Tag: Dhanush

Enai Noki Paayum Thota

It’s been a week since I saw Gautam Menon’s latest film. I remember almost nothing of it. I take home images of a movie and only then, do I begin to form opinions on it (unlike whatever you might think). 

With ENPT, I can only recollect Dhanush dancing on the edge of the salt pans somewhere on the ECR. I know for sure that this does not directly concern the story- something like Sunaina’s character ( whose name I have to Google), but I guess one of the bad guys described her “gummunu irukka” (not translating due to lack of appropriate word) somewhere in the movie . 

It’s just me, I am getting old. I need to seek help to get this ENPT blog post out. ENPT blog out and ENPT out of my system, so we can really plan what to see and discuss in the coming year. Get the blog out!

So I decided to call up the buddies who put together the FRS, they of course had a good memory, but they said since we have already written the FRS of Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada or AYM, the points would hold good for ENPT. 

The writers were also very smart, they said that if I badly wanted a blog post about ENPT then I could just replace AYM with ENPT, Dhanush with STR, Megha with Manjima and voila, ready. 

Sometimes, I wonder how such smart people write for us. Mostly, I forget that these people are smart people. It’s just me. I am getting old. 

Next I look to the internet, which is a rich in opinion and low on insights medium. Maybe these opinions could help me remember what the movie was all about. After all, I needed to have a memory to form opinions, this seemed a logical option. I had to do it, I had to get into death wish mode and complete this blog post. 

But mostly the internet was talking about how ENPT had a lot of voice overs, hmm they were right, but also this was a Gautham Menon movie, what were they expecting? Maybe they were expecting smart voice-overs. But then again, this is a Gautam Menon film. 

Ah, now I remember; Dhanush’s college senior is Sunaina. But I know for a fact that Dhanush is much older than Sunaina, so maybe I should write about actors playing their appropriate age, that will surely resonate on social media. It is fairly an easy piece to write, almost a low hanging fruit, even our data analytics team in Pune said it would do good for overall website traffic. I rejected the idea, low hanging fruits don’t appeal to me. That’s why I didn’t write about a 30 years old actress playing a 26 year old. 

Another section spoke about how voice overs (i.e VOs) is the modus operandi (i.e MO) of Gautam Menon, they even said like if ‘we’ don’t question shadows in a Hitchcock film, then ‘we’ shouldn’t question GVM too. On the face of it, this seems like a very intelligent argument, our data analytics team also saw such arguments get the much needed traction. 

But is it not about using a method of storytelling but how well it is used and what impact it creates on the audience, the “we” in this case. Of course, if “we” say this, the response would be like, impact is subjective etc. Don’t ask me what I thought about the voice overs, I barely remember this film. It had voice overs. 

Ah! Now I remember, Sunaina’s character name is Mythili and she works in Mumbai. 

With only these minor memories, I was again faced with the question, should I even write about this film? The options before me were clear and they all pointed to one way to escape this misery, I had to. 

Don’t ask me why, you don’t have the right, because you did not ask when Scorsese used voice-overs or when Hitchcock used shadows. 

I should probably make up sentences like “first half was breezy-romantic, second half was action packed” , but honestly, I don’t know what breezy romantic is. But I should write these things, it’s probably what the ‘we’ felt in the theatres according to some critics. 

I know this blogpost will not add anything to discourse, much like Dhanush’s sister character in the movie, much like all GVM’s sister characters. 

So I should just put it out there, get ENPT out of the way and move on. Maybe I should go to Mumbai too, just to think about this movie in detail. But that would be a costly thing to do and my life might cross with gangsters and arms dealers. But I can always stay in Mythili’s place. Damn! I should just publish this blogpost.

“Do it. Do a spelling and grammar check. Now hit publish!” a voice in my head tells.

Don’t ask me why. 

Even if it is mediocre, some critic in the future might compare it to a blog post about a Hitchcock film. 

Parking Lot Notes: Vada Chennai

First Strike

Consider the carom board, a single strike shakes up an entire setup; displacing even disks that are not in the direct line of the striker.

Vetrimaaran,  believes that the impact of death has far reaching consequences even to those removed from the person. He supports these with the deaths of popular leaders; Rajiv Gandhi and MGR through the film.

<Eerily similar to how deaths of J and MK have in some way affected everyone in the state of Tamil Nadu>

VC1

Vada Chennai begins with a gruesome murder; but we are constantly shown (and guided through Vetrimaaran’s narration) that this death would soon shake up things for all of the characters, and these characters come by the dozen.

Alliances that were forged in time look weak moments later and so begins a classic case of one gang vs the other in a fight over the city’s dominance.

Moments later, these gangs have divided amongst themselves two prison blocks and in-effect the city and there is one guy in between. This did remind me of A Fistful of Dollars; but nope the director is not just interested in the surface; let’s go deeper and show how the gangs establish their dominance and an economy within the prison; the stated revenues of which are astounding (Vada Chennai is a period film and the movie doesn’t try to be in the face about it).

I also got used to how the director keeps drawing attention back to the first murder; even if it at times it feels that he has gone pretty far away. Drawing back/moving forward is also done differently, sometimes it is just the voice-over;a visual cue here, an on-screen narration there, another time it is just a fade to white. I would really like to go over these punctuation again.

But what is always there in the background: how will THAT murder be avenged?

Second Strike

The title “Vada Chennai” too is very emblematic; represents a whole section of the city, referred here as “janam” but for most part the film is really about a select few from this population and the power they fight for; so when towards the end of the film when it moves towards the ‘us vs them’ narrative, the movie has a slight jarring effect. Maybe this has been done to elevate the story of Anbu? Only the sequels will tell.

Or to put it differently, there are far more interesting stuff for me in the film than the politics of gentrification, a subject touched upon by Kaala too earlier this year. For example, the thread of how history keeps repeating itself and how the players find themselves in different positions every time that happens.

VC2

The kick-in-the head happens when the characters themselves realize this moment.

Wow, that’s complex and damn good writing; to be able to feel what a secondary character is feeling (At one point it is Guna, at another point it is Chandra). Vetrimaran also throws in a clairvoyant who seems to be the only person who knows how this will all end.

Superlative stuff.

Red & Follow

Yes, it does take it own time; but then this movie should. Even reading this as a basic revenge film needs convincing characters for viewers to revel in the avenging, but this isn’t just a basic revenge film.

The board is now set, the players are ready; we have a good game at hand.

FRS: Kodi

So by now you know what this FRS right? Right?

kodi1

-34: Narration,

ok wait first We were fooled into thinking that there was no narration in this film, and before our collective sighs of relief could trouble the person sitting before us; there was narration.

+12: Moments

like that of a deaf and dumb father aspiring son to be the star attraction speaker of a political party, thought it started off really well there. Just when we come to the portion of human sacrifice by fire, how the mother and son view this incident establishes their further course of action. Films begins with a flag fluttering, post interval also, these are some nice thematic moments.

+3.5: Dhanush’s beard, I mean why will we not give points for this.

-51.35: Hero Introductions

No matter how different how your thinking is, or how different the setting of the film is, hero introductions never change. Slow cam, let something flutter, show the vehicle first, then legs, then face (yaay fan moment), also bring in some out of form goons so that hero can show heroism before children etc. Yea yeah, no police will be lodged.

-23.1: Celebrations

No matter what Cadbury’s tell you, you actually do need proper reasons to celebrate, I know we need a intro song here, but politician becoming regional youth wing secretary is reason for district wide celebration a? But further in the movie, moments are not so well celebrated why?

-41: For a film whose primary characters are supposed to be fiery speakers, the speeches dont count, no really

-19: Dhanush and Trisha never seem to run out of secret places to meet as lovers, i mean even if they have been lovers for say a decade or more, do they allocate one day of the week on google calendar for “let’s find one more secret place to meet” #OOooOOO

-4: One secret meeting place involves a cheetah passing by simply, cheetahs are extinct in india. yeah so. Later half cheetah changed to leopard.

+7: Ei Suzhali (song) 

-71.7777: Politics

Yeah so, what is politics really? Is about people and issues no? But mostly in this movie is about how one gets promoted from one post to another, how one double crosses another or even triple crossing. Yes these are the outcomes of what happens in politics, but really there is no issue, the entire film deals with a mercury dump for so long to make us believe that the entire politix of the region depends on it. Surely there must be farmers, traders, transport, infra, forests, but these aspects do not come within the scope of film which wants to be a political drama.

Guess we are being a little harsh here, Kodi is not an issues film, it is more about the politician than the politics, which is fair enough and Dhanush carries the born politician role like someone who has stood in atleast three local elections, but without the politics the politician stands alone.

Hi to all House of Cards fans

Even the issue that he tackles as Kodi are driven by personal hangover emotions. Watering down.

-23: Double cross, triple cross, road cross in the end since none of the characters could be related to, it didnt matter. Seems just to show that politicians are capable of doing ANYTHING for a rajya sabha seat., But isn’t this common knowledge?

-9: Rajya Sabha

-18.94: Trisha apart from being completely miscast, she even has the worst named character, ‘theepori’ rudra, and no sparks only.

+13: For Vijay Kumar for playing CM in this movie, in Singam series he plays home minister as well. I’m sure Vijay kumar would have played other cabinet ministers as well. First time in history of cinema one actor has played entire cabinet kind of statement.

-23: Twins, not spoiling, but there is actually a mention of a buzzfeed type post about “10 things you dont know about twins”, the content in this type article drives the story further

-5: Theory of inefficient goons: villians will keep sending inefficient goons to hero even when they know that he is going to hit them all and send them back, still they keep sending. Dei.

+8: Kaala Chashma,

Anyways, Happy Diwali

#Notdeepavali

Subam

FRS Team, The Lowly Laureate