Monday, February 09, 2009

Movie Review - Naan Kadavul

Bala is at it again. Shocking you with horrendous visuals and outlandish characters. He does not attempt to sell those characters... but he has this sense of arrogance about presenting it. This is what i created... watch it if you want. If I was to sum up the movie in a line... I would say, This is the best dark comedy to come out of Kollywood till date, about an entire village being unable to comprehend the workings of the Sadhu in their midst.

Naan Kadavul has a typical 'Bala' character as the main guy. An aghori who thinks / knows he is God, and is completely justified in becoming the destroyer at times he deems necessary. A mental makeup found in visionaries and terrorists alike. You might argue that pretty much that is what Vijay or Arjun think in all their movies. You are correct in one sense. The difference is that for this guy, that is not the most appealing characteristic. Nor is it glorified as hero-like. This guy smokes dope in front of his parents, and even asks a policeman for a toke... not because he is degenerate. He does anything just because he wants to do it. Not because he thinks it is right. The only thing he does which he thinks is right is to kill... as Kaal Bhairav... the solitary reaper. 

Bala, and the script writer have worked significantly on the lead character... and there was one more incident, which differentiates our man from any one depicted... ever in the history of Tamil cinema. The kind of rejoinder when his mother gives him the usual Thamizh amma bullshit on keeping him inside the womb for 10 months. His repartee to the guilt tripping dialogue was just so unique and pithy. Lengthy dialogues are not needed to say profound things... you know. 

The supporting cast is the life of this movie. It is very tough to present distress / difficulties in a humorous way. Cynicism helps, but there is a thin line between being cynical and being condescending. Bala, in this movie has tread that line... and has come out tops. He presents probably the best dark comedy based on a beggar community in movie history, and does not sound insensitive in doing so. But what I felt was that he could have avoided shocking us with those visuals. But then it is Bala to do that. You know you are getting it when you watch his movie. 

Arya was a sort of a disappointment. He looks the part... an arrogant well built Sadhu. But lacks the intensity in expressions. His eye looks blank... luminous eyes do not mean they are expressive. There is no ferocity, nor is there conviction. Most of the times it is just a blank stare which is supposed to frighten us. The girl too is insufficient. Her mannerisms are too dramatic, and lacks consistency. 

Music was not great, and could have done some more in setting the mood for the movie. There is no poignant tune that runs through the movie, and it sounds hackneyed and in bits and pieces. Well then the movie was made over 3 eyars. Anyone would have lost the thread during that time. 

It has been a long time since I laughed out aloud in a theatre. The last time I could, it was for Vasool Raja. Naan Kadavul also tickled me, especially in the second half. The "in your face" presentation sets in, and you learn to enjoy the movie. First part shock, second part humour. Funny movie.

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