Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Anti-Cheesy Masala

Because I'm an English-speaking Tamilian, people think I hate Tamil movies because I feel they are inferior. I don't mean to sound pompous, but they maybe right. I mean, even in this modern age where Hollywood is making groundbreaking movies like Avatar and Inception, while Bollywood is making My Name Is Khan and Wake Up Sid; Tamilians all around the world are still worshiping traditional, conventional Tamil film of the genre that simply irritates the hell out of me...

Cheesy Masala

Personally, I find it baffling that a genre that is so mindless can be of such appeal to our community. I'm definitely not saying that Hollywood never make mindless movies. I mean, there are some really dumb romantic comedies that I'm not very fond of. But still, Hollywood is renowned for making films of a variety of genres raging from romance, thriller, horror, fantasy and so much more.

BUT! There is a very strong 'but' here. There has been some Tamil movies in the past few years that really changed my mind about the industry. It turns out that Kollywood can produce some really different Tamil movies in a time where cheesy masala flicks rule tinsel town. I really admire the brave attempts by these few directors to actually take the risks to make such daring films.

1) Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu

Kaaka Kaaka was amazing, and so was Minnale. But trust me when I say, this is the movie that gave me faith that Tamilians can make truly entertaining thriller films. As much as Gautham Menon might want to deny it, but his movies never fail to have a Hollywood touch to it, right. But that should not be a problem since he manages to Indianize this films. But I would think that he should minimize the use of English lines in his films because they seem fake at times. Apart from that, there was much talk about the gruesome scenes. But that should not be a problem since it fits the tonne of the movie.

Movie Poster

I cannot imagine another actor pulling off the role of Raghavan as good as Kamal Hassan. I think for the first time in years, he became a director's actor - and it worked out perfectly!

Not too melodramatic, no overacting... absolutely realistic blooming love portrayed by Kamal Hassan and Jyothika.

The love of a widower and a divorcée - a rarity in Tamil cinema...

Apart from Chandramukhi, Mozhi and Pachaikili Muthucaram; this must be one of Jyothika's best roles to date.

This movie has many gory scenes, probably one of the most in Tamil cinema. But it also has some of the most thrilling action scenes ever made in India.

2) Autograph

Correct me if I'm wrong. But this must be the first time Kollywood has made a biographic film. This is director Cheran's most successful film to date. If you love sentimental and melodramatic films, but totally turned off by the usual cheesy mother-son drama and all, then Autograph surely is a movie for you. When I first watched this movie with my family, I never heard my parents praising a Tamil movie so much.

A realistic, non-over the top Tamil love story...

Cheran - the director and main actor of the movie... manages to evoke sentiments easily. He makes you recall your own childhood memories, first love and the ups and downs of youth life.

Gopika plays Cheran's first true love. Don't think this movie is all romance and melodramatic. There are a few comical scenes as well involving these two since Cheran's character is Tamilian and Gopika's is Mallu - so they struggle to understand each other, and it is hilarious at times! But puh-leez!! We've seen that 'dog' joke in Muthu already!

Cheran's character goes through much hardship after loosing his girlfriend. But guess who comes to his rescue....

Yes!!! It's our very own Sneha!!! By singing the iconic song Ovvoru Pookalume (and also guiding Cheran through his problems), Sneha plays the best friend role close to perfection!

Today, if your kid is entering a Tamil singing competition and you want to impress the judges by portraying yourself as a hypocritical, motivational-song loving person, then you can only choose this song! I mean, most other songs are either Ganna pattus, or love songs, rap songs, or even motivational songs but with the tune of the three genres mentioned! ;P

3) Chandramukhi

OMG!!! This scene gave me nightmares for weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, this movie has cheesy masala written all over it. Comedy, family sentiments, romance, unlogical fight scenes and lots of goofs! But horror-comedy is a genre rarely ventured in Tamil cinema. Now let me tell you why I love this movie...

a) Rajnikanth-Vadivelu chemistry:
You have to admit, it is the best hero-comedian duo we've seen in years! What's great about is there are almost no seperate scenes for the comedy scenes, because all scenes are relevant to the main storyline!

b) Jyotika's acting

This is one of her best performances we've ever seen! She not only managed to master Bharanatyam for the role, she even managed to play the role of a psycho, ghost possessed troubled young lady very, very, very, very well!

c) Background score

The songs were hits, but still had nothing fresh to offer. But if you listen closely, you might realized that the background music really can give you goosebumps!

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