Friday, February 01, 2013

Maniratnam's Kadal : Movie Review

There is an episode in Seinfeld where George says "I don't have anything to say to anyone". I think Manirathnam should take a cue from that. He really doesn't have anything left to say anymore. Kadal is by far the most boring movie I have seen in the recent past. You get the usual things that the 'The Hindu' newspaper people mention in all their reviews - like great cinematography, good technical aspects, good soud engineering, good back-lighting, good light-boy effects, good still photography and that kind of stuff. But in terms of story this movie is the biggest araicha maavu, I have ever seen. I really wanted to see a good movie. I was hoping I'd get to see a good movie after a long time. However, this movie has absolutely nothing going for it. It has no subtlety or any layers (unless you are Baradwaj Rangan and you are making stuff up as you interpret the movie ;-) ).

The problem with the movie is its poor story and poorly paced story telling. A good movie maker is generally expected to say a good story and say it in an interesting way. If you are Manirathnam you probably need to raise the bar by saying new stuff in new ways. This movie is Thalapathy with a few modifications to the Mamooty character. Arjun plays the Mamooty character and plays it as totally evil person with no shades of grey (He reminds us every 20 minutes or so that he is Satan). Arvindh Samy is the Arvind Samy of Thalapathy (his acting hasn't improved an ounce either) and is a Saint (no I am not kidding). Manirathnam even gives them black shirt and white shirt for fanboys to over interpret. Gautham plays the Rajinikanth character with zero ounce of subtlety or acting ability. The group, I went with concluded that after Maniratnam saw Thulasi act, he probably changed the mental condition of the character to match reality. All-in-All Manirathnam has flogged the 'Nallavana Kettavana' theme until the public begs to Yesu for forgiveness.

Lastly, and I cant stop myself from writing this, the tone of the movie makes me super curious. I have not gone to a mainstream movie and seen this much Jesus (or for that matter any other Kadavul) sshown in a movie (While I havent seen them I excluded the Amman, Ayyapa type movies as non-mainstream propoganda movies). I may have short-term memory loss. But Manirathnam - a professed atheist - making an out and out Yesu propaganda movie is very strange. I guess any director can choose the subject he wants. But if you asked me whether I saw this coming - I didn't see Manirathnam resorting to religion to preach morals coming at all. And make no mistake this is a 3 hour preachathon. The pace of the story was incredibly boring and made one want to shout "enakku thandanai kodunga" like Sarkarai Gounder. On top of it there was this religious thing repeatedly shown on your face. Sometimes its nice to show a cultural aspect of a society but over doing it makes it tiresome. The characters kept using a sanskrit word to say 'hi and 'bye'. This is probably a word that the missionaries in fisherman's society have appropriated (I thought Sanskrit word was Sthothram - but they kept saying it differently). Those things could've been a decent 'culture' tour if they didn't over do it. One could probably appreciate the research Manirathnam has made to make this all sound authentic - but for that the movie needed to have something.

Retire already Mani!

20 comments:

amas said...

// It has no subtlety or any layers (unless you are Baradwaj Rangan and you are making stuff u[ as you interpret the movie ;-) ).//
Good one! :-))

Thanks a ton for saving me from watching the movie.

//Retire already Mani!//
Succinctly put!

amas32

Anonymous said...

ha ha. I loved the bit about 'The Hindu' reviews. It rung so true. That's what the reviews used to be like (thankfully, they've changed). First, they would tell the whole story faithfully. Then they would go "X gave a decent portrayal as the hero's friend." "K wielded the camera well." "The background score was pleasing" "The scenery was wonderful." :-D

rads said...

oh boy.

can i just go sit there and ogle at Arvind Swamy at least? please?

I said...

When/where did Mani Ratnam profess himself to be an atheist?

Alan Smithee said...

karaghoshangalai yezhuppungal*

* Said with squinted eyes.

Vee Cee said...

"unless you are Baradwaj Rangan and you are making stuff up..."
this followed by the next two paras???????
Seriously, WTF?!?!?!

Now, I shall try to transition from this post, to you ranting about kudikaara/non-veg eating..blahblah... in as few steps as possible.

Anonymous said...

What the yesu slant? Perhaps Mani is aiming for an Oscar, hitching his wagon to ARR, pitching a Christian story to the phoren folks. They may understand the converted natives better than the heathens ...

ammani said...

I wrote this back in 2007, before Guru, Ravanan and Kadal. Avaru spent force.

http://jikku.blogspot.co.uk/2007/11/bee-in-my-bonnet-5.html

(While you're there, please to read 'chockalingam's comment)

Hawk Eye said...

ammani,

thanks for the link. I didn't think I missed any of your posts but - for some reason - I don't remember reading this.

chockalingam's comment was awesome

I am a ComplexNumber said...

" (unless you are Baradwaj Rangan and you are making stuff up as you interpret the movie ;-) )." I was rolling out with laughter

sreekrishnan said...

I think there was a good story but may be you didnt like the setup or didnt get it. But i liked it. i dont think i can defend my points against your arguments which is as good as the movie. :)

mokka musketeer said...

Neenga oru Deergadarisi saar..Look at this..

http://baradwajrangan.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/kadal-coast-analysis/

J said...

Hey there..I stumbled upon this blog by happenstance and i'm glad I did. Yours is a refreshing take on most of the topics you have covered. I haven't read all yours but I'm back tracking your posts and like most of them so far..Good ones..I will bookmark your site.Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Chockalingam is a genius!!

Ramya Mani said...

sss, abaaaa. Thats what I felt after reading Baradwaj Rangan's Coast analysis. Exasperated with his bombastic subtelty layer nonsense. Like Siva says in Vaa quarter cutting : saro, nee oru muttai Kos. urikka urikka layers!
After reading his "arrived" post, I came to your blog and I am SOOOO freaking glad I did. Thanks for being there man. Good reading your site. - Ramya

Anonymous said...

Try "Naduvula konjam pakkatha kaanom"

rameshram said...

http://rameshram.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/kadal-an-alternate-reading/

The insouciant A said...

'Manirathnam even gives them black shirt and white shirt for fanboys to over interpret.'

:)) Too much. Even the youtube trailer was uninspiring enough to keep some of us away!

Anonymous said...

You must watch Solvathellam Unmai on Zee Tamil. I have a feeling you will LOVE it.

Fridayschild said...

I actually wanted to watch this movie after listening to the song 'Moongil Thottam' but have heard nothing but sad reviews about this movie, so I will miss it and save a few $$. But if you want to watch a truly pathetic movie, then its without a doubt 'DAVID'. On second thoughts dont watch it and spare yourself some serious pain. I wanted to kill myself, my husband for taking to watch it and the 6 others who were in the movie hall ( which can seat 250, but only 8 of us turned up. Yes I counted- for the 1st show )that evening.