Three for the price of one

I watched three Tamil movies this week. There were a number of reasons why I’d sworn off Tamil movies, but as any self-respecting addict, I’ve forgotten them and went on a binge. After watching Aadhi, Thavamai Thavamirundhu & Athu Oru Kana Kalam, I surprisingly am not yet close to swearing them off again. I think am waiting for one more movie – Paramasivam, which my roomie keeps threatening to watch. I can then safely go back to a three or four month hiatus.

Since I’ve been accused of, ahem, over-obsessing over inconsequential things, I’ll try not to.

Aadhi: Experimental cinema or Blame it on Rajinikanth
Precedent says punch dialogues are good for the hero, especially if the hero dreams of being the next Rajinikanth. So the makers of Aadhi figured why not have more of the good stuff, indeed why not have a movie composed entirely of punch dialogues? The hero, the comedian, the villain, the villain’s side-kicks, even walk-on characters, everyone in Aadhi communicates exclusively through punch-dialogues. Here’s a sample:

Main Dada to another dada: Perfecta plan pannu. Panna theriyalanna enakku phone pannu.

Comedian: Naan podra shoe thaan Reebok-u. Pannra velai porambokku.

Unakku kaila than kathi. Enakkau kaiyae kathi.
Thoda mattein. Thotta, vida mattein.
Neruppa thirippi pudichaalum, athu nimithuthaan eriyum. (This is my personal favorite.)

Note to readers:
1. I didn’t translate the lines into English, because they’d just lose their “punch”
2. The list above is only a tiny sample, there are tons more in the movie.

If you take away these dialogues, Aadhi is just another masala movie. It has all the ingredients – a tale of revenge, a little bit of suspense, gratuitous violence (heads and limbs chopped off, little girls molested), some comedy (this I admit was painful, and limited to Manivannan hitting on a Punju auntie. I forget what Vivek was doing in the movie), some utterly ridiculous stunts (hero rips door off a moving car in order to defend himself from the bad guys at one point), a pretty girl and of course, romance.

The reason I truly enjoyed the movie were the dialogues: the binding agent that brought all these elements together to make that perfect bad-good movie. This is a great movie to watch with friends. Just make sure you don’t have any squeamish girls around.

So, will this movie make Vijay the next Super star? Vijay may get the manager, and copy the dialogues. But Dhanush has the hot shot director / brother AND big daddy / daddy-in-law. Do the math yourself.

Thavamai Thavamirundhu: Long, but alright
Karthik already wrote about this movie. Just wanted to add my two cents’ worth. I quite liked the movie. If Aadhi was good because it was bad, Thavamai Thavamirundhu is good because it could have been so much worse. I have seen this plot lots of times before, mostly by Visu. I am grateful to Cheran because he doesn’t go over-board as Visu does. People are treated badly in this movie, but they don’t rave and rant like they usually do in Tamil movies. I agree with Karthik that we could have done without all the cycling they do in this movie, but am willing to forgive Cheran anything for putting together a simple story, and keeping it simple. And I think I liked the movie also because my parents, who don’t watch very many movies, did watch this one, and really liked it. Had I watched it with them, I might have felt obliged to protest against any number of things about this movie – the length, the crying, the cycling, the printing press, the omnipresent misery… but I didn’t watch the movie with them. Just thought of how it might be like to be back home again, and make silly arguments just to tick my parents off… And mostly for that, I liked Thavamai Thavamirundhu.

Athu Oru Kana Kalam – not for cynics.
Spoiler alert!

Athu Oru Kana Kalam isn’t your usual Tamil movie. It has all the elements of a perfectly decent tragedy / “realistic movie”- an ordinary looking hero, a pair of star-crossed lovers, well-meaning characters whose actions somehow wreak untold misery for all involved… and just when you’re all geared up for a “life sucks, and there’s isn’t a thing you can do about it” conclusion, Balu Mahendra ends the movie on a happy note. The lovers get to live happily ever after, after all. It felt like slap in the face. I got all huffed up, and made a series of speeches on justice and rule of the law and idiotic policemen who have respect for neither, and crazy directors who think the audience is gullible enough to buy stories about benevolent cops who let murderers get away and live happily ever after with their girlfriends… I guess the fault lies not in the Balu Mahendra, but in me. I’m too cynical for movies like this one. Just because seven eighths of the movie felt down to earth doesn’t mean that the last one eighth has to stay grounded too.

And am willing to watch many more movies like this one, so long as movies like this keep Dhanush away from disasters like Thiruda Thirudi or the other one where he drives around pretty girl in a yellow convertible in some South East country (Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong – take your pick).

Three very different movies and each was not bad for its own reasons. Paramasivam, hit with whatever you got, and let’s get this over with.


7 comments so far

  1. Ganja Turtle on

    Hmmm…just finished Aadhi…next Majaa…mani,whatever ur making, make it soon, puhleese….

  2. DoZ on

    Yeah. It’s a complete shame that one has to wait for 2-3 years just to get a “good” movie and spend the rest of the time telling ourselves that things could have been so much worse…

  3. Manoj on

    Trisha was all that kept me from turning off Aadhi. No such luck with Paramasivan. Two minutes of Laila had me Alt+F4 in an instant. (Notice I didn’t even bother mentioning the “heros”).

  4. DoZ on

    Welcome back. Notice that matrimoney hasn’t changed you at all 😉 But why this contempt for Laila?

  5. Manoj on

    Matrimony changing me? God! I hope not! 🙂
    As for my Laila-hate, I think watching Paramasivan will answer that question for you.

  6. tilo on

    did you see Rang de basanthi – not a Tamil movie I know .

  7. DoZ on

    Manoj: I tried watching Paramasivam today. Couldn’t last till Laila’s appearance… Gave up after Ajith’s 4th hair flick or so…
    Tilo: Nope – haven’t watched RDB yet… am a little scared after reading Falstaff’s post…

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