Cold Dish, Makes me wish: Theri and other things

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Part One: Avengers of Revenge

“Revenge is a dish best served cold”- quote based on which 10,000 tamil movies have germinated.

Clearly there must be something about this revenge that brings out the blockbuster in theatres, otherwise there is no logic behind so many movies having it as a Palar water undercurrent to many a hero’s river of success. (ok that was unwanted river imagery)

This something can be the dispersal of swift justice to the wronged, which includes innovative ways of killing the villain; maybe does not make for the best of cinema but good engagement.

Speaking of the best of cinema, Kamal’s Aboorva Sagodharargal (The Amazing brothers!) is a late textbook of perfection with respect to revenge as a theme that these filmmakers have undoubtedly read. No one can stop recurring themes, but themes done in a way which is not readily identifiable by the audience,that it is recurring, is what that works.

Theri is as open as a frog during dissection.

So it does take a lot of effort to un-see the other movies that are inside Theri, but you have to hand it to the director for packing in so many other movies into one and since my ticket price was just under Rs.90 (udhayam rocks) I was marginally happy, economically speaking. But my marginal rate of satisfaction for the movie had come down the mountain when the film was reaching its very end.

Aside 1: It is known that Kamal was concentrating solely on the dwarf character that he had not written the script for Aboorva Sagodharargal, and in hasty story discussions one writer is supposed to have suggested “take revenge story saar, always works”.

Good advice and it worked.

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Part Two: Kids as personification of cuteness

This is my main gripe with films employing children, the children themselves are secondary characters to the story/hero etc and more than the children it is their ‘cuteness’ that sells.

Those who are wondering what is this ‘cuteness’is, will benefit from watching the movie. There is something rotten in the selling of ‘cuteness’, and at this point I end my case and we shift to part three.

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Part Three: Soft character, dark flashback

If the hero is playing someone who is soft spoken, kind, compassionate and all the other adjectives that a mother-in-law will put to describe a prospective match; then the hero will surely have been badass cop/ underworld don/ rowdy in exile in his darker than monsoon cloud past, in other simple words, adjectives that no mother-in-law will use.

Amusing that this construct is never questioned or modified.

Another construct is, if there are two heroines then…..<Not spoiling>

But there is a lot working for this Vijay film, especially the DCP Vijay Kumar scenes, the actor does it with some new found zest that really does elevate the movie and my expectation but all these are in the earlier part of the film leaving little for the end.

Part Four or The Condensation of the Adi-Seshan

Adi-Seshan or Seshnag (hindi!) is the king of the snakes. Like all things in the modern world, serpents also need to be brought down to an appreciable length.Hence the title.

 

Joseph Kuruvilla lives in an isolated villa

along with his daughter and her teacher who looks killa*

No one knows who is Joseph Kuruvilla

So they send goons to his isolated villa

In the past, Kuruvilla was DCP Vijay Kumar

Then second half goes on quite sumar**

<The End>

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*killa: modification of killer, used to denote Amy  Jackson

**sumar: ordinary (tamil!)

 

Here’s the trailer:

 

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FRS:Thangamagan

A note on the Fawlty Rating System (FRS)

*Initially thought about in 1934, it came to fruition only in the late 2000s.

*It is the only movie rating system in the universe to be based on a Buddhist scroll that was actually written by an Irish traveller who had been an assistant director in the movie “Birth of a nation”, the scroll was curiously titled “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari to make a Baahubali”

*The rating system is now named after than Irish Traveller, a small portions of proceeds from this review will go to a bhel puri vendor in an undisclosed street corner for secret reasons.

*All numbers and words are arbitrary, mostly imaginary. They do not mean anything

A note on the Fawlty Rating System Ends

Movie: Thangamagan

Thangamagan-movie-poster

-321.3 : Movie begins with hero voice over, introducing himself, family, house etc. (thus being the 1001th movie to do so).

+231 Movie referencing another movie plot so as to indicate that this is basically that movie, hence making it easy for audience to sit and eat popcorn

-56: Guys will go to temple to find girls

-102: Heroine’s mother believes going to temple increases culture quotient

-3: Hero will fully shave to look young

+4 Growth of beard indicates responsibility, making me wonder about another famous tagline “with a great moustache, comes great responsibility”

-7 Heroine is architect will build house for herself without hero’s parents

-56 The continuing problem of the loyal hero friend cliché, maybe perfect example of “supporting” role

-20 Understanding wife is absolutely understanding

-12 Understanding mother is absolutely understanding

-12 Understanding father is absolutely understanding, innocent also

-10 Hero’s father is so cool, because he treats him like friend cliché

-156.7 Cousin becomes film villain because hero went to temple without him to see figure/heroine number one

-203 This is entire driving point for the story, no really

-3 Darjeeling

-18.9 Hero comfortably named so as to mouth punch dialogue

+564 Rock behind hero’s house

-2 Overall Drama

-234.6666 Money is not everything, family is. OK.

 

That’s all, nothing more to say.

 

 

 

 

 

APPEARANCES ARE DEFECTIVE: THE ‘I’ REVIEW

i-movie-poster_141075512910 WARNING IF YOU DO NOT LIKE READING IN PARAGRAPHS, PLEASE SCROLL  TO JUST BEFORE THE ENDING, WE HAVE GIVEN EVERYTHING IN POINTS, READERS MUST NOTE THAT THIS IS THE ANNA UNIVERSITY METHOD OF WRITING, OTHERS CAN READ FROM HERE Caustic Kumar sat at the edge of his assigned seat, somewhere at the back of the auditorium which played host to the Annual Movie Reviewers award, the announcer: a really short man who looked shorter in his borrowed suit began to announce the nominees for the “third best movie reviewer-male” category. Caustic Kumar unhinged himself from his removed self and showed some expectation in the names that were being announced, the organisers had the good sense to arrange for an LED screen which had live footage of those who had been nominated, in the right bottom was the smiling face of Moderate Manohar. It was those rare occasions in life when the world actually favoured fairness against flamboyance, fake-ness and flowery-ness, Mod Manohar had actually won the award. Amidst chattering crowd who unconsciously clapped without care or knowledge as to who had won, Moderate Manohar began his now epic acceptance speech. <Cut to the cell phone screen of Caustic Kumar> <Incoming Message noise, Ping or Ting> “Caustic, need urgent review of Shankar’s I, we have a lot of space for tomorrow’s edition because the Bollywood editor has gone on leave. Write something like ’25 things that we learned from I’ would be ideal for digital edition, repeat urgent” Editor in Chief (non-Bollywood Segment-special charge) <Cut to Caustic’s face>

Caustic: Shit

Meanwhile… Moderate: “I would also like to dedicate this award…um…dedicate not the right word…I would like to share this award with my partner in reviews…who is sitting there looking bewildered for not getting nominated this year…Mr. Caustic Kumar!!!” <Yaay! Mod shouts in the mike meekly like an elementary school kid>

Chattering uncaring crowd goes silent over the mention of the name Caustic Kumar. Announcer has no other option, but to signal Caustic on to the stage. A senior reviewer who was three years old when Gone with the Wind was released was not impressed and started to walk out of the auditorium, while the live video feed captures the whole response.

Another senior reviewer, also the member of the awards committee and not surprisingly winner of the awards a great number of times (double digits) scathingly remarked as Caustic got to the stage, “Put on a smile Caustic, you know only the best get nominated”

Caustic: “Thanks Chandru, I would have been nominated a hundred times, if only there had been a category called Honest Movie Reviewer of the Year” Mod laughs uncontrollably

<CROWD ERUPTS IN ANGER>

It is to be noted here that the crowd here consisted of past winners and their intimate families and like-minded friends, only Caustic had dragged himself to the event to see his friend be nominated. <AS EXPECTED THEY THROW CAUSTIC AND MOD OUT>

Caustic: Let’s just get on with this, before someone comes out and starts hitting us. Mod: I had one good moment in life and even before it could be photographed, you ruined it,

Caustic: Come on now, you are not the third best reviewer in town, in fact there is no difference between you and the other guys, I mean the winners…you all say the same THING!!!

Mod: You are jealous that you have never won any award.

Caustic: That I am never going to win, but at least I need to get paid at the end of this month, we need to do this I review thing, I already made a few points, let’s call it “Appearances are Defective”

Mod<going into Mod mode>: See the thing is, Shankar had a concept, to show that beauty is not skin deep… to show that models were humans also.. Caustic: Bull only…I can see that there has been no clear thinking on the side of production, at least no clear thinking, all the people who live in this Model universe are as plastic as the pearlpet jars that these guys gave you as an award here…

Mod<points to the award in his hand>: This is not pearl pet

Caustic: ok, shripet. That is not the point, however when the hero does fall in love for here, which begins as admiration to a celebrity and blossoms into love when he sees her in bikini, that I think is the lowest point.

Mod: Come on now, we can this is an admission on the part of the writer and also the heroine turns out to be more than her looks, further in the movie.

Caustic: This is why they give you awards, I mean all of you, you just say the same thing which everyone expects in a movie, and you can absolutely say what will be printed in tomorrow’s paper.

Mod: My win has really affected you, we are balanced and unbiased and even in a bad movie we try to look at the good things and not take pot shots, and we encourage new talents, as it is too many restrictions in filmmaking

Caustic: WHY SHOULD MOVIE REVIEWERS BE NEUTRAL????<Shouts> we are not part of the judicial system, we are also not diplomats and so there is no reason for us to be…wait for it….diplomatic!

Mod: You are taking this too personally I guess, I try you guess what my review of I would be

Caustic: Easy work, I- so much hard work by Vikram, stunning visuals, imaginative song and fight sequences and second half would have been shorter or some such things….

Mod: Well…. I mean…how much can you really say? Is it not good to see the good things in the whole?

Caustic: I’m saying this now, there can be no two ways about it, you like it or not, it is only when you sit and substantiate on how much effort they have put etc, but it is to those first impressions that act as instigators to you real opinon.

Mod: SO you’re saying that “all this hardwork by Vikram” phrase should not be used at all

Caustic: I’m saying it should not be used at all, it is after all an actor’s sworn duty to bring the character on screen, why give extra points for that and does it mean that in other movies this much effort is not being put in?

Mod: It means that other movies might not require that much work

Caustic: Exactly, movies must require a LOT of work!!! Here in this case it is the story, this is basically a Aboorva Sagodarargal template (which by itself is a culmination of early revenge films), but this is an Aboorva Sago without the goodness, without the interesting characters….

Mod: You cannot compare….

Caustic: Let me finish…AS begins with pain, Srividya getting poisoned, Kamal getting killed, Appu doesn’t know it but we the audience do, we fell for them, and then later when Appu comes to know of his past, we feel even more, we want to be there when the Tiger rips off Nasser’s head and share a similar look to that of Appu, which is quote scary. Even if you consider the character of Appu as a gimmick, the weight of the story and how the screenplay is constructed makes all the difference, here in Shankar’s I the Koonan character is nothing but a fancy dress item, I really couldn’t feel for him because his greatest motivation is good looks and god awful villains who really put planning to shame.

Mod: You just run over the film like a train, not staying on things, this as I had first said; is about how love is not about appearances, like how Diya…

Caustic: They should have called her Barbie

Mod: Shhh… Diya the model, loves Lingesh even when he becomes Koonan, to show that love is all conquering

Caustic: In that case I would have liked to see the love child of Koonan and Diya, not see Koonan become Lingesh again; but one thing I do agree is that they have used fairy tales as basis for this whole film. (see Ennodu Nee Irundhaal)

Mod: You absolutely hate this film, I get it, but there is no point going into such details, sit back, enjoy the China landscape and PC’s camera…

Caustic: Oh my God, don’t remind me, that China valley replica had the most irritating Advertisement like house setting ever, this is the point, let us just say that this film is about how ads are soul-less and those who act in them are angels on earth, ok not all but only those who play the leads in this film.

<Mod starts to say something…then decides not to>

Caustic: If you want, we can say that this is a cleverly disguised attack on consumer capitalism and exploitation, we can also use phrases like seduction of the innocent, like how the lead character never wavers from his child-like innocence even though his really bad Madras bashai blossoms into an accent worthy of a super model.  You can also use your favourite phrase “for a tamil film, this had good graphics” line.

Mod: Oh, I’m fed up of writing it, I really do hope that there is a method to look beyond the graphics, all those bulbous villains in the end, but the effort they have put makes me want to encourage…

Caustic: This is not some newcomer you need to encourage…that brings us to Shankar, on the weakest script he has taken up in his career, this movie seems to have been directed on auto pilot or sleep mode.

Mod: That brings us to the primal question, “ Are we getting better, or are the movies getting dumber?”

Both walk into the darkness, while a PING sound is heard, it must be the editor.

THE ‘I’ REVIEW FOR ALL THOSE WHO SCROLLED TO THE END, ALMOST Story=Aboorva Sago minus Kamal minus Ilayaraaja minus Screenplay and of course minus sense Countries you can visit by watching this movie: China, flower valley, song worthy Special Song: Beauty meets beast meets musical type extravaganza. Special mention: none whatsoever MOVIE  FAST FACTS/IMPRESSIONS

  • Vikram lost and regained weight, or regained and lost weight
  • Amy Jackson who plays a model in this film, is actually a model (wonder casting!)
  • Police dogs lose scent on railway tracks, because….convenience
  • Hero will fall in love with body parts.
  • Influenza Virus is deadly
  • Models are popular enough to be movie stars, but will not act in movies (I dunno why)
  • Heroine’s mother will go into coma if heroine does not marry
  • Heroine’s mother shares an interesting relationship with one doctor, although nothing is shown, something is hinted. (This was the only thing that interested us in the movie)
  • Chennai villain model has influence to call up 2500 chinese goons in china on bicycles to kill hero model, hero model of course kills them all.
  • If you shoot a romantic song in china, you can float in air over water, because no gravity in china.
  • Advertisement director gets more pissed than audience on heroine;s acting.
  • Cola barons will look like Vijay Mallya
  • Hero’s parents will always vanish at a point in the movie when the writers thinks that they are no longer required. Henceforth to be called I’s rule.
  • Before important movie event, all villains will gather in one room, so that hero can be explained what the audience knew 25 mins back.

(SPOILERS) Senior but not so popular now (or) other state actor doing side role in earlier part of the movie can mean only one thing: <wait for it…>he is the main villain. In the end everyone is beautiful again. <This movie review was written with all respect to the hard work the makers of the movie had put in, this review was written without much hard work but with almost near death anger on how the movie turned out>