As i settled down to watch subramanyapuram for the 1st time, the first shot inside the prison immediately drew my attention.I felt the prisoner POV shot was an interesting choice and it made an attractive start.
As the movie unfolded, with the stabbing scene’s culmination and the introduction of Subramanyapuram, man, was I simply stunned.The scene started off with the camera panning downwards from the sky slowly revealing a street in the town with its usual activities, people going about with their daily lives.Then a man walks in and the camera starts following him… first from one side. Ah.. good stuff i felt.Then it shifts to the other side, still following him walking. Just got better!And there it was… no cuts for about a minute… a long take in namma cinema!Whoaaa!!! A tracking shot for an establishing shot… What a fresh approach to introduce to the audience the story’s backdrop.
And then a few more small continuous shots followed… the camera appeared to glide silkily without any abrupt cuts and created a positive impression about the editing.
The main characters sitting inside the cell, their introduction – straight-forward, completely natural without any ‘build-up’ – was a pleasant welcome.
The following set of scenes – beginning from Kanagu kick starting his lambretta to the public bathroom scene – was pure exhilarating stuff.
The regular ‘family -introduction’ is turned into a set of witty, superbly knit scenes with the editing following a chain-like or relay-like pattern, take-off a scene taking cue from the culmination of its previous. The editor seemed to have deliberately (and intelligently) used this only for a short while thereby enhancing its impact and avoiding any monotony.
Just 10mins into the movie and I already felt completely blown away by the technicality of the film.
Kasi’s betrayal and then Parama getting killed (ending with Kasi sitting down on a stone and lighting a beedi… guys take a bow).This scene according to me can feature among the best shot scenes in Indian cinema. Think it shares space with some of the best tracking shots in cinema…like some listed here:http://www.dailyfilmdose.com/2007/05/long-take.html orhttp://www.bspcn.com/2007/05/10/the-long-take-the-greatest-long-tracking-shots-in-cinema/
To me, the movie rises high inspite of it’s flaws (it fair share of ultra-violence and some amounts of melo-drama). The better portions in the movie are just too good leaving behind a great aftertaste to cherish.
To list a few of the stuffs that I admire in the movie:the long takes (kathir… more of this from you please… this is just what the doc ordered!)the relay edited sequence of scenes.tight-framing and good close-ups.the chasing sequence where azhagar and kasi are chased by the other group’s men.the charming ’siru ponmani’ sequences.the ending of the siru ponmani 1st sequence where Parama knocks of the glass of tea from dumka’s hand and the tea splashes across Kasi’s face who’s dozing. Kasi calmly wipes it off and resumes his sleep. I thought this was a superb representation of their state of joblessness, their lazy and we-care-a-damn attitude.
There are many such scenes that I felt were extremely well concieved and executed with the cinematography, screenplay and editing supporting one another so effectively.
I think I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched the movie, as a whole or in parts, but I still enjoy it immensly every single time (shamelessly ripped version).
Katradhu Tamizh, Anjadhey and Subramanyapuram, for me, stand out in tamizh cinema as technical landmarks.