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cinema:tamil Parking Lot Notes

Parking Lot Notes: Petta

Being in a theatre showing Petta with Rajini fans, I felt like how a DC fan would feel in a Marvel convention.

Even Marvel movies seemed to take the time to make Gods from Norse mythology-gamma radiated killing machines-super soldiers and arrogant inventors relatable to me (some fellow in Chennai) even if I was not one of their ‘fans’. I guess they still care for storytelling to some sense of the word.

In Petta, however if I had purchased a ticket, the movie immediately assumes that I am a Rajinikanth fan. Year after year, a new film tries to sell me this Rajini persona (or variations of it, by other aspiring heroes) but I have not been able to buy into it.  

It(this persona) matters even more in this movie. Petta is a carefully color-graded super-star compilation hits and boy the hits just keep on coming. Karthik Subbaraj ups the gimmicks-catch phrases-political posturing and slow mo staples of Raijni to 11, thus gifting me a pre-festival headache. Anirudh made sure that the headache remained for the entirety of the movie (and the following weekend) with his background score.

Headaches are minor things when compared to the heartache of seeing characters left hanging. Some good actors called just to rot before this constructed image of Rajinikanth.

Because if you are not great yourself, the only way to seem so is by making others feel small.

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cinema cinema:tamil

2.0: Hollow Spectacle

2point0

 

Shankar’s sci-fi sequel begins in twilight.  A wonderfully constructed suicide; it could very well be a testimony to the director himself.

 

Is the Shankar sun really setting?

 

If it is, then it really wants us all to remember the previous glory.

2.0 is an oddly stitched together film of mostly “Shankar elements”, who knows this movie can give rise to an ‘Ultimate Shankar Movie Checklist’

 

Here goes an initial draft:

Shankar’s main vigilante will want to kill people to make things right because no one listens to him- Check

He might use some ancient text/symbol/martial art to justify/aid his killing- Check

Vigilante will compete himself & previous Shankar films in devising improbable deaths- Check

Using common folk to convey the confusion about what is happening on the ground or “public pulse” shots- Check

A set piece in a stadium- Check

Amy Jackson’s ….never mind – Check

Corrupt businessmen and politicians- Check

 

Ok, yes there is a lot more which we left out including the minister’s secretary wearing safari suit (Check).

Directors tend to repeat themselves, happens all the time man.

We understand that people can run out of ideas and would very much recycle existing works; marketing has a fancy name for this called “re-purposed content”.

The beauty of such content is in making it feel like a whole new experience, in 2.0 the opposite happens and the regular stream of Shankar references also do not help.

The film reaches fantastical levels of unconvincing-ness when Akshay Kumar turns up as prosthetic Pakshirajan or bird-man who somehow has summoned the dead spirits of sparrows to take away cell phones from humans. He believes that humans+cell phones have caused the caused the sparrow deaths and they must be punished. He also believes in wearing a sweater in Thirukazhukundram (70 Km from Chennai).

Dr. Vaseegaran on the other hand believes no man is match for bird-man and summons up Chitti ( The robot from Endhiran). Yep, that’s it; very simple.

Shankar and his team of writers (including Jeyamohan who is writing the Mahabharata in modern form) have gone to the Keep It Simple School of Screenwriting.

If there is a problem, then there is an immediate solution and the protagonist knows what it really and exactly is and hence there is no real tension. Even when a gigantic metallic bird threatens to destroy the city.

Let alone the story, 2.0 refuses to engage in complexities in its science too; everything is reduced to positive and negative. This reductive science approach undertaken to cater to the breadth of the audience ends up hurting the film which after a while feels like a hollow assemblage of well rendered visual effects.

Immediate wow-factor not withstanding 2.0 also overstays its welcome, so eager it is to show us this spectacle that it forgets that the film is pretty much over before the titular 2.0 appears.

2.0 is again Rajnikanth who in the absence of good writing and an effective BGM makes those scenes work with ‘that’ trademark laugh and quips, but by this time it is difficult for humans to really feel connected for the final forty minute action display.

Very early on in the film, an engineering student falls ‘immediately’ in love over the immaculate beauty that is Nila (Amy Jackson) only to fall immediately out of love when he comes to know that Nila is in fact a humanoid robot.

Good to look at, but nothing much beyond that.

Oh wait, that’s the movie too.

 

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cinema cinema:tamil

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.>