Categories
cinema cinema:tamil

NEE ENGE EN ANBE : REWORKING NOT WORKING

And we are back with our tired and tested, yet faulty review for another film. If you have been unaware of what FRS is, kindly refer our introduction to FRS here.

Umm..

Nee Enge En Anbe

+1: For a bad remake, Nee Enge En Anbe (NEEA or Neeya?!) begins quite well.

-35: Bad idea results in bad remake, extra points for thinking of remaking a good film and failing quite badly on all fronts, why do you have to remake a good film unless you aren’t adding anything  substantial to it, also Kahaani is quite a pop film, won few awards too right?

-12: Location, location,location- in the original Kahaani, Kolkata provided the perfect setting and its character was central to the story, here Hyderabad however the maker has tried to justify, seems a force fit.

-4: Nayanthara’s eye lashes, no seriously if this movie was 3D they would poke your eyes, so visibly long, but why?

-5: Crying Nayanthara

-5: More crying Nayanthara

-5: Still more crying Nayanthara, for a thriller this is one of the weepiest, frustrating because we apparently don’t know what she is crying about. They should have called it Cries and Whispers instead, also fits.

-19.5: Whole movie seems so un-stimulating and there is no interest for u to suffer with it, you might argue that since Kahaani has been watched by us, this is not a valid reason. But we are not listing valid reasons here.

-8: Enough with the imagery guys!! We get it that the movie is about an avenging angel, while Kahaani was subtle and nice about the durga pooja and Vidya Bagchi’s story, here every alternate scene is Nayanthara praying to the goddess wide-eyed and vengeful, leaving little to surprise.

We’re stopping not because we couldn’t find more points, in fact there were many like insufficient character growth and the overreaching of the script to complicate itself, but it is just that we are tired.

We also liked the original a lot and even after multiple viewings it still retains some magic, this might have influenced our negative viewing of Shekhar Kammula’s new film. It is quite understandable that a person who hasn’t seen the Sujoy Ghosh film might enjoy it, but we would like to bet against it.

All numbers are arbitrary and instantaneous.

 

 

Categories
cinema:tamil FRS

MAAN KARATE: DEATH BY UNDERDOGISM

 

This film is strictly reviewed according to the FRS™, for more details on our completely unscientific way of watching movies, do refer to our Irandam Ulagam review.

Maan Karate

 

-10: Self negative points to our FRS team which could not come with a better title and had to resort to the Neeya Naana Gobinath School of inventing words like Underdogism
-1.5: The protagonist is from Royapuram, calls himself Royapuram Peter. How does the location help the hero/story? Now they have a ‘reason’ to have an opening song at the harbour lines. Other than that no use of location.
+37.7: All the songs, no really. With all those things happening on screen, you might as well set your smart phones to do a countdown for the next song. Them songs, not so classic, but still refreshingly good and tastefully (ok subjective) shot.
-3: Usage of Pondicherry French Quarter in song routine to up supposed classiness. Yes yes, that same painted retro wall with that retro scooter every heroine seems to be having these days.
-12: Wayward-wisecracking-notlisteningtoparents-still the talk of the town type protagonist
-4: portrayal of IT guys as people with too much money and too little to do, which maybe partially true but you have no idea about appraisal system. So take negatives.
-56: Wayward-wisecracking-notlisteningtoparents-still the talk of the town type protagonist preference of white skinned girls is proudly brandished and so he finds love too.
-3: fart jokes in lift lead to love
-5: Thirukural as groom selecting device is not only not funny but also insulting to the couplets.
-10: whenever a Godly-sainted-mythic guy offers a boon, humans will try to test the power of the “Godly-sainted-mythic guy” rather than ask anything fruitful cliché
+14.5: interesting plot which makes no sense in the end of it all, but still interesting.
-109: the underdog story which will makes all the dogs in my city hangs their head in shame, as said complete random guy making it big in life and all is okie and probably hope giving, but at the cost of a professional and no basis is only irritating, the proposed rationalisation of the same is clearly troubling.
+8: for Udhayam corn Puff
-56: No matter how many tournaments you win all over India and how many hours of practising you do in any sport, you will always lose to a guy(yes yes underdog) who has no clue of it all because he is doing it for love.
-6: Love is what happens in the fields of pune with heroine shaking required body parts, hero does shake too. <You can see that we are not being sexist>
-89: Completely watering down one sport in the name of comedy, which again was wanting in humor always.
+67: usage of the phrase “Killer Peter is going to kill you”
+12 chillarai: here and there some one liners which make you chuckle
-3: after chuckling you go into depression for chuckling.
+1: guy who usually plays the rich father of the rich heroine is playing the rich father of the rich villain #changes
+8: Udhayam corn puff (we bought two packets)
-120*2 : We bought two movie tickets
If you don’t care for the review and think that against all odds the underdog should win and love should finally triumph, then this review is not for you. This movie is however tailor made for you.
All numbers are arbitrary and instantaneous and have no bearing on the film, this review, the writers and the readers.
PS: the boxing stadium in the film is named after John Pennycuick, who as you might be aware is the builder of the Mullai Periyar Dam. One only wonders why.
Categories
cinema cinema:tamil

After all, the car is a man’s best friend

pannaiyarum-padminiyum_13584014930

Within three months into this year, we have a winner!

Long ago, man lived in caves. Then man, accidentally discovered fire, then man worshipped fire. We later went to worshipping cows and now on a particular day we garland our vehicles and apply sandal paste.

The quality to see oneself in others in perhaps unique to mankind, I do not speak with any scientific backing, but it certainly seems true, does the cheetah think of the fate of the gazelle before it hunts it down? Does it? We cannot say for sure, but I do feel sorry for the gazelle as much as I admire the strides of the predator.

The idea of thinking that non living things do have life is also an extension of this thought, an interesting twitter account which posts occasional pictures of things that look like humans is an example, but closer home it is the naming of cows, chicken and more importantly vehicles that best represents these traits.

Why do we have the intention of naming anything that is devoid of any form of feeling, which will probably never respond to us?

Although the car is not named in the film, the Premier Padmini is from a time when it really meant something to own something; I do not think if the film would have had any value, if it had been about recent variants of any automobile.

Owning something is not a luxury anymore, but a sign of luxury, the freedom of choice, and the freedom to always wait for an upgrade on the existing. The freedom to cast away what we have; and to acquire something new and, then to be bored by it all.

A telling moment of another time is in Su. Arun Kumar’s Pannaiyaarum Padminiyum is when the Pannaiyaar is confronted with the question of ownership by his driver, the driver fears for his career (more so about his life, for it is this car which brought him everything including love), while the Pannaiyaar wants to please his wife by learning to drive.

Objects mean something to people, not because of the value that is thrust upon them commercially, but because of their usage that connects in so many ways to so many people.The way the principal characters behave are the reactions to the presence and their attachment to the car.

To think of it, in the hands of Peter Jackson this story could have ended up as ‘Hope Diamond’ meets the one Ring kind of story, detailing the fate of the characters, completely consumed by the object of possession. The Pannaiyaar and his wife are consumed by the car no doubt, but not in any diabolical way, but share a relationship similar to that of  a grandfather-grandson.

The state of not being in possession is also deftly handled by the side shot, as if a member of the family is being taken away on one last funeral procession, the car completely humanized towards the end of the film, a dreamy end to the film, an unrealistic but completely agreeable end.

The success of the film is heightened by its setting, a remote village with a loveable headman, whatever is owned by him is in turned ‘owned’ by the village, the children running around, the shunting(a word humorously used in the film as well) to nearby places and the whole sense of community goodness that comes with it.

Although the path taken to achieve this desired effect is dramatised, it is only understandable.

Pannaiyaarum Padminiyum is by no means a path breaking film, it has not shaken up the castle walls at Kollywood, nor it is about something that is entirely new to the screens, but the sense of fulfilment that this film brings is an unanswered question for me, maybe for those whose emotional investment in similar themes is comparatively less might have found it overdrawn and sentimental.

Like how the Pannaiyaar falls in love with this green antique car, my love for this movie is probably without reason; but I do believe that the case for reason to love something is quite inexplicable. Told with abundant humour and loveable characters,the simple Pannaiyaarum Padminiyum is the best Tamil film this year. If this comes out as a challenging statement, it is a challenge that we have already won.

Categories
cinema cinema:tamil FRS

KALYANA SAMAYAL SAADHAM: MARRIAGE MADE IN LAMPOON

This film is strictly reviewed according to the FRS™, for more details on our completely unscientific way of watching movies, do refer to our Irandam Ulagam review.

FRS- Unscientific. Unsympathetic.Unwanted (how’s the tag line buddies?)

 

A note on noting.

It has come to our notice that the Royal Bengal tiger and the joint family comedy are now endangered, the reason for the tiger’s dwindling population is unknown to us, but the family comedy has surely come to its near end; its proponents have either given up on the genre because the genre’s faithful audience now sit at home and watch TV serials.

And now to the review.

           KSS

+1: for defying all existing rules and making a film without Santhanam

-2.5: partially misleading title, movie is not about the food served in marriages<possible spoiler>

-10: guy (hero) attends phone call during important meeting thing, first things first, we really hate that. We never get calls during meetings, never, ever.

+5: admirable to see someone attempt a quasi- crazy mohanian film

-34.83: however it isn’t an admirable quasi-crazy mohanian film, if it doesn’t have enough laughs. Definitely not crazy enough; or perhaps we are misreading the film, which is quite possible< the complainant who accuses us of this can write to us, we will duly apologize>

+5: for the heroine not being the daughter or sister of MLA/goonda/main or sub villain( Lekha Washington plays a mechanical engineering graduate who also blogs. We are recruiting such kinds)

+6: actually for all the characters for being simple and rooted and quite likeable

-12: for focussing on stereotypes to provide on humour (not happening buddies) instead of focussing on humour for which situations were rightly setup

-4: thick accents as humour (ok covered in above point, but still we do like to double strike)

+7.89: guy actually doing something do-able (as in real life) to impress girl

-5: what happened to the heroine’s brother????? <No we really want to know, he was there for some time, then went to study for exams?>

-7: subplot (or sub of subplot) based on rumour, again not funny; also the movie takes “the long and winding road” to the end. <Suppressed yawns>

+3: NRI friend who actually is not a threat to your life and will not take away the girl (points given considering the writers have not gone past amjikarai in their whole lives)

-3: hero sidelines Chennai friends when NRI friend appears and saves the day (yes this happens and we take friendships seriously)

-2: Bridesmaids have inherent synchronous giggling quality which they do not find irritating

-1: bajji-sojji based

+10: Delhi Ganesh <as usual a pleasure to watch, but has very little to do>

+5: Crazy Mohan cameo, and that too playing a doc (nth time, still works)

+16: for taking up a subject about which is rarely spoken about in films, also in real life. Well handled.

+1: best use of the phrase “cat is out of the bag”

We really wanted to like this film, but then in life very little things go according to our wants.Maybe a viewing with reduced expectations would have been satisfying.

The title of this review does not mean anything.<Mostly the whole review also>

All numbers are arbitrary and instantaneous.

Review Board, the Lowly Laureate

Categories
cinema cinema:tamil

IRANDAM ULAGAM: LOVE YOU TO DEATH AND BEYOND

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR AND INTRODUCING FRS™

Hello all,

In keeping with the need to provide something new to the reader even in these dark times of incessant bad films we have decided to drop our initial simple verbosity to more graphic, easily understandable numerical schoolboy type ratings system for our movies.

Readers should realise that this is not because of the laziness on the part of our writers, and one more rating system to the existing pool will not make any difference.

We have realised that movie reviewing is a complex process and should not be streamlined akin to a car on an assembly line, but we also feel we have wasted enough words on films that do not even deserve an exclamation. Hence the Faulty Rating System (FRS™), yes this rating is inherently flawed and we hope to achieve some balance as we plod along, there is no science behind this and I’m sure you the reader will have no difficulty in understanding them.

We openly agree that these ratings are not fair, free or fearless and we pray the reader has this in mind all the time.

The Editor, the Lowly Laureate.

Fortunately or unfortunately the first film to be tried under FRS is Irandam Ulagam.

And so it begins.

Irandam-Ulagam-Movie-Poster

+1: for anyone making any movie without Santhanam in it. (Fundamental Rule)

+1: for anyone attempting anything other than a comedy featuring Santhanam in combination with some other mildly irritating comic actor. (Extension of fundamental rule)

-3: for trying to show alien land by colouring rocks in purple and orange

-2: white painted face characters that look like they have landed after rehearsing for Dracula: Dead and loving it, the stage musical

-6.5: absolute loss of lip sync, excess point deducted for making audience go through banal dialogue.

– 3: wall of violins to show stirring scenes via classical music BGM, but nothing moves in the movie.

-2: Other world people are dumb, have no concept of love; yet repeatedly try to rape and plunder.

+2: Other world people are actually happy folk whose only worry would have been the non-blooming of color color flowers, do not know why the director is misleading us here. <Points given as grace from audience understanding>

-1: graphics lion whose face is more human than all the human characters in the film

+1: too little irritating characters

-1: too little characters, irritating nevertheless

-2 : orange colour water fall used to indicate other world

-3 : dragons flying over every city but not doing anything else, why are they flying anyway?

-4 : guy drinking in bar, singing badly about love loss, love failure (extra points because this devastating trope has been extended badly to aliens also, yes other world has bar with color color bottles)

-5: Arya

-10: Arya in double role

-10: unwanted show of heroine midriff (generally) especially while sword training in winter when everyone in the other world is more clothed in fur than a hundred wolves

-5: the usual trope that however independent the girl is, she becomes a girl only when “vekkam” comes (vekkam comes has a nice ring to it, anyone use it). Heroine equally fierce in battle as hero, but finally subdues herself???

+12: for the foreigners who speak better tamil than the leads

+5: one unexpected happening

-7: caring heroine who surrounds herself with children and do happy-wappy things just so hero can see and fall in love trope

-8: sudden appearance of numerous villainous characters twenty minutes before movie ends

+8: the appearance of hapless villains is laughter evoking.

-3: curiously shaped swords and increased waiting time of thugs to react, so that hero can finish all dialogs

-1: using swearwords on screen is liberating thing (esp this director, see earlier films)

-2: kick in the groin (supposed to evoke laughter, done multiple times)

-7: Unwanted songs, whenever and wherever placed

-1: knowledgeable young oracle called “Amma” who knows everything, just won’t say anything till the end of the movie trope

-290: true love is undying and all that. (Oh my god!)

+15 to all those who feel the movie is an utter and complete waste of time, but who will be sniped by parties who will put arguments such as , “if only this had been a Hollywood director you won’t question anything”

For which there is only one counter-argument, if it is a good movie you will know it when you see it and a good movie can be made anywhere. And it is clearly possible to make a passable-good movie with the above mentioned tropes.

All numbers are arbitrary and instantaneous.

 

 

Review Board, the Lowly Laureate