Raja Paarvai

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Raja Paarvai
Raja Paarvai.jpg
Theatrical release poster in Tamil
Directed bySingeetam Srinivasa Rao
Written byAnanthu
Kamal Haasan
Balakumaran
Santhana Bharathi
Produced byChandrahasan
Charuhasan
Kamal Haasan
Starring
CinematographyBarun Mukherjee[1]
Edited byV. R. Kottagiri
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Production
company
Release date
  • 10 April 1981
  • 29 August 1981 (Telugu version)
Running time
144 minutes[1]
CountryIndia
Languages
  • Tamil
  • Telugu

Raja Paarvai (transl. The Royal Gaze) is a 1981 Indian Tamil-language romance film directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao. The story was written by Kamal Haasan, for whom the film was his 100th as an actor[a] and first as a producer. The score and soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. The film was simultaneously made and released as Amavasya Chandrudu (transl. Moon on Amavasya) in Telugu. Despite being a box office failure, the film received critical acclaim, and Haasan's performance won him the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor. The movie is loosely based on the 1972 film Butterflies Are Free.[2][3]

Plot[edit]

Raghu is a blind violinist oppressed since infancy. Nancy, a Christian, is keen on chronicling Raghu's inspiring life as a visually impaired but independently living person. Their relationship blossoms into a romance that is supported by Nancy's grandfather. Nancy is eventually due to be married to another man selected by her father, but aided by her grandfather, escapes from the church and elopes with Raghu.

Cast[edit]

Telugu version
Cameo appearances

Production[edit]

Raja Paarvai was the 100th film for Kamal Haasan as an actor, and first as producer. He also worked as a screenwriter for the film.[9][10] He produced the film along with his brothers Charuhasan and Chandrahasan under the banner "Haazan Brothers".[6] The film also marked the debut of art director Thota Tharani in Tamil cinema.[11] It was simultaneously shot in Telugu as Amavasya Chandrudu,[12] with principal photography for both versions taking place in 55 days.[13] Among other locations, the film was also shot in Venus Studios.[14] It is loosely based on the 1972 film Butterflies Are Free.[15] The final scene of the film which featured Madhavi's character leaving the church in her wedding dress and joining Haasan, was inspired by the final scene in The Graduate (1967).[16]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja,[17] while the lyrics were written by Kannadasan, Vairamuthu and Gangai Amaran.[1] The song "Andhi Mazhai" is set in the Carnatic raga known as Vasantha,[18] and "Vizhi Oraththu" is set in Shubhapantuvarali.[19] For the instrumental "Modern Concerto", Viji Manuel was the keyboardist (playing the piano on arpeggio mode), while V. S. Narasimhan was the violinist.[20] The songs were not originally released on a single gramophone record; "Andhi Mazhai" and "Modern Concerto" were released as one record,[21] while "Azhage Azhagu" and "Vizhi Oraththu" were released as another.[22]

7EPE 30071[21]
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Andhi Mazhai Pozhikirathu"VairamuthuS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki, T. V. Gopalakrishnan4:35
2."Modern Concerto" (Instrumental)  3:52
7EPE 30075[22]
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Azhagae Azhagu"KannadasanK. J. Yesudas4:28
2."Vizhi Oraththu"Gangai AmaranKamal Haasan, B. S. Sasirekha3:39
Telugu
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Sundaramo Sumaduramo"VeturiS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki, T. V. Gopalakrishnan 
2."Modern Concerto" (Instrumental)   
3."Kalake Kala Nee Andamu"VeturiS. P. Balasubrahmanyam 

Release and reception[edit]

Raja Paarvai was released on 10 April 1981,[23] and Amavasya Chandrudu on 29 August 1981.[8] The former received critical acclaim,[24] but was a box office failure, and Haasan had to work seven to eight years to recover from the loss he faced through this film.[25] Nevertheless, his performance earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor.[26] The 100 days celebration of the film was held at Chettiar Bungalow in AVM studio.[27]

Legacy[edit]

Raja Paarvai attained cult status in Tamil cinema.[28] In Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema, Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen described Srinivasa Rao's direction and Haasan's performance as "unabashedly melodramatic, milking the hero's disability for all its worth" and that Rao's zooms and cutaways underlined by "rapid and awkward editing" were "fully in evidence".[1] In 2010, Sify included Raja Paarvai in its list, "Kamal's most memorable romantic films", where it praised Haasan and Madhavi's onscreen rapport, the visuals and the climax.[29] In 2017, Haasan named Amavasya Chandrudu (the Telugu version of the film) as one of his 70 most favourite films and considered it superior to Raja Paarvai.[30]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Without counting uncredited roles and guest appearances.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Rajadhyaksha & Willemen 1998, p. 451.
  2. ^ https://cinema.vikatan.com/tamil-cinema/why-kamal-haasans-raja-paarvai-is-so-special-80s-90s-movie-series
  3. ^ https://www.filmibeat.com/tamil/news/2014/kamal-haasans-inspiration-from-hollywood-162410.html
  4. ^ a b c d "Raja Paarvai (1981)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  5. ^ "அழியாத கோலங்கள்" [Enduring Patterns]. Kungumam (in Tamil). 18 May 2015. Archived from the original on 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b Srinivas Chari, T. K. (July 2012). "The actor in the shadows". Madras Musings. Archived from the original on 8 October 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  7. ^ Devnath, Lakshmi; Parthasarathy, Rajalakshmi (2005). Mrs. Y.G.P., a class apart. PSBB Alumni Association. p. 87. OCLC 70284753.
  8. ^ a b c d "Amavasya Chandhrudu". Indiancine.ma. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  9. ^ Kesavan, N. (14 May 2016). "100th film jinx grips the mighty sans 'Captain'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 December 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  10. ^ Rangarajan, Malathi (26 October 2007). "Now it's the turn of Kamal Haasan ... the writer". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  11. ^ Ashok Kumar, S. R. (8 May 2009). "Talent finds meeting point". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  12. ^ Dundoo, Sangeetha Devi (3 November 2015). "My focus is to give quality films at great speed". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  13. ^ Ramanujam, Srinivasa (7 October 2015). "Glitch music used in Kamal Haasan's 'Thoonga Vanam'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  14. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (2012). Conversations with Mani Ratnam. Penguin Books. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-670-08520-0.
  15. ^ கண்ணன், சுரேஷ் (8 June 2020). "'ராஜபார்வை' கமலின் முதல் ரிஸ்க் தெரியும்; ஆனால் இந்தக் குறியீடுகள் தெரியுமா?". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 9 July 2020. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  16. ^ Pal, Joyojeet (2013). Mogk, Marja Evelyn (ed.). Different Bodies: Essays on Disability in Film and Television. McFarland. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7864-6535-4. OCLC 903289648.
  17. ^ "Raaja Paarvai (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – EP". Apple Music. Archived from the original on 11 March 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  18. ^ Mani, Charulatha (6 January 2012). "A Raga's Journey — Hopeful, festive, vibrant Vasantha". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 14 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  19. ^ Sundararaman 2007, p. 168.
  20. ^ Balasubramanian, V. (4 September 2014). "Back with a bang". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  21. ^ a b Ilaiyaraaja. "Raja Paarvai (Label: 7EPE 30071)". EMI. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  22. ^ a b Ilaiyaraaja. "Raja Paarvai (Label: 7EPE 30075)". EMI. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  23. ^ ராம்ஜி, வி. (2 June 2020). "சிவகுமார், கமல், ரஜினி, விஜயகாந்த், சத்யராஜ், பிரபு... 100வது படங்களுக்கு இளையராஜாதான் இசை!". Hindu Tamil Thisai. Archived from the original on 29 July 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  24. ^ Kumar, S. Shiva (27 August 2009). "'I'm a limelight moth'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 5 March 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  25. ^ Subramanian, Karthik (30 January 2013). "Will have to seek a secular State for my stay". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 July 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  26. ^ The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who. Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. 1984. p. 234.
  27. ^ "A cinema geek? AVM's Chettiar Bungalow is open for your special day". The Hindu. 4 June 2018. Archived from the original on 5 April 2020. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  28. ^ Srinivasan, Pavithra (7 September 2010). "Singeetham Srinivasa Rao's gems before Christ". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  29. ^ "Kamal's most memorable romantic films". Sify. 23 December 2010. Archived from the original on 5 March 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  30. ^ Haasan, Kamal (13 August 2017). "Bollywood blockbuster to Kollywood classic: Kamal Haasan picks his 70 favourite movies". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 13 August 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2018.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]