Sunday, February 27, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
The general consensus of Yudham Sei: “An edge of the seat thriller.” I agree with the choice of words. I was actually on the edge of my seat contemplating on walking out of the theatre. That was thrilling, compared to the film.
Yudham Sei is self-indulgent pretentious garbage that I wouldn’t watch even if I was to get paid for it. Homeless beggars would rather sleep on the streets than sleep in an air-conditioned theatre that screens the film. Director Mysskin has tried too hard to make a powerful film by playing with the audience’s emotions. With the film he shocks, provokes, inserts twists, milks sentiment as and when he wishes.
The lead character is J.Krishnamoorthy. He runs fast, he takes on eight people with a penknife and wears leather shoes. The man is labeled as a “good” guy. That’s how the central character of the film is written. He has hardly any depth. All you know is that he is “the best police officer” and that he wants to find his kidnapped sister. How are we to understand him and his wants? He is glorified by making every other character around him seem insensitive. This is the limit of Mysskin’s talent. He might be able to capture and invert beautiful shots of cobwebs, cardboard boxes, watermelons, snakes, skies, lampposts and water, in various colors of light, but a consummation of all that doesn’t qualify as a film. It’s no more than a power point presentation of google image search results.
You know right from the beginning that it’s a talented crew and they could be good at what they do. Unfortunately, they’re in the wrong hands. Mysskin uses them in all the wrong ways. He has an eye for detail but not the honesty of an artist. He goes to the extent of making a direct reference to Rashomon by using the film’s name. It wasn’t a tribute or a token of appreciation; it was a shameless attempt at letting the audience know that he’s someone with international exposure to films. As if we’ve forgotten about him not giving credit to the original material that Nandalala was adapted from. Mysskin has low self esteem, he doesn’t have faith in his script and therefore he tries to get the music to drive the film. Newcomer K certainly has talent but it’s the truth, everyone has to start at the bottom.
The screenplay is laughable. It’s so horribly contrived. Half the story is narrated by a nearly dead man who laughs and drinks despite having two bullets lodged in his intestine. The characters keep doing things that are out of character. Mysskin, the director should never hire Mysskin, the screenwriter again. From Mysskin’s films, it’s pretty obvious that he’s a film-maker only because he wants to be one, not because he enjoys making films. It’s shabbily overdone and the visual metaphors just make it worse. Yudham Sei is like eating a burger filled with just mayonnaise. You’re going to feel like throwing up. I could write another thousand words about why the film sucks so hard, but I’m going to spare you of that. It’s poison. Stay away from it.
Rating – 0/10
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I happen to agree with the general consensus on Aadukalam: Thumbs up. It is certainly worth the price of your ticket.
Pettaikaaran and inspector Rathnaswamy are rivals in the cockfighting business. Pettaikaaran trains his roosters exclusively for tournaments. He has three accomplices in the business- Dorai, a bar owner who invests in Pettaikaaran’s cocks, Karruppu who positions the cock before every battle and Ayug, the medic who helps the cocks rejuvenate so that they’re back in action. When Rathnaswamy can take no more of the losing streak, he sends his men on a raid and arrests people involved. Pettaikaaran’s men refuse to submit to the situation, so they hit back. A series of battles ensue and they finally settle on the ultimate cockfight tournament. While the story is hinged on the cockfighting business, the film examines the minds of the characters in it, through which it deals with dark themes such as power, jealousy, disloyalty, greed and the human ego. The love affair between Karuppu and an Anglo-Indian girl works as breezy humour even at times where the film intends to be serious.
Director Vetrimaaran has wrapped everything into a single unit with crisp direction. With Aadukalam, he surpasses Polladhavan, his debut film. Splendid acting by the cast is what the film mainly benefits from. The characters might not be complex, but they’re credible. The music is a perfect fit, including the godfather soundtrack being played at regular intervals for which, credit hasn’t been given.
The film isn’t without its share of flaws. Cockfights are more interesting than watching Dhanush bash up five guys. What the film lacks is in the aspect of storytelling. You get the arc of the story, but it is told rather plainly. The ending? It sucks. Don’t let that stop you from watching it, it takes away little from the film.
Kollywood gives us hope by opening 2011 with Aadukalam.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
A film about a man who narrowly escaped death but survived to be a talking vegetable could’ve moved the audience to pieces. As toneless as the film may be, the quadriplegic is one of the many people in the film, whom we don’t care about let alone empathizing with. He’s treated neither as a survivor or a sufferer. After hiring a hypersensitive lawyer, he hopes to be killed, mercifully. Just as you’re expecting the case to start, the lawyer ends up as a quadriplegic herself. They’re both lust for each other but sadly they can’t have sex. So, they talk about it, visualizing it with their eyes closed. The guy can’t feel a thing, which includes his penis yet he manages to two-time and has multiple (visual) sex partners. Those in the film that aren’t disabled fight with each other, over shaving and bathing him. The acting is terrible except for that of Javier Bardem who does what he can to give the film, well, something; although, his inanimate presence (mostly with a pencil in his mouth) isn’t something you can sit through for two hours. Every scene without him isn’t worth watching and every scene with him is repetitive. A priest comes to convince him that life is worth it and guess what? He’s a quadriplegic too. If there’s anyone you can empathize with, it’s the cameraman who makes it a point to move the camera in every scene. There’re about half as many wheelchairs as people and they’re more interesting to observe. The screenplay is a recorded debate on euthanasia, which reaches a ‘living is a right, not an obligation’ verdict. Two hours of babble to get to this? You won’t get past the first hour. I wholeheartedly agree with the message. This quadriplegic film should’ve gone where it deserved to be- in the waste basket.