Jun 28, 2009

Naan Kadavul. Nee Paithiyam.

A friend of mine labels movies categorically. Some are Soora padam ( சூற படம்). Eg. Baba, Azhagiya Thamizh Magan, Yaaradi Nee Mohini etc. Some are Psycho padam. Eg. Thamizh MA, 7G Rainbow Colony etc. Though I don't always agree with his classification, I think Naan Kadavul easily fits into both.

I wanted to see this movie even before it was released. But ever since it released I have been putting off watching it for some reason or the other. Finally today the wait ended.

I really have no idea what the movie is all about. Here is how i think the movie was conceptualized. I think Bala somewhere read that there are people called Agori Sadhus in Kasi who eat dead people, smoke Ganja, shout expletives and relieve people from rebirth and bless them to moksha. Ok, now all he had to do was make it into a movie. Throw in some visually excruciating disbled people who will rip the hearts out of the audience. Show suffering and have the Agori end their suffering.

But wait. Agoris live in North India so how to make movie for Tamil audience as you can't have a horde of beggars and other people talk in Tamil at Kasi. So let's give the Agori a father who banished his son to Kasi for 14 years of vana vaasam and once the son graduates and becomes a fully qualified Agori, have the father bring him back to their native village. Add some tearjerker scenes whenever possible. Then, this Agori settles on a temple atop a hill where the beggars frequent. The parents cease to be a part of the script now. Focus on the cruelties meted out to one blind, female beggar. Let her sing some songs (because I have seen blind beggars sing songs in trains). The interesting directorial touch is that the girl sings many old movie songs. But everytime the actual song from the movie is played in the background and acts as a voiceover for the girl's lip movements with all the musical accompaniments. Then we introduce a lighter moment where the inspectors harass some koothadis who dressup as MGR, Sivaji and Rajini (in surprisingly good costumes) in the police station. Then ofcourse, the girl is sold to a villain. The girl seeks asylum under the Agori's feet who attacks the attackers. The Agori is arrested and remanded to 5 day custody by an excuse of a judge. During the 5 days, the police patiently accompany the Agori to rivers, hills and funeral pyres as they have been instructed to take good care of him. Meanwhile, the angered villain-in-chief tortures the blind girl to near death and disfigures her face which is revoltingly shown to the audience. Then he attacks the Agori who promtply kills him. The one line about Agoris I mentioned at previously about Agoris having powers to grant moksha forms the climax. The blind girl talks too much about life's cruelties, God's inequality in creation etc and pleads the Agori to relieve her of this tortured life. The Agori accedes and slits her throat and blesses her thus freeing her from rebirth.

No points made and none taken.


witsnnuts June 29, 2009 at 4:42:00 AM EDT  

These agoris get a lot of incentives..
Free food, no criminal cases !! its better to become one.
And i stopped watching Bala films right after sethu ... they are crap tearjerkers.

Anjana R June 30, 2009 at 1:42:00 PM EDT  

I have successfully steered away from recent (read last 20 years)Tamil movies. I continue to watch and patronize the oldies ie the 40's-70's. Kadalikka Neramillai being one of my favorites.

Mambalam Mani June 30, 2009 at 4:55:00 PM EDT  

@witsnnuts: I am not sure about the free food part. I don't think I like to scavenge around for food and live near floating dead bodies in the Ganges!

@Anjana: 20 years? whoaa. You mean you have never seen amazing movies starring actors such as Simbu, Vijay etc? :D

Dot June 30, 2009 at 8:24:00 PM EDT  

Disjointed story which was amateur. Flawed documentary for sure. Bala should be shot dead.

Alan Smithee July 1, 2009 at 12:05:00 PM EDT  

The one redeeming thing about the movie is the realistic portrayal of beggars. Unlike slumdog.

Anonymous,  July 16, 2009 at 7:35:00 AM EDT  

ROFL @Dot "Bala should be shot dead" LMAO .....

Mambalam Mani July 16, 2009 at 9:00:00 AM EDT  

Dot & Witsnnuts: Well, lets not be too jumpy. Capital punishment can be used for people like TR.

Alan: Hmm I don't know about that. Why slumdog showed beggars poorly than Bala? If at all there was an agreement (other than slumdog was a worst masala movie which I agree with totally)it has to be that if slumdog can get oscars so can Naan Kadavul.

Dot July 23, 2009 at 8:15:00 PM EDT  

Watching his movies is like having a free therapy session. TR doesn't make me depressed.

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