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Showing posts from June, 2012

Saguni: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Peppered by stellar performances by its cast, Saguni has a beaten-to-death storyline
Anarchy prevails the ruling political party — which interestingly portrays the late actor Poornam Vishwanathan as its founder — when its scheming deputy chief Boopathy (Prakash Raj) supplants the chief minister-elect unceremoniously, with some help from his concubine (Kiran, back after a hiatus). He rules the party, and the state, with an iron fist. The camera then swings to the protagonist, Kamalakannan (Karthi) a villager on his maiden visit to Chennai, who, after witnessing its squalor, remarks sardonically, "Busy city, pasi (hungry) citizens."

Sounds familiar? Those who grew up in the 70s/ 80s would have sworn that these scenes belong to an MGR's messiah-of-the-masses movie (think Nam Naadu), or Rajinikanth flick. A man-against-the-system themed movie that manages to punch above its weight due to power-packed performances by its star cast, and not due to its story-telling, Saguni coul…

Bull in a Bear Ride

A remake of the Rajinikanth 80’s cult classic, Murattu Kaalai falls flat due to poor storytelling

By harking back to yesteryear Tamil movie hits — in particular those of the fab four, MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, Rajinikanth and Kamalhasan — Kollywood reiterates, every now and then, that retro will always be its metro. The Sundar C, Sneha starrer Murattu Kaalai (the raging bull), that shares its title and storyline, but not its finesse and chutzpah, with its namesake of the 80’s Rajinikanth sleeper hit, amply evidences this.
Etymology would reveal us that naming a movie after a ferocious animal (think Singam, Paayum Puli) lends the aura of invincibility to the protagonist (Sundar C); therefore, he convincingly wins a bullock cart race (a la Rajinikanth’s Ejamaan), repeatedly bashes baddies to pulp, nixes the antagonist’s (Suman) plans, and has the dames pining for him. However, beneath that tough exterior lies his docile, placid nature: he showers his affection on his four siblings, does not t…