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cinema FRS

FRS: Seema Raja

So we all know what an FRS is right? Right? Let’s get on with it because this movie took seven hours to end.

 

seemaraja1

-300: The one millionth time when we see molten metal falling into the mould to create the movie title.

Here it comes with heraldry also. #MadeOfSteel types

 

-101: Some minor irritation happens and someone in the crowd shouts: “indha aniyayatha thatti ketka aale illaya?” and cue to SK introduction.

Yes this has been happening from Bhagavater times.

 

+12: SK has two horses named Alex and Telex #goodnames

SK also names his pigeons after Tom Cruise, Arnold, Obama etc

 

-10: Just when we thought director Ponram had done away with narration and ushered in a new age in commercial filmmaking, there is narration.

Damn narration.

 

FRS Mini Bytes

 

All narration about (insert regional language here) history is ultimately a glorified version of the (insert regional language here) past.

 

+21: SK breaks a wooden fence during introduction, uses pieces of the broken fence to continue action. We appreciate this reduce and reuse approach.

 

FRS Mini Bytes

98% of movies about villages will be about how one village is not able to get along with nearby village. Here it is Singampatty vs Puliampatti

 

+32: SK,Rajah of Singampatti is able to attract an audience of 11,000 people for his facebook live.

This is in a time when even Sunny Leone was able to get only just above 6K in a recent live stream. We will not speak about how we know about this Sunny Leone fact, matter ends there.

 

+101: Self referential movie is totally self referential

SK acknowledges this very fact in the opening song, when the oeuvre of director of Ponram is compared to “aracha maava araipoma” but even a talent is required for that.

Seema Raaja is essentially the SK-Soori combination and a lot of girl chasing thrown along the way; as usual getting the girl is the goal of the hero

 

-101: Even if hero is the rajah of Singampatti, goal of hero is: get the girl.

Here it is Samantha going under the name Sudhandhira Selvi (Daughter of Freedom?)

-54: Heroine says no means no, but hero tells story of phoenix bird which attempts to reach the sun at every possible attempt even after burning; heroine is amused and ultimately gives in to these ‘charms’. #ModernLove

-341: As usual, hero sings song in praise of farmers and how they never seek to gain profits

But never pauses to ask question what film producers seek to gain from such unabashedly profit making films.

-100: Ex-Lady Superstar Simran plays the baddie in this semi-rural film which means that audience need to understand that shouting will be a major character trait.

-29.8: At some point that movie becomes so boring that usually enthusiastic FRS writers themselves have stopped coming up with random FRS points and started to browse their mobile.

It was at this time that they could have seen the Sunny Leone instagram live stream, although we won’t talk about this anymore.

-54: That no one on-set had the courage to tell what Soori was doing is not funny.

-890.3: Movie suddenly tries to become Baahubali with an absolute force-fit for the ages with a story about Kadambavel Raja(also SK) who protected his land from invaders.

Since the present day story-line was not going anywhere, the story of Kadambavel Raja is echoed and Seema Raja also protects the land of his people etc from crony capitalists and middlemen etc

I mean… was this not boring while writing itself?

 

Seema Raja pushes the boundaries of boredom to such an extent that boredom is transformed into an irrepressible irritation, only very few movies are possible of doing such things. That itself is an achievement.

 

Also since most things are force fitted in the film, you can at least listen to what we have to say about pride and history in general.

 

If our pride should come from past glories, then we are failing in the present and will surely fall in the future as well.

 

Well, that is a depressing statement to finish an FRS with, so we will add some 20 marks for a CGI generated leopard which is there for laughs in this movie.

 

Regards

Team FRS

Vanakkam

Categories
cinema cinema:tamil FRS Uncategorized

FRS: 24

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 the Irish Traveller, a small portion of the 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

suriya_24_20012016_m

Let’s just get this straight, this is not an A for Attempt, E for Effort kind of review.

+89: The watch.

So this is a concept, the watch makes you go forward and backward in time, we like it; honestly we love it, there are immense possibilities that one can do with time travel, like say unite lost lovers, prevent wars or do something like Netru Indru Nalai. (which had a full blown time machine).

We like good concepts, so what do you do when you can control the uncontrollable viz. time?

The watch is also well designed, in fact that would be the next rating

+22: Attention to detail

Right so everything from the watch, the lab of Sethuraman which looks like one imagined by an author of steam-punk novels.

-231.455: Mismatch

I really get it that the writers and the director have re-imagined 1990 Tamil Nadu, which has an English castle, harry potter train and maple trees and Mad Max type bike racer henchmen, but the 2016 of Tamil Nadu is just like how it is now? Dei, i mean, dei!!!What happened to the Harry potter train?

-18: Suriya

Like OK, we realise we will mostly be killed by fans after this, but FRS committee has always held the view that there are limited characters that this actor can pull off, we know that we could be wrong entirely but consider us for one moment.

Suriya plays three characters

  1. Mani: ok this is the ‘normal’ guy we are supposed to identify with, he is exactly the same as ‘Ayan’ Suriya or the non Bodhidharmar ‘7am’ Suriya, in fact..never mind…what we are saying is…ok…not working…see there is a difference the way Kamal played PP Raja from ‘Savaal’, Raja from ‘AS’ and PKS from ‘PKS’ all three speak the same dialect but….ok..not going to go further on this point. Just saying Suriya plays the same guy, hence limiting.
  2. Sethuraman: this is the old Suriya from Varanam Aayiram who didn’t die but borrowed Stephen Hawking’s wheel chair.
  3. Athreya: coming to the much talked about character, who himself proclaims that he is a hard core villain, so that ends there.

That’s it not saying anything more about characters and all.

-20: Naming

Ok so, this Inventor Sethuraman has a brother named Athreya??

Like mean they seem to have been born in a royal type family(they have castle in the woods) which consults extensive naming books before naming twins like for example (Arpan-Darpan), this Sethuraman-Athreya naming convention, we dunno not working that’s all.

Another character named Mani, to drive in the ‘Time’ theme of the movie.

-58: Saravana Stores on my mind

Product placement!!! And whenever Suriya smiles it looks exactly like the one where he invites all our family members to visit the store.

 

-25: Ladies

This is in line with existing traditions only, mothers will be sacrificing and will only be worried about getting their sons married.

Girls will believe whatever hero says, especially in the time of google-android-shizz at your fingertips, like if the hero tells that there is disease you are suffering from, girl will believe, no questions asked; yeah yeah it is very cute and all.

And they fall in love.

-5: Poovum, Pottum (flowers and bindi)

Again concept, girl becomes divine with this and all heroes will force this on all heroines so that they become divine. Later they will rise to heaven.

+78: Malinga made fun of.

-300.9: Watch-mechanic as a lucrative career option

Like sir, what’s the time?

Man takes mobile phone and tells us the time, see NO WATCH. So in these no-watch times, the protagonist runs what seems to be a really successful enterprise here and he also rides a Royal Enfield Cafe Rider, also more points would be deducted for not even mentioning that it was bought on loan(was it?).

Think about the EMI, guys.

-100: Every time hero mentions one phrase, full theatre resorted to collective sighs, the air released during these sighs caused more suffocation and a near death experience

-40.9: Generic songs, generic bgm disappointing when visually the movie has so much to show, the music does little to heighten the experience.

Even more so on the supporting actors, they have little or no space to play.

+120.003: But wait! It ain’t that kind of movie!

No it isn’t, we are nitpickers.

24 is bang on track when it keeps to its time travel concept. The interval and the initial portions are absolutely well done, which kept us guessing on what could be the next move, similar scenes were observed in the second half as well; but then the deviations were too in the face to ignore,for example the whole love and family track.

Like if you think an entire family going on ‘moun vrat’ for a single day is cute, then you can erase all the minus ratings that we have put out.

Also if you are irritated, think that this is not film criticism, we suggest you to scroll up to read a short note on FRS.

Thank you.

 

 

Categories
cinema cinema:tamil Uncategorized

Cold Dish, Makes me wish: Theri and other things

theri4

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.

theri1

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.

theri2

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>

theri5

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

**sumar: ordinary (tamil!)

 

Here’s the trailer:

 

Categories
cinema cinema:tamil FRS reviews

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
cinema:tamil

PIPE DREAMS: KATHTHI

ck and mm

“In the darkness that is the theatre, it doesn’t matter if you’re a critic or a common man”

Anonymous,but sensible quote.

kathi-first-look

Caustic Kumar(CK): Are they going to have some celebrations now that we are back

Moderate Manohar(MM): We don’t encourage any kind of celebrations

Editor: What celebrations? Get back to work!

CK and MM together: We have come up with a unique format which could give us a head start when compared to the other movie scribes; it is so different that it has never been tried before in the history of movie criticism!

Editor: Even in the US?

CK and MM: Even in the US!

Editor: No! Just get back to work!

CK and MM walk back with wry smiles; CK sees that his table hasn’t been cleaned since the time he left.

CK: It’s good to be back (hmpf)

MM: Whether you like it or not Caustic, film criticism is dead, not that we were any good but then, anyone with a facebook account can write a review

CK: it’s just parameters, these are not reviews

MM: as in?

CK: parameters, any viewer goes in with a set of parameters which they have accumulated in the back of their mind, they match their reflections to these parameters and put it down as a status. That’s simply not a review.

MM: Oh, so how is ours…umm I mean yours different from them?

CK: Our…sorry my process is based on feeling, pure feeling and feeling gives context.

MM: Do you think the people out there care? Why would take your feeling to their head when they can have their own.

CK: I do not know if they care, maybe they do not, but this is the only way I express myself.

MM: hmm…typical

CK: It seems that little hiatus you took, has made you more proficient in mockery

MM: For God’s sake CK, lets discuss Kaththi, our bickering already eaten up 320 words!

CK: maybe you’re right, where to begin?

MM: At the beginning, did u see the pattern? This is Enga Veetu Pillai (Ram aur Shyam for our northern audience, if any i.e) meets Rajadhi Raja meets whatever hero who tried this active- passive hero swapping places for the greater good of mankind plot

CK: My God! Mod!, you stole the words from my mouth, yes it is the same sub-sub-genre if something could be called that, but you know, this is a genre that actually works when done well, I still catch Enga Veetu Pillai on TV, it has some great moments

MM: And here?

CK: Oh, where do we begin, the movies cited above really had some kind of thing going for them, because they did not take their plots too seriously…seriously as in the outcome of the plot would not have changed the whole world as such, both Enga Veetu Pillai and Rajadhi Raja had domestic and limited even personal problems

MM: Exactly! Here’s this film deals with changing the mindset of city dwellers about the struggle of the farmers and there is this character swapping happening in between.

CK: I really like film with social causes, they make you feel so small, question your very existence, might help you become a big time buyer of organic products etc

MM: what are you saying!?

CK: I don’t care, I mean I don’t really care about society, as in do I always have to show the world how I really think that I care about the society?  If my intention of caring will really change the plight of millions then I will, I really like how easy it is to take sides and paint the other guys as black, it really helps from a writer’s POV. If you are a corporate guy, you will be bad, even your henchmen will be bad, your security guy will be bad…on the other hand… if you are from a village

MM: SHhhhh!!! Some years ago, you might remember that Raguvaran as Anthony employed the well-meaning Vijaykumar, even when they had a conflict of interest.

CK: Yes! Conflict, no conflict here, which made me root for none, there, is no writing here, just positioning. If movies are the guilt based conscience awakener that could reform society then with the number of society-conscious heroes, our would have been the most developed country in the world

MM: So you’re saying that if a director feels strongly about poverty, he should not make a film about it?

CK: Who am I to say such things? I have no rights even, but then I have the rights to question the motives of a director who goes from farmer suicides to “let’s take a selfie pulla” within seconds.

MM: hmm yes disturbing…

CK: and the heroine…

MM: Caustic, we made a pact about not discussing things that will be usually discussed in other reviews, like hero performance, opening songs, cinematography, heroine, item numbers, music, technicalities, comedy tracks etc…

CK: yes, readers know these things anyway. But couldn’t help but notice, why is she there? I mean why?

MM maintains some kindoff silence

CK: leave it Mod, I have reformed, I am going to help the blind man cross the street.

MM: Who?

CK points to a frail figure walking slowly

MM: That’s our editor!

CK: oh didn’t realise from the distance, anyhow Mod, it feels good to be back

MM: It’s good to be back!