I was eight when Karakattakaran was released, and I remember going to this movie with my elder brother and his friends.
I don’t remember much from that day. But thanks to VCR players then, and TV channels now, I remember every scene clearly.
The credits introduce Ganghei Amaren as “Iyakkunar Semmal”. That was the first joke in the movie, and it goes on throughout, like when Ramarajan tries to fight.
Remember the scene where he unnecessarily carried the heroine and kicked the goons, when he could have made her stand on her on own two feet and fight easily? Hilarious!
The storyline is not something great, but the movie was refreshing in so many ways — like it was amazing to see Ramarajan fully clothed finally. It was also probably the only movie where the producer spent more money on the hero’s makeup than the heroine!
I think Ramarajan had about four or five layers of makeup that if you started digging, you might excavate some hidden gems like acting skills.
The soul-stirring music by Ilaiyaraaja deserves mention. SPB’s ‘Maanguyilae’, Mano’s ‘Kudagu Malai’, and Ilaiyaraaja’s ‘Indha Maan’ still linger in our hearts. I hope I don’t have to pay royalty for mentioning these songs.
The world famous banana joke is still fresh and funny. So many things have changed in the last 30 years — Governments, currency notes, Ilaiyaraaja’s humility etc., but nothing could change the excitement when we watch that banana comedy.
If we rank the top 10 comedy scenes in Tamil cinema, this will still rank number one. ‘Andha innonnu thaanga idhu’ is a dialogue still used by everyone, including my wife when I ask her for a second plate of biriyani!
Praveen Kumar is a stand-up comedian based in Bengaluru. He is currently on a tour of his special ‘Mr. Family Man’