Kuselan. Movie Review

Its 1.00 AM. We walk out in silence out of a multiplex in central Mumbai after watching the much hyped Kuselan. We walk in silence. After all it is the Super Star’s film. The enigma & our own liking for him makes us sew up our lips.

We want to shout ‘lousy screen play’, ‘horrendous casting’, ‘puerile acts in the name of comedy’, ‘mesial attempt to ride on two distinctly different roads of classical malayalam cinema and ‘fan appetising’ tamilzh cinema’ ! Sense prevails and we are a tad sleeply.

While technically, marrying classical malayalam cinema to a Rajini hungry audience is possible, this film suffers a hopeless breakdown. A physics experiment that looked good in the books & even came alive the last time it was attempted, but just going awry now !

The movie itself has Pasupathi pairing Meena. Playing the role of a barber whose scissors, bone, muscle & mouth speak righteousness, while reality abounds in penury. Meena plays the dutiful wife & mother of his three kids. The patchiness starts right there. The family connects up like the Airtel network in Mumbai giving you the following options:

  • network available but you cant make a call
  • network busy & connection error and of course
  • network not available
  • call disconnect !

In the movie, the kids & parents display such an affection, which at best, can be described as wooden. No, perhaps plasticky. Wood has a tether of ‘natural’ in it. Showcased in a song ( I quite liked the lyrics though) with digital dolphins engineering digital splashes, of course in digital backdrops !

Their hovel with
broken pots and no food etc etc, seems to somehow enable Meena wear those fantastically clean ( cotton & starched, i think ) sarees while going without food and surviving on the odd pieces of left over ginger ! Worse still, dialogues are unreal and and have a twang of the artistic perfection than the realistic magic !Overall : unreal and disconnected !

Rajinikant plays a superstar, in the name of Ashok Kumar. Am not sure why they should have bothered with weaving a character called Ashok Kumar. He could have been called Rajinikanth, for the director doesn’t seem keen on showing any distinction. Perhaps that was the whole point. To show Rajini as Rajini. To show how ego-less he is. That benign man who doesnt want his fans beaten up, who reaches out to friends etc etc. Hagiography at an Everest clime !

Coming close on the heels of my reading the book, this was a bit on an overdose !

Disconnected from the film, an assortment of scenes seek to provide answers to many questions that preoccupy the mind of an average Rajini fan. His entry to politics or his running away’ to the Himalayas, explaining his reticence with onlookers during film shoots etc etc. He seeks to provide his ‘point of view’. Thats fine, but could this be done without this movie serving as the medium! Any advertising agency ( not P.Vaasu) will come in handy in doing a good promotion video! And most importantly, i don’t think the Super Star needs it all !

Then, why ? Please let me know!

Well, for the record, Pasupathi & Rajini are friends of yesteryears and the story-line irevolves around Rajini coming into the village to shoot a movie & how circumstances push the penury ridden Pasupathi to reach out to the star. He dutifully resists doing so, in the name of whole host of unconvincing reasons! Unconvincing not because of the reasons themselves, but more due to how they are laid out to the audience !

And, of course, Pasupathi & the Superstar finally come together ( with a dutiful lecture on the importance of teachers, friendship etc etc ) giving the screen, the projector and the audience a break. The movie thread has so many loose ends that it resembles an apparel manufacturers scrap yard !

Sample this, Nayanthara ( oh yes, she plays herself ) is lost in the jungle & phone calls abound as to where she was. Cut to song sequence in the rain. End of ‘lost’ story. Thas that. Move on. Ofcourse, the heroine was ‘lost’ because she had this incredible urge to do a dance in the rain. Ok. We know, by now !

There is yet another sequence, this time with tribals ( Chinni Jayant) meeting the superstar. Thats another trail that dissipates into the undergrowth !

Pasupathi sparkles in patches. Living roles & riveting you to seats, seems to have been reserved for other movies. Not this ! Meena looks pretty and it was good to see her on on the big screen after a while.

Livingstone & a troupe of four ( or five or six ) of them are attached to a jeep that runs on a horn. And are at best, irritating. Nayantara has no role in the movie, except showing off a well toned body. She could have as well carried an ad : ‘My body was toned at xyz gym! ‘ You get the hint!. The Vadivel comedy largely stifles & elicits a few laughs in rare patches.

The superstar himself plays an unfamiliar role. I will leave it at that. Please read the first para of this post for more !

I love Rajini movies for a variety of reasons. His onscreen personna excites you and paints a picture beyond possibility in an enlarged frame while staying entertaining and almost rooted to reality. Syncretic magic !

He never has been foisted on a movie or on the audience before. He carried us along. This movie is quite a departure ! Its a common fact that trying to satisfy everybody is a gauranteed recipee for failure ! Nevertheless, the Rajini goodwill account is massive. It can afford an ‘overdraw’ now and then. They overdrew it this time!

Every cloud has a silver lining. This one too has one. And that is : The law of averages must catch up. It did this time ! So, watch out for the next flick !

That said, Kuselan still, is a ‘thalaivar’ movie. So.

PS : They are remaking Kuselan in Hindi ( with Shah Rukh) & in Kannada (with Ramesh Arvind) ! hmm