Truth alone triumphs

 

(And also side characters)

andavan-kattalai

Before getting down to praising Aandavan Kattalai, let me first get down on the system; innumerable films have taken on the system, whisking out heroes who break the system, become the system even; but rarely acknowledge it.

Even in Manikandan’s film, the cheekily named Gandhi wrestles with the system and with the truth much like his Gujarati-namesake. Like everyone else, he doesn’t want to be seen as the one who is not smart enough not to take a short cut.

This mindset has served us well right from our daily commute, right up to the get rich quick plans we invest in. Short cuts have been ingrained into our skulls as an Indianism, street smartness is something even companies look for in candidates.

It is time to drive away this smartness.

The Messengers (or who says these things in the movie)

Vijay Sethupathi, in his fifth appearance on screen this year! (Surely this must be a criteria for TIME person of the Year) plays the small town guy in the big city with absolute plainness, there isn’t any special characteristic, there is no extraordinary back story, Gandhi could be anyone, Gandhi could be me or even you, maybe that’s why. So this isn’t much of a performance but more of an appearance.

But this appearance serves him well especially in the comic portions of the film, but the problems in Aandavan Kattalai is unusual because you really don’t know who to follow on screen, obviously Vijay Sethupathi drives it forward; but the supporting characters are not so much a supporting but  actually essential.

I am a supporting character sympathizer, as in if there is one movement I would like to be part of, it would be for the ethical treatment of “hero/heroine’s friend” in Tamil films.  First there is Yogi babu as the not so constant companion, he is luckier than our hero, which almost never happens in films, he gets the best lines as well; then there is the Srilankan refugee in search of his family but has to play dumb, the friends at the theatre crew and the intrepid journalist who also happens to be the heroine.

But my favorite would be the senior and junior lawyers at the family court, a truly unusual comic relationship, at least something I haven’t seen in Tamil films; the closest I could pair them to:  the similar comic duo from I heart Huckabees, totally brilliant, yet so fitting in the atmosphere.

Most of the characters seemed lived in, not just turning up for the shoot, but these aren’t serious roles which would require an entire long read on ‘method acting’, these are just everyday people in highly non everyday surroundings and that is how the humor is brought about. I could just go on about the other supporting actors as well, because this movie is a triumph in terms of casting, characters and dialogue.

A major win in a time, when giving a character a name and a job is seen as writing (something which is referenced in the movie)

Now to the message (Or what is being said)

A message movie is one troubling thing, not everyone will be empathetic enough for it to go all the way or sometimes the message itself might not be presented in a way to create impact, or hidden behind subtexts later to be brought forward by others. But there is something in every movie for everyone, it might not be the one that the director intended, but there is something; because that is why we watch a film.

Most of the times the message is lost in the telling. Here in Aandavan kattalai, the director puts first dart bulls-eye from slide one (This is a message movie #hehehe)

We (or you) can infer whatever you want, but this director is telling you not to take the short route, in fact there are no short routes, in fact (v2.0) the short route is the longer one and the one with thorns and no GPS.

No don’t take the short route.

Fill your own forms. Don’t break the line. Don’t ask your colleague if they know anyone anywhere. Don’t refer anyone from anywhere. Don’t break the process or try to bypass it. Just fill the form and wait.

Because the system might just be easier than the short cut.

Hey, I’m not saying this, the movie is.

Movie(s) of the year

Every movie blogger who thinks he/she is worth something will come up with a list of ‘movies of the year’, we are not exceptions; but we would like to do things differently.

Is Aandavan kattalai our movie of the year?

Our answer is “not quite Oru Naal Koothu” *

 

Epilogue

The movie begins with eighties style kaleidoscopic images, nice touch but I couldn’t see how they connect to the overall theme

*Pitting movie against movie is a very bad thing and I’m sure we will be punished for this.

 

 

 

KOCHADAIIYAN: A DOLL’S GROUSE

<The world’s first photorealistic review>

 

Amitabh Bachchan: When the history of Indian Cinema is written, it will be before Kochadaiiyan and after Kochadaiiyan.

Us: hehe.

This review is not to hurt the sentiments of countless movie goers, this review is written by countable movie goers with hurt sentiments.

Dedicated to the living memory of Nagesh who was not offered any role for his immeasurable talents went to waste when he was alive, the decision to animate him has further pained those who still look upon him fondly. Also it was not funny.

We are also dedicating this review to technology. We liked to dedicate this review to animation, photo realism etc, since the makers have stated that the audience have no knowledge of such, we will stick to dedicating this review to technology, which doesn’t make sense.

To the future type dedication.

We would also like to dedicate this review to… oh never mind.

Where do we begin? Should we being at the beginning of it all? The purpose of such a film?

We only offer you one directive, people who have seen the film/ going to see the film and are hoping to like it and are getting the feeling that they are encouraging something new, please do read the words which are in the slightly bigger font-italics (as this paragraph).

So that’s all we are asking.

Should animation standards be the only object of discussion?

No

Definitely no, but if it is not good then we must be bold enough to say that is not enough, although we have faced with opinions that with the available budget only so much is possible. Hmm but then by giving they themselves are making it easy for us fault finders.

If you are so keen, then you should watch only Hollywood films!

That works for us, with our limited knowledge of animated films and such, we have liked what we have seen on screen, we did not require extensive “how we shot the shizz reels” to relate to the characters and involve ourselves in the story.

We had problems with the animation because it was more of a disabler, the thought that these are not the things we should be watching kept our minds blocked the whole time and we couldn’t really care for the film or its story (if any, as applicable)

On the contrary, we have seen a lot of movies, look we love to watch movies, we would like to see what goes on screen than on what goes behind it, so technically if u ignore what we said above and we go with an “OPEN MIND” (which again is quite impossible, because we are humans, we have feelings, expectations etc, not cardboard based…never mind)

Where were we?

Ah yes open mind, even with an open mind there must be something in the story that should make us happy, no fireworks in that department too, usual stuff.

Good man has great dad (both warriors), good man and great dad makes the king jealous. Then what follows etc.

Now wait, this makes the king the villain. Yes but never really does anything bad for his country, just wants to expand his boundaries, just like..hmm..any other king. All kings want to expand territories except of course ASOKA, oh wait he fought wars too—- yes, to expand his territories.

Ok we forgive all this and accept the kings as villains, because they are rich, ambitious and jealous of their generals, because somebody has to be a villain so that the hero can say something nice right, some good sayings, some everyday couplets etc etc.

Are these things anything new? Well that is subjective and we are not going into that, just that we will imply that they were quite dull is what we felt.

Oops, you don’t imply like that! Be more subtle.

Subtle like Rana? Who clearly says to us the whole plot in a line and expect us to watch a film in which we know what is going to happen so well that even the twists don’t matter? Never mind.

Arrogant fools! If you keep comparing films like this then no one will have the guts to make anything different, no new technology will come into Tamil.

In the first year of movie review school (yes there is one) we were thought of only one thing, that only the movie matters, only! This is what they teach in review school.

So you can even add on and say that most of the people here might not be exposed to the levels of animation from outside and they might really find the move enthralling.

That maybe true, but then again you are underestimating your audience and feeding them stuff thinking they will not know of any higher thing and also asking them morally to support something just for the effort.

But! That’s a bloody lot of effort!! Do you guys have any idea how much time and money have been spent on this film!!

Of course we applaud the effort and all that, no we don’t exactly know how many hours and how much was spent on this film and we don’t think that should be a big factor in liking or not liking a movie.

You have no idea what type of films are made here, just watching some Hollywood films without understanding and saying something in dassu-bussu English, you don’t even need to see our films again, we are quite happy of this film and we will make this a very big hit and from next year on every third movie will be an animation movie.

Cool, we are happy to be wrong, we know we are wrong most of the time.

We also agree on the fact that we don’t understand the Hollywood films we see entirely, but we like them.

We like Tamil films too, we watch them a lot, more than the dassu bussu films, we like to watch Tamil films more than most, we only wish there better movies made and only wish the right films get the attention of the audience.

If they don’t, it is not our failure, because…well never mind.

We have also seen quite a few Tamil movies with the same theme, MGR’s Aayirathil Oruvan which was recently released and thanks to some forces is still running in theatres had a similar plot of a hero put in a rough situation because he has to defend his men for whom he is responsible, the recent Tenali Raman too had a similar revenge theme.

As it is quite common knowledge that the avenging theme is nothing new…the beauty lies in the execution.

For example in Aboorva Sagodarargal (1989), the motive for the protagonist is very early established (revenge again), but still it keeps us hooked as to how things proceed.

Never mind.

You are only nit-picking, the film is total entertainment for full families, all shows housefull, sure hundred days, full mass dialogues, amazing songs and pictures! You have no right to even review films, let alone talk about them, you are undermining the choice of crores of people with your bird brain perspectives.

Nit-picking is often under-rated, it shows that how keenly we have seen the film, how involved we were in the film.

As we have said, in not so many words, we found the film dull and hence we were not really looking hard to find fault barring few glaring points.

So in this case we weren’t nit-picking but just stating the overall disconnect that we felt, some of you might have felt otherwise, which is understandable, considering this is a Rajini film after all.

Nit-picking would mean to state things like why were the cave dwellers in the opening song were predominantly dark skinned? Is the director implying that cave dwellers are dark skinned? Hmm

Or how did Deepika Padukone know the exact steps as the white peacock? Did they go to the same dance class?

This only nit-picking.

Shut up, out thalaivar is mass and we dont need your opinions, you are like sand which he steps on.

Oh yes finally to the performances. Rajini is everything, as if you didn’t know that.

All characters are replaceable, mostly inconsequential, actors like Shobana are hardly given lines to speak. So pretty much this film should work for people who were expecting the such.

Also we think in some film you keep the sand thalaivar steps, on your forehead.

We pretty much know that our opinions don’t matter and it is quite known that nobody really reads our blog, our meetings by self, have existential crisis.

That is only answered by our love for movies which trumps all agendas, we don’t take claim of high ground and state that we will tell you what a good movie is, we are just telling you how we could not really feel or connect with this film.

Amidst all the noise, I don’t think our feeble whisper will make a difference, but then again we write so as to make a whisper.

We really wish this film would a window to better things, if the claimed things do happen then the names you are calling us right now will turn out to be true then.

We also realise that movies are purely subjective and their criticism have no meaning beyond a point when the audience is able to make a personal connect to the film.

Just that this film did not have it.

All the best, and to the future.

<Tell us what you thought about this film and our review, you can also tell us how many packets of milk did you all buy for the celebrations right below in the comments.>