Sunday, October 09, 2005

AayuL Regai


Yep, its a Tamil movie! I'd seen the trailer on Sun TV and it seemed quite different from the usual collection of song sequence clips that make up today's trailers. I was quite surprised to find it in the store since I had not heard of its release but rented it anyway. The film surprised me and I feel that it is worth a watch for those who complain about Tamil cinema never straying off the beaten track. So I thot I'd write a little bit about it here(the full review will be on bbreviews on Friday).

The movie boasts of a very unusual story. It starts off like a B-grade Hollywood slasher flick rip-off as a group of people congregate at a big mansion and then start getting eliminated one at a time. But it soon reveals itself to be aiming much higher as it turns into an exploration of the psyche.

The movie has quite a few surprises up its sleeve. But the initial scenes are staged awkwardly and anyone who has seen a few Hollywood films and 1 particular, much more high-profile, 2004 Tamil film, will be able to guess the route the movie is going to take. But it still holds a couple of good surprises near its finish.

Towards the end, logic is sacrificed at the expense of springing even more surprises. But the surprises do work and keep us from thinking about the story until the end credits roll. One surprise in particular completely blindsided me.

The movie is raw, stark and unflinching in its depiction. There were quite a few scenes (a boy's mother's death and a macabre see-saw in the middle of the forest, to name a couple) that literally shook me up. So it is not an easy watch. But this kind of portrayal helps create a very memorable lead character.

The director has bravely kept away from typical masala elements. So you don't have any silly comedy, ill-fitting duets or special-effects-laden fights.

The movie is packed with unfamiliar faces. Thennavan(the man with the knife in the picture above) is the 'hero' and he looks kinda familiar though I couldn't place where I've seen him. He seem a little stiff initially but gradually makes us believe in him. The actor with the rope on his shoulder in the picture gives a truly manic performance. With a wiry frame, unkempt hair and large eyes, he fits the role perfectly. Cinematography catches the eye. There are some unusual and imaginative camera angles(this is the 2nd movie in a row where I've seen a 'dog-cam'!) and the camera almost never stops moving. Songs play in the background and one of them was very catchy.

So if you are one of those who laments about the refusal of Tamil film directors to take risks and try something new, give AayuL Regai a chance. With a complex story, a complicated screenplay, unfamiliar actors and no masala elements, its Tamil cinema at its riskiest!

23 Comments:

At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Maverick said...

Sounds interesting. Suprising coz I haven't seen it anywhere on TV or any other media. Will try to watch it sometime.

//Thennavan(the man with the knife in the picture above) is the 'hero' and he looks kinda familiar though I couldn't place where I've seen him//

Me neither...but he reminds me of director Dharani in that pic :-)

 
At 10:43 PM, Anonymous ruchi said...

doesn't he remind u of prakash raj ?

 
At 10:54 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

mav, i saw the trailer a couple of times on sun tv. seemed like a murder mystery but turned out to be more!

ruchi, hmmm... maybe a bit in that pic. but not in the movie :) his voice reminded me of rajkiran though...

 
At 10:59 PM, Anonymous ram said...

bb, thennavan acted in virumaandi as one of napoleon's chumchaas...remember? its actually his murder (at night, when Kamal actually goes to apologize to him and Pasupathy and co. follow him) that leads to mayhem...

yeah, i'll look for this movie...sounds interesting...btw, that 2004 release u were talking about-- is it one-of-my-fav-actors' thalaila-thundu movie??

 
At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bb,

to add to ram`s comment .. the guy with the knife also came as kai ( vikram`s friend ) in gemini ..

@run

 
At 1:27 AM, Blogger Zero said...

I actually wanted to see this movie when it got released as the premise was interesting if not promising.
And the movie's director had also assisted Kamal Haasan in Virumaandi.. Hence I was kinda hooked to it. But dint get to see the movie.
Saw the vcd yesterday in one of the shops (and dint pick it up) and today I see a review of the movie in ur blog. Time to rent. tonite.

 
At 3:42 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Yes, Thennavan was Kai in Gemini. He was introduced to Tamil filmdom way back in late 80s in "En Uyir thozhan" by Bharathiraja as the second hero.
Happened to listen to some bad reviews in Raj and Jaya Tv and hence dropped the idea of watching the movie. After this posting of yours, shall give it a try...

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger Me too said...

For a minute the picture and name made me wonder if this was a spoof of 'Ayudha Ezhuthu'!

 
At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Prakash said...

me too, me too. For some reason, the still and the name made me think it was a post about 'Ayudha E'.

 
At 8:45 AM, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

the trailer was actually very interesting, wanted to watch it but missed it,

 
At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks like an homage to "Identity"

 
At 9:41 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, didnt mention the tamil or hollywood movies' names since that would reveal the story. but looks like u guessed it anyway!

@run/ram, thanx for the pointers. i was sure i'd seen him as one of the supporting actors but couldn't recall the movies.

zero, be sure to jot down a few lines on what u thot of the movie if u do c it. i'm curious about others' opinion on it.

bart, so they did review it? cool. what exactly did they say?

me too/prakash, LOL. nice imagination!

vatsan, yep. that was what prompted me to rent it in the 1st place.

anon, same answer that i gave to ram :)

 
At 11:55 AM, Blogger vee-jay said...

second maverick, i never got to see the trailers or the posters anywhere!!! but your review is sure encouragement to go and watch the movie!

 
At 11:31 PM, Blogger Bart said...

yes they did review.. I remember in jaya tv, the review program has a lady anchoring, who gives out the story and all other important details, show all the important scenes in the movie and finally a guy calling himself "poster pons" gives the layman's (?!) view of the movie..
On aayul regai, the lady said "it is a welcome different effort (read that as failure attempt) in tamil movie industry". Poster pons said, "the movie is so complex that the audience come out in a state of mind of just like the hero - confused (read that as mad)". I thought the movie was another Kudaikkul kolai ;) hence avoided :)

 
At 12:06 AM, Blogger Ram.C said...

That Thennavan, resembles a person who does side roles (comedy) in big star movies and who did a role in 'Kolangal'.. not sure, if heis the same person.

I also read that it is a different movie...

 
At 8:03 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

bart, actually those 2 things r right... the movie is a diff. effort and it is quite complex. just depends on what u like. but if u didn't like 'kudaikkul mazhai', then this one might not be your cup of tea either :)

ramc, kolangal?? i don't think so. i think i've seen a lot of kolangal and would've recognized him if he acted in that... but then again, the way my memory is these days, u never know!! :)

 
At 9:42 AM, Anonymous ram said...

bart, cha, ennayaa ipdi sollita Kudaikkull Mazhaiya pathi...
bb, looks like i am the only fan and you the only "admirer" (as u like to put it) of this movie...there was actually another commenter (whose name i forget) who wrote that he (she?) liked KM...cha, maybe i should give up in my quest to find more fans of the movie :((

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, yep. the KM fan club will be pretty small i think :)

 
At 12:25 PM, Blogger nivas said...

Add myself to your small list of Kudaikkul Mazhai admirers. Just posted a small review on it in my blog after seeing it in Sun TV recently.
I also saw trailers of "Ayul Regai" and was eager to know about it - too bad it flopped without even getting any attention.
Balaji, i have been reading your reviews for a long time (at bbreviews) - continue the good work!

 
At 9:56 PM, Anonymous ram said...

nivas, u made my day! romba nandri sir!! i was totally enamored with the movie, so much so, that i flew from California to New York (where he was felicitated by journalist Prakash Swamy) to meet up with him (I've known him for the past 3 yrs).

bb, innaikki naan nimmathiyaa thoongalaam :)

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

nivas, read your review. very nice. i especially liked the analogy u made about disparate things coming together at the end.

ram, yep. glad to know the club has more members :)

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger Mumbai Ramki said...

Anybody who wants the trailer music ..
http://s37.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=0KW79CQHZHG400U5RCQ3ZBFJZN

Damn Damn good ........Best in last 3 years atleast i know !

 
At 4:23 PM, Blogger Richard K said...

Hi, your blog is fantastic! Well done!

I have a train travel vacation site/blog. It pretty much covers train travel vacation related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

 

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