Friday, December 26, 2014

A movie buff's take on Aamir Khan's PK

Aamir Khan's starrer PK has beautifully used humor to convey the message without being preachy about it. It made the audience think and introspect. The protesters (those who are not protesting merely for the sake of publicity) are unable to realize that the movie is not debunking religion itself, but how religion today has been reduced to rituals, symbolism, god-men and blindly following mindless traditions just for the sake of it.

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The true essence of religion like spirituality, righteousness, self-discovery, transcendence has been lost due to commercialization of faith. The movie is trying to demystify these practices and bring to light the true meaning of religion that can be understood only by questioning the illogical acts done in name of faith.

I can correlate it with the medical field. Today, it is facing several issues like unethical practices, unnecessary tests, unreasonable costs, unqualified doctors, etc. Most of us blindly follow doctor’s advice because of lack of medical knowledge and fear of health and life of self or a loved one. Questioning these irregularities doesn't mean we are disregarding the history or achievements of medical science.

No wonder the movie has become so popular, since most of us have suffered because of this game of blind faith at some point of time in our lives.

This article is written by Raju Verghese. Follow him on Facebook here.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Lingaa – a Rajini festival on Rajini Jayanthi

Lingaa, the movie named after Rajini’s second grandson, the movie that was the most expected movie of 2014, the movie that was Rajini’s next proper movie after 4 years finally hit the screens on his birthday on Dec 12th. Being a hardcore Thalaivar fan, for me the expectation and the excitement were one notch more than a World Cup Cricket Finals in which India is playing after winning the previous World Cup. My friend Sundar luckily had arranged for tickets for the first day evening show in PVR. The movie got released in more than 1000 screens and it is a festival indeed for all the Tamilians across the world. I could barely sleep the previous night thinking about how I was missing Rajini’s mesmerizing magic for 4 years and the fact that by the time I sleep the next day I would have experienced it. The next day I got ready after hair cut, shave and new clothes. Entered the cinema hall at 6:30 sharp before the movie started. Did I come back a happy man??

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The movie as expected is full of Rajini.. he is present in each and every frame and his screen presence is only getting bigger and better. What an awesome personality he is.. The magic which we missed for 4 years was re-created on screen. Credit should go to the make up artist and the costume designer, he didn't look 64 at all.. may be close to 63. Just kidding he didn't look older than 40. Such an awesome charisma and he carried himself really well throughout the movie in all kind of costumes. But did screenplay and the script do justice to this great man? Unfortunately, I hate to say this but NO. There were some Rajinisms in the movie but unfortunately only “some” when compared to his other movies like Sivaji, Baasha, Padayappa etc. One of the best scenes of the movie is when he resigns as a Madurai Collector and walks off. As Thalaivar fans we need more of these kind of scenes. But KS Ravikumar thought otherwise. Not many punch dialogues but lot of advice. Sign of a man growing old. But still we take it as it is coming from HIM.

The script and the screenplay were the biggest let down in this movie. The movie is too long that I had to go for another shave after coming out of the theatre. When we are slowly moving towards short films the last thing to expect is a 3 hour long movie with a weak script. Shankar’s movies are long but you wouldn't feel the length while watching. But in this movie after 2 and a 1/2 hours you start getting restless.. my daughter started playing with the empty popcorn bucket. Everything else was over like our 3 popcorn buckets, my phone battery and our patience.. but the movie was still running. But we as Thalaivar fans were patiently waiting for the protagonist to kick the villain’s ass in the climax but the climax was a whole movie by itself.  I sincerely feel that they should have had another intermission for the climax. Just when you expect a car chase when the villain escapes in a car and thalaivar chasing him.. the villain gets into a hot air balloon along with 2 bombs – Anushka and a Nitrogen bomb. A 85 year old man behind me yelled “Oh its so new and innovative and I am a sarcastic old man!!”. When you expect Thalaivar to chase with via another hot balloon he proves you wrong. He is Rajinikanth. He flies from a motorbike and lands on top of the balloon. Hope Jackie Chan doesn't see this scene.  Thalaivar kicks the villain from the balloon and right when the nitrogen bomb was about to fall, he kicks that also so it is re-directed to fall into the water. Goosebumps.

As someone in my FB mentioned why do we need anything else in a movie when we have Rajinikanth. That's 100% true but this movie is a classical example that even though you are Rajinikanth, you need a good script to make the audience enjoy the movie. The supporting cast was full of experienced actors in small roles and they were good especially Santhanam with his quirky one liners. Whenever I see Sonakshi Sinha I tend to compare and see whose forehead is broader? Hers or Rajini’s? A.R Rahman is another let down in the movie. The songs are good but no way close to earlier ARR- Rajini combo.

I think all these disappointments are because of the expectations we had for a Rajini movie. My non Tamilian friend saw Lingaa – his first Rajinikanth movie and he is so impressed that he has become a fan already. So the problem is not with the movie or the script. This clearly shows that Thalaivar has the knack of converting even an Air Conditioner to become his Fan. When we go to a Rajinikanth movie we have certain expectations and when it is not fulfilled we are disappointed. I also think now Rajini cannot be handled by any XYZ directors and that includes KSR who has given many successful films with him. But they all were in 1990s.. Did he adapt himself and the script to suit the 2014 audience? I don't think so. According to me only Shankar can handle Rajinikanth and match the expectations of the audience. There are tons of questions that has come up now like “Should Rajini continue to be a hero or should he do roles like what Amitabh is doing?” I don'
t know the right answer but Rajini should answer these in his next movie which I strongly feel will be better than this.

However I feel everyone should watch this movie at least once not for anything else but for this ONE MAN. Ok now Parakkas….

This movie review is written by Comedian Praveen Kumar. To know more about his upcoming shows follow him on Twitter @Funny_Leone