It’s been quite some time since I have written something about movies. I have watched quite a few of them in the recent past but somehow, I haven’t found the motivation to write about them lately. This queer behaviour can be attributed to my newfound passion for world history, something I have found to be extraordinarily intriguing. But amidst fun filled hours of learning about the conquests of Napoleon, the diplomatic strategies of Charles Metternich and Bismarck, I have somehow managed to squeeze out time for the likes of Engeyum Eppodhum, Muran, Vellore Maavattam and Vedi. I have missed out on Vaagai Sooda Vaa and I don’t intend to watch it in spite of the positive reviews it’s been garnering ever since its release. I don’t think I’ll be able to come up with a rational explanation for that; I just don’t feel like watching it.
Firstly, I found Engeyum Eppodhum to be engrossing. The movie’s gotta great script and the screenplay could have been messed up by any typical newcomer but Saravanan(surprise surprise: Murugadoss’ apprentice) doesn’t come across as a typical newcomer. The first scene itself comes as a big surprise. Amidst sentimental directors who commence their respective films with the sound of a temple bell and a long shot of a temple, here’s a newbie who keeps all such illogical irrationalities apart and comes up with a killer of a first scene (literally). The shocking first scene gives way to an exquisite orchestration of visual poetry. The non-linear narrative isn’t a gimmick here and its justified usage creates the desired effect as the film races towards the climax. The director has received plentiful support from his young actors. Sarwanand’s casual and elegant portrayal seemed to be the best of the lot. He was a treat to watch on-screen and effortlessly went on to show that you don’t need six-packs and forced histrionics to prove your prowess. But acting, I guess, is subjective and popular opinion can be widely different from what I think. So please feel free to pick on my opinion.
It’s just that I feel we give an actor due credit only when he plays a larger-than-life character. Plus, a bad performance muscled up with histrionics designed to bring out a star’s “acting talent” doesn’t get the criticism it so badly deserves whereas a casual performance by an unacknowledged star that deserves attention goes unnoticed. On the hindsight, the bad performance is passed off as a good one, an award winning one occasionally; in cases involving a star gifted with a huge adulatory fanatic fan base, like Vikram. A detailed justification can be found here
Coming back to Engeyum Eppodhum, the other performances also came in as a pleasant surprise. Anjali has already staked her claims as an actress with considerable level of acting talent and she has furthered her case in this movie. Her voice though, is irritating. But again, it’s a value addition to the realism, an integral part of all her renditions so far. After all, how many good-looking girls are blessed with vocal cords emanating euphonious voices? Ananya has come up with a cute portrayal and this is Jai’s best performance till date but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to conclude that it’s good enough. It definitely wasn’t a bad performance though.
The dialogues were witty and I loved the Yaettu-DIG exchange between Jai and Anjali. The scene where Jai, dressed up like a corporate honcho (new, branded clothing and all that), enters a communist meeting in a bid to locate a person also impressed me as subtle humour. The music actually seemed pretty ordinary but the visuals made up for it and I don’t believe the fact that I’m almost addicted to them now.
I also managed to catch up with Vedi and Vellore Maavattam; unfortunately, at that. Sample this scene: “Hero gets beaten black and blue by 20 men double his size and four times his muscle weight, is left to die. His ear drums have just the right amount of energy to imbibe a faint attenuated version of a loud high pitched cry from his sister and realising this, the sister screams “ANNNAAAAAA” and magically, like in a Glucon-d advertisement, the hero regains full energy, gets up and effortlessly bashes up the gang of 20, also ending up disproving the laws of gravity several times in the process.” This scene forms the climax of Vedi and I think the rest, is self-explanatory. The lesser said the better. Vivek, the comedian who used to be hilarious once upon a time deserves a graceful exit from Tamil cinema.
Vellore Maavatam is another worthless movie I ended up watching. It’s a new movie that’s straight out of the director’s recycle bin known for its abundance of cop stories festooned with spice. There’s not a single reason why you must watch this movie, even if you are as vetti as the author of this article.
I also happened to stumble upon Rahman’s new album “rockstar”. It’s got two tremendously engaging rock songs, two lilting instrumentals and a sufi number that sounds similar to his earlier trysts with Sufi. The album as whole doesn’t sound as impressive as “rock on” did, but “sadda haq” and “job hi main” are truly terrific.
But one man who never ceases to entertain completed a rather boring week for me. Wilbur Sargunaraj’s new video “first class bhangra” is a scorcher. This man is truly a rockstar. Ranbir Kapoor you idiot, learn!