Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Who me?

First weekend in our new home, and what did we do? Drove 160 miles (one-way) to catch a movie! Yes I know what you are thinking, we are really crazy! We really are! Cheeky was so well behaved and asked only 40 questions through the length of the movie.. and only climbed on and off my lap a dozen times! And only said it was a bad movie twice! So well behaved, I am feeling guilty! Next time I will have to find a baby sitter!
About the movie... it was Dasavatharam. I have been waiting for the movie for so long now, that we had to go watch it as soon as it was out! The movie was ok and I actually had a nice time. Also saw the numerous reviews on Dasavatharam. When I saw the movie, I had started enumerating the flaws in it myself. The biggest one in my mind was Kamal's tendency towards the gross depiction of violence. Otherwise, the movie was entertaining despite some flaws. I do not consider myself a movie critic. I have always looked at movies as a source of entertainment and sometimes if that means overlooking a few flaws/ aberration of common sense, so be it! I did not want to critic a movie or defend it. However, as the reviews started pouring in, some of them pure venom and others taking such an acute critical stance; I cannot help but comment. I can't help wondering, don't these people see any other Tamil or for that matter Indian movie at all? A lot of them seem to want to tie the movie to reality? Where have you heard of a bullet taking away cancer? And how can the bones of a man still be on the statue after 800 years? the questions are endless... It seemed to me that these self appointed critics have taken it on them to do this fault finding exercise and that was the sole purpose of watching the movie! I term it artistic license! There are some things that can be left to the imagination, some things that need to be as explicit as possible to reach to the mass audience, and some dramatization is essential! Remember not every person who watches a movie is of the same wavelength/ intelligence. The success in a movie is to appeal to these different levels of intelligence! Not every movie is a no-brainer! Further the comparison of Dasavatharam to every Hollywood movie we have ever seen is so unfair. Unfortunately Tamil cinema is not yet comparable to Hollywood no matter what we say... the budget, and technology as well as resources are just not at par!
As for the characterization of 10 characters, I think it is pretty apparent that when there are 10 characters, a few are going to come out looking strong, a few weak and a few others superfluous. If the characters had been done by other actors, we would have overlooked them. But just the fact that the characters have been played by Kamal has these critics raving about how bad/ unimportant some of them are! Just what did these people expect going in? And then there is the chaos theory and butterfly effect Kamal has based the story off and this actually has come out tying the story together. I also thought the screen play was pretty good, and tied the loose ends together, considering there were so many vital characters. Some of the characters were just brilliant like Balaram Naidu and Vincent. I liked the villain Fletcher too.. the brutality shone through, and that was critical Characterization. Some other of Kamals avatars lacked the conviction or presence like the Japanese or Kallif Ullah. But like I said, that is bound to happen!
While the movie has its own set of flaws, but which movie does not; it is a laudable effort and deserves due credit for the sheer mountain of work that has gone into this! The biggest irk factor for many seems to be all the hype before the movie! (read the audio release). So many seem to have gone in expecting Kamal to deliver something larger than life! My advice, watch Dasavatharam with an open mind and watch it some more and introspect! There is so much in hidden nuances in there!
There now that weight is off my mind.. I am no die hard fan, I enjoy Kamal movies, I also enjoy Rajini movies which sometimes require you to stop thinking so hard about reality and common sense. They are both entertainers and I have always enjoyed them. But this movie seems to have brought some daggers out and that has had me really bewildered. Some of the venom really seems uncalled for... But then I think some greats like Kamal and Sachin just have as many critics as fans.. that seems to be a tribute to their greatness.. When its a Kamal movie, we expect perfection, but others are ok if they are as far from it as they possibly can get! (Pict Courtesy: tamilcinimadownload.blogspot.com)

And now its tag time! Neera has tagged me to talk about ten things! Ten??!! Really.. here goes
Ten things I miss right now ...
1. Filter Coffee.. from Saravana Bhavan
2. California weather.. that was the best thing about California, I am an outdoorsy person and I loved California where I could just take long walks at all times!
3. Family and now that I am sitting all holed up in new city, I miss friends
4. Phone!! boohoo.. 3 more days to that elusive phone connection and my link to the outside world.
5. Unplanned days and nights of Pre-Nantu times
6. Baby gurgles and chubby feet climbing up onto my shoulders and face!!
7. The ability to eat what may and not gain weight.. And the ability to look at the weigh machine without that grimace!
8. Sleeping in...
9. Breakfast on a tray.. my stomach is grumbling and I have to get up to make breakfast.. (not that I ever have had breakfast served on a tray... but that does not mean I cannot miss it?!)
10. Home Sweet Home!! I still think of my place in Chennai as my home.. that and my childhood home in CBE... yes that too.. I miss them no matter where I go!

Ten things I would like to achieve in the next decade! Oh my! Neera you really got me on this one... I am not that well planned! But I just remembered that I have done this one after all.. Phew! Find it here - Planning Ahead

I am not going to tag anyone in particular. All of you who want to take it up are most welcome to do that!

17 comments:

Mystic Margarita said...

I used to be a huge Kamal Haasan fan - he's definitely one of the best actors in India. Loved him in Nayakan, Sadma, Saagara Sangaman, and Pushpak. Of late, I thought he was becoming a tad repetitive, but then I haven't got around to watching a lot of his films either. You drove 160 miles each way to catch the movie? You are my hero! :)

Galadriel said...

yayy.. i finally found someone who seems to think the movie isn't a complete waste! naidu and krishnaveni were my fav characters, but i was seriously scared of fletcher too. :)

rayshma said...

i'm missing u not having a phone too! lol!! :D

K 3 said...

WOW 160 miles each way, You sure to win "Major Movie Buff Award" this year! :)

Miss CA weather - why dont you make a trip down? Its perfect summer time now :)

Vishnupriya Janardhanan said...

:-)...too bad there is no thirutu dvd concept there :P. . .cant wait to see the movie

Subhashree said...

I hope the movie is not a waste of time. I want to watch it this weekend :)

Mystic Margarita said...

Hey, since your phone isn't connected yet, what better way to spend the time but read, eh? So, tagged ya! :)

Preethi said...

MM - :) Oh yes 160 mi no less!!! And yes he is one of the best!!
Galadriel - High Five!
Rayshma - {pout} :(
K3 - Oh no.. I save the dramatics for Kamal movies only!!
Vish - you should!!!
Subhashree - tell me how you like it.. I liked it, and am sure if you are not on a fault finding mission you will too!
MM - Great tag.. will get at it soon!! :) Who said about no work.. just no phone!!! :P

Rambler said...

160 miles for a movie??? a little hard to digest :D
I know how it feels to miss the fav coffee :)

Aryan said...

he just asked 40 questions??...Ahhh
Anyway as you said it is better to watch with open mind...
Even I miss preAryan days....
AM

Ananthoo said...

hey preethi! firstly with or without that hype u tend to expect good show by kamal and a sensible one..this one wud have fitted a rajini or vijaykanth to the T. No, it need not be hollywood comparable or a big brainer, but good on many aspects esp his key areas..one has to just see Indian or avvai shanmugi for make up..the same opaque material is school boyish here! then think of emotion or romance - his fort and what u get? script, linking, story line, pace, screen play all met with same fate..NO! am not a born cribber!not that i like complaining but this really put me off..unless kamal was pulling off some very intelligent sattire or a retort to sivaji and am missing the point;-)

Preethi said...

Rambler - yeah.. I keep thinking thats about the distance between Chennai and Trichy :P
AM -Yeah and thats why I am guilty
Ananthoo - Exactly my point...the problem seems to be with the expectations... I dont have a problem with critics, but some of these reviews are pure venom..really! I agree they were short comings, but it was an entertainer nevertheless and that seems to have been lost in all the mayhem!

ddmom said...

Calif weather is just too good, isn't it?? I can survive without a phone, but put me in a place without internet and I'll stop functioning.
Breakfast in a tray.. hmm.. Have you told the husband about this?

Rajesh said...

you're very right...u gotta appreciate his histrionics rather than criticizing...overall a very good movie... filter coffee of saravana bhavan...wow!!!...chance e illa...I live at Ashok nagar in chennai and SB is jus a few mts away from home....its the best South Indian restaurant...

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