Tag Archives: Tamil movies

VIP2: Where pray is that magic of the original?

I remember walking into the theatre showing Velai Illa Pattadhari with little expectation and leaving with some kind of inner craving satiated.

They were cute things to relish in the movie — Amla Paul, the moped owned by Raghuvaran (Dhanush), the relationship between the two brothers, their parents played by Samuthirakani and Saranya Ponvannan and, not the least, the kuthupattu on the house terrace.

vip.jpgEven though VIP2 reprises much of this cuteness, it rings hollow and untrue this time around.

I hoped the movie will be enjoyable, especially because Soundarya Rajinikanth was directing it. But the film had none of the verve and flair of the first part. The climax, especially, was a letdown. It seems as if the director wanted to hitch her bandwagon to a successful franchise only to criminally deprive it of her own touch.

The story and the dialogues, for the most part, do not work and blame must be laid at Dhanush’s door for this. The job of the hero is central to the movie’s theme and the actor does little to deal with its intricacies. There is no layering in the script, and this would be all right if only the commercial elements really kicked in. When neither happens, part two becomes an empty shell of its original self.

As an actor, Dhanush keeps playing to the gallery and this is ingratiating, especially when he mimics his real-life father-in-law Rajinikanth. It’s like they retreaded the popular features of the first part without adding anything of much significance other than Kajol’s character.

Kajol seems to know enough to keep her villainy subtle and this is a relief even as the sequences around her fall apart. The actress isn’t helped much by the fact that her character is reduced into a caricature, leaving her with no scope to breathe life into it. The sequences in which Vasundhara clashes with Raghuvaran, which are pivotal for the success of the movie, don’t really work. He is an angel without wings and she is too egoistic for her own good. On this canvas, there seem to be no grey areas.

The parts that do work are the throwaway sequences in the first half when Samuthirakani’s character comes up with cliched ideas for his son Raghuvaran to floor his wife (Amla Paul). All of them backfire leading to some hilarity. Comedian Vivek does justice to his screen time, but the ‘Thangapushpam angle’ is not really reworked and spread too thin.

Amla Paul, Samuthirakani and Saranya Ponvannan do credible jobs. But their characters, as written by Velraj, were more interesting. Soundarya is unable to rescue any of them from becoming stereotypes.

The Chennai floods, which is a part of the climax, fails to make any impact. Not much screentime is devoted to it, save for a dialogue from Raghuvaran pointing to the obvious fact that it was great leveller. The drama of the floods, which many witnessed first hand, could not have been more diluted.

The movie seems to be cynically targeted at unemployed engineers in the state. Their sentiments are shamelessly exploited and they may very well end up as the mob cheering from the front seat. Mind you, I have nothing against engineers; only that they could spent their time productively elsewhere.

Some Tamil movies and why I liked them

Kaadhal

In my mind the first big Tamil film of the millennium.  I am pretty sure that good Tamil movies were made since 2000, but some Kaadhal was so different that I thought “oh, wow. We have arrived.” I haven’t seen Kaloori, but I doubt if the two are comparable. I am using the term with hesitation, but I think Kaadhal had a neo-realistic touch. The way that paati or (is it aachi) sits on the front room floor and curses everyone walking by. Sandhya’s father’s character. That montage during the song sequence. All of that was awesome.

Paruthiveeran

Quite innovative. Cut from a knife going up the ass to a coconut coming down on another. awesome. Can Saravanan act? Like this? Phew! Never knew. And what a debut from Karthi. Pretty damn good. Even that girl Priyamani was good.

Mozhi

Liked it a whole lot less than the above two, but still a very good movie.

Chennai -28.

Have seen only in bits and parts, but extremely good.

Starting from 2000, do you have any Tamil movies to add?

I would like to make a top 10 list of Tamil movies since the 2000. Make your suggestions that will go into a new post.