Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Some movies I saw last month

With 3 weeks of raging flu movies and some internet rants kept me going. Here are some movies that I saw

Kanna Laddu Thinga Aasaiya: This movie was funny, very engaging and had interesting characters. I would have given it 2 thumbs up if it did not blatantly copy  Indru poi Naalai vaa. Indru Poi Naalai Vaa is one of my favorite movies. Santhanam's career arc takes me back to a movie in 1990s where Goundamani acted as a hero. Goundan was at his peak before he acted as hero and that movie where he tried this hero business started his downfall. For some reason I feel Santhanam has peaked. This movie puts Santhanam's career at risk. I wouldn't be surprised if its all downhill for him after this point. It just feels like too high too soon for him. Both Vadivelu and Vivek gestated for 10-15 years before they hit their golden era.

Alex Pandian: what a bad movie! Seeing first day of Aayiratthil Oruvan and seeing the charge Karthi managed to create in the theater, I genuinely thought he had a great shot at becoming the next big thing in Tamil cinema. Maybe, almost reach Rajinikanth levels. He had that charisma. I must've been on dope to have made such a poor prediction. Karthi has gone down the path of choosing movies with crappy storylines that comes with 3rd rate sensibilities and it is hard to see where his next good movie is going to come from. If Sirutthai was a turd, Saguni was vomit (it was certainly not satire or even on the same planet as satire, it didn't have a single element that could be called as satire) and now Alex Pandian is diarrhea.  Karthi has wasted his great start by (a) personally not becoming muscular or athletic hero and (b) by choosing repetitive roles and piss poor movies. While I think Karthi firmly believes in not being elitist and wants to do simplistic time-pass movies that C center people will appreciate, I sometimes can't fathom his strategy of choosing movies and where he wants to go. Right now he seems to flushing himself down the toilet. One can also safely say that hhe can be stereotyped as a rowdy C center hero like Thiagarajan of yesteryear or Sundar C of today.

Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom: There is a lot that is awesome about this movie. This is certainly a good movie. The way its taken and the way it has been presented to us. I can sing praises about this movie all day long. But I'll also say this - the director has been lucky with this movie. It remains to be seen if he can deliver another good movie. The reason I say 'lucky' is because the movie relied too much on a 'one trick pony' of a story. Its the same joke played over and over again. There are  no awesome dialogs or variety in situations that brings the house down with laughter. I'd hesitate to categorize this as comedy genre, which was he expectation I went with. The novelty element of the story made this circus trick work. Balaji better have some other trick up his sleeve as well. 

Neerparavai:  Now this is a fantastic movie. I loved every second of it. Manirathnam should join as an assistant director to learn 'authenticity' from the guy who made this movie. I saw this movie the day after I saw Kadal and this movie is an outstanding example of great casting. Kadal on the other hand is an outstanding example of Manirathnam's consistent poor casting choices. Look athe the hero of neerparavai, the hero's father and all the other characters who support these two. They look authentic. they look like people from that society. Take one look at the church father who appears in Neerparavai. Thats believable. Manirathnam's vision of fisherman society is 'Abercrombie and Fitch' Gautham, Arvindh Sami and Arjun. None of them look like they've even seen a fisherman in real life. Thulasi and Lakshmi Manchu seem like models or convent school girls who wandered off the ramp and were accidentally teleported into this fisherman's place by Scotty. Although I am not 100% sure, it seems like the most un-authentic Thoothukudi/Nellai accent of all time & the worst ever dubbing artist (Suhasini) has dubbed for Lakshmi Manchu. The wonderous aspect about Neerparavai is the way it shows a love story, a comeback-in-life story in a kuppam with beautifully etched out characters. It doesn't overtly mention the unjust shooting down of fishermen by Srilankan army. But that notion is hanging there like a elephant in the room. Its all about it but never about it. Its a story about an epic struggle by a man to make a life of his own that is casually swatted down by events we ignore on a daily basis.


Subbu said...

Hawkeye, I could not agree more on your review on Neerparavai. It did bring tears in to my eyes when I watched the movie.

bk said...

Neerparavai was easily one of the better movies of 2012. One issue I had with the movie though is how it was setup initially. *spoiler alert* When the investigator inquires Nandita Das regarding Alagappasamy's killer, she responds, "Naan dhaan avara konnan". She could have said (even if wracked by guilt) "Oru vidhathula, naan dhaan avara konnutaenu sollalaam.." or some such phrasing and the director would have still left the viewers guessing (puzzled), if that were his intent. Instead he resorts to a needless plot twist setup which in the end makes the revelation underwhelming.

Spot on about the authenticity of characters! Vadivukkarasi's (albeit a smaller role) and Alagaappasamy's dad's acting deserve special mention IMO.

Chenthil said...

The Nandita das sequence was what killed Neerparavai. May be the director wanted to create an impact / shock at the beginning, but it fell flat. Remove that sequence and the movie would have worked far better as a linear narrative.

Alagamperumal as the priest, Thambi Ramayya as the drunkard Tamil teacher, Saranya, Hero's father - every one played their role to perfection.

bk - Arulappa Samy :-)

Hawk Eye said...

the entire time I watched neerparavai, I was constantly trying to stop the well-up of tears.

mokka musketeer said...

Kanna laddu thinna aasaya and Alex Pandian relied heavily on vulgar comedy. Case poinu iruku regarding indru poi naalai va and KLTA for the story lines being the same. Adhu ondi Bhagyaraj jecychutan na it is Kanna Kali thinna aasaya for santhanam. It's high time he changes or at least perishes..

I said...

Karthi next Rajinikanth'aa? Idha enga eppdai pudicheer?

bk said...

Neerparavai has many poignant / touching moments.. Couple that come to my mind *spoilers ahead*
Hero's father has just lost his job because of what his "Odhavaakarai" son has done. He then gets home and unleashes the belt on his son. Mother gets in between the two.
Hero's father accuses mother of spoiling son and slaps her as well. He continues to lash at the hero. Mother now threatens father with divorce if he were to continue
the physical abuse. Father feeling cornered, changes tone (literally) and threatens to take his own life if mother continued spoiling son. Mother changes tack and tries
to reconcile with him now. The son's helplessness, father's frustration, mother's defensiveness, the rage and underlying mellowness of both parents are all captured brilliantly. Family dysfunction in this "scene" doesn't seem enacted, but feels real!

Here is another.. Hero comes home from the rehab center and tells his mother that he is no longer an alcohol addict. Mother is relieved and gushes "Kappalla irundhu erangi vandha dorai maadhiri irukka..". Father watches from nearby, doesn't say anything, but the look on his face says it all. Swelling with pride, he is then shown carrying a big fish which he offers as a token of gratitude to the shrink at the rehab center.

Seenu Ramasamy's characters here for their realistic portrayals, remind me of Mahendran's characters.

Vairamuthu's lyrics for Para Para Para Paravai Ondru.. (both versions ) are bewitching.
(sample: Mugathai tholaiththa en vazhvukku, nilaitha mugavari nee adi)

Thanks Chenthil. Btw, I didn't compound it further by calling the priest "ArulamPerumal" :-)

Anonymous said...

What kind of an adult watches so many movies in a month?

SET said...

A quick observation/correction on your statement about Goundamni's downfall etc.:

Goundamani acted as the 'proper' lead (with solo songs and all) in at least two films in the mid 80s - pirandhen valarndhen (with Rajiv and SV Sekar) and the other film with young Ramya krishnan (Goundamani is the ejjukated aapisar and Ramya krishnan is oor-kaarichi). I presume they both did poorly but his super-stardom as a comedian emerged only in the early 90s and sustained through the mid 90s. He just started to age and simultaneously reach saturation in the late 90s and further. His trouble with diabetes didn't help either. So his decline was very gradual and expected regardless of the nature of his roles. I wouldn't put a lot of weight on the fact the he did some lead type roles with Vijay, Ramki, Prabhu. Karthik etc., contributing to his decline.

As for Santhanam: I think he still has a certain likeability going for him. I'm certainly irritated by his literal recycling of old ideas in his comedy routines (leaving aside the entire story for KLTA) such as those in Alex Pandian: the relative feasting on home food, the soup line from Kanni Raasi etc. This is not going to help him. But he's probably aware of it too. Maybe he just wants to cash in on it while he still can.

Anonymous said...

hey why u no posting these days? saw sudhish kamath's article aa??

Unknown said...

Are things fine? Why no posting for a long time?

Unknown said...

Is everything fine? Why no posts for a long time?

DrDoubt said...

Planning to watch NKPK based on this review.