Nasty Dynasty

First, a pedestal for Selvaraghavan’s Aayirathil Oruvan just like the one put up here for Peter Jackson’s King Kong.

Fantasy genre is a very special one. Just like Harry Potter lineup, if you don’t get into the movie, your brain starts questioning how Harry Potter didn’t hit on the brick wall when trying to walk through a pillar in the train station. Not all of us are hardwired for such instant leap of faith. Cutting down such crap with which reviews usually begin and starts to bore us with such psychological theories that the reviewer referred to before writing the review, Aayirathil Oruvan is a kickass film that should be enjoyed in a full screen without uttering a single word to the next seater. All you might know, he might have already taken the leap of faith and immersed in the movie and you are just thinking, how the hell can lightning strike on karthi while being blessed.

In any case, AO has stupendous writing, great pace, wonderful camera, immaculate art and costumes and ofcourse an apt finish to the neat start. The movie hasnt been pulled off just by the different landscape or thoughtful subtexts in screenplay but by the actors who have made us believe that the movie could be a true story.

And yes, the critics say that it has tinges of Gladiator and every other historical fantasy they have seen so far. Sure. For that matter, King Kong had big influences from Titanic and Jurassic Park. It was still considered as a herculean effort. And Selvaraghavan needs to be lauded for pulling it off with limited resources.

Above all that the movie kept me glued to the screen throughout the length of the movie. It was paisa vasool and I felt I should have paid a few more bucks for entertaining me thoroughly. Not a single movie after Virumandi had me tied up so badly. If you are crazy enough, you would love Aayirathil Oruvan. I pity the ones who hated it. You just missed an interesting piece of Tamil Cinema for who knows how long you would have to wait for another movie as gripping as this. SORRY!

20 thoughts on “Nasty Dynasty

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. Kudos to Selvaraghavan for taking Kollywood to higher levels with movie like this. Brilliant photography and direction.

    The only thing I do not understand is why the cholas are shown as darker than charcol. And the dubbing could have been better.

    Senthil

  2. Happy to read this. I totally loved the movie. Could not get to read many positive reviews other than this and Baradwaj Rangan’s. Truly a phenomenal achievement for Tamil Cinema.

  3. Good write-up! I too pity those who were keen to point the logic flaws in a fantasy movie and attributing it to bad screenplay. I felt the screen play had all the elements of a great entertainer!

    Kudos for registering your alternate unbiased view!

  4. I haven’t watched the movie yet. If a director has to explain his visuals for the viewers to understand, then I consider it as a failure. You can’t explain something in words that you can’t express it visually.

  5. I am eagerly waiting to watch the movie in cinema hall. Unfortunately till date this movie has not been released anywhere nearby. This is unusual because Tamil movies will be released here within two weeks after their release date. Will come back here after watching the movie to give my comments. Hopefully Selva proves me wrong.

  6. Yeah… Gotto appreciate Selva guts in making a film of this genre… but this is very badly written movie… if not for the double-tenders and some unwanted scenes the script is a big letdown… Mummy like Fantasy, Chola Dynasty & LTTE… and a generous overdose of sex and vulgarity (typical Selva)…

    Loved the digital coloring and some visual effects… Hope “Dasa” had such good vFX

    And Guru I dun understand why you are talking abt Peter Jackson here… This is just a baby step by Selva… he’s gotta a longway to go interms of screenwriting…!!

  7. We ignore logic in all stereotypical movies … and expect logic in fantasies… Loved your post. Personally I feel AO will do to the Tamil industry what 16 vayathinile did in the 70s and pave way for bolder experiments !!!

  8. @ramganesh *selective logic* is given in a fantasy film. eye sore CGI – felt that only for the giant sort of squids that attacks from sea.

    yes, it is. But only if its followed consistently. Superman cannot just weave a web when needed by the script. Where was all the magical powers when confronted with Pandyan Army in climax? A simple ear piercing sound would have had them running for lives. Reema didn’t show any signs of magic during snake attack & other scenes (even was cowardly bandishing a gun at everything). Mixed genres are always troubling (DreamCatcher, Dust till Dawn) unless some tangible change inside character or story happens.
    A simple fix for these example scenes would have been:
    – Magical powers doesn’t work in Sunlight (so reema lured them out in open day outside their safe caves)
    – Real near death experience or a ‘magic’ portion transformed Reema into a magical siren & Muthu into THE one (not by being pissed upon)
    So these are the “rules” and as long as you stick within these rules, you can still have magic n fantasy. So viewer will not question, “why didnt Frodo just fly to the destroy THE ring ?” – “he can’t coz those bobbits even tho magical, dont fly”

    He could have chosen to tell the story in real-world-mode, which would have been GREAT, as magic power was not actually needed. All it needs is some ‘underground lost fighting art type of training’ (like kalarippayattu) & the characters are good to go.

    Dropping clues earlier would have been nicer as well (i may have missed if there were any) so the genre change is not as jarring.
    Eg:
    – Few demo’s of borderline magic, then attribute it to the characters drunken state as explanation (as hallucination)
    – Reema could have noticed a trait about Muthu which makes her try to kill him (a locket, a tattoo) as she ‘knows’ he is THE one & tries to exploit his mojo in some way (not exploit his coolie strength)
    – Reema character named Meena (not the hidden name Anitha Pandiyan or once uttered Minister Veerapandi) or the movie in Madurai Archelogical Dept.

    Andrea’s character in second half was total waste, could have killed her off to create shock value (See Gulaal for example). CGI – yeah, the squid, shadows, the city on the desert (not the set), photoshop skies particularly in going-mad scenes (real looking sky are so easy & cheap, why did they resort to such fake ones). About the going mad scenes, it should have been brief and not drawn out so much as evoke comedy.

    Having said that I totally enjoyed the movie, including the first half if not for some uncalled for scenes (such as the embarrassing bleeped english banter between ladies).

    Hard to find such movies in our industry where you cannot guess what happens next, or even if you do, you stay on to experience it.

  9. ram,

    one by one.

    //Where was all the magical powers when confronted with Pandyan Army in climax? A simple ear piercing sound would have had them running for lives.//

    as someone mentioned elsewhere, it is easily explained by this, they are on a transitionary phase so its very surreal to show that they are possessed by something before the enter the “past”. also the neo-chozhas are not shown to have magical powers. those were set by older ones as traps. remember the broken village where the sounds happen is the last trap.

    //Reema didn’t show any signs of magic during snake attack & other scenes (even was cowardly bandishing a gun at everything)//

    this is a true bug. but easily explained if you assume(yeah you have to assume…) reema’s so-called magical powers dont come out until she is in the “past”

    //Andrea’s character in second half was total waste, could have killed her off to create shock value (See Gulaal for example)//

    agree but we want someone to release the shackles of karthi. no? or would magic help here 🙂

    //He could have chosen to tell the story in real-world-mode, which would have been GREAT, as magic power was not actually needed. All it needs is some ‘underground lost fighting art type of training’ (like kalarippayattu) & the characters are good to go.//

    Yeah but it may not be as trippy as how it is in the movie.

    //Having said that I totally enjoyed the movie, including the first half if not for some uncalled for scenes (such as the embarrassing bleeped english banter between ladies).//

    what…what…that was the whole shock value for the trailer. and yeah no one else is gutsy for such a scene on tamil screen. Parthiban should T…paiyaa in pudiya padhai was called as a trend setter for a long time. so selva had to do it.

    //. CGI – yeah, the squid, shadows, the city on the desert (not the set)//

    By the time the movie hit the desert city, i was along with the characters and who cared if the skies were CGI or not.

  10. Excellent piece of art from Selvaragavan!!

    Bold enough to have belief in this script and screenplay…

    Well said… w ewouldn’t know for mow many years we have to wait for one such movie…

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: