Monday, May 05, 2008

Kuruvi


With Dhill, Dhool and Gilli, director Dharani showed us that he had mastered the art of creating fast-paced, well-balanced masala films that had no dull moments. All of them were variations of the David vs. Goliath story of a common man going up against someone way more powerful and spiced up the basic story with action, comedy, romance and sentiments. The formula's intact in Dharani's latest film Kuruvi but something goes drastically wrong in the way it has been translated to the screen. Predictable, outdated and boring, it is a disappointment, more so because it is from the same team that gave us the enormously entertaining Gilli.

Vel(Vijay) is a racecar driver who lives with his extended family. He has been the breadwinner for the family ever since his dad Singamuthu(Manivannan) abandoned them after accumulating a lot of debt. Vel learns that Cocha industries, based in Malaysia, owes his dad a lot of money and working as a kuruvi(someone who transports goods between Malaysia and Chennai), he travels to Malaysia to recover the money from Cocha. With Cocha(Suman) unwilling to hand over the money, Vel robs his diamond, apart from unwittingly capturing the heart of Cocha's sister Devi(Trisha), and returns to Chennai. Little does Vel know that his dad and his employers are being held as slaves on a piece of land that is jointly owned by Cocha and an MLA Konda Reddy(Ashish Vidyarthi).

Dharani's previous three films were so successful since he mixed brain and brawn in the right proportion. The heroes there beat up the bad guys too but they also came up with clever plans that put the villains in trouble or helped them escape their clutches. But Kuruvi relies on brawn almost exclusively. Whether Vijay challenges the villains in their own place or is caught in a tight spot, he only flexes his muscles and rarely puts his brain cells to use. Even opportunities for some clever planning, like the diamond heist, are left unused. Ofcourse, the villains here are not the kind who call for such cleverness. Suman doesn't kill Vijay even when he is face-to-face with an unarmed, jailed Vijay and after planning en elaborate death for him, walks away without checking if he is actuallydead(apart from being thick-headed, he is also apparently thick-skinned since, at another point, he doesn't realize that he is actually hurt enough to be bleeding!).

Vijay's first car race starts off as a perfectly good, well-filmed race capable of giving the film a rousing start. But then as Vijay's car loses its gas pedal and he clenches the cable between his teeth to continue the race before dramatically leaping over the finish lane, it is transformed into a cheesy, ego-massaging stunt. This kind of an over-the-top punchline exists for every action sequence(in another example, a nice little chase through tight streets is ended by a ridiculous leap from a building to a railway track bridge), rendering them completely ineffective (even the romance is not spared from this sort of action as Vijay saves Trisha while hanging on a rope with fireworks exploding the background). And when the action is not exaggerated, it turns violent with Vijay's choice of weapons being an axe and a knife. When a film that is primarily an action thriller is filled with this kind of exaggerated action sequences, boredom sets in pretty quickly.

Thankfully, the romance and comedy relieve the boredom somewhat. Vivek, as always, has some funny lines and moments(the time he is caught at the airport metal detector is the best of the lot) and tags along with Vijay to keep things moving. The romance isn't particularly imaginative but with Vijay and Trisha sharing good chemistry, it has enough fun and cute moments to keep us interested.

With the loud villains, the isolated land and the workers trapped as slaves, Kuruvi reminds us of the second half of Thagappansamy once Vijay moves to Cuddappah. Thats not a good comparison since all adjectives that applied to that film - silly and outdated, to name a couple - apply to this one too. With Vivek out of the picture and Trisha on hand just for the duets, Dharani struggles to move the story forward and employs obvious, irritating tactics(like Ilavarasu requesting Vijay to control his temper) to stretch things out. There are a few attempted comedy interludes but they are unfunny and seem out-of-place considering the seriousness of the proceedings. The area is gorgeously barren and the diamond-mining delivers a unique setting(as shown in the quick fight between Vijay and Ashish Vidyarthi) but these are wasted by the dragging screenplay.

Vijay is his usual, energetic self, throwing in his usual comic expressions, punchlines and Rajni dialogs(here it is "Unmaiyai Sonnen"). Of late, he has started trying out complicated steps that look more like exercise than dance steps and this takes the fun out of Dandanaka Darna.... The simple but graceful steps in Palaanadhu... and Mozhu Mozhunnu... are a lot better to look at. Trisha goes through the entire first half with a bemused expression that suggests that she wasn't taking things too seriously. She looks cute though some of the dresses in some of the song sequences don't suit her too well. Suman doesn't make much of a impact, especially since he is immobilized for quite a bit of time while Ashish Vidyarthi gets on our nerves with his shouting.

This kuruvi flies real low.

17 Comments:

At 11:10 PM, Blogger Kay said...

Enna BB,

Very disappointing. I am quite depressed. I was waiting for a good Vijay movie with lots of masala and pure entertainment. Looks like it is neither. OK, will wait for the next Vijay movie.

Kay

 
At 11:15 PM, Blogger Bart said...

It is very depressing that 1/3rd into the year, we do not have one good original (excluding dubbed ones) masala entertainer in Tamil. I had huge hopes on Kuruvi and its turned out to be lame without wings.
In the near future too, other than Dasa we do not have any mass entertainer coming in. Though Dasa is in a different league, hope Dr. Kamal doesn't fail us like what Dr.Vijay (?!) did...

 
At 12:58 AM, Anonymous Vijay said...

The best thing to do with a Vijay movie is to expect the very least and you won't leave dissapointed. He's been doing the same 5-fights-5-song movies for a decade now and it's way past tiring! With the amount of ego massaging found in his movies, I feel like tamil cinema takes several steps back everytime. Sad sad state of affairs!

 
At 1:51 AM, Blogger skanda said...

When i saw "kuruvi", i felt that Dharani's "Bangram" was still so much better. Atleast that film was faced paced even at places it was horrendous...But dunt know what has happen to Dharani, he seems to have lost it completely..mybe he is dried up for ideas...Vijay seriously needs to rethink his career..he should do more slick movies like "pokirri" or "ghajini"..."Kuruvi" is so disappointing that it was not even worth my popcorn money...one of the corniest movie i ever saw..

 
At 2:50 AM, Anonymous RDX said...

Really disappointed with kuruvi.I think i will not watch any movie trailers any more.My expectations was sky high when i saw kuruvi trailer but after watching the movie i felt it was an insult to my intelligence.Even though sivaji had 1 or 2 illogical scenes,we could forgive the director but 80 % of kuruvi scenes were really testing my patience. I really hope desavatharam will live up to expectations after such a top notch trailer.

 
At 7:14 AM, Anonymous parthi.nv said...

//some of the dresses in some of the song sequences don't suit her too well//

Most of the times, Trisha's dresses looked very 'cheap'. From a model turned actress... that always surprised me.

 
At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trisha begged for this role with Vijay.. Nayanthara was the first choice & cotumes would have sutied her well..

Trisha is now banking on her next project Abhiyum Naanum..

Pushpa

 
At 10:09 AM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...

BB,

Really strange I think there was a lot of intervention from the producer(for punch dialogue and action stunts)?, the movie is so unlike Dharani :)

For this one I had a pretty low expectation it turned out to be worse.I surely don't expect 2 stars for this (There are prb some movies which were much better than this having the same star rating). Might be you need a rating in between :)

Wonder how these folks are paid 6-8crores per movie!!

 
At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wonder how these folks are paid 6-8crores per movie!!"

Could be because they know we will watch these movies anyway regardless of quality...

Cheer up everyone! Summer is here. Soon the beaches will be full of good-looking kuruvis :)

 
At 1:00 PM, Anonymous fans_usa said...

xpt for vidyasagar every one has failed . the sets n background though grand were similar to perarasu or telugu movies. full of colors.
though gravity defying vijaykanth kick are acceptable these days but it was 2 much.

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

kay, yep, me too :)

bart, we'll probably have to look way back for a good masala entertainer. planning a separate post and so more in that :)

vijay, was expecting a bit more than usual cos of dharani. but I think I would've been disappointed even if i'd been expecting the very least :)

skanda, can't argue with anything in what u've said :)

rdx, wasn't expecting too much after the trailer. knew there would be a lot of action but the lack of pace and energy was the biggest disappointment :)

parthi, i think it was the 'happy new year' song that was the worst for trisha :)

pushpa, yeah i remember reading that nayan was first b4 trisha came in. but looks like nayan's bagged the next vijay movie :)

srivatsan, with so many movies and only 9 star 'buckets', there is bound to be movies of different quality in the same bucket. but for the record, 'kuruvi' gets 1.5 stars :)

anon, lol. lots of chittu kuruvis :)

fans, IMO the biggest failure was dharani :)

 
At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are talking about a Vijay movie - one should & must leave any semblance of a intelligent mind at the door, be it kuruvi, thirupathi, ghilli or whatever.

The only saving grace for 2008 will be Dasavatharam and that too, long overdue. It is about time something of Dasa's stature puts good entertainment & intelligence into perspective in our movies.

 
At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,

I didnt expect anything much from you regarding a Vijay movie. I know you are toooooo prejudiced and DO NOT like Vijay atall...

I am sure the movie maynot be a great one but it is surely not as bad and boring as you have written.

Try to be objective in future.

Anon.

 
At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont think the movie was bad but it wasn't good either. So many places where I thought the movie would finally pick up pace, I was only disappointed. The comedy was good. But I am not sure why this movie was named Kuruvi! Is it because Trisha identifies Vijay that way! It was barely 10 mins of the entire movie and he only made one trip! I guess the storyline would have been better if he had been a Kuruvi and been setup (cos prob. he falls in love with Trisha who is Suman's sis!) after multiple trips (where one such incident could have had a comedy track).... nothing of that sort... guess it should have been named oru thandaiyin sapatham!!!!

 
At 4:38 AM, Anonymous reeves said...

Posted at the older topic as i came into that url searching kuruvi sucks in google :) :

Kuruvi sucks... big time. Everything abt the film is irritating. Trisha looks too old in this movie. Abt vijay... I wish he would sink in some Siberian sea if he ever intends to do another movie like this. I would prefer sittin on the Chennai roads in mid noon rather than watch it. I want an ice bag...

 
At 10:24 AM, Blogger just mad said...

this movie seems to be a great flop ...
some of my friends are ardent vijay fans they just love the movies even if they are not good .. but this time they find it difficult to say ' JUST OK ' -- I will definitely watch the movie just to see how bad/worse it is ;)

 
At 4:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

u bloody rajni fans. u like only masala rajni films. no appreciation for kamal. thoooooooooo.

 

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