Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Guns of Chennai

Pudhupettai could well be Selvaraghavan's best flick yet (though I am really wary considering how he botched up much of 7/G Rainbow Colony, and some parts of Kaadhal Kondaen too). The key point in which he differs from many other directors is how well he knows the people from the middle and lower strata of the society. Hence, I expect a realistic portrait of Chennai gangsters, rather than stuff that is insipidly inspired from the Bollywood gangster genre. Chennai mafia is not the same as Mumbai mafia. For example, guns. Chennai mafia, unlike Mumbai underworld, is not equipped with surplus guns. But, we see guns galore in many movies claiming to protray realistic mafia. The case in point, is Gautam's Khaka Khaka. I have argued at length (with my friends and other bloggers; not to forget the long discussions in Lazygeek's blog :)) about the movie lacking the Chennai nativity completely. IMO, Gautam's effort was an over-stylised wannabe-slick flick. As if to echo my thoughts, Selvaraghavan himself tells this here in a Rediff's feature on his new film {Rediff's regular blooper: Selvaraghavan's first movie was mentioned as Kanaa Kandaen instead of Kaadhal Kondaen; now it stands corrected}.

Today, this blog completes a year. This is the 51's post I make :).


  1. Not sure if i'd call KK over-stylized. even if it was, it was a relief from the other under-stylized flicks! But i would definitely call it slick and not wannabe-slick.

    Congrats on the 1 year. 1 yr and 51 posts? Quality over quantity :)

  2. Balaji,
    Actually I would call KK slick flick as well. But it tried a little too hard to be one. May be, I used the wrong word :).
    My largest crib about KK was the "realism" it tried to portray. I could take it as the slick flick which it was!

  3. hi,

    more than anything else(guns as you mentioned), i felt the characterisation, the dialogue delivery and the dialogues of gangsters, were pathetic and very artificial in Kaaka Kaaka.

  4. Suresh,
    Actually, the realistic portrayal was conspicuous by its absence in the film.
    Don't even get me started on the dialogues. A main reason why I thought the movie was terribly wannabe.
    Much of them were literal translations of english lines and were spoken in a very jaded fashion.
    Talking about characterizations, the villain was more a serial-killer/psychopath than a gangster (his associates were completely non-descript as well). It has always been impossible for me to like Jyothika in any role. Here too, her much-appreciated role grated into my head.

  5. Bollywood [RGV] has done a better job when it comes to the portrayal of gansgters, compared to KK, and done it much earlier too. Liked the first half of KK much better than the second.

  6. Bala,
    Portrayal of Mumbai gangsters is uncomparably (to Tamil cinema) well-done in quite a number of films from the Bollywood.
    KK is nowhere in the map. I found most of the aspects of KK to be gimmicky to various degrees.

  7. Actually I would call KK slick flick as well. But it tried a little too hard to be one. May be, I used the wrong word :).
    what I meant (not expressed well in the above lines :p) was that,
    May be the film did succeed to an extent in being slick (in relative terms within Tamil cinema; which itself alters the usage of the word). But it was more a wannabe-slick flick (as against being actually slick) and that really stuck out as a sore thumb.

  8. Earlier today, i was away to watch Idhayath Thirudan, and what was more surprising to me was that to catch Pudhupettai trailer.

    I was all gripped to my seat and my heart was thumping as twice as fast anticipating how the trailer would be. Just when i knew saw the name of Selvaraghavan i knew it was going to be the movie i most anticipated in my life after Aayitha Ezhuthu. The earlier moments of the trailer had me in awe struck looking at the dark shades that the movie portrays with aruvals being cleaned, Kokki Kumar in an intimate scene in a brothel, dadas being as horrible as they could in their physical appearance, and almost everthing i saw had me thinking that this would be the movie which is about to portray underworld as realistic as it could be.

    But as the trailer proceeds further, I was puzzled whether am i on course to watch Kadhal Kondein or 7G Rainbow Colony pt. 2? Now where does that lead me to?

  9. Selvaraghavan, REALISTIC-A??????

  10. The post is center staged with PP but, all the comments is abt KK. I hope PP is going to be a trend setter in tamil filmdom as like "Sethu" in 2000.

  11. Bala,
    I was telling that I expect realistic fare in Pudhupettai and not that his films have been realistic.
    But, to be fair, Selvaraghavan gets the realistic tone right in his ventures (unless he ventures into depicting "platonic" relationships or love in college campuses :)).
    I didn't like 7/G. and KK, inspite of being heavily gimmicky (read 'unrealistic'), worked for me quite well.

    the post wasn't specially about Pudhupettai, but how filmmakers adopt the realism portrayed in cinema from other regions, literally.

  12. "he botched up in 7/G Rainbow Colony ?"

    pray do explain how?

  13. thala! time for you to be back again! pudhupettai is all over the place!

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  16. Congrats for your completing the year. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

  17. Well is kind of funny, sounds like a life project in certain way, thanks