Thursday, March 01, 2007

Movie Review: Pachai Kili Muthu Charam

Pachai Kili, though significantly better than the movie version of Derailed, fails exactly where its Hollywood counterpart failed. When I saw Derailed, the thing that struck me instantly - was that - the seduction happened too soon. Lucinda was too quick, too smooth, too easy. A girl, that too a married girl, with looks like Jennifer Aniston or Jyotika don't come so quick. Men like Clive Oven and Sarath Kumar should know that. The accelerated seduction is exactly where both the movies fail to impress the audience. People are left thinking -why? In both movies I instantly thought "this cant be for real". The key to convert the slow-moving-gradual-seduction-novel into a movie is to make the seduction look real. Gautham did the right thing by thinking-like and aping Balu Mahendra. After all nobody can do movies on extra-marital flings better than Balu Mahendra. If "Rettai Vaal Kuruvi" was a slow and humoros deterioration from the marriage orbit for Mohan, Balu Mahendra showed man's fundametal weakness for sex and deviation from monogamy within 15 minutes in "Marupadiyum".

While Gautham does a significantly better job of filming and styling the movie than Balu( which is an achievement in itself - Balu is a hard act to follow), the "natural-ness" of falling prey to temptation is an art that only Balu is a master of. Gautham fails here big time. I thought, the casting of Jyotika in itself, given her family-girl image, was a casting coup of sorts. It was seriously a master stroke. But Jyotika's whore-like costume worked against her. Something didn't gell right. If only she was shown as a nose-ring'less, regular dressed, working-mom slowly and surely falling for Sarath Kumar - this movie would have been significantly better. Why does Gautham fail big-time in aping Balu Mahendra? His failure to control Sarathkumar's role. Sarath Kumar has an image to protect and he can't be shown as a philandrer. So he is shown as a reluctant participant in adultry, which craters the spirit of the story. Balu's vision of men was that - Men are fundamental sexual creatures. They stray. According to him, they are wired that way. They are creatures, who make their wife believe that they are the only 'uthaman', rest are porikkis and then they drive the auto-rikshaw in the cycle gap. Thats his legacy. His version of "men are from mars - women are from thooka-nayakam-petti-palayam" To show men as Sarathkumar is a parody. A blasphemy. Crazy Mohan wasn't far off in Sathi-Leelavathi (another Balu master piece) when he wrote "Ambalaingalukku soice'o chanc'o koduthuda koodathu". It takes a Kamala Hasan to boldly play a married and obvious flirter (Mouli's role in Nizhal Nijamaakirathu comes to mind- though he is unmarried but old in that movie). SarathKumar here is significantly less bold and less ambitious than Kamal Hassan. With him shown as a passive participant, the final nail on movie's coffin is hit. I think the tamil world has come far away from the days where women bent over backwards to seduce MGR and he still refused.

These are simply the two main reasons why the movie failed (a) Jo is too fast in wanting to get some sack-time with Sarathkumar. (b) Sarathkumar showing surprising (and needless) restraint and puts no effort to get Jo' in bed. Its anti-nature. Plain and simple.

I liked the movie though. It was significantly better than the english version, which I thought was amateurish and sucky. Gautham has class. He only picturizes three and half songs (Omits Bombay Jeyashre's version of that Awesome song), keeps the movie real and packs some style into it. Who ever did costumes for Sarath/Andrea and designed their house needs to be applauded. I'd like to arrange my house like that (the last time I felt so was when PC Sreeram designed Mohan-Revathi's house in Mouna Raagam ). Sarathkumar repeats what he did in Dasarathan (the last Sarath movie I saw). Manirathnam and Kitty brought a sense of restraint in him and made him play it real. Gautham does it to an extent. Until the last 30 minutes. For the first 2 hours it was Venkatesh, Sales Rep for Alpha Pharama, playing the hero of the movie. The last 30 minutes had "mega star" Sarath Kumar replacing him and single-handedly beating up 40 baddies. That somehow spoiled the rhythm of the movie. I did not like this Andrea chic. I did not think she was beautiful. I am not surprised many people find her beautiful. People found Suvalakshmi and Kamalini Mukherjee beautiful. I hated both of them. But thats just me.

Gautham's villians are always special. They are cold, ruthless, have a vile tongue and generate serious fear, even for a seasoned movie goer. But somehow he has developed this fascination for long-haired villians (Jeeva, Daniel Balaji, Milind Soman). From hearing Gautham dub for Milind Soman here, I am beginning to suspect that he may have dubbed for Jeevan in Kaakha Kaakha(I have to check the credits in the DVD). Its allright to have these long-haired villians spewing venemous dialogs. But after a while it gets repetitive. Gautham could have changed that style by having a woman (in this movie) spew venom and play a real hard-core baddie. But he fails to capitalize on this wonderful opportunity. I thought the execution of the last 30 minutes was cinematic, unreal and against the flow of the movie. After seeing kaakha Kaakha, I wrote a review of it and sent it to Karthik. He forwarded that mail to his brother. A few weeks later he got back to me on Surya's opinion of my critisism (ofcourse I boast :-) ) of the hospital scene. He said "the producers wanted something for the front benchers, they forced this overly dramatic scene into the movie". That scene did not kill the classic Kaakha Kaakha but this last 30 minutes of masala, if force-fed on Gautham by the producers, killed Pachai Kili. Just to end, I still think this is a avery good movie but the bar for Gautham, unfortunately is higher than the level this movie manages to jump.


spkarthi said...

the last few minutes are waste in the movie..

Anonymous said...

>>"I am beginning to suspect that he may have dubbed for Jeevan in Kaakha Kaakha(I have to check the credits in the DVD)"

Come on, it's already part of the villain folklore. Gautham did dub for Jeevan in Kaakha Kaakha. In fact, he had dubbed for four different characters in the film - himself (as the nonchalant, look-this-is-how-encounter-cops-stare-at-you erstwhile-encounter specialist with a hit ratio of 26 out of 27), Jeevan (as the John Doe-wannabe gangster), and two other minuscule roles.

Anonymous said...

Not to forget that he dubbed for Ilamaaran, one of the villain duo in Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu. (He's the ultimate villain dubber-cum-director, post Bharathiraja.)

Anonymous said...


how bout a review of TRs veerasamy ?

anantha said...

So naan sonnadhu correct-a thappa?

MLC said...

"i still think its a very good movie" ....

yaaee! so i was rite ! unga "best movies" list le varaama irukalaam but ungalukku pudikum nu na sonnadhu, correct!
p.s.: i simply lvd tt house in MR and thot i wantd mine to b like that too!!!

Scout said...

Mouna Ragam-la veedu set panradhu art director Thottadharani velai illaya? ..PC Sriram yen adellam seivaaru? ..hmmmm

Venkatachalapathy Causikaramasundareswaran said...

Why does Gautham fail big-time in aping Balu Mahendra?
Is he even trying to? I hope to god not.

Anonymous said...

in the course of the watching movie we were wondering that for a change sharat kumar is not fighting a whole village...well the climax proved me wrong :(

my suggestion is do watch ur friend Kartik's movie paruthi veeran...its really different..a refreshing village based story
and no one will believe it his first movie...

and priya mani was looking good..

i would not be surprised if the movie wins an award or two


Anonymous said...

This entire movie is a remake, and credit should have gone to this director only if he had managed to do something outstanding in this movie. He does not even come close. Its no big deal to see an english movie, and making a remake and correct the flaws .. The talent lies in correcting flaws in ur own movie. Anyone can see a movie and spot the mistakes. I dont think the producers forced Gautham to add more masala to the climax for the masses. By now, Gautham is a big name, and he should be able to command more respect and trust. He himself added the masala, and like sarath kumar in the movie just pretends to be a hesistant participant , which is what people what. He should have more guts by now. He is getting to be pretty repetitive. His villans all have long hair , but this in itself is not the irritation point . They are not the cool-thinking villians, but total maniac looking madmen, who put their hair in front of their face and scream (VV) , and that is called good acting. Lets hope he at least tries to do something original in his next movie...He has totally ruined the reputation he built with kaaka kaaka , and is going the mani ratnam way , where people are irritated when they see the "mani rathnam touch " , which is repeated in so many movies.

Hawkeye said...


i agree.


i know. when KK came out I was in a different world. so didnt notice it. you know what happened to me during VV in chicago. so i shld be excused.


even if i see. i cant wite a eview. even if i write one u wont read it. enakku ithu thevaiyaa.


u r right. but i later read bbthots review of same movie and cudnt believe how similar our reviews were.


as per my reply to ur prev blog comment. u are korrictu. i liked the movie.


PCS said so in an interview.


its their in all gautham interviews. he himself said that he tried to ape Balu


paruthi'um release aagallai in detroit. i hate detroit.


what say makes sense and has logic. totally agree

raj said...

sp karthi = sivakumar palainsamy karthi (ie) Surya's bro?

Tara said...

tht was a nice way of reviewing .. i ddint like the last part of the movie.....was ok.. not that satisfying as the entire fav song is " UNAKKUL NAANE " tht i hear at . its legal.

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