Monday, December 5, 2011

Mayakkam Enna- Dhanush's tour de force

It's been a long while since I've gone to see a Tamil film. There are several reasons really, which range from fanatical and unruly movie goers, who boo, catcall and whistle at inappropriate moments to over-the-top, larger than life action scenes and crass humor. But I heard many good things about this movie: the songs were really catchy, the debut of actress Richa was an excellent one and most importantly that it highlighted Dhanush's versatility with regards to donning any role.

The audience,oddly,were disciplined during this heartwarming scene.
 The whistles and catcalls ensued during the lead up to the kiss. Oh well, can't win them all.

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not watched the movie, please do not read further. What follows are my thoughts and impressions of the movie. But if you don't mind spoilers or want to agree or disagree with my interpretations later, do read on.

  • I find it interesting that Yamini (portrayed by Richa) is attracted to Karthik's (played by Dhanush) rash personality. She showed a clear distaste to him in the opening scenes on the beach, but within an hour in the movie, she's doodling pictures of him absentmindedly in her office? Really?
  • The two lady friends that Karthik has seem to be purely background characters. They appear at the beach scene, then at the forest resort and one last time towards the end of the film.
  • Dhanush is the master of epic facepalms. There are just a handful of scenes where he doesn't execute the perfect WTF? moment. That little peeve aside, I simply loved the scene on the beach where he confronts his idol photographer; who then proceeds to screw Karthik over after he has stolen Karthik's work and presented them as his own. Kudos to Raviprakash for portraying in his character, the very soul of cruel sadist. In the end, I expected him to apologize for his actions on live television, but it's just as satisfying to see that Karthik wins out. Dhanush's acting style changes completely after his character suffers a head trauma after falling off (the second?) floor building. The scene where he sits alone on the couch staring blankly ahead in the low lit living room is a true testament to the director's choice of lighting to emphasize Karthik's mental condition.
  • Special props to Richa for playing the role of an icy, yet pragmatic woman in the first part and a grief struck, loyal wife in the second. The scene where her character is abused after participating in a photo-shoot was chilling, but the true KO comes when she wipes the blood stained floor after Karthik violently shoves her aside. All her frustrations are seen when she impotently scrubs the floor and the director dedicates a full minute to her melancholic screams. Powerful stuff.
  • My only beef with the film is perhaps the anti-English sentiment. Tamil films are known to be embracing of Tamil culture and language and discourage too much of English (words and cultural references) from creeping in, which I believe is fair enough. But there were a couple of scenes, which seem indicative of a hidden frustration among Tamilians about the English language and with those who speak it well. These English speakers- they are labeled as "Peters" (another word for you to learn after you Google "Soup Song"). Metallica's Nothing Else Matters is played at the Beach scene, with the gang humming/half-spluttering the lyrics. For a man like Karthik who hangs out with friends who listen to a lot of English music (and possibly speak it themselves), he seems to show a lot of anger towards Yamini when she speaks to him in English. Perhaps the worst part was when Karthik attacked the bridegroom at the wedding. Drunk as he was, he accused the bridegroom of being a "Peter" just before he smashed a (liquor?) bottle over his head, leaving the bridegroom a bloody mess. Karthik cold have leveled any insult from the Tamil or English dictionary before that act, but "Peter?" Is he that pissed off at people who speak English? And just to be clear, I am not a fan of Kolaveri Di.  It's simply doggerel and has survived only because of people's ability to identify with a heartbreak and perhaps of the catchy background music. The lyrics however are disgraceful and truly facepalm- worthy. 
All in all, Mayakkam Enna is an excellent film that  features an excellent cast, wonderful acting and some great songs. Highly recommended viewing.

1 comment:

prateek mathur said...

A movie review??? Seriously!