Monday, September 11, 2006

Sillunu Oru Kaadhal


Sillunu Oru Kaadhal has been made banking solely on the chemistry between Surya and Jyothika. Having made 6 movies together and getting ready to become husband and wife in real life too, the two do make a cute couple and share excellent chemistry onscreen. But chemistry can take you only so far. A movie, especially a romance, also needs an interesting story, an engaging screenplay and a good pace to hold our interest and SOK unfortunately falls short on all those aspects.

Surya and Jyothika are easily the most popular pair(in reel life and in real life) in Tamil cinema right now. SOK got in the news early on when it paired them up just when the rumor mills were working overtime and it truly struck a goldmine of free hype and publicity when the pair, after years of speculation and rumors, announced that they were going to wed. The movie releasing just a few days before the wedding only added to the hype. But the couple deserved a better wedding gift.

Gowtham(Surya) and Kundhavi(Jyothika) get married without a lot of enthusiasm and on Kundhavi's side, the disappointment arises from the fact that hers is not a love marriage. But 6 years later, they are a happily married couple living in Mumbai, completely in love with each other and doting on their daughter Aishwarya(Baby Shreya). When Gowtham goes on a trip to America to present a paper, Kundhavi chances upon his diary from his college days. That's when she learns that she is not her husband's first love and that he and Aishwarya(Bhoomika) had been lovers in college.

The movie draws us in right away when Surya and Jyothika enter wedlock with long faces since the hero and the heroine getting married at the start of the movie and doing so unhappily are both rare occurrences in Tamil cinema. It is a little disappointing when it quickly fast forwards to 5 years later and shows them as a happy couple since their journey to reach that stage would have made interesting viewing. But they make us believe that they are a couple still very much in love and completely open and honest with each other. The few snapshots we get of their life are sweet and fun-filled.

The story demands that their romance be cut short as we flashback to the romance between Surya and Bhoomika. That by itself is not such a bad thing. The problem is that everything that was right in the romance between Surya and Jyothika is thrown out the window as Surya and Bhoomika meet and fall in love. It is a nice idea to contrast the two romances (initial dislike vs love at first sight, Chief mechanic Surya vs rowdy college student Surya, chatty Jo vs quiet Bhoomika, etc.) but it makes the Surya-Bhoomika romance very weak. It is barely convincing and never cute. And for the record, Bhoomika's line that reveals her love has to count among the worst ever. It would have been vulgar if it hadn't been so silly.

The 2 hour mark is simply too late for a movie to get into the meat of the story, no matter how good it is. But that’s exactly what happens in SOK. The one big plot development occurs so late that we've lost all interest in the film by then. The plot point is interesting and even a bit daring and has some potential but considering that it is a Tamil film and knowing the characters(and actors) involved, it is completely predictable. Still, the director does manage to generate some interest in the proceedings and though it eventually turns out to be a cheat using a very familiar technique, it is convincing while it is happening and manages to keep us guessing until the cheat is revealed.

I've mentioned before that Vadivelu has grown on me as a comedian but he is still a completely wrong choice for a film aiming to be a classy, slick and youthful romance. Though he isn't onscreen for long, his separate segments are crude and distasteful and the entire segment where he and his relatives camp out in Surya's house is painful. Santhanam, on the other hand, is very funny and has a number of hilarious lines.

It is clear that Surya is better suited to play a loverboy than a rowdy but he slips into both roles easily. With a pleasant face and a ready smile, he is easily likeable. Goes without saying that Jo looks great and makes a great pair with him. After Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu, she once again displays a quieter persona here and is convincing as the wife dealing with her husband's past love in a rather new way. Bhoomika looks more comfortable as the shy, quiet girl rather than the modern rebel she turns into later. Sukanya has a miniscule role(and she better fire her makeup man!).

New York Nagaram... is inexplicably not pictured in New York. It starts off right as Surya misses Jyothika but the bright picturization with all those camera tricks and designer clothing somehow doesn't suit the spirit of the song. Jo looks like a doll in the song though. Munbe Vaa..., thankfully, is picturized just right - romantically and softly. Kummi Adi... starts the film off on a high while Machakkaari… feels unnecessary. Majaa Majaa… is probably the best example of the chemistry between Surya and Jo and is sensuous without being vulgar.

15 Comments:

At 11:34 PM, Anonymous F e r r a r i said...

Exactly my views. Movie started promisingly but fell flat.

 
At 1:29 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Looks like I did the right thing by choosing "Lage Raho MunnaBhai" over SOK for last weekend. For that matter, I think LRMB would stand tall against any of the current crop of movies. Go watch it Balaji...
That reminds me, did u see Omkara?

 
At 2:06 AM, Anonymous rekhs said...

hey bb ,new york nagaram was shot in switzerland...:)
yet 2 c,and despite ur fall-flat- review i am eager 2 watch this movie as much as i was to c VV:)
ur review only wants me to ascertain u r rt:)

 
At 4:55 AM, Blogger skanda said...

The entire first half revolving around suryah and Jo were quite cute...all thier scenes were pretty enjoyable...but the latter part was actually quite boring and overstretched...dunt really understand why did Bhomika ever fall in love with the rowdy Suryah...coz he hit her with a football and her brain went dead!!!

The minute Jo decide to bring bhomika to the house...i already knew the director lost it...it is so illogical...then for nothing feel insecure and come after them....the climax is also so tame and and no drama at all...

 
At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as I had feared, they screwd up the picturization of NY nagaram :( Why on earth (pun unintended) did they have to picturize the NY nagaram song in Lucerne? The only reason for Surya to be packed off to the US was to fit in this song! No wonder Rahman is indifferent when it comes to composing Tamil songs these days.

To me, the only redeemable aspects of the movie were Rahman's score and Santhanam's quips. Did you catch the beautiful improvisation of the title track during the credits (jazz-tabla fusion) and when Surya's family whistle it? Santhanam's comments about the "summa thongittirukkura bulbu" and "paruppa vegalai" had me cracking up.

btw, that close up shot of Sukanya is giving me nightmares!!

SK

 
At 8:43 AM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

I just couldn't stand the movie. Walked out during the Interval. Sucked big time.!

First Surya Movie for me - I think his talents have been wasted.

Jyothika - She is good too, but what can she do in such a movie

Vadivelu - Didn't add to the movie, actually he was an irritant along with the friends of Surya ( Is he the Lollu Sabha Guy?)

Music - The best part. I pity ARR, that this might become another KangaLal kaidhu sei.!!

Overall - Waste of of money and time.!

Thanks for the review Balaji.

 
At 11:04 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

I cringed on seeing Vadivelu during the promos and previews. I wondered what was he doing in such a movie.

On a slightly different note, some of these young directors, which include Gautam Menon, want to concentrate on a slick package but they just dont get their mix right and end up goofing somewhere or the other. They need to watch some of Mani Rathnam's recent movies more than the Hollywood flicks which they desperately want to emulate.

I am surprised to note that in the Vijay TV interview, both Surya and Rahman thought that the script/screenplay was the alluring factor. I guess they know better now.

 
At 4:03 PM, Anonymous ram said...

at least jo's swansong looks like its better than simran's! i hated NEW and didnt even go near that pichaa vayasu 16...there're few people who're on my avoid-at-any-cost list (!) and manikandan's (who acted in that movie) is rite up there along with SJ Suryah and Danush (Danush, post Thiruda Thirudi, that is).

 
At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Balaji,

In one very conservative outlook, SuJo's last movie together is better off being so-so than a humungous splash like we want it to be. Anaavasyam-aa kannu padum!.. We'll keep SOK as a drishti parigaaram.. which is just fine with me. With the lone exception of Kaakha Kaakha, none of SuJo's films can be termed exceptional in any sense of the word... so, why unnecessarily feel bad for SOK?

Long Live, SuJo.. after all, SOK by no means is Jo's last film.. I do think that both Silandhi & Mozhi will do justice to a good actress, which she rightfully is! :-)

 
At 10:45 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

ferrari, yep. realized that when i read ur review :)

bart, based on the reviews, u defly made the right choice. nope, havent seen 'omkara' yet...

rekhs, knew it was somewhere in europe but didn't know where...

skanda, yeah they made a nice pair and that made the 1st half enjoyable... as i mentioned, if they had made a movie out of their 6 yrs of married life, it would've been more interesting...

SK, i know... if they were gonna shoot in some foreign place anyway, why not go to NY and give some meaning to the song!! read about that improvisation somewhere else too but not able to recall it...

narayanan, thank god u walked out during the interval cos the 2nd half was way worse than the 1st! and vadivelu was easily the worst aspect of the film...

vijay, remember manirathnam's crude comedy in 'idhayathai thirudaathey' and 'agni natchathiram'? glad he realized how grating they were in otherwise great movies. hope these directors soon gain that realization too...

ram, jo has atleast 2 more movies. adhukkulla swan song sollidaathey!

sandya, interesting way of looking at it. i'm guessing u didn't catch the movie? adhaan ivlo optimistic point of view irukku. engaluku andha padatha theaterla paatha kaduppu :)

 
At 6:47 PM, Anonymous gkrish said...

Surya should have been send to detroit being the motor city atlest that would have had some meaning.. besides the picturization and other faults... except surya's acting nothing much to the movie.. other 2 roles of jo and boomika are regular female roles in romantic movies...

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger anjali said...

I had been waiting for this movie with bated breath and was also quite disappointed... of which the picturization of "New York Nagaram" was on the top of the list!!! such a disservice to a gorgeous song, that reminded me of an indian version of a Jack Johnson song... Basically, good concept, bad execution. This movie took all the right steps except with the actual story... Advertising, promotion and music was all top-notch. Save for Surya in a few spots (most notably at seeing Bhoomika again), the movie fails to impress. I wish I could go back and cut and paste the movie, deleting the unnecessary parts and adding what was needed to the script.

 
At 12:40 AM, Blogger Bart said...

I saw a heavy "influence" of Mani in this movie. The initial family portions reminding us of "Anjali", "Kannathil muthamittal" etc. The romance portion, of "Mouna Raagam". The last portion where the director tries to come on his own falls flat.
An average movie overall.

 
At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

like ram gopal verma, i hope krishna goes back and re does this movie again. cleaning up the mess. great concept, good actors wish he had dealt with it better....was waiting to see this for months!!! total disappointment.

 
At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out this interesting site.

www.silly-nu-oru-goodhal.info

Interesting. :)

 

Post a Comment

<< Home