Friday, May 18, 2007

Movie Review - Chennai 600028

Monday morning... 7.30 route number 12. One more boring week of novel reading and insipid engineering subjects... the only thing that used to actually keep me going was the chant of Saturday... Saturday... I used to spend the entire week looking forward to saturday mornings in Somasundaram ground and a nice round of cricket with friends.

Those were the days, when Somasundaram Grounds were dominated by this fearless bunch of Lungi boyz, or the Mark Waugh team. The captain looked uncannily like Mark Waugh... only darker and shorter. His strokes were wide... not in choice but in scope... and was limited to only one swing, starting from behind the shoulder and ending behind the other shoulder... the arc wide... and if by chance, this arc intersected the arc made by the ball... we usually ended up buying another tennis ball. This deadly stroke was played to ward off every delivery...

Those were the days when cricket cheering was limited to catch phrases like "Well ma Well ma... well shot ma... " words I am sure would bring a smile to me when I am 90. And oh those were also the days when nothing... not even the early India - Australia series would deter us from walking those few kilometers to the ground, lugging 2 bats apiece, every Saturday morning.

Chennai 600028 captures the essence of that kind of purposeful life. A life mainly dedicated to playing cricket, and taking pleasure from little else. It is not the "Iqbal" kind of 'triumph of human spirit' movie. It is more of a glorified social commentary on the lives of the Lungi Boyz... the Well ma gang.

Their love lives, their squabbles and thier drinking interspersed with some nice songs (Uvan has excelled in this movie) and lots of montages of happenings in teh cricket field. The movie in general has an easy-going feel to it. The director never really stays on a subject for more than 3 - 4 minutes, and in general the movie is edited poorly.

But still, it is like sitting outside a ground and following atleast 3 crciket matches at teh same time. You follow one game for abotu 2 overs... and then switch onto one other game.. and then return to the first game only to moev onto the third game in a while. In the end you get glimpses of each game, but the fact remains is that you have been entertained solidly.

The story is narrated pretty much the same way, with plenty of lose ends and tangential storylines. If ever you get bored with something, just wait a bit and the entire movie changes. I was reminded of a Roger Ebert line.... "The screenplay was like someone had thrown the entire bunch of papers into the air and had presented the scenes in teh order the sheets came down"...

And yes... the fact remains that yuou have been entertained solidly for the 150 minutes. It is a nice aimless movie, though not a must watch.

4 comments:

S.Ganesh Kumar said...

Would like to see it!Nice review.(After 300 and Unnale Unnale)

Gokulakrishnan said...

You remember Mark Waugh,huh? The guy really thought he was Mark Waugh. He used to chew gum, had his collar up and I think he even had an accent :)))))

I think we started chanting 'Saturday' 'Saturday' as early as Sunday morning :).
Somasundaram rocks :)

Gokul

Escape.... Great Escape said...

I think i remember even the guy who used to sell us lime jees for 1 Re... and of course our AC... Burns and me...

Good days.

Mysorean said...

Hmmm... sounds a good one for time pass. Thanks for the good review! :)