From wikipedia –
A montage sequence is a technique in film editing in which a series of short shots is edited into a sequence to condense narrative. It is usually used to advance the story as a whole (often to suggest the passage of time), rather than to create symbolic meaning as it does in Soviet montage theory. In many cases, a song plays in the background to enhance the mood or reinforce the message being conveyed.
I guess this part of the Wiki entry was written by an Indian – a song plays in the background to enhance the mood or reinforce the message being conveyed. That’s typical bollywood style stuff.
And we have all seen montages before we even realized it as one. An easy example of montage would be Rajinikanth’s transformation from the milkman to a Five Star Hotel owner in Annamalai.
I’ve always loved montages. I don’t know why but I just love them. I even think, in slight extreme that an entire film could be made effectively just through montages. Akira Kurosawa is known for making montages into popular art.
Yesterday, while traveling through the Seattle Tunnel, I was thinking of making a montage of the entire tunnel route. I don’t even have a camera to start with and that’s a different topic. But it led me to think of montages in Tamil cinema. When thinking about montages in kollywood that were made to the level of world cinema, only two of them struck me instantly. And that’s because they were elegantly made. Both of them cannot be called montages theoretically as they don’t help move the plot too much.
The first one is truly world class. Appu Kamal trying to hang himself and Sri Vidya, his mother talking to him at a circus tent. The camera pans across the room and cuts frequently and disolves into close-ups and long shots. It may not be as vivid as I say here but it was a great one.
The second was a shorter one in Priyadarshan’s Snehithiye. I vaguely remember the context but on a dramatic scene, the shot collapses to a different scene where the girl recalls cycling with Jothinka on a lush green park.
Both these scenes had great BGM and was strikingly well made. Mudhal Mariyadhai had some nice montages but can’t recollect any particular one. Should anyone re-collect other nice montages in Tamil cinema, there is a comment box right below.