Sunday, January 02, 2005

Manmadan

Long ago, when we were kids, this guy called T.Rajendar used to make Tamil movies. He was (and continues to be) a short, extremely hairy guy. People used to love him. I never could understand why. I guess it is one of those things like Visu movies.

Visu was this guy who used to make really involved family dramas which usually involved daughters-in-law being really evil to parents-in-law(and/or vice versa). Severely boring for most of us kids, but our parents loved that stuff. Here's one guy's take on Visu. http://www.pha.jhu.edu/~sundar/tp/visu.html . I consider Visu movies to be the direct forebears of the TV serials with names like 'Marumagal'(daughter-in-law), 'Amma'(mother), 'Pakkathu Veetu Mangatha'(Mangatha the neighbour) etc and hold him personally responsible for the subsequent loss in our society's collective IQ. But, I digress.

Back to T.Rajendar. I really don't remember what the movies were about. He used to act, direct, sing songs, compose the music, do the camera work, work the clapper, get a cup of cutting chai for the heroine and do everything else that goes into making the movies. His big thing was alliterative dialogues. He would say stuff like 'Neenga vanthirunthinga Five, Ippo Ungalukku ellam Good Bye' before beating up the (five) henchmen of the heroine's father/brother/other evil male relative. And the audience would all cheer.

There was a time when he ruled the roost in the Tamil Nadu movie industry. That is not saying much. Ramarajan too ruled the roost once. But, that is a topic for another day.. Suffice it to say.. de gustibus et coloribus non disputandum est, or in English 'There aint no accounting for taste'.

T.Rajendar's son, Silambarasan (who used to act in his dad's movies under the nom-de-guerre of Chimpu) is now all grown up and this movie is his first in the leading role.

First, the story. The hero is Manmadan, a serial killer who preys upon 'loose' women. Apparently, he hangs out at bars, discos, coffee shops, Book shops and other such places. He chooses his victim, seduces her (to confirm her general lack of morals, presumably) and proceeds to kill her. The heroine is a 'nice' girl who falls in love with the hero. She sees him with one of the victims, reports him to the cops. Hero tells the cops a story about having a deranged twin who is doing all the killings. Story checks out, cops release him, heroine apologizes, Hero ditches her and in a last tete-a-tete with the audience tells us that it was indeed he that was doing the killings to avenge the death of his deranged twin brother who committed suicide because a babe ditched him.

Now, this is not a bad story. The movie, on the other hand, is quite bad. Silambarasan labors under the misapprehension that he is some kind of real actor. This finds expression in long, pointless monologues. He thinks he is showing major emotion. He comes off looking like a petulant kid who has had his lollipop taken from him. The fact that the story calls for the serial killer target women is used as an excuse for extremely loud song-and-dance sequences that involve skimpily dressed starlets. Needless to state, S fancies himself a dancer too(I think he is taking this competition-with-father thing a bit too far).

The movie is pretty unbelievable, starting from the way he disposes of the bodies, the way the cops buy his story and pretty much everything else. I found the bits with the victims to be particularly juvenile.
A sample sequence goes like this
Victim 'I am wearing revealing clothes, so I am clearly cheating on my boyfriend.'.
Serial Killer 'I knew it, you fox you'
V 'I find you unbearably attractive.'
SK 'All righty, I am going to take you to a remote area and kill you. Oh, wait, we haven't had a song in the last five minutes, so we will first dance to a bad song and then I will kill you.'
V 'Whatever'

Audience 'Err, what?'

The dialogue is cliched, the songs are boring, the acting is sub-par and the movie pretty much sucks all around. I guess that means this movie is going to become a hit and we are going to be subjected to more of Silambarasan in the future.

There was exactly five minutes of entertainment for me in the movie, and that was the song En Aasai Mythiliye. I must confess I rather enjoyed the song.

I got roped into watching this movie on the night show during my latest trip to India. Two of my cousins are terribly in love with the movie (De gustibus etc etc) and they dragged three more of us to watch the movie. Suffice it to say that the three of us will probably never let them forget it.

1 comment:

Ashok said...

I think the film Manmadhan sucks big time. My criticisms.