Thursday, January 14, 2010

"We must go to a movie".. My mom and my aunt were pretty sure about what they wanted to do for Pongal. They were overcome by nostalgia when tickets used to cost just 35 paise. After a lot of calls searching around for theaters ended up booking tickets in Mayajaal. It was sort of a family outing with both my and my aunt's family present in full strength. Ayirathil Oruvan was a much hyped movie and me and my cousins were looking forward to it.



The film started interestingly enough. An archaeologist goes missing in search of a long lost Chozha prince's location and a team is assembled to search for the missing scientist including the scientist's daughter ( Andrea ) and Reema Sen heads the search party. They encounter a group of tribal people who want to wipe them off the face of Earth and Reema Sen does a Tomb Raider Jolie and blows them off with guns in both her hands. The chief security officer of the party is too happy to help her. Needless to say, there was a lot of blood splashing around. To add to the decor, the tribal people were painted in red too..

According to an old manuscript, they must face seven obstacles before they reach the lost kingdom. One scene worth mentioning is the place where they come upon the huge pillars eerily similar to Stonehenge. The place is riddled with quicksand and how they cross it makes for interesting viewing and so does the part where Karthi Andrea and Reema turn mad and try to kill each other.

The second half covers their exploits in the scary blacky (what else do you call it when everything is black from people to the mood?) village. Here is where the director seems to have been profoundly influenced by Hollywood. The revelation of who Reema really is a twist but seriously it gets too much when she throws in a few 'kuthu' steps when she is supposed to be dancing classical dance to woo the king!! If you have watched the Mummy and the Gladiator you can safely skip the next half an hour of the movie.

As is the wont of Tamil cinema, the hero survives the Colloseum massacre ( involves torn away limbs and smashed heads of course ) and becomes a confidante of the king. They celebrate their new found friendship with a few kuthu dance steps thrown in !! After Reema betrays the king Karthi stands with the king in fighting against the intruders into his kingdom. To cut a gory story short, the king dies.

The movie is not all bad. Selvaragahavan's effort in creating a Hollywood style movie has to be appreciated for sure. Too bad the movie could have done with some sharp Hollywood style editing. The sheer magnitude of the movie's effects is great and to be frank I found some effects more realistic than the tsunami in Dasavadharam. One does wonder why Karthi has to chose such movies always. His effort is there but it is sort of repetitive- same gore same violence cant help feeling so. Reema Sen's performance is equally impressive but Andrea doesn't have too much to do.

Despite its positives, the feeling of the audience can be aptly summed up by the comment of the viewer right in front of me when the screen freezes on karthi carrying the only surviving member of the Chozha clan, the king's son into the forest. "Oh God.. Please dont tell me there is going to be an Ayirathil Oruvan Part 2". A little less blood, little less violence and little more editing could have worked wonders with this otherwise good and different movie


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