Monday, February 15, 2010

Aayirathil Oruvan Revisited

It has been 2 weeks since I saw the movie and I still can't get my mind off it. The barbaric second half is so powerful that I could not get those images out of my mind. The first half was reasonably interesting and set-up the 'treasure hunt' part of the movie. The second half was really the payload. It goes into uncharted territory for thamizh cinema. I still have my criticisms. The main ones being the poor thamizh pronunciation, poor casting (of chics in a man's role) and needless use of cheap graphics. But the fact that someone could conceive of such a storyline amazes me. I was lucky enough to catch the unedited version of AO in theaters and it is waayyy better than the edited version.

I still think the reviews were unfair to the movie. I don't think that Selvaraghavan needs a course in screenwriting etc. I think that criticism is unspecific and harsh. Neither did I think the first half was about any sexual chemistry between Karthi, Reema and Andrea. I am not sure why reviewers (drunk in bollywood love stories) ever got that sort of an impression as the first half wasn't about that at all. Unfortunately the (lack of) depth of thamizh knowledge among reviewers is acting as a gating function to this movie. But then I have to confess, I am super impressed with the movie. [side note: Did anybody else think that the last scene with 'pemmane' song had references to cruelty inflicted on eelam thamizhs by IPKF/Sri Lanka ?)

So I have watched every single interview on AO (via You tube) and listened to the songs about 1000 times. The top 3 songs for me are as follows

1. Oh Eesa

(didn't realise it was a remix of 'Srinivasa Govinda Venkataramana Govinda' devotional song until it was pointed out to me). Fantastic video and conceptualization.



2. Thai Thindra manne

What an awesome song!?! the emotion just completely consumes you.



3. Un Mela Aasai Dhaan



4. Pemmane

Purely because PBS sings this song.



20 comments:

Sreekrishnan said...

i agree

on the fact that it is a very good story, very good screenplay - just poorly executed with those CGI...

on the other reviews being very harsh - and yes they are immersed in B'wood cinema like Calling MNIK touching

on the eelam connection - yes. But my friend pointed out though we relate it there, its a very obvious thing back when one kingdom won over the other.

on that Thai thindra Manne... i never liked that song until i watched the movie. And i dont like it without visuals actually...

Did you watch Selva's interview on India Glitz? Very thoughtful words !

zeno said...

Many would readily agree that the entire movie was an allegory to the SL crisis.
Suhasini was giving glowing reviews!
even baradwaj rangan was praising[not sure how u rate him as critic :)]
This is worth checking out!
http://www.uyirmmai.com/Uyirosai/Contentdetails.aspx?cid=2434

Bala said...

The movie reflects Tamizh's status across. Maybe thats why it is striking a controversial tone. People do not want to say it out but still find it hard to ignore..

Anonymous said...

The movie could have been better, especially the second half. Apart from the logic of the Indian army doing a skylanding in a minute's notice and what not, it's hard to fathom that some one would carry a grudge for 800 years.

over all could have been lot better. the director got lost with so much stuff to handle sadly he missed the key things.

having said that we have see worse tamil movies. :-)

-G.

Maddy said...

I saw the unedited version on the first day, late night show and found the second part to be far different than your normal(!) tamil movie.
Also,Why is that some bloggers raise the question "if this movie had been made by shankar"? Mostly these guys had negative comments about the movies!

Anonymous said...

u can watch the movie again at youku.com, pristine dvd rip, thanks to the padupaavi who uploaded it.

Anonymous said...

what on earth is everybody raving about? i watched the dam' thing, and it was riddled with so much illogicality and crude handling that i felt it marked a new low for selvaraghavan, colossal oaf though he may have already proved himself.

hawk, watch uthiri pookkal, aval appadithan, mullum malarum, thappu thaalangal and learn what good tamil cinema is all about.

i realise you will probably cut this comment out, but of course, it's your blog....

Pradeep T R said...

Anon,

Thanks for the youku link. Its indeed pristine dvd rip.

Pradeep Kumar said...

Vairamuthu said in an interview in kumutham or vikatan that his eyes were tear filled after he wrote the lyrics for the thaai thintra manne song. he had based it on the eelam's sufferings. Surprised to see u visitin the same movie twice hawkeye. (youku dint work for me) :(

Sarang said...

The reason I would like to be harsh on this movie is because I know this fellow can do way better than what he did... that's disappointing... and that's why I did not like the movie...

Also, for your top 1 fav. song, what concept are you talking about? I thought, it was too presumptuous and inspired...

another q: what is this about bollywood love stories... tamizh movie love stories drunk people kadayatha?

Anonymous said...

sarang,

mebbe u missed hakkies point on your bollywood love stories comment.... the specific reviewer being referred is not drunk on tamil love stories ;-)

Anonymous said...

It's a torture to hear people talking about Cholan and Pandian when most of us have become Tamilan and Indian. The Bollywood bashing is needless when even Kamal has to remake a Hindi movie in Tamil.

Hawkeye said...

To clarify: my personal opinion is that in this decade (or at least last 5 yrs) bollywood has made much better movies than thamizh. most thamizh movies have been mediocre at best. So don't want to side-track this post to some other topic.

that said, i am a bollywood basher.

Anonymous said...

Have you read this interview on AO - particularly about the Tamil used in
second half ?

http://solvanam.com/?p=6441

Got the link through http://www.sishri.org/ which itself has a lot more interesting articles

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a feelings movie now.

deinonychus said...

Seems like Aayirathil Oruvan was ripped off from this movie

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_of_the_Cannibal_God

Krish said...

Hi ,

I too feel the what you have felt. I found the second half to be too barbaric and treaded paths which were never in a Tamil Cinema. But scenes where Soldiers misbehave with the Cholas (women) could have been avoided and they did not make any sense in the film other than for those who wanted "Paissa Vasool". And I related the fall of Chola King in the last sequences to the fall of LTTE in Srilanka and the plight of Eela thamizhs. Surely this movie is a good on, but could have avoided or shown some scenes with subtlety. And really there were several glaring logical mistakes in the second Half. Thank you.

Extra-Ordinarily Ordinary said...

Solli bulb vangiandhu dhaan michcham.. I have told most of the folks that for a tamizh movie, the level of research and story telling was very good in AO.

But namboor la irukara MASS fans aka rascals ku intro scene, fight song, hip pinching ellam illa naa pidikalai :(

Anonymous said...

Read a Sri Lankan's blog on the comparison of the Chola mannan's last days to Prabakaran's.

http://loshan-loshan.blogspot.com/2010/02/blog-post_06.html

I am a ComplexNumber said...

Agree 100% with the comments. you expressed exactly what i wanted to say. So, thanks. There are Aayirathil Iruvar :-)