Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Back Home Its called 'The Raghavan Instinct'

Note: Mild Spoilers

Kamal hassan plays a character called Raghavan, who gets these hunches. His intuition that guides him, bridges the small distance that logical deduction leaves him short of. He runs 9 steps based on deduction and classic police work. The 1 step that he falls short of, his instinct takes him there. Sometimes his intincts make him look good and sometimes it kills off his partners. But he puts it on the line everytime and the movie runs on that extra step, he takes based on his instincts. This is a slow, methodical and patient movie. It takes you through the leg work that Raghavan does to find the dead bodies of the victims. He talks to the STD booth fellow and the beggar to find the direction and vehicle in which the victim was kidnapped. He then calculates the difference from the time the victim was kidnapped till the time the post mortem pronounced her dead. 30 minutes. He drives for 30 minutes in that road that she was kidnapped, takes the only left turn available, confirms that the vehicle carrying the victim was brought there from eye witness accounts. Follows the tracks of the said 'red maruthi van' till it stops. So he is almost there. Logic and simple legwork has taken him there. Then the famous Raghavan instinct tips him over to the dead body. The small distance. The second instance where he fishes out 4 more dead bodies was simply an extension of his first experience, which he euphemistically calls as 'instinct'.



This is the kind of movie V V is. It literally means 'Hunt and Play'. Raghavan 'hunts', while a serial killer on prowl 'plays'. He plays by killing and planting the finger of the victim in front of the victim's house. Raghavan hunts and hunts as the games get more personal. It is a patient movie of deduction and method unlike its predecessor Kaakha Kaakha which was more emotional and instictive. The difference was that Kaakha Kaakha was something you could relate to. It grabbed you by the heart and smashed your head to pieces. There was no way you could not get involved. VV is like its lead character, Raghavan, detached and cold. You dont empathize or get involved as much. The character development is so lacking in this movie. You could almost smell who ACP Anbuselvam was. Here, Raghavan doesnt grow on you. However, I found no glaring logical flaws in this movie. There were certain cinematic liberties (Raghavan could have brought more cops in the end as back up but it wouldn't have altered the ending much) but nothing I would call illogical. The only flaw is that this movie is released after Kaakha Kaakha. The way the villian character is sketched is similar way (but less explained and not as well developed as Pandya), names ring a bell and well some aspects of the hostage situation involving Jyotika is similar. Some of the scenes in second half have been rushed through like KK. But these similaarities are superficial and the differences between the two movies are more.
I got up in the morning and wondered about Gautham flirting with the sexual orientation of the killers. While I loved the fact that they werent overawed by the use of homosexual concept itself. Some movies are so thrilled about the fact that they are dealing with that concept that they don't move forward at all. I loved the fact that this movie used it casually than as a PR vehicle. Raghavan uses it to poke and infuriate Amudhan. The whole villian duo characters are grosly under developed. While one can argue that it is kept short and sweet, it lets us assume that both are mentally screwed up to commit crimes from childhood. There is no initial tigger. They are just woken up from hibernation in this movie. But it sort of leavaes you with a feeling that the movie could have been more longer and more descriptive. It seems rushed in certain parts much unlike the first half.

Kaakha Kaakha used extensively what I found Altman and Guy Ritchie use. In that they compacted a lot of events with quick cuts. This way they told a lot of the story in very short time. It was fast and looked slick. Both these movies (VV & KK) have been edited to a level that just stops short of making them look like photo slide shows. A frame does not extend more than 4-5 seconds. The quick cuts are blended wonderfully and appear in a cool slick way. Antony the editor who was introduced in KK also shows his signature morph-merge kinds of edits in 'chikki mukki' like the way he showed in 'sutrum vizhi sudar' in Gajini. One frame merges into the next frame and the actors assume different postures in different backgrounds and a morphing effect is produced during that transformation. This happens very fast and blends with the music and make editing appear like an art similar to choreography. 'Chikki Mukki' was the best picturized song in this movie. A movie which was quite irritatingly flippant with the picturization in the first half. Harris Jeyaraj and the Italian choir group in 'manjal veyil' (the best song) and the side-screen for the bike ride in the Unnimenon Song (second best) was plain funny. The songs in the second half looked way better than the first half. But I liked the continuation of the sober colors and the minimal contrast theme that began in Kaakha Kaakha.

I had high epectations from the movie and hyped it in my blog. I love doing it and will continue to do it for movies that I think have the billing. Frankly I was pissed off with Kamal Hassan doing crappy movie like MBBS, Thenali or Panchatantram. I was literally begging for a 'different' movie from Kamal Hassan and who better to deliver than Gautham. It would be an understatement to say I was a tad biased towards liking this movie and consequently any praise for VV in this space would be less surprising. However, I cant bring myself to critisize it just to appear balanced. Because that would be incorrect and unfair. I liked the movie. It is not a Nayagan. Its not a Hey Ram, Iruvar or a path breaking Kaakha Kaakha. But its a damn good movie. It doesnt get overawed by the presence of foriegn actors and shows them like normal actors instead of slobbering all over them. I cant believe they shot NYC so well. But its no surprise that this movie is technically sound. Its slick and Kamal Hassan brings in a subtlety thats just perfect. I wondered why he was needed for this movie and someone said why not? True. He is the best actor, I have come across in India. I wouldn't have spent so much effort for anybody else. What can one say? He underplays the role to the right level. If somebody asked for a slightly overaged 'kazhabolt' cop, who was measured, methodical and was in every bit as human as his instincts, Kamal Hassan delivered that on a platter. Kamalini Mukherjee joins Ambiga(Vikram), Amala (Vetri Vizha), Rani Mukherjee(Hey Ram) as the wife who dies and Jyotika joins Preethi, Vasundra Das et all to become Kamal's second love interest. I know that Jyotika's character sketch from Seattle to NYC to Chennai is 'real' and very close to Gautham's heart :-) He deems it fit to use this story here in VV than dedicate a whole movie for it, which it deserves. Its his choice.

Manirathnam, Kamal Hassan and now Gautham are trapped in a world where they get whistles when the title credit shows their name. The expectations are so high that it can rarely be met. It is a curse they have to live with. One thing is sure, this movie doesnt seem like one that was beset with problems from the beginning. If it does then I cant imagine what the problem-free delivery would have looked like.

35 comments:

Gayathri said...

The moment I read
"Note: Mild Spoilers",
I scrolled down to read just the last paragraph. Placing Gautam on the same pedestal as Kamal Hassan and Mani Ratnam? Hmmmm, I think it's too early.

sreekrishnanv said...

a good round up on the movie ..not much of a spoiler i guess ...

btw: gayathri above, also points out to some status of Gautam to mani and kamal...

I guess you didnt put them from your point .. its what it is ?? ..

IF you have really put him inthat place.. i guess as she said early !!

MANI - IRUVAR
KAMAL - ANBESIVAM/HEYRAM

Am sure gautam needs to go a big way to do something like this !!

Spock said...

Note: Heavy spoiler alert here for junta who havent seen the movie.

hawkeye, how about these for logical flaws:

a) when raghavan discovers the first body it was totaly logical with little instincts. for the second discovery he had no logical reason to go past the no-tresspass board and he almost takes a day-hike to the burial site. i dint know instincts can take u that far!

b) no trigger/motivation for the killers, except maybe for rani. 18 murders for no apparent reason is absurd and Gautham chooses to hide behind the shield of cinematic liberty.

c) all targets are seemingly selected at random, with no clue to connect all of them. typically this is what is vital to cracking serial murders. IOW, if the killers stopped after the two murders and the hanging the fingers, they would have still been caught. Thats more than enough to nail them.

d) how do the killers get hold of guns when the entire police force if after them, cinematic liberty again?

e) at one point the killer tries to justify by claiming he is the most skilled doctor ever and he then rants about chemotherapy, eternal life or some crap like that. too corny for my taste!

Ritesh said...

@spock

Isn't it already covered in the review. just curious.

The whole villian duo characters are grosly under developed. While one can argue that it is kept short and sweet, it lets us assume that both are mentally screwed up to commit crimes from childhood. There is no initial tigger. They are just woken up from hibernation in this movie. But it sort of leavaes you with a feeling that the movie could have been more longer and more descriptive. It seems rushed in certain parts much unlike the first half.

Doofus_Maximus said...

First time commenter, I am a big Kamal fan and have been following your travails to watch this movie. I saw it in Novi and thoroughly enjoyed it..

As you have said, I didnt find any big logical plot holes in the movie.

people who complain about inserting the Romance angle in this thriller, also complain about too much gore and violence. If the romance angle werent there it would have been too monotonous and the whole movie would have been like CSI.

I felt that he was/is a much better director when it comes to making "kaadhal" movies ( based on Minnale/parts of KK & VV) than a gritty/cop movie director.

I havent seen any tamil movie, showing two people with heavy emotional baggage falling in love, more maturedly or sweetly.

funkaboy said...

Yeah, it was a good movie. But I think with a little more effort, Gautham could have improved the screenplay and made it a great movie.

The only thing Kamal does proactively is to set a trap for the villains by saying on TV that they are childish. Then he just waits around as they keep killing without even protecting his base.

The gay angle could have been brought out earlier with Kamal using it to track, taunt and nab the killers. As you said, I think Gautham ran out of screentime after spending too much time on Jyo.

Gautham used to live in the street next to mine in Chennai. He has two gorgeous sisters. I have got some angry stares from him when I used to ride by his house trying to get a glimpse of the kerala kulfis. Never seen him speak in Tamil. Didnt realize that he was this famous director till I saw the promos for KK.

Hawkeye said...

spock,

after he dug up the first body i thought it was logical that he should search for the seccond body in a 30 minute radius of where the victim was last scene. That is precisely what he did.

anderson wasnt there at the scene of the crime for rani, so it wasnt obvious to him. raghavan was there and it would almost be stupid for him not to look around. From that place there (where the victim was last scene) was only one way to go and Raghavan just went that way.

infact the insticnt wasnt over played at all. in all instances where raghvan finds something 95% was covered by loic the remaining 5% (which is suppose distinguishes a great cop from a good cop) was the 'raghavan instict'.

the killers used surgical instruments and the suspect raghavan and anderson are knocking on are medical students. again instinct 5% logic 95%. I think it is consistent.

Hawkeye said...

/* He has two gorgeous sisters. */

:-) I am almost tempted to connect something I previously said to this but i'll let it go.

funkaboy said...

Just pointing some flaws that I noticed. No bad intent. Adds to the enjoyment of the movie. Some of the movies I watched before VV dont even deserve their flaws to be pointed out.

The CSI guys use a wand to detect methane leakage from the ground by just waving it around without having to dig up stuff. Ed Norton uses one in 'Red Dragon' to find where a cat is buried. If the NY police had really searched the place for days, as Anderson claims, they would have found the dead body pile. But it's a very technical flaw. I wouldn't pardoned Mani/Shankar for it. But Gautham is ok.

The girl (Veronica?) who is raped and killed in the van when they first show the villains is from the same college as Chandna and killers. That pretty much nails Amudhan and Ila as the prime suspects. Didnt understand why Kamal had to bust open their apartment and get Anderson killed. Raghavan instinct caused serious damage in that instance.

I also didn't understand how Kamal casually kills Ilamaran, even though he is his only bargaining chip with the totally insane Amudhan. He could have forced Amudhan to show where he buried Jyo by threatening a necksnap.

Hawkeye said...

gayathri & srikrishna,

no i wasnt equating. it was merely an observation that they were getting whistles in the tite credits. as sreekrishnan told it is what it is.

Hawkeye said...

/*I also didn't understand how Kamal casually kills Ilamaran, even though he is his only bargaining chip with the totally insane Amudhan */

(spoiler alert)

i agree (in the same spirit you brought out your observations). this totally reminded me of david mills killing off john doe in 'seven'. same situation, except in India the cop can get away with it.

Hawkeye said...

/* Raghavan instinct caused serious damage in that instance. */

serious lack of judgement by anderson. raghavan doesnt have a gun and anderson, no warrant.

Spock said...

The flaws i'm pointing out arent serious but wud've helped to make the script tighter.

Like for isntance, the screen time dedicated to jo-kamal romantic angle is just ridiculous. From the point kamal is discharged from hospital to the point where the chase begins in chennai there was absolutely no story development. just wasted screen time for 2 songs and one flashback.

I dunno why tamil movie makers have this compulsive disorder to thrust songs into screen time just for the sake of it.

I wish Gautham had cut the romantic angle from the story and used that space for main storyline.

Hawkeye said...

/*I dunno why tamil movie makers have this compulsive disorder to thrust songs into screen time just for the sake of it. */

completely agree. songs shldnt find a place in most movies.

i had an opportunity to ask why the last scene in KK had surya tearing of tubes and bandages in hospital. it looked so cinematic. the answer was that the producer literally forced him to do something cinematic.

i think the songs. the pre-title sequence etc was a suck up to kamal fans

Venkat said...

/*It doesnt get overawed by the presence of foriegn actors and shows them like normal actors instead of slobbering all over them.*/

Very heartening to know! It's indicative of the fact that we are not overawed by anything foreign anymore.

I just wish that they put an end to all those god forsaken numbers in the streets of other countries.

If I had a rupee for everytime a foreigner reminded me of those songs...!!

good review..

Anonymous said...

' Harris Jeyaraj and the Italian choir group in 'manjal veyil' (the best song)' ?

i thought i saw gautam menon in that song..maybe am wrong..he usually makes an appearance in his movies..

kamal is perfect as the cop..he was better than captain ;-)

Suresh said...

It's bad, shallow review with clichéd descriptions. Not critical at all, fine you like this guy, so what? I hated the movie, it sucked. Oh yeah, KK sucked too.

Hawkeye said...

suresh,

from next time onwards i will express u'r opinions. I rn a blog just to express u'r opinions. what was i thinking about writing what i feel and all.

maybe u shld also tell me on what all topics i shld blog about.

Hawkeye said...

venkat,

bollywood has embarassed india to the core already. what our vijay and co do in swiss will only scratch a ittle

Hawkeye said...

/* i thought i saw gautam menon in that song..maybe am wrong..he usually makes an appearance in his movies.. */

i thought it was s gautham too. then i saw it once more - its HJ

Zero said...

Uh, Bharath, it was Gautham in "Manjal Veyil" song; if you meant the one among some crazy rappers walking behind Kamal and Jyothika, that is.

Suresh said...

{{from next time onwards i will express u'r opinions. I rn a blog just to express u'r opinions. what was i thinking about writing what i feel and all.}} - No thanks, blogs are free and I have one myself.

{{maybe u shld also tell me on what all topics i shld blog about.}}
-- Or you should probably close the comments section altogether Or post a disclaimer "please post only those comments that praise me and boost my ego". What a lame reply!

Hawkeye said...

suresh,

you are partially right. i should allow comments that are logical, sensible, which talk about the blog than the blogger, make specific critisisms and are made by mature people who are aware that other opinions exist.

obviously i am not doing that. i am allowing people to who dont write comments on the post but write comments asking (ordering) me to write how they feel.

Mukundan said...

hawk - suresh seems to be one of those who desparetly wants everybody to agree to his opinion. just because his pea brain did not get the movie he assumes everybody else are idiots like him.

so insecure.

Suresh said...

Let me deconstruct my initial post for you,

{{It's bad, shallow review with clichéd descriptions.}} - This is actually about the blog post, I wonder where I've said anything about you - 'the blogger'. No I'm not asking you to write what I feel you should, I'm clearly telling you that your post is clichéd with trite phraseologies. A straight and specific comment on your post. Do you want me to search in google and pull out sentences that are just like the ones you've used, to explain why I called the post, clichéd? Is that what "matured" people do? Then I might as well be "immature".

{{Not critical at all, fine you like this guy, so what?}}-
Here I'm asking why you can't be critical even if you like Kamal? - still not asking you to write what I feel or making a comment about you - 'the blogger'.

{{I hated the movie, it sucked. Oh yeah, KK sucked too.}} - Here, I'm expressing my stance about VV and KK. Just so that you and others have an idea of how many people like the movies. If you're interested in knowing why I hate the movie you might ask me or follow my link and read it from my blog.

You do neither; instead you post a lame defensive comment. What's worse? A random guy appears out of nowhere to check an old post's comments section. I wonder who conjured him up. "pea brain"? what's the matter, can't find anything better in www.insults-for-chat.com? try this, www.more-clichés-for-losers.com/mukundan.

I wish GM visits each of you people's blog and say "Hey, it's my movie, I can't do what you want me to do" in response to your criticisms (if any).

PS. I think spock has a listed a few logical flaws, adhuve podhum

Anonymous said...

Spock has listed a few logical flaws and suresh has accepted and adored them. Enough has been ridiculed about the movie and your cheap stain applied all over it. You hate VV and KK - bad enough for you - you seem to not want to be happy at all. Go sleep miserably tonight.

Hawkeye said...

suresh,

{{It's bad, shallow review with clichéd descriptions.}} -

this is too specific. please try and be more vague next time. please dont compare ur amazingly brilliant analysis in those 2 sentences with spock's vague and unspecific critisisms. to which i responded in my own vague way. please don't. u are far too specific to indulge in us vague people.

dude, u didnt like the movie. i dont care. i liked it. whats up with you? why are you literally launching a campaign for everyone to take your point of view.

i have critisized the movie in my own way. basically i have covered what everybody has critisized. but u want me to trash this movie because u want to trash this movie.

i can easily say what the other commentor has said. i have given far more disparaging responses to illogical comments.

Mukundan said...

i am random guy and i am appearing out of nowhere. please think that hawkeye conjured me up but reply to my fuckin questions and insults.

dei unakku pidikalainna sootha mudittu poda. nee panrathellam argument illa you are behaving like a troll.

[[ I'm clearly telling you that your post is clichéd with trite phraseologies. A straight and specific comment on your post. ]]

"the world is filled with happiness and lust". this is also a straight and specific comment on the state of the world. i didnt find anything trite. u mind saying whats trite.

[[If you're interested in knowing why I hate the movie you might ask me or follow my link and read it from my blog.]]

you are like a whore begging for a comment. imagine your arrogance, you come and leave a fuckin stupid comment and you expect the blogger to milk you for your royal opinions and maybe give you a blowjob also. be like spock and say your arguments.

hawk - sent u a mail on who i really am.

Hawkeye said...

/* If you're interested in knowing why I hate the movie you might ask me or follow my link and read it from my blog. */

actually i did not notice this until mukund pointed it out.

this is seriously ROTFL. how about doing what you preach? I have told what I like/dislike about this movie in my post. I have read ur blog and ur audio file and disagree with you. but you are the guy who came and commented here. its up to you to make speciic arguments. spock did that and i responded. i maybe incorrected but i respected his patience to write it down.

on the other hand your "lame" comment deserved my "lame" response

/* A straight and specific comment on your post. Do you want me to search in google and pull out sentences that are just like the ones you've used, to explain why I called the post, clichéd? Is that what "matured" people do? */

mukund has articulated the specificness apect much better than i can. your comment was neither specific nor logical. it was a just a trollish comment. a matured person would have pointed out stuff that was "trite" and told me why the 'triteness' wasn't a subjective opinions.

i have long stopped arguing about movies. u reminded me as to why i stopped.

Mukundan said...

@hawkeye: did u read his immature comments in his blog. the idiot is pissed off that Kamal cant prnunce semen properly. thats like one of his biggets points.

this fellow calls himself a cut above the rest in terms of movie appreciation, it seems. somebody should puke on idiots like this. what classic assumption of intellect. somebody needs to tell this idiot that everybody thinks the same way and he ain't doing something which we haven't done or said when we were young and immature.

look at his response to sridhar's comments. what a load of psuedo intellectual crap.

Suresh said...

{{please try and be more vague next time.}} - oh my god! the sarcasm is killing me.

{{please dont compare ur amazingly brilliant analysis in those 2 sentences with spock's vague and unspecific critisisms. }} - I didn't, you are.

well "dude", I wouldn't have "launched a campaign" had you not blown a simple comment out of proportion (with misinterpretations of what was basically a vague comment according to you).

{{i have critisized the movie in my own way.}} - Yeah I know, and I passed a comment on that, just like your review of the movie which is basically a comment. A 3 hour movie got a 500 word review and the 500 word review got a 30 word comment. The movie doesn't change because of your review, and I don't expect you to change your review because of my comment.

Oh no, I don't/didn't expect you to trash the movie, I was just pointing to the fact that you didn't. I should have probably pointed to spock's comments in my first comment, lazy me, I thought "why repeat what's already been told?". It's my fault and I apologize for that.

Anyway, I'll leave this exchange here, it's getting tiringly pointless for all of us.

@Mukundan
{{you are like a whore begging for a comment.}} - Yeah right, comments are going to pay my bills.

Looks like you did go to www.more-clichés-for-losers.com/mukundan, the number of profanities has increased quite dramatically :)).

Anonymous said...

Finally, watched VV this weekend. I had already received a bad review from a friend, so I had nil expectations. End result - I felt that the movie was not that bad. For a Kamal movie and KK director, it definitely was a disappointment, a huge one at that. There were quite a lot of flaww, I am not going into them.

I feel, Thenali (the accent is hard to master) and Panchathantiram were lot better, atleast they were entertaining and could be watched more than once.

Oh well, hopefully, Kamal's next movie will be better. The stills are good.

And its high time, Kamals stops acting with heroines half his age, its disgusting. (And yes, I know this pretty much extends to all the old heroes).

-The Conscience

Anush said...

saw the movie yesterday and liked it. the only thing I didn't want in the movie was that item number in goa/bombay. the rest of it was easy to concentrate on. so did you watch the 2nd half or not?

Anush said...

i meant I 'really' liked it. the cinematography was excellent.

laratish said...

dai Son of a bitch, nee enna titanic director pool sapnuvana.??? unga appa enna 20 oscars vangirukaara..??? periya thevidiya paiyan madhiri paysura...