Monday, May 16, 2011

Emagandam - Short Movie Review

You can see short film video in the above link. Now the review. First scene is awesome. The camera stands still and we see just the legs running forward. Next shot shows the high court of karnataka. Metaphor for judgement? After a couple of shots there is a smooth transition in the story and the flow. Suddenly the camera starts moving slowly and we are into a flashback of which happened before half an hour. What else can we expect in a 6 minute video. We see the same guy who was chased in the previous scene, walking sheepishly towards his home. And the person who has chased this guy is introduced as the police man. And the guy in the shop asks why not in uniform sir? He says came on some other duty. And he again asks "enna sir emagandathula vanthirukenga? " He replies "policekaaranuku ethu emagandam ellam" Honestly speaking, I didn't like this sequence much. Two reasons why. I don't understand why all these policemen are in polos when they are not in their uniform. Starting from Saami Vikram to the recent Samuthirakani in Eesan everyone sports a polo tee. Isn't it clichéd? I have seen many policemen in my place not in uniform but never with polos :) Second thing why he is asking that not in uniform and all? Its understood he is not in uniform. His pant shows he is a policeman.

Next the innocent looking guy with a poor gait walks into his place and our funky police man watches over. Unwanted heavy music over here. Really disrupts the flow of the movie to me. Having said this, all the other places the music and editing were of top notch. Specially using that Saavu kuthu is amazing for the chasing. Harris Jeyaraj tried something similar in Khaka Khaka for a few seconds in a chase and needless to say even that's brilliant.

Out of guilt, the guy tries to suicide by hanging himself and the police man tries to save him. Next the flashback meets with the real time chase. After the chase, the music stops and we see the dead body of the guy who was chased. And the police inspector smokes a fag. This is funny really. Why would any person on the earth smoke a fag when he just sees the guy whom he tried to save was killed. Doesn't it look like a forced one?

Other than these minor qualms, it's a decent attempt. Great work by the editor and the musician. Not to forget the great fluid camera work. Direction is crisp and sharp with usage of metaphors like crushing the pen's nib, etc in many places shows a talented director. I only wish this would have had a little strong story. It didn't create a big impact on me as I wished.

Lets wait and watch how its getting received in Cannes!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nadunisi Naaygal

Well, How should I start? Like GM? I made a lot of research. This is a true story. I told this to my costume designer and she puked. My wife likes Tarantino and slasher flicks. I wanted to do something different. I don't care what the world says. This is not for the weak hearted..

Excuse me...

A person who undergoes sexual abuse in his early life, turns to be a psycho. He has multiple personality disorder which makes him kill the girls. Mr Gautam is this really a true story or it's a marketing trick to lure the poor audience? May be you can say you are the first to show incest in TC, but that makes no difference. Your screenplay is decades old. The movie moves ahead with the psycho's POV which is plain boring. I felt like I am hearing match commentary in radio. And acting - What to write. I really don't know why they show these psychos always speak in a different tone and yucky mannerisms? Turning to one side, nodding then speaking.. Give us a break..

Speaking of technical departments, the cinematography and editing are of top notch. However , this doesn't help much. Showing an abandoned mansion, with only two characters roaming in it, with no BGM to create an eerie effect doesn't make you Hitchcock sir. What you need is a gripping screenplay which sans all the other things be it the mansion or the yucky mannerisms you(?) or your hero portrays.

And you will hear people saying this is a novel attempt, he has raised the bar - these are nowhere true. Let him come out of his amateur movie making and his self boasting then we can say he has raised the bar. Before that, let him find a produce to make a movie.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


The man behind "Pollathavan", Vetrimaran strikes gold here with Aadukalam. A stylish revenge drama comprises of cock fights, friendship, vendetta - all amalgamated into one fine capsule.

The movie starts with explaining the significances of cock fights in earlier centuries and how it continues to the contemporary days. Then we see a bunch of men who knew the intricacies of this business on how to train them up and everything. This is a nice introduction, given the fact most movies these days follow the same mode of each character one by one. And we see a pretty girl bleeding to death in her home in an attempt of suicide. Then we see a bunch of underdogs searching for someone in pitch dark. And the movie goes back to flashback mode on the classic tamil film style "How it all begun"

We see Karuppu working under an Old man who is dexterous in the job and everyone hails him as the god father.Ratha ravi's voice adds value to the rôle he downplays. And we have the Kishore, who did a cool rôle in Pollathavan, shines here with a different look. Thank god, Samuthra kani dubbed for him and yes this time it was apt. I saw kishore at last in Vamsam speaking some broken tamil with poor pronouncation skills. Can't blame him its indeed very tough to speak Madurai tamil when tamil is not your mother tongue. Vetrimaran is smart enough to identify and fix with a nice alternative. And Karuppu - if Dhanush doesn't act as expected, then that's news. So no news this time. The only thing I want to add is day by day this lanky fellow is growing by leaps and bounds when it comes to acting. And that's real good for tamil cinema which vowes by some pretentious actors around claiming they are the best. And last but not the least , the girl who acted as the Anglo Indian girl did well given the rôle.

Now after this long explanation about characters I don't want to give anything on the story and screenplay front. Its really a darn good flick with nice songs, no clichéd sentiments or need for a mass intro song or fight. This is just a movie about a group of folks who don't know anything other than cock fights. When met with betrayal, shame, love how these men react to the situations form the movie. On hind sight, it may seem like just another revenge flick with a Madurai back drop however it has many layers explaining the little intricacies about what their life is all about. The special effects doesn't look cheap like Ayirathil Oruvan blunder but its used when its needed. It never wants to show off and that's a milestone these days given the obsession in using these tricks in movies these days (read enthiran - that mosquito scene , man i slept for a while) The camera work is brilliant and editing is quite good if not awesome. GV prakash stands out in a couple of songs and BGM sounds great though many times I cant help thinking of Pudhupettai.

And about Madurai as back drop many feel tired of this trend. I really don't know whether they are really tired or is it the feeling that they can't stand the fact most of the big shots come from this place. If a movie works just because its shot in Madurai, then the same should work in case of Chennai or any other place. This is something like in GMenon's films they keep on talking the phrases which none of us have had chance to use in real life. May be he has used in his life. Similarly, these guys want to show their place and they do it. I read a blog sometime back and I clearly see how the writer don't want to accept these flicks.

So what's Aadukalam - It's an honest potrayal of lives of people of a different class. It never tries to be something else and that's where the director outshines everyone. He has given whatever he wanted to give. And yes, with style and class! Three cheers to Vetrimaran.