Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kandaswamy - the Review

Sridhar (henceforth known as S in this blog) and I decided to see the tamil movie Kandaswamy today. Since we had already seen one Tamil movie based on a positive recommendation (false, as it turned out to be) and gotten a mega-watt bulb, I was kind of wary about going to see this movie in the theatre especially since S said that the movie had gotten not so great reviews. But S wanted to be a true-blue Tam and see the movie in the theatre anyways.

We went for the 3.30pm, late noon show. As events later showed, that was probably the best decision with regards to the movie we made today. The movie started. After a series of events in the movie, a police officer steals money from a poor woman and is resting in his room at night. All of a sudden, this character wearing billowy black colored harem pants, a black full-hand shirt with big metallic buttons, gigantic bat-like wings with colorful markings, reddish-orange feathers on head and a red eye-mask (no, am not making any of this up - I don't have such a fertile imagination) descends from the roof and starts clucking like a hen while bobbing his head up and down to look like one too.

At this point, I assumed that this was the new-age punishment for wrong-doers - make them die of laughter. Instead the police officer on screen actually gets intimidated and scared. To be fair to the director, the red-masked character does deliver a few bodily punches between clucking. Still I could not wrap my head around the "hen laying an egg" act performed by the red-masked character. Who, by the way, was the hero - Vikram.

By now, my poor self was sadly drooping at the thought of sitting through the entire movie. Which was when I suddenly perked up. I excitedly turned to S and said "Hey, I got my idea for a blog post - this movie's review". With this happy thought in mind, I resumed watching the movie in a slightly happier frame of mind.

So, where was I? Ah yes, the hen act. Anyways, apparently the latest fad in the Superman, Batman, Spiderman series is Henman. Seriously, I wonder what Vikram was smoking when he agreed to appear on the big screen in that role.

Then the heroine, Shriya, appears. She studies in this college which looks like a harem-themed casino in Vegas. Correspondingly she participates in a college-dance show which looks like a Victoria's Secret model lingerie parade. I know masala movies require suspension of belief but this one required us to not only suspend belief but also expel it.

Anyways, the story is something along the lines of Henman robbing the rich and giving to the poor. In between, Henman performs this series of matrix stunts while bobbing his head up and down. What about Shriya you ask.

Well, when normal people need entertainment they watch a movie, go for a play or some such. When Henman needs entertainment, he goes to visit Shriya whereupon they immediately break into song and dance (I kid you not, every time they met, there was a song and nothing else).

The movie was proceeding along these lines when I realized that it had run for quite a while and there was still no sign of an interval. I anxiously asked S why the interval had not arrived yet. He consolingly said that since this was the US, there was no interval. I doubtfully nodded my head - Indian movies did have an interval even in the US.

Then around the 2 hour mark, the interval sign popped up. WTH!?! To revive our flagging spirits, we bought popcorn (easily the best part of the entire experience) and returned to the theatre. From that point, the movie dragged on and on. Obviously the director (who is also the screenplay, story and dialog writer) was so much in love with his masterpiece that he couldn't bear to conclude it.

By this time, S and I were having our own far more interesting parallel commentary for the movie. We could no longer follow what was going on in the movie and frankly, we couldn't care less. Finally, at long last, the end flashed. At 7.15pm. For a movie which began at 3.30pm. We were out of the theatre like a shot (only the fact that wehad paid $15 a head made us stay for that long). As we passed the crowd waiting to see the 7.30pm show, we giggled conspiratorially. The poor sods!

On the plus side, the look and feel of the movie was top notch. On the minus side, um, everything else.

Verdict: Recommend this movie to people you don't like. You yourself stay away from it like the plague. Even renting out the DVD is a bit much.

p.s.1. Just to clarify, Vikram's character's name in this movie is Kandaswamy, not Henman.

p.s.2. Good thing we went for the noon show. Like S said, we would have been far more irritated had we lost sleep due to going for a later show.

p.s.3. Vikram, dude, you are established enough to pick the movies you want to act in. Just thought I should remind you.

p.s.4. This movie is hitting Bollywood soon as 'Bhagwaan Kand'.