Monday, January 25, 2010

Aayirathil Oruvan

Selva's labour of love that took over three years to make starts with a street-play that describes how the Chola prince is taken to safety by a loyal minister, when the Pandyas attack the Chola kingdom.

Now the movie movies to Pratap Pothen an archaeologist who discovers the lost city of the Cholas. Then we are shown news clippings saying that he has gone missing.

We are introduced to Andrea, Pothen's daughter and Reema Sen and Arivazhagan from the ASI and the army, respectively. They plan to seek the lost city and the archaeologist. Karthi is introduced as the head of a bunch of porters who join the expedition. We are told that the lost kingdom is somewhere in the vast ocean near Vietnam.

They reach a tribal settlement from where they journey to the mysterious island on boats. The tribals refuse to go to the island saying that the island is a haunt of ghosts.

As the party reaches the island and walks in shallow waters, strange luminescent fishes attack the expedition party and the members run towards the land to save their lives. The adventure continues as they are attacked by a band of tribals, then they face poisonous serpents and Karthi and the girls are separated from the remaining expedition party. The trio travel across a desert battlinig hunger and thirst. They stand before a Stonehenge like pile of pillars. The eagle flying above at sun-rise causes the shadow of Lord Nataraja to be displayed on the ground and the trio run on the path shown by the shadow.

Till here the story made sense :)

They reach the lost city and play with the treasures and swords and suddenly a screeching sound drives them mad as they attack each other and dance and Reema even shoots Karthi. They are captured by the remnants of the lost Chola civilisation ruled by Pathiban in a strange costume reminding me of one of the characters in 300.

More confusion comes as Reema seduces Parthipan and hatches a plan with an old woman, we realize that something is wrong. There is unwanted sexual imagery here and it is better we don't dwell much on it.

There is an arena where a giant clobbers prisoners using a rock at the end of a chain. Pothen is alive and gone raving mad, he and Karthi face the giant and Karthi kills the giant and is rewarded by Parthiban.

Then the army comes and attacks the Cholas, Reema Sen is revealed to be a Pandya princess. A war between guns and rocket launchers and spears, swords and stones take place. Reema mixes poison in the water drunk by Chola soldiers. The long-drawn war scene ends with the army officers capturing the Chola king.

Scenes of torture by the army draw comparison with the Sri Lankan army torturing the Tamils in Sri Lanka the imagery and comparison is very visible with the Tiger in the Chola flag.

History repeats itself when Parthiban hands over his on to Karthi for protection. Parthiban dies and his body i immersed in the sea by faithful ministers who walk into their watery graves.

The movie ends with the message "Chozhanin Payannam Thodarum" --The journey of the Chola kingdom shall continue.

The script is messy and there are ample references to Mac Kenna's Gold, Apocalypto, Indiana Jones, Mummy etc...

The second half has too many loopholes. Are some scenes hallucinations or reality we do not know. The people speaking ancient Tamil drew lot of catcalls in the theatre. This is indeed sad, if we forget our roots who will respect us.

Cannibalism definitely does not go down well, what happened to Reema and Arivazhagan, how does Karthi survive bullet shots? How does the mobile network work in the middle of nowhere?

Too many unanswered questions, cinematography and music is good. Reema has hammed her way through a super role but all media is going gung-ho about her performance. Wish we had Sneha/Meera Jasmine/ or some other actress who could add substance to the role.

The movie had a super-duper opening but I doubt if it will recover its cost of production.

AO was a super chance for Selva to cement his position in Tamil cinema, somehow I feel he lost the plot mid-way through the movie.


Siva said...

"Chola Naadu Pazhanam Thodarum"

It should be "Chozhalin Payanam Thodarum"

Learn Tamil soon da.

I suppose 1000-il oruvan is a vulgar, obscene, non-sense film that doesn't need an analysis at all. Any movie that could be made any time will be much much better than this bullsh*t.

mahesh said...

Hi Siva,

I have updated the post!
Somehow I have never managed top progress beyond the first 12 letters of the alphabet!
Guess I will be stuck like this.

Your movie list top 25 was excellent.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.