“His Aaditya Arunasalam is a fairly hands-on cop, defined by his willingness to put himself in harm’s way first. But I suppose that’s because he’s a bit like Breaking Bad’s Walter White in a sense. He is not in danger; he is the danger. Notice that opening underwhelming introduction scene as he descends on rowdies from above, literally—this ‘god of commercial cinema’ armed with a trademark Murugadoss weapon (of which there’s a more inventive variety that comes later on in the film). Aaditya is shown to be revelling in these murders—that are shot like video game kills. He calls himself a “baaad cop” (a reference to Annamalai, of course). The newspapers, meanwhile, more accurately, call him a ‘mad cop’.”
“Narasimha Reddy is introduced to us as an almost mythical character who was born dead, but is resurrected by the forces of nature—a thunder, to be specific. This is a film that labours quite evidently to try and be an epic.”
Imagine caring so little about novelty in writing that you still define the hero’s mother as one obsessed with television serials, and the hero’s sister as one with an annoyingly chirpy presence.
“One is almost stoic, the other is sensitive to a fault. Later, during a moment of profound sadness and unimaginable pain, she still has the streetsmarts to notice a CCTV camera on the road. A CBI officer at work is one at home too.”
“What’s Kolamavu Kokila really trying to say? There’s the likeable subtext that a woman — her superficial meekness and soft speech notwithstanding — can outwit dozens of powerful men, sure, and really, hurrah for it. Beyond it though, what else is the story saying? That illegal means are justified when your needs are legitimate?”
Mohan Raja is a man of optimism — his heroine, Mrinalini (who everybody keeps calling Mirunalini), has the word ‘positivity’ tattooed on her forearm. You can see why she’d be interested in Arivu.
“It’s important not to confuse the real Sivakarthikeyan with the actor. For instance, I don’t smoke and drink. I don’t chase women. I despise violence. But I cannot tell a director that I won’t do those things in a film. On Remo, one Tamil publication wrote, Remo samudhaayaththin saabakedu. Really? I understand giving me advice, but why would people try to stop a film from doing well?”
The adulation, the rooting, the selfless connection was always reserved for the hero. The heroine could disappear after the cursory duet or two, but should the hero come into danger, all hell would break loose. BUT. This hasn’t been the case in recent Nayanthara films.
There’s a lingering sense of guilt on the faces of most of these government employees, every time Mathi asks them a tough question. Their heads hang down in shame, but it seems they are too entrenched in the system to feel emotionally about the impact of their jobs any more. Mathi doesn’t get this. She just isn’t wired that way.
A new generation of filmmakers will write their stories without the assumption that the protagonist is a male, without the assumption that a female role attains fulfillment when she finds a partner.
I’ve long suspected that ‘glamour’ is often used in the industry as a euphemism to commodify heroines. It appears to be used to persuade them into believing in the ‘commercial’ film system, as you put it; into believing that skin-show is an essential part of the system, of telling such stories.