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The Mani Ratnam Rabbit hole Part 5 - Power, Politics & Drama - Guru(2007) / Iruvar(1997) - The Kingpin Biopics

Kingpins are leaders who prefer an organized structure for running the show. Success is important to the Kingpin and they feel at home when they are managing a business or team of people.
The role of a leader is - ๐’…๐’†๐’‡๐’Š๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’•๐’š (the issues that affects one's surrounding) & ๐’“๐’†๐’๐’†๐’˜๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‰๐’๐’‘๐’†. Now, that sounds simple, but itโ€™s often hard to understand exactly what is going on in the world around you, and then to translate it in a way that is both accurate and hopeful to the people in your domain.
In order to successfully navigate these challenges, the successful leader requires the following 4 ๐‘ทโœ๐’” :
First, a leader needs a ๐‘ท๐’–๐’“๐’‘๐’๐’”๐’†/๐‘ท๐’‚๐’”๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’. Call it a vision or a mission or an ideal or a cause or a calling, but successful leaders need to be pointed in the right direction, and they need to be able to inspire others to join in their pursuit.
Second, a leader needs a ๐‘ท๐’๐’‚๐’. Again, call it a strategy or a road-map or a set of goals and objectives, but successful leaders need to not only know where they are headed, but how to get there. A destination is not enough โ€“ putting one foot in front of the other is the key to achieving visionary goals.
Third, a leader needs ๐‘ท๐’†๐’๐’‘๐’๐’†. Successful leaders have followers that are committed to the ๐‘ท๐’–๐’“๐’‘๐’๐’”๐’† and the ๐‘ท๐’๐’‚๐’, and are motivated to be part of a movement or community or group that is bigger than a sum of its parts. Leaders need to be able to motivate those people to walk the talk.
And finally, a leader needs ๐‘ท๐’๐’˜๐’†๐’“. Power can come from people or money or ideas or capital or some kind of other resource, but an engine needs fuel to move forward. Leaders need to be able to marshal these resources in support of their cause.
In Mani Ratnam's unofficial ๐‘ฒ๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ๐’‘๐’Š๐’ ๐‘ฉ๐’Š๐’๐’‘๐’Š๐’„๐’” we see the protagonists work towards amassing these 4 ๐‘ทโœ๐’” deliberately or inadvertently. One is set in Gujarat, the other in Tamilnadu.
๐Ÿญ. ๐—š๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜‚(๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿณ)
Guru is an Indian Hindi-language Drama starring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Madhavan, Vidya Balan, Arya Babbar & Mithun Chakraborty in the the main cast with a guest appearance by Mallika Sherawat.
The general consensus is that this film is loosely based on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani, one of India's biggest industrial tycoons, who from humble beginnings built Reliance Industries into one of the largest and most profitable firms in the world while also having elements of other stories & businessmen. It's a Biopic, but not really.
The film is actually about ๐‘ญ๐’“๐’†๐’† ๐‘ด๐’‚๐’“๐’Œ๐’†๐’•๐’” & ๐‘ท๐’๐’”๐’•๐’”๐’๐’„๐’Š๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’”๐’Ž.
Guru has others involved in the production as a film that is reflective of a man's desire for ambition and success, and how times have changed from the period immediately after the country's independence to the present. Some reports have speculated that this film is a biographical film of Dhirubhai Ambani. Like Guru, Ambani also had roots in Gujarat as the son of a schoolteacher, went abroad to work for the gas company Shell, and returned to India to import polyester. Ratnam has described Guru as inspired by stories both past and present.
The film begins with Guru telling how his father said never to dream, because dreams don't come true. We then are taken to Guru's youth where he wishes to go to Turkey because he has failed his mathematics exams. This shames his father who is the school's headmaster, still his father allows him to go. There, he stands out as an employee at Shell where he is promoted to sales supervisor, a position he refuses in order to start his own business.
He returns home where he gains Sujata's hand in marriage, along with it a dowry that will afford him the opportunity to become a businessman in cloth trading. Guru goes on to take on the trading union and builds his own factory, the Shakti Corporation where he creates his own cloth. His corporation grows to be one of the largest in the country but he has adopted corrupted ways to gain the success he seeks.
Manik Dasgupta, who has become a father figure to Guru, runs the newspaper, Swatantra. Once he learns of Guru's manipulation of his newspaper he enlists Shyam Saxena, one of his reporters to take Guru down. Shyam discovers that Shakti has smuggled factory parts into the country without paying tax on it, and his plant is producing double the legal daily output. All of this is exposed by the newspaper. Guru goes on to have a stroke from the stress of his fight with the newspaper and Meenu, Manik's daughter who has married Shyam dies of her fight with multiple sclerosis.
Guru is brought before a government panel in order to defend himself against the corruption charges set out against him. Once Guru speaks to the press the next day his speech causes the government to clear him of nearly all of the charges set out against him. He must only settle two charges against him by paying the fines. Once he does he is allowed to return to run his company.
The film was conceptualized in 1987 during the making of Maniratnam's movie Nayakan. The less known fact is that, the role of Madhavan is based on Swaminathan Gurumurthy, who along with Ramnath Goenka worked to expose Reliance Industries. The title is speculated to be an acknowledgement of this fact, where in his name is playfully swapped with Ambani's character. In real life , Gurumurthy has twin daughters much like the Guru character in the movie.
Guru was written and directed by Mani Ratnam, while Vijay Krishna Acharya(Dhoom) wrote the Hindi dialogues. Filming took place in Mumbai, Turkey, Badami and Melkote (Karnataka), as well as in Chennai, Pollachi, Madurai, Chettinad region Tamil Nadu, and Athirappilly in Kerala. This is the first film to be shot at Express Estates, a 21-acre stretch of old buildings in the heart of Madras. These buildings happen to be the home of the Indian Express and Dinamani newspapers.
The music is composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics by Gulzar. Cinematography for the film is handled by Rajiv Menon. Several scenes were deleted from the final theatrical version, including a scene in which Sujata first gives birth to a stillborn child and a scene in which Guru becomes angry with his wife for visiting Manik Dasgupta.
๐‘ป๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’„๐’‚๐’‘๐’” ๐’๐’, ๐’๐’†๐’•'๐’” ๐’…๐’Š๐’ˆ ๐’…๐’†๐’†๐’‘ -
๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐…๐ซ๐ž๐ž ๐Œ๐š๐ซ๐ค๐ž๐ญ๐ฌ & ๐๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฌ๐จ๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ
Guru follows Gurukant โ€œGuruโ€ Desai from his small village in India to Turkey where in a series of evocative scenes he shows a natural affinity for the rhythms of markets. Determined to work for himself, Guru returns to India and tries to enter the cotton market but he needs a license and the license system is monopolized by a rich clique with close ties to the government.
Guru has no entry into this clique, which differs in class and caste from his village roots, but his cause is taken up by a liberal newspaper editor, Manik Dasgupta, a veteran of the independence movement, who shames the government into opening up the license system. Guru and Manik become close and Guru becomes godfather to Manikโ€™s daughter who has epilepsy.
The movieโ€™s portrayal of entrepreneurship and the problems that Guru must surmountโ€“financial, familial, and politicalโ€“is unusually smart and sympathetic.
As Guru rises to the top the movie becomes more complex. Guru bribes politicians and skirts rules and regulations. His previous benefactor, the newspaper editor, turns against him. Derek Elley at Variety says Guru โ€œforgets his ethics on the way to the top.โ€ Thatโ€™s a common but incorrect reading. What is going on is more subtle.
Ratnam is telling us that Guruโ€™s virtues are incompatible with a corrupt system and a choice must be made. Consider that on his way to the top, Guru has promised to always honor, love and respect his elder patron and even as they are at odds, he never wavers in this promise. Nor does he waver in his love for Manikโ€™s epileptic daughter, even as she marries the reporter who has led the charges against Guru.
Rather than having been corrupted, Guru demonstrates an iron-willed commitment to virtue. Riches and success did not corrupt Guruโ€™s personal virtue nor has his public virtue been corrupted. In contrast to the earlier corruption of the ruling clique we never see Guru preventing others from competing with him. He bribes only in order to build.
The movie is powerful not because it opposes virtue and corruption but because it opposes two ideas of virtue. Is it virtuous to follow the law when the law itself is corrupt? Other artists have explored this question when the lawbreaker opposes social injustice, ala Gandhi and Martin Luther King, but what about when the lawbreaker opposes economic injustice? The question the movie asks is a classic question from Ayn Rand, how can an honest (business)-man live in a corrupt world? The theme becomes clear in the climax, a trial in which Guru, ala Howard Roark, puts society on trial.
The director, Mani Ratnam, has great ambitions. In telling the story of Indiaโ€™s liberation, not from colonialism but from socialism, he aims to elevate a new type of hero for post-socialist India, a business guru. In the trial, Ratnam is also arguing that a house divided against itself, a house half slave and half free, cannot long remain standing. Either India must push forward with a new vision for itself based on business, free and open markets and liberal views (on gender, the disabled, religion and other issues) or it will indeed fall back into internal strife and corruption.
Certain techniques are slowly changed within the film to mark the passing of time and the growth of Guru as an individual: - When Guru is a young man in Turkey, the camera is handheld and in perpetual motion, giving Guru and that period of his life a racy, edgy feel.
As he ages, the camera movements become smoother and towards the end of the film the camera is almost stationary. - The editing closely follows the above concept: the young Guru is shown in quick cuts and as Guru grows older the editing is smoother and becomes less frequent.
Lighting also changes with the times In Turkey, direct and specular lights were initially used to capture the aura of a foreign land, thus producing a sepia-yellow phase. Then the lighting changed to the more directionless soft light seen in the early and middle 1960s. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, tube lights came into style, thus producing a dramatic cyan-green light needed for the climax.
(๐‘ญ๐’๐’“ ๐‘ญ๐’“๐’‚๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’•๐’†๐’„๐’‰๐’๐’Š๐’’๐’–๐’†/๐‘บ๐’„๐’†๐’๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’‚๐’๐’š๐’”๐’Š๐’” ๐’„๐’‰๐’†๐’„๐’Œ ๐’๐’Š๐’๐’Œ ๐’‚๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’†๐’๐’…)
Guru has received positive reviews from critics. Abhishek Bachchan received almost unanimous praise for his performance.
The film was released on 12 January 2007 with its premiรจre at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto, Canada, on Thursday 11 January 2007 by Roger Nair, making it the first Indian film to have a mainstream international premiรจre in Canada. Roger Nair productions acquired the rights for Canada and held a premiere with most of the cast and crew flown to Toronto, Canada. The film was premiered in the Tous Les Cinemas du Monde (World Cinema) section of 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
In the United States, it was a blockbuster. The New York Times said of the film "You might think it would be difficult to fashion an entertaining account of the life of a polyester manufacturer, even a fictitious one. But director Mani Ratnam has done so with "Guru," an epic paean to can-do spirit and Mumbai capitalism."
The New York Post gave it 3 out of 4 stars, and the Los Angeles Weekly called it "The best Hindi film since Lagaan". Richard Corliss of Time compared the film to Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" and said that "One of the main highlights of the film was its climax. This Guru is more like a fine polyester."
๐Ÿฎ. ๐—œ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ(๐Ÿญ๐Ÿต๐Ÿต๐Ÿณ)
โ€˜Iruvarโ€™ which translates to 'The Duo' is a 1997 Indian Tamil-language Epic Political Drama film co-written, produced and directed by Mani Ratnam. Iruvar is a fictitious depiction of the duo of eminent politicians M.G.Ramachandran (M.G.R) and Karunanidhi as Anandan and Tamil Selvam. It's a Biopic, but not really
The film is actually about ๐‘ท๐’๐’˜๐’†๐’“ ๐‘ซ๐’š๐’๐’‚๐’Ž๐’Š๐’„๐’” ๐’†๐’๐’•๐’˜๐’Š๐’๐’†๐’… ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐‘ฐ๐’๐’•๐’†๐’“๐’‘๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’๐’๐’‚๐’ ๐’“๐’†๐’๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’๐’”๐’‰๐’Š๐’‘๐’”.
The movie enjoys enormous fan following among Cinephiles and has achieved cult status over the years. In 2012, Iruvar was included by critic Rachel Dwyer in the British Film Institute Sight and Sound 1000 greatest films of all time.
๐„๐ฑ๐œ๐ž๐ซ๐ฉ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐–๐จ๐ซ๐๐๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐€๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ:
Tales on friendship are of 2 kinds, the kind that sugar-coats reality into a pretentious show of perfection with fairy tale plots, and tragedies such as Iruvar, the kind that brings you to terms with the brutality and iniquity of relationships.
At a time when filmmakers hesitated to question authority and altered their scripts to avoid cuts by the censor board, there came Maniratnamโ€™s bold move establishing the relationship between Cinema and Politics and the significance of power, with which the two were able to unite Tamil Nadu, in a setting beautifully rendered by the purity of friendship and layered through emotive characterization. (๐‘ญ๐’–๐’๐’ ๐’‚๐’๐’‚๐’๐’š๐’”๐’Š๐’” ๐’๐’Š๐’๐’Œ ๐’‚๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’†๐’๐’…)
Starring Mohanlal and Prakash Raj in the lead, โ€˜Iruvarโ€™ follows the story of Anandan (Mohanlal), an aspiring actor who befriends Tamilselvan (Prakash Raj), a Dravidian loyalist. Apart from Mohanlal and Prakash Raj, the film also starred Tabu, Aishwarya Rai, Gautami, Revathi and Nasser in prominent roles.
๐‘ป๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐‘ช๐’‚๐’‘๐’” ๐’๐’, ๐’๐’†๐’•'๐’” ๐’…๐’Š๐’ˆ ๐’…๐’†๐’†๐’‘: แดฌสณแต—โฑแถœหกแต‰ แถ สณแต’แต แดฐแต‰แถœแถœแตƒโฟ แดดแต‰สณแตƒหกแตˆ
Here Ratnam at last found a cinematic subject worthy of his gifts โ€” Tamil cinema, music and politics: The 3 great obsessions of the Tamil people (indeed, Indian people). Irvuar chronicles 5 decades in the history of Tamil cinema and politics. AR Rahmanโ€™s songs, one of his most inventive and versatile scores to date, evocatively and accurately reflect the sound and song style of films from each of those decades.
Struggling actor Anandan (Mohanlal) meets poet, screenwriter & active politician Thamilchelvam (Prakash Raj) and this becomes the basis for a long, passionate & conflicted friendship. Anandan believes that together they can make cinema history while the poet is more interested in making political history.
Enter Kalpana (Aishwarya Rai): An ambitious actress who obsesses about Anandan. After the death of the partyโ€™s leader Annadurai (Nasser), both Anandan and Thamilchelvam find themselves in contention for the partyโ€™s top position. Will their idealism and ambition draw them closer or make them rivals?
The key characters are, of course, based on real life screen stars turned politicians: The rise to fame of actor and cult-figure Anandan is loosely based on the life of legendary movie star Marudur Gopalamenon Ramachandran, Thamilchelvam is based on Muthuvel Karunanidhi and Kalpana on Jayalalitha. Cinema, music and politics are so deeply connected in the history and psyche of Tamils that Ratnam seems to have instinctively and profoundly known how to approach these as a filmmaker.
The level of melodrama and fantasy (grandeur more than truth), the sweeping emotions (overwhelming more than intense) and the songs (enchanting more than clever) are stunning. Ratnam deftly moves from scenes of grandly scaled melodrama to understated, intimate moments that subtly reveal or betray something about his characters.
We see a sepia-tinged film within a film โ€” it is Anandan as a masked hero come to save the princess. The sets (a fortress/temple with a giant bell) are exactly like the surreal ones from the MGR films from the late 40s (probably Rajakumari) but the sequence itself (a song more chanted than sung rising in tempo) with the hero on horseback galloping over hills, is modern, stylized: A cinematic nod to Kurosawa.
As the chanting fades, and the prince rides away with the princess, the scene morphs into a gigantic screen, and we now watch it inside the dark of a movie theatre with the actor Anandan watching the screen.
Cut to: Anandan and the heroine waving from the theatre balcony to a throng of fans below, we see black and white posters of the movie everywhere. The moment is thrilling: At once you feel what movies are all about, the visceral high they give you. A moment known and shared by both, the fan and the actor.
The other intriguing bit from the film is more low-key: That poetic, refined beauty Tabu plays a school teacher and an intellectual, waiting for Selvam in his house. Drawn to his radical ideas and his political commitment, she has quit her job to become his mistress simply because he wrote and asked her to. But now she is full of doubt โ€” what is she to him? Selvam rushes in, looks for her everywhere and then finds her sitting on the steps that lead to the second floor. He sits down a step below her and begins talking to her. She is quiet. After a pause, he asks her why and she wonders aloud who she is to him and he answers passionately: โ€œMy lover, my companion, my friend.โ€ She lets her head gently fall on to the banister, the camera moves in closer: There are tears in her eyes and then slowly a smile, a smile full of a quiet joy.
An often remarked scene that follows this is the two of them lying on the floor, opposite each other, perspiring from having made love, as Santosh Sivanโ€™s camera swirls above them, caressing them, and Selvamโ€™s impassioned poem is heard over and over again. It is, as passionate movie scenes go, unforgettable. It is preceded by the subtler, incandescent passage.
Aishwarya Rai in her debut is alluring. Mohanlal and Prakash Raj give great, controlled performances. Lalโ€™s performance is nuanced, subtle, restrained while Raj is fiery, eloquent, complex. Ratnam said of Mohanlal's performance - "Hereafter, I will never work with a man of whom I am a fan. I often forgot to say 'Cut' in Iruvar."
Apart from the pitch perfect work of the leads, there are remarkable performances from Nasser, Tabu, Gouthami and Revathi. The dialogues by the director and his wife, Suhasini (a gifted dialogue writer) is both powerful and poetic.
Ditto for the song lyrics by Vairamuthu. The challenging and pleasurable task of writing tunes that will reflect the style and sound of 5 decades of Tamil film music is effortlessly met by Rahman. Each song is a jewel. Ratnam pictures each song according to the look and sensibility of a particular decade in Tamil cinema history: Narumugaye is in sepia and features the actress Madhoo in a cameo as Tagoreโ€™s classic mythological heroine, Shakunthala. (Ratnam chose Madhoo for her face which recalls the features of classic actresses from the 40s and 50s).
Hello Mister Edirkatchi, set in a smoky club with Rai practically smoldering, cleverly imitates the faux-jazz inflected songs that dominated Tamil dance songs once upon a time. In Ayirathil Naan Oruvan the playback singer, Mano, sounds exactly like the playback singer who voiced MGR. And Mohanlal deftly mimes this legendary actorโ€™s famous gestures (raising one hand and twirling it) when he danced and sang for 5 decades.
Ratnamโ€™s ability to always use large, sweeping themes as a backdrop to foreground more personal stories is one of his major achievements & a unique style of telling a story in contemporary cinema. As the film ends, you are surprised into tears to discover that Iruvar has not really been about cinema or politics but a personal, intimate movie about friendship.
๐‘ฌ๐’™๐’„๐’†๐’“๐’‘๐’• ๐’‡๐’“๐’๐’Ž ๐‘ฉ๐’‚๐’“๐’‚๐’…๐’˜๐’‚๐’‹ ๐‘น๐’‚๐’๐’ˆ๐’‚๐’'๐’” ๐‘จ๐’“๐’•๐’Š๐’„๐’๐’† ๐’๐’ ๐‘ฐ๐’“๐’–๐’—๐’‚๐’“ (๐‘ญ๐’–๐’๐’ ๐’‚๐’“๐’•๐’Š๐’„๐’๐’† ๐’๐’Š๐’๐’Œ ๐’‚๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’†๐’๐’…):
"๐˜๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ด๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜›๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ญ ๐˜•๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ตโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ค๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜”๐˜Ž๐˜™-๐˜’๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช-๐˜‘๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ข ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ข ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜›๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ญ ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ. ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด. ๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜›๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ญ ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ณ, ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฒ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ, ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜’๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜๐˜ข๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ฏโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ (๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ-๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ-๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ค ๐˜•๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ต)"
Mani Ratnamโ€™s 3rd collaboration with with Santosh Sivan after Thalapathi (1991) & Roja (1992) was Iruvar (1997) which is described by the cinematographer as his most challenging project -
โ€œ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ด ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด,โ€ ๐˜š๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฅ. โ€œ๐˜ˆ๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ, ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ. ๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ.
๐˜ ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต ๐˜ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜š๐˜ถ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ข ๐˜”๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข(๐˜Š๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ ๐˜›๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜จ๐˜บ), ๐˜”๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ช ๐˜๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ช(๐˜’๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ข ๐˜š๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜‰๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜Š๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ) , ๐˜ž๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜๐˜’ ๐˜”๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜บ(๐˜Š๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜Ž๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ ๐˜‹๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ต ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฎ๐˜ด). ๐˜ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ด ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜บ. ๐˜Œ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ, ๐˜ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ. ๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ช ๐˜™๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜บ. ๐˜๐˜ง ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ณ."
One composition in Iruvar has been frequently praised โ€“ a top-angle shot of Tamizhselvan (Prakash Raj) and Senthamarai (Tabu) lying on the ground close to each other. Sivanโ€™s camera points downwards and encircles the characters for the length of the scene. The camerawork heightens the intensity and turmoil of the lovers โ€“ Senthamarai has left her family and come to live with Tamizhselvan.
"๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜จ๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ,โ€ ๐˜š๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฅ. โ€œ๐˜‰๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ค ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ. ๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ด๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜บ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ. ๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏโ€™๐˜ต ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ต. ๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ. ๐˜ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ช ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ซ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฌ๐˜บ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ, ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ตโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ข๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ. ๐˜š๐˜ฐ ๐˜ ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต, ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ช๐˜ต. ๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ช๐˜ต.
๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฒ๐˜ถ๐˜ช๐˜ฑ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต. ๐˜๐˜ตโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ด. ๐˜๐˜ตโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ. ๐˜๐˜ฏ ๐˜๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ณ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜น ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ด, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜บ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด. ๐˜๐˜ตโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฉ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ. ๐˜ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜š๐˜ถ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ข ๐˜”๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข."
In October 1995, Mani Ratnam announced that he was set to make a feature film titled Anandan featuring dialogues written by Suhasini with Mohanlal, Nana Patekar and Aishwarya Rai in the lead roles.
Initial speculation suggested that the film would visualise the duel between Vellupillai Prabhakaran and his former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam deputy Mahattiya, who was executed in 1995 for an alleged plot to kill his mentor, with Aishwarya Rai reported to be playing Indira Gandhi.
Mani Ratnam was quick to deny any political backdrop claiming that the film would be about the Indian movie industry, however this proved to bluff the public as the film was to be set within a political canvas.
The film was later retitled Iruvar (The Duo) and the idea to make a film on the lives of 1980s Tamil Nadu political icons M. G. Ramachandran and M. Karunanidhi and their influential relationship between Tamil cinema and Dravidian politics by Mani Ratnam was sparked by a conversation he had with renowned Malayalam author, M. T. Vasudevan Nair.
When interviewed about the difficulties of casting, Mani Ratnam revealed he "struggled" citing that casting "is most important as far as performance is concerned" and that "fifty per cent of the job is done if you cast correctly".
Mohanlal was approached to play Anandan, a character inspired by the former actor-politician M. G. Ramachandran and about his performance in the film, Mani Ratnam claimed that Mohanlal had "the ability to make everything absolutely realistic with the least amount of effort".
He described that debutant Aishwarya Rai, the former Miss World beauty pageant winner, who appeared in two different characters - one inspired by actress-politician Jayalalitha, as a "tremendous dancer" and "having a lot of potential". The director revealed that the only difficulty Mohanlal and Aishwarya had was the language, both being non-Tamil speakers adding that the pair had to work hard over the dubbing trying to get as close to the Tamil tongue.
The actor to play the role of Tamizhselvan, inspired by politician M. Karunanidhi, took substantially longer to finalise with the initial choice, Nana Patekar, withdrawing after several discussions about his remuneration. Later, Mohanlal's Malayalam counterpart Mammootty was offered the role but declined, as did leading Tamil actors Kamal Haasan and Sathyaraj.
Negotiations with R. Sarathkumar and Mithun Chakraborty were also unsuccessful as the pair demanded a higher remuneration, while Arvind Swamy was briefly signed on to play the role and had recorded two poems for the soundtrack, before opting out due to other commitments. Mani Ratnam also called R. Madhavan, then a small-time model for the screen test, but left him out of the project citing that he thought his eyes looked too young for a senior role.
Subsequently, Prakash Raj, who had played a small role in Mani Ratnam's 1994 film Bombay was signed up to essay the character. Prakash Raj initially told Mani Ratnam that he was unprepared to essay such a delicate role in such short notice, with Prakash Raj later revealing that Mani Ratnam nurtured the character and brought self-confidence into the actor. Renowned for being a perfectionist film-maker, Mani Ratnam made Prakash Raj take 25 takes for his first shot, lasting over six hours. Actress Tabu was also signed to play an important role in the film and shot for Iruvar alongside her Tamil debut film, Kadhal Desam.
The film was shot across 1996 and schedules were canned all across India from Kerala to Leh with Mohanlal stating that it was the longest duration he had shot for a film.The film was briefly stopped by the FEFSI strike of 1996, making technicians unavailable for use, but Mani Ratnam carried on filming and completed a song using only natural light. After the shooting for Iruvar was completed, Mani Ratnam asked Prakash Raj to dub in Tamil himself for the first time, with his work taking four days to complete.
Though the movie starts with a note saying "Idhu Unmai Kadhai Alla (meaning: this is not a true story)," the movie deals with a very sensitive subject of the two men whose lives were chronicled that enjoy an enormous fan following.
The dash and flair and captivating oratory abilities of M. Karunanidhi has attracted many millions over the 50 years of his political life and M. G. Ramachandran enjoys a semi-divine status in of his own, in Tamil Nadu. On account of this the movie invited much criticism from both the camps.
Moreover, the personal lives of the lead characters (their extramarital relations, ego problems) have been portrayed with near accuracy in the film. M. G. Ramachandran is shown as a person who meets his match in the wiles of J. Jayalalithaa. When the movie was released, various political parties staged demonstrations to prevent theaters from showing the movie.
Both M. Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa denied the relevance of the film to their lives and never admitted to the film being a bio-pic
In a scene from the film 'Iruvar', DMK founder CN Annadurai urges a young Karunanidhi to rise and join him after an attack by political opponents leaves him bed-ridden.
Over 21 years after the movie hit the screens, the film's dialogue 'Ezhundhu Va' became a chant for thousands of Karunanidhi loyalists who were camped outside Kauvery Hospital in Chennai while the DMK patriarch waged a grim battle against his death. 'Va Va Thalaiva, Ezhundu Va Thalaiva', which means โ€˜Come back leader, rise againโ€™ they all shouted day and night.
The relationship between Annadurai and Karunanidhi, and Karunanidhi and MG Ramachandran were established through this film. It faced flak from all parties in Tamil Nadu after its release. Though it did not do well on the box office, it was critically acclaimed.
Prakash Rajโ€™s portrayal of Karunanidhi was appreciated by the Kalaignar himself. He said it was a beautiful moment to meet the man whose role he had essayed - โ€œHe was 70 plus then and I was just 30. Many years later, I met him and I asked him: โ€˜Did I look like you (in the film) and he said: โ€˜Almostโ€™.โ€
โ€œWhen I asked him if I was close to the character, he said โ€˜almost'. He is a politician and hence he said the two words โ€“ โ€˜almost there'.โ€
Prakash Raj said that while he had known about Karunanidhi the politician, the role helped him learn about him as a character - his wit, his love for literature.
โ€œIt was a character I saw. I was not imitating him. It was very fascinating to see a man who changed the system, who dared to live his personal life too, who did not think of politics of religion,โ€ he said.
He recounted how the Kalaignar indirectly mentioned his role in the movie Iruvar while giving him a state award for the movie โ€˜Kalkiโ€™. โ€œIโ€™m very happy (Anandamaa) to give away this award to you. You know it. I know it. We know it,โ€ he quoted the DMK chief as saying.
โ€œSo, he connected the film and the award though this (รnandan)โ€ฆ..โ€ Interestingly, when Mani Ratnam started the film, it was titled รnandanโ€™ (meaning a person who is happy).โ€ Anandan was the role of MGR (essayed by Mohanlal) in Iruvar.
He also narrated his interactions with the DMK Supremo. โ€œDuring Chennai Sangamam that Kanimozhi organised, I had the chance of reciting Purananuru which he (Karunanidhi) had written. I remember his speech after that and he said: โ€˜I had written this for Shivaji and I always used to hear it in his voice. But when Prakash Raj speaks, I can hear it in his voiceโ€™. He was very inquisitive about my language in terms of how did I get the command. I said - I just know the sound but you are the creator,โ€ added Prakash Raj.
With the demise of Karunaidhi, many including Prakash Raj feel that one wouldnโ€™t find a man like Kalaignar again. โ€œSuch men are not made. In future, you wonโ€™t see anyone like that. You can have differences with him, that's fine. But in totality, he was a champion of the Tamil pride, about an identity to the oppressed and how he made it coming from a poor family himself. He was a great revolutionist,โ€ he said.
โ€œLater what happened with the party and the corruption charges whatever it isโ€ฆ.but if you know the man, single-handedly to have run the party and to have kept the national parties away - both MGR and Kalaignar and to have always celebrated a cultural identity relentlessly and with such commitment with for 5 decades is not a joke,โ€ he added.
In her very first film, Mani Ratnamโ€™s Iruvar, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was cast as Jayalalithaa. It was a well-kept secret not revealed to this day, by either the director or his leading lady. Though it was obvious that Iruvar was all about the infamous friendship-turned-rivalry between two of Tamil Naduโ€™s most high-profile film personalities turned politicians โ€” MGR & Karunanidhi โ€” no one, back then, was vocal about the role that Jayalalithaa played in shaping Indian politics.
This was Aishwaryaโ€™s acting debut after winning Miss World, and she wasnโ€™t sure if doing such a volatile subject was the right start. But Mani convinced her.โ€
โ€œThis was also the era when the โ€˜de-Mani-tizationโ€™ (post his flops) had not started. Sure enough, there was a lot of trouble when Iruvar released โ€” first, from the censor board, which wanted many key scenes deleted as it showed โ€˜easily recognisable political figures from Tamil Naduโ€™ in a less-than-flattering light. Protests were staged throughout Tamil Nadu on the filmโ€™s releaseโ€
But to this day, Aishwarya refuses to acknowledge her character in Iruvar as being based on Jayalalithaa. In one earlier interview, she did concede though that her role in Iruvar was closer to real life than any other she had played โ€” โ€œIโ€™ve always believed in taking leaps of faith and always gone in pursuit of roles that require me to explore facets of my personality that are not known to anyone, not even me. Iโ€™ve been doing character-driven parts from the time I did Iruvar. Iโ€™ve taken risks from the start.โ€ Apparently, Jayalalithaa had seen Iruvar too and spoke about how much she liked the film.
In the film, Kalpana is โ€˜understoodโ€™ to have perished in a car crash. In reality, however, she survived to win the Tamil Nadu elections not once, not twice, but four times! Mani Ratnamโ€™s magnum opus Iruvar (1997, Iddaru in Telugu) maps the Dravidian Movement with its lead players MG Ramachandran, M Karunanidhi and its leading lady J Jayalalithaa! Both MK and Jayalalithaa denied the relevance of the film to their lives and never admitted to the film being a bio-pic but watch some of the scenes doing the rounds social media now and it all adds-up! In that context Iruvar is highly recommended, to comprehend the contextual significance Jayalalithaa played in TN politics and how her film career embellished her entry into the AIADMK party because of her 27 films with its brand ambassador MGR!
MGRโ€™s first wife and Jayalalitha bear a striking resemblance and this came through in the dual role played by Aishwarya Raiโ€™s Pushpa and Kalpana. MGR was โ€˜brought to lifeโ€™ with great aplomb by Mohanlalโ€™s Anandan while Prakashraj gave his careerโ€™s best performance as the poet-politician Thamizhselvan! The situations and scenarios unfold in unpredictable ways which make the story more than just a political saga.
Iruvar is as much a love story as it is a tale of friendship! It is the only surviving celluloid version of the Dravidian political history which is mostly hearsay today or what one might read on the internet! The film highlights stellar personalities who shaped the DK/DMK/AIADMK parties, their personal equations which propel their political decisions and as their careers expand, the political landscape of this state also widens! Craft-wise, it is Ratnamโ€™s best film till date!
The film is still regarded as one of Mani Ratnam's best works. Ratnam himself has named Iruvar as his best film, in an interview to National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan. Baradwaj Rangan also named the film the best work of Ratnam, in his list โ€œAll Mani Ratnam Movies Rankedโ€ .
"๐˜๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ค ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜น ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜›๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ญ ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข. ๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ, ๐˜๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ด, ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ โ€“ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ 51๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜“๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ ๐˜๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฎ ๐˜๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ญ 1998, " ๐˜‰๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ซ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฅ.
The film was also noted for its vignette style of making, with many single-shot scenes, where a fluid camera setup captures the entire action. Director Gautham Menon mentioned Iruvar as his inspiration, along with Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, for long single-shot scenes.
The film was screened in the Masters section at the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival. Iruvar went on to become a critical success winning the Best Film award at the Belgrade International Film Festival and 2 National Film Awards - Best Supporting Actor - Prakash Raj & Best Cinematography - Santosh Sivan.
The film's soundtrack features six songs composed by A. R. Rahman with lyrics by Vairamuthu.It has songs ranging from pure Carnatic to Tamil folk and Jazz. Rahman blended two Carnatic ragasโ€”"Naatai" and "Ghambeera Naatai"โ€”in "Narumugaye". "Venilla Venilla", sung by veteran singer Asha Bhonsle, and "Hello Mister Edirkatchi" are based on Jazz music. "Udal Mannukku" and "Unnodu Naan Irundha" were recitals sung by actor Arvind Swamy. The songs "Hello Mister Edirkatchi", "Narumugaye" were popular.
๐™‡๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ ๐™จ:
  1. Guru Lesson in Framing | Scene Analysis - https://youtu.be/HMcNU30WM3o
  2. Iruvar Film Analysis | Fully Filmy - https://youtu.be/opYqRpds5kE
  3. Iruvar Single Shot Scene | One of the greatest scenes produced by Indian Cinema - https://youtu.be/syiV6ZHrVi8
  4. Iruvar in 4 minutes | Lesson in Framing/Cinematography/Visual Storytelling - https://youtu.be/zV_t-oaY7G4
  5. Guru | Marginal Revolution article - https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2016/05/guru.html
  6. Iruvar | WordPress Analysis - https://naveenamariamjacob.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/iruvar-analysing-duality/
  7. Iruvar | Deccan Herald Article - https://www.deccanherald.com/content/77587/mani-ratnams-classic-revisited.html
  8. Guru Synopsis - https://www.gradesaver.com/guru/study-guide/summary
  9. Santosh Sivanโ€™s Masterclass, Journey Of Light: On Thuppakki, Iruvar, Dil Se, Roja - https://www.filmcompanion.in/features/tamil-features/santosh-sivans-masterclass-journey-of-light-on-thuppakki-iruvar-dil-se-roja-baradwaj-rangan/
  10. Guru Review | Baradwaj Rangan - https://baradwajrangan.wordpress.com/2007/01/14/review-guru/
  11. Two People, one industry | Baradwaj Rangan on Iruvar - https://www.india-seminar.com/2004/535/535%20baradwaj%20rangan.htm
Ref: Wiki, IMDb, Online articles, YouTube.
submitted by anoceandrop to bollywood

Top Secret Chernobyl - Primary Source Documents

This thing dropped about a week ago. It's actually quite little and I haven't found a full version but I think it's of some assistance in substantiating the frame of what was happening after and to some extent before the explosion. My focus is on the question of cause of Chernobyl and associated activity, but it says something that the Soviet Union engaged in secrecy and deceit over the effects of Chernobyl on the population and environment too. Basically, these people were not afraid of lying. You wonder whether they were inveterate liars.
The author of the recently published Midnight in Chernobyl book has apparently done considerable primary source research and he sets the table:
Similarly, in July 1986, the Politburo in Moscow heard the conclusions of a months-long [a maximum of two months] investigation of the causes of the accident at the plantโ€”the result of two separate inquiries headed by senior scientists and engineers including Valery Legasov, the first deputy director of the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy and Alexander Meshkov, deputy chief of the Ministry of Medium Machine Building. This revealed the extent of the failures in the design of the RBMK reactors used in Chernobyl, and the failureโ€”of both the leaders of the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy and the Ministry of Medium Machine Buildingโ€”to rectify them.
Yet the KGB took steps to ensure that none of these failings would be revealed to the public. The day after the Politburo meeting, a list (a copy of which, dated earlier that month, can also be found in the archives of the Ukrainian KGB) was circulated, enumerating the levels of classification assigned to 26 separate topics associated with the accident: the first item, designated โ€œsecret,โ€ was โ€œInformation revealing the true reasons for the accident at ChAEhs unit No.4.โ€
The KGB protected the Soviet scientific community, who were responsible for not rectifying the flaws of the reactors. Operators were scapegoated, though perhaps few knew or appreciated the extent.
It appears that the decision to evacuate Pripyat was actually made quicker than I thought, on the 27th. Plant director Bryukhanov did initially misreport the incident, but I do not know why. Bryukhanov really doesn't seem like a bad character from the little I've read. He was quite able and seemed to care for the residents of the town, which he kind of built himself. On the 29th the Politburo, which I think was the top group of decision-makers in the Soviet Union, was informed of the full severity of the incident.
We make an explicit stop on June 5th to hear Gorbachev anticipating the findings of the first commission:
The social aspect is extremely important. We have to have very strict oversight here. We must determine all the social parameters of the consequences before July. I am very concerned about the work of the government commission, which is investigating the causes of the catastrophe. We will raise this issue very strictly and very extensively at the Politburo, and we will not allow them to manipulate us with all kinds of professional conclusions, which are actually just excuses.
So the asses of scientists and designers were on the hot seat, and Gorbachev was suspicious. It turns out he was right, though I'm not sure he was ever told the full extent of what happened and how information was manipulated under his nose. We'll see why later.
It is quite obvious--lack of responsibility, dissoluteness. Nobody should count on mercy. A repetition of anything like this should be absolutely excluded. One or two accidents like this and we would get it worse than from a total nuclear war. Already now you see the resonance and the kind of expense! The loss of production by now is already at one billion eight hundred million rubles. And the expenditures for the object itself are at about two billion rubles. In a word, we are talking about very serious things.
You do not want to be on the wrong end of very serious things in the Soviet Union is my impression.
July 3rd appears to have been a day of reckoning.
These excerpts are very abridged and the next document will fill more out. We start with Shcherbina giving an I think extraordinarily insightful summary of what he believed happened indicating that not only will the government ultimately cover for its scientific community but that from early on it itself was misled on the severe degree of guilt scientists and designers bore, making somewhat of a prophet of Gorbachev who was suspicious but did not anticipate just how devious the professionals could get. We'll quickly see why.
The explosion was preceded by an uncontrolled "acceleration" of the reactor. The accident was caused by a very crude violation of technological regulations and procedures by the operational staff and in connection with serious flaws in the design of the reactor.
This sounds familiar.
From page 34 of the 1986 Soviet "WORKING DOCUMENT FOR CHERNOBYL POST ACCIDENT REVIEW MEETING", a mere two months after the Politburo meeting documented here:
The developers of the reactor installation did not envisage the creation of protective safety systems capable of preventing an accident in the presence of the set of premeditated diversions of technical protection facilities and violations of operating regulations which occurred, since they considered such a set of events impossible.
An extremely improbable combination of procedure violations and operating conditions tolerated by personnel of the power unit thus was the original cause of the accident.
The accident took on catastrophic dimensions in connection with the fact that the reactor was brought by the personnel to a condition so contrary to regulations that the effect of a positive reactance coefficient on the power build-up was intensified significantly.
Let's first underscore what changed from the internal version presented to the government two months earlier to this document that will serve as the basis for what the Soviets presented to the world at Vienna. Shcherbina goes on to say:
The mistakes of the operational staff were aggravated by flaws in the reactor design. They were the reason that the process developed into the maximum hypothetical accident, the biggest in the history of the nuclear power industry. [...]
So internally it is stated that flaws in the reactor design accounted for the scope of the Chernobyl incident, which is reminiscent of this quote on page 83 of INSAG-7:
' 'The scale of the Chernobyl accident was therefore not determined by personnel actions, but by a lack of understanding, primarily in the part of the scientific managers, of the effect of steam quality on the reactivity of the RBMK core. This led to an incorrect analysis of the operational safety; to a disregard of repeated manifestations of the large void reactivity effect during operation; to a false confidence in the effectiveness of the RCPS which, in fact, failed to cope with both the Chernobyl accident and many others, in particular with DBAs; and, naturally, to the formulation of incorrect operating procedures.
But neither internally at the government level nor externally is there an admission of formulation of incorrect operating procedures. Moreover, externally as represented by the Vienna related document there is no admission of reactor design flaws accounting for anything. Page 32 is the first page of "CAUSES OF THE ACCIDENT" and it begins as follows:
As the analysis presented above demonstrated, the accident at the fourth unit of the Ch[ernobyl]A[tomic]E[nergy]S[tation] belongs to the class of accidents involved with introduction of excess reactance. The design of the reaction installation included protection against accidents of this type with consideration for the physical features of the reactor, including the positive steam coefficient of reactance.
The positive steam coefficient is not a reactor flaw because the reactor included protections against it, protections that this document goes on to state were disabled by operators in violation. Of course, this document also doesn't mention the positive scram effect associated with the movement of the graphite displacers, the other key design flaw that was overlooked by Soviet experts before Chernobyl.
In the process of preparing for and conducting tests of a turbogenerator in a rundown mode with a load of system auxiliaries of the unit, the personnel disengaged a number of technical protection devices and violated the important conditions of the operating regulations in the section of safe performance of the operating process.
Let's swing back to what Shcherbina said at the start.
The accident was caused by a very crude violation of technological regulations and procedures by the operational staff and in connection with serious flaws in the design of the reactor.
Precise language is important for a reason. Shcherbina's imprecision leaves us in a bit of a tough spot as as opposed to saying technological protections he says technological regulations and procedures. Fortunately not only does he go into specifics but he is consistent with his use of "technological regulations":
The system of emergency protection includes an automatic shutdown of the reactor when stop-valves of the turbines are closed. This protection [...], which is supposed to shut down the reactor immediately, turned out to be switched off. [...] The stop-valves were closed at 1:23:04. From the notes we see that the command to stop the reactor was issued 36 seconds later. Several seconds later (estimated time 1:23:46) the explosion occurred.
These developments were preceded by other violations of technological regulations, which in essence brought the reactor to an emergency situation. On April 25, the emergency cooling system was switched off, which is categorically prohibited while the reactor is operating [...]
So when he speaks of technological regulations he's really referring to technological protections, or automated systems or features intended to protect the reactor. These are the ones operators had disabled because of this nonsense, per Shcherbina:
However, these causes are not equivalent. The Commission believes that the key causal point of the accident were the mistakes of the operational staff. The accident became possible in the first place due to serious problems in the work of the operational staff of the station, because of the state of carelessness that was created there. All attention was focused on the production of electric power. [...] Here, as never before, mistaken confidence in the absolute safety of the NPS, of its use as a "standard" for the entire industry, developed into a dangerous conviction. [...]
Shcherbina is no nuclear expert, he has no ability to figure out whether these statements actually applied to the incident and to what extent or whether they are just dust thrown in his eyes. He is informed by the same commission Gorbachev was concerned about. In later years that commission was contradicted by other commissions on key details, and in turn on its conclusions. Let's observe. INSAG-7 page 11:
(4) Turbogenerator trip signal blocked (01:23:04, 26 April)
Both the time and significance of the blocking of the turbogenerator trip have changed in the light of new information. The event occurred at 00:43:27 rather than at 01:23:04 as stated in INSAG-1. The time at which the second turbogenerator was shut off remains unchanged.
This trip was blocked in accordance with operational procedures and test procedures, and the SCSSINP Commission (Annex I, Section 1-4.7.4) does not support the apportionment of any blame to operating personnel. In the light of new information regarding positive scram, the statement made under the significance column of Table I in INSAG-1 that "This trip would have saved the reactor" seems not to be valid.
This is the system of emergency protection that includes an automatic shutdown of the reactor when stop-valves of the turbines are closed. The Soviet working document states it on page 24 as follows:
At 1:23:04, the shutdown control valves (SRK) of turbogenerator No. 8 were closed. The reactor continued operating at a point of about 200 MW (thermal). The available emergency protection for closing the SRK of the two turbogenerators [(]No. 7 had been disengaged during the afternoon of April 25, 1986) was blocked in order to have the possibility of repeating the test, if the first attempt proved unsuccessful. Thus another departure had been made from the testing program, which did not envisage blocking the emergency protection of the reactor with respect to disengagement of two turbogenerators.
Page 76 of INSAG-7 provides more detail on what happened:
At 00:41 (according to operating logs of the plant shift supervisor, the unit shift supervisor, the electrical workshop shift supervisor and the senior turbine control engineer) turbogenerator No. 8 was disconnected from the system to determine the turbine vibration characteristics during rundown. This procedure was not envisaged in the turbogenerator No. 8 rundown test programme. Measurements of the vibrations of turbogenerators Nos 7 and 8 at different loads were planned in a different programme, which had already been partially implemented by the personnel on 25 April during alternate redistribution of the turbine generator loads at a constant thermal reactor power of 1500-1600 MW. The disconnection of turbogenerator No. 8 from the system, together with the disconnection of the other turbogenerator (turbogenerator No. 7 was stopped at 13:05 on 25 April) without shutting down the reactor meant that the EPS-5 system to protect the reactor in the event of the shutdown of two turbogenerators had to be disabled. The personnel did this in accordance with Section 1 of the Procedures for Reswitching Keys and Straps of the Engineered Protection and Blocking Systems [42], which provided for the disabling of this protection system in the event of a turbogenerator load of less than 100 MW(e). The Commission believes that the personnel cannot be blamed for disabling the reactor protection system which shuts down the reactor in the event of the closure of the emergency stop valves of both turbines.
The Soviets gave the impression that the block occurred at 1:23:04 when the test started in order for it to be repeated if necessary when the block had occurred about 40 minutes earlier in accordance with general operating procedures to perform another test, which lasted until 1:16. The block is anyway moot because contrary to the initial portrayal the positive scram effect rendered the 36 seconds between when the reactor would have shut down and when it was manually shut down irrelevant.
Yet Shcherbina is reporting to the Politburo that this was one of the "very crude" violations of the technological regulations that caused the incident. Then he also claims this:
These developments were preceded by other violations of technological regulations, which in essence brought the reactor to an emergency situation. On April 25, the emergency cooling system was switched off, which is categorically prohibited while the reactor is operating [...]
Page 10 of INSAG-7 contradicts this claim too:
(1) Isolation of the emergency core cooling system (14:00:00, 25 April)
It was stated in INSAG-1 that blocking of the emergency core cooling system (ECCS) was a violation of procedures. However, recent Soviet information confirms that blocking of the ECCS was in fact permissible at Chernobyl if authorized by the Chief Engineer, and that this authorization was given for the tests leading up to the accident and was even an approved step in the test procedure. INSAG believes that this point did not affect the initiation and development of the accident.
Keep in mind INSAG-1 is a direct product of the working document the Soviets prepared for the Vienna conference. We see the same or similar false points being made to the Politburo two months earlier, but flaws of the reactor contributing to or accounting for the scale of the incident are whitewashed for a public or international audience. " Information revealing the true reasons for the accident at ChAEhS unit Nยบ 4 " was the first item to be labeled secret.
I wonder if by the end of July or even earlier the Politburo was told things about the graphite displacers. How were the "serious design flaws" presented to them? The role of operators was presented in a "biased" manner and Dyatlov notes he was not allowed to defend himself well.
We go back to Shcherbina:
The accident was preceded by a test of the power supply for the block's own energy needs in conditions of a hypothetical maximum accident situation. [...] The program for that testing was drafted negligently and was not coordinated, as it is supposed to be, with the chief designer, the main engineer, the science adviser and the State Atomic Oversight [Agency] [...]
INSAG-7 on pages 51-52 contradicts this claim as well:
The Commission considers that it is wrong to regard these testing programmes as purely electrical ones, since they involve a change in the electricity supply to the unit's essential systems and require interference in the protection and blocking system. Such tests should be classified as complex unit tests and should be approved by the General Designer, the Chief Design Engineer, the Scientific Manager and the regulatory body. However, regulations NSR-04-74 and GSP-82, which were in force at the time of the accident, did not require the plant managers to obtain approval for such tests from the aforementioned organizations.
The main idea of the programme is to test the design basis conditions as realistically as possible and there is nothing wrong with the programme itself. In the light of contemporary approaches to the development of testing programmes for conducting similar tests at nuclear power plants, the programme documentation in question is not entirely satisfactory, primarily in terms of its safety measures. However, the operating documentation as a whole (regulations and instructions), together with the programme in question, provided sufficient basis for the safe testing of the planned operating conditions. The causes of the accident lie not in the programme as such, but in the ignorance on the part of the programme developers of the characteristics of the behaviour of the RBMK-1000 reactor under the planned operating conditions.
Shcherbina proceeds to state:
The director of the station and the deputy chief engineer for science did not participate in the drafting of the program or in conducting the testing itself.
This actually plays in Dyatlov's favor as it supports his claim that he drafted the program, so when Dyatlov claims that he set the 700 MW target himself for reasons unrelated to safety per the documentation and understanding available to him he has credibility. Accordingly, when he decides to deviate from that target he does so from a point of understanding and authority rather than recklessness and self-advancement, at least as far as the power level is concerned.
Slavsky E.P. : Mikhail Sergeyevich, I am struck by your portrayal of us, communists who work in Ministry of Medium Machine Building, as if we were not under control of the party.
The Ministry of Medium Machine Building is actually a quite understated name for the entity responsible for nuclear weapons in the Soviet Union, also known as Sredmash. It appears to have been given high priority and even autonomy, apparently building areas of its own and seeming like a well functioning state within a state. It is supposed to have something to do with reactor technology but this is very unclear. Apparently they were getting some heat as well.
As far as Chernobyl is concerned, I assert that we created a hand-made explosion. Shasharin was singing here like a Bolshoi Theater performer. But he did not say why a completely senseless experiment was conducted at the NPS. Who needed that [experiment]?
This is a notably ignorant statement. Page 51 of INSAG-7:
The tests were necessary because one of the most important emergency operating modes had not been properly tested prior to commercial operation of units in this series. The proposal to use the rundown mode of the turbogenerator to supply power for the unit's internal requirements was made by the Chief Design Engineer [27] in order to guarantee forced circulation in the reactor cooling circuit by providing reliable electric power supply to the main circulating pumps and feedwater pumps. The rundown concept was accepted and included in the design of plants with RBMK reactors (see, for example, the Technical Safety Report for the second stage of the Smolensk nuclear power plant: "In a design basis accident, involving total loss of power for the unit's internal requirements, cooling water is fed to the damaged part by feedwater pumps powered by the turbogenerator rundown").
We'll see this Medium Machine Building Slavsky make some more questionable statements indicating he isn't close to the situation, not sure if he is complicit in covering it up from the start.
Plus, they blocked the emergency protection system.
This appears to have been a popular refrain among the high ranking and powerful people who had something on the line. Given the multi-faceted false nature of these claims and how quick the Soviets were to do this, page 49:
Thus, it seems that the reactor designers were well aware of the possible dangerous consequences of the reactor characteristics and understood how the safety of the RBMK-1000 reactor could be improved. This is confirmed by the fact that the main technical measures to enhance the safety of the RBMK-1000 reactor [26] were announced less than a month and a half after the accident. These included:
โ€” Installation of 30 additional absorbers in the reactor core (later the number of additional absorbers was increased to 80);
โ€” Increase in the ORM to 43-48 manual control rods;
โ€” Establishment of the minimum permissible ORM as 30 manual control rods (rather than 15 as was the case before the accident);
โ€” Increase in the number of shortened absorber rods from 21 to 32;
โ€” Insertion of all RCPS rods (except the shortened ones) by 1.2m into the core (readjustment of the upper limit stop switch);
โ€” Restriction of the movement of the shortened absorber rods to 3.5 m-1.2 m along the deflection angle;
โ€” Recalculation of the ORM every 5 min rather than every 15 min as was the case before the accident;
โ€” A ban on operation of the four main circulating pumps at reactor power levels below 700 MW(th) (this confirms that there was no such ban before the accident).
These measures obviously do not tally with the official version, which blamed the accident entirely on personnel errors.
They knew more than they let on. They knew about the positive scram effect but lied externally, it remains to be seen what they reported to the Politburo. They somehow gave the emergency core cooling system a role it didn't have and incorrectly claimed it was forbidden for it to be disconnected, and they made no mention of the EPS block occurring 40 minutes earlier to perform another test rather than to repeat the rundown test and it being approved by the rules. There was another falsely disabled protection with respect to the steam separator drums and an ORM value that didn't exist. While they take a measure to remove the bottom water columns there is zero consideration shown verbally that shutting down the reactor half a minute to a minute earlier, which was claimed should have been done on two separate occasions, may not have saved it. Internationally they were lying that the ORM lower limit was 30, internally they were inconsistent. With respect to the absorbers, that's an aspect I'm not entirely clear on. I do know they would have had something to do with the neutron flux distribution, although they just sound like a part of ORM which isn't necessarily meaningful.
Back to Slavsky:
And now it looks like the Ministry of Medium Machine-Building was making decisions about how to build the reactor on a whim. But we did not make this decision on our own.
This is interesting. It seems like this ministry was seminal in the history of nuclear reactors, but I get the impression with time and use the civilian nuclear power reactors drifted away from their purview.
Here is the history of the issue: the first reactor that we built was the reactor of the RBMK type. We have dozens of them. They work well. Their designer is [Academician] Dollezhal--an experienced person. Our first reactor has been working for 30 years and nothing has happened. The same type of reactor is used on our submarines.
Who has dozens of them and what kind of reactors exactly? I don't think this is RBMK-1000s. The Ministry of Medium Machine Building did indeed have stuff of its own as mentioned already.
The RBMK is a durable, good reactor. But what have they done at Chernobyl? Let us ask--who was directing the experiment? A regional engineer? The chief engineer, the station director, Kulov's representatives--they were all asleep. A regional engineer, who had no right to do it, was directing the experiment. Besides, they were testing a program that nobody needs.
Again, nonsense. To me this indicates the guy is quite far removed from the operation and management of these reactors. Do we know for a fact it wasn't this ministry that had oversight? I'm not sure how involved in development they were at all. Some of the technology just seems to trace back to them.
Let's bring together all chief engineers of all stations, and ask them-- what were the causes? An initiative of a regional engineer has led to a catastrophe--there should have been 15 rods, but there were only 5.
At least he gets the lower limit right, someone will later get it wrong. There were also 8 from what we know.
As far as the [emergency] protection system is concerned, these questions were discussed at a high scientific and technological level under the leadership of [Academician, President of the USSR Academy of Sciences] Aleksandrov.
I wonder if this is a reference to the positive scram effect. Aleksandrov is the biggest fish we hear nothing from, bigger than Legasov.
If you operate the reactor as prescribed, everything will be fine. [...] There are many smartypants now, who in this situation imagine that they know everything and they make judgments about everything. [...]
This may be a paradoxically true statement, providing some cover. But Annex I of INSAG-7 provides some better context, page, 39:
There are grounds to think that the reactor designers did not assess the effectiveness of the EPS in the possible operating modes. Research [20] conducted after the accident has shown that the reactivity introduced into the core by the control rods largely depends on the ORM. When the ORM is about 30 effective manual control rods (approximately 100 control rods, each lowered to the 1.4 m level), a strong negative reactivity is introduced. When the ORM is about 15 control rods, during the first six seconds after triggering of EPS-5, less than (Seff of negative reactivity is introduced into the core. In the case of a non-regulation ORM of 7 control rods, during the first eight seconds after triggering of EPS-5 the inserted reactivity is positive (i.e. the chain reaction is being accelerated rather than terminated). The designers were evidently not sufficiently aware of this fact before the accident, otherwise it is difficult to believe that they could have expected to ensure safety by organizational measures such as prohibiting reactor operation at low ORMs given the parameters of the EPS just stated.
I don't want to rehash the "extremely contradictory" nature of how ORM was communicated to operators given the supposed role of ORM was to prevent Chernobyl, teetering on the edge of disaster to begin with. These clowns basically didn't know what the fuck they were doing on a scientific level and squirmed their way out in the aftermath. Page 82:
After the RCPS rods had been redesigned (the water columns beneath the displacers removed), the Chief Design Engineer could legitimately state, four years after the accident, that: "with respect to the RBMK reactor this matter (concerning the ORM) has been thoroughly studied and it has been determined that for optimum power density control, an ORM of 26-30 manual control rods is necessary" [36]. Now, this is the case. However, the Commission has to stress that the ORM values now in force (43-48 manual control rods for steady state operation and 30 manual control rods as the limit below which a reactor is to be shut down) differ considerably from those established before the accident.

Gorbachev M.S. : But we live in a democratic society and people can express their opinions.
Slavsky E.P. : Mikhail Sergeyevich, I read your speeches, I agree with them. One should consider different opinions, but we also have real scientists who are competent in these issues.
It shows.
Legasov V.A. : [...] The RBMK reactor falls short of international and domestic requirements on several levels. There is no protection system, no dosimetry system, and there is no external hood. [...] Of course, it is our fault that we did not monitor this reactor. [...] I am personally to blame for this as well.
Legasov is a very interesting figure in all of this. In the popular imagination he is a hero, a martyr even. That image seems incompatible with him taking any personal responsibility. It is unclear here what exactly he is taking responsibility for but let's give some context.
According to Midnight in Chernobyl Legasov was:
first deputy director of the Kurchatov Institute, the immediate deputy to Anatoly Aleksandrov
who was, aside from the mysterious whale in the pond,
chairman of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and director of the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy, responsible for the development of nuclear science and technology through the USSR
the Kurchatov Institute:
the USSR's principal agency for research and development in nuclear energy, originating as the secret Laboratory Number Two of the Academy of Sciences, which had been dedicated to building the Soviet atom bomb
Legasov was no mere figurehead chemist.
Here is apparently a little article of him praising the safety of Soviet reactors.
I also remember another thing: the article in Pravda on the 30th anniversary of the first NPS. It said: "nuclear energy industry can serve as a benchmark of safety." Academician Legasov signed it.
And here a fuming Gorbachev brings him up. Legasov continues:
Secondly, although it does not satisfy some formal requirements, one cannot say that it is a bad machine. Its concept was designed a quarter of a century ago. Naturally, then the requirements were different. [...] I was in Finland in March of this year. There was a convention of scientists from many countries who evaluated all reactors working in the world by their actual functioning. It was concluded that the best station was the Lovitsa NPS in Finland, which uses our equipment, but all the automated systems in it were replaced with western technology. Second place was given to a power station in the United States, and third place to the Leningrad NPS. The weak spot of the RBMK has been known for 15 years. A similar accident occurred in the United States back in 1962. But there they had a less powerful reactor. The cause was operator error [...].
The weak spot has been known for 15 years, something you might not be able to tell from his public statements. Yet the problem was operator error. I don't know what incident he is referring to in 1962 but on page 86 Annex I of INSAG-7 refers to the better known American incident at Three Mile Island:
After the serious accident at the Three Mile Island plant in the USA in 1979, the designers did not seek to blame the personnel, since "they [the engineers] may analyse the first minute of an accident for hours or even weeks, seeking to understand what happened or trying to project what will happen next if parameters are manipulated", whereas an operator has to deal with "hundreds of thoughts, decisions and actions he takes during a transient" (see Ref. [49], pp. 644-645). Experts in the USA understood that "some transients can be avoided completely through good design. If a transient can be imagined, a contingency can be designed to cope with it" ([49], p. 644). E.R. Frederick, the American operator who made erroneous decisions on the night of 28 April 1979, but was not prosecuted for them, writes: "How I have wished to go back and change those two decisions. But the event cannot be undone โ€” and it must not happen again. An operator must never be placed in a situation which an engineer has not previously analysed. An engineer must never analyse a situation without observing an operator's reaction to it" ([49], p. 647).
During the transient operators at Chernobyl may have been thinking what they were going to have for breakfast, and apparently Legasov was able to imagine a transient-related weakness as well as he was imagining an airplane being flown into the reactor. Yet operator error was supposed to have largely explained the incident. I think there were some tense moments at the Politburo.
I have one more document to go but this is long enough for one post. This remains maybe the most fascinating page on Chernobyl to me:
In the process of developing the computing base of the IAE. I.V. Kurchatova managed to learn about the improvements in RBMK-1000 implemented at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Of greatest interest was the decision to shorten graphite displacers on the rods of the CPS and AZ. Attempts to find out from the persons, then the Laureates of the State Prize for the RBMK Reactor, the measure of the validity of such improvements did not lead to anything. It only remained to wait. E.P. Kunegin, who served as deputy scientific director of the RBMK project, passed away in 1983. V.A. Sidorenko was transferred to work at Gosatomnadzor. A.P. Aleksandrov became President of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The actual leadership of the reactor lines was transferred to the Deputy Director of the Institute V.A.Legasov, a talented chemist.
When presenting the program, it was emphasized that the lack of computing power does not allow to analyze, to the extent necessary, the safety of the design decisions made at nuclear power plants, and that the most likely candidate for a severe accident is the newest RBMK units with all the improvements introduced into them. The acute shortage of computing power and the risk of โ€œunfinishedโ€ designs of reactors were emphasized by L.V. Mayorov. In the front row of the conference hall 158 sat A.P. Aleksandrov and V.A. Legasov. V.A.Legasov reacted violently to what he heard, turning to personal insults against L.V. Mayorov.
Tape recordings of speeches and discussions at this enlarged meeting of the party-economic asset disappeared from the archives of the Party Committee in May-June 1986 after the accident at the 4th Chernobyl NPP unit.
In May 1986, in a personal meeting with V. A. Legasov, who returned from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, I asked to be included in the Instituteโ€™s team, which was involved in the analysis of the causes of the accident. He promised to do it. Two years later, after the death of V. A. Legasov, I managed to find out that he gave the command not to let me analyze the accident on a โ€œcannonโ€ shot. The reasons for this decision are not known to me.
I read something about a month or two ago how Israel may be trying to remove documentation of a massacre, I wonder whether the Soviets destroyed things or if there is much more information somewhere. This guy sounds credible to me.
Ignorance or ignoring the revealed competition of two spatial effects in the subsequent (without my participation) improvements of RBMK reactors led to the fact that graphite displacers (limiters) on the control and control rods were shortened at the reactors of the Chernobyl NPP (Chernobyl NPP) and the Ignalina NPP with the RBMK-1500 reactor AZ. Instead of graphite, at the bottom of these rods were water columns about 1.2 meters high.
It certainly is at minimum a coincidence that the positive scram effect would be formally discovered as Ignalina 1 and Chernobyl 4 went online rather than in the several years prior across more than a handful of reactors.
submitted by sticks14 to chernobyl

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