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Throwback Thursday: Virumaandi [Review]

Verdict - "Brilliant!" | Rating - 4.8/5

The Rashomon effect (named after Kurosawa’s Rashomon) occurs when the same event is given contradictory interpretations by different individuals involved. When employed well, it can really elevate a film. Enter Virumaandi (2004), a Kamal Hassan directorial that revolves around a farmer who gets involved in a clan feud back in his village. 

When a film decides to use the Rashomon effect as the selling point, the only way to do it justice would be to choose the correct cast members to enact their own perspective in their own style. This really helps to divide and conquer audiences and get them involved in the film as well. I don’t think I have to talk about Kamal Hassan and his performance. I’ve mentioned more than once about his intensity and the performance levels he brings to a film. 

Who I’m more impressed with is Pasupathy and his interpretation of the character, Kothala Devar. Pasupathy more than often outshines Kamal Hassan with his strikingly devious and menacing demeanour. Virumaandi is not an easy film to make. It is a technical knockout and the quality of excellence in this film comes with two thumbs up. Showing the same incident with Two different point of views can always end up boring the viewer, but the director has managed to pull it off by introducing new details and an interesting narration process that is well executed. Virumaandi is a highly violent film. 

There’s blood and mutilations and severed bodies all over but what’s interesting is how the film used a whole lot of violence to preach about non-violence. Once again, Kamal Hassan has mixed folklore with the themes in his movies and Virumaandi, another name for lord Bhrama, is taken to life in art form by Kamal Hassan. The tragedy that surrounds Both Virumaandi (the deity and Kamal Hassan’s character) are stuck in a conundrum where they can live a physically freed life but in a hopeless future and it is reflected very well from the start of the film.

-An Editorial by Siddharthen R (@cheeeekyponnama)
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Throwback Thursday: Nayagan [Review]

Verdict - "Cinematic Brilliance!" | Rating - 5/5

Based on a real-life don, Nayagan (1987) is a superb Godfather-inspired crime film situated in the slums of Bombay. One of the best ever to do it, Kamal Haasan’s portrayal of 'Velu Naicker' is legendary and there is absolutely no one that can top that performance. This is one of those films that did everything right and there isn’t anything to pinpoint and criticise. 

Tracing the life trajectory of an underworld Don, we follow the protagonist from his rise all the way up to his demise and it is done in realistic fashion. The script is taut and gritty and it does not contain any unnecessary scenes that seems forced we like in most movies. The narrative style is dark and as the viewer, you’re pretty much watching the movie with the feeling of a twisted gut as you sit in eagerness to watch what comes next. 

The cinematography is excellent as it captures the essence of slum life in Bombay exactly how it should be, and The colours used in the film are dark as to how the entire tone of the film is. Illayaraaja’s background score is haunting and his music plays a very important and effective role in the film. The relationships between the various characters in the film are complex but delivered subtly. Be it a father-Daughter, Father-Son, Husband-Wife relationship, the struggles and the bond are handled maturely and these are the scenes that will leave a lump in your throat. Timeless and a true classic, Nayagan will blow you away no matter how many times you watch it.

-An Editorial by Siddharthen R (@cheeeekyponnama)
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Throwback Thursday: Michael Madana Kama Rajan [Review]

Verdict - "A Laugh Riot!" | Rating - 5/5

Tamil cinema, since the dawn of time, has rehashed so many themes and plot points that it really takes something or someone special to breathe new life Into it. So when you have an idea to tweak such a project, there is no one better to do it than a veteran actor with immaculate acting chops. 

Michael Madana Kama Rajan (1990), a story of quadruplets separates at birth, only to find their way to each other through a series of comical events. Kamal Haasan plays all four main characters, making them exceptionally different in the way they look, their accent, body language and expressions.

One of the finest comedies to date, the script for the film is crisp and moves at an even pace. It is rare to see a star-studded film with so many quirky characters working together perfectly to accentuate the hilarity of the cinematic stipulations and the comic connotations of the dialogues. The dialogues penned by Kamal Haasan and ‘Crazy’ Mohan is gold standard comic writing with multiple joke schemes emerging from a single pun or even consciously misunderstood meanings of the same word is a lesson in slapstick comedy 101, and it just reiterates that the writing here in every aspect of the film is top-notch material.

While some of the gender-based jokes might be indecorous in today’s world, one will be able to look past it with its the film’s dizzying ability to weave multiple story arcs on a narrative that is centred upon merry jokes and impressive acting. 

MMKR is a fantastic mash of smarts, wit, narration and choreography condensed in three hours and there could only just be a handful of other films that can compete with this one for the throne.

-An Editorial by Siddharthen R (@cheeeekyponnama)
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