Friday, September 04, 2009

Kandasaamy : The Kappi Crusader

Kandasaamy is an epic of the 21st century, comparable to the Mahabharatha. If the latter tells you how not to live life, the former tells you how not to make a movie. Thanfully, Susi Ganesan did not use Pillaiyar to write the script. Pillaiyar kovathula thandhatha pudungi kanna kuththi vitturupaar!

Even if the unit spent the two years of production playing dikkilona and jalabalajals, they could have come out with a nice bit movie which could have released in Parangimalai Jothi and done good business. But Kalaipuli Thanu pumped in so much money that Susi started to write a serious movie. That's when it went wrong.

Spoiler Alert : If you have already seen Sivaji, Anniyan, Gentleman and Batman Begins, there is nothing I can spoil for you. If you haven't, I still cannot spoil it as much as Susi. So summa koocha padaama padinga.

Kokkarako Gummango... [Cock-talk for Read Review]

Kandasaamy has a very innovative concept of pudungifying black money from the rich and distributing it to the needy. India-laye, yaen indha world-laye indha concept-a yoschathu rendey paer dhaan - onnu GD Naidu, innonnu namma Susi Ganesan. Bodhi marathadi-la okkandha gnanam varum, but bethi-kaaga marathadi-la okkandha indha maadhri kadhai dhaan varum. A stale story can still be interesting with some slick screenplay. It could have been a fast paced 150 minute entertainer at best. But at 200 minutes, one wonders if Susi's payment was based on the length of film reel used. Like oru mozham paththu roobai or something. I am sure Thanu would have got better returns if he had bought Malli Poo! ;-)

People write their wishes on a piece of paper and tie it to a temple tree. Their wishes get fulfilled, supposedly by God himself. Anga dhaan director oru twist-a vechaar. It is actually the Kappi Crusader Kandasaamy who fulfills their wishes! There is also a CBI Aapesar Kandasaamy who raids big shots who have black money. Police Aapeesar [Prabhu] smells something fishy. There are a few villains who are after the CBI aapesar. There is one figure who is daughter of a villain and sets out for revenge, but unexpectedly falls in love. Please connect the dots and make your own ettu pulli kolam.

Vikram has tried out his luck with fancy dress after Kamal in Dasa. Grapevine has it that whenever Susi's kid would cry and not eat food, Susi would instruct the make-up man to do something new to Vikram. To kanakku kaamchufy for make-up money spent, they shot that look and put it in the movie. You would have expected better role selection from Vikram. But I don't blame him entirely. He must have fallen asleep mid-way while Susi narrated the story.

Tamil Cinema's first superhero will be remembered for long. The costume has been localized to suit the Tamil kalaacharam. Jetty goes back inside the pant fearing objection from Ramadas. The intro is one of a kind. Vikram comes flying around with the superhero jamakaalam tied behind his back. His hair looks like somebody has poured kaara kuzhambu on it. But closer inspection reveals that they are all cock (seval) feathers. While intimidating the bad guy he also does some cock-like (seval) mannerisms, along with a kokkarakko. There is a rap song for which I have not figured out the lyrics, but his hand gestures kinda sync with the very famous "Oh pillar, caterpillar" song which would be a sure hit with the girls. After 15 mins of flying around, cocking and singing, the audience wait with bated breath, for the interval.

It is said that good things come in small packages. But this one came in small dresses. Shriya. Her haircut helped show more of her back, and ofcourse there never was too much hair on the front anyways! There was only one scene where she was fully covered, but even that she tears during the scene. Brilliant characterization. Director touch pannitaar. It is well known that for her acting prowess, she needs multiple takes to show (emotions) well. Every time the director said "Cut", the costume person seems to have misunderstood and cut a portion of her dress. But yeah, we are glad about the misunderstanding.

The romance track is a comedy piece. During a raid at Aashish Vidyarthi's house, Vikram picks up a call. It is the villain's daughter Shriya who gives Vikram a website to visit if he wants to see her dance on webcast! Ippadi patta raid ellam irukkum therinja naan kooda CBI join panniruppaen, sigh. Before seeing the dance, Vikram dutifully finishes the raid which leaves Aashish Vidyarthi with a twisted face (more than the usual level). Shriya decides to make Vikram fall in love with her to take revenge! Adada, idhallavo revenge! They do not love each other for most part of the film. But they will go to each foreign location, drink coffee, sing song, dance and come back. Dei director, ivanga enna Karagaata troup-a oor oor-a poi aaditu, kaapi-thanni kudichuttu vara...appadinu logical-a questions varum. But Shriya's costumes, or the lack of it, rob the audience of the dhum opporunity.

Susi has been very particular about logic. He explains in excruciating detail how superhero stunts are performed with the help of ropes, choreographed by his friends. The friends bring a tape-recorder for BGM and even stuff for smoke effects. But when they showed a cock (seval) in their hideout which Kandasamy looks at to learn the mannerisms...shabba...sekaru sethutaan. Shakunthala Devi puzzles-la kooda ivalo logic thevai padaathu. They've tried out something like Batman, but ended up with a Pokiriman.

There are three villains. Aashish Vidyarthi plays PPP, and does justice to the character name by keeping his face constipated. Then there is a don called Mexican Pichumani [played by magician Alex!] who put Marlon Brando to shame with his amazing dialogue delivery - "Sekoority illama engayum pova koodathu", "Indha panatha bang-la podalam. Andha bang manager en friend dhaan" to quote a few. Mexican accent I guess. The third guy, Rajmohan, does a pole dance during the climax in mundaabaniyan and pattapatti undraayar. Among others, there is one head of CBI who speaks Tamil as though he is onnu vita cousin of Thatha Naharkar of Junoon fame. Susi Ganesan does a cameo - a pivotal role of a person who takes photographs of Mexico on his iPhone. Padayappa-la paambu eppadi oru turning point-o, adhey maari dhaan namma Susi role indha padathula. Indispensable. The only mistake in the casting department was naming Shriya as Subbalakshmi and giving her costumes of Jothilakshmi.

The movie is a collection of incoherent scenes with the editor doing his best to ensure this. CBI aapesar will suddenly go raid. Kappi Crusader will suddenly start cocking in front of a bad guy. Villain will suddenly decide that he needs to do matter. Shriya will suddenly decide to she needs to sing a sexy song. Pichumani will suddenly decide to do Billa don walk. Vadivelu will suddenly decide to put one mokkai. Hero will suddenly decide to get preachy and throw some statistics to villain who is standing in jetty. Like this wonly full movie. To bear all this for three and half hours, oru miga periya mana dheiriyam is required.

The re-recording was one nice aspect. Devi Sri Prasad did a good job with that and compensated for allowing Vikram to talk in all the songs. Vikram-ku pitching problems neraya. Neraya notes are orey flat. Voice-la throw seri illa. Innum nalla practice pannanum. Sruthi set aagala. Sruthi-oda akka-va vena try panni paakalam.

Cinematography is very mangalagaram. Ekambaram was warned by Sivagami Computers that he has gandam in all colors except yellow. All characters look equally jaundiced. I think while deciding on what to use for Mexico, he watched the Salma Hayek matter scene in Desparado and decided that everything in Latin America should be of that tinge only. Water, grass, people, everything. Mexico-la ellarum manja thechu kulipaanga-nu yaaro avarukku thappa informesan koduthirukkanga paavam. Very mangalagaramaana cameraman. All the scenes in Mexico have been shot in one open (yellow) grassland. For this why Mexico? Nonsense fellow.

Susi has donned many hats for this film...though none of them turned out useful. Susi the actor offers some solace to the helps to know the face of the person you are scolding in bad words. The powerful script writer in him has made heads turn across the globe. Sun Microsystems issued a notice banning Susi from writing any script in future, including javascript. The Human Rights Commission is planning a mass campaign with Susi's pic and a message - "Inime pena la kai vecha, mudhal dead body nee dhaan". He has also been extremely compassionate as a story-teller. For the benefit of heart patients and pregnant women he has ensured that the most nail-biting moment in the movie is the curiosity that builds up if Vikram will succeed in getting the cock (seval) body-language. He has also cleverly used slo-mos throughout the movie. So if at all you fall asleep, when you wake up you'll still watch the same scene. Total hollywood level thinking.

Overall, with few things right and most things wrong, the biggest release of this year is a disappointing attempt at commercial cinema. To pump in crores of money in this movie which took two years to produce, one has to be an utter dummy piece. It is high time Kalaipuli changes his name to Kaipulla Thanu.

I am glad I did not have to buy tickets for this movie! Thanks to Hamsini for the oasi tickets :-D.

The only good thing about the movie is that it made me put a big mokkai post after a year! Susi Ganesan vaazhga!

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