Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nadodigal

The recent trend in Tamizh films is to portray unemployed – bearded angry young men speaking Madura tamizh as representatives of Natpu-kaadhal-Nermai and so on.

The film reminded me of K Balachander’s Varumayin Niram Sivappu – only the ‘beard’ and the ‘unemployed’ bits, mind you.

STORY

Three friends- Karunakaran, Chandran and Pandi decide to help Karunakaran’s childhood friend Saravanan in his lauvv matter. Saravanan falls in love with the local big guy’s daughter but her dad opposes the entire relationship and Saravanan decides to commit suicide. Karunarakan and friends make a quick plan to kidnap Saravanan’s sweetheart , and get them both married. After suspense , drama and a whole lot of action, Saravanan and girlfriend do get married but not before Karuna, Chandra and Pandi lose everything – relationships, money, Chandra’s leg and Pandi’s sense of hearing. What’s on their agenda when they get to know of Saravanan and his wife’s break-up forms the rest of the story.

The film’s first 45 minutes is such a drag . Once the characters have been established there’s no reason for the film-maker to go on and on reestablishing their families, love lives etc. After an hour you are still in the village with repetitive dialogues and scenes of Karunarakan and Chandran’s love lives, Pandi’s quarrels with his dad, the ‘kadalai’ scenes… yawwwwn!

Once the Saravanan track is established the screenplay is pacy and the entire kidnap bit is filmed very well. It almost brings you to the edge of the seat and you wonder if the three guys will succeed in their mission to kidnap the girl.

But back to slow motion post this. The pace is further slackened thanks to a couple of songs.

A film that’s a max 2 hours runs for 2 hours and 45 minutes testing your patience.

CAST

Sasikumar is apt as Karunakaran – but needs to work on his expressions.Thanks to his beard most of his expressions or the lack of it leave us puzzled. Is he feeling happy? Unhappy? romantic? Kinda clueless.

Quite liked Vijay as Chandran and the romantic track between Chandran and Karuna’s sister [played by Abhinaya] is kinda cute.

Bharani as Pandi is quite annoying. You have seen him in a similar character speaking Madura tamizh loudly, in the same getup. A sense of dejavu` when you watch him say “Enaangaaaaaaraaa… aaaammangeerrrreeeein” and stuff like that again and again. His decibel levels are so high as it is and when they make him lose his sense of hearing, you don't pity him... you pity yourself having to listen to him yell like that.

Tamizh cinema directors need to know that a ‘bubbly girl’ doesn’t have to be portrayed like a ‘looseu’ . Remember Genelia in Santosh Subramanyam or Laila in most of her films-Pithamagan and the likes? This Karunakaran’s girlfriend who is his moraponnu [Ananya] reminds me of them. Constantly eating groundnuts, this so-called chirpy girl comes across as a mental case. Making a 20 year old act and speak like a 4 year old is definitely not cute.. nor is it romantic...puhleeez

Yes – another trend in Tamizh cinema is to use local actors or people who have never faced the camera before. I totally welcome this but not at the cost of inaudible dialogues. Their dialogue delivery is expressionless and fast, most of the time you wonder what they are talking.

Another stereotype – Saravanan’s mother. Her first scene – you wonder if it’s a spoof on some Telugu serial ‘mother-in-law torturing daughter-in-law’ scene. No it isn’t. Dressed always in Jaga-jagaaa silk sarees, Madam mother talks Golt tamizh which is more annoying than her lipstick colour.

The Mahindras have taken over tamizh film brandings oflate from the Tatas. Scorpios are becoming an integral part of ‘tamizh culture’. I strongly object to this matter. Tata Sumos are our ‘culture’… ‘our panpadu’ . How dare Scorpios enter the ‘picture’?

MUSIC

Sundar C ‘Vaazha meenukkkum’ Babu has done the score. ‘Sambo Sivasambo’- the theme song is good. The rest of the songs are a sheer waste. Hariharan’s sad number (Is it in Desh raagam? ) is a me-too attempt.

And Illayaraja makes a comeback in yet another film. When IR’s songs replaced the regular background score in Chennai 600028, it was refreshing. When ‘Siruponmani’ came back as youngsters’ callertunes thanks to its return on ‘Subramanyapuram’ it was charming. But enough guys! Its no more a novelty. Stop using IR’s tunes as background scores. Stop it, really.

Oh yes- another thing Mr. Samutthirakkani (director/ actor), Mr. Sasikumar (actor/ director) and friends! You guys got together and made last year’s biggest hit– Subramaniapuram. I applaud you, salute you and the audience is aware that it’s the same guys making Nadodigal . Do you necessarily have to remind us ? What’s the purpose of using Subramaniapuram’s hit song ‘Kangal irandaal’ in this film and more annoyingly, repeating the girlfriend-giving-those-endearing-silent-looks to boyfriend bit? Arrggh!

What works

The Natpu, Nanban, Anything-for-Nanban, Kaadhal-Thyagam bit always works in Tamizh cinema… better still with “eeeeei… ” “Ennnnnnnnnnnaaaaaa” izhuttu izhutti talking. If you have Scorpios moving up and down the screen, you are bound to have a hit. Add droham, aruval and a whole lot of blood – you have a silver jubilee. Thankfully, Nadodidal doesn’t torture you with blood all over screen like the way Subramaniapuram did.

What definitely works is the climax – Just when you think its all going to be gory and red, the director leaves you with a pleasant feeling when the credits roll.

What doesn’t

The pace. So boring in bits… that you want to step out, have a coffee and come back… and when you do, its stuck in the same place.

Agreed if Karunakaran decides to help childhood friend Saravanan. But Chandran and Vijay who hardly know Saravanan decide to pitch-in and say “Nanbanoda Nanban enakkum Nanban” “Frienddsss saaar” “Natttpu saaaaar” and stuff like that.

Finally…

Tired of angry-young-bearded-unemployed-man.. Tired of IR tunes recycled as background scores.. Tired of Madura tamizh… Tired of expression-less actors… Tired of Paavada thavanis… Tired of ‘ennangraaaaaaaaaaaaa’’’

NADODIYAAWWWN – Watch it on India’s tollaikkatchigalil mudhal murayaga…. 2 out of 5

14 Responses:

ambi said...

Thx for the review, U saved my 25 Rs (DVD, he hee).

*ahem, me the pashtu polirukku :))

Sridhar Narayanan said...

That is an apt review. Good :) But this film was in line with the pulses of the mass and supposed to be a hit too in TN. In the same line of TR's old movies with thangai sentiments become mega hits.

I read your review for 'Love Aaaj Kal' and when I saw the film I was thinking what made you rate that film so high...

Musings of a lonely traveler said...

Blogeswari!

Our directors would not spare the "makkal" until they are soaped, soaked, rinsed, washed and beaten to the extent that at one instance the people would start hating this genre of films. These directors would justify this in the name of trend. Let them eat thayir sadham for breakfast, lunch and dinner, continously for few days....appa than theriyum alavukku minjinal "natpu-kadhal-throgam-Madurai lingo" um nanju endru.

Good review, btw :)

Anonymous said...

Blogeswari,
Had you been born and brought up in tier 2 or tier 3 cities , then you would have experienced the friendship of girls like karuna's mora ponnu . I agree the movie dragged . Had the movie's run time be 90 or 120 minutes , the movie would have been good . I think samudrakani and sasi over thought abt the climax not to be a cliche and over did it.And like u , I was have great expectations from Sasi and samudrakani but falls short of it.Hope they learn and come out with another suprise.

Your rating for LAK is avery big blunder and it should have a single star or less than that . Its a mix up of jab we met and socha na tha.

Had you rated pasanga .If so please post the url .I would be interested in it.


Aruna

maxdavinci said...

pretty decent and I agree on almost all. Nice of you to do an balanced one and jsut not attack the weaknesses.

u should read namm abaradwaj mamas post on how he lieks to critique movies.

Anonymous said...

You completely got it wrong.Its not about unemployed youth . It is about relationships.


Vidya

Mugilan said...

I would not concur completely with your thoughts.

But for a change, it is refreshing to read some not so good comments abt the movie. I watched the movie 1st week and I did find it a good time pass. Nothing more. But then once I saw ppl raving about it, I started wondering if it was worth all this hype.

I cannot relate to the down south milieu but I still liked Subramaniyapuram and Pasanga.

Btw, Thanks for your visit to my blog :)

Maddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maddy said...

This movie is pretty decent and definitely not very bad as the author has reviewed about..I can see the bias clearly due to: (1) The author had downloaded it from some XYZ tamil torrent website with a crappy print and watched it in a laptop.i dont need to comment on the quality of these bootlegged copies (2) The author has been away from TN and does not know the present REAL TN..
(3) Bloggers living away from TN and over age 30, has completely lost the reality about TN. They still live in their 1990s!!
(4) Female "bloggers" can never relate to unemployment/friendship and camaraderie/Life in a Tier 2,3 cities etc..Their review may be as biased as mine will be on films like Parijatham..
This holds true for most of the bloggers/Comm enters who live abroad/away from TN..
Unless you see the movie in theater appreciating its technical aspects, it is not fair to write a review or comment about it bad...

BTB,i am a guy who love watching MAGADHEERA in theater than hanging around tamil torrent sites..Thats me..

Karthik Narayan said...

Great review.

More mud on the sagging spirits of tamil cinema :) yayyyyyyyyyyyy...

Tamizh movies are as bad as filter coffee at saravana bhavan and are as much hyped.

Anonymous said...

Kartik,
your comments are very shallow and suffer without sufficient evidence. What made you to utter such a bold statement. This is show business where we can expect everything and anything and not quality movies always afterall how many producers would want to produce movies that represent star realities of life but zero paisa in their box office.

Alangati

inbavalli said...

'Innocent' heroines who seem terribly loosu: Asin in Dasavatharam, Jo in most films, Tamannah in Ayan... it's endless. This is why I approve of Trisha. Anyone else in Abhiyum Naanum would've made the character seem mentally retarded.

@Maddy: //Female "bloggers"//
May I know why the bloggers after female is in quotes?

Karthick Krishna CS said...

wrote lik a true city bred. (sorry if u weren't) most of my "to the core" city frnds (i call thm yo guys) dint lik the film, as they cant relate to it. nativity probs u see. i liked it though. one of the best this yr in my pov. so my கண்டனம்s to ur review... (angry smiley)

@karthik
another yo guy!?!?!?!?

@maddy
is that ur bias???

Teesu (very very Indian, very very good) said...

Hmmm. I Pheel your Pheelings. Still deciding whether to watch it or not...