Thursday, January 21, 2010

An open letter to Selvaraghavan...

Dear Mr. Selvaraghavan,

I had always thought you are a bankable director in the Tamil film industry. Bankable as in one who is capable of directing sensible movies, albeit with often unrefined portrayal of extreme human emotions. But that’s ok; someone has to be audacious enough to tell the other side of life in the conservative and cliché ridden Tamil films.

But watching Ayirathil Oruvan in the theatre – first day first show at that – as the movie unfolded in front of my eyes, I was horrified at the sub-standard joke of an epic you have made, spending years and thousands of feet of film good enough to make two movies. The movie honesty didn’t work right from the beginning for its unimaginative storyline and Karthi did definitely not jumpstart it either as you would have expected.

Any one of your Assistant Directors would have told you that the basic plot is flawed and will not hold good even if it means administering it on a Tamil audience, who are generally tolerant (for lack of taste or whatever the case may be). Agreed the movie is fantasy / action / adventure suchlike. Having taken a thin line from the Chola and Pandiya conflict, shouldn’t you have done atleast a bit of research to bring in credibility to the story (and by research I do not mean Wikipedia. It’s an open encyclopedia and all but everybody knows how credible it is).

If profanity spewing, boob flaunting, bitchy women are your version of confident women, I beg to differ. It just makes your perspective about women shallow. And there is better way to portray a woman’s character strength than just make her use cringe-worthy swear words for the sake of vying for a man’s attention.

It’s not that I have issues with women flaunting their sexuality. After all, we are a nation of item number loving citizens – and there are reigning item dancers in our country who are happily married with kids. I am willing to believe that even item dance numbers have a purpose in any film, when you consider Reema Sen’s kinky, role-play based, and acrobatic mating session with Parthiban. And your excuse? A Pandiya princess wants to steal a statue from the Chola King. How lame! I have never considered myself low enough to watch women urinate, but you have made it possible. On a big screen at that. And Reema does it with so much confidence that she wants to elevate the cause of urinating in public to the level of making it a fashion statement. And again the reasoning? To identify her person! Go figure…

I can go on and on: a threesome like sequence with Reema, Karthi and Andrea after Karthi’s very suggestive proposal, the horrendous gladiator -like skull smashing sequence that goes for about 20 minutes, Parthiban’s introductory scene where he feeds his subject with raw meat…

And what’s the need of painting the poor chola men with charcoal (a tacky job at that)? Are you trying to tell something here? If yes, I’m willing to bet no single soul other than you has got the message.

If depressing scenes don’t make your heart go out for the actors and makes you revel in plain disgust, you get the hint about the movie. It’s just a piece of showman-isque megalomania – an awfully bad one no less.

You have probably not watched Cannibal Holocaust as you have defended yourself, but there is no denial to the fact that you have created a much worse counterfeit of that 1980s banned movie.

With disappointment,

Your fan!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


இழவு வீட்டுக்கு போய்வந்தேன்
எதையும் தொட்டுவிடாமல் குளி, என்றாள் அம்மா
இறந்து போன நண்பனின் முகம்
எங்கு சென்று குளிப்பேன் அதை கழுவ

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The New Year...

They hooted, brandishing glasses
Clasped, kissed and shrieked
Said the New Year has arrived
The fireworks lit up the sky
Streaked it with anomalous colors

I pulled my rug over tightly
The tattered cloth showed the fireworks in patterns
There’s no respite tonight, from the voices and noises
Tonight is different, I thought
Not another night in my life
It’s the New Year