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!