Monday, November 28, 2011

Mayakkam Enna

I am getting used to the peculiarities that happen in the 2nd half of a Selvaraghavan movie. Pudhupettai and Aayirathil Oruvan are the Selvaraghavan movies I have seen so far. The other movies I didn't care to see. In all 3 movies the first half seems to be cruising along telling us a good story in an energetic fashion.And the second half takes off in a direction that I never expected it to go. I found the second half of Pudhupettai exhilarating. The second half of AO had its odd moments but was very impressive. Everytime I feel at odds with the direction Selvaraghavan's story progresses in the 2nd half - I kick myself for having an expectation in the first place. I find aksing myself - why shouldn't the story progress in Selvaraghavan's way? It is eccentric but super entertaining nevertheless. Way better than the boring predictability that one is used to.

Mayakkam Enna is a lot about what Selvaraghavan refuses to show us. For example as soon as the second half begins there is a remarkable plot accelerator. I loved that. All the menial aspects of getting to a story milestone were dispensed off with. The story just gets to the point. Then there is another twist that elevates this from a happy-go-lucky movie to something serious. Not that the first half was by any means less good. It dabbles decently on the subject of making a career out of your passion versus having a career and no passion. My wife does not like Selvaraghavan because he has 'vakkra buddhi'. Maybe she has seen more Selvaraghavan movies than I have. But I like his perversion. This movie has a softer version of the same 'vakkra buddhi' seen in Pudhupettai. In that movie the ape just grabs the female from another male. This movie had splendid opportunity to explore this sort of forbidden love. But it plays it down.

What I didn't like about Mayakkam Enna was the angst part. Dhanush's angst wasn't brought out well. The movie spends a lot of time in trying to show it. But it comes off as a little superficial. Instead of showing the angst of a talented wildlife photographer being screwed out of a career, Dhanush shows the angst of a 8th fail boy who has been deprived of a great opportunity to stick Rajinikanth movie posters on the walls of public toilets. Angst has class too. The nick name 'genius' exists for no particular reason. Similarly if in the first half Selva was planning on showing 'carpe diem' as the reason why Richa falls in love with Dhanush then it doesnt come off well. Maybe he wasn't and I was imagining stuff with all that talk about passion and career. I almost felt like the reverse psychology of 'he hates me so much, I gotta love him' was what made Richa fall in love.

I didn't like all this dating, 'I have bought a ring to propose to her' kind of stuff. I also didn't like the 5-6 friends being so close that they live , eat, cry, fry, shit and die together kind of stuff as well. It felt artificial. It seems a little Amerikka wannabe. People who say 'it really happens in India' probably like to think it happens more often than it really does. Even if it really happens, it is so amerikka wannabe that it is an unpleasant sight. There is a cliche with 'wild life photography' being a sole example of having a different career. But since this is the first main stream movie to touch it - I guess we will have to wait until Nanban before really calling it a cliche. I suspect this career will become something like 'I want to be an astronaut' that all 3rd standard kids reply when asked about career choices. The market size for this sort of employment is in single digits yet every school child wants to become one.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I like Selva's movies having its eccentricity-quotient in the 2nd half, but only parts are entertaining. I didn't like AO, one bit. But this movie was very good in parts, and so-so in the rest. The 1st half was very good and the dialogues were the best. I loved the part when Dhanush and Richa have the conversation before he gets slapped for calling her his sister. In the end, it became a mish-mash of "Sindhu Bhairavi" (wife getting a 'genius' back on track) and "A Beautiful Mind" (a very dull ending for a movie like this)
But, what did you make of GV's background score? Not as good as the ones delivered by Yuvan for Selva's movies. The bright side is that, we don't have to listen to his singing in the songs.
At the moment, my android is playing "Naan Sonnadhum mazhai"

-Indolent

elegantstroke said...

hawkeye,

Wildlife Photography already came in a MSM movie, just wasn't in Tamil. 3 Idiots, Madhavan's role.

Anonymous said...

This is a free-make (a remake wihtout paying for the rights) of 'A beautiful mind'.

D.N.A. said...

"Plot accelerator" sounds nuanced, but how the movie came across was jus' plain "Vikraman baani". Solid performances by that surprising new comer & Dhanush are what elevates this sumar screenplay...

thepsychologic said...

@anon remake of beautiful mind? Oh come on, they are miles apart!

bombay dosti said...

Comeon! How about the part when suddenly, the trouser wearing modern girl suddenly starts wearing saree and then this "iron lady" wife who tolerates an abusive husband to make him successful is sickening, to say the least!

I am a ComplexNumber said...

I agree with the "Friends" part of your comment. The rest I dont. I dont think it is a Carp Diem. A girl can easily spot the best man / genius among the crowd and go for it. So I think it was pretty direct. What I dont agree is that just because someone is a genius need not mean they need to be a porikki, they can be rude et al. They can be/ but need not be porikki types.

I think that angst is brought out well. I dont think there should be a "class" to it. "Class" in a sense is artificial. True creators when you observe them real close dont exude / ooze class. They are infact more raw / vakram / direct/ no-nonsense / engrossed-and-lost in their approach.
I liked the rawness, I have seen that in myself and in others who tried to be very honest and be creative and trying to come up with something new. I also like that Dhanush did not spin off another creation like that. True creation doesn't happen often and the pain in creating one is brought out well. The last scene felt like a bit "A beautiful mind", but i like Mayakkam dialogs rather than "Equations of love" dumb dialog from Beautiful mind.

Overall, this creation could not have come out of someone who hasnt gone through pain of creating something new /original. I salute Selvaraghavan. Truely awesome. I like this movie better than aadukalam.