Review: Deiva Thirumagal

Anushka and Vikram in Deiva Thirumagal.

Vikram and his million-dollar antics

Rating: *

For someone who has seen Sean Penn in I Am Sam, Ajay Devgn in Main Aisa Hi Hoon and Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, Vikram’s appearance in Deiva Thirumagal is a no show. Considering that he has done a better job than Ajay Devgn, he could have just left it there. Instead, there’s a scene inspired from Rain Man, and that’s where the cards fall.

Vijay has built a career making remakes, much like ‘Jayam’ Raja. Madarasapattinam can be called an original, but the Titanic-like narrative was quite corny. Still, he made his remakes work. Kreedom and Poi Solla Porom were excellent entertainers, especially the latter, which was in a way, better than the Hindi original. Still, it’s disappointing that the filmmaker hasn’t used his talent to bring out an original story.

While he gloats that Deiva Thirumagal is ‘inspired’, we all know the proverb: ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’. That’s what the film becomes in the end. Romance between the lead pair ensues just radically. What is it with men or women feeling special, once someone from the opposite sex hugs them?

Despite those flaws, Anushka Shetty brings out her first best performance. She excels Sushmita Sen, who played the lawyer in the Hindi version. If Anushka’s long waist in Vaanam was irresistible, everything she does in Deiva Thirumagal is arresting. That scene where she embraces her father (played by Y.Gee. Mahendra) is definitely one of the film’s best. Sadly, Michelle Pfeiffer from the original sticks to your mind as that gutsy lawyer who won the case.

There’s also Amala Paul who comes and goes, but wears that thick red lipstick which will stick on your mind. Santhanam is in the film too. And he’s more of an actor instead of a comedian. Comedians usually choose not to portray serious roles. This could be a good break to Santhanam.

Deiva Thirumagal is a convincing family drama with Vikram as the headgear. The songs seem pointless and are time-consuming. G.V. Prakash Kumar continues to rip off music scores. This time, it’s In The Hall of The Mountain King.


Review: Singam

Suriya plays a tough cop in Singam.

Racy Screenplay with horrendous stunts


Director: Hari

Starring: Surya, Anushka, Prakash Raj, Vivek, Nasser, Vijaykumar and Radha Ravi

Genre: Tough Cop Flick

Rating: ZERO

I cannot possibly recall a Gravity Law by Sir Isaac Newton which states “humans can fly on Earth”. I do remember his famous law of motion: “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” But, that doesn’t mean a guy can fly yards away, after being punched. These rules have been bent by commercial cinema in order to keep our protagonist, a larger-than-life guy. And if our protagonist is played by Suriya, just “forget about it” (the Donnie Brasco way). Suriya dons the khaki uniform again, after a career-transitional role of a cop in Kaakha Kaakha. Singam however stays commercial to its core.

Singam has the Punch Dialog of the Year: “Ongi adicha ondra ton weight-u da.” (English Translation: My punch weighs one and a half tons).  And, unlike other heroes, Suriya gives you an example by hitting the thug near him, who spins like a tornado and then hits the ground allowing dust to rise. Welcome to the world of commercial cinema!

Meet Anushka, the heroine. She's yet to make a mark.

Also, we have Anushka trying to get her big break in Tamil Cinema. Good news! Singam is successful at the box office. But, that doesn’t mean Anushka has made it. She still has a long way to go. I felt her acting in Vettaikaaran was mature when compared to those dumb things she has done in Singam. The glamorous Shriya Saran has finally found some worthy competition.

Prakash Raj was on a spree. He won a National Award for his acting performance in Kanjivaram. His performance in Abhiyum Naanum was out of the world. Why, oh why did he choose to act as the same old stereotypic villain here? Talk about stereotypes and I still think Ghilli’s Muthu Paandi was Prakash Raj’s best role as a stereotypic villain. He did win an award for it. Comedian and Padmashree winner, Vivek had me laughing at times. But, he had me groaning most of the time. This man has run out of jokes and must clearly take a sabbatical and return with a fresh mind.

Suriya's impressive dance moves.

There’s no way I could be lenient on a movie, tailor-made for Suriya. The aggression, the emotions and those romantic winks, all constitute an effort for him to speak through the eyes.  And, the scene where he’s asked to remove his shirt and fight serves as an opportunity for him to flex his muscles. This being his 25th movie, he impresses you with those dance moves. Well, the guy is on a blockbuster spree. Like it or not, the cash registers are chiming. CHING!

Tragedy has struck Tamil Cinema. While commercial films (a.k.a no-brainers) like Singam rake moolah at the box office, offbeat and realistic movies continue to run dry. Success is unfortunately a big-budget word.