Archive for the ‘fight scene’ Category

Swashbuckling MGR

June 6, 2008


Watch the embedded video. I have edited the three main fights of MGR movie Ayirathil Oruvan. Two fights with Nambiyar and the climax fight with Manohar. MGR and his opponents have used different type of swords.

In the first fight the sword (same type seen in MGR memorial) used is thin blade having complex hilt (guard) which protects the hand including the little finger. Knife in one hand and sword in another watch the action of MGR, he is very fast even in slow motion this fight with Nambiyar appeared to be in normal speed.

The second fight is on the beach both having heavy blade, for Nambiyar the guard (between the blade and the grip) is rounded and fully protects his hand but for MGR the guard is cross shaped one sided less protection for his hand. Both the swords are double edged (Roman type) the fight is little slower compared to the earlier fight because the blade is heavy and the environment is slippery. Watch MGR’s cool comment.

The climax fight is between MGR and R.S.Manohar, some of the shots are taken in outdoor and more important shots filmed in Studio. The sword type is fencing swords which is flexible, both of them are very fast, and MGR performs more style. Watch the leg movement typical fencing style, MGR thrusts his leg forward and lands over Manohar’s right shoe and nails his movement for a second and pushes him quickly to the floor. Inside the ship, when Manohar thrust his sword, the blade is different the sword appears to be less flexible. And the next frame it turns to fencing sword again. Watch the body movement of MGR, he takes 360 degree turn and immediately 180 degree turn, when I tried to turn like that, I felt dizzy but no such feeling for MGR he goes on fighting, single shot! MGR is legendary Action Hero and the greatest swordsman in Indian film.

Story of Ayirathil Oruvan Part VIII

May 21, 2008

“Atho Antha Paravai Pola” philosophical song follows. The song emphasize on goodness of Freedom. Some of the main points in the song are:

Did the air gets away from us that we are slaves?

Did the sea water differs hot when we touch?

Did the time leaves us?

Did we (slaves) born motherless?

Did we speak without language?

Why we need Freedom.

Millions should live united so we need freedom

The country should turn into shrine so we need freedom

We have to sing and dance without fear, so we need freedom


‘Adimai vazhum bhoomi engum vendum viduthalai’

The reason for their fight against the Dictator.

A lot has to be said about the song, but I will write it in separate post on songs of MGR movies. A look into that song: Number of people in the ship, the ship used in this shot is caravel but not fully caravel. It is a modified version. Which can hold nearly 20 to 30 crews. The camera has to be placed in a awkward positions to get the song picturised. The camera was in the ship most of the time and only once the camera was mounted on another ship to show the entire crew singing while MGR clapping his hands. They used trolley shot when required.

The sun was right on top, in one line of the song, MGR hanging from a rope slowly slides and keeps the hand on the deck and then lifts his head to the camera. What is the difficultly here? The difficultly is when he faces the camera the sun rays directly hits him in his eyes but there was no blinking before raising his head MGR carefully keeps his eyes half opened and then he lifts there was no problem from direct sun light. (Most of the yesteryear actors had the capacity they were trained in such a way, you can see this in many MGR and Sivaji starer films)

After the song the humming continues. Poongodi (Jayalalitha) raises doubts about the victory condition. Take into mind they are fighting against the well trained navy of the King. MGR coolly says victory is always in the side of Truth. He further says that his people are aware of the fact that most of them will not survive to see their family, but look they are happy. And the truth is those who are involved in social life takes the death as sleep. Why that sleep will not come to me? (When he say this dialogue he lifts his shoulders, taking the inevitable happily like his men)

Nee oru Veeranganai

The next day the pirate ship founds the Dictator’s ship approaching, Nambiyar comes to MGR’s cabin and he says that he will take command. The next scene was the sails coming down, anchor lowers and the crew act like dead bodies. (Note that MGR in his movies this kind of action cannot be seen, this is one of cowardly act or an act of villain, MGR always faces the enemy in front and never want to take them unnoticed). When the Dictator’s ships touches the pirate ship a very beautiful editing, close up of MGR and Jayalalitha, MGR handing over the knife to her to take care and as the danger has touched them (ship). In all the movies especially the colour movies of MGR, he attires Red costume in the climax. But in this movie MGR is cladded in White but Red hue in border and head band. The way in which he wants freedom is by sword but the cause is nobler (white).

The pirate ship was bounded to the Dictator’s ship and he commands his men to enter. When the Dictator comes into the pirate ship the real war begins. All the crew acting as dead raises up and faces the dictator’s army. MGR starting the war with a few words and continues to fight slowly. Unusual fight for MGR his movement and reflex are quick but in this sequence it was slow rather say it is very slow. The reasons because?

The fight was continued by Nambiyar. Both goes inside the ship and the fight continues and finally Nambiyar fells unconscious and MGR continues this time the sword fight is very fast and as usual by MGR. Now the Dictator finds difficult in holding the fast and furious MGR and finally he faces the defeat but MGR (remember white costume) tells him that he wants not his life but only his attitude towards the people. Nambiyar returning to conscious throws the poisoned dagger from the back side of the Dictator. MGR rushes and holds the Dictator and gives him treatment. Even though the dagger is poisoned he was cured by MGR (well trained in detoxification) The pirates were crushed by the navy and the Dictator gets up and orders to arrest MGR without mercy.

In the court Dictator (R.S.Manohar) takes his knees and ask him to take the throne and rule as per his wish he wanted it to say in the ship itself but he knows that MGR will not accept it. MGR turning victorious assures that R.S.Manohar is completely changed (Manohar’s hand on MGR’s chest) so he can give a good rule to the people and request to use the talent of Nambiyar and make him as the Commander of Neithal Nadu.

MGR and Jayalalitha bids farewell and he returns his research and service to their people a song in background claiming him that he is Ayirathil Oruvan.

Daredevils of MGR

April 3, 2008

MGR was the best action Hero in Indian Cinema. He performed stunts since in his first leading role in “Rajakumari”. That involved real hanging scene, swashbuckling in “Sarvathikari”, aerial rope climbing in “Malai Kallan” etc. are performed with precision by MGR. Yes we can take it as done by MGR in his young age. What about MGR doing same kind of stunts when he was above 50 years. When MGR was responsible for the lives of more than 1000 families and numerous producers. His life is worthy than the stunts he performed in movies.

Below is clip from the movie “En Annan” released in 1970, MGR performing acrobatics with Justin, who is a professional stunt man. MGR’s age was 53 years and having cataract at that time.

This fight scene takes place during the eve of MGR’s marriage ceremony. I edited the whole fight scene into under 15 seconds clip so as to show the real time involvement of MGR doing his stunts without stunt double.

First part is the fight scene, MGR performing a somersault with two shots, the first shot MGR getting up placing his hands lifting his body, second shot completing the somersault and cat life reflex holding Justin and suplexing.

Second part MGR getting up on Justin and performing half somersault and bringing Justing down with wrestling techniques. Look closely how MGR holds Justin with his legs. A typical MGR technique.

You can pause the clip and find out for yourself MGR’s expertise in fighting.

Fights in Ulagam Sutrum Valiban

June 9, 2007

The First fight scene in Ulagam Sutrum Valiban takes place in a Hotel. This fight is good example for continuity and editing. MGR used tight close up for Manohar whenever he gets hit by MGR. His face swollen looks funny.

Click to view the fight scene between MGR and R.S.Manohar:

The second fight is with Justin in time for saving damsel in distress. The action takes place in make up room. MGR uses wresting technique to out wit Justin.

The Third action scene comes very late nearly hour, not noticeable in the movie. Action scene appearing late in MGR movie is very rare. The fight according to story is between Scientists so less action more comical.

Photo showing MGR in air.

The Fourth action scene is the highlight of the film to me. This kind of fight scene is very rare in Tamil movies. Nambiyar character is not in the story at first later he was included in the script which gave a nice grip to the story. Even though Nambiyar scenes are just 10-15 minutes in the story, but he was to take revenge in the Second part of Ulagam Sutrum Valiban (Kizhaku Aprivakil Raju) His greedy eyes and ferocious gestures resembles a Lion, his prowess and his teeth are still in my memory. His action to get the brief case containing the formula is noteworthy.

A perfect kick: (The entire fight scenes of this movie was shot in 1972-73 at the age of 55 and MGR was ailing from Cataract problem)

In one of the kick shot performed by MGR, after several times of video pausing revealed the rising frame is MGR and kick in the mid air and landing is done by MGR’s stunt double. Who is it?

The climax fight of MGR roller skates shows not only MGR fighting talent but MGR’s Editing and camera technique. The stunt double of MGR is perfect fit. MGR used a transparent black cloth to cover his face which is very useful in close up shots that did not reveal the stunt double. The reality of this fight is that MGR did not skate for one time, YES not even one time – but looks like he did the skating, said by V.Gopalakrishnan who acted as the Doctor.