Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Rajini doesn't dance with Lungi!!

It is very disappointing to see that there's so much mockery being made of Tamilians or people from the south in Hindi Cinema.

Of Course you can ask the question, why am I concerned of something that's happening in the movies. Well, I am concerned because when you purposefully stereotype a sect of people with things they don't even do, you do get furious. If Slumdog Millionaire was just a movie why did the media and other Mumbaikars cry about the movie showing the bad side of Mumbai. Even till this date when someone asks me about India they mention "Slumdog Millionaire", (even though it shows what happened in Mumbai). The same can be said for Jodha akbar opposed by the Rajputs in Madhya Pradesh etc. So definitely what they show in movies can be accepted to only an extent as long as its fair and doesn't stereotype someone.

I found some of the following things that have been continuously projected in Hindi cinema or Bollywood to be very racist towards Tamilians...
  • Many movies recently especially Hindi movies make Tamil speaking people in their movie talk with a very "Fake Tamil Accent" . We people talk our language very well and we don't mix Hindi with our Tamil. We were born in Tamil Nadu and we speak our language more fluently... If you still can't make out what I am saying check this out..

    And I haven't seen any Hindi speaking characters in Tamil movies speak fake Hindi. If you find anything please let me know...
  • Sharukh Khan insulted Tamilians in too many ways in his movie RaOne. One instance was him eating Spaghetti with curd and sending a message that Tamilians eat curd with everything.. This again gives a perception to the rest of the country that we eat nothing but curd rice, idli, dosa and sambar. Most of our food items were rice items because the southern part of India was able to grow rice and no wheat and the northern part of India was able to grow only wheat. This was the driving factor behind most of the south Indian dishes being rice based. ON TOP OF IT WHATS WRONG IN EATING IDLI AND SAMBAR?   
  • Next comes the talking English with all words ending with U... DONTU, HARDU, BREAKU... There's a big population in Bollywood that can't even write ABCD, even an illiterate auto driver in Tamil Nadu can speak some kind of English and survive. And one more thing to all Bollywood film makers and others who believe what they show.. WE DONT SAY ENNA RASACALAAA!!!!  During my life in Chennai I've never come across anyone say ENNA RASCALA other than some Hindi actors in movies and some people who wanted to make fun of Tamilians...

  • Last in my list but not the end of it, When did Sharukh Khan see Rajinikanth dancing in LUNGI? Lungi is worn in the southern states where the temperature and humidity are pretty high and is clad such that it can aid in ventilation. Not everyone in the south clad a lungi.  In his recent movie SRK has added a song titled LUNGI DANCE and has dedicated it to Rajini. I can't recall even a single movie of Rajini where he dances in a Lungi. WHAT KIND OF TRIBUTE IS THAT? WHAT WAS SRK EVEN THINKING????

    Just because people from the south especially from Tamil Nadu don't speak Hindi like the other states do, you can't judge and exclude us from the country and make us look like aliens.. If not for some artists and technical advancements ( time slice, motion capture, 3D cinema, 3D surround sound, Dolby Digital, Stereo Sound) from the south like Mani Ratnam, Santosh Sivan, PC Sriram, Ravi K Chandran and many others, Bollywood wouldn't be in the spot where it is.  Not to forget AR Rahman who propelled Bollywood more than anyone has ever done before. 

    If SRK and other Bollywood players want to garner the attention of the Tamil Speaking audience they need to first respect and remember that Tamil Nadu is also another state in India.

    Movies are the windows for the outside world/communities to learn each others culture, lifestyle, heritage etc, we need to make it in such a way we don't derogate other parts of the country purposefully.

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    Kadal - Technically scintillating but emotionally disappointing

    Kadal is a story that happens within a small fisherman community and also projects the fight between evil and good.

    The movie starts with Aravind Swamy ( Sam Fernandes ) and Arjun ( Bergmans ) having differences of opinion in a Pastors school. Arjun gets expelled due to his behavior which was reported by Arvind Swamy and the former challenges that he will have his vengeance one day.

    Gautham Karthik ( Thomas ) is a the son of a prostitute in the village and his mother dies when he's young. He's transformed as a well dignified man due to Aravind Swamy's efforts in the village where the later preaches as a Father of a church. One day Swamy gets arrested due to a plot by Arjun and goes to jail, this pulls Gautham into Arjun's line of business. During this course, Gautham meets Thulasi ( Beatrice ) and falls in love with her ( though she behaves just a friend to him ). What happens after Swamy comes back from jail and what he does with Arjun and why Gautham changes and how, etc is the rest of the story. Its not suspenseful that I am not going to tell you, its very predictable even from the trailer, so just go and watch it. 

    Rajeev Menon is the right leg for this movie without him I can't imagine being seated for 2 hours and 40 minutes. He has the handled the camera in such a way that even the most simple beach looks out of the world. I learnt that the shoot was done in Tuticurin, Kadalur, Chennai and Kerala and I definitely bet that even if you were taken to the exact same place and given the same camera, you won't be able to show it more beautifully than RM. A lot of aerial shots and usage of Jibs and cranes is nice and the scene where Gautham goes to sea for the first time is simple superb!!!

    ARRahman's the left leg for this movie and we all know that he's good. The BGM in the second half of the movie is exhilarating!! I could sense that there was a lot of choir usage given that the theme is Christianity, something not many people of his successful record would try given that the expectation from him is bigger than the Everest. The songs kind of carry the injured screenplay!!!

    The characters are not so many, Arjun has lived as an evil person in the screen and portrays the emotions in his eyes and body language, exceptional acting. Aravind Swamy is extremely subtle in the first half and more expressive in the second. Gautham karthik has performed more than a new comer had to perform, his character needed heavy emotions and expressions and he has pulled that well. Thulasi looks promising but needs to go a very very long way. She looks beautiful and definitely doesn't look like a 15 year old :). Other characters like Ponvannan and a few fishermen were also very good.

    I have been telling only good things about the movie and you might think why is that many people are bitching  about the movie?

    Yes! I am coming there to WHAT'S WRONG?

    The story is a very good one, but the screenplay is so very slow and I had doubts if it was a work of Mani Ratnam. Definitely lacking in pace and it fails to make audience concentrate on the movie. The scenes didn't gel well and weren't coherent enough with the story. A person sitting next to me asked me why they are re-burying Gautham's mother, and that's an example of the unsteady screenplay.

    Even the dialogues were not very impressive, Sujatha's absence is heavily felt! Jeyamohan's dialogues though good were not cohesive enough with the story or screen play. The scenes and the dialogues were highly predictable and the people were just waiting for them to get over.Climax was too draggy and everyone knew what was going to happen and hence wasn't any exciting.

    Didn't expect Mani to show that Thulasi will be cured by just hearing Gautham cry for a couple minutes. Too funny but thats the state of Indian/Tamil cinema. This scene reminded me of Alaipauthey very much...

    Mouna Ragam was a very sad movie but I can still watch it today and won't be feeling bored, Iruvar was sad and dramatic but I can still watch it multiple times. Kannathil Muthamittal didn't have any masala but people loved it.

    Kadal was not like these, it kind of felt sad throughout but that's not the problem, it was just lacking the element to keep the audience engaged.

    I wouldn't possibly watch it again and would give a 5/10 which is for the technical elements of the movie.

    Mani Sir disappointing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    விஸ்வரூபம் வெற்றியே!!! ( வெளிவந்தால்..)

    கதை நியூ யார்க் நகரில் ஆரம்பம் ஆகிறது, கமலஹாசன் ஒரு கதக் கலைஞர். அவர் மனைவி பூஜா குமார் கமல் மீதுள்ள சந்தேகத்தால் ஒரு பிரைவேட் துப்பறியும் நிபுணரை அவர் பின் ஏவுகிறார். அவரை எதிர்பாரதவிதமாக அல் கயிதா  தீவிரவாதிகள் கொன்றுவிடுகிறார்கள்.
    ஏன் கொன்றார்கள்? ஏன் கமல் மீது பூஜாவுக்கு சந்தேகம்? கமலுக்கும் அல் கயிதா தீவிரவாதிகளுக்கும் என்ன சம்மந்தம் ? இப்படி பல கேள்விகளுக்கு பதில் சொல்லிகொன்றே செல்கிறது கதை. சுருக்கமா சொல்லனும்னா, ஒரு தீவிரவாதியின் பாராவில் இருந்து நடக்கும் சம்பவங்களின் தொகுப்பு தான் இந்த கதை. ஆங்கிலத்தில் பாயிண்ட் ஆப் வீயு ( Point Of View ) என்று சொல்ல கூடிய கதை.

    உலகில் உள்ள பெரும்பான்மையான தமிழ்   மக்கள் இன்னும் இந்த படத்தை பார்காததினால் கதையை நான் மேலும் விவரிக்கவோ, விவாதிக்கவோ போவதில்லை.  மற்ற சிறப்பம்சங்களை   மட்டும் பாக்கலாம்.

    இக்கதை தமிழ் மட்டுமல்லாது இந்திய சினிமா இதுவரை பார்த்திராத கதை, எவ்வளவோ விஜயகாந்த் தீவிரவாதிகளை சுட்டுகொன்று நாட்டை காப்பாற்றும் படங்கள் இருந்தாலும், இக்கதையை அந்த மாதிரி சாயல் இல்லாமல்  மிகவும் நுணுக்கமாகவும் ஆராய்ந்தும் செதுக்கி இருக்கிறார் கமல்.

    ஒளிப்பதிவு மிகவும் அற்புதமாக கையாழப்பட்டிருகிறது. சில காட்சிகள்  "அட கேமரா சூப்பரா இருக்கே" என்று மெச்சும் அளவில் இருந்தது. சண்டை மற்றும் சாகச காட்சிகளில் கூட கேமராவை வலிப்புவந்தது போல ஆட்டாமல் மிகவும் தெளிவாக காட்டி இருக்கிறார் ஒளிபதிவாளர். பல காட்சிகளில் ஒன்றுக்கு மேற்பட்ட கேமராக்கள் கொண்டு பல கோணங்களில் காட்சிகள் படமாக்கப்படிருப்பது தெரிகிறது. இது போன்றவை Hollywood படங்களில் பார்க்கலாம், 4 கேமரா ஒரு காட்சியில் வெய்பது சாதரணமான காரியம் அல்ல. இதோடு நிற்கவில்லை கமல் , சில முக்கியமான காட்சிகளில் டைம் ஸ்லைஸ் "Time Slice" முறை மூலம் வியக்க செய்கிறார். ( Matrix, பாய்ஸ் , அந்நியன் ) போன்ற படங்களில் இதை நீங்கள் பார்த்திருக்கலாம்.

    பின்னணி இசை மிகவும் தெளிவாகவும் அளவாகவும் அமைத்திருகிறார்கள் "Shankar - Eshan - Loy". படம் நீளமாக இருப்பதை உணர்ந்தோ என்னவோ படத்தில் இரண்டு பாடல்கள் மட்டுமே படமாக்கபட்டிருக்கிறது , அதுவும் கதையோடு ஒன்றியே இருக்கிறது.  நான் பார்த்த அரங்கில் Auro 3D அமைக்கப்படவில்லை :( , அனால் பல சப்தங்கள் மிக துல்லியமாகவும் அழுத்தமாகவும் இருந்தது. இன்னும் சற்று  நேரம் இருந்திருந்தால் தலைவலி நிச்சியம்!!

    கதையின் அளவை சிறிது குறைத்திருக்கலாம் என்று எனக்கு தோன்றியது, சில காட்சிகள் நன்றாக இருந்தாலும் அவற்றை தவிர்த்து ஒரு 15 -20 நிமிடங்களை குறைத்திருந்தால் இன்னும் திரைக்கதைக்கு வலு கிடைத்திருக்கும், இறுதிக்காட்சிகளுக்கும் இது பொருந்தும். நடுவில் எப்படா கதை அமெரிக்கா செல்லும் என்று தோன்றுவது மட்டுமில்லாமல்  என் நண்பரிடமும் கேட்டேன், அவரும் நானும் அதுக்கு தான் காத்துட்டு இருக்கேன்னு சொன்னார்.

    கதையில் ஏராளமான கதாபாத்திரங்கள், மனதில் நிற்பதோ 5 பேர் தான். அண்ட்ரியாவின் பங்கு என்ன என்று பல முறை யோசித்தும் விளங்கவில்லை ( உங்களுக்கு தெரிந்தால் எனக்கு சொல்லுங்கள் ). கமல் தனது நண்பர்களை என்றைக்கும் விட்டுவிடுவதில்ல நாசெரின் பாத்திரம்அதற்கு சாட்சி. சந்தான பாரதியும் எங்காவது தென்படுவாரா என்று பார்த்தேன் , கிடைக்கவில்லை :). பூஜா தன் காட்சிகளில் நன்றாக வெகுளித்தனமாக நடித்துள்ளார். கதக் கலைஞராக  வரும் காட்சிகளில் கமல் நடிப்பை சொல்ல வார்த்தை இல்லை.

    படத்தை மீண்டு ஒருமுறை பார்க்கலாம், சண்டை காட்சிகளுக்காகவும், இசைக்காகவும். விஸ்வரூபம் என்னை பொறுத்த வரையில் ஒரு புதிய முயற்சி மட்டும் அல்ல, ஒரு வெற்றி படமும் கூட.

    இந்த திரைப்படத்தின் ரேட்டிங் 7.5/10

    சரி இதெல்லாம் இருக்கட்டும் , படத்தில் அப்படி என்ன, பெரிய சமுதாய சீர்கொளைவுக்கு காரணமாக  உள்ளது ???

    1. அல் கயிதா  என்றால், விரல் சூப்பும் குழந்தை கூட ஆப்கானிஸ்தான், ஒசாமா என்று சொல்லும். 
    2. கதை ஆப்கானிஸ்தானில் நகர்கிறது, அப்படி இருக்கும்பட்சத்தில் அந்த ஊரை சார்ந்த் முஸ்லிம் மக்களை தான் காட்ட முடியுமே தவிர , கிறிஸ்துவ மக்களையோ, இந்து மக்களையோ காட்ட இயலாது.
    3. தீவிரவாதிகள் என்ன செய்வார்கள் எப்படி செய்வார்கள் என்பதை பற்றி தான் கதை இருக்கிறது.
      1. அல் கயிதாவை சேர்ந்தவர்கள் இரத்த தானமோ , சமூக சேவைகளோ செய்யவில்லை, அவர்கள் என்ன செய்தார்களோ அதை தான் கமல் படமாக தயாரித்திருக்கிறார்.
    படம் ஒரு தீவிரைவாதியின் பார்வையில் , அவர்கள் வாழ்கையில் நடப்பதை சார்ந்தது, மேலும் கதையில் கமல் ஒரு நல்ல முஸ்லிமாக வருகிறார்.

    எனக்கு என்ன குழப்பம் என்றால், ஒரு சில பகுதிகளில் வாழும் முஸ்லிம்களை மட்டும் எப்படி இந்த திரைப்படம் காயபடுத்தாமல், தமிழ் நாடு மற்றும் சில இடங்களில் உள்ள மக்களை மட்டும் காயபடுத்தி சமுதாய சீர்குலைவை ஏற்படுத்தும்???? 

    திரைத்துறை என்னும் ஊடகத்தை நிஜ வாழ்கையோடு ஒப்பிடாமல், கேளிக்கைக்காக மட்டும் அதை பார்த்தால் அனைவருக்கும் நல்லது. 

    Monday, January 28, 2013

    Visvaroopam - Definitely not Offending

    The movie starts with Kamal as a Kathak dancer and Pooja kumar is his wife who suspects that he has an affair with one of his students which is Andrea Jermiah. In this course, Pooja hires a investigator who gets killed by some members of the AlQaeda living in New York. 

    Yes, AlQaeda! So Kamal happens to be part of the terrorist group which tries to pay back for what USA was doing to Afghanis and how and why he wants to stop a big terrorist plot of detonating a nuclear device in New York City. 
    After the first 40 minutes the story takes so many twists and turns and you will have to watch it. It is a bit predictable but its not as bad as Mission Impossible series. 

    Visvaroopam is not that kind of movie where you expect to go in and find Kamal Hassan acting exceptionally well and out performing or over performing than rest of the characters. In this movie Kamal has given his best to his character and also the other characters with a few exceptions, Andrea and Nasser to name a couple. His character as a Kathak dancer is commendable.

    Coming to the technicalities, story is not something you'd find in a typical INDIAN movie, but its quite unique and probably the first time a Indian/Tamil movie was made revolving a global issue terrorism. Screenplay was excellent, not to mention how some scenes go back and forth showing us what really happens and why. 

    Cinematography was standing out, Visuals were mind blowing. You can actually see that there were scenes you can tell yourself  "Yes this is good camera work", even though there were plenty of action scenes the camera was not actually shaking violently like they used to in some Vijay/Ajith movies. Kamal has used many multi-angle shots and if my guess is right, he probably used at least 4 to 6 cameras in some action scenes. For people who are wondering whats the big deal with 6 cameras, its not easy to place 6 cameras in a scene and make it not visible on the other camera. And it doesn't stop with that, they've also employed Time-Slice technology in some action sequences. The steady-cam work on the Kathak dance is exceptionally good and like that way its smooth and blends with Kamals moves.

    BGM plays an important role as it kind of propels some action scenes. The Kathak song is soothing to hear and kind of stays in your mind. The movie was big enough and Kamal probably decided not to shoot songs for a thriller, Smart Idea! The theater i watched in did not Auro 3D but I could sense how it could've been with the fighters and choppers flying and with bullets bouncing of walls. It was actually too noisy and we didn't have any breaks in-between so it was kind of giving me a headache. 

    The director probably could have shortened or thought about cutting down certain scenes that probably could be said in 1 line. It would've saved about 15 to 20 minutes for the audience, I was just not easy and I asked my friend next to me on when Kamal would go back to reality. A little bit of slowness and too much detail in telling the history kind of slowed it. Also the last few scenes which were exactly like how we see in Hollywood films were choreographed well but a bit draggy. 

    The characters were too many to keep count off. Except for the main 4 or 5 people others were scene only in a few scenes but did their job. I am still puzzled as of why Kamal wanted Andrea, not sure what her skill set was in the movie. Kamal still keeps his friends closer by making them act in his movies, Nassers character is probably the result of that friendship. I was anyways hoping to see Nasser and Santhana Barathi in the movie :) 
    I will watch the movie one more time for the action scenes and the BGM.

     I would rate it 7.5/10.

    1. So far everyone knows , the terrorist group AlQaeda originated from Afghanistan and was headed by Osama Bin Laden.
    2. The movie happens in Afghanistan and people showed can ONLY be Muslims and not Catholics from The Vatican. 
    3. The movie portrays what the terrorist groups could have done and with a fictitious plot close to reality
    4. Alqaeda didn't conduct blood donation camps or do social service, so Kamal Hassan can only show what they did. Thats reality!!!

    The movie portrays only what could've happened from inside a terrorist point of view and Kamal Hassan plays himself as a true Muslim who actually does some good and not bad. I seriously don't understand on how this film would offend people and cause communal disharmony only in Tamil Nadu, Malaysia, Middle East but not in the United States, Singapore and other parts of India. 

    I request the lawmakers and the people to actually separate movies/entertainment from real life and just have a nice time.