Endhiran – from my perspective

Living in Chennai, I seem to be in the middle of it all, TV sets, news channels, radio channels, news papers and pretty much everybody seems to be talking about endhiran!

It’s a given that almost any movie Rajni makes today is a huge hit, despite the rest of the cast!!! And so I decided to listen to the songs and watch the trailers to see what all the hype was about!

I came across a lot of factors which made this movie unique, like the budget, the cast, the director, the graphics studio, but one thing in the trailers caught my attention!!! Each and every scene reminds me of some movie or the other… and this is apparently what Director Shankar terms as “unique” , “new” and one of a kind.”

First the Huge snake thing (made of many rajni robots) seems to look like a mix between an idea from anaconda and the snake from king kong with a small change that it is made of metal…

Then the scene where rajni pulls out loads of guns, for some reason reminds me of that scene in star wars episode 1 with the droid robots which roll around with their guns shooting in all random directions!!!

Rajni in Endhrian

Rajni in a still from Endhiran

But by far the best, from the trailer one can’t help but notice that robot rajni turns evil when one card is removed and swapped for another… where have i seen that before… totally new??? Guess again, kids would be familiar with Disney’s Inspector Gadget… Inspector gadget becomes evil when his card is swapped and good again when placed with the normal one… And by a wild shot I’m pretty much sure this concept is in use here in a slightly modified way!!!

Also the smaller things like the bullet shooting out of the robot’s finger, again a modified version of the cigarette lighter trick from inspector gadget..

And all this before the movie releases, wonder how many other copied scenes we are to find after we actually watch the movie!!!

All that apart tho, rajni does have his share of “oomph”. Ask any kid who is  8 years old, or even my grandfather who is 85, everyone seems to watch in awe as this guy takes the stage…

And some of us wonder why his movies run in spite of the total lack of sense in them, especially the gross violation of physics!!! Come on we all know that one (Einstein and Newton are prolly crying their hearts out up there)… The reason they run is because of the sheer number of his fans.

Taking Chennai alone as a sample can show one the magnitude of this number… Endhiran releases this Friday and so far all theaters and cineplexes are showing nothing but endhiran for almost a week. Mayajaal has 60 shows a day for a week, and sathyam is running up to 35 shows a day!!! Not one show during this next week can one watch any other movie…

And to make matters even better, his fans (including those who struggle to get 3 square meals a day) are willing to shell up to 20 times the ticket prices to watch the film…

So all this given its almost impossible for the movie to fail in spite of its huge budget!!!

Lets wait and watch to see what magic Rajni has woven this time!!!

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Vallavan- a rant

NOTE: This blog-post contains spoilers. It is about Vallavan and will put you off watching the film. If you continue reading, you will be convinced of how important this is.

This is more a blog-post to get something off my chest than to inform (considering the topic’s probably slightly old). So, in essence, a rant. Sorry about that, but this is too useful a platform to not use. 😀

Basically, the problem started when we decided to watch this film called ‘Vallavan”. As a family, we aren’t huge Simbu fans, for quite obvious reasons really, summed up by this quote from somewhere ( 😉 ) “The man is so twisted backwards that he could actually jump up his own arse and die.” Well, so, really, that was clue number 1 that we shouldn’t watch the film.

And number 2 was as easy to spot: the movie was given away free with another one. Now, call me stupid but I’m guessing people don’t do that if the film is selling like hot potatoes (or pizzas, to make the idiom current).

And number 3 was easy too, if you think about it. The song ‘Loosu penne’ was a huge give-away. Any song with the poetic lines ‘bedroom-fan-um keezhe vandu enne ezhupputhe’ is a glaring clue.

So, failure to heed these prophetic hints lead us down the path of doom (in simple terms, we watched the (god-cursed) film).

And what a film it was. Before I start enumerating its faults, I shall say this for the movie: it was useful watching it in the sense that all movies in the future will be judged by its standard of poorness. It has redefined ‘bad’. And ‘torture’ too, come to think of it.

So, now for the faults (visualize me rubbing my hands in anticipation at this point: this is my only way of revenging myself on the film).

  1. It was illogical, by any standards. Not just a few logical flaws that you’d grant any film really, but the inconsistency was so prevalent that there came a point where there wasn’t anything left to be consistent with! ‘Weirdly disconnected events’, as my brother would say. Apparently, the hero is initially a doormat made of pure gold (a good thing somehow). And the heroine/villainess is mental. Such a solid foundation for a movie, wouldn’t you say? And the villainess is a talented hit woman plus mimicry artist. At this stage, you can’t decide if you want to wipe away the tears of blood first, or indulge yourself in some mocking slow-clapping.
  2. It had Simbu in it. Says enough really. In future, we have decided to stop watching any films involving anyone related closely/distantly to the TR family. Not a risk worth taking. Too many bad memories could actually push one over the edge.
  3. Reema Sen is supposed to be 16 for almost half the movie. This was so easy to swallow, like the rest of the movie. Not.
  4. It had Simbu in it.
  5. The climax involves Simbu somehow knowing (telepathy?) that Reema is going to be released from the mental institution and he is there to ‘receive’ her. And apparently, their ‘quarrel’ continues. Though, please God, please, if this is the only wish you can ever grant me, make sure it is off-screen.
  6. It had Simbu in it.
  7. Reema Sen is desperate to enslave Simbu. For starters, it begs the question ‘why?’. Still even if we ignore this fallacy and look beyond that, it is still pretty unlikely that he is going to make up with someone who makes him clear up vomit. Logically speaking (yea, logic did in fact survive this movie and is still alive, though in intensive care), she would pick a different victim, not someone who knew she was mental.
  8. It had Simbu in it.
  9. Don’t get me started on Nayantara and her changing her mind every half an hour, depending on the shape of the teeth of the person speaking to her.
  10. It had Simbu in it.

And the list, would you believe it (I think you would), goes on. Though as most psychiatrists would advise, it is probably not best to dwell on past horrible experiences. Forget and heal.

I have to acknowledge, however, that I feel the need to say, as Reema Sen (repeatedly) says, ‘Onna vidamaatten’. Too much water under the bridge and all that. Maybe we should get Simbu to direct a film involving me, driven mad from watching Vallavan, getting revenge on him, pure-hearted special gift to Planet Earth from God. I hasten to add, that was just a joke. Please, under no circumstances, take me literally. Logic and I will die from such an experiment.

Karthik Calling Karthik

My first post here and I wanted to write about what’s still fresh in my mind and its about a movie I saw this evening called “Karthik calling Karthik”. Indian cinema has come a long way since the days of the hero and heroine running around trees, drama queen moms, emotionally wooden dads and the silly villains.

Karthik calling Karthik is the story of an under achiever (yet another one) who lets people walk all over him in spite of being better than most others. He pines for the pretty girl who is happy frolicking around with a married guy(in her defense she doesn’t know he is married) completely unaware of Karthik’s existence. Finding himself lonely and depressed after being fired from his job for finally standing up for himself,  he tries to opt out of life . Just as he is about to pop some sleeping pills he receives the call that changes  his life. The caller who calls him is none other than himself, Karthik.

Sounds cooky? Well the life changing phone calls happens day after day during which the real Karthik goes through a major transformation from a geek to the stud who finally manages to snag the corner office and the girl..Well, all good things should come to an end and this happens when he confides about his secret caller to his girlfriend who suggests he should see a psychiatrist. The caller “Karthik” is simply annoyed as the dude that he tried to help seems to have doubts of his existence and vows to bring him down and this sets in motion a set of events that turns his life into a turmoil.

Just as the audience wonders where all this is going while still trying to guess who the caller is the movie ends quickly? Who is the caller? What happens to Karthik? Does he  get back on the normal track? All these questions are answered in the last 15 minutes of the movie….

SPOILER WARNING – Please just skip to the last paragraph if you are planning to watch the movie and don’t want to know what the surprise element is.

The doctor finally figures out that Karthik is suffering from a case of schizophrenia. By using the phone to set reminders and motivational messages for himself on his phone, Karthik gives life to his alter ego who helps the real Karthik get what he wants! Like most Hindi films the movie ends on a happy note where the loyal girlfriend supports him as he is being treated for his mental disorder! Phew! MY apologies for giving away the surprise element but then there is nothing else that makes this movie even remotely interesting.

Now for my thoughts on the movie – the plot is definitely new and might probably trigger more “The Beautiful Mind” inspired movies. Farhan Akthar as Karthik was convincing as the shy and reserved guy next door and Deepika Padukone as his lady love did a good job looking pretty and acting naturally. The movie is set amidst life in Mumbai and subtly highlights personal and professional relationships in fast paces lives of today – stress, lying, taking credit for someone’s ideas, cheating and occasionally, true love..The director has tried hard to keep the audience guessing the identity of the caller and the songs were passable. My suggestion to anyone wanting to watch the film would be “Please wait till the DVD is out..don’t waste time and money watching this movie at the theaters or worse: multiplexes“. The movie in an average fare and I award it 3/5. Let me know your thoughts if you have watched the movie or plan to watch it in the future.

Aayarathil Oruvan – Rs 32 crore worth of fuss…

Aayarathil Oruvan is easily the worst movie I have ever watched. Way too many loose ends, way too many character inconsistencies, way too many illogical and unexplained sequences and WAY too much fuss.

SPOILER WARNING – Don’t read on if you want to see this movie. But be warned, it’s a rubbish one.

The story is based on a myth that the Chola prince was sent away to safety during the Pandya conquest in the 13th century. A historian representing the Indian Govt (?) goes missing, after single-handedly trying to explore where this secret hideout of the Chola prince was. Why the Indian Govt (and the army? Surely they have something better to be doing?) would be interested in uncovering an 800 year-old myth is not known… My sister remarked “It may be for the gold!” But that does not explain the sheer surprise the characters feel when they find the gold. If you forgive the slight exaggeration on the importance of this “mission”, the story will test your forgiving nature.

You will go through the movie without understanding what is happening. Suddenly, everyone is a pond being eaten by magical jellyfish, and then we go through to the land where sunset and sunrise will project a shadow and sand will somehow magically appear and disappear and then there’s the whole underworld cave issue… It’s not the magic and myth I have a problem with. It’s the confused approach to the whole issue. There’s the archaeologist’s methodical present-day approach and then there’s the mystical mumbo-jumbo that’s not even properly explained. Not one character stops to ask “Wait, how did magical jellyfish just appear?” or “What happened to all that sand?” or “Wait, how exactly did we get through 5 different climatic seasons in one small island that historians had trouble finding?”

The flaws are endless and the story hasn’t even gotten going yet. When the characters end up in the underworld cave where people have been living on for 800 years, generation after generation without any sort of progress at all, the story goes berserk on the ride of crazy, illogical nonsense. Firstly, how exactly do they find their food if they lived in a cave for 800 years? And why did none of these cave-dwellers venture out into the real world. How did no creature (forget people) find this place at all? And why exactly does the King spit on his Kuladaivam’s idol in the beginning? Oh and the one that really tickles you is why no one ever questions any of this in the movie. The coolie and the army men just accept all of these random happenings as normal day-to-day events. “Oh the jellyfish just ate someone. Oh, I see. Normal, much?”

This movie’s critical acclaim has been that it has introduced a new genre in Tamil cinema. Really? Now we have a ‘rubbish, never-ever watch ever’ genre? Nice one, idiot folk. It’s an appalling excuse for a story that cost a man 32 crores to make! 32 crores!! That’s 6 million dollars! What for?! For hiring actors and stuntmen dumb enough to believe this story? Or for the really bad quality graphics that pop in and out of the movie? What a waste of money, not to mention 183 minutes of the audience’s time. Make good movies, else don’t bother. Wanna spend all that money somehow? Try charity. They say it’s more rewarding.

4D movie – Avatar is now available in 4D

You watched, I watched and quite a huge portion of the world watched the 3D version of Avatar, James Cameron’s latest blockbuster.Now this on it’s on was quite an experience, but, someone’s always to come up with more!!!!

At a CJ-CGV theater in Korea one can experience avatar in 4D. Here’s the question again, What in the world is 4D? Well here’s what makes the movie experience at this theater something to remember.

The screening of the 4D movie uses effects (apparently more than 30) during the movie to give a more interesting experience . The effects vary from moving the seats(yes i know, they do those at the small rides at Disneyland!!!), smells of explosives (this in the case of avatar), sprinkling water, laser lights and wind.

The ticket costs about $15.80 which is quite steep compared to regular prices, but its worth the watch quote movie goers!!!

This particular chain of 4D theaters is unfortunately available only in Korea, where a few more have recently been launched after the success of Avatar. The have previously show cased many other movies like “Lightning Thief”,”Journey to the center of the earth” etc.

Lets hope multiplexes round the globe pick on this idea and we have more such theaters in other countries.