Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chennaiyil Oru Naal Review

                How often do we get to see a Tamil movie where every minute in the movie really counts? Well the last instance I remember seeing something similar was in Unnai Pol Oruvan.  Yet again a Tamil Cinema has bolted such a screenplay as a strong anchor. I must say the movie has lot of positives and a must watch even before I get to the details of what's hot and what's not.

What's HOT
  • Firstly the ensemble cast, a great positive from an industry permanently tattooed with heroism and star studded one man shows. A little sad to note that this casting hasn't happened on an original script but only to an award winning remake.
  • The movie has all the elements of making it a full course meal (hero, villain, politics, romance, betrayal, rich, poor et al) however the director cooks a perfect one course diet meal sans the unwanted fat, whatsoever.
  • I don't know what's with Kollywood, off-late too many attempts (Pizza, Paradesi and this too) at a 2 hour running length however this movie is an example of it in a good way.
  • I felt this movie is definitely NOT the kind of remakes where the Find & Replace-Cast alone technique (the one employed in Remake Ravi's movies) is employed.
  • If the casting, script and pace of the movie were the three pillars then the fourth one definitely was the screenplay where the open ended threads in the various sub-plots does not leave us in doubts (unlike Paradesi) but gives all that is needed for us to close each of them ourselves mentally.
  • Yet another purposeful yet subtle add on here being each of the three roadtrip characters belonging to different religions which in a way made me feel they are all not different and when there is a real need there is just one religion called mankind, just as how humans started!
Quite a few blips in this screenplay too.

What's NOT
  • Understandable even the Sundara Pandian (Sarath Kumar) can lose track of his operation once (where the interval comes) but twice (where he calls off the operation, hastily)? I did not expect this from a top cop sitting in a control room with satellite gizmos and with known last point of contact but still unable to fathom the current coordinates of a speeding car. If it took a top cop to realize the car is 8Km ahead in its journey only after hearing from Sathyamoorthi, then I guess not just him but his entire team sitting at the control room are pathetic in their geography.
  • Keeping the audience guessing and nail biting was a strong positive in this movie right from the start however it lost its way & literally caved-in in the last 15 minutes. There is a situation of shortage of time and detour was needed. Its announced that only one man can make it happen hassle free. Had that one person was kept under wraps until the end of the detour and revealed later would've sustained the guessing game till the end, which however did not happen & was lost. The Surya cameo in the start phase of it and the boring & not so necessary confidence boosting speech of his that followed thereafter, looked like a take off from his Avan-Ivan cameo with just a different script to jabber.
  • Though the pacey song was sort of good, the other two were just establishment fillers & hence the music was disappointment for me, I felt they were either plagiarized err inspired ones,  or I-don't-have-much-bmgs-I-shall-repeat-the-same ones umpteen times.
  • The most disappointing and needless thing about this movie is the one that happens during the end credits, its a true face-palm material.

   This movie is truly worth the money for a big screen experience. Yet another humane gesture showcased. Time & statistics would be the real litmus test for the movie's success in its cause more than just the revenue for the producers of the movie.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top Five Questions Asked To A Newly Wed Guy

           There are absolutely infinite things to ask a guy who has recently gotten married but guess what, the reality doesn't happen to be that way and all people do is circle around only a selective few in varied forms and manners for reasons unknown. The questions mostly range from totally irrelevant to being unreasonably inquisitive in nature. Here are those that top that list...
  • #5 -  How is life treating you 'now'? | As if I have recovered from coma or some deadly disease.
  • #4 - You seem to have put on / lost weight, haven't you? | One amongst this is chosen either randomly or maybe in comparison of the questioner.
  • #3 -  How were your 'thala' festival(s)? | Once in a lifetime question set in the southern flavor.
  • #2 - Where did you go for honeymoon? | Maybe to say same pinch or what?
  • #1 - Any good news? | Can never resist asking this, can they?
Its a strong hunch that these exist across the country / region / religions in its respective own ways and that it makes us Indians what we are!!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Paradesi Review

      First things first and this movie has gained a lot of positives from what was seen as a let down from Bala in his previous attempt Avan-Ivan. There are quite a lot of facets that can be seen as a typical Bala ones in this film as well and some new additions to his skill set too.

The Typical Bala
  • A dark subject and storyline.
  • Characterization research
  • Cast looks and costumes
  • No happily-ever-after ending.
  • Protagonist not glorified as heroic.
  • Female cast having important roles
  • First half having comic moments
  • Characters having undergone physical overhaul for their roles.
  • A song that mostly is unnecessary for the story.

The New Bala
  • Firstly, he has stopped spoon feeding the audience with the screenplay to a great extent in this movie.
  • Less gory & tragic scenes.
  • A making-of-the-movie teaser as a promotional stunt.
  • A crisp running length as needed for the movie.
  • Bala the producer.
What worked?
  • The length of the movie.
  • The conviction of the output put forth by the entire cast.
  • The music score.
  • Screenplay being episodic in nature than being an usual one that lasts the entire lifetime of the protagonist.
  • The movie has given popularity to a good extent to the book it was inspired from.
What did not work?
  • The crispness in establishment of characters or spaces was a tad too much and been to the extent of not sufficiently believable throughout the entire movie. For eg : A large section of villagers agree to go on a mission to earn a better living, however the showcase of how bad their current lives were were missing. The only person who was convincing in this aspect was the protagonist as showcased aptly.
  • On the same lines of the previous one the elements to indicate this being a period film could have been even more extensively showcased.  The village shown in the beginning was believable, which in the latter part of the movie was either missing or wasn't sufficient.
  • There were quite a lot of between the lines left to the audience to fathom themselves, which was quite far from being acceptable. Ex: Periappa's demise had a build up to be hidden from Rasa but then what happened thereafter? His body was left to rot in the hut or what? A doctor was brought in to battle the disease, he preached Christianity ok fine, did he do what was called for? as the story immediately moved to 4 years later.
Some smaller pluses and lot of minuses did exist here and there in the movie which I don't want to get into and here I move on to the conclusion. 


         This movie is neither a National Award material on any front and I would be greatly surprised if it did win nor it is as bad a typical commercial cinema and fares way better than that. Its definitely a good (if not great) attempt by Bala on a period subject. I would however not rate this movie as a best of his, but maybe it could be one of good ones this year! 

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