Review: Rajapattai

Vikram and Deeksha Seth in Rajapattai.

Nothing but excruciating pain

Rating: ZERO is unfit for this film. We must try minus.

A commercial flick followed by an art house film and then again, a commercial flick, and on  and on… This is how Vikram works. He needs to impress both the audience and critics. While some of his big budgeted films like Saami and Dhool have tasted success, his recent lineup has been bad: Bheema, Kandhaswamy and now… Rajapattai.

Suseenthiran maintained realism in his last action flick, Naan Mahaan Alla, where Karthi struggled to fight the baddies. In Rajapattai, it’s Vikram’s way and he sends baddies flying all over the screen. A beautiful actress, Deeksha Seth’s Tamil debut is a sad story.

The film runs for 125 minutes with 25 minutes allotted for songs. So, in the remaining 100 minutes, Suseenthiran brings you action sequences that take up another 20 minutes. How does someone tell a story in 80 minutes? This ain’t Hollywood, where you can weave characters by dialogues. This is Tamil industry where characters need a scene or two to show their traits.

Vikram’s last art house film, Deiva Thirumagal was a disaster of all sorts. Does the man want to tell us that he can act too? We know he can! We’ve seen Sethu and Pithamagan, two films that’ll stand out any day. Ravanan was a link between art house and commercialism, and the actor did a good job in that crossover flick too. What else does he have to prove?

Rajapattai and Kandhaswamy are both Vikram’s downers. These over-hyped commercial cocktails are served without alcohol and hence, we feel cheated. But, the bartender (filmmaker) doesn’t care because he’s taken your money already.

If Tamil cinema needs a change, it needs to stop making films like these. Commercial entertainers are a must. But, these kinds of films that overdose on commercialism can be prevented.

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: Kandhaswamy (Tamil)

Vikram and Shriya in Kandhaswamy
Vikram and Shriya in Kandhaswamy

The Rooster’s Fairy Tale

Kandhaswamy

Director: Susi Ganeshan

Cast: ‘Superhero’ Chiyaan Vikram, Shriya Saran

Genre: Superhero (supposedly)

Rating: ZERO out of ten million stars shining bright in the sky

When Alice In Chains sang “Yeah! Here comes the rooster!” way back in 1993, little did they know that Susi Ganeshan would make their dreams come true. Yeah! Here comes the rooster! KANDHASWAMY!

“Mexico-la Pichumaniya theriyaadha aalae illa” which means “There’s no one in Mexico who doesn’t know me, Pichumani” is the best dialogue written by Susi Ganeshan. The dialogue and the speaker make no connection. The guy (Alex) who looks like a beggar, dresses in those fine silk suits. But, that’s what Susi Ganeshan is telling us. A person who credits himself five times in the opening credits – Beginning with ‘A Film By Susi Ganeshan’ and then ‘Story By Susi Ganeshan’, ‘Screenplay By Susi Ganeshan’, ‘Dialogues By Susi Ganeshan’ and finally ends with ‘A Susi Ganeshan Film’. Think of the levels of brainwash performed by this man.

Villu was a film which made history. History as the worst film ever made with a BIG budget. Its predecessor was Kuruvi which still holds the record for the Best Long Jump (from a rooftop to the train running on the bridge erected on River Cooum. The distance between the two would probably be half a kilometer) but Kuruvi lost the award for the best fight scene to Villu where, Vijay is buried in a Texas Funeral and he digs himself out and fights the baddies to death. Both the films were nominated for Best Villain but lost to Ajith Kumar’s Aegan where Suman became the most funniest and pathetic villain. Villu was nominated for the best heart-stopping dialogue “Avan yaaru theriyuma! Avan appa yaaru theriyuma!” Which means “Do you know who he is! Do you know who his father is!” And do note that there’s no question mark, there’s an exclamation mark!

Well, all this effort has gone waste. Kandhaswamy definitely has the longest jump, and it’s performed by Shriya Saran, who jumps from the traffic signal (and mind it, there’s no run up or anything, she just jumps like Spiderman) to the back seat of a bike which probably would’ve crossed the city limits by the time she finishes flying in the air, people finish staring with their dropped jaws and the multiple editing cuts. Kandhaswamy also wins the Best Fight Scene. But, the Academy has decided to share it between two. Both scenes are from the same film. The first one is where thugs come running at the speed of Schumacher’s Ferrari and our man leaves way for the high-speed thugs to go past and hit the tree behind (and trust me, there’s always a tree behind). The second is the jaw dropping fight scene in a field in Mexico. This fight being arranged by Mexico Pichumani features a blindfolded and handcuffed Kandhaswamy who is about to get killed by seven gunmen standing around him with one gun in each hand. So, it’s a total of seven guns. But, an SUV comes through sending the seven men bouncing away and when it comes near our man, he lies flat on his back and the car goes over him. Yet, like The Matrix (Nope, Keanu Reeves is no match to our man) he gets up in a second. He then “hears” the footsteps of his attackers and much like the other fight scene, he avoids all the moves making the seven gunmen tired and panting. Wait a second, did I say seven GUNmen? Yes I did. The seven guns went missing after their bounce and Scotland Yard must be hired to find the missing guns. Our man still blindfolded and handcuffed does the neat trick of hitting everyone. Best Villain Award also goes to Kandhaswamy for our man, Mexico Pichumani. The Heart Stopping Dialogue Award goes to Kandhaswamy and it is spoken by Vikram when he asks Mumaith Khan, how much the antagonist had paid her for a private dance and she replies ‘thirty lakhs’ (three million for all you western people). To this Vikram says “That could’ve helped 200 families stay out of starvation for a month”. Kandhaswamy also wins the award for longest running comedy film. It has a running time of 200 minutes and it’s not Vadivelu who makes you laugh.

Kandhaswamy and Sivaji are interrelated.  In Sivaji, Rajnikanth is a normal lad who steals money from the rich and cunning while in Kandhaswamy, Vikram is a CBI officer who raids first and then steals from the rich and cunning. Kandhaswamy shows that Global Recession is also affecting actors. Vikram does the rooster’s wakeup call when he dons the mettle of Kandhaswamy which is seriously funny. Perhaps, he is no superhero at all. He is helped by eleven men and he can’t fly on his own. So, I take it back. Kandhaswamy isn’t a superhero movie.

Susi Ganeshan is really clever. He knew that the film would make us sleep. Hence, he brought in the rooster attire superhero to wake us up like a morning call. Moreover, he has Devisri Prasad aiding the wake up alarm with his sore and blatant vocals. The choreography seems to have been copied from kids. Maybe, Susi Ganeshan was true to his word and tried to attract the kids in at least one scene.

If there’s a movie you can use as an example for ‘how not to mess around and waste 40 crores (or 400 million) rupees’, it’s Kandhaswamy.

Don’t waste your money like how I did. Save your precious money. You can help a family not die of starvation for a day at least.