Sunday, November 20, 2005

Varaporaanyaa Varaporaanya!

[Pic Courtesy Indiaglitz]

I'm not a big fan of Vadivelu. I feel his name on the credits automatically brings down the class of any film a few notches and that he has had way more misses than hits in his comedy routines so far. For every Bharathi Kannammaa, Winner, Giri or Chandramukhi, there have been numerous films where his comedy track raised groans rather than laughs.

But a recent film announcement [thanks Sandya] that elevates the comedian to hero status has piqued my interest. The film, Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi, is being produced by Shankar and its publicity poster has the cast dressed in the costumes of a historical. I feel the latter by itself makes the film stand out from other recent films. The fact that Shankar, atleast with Kaadhal, proved that he has an eye for good and viable projects also makes me look forward to this one.

Vivek too was promoted to hero in two films Panju(?) and Solli Adippen but neither has seen the light of day yet. While he is definitely my favorite comedian, Imsai Arasan... , due to its unique name and poster, has managed to catch my interest more than his 2 films. So lets wait and see if Vadivelu's film makes it...

34 Comments:

At 12:37 AM, Blogger bhuvan said...

Vadivelu bringing about versimilitude into Tamil cinema? That would make for a great story, if the film turns out to be any good. I hope it's good, cause hope is all one can have regarding Kollywood. This at least doesn't look like a run-of-the-mill-production, but something tailored to Vadivelu's talents (anyone remember him in MUTHU in almost the same getup on stage? Hilarious!).

And, anyone remember Koundamani's attempt at leading man back in the early 90s or something. Don't remember the name or the plot or anything about it (I was still a child, after all), but it was a horrible mess, I think.

 
At 3:10 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

sounds interesting. Vivek is doing anbe vaa in a lead role.

 
At 3:16 AM, Blogger Jeevan said...

I am a fan of Vadivalu. his comedy is very nice in Chandramuke. Looking forward to see Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi

 
At 5:38 AM, Blogger srivat said...

I had to differ with your arguement that vadivelu's name on credits brings the class of the film down.May be it was true a year and half back but not now.I do not know if thats the way people feel while watching his movies in california, but definitely not in Chennai and i'm sure not in madurai too.He is from madurai and all his characterisation looks to me like portryals of people he had watched right from his childhood.I too was not appreciative of vadivelu's comedy until I met some guys from Madurai and south tamilnadu.Anyways I would definitely not miss this movie.

 
At 6:18 AM, Blogger Kaps said...

Vivek's emphasis on big money and double entendres has resulted in lot of damage. Vadivelu has used this period to boost himself....he tries to stay clear of double meaning jokes (Chandramukhi was an exception). In today's scenario, Vadivelu enjoys more popularity (across all segments) than Vivek. Vadivelu was also on the cover the Tamil India Today last week.

 
At 6:54 AM, Blogger giri subramanian said...

Well I cant even imagine Vadivelu to be the hero of a movie.I hope the director can justify his role in the movie.

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger Rajesh said...

"Imsai Arasaa" is a common slang
used by people from Madurai to mean
a guy who is a nuisance...

I hope this is going to be a
comedy rather than portraying
vadivelu as a hero.

 
At 8:58 AM, Anonymous b a l a j i said...

BB,

Vadivelu's name in the credits will pull more crowd. Except for the B-class movies that he did for useless directors like Keyar, Rama Narayanan etc, his comedies had always been top notch.

 
At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Raju said...

I have to agree with Vatsa's point.. While people from villages and from South tamilnadu would appreciate Vadivelu comedy, those from Chennai, and living abroad would go for Vivek. Vadivelu has done so many movies in the last year or so, but as you said, most of them have been forgettable.

What you said about Vadivelu holds true for Vivek also nowadays.. His comedy in Kanaa kandaen, and the Sundar C movie, was very unlike Vivek.

 
At 10:28 AM, Anonymous ram said...

it's pretty amusing, the poster...hope the movie lives up to our "great expectations" :)

did coundamani act as a hero?? i know senthil did, in a movie titled, "paris paris" or something like that...all of this is hearsay of course...but counder though the hero's sidekick in many movies, was the real hero in many that worked...

 
At 10:50 AM, Anonymous narayanan S said...

I'm not a big fan of Vadivelu. I feel his name on the credits automatically brings down the class of any film a few notches

Exactly, and the fact of having Vadivelu as the itself would turn me away from the movie. Probably the only movie where a comedian did a lead role and still known these days is Mohd.Bin Tughlaq. Chinni Jayanth tried a couple of them and miserably failed. Am not aware Goundamani did a lead role? which movie was it? I don't expect much out of Vivek's Solli Adippen either.

-narayanan

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

bhuvan, that getup in 'muthu' was the exact thot that popped into my head too when i saw this poster. meena utters a comment about him thats absolutely hilarious :)

munimma, 'anbe vaa' has a couple of debutants in the lead role. i heard vivek is still the comedian but has a big role and his part is being highlighted in all the posters :)

srivat, that was just my personal opinion. his kind of comedy is more raw and earthy and so i feel it can't be called 'classy' :)

kaps, can always count on u to provide a tidbit i didn't know :) making the india today cover - thats pretty big i assume...

balaji, i agree he seems to be quite popular considering the # of movies he's in these days. but personally, there only a few of his tracks i'd classify as top-notch :)

raju, true. but he was very good in 'anniyan'. funny and classy...

ram, never heard of 'paris paris'. i think counder's movie was called 'panam pathum seiyum'??

narayanan, u missed nagesh's movies like 'server sundaram', 'ethir neechal', etc. but u're right about chinni jayanth's horrible flops.

 
At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Gopi said...

'tis amazing how many "northern tamilites" seem to agree on Vadivelu.

Onnukuditangyaya onnukuditangya !!

I still remember (in 1997?) when a former high school classmate of mine (a rather prim Brahmin girl) first pointed out Vadivelu to me. We were talking about some aspect of that movie. It went something like this:

She (being all gushly), "Yes Gopi, but...did you see Vadivelu in that movie?"

Me, "Who?"

That was the first time I realized that chicks can grin as well as giggle. Anyway, I like both Vadivelu and Vivek. Vadivelu dons costumes (anti-mosquito spray man) that Vivek will never agree to appear in. However, coming from Madurai, I find a certain amount of "funniness" in Vadivelu's accent which a "northern Tamilite" can never possibly relate to. That "funniness" (sometimes) compensates for lack of substance or wit in his language.

Incidentally, anyone remember Vadivelu's performance in Thevar Magan? He can rise to the occasion when the script demands.

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous ram said...

gopi, vadivelu was brilliant in devar magan, esp. the hospital scene...he was really noticed in that one. he was fantastic in the concluding portions of "porkaalam" too. his one line to Murali highlighting the latter's hypocrisy is unforgettable...yes, he can rise to the occasion but the sparks have been few and far between...

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger tt_giant said...

Looking forward to this movie - just because the title sounds so different.

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

gopi, i guess his slang is a big part of his appeal. and many of his phrases, etc. have entered the common vocabulary which is no mean feat.

yeah, he was terrific in 'devar magan'. i always thot that was his 1st movie and that he took to comedy in movies after that. yes or no?

ttg, welcome back :) and thats my reason too!

 
At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

vadivelu first acted in Raj Kiran's movies. He even did a MJ impersonation in the song "Ettana irundaa en paataai ...". His first major role was in Singara Velan.

 
At 3:13 PM, Blogger Raju said...

I like Vivek more than Vadivelu but they are different in their approach to comedy.. I completely agree with you about Vivek in Anniyan...

Balaji, you have been tagged (I can hear "not again") .. plz check my recent post.

 
At 3:14 PM, Blogger Me too said...

Vadivelu was excellent in 'Thevar Magan'. I read somewhere that he so much wanted to do atleast a small part in 'Virumandi'. BTW, Parthiban and him were hilarious in 'Bharathi Kannamma'.

 
At 3:27 PM, Anonymous narayanan S said...

BB,
Server Sundaram and Edhir Neechal had stories :D. Both the movies had many other ingridients other than just the comedian taking the lead role. Morover Edhir Neechal is a KB movie, what more could you ask for :-).

Am not under estimating Vadivelu's capabilities here, its just that directors don't make a proper use of him and make him rather stereotypic which certainly is'nt good for him.

-narayanan

 
At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Gopi said...

Vadivelu's first movie may have been a Raj Kiran movie as anon mentions. Aranmanaikili perhaps?

I would watch an otherwise bad movie if it had Vivek in it (won't if it had Vadivelu in it).

 
At 4:06 PM, Anonymous vijay said...

Vadivelu is definitely over-rated and not classy. I have to agree with Balaji here. He is certainly better than Senthil though who can rarely make a mark on his own and has to have his partner kicking him in the rear all the time to get the comedy track going :-) Inexplicably, some comedians like Murthy, VK Ramasamy etc. despite their loud and unfunny dialogues most of the time had a large number of films coming their way during a certain time period.
Maybe this is just fleeting success for Vadivelu. We'll have to see.

To a certain extent MaNivaNNan, and to a large extent Vivek have restored the comedy track back to respectable levels in the last few years.

In Anniyan, Vivek's attempts at trying the different permutations and combinations of those sanskrit words at serious junctures in the film was hilarious. His timing in several scenes during that train journey was also good. I must say but for Vivek the movie had nothing much to sustain my interest in the first half.I hope when they celebrate all those jubilees for Anniyan, they dont forget to honor Vivek in the function. He deserves every bit of it.

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

anon, thanx. i think i remember seeing that MJ impersonation song :)

me too, true. BK was one of his most memorable tracks. parthiban and vadivelu tried to recreate the magic in a few other movies but didn't work :)

narayanan, ofcourse. since u were just talking about successful movies where a comedian played the lead role, i brought those up. but u're right. the movie isnt gonna work unless it has some stuff instead of just the gimmick of making vadivelu the hero.

 
At 11:55 PM, Blogger Nithya Swaminathan said...

True, while Vadivelu appears in almost every other movie, only a handful of them are genuinely funny...

And this combined stuff with Parthiban is jus an overkill these days... getting too damn repetitive!

In some films though, Vadivelu really rocks... and though not classy, I like the way he uses the Madurai accent with his trademark nakkal...

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger Ram.C said...

Seems this is one among the 3 ventures which Shankar had announced.. the earlier one being Vasanthabalan's 'Veyil' and yet to be named Balaji Sakthivel's new venture.

Looks like, Shankar is diversifying his interests into different sort of movies. Hope his calculative moves will pay him back....

 
At 2:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

... "sudu kaattil sudu thaangamal ezhunthu oodi vantha pinam pol irukkum ivan en manamahan? vethanai! avamaanam! VETKAM!"

lol :P

~orangecrazy

 
At 3:09 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Vadivelu is certainly enjoyable. He manages atleast a smile if not a laughter in many occasions inspite of repeating his act.. But, yes, it is beginning to get stale. This still looks like a good start towards change.
Kavundamani acted as a hero in atleast 3/4 movies.. "Panam Pathum seiyum", something called "raja yuvaraja" (double act) and another called "thanga mama" i believe..
BTW, am not sure if u've read "vedi.. vedi.. vedivelu" series by vadivelu in anantha vikatan. It was really very well written and straight from the heart. The anecdotes, style of narration and madurai lingo being the highlight. worth a read - now a book by vikatan publications...

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

I thought singaravelan (michael jackson thangachi) was his first, but I then saw him in some older movies, he came for a few scenes.
He has his funny moments :-) He comes across as a naive country bumpkin, but he did get into some kind of controversy sometime back, right?

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger Filbert said...

Balaji,

Vadivelu's first movie was Raj Kiran's En Raasavin Manasile where he featured in that song 'Poda poda punnaakku'.

 
At 2:16 PM, Anonymous SK said...

Vadivelu as a hero! man, i will certainly skip that movie. Can't stand him!
SK

 
At 3:25 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

nithya, i've found that he is good when he is at the receiving end; kinda the butt of jokes. thats what made the initial routines with parthiban work...

ramc, knew about 'veyyil' but didnt know about the other 1 with balaji sakthivel.

orange, yep. thats the one :) his expression when she says that was hilarious...

bart, knew he was writing in vikatan but havent had a chance to chk it out.

munimma, there were rumors ambika was going around with him. and there was some issue betn rajni and him too after 'muthu'. guess it was cleared b4 CM :)

filbert, thanx :)

 
At 5:45 AM, Blogger Simply Senthil said...

Hi Balaji,

I think this movie is inspired by the jokes of cartoonist simbu(quite unpopular) with the same title in Ananda Vikatan in which a king is doing all kinda funny things. Some of the jokes were really good, but they didn t get enough attention from the readers though. I m waiting to see how Vadivelu fares in this movie.

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

senthil, thanx. i remember a lotta king jokes in AV but didn't know the title was the same :)

 
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