20 February 2013

What's the fuss all about this damn movie?


No matter what, the support for Kamal Haasan is extremely well deserved.  At the very least Kamal Haasan has tried to do something he believed in and he has pulled it off very well. 

Unfortunately, what he has tried to do isn't anything great.

The fact that this movie is being hailed as something great by some people is an indication of how pathetic the other movies around it are!

Kamal Haasan is an incredibly talented actor.  That's also because he has invested himself heavily for many, many years in that art and craft.  He has made no such investment in directing and it shows.  He still does better than many so called "commercial" directors and that shows as well.

Let's not set the same standards for Kamal Haasan as we would do for others.  His fans have every right to expect better, unless they have refused to grow up or are disrespectul enough to lower their standards for him.  If you've been around in the industry for over fifty years, and you've won national recognition, you need to get your shit together.  It's that simple, as far as I'm concerned.

This movie has a hard time deciding what it is.  It works quite well as a good guys vs. bad guys movie, without any of the pretentions of global ramifications, nations involved, plots that humanity should worry about, religion and all that bull.  For this film, it doesn't matter who the bad guys are.  They are terrorists and that would suffice.  But there are irrelevant elements that attempt rather childishly to take it to some other level, and fail miserably.  If this is Kamal Haasan trying to be "global" in his viewpoint, then I'm afraid he simply doesn't cut it as a storyteller.

The transformation from the effeminate dance teacher to awesome action hero that leaves the girl drop jawed was fantastic, even though we expected it.  A few seconds of action, and the switch was complete.  The moment the slow motion replay followed it, the whole effect was diluted and pissed away.  This is Kamal Haasan the director making sure, rather condescendingly, that we get it.  We sure got it, for expecting better.

An uncouth hero, who doesn't give a damn about any God can be just that, without picking any arguments with anyone.  He can just pretend as convenient, as needed.  In fact, that type of character would be a karma yogi and would be incredible.  Kamal Haasan hasn't reached for anything that high.

The physical obstacle course that the ageing protagonist puts himself through, all by himself, for absolutely no reason, really asks the question - "Why are we watching this?".  If he is such a superhuman operator, we know he must be capable of going through an obstacle course just like all other jihadis who're training for militancy.  This is Kamal Haasan's irrepressible narcissism gaining momentum.  It culminates (in this movie) with him sleeping with the girl.  Just in case we had any lingering doubts about his virility, since he has led her on so far to believe he's really married to her for convenience, and obviously for safe cover.

The conversation with the black immigration official is priceless trite.  Clearly Kamal Haasan the writer knows nothing beyond the stereotypes his front seat fans already have in mind.  Thankfully, it is in English.  Erm, American.

If anybody ever figures out why the Nigerian terrorist shaves his pubic hair before going out, and why we had to see it, please enlighten us.  Not that we're heavy with anticipation, but some lightening of the load of bull would help considerably.

This would have been a fantastic movie with Ultimate Star Ajith in the lead.  In fact, he would have had more fun with this sort of role.  Except that there is nobody who can write a script even this good for him.  Kamal Haasan the writer constantly supports Kamal Haasan the actor, but where is Kamal Haasan the visionary?  Certainly invisible in this movie.

The US military's soldier, uttering "shit" when he shoots a woman from his helicopter is ... what?  I seriously don't know why this movie has to lick up to the Americans, found as they are in the wrong countries fighting wars with people completely unconnected to those that attacked them! 

There are any number of dreadful lapses, but the humour survives!  I'm not sure why we would want to be humoured through so much labour to make us laugh, but this is again Kamal Haasan not knowing what movie he is making.  The actor in him easily takes on all the lack of congruence though!

The most annoying thing about the movie is its unformed world view.  The grey areas are great, but what's the defining conflict?  It's between a group of bad buys and good guys, with two chicks in the mix.  That's it.  What is the fuss all about?

- BSK.

No comments: