Its been two long weeks. I was kept busy by office work and some changes in my life. Meanwhile, I watched Aaranya kandam in Escape and Mayajaal on the same day. It was that impressive.
Firstly, a few words of appreciation. I have never seen a movie like this in Tamil. It was a joy to watch.
Going into the movie, its a gangster story. I mean, err.. story of many gangsters. The plot is very simple. A member of the gang goes over the head gangster and tries to strike a deal for some stuff, which belongs to another gang. What happens over a day is the story.
The most awesome aspect of the movie was the screenplay. The Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie touch. A pleasure to watch. It starts from the first scene where Singaperumal (Jackie Shroff) tries to hump his mistress Subbu (Yasmin Ponnappa) and fails. The dialogue at the end of the scene “Ungalala mudiyalena enna en adikiringa?” (if you are not able to, why do you hit me?) made me sit upright. Boldness and no-nonsense dialogue’s prevail all over the screenplay. The plot keeps you interested. I am not going to discuss the full story, because I want every single one of you to sit and watch this movie in a theater.
Music – Yuvan has transformed himself. The maturity with which the music flows is astounding. Every scene and every character can be related to a particular bit of music. Yuvan has handled a variety of genre’s in the BGM. For a movie without a single song, the only opportunity for the music guy is the BGM. Yuvan has added weight to the movie. That simple. Especially, the bit of music that plays when Pasupathy (Sampath) walks over to hand the heroin to the rival gang member gives a beautiful Spanish tango effect. The bit that plays when the kid runs to hide the heroin reminded of the BGM of “City of God (Cicade de deus).” Kudos, Yuvan. Your father will be proud to call you, his son!
Direction, Screenplay, and Dialogue – Thiagarajan Kumararaja.
Until I watched this movie, I always wanted to meet one Tamil movie director, and that was Maniratnam. This man has moved beyond in my “Men who I want to meet” list and is at the top position. From where did you come from, Man? I am extremely impressed with the meticulous effort that has been put into the making of this movie. Details. Every bit is detailed. In a scene, you find Jackie Shroff learning English in the background. The next scene, he meets the Jamindar (Guru Somasundaram of koothupattarai) and he goes “Small world.” He also does that in the climax, when Subbu picks up the call, the call gets disconnected. Jackie asks subbu what happened. He is in the bathroom. Subbu tells him that the call got disconnected and then places the phone on the bed and turns. Jackie from inside shouts “Beautiful.” Subbu walks two steps and then again “Wonderful.” Subbu takes another two steps and he goes again “Marvellous.” What nice work! This man has worked so hard, that even a simple scene looks so beautiful.
Dialogues – A movie can win by dialogues. I watched the movie again to enjoy the dialogues and screenplay. Killers!
Few dialogue’s to quote – Pasupathy says at the end of the telephone conversation with the kid – “en peru pasupathy” (My name is pasupathy). The kid replies – “Naan kodukka puli” (I am kodukka puli). Hilarious at that point of time. You need to watch it to enjoy it.
Same with the Prabhu Kushboo line the villain speaks. Not to forget, “Nee mattum uyiroda irunda, unna kolaiye pannirupen” (If you were bloody damn alive, I would have killed you).
Characters and performances –
Jackie Shroff – Majestic as Singaperumal. Stripped for the camera. The beautiful expression which he gives (EEEEEEE) to all his aides and Subbu just made us ROFL. I do not know who picked Jackie for this role. But whoever did that, my sincere thanks to that person. Amazing.
Sampath – Pasupathy. Another awesome performance from this man.
Guru Somasundaram – Jamindhar Kaalaiyan. Whoa. The most impressive performance in the movie. His native dialogue delivery and acting has made this man stand out. If you ask me, he is my most favorite actor at present. In a scene where he explains how he lost all his fortune, he says “Potti kadai vachen. Ellarukkum kadanukku saaman kuduthen. Kaasu keka pona – nee periya jamindharache. Unkitta illada kaasa? nu kekuraainga. Keka mudiyala. Pavum ezhaiya poitaingale!” (I had a small shop and gave all goods for debts. They refused to pay coz I am a jamindhar. I couldnt ask. Poor fellows!). The innocence of a village man who comes to make a living in the city, is beautifully portrayed by this awesome actor.
Master vasanth – Kodukka puli. Another milestone performance. The scene when pasupathi asks – “Appa na avlo ishtama?” (you like your dad so much?) and he replies with a smile “Apdilaam illa. Analum avar enga appa!” (Not like that. But still he is my dad!) is just an example. I don’t know if another director can bring out such a performance from the same guy. I just wish someone does!
Notable performances include others – Rambo Rajkumar as Gajendran, Ravikrishna as Sappai, Yasmin Ponnappa as Subbu (Pretty woman, especially when she says the final dialogue!) and Ajay raj as a gangster.
Cinematography – by PL Vinod. Awesomely done. Variety of camera angles. Beautifully lit characters. As a photographer, I thoroughly enjoyed the visualizations. Pretty good.
Drawbacks – The police comes in at the start of the movie only to vanish. There are gruesome murders and killings all along the movie. The police just seems to be on an “away status.” Frankly, that was the only drawback, I could find.
Overall – Must watch. Must buy a DVD print (Company released). Must also download a subtitled version from the internet and share it with friends abroad. Must also watch it periodically to relish the fact that good movies too are made in Tamil. This is the only movie which was applauded by the audience in the theater. Not once, but both the times. Escape and Mayajaal. All my friends who came along, were very impressed. I am sad to see that the movie is slowly being taken out from the theaters to accommodate new releases. I wish it’s re-released and gets the revenue, it deserves.
Finally, a real big thanks to SPB Charan for producing this movie, another thanks to the cast and crew for this wonderful effort. Its one of my favorites. Watch it. Without fail. Bai.