Tag: Rakul Preeth

FRS: NGK

So we all know what FRS is right? Good that would save us an introduction.

-10: Movie begins with hero being introduced dramatically with rain, hence raising our expectations that something is going to happen now types, but nothing really happens (is this Selva preparing us for the whole movie?)

-21: Kollywood hero is a farmer cliche, not just any farmer but an organic one at that

Accepted Occupations in the Kollywood-verse (in order of precedence)

Rank 1: Farmers (honest, humble, divine and innocent)

Rank 2: Honest Police officers (not humble, but has thimiru)

Rank 3: Auto drivers (mostly honest, but actually humble)

Rank 4: Aspiring actor/ aspiring movie director (includes all above attributes, add to that struggling)

There is also intermingling of these ranks in a film like Raatchasan where a Rank 4 becomes a Rank 2, in Vettaikaran Rank 3 wants to be Rank 2

Not accepted occupations in Kollywood-verse (no order)

Any occupation that involves getting monthly salary and wearing some kind of formals, sometimes even casuals. Basically Kollywood is against anyone who works for a organization which is registered as a private limited company and believes they are actually slaves.

-30: As expected, farmer hero thinks all office jobs are for slaves and asks rest of TN to wake up and smell the “mannvasanai”

+30: Sai Pallavi, wife of NGK loves the smell of “mannvasanai”, her sense of smell is important for the rest of the story

+56: Organic farming executed by NGK and his 500 friends is successful, although none of this is shown.

-56: But not successful enough for other farmers in the region to adopt the same practices, even when the whole project is headlined by the town’s most prominent son NGK

Also if you are a hero from a small town in TN, obviously you have to be prominent and rest of town is happily dancing with you in an opening song which hero asks people to be vigilant, etc

-90: An immediate scene after this involves NGK battling for the government jobs of few unfortunate girls whose fathers died while in duty, hero is not successful on his account but achieves it by calling help from a school friend who works for the local politician.

This scene is a set-up for NGK to understand that how much influential he might seem, the real power lies with politicians.

But this we feel is going against the character of NGK, he did not for even a moment tell the girls to give up their dreams of working for salary and take up farming!

Or does this mean that NGK is only against private enterprise?

-67: All politicians are villains and all villains are politicians, except the unsuccessful ones

-32: Hero being asked to join politics so that he only can change the system by at least one character in a political film, also in the background is MGR staring down on him types etc

-66: Early success of organic farming somehow adversely affects rest of the economy of the village and hence the entire money lender mafia is now out to kill NGK….can’t money lenders look for some other businesses or individuals to lend etc.

Why does kollywood keep selling this success of one means failure of the rest narrative, there is space for all us guys, there is lot to do.

-101: Every big conflict in this movie is resolved by means of just a phone call, this never ceased to shock us, although Rakul Preet doing a mini bio-pic of Prashant Kishor within this movie is even more shocking

-34: Movie after being humorless for an hour suddenly decides to become a satire

-10: Satire still is not funny, but by this time NGK slowly descends into madness and pulls the rest of the film with him

+134: This was perhaps the most interesting feature, most of the characters become mad over the course of this film, fascinating; but Selva doesn’t overtly go through with this.

Maybe this is a film by a bored Selva, who really didn’t want to make such a flat film(but had to?).

This is more of a taunt to the audience. More like Selva’s Neengal Kettavai, but Selva doesn’t want to give what the audience want. All those things happen in the background somewhere but he is reluctant to show all this. This is a subversion of show, don’t tell philosophy of film making- Tell, don’t show.

Maybe during the making of the film, the director understood it, as to how NGK reflects this very moment in the entertainment business or popular culture- the entertainer and the entertained are the same people. Every turn a story takes somehow has to be connected to the current, deliver a larger message, the movie actually ends in a public meeting which is more of a direct address to the audience (us) at large

There are no jokes in this movie, because we are the jokes?

There are no redeeming characters in this movie, because reality is such?

There can be no change in the system, because we don’t deserve a change?

And those who promise change are as bad (or even worse) those who we wish to change from?

Selva puts out all these existential questions, provides no answers, doesn’t even try and write stand-out scenes which results in a film that is completely consumed of the director’s boredom.

But the cumulative effect is that, we (the FRS) writers could feel this boredom seeping into our minds while writing this piece that we forgot to deduct points for narration that we usually and happily always do.

This is not a happy experience.  But to Selva’s credit he actually made us ‘feel’ the film without actually making it.

Strange. Really strange.

All numbers are incidental and arbitrary, except the facts provided by our data analytics team

Subam

Team FRS

The Aunty Terror Squad

FYC: Spyder

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Has there been any Hollywood movie that has influenced so many Indian filmmakers within a short while than Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight? Maybe it is about the obsession with creating an antagonist.

Oh but I’m only thinking out loud, but it could really be the next on the ‘movies-we-look-up to-for-immediate-inspiration’ after Coppola’s The Godfather.

But the Batman and Joker are already part of larger conscious because of decades of multimodal existence, making it easier for writers to evoke invested past strands and bring to life the characters; it is not the same case in a Telugu-Tamil bilingual; a genre where a master in the culinary arts would not feel out of place.

Such movies are not called masala for nothing.

The Dark Knight is a (dark) blockbuster superhero movie, the near equivalent from what we have is the south Indian mass masala.  While some of it can be considered as comic, but here the word does not refer to periodicals out of which characters leap out of.

Mass masala by itself depends much on its leading man and the story gives into him. By that very statement it means that these films are meant to work only for those who buy into the charms (or lack-of) of the star.

Which means that for the most part the writer-directors are restricted in their choice of ingredients, sometimes they have to make do with just one condiment, more often than not trick the audience by throwing garam masala in our eyes.

AR Murugadoss seems to, in my eyes at least an expert chef who can find different uses for the same ingredient.

(I am really overdoing this samayal-cinema analogy, must come to the point before things get over cooked)

Under The Influence

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I believe more than the act of being inspired by another work, it is more important to know why that particular inspirational moment worked and think before replicating it.

Spyder’s hero does what Batman wanted Lucius Fox to do, listen in on people; while the ethical ramifications of spying are superficially dealt, they provide a convincing motivation for the lead; to prevent crime before it happens.

Yes, this could be the pre-crime from Minority Report but it could also be the inversion that is seen in ARM films like making a Vijaykanth film without making a Vijaykanth film?

The hero becomes a mass hero as a reaction to personal tragedies or societal atrocities, but can he/she really still be called a hero by preventing events from happening and not let the world know?

But it isn’t really an inversion unless you follow through with the act of an unseen hero, ultimately compulsions prevail and there is a love track and so there must be songs and an overblown climactic fight which makes you forget the questions that the film tried to raise earlier.

Especially notable is when Madan Karky rhymes mosam with awesome and concludes love is eternal much like plastic.

But Spyder is still somewhere there and even these commercial elements are not without joy.

Who Wants To Be A Hero?

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Earlier in the Spyder, a scene made me reflect on an underlying theme in Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, that every person is capable of heroism, Bruce obviously states this in the concluding chapter but there are enough visual examples.

The way the common folk are involved in the events that happen to the city, not just as observers but as  active participants, they are not alienated in the good vs. evil battle nor are they just used as bait for the hero to rescue.

But why?

In Spyder’s best segment which lasts about 20 minutes, has nothing to do with Mahesh Babu  or the antagonist S J Suryah, but about common people (middle aged ladies in this case) finding courage to do what they would not normally do and lend a helping hand beyond possible imagination.

It worked totally for me and convinced that this involvement of the nameless with whom we can identify, add to how we receive a film.

Yes yes, S J Suryah character and how he seems to have played it tries to match Heath Ledger’s Joker in every step, but then there is more to the Dark Knight trilogy.

Only if we choose to see, hence for your consideration.