Monday, January 25, 2010

"Aayirathil Oruvan" - The cinematic depiction of Selva's Demented mind

Disclaimer: I have raised the bar of my judgment a bit because I have high hopes for the talented Selva Raghavan.

In a line: 1/1000. A testosterone spring - to be screened only in a planet where there is no women, children and humanity.

I am having a bad headache right now, so pardon my memory and my grammar. This is the worst headache I've had since my first semester chemistry labs. Most of you would have guessed by now the reason for my migraine. I just came home after watching "Aayirathil Oruvan" .a.k.a. ATO -All Time Opaari(death wails).
ATO is filled with many WTFs - historical, logical, technical... The fact that it belongs to a risky adventure fantasy genre, itself should be sufficient to seal its fate. Many a bollywood and hollywood movies have failed to shine in this road not taken. But Kollywood and Selvaraghavan can take heart that they have fared slightly better in a field that is usually a graveyard for many. The kudos stop at that.

The audience are treated to a voluptuous, aphrodisiacal flesh show of two buxom ladies (for the lack of a kinkier word) - Reema Sen and Andrea.  Girls in this movie just love to strip. If they want to fight each other, they strip and cuss. Attacked by cannibals? No problem. Strip first, shoot next. Discovered ancient ruins? Strip and dance. Hell!! They even strip to prove that they are indeed the chosen ones who have reincarnated to resuscitate the Chola dyansty. Add to that lots of racy, multi-meaning words, and not a single Y-chromosome is complaining ;-) 

The Neo in this script is Karthik Sivakumar. He carries the movie in his shoulders gracefully in the first half. But alas! he also has to carry two hot ladies on his shoulders for most of the movie and the burden is just too much to bear, even for an excellent actor like Karthik. As expected, the movie fumbles in the second half and falls in to a deep abyss. Kollywood can rejoice for having found a gem of an actor. One other actor, who can emote with his eyes as good as him is Mel Gibson. Girls are sure to go crazy over him.

Selva's daredevilry does not substitute for taut screenplay and common sensical directing.  The movie is worse than the stickiest Javumithai you had as a child. It drags, droops and plods itself through excruciating boredom and you're left screaming for the break. There is absolutely no logic and it's high time Selva joined the PreKG class of some reputed DAV school of screenwriting. Till then screw your writing !!

There is no need for so much blood and gore. If you think you can be different from the herd by showing spurting blood and abused women for extended lengths of time, then it is time to fix an appointment with your psychiatrist as soon as possible. There is enough blood in the movie to irrigate the entire Cauvery delta. There is even an explicit scene where a girl offers blood from her bosom as sacrifice. How the heck did that escape the censors? Why am I not surprised? The reviewers would have walked with a headache, half hour into the movie. The violence outlives its warrant. 

What good is a chosen one when he does not save his people and runs away? Well that was how the movie started, a young prince escaping a slaughter, to keep the lineage alive. So after two and a half hours of torture, we are back to square one with the caption "to be continued.." You kidding me? This isn't some Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.  Lucky, the producer has burnt all his fingers and wallets. He would soon add a "never" before the caption.

The tacky CGIs more than make up for the lack of a designated comedian in the script- this reflects the sorry state of the Indian CGI industry and Selva Raghavan can't be blamed for it. The special effects are crude and down right ridiculous. Did I mention hilarious? Ok, I did.

Finally, the biggest disappointment -GV Prakash. The background music is dull and fails to lift our sagging spirits. Sloppy songs (except "Unn mela aasathaan") add to the melancholy. This kid is never going to come near the toe nails of his Uncle.  

This movie also has many historical inaccuracies like the leather maps of the Cholas (remember cows are holy and so no leather), trebuchets (an medieval European siege weapon) and acupuncture, but I am willing to ignore these flaws. 

A period movie is every movie buff's dream. Not to mention history and war -  the very mention just gets your adrenalin racing, at least for me it does. Selva Raghavan has peed all over the countless masterpieces (Saving Private Ryan, Patriot, Brave Heart, Apocalypto) in this unique genre by directing this series of scary pictures at 24 fps which he calls a movie on the lines of Avatar and Mummy Returns. This movie screams to be shown the middle finger.

I have reproduced a split-up of the movie's budget.

Update: NDTV pans the movie in its review..Click here to watch


  1. A1. They have come to a land which is not their "own". they r starving and they share the food they get. He turns a hero when he says " ini yemmai kandu neerun, ninnaik kandu yaanum anja vendiyadhillai". they were happy about going to Tanjore...

    A2. Yes. the screen is filled with lots of blood. I felt it is justified.

    A3. To make A1(above) powerful, that scene was a must.

    A4. I second you on this one. The logic faltered here.

    GV prakash had done a excellent job here. U like masal song(un mela asa dhan). So be it. The other songs and especially the BGM was awesome.

    Anyways... a good post da...

  2. I don't go with your opinion, but i like your analysis... Good work Sandy :) Your english deserves a hats off!!! :)

    Pinnita le :)

  3. @sundar Thanks le!! Conflicting opinions are most welcome. :D

  4. Update: NDTV pans Selva's "Aayirathil Oruvan".

  5. hey...nice were right about alotta things....i felt the movie was quite fast paced and entertaining for the normal masses but for critics who appreciate serious film making,this movie lacks alot of lustre..i was quite offended by the portrayal of the pandyas in this film cause as a tamil student, i respect all kingdoms and the kings who promoted tamil literature..this film was quite offensive and biased in that case..too much gore and profanity must have appealed to the younger was very funny the way you criticised g.v.. though he is definitely talented,i didnt fee that he has done a great job in this film...unn mela aasathaan is nice specifically to tamil and south audiences as it has got the ethnic feel in it.otherwise using electric guitar distortion for the king arrival and too much shit electronic music added to fill as teasers is not would have sounded much better if he could have experimented with some more ethnic instruments with the help of electronics..just my suggestion as a music lover :) overall the movie was quite entertaining with alotta weird and psycho crap...


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