S.P.Muthuraman is one of the iconic Directors of Tamil Cinema. He is one of those who really knew how to make commercial cinema, entertaining. I happened to see a film recently, called ‘KasiYaathirai’. It was a half decent film. It was not bad, and when I looked up his filmography, it was one of his earliest films, possibly made in the early 70s.
S.P.M obviously gets his identity by reviving the Studio and Entertainment culture in the early 80s, a pattern that was being attempted to be broken by a serious of Young Directors attempting to take Tamil Cinema, to a parallel path.
Murattu Kaalai and Sakalakala Vallavan are believed to be films, that took Tamil cinema away from this renaissance, and from then on, has ground Cinema firmly, in the roots of ‘HERO FIRST’. formula.
In the 70s, SPM has made a film called ‘Bhuvana Oru Kelvikuri’. It featured Sumithra, who apparently was on a roll at that time, Rajinikanth, with whom in the 80s, SPM would later be on the principal architects in shaping Rajinikanth’s iconic status that we see today, by making films like Guru Sishyan, AdhisayaPiravi, Pandian etc, and surprisingly, Sivakumar in a negative role.
The heart of the film, is definitely not Bhuvana or the character played by Rajinikanth, it is the depth of Characterisation that is given to Sivakumar, who pulls it off very well.
Nagaraj( Sivakumar) is not a bad man. He is just a normal human being with his flaws, like any of us. He is opportunistic and selfish. You can’t blame him. He is an orphan and has had a tough childhood, probably. But he has a way with words. Not just with his customers, but also with women. He does not believe in long term committments, and if anything comes against progress in his life, he is ready to chuck it away, come what may, including Human attachments..
Rajini is more of a philosophical character and he is a drunkard. Bhuvana is a woman cheated by Nagaraj, but Rajini marries the pregnant Bhuvana against her will, although he promises to only be her protector. Bhuvana respects him and treats him as a God, till the end. Barring one scene, where Rajini admits that he desires her, as a normal human being, after being married to Bhuvana for five years, that commends appreciation. After all, we have a normal human being here, and not a saint.
The climax really is the pinnacle of Sivakumar’s characterization. Can a man bargain for his son, to his mother ( now married to someone else), and avoid giving the medicine, and claim the child? A pinnacle of Sivakumar’s selfishness.
The child is saved and Sivakumar realises his mistake. Rajini, the chronic alcoholic passes away after saving the boy.
At a certain level, the characters of Rajini and Sivakumar represent the tussles between ourselves? The discussions that happen between our Brain and our conscience.. Our Brain may know that something is not morally right, but if it senses a gain in the short term, it may well choose to go beside it, throwing all other reasoning into the gutter. The conscience is the reverse. Its a misfit in today’s society, choosing to always be on the right, and taking decisions that are practically useless.
Regarding the Title of the film, The Only question that I could interpret of Bhuvana, in this film, was, what happens to her future and her child, now that Rajini is dead?
‘Bhuvana Oru Kelvikuri’ is A real tussle of human emotions and sentimental drama that ties you down, till the very end.