Thuppakki Munai Review: The frill-free narrative saves the day

Thuppakki Munai runs for 128 minutes. The taut runtime is probably the film’s biggest advantage. Debutant director Dinesh Selvaraj makes a wise choice by choosing to keep it no-frills. The story is about the travails of an encounter specialist: his emotional struggles and the battle of conviction he wages. And it largely remains so, at a director Hari-esque pace. By and large, Thuppaki Munai doesn’t get stuck in the usual commercial trappings of our films. Continue reading “Thuppakki Munai Review: The frill-free narrative saves the day”

Vikram Prabhu-Radhamohan’s 60 Vayadhu Maaniram

If you had watched #GodhiBannaSadharnaMykattu, it would be tough to sit through #60VayadhuMaaniram, the Tamil remake starring #VikramPrabhu, #Indhuja and #PrakashRaj.

One of the major reasons why I had loved the Kannada original (starring #RakshitShetty and #SruthiHariharan) was its practicality and subtlety. We don’t spell a lot of things out loud in our families. If I go hug my mom, she feels awkward. We don’t express several things, that doesn’t however mean a lack of emotions. And in case of #Godhi, this non-engagement leads to apathy. His father becomes something that has to be taken care of, a box to be ticked on a checklist. Rakshit Shetty’s portrayal of a son’s journey to find his father (in all ways) is truly a revelation. From the initial standoffish stance to being guilt-stricken, his emotions unfold organically.

What I couldn’t tolerate was #Radhamohan’s ‘over-simplication’ of this process. His dialogues and Ilayaraja’s music constantly instruct us what to feel and ends up as an overreach. Also, Vikram Prabhu is no match for Rakshit Shetty. And as much as I love Indhuja, Sruthi’s performance was more layered, more nuanced.

To take an example, the beautiful childhood drawing Rakshit and his father creates is naturally chaotic, with no drawn boundaries. On the other hand, in Vikram Prabhu’s case, it’s nearly packaged into a box, highlighted with a lighter background. I think this shows enough of the different approaches taken by these directors to the same story.

Pakka movie review: This Vikram Prabhu starrer is a pucca disaster

Let me give you a couple of examples as to what constitutes for comedy in Pakka. Paandi (Vikram Prabhu) and his friend, played by Soori, are traders who sell dolls at temple functions. Soori attempts to sell a toy helicopter to a lady, who wants to see its functioning. The camera moves to a plus-sized woman in the crowd and you instantly know what is about to happen. After the helicopter hits the lady’s derriere, she furiously tackles Soori leading to what, I think, was intended for a humorous sequence. Except Soori’s lines don’t even sound funny on paper let alone on screen. In another ‘rib-tickling’ sequence, two children who come to Soori’s shop don’t stop crying. Soori calls to Vikram Prabhu for help and guess his solution? Giving Soori a tight slap. Miraculously, the kids stop crying. I am not sure if children really do enjoy violence to this degree. If this is the brand of humour our children enjoy, I am sincerely worried. All of this happens within the first twenty minutes of the movie and I began to brace myself for the rough ride ahead. Continue reading “Pakka movie review: This Vikram Prabhu starrer is a pucca disaster”

Neruppuda movie review: Another product in the hero-worship franchise

Neruppuda is a story involving firemen aspirants, surprisingly it doesn’t involve much about the profession. It could have happened to any five friends. In fact, even the choice of job is only the hero’s, the others get inspired. Neruppuda ends up being a story about a man who happens to be a fireman aspirant. He might have as well wanted to be anything else. It wouldn’t have affected the core story line. Continue reading “Neruppuda movie review: Another product in the hero-worship franchise”

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