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On MODIfying, Developing and Changing INDIA

There was a country, a country of spirited and adept men, finding itself in the path of recovery from the heavy blows of imperialistic pas...

Saturday, September 03, 2011

MACHI OPEN THE BOTTLE has been almost the campaign slogan for THALA'S grand 50th gambling GAME OF MANGATHA.But I was almost feeling like hung over before even stepping into theater with the courtesy of just a 3 odd hours of previous night sleep.(Won't say crap like its coz of expectation of the muvi).It is said that,In insomnia you're never really asleep neither you are really awake.(Guess mine should be described as the habit of bad timing of sleep than insomnia). I was in one such limbo state when I entered the theater with my friend. Since it was the second day of the movie the crowd mostly constituted with Ajith fans,few families representing neutral crowd and movie buffs as usual with the exception of few Non-Native girls(sadly along with muscly boyfriends).Point is there were not a lot of chances for excitement that can wake my spirit up out of deep slumber.So I had to gulp a cup of tea to liberate myself from the hangover, which I did and I rushed to the seat just on time.And the rest is as below,

Before proceeding let me tell you something.Like everyone my interest on the film had been heightened by the chart topping songs and the rocking trailer.I speculated like Ajith would be an undercover who acts as baddie to discover some crime and thought that in climax his cover will be blown away where he would come in cop outfit. Secondly,when people emphasized a lot on the climax and its big twist,I thought it should be Arjun who is the villain in disguise.But against all the speculations the opening was a real surprise.Ajith comes up just like that on screen without much fuss in a cop uniform( and blows away the undercover possibility).The opening was a no nonsense affair sans build-ups like the hero walking in slow motion swaggering with his footsteps echoing all around or some sidekicks singing praise of the hero or with a irrelevant song containing social messages showered on will.Rather it was cut to chase and was to the point.If that proved positive then there was also one negative side to it which is the fact that the opening was only to the point, cut to chase affair in the entire first half.

The film opens with Ajith, a cop, rescuing a smuggler (Arvind Akash) from other cops in a fake encounter.The fight sequence is followed by the opening Mangatha song in a retro club atmosphere. Next morning Ajith finds himself sleeping alongside Lakshmi Rai whom he has met in the bar the previous night(which marks the source of many funny one liners in the first half that entertains the "Kudimakkal" :P).In the meantime Ajith's girl friend,Trisha,visits him and Ajith has to literally chase out Lakshmi Rai.Ajith,then, gets acquainted with Aarumuga Chettiyar(AC) a smuggler/ gambler who happens to be Trisha's father through Trisha herself. There Ajith meets Arvind -a sidekick of AC- whom he saved and Vaibhav,one of the other servants of AC. As the time goes by,Ajith who has been suspended for his part in saving Arvind finds that there is a transportation of IPL betting money of 500 crores into AC's place and also learns that Vaibhav along with his friends ,Mahat-a bar owner,Prem-IIT passed out (his noodles manda and IIT student?, Seriously?..:P ) who is a friend of Mahat and the local Cop Ashwin has planned to loot it..

Arjun dons the CBI officer's role who is determined to route out betting scams in IPL.At one point Ajith encounters  the gang of four saying he knows their plan and warns them that they can not get the money as there had been last minute changes. He lends his hand for looting in an exchange for a share and the gang of four accept it.Eventually the four loots the money with the help of Ajith and keeps it in a safe place.They decide not to divide the money as both cops and AC are on the hunt for lost money. What happens in the next two days and how people try to betray each other and whether each individual's trick of taking the money without sharing it with others succeed,who finally takes it and what happens to the money forms the rest of the story.

To say about the movie,it is an out and out Ajith's blazing Sehwagisque aggressive game(This is my F**king game..) played with Laxmanisque artistry in Venkat Prabhu's ground.The way he has essayed the baddie role stands out.He is known for emoting even subtle,delicate feelings of the characters well and for his romantic hero image.His rare method acting skills in movies like Vaali, Citizen, Villain, Godfather testify what a fine actor he is. But this one is like never seen before.Top notch and exotic.(Ammo!!!).Never before I have seen him flinging cuss words with venom,laughing menacingly, threatening or ferociously shouting to this extent as he has done in this movie.(Ummah!!!). And dialogue delivery has been razor sharp with the crisp one liners.As VP says there are no punch dialogues but every dialog that Ajith says is with a punch.Simply put Ajith has been the deity of this 50th youthful fest orchestrated by VP..

Apart from Ajith ,the second half( and Climax) is the biggest plus and it is rocking except for the patho song which slackens the pace a bit.The direction and the scene conceptions (especially Arjun and Ajith confrontations ) are phenomenal.Bgm and the overall texture also adds to the narration.But the other part(1st half) is sluggish. There are lot of dents in the screenplay and it is exposed well in earlier part.People say the entire 1st half is waste but I feel that it is kinda average which had been deteriorated  by director.The tracks are good but their placement is very poor hampering the pace.Added to that Premji with his mokka,good for nothing jokes doesn't help.But then some dialogues,one liners and Ajith/Premji's pranks after boozing is funny and get applauded.The director has showed his necessity to establish the setting and plot (which is justifiable) before delving into the main act but making the audience wait for entire first half has proved a bit negative.

The carnival starts with the pre-intermission scene where Ajith -sort of - does a mono acting with the chess board planning to take all the money himself.It sort of depicts him as a mad man which he claims himself in the second part repeating the verse I am a mad man many times.(Ajith wanted it to be Batman Joker like and to an extent the disturbed obsession/mania has come out well especially when he says I'm a mad man).This particular scene and the scene in which he confronts Arjun, after having kidnapped Andrea are the real mass.(Geth..Sema Mass..).The pace that picks up in that pre-intermission scene almost sustain until the end making the other flaws in screenplay,direction and the likes dwindle and vanish finally when the audience comes out watching the bloopers.

Regarding the cast,Arjun(Action king..I'm impressed !!!) has done pretty well and his unbent cop role gives a boost to the movie. Vaibhav has got some scope to act and he fares decently if not brilliantly.Concerning the female roles only Lakshmi Rai manages some chance of performance.In parts she is sizzling as long as the shot doesn't get close up to her face :P.(not that she is ugly). And I must say few of her costumes in opening song and few of her moves in songs are irresistible .Also she gives that glam quotient in the first half providing some reprieve from the sluggishness. Regarding others,Trisha does her part in songs and couple of other scenes she was given. Anjali, Andrea and partly Trisha has been wasted and they only prove vital in pre-release promotions.Nothing in the movie for them.

Concerning male casting,Premji and Mahath's casting are eyebrow rising. Endhiran spoof and Simbhu spoof in climax only works for him. Newcomer Ashwin has given a decent performance.Arvind Aakash doesn't make any impact. Jeyaprakash as a goon and Subbu Panchu as CBI had done a neat job.Music?,its a chart-buster,Period. I liked the theme , Vilayadu Mangatha,Ballelaka and patho song.Initially I did not like Ballelaka but after seeing in theater I liked it.( See Disclaimer :P).Bg score is explosive.The theme was blazing with the movie.It was reverberating in my ears even after couple of days.Simply banging.

Regarding direction and script,Venkat Prabhu's contribution is mixed.Brilliant in parts and completely sloppy at times.My first reaction was negative and I was kinda unhappy with the script and screenplay in few places.But the raving reviews also gave positive points on VP,apart from Ajith, which I was able to get later.His decision to not justify and give reason for Ajith's grey shade tops them all.And his knack to mix the serious thriller with fun has paid off to an extent even though I feel personally that serious treatment would have made the movie more global than a rustic flick.(But not sure whether it wud have run like this).one liners for Ajith are rocking..We can criticize VP for lot of things but we should remember that it could have been worse if we look at the past.VP simply has been the KING MAKER..but leaves us saying GIMME MORE in first half.

All said and done I got to say few words about Ajith. First of all the actor deserves all the appreciation for choosing such a role.His diversion from conventional route and his grit to break the myth is evident from his decisions like the one in which he specifically wanted a negative role when heroes are so particular about image.Secondly he never had any problems to act as a 40 year old which none of the younger generation actors will have the guts for.I mean, will any of the present actors sport a grey hair and look like an oldie?.Thirdly,his magnanimity to share screen with Arjun and rookies like Vaibhav,Ashwin etc where ego problems rules the roost in Kollywood.All this goes on to say that he is in a different plane of acting and thinking.One needs sheer guts and tremendous confidence to do such things which are in abundance in his case.He has proved to be a MYTH-BREAKER in all aspects not only in reel life but also in real life. Remember, him disbanding his fan club?.Simply he seemed to have the below questions in his mind,
வெளி வேஷம் போடாட்டா இந்த வெற்றி கிட்ட வராதா?....
புது விதி எழுதடா...புரட்சியை செய்து காட்டவா டா ?....
for which he has come up with apt answers through Mangatha.He has won(opening collection is second only to Endhiran) without disguises and has done a revolutions of sorts(Quote by UTV's south cheif says it all." Ajith's Mankatha proves that running a fan club is not necessary to ensure great 'opening' when the star is in the hearts of fans/people.") and has set benchmarks...THALA POLA VARUMA...


Verdict: The movie may not be a perfect movie(could have been better).Well,But then I went to see it for the second time and still found it exciting.Go without expectations and be put up with first half(which is not so bad),if you do that, you will love the movie for sure even if you don't have any liking for Ajith.For rest of the Thala fans it is a treat.Sheer celebration..

1.I have opened the topic with things like hangover,bottle etc.Hangover?..That is too much for a guy who will get real hangover upon just smelling the bottle..:P :P..I mean I'm a teetotaler(Endha ketta pazhakamum illadha nalla payabu artham.. :P :P)

2.I have said I liked Ballelaka song after seeing it and this has nothing to do with Lakshmi Rai even though she looked suave in the song.:P :P..(Ada..Evlo naalaiku dhan nanum nallavanave nadikradhu..:P


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