Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why not to watch: Kaaranam Aayiram

Not exactly. The title rhymes. Thats all.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own peril.

(The second line refers more to the movie.)

But then it isn't exactly far from the truth, unless of course you watch this only for Surya and believe that Gautham Menon isn't too far from being the Tarantino of Kollywood as he wishes to be.

With its music(inspirational or inspired??) rocking the charts for long and the trailers and the banners promising a colorful movie it wasn't too difficult for the hype and the hope to build up.

As much as GVM has tried to create and emotional impact with his portrayal of the father son bonding in the movie, it fails to touch the right chords. At the end of the show you feel like having sat through two totally different movies in either half.

The movie opens with a series of short shots showing Krishnan(Surya, the dad) throwing up blood, being made to rest on the bed and then collapsing dead. It is strange that for a movie which is otherwise so painfully slow, these shots of pain and suffering are in this slick editing mode.

Soon the news is conveyed to Suriya(Surya,the son) who is an army commander on board a helicopter on a rescue operation.

Unintentional comedy one: Suriya's fellow armymen then offer their condolences which sound more like apologizing for stepping on someone else's toe.

Then with cries of "Daady daady" in the background, Suriya goes into flashback mode and in a narration in narration mode, Simran is shown recounting the past to Suriya, sometime before he left on this mission of his. Ah Simran! With her each moment on screen, she makes us rue all these years which have been lost without her gracing the silver screen. She delivers the movie's second best performance (after Surya of course)and with so much ease. Welcome back Sims!

After a few more scenes enters Meghna (Sameera Reddy), Gautham Menon's latest m(o)use. What a babe! . Her histrionic range in this movie is amazing. She has managed six distinct expressions.

1) Eyes open and mouth closed.
2) Eyes open and mouth half open.
3) Eyes open and gaping.
4 - 6 ) Repeat above with eyebrows raised.

And just when a scene arrived where her emoting was a little bit more demanding , Menon managed to get Surya between her and the camera.

Unintentional Comedy 2: In her intro scene, after a long conversation in local(chennai types) tamizh, suddenly Reddy comes up with this line "Nee SESHTA panna maatiye" !! All the ambi mamas would have died a second death in their graves.

Unintentional Comedy 3: She belongs to REC Trichy. Having studied there for 4 years, I can do Mother Promise and God promise that I had not seen any one even remotely as hot as her. And then to think this was 10 years back? That she ends up in Berkeley from here is altogether a different issue. Wonder how much money my college paid to Gautham Menon. All our fees just went down the drain.

What follows is a Suryavamsam like sequence where in about two minutes Surya goes from an absolute wastrel to a succesful businessman. And then with the blessings of his father, he flies to the US to pursue.. the heroine. Whatay father, whatay son!

Unintentional comedy 4: When asked to explain how he expected to be granted a visa given his financial status etc etc , Surya gives a speech on how he is going there to pursue his love and love only.And lo and behold he is granted the visa. A five year multiple entry one at that.

After the customary heroine death, Surya turns alcoholic and drug addict. However, with the help of his "daddy" he manages to get himself off drugs and goes off to Srinagar to reclaim his old self and then to Delhi. And then follows a needlessly long sequence of him rescuing a child from a clutch of gangsters (Prithviraj on comeback trail?). Then he joins the army and passes out with his new found love Divya(a neat and dignified performance) in tow. He is then called for an emergency rescue op and is forced to leave home in a hurried fashion. The extended rescue sequence after he gets the news of his father's death seems totally unwarranted and could well have been conveyed by the voice over.

Harris Jeyraj tries some innovative sounds in the background from time to time. Though the songs are awesome, the picturization doesn't do full justice to them. Mundinam Paarthene belonging to the 60/70s and Yethi yethi to the early 90s seem to be total misfits. With both the heroines boasting of family packs, it is down to Surya to flaunt his six packs in appearing from a waterfall for the Annul Maelae song.

Despite all these negatives there are quite a few positives in the movie(Anti-Murphy's law). Surya's performance is top notch in a role tailor and ready made for him. The change in his body language as he grows up, the pain caused by Sameera Reddy's death and his struggle to get himself off the drugs are well etched and perfectly enacted. The make up for the dad Surya is also pretty neat in most scenes. The scene in the hospital when Meghna's dad comes to collect her body is one of the very few instances when your heart actually goes out to the characters on the screen, as is the scene when dad mistakenly discovers his son's drug addiction.

Though an honest attempt by Gautham Menon,it is clear that he is more adept and comfortable handling action films, as can be seen by the style in which the second half is taken in comparison to the first half.

But despite the fact that this is supposed to be a tribute to all the fathers of the world, you might not want to risk compelling your dad to come along to watch the movie. If you still want to do so, then,to quote Russel Peters, "Somebody's gonna get hurt real bad".


srikanth said...

I haven't yet got a positive review. Seriously reconsidering my weekend plan.

And WTH, dedicated to all fathers? He thinks he has created a masterpiece?
What does GVM think of himself.

Summava solligurango periyavango "Poonai kanna moodina ulagam irundu pochunu nenaikkumaam..."

S Balaji Srinivasan said...

LOL da...nice one...the BABE was a killer!!!
surprising that you were impressed with simran's role. it was highly disappointing, artificiality oozing out. (what with the english dialogues??)
this 'tribute to all fathers' is total non sense.

S Balaji Srinivasan said...

any comments on the dance for Nenjukkul Peidhidum ??

Manish Krishnan said...

kutty.. really nice one da.. I like !...
btw u missed out on the innumerable anachronisms in the parents love story bit... firstly, sims is tamil ponnu... salwar was not in fashion, or commonly worn in and around mcc in the 60s ...
secondly, the song sequences.. these 2 definitely look from the 60s .. but their back up dancers... o m g.. cargoes??... and the females wearin clothes like that??... weird...
n also, i completely disagree with ur view on the father - son senti.. i think it was beautifully taken.. the way he leaves him in the college.. how his parents deal with his drug addiction ( slight rip off from trainspotting!) ..
and abt sameera reddy it was more than just refreshing to see her wearing so much clothes.. n she looks incredibly pretty with them on ( better than otherwise) .. but as u said "Seshtam" was konjam over.. cudn stop laughin abt that.

PS : I loved the movie

Watz said...

LOL!! Whatay review!!! :D kizhi!! i didn expect so much bashing for this movie, but did expect the Sameera Reddy bit. I think both Suriya and Simran were good. So was Divya in her small but dignified role.

But i have to agree that GVM is better off doing action films. Btw, any idea as to who dubbed for the beautiful Babe??

Watz said...

and dont forget that we could score 99% in our coll da... :D Wow!! wish Gowtham had done his research with guys like us... ;)

srikanth said...

@Vatz: I heard Chinmayee did the dubbing

Hariharan Sriram said...


for all you know, having heard so much negative about the movie and your expectations at a total low, you just might find it a pleasant movie.. lol


i gave up on that song when Surya had to lead Simran into dancing. Though he has improve his dancing, it still didn't make for a pleasant sight.. simran was much more refreshing than the other two females for sure..

Hariharan Sriram said...


i agree with you on one of those scenes, but college first day was more like a ukg first day effect..


lets give some credit to Gautham .. for all you know considering that this film is set (apparently) in the times when REC was under Anna Univ/Bharatidasan it might have been a possible situation.. don't go too hard on that poor fellow.. ;)

maxdavinci said...

read yor comment on my blog, and I must say this one is a nice nakkal review. liked it!

Now if one has to critique a film then i could even go for the jugular against classics! Having critiqued IEEE journals in grad school has taught many the tact to read between the lines.

the dividing line between a critique and showering praise on a movie all lies in the expectations you have. When you go in expecting too much and a masterpiece then even small things like condolences and visa interviews seem like glaring mistakes.

it's cinema afterall and is bound to have its share of fantasy. Ever tried pulling a cycle chain? You can never do that and wrap it around yor wrists like a knuckle duster. Yet it seemed believable when we saw Shiva.

can anyone get so close to guerilla warfare and still come alive after meeting one? but then kannathil mutthamital still goes to win a natnl award. Are you trying to kid me when you say that a group of 11 village bumpkins go and defeat an elitist english outfit? but then we sent lagaan to the oscars!

I'm not trying to justify the glaring loopholes in the screenplay in varanam, but all I say that it's in how your percieve and what you choose to ignore as cinematic license!

again, to each his own. Damn! i think I shud make a post outta this!

PS: are you trying to tell me that after the movie you felt like asking your money back? In such a case I apologise for misleading you. But then who takes reviews seriously!

Manish Krishnan said...

o o ..almost forgot... "kiddo" in the 80s .... LOL

Hariharan Sriram said...


i have nothing against cinematic liberty or even excess if it is used to move the plot along. and the way one critiques a movie also depends on the way the director has portrayed the movie..

a gilli will not receive as much critical examination becuase it never took itself too seriously..

which as you say is how all the reviews should be..

and i wasn't exactly thinking of asking for money back but now that you have bought the idea up.. :)

coming up with this this late? saw the movie second time a?

Jungle said...

Kuts.. I'm not arguing with the no hot female in REC bit..But can you imagine how miserable the REC guys must ve been that such a hot babe had to fall for one from Moogambigai!! ;)

Jungle said...

Th Surya Sims part was "LOUUSS"Y.. Surya Reddy was the only enjoyable part of the movie.. How come none of you said anythin about the Michael Jackson act in Yethi Yethi?? It was unbelievable! And whats with "Darling"? Absolute misfit.. And the whole kidnap rescue thingy.. What crap.. Till that point, the movie was atleast a bit yadhartham.. Evanoda paiyanayo Surya thedrane, final scene la thatha ku karyam panrache Surya paiyan enga? The kid vanished man.. Too many loopholes.. Surya was brilliant.. Sims n Divya, decent.. After Kaakha Kaakha n Vettayadu Vilayadu, this is a bad and slow attempt by GVM..

Sorry Kuts.. I dont ve a blog of my own.. lol..

Hariharan Sriram said...


regarding the females in RECT, the donkey doesn know the camphor smell only.

Anonymous said...

precisely put, hariharansriram. (with you guys being the donkeys of course). As for realism, puh-leeaase! in real life, no way would sameera reddy have closed her eyes on the train for an instant after psycho-looking local boy says he's in love with her. (btw did you guys know that GVM is from mookambigai??)

Anonymous said...

oh, but surya as military man was incredibly good-looking. that surely deserves a mention no? (the shirtless surya is what salvaged that awful second half)

Hariharan Sriram said...

wonder why the defender of the females of REC (or more specifically their "beauty") and the boys of REC basher has chosen to remain anonymous. Lol.

Colonel Brain said...

nice review da...

the dad funda was better expressed in thavamai thavamirundhu ... nothing great in a dad who reads arbit novels calls kiddo and encourages the philandering of his son ... guess there is a lot more to it ...

about sameera reddy ... well ... as real as sarah palin becoming POTUS.

sorry jungle !!!