Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: Paradesi

How do I compare two categories of bad movies. Category A is a kind of movie that had shit material to start with and then was shittily executed by a nincompoop. Category B has awesome material to start with and an incompetent fool makes a shit movie out of it.  Now is the nincompoop more of a shithead or the incompetent fool? I would say the latter. But thats just me.

I don't know a lot about making movies. If I were given unlimited budget and a awesome technical crew, I wouldn't know how to make the characters speak with an even tone, how to adjust the dial so that the actors don't come off as over the top or don't extremely understate the role either. I'd struggle with quite a few things. Apparently I share all of these traits with Bala. The biggest problem I had with this movie was that it wasn't realistic or believable. Its very ironic given that the story really happened. First lets start with the poorly etched out characters. The hero guy cant act for nuts. For some reason he is not shown as a normal human being. Either he is retarded or that is his real acting ability  - but he is so over the top that I was left thinking if this was a movie from the 70s. Then there is his girl - who is also stupid and really over the top. The story was so explosive that there was no need for these abnormal characters to be around. And whats with the horrible dubbing? Is this an amateur movie?

When you have a great story you need some creativity and imagination to tell it nicely, engage the viewer and maybe deliver a knockout performance. The story should provide situations that makes the viewer empathize withe characters and go on a roller coaster ride. You know - the "Show, Don't tell" policy.  Bala lists each of these departments and botches them up in order. In this movie nothing happens that can even remotely called creative. Its not sincere enough to be called a documentary either. The entire first half is build up to a situation where people get themselves into shit. It has a wedding, a funeral, some hanky panky, and tasteless jokes. All done by some really bad actors with loud over the top voices. The second half is about what that shit they got themselves into looks like. Its bad. But then the movie is not about how bad that shit is. It is about how many people cry and for how long. You know - the "tell, don't show" botch-up. The second half is not about the situation. Its about crying, crying and really more crying. The movie is bloody freaking mind-numbingly boring. I couldn't believe it was 2 hours long. It felt more like 2 years inside a prison. It not about reactions to different situations. Its about same reaction to same situation. One trick keeps playing again and again.

I haven't seen a Bala film after Sethu. I thought Sethu was a tasteless movie for C center audience who don't require refinement in movie making. I stopped seeing Bala movies after that assuming the over-rating that he receives was from people with poor taste in movies. He is not on your face. He genuinely has bad taste. It sometimes appears as on-your-face because we mistake crudeness for boldness. Watching Paradesi now and reading the severe over-rating he is receiving makes me think the theory still applies. Bala makes movies for a strata of society that I would regard as typical C center front bencher crowd.  Dull, unrefined and severely lacking in taste.


18 comments:

CHVS CHAITANYA said...

I think in ur mind it got fixed that BALA and AJITH cannot do any kind of good stuff. In the posts about their work, some partiality is visible.

Chaitanya

Raja said...

Im sure you must be writing reviews for power star type of movies , as i guess you dont have standard to even understand the movie.what an epic he has taken and definitely huge scope for winning award.

Alan Smithee said...

Slightly off topic. On the topic of bad art, you should visit the Museum of Bad Art in Boston. They display genuine bad art - as in not doodles from a toddler, which will of course be bad. They display art where the artist had a vision/concept and as the art evolved, it went out of his/her hands and ended up being shitty.

I said...

Like Selvaraj says in Alai Payuthey, "Eppo saar varudhu ungalalukku indha oru garvam? Konjam English paatu ketta udane'aa? Illa, rendu English alien padam paatha udane'aa?"

Hawk Eye said...

chaitanya,

illa if the movie had been good, i wouldve liked it.

Raja,

Im a big fan of power star and karunas. i always write posts that they should get national awards


alan,

this movie is a doodle so wont fit in that museum.

But the concept of this musem is interesting.

I,

to call this movie bad - you just need to watch any other tamil movie. alien aalavukku poga vendaam.

Pam said...

I have always disliked Bala's movies....and it is such a relief to see someone echo my thoughts!

I said...

The movie might be bad. I meant this part.

"I thought Sethu was a tasteless movie for C center audience who don't require refinement in movie making. I stopped seeing Bala movies after that assuming the over-rating that he receives was from people with poor taste in movies....Bala makes movies for a strata of society that I would regard as typical C center front bencher crowd. Dull, unrefined and severely lacking in taste."

By the way, did you watch Nandha?

Hawk Eye said...

i really think making movies on village and rural subjects is different from making unrefined movies. One does not automatically/necessarily imply the other.

Bala makes the latter while there many great movies that deal with non-urban topics.

i havent watched nanda. but i am not getting duped again by these people who rave about bala. I just find his movies vaccuous and artificial.

Anonymous said...

Spot on.. Bala's movies are over-hyped by certain ppl.. I don't know if its the C Center crowd but its the kinda crowd that thinks Balu Mahendra is the best director in Indian cinema.

Anonymous said...

Although i don't know much about these movies, i can see that a few including Hawk have forced themselves to watch it. It reminds me of the sensible few who tried to watch Seinfeld and opined "it sucks".

Compared to Ray Romano's brand of humor, Jerry Seinfeld wasn't remotely funny. But Raja reminds of the many who thought "Seinfeld was the best sitcom ever", which in my opinion was funnier that anything ever said on "Seinfeld".

bk said...

"...I don't know if its the C Center crowd but its the kinda crowd that thinks Balu Mahendra is the best director in Indian cinema"

Yep, One man's Balachandar is another man's Balu Mahendra !

D.N.A. said...

I haven't seen the movie. But complaining about what the movie is not is akin to complaining that the red wine is not white. But even that can be valid at some level, like "not met expectations" or "wasted opportunity". But that arrogance of calling people unrefined for liking a movie is perplexing. Some judge the entire world from underneath their own doraiswamy bridge.That arrogance of calling people unsophisticated for liking a movie; some prefer to judge the world from underneath their doraiswamy bridge!

arun said...

i can empathise with you. i am not going to blame anyone who hates bala. but i dont hate him, though i at times get a feel of not watching a world class or arthouse or pure cinema. you are cent percent correct he makes movies not for A center or multiplex moviegoers who want subtlety. also you cannot outcast him as a cheap grade movie maker. he is a rare mix of these two worlds and he is a lone master. a mass arthouse moviemaker. for me watching bala movie is like listening to pushpavanam kuppuswamy singing carnatic or even a western classic. why not? for me bala is more creative, lively and to the point director than those so called subtle and purist filmmakers - especially the mallu lobbyists.

Anu said...

https://twitter.com/anoosrini/status/312911849601519617

Anonymous said...

Ivar appadiye padicha medavi, ivaruku pudikira padam ellam decenta irukuravanga paakira padam.. Ivaruku pudikalana C center, front row la irukuravanga thaan paapanganu mookai podrathu....

Is Mani Ratnam a C center guy? He said Bala is the best director among with current ones....

Of late your blog has lost its quality and your ego has bloated up big time... Mani Ratnam, Bala, Kamal hassan etc., ellarumey waste... Ivaru mattum thaan best....

Hawk Eye said...

D.N.A,

i dont think my complain was about what the movie is not. If this was a first time director doing an unfunded amateur movie then I get it. But this loud dubbing and over acting plus poor entertainment value etc were too much to for me to take it as 'subjective'.

i cant find any other explanation as to why someone would like this movie. it defines the tamil front bencher stereotype of liking fat heroines, actors who ham, and over the top portrayal of anything. i call it unrefined mostly as a statement of fact. not as a condescension.

Kalki said...

I am late to this blog. But I agree 100% with you. Bala is an extremely over-rated director and his movies are crude and lacking any kind of subtlety. Sometimes I feel the guy is a sadist who enjoys to see such cruelty in his films.

I have seen a couple of movies and found it extremely bad. Even his comedy is weird. The few scenes I saw from his film that starred Vishal as the squint eyed effeminate character was pathetic.

Kalki said...

The only reason why his movies were tolerated was because of some notable numbers by Illaiyaraja. Offlate he has turned to other MDs. So it is only a matter of time before the critics pounce on his substandard fare.