Kamal/Gautam Vettayadu Vilayadu

vettayaadu_Kamal.jpg
[Pic : Galatta]

Atleast Kamal was discussed fiercely in this blog recently. Gautam wasn’t even in the scene. Just when I started to write a blogpost on his Kakkha Kakkha DVD commentary, Nitin commented about Gautam’s new movie with Kamal named Vettayadu Vilayadu which was kicked off today in Chennai.

The last time when I was in a seminar, Gautam Menon who was one of the key speakers of the seminar went on to ask the audience what kind of story did they wanted him to make for Kamal. Many of what they said had really wonderful themes and roles for Kamal. But they said in an unified voice that they didn’t want a police movie again from Gautam. Looks like he finally settled for a cop-in-racy-thriller.

From what Sify’s article underlines this movie runs from New York to some village deep inside Tamil Nadu. Seems ver exciting for a tamil flick. I firmly believe Gautam can deliver it with Kamal Hassan on his league. Gautam can do better with Kamal like what Shankar did in Indian. He probably is one of the directors to watch out for. This is a very early break for him and looks like he wouldn’t be turning back anymore. Instead of settling down with Harris, Gautam could have pursued A R Rahman to key in the tunes.

We already have Surya’s Gajini with a slick look and Vettayaadu Villayaadu will also join the list of slick films expected next year. BTW, Surya’s hair makeover for Gajini makes him look very tough and classy.

40 thoughts on “Kamal/Gautam Vettayadu Vilayadu

  1. The movie does look exciting (with the way they claim that the story shifting from New York to a small village)!!

    But still feel a non-Kamal production (and this time, Roja Combines) isnt gonna be as good as it cud have been! Add to that my skepticism on Gautam coz of his sacrifice-of-content-for-style movie-making.

    But its goin to be slick! no doubts on that!

  2. Exciting stuff! I enjoyed gautam’s KK. With Kamal’s presence, it should be a grand film. Lazy, I agree with you on the ARR bit. But I don’t think Kamal agrees, which is sad.

  3. Gautham has mentioned in many of his interviews that it is a team of friends(Gautham, harris, Thamarai) who will work together in all his movies. So I think he will not be going for ARRahman anyway. And the cameraman this time is Jeeva and not RD Rajasekhar who has done his last 2 movies. Maybe he isnt a member of that team ! Lets see if Antony and Rajeevan are there in the crew.

    Anyway, I wud love to see ARRahman working with Gautham!!!

  4. Kamal’s performance as an officer wasn’t mind-blowing in Kaki Sattai. No wonder some over-the-top performances by other actors are patronized by the media. High time Thalaivar answers them back in style!
    I think Kuridhi Punal had a polished performance which didn’t appeal a lot to the masses.

  5. Gautam Menon shouldnt be overrated based on just one movie which had quite a few inspired scsnes and also dialogues translated literally from Englidh to Tamil in “Kaakka kaakka” that I was laughing heard. Anyone remembers when they have a drink and say “iLamaaranukaaga” offering a toast to Ilamaaran. Also the secene where they enter a room in a raid and shout “Freeze!” Yaar pa namma oorula “Freeze”nu kaththaraanga criminalsa paathu? Gautam Menon has watched one too many Hollywood flicks. A couple of scenes at the end were ripped off from “Seven” directly(when they find the police officer’s head in a box). His Minnale was forgettable stuff with music being the only noteworthy point.

    I dont expect a Kurudhipunal, but as long as it doesnt turn out to be another Kalaignan I would be happy 🙂

  6. I can agree with Vijay regarding Gautam,his minnale had nothing to remember..KK was again slick film..but inspired for sure…those scenes that Vijay mentioned are sure give aways..ha ha…i kinda agree with you dude.Somehow something inside me says that Gautam and Kamal together are going to rip off some lesser known hollywood flick..sprinkle it with some Desi masalas and serve..but still for sure, Kamal can deliver in acting dept and Gautam can make it an ‘All style’ stuff…so nothing to complain but nothing to expect much too.Only thing ..our media guys will start blabbering like “Yeah ..it’s ripped..but what’s wrong?..it’s new..right?” kinda things…that will be most sickest thing.

  7. Vijya, Absolutely right. Gautham has seen many Hollywood pictures, much like us. Freeze was a good example. All four cops in Kakha Kakha goes into the slum, and then shouts, “FREEZE !”. But can easily digest them, with the tempo of the movie.

    Also the dialogue “Dont wear Wedding Ring, when you come for duty” – what Surya says in the movie, is exactly from Training Day, what Denzel Washington says to Ethan Hawke. Im not complaining here. Just making a reference. Gautham is a good director.

    But Gautham needs an Obidient Actor, and Kamal needs a Silent Director. Lets see if the Polarities match.

    By the way, New York to a village and a Cop story. I should watch “Catch Me if you can !” again.

  8. what is with people who can only pick faults with everything? do they think it makes them a critic of some standing? yea, so they say freeze in a movie. which is something consistent with their background as shown in the movie. none of them are seen as uneducated bumpkins! in fact, they all seem to come from a modern background as evident from the fact that they chill with a bottle of beer. as if every college student speaks in chaste tamil!! what are they going to pick at next? the basic emotions? crib if someone cried in pain as opposed to being creatively unique and laugh?? look at the movie as a whole and if it is satisfying, relish it. if not, ignore it. don’t go on of trying to debase everything on a microscopic level, for at that level anything and everything can be a fault. there is not one movie that is 100% unique, frame to frame, in dialogues, camera angles etc that does not borrow from any previously seen movie or creative effort. whether gautam menon is a director of excellent caliber, no one knows for he is but 2 movies old! but there is no denying that he did not repeat the same genre and both movies despite all of their intrinsic flaws were undoubtedly entertaining. and that is all that matters!

  9. Nobody wants to dismantle a winning combination : Yuvan – Selvaraghavan, Harris Jeyaraj – Gautham, Dharani – Vidyasagar. Harris Jeyaraj’s music did wonders for Kaaka Kaaka…..I’m sure HJ will come up with something even more better this time around

  10. US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka – everywhere our thalaivar has a unique following. He’s an film personality set apart from others. In short he’s a film dictionary as opposed to other people who are just actors. Anyways can’t wait to see Mumbai Express and also eagerly waiting for Vetttaiaadu Vilayaadu.

    Regards,
    Bads

  11. What do you guys think of the title Dr. for Kamal Hassan. It doesn’t make the name look like an actor. I hope they dont start putting Dr.Kamal Hassan in the credits from now on.

  12. I was completely impressed with Kakkha Kakkha’s stylish film making. However I hated Minnale for it didn’t have a great plot nor great twists. It sold for Madhavan and the songs.

    However I think Gautam wanted to play it safe in his first movie and Kakkha Kakkha was experimental in it’s own way. It was a proof for the likes of Shankar that with just 2.4 crores on hand, you could still make a stlyish movie and also make it successful.

    Taking about inspirations, it was inspired by several flicks. And this one with Kamal will also be inspired. No doubts about it. But then if only Kamal could make Planes, Trains and Automobiles as as an Anbe Sivam, I am expecting another hollywood flick to be made better in tamil. BTW, this is something we are compromising for. Who wants to tie a bell?

  13. Xactly. Thats what my crib about Gautam is. All stylish and less content and add to that all his inspirations from the hollywood movies he has watched.
    KK was highly over-rated as everybody went gaga over it and claimed surya gave a great performance (i found it an ordinary performance, but dignified and calm).
    And Vijay (and Keerthivaasan), regarding ur mention on “Ilaavukkaaga” (not “Ilamaaranukkaaga” :)), “Freeze”, and “Dont wear Wedding Ring, when you come for duty”*, you ppl stole the words from my mouth. Rajesh saying this to Sam in “Minnale” is another worth mentioning in this category! All these dialogues appear totally detached from the vernacular vocabulory and are seemed to be added just to have some smart dialogues.

    * – leave aside the point that its copied. how many policeman wear wedding rings out here?

  14. Cop movie? Hollywood has done it all and still doing it. So can’t help if it looks like partly (or fully) lifted from a Hollywood flick!

  15. guru,

    i don’t get what you mean by this is what we are compromising for? are you saying that we have resigned ourselves to accepting inspired movies? or are you saying we have resigned ourselves to accepting inspired movies that are made better? and in the end, does it make a difference? don’t you think that people always crib about not getting anything original and how if a movie is inspired, it is of sub-par quality, but are generally un-responsive to totally creative efforts? hey ram was uninspired in my eyes, guna was uninspried, mahanadhi was uninspired, again all in my eyes. but none of them were as successful as dhool or gillie. why? and anbey shivam, despite being claimed as inspired by planes, trains and automobiles, cannot be taken as being inspired in the true sense of the word as used by movie makers. only the loudmouth character seemed inspired. where are the people who keep harping on originality when that movie was released? or why is it that masala movies like gillie, tirupaachi are still being commercial hits? besides when one is working in the commercial market, wanting to make money or hits, you cannot afford to be totally off beat and unique. those movies do not run as opposed to mass entertaining movies. the key is not whether your movie is inspired, but the key is if it works as a movie on the whole on its own. so what if dialogues were added to make the movie look smart, does the whole end product rest only on those dialogues in terms of quality fare? why stop there? why not dissect every single aspect of a movie? like someone said above, hollywood has gone through all of its cop movie variations and still is churning out the same. how many jason vs freddy movies will keep coming out with different variations, god only knows. the people on the street who keep going to watch these movies, are watching it for the entertainment value. nothing more and nothing less. the critics can howl and disagree but most of the time, the critics are always wrong when it comes to the success of a movie. it is like minnale being a hit, no story to it i agree, but somehow the end product was watchable. be it the songs, be it the comedy, i dont know. isnt it high time we just judged each product on its own merit? if being inspired was wrong, then more than half of rajini’s movie should be trashed, for all were blatant remakes of amitabh movies. but those are the movies that rajini’s fans tout in terms of entertaining fare from him. bottom line, being inspired is nothing wrong in my opinion as long as it is not a blatant copy and then marketed as an original movie. you have to be inspired by something to create, everyone needs a muse, be it a lover, be it nature, be it emotional pain. so why not be it another movie?

    iyengarkatz

  16. iyengarkatz, first of all kaakha Kaakha is not an sinpiration. Only a few scenes/dialogues were blatantly ripped off, showing the director’s obvious influenece. My point is the movie wouldnt have lost any value if those scenes were dropped out. The story and treatment were still Gautam’s own, sho why have those few scenes sticking out like a sore thumb? Hey even Mani Rathnam is inspired from Hollywood. But he doesnt do a literal translation of English dialogues like Gautam Menon does 🙂 that looks silly to me.

    On Anbe Sivam, it just took the setting from PT&A. Kamal weaved several other issues into the movie.
    But still someone of Kamal’s calibre needsnt be looking to Hollywood all the time for inspiration is my point. Even in Hollywood they lift stories from novela all the time. Do you think Spielburg scratched his head and came up with the story of Jurassic Park? No, he “adapted” it from a Michael Crichton novel. Kamal can atleast do the same by working with talented local novelists like Jayakanthan, Sujatha, Balakumaran and plenty others or use our great ancient Tamil literature as an inspiration for modern-day stories. A crude example would be Karnan’s story for Dalapathi. Instead lifting directly from Hollywood all the time seems to be an easy way out for Kamal.

    Thats why I respect Bala, Cheran etc. To a large extent they tell stories from their heart and concentrate more on substance than style and dont have to rely on Hollywood-inspired gloss like Gautam Menon does in order to artificially present a “sophisticated” product. Sophistication and refinement has to be in the screenplay and characterization, not through blatant Hollywoodian dialogues/scenes literally translated into Tamil. The end result would be odd. Sigappu Rojakaal to this day hasnt lost its effect. It might be inspired from some English movie, but it would be tough to believe that when you watch that movie. Notice how Bharathiraja has handled it. Gautam Menon could use a few directing lessons from BR.

  17. And if you are just going to be satisfied by the fact that Kaakha Kaakha was atleast better than Gilli or Maduray, then I dont see much inprovement in Tamil cinema. Third-tier movies made purely for commercial purposes shouldnt be used as a measuring yardstick in any sort of way for gauging movie standards. Compare the best tamil films with the best Hindi films and best English films. Compare Kaakha Kaakha with say, Training Day or Traffic or Company or Sarfarosh or even better Tamil films from the past like Kurudhipunal – not with Gilli or Gusthi

  18. “people always crib about not getting anything original and how if a movie is inspired, it is of sub-par quality, but are generally un-responsive to totally creative efforts? hey ram was uninspired in my eyes, guna was uninspried, mahanadhi was uninspired, again all in my eyes. but none of them were as successful as dhool or gillie.”

    Because the people who crib about lack of originality are the ones who sit at home and watch movies on pirated VCDs while the working class who get to watch a Gilli or Dhool for just entertainment dont give a damn if the movie is Hoillywood-inspired or not. The people who crib are the minority, to put it simply.

    And I admire Guna, Hey Ram etc.(although those movies did have flaws) their commercial success/failure notwithstanding.

  19. Iyengarkatz, Inspiration is what drives success. Im for that, infact strongly believe inspiration will make a good creation. Kamalhaasan should have been very much impressed about the Overflowing Plane Hi-Jack movies in english… and wanted to do one here. But who would like to watch it, with a few songs and a comedy track in between. So, you saw a small Hi-jack with comedy in Panchathanthiram. Well, nothing wrong in it.

    Your “Entertainment Value” point. Understandably there are different scales, with different measurements. To me, a movie with Intellectual Conversations are entertaining. But not many liked it. You and I and everyone else have different taste buds. One likes it and someone else dislikes. One wants to point out mistakes, or share a Blooper – well, absolutely NOT WRONG. Do not find fault with critics who find faults. Do not expect every movie of Gautham Menon or “like” to be appreciated blindly.

  20. Vijay,

    I never said kk was an inspiration, I was talking about the dialogues primarily. Look at the flip side of your argument, what inherent value was lost by having those dialogues in the movie? For example, if there was a movie on teenagers and I include the word WHAAAZZUP as a greeting between my characters, am I going to be panned or my movie thumbed down for it was inspired by the Budweiser ad?? Or will I be praised if I did not put it as it stood and indianized by saying MACHAAAAAAAA? It was but one measly line and I find myself amazed that it is being highlighted as an abhorrent flaw and made such a big issue. Besides, that line was not even a critical piece of dialogue in the movie. Again, to each his own.

    Now onto your next argument, is your basis of contention, is that instead of being inspired by english movies, if he turns to books and stuff as written by indian authors and novelists then he will be redeeming himself? then the argument is not about being inspired or not, it is merely about where the inspiration comes from. if the inspiration was a jayakanthan’s novel, all is well. And that muddles up the primary basis for this discussion. If being inspired ainÂ’t a problem, why should where the inspiration come from matter? A movie called kutty came out inspired by the book written by sivashankiri. it came and it went. No one batted an eyelid, despite getting critical acclaim. A lot of the stories that these people write cannot be adapted to cinema. Because, if you commercialize the story, you will be up there decrying how the great story by sujatha or jayakanthan was butchered. If you adapt the story as is told, it will be a flop because serious stories rarely make an entertaining movie, akin to the fate of kutty. So it is a lose – lose proposition invariably. KamalÂ’s greatest ambition is to make marudhanayagam, which is inspired by an Indian story not any Hollywood movie. Lifting premises from movies is definitely an easy way out, for you have the concept laid out for you to visualize. Making movies based on books is harder, for you cannot match the book. While Jurassic park was a hit, primarily due to the visual appeal that was not seen until then, I robot, an asimovÂ’s book flopped when made into a movie. The book was phenomenal. Similarly, for the harry potter series, the movies really pale when compared to the book, for the book can go into any detail and any length, but the movie cannot. It is restricted by the format of its medium.

    In this day and age, gloss is necessary to reach out to a wider audience. The same stilted presentation style will not weather the competition when you have products that seem more in tune with the 21st century. Whether you agree or not, that is a basic fact. That is something hindi movie makers learnt well ahead of time and now we are also embracing the same. And sophistication of the product presentation is totally different from that of the characters. I wouldnÂ’t even dare call it sophistication, presentation style would be more like it. DonÂ’t confuse the two by equating gloss to characters. Visuals add the gloss, be it by nifty camerawork or scene visualization. For that matter, nandha had some more gloss than sethu did. Again, you revert back to the basic train of thought, that it was inspired by Hollywood, so it has to be bad. Do you also hold that argument for music composers like arr who blatantly used western influence in their compositions as opposed to what illayaraja may have done?? While no doubt, bharatiraja can provide many a useful tip to gautam, in the end, the audience he dealt with is totally different than the audience gautam has to deal with. And that is why sigappu rojakal remade in todayÂ’s time as manmadhan has all the gloss you complain against as opposed to keeping it bare and simple.

  21. vijay,

    my sentiments exactly, the people who crib are the minority and so trying to please you when it comes to a commercial movie is last priority. so while you may be upset by that dialogue, a vast majority don’t know or don’t care. so that is why i say harping on a minor thing like that is of no consequence. as for comparing kk to gillie, the point was that despite being in a different genre and being a decently good cop movie, it has to compete with these movies and so it has to entertain as well. training day was not that great a movie to be honest, traffic was decent but is not purely a cop movie. it had other issues woven into it. again company, was more of a mob movie than a cop movie. agreed mohanlal’s character was refreshing, but the emphasis was on inter-rivalry in the gang. again sarfarosh was a good movie, albeit a slower moving one with lesser focus on action and more on sleuthing. kk was more an action movie and it was definitely a racy action cop movie. it is one amongst movies that are eminently watchable and entertaining. so it did not take tamil cinema backwards at all. and in terms of commercial success you will have to compare it to movies released along with it not before it.

    keerthivasan,

    i dont ever expect people to share my tastes. but i do not agree that if you dont like a movie, you keep stripping it down to the bone to justify why you did not like it. like i said, at a microscopic level, anything and everything can be a fault. you cannot say a movie was bad, because a scene or a dialogue was inspired or lifted. it is like saying mani rathnam is a lousy director because ay premise was inspired by amores perros. i do not have a problem with people wanting to find faults, but i do expect the faults they find to be substantial in nature. and i would hesitate before calling them critics for a true critic is more objective in their assessment. given that kk is an inspired film, does it make any sense to use that to berate the movie? if you are reviewing the movie, you leave that aside and then judge it as it stands. if the movie is touted to be an intellectual movie, crib about the masala item song inserted for no reason. but don’t use a two lines of dialogue as the yardstick to judge the movie. in fact, in kurudhi punal, the usp dialogue of the movie was kamal saying, “everyone has a breaking point” you can argue which cop says stuff like that etc? but that is irrelevant, for it worked as a whole in the movie. that is my point. judge movies as a whole, not scene by scene or dialogue by dialogue. for if that is how you do it, nothing will look appetising at all.

  22. Iyengarkatz, I just used the few dialogues/scenes in Kaakha Kaakha as they were obvious pointers to lifting. On the other hand, I have also mentioned Mani Rathnam who is known for portraying Indian themes with Western sensibility without blatantly translating Hollywood dialogues and American slangs into Tamil phrases.

    “the people who crib are the minority and so trying to please you when it comes to a commercial movie is last priority. so while you may be upset by that dialogue, a vast majority don’t know or don’t care. so that is why i say harping on a minor thing like that is of no consequence”

    Thats fine, I am not harping because I expect it to be consequential. I harp, because I didnt like certain things 🙂

    “it is one amongst movies that are eminently watchable and entertaining. so it did not take tamil cinema backwards at all.”

    I didnt say that it took Tamil cinema backwards. I am saying that it didnt take Tamil cinema significantly ahead either. I am saying that Gautam Menon is being rated very high by some people based on just one movie which did have quite a few borrowed ideas and even dialogues. Lets see what he does in the next one. I have not given up on him, he has certainly shown some potential.

    Movies like Nandha,Hey Ram, Iruvar are better efforts in taking Tamil cinema forward. Kaakha Kaakha is just a sophisticated “masala” like Agni Natchathiram which was “racy” as well minus the blatant Hollywood ripoffs. But if it is of any consolation to you, I liked it better than the Gillis and Dhools which run for 100 days although those kind of movies have their own audiences.

  23. vijay,

    please dont think i am offended that you dont personally like kk. i am not that big a fan of anyone except for kamal. i guess somewhere my comments may have ended as being more than supportive for gautam menon and kk. the basic point i wanted to make was that this generation of directors are weaned on hollywood movies and so will naturally want to make their movies as stylish and snazzy as hollywood blockbusters compared to older generation of directors. this influence is here to stay, because most of the viewers right or wrong hold hollywood as the benchmark.

    cheers,

    katz

  24. Just putting in my thoughts.

    Iyengarkatz,
    I totally agree with your point on inspirations. I dont crib a movie is inspired from this and hence its bad. Definitely, I repsect an inspiration (be it from a hollywood, a hindi movie or a tamil movie) if done well.
    I never have problem with the dialogues being an inspiration. But, in this case, it was not portraying the characters as they ought to have been portrayed. it was a wannabe-hollywood flick (not in the right way though) with characters speaking dialogues not the way the real people (mind you they were policemen) do but the way NYPD cop would speak.

    “It was but one measly line and I find myself amazed that it is being highlighted as an abhorrent flaw and made such a big issue”

    I dont buy ur point on this. These are the small nuances that a director ought to look at when making a movie. Otherwise it will be like a high-school boy attempting to write a desi version of adventures of sherlock holmes setting it in Madurai and having Ganesh (note, Ganesh and Vasanth are local Madurai policemen) tell Vasanth “Its elementary Vasanth!”. Check out how well policemen characters are etched in movies like Mahanadhi, Virumaandi and even in a lesser movie like Mayaavi..

  25. well, Srihari has further echoed my thoughts. My “crib” is two-fold.

    1. As far as possible try to original, but if you are going get inspired from somewhere start from the great literature and sources at home. Dont just ape the West. We have a different audience, different culture, mindset and plenty of talent available to churn out original stories. All of Indian literature and mythology can be explored first before seeking out Western sources especially whenn we are constantly dreaming of making it to the Oscars.

    2. But if you are going to insist on getting inspired directly from Hollywood movies, make the inspiration subtle – like how Mani Rathnam does. His presentation reflects a certain influence but its not so obvious in the form of translated dialogues and local Chennai constables speaking NYPD English as Srihari pointed out. That would remove value from the movie not add to it. Even the scene ripped from “Seven” didnt add any value to Kaakha kaakha in my opinion. In Seven that scene was critical, in Kaakha Kaakha it was an unwanted addition.

    But overall I agree with Katz in that Kaakha Kaakha with all its flaws was still a better or atleast a different effort than your usual Dhools and Dhills.

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  27. LG and others,
    Varudhu varudhu vilagu vilagu
    Vengai veliye varudhu!
    Yes, VV’s back on track and the shooting will commence in 10 days. The movie is likely to be released on December 15th.
    Moreover, the producer Khaja Moideen, who attempted suicide allegedly due to financial woes, has categorically stated that Kamal Haasan or VV had nothing to do with his decision. Director Gautham also put to rest all speculation about Kamal’s alleged interference in the script.
    Thalaiva! time to PREY AND PLAY

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