Monday, April 18, 2005

M.E. disappoints ME

The weekend was great for me, except for the journey on Mumbai Express. I had heard enough from my friends that the film was average and so I never had any big expectations for them to be satisfied. I still found it to be a disappointing effort.

The first card which came on screen while I was watching Chandramukhi read : "Sincere thanks to Padmasri Kamalhasan", which confused me. After watching Mumbai Express, I understood that Kamal was being thanked for releasing this film alongside Chandramukhi :-D

I never expected any story in the film. Went there just for laughs, but nothing effective was delivered in the two and half hour long movie. I've read in newspapers which talked about the movie that the laughter was heard outside the theater. I was waiting for such a moment, but honestly I din get to witness many.

A group planning to kidnap a kid for ransom. How confusion arises during the course of this and how new emotional bonds are formed is the story. I gravely missed Crazy Mohan in the film. Kamal has managed to create confusing incidents, but had failed to bring out enough humour from it. In this, Crazy Mohan will remain the undisputed king.

The first half of the film moves at express pace. The plot has been carried out to near perfection. But the dialogues lacked spice which is normally present in a Kamal comedy movie. I usually laugh so hard that I nearly hurt myself on the seat in front of me. I remember doing that for Panchathanthiram. Even in the fast-moving first half there were very few scenes for which I laughed out loud.

A few reasons why I did not find the jokes hilarious... I could predict what was in store. I spoke along with the characters on the big screen. Comedy is all about delivering the punch lines at the right moment. If you already know what they are going to say, I feel, a part of the joke is lost. I am not speaking for the majority in here. People burst out laughing at more incidents than I did. But still, it was less when compared to Kamal's remarkable efforts in his earlier movies. There was a guy who sat right next to me who kept clapping. He claps over his head, to the left, to the right, below the seat. It was more fun watching him and saying to myself - "Gummi adi rasa gummi adi, kenai payal maadhiri gummi adi". A few of the jokes were intellectual. It was not explicit and not many people understood it. Even for those who understood it, like yours truly (!), it catalysed a smile and not laughter.

One scene which is different and at the same time brilliant is the way the student sings Vande Mataram at a school function. Something which cannot be described, but can be truly enjoyed when seen on the screen. I felt it was soooper!

The second half is chaotic. Before I witnessed it, I was under the impression that the film was decent. A major part of my disappointment is attriubuted to this part of the movie. Big sentimental scenes were going to do no good to a comedy flick. Appa sentiment and amma sentiment were really out of place. I am just satisfied that there was no thaali sentiment coz there was enough scope to include it too! This is precisely how the second half begins which really disappointed me.

Pasupathy would take maximum benifits out of this movie. He was simply remarkable. Proving his skills as a comedian, I am happy he would not get branded as a Tamil cinema villain. I would have enjoyed the movie if the story had enough scope for him to perform in the second half too. I laughed the maximum for his jokes.

Kamal, without doubt, has acted well. A brilliant performer as always. He was out of shape though. A few scenes show it pretty badly. I was surprised by it. And is this a no make-up film? Looked like it, but can anybody clarify?

Manisha deserves special mention. She gets an awesome intro! Those who have seen the film will know it :-D. She needs two people by the side to hold up her saree. Looks pretty old. Kamal seems to have had enough of her, he just kisses her once in the entire movie..on the cheeks that too :-)

Vaiyapuri, Ramesh Aravind and Nasser have done their role well. No character has been wasted, which is a good aspect.

Ilayaraja's BGMs were good as usual. It would have paid off better, in my opninon, to have a couple of extra songs instead of dragging the story.

Digital Movie...I don't know if there was any problem with the screening. Some scenes appeared to have grains or whatever you call them. Looked like one of those clips on TV News taken from the file. Had a very old, dusty effect to it. I really did not understand why. Why does this happen?

On the whole, the movie disappointed me. I did laugh at times, but I felt the movie pales in comparison to Kamal's earlier attempts at comedy. Honestly speaking, I do not understand why Kamal wishes to get into every aspect of film making. He is a genius, no doubt. But I wish he does what he is best at - acting. Virumandi proved other dimensions of his skills too, but dialogues for Mumbai Express are definitely a let down in my opinion.

I can force myself to say the movie is between ok and good. Majority might wish to diagree, but as I explained earlier, the jokes failed to catch me by surprise. A usual Kamal comedy has an array of jokes in a single scene which keeps you laughing throughout. That is missing in this film. You have enough time to laugh and wait patiently for the next one to come. The second half defines what dragging is. Could have been better.

Kamal + Crazy Mohan : A killer combo is being gravely missed in this film.

The film is however getting decent reviews. I din get the satisfaction of watching a Kamal comedy. While watching the film, I was thinking, "Gosh, I should have stayed at home and watched the India Pak match instead of this one". After I came home and switched on the TV, I was thinking, "Thank god I watched the film"! So, by Einstein's theory of relativity, I liked the film :-)

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