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Blog posts : "kamal haasan"

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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Vishwaroopam 2 / Vishwaroop 2 - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - “A Let Down by Kamal Haasan!

‘Don’t force or test my patriotism at random places’ said an exasperated Kamal Haasan on the microblogging site Twitter on the mandatory playing of National Anthem in theatres. On contrary to his views, a brief video about his political party “Makkal Needhi Maiam” and the various public meetings which the actor turned politician took part in, was played at the beginning of the film.

Kamal Haasan’s surprising entry into politics made him quit cinema as the actor says he wants to focus more on becoming a leader. He had vowed to complete all his pending projects, one of which was Vishwaroopam 2.  The 2013 prequel faced numerous controversies and problems before it's release, while the sequel or circumquel (as Wikipedia says) was a smooth release without any complications. But, did writer-director Kamal Haasan conclude what he started effectively?

So, the film takes off right where the prequel concluded. It’s been five years since the release of Vishwaroopam and you don't have to worry about recollecting the plot, as this movie recaps the prequel frequently. Wikipedia states this movie as a circumquel rather than a sequel, and if you've ever wondered what that means, the film elaborates its definition. A circumquel takes place partly before and partly after a particular storyline.

To give a reason why Wisam Ahamed Kashmiri (Kamal Haasan) joined Al-Qaeda, befriended Omar, trained the Jihadi’s, and finally betrayed them, Kamal Haasan chose to intervene in the entire first film in regular intervals along with the post-New York City incident. But, the film doesn’t get complex, yet my concern was that it was evident that Wisam is a RAW agent and he was on a mission, the repetition of scenes from the prequel felt like watching the latter again and the focus shifted from the main agenda of arresting Omar to a logical interpretation of part one. 

Also, was the detention of Omar (Rahul Bose) and his trusty side-kick Salim (Jaideep Ahlawat) told in a distinct way? No! The entire post-New York City incident was structured incoherently, and the addition of unwanted scenes made it even worse. The latter part of the film was more of a personal fight between Wisam and Omar rather than the involvement of the government officials. The film also suffered from logical issues and the pace on which the second half moved added fuel to the fire resulting in audience yawning. 

Advancing to the performances, Kamal Haasan was born-to-act and anyone who criticizes the skill of this man, who has been the definition of acting for decades, is definitely a halfwit. Every other supporting character did their part well especially Rahul Bose as Omar Bhai. Veteran actor Waheeda Rehman was a forced inclusion, absolutely unnecessary and a waste of talent. Andrea Jeremiah and Pooja Kumar were decent with their performances.

The action sequences were choreographed well and were a delight to watch. Cinematography deserves a noteworthy mention but the CGI in certain scenes remains substandard. Mohammad Ghibran made sure that the film had the proper background score to elevate the aura accordingly. The movie had three songs, one was an intro song with the scenes from the first film, and the second song was a flashback one of the training days of Wisam in the Indian Army and the third was a forced inclusion in the second half. 

On the whole, unlike its prequel, Vishwaroopam 2 lacked a gripping storyline and suffered from a weak screenplay. Kamal Haasan failed to conclude what he started in an intriguing manner as the movie ended up as another mainstream cat-and-mouse brawl. Unless you’re highly anxious, an ardent fan of Kamal or excited to know if Wisam kills Omar, you can skip this and wait for it to release on any streaming platform.

My Rating – 2/5 | Grade – C (Meh! Probably a Rental!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Nirmal Raj aka AK (@Nirmalraj2911)
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Thoongavanam/Cheekati Rajyam - Movie Review

Verdict - "A cutting-edge-action-thriller."

Subsequently, after an abrupt incident that involves drugs and gunfire, Narcotics Control Bureau officer Diwakar (Kamal Haasan) gets hemmed in a relentless situation where his son gets kidnapped by a callous goon Vittal Rao (Prakash Raj) due to some unfinished business.

Kamal Haasan's commendable screenplay is undeniably one of the finest aspects of the film, as the narrative strictly takes place in one bustling place, Mr. Haasan made sure that the writing surpassed all its expectations and be strong enough to keep the audience engaged and entertained with few intense and amusing scenes.

Under a technical standpoint, this movie is well shot, and the action sequences were well choreographed and executed. But the background score plays a very significant role in every single action-thriller and as a result, Ghibran's intense electronic BGM made the movie a lot better to watch.

On the other side, this film might not seize the interest in a particular set of audience that don't like to watch an offbeat movie. The pacing felt quite bogged down, especially in the second half, maybe due to the reason there's nothing much left in the film to enlighten as a narrative.

Nonetheless, Thoongavanam is undeniably a hard movie to sell to the movie audience primarily because of its offbeat premise. But, if you're thrilled to watch a thrilling cutting-edge-action-thriller like me, then you'll definitely appreciate this film a lot. 

My Rating - 3.25/5
Grade - B (Worth a watch!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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