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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
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The Ice Dagger Was Sharp, And It Cut Deep

As a silent film gets its moment at the Oscars, how does our own take from the ’80s, Pushpak, hold up? As it happens, very well indeed.

The Ice Dagger Was Sharp, And It Cut Deep
The Ice Dagger Was Sharp, And It Cut Deep
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Why Pushpak Flew

  • Plot: Romance, comedy, villainy, poverty, luxury, all in a king-for-a-day dream-come-true story that premiered at Cannes.
  • Director: Singeetham Srinivasa Rao, who did two more outstanding comedies, Appu Raja and Michael Mathana Kamarajan.
  • Actors: The insouciance of Kamalahaasan, innocence of Amala and cunning of Tinu Anand with the ice daggers.
  • Music: L. Vaidyanathan’s haunting melody. He later composed the title track of the hit TV magazine show, Surabhi.

Why The Artist Shines

  • Concept: A B&W silent film about the B&W silent films of the 1920s, with references to many great epics.
  • French connection: A French team making a film about era-gone-by Hollywood adds to its unique joie-de-vivre
  • Dog: Scene-stealer Jack Russell, Uggie

***

Comparisons are odious and, at a time when Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist is on an all-conquering wave, it would be churlish to compare it to our own home-grown ‘silent’ film Pushpaka Vimana, or Pushpak as it is widely known. The term silent is of course placed between quotes because Pushpak is not really a silent film. Rather, it is a film without dialogue, managing cleverly to avoid audible speech altogether in a variety of inventive ways. The Artist, being staged as a silent film of a bygone era, uses title cards and also uses a couple of lines of dialogue at the very end and quite appropriately too, since thematically the film deals with the advent of sound in cinema....

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