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Bharathiraja’s Tamil classic Muthal Mariyathai comes back to the big screen in digital version


Sivaji Ganesan-starrer 1985 film Muthal Mariadai has been digitally remastered and soon to hit the screens Malaichami returns to woo Kuil in the digitally remastered Muthal Mariadai.

1985 film starring Sivaji Ganesan Mutal Mariatai Digitally remastered and coming soon

Thirty-seven years have passed since Bhartiraja Shivaji Ganesan, Radha, Vadvukarasi and other actors. Mutal Mariatai. The 1985 hit, with a folk music score by Ilayaraja, is often considered the best of Shivaji’s contemporary roles as a leading man.

‘Nadigar Thilagam’ (Pride of Actors) stars Malaichami, a village headman who marries her cousin Ponnatha (Vadivukarasi). As the story progresses, he falls in love with a young boatwoman Kuil (Radha) despite the yawning age gap. Subplots examining caste tensions, gender equality, romance and marriage are woven into the background alongside crime and punishment.

Mutal Mariatai It will soon resurface in a digitally remastered version, attracting new audiences. This is one of the rare films of Shivaji the poem Actions without acting Its themes were way ahead of their time. ,” says Rama P Jayakumar, who bought the digital remastering rights from Bharathiraja and spent two years getting Cube ready for theatrical releases.

Diehard fan

Directed by Bharathiraja with Sivaji Ganesan.

Directed by Bharathiraja with Sivaji Ganesan. | Photo credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Jayakumar Sivaji Ganesan, an engineer in the baggage scanning department at Chennai Airport, is a fan. “He has been my matinee idol ever since I saw VO Chidambaram in the 1961 film. Kappalottiya Tamilan, Because my grandfather used to work for a shipping magnate. I was a little boy then. I am 62 years old now and I love Shivaji the poem Just grew stronger,” he says.

But digital conversion is not an easy journey, admits Jayakumar, who has so far plowed through around ₹21 lakh in the process. “Though I have bought the rights from Bharathiraja, he has no negatives for the film. We finally found a set Mutal Mariatai A film distributor in Trichy had reels in storage, which we had to buy separately,” he says.

For the tech work, Jayakumar hired K Rama, a Chennai-based expert in film and video restoration, who digitally remastered Shivaji’s earlier films. Karnan and Veerapandiya Kattabomman, Among others. .

Restoration technology

“Despite a prolific film industry, there is very little proper archiving of reels and negatives in Tamil Nadu. When theaters in the state began switching to digital technology in the 1990s, studios closed their stock of celluloid products. Most of the reels are thrown away or burned because no one wants to spend the money to maintain them in a temperature-controlled premises,” says Ramu.

Ramu is a veteran of over 300 film projects and was among the first batch of technicians trained in Austrian Diamond digital conversion software by post-production major Prasad VFX in 2006. Professional result, frame by frame work. We can’t use the software for remastering because it doesn’t distinguish between dust and detail. This is where manual artistry comes in. With a minimum of 24 frames per second, we need to sit down and compare 86,400 frames per hour to the original to add fine detail. The seeds of old films are the lifeblood of cinema,” says Ramu, who runs his own restoration company (Film Vision) in Chennai.

Manual input

In that case Mutal Mariatai, where several crucial scenes were missing from the reels, Ramu split the sections of the film’s beta tapes used by TV channels after stabilizing their picture quality. “Today’s audience is much more tech-savvy than before. We have to give them the product to justify the ticket price,” he says.

For audio conversion, the mono-track was split into six and re-recorded to get a more natural sound. “We have to do this without changing the original ethos of the product. It should fit seamlessly with the visuals,” he says.

Jayakumar, who holds Cube rights till 2035, plans to release the remastered version. Mutal Mariatai Mid-November this year to avoid clashing with big-ticket movies. It had a soft launch last month at the Albert Theater in Chennai in the presence of Sivaji Ganesan’s sons Ramkumar and Prabhu and some of the cast. This was followed by an orientation talk for Shivaji Film Club in Tiruchi last week. “I don’t think anyone else can make it except Bharathiraja Mutal Mariatai. There is a fine line between lust and love and love is portrayed beautifully in this film,” he says.



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