Sunday, March 02, 2008

Anjaadhey - First good movie of 2008

Saw Anjaadhey today - albeit online streaming video.

Well, I thought of Kakha Kakha and Kurudhi Punal as defining movies for the cop genre. But I think Anjaadhey, minus a performer like Surya, story-wise has definitely scored over Kakha Kakha. Instead of going in for a usual review let me list the features which appealed (and which didn't) to me.

Good Aspects:

1. No glamorization of villain or hero - in fact, IMO Ajmal was given almost as much importance and scope as Narain, the protagonist.

2. No gross visuals (Gautam Menon, are you listening?) and no justification for Prasanna's obsession - it is shown that Prasanna is, naturally, a person with a psychological disorder.

3. The screenplay was taut and gripping. No unwanted Amma, Thangachi sentiment scenes which tend to put me off. On the same vein, thank god, Narain and Uttara were not shown to be doing "lauvs" in usual tamizh cinema paani.

4. Stunts, whatever little there was were natural and no rope oriented flyings... And the fights were shown to be short and swift.. Much like what Vishnu varadan told in his Tv interviews before the release of Billa. That lent more credence to the encouters/fights.

5. Awesome characteriastions - Ponvannan was very good. Livingston and MS Bhaskar were correctly underplayed. Pandiarajan was very efficient too. And I don't know whether it was for that reason - but Narain identifying the voice of Pandiarajan was believable. Pandiarajan's voice is not ur usual voice. Touche, Myskin.

6. BGM was not a cacophony - I found the BGM in Kakha Kakha whenever Jeevan came, to be outright "the rejected" . The Music director has lost the plot in the songs (will talk about it later) but has scored in the BGM dept.

7. I liked the way Mysskin had avoided to show anybody as good or bad. Everybody was portrayed as normal human beings, having shades of grey - nothing more or nothing less. There is often a tendency to portray people as caricatures (either too good or too bad).

8. The way Ponvannan investigates the case is superb. It seems much more closer to reality than stuff like "Raghavan Instinct" kinds. For this alone, Mysskin deserves praise, if not for the other reasons.

9. This movie, once again reiterates that you don't need 'kuthu' paatu and a comedy track to make the audience like the movie. And thankfully, there are no punch dialogs like "Nee adicha piece, Naan adicha maasu", "Naan onnu ninaichenna, Ennalaye Kaaya vaikka mudiyadhu" kinds. I still maintain that apart from Rajni Kanth, anybody else mouthing punch dialogs looks funny.

10. Amongst cop movies in tamizh cinema, I liked KurudhipPunal and Kakha Kakha. But after Anjadhey, I would say, in order of merit, it is KurudhupPunal, Anjaadhey and Kakha Kakha.

Aspects which I didn't like.

1. Except for the Kathaala song, others were downright horrible. Mysskin, who goes on record saying he doesn't like having songs could have avoided those songs - the movie would also been shorter, adding to the already good screenplay.

2. Some scenes were too dark for my liking. But that could also be because I saw it on my comp and not on the big screen.

3. I felt Narain was very limited in his acting skills. I think Mysskin should try to convince bigger stars (I Know he will say that the big stars are afraid to experiment....). But this movie is not experimental. The protagonist wins at the end, which is what those big stars want and so, I think Mysskin should be more convincing when narrating scripts to those stars.

Overall, the first good film of 2008.

I would give it 4 Starts out of a possible 5.

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