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cinema:tamil FRS

FRS: Ponniyin Selvan I (2022)

So you all know what an FRS is right? Right? 

-101: Narration, even if it is by Kamal Haasan. 

Gather around people, as Tamil Nadu’s most visionary director takes the narration route to set things up. For an entire length of film. 

So exciting. Yay!

The comet’s tail tells a deadly tale

At the beginning we are introduced to the Cholas before the glory days. The elder son is fighting in the north, the younger son is fighting in the south and the king is bedridden in Thanjavur and a comet appears bringing with it bad news and assassins. 

By the end of PS 1 the set -up still remains, the elder son is still fighting in the north, the younger son is still in the south and the king is still bedridden. 

Hi to all screenplay writers and arc trackers. Technically nothing happens in this movie, I mean technically. Should have just released part two after Kamal’s voice over.

-34: Repetition 

The two sons and one father situation gets repeated by every other character in the movie to make us care for them, which makes us feel that the Kamal Haasan voiced intro would have been an afterthought and something that they could have very well avoided. 

Vandiyathevan also keeps saying who he is to every character he meets.

+45: As the smoke clears, Vikram walks into the frame- one of the few dreamlike moments in PS, but nobody really told us that he was reprising his role from Ravanan. 

Should we reduce points for this? 

Honestly having Vikram enact middle age angst and longing is one of the better creative decisions in PS- hope he wins a National Award. 

-50: Unnecessary battle which is neither cinematic nor makes us care about our heroes is unnecessary. Battle also acts as an intro spot for two other characters. 

-21: Rashtrakootas are not going to like this film. 

-2PiR: When two people are engaged in conversation, the camera starts to move in a circular manner – as though Mani sir is done with shooting two people talking, giving new meaning to the phrase going in circles. 

This again repeats with other characters as well, by now some critic would have written a 3000 word article about the inner meanings of said circling. 

<overheard but unverified excerpts from PS1 sets> 

“No no, my fans will expect something cinematic, just go around them and don’t keep still Ravi. Go Ravi go!”

<overheard but unverified excerpts from PS1 sets>

-20: Poor judgment on the part of Aditha Karikalan as he hands an important task to Vandiyathevan, who himself says, he does not know the way around Chola country, in a time when Google maps did not exist. 

-51: JeMo, the dialogue writer tries to make a pun joke with the word Madhusudhanan, nobody in the audience caught it, but we did hence the negative. 

+201: Experience Happy Chola country in this song where every village along the way not only knows the songs composed by ARR but also the dance steps. 

Of course, there is a distinct lack of Tamil Nadu-ness in the proceedings, which Mani-philes would praise as not only intentional but also international. Needless to say that there is very little about the people of time and the customs.

Guess only the best among us become Mani-philes. We are just FRS writers, so no such pressure for us. 

204: Every dialogue a question-itis 

Who is that on that boat?

Where are you going? 

Won’t you carry my message? 

How great Tanjore looks? 

Umm that’s actually Jaipur, or Jodhpur or some such pur (loop back to the biggest movie about the biggest Tail empire has very little Tamilness in it)

Adapting a thousand page epic did not give the screen writers even one inspiration to write inspiring dialogue. Someone told us that this was a passion project. Considering this is Madras Talkies, maybe even the passion was subtle.

-61: Vandiyathevan abandons his horse Semba, apdiye after trying to sell us that it was his most prized relationship

That should tell us a lot about character development in Maniyin Selvan. 

< FRS will continue immediately after this short non commercial rant on character development>

FRS writers are no fools, they usually spend their weekends watching Glitz, Woods, and Galatta videos of the movie that they are asked to rate- this however comes at great cost to their normal lives- but it is only in these videos they discovered from a Jeyamohan interview that Ponniyin Selvan could be reduced to Vandiyathevan moving from one place to another. 

While yes technically yes, everything is technically correct but we must be able to feel something about the characters before we go along with them from one place to another. Shouldn’t we?

PS is like most epics filled with journeys , but then you have to love the hobbit and his fellowship for you to even reach Bree. 

But here, a result of superstar casting, none of the characters do come alive. And any impression we made were based on pre-existing notions about the ability of the artists themselves- Karthi is case in point. 

PS needed unknown casting where Vandiyathevan’s resourcefulness, Arulmozhi’s resoluteness and Nandini’s tempting nature comes to foreground. 

Here it’s just Karthi, Jayam Ravi and Aishwarya Rai who fill the screen leaving enough space for characters. 

<FRS continues>

-232: Pandians are not going to like this movie. 

They shouldn’t, their discreet assassins are shown here as tactless who attack in broad daylight. 

Success rate of Pandian assassins should be called into question, if this is how they plan to kill the princes then Pandians must recalibrate their strategy for the next movie- they should probably work with Accenture. 

Until then Pandian Abathudhavis sleeps with the fishes. (pun intended)

-100: To us for making a Pandian meen kodi fish bilingual pun. 

+85: Maniratnam decided to repurpose his own content from Nayakan – Nila Adhu Vanathy chi Vanathu mele feat. Poonkuzhali and just like that we are in Pattaya, chi, we mean Sri Lanka. 

-1917: Again needless war based introduction to another hero , we don’t know who Arunmozhi Varman is and immediately we are asked to partake in his sudden victory.

There was a brilliant intro to Arun (in the books) which is again there in the movie but by the team we know who Arun is and the scene loses its importance. 

Seems as though Mani had to forgo all his creative freedom to push two battle scenes, just for scale and for the intro of his leads. 

Again we spend our weekends watching glitz and woods videos where the director explicitly states that the idea was to keep things grounded and not blow up the scale. 

Realistic was the word, oh we love that word. 

We do appreciate closed chamber drama like the average next PVR popcorn popping person person, but the movie never makes up its mind whether it wants to be an epic or just a pic. 

The supposed big moments don’t hit the high notes and the small quieter moments are hardly your “savor-this-moment-so-that-it-ultimately-lives-on -as-whatsapp-love-status – at arms length from every teen in search of expression“.

Take a break as we reduce more points for the song and dance in this movie. 

72: All songs are unnecessary and are expertly placed at times when you can just close your eyes, take deep breaths and think about existence and stuff. 

Maybe you can also use the break time to think about the average Chola fighter who has not to not only fight for his blood thirsty emo teen now turning 40 Aditha, but also has to learn steps from Brinda master so that he can dance in some Rastrakuta fort to Chola Chola?

Man being a Cholan soldier, tough. 

300: When we imagined about the average Chola soldier, our imagination also leapt from the screen and went into the books and wondered what team Mani did with the 300 songs that Kalki had in the text?

Ah but never mind, you get a glimpse of acclaimed dancer Shobana’s dance drama here pushed as Ratchasa Mamane which no one expected. 

Since we all got things we never expected, the only way to acclaim this movie is to say that Team Mani has successfully subverted audience expectations. 

+101: Something something happens and everybody talks the plot so that we end up in a somewhat thrilling climatic sequence on a burning ship. 

Again, Pandian assassins are not going to like this film. They might not like the sequel too.

And now for our new segment called, readers write-in

Gentlereader2002 asks: Hey FRS writers, why are you so full of vanmam (hate), your vanmam spills from the screen onto my laptop keyboard and every time I need to get myself Colin’s cleaners to clean the system of vanmam.

Don’t you have anything good to say about the movie? Come on now, it grossed over 500 crores le? 

Thank you gentlereader2002, yes it is true that in the FRS writers room hate is not a bad word, it is what connects us. 

Funnily we try and convert this vanmam into posts – it is the only way we can cleanse vanmam from our systems. Maybe FRS is our internal Colin’s cleaners. 

To answer your second question, of course if you look hard enough, you can find goodness even in the most dullest things, like if Kollywood spends time in reading the FRS for a long time they might also have some point worth taking home. And like that we found that within the short time given, it was actually Sarath Kumar who brought a sense of majesty to the proceedings, we also liked Vikram’s portrayal – so like the rest is there for us to make fun.

Vanman can be a force for the good.

DonChera from Puliyoor writes: You write so disparagingly about the Cholas and you are so sentimental about Pandian abathudhavis, so you must be a secret Pandian, am I right? 

Us: We also rued the fact that Ponniyin Selvan’s big moments were not big like RRR or Baahubali, does that make us English speaking spies of the Vijayanagara empire? 

Guess we will know when Maniyin Selvan is back next year.

Team FRS

Subam.

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cinema cinema:tamil FRS

FRS: Bhoomi (2021)

So you all know what an FRS is right? Right?

Even before the Big Bang, there was agriculture

+25: For #JR25. Nandri Vanakkam. 

+12: a long time ago in a galaxy far far away types opening for this movie which opens in one corner of the universe and zooms in on planet earth, because the movie title is Bhoomi (earth), of course while the credits play.

+101: from the very first we know that Jeyam Ravi has actually done two world (bhoomi)changing things

  1. Help humans live using carbon dioxide instead of oxygen by inventing one mathirai (tablet) 
  2. Recreate Mars’ climate on earth and use it to grow plants.
Space X Samudayam

-11: That the movie will not choose to focus on the exciting stories behind these breakthroughs, tells a lot about the movie. 

+33: Director Lakshman’s screen credit comes immediately after Jeyam Ravi says, ‘give me one seed and I shall create a new world’ (whistle moments for fans of the director) 

-21: Movie missed the opportunity to name itself ‘Seed-an’ because most of it is about Bhoomi’s search for potent seeds only. Yes, the hero’s name is also Bhoomi, movie name is also Bhoomi, planet name is also Bhoomi. 

FRS Trivia Thagaval sponsored by Wikipedia 

Keen watchers will remember that Vijay’s name in Kaavalan is also Bhoomi 

+12: When American media asks, the hero will say that his hero is not a scientist or an inventor but a humble farmer from his hometown. 

Annadata -1, America- 0

+1776: NASA salaries are so good that Bhoomi can buy villa which is miga miga arugil to the Statue Of Liberty (ofc)

+101: NASA employee policies are so good that suddenly Bhoomi gets one month leave, just before a potentially universe changing mission.

-40: Said humble farmer is played by Thambi Ramiah, his screen duration can be immediately guessed based on the paavam face that he is having and the number of paavam family members in his house. 

Oops spoilers. 

-35: Heroine is a bayandha subhavam types, although this initially used as comedy material, this character trait is lost as the movie progresses. Boss why you introduce characteristics and then forget it mid-way.

-323: As usual, as is typical of Kolly thinker movies, officials, police, IAS officers and politicians are all bad people and have no redeeming qualities. So, obviously, all 4 make up the nasama villain set vs our NASA hero. 

+90: Hero displays scientific temper, wow Kolly thinkers! 

-90: Hero displays scientific temper in all the wrong things, like taking the strand of hair from the heroine and analysing it to find what emotions she was going through 

-41.2: Over the course of the movie, the hero loses the scientific part and only has the temper. 

-17.8: Movie runs around a bit before becoming the usual corporate is bad and zero sum game template, usual diet of Kolly thinkers. 

+14: Seems director is also subscribing to all the conspiracy video channels that some of the FRS writers are too, movie suddenly makes a turn to reveal the main villain as Richard Child (possible play on the Rothschild family) and 13 others who control everything in the world

Child is the father of the (bad) man group

+69: Bhoomi is also a worthy addition to the drone camera pandemic that is plaguing the Kolly industry, most of movie is in bird’s eye view 

For five minutes, movie also is shot like “Life of Ram” from 96 when Bhoomi and his schoolmate go in search of potent seeds from the tribes who live in the forest. Of course, they are still doing untouched agriculture.

-75: Rest of the movie is just Bhoomi vs Richard Child speaking to one another in slow voices over the mobile phone which in Kollywood is dubbed casually as “cat and mouse game”, only this game is not interesting only. 

+36: Something something happens and Bhoomi decides that he will be starting his own ‘farming corporate’ and now movie is about homemade cola companies vs foreign cola companies

-36: but earlier it was against corporate itself, but now suddenly they are okay with Indian companies that exploit agri lands, such water and pollute environment

Decide Bhoomi, who are you fighting??? 

-100: Bhoomi and his new brand, imaginatively titled “Tamizhan” will accept capital from Indian corporate houses, but will not strike a deal with them to use their distribution networks, but why? 

Men of culture, agriculture

Also why would you launch your brand across the country on the same day so that villain can easily cut-off/buy-off all your produce?

Other notable Kolly viruses ( segment sponsored by Chitra & Co ) 

Short term virus- it originated in the “one song la millionaire” trope, now it is extended to represent one montage le systemic change. 

Bhoomi is an immediate montage success and now all farmers want to be like him, so he even goes on a talk show to convince his fellow farmers, who are immediately….wait for it…convinced. 

Same virus reappears when Bhoomi wants to launch all products of the Tamizhan brand across the state on the same day (pongal) ! But why ? Can start in a region and then scale right? Looking at how customers react to your product etc? 

Maybe the director thinks that selling products and releasing movies are the same thing, we don’t know, just guessing. 

Like…never mind.

That brings us to the next virus, which is the identity virus, every battle is ultimately a battle to bring down the Tamil Identity. 

In Bhoomi, this is planned by Richard Child on a global scale and to much of Bhoomi’s advantage it is this virus that ultimately helps his cause. 

People will buy products just to save their Identity, quality of product and all no one will check? If it is from the Tamizhan brand then people will buy, it seems.

What if corporate guy is actually giving a good product at a low price? Are you guys gonna shun them just because he doesn’t share your identity? 

So many questions, but no answer from Kolly Thinkers. 

So many viruses in Kollywood, let’s chronicle some more in the FRSs to come. Chitra & Co is in no way responsible for the content, that they run a pharma business should not be of anyone’s concern etc disclaimer. 

-43: If you have read till here, you will probably be tired, just like how we felt after hearing the “Tamizhan Endru…” BGM for every act (in slow motion) that the hero does in the movie

-27: All songs whenever, wherever.

As we sat to compile more points, the FRS writers realized that the movie sneaked in a brand promotion for one of the veshti brands that the hero endorses. But since that is Indian corporate, it’s all allowed. 

Yeah so. 

All data and statistics are incidental and non-serious except the ones provided by our data analytics team in Pune

Subam.

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cinema cinema:tamil FRS Uncategorized

FRS: Bogan

 

Hi

 

Right, we all know what an FRS is right? right?

 

bogan1

+50: Hero is Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) which is the go-to designation for heroes playing cops, TN Police in an unofficial statement said that the morale of ACP aspirants had gone up by 50% since Tamil cinema discovered the post. Jeyam Ravi is the 300th person to don the role. He himself had played the designation a record 12 times.

-12: Hero is honest means it is assured that hero’s family is also honest to the core, sometimes we are confused if this is family or Sabarmati Ashram.

-17: Hero’s house looks like proper Madras type building, inside however the decor looks like some castle in Budapest (are there castles in Budapest? i dunno, Europe is out of portions for me); maybe art director landed up at the different film set.

I wonder.

-81: Supporting characters as non entities, basically I believe characters are written only for top billed actors (if writing is actually thought of value in a film), it is like Aadukalam Naren means father only, and since we have seen him play the same role so many times, same case with Saranya Ponnvanan. Like while writing they just give names I guess.

-10.78: Hansika’s name is Mahalakshmi Azhagamperumal, is like rooted to society in naming if characters, but casting? Oh well, lets not be unkind.

-12: Hansika’s voice seems to have been dubbed by the person who dubbed for Dora in the tamil version of Dora the Explorer , if someone clarifies that this was for comedic effect, we will of course revert the points to positive. Thank you.

-41: This movie wouldn’t have been made, if Thani Oruvan had not happened, which is quite sad because Thani Oruvan is actually quite good.

bogan3

-31.23333: Director doesn’t realize that characters only came back in their own sequel/franchise model; is not like Aravind Swamy can go on playing Sidharth Abhimanyu (his role from Thani Oruvan) in ever film, here of course he plays Aditya Verma(Varma?) which is just Sidharth Abhimanyu with a different name.

-5: I have signed on Aravind Swamy, so he will always speak in ‘deeeeep’ voice type commitment

+10: Archaeological Survey of India

-107: So Aditya Verma (Varma?) is actually shown as a prince, whose family had lost all their possessions because Government of India took all of it, which at some point seems acceptable, but what isn’t acceptable is that they actually show the Red Fort as one Verma (varma?)’s palaces.

Before you say WTF, they show Mysore Palace as well, we waited till end credits in the hope that they are going to show Marlinspike Hall as Arvind Swamy’s summer home.

Umm..no luck

-120: Maan Karate rule of abuse of spiritual power (or) The Baba theory of kite wishing

In other words whenever in a Tamil film, a character is bestowed with some sort of divine power, they put it to the most trivial tests.

-23:  Hero climbing out of helicopter and walking slowly is considered as Masss/Style. Edho

+55: Hansika goes to TASMAC and asks for a drink so that she can be bold and stuff, sensing this is the first portrayal of dutch courage on the tamil screens, yes were are now international #ulagacinema

-7: Even while drunk, heroine will talk about numerology #yeppa

+16: SJ Suryah references! (Is this a positive or a negative, benefit of doubt based positive)

+41: One scene or is it half a scene (are there half scenes? dammit we are so under prepared as reviewers) in which Arvind Swamy speaks to himself in a mirror

+5: For the number of newsminute articles on sexism in the tamil filmdom, this movie will lend itself to as fodder.

-190.59: If you have been seeing movies on a regular basis, twists in a film stop registering or creating an effect on you after a point of time, especially in a film which uses the reviewer friendly phrase of ‘cat and mouse’ type format, where there is a supposed battle of wits and there are crosses, double crosses and railway crosses happening, sleep comes to you automatically. Maybe this should be prescribed to insomniacs.

-21: Second half of movie should have been titled ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Long’

First part should be titled, ‘wait till you get to the second half’

-37: All songs whenever, wherever, special mention to a party number which spells out BOGAN 300 times, troubling.

+11: the fact that Bogan rhymes with Dragon has been used to good effect.

-91: Commisioner of Police Control Room Server maintenance will take 15 minutes only, dei

0: Movie comes close to being actually bold at one point, but never really is. I am guessing the director should have stuck with his Dutch Courage theme.

-151: Some kind of logic this police offer hero has, whenever there is a video evidence, you take multiple copies of it for safety, you don’t destroy other copies, edho da.

-78.91: All commercial movies will end in a pointless fight in Chennai Harbour, and there is this promise of sequel also.

+5: Expected the movie to be troubling, was not disappointed.

bogan4

All numbers are irrelevant and arbitrary. All spelling and grammar mistakes are intentional, because we dont know grammar only. Semi-colon. LOL;

The FRS team

Subam