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Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

1) Red pant and yellow shirt. Blue pant and yellow shirt. Yellow shirt with anything. Period.

2) Hero introduction song featuring sickles/painted potbellies/pierced navels of out-of-work heroines/directors cum dance masters/hero’s son.

3) Switzerland/Chiffon sarees.

4) Directors in cameos like paalkaaran, pichakaaran, velaikaaran, car driver, etc.

5) Lyrics like sexy-baby-shake-your-body in item songs. Make that any wannabe rap lyrics in item songs. Make that any rap lyrics in any song. Thank you.

6) Heroines falling down from scooter/ladder/staircase/perfectly non-slippery floor and hero falling on top of her.

7) Transgenders doing seductive moves or the usual kuthadi-kuthadi-sailaka in a circle.

8 ) One blow. Ten people. Four directions. Flying.

9) Heroine slapping hero. Hero slapping heroine. Love coming. Duet singing.

10) 30+ years old heroes as college students. 40+ years old comedians as their friends.

11) Titles like Sivakasi, Thirupaachi, Thiruthani, Thiruvannaamalai, Koyambedu, Vadapalani. You get the drift right?

12) Punch dialogues. (Exception: Superstar)

13) Shriya Saran or any other 18 plus, opposite Rajni, Kamal, Sarath, Gabtun or any other 50 plus.

14) Jyothika style 100-expressions-per-minute = acting.

15) Ravi Krishna style block-of-wood = acting. Wait, I don’t want to see Ravi Krishna itself on screen hereafter. Please. *Shudders on recollecting his earlier films*

16) Amma/appa/akka/thangachi/maama/machan/purushan/pondaati/nanban sentiment songs. Phew!

17) Amman movies.

18)  ‘Pei/aavi inside small child’s body’ movies.

19) Rain fights. And rain songs. What? The men are all going to boycott my blog? Ok, I give up. Only rain fights. Hmph.

20) Gabtun singing Amul baby kind of songs in phoren, chi, foreign locations. *Falls on the floor, begs and weeps*

21) Heroines/heroes suffering from cancer/brain tumor.

22) Naataamai scenes. Naataamai comedy scenes.

23) Kids talking beyond their age, like 50 year old thaatha paatis.

24) Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi movies remade in Thamizh. Oh, then we wouldn’t have any movies made at all here? Sigh, I take that back.

25) Girlfriend/Boyfriend/Any friend singing horrible melody song in jam packed railway stations, bus stands, football stadiums, etc to locate the other Girlfriend/Boyfriend/Any friend.

P.S. Please feel free to add your lets-please-get-rid-of-these-too items in the comments section. Nandri.Vanakkam.

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Long after it was over, I was left wondering why the movie had been named Aayirathil Oruvan. Now I see only one way to justify the title. The director has named the movie for himself, after himself, for he is indeed one man in a thousand. A man who had the vision and the conviction to not play safe after blockbusters and churn out the same stories of love, action and sentiment film after film. A man who did not see the need to follow footsteps or copy stories but instead chose to spin his own yarn in his own style, however flawed it may be. A man who would not be bogged down by the expectations of a million people. A man who does not rise or fall below those monstrous expectations that break many, but instead, defies them. A man, who now I pray, has the strength to not be crushed by the brickbats thrown his way. Aayirathil Oruvan.

Let me get the point first. I’m not here to say that Aayirathil Oruvan is a masterpiece or brilliant unparalleled cinema. It is as flawed as we make them here. It has extreme gore as some have already pointed out. It has loopholes the size of the quicksand pits the lead trio once come across during the course of their journey in the movie. But inspite of all this, I say Aayirathil Oruvan deserves to be watched only because someone dared to make it.

*SPOILER AHEAD*

The story follows Anitha (Reema Sen), Lavanya(Andrea Jeremiah) and Sugumaran(Karthi) as they embark upon a journey to discover the lost Chola descendants in exile in a far away island off the shores of Vietnam. Lavanya’s father and many others who went before them were either found dead on the way or never heard of after. Their adventurous journey through water, forests and deserts to make it alive to the destination of their quest forms the first half of the movie and what happens after they make it, unravels in the second half.

*END OF SPOILER*

I haven’t been a fan of Selvaraghavan before and I’ve hated some of his earlier works. So it’s very surprising even to me when I see myself rooting for this so called misadventure of his. Though the basic premise of the film is built on an extremely silly and flawed premise, there were many moments of sheer brilliance in the movie. What I liked the most was that the adventure did not end up in a treasure hunt copied from Hollywood but delved straight into our past for inspiration and to carry the story forward. The bloody feuds between the erstwhile Pandyas and Cholas which result in the Cholan prince running away to safety along with the Pandyan deity in tow forms the crux of the story. Salvaraghavan shows how the exiled Cholan ancestry along with the king and royalty live a famishing life in the middle of nowhere waiting for word to go back to their motherland and boy, how! People, if you watch Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana on TV and think all exiled people live like the Rama and Sita in it, with perfectly manicured eyebrows and women in designer clothes then AO shows how exactly it would be in real life. The hunger and filth that the people live in, the fight like animals for a morsel of food, the cannibalistic tendencies and gory sacrifices, the yearning to go back to their own land of milk and honey, the unconditional love for their king despite the fact that he is reduced to live like an outcast, Selvaraghavan shows the pain and the pathos of living a banished life like it has never been seen before. The unconventional war sequence where one side fought with the most modern of the weapons and the other side with those from 800 years ago and the following atrocities committed were deeply subtexted. Isn’t this happening in Sri Lanka even today? Aren’t men, women and children forced into exile, robbed off the rights of their own land, raped, maimed, mutilated and buried? Isn’t it happening in Afghanistan? I heard sneers and giggles from the audience when they saw men protect themselves with spears and shields against machine guns and rifles but our brothers in some parts of the world do not even have those, my friends. They infact, have nothing but their integrity and respect as shields which are eventually ripped off too like it happens towards the end in the movie.

The performances were awesome to say the least. Karthi must be best new talent which Thamizh cinema has seen in ages. He makes acting look so effortless. If he goes the usual way with 5-songs-5-stunts routine (like I heard he already is) it’s a terrible and criminal waste of prodigious talent. There are hordes of others for that, Karthi. His character is estremely vulgar and sexist but as a woman I haven’t ever seen a coolie who would not try to brush against or make crass comments on a woman he passes, so it’s completely justified. The women here are no delicate dolls either and are potrayed as strong, dominating, arrogant and powerful. Reema was good too, especially in the second half , but in some of her close up shots the lip sync was mighty bad. Her lips say something and the voice says something else. It’s my opinion that a better actress, one with basic Thamizh knowledge, could have done more justice to the role than Reema. Andrea had nothing much to do but did what she had well. And what does one say of Mr. R Parthepan? He ‘lives’ (clichéd but yes) the role of the King in exile with such dignity and poise. His portrayal of the vulnerability and heart break  on seeing his people suffer, the happiness on knowing that they would finally be back to their homeland and the pain on discovering the treachery that means doom to his people, that man is simply mind blowing. G.V. Prakash does a better job on the BGM than I expected him to, though it’s interesting to think what Rahman or Raaja would have done given such a subject. Selva has made a lot of effort to replicate the dialect of Thamizh spoken from the Chola period. It actually backfires since the audience at large isn’t able to understand such chaste thamizh spoken and that too for more than an hour at a stretch. (One front bencher comment: Machan, Yenna da pesraanga? Sri lanka lerndhu thappichu vandhutaangala da??)

As for the negatives, the film is long by 30 minutes at the least. A large portion of the second half is used up to depict the way of life in exile, the miseries and their plight, but it does nothing to hold the interest of the audience or keep them riveted. The story that the present day descendants of the Pandyas who hold high positions such as a Union Minister, Military head and Archaeological head would bring down military troops and ammunition enough to bomb down a small country all for the sake of revenge on their enemies(Cholas) from their past and to recover their deity is laughable. This is where Selva slips big time. A better premise would have worked wonders. The CG is poor. We’ve seen much better CG in Jaganmohini movies with white tightsuited aavis. The climax scene, though it has a brilliant touch by the director, is a damp damp squib.  As for the complaint that the movie is not realistic, is illogical, unexplained and so on, hey, did you know that this genre is called fantasy/adventure?  It is MEANT to be unrealistic and illogical. For realism, go back to Pasanga and Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu please.

Till the interval, all I heard in the movie hall were positive comments. But at the end of the movie there was an uncomfortable silence and people walked out talking that Kutty (that dhanush movie in which he acts all cutie-pie again) would have been a better choice when compared to this. It pains me to think that if this movie fails, it means death to a hundred other creators who want to break the shackles and come up with new themes, ideas and genres. If this movie fails, it means that the usual thamizh cinema routine wins over a bold different attempt. And let’s be ready not to sulk and say people don’t attempt anything different anymore. Aayirathil Oruvan deserves to be talked about, hated, debated on or loved. All it doesn’t deserve is being ignored.

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Cobweb Clearing!

Ok I’m not dead. Dusting off the cobwebs once again like I’ve done many a times before. I wanted to be back with a bang, with some meaningful writing, a story perhaps, but no meaningful writing seems to be coming to me any time in the near future. So I’m back to the kind of writing that requires no meaning or thinking whatsoever. Rambling.

In the past few weeks,

Was admitted into a hospital after a long time. Actually, a very long time. So long that now I don’t even remember being admitted in a hospital before. Not even a vague memory. Amma tells me often that as a child I was admitted into a hospital once at a very critical stage and after 3 days there, I pointed to my tummy and made hand signs asking for food. She says she feels like crying every time she even thinks about that incident. But I have absolutely no memories of this supposedly ‘emotional’ moment and getting to stay in a hospital now was a very exciting and new experience. I actually liked being there for a lot of reasons. For starters, everyone was doting on me like never before. All that extreme paasam made me feel like the thangachi in thangachi paasam movies. People only didn’t stand around me in a circle and sing ‘Azhagaana chinna devadhai’ while patting my head and pinching my cheeks affectionately. Everything else was done. Relatives came visiting every evening in hordes and we had to get chairs from the reception to accommodate everyone. P who usually doesn’t lift a finger at home stayed with me during the nights and was running around with water basins and medicine prescriptions. Dad had become my competitor for the hospital bed by the end of the second day and had to take medicines as well. In fact I wasn’t even dying or had some six-months-to-die kind of sickness. Just the good ol’ routine typhoid which has already struck me some four times and something the entire family is very nonchalant about.  Now I may talk cheeky but I didn’t hate it one bit when it was all happening. I was basking as much as possible under all the hospital light glory. Go away typhoid and stay away, any other sickness! It isn’t time for me to play harps in heaven already. Too many people love me here.

Watched two movies, one of which should go into history as among the best made in the country and the other should never have been made. 40 crores, Mexico, superhero, kokarako dance, pichumani, shriya… there was no end in sight to the miseries that Kanthasamy unleashed on me. I walked into the cinema hall, a full 40 minutes after the movie started wondering if it was really worthwhile going to watch a movie after missing out so much of it. I usually get the kick of having watched a film only if I watch it from the opening credits to the vanakkam at the end. But after the Kanthasamy ordeal I thanked God Almighty and Chennai traffic for having made me miss out on most of the first half. At the end of it, I was left gaping at the screen with a lot of how-could-they questions and a WTH feeling. How I wish they had made a true Superhero film minus all that fake masala! Sigh! And then there was the other one.  Kaminey. What a fantabulous movie! A true blue gangster caper that is raw, edgy, intelligent, dramatic and funny all at once. Jaw dropping screenplay, on-the-streets cinematography, mind blowing music, brilliant is the word. Ok, I’ve run out of adjectives. Vishal Bhardwaj is a rarity in the world of Indian cinema that has come to become melodrama, mindless action and songs in foreign locations. A truly well made movie pulls you into its web. It makes you relate to its characters, laugh with them, cry with them and run with them. That’s what Kaminey made me do. I’m not against the slow paced arty kind of films but give me a completely commercial but rocking Kaminey over them any day. I hate feel good happy endings but this one time I was left praying that neither Guddu nor Charlie (for all his ultra grey shades) should die. And Kanthasamy, well it made me long for the superhero to die or atleast get caught as soon as possible. Mudiyala da samy!

Caught up with a lot of pending reading. The other day I was at Odyssey when I came across a book titled ‘The 50 most influential books in the world’ It seemed to span all genres from fiction to nonfiction to history to science. Bible was on it and so was The theory of Relativity by Einstein. What caught my eye was The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger. Having seen this book on almost all ‘best books list’, I decided to find out just what was so influential about it, only to realise after reading that I was now too old to be influenced by it. The book is a slice out of a teenager’s life, how he gets chucked out of a fancy prep school, what he does enroute to going home after being dismissed, his face offs with people whose kinds he isn’t accustomed to coming across in life so far, his love for his sister, and the inherent child inside every human being irrespective of age. Teenage is that period in life when you are so vulnerable but put up a brave front to hide and mask all the bewilderment. From that point of view, this book is a teenager’s bible and it’s written in an abstract disjointed way, much like Holden Caulfield, our teenager in question is actually sitting across the table from you and having a conversation. But at the end of it, I was left wondering, ‘Now how does this INFLUENCE people in any way’. Then the ever nagging inner voice said, ‘Girl, it doesn’t influence people your age. You are way too old for this. Should have read it 6 years back. Too bad you were busy being influenced by Ayn Rand back then’ So there, Catcher in the Rye was another reminder that I was getting too old – for even some serious teenage literature.

Now I’ve reached this stage where to even ramble any more I have to start thinking, which I’m not really inclined to do (unless forced, as always). So I’ll stop here and get back when I really have something to say. Might take real long, who knows!

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