjoyable.Bharatiraja did a great job penning and directing this movie.Illayaraja proved why he is so well respected in music circles.At different stages in my life, I liked different female actors.Amala, Manisha, Kaishma and so on. I found them attractive, but Radha( one of the or the main female leads) of the movie is a class apart and that is how I will remember the movie- the movie that revealed to me a beauty named Radha.Maybe it is her character in the movie that I enjoyed, neverthless, the Aishwaryas, priety Zintas, madhuris and the rest do not make to k7’s list of eligible “saha dharmini’s”.

7 thoughts on “City of God/ Mudhal Mariyadhai”

  1. Yup buddy radha was a good actress indeed(Hope you were also referring to her acting skills).
    But the movie belongs to two people..Sivaji and Raja…oops the Illaya variety i meant.
    Did you know Brando after seeing Sivaji’s performance said…
    “He can act like me, but I can’t act like him.”

  2. Sridhar…
    I am sure Brando meant it. Raja was phenomenal, a true master.what about vairamuthu? if the whole movie is to be condensed into 10 mins- the songs “yei kuruvi, chittu kurivi” & “oun kaatru thirumbuma” would have been enough.I just wish, Sivaji had worked hard to lose some weight, then he would have reached a much wider audience, than just being a tamil cine idol. Bharatiraja has to be praised- thanks to him we saw a much more subdued Sivaji à la Sharukh in Swades.As far as Radha is concerned, i was also referring to her a-skills…hehehe -)

  3. Yes …Vairamuthu too deserves credit.
    He is probably under-rated, what with every one comparing him to Kanndasan.
    Regards Radha….I actually like her sister Ambika lot more.

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