Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Darn MBBS Movies

I did not see "Munnabhai MBBS". I dont like Sanjay Dutt. Ya! I have heard that the movie was good and sort-of funny! But I personally think people like Sanjay Dutt and Salman khan should be in jail instead of dancin' around with Bollywood chics. As a principle I think we should all stop goin to movies that have people with a criminal record in the lead.

"Vasool Raja MBBS" is the Tamil remake of Munnabhai.. and Vasool Raja is a bad movie. A really really bad movie. KamalaHaasan should seriously consider not making comedy movies for some time. Kamal starring in "F" grade movies such as this one is like a person with PhD in astrophysics trying to take 2nd grade mathematics quarterly exam on multiplication tables.

The movie in a nutshell is; "Vasool Raja" played by kamal is local gangster and a rowdy. He recovers money from people who fail to repay their debts. If people borrow money from Citibank or a nearby Marwadi Pawnshop and refuse to repay the loan, Kamal is the dude who will collect the money forcibly from these defaulters ( and in the process pocket a neat little commision for himself). Kamal's parents are obviously not aware of his noble profession. They think he is a doctor and try to "arranged marriage" him with a doctor-daughter of a very famous doctor in Madras. The doctor-father finds out about Kamal and exposes him in front of his parents(who are terribly shocked to find out that their son isn't an MBBS inspite of knowing fully well that Mr.Vasool didnt pass his 5th grade exams). Kamal then gets into Med School by cheating in his exams and the remaining 70% of the movie is dedicated to Kamal's antics as a misfit student in Med School.

The movie fails because of poor acting ( especially by KamalHassan and Prakash Raj) and because its cheap. It doesn't spend money to make any of the sets look real. The make-do hospital which kamal creates to cheat his parents looks more real than the sham sets purpotedly depicting a real hospital.

Not even one scene has been given the time and space it deserves. No scene looks real or allows any scope for audience involvement. By the time you start warming up to a scene its gone..whoosh!..The movie gives a theatre drama look where actors jump in and jump out rapidly. Several times during the movie I got the feeling that people who made this movie were in such a real hurry to finish the movie that vomitted the dialogues and ran away to catch their trains.

Take this sham artificial scene for instance. Prakashraj has Kamal's photo ( as a possible suitor for his daughter) on his coffee table. Out of nowhere a lady claiming to be his servant maid takes a look at that photo , rapidly says a few inane dialogs, then says something to her kid about marrying her to "mysore maharaja" and literally runs away from the frame. In less than a minute she vomits some dialog which seems to convince Prakashraj about Kamal's character. This forms the basis of the entire movie and its been given 1 minute.

The Actors:


This could probably be Kamal's worst performance as an actor. The bad framing of almost every scene in this movie adds on to his woe. The scene where the cancer patient Zaakeer clings on to Kamal during his dying moments is the worst executed scene in this movie. I was thinking, does Zaaker look like a terminal cancer patient? (he cud participate in a boxing match) Is this the way cancer patients die. The movie, and I am not exagerrating, shows the doctor telling the cancer patient " dude you have cancer! your gonna die soon. please check in to this lodge/hospital where you can die". The cancer patient dutifully checks in and dies. Not even a pretense of any treatment being done on him.

Shouldn't he die atleast in an ICU with 2 doctors nearby or maybe thats too much logic being expected out of the movie. Zakeer dies in a dormitorty sort of place, a couple of nurses and Dr.Sneha keep looking at him and he spits some dialog (very fast) to kamal and rapidly dies. We feel no pity for him. Why? zero character development my dear folks. Just show Kamalhaasan's face on screen for 3 hours and develop no other character. Thats the thinking behind this movie; show Kamal and do everything else fast. This sense of haste is what kills this movie. Now this whole zaaker dying scene takes about 4 minutes. From the time somebody comes and says to kamal that zakeer is dying till the time zakeer dies; all happens within 1 minute. Then Kamal cries his head off for 3 minutes. Thats the distribution. I didnt feel a pinch!

Kamal is neither convincing as a goonda nor as fake-med student. He was never Vasool Raja for a moment but always Kamalahaasan. Thats sad.


This guy was horrible throughout the movie. He talks like people talk in the old manirathnam movies. The laughing-for-cure routine makes him look like a mental patient or even worse. Now Prakash Raj is a really good actor but here he looks and acts like Janakaraj (or) actually more like that dog shit moron Jayaram in Thenali. Come to think of it, I was convinced nobody could acts worse than what Jayaram did in Thenali. Prakashraj beats Jayaram by miles. His voice and tone stand out jarringly and is completely out of sync with other regular voices. Watching him act felt like watching a person being caught on camera digging his nose with his fly open. Do college deans behave this way ? Is that how medical classes happen? Is there anything even remotely original in this movie? Man!!.. what about his " I have turned a new leaf" dialog in the climax. Can anybody look more unconvincing. Puke!

The support cast:

Rohini Hattangadi is wasted. No need for her to play this role. Gandhimathi would suffice. I like Nagesh, you give him anything he does it with Panache. Is that nasty thing with a wig prabhu?? eeek! I cant belive it!. Prabhu has been reduced to a senthil-like role.


This year's worst director award has already been decided. Cheran has wasted a very good material by botching up on almost every aspect of the movie.


This movie could have been a good movie. The story that had all the makings of a good movie. It even had "crazy" Mohan (who was dissapointing.. but frankly didnt do as bad a job as I thought he would do) to write dialogs. screenplay and time devoted to develop scenes and characters were non-existent! Nobody in the movie could act to save their own lives.

Good comedy movies in the past had an original thread interlaced with a abberrant thread. The foundation should be laid on a real looking scenario ( in this contect a real looking hospital/med-school) and comedy should be extracted from an abormal/odd person (in this context mr.vasool ) being introduced into the real-looking scenario which results in chaos. Here the supposedly real-world thread looked even more clownish than comedy thread. "crazy" Mohan thrives on chaos but he needs to have some situational comedy helping him. All he gets is a few abrupt scenes with bad actors in it!

Infact.. u know what??? among the actors shown in the movie "crazy" Mohan was the best!

Don't go to Vasool Raja after lunch. The Theatre restrooms aren't built to support the after effects the movie can cause you.


Saurabh said...

Hey !

By reading your review, I figure that the entire movie is a scene by scene remake of Munnabhai MBBS.

I went for that movie ... when it had come out and liked the movie a lot ... Good, clean comedy ...

Sanjay Dutt was convincing ( maybe coz he's done so many such roles that he isn't acting anymore )

But the ones I found truly amazing were Arshad Warsi ( who plays Sanjay Dutt's right hand ) ... He was really good and acted brilliantly ...

The other person who was terrific was Boman Irani ... now this guy can act !
A very seasoned actor and put a lot into the role ...

A lot of the movie was shot in amchi Pune itself ... in the College of Agriculture for about 50 grand a day .. or so I heard ...

Anyways, if you can tolerate Dutt ( considering you hate him so much ), you will enjoy the movie :)

Tirukumar said...

Agreed mate....

But perhaps it was a 'strategic move' by Kamal as he himself as said in interviews. Nothing movie buffs like you and I would go ga-ga about but something like an Analyze That from De Niro!

Do you have a review for Virumaandi? Would like to see your thoughts on that film.


Anonymous said...

Just nit-picking.. The director of Vasoolraja MBBS was Saran, not Cheran (who has given a string of memorable movies so far)

Anonymous said...