K. S. Ravi
February 26, 1999 (India)
Adventure, Drama, Musical
A. R. Rahman
26 February 1999 (1999-02-26)
Love Birds (1996 film), Star (2001 film), Ratchagan
En Swasa Kaatre (English: Breath of My Life) is a 1999 Tamil romantic film written and directed by K. S. Ravi. The film stars Arvind Swamy and Isha Koppikar in the lead roles, while Raghuvaran, Prakash Raj and Thalaivasal Vijay play supporting roles. The film was produced by newcomers R. M. Sait and Ansar Ali, friends of the film's music director A.R.Rahman. The film opened in February 1999 to negative reviews and poor collections.
A seemingly down to earth guy Arun (Arvind Swamy) by day leads a life of a computer hacker and thief by night. When he meets a girl (Isha Koppikar) whom he fancies, he wishes to turn over a new leaf. But Arun's rogue brother who has been blackmailing him since young to do his dirty deeds does not think likewise. A deep love-hate relationship between them which unfolded during their childhood days traps Arun into a life of crime. How Arun chooses between his family and his love forms the crux of the story.
In end-1996, music director Rahman went on a signing spree in Tamil films and signed on to work in his friends R. M. Sait and Anwar Ali's Love Letter, with speculation suggesting that Rahman was producing this film along with his friends. Rahman suggested to his friends to instate K. S. Ravi as director, having previously worked with him in Mr. Romeo (1996). The project went through production troubles, with three of Arvind Swamy's projects at the time - Engineer, Mudhal Mudhalaaga and Sasanam - also in a similar situation. The film was soon retitled En Swasa Kaatre and was rumoured to be partially based on the Mission Impossible films. Isha Koppikar was meant to mark her debut with the film but the delays prompted her other films to release before En Swasa Kaatre. Director Kathir had scouted for an actress in North India to play the lead role in his venture Kadhalar Dhinam and had auditioned Isha Koppikar for the role. He subsequently recommended her to his friend K. S. Ravi to cast her in En Swasa Kaatre.
The film was also delayed due to a dispute between Arvind Swamy and Nikaba Films, the producers. Nikaba had omitted to pay Arvind Swamy's wage for acting in the film and the actor promptly got a stay order on the release of the Producer's next film Ooty.
The film received mixed reviews with The Deccan Herald cited that "the story of En Swasa Katre, is one with much potential, largely unexplored by an inadequate plot and screenplay, which, along with the dialogues, and direction, are by K S Ravi", with the critic adding that "Arvind Swamy is not bad, as for as an Arvind Swamy can be so. And the same goes for Prakash Raj. Worth taking a look at." Moreover, Indolnik.com claimed that "the dialogues and situations are unbelievably ill-conceived, but played straight by everyone around, which makes it unintentionally funny! Arvind Swamy looks bored half way through the movie. Prakash Raj hams his way through another over the top performance." The New Indian Express describes that "En Swasa Kaatre may not be a must-see but it is certainly a can-see."
The film did average commercial business and was later dubbed and released into Telugu as Premante Pranamistha. Despite the relative high-profile nature of the film, the director K. S. Ravi disappeared from the film industry after the film's release and did not make any other films until his death in 2010. The film became Arvind Swamy's final Tamil film in a leading role before his retirement, with the much-delayed Sasanam releasing in 2006.
The highly acclaimed soundtrack features 6 songs composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics by Vairamuthu and Vaali. The soundtrack was well received by music fans and critics upon its initial release. Parts of the song "En Swasa Katre" are syncopated as in Carnatik music compositions . In the Theendai song. Rahman had used a similar religious chant which had carnatic allusions like the ones in Enigma (Germany) which had gregorian chants.
The song "Jumbalakka" was reused in Thakshak, with male vocalist replaced by Shankar Mahadevan. "Kadhal Niagra" was reused with change in instrumentation and vocals and with a considerable extend in length as "Ke Sera Sera" in Pukar. An instrumental theme song was featured in the movie but not released in the cassettes. A slightly revised version of "Thirakatha" was song was used in the score of Million Dollar Arm.
ReferencesEn Swasa Kaatre Wikipedia
En Swasa Kaatre IMDb En Swasa Kaatre themoviedb.org