Let us examine how the logical settings in this fellow's brain is configured. Consider this hypothetical scientist. This scientis extols the virtue of The Sun. The scientist says, " the sun sustains life on earth, the sun provides valuable vitamin D..etc etc". The way Mr. Rangan will criticise this scientist is as follows - "but you are living in Earth. If you like the Sun so much, why don't you go and live in the Sun. Why do you live on Planet earth, drive on planet earth, see the moon every night, drink water from planet earth and go and praise the sun". That is how logic works in his mind. In the minds of elistist tools like him who suck up and pander to indhi audience - the "qualification" someone needs to have to praise thamizh is that one must not (a) wear jeans (b) drive german cars (c) one shouldn't make movies shot in forign locales.
So per the logic of Baradwaj Rangan type people - if you say Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina or claim that Jupiter is larger than Planet earth - the actual fact of whether or not Buenos Aires being a capital or not / jupter being larger than earth or not - does not matter at all. He will refute both points based on something that is irrelevant to those facts - you. He will say that because you have never visited Bueno Aires or Jupiter and have lived all your life in India - you cannot state anything about it. So Rangan does not care about the actual facts that Murugadoss and Surya seem to be saying. Rangan's claim is that because Murugadoss had a song called 'Ragamuffin' and wore jeans and drove in a german car - he is instantly eliminated as a candidate for promoting thamizh history. Less educated people like baradwaj Rangan believe a lot in Mutual Exclusivity. They have rigid narrow views that in order for a person to say X - the person must be steeped in X. Any trace of Y in that person and that is enough to kill the man. Someone wanting to co-exist with X and Y (say drive a german car and want to promote thamizh history) will be trashed as incongruous. That is because people like Baradwaj Rangan cannot comprehend complexity or nuance.
The talent that Baradwaj Rangan type reviewers have is that they can trash or praise any movie regardless of the actual merits of the movie. The logical flaws that he points out in Shruthi Hasan's transport mechanisms - he could have pointed that out in Manmadha Ambu and Ravanan. Instead he over praises those movies. Even Maniratnam may not have realized that the white salwar Aishwarya was wearing in Raavanan represents her chastity, that ploiceman vikram shoots someone in dark night t show his demon'like quality. But reviewers who need return favors will use any angle to over-reach and praise bad movies.On the other hand they will unfairly trash other movies if they have no incentive in the offing.
My thoughts on the actual movie: It is not a good movie. I am not saying this to avoid the perception that I am trashing Baradwaj because I disagree with him and think that the movie is good. The movie is bad - but not for some of the reasons Baradwaj has mentioned. And his reasons are insidious and illogical. I thought the movie had its heart in the right place but Murugadoss' inherent lack of class in story telling brought it down. As I noted in the Ghajini review - Murugadoss lacks class. He is persistently loud and uncouth. The logical flaws in the movie didn't bother me. I was willing to be led by the ambitious approach. The movie claims that we have no sense of preserving historical information and so that in effect means that whatever recourse bodhi-dharman prescribed for the deadly chinese disease - we must've have lost that information. That is the basic premise of the movie. (Note B Rangan's stupid question on the same subject).
Murugadoss cannot seem to decide if he wants to make a movie for A center or C center. He has a story that is inherently A center. But he decorates it with stuff that is targetted at C center. In the end the movie falls through the cracks and is neither sophistcated, underplayed or nuanced nor is it out and out masala. What it becomes is a good story trapped within a formulaic thamizh movie structure and language. Who in the world introduced thamizh cinema to these 50,000 cuts per second rule. Movie makers today sem to think that the faster and higher the number of screen cuts - the more brisk the pace of the movie. That is not true at all. It didnt help that the songs were horrible. It didnt help that the director forgot to have a tense tight narrative and abandoned everything midway to deliver a sermon.
It is true that thamizhs are losing the essence of their culture. It is also commendable that people like Surya and Murugadoss are marketing the features of thamizh civilization to create more awareness. That part of the movie got me on its side. I also thought it was very bold of the movie to state an anti-reservation and anti-religious conversion message. Murugadoss is scratching the edges of what I think is the truth. That I thought was really profound for a commercial director. But at the same time a little more nuanced story telling might've helped. Srilankan thamizh issue is too important and too senstive an issue to be a one-liner. All the items (60% of the movie) he aded for masala effect was not entertaining. I dont think C center people would've been entertained either. But it was important that this movie was made.