Saturday, January 30, 2010

Aayirathil Oruvan: Too many Ideas in this Broth

Before I write anything about this movie, I'll get one thing out of my system: I feel Selvaraghavan for all his thamizh patru, must be introduced to two strangers. He really should meet them because he seems to have never ever met them before. The strangers are ழ and ள. Once he does meet them he will never say சோல instead of சோழ and irritate the viewer within the first 2 seconds of the movie.

I was impressed with the movie up until the climax scene. In fact while in middle of the gladiatorial scene in the rather strange second-half of the movie, I truly believed that the reviews were unfair to the movie (I still think they are to a certain extent). Selvaraghavan shows enormous amount of talent and creativity but has no discipline in sticking to one idea or story at a time. That climax scene, especially when sane men/woman with guns start dressing up in kavacha-kundalam, was the last straw that broke the backbone of my tolerance. Every listener expects a certain amount of discipline from the story teller. And there is very little discipline in this movie. Selvaraghavan reminded me of my father's bedtime stories to children. It starts with superman and spiderman, but soon they join forces with Hanuman and then Rajinikanth makes an appearance somewhere with some fair doses of Gavaskar and Indian Army thrown in. This movie is somewhat like that.

However, the movie has a very powerful tone and packs a strong narrative. It lingers on your mind for a while after you see it. Selvaraghavan is not known for his subtlety. He does not serve us nuanced stuff cut out precisely with a surgical knife. He takes an axe and beats us with a lot of rawness. So he is likely to evoke extreme reactions from audiences depending on whether you like this kind of rawness of not. I liked most of it. Some of the million ideas he undercooked in this movie were pretty good. The entire first half was very engaging. Now that I think about it Pudhupettai , another movie I loved from Selvaraghavan, was a also a case of good first half and an eccentric second half. I loved the eccentricities of Pudhupettai's second half than those of this movie. Having said that, I did enjoy this movie's second half because it woke me up from the coma caused by the medicority of recent thamizh movies. I only wished that he had shown more discipline to limit the second half to one or two ideas. In fact I think this movie would have been much better if he did not get the finances to make a mega budget movie.

Two other flaws that contributed to making an average movie out of this excellent concept with patches of awesomeness is (a) Casting and (b) needless CGI. To put it bluntly: women as an archaeologist and Army officer, that too in Thamizh cinema, look more irritating than funny. Thamizh cinema is the only place where you either have a boring Nasser as a psychiatrist/science-man/doctor or its straight to the other extreme where someone hot like Nayanthra etc plays a slutty psychiatrist. Reema Sen's introductory scene is unbelievable for its cheesiness and needless bandha. She does not fit that role at all. Neither does Andrea. Because they aren't regular women, they are 1.5 hot chics (Andrea isn't that hot..sorry) who can't speak the language. While I am okay with them stripping down, peeing in a vessel and sexing up Karthi etc, I am not taking their 'i only shoot with 2 pistols' military role and 'ola chuvadi' reading skills thing seriously. If Selvaraghavan had real integrity, he would have put a very good actor in both those roles and found a different way to get sexy chics some screen time. On performances, Karthi plays a role that connects the common movie goer to the characters in the movie. His character keeps the show very interesting and in the process he probably earns himself some star value.

The second flaw is graphics. I am not referring to the poor quality of the graphics shown in this movie. But to the fact that the director did not need them to get his desired impact. Whatever came floating out of the water was more funny than scary. Reminded me that good movie making is not about showing such creatures but making the audience feel them. Once you have fast-forward type scenes to make slow-moving chics appear as if they are quick moving action stars, you can be assured that the movie is doomed. Many times when these CGI thing appeared, I thought that Selvaraghavan could have clearly avoided this and still got the desired effect via some other way. This movie made me a little sad though. It had aspects that are underreprsented in Thamizh movies and those aspects are really entertaining to watch. To see them mixed with so much nonsense is extremely sad. I would recommd the movie though. It was never boring for a moment. I liked it.


Anonymous said...

Pretty shocking that u forgot to mention about ur acquaintance with karthi during ur college days?!!

Have read it quite a few times in ur earlier posts..

Manasa said...

Looks like need to meet M/s periya-kaal and chinna kaal as well. That is, சோழ/ல instead of சொழ/ல as the case may be.

Not a big deal, but when you want to make a point, it looks better if you get your facts right :)


Hawkeye said...





Rad said...

Liked UR review. I will watch it. I need to know the rating. PG-?

Venky said...

I loved the movie.. Its so damn cool to find someone who liked it.

Anonymous said...

Finally the review has come out. But you have not mentioned that karthi was your college mate and what great potential he has to be an actor. I liked the movie too

Gradwolf said...

Agree with mostly everything. But yeah, the whole thing had such a weak start. Totally unnecessary all the oomph and pseudo attitude from 'archeologists' in the beginning.

Vee Cee said...

was waiting to read your review to see if you would mention the following:
1. should have done a better job of trying to portray karthi as a regular guy - he shows his potty mouth in the intro scene but the same does not make appearances elsewhere in the movie.
2. after the rainy night scene, with him sandwiched between two, sorry, 1.5 hotties, a few seconds of screen time showing (or even hinting), shall i put it......."practising his mantra" (ref: Ace Venture - When Nature Calls), would have made this movie a trend-setter!!!!

MLC said...

nice review and plesantly diffrnt frm othr reviews!! evn i felt tht the movie critcs were being konjam over w/ their views of it being a "big let dwn"!! i thot the 1st half was gd and 2nd 1/2 cud've bn edited (so shrtr) and it wud've bn a movie worthy enuf to watch!

Anupadmaja said...

Oru dhaba definite aa paakalaam :)

I felt it was a concoction of atleast: Pirates of the Caribbean, King Kong, Gladiator, Indiana Jones and Paruthi Veeran :)

Pradeep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pradeep said...

Liked your 4th para on the chics.

/Thamizh cinema is the only place
where you either have a boring Nasser as a psychiatrist/science-man/doctor or its straight to the other extreme where someone hot like Nayanthra etc plays a slutty psychiatrist./

ROTFL.. Also, the film in which Nayanthara was an extremely hot Project leader in some IT company and Dhanush talking of Indian GDP growth in a Group discussion. Ore tamasu..

blackaccord said...

I haven't seen the movie yet but I was ROTFL watching the trailer where the two (ok.. may be ondrai) hotties were cursing at each other .... konjam overa thaan irukku..:)

Sreekrishnan said...

Bang-on the CGI thing. edukka therila !

Anupadmaja: If you are using Indiana jones for Genre, then i would say titanic was like Chinnathambi. [i have said this multiple times multiple places], Its just a genre and i think its like composing 2 songs with the same raaga !

zeno said...

A very fair balanced review.

Anonymous said...

and that part where Andrea, the archeologist could speak Piya piya but not sanga tamil.


Anonymous said...

next post should be on tamizh padam...

Hawkeye said...


rating: certainly not for children.


I still cant get it out of my mind. Its a compelling movie.


i am wondering if selvaraghvan has met Iravadhan M. He sould have really put someone like Rajesh as an archeologist (pratap pohen his brther) and made Andrea his sexy daughter who joined him for vacation etc.


point #1 is okay. point #2 is too much for this movie.


i think reviewers, especially sudhish's review, were expecting this movie to stick to a formula. big mistake.


the scratching of armpts must'e been from a rajkiran movie


the costume design and the office layout made me lose interest in yaaradi nee mohini.


yes most audience would be yawning at that scene. Selva totally tanked on segmentation there.




Andrea was a complete miscast. More so than Reema.


release aagliye.

Viji said...

I wanted to see this movie, but the trailer made me change my mind.

If you must, "yoo shaatap yoo phucking beach. yaaaaaah raight" helped quell my curiosity.

mr.weirdo!! said...

i stumbled upon ur blog i should say this review of AO is by far the best i have read - more than mine - coz i felt i limited only 2 d flaws in mine while u balance both. But 1 point i dont agree wid u is i loathed the 1st half ... so amateurish.

I am a ComplexNumber said...

The one major good thing about this movie is that it completely transported me to a different world for the whole time (Except for the funny creatures).

Hats off to Selvaraghavan.