Friday, May 11, 2007

Movie Review : Unnale Unnale : Bad

If TaraRumPum was a Hindi man's wet dream of a desi competing in Nascar, the Tamil man indulges in his own erotic sexual fantasy of a civil engineer/architect going to Australia on a six-month 'project'. Narain Karthikeyan be praised for infusing such a fantasy among Tamils. While Hindi cinema is all optimistic and ga-ga over a non-existent Indian domination in Nascar and western world, Tamil cinema is its usual mean, dark, cynical self. Focusing on the 'interesting' part of the statistic that claims that 50% of all love efforts go unrequited. Inox theater although not as large as the Devis and Sathyams of the world - is well-maintained and the interior decoration is very pleasing. It is located in the top floor of City Center Mall, Radhakrishnan Salai.

Of course I had several other idiots sitting with me inside the theater. One jumped the line at the ticket counter, claiming he was VIP. He wore a nasty Coat/Suit thing to prove it. This caused considerable distress among the people who were standing in front of me. People objected and harrassed the security guard, who quickly blamed the counter guy and disassociated him from the melee. I felt that the VIP dude should have been given tickets out of sympathy. Any guy who wore a blazer in May needs to be either sent to a mental hospital or 'Unnale Unnale'. If only he showed his prescriptions. My friend and I politely advised the VIP to do such things back-doors and not do it 'bagirangam' in front of every body. This upset a few more people. Inside the theater, things got much better. There was an idiot who was laughing out loud in a screeching voice for every horrible joke that was uttered on screen. He would loudly repeat the joke himself, in case the others in the theater missed the joke that emanated from 30 sets of blaring speakers, kept at maximum volume. He would repeat it and then laugh loudly in his own scratching 'rettai kural'. I couldn't complain because many many years before I had carried a monkey like this to the theater. Two monkeys. Beyond this, there were around 100 people on cell phone talking loudly in 3 different languages. It seemed as if some one projected this movie on a screen in Ranganathan street. Reminded me of the experience of watching Matrix 2 in Pune.

Jeeva wrote, what I would rank among the best screenplays ever in Indian cinema. 12B was a misunderstood and under-appreciated movie (Correction: As anonymous commentor points out, 12B's screenplay was written by K.Bhagyaraj. That makes me happy because I think he is the best in the business of screenplays). So, I went to this movie with considerable expectations. Maybe, I had to walk into two bad movies in two days, which is why I walked into this confused messy movie. The actors in this movie often snap out of their characters and talk to us. That is a very risky undertaking. It might work in a French movie that has an awesome script. With a script as fetid and festering as the one Jeeva has here - such gimmicks look amateurish. You are tempted to say "dei vennai, mudittu padatha podraa ngoiyya". Bad acting, bad story, bad execution, dominated this movie. The only positives being excellent songs (June Ponaal is a really good song) and some very good picturization. Although a few jokes were funny, having Raju Sundaram say an SMS joke was not ( the laughing guy literally had an orgasm for that poor joke, he screamed loud, paused and yelped). This new baby-faced hero showed all signs of rawness. He alternated between poor and decent acting. As luck would have it again, the heroine was Sada. She is so Saada. Where are all the bouncing Bettys such as Namitha and Malavika when I go to watch a movie? The other girl was really bubbly and cute. Thank god for such small mercies.

This movie essentially focuses on an unrealistic over-possessive girl (Sada) who decides to accept the proposal of another unrealistic over-flirting Casanova types. After their multiple break-ups and when-harry-met-sally kind of Boy Vs Girl dialogs she breaks up with him big time. Sada is actually an alien from outer-space with a belief that men should not letch at other women after they are commited. Vinay, clearly a human being, disagrees. There was a huge applause for the very pedestrian and extremely stupid Boy Vs Girl dialogs. I agree that some were good. But I was surprised when the entire theater began to furiously applaud for patent nonsense. One would be tempted to take them aside and examine these people for signs of human traces. So on this incredible, dangerous and James Bond'ish assignment to Australia, this guy befriends a chic on the plane. Sada, well who else, comes to pick up the girl and the usual bubbly girl Vs conservative girl tiff ensues. This boy renews his focus and tries to woo Sada again and again. God knows why? Sada's character is so obnoxious and the Deepika chic is so hot. 2 + 2 = 4? The bubbly girl, who graciously decides to play cupid wants to put a few arrows for herself. The end while not being very obvious is not too great either. The path to the end is even more painful. The actors snap out of their character and tell us 'day 1', 'day 2' etc at the beginning of every new day. This looks disconnected. No one knows what they mean and why they say such things.

Both TaraRumPum and this movie indulged in unneccesary screenplay gimmicks of showing some middle part of the movie first and then going back in time to narrate events that lead to whatever was shown in the beginning. That it worked in 'Kaakha Kaakha' so well, only means that such a style fitted well with KK's story. In these 2 movies it looks like a cheap trick. Jeeva, so far, is all ego and fluff.


Anonymous said...

hullo.. jeeva ku avalo hype vendam go.. he only directed 12B.. the screenplay for 12B was written by Bhagyaraj..

chk out this link if u dont believe me..

jeeva is an ordinary director.. avalo thaan... but still unnale unnale wasnt as bad as ur description of ajit-agarkar-vomit-tararumpum.. unnale unnale is a timepass movie and time will pass only for the 1st time u watch it.. that is all.. of course it wud hav been better if they had replaced someone else with sada and probably madhavan with that new comer..

in case u want to watch a better film, then watch chennai600028.. it is not exactly a classic.. but a much better film than the ones comin out now.. of course there is the first rate mozhi...

Hawkeye said...


mistake corrected. i have always held that bhagyaraj was the best screenplay writer I have ever seen. I mistakenly gave credit to jeeva for 12B. In retrospect it looks obvious.

still UU is a bad movie. If you notice I didnt give it a vomit rating.

Anonymous said...

chennai 28 is a ok movie is pieces.. u would appreciate the movie more if you have played street cricket...

made me feel a bit nostalgic..


Saravanan said...

Wikipedia is not a creditable source. In this they are wrong. Checkout this.
Jeeva wrote the screenplay and Baghyaraj helped him in screenplay. Thats it.

Again 12B story is not a original one. It is ripped of from a English movie called Sliding Doors.

Yuvi said...

Next time you feel like that, remember this cartoon

Yuvi said...

Correction: Make that a "crappy cartoon" instead of just plain ol' cartoon.

Karthik.H said...

hard to believe this guy made the Brilliant 12B and the mushy Ullam Ketkumey...(btw, no references to the latter?)

K.Shyam said...

and 12b is itself a take-off/rip-off on a german movie called "Run Lola Run", which incidentally starred a little known actress called Franka Pwiotente, before she became famous through the movie "Bourne Identity"

Ganesh T S said...

I watched UU too with much expectations (considering that both 12B and Ullam Ketkumae are in my DVD Rip collection), hoping to add one more to my list. Alas, Jeeva disappoints too much. Both 12B and Ullam Ketkumae had no major foreign locale shooting as far as I remember. Now, with a much bigger budget, and the premise of much of the story based on foreign locales, Jeeva has not been able to perform up to his potential.

Hawkeye said...


planning to watch ch-28 soon.


ya I saw sliding doors as soon as it got released and also knew that 12B was a ake-off on it. But 12B was such an awesome take-off

regarding screenplay: nandri for at least putting me on partially-correct status :-)


ennathu ithu.

karthik H,

I havent seen ullam ketkume


agreed. some times shooting in forign is a distraction

-j- said...

The Day one, Day two thingy was sooo Kal ho Na ho... felt as though it was forcefully fitted in the screenplay..

Anonymous said...

Apart from drawing inspiration from English movies, this Jeeva dude generously lifts sub-plots and scenes from Bollywood! The entire Sunil Shetty - Jyothika subplot in 12B was from Dil To Pagal Hai (Akshay-Madhuri, anyone?). He has done it again in UU and if I am not mistaken something like that in UK.

Nevertheless, 12B is a really good movie.


sagaro said...

12 B was taken from a movie called "Sliding doors" where it was a female who on one track got into a train whose door is closing and on the other track she misses the train.

Run Lola Run is totally different. It is one female doing different stuff and which ends better...

Nilu said...

The King thinks this movie is one of the best. Now what do you have to say?

Hawkeye said...


havent seen kal-ho-na-ho but the 'day1' stuff would make sense only if something were to happen in 10 days. to have this withut any time limit reflects poorly on the director.


havent seen dil-to-pagal-hai. but i wud imagine this morai-maaman sub-plot to be extremely common even in tamizh movies.


ru lola run might touch upon a slight similar concept of stimulus Vs results but you cant say that sliding doors is a copy.


i wud have liked to say 'defense rests' or 'need i say more'. but my dad saw a tamizh movie, unnale unnale, after 10 or so years and thought it was a very good movie. he even felt tat the quality of thamizh cinema had increased. en thalai-ezhuthu. maybe never-really-watch-movies kind of person is jeeva's segment.

Yuvi said...

What happened to the comment I posted?

Anyway, I just said that those people have a bug in their brain systems...

I was trying to be funny...

anantha said...

Ya.. you should watch Chennai 600028. It is crappy, but much more "true to real life" than most recent Tam movies.

Anonymous said...

Unnale Unnale is a fantastic movie - all you people out there too narrow minded to appreciate a different type of movie. so what if he ripped off 12B based on Gwyenth Paltrow's Sliding Door - you need skills to even do good rip offs. Didn't you enjoy the Mrs. Doubtfire rip off by Kamal Hassan's Avvai Shanmughi - another good rip off movie. You people are too consumed by the same old formula - boy meets girl, falls in love, enter villain, split for while, then they join again - happy ending. Learn to appreciate some new stories. Climax is the best part of this movie.

In 2007, there were only few movies worth watching - Mozhli & Unnale Unnale. So STOP whining about rip off...who cares who wrote the screenplay, it's a team effort. No wonder Tamil cinema will ever make any splash at the OSCARS.

Anu said...

Ayyo Hawkeye, indha review a padikkama indha padatha paathu tholachen. Kodumai.

Phoenix said...

Well... Apart from the looks of actor and actress(which is mostly well done in Jeeva's movies), I don't see anything interesting in this movie.

First of all there is no need for the story to be in Australia. I thought that Jeeva was confused himself, whether sadaa is a student or working professional in Australia.(given that she reads some chemistry book in a scene). Cinematography is Jeeva's specialization and we can't complain about that. Songs are good and monotonous to previous films of Harris.
sadaa was the only one who fits her character and acted responsibly. Vinay - first ask him to open his eyes while delivering dialogues; If he thinks closing his eyelids is some kind of style, he is wrong. It's ok once in while, he does that in whole film. (Usual formula of shyam , which suits him)
Tanya was charming and bubbly, no doubt. But acting is not her genre. Acting and modeling are two different industry, though there is transition between two. And acting is not Tanya's strength.
At one point, in second half, I was nearly sure that Tanya and Vinay(characters in movie) were escaped from an Asylum. God, it was so much annoying when they keep advising audience(esp for gals) about what is love, what it feel like being guy and gal.
Intended comedy scene were real negatives for film and I was wondering if that separate comedy track was so important!!
Jeeva, we have expected something more from you after seeing 12B and Ullam ketkume. It was a kind of entertainer but quality of film.. big disappointment.