Friday, August 01, 2008


Surprisingly I liked the movie, remember I liked it, I did not enjoy it. The review starts on that somber note.

Ten characters, ten roles, a chance for Kamal to surpass Shivaji Ganeshan’s masterpiece Navarathri , an attempt in which he fails.

The characters are as follows:

Rangarajan Nambi-A twelfth century Vaishnavite priest.

Dr. Govindraj-A bio-technologist.

Vincent Poovaraghavan-A dalit leader and social activist.

Fletcher-A rogue C.I.A. agent.

Balaram Naidu-An Indian intelligence officer.

Krishnaveni Patti-An old lady, playing Asin’s grandmother.

Kalifullah Khan-A tall Pathan

Avtaar Singh-A Punjabi singer.

Shingen Narahasi-A Japanese martial arts expert

George Bush.

The story starts with a Chozha king asking Nambi to bow to Lord Shiva and chant the name of Lord Shiva. Nambi refuses, he is tied to the idol of Lord Vishnu and is drowned in the sea.

A chemical weapon is about to be sold to an international terrorist organization. Govindraj steals it and is chased by Fletcher and his moll Mallika Sherawat.

They reach India in pursuit of Govind. The vial containing the chemical is hidden in a panchaloha idol of Perumal and the pace of the movie quickens. Plots bring in the other characters and the story has a predictable end with Fletcher dying.

Balram Naidu and Vincent Poovaraghavan are the two characters that stand out.

The tsunami sequence is done well, but an amateurishly animated shark does not do justice to the fact that millions were spent on the special effects.

It is like Kamal has donned cheap masks to portray the different characters.

Avtaar Singh suffering from laryngeal cancer, and a bullet taking the cancerous growth out. Well that is a scene out of Captain Vijaykant’s movie, you do not expect to see such stuff in Ullaganayagan’s movies.

All that Asin does in the movie is cry out”Aiyyo En Perumalae….”

The music is a big letdown. “Mukunda Mukunda” is the only song worth mentioning. They spent crores in making a movie, couldn’t Aascar Ravichandran get a decent music score.

Mallika’s dance for the frontbenchers is something that the family audience will not appreciate. I saw this movie in a theatre in Chennai, a bunch of boys probably in their sixth or seventh standard were seated in the row in front and well were glued to Mallika’s antics. I guess T.V. has much sleazier stuff so perhaps no harm done.

The biggest plus point for the movie would be the set design. The temple at the beginning, the White House, the training school in Tokyo, they look brilliant.

I enjoyed Michael Madana Kamarajan; that was a gem of a movie; brilliant screenplay, superb comedy, no ghostlike makeup, superb songs, and a climax that is still unmatched for its combination of action and comedy.

Overall rating–It is sad but I am not going to rate this movie. It is a movie that could have been much better, it has its fair share of thrills, but for a hardcore fan of Kamal–it is a disappointment.

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