96 (Tamil)

I am against this movie.

 

I am never watching a movie by this director again.

PLOT: Two lovebirds from high school who had to split meet up after twenty years in their class reunion and they re-live their moments for that one night.

I’m very upset. Here I was expecting this beautiful love story. I was expecting to feel all the feels. And all I was feeling was disappointment.

I’ll give the pros first. The comedy? Fantastic. The class reunion with the classmates? Fantastic. The high school flashback? Fantastic. The music? Fantastic. The acting? Fantastic.

What did I find terrible you ask?

The love story at present.

I’m going to spoil this movie.

The start of this movie was fine. We start by watching Raam living his life as a travel photographer. His travel has him going through his hometown and his high school. And he gets all the nostalgic feels. (My own opinion, I don’t actually like going back to my old school. My old secondary school has closed down, so I can’t enter it. But I can see it from outside the gates and that’s as nostalgic as it gets because your memory of the school is still preserved. After I graduated from my primary school, I went back like about a couple years later and all my memories were a bit… I won’t say tainted, but it’s not the same. Because things change, paints change, equipment change and it just feels like a lie. Bleah, that’s just me.) Anyway I enjoyed watching Raam trying to reconnect with his old friends and they all set up a reunion date. I loved all the scenes leading up to the reunion. We even cut to the flashback of Raam’s high school love life and that’s fine.

Now. It’s the intro of Jaanu I cannot stand. I don’t like her. Raam is trying to avoid her in the reunion. She. Goes. Up. To. Him. And puts her hand on his chest. (something she did when they were in high school and she felt his rapidly beating heart). I can’t remember but before this point, I think we already know that Jaanu has a daughter. But I didn’t really hate this scene that much when it was first showcased because we don’t know if Jaanu has a shitty married life or if she’s divorced or anything. We only know she has a daughter. Later on we will find out she has a peaceful marriage and hence, in retrospect, I find this scene more problematic than I originally felt it was. Why does she still think that after twenty-two years, she still has authority over him and his body. Why is she taking that authority when she is already married? You can’t talk to someone without touching them is it? What?

And the next scene, so they move onto sitting around the table. Raam gets her food. Okay, give it to him, he’s being a gentleman. Why he didn’t get himself food, I don’t know. But that’s just me being an absolute ass. Anyway, here’s what Jaanu does: After eating halfway, she asks Raam to eat from her plate and her cutlery. First of all, I am saliva conscious so this scene already puts me off. Next thing, I don’t have anything against friends sharing food. The problem with the scene is that it makes it out to be more than just sharing food with all the background music, with how Raam is taking the situation. And if she really wanted him to eat, why not get him another plate? What. Shut up man.

Then I can’t remember when the flashbacks come in and when we’re in present times. I will say, the weaving in of the past and present was seamless and fine. And I have no issues with any scenes in the flashback. So let me talk about the next scene in the present.

After the reunion, the pair go to a salon. Jaanu makes Raam get a shave and haircut so that he looks like how he was when they were schooling. At this point, I’m just thinking how emotionally manipulative Jaanu is. Jaanu is so desperately trying to recreate Raam according to her memories because for God knows what reason she finds her life unsatisfying. And Raam because he’s still in love with her goes along with everything she wants.

When there’s comedy between the pair, I think it’s fine. Because friends make fun of each other. But every pull at emotion is just a terrible attempt at gaining my sympathy.

Anyway, in the past, we find out the pair split because during holiday break, Raam’s family had to move towns without telling anyone and they just split. And in present, Jaanu’s just like, I wish I’d have seen you again. I wish you’d have come to my wedding and stopped it or something. And Raam is like actually I came to see you when you were in college, don’t you know? Apparently, Ram had. He asked this student to help him find Jaanu and tell her he was waiting for her outside college. The student went to find Jaanu, even succeeded finding Jaanu. But because the student didn’t give enough details, Jaanu thought it was some other guy that had been stalking her prior that was waiting for her. So they hadn’t met. And Ram decided to stay away from Jaanu’s life even though he went to every graduation she had and even her wedding as a bystander. Okay, very sad. This one I give it to you. I told you, I have no issues with their past. What I cannot stand is how Jaanu takes this. Ohmygod, she’s depressed. She’s lamenting. She’s bawling her eyes out. I mean sure, what happened was terrible. It’s damn sad. Life really just effed you over. But. Has your life really been that shitty for the past 22 years that you wish so bad that you and Ram were together? Is there nothing good that happened in the 22 years? It could be. And I wish the movie showcased that because all I’m seeing is if she could go back in time, she would totally choose Raam over whatever life she has now without batting an eyelid – choosing to give up her husband and her daughter. Which is fine. You do you. But I don’t like how this movie expects me to feel sympathy for her when she’s wrecking other people’s lives who have not been shown to deserve such nonsense.

I will not be hating on this movie as much as I am, if I wasn’t expected to think this is an epic heart-breaking love story. Because let’s be honest there’s more than two hearts that are breaking in this movie. This is a heartbreaking story.

I understand people want to be true to their feelings, but c’mon, it’s not like you punch your boss in the face every time you feel like it. You don’t act on every feeling you feel. 

Anyway, the next scene that pissed me off completely was when the pair are sitting in a coffee shop and Raam’s photography students are there. And Jaanu introduces herself to them as his wife. Son of a. What tf are you doing. Stop forcing your fantasy into reality. You want so desperately for this to be your reality. And you’re messing up Raam’s reality also. How is he supposed to go back to his classes with his students asking about his supposed wife? Jaanu is just damn bloody selfish and emotionally manipulative. How are we not talking about this? How am I supposed to think this is an amazing love story. Ohmycheeseballs.

Then the next scene. It’s raining. She goes over to his apartment. She showers there… which in all honesty the only problem I have with this is just my own and I don’t see how anyone’s comfortable showering anywhere other than their own homes. Then she wears his clothes cause hers are wet. Okay. I’ll let this slide. Her clothes are wet form the rain. Fine. What happens next in his house is what I cannot stand. Epitome of manipulation. Please note, Jaanu is an amazing singer and in high school she was always singing songs for her class. There was this one song Ram would request her to sing but she never sang it. She sings it for him at the house, completely unrequested. This human is trying so hard to make Raam hers again when she knows she has to go back to her own life after this night. This Raam also one dumb nonsense. Doesn’t ask her to stop. Doesn’t see that what she’s doing is detrimental for his own heart, that she’s making it impossible for him to ever move on. But then again, this doofus doesn’t want to move on since he only encourages her behaviour. I cannot with these two characters. You are wallowing in your own misery and piling more misery on top of it. I refuse to sympathise with your masochistic selves.

Anyway, fast forward to the next scene that gets to me. See Jaanu is back in India for the reunion for one night and then she has to go back to Singapore. So Raam is driving her to the airport in this scene. Last few moments together. You know what she does? Puts her hand on the car’s joy stick when Raam isn’t looking. Do you know what Raam does? Continues driving with his hand on hers.

Please excuse me while I vomit.

He buys a plane ticket on the same flight as hers to follow her into the boarding area. Might as well go with her to wherever she’s going in all seriousness. 

See. Actually. I understand. You feel something for your old time crush, you want to go back to him, fine. Seriously, you’re only human. This happens in real life. People fall in love, people fall out of love. People get married due to obligations and then they divorce. It’s fine. The concept of this movie is fine. But I can’t forgive this movie for having characters that don’t acknowledge that what they’re doing is fcuked up. I hate how it’s unsaid because then it just panders to your emotions of being too afraid to own up to the truth. Leaving it unsaid makes it seem like it’s okay. As long as we both don’t explicitly say we love each other still, but know that we do, it’s fine. It’s not. You’re just scared to follow through with the consequences of actually saying you love each other still, too scared to accept that you guys are involved in cheating. Sure, their friends are wary of what’s happening between the two during the reunion – saving graces. Raam makes constant efforts to keep his distance from Jaanu but he does not stop her when she crosses boundaries. And Jaanu. There is only one time in the entire movie when she re-thinks what she should do, call up Raam or not – which happens in the beginning. Maybe the audience are supposed to watch under the belief that both characters know what they’re doing is wrong that’s why they don’t have any physical intimacy. But what they’re doing is cheating already and they just might as well have kissed. Because why tf not? It just felt like each of them were waiting for the other to give in first. If someone initiated, the other would definitely have reciprocated.

And anyway are we really just saying both Jaanu and Raam can go back to their lives like this night hasn’t affected them at all?

Give Jaanu her divorce.

This movie could have been better if it just dared to be more honest with itself.

It should have dared to allow the characters to be as flawed as they were meant to be.

If we just had a damn scene, an actual written scene, which showed the characters struggling with their morals, of them actually arguing that what they’re doing might not be right (but still do it anyway because of the years of unknown yearning) instead of just in passing of whether to call or not, instead of Raam seeing her thaali and just backing off < which seemed more funny than sad, this movie might have just won me over. 

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Imaikaa Nodigal (Tamil)

Bruv. I liked this movie. It has all my favourite actors and actresses. And it was good.

A thriller-suspense movie about a serial killer, Rudra, who’s being chased after by CBI headed by Anjali and inevitably Anjali’s family gets roped in.

I have issues with this movie but bruv that plot twist… so damn worth it. I can close one eye on every other issue I have with this movie just for that plot twist.

Watch it.

Anyway, delving into the story, spoilers coming. But I’ll try to leave out the main plot twist.

There are two concurrent storylines going on in the movie until they converge. It’s fine. I liked each independent storyline. The first storyline is Anjali’s chase after Rudra. The second storyline is Anjali’s brother, Arjun’s love story with a girl called Krithika. My issue was just that every time I got so into one storyline, they switched. Ohmygawd, it was so unnerving. I mean it’s good, cause it keeps me hooked but so annoying. Personally loved the way Krithika and Arjun met. It was so cute. Haven’t seen something as cute as that in a while.

My main issue though… is how stupid the police officers are portrayed. I just. Lol. It’s unrealistic. Rudra’s on the roof top of the building, everyone, EVERY SINGLE ONE of the police officers go up. ?

?

How is no one at the bottom? That doesn’t make sense. The police don’t do that. There are a lot of other things the police do in this movie that they just won’t do. Let’s just take a look at the roof top scene again. The police officers go up the neighbouring buildings to see if they have a clear view of the roof top. They take out their guns and they’re in position. They have handguns. They are buildings away and they have handguns. I’m just laughing. A spoiler coming up: An important spoiler: Are you sure?: The other thing they do is believing when Rudra frames Arjun. Sure, they say the evidence all points to him, but they got all the necessary evidence in a few hours is it? And how is it that Rudra who’s never left any clues suddenly leaves behind everything? Like how is the police not even suspicious. Once again the fact that the police do things that are unrealistic really takes me out of the movie. But the only reason it doesn’t bother me as much is because the way the police is portrayed has, in my opinion, no impact on the plot twist or the whole plot of the movie. I just hate how they put Rudra in an impossible to escape situation and then let him escape because they made the police dumb – maybe they were going for the Rudra is smarter than the police, but you can’t do that when these top police officers are making rookie mistakes. If they portrayed the police better, it would have made for a stronger movie.

I don’t really know if I liked the romance line between Arjun and Krithika or not. They got together really fast which I can appreciate since it’s a thriller movie but… they got together damn fast. But it was cute.

Something that annoyed me was the ransom demand by Rudra. Rudra kidnaps people and demands ransom and the people give him money. But the bruv has never, not once, returned a person alive. There’s been five or six such cases before and everyone has turned up dead. Like how dare Rudra still ask for ransom. When one of the persons asks Rudra what guarantee the person has that Rudra will return the person alive, he says none. Ass. Complete ass. (This is not an issue I have with the movie, because I can still see why people will want to fork out the money. But Rudra has no credibility. No integrity. I don’t like villains without principles.)

I loved the songs. On replay.

I think the plot twist is worth it. I actually liked the pacing of the movie.

WATCH.

Kolamaavu Kokila (Tamil)

I fully support this movie. Although it takes ridiculous turns, this movie really amused me.

Going into this movie, I actually had no idea what it was about. I can’t remember if I watched the trailer but I got the title wrong all this time. I’d been thinking it was Kolamaavu Kokila with a small Ko which will translate to killing flour Kokila (which makes no damn sense but maybe it does given the movie) but it’s actually the big Ko which translates to the Kolam flour (flour to draw Kolams on the ground) Kokila. Here’s the thing I had no idea cocaine in Tamil had a street name of Kolam flour.

Anyway. PLOT: Kokila comes from a poor family. And their family faces a challenge when her mother becomes diagnosed with lung cancer. Kokila tries very hard to get money through legitimate ways but the poor girl can’t catch herself a break – at least not in a legitimate way.

The moment she opens the door to crime, your girl ain’t coming back.

The comedy running through this entire movie is laugh out loud hilarious. The kind of comedy that isn’t afraid to laugh at itself. The characters are ridiculous and I appreciate that because the script is ridiculous. And I mean that in a real good way. Because this movie doesn’t waste time being melodramatic. Sure the mum’s situation is terrible, sure every time Kokila tries to ask for help in legitimate ways, some idiot of an imbecile will ask her for sex in return for help, sure she’s really scared about the crimes she’s doing, but she does it. She doesn’t whine about it. She doesn’t rage about the unfairness in the system. She doesn’t seek vengeance against the system. She does what she knows she is capable of doing to survive in the trash of a system and I absolutely love that. (Of course a trash system should not exist but is she a character with the power to change that system? Nope). She’s a character that’s driven by need and her only need is to save her mother) I also like how crazy Kokila increasingly gets in this movie. We literally see her going further and further away from redemption. And not just her, but her family as well.

That’s not to say I don’t have any issues with this movie. The lack of melodrama is great. We move on with the plot. We keep things tense and keep things going. But the lack of melo also makes the characters less believable and takes you out of the story. Her family switched to the dark side so damn fast I literally laughed. At least Kokila kind of went through an inner turmoil but her family… her family’s one of a kind. I mean it’s really amusing and entertaining to watch because they’re all just so ridiculous and I really appreciate that. The movie is really a great entertainer. But there’s something so spooky about the entire thing. The characters are all some kind of deranged.

Spoiler Alert

But there’s just something this movie got me wondering. Kokila would never have sex for money or to save someone’s life but there are so many other crimes she will do. She’d peddle drugs for money to save her mother. She’d ask a gangster to kill two people for her to save her own life. She’d kill people who intend to kill her and her family. She’d manipulate gangsters and even police officers to save her and her family. I don’t know where I’m going with this. I just find it interesting. Because shame is far worse a stain to bear than someone else’s blood.

Anyhoo, I was very intrigued by how the plot progressed. I think the progression was fine. A little unrealistic with all the successful escapes from the police (which maybe is realistic because the villains have people in the police force and when the villain suspected the police took their stash of cocaine, the villain called the police to settle the stash – but it only makes me wonder if some of the police is in on it why waste time making our characters [and viewers] feel stressed for no good reason with all the police stops) but still definitely entertaining. There were very few parts that got a little draggy but it’s fine. The comedy reels you back in. The general ridiculousness of these characters brings you back in. For the most part, this movie is very quiet. A lot is happening but it’s very quiet at the same time. Even when people are being murdered, it’s very quiet. Things just keep moving. Life keeps going on and I liked it.

I need to mention the romance line. Both Kokilla and her younger sister have a guy trying to woo them. Where the younger sister’s guy, LK, came from, I don’t know. I guess they go to the same college. But anyway, both of these guys are so damn ridiculous. The stunts they pull to woo them were so over-the-top and ridiculous. I liked that everyone around them were calling out on both males’ BS. But they are necessary comedic reliefs and I completely enjoyed their presence in the movie. It really got to me when Kokila’s guy, Sekar, finally decided this is the maximum BS he is willing to handle when he got roped into Kokila’s crime life. The entire movie he was so ridiculous but when he ended up becoming involved in Kokila’s criminal mess, he decided that’s as far as he will go, he’s out, please leave me alone. Completely loved that. Made me laugh way too much.

Spoiler Alert

I just don’t like it that none of the family or LK or Sekar died or were in anyway detrimentally harmed. I just find it impossible to believe they all got away unscathed and how they’re living their lives like they’ve put their gang murder past behind them. I mean sure it’s a movie and it’s fake and the characters already seem very unrealistic but still… someone should have died.

 

Just watch this. I was super entertained.

Echcharikkai Idhu Manidhargal Nadamaadum Idam (Tamil)

This movie was very good.

 

The plot is about this pair of relatives who kidnap a lady. The lady’s dad then seeks the help of a retired police officer.

But it’s so much more than that.

This movie did keep me on the edge of my seat. All of these five people – the pair of kidnappers, the girl, her father and the retired police officer – have very grey morals. All of them are hiding something from each other. I like how this movie didn’t harp on who is right and who is wrong, who is good and who is evil, but how it rather focused on actions and their consequences.

Very good.

Watch.