Super Deluxe Review: A three-hour non-stop entertainer that’s astonishingly deep

Super Deluxe is a heady cocktail of pleasures. It’s the simplest I can summarise my responses to this film. Its use of old Tamil songs (Andhiyila Vaanam, Vanithamani, Ennadi Meenatchi, Saathu Nada Saathu…), its visual palette centred on basic colours, its easy use of profanity, its strange stories… Even when it’s delving into deep issues like emotional upheaval and death, an air of lightness pervades its universe. A couple gets a phone call that’s about to send their lives spiralling into more torment, and Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music indicates that this is but the dance of life. When a religious fanatic learns that his son has met with a serious accident, the music again is hardly of tragedy. In Super Deluxe, the music isn’t to accentuate the emotions of the characters — mostly. Like its writer and director, it remains observant and yet, detached in a way that indicates wordly disinterest. And it’s just as well, because when you get too close, you lose sight of the larger picture. You take sides, you judge, you become petty. Super Deluxe is magnanimous; it’s kind in a way that’s not evident. That’s perhaps the best type of kindness. Save for one psychopath (whose cackles are straight from the depths of hell), all other characters are hard to be judged. Even this psychopath is shown to save a centipede from getting trampled. Broadly speaking, the characters in this film are representations of the people of this world. They are all those who are fighting their own demons. Their actions affect each other in incomprehensible ways, as they travel on the journey that is life. If the world were a bus, perhaps it would be of the Super Deluxe variety.

It’s a bus that’s painted mainly in the primary colours of red, green, and blue — perhaps to symbolise that every other colour comes about as a combination of these? The first half is dominated by the use of red (perhaps to signify the danger many of the characters are getting into?), while this eases off in the second, as solutions appear in the horizon. Samantha’s Vembu wears a tank-top that the lighting often makes seem green/blue, but when she covers herself up further, it’s with something red. Fahadh’s Mugil wears a blue tracksuit. Vijay Sethupathi’s Shilpa wears a blue saree patterned with red roses, with a red blouse. Even when it’s a seemingly bland terrace, the bricks are red, and the saree swaying about in the wind is red.

The people in this bus talk in enterprising ways, often with surprisingly clever wordplay. When a character attempts to signify risk, he says, “Blade mela sarukku maram poramadhiri.” When Shilpa tries to explain to her son why she never felt comfortable being a male, she says, “Seruppu kaal maathi pottuppom illiya? Andha madhiri kadavul enakkuodambu maathi kuduthutaaru.” It’s fine imaginative writing, and a slap in the face of those who think clever dialogue writing is simply getting words to rhyme… (Review continued in the link below)

For the remainder of this review (and there’s a lot more left, I assure you), please visit https://www.cinemaexpress.com/reviews/tamil/2019/mar/29/super-deluxe-review-a-three-hour-non-stop-entertainer-thats-astonishingly-deep-10787.html

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