FRS: TSK

So we all know what FRS is right? Right?

<Slow narration in deep voice, usually male>

“The FRS was supposed to be a weapon of limited use, it has been so faulty as a device that even multiple upgrades have failed to better it ( hi to Microsoft system update), but the FRS (having a mind and life of its own) seems to have overstayed its shelf life far exceeding the expectations of those founding fathers (no mothers) who first thought of this nonsense crazy concept.  We thank all those film makers who keep the FRS alive.

Indha FRS ungalukku samarpanam <not translating>

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-1008: too much self-importance, no one cares about the FRS. More points should be cut for the FRS team which hates narration to use narration to begin this piece.

-5: Ganavelraja credited when someone from background asks “Do you have money? (In tamil, here we are translating, earlier we didn’t ok) because he is producer. Oh so funny. Studio Green fans can unite.

-5: Director credited when same voice over says “you have very bright future” #yeppa

-9.07: The usual-unusual method of hero introduction of showing hero’s fingers, mouth etc before showing face; while showing face and while “GETONWITHIT” would have been best way, what will the first day fans do otherwise. Also first words spoken by our hero is “jeichiduvom” (translated to we will succeed, ofc)

+1: GETONWITHIT

+23: Hero is very positive attitude based; also he is quick to provide two line summaries of goals, life and leadership and destiny. Hero’s friend is normal but.

-42.56: Hero breaks policeman’s neck, then breaks into a song “Sodakku”, suddenly whole of Chennai is celebrating, no one knows why #IntroSongParidhabangal

TSK4

-12: Hero blames system and their location for lack of jobs but doesn’t stop to address the issue of skills required for the job or the training. While opportunity (or lack of) is always the issue in such ‘hero saves his surroundings’ movies but we have always been asked to accept that the hero is skilled at face value, there is absolutely no learning curve established because mastery at anything comes with continuous…oh my god..GETONWITHIT…

-8: All rich people are not just bad but greasy palmed slave traders who profit off the spine of the bent labourer, while this may be true; again we have to accept this at a moment’s notice.

<FRS Mini Bytes>

Arthur C Clerk’s third law: any sufficiently underwritten Mass hero movie will be indistinguishable from the hero’s projected image in real life

Like here Suriya’s height is one major point to address, then how he avoid swear words but uses them only when the time comes, regular call backs to the hero’s other films etc.

All this exists in abundance

</FRS Mini Bytes>

-45: All songs whenever wherever

-32.5: Role of heroine is to make hero fall in love in <wait for it> 1….2…..3… oh my god they are cute couple now…seconds…

-62: Time and again we have fought for the rights of those who play the hero’s friend, very pitiable state

-5: Community of heroine or adopted community of heroine is explained in detail but to no real relevance to plot, oh I forgot hero gets to call her as maami. No other community is established anyways.

-89.42: Heroine knows classical dance means she will practice with children in balcony only, no other place, how else…i mean

+22: Hero sitting with kids dressed as bharatiyar means he is going to say something very uplisting

Number of kids dressed up as bharatiyar is tooo damn high!

-101: Ramyakrishnan says she has x number of daughters because in her days of youthful marriage there was no tv/radio and hence nothing much to do; this is delivered as a comic track

+12: Closely follows the adage that festival films should be colourful, Holi has been so highly adopted by Tamil heroes that entire temple floors are coloured with red colour powder.

+15: Some humour here and there

<FRS Mini Bytes>

Acting: a new dimension

The whole acting in this film is defined by how aggressive do actors put-on/ off their cooling glasses, this means that we have sit through 4600 shots of frustrated villains adjusting their sun glasses 

#ColorKannadiParidhabangal

</FRS MiniBytes>

-29: After sometime story doesn’t know where it is going so introduces one more villain, what is this da, demand based hiring?

-23.17: Movie is called Thaana Serndha Kootam but shows a lot of process of hiring thus telling that this is not a natural crowd but one that has been assembled, then how thaana serndha…seri namakku en

+75: Hero combats corruption with corruption (fighting fire with fire types)

+11: Audience made to digest that this movie is made in 80s because buses and dresses are colourful and TR movies are being released.  #PeriodFilmParidhabangal

-67: Senthil still doing Petromax comedy is funny (in the filmmakers head)

-23: It is not a film shot in Hyderabad, if there is no shot of the hero walking around the Charminar

Something something happens, obviously even two villains are not as skilled as hero and after an outrageous climax all his well

But not before hero has time to tell his message.

TSK1

+14: Movie predicts that movie ticket prices will increase, interesting foreshadowing but if we look at it from the point of ….well…GETONWITHIT….no one cares, this is supposed to by smartly written ‘festival’ film with roller coaster family audience magnetic heroic films with social angle in lighter tone

+189: Film believes that no one gives anyone an opportunity and you have to take it yourself: we still don’t know if this is the underlying philosophy of Tamil rockers, because like hero and co can adopt slightly shady methods to give justice but common people should watch films only in theatre etc…

Shubam

Ungal Naam

The FRS Team

Vanakkam

 

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Anbe Sivam: What sort of design is this?

Something that I have observed during the course of this ongoing education called movie watching is that when characters are faced with loss or suffering or even an unattainable dream eventually tend to receive it in some form.

This as I see it, is to bring about balance to the character, the way in which this cycle happens can be as direct as a revenge drama or something as poetic and long drawn as Gollum losing it before the lord of the rings begins, only to hold it again in his last moments at the very end. 

It here refers to the one ring of course.

(My god what a precious arc!)

If there is loss, there is gain; unless we are watching some harrowing tragedy. Which is a different topic altogether

 

This loss and gain, of course I assumed was a part and parcel of story writing and very noticeable, and this can happen to supporting characters as well and when done well, resonates.

Let us now come to Anbe Sivam, one of the few things we know about ad filmmaker Anbarasu is that he is currently in love and had lost his brother earlier in a cricketing accident; this at face value seems like a backstory to explain his nervousness around bloodshed; the fact that a character has lost his brother and is now almost about to get a new brother didn’t strike me till today.

 (Slow mind eh)

Waitees, but Anbarasu doesn’t get a brother back!

His loss is not actually balanced, he almost gets a brother back. Difference, small yet key to this post.

Waitees again, we are still with Anbarasu; there is again a disturbance at balance. 

An unknown kid caught in a horrendous train accident and fortunately shares the same blood group as Anbu; the blood is obviously the connect here since Anbu’s brother’s bloody death was in many ways the biggest loss that Madhavan’s character has faced (or at least this is what the movie tells us)

In a usual film of course this would have been the balancing point, matching blood groups and saving the kid which will make Anbarasu overcome his fear and grow for the later part of the film.

Waitees, but Anbarasu does grow and become a different person through the course of the story but the outcome of these almost balancing points are exactly the opposite of the usual.
Nalla (Kamal) doesn’t stay and fill the void of a fallen brother nor is Anbu’s blood enough to save a boy’s life.

Summary: so you have a structure or a road-map , you almost reach the end but then turn the other way; this I see it as a way to introduce some amount of randomness, even if controlled into the story.

A point where the screen writer knows what should be done next if the film is to take its usual course, but doesn’t (want?) do it.

 I imagine at these balancing points, the writer putting down his hand on the table, hoping the pen would somehow write down the next few words.

It is amazing. Really.

AS1

I guess that this didn’t strike me on previous viewings because I was not looking for it and of course there are other very fulfilling  themes in Anbe Sivam which is why it has endured for me.

Small addition to this ‘aberration’ from usual is the name of Poun, which here denotes two characters, one of course is the street theater artist  who dies in the bus accident which also disables Kamal, and also the aforementioned small kid who mumbles the same name.

Again the lead comes close, but doesn’t quite make it.

Doesn’t quite get what he is wanting.

Important to note that Anbe Sivam is not a tragedy.

While loss is not balanced by gain, loss by itself is not tragic, whenever a character in Anbe Sivam gives away or loses something it feels heroic and it feels real because there is no return of this ‘giving away’ much like in real life.

Real life doesn’t have the comfort of a writer’s balance. Real life is really random but filled with common folk out there making choices beyond their imagination.

Maybe the film is about giving after all.How else would we experience Anbu?

Maybe, we are just over-reading as usual, let us know what you think.

 

 

 

A STRANGENESS MORE THAN NIGHT

A CK and MM Review Mystery

Thoongavanam-Movie-Poster

Caustic Kumar  looking for a face he could recognize through the controlled darkness of the pub, mouthing something he had been thinking over and over again, “who keeps a meeting in such a place?”

“We do”

It was the chief, his thin frame had been accentuated by the darkness, pencil in the night. His white David Lynchian hair bent forwards when he spoke.

“Important night CK, someone just told me that the Laureate must be prepared for a hostile takeover”

“What! I can’t see any one reason anyone would want to buy The Laureate!”

“So did I”, said calmly the chief “But it is in this pub that I am to meet the informer, I had called you to tell that if things go the wrong way, let the piece on Thoongavanam be the last one you write for us”

CK did not understand, this could have been conveyed by a simple text message, an even easier free Whatsapp message, more importantly he could not come to terms with the fact that that the only establishment that thought him fit to be employed is actually being taken over, could this be the end?

He turned to convey the same to chief, but the chief had silently slipped away, a near distant light showed the location of the bar, legs moved involuntarily.

“Thoongavanam” CK repeated

MM appeared out of nowhere, like a genie waiting for a keyword, he shouldn’t be here, but CK was willing to put down everything in the disbelief component of his brain.

CK: “I’m sure you’ve seen it too Mod” (looking visibly disturbed)

MM: not once, but twice, and I absolutely loved it.

CK: this is even after seeing Nuit Blanche (the movie on which the latest Kamal movie is based)

MM: Look here, CK; we are the only ones who have seen the French film and we wouldn’t have seen it if not for the fact that Thoongavanam was in the works, but I guess I like Thoonga more.

CK: Nuit Blanche was a straight-jacketed action thriller, engrossing and feverishly cinematographed and leaving no room for extensions

MM: unless of course if Kamal Haasan takes up scripting duties…

CK: when I saw Thoonga for the first time, I was only doing mental comparisons scene by scene, how Thoonga is different but at the same time retains much of the core of Nuit Blanche.

MM: the detailing, the back stories, in NB the hero is a regular detail-less action hero, but here CK Diwakar is played by Kamal and that means that he will have issues, women, children and morals

CK: Kamal has rarely written and played any character without any noticeable motivations, remember that line from Vishwaroopam ?

(“I have a lot of emotional baggage”)

MM: Yes digging a little deeper, here in the improved screenplay there is a bit of detailing for everyone who partake in the back story of Diwakar and in that we are able to connect with the problem of the hero, like his wife, his colleagues and even his adversaries; but then again the characters Kamal play are increasingly becoming like ‘him’

CK: that is only scratching the surface type reading of a film, let us look at it this way, how much of value has been added when Kamal has taken up scripting duties, obviously you are not going to touch the action sequences

MM: which were done exceedingly well, I might add, finally had moments on screen when I was bothered who was getting hit and by whom

CK: and why is that? Because we know the characters, at least to the extent of what Kamal is willing to tell us, like say the importance of soya milk or how cell phones have replaced watches, when all this happens, when you put in characters of flesh blood in a setting much like this pub, you actually feel for their lives, dismissing them as extrusions is quite troubling for me, Kamal just uses his ‘Kamal-ness’ to get the feeling about

MM: I wouldn’t still agree to the whole self-referential for a reason argument, but there is still something that is there in Thoonga that is very much absent in Nuit Blanche, the humour.

CK: Absolutely!

MM: But then at points I thought that this was in a way dampening the overall tension, this mixing of the genres, this trying to appease different sections of the theatre

CK: Mod, my only response to you for that will be that you are forgetting that you are watching a Tamil remake of a French film. Yes maybe strictly speaking in this type of a film there must not be any place for humour, but there has been films like Die-Hard…

MM: Oh no, wait! You are bringing up Die-Hard….

CK: I thought I would bring up the Shining as well, it is not that Thoongavanam flanks these movies, but strangely yes occupies the same mind space as these two, even more so in the case of the Shining, the hallways with doors that lead to unimaginable places, the restriction of the setting itself, here a pub named Insomnia and there The Overlook; the setting does things to the main characters. Movies should remind you of other movies, if the remembrances are good, there you go, if they were bad then I really don’t know what to say…

MM: And Die-hard because of the one man in the building against the villain type, yes I do think there is quite a bit of humour in most block buster material, still strange this mixing of genres and thoonga is hardly blockbuster material

CK: yes it is quite a strange film, which kinda gets more enjoyable when you know what is going to happen, because you sit there and see the other things like how a change in radio channel is used to denote time of day, the dripping ceiling denoting time past, plush interiors that somehow feel dreamlike and characters who walk in and out, just like that?

CK: Mod? Mod?

He calls out again to see no one respond, only again it is the barman who motioned for another drink.

CK: have I been talking alone all the while?

CK’s phone lightened up the dark place, obviously it was a Whatsapp message which read as thus

“No one is buying the Lowly Laureate, that’s the bad news; but I’ll kill you if you don’t send the Thoongavanam review, as it is you have declined doing a Vedalam review, because of your principles our readership is threatened . Add few nice words on the cinematography, engrossing music by Ghibran, Hollywood style making etc etc, send them soon, I mean by tonight, SOOON- Chief”

The chief didn’t realise that he didn’t need to sign himself in a whatsapp message, this old fashioned-ness made CK smile and he went to work, and it would be a sleepless night.