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cinema:tamil

Putham Pudhu Kaalai

As The Swivel Chair Spins #13

Anthologies are almost average at 3 out of 5. 

This three is not comparable to the three given to a novel. For the longer form of literature it could mean a “could have been better for all the effort”.

For a short story anthology , the three is a sign of the mixed bag, you never know what you are going to get, and you never know what you are going to like and when you are going to like. 

As days pass perhaps, a singular revisit might have me appreciating what was left behind and quietly accepting that segment for which I  once was over enthusiastic about, was just because of the age and frame of mind I read it in. 

Putham Pudhu Kaalai is also a three on five. 

But it safeguards itself in the sweetest way, so that there is nothing I could overtly dislike, but there was nothing which I was fond of too. Maybe it’s my age. 

Maybe it is about the fact that these stories are really not about anything, they are only placed together because they all revolve around the lockdown. 

I believe (and the Big Book of Jack The Ripper Stories sitting quietly in my Kindle would agree) that anthologies are not meant to be read at one go,they are after all mood pieces, so that’s there. 

A niggling three where you can never quite say what you didn’t like, but also cannot remember what the previous story was about. 

Which is exactly what happened when I was watching director Gautham Menon’s Avarum Naanum, Avalum Naanum (ANAN), the second segment, I forgot about Ilamai Idho Idho. 

Slightly zoned out I was, I guess, also maybe because there was a voice over in the first movie about ‘Kadhal” by R Madhavan, always a non starter. 

Also this is the one with Amazon Prime product placement with Alaipayuthey? Almost thought this was the GVM short, but it was not the Mani fanboi but in fact a Madras Talkies alumnus, Sudha Kongara about how love has no age and all that (insert yawn here) and love makes everyone look younger and all that (can we have another yawn here or is it too short?).

But when the scientist grandpa appeared in ANAN, I was awake, just earlier had slightly thought about sleeping again because the heroine character was doing classical GVM  by way of telling the story through voice over. 

No doubt, M S Bhaksar, is a spectacular artiste (notice how he says spectacular in the movie, haha got you there) and the short almost entirely rests on one of his monologues, but that’s about it, I didn’t get to know about the scientist more. 

While GVM only gave the skeletal frame to chew on, Suhasini Maniratnam’s next is the one with most characters and surprisingly we get to know a lot about them and even more surprisingly it was the one that spoke to me the most, I have my reasons. 

Coffee Anyone? 

I theorize this is the ladies of the Haasan family telling the stories of the brothers, it almost seems like it, I don’t know if Suhasini has spoken about this in any of the promotionals for the movie, but think about it, this short has three sisters Hasini, Anu and Shruti (as opposed to Charu, Chandra and Kamal) trying to grapple with the illness of their mother. The youngest daughter was born when the mother was almost 50, they say, another well documented Kamal family story and how he looked up to his brothers as parents. It’s a similar situation here along with the inversion, okay let’s just say I bought it because of the Kamal reason and some nonsense theory I was making in my head. 

I said reasons, so there is one more, because this is the one that feels almost like a horror film (and not another ‘kadhal’ short) and again with an inversion, which I would not like to spoil. 

There are things in Coffee Anyone which again doesn’t allow itself to punch its weight, like for example the dialogue till we will settle down with the characters and since it’s a short, well you know, it’s over. 

Reunion by Rajiv Menon has much in common with the two preceding shorts about the power of music to change lives (insert classical yawn) but it is also ‘of the moment’ because it deals with the problem of how difficult it is for celebrities to get drugs during the lockdown. 

I mean… 

Of course Oooo Lalala , music is the saviour. 

Even in the next one titled Miracle by Karthik Subbaraj, music (this time by Ilayaraaja) acts as a connector, it’s the most amusing one but falls into the category of ‘slice of life-fate’, you know the ones when you see it, A goes to B via C types. 

Types, I love using the types. I apparently also love typing, the document now indicates that I have written 800 words about Putham Pudhu Kaalai, I hope it means something to someone. 

<Read in Rajeev Masand voice> So I am going with 3 stars out of five for Putham Pudhu Kaalai, because…. Hmm… four of them looked like ad shoots for Bru (filter coffee? Idhu Bru Ma types) and one even had coffee in the title. 

Putham Pudhu Kaalai is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

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cinema cinema:tamil Uncategorized

FRS: Accham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada(AYM)

aym2

Hi

So we all know what FRS is right? right?

-213.33333: Narration.

It ain’t a GVM movie if it doesn’t have narration. STR in Auro 3D

-140: Hero is a wastrel, MBA but still a wastrel

+52: Potential rise in the sales of already rising sales of Royal Enfield bikes, because impression-ables will think “Yo man, that’s who I am, a wanderer” which is good for Royal Enfield, but we are kind.

-17: Movie prances around a bit before getting into a “bikes vs babes” song in which hero explains as to why bikes are true love and life of boys are better without them and all this love shizz. Yo! Boys Im a biker bro.

-1.2K: Hero falls in love exactly 2 seconds later.

-320: Absolutely nothing happens in the first half, absolutely. Ok this is how it goes.

Girl and Boy will be in same room as in TV room, we think they might discuss something which could be interesting, but then we don’t hear it. Why?

Narration

Cut to scene with Hero playing carrom with buddies, who does narration again in real time.

Many movies talk about this kind of love, this love in which the interesting bits are left out and we have to, in good faith of the lead actors cuteness believe that they are love.

-5: F.R.I.E.N.D.S

-10: Actual friends who just rally around hero, nothing to speak also.

-63: Like all heroines, here also made to play cute, but since this is a different film here an extra component of ‘elegance’ is added. No one really knows what elegance means, maybe it is best explained by Conjeevarams and FabIndia kurtas.

+80: Heroine and her friend want to be a writer duo who will make scripts for Kollywood, yet director does not utilize this opportunity.

-29: Hero contemplates on going on a bike trip for 300 days before going on one, hero is worse than me in planning, should he be the hero?

-271: And Number One in our Unbelieveability Index: Girl will keep talking to one guy on daily basis for what seems like almost a year but still will not know his name. DEI and this is the biggest suspense in the movie. #yeppa

-90: Road Trippin

-457: In course of Road Trippin, hero knocks on a villagers house to ask for one night stay which they provide, hero then goes into social commentary on how people in villagers have a big heart and cities are filled with narrow minded folks who will buy tickets to movie which will call them narrow minded.

Has the director not heard of stayzilla?

-15: Forced comedy, based on the fact that girl eats a lot, heroine also puts her ‘elegance’ on hold so that she can lend herself to this joke.

-16: Hero washing his face directly from bisleri bottle sequence which aims to be well shot but actually doesn really make sense, because hero has just come out of upscale road themed dhabba which will surely have well maintained restrooms where hero can wash face. These things, I tell you.

-17: when they finally reach kanyakumari, seems they have reached Antartica only, soooo long the road trip also interspersed with 120 songs

+56: Girl and Boy go to lands end to wait for sun to rise. This is key cinematic event because, first time in Indian history of cinema, both characters on screen and in the theatre are waiting, of course for different reasons.

-2: Couple go to Kanyakumari, but do not go to Vivekananda Rock. I mean why wont you?

+32: Director Favorite Alert: It ain’t GVM movie, if it does not feature Kerala.

+15: Movie features Udupi_Manipal for a fleeting second. #rockkit

-20: heroine stands in Honnavar and says she in Maharastra.

-71: To every reviewer who said the first half is breezy romantic. Dei.

Yah Yah now only we are coming to second half.

Raymond Chandler, the pulp fictionist who fought all his later life for the recognition of his genre once said in a screenwriting TEDx, “when in doubt, have a man come in with a gun”

We can infer that the director of this film attended the TEDx

-20: Something something happens, then we find hero with gun.

-45: Gun has more bullets than my office parking lot (see what i did there)

+22: baba sehgal as raging but clueless villain. First time in history of Indian cinema that both audience and villain dont know what is happening on screen, I meant together.

+100: Whenever Baba Sehgal says Aata Maaji Satakli. Three times i think.

+120: Birth of a new style. In the middle of a high octane chase sequence we get to know that the hero actually had learnt to drive in this chase only, this is what we call the ‘make it up while you go in goa’ type of filmmaking. Very meta reference.

-119: Hero becomes more self aware, almost yogic in his self awareness, his narrations become deep messages to the soul that has lost its way and how it must fight back against the universe, if hero had a bigger beard, maybe they would have called him Sadhguru. Heroine is riding pillion, loss of elegance because now in chase mode.

-40: Tom Cruise method acting type of bruising, hero will get cuts and scars on his face which will never affect his handsomeness, in fact these scars enhance the handsomeness. Heroine is still riding pillion. Not commenting on elegance anymore because it is boring for us only.

-2: dei reviewer boy why using handsomeness again and again

+10: Hero’s name is still a suspense at this point in the movie, we are more frustrated than Baba Sehgal but kudos to the director for keeping up the suspense. Surgical Strike on our curiosity.

OoooooOoooooOoooo

+40: Birth of a new style: last ten minutes of the movie seem to be directed by someone else , is this the birth of outsourcing in direction? Who directed the last ten minutes, was it Hari or Suraaj, nation wants to know.

Also heavy narration at this point and Baba Sehgal looking like the most troubled soul on the  planet.

+5: For us for not giving away the suspense and writing such a post.

-900: Movie actually puts 900 days later as subtitle, hence messing up with my arithmetic while i try to convert it to years, movie still does not end in the time take by my stupid mind to do this basic calculation. Movie also uses days as metric in the first half of the film, sometimes it uses years also.

Damn it, why cant you use one standard unit of time. So problematic.

-100: The End.  Hero plans second road trip. Heroine still riding pillion, refraining from commenting on elegance.

-50: Director says movie inspired by a moment in ‘The Godfather’, but director does not mention if it is the Malayalam film or some other film.

Aata Maaji Satakli MAX

All numbers are irrelevant and arbitrary. All spelling and grammar mistakes are intentional, because we dont know grammar only. Semi-colon. LOL;

The FRS team

Subam