|DVD Aaranya Kaandam
Run time: 153 min
Genres: Action | Comedy | Crime
Director: Thiagarajan Kumararaja
Writers: Thiagarajan Kumararaja
Stars: Sampath Raj, Jackie Shroff, Ravi Krishna
A drama that unfolds between two rival mafia gang on a single day when a bag of cocaine gets stolen by two innocent people.
|Plot Keywords: drug dealing, dark comedy, blood, neo noir, violence|
Release Date: 10 June 2011 (India)
I usually don't write reviews, because I feel, the reviews of a film I have watched which are already available are true and I couldn't write better.
But this time, I've decided to step it up and write a review because I feel, this movie deserves one and the reviews out there are good but very few indeed.
So, Aaranya Kaandam written and directed by first timer Thiagarajan Kumararaja and produced by S.P.Charan's Capital Film Works is an experimental gangster flick to say the least. But that's just the style of the film but to state the goodness of the film, I think it should be among the top films of the year because it keeps you entertained till the very end. For those who have been following this film from the time it won the grand Jury award at the South Asian Film Festival, you would know the difficulties this film had undergone pre-release. Frankly speaking, I was not surprised to see the vacant seats in the theater because this film is clearly for mature audience and lover of pure- cinema and not for the masses.
To start with the plot, it is a simple story about a gangster head Singaperrumal, played with class by yest year heartthrob, Jackie Shroff on a conflict which arises with his senior henchman, Pasupathy,once again played superbly by Sampath Raj on a dealing of cocaine and several other parallel tracks and motives. As the trailer correctly stated, it is about the decisions each of the six protagonists make and how it affects the plot.
There is no single-hero in this film, but if I were to select a hero, I would definitely give it to the superb script by the director. The director has avoided all clichés and given us a somewhat unpredictable film. The dialogue especially is very simplistic, at the same time realistic and humorous at times. The climax is hard hitting and definitely not expected.
I am not sure if You can call this film as a noir, but the lighting and camera suggests so. Commendable camera work by P.S.Vinod and editing by Praveen and Srikanth keeps the film's raciness and edginess to it.
One of the biggest advantages of the film is the music by the always dependable Yuvan Shankar Raja which has a Kill-Bill feel to it. Avoiding Ear impairing background and giving us a more mature score, Yuvan has not disappointed us and coping up for the lack of songs(i dint want them though).
This film has Tarantino written all over it. With the quirkiness, Dark tone and the parallel story lines, this film takes its time to unfold which is sort of an advantage and disadvantage at the same time. I had a lot of expectations for this film and I wasn't disappointed. Though it gets predictable at times, for the most part its ahead of you.
In the acting department, everyone has an important role to play and everyone has done a neat job with special mention to the son played by the Master Vasanth who has done his role without any hesitation.
In the words of my idol, I'm going with 3 and a half out of five for Aaranya Kaandam. It is only for the mature audiences and it puts Tamil Cinema back on track at the global stage.
So what is Aaranya Kandam about, Experimental film? Tamil cinema's first Neo-noir film ? A Gangster flick? A Dark comedy? It's all of the above. The movie is the first Neo-noir in Tamil cinema. Well, Kumararaja can be called the Guy Ritchie of Tamil Cinema or the Tarantino of Tamil cinema. Aranya Kandam is gangster flick that takes its own time to unfold supported by technical elements in the film. However, all of the movies elements are overpowered by performances, everyone in the frame have lived their roles. The movie stars Jackie Shroff as Singaperumal,Ravi Krishna as Sappai,Sampath Raj as Pasupathy,Yasmin Ponnappa as Subbu,Somasundaram as Kaalayan, Master Vasanth as Kodukapuli,Rambo Rajkumar as Gajendran. With so many characters you may wonder, who is the protagonist? Well, the question has no answers.
Performances carry the film be it Jackie sharoff as the venomous impotent Singam perumal or the naive Ravi Krishna (one of his better performances) or Kodukapuli's father Somasundaram all have done a commendable job. Especially Somasundaram is able to tickle ribs even at nail biting situations with his performance and dialogue delivery. Sampath as always fits in the role of an ambitious gangster effortlessly. Then there is Yasmin Ponnappa, the dumb-blonde like in the movie with her sheepish grin is also brilliant. It almost a pitch perfect cast and Thiagarajan Kumararaja has done well with dialogues, which are clever and has a sense of humor. As the plot unfolds it's a cat and mouse story, where all that the characters are looking for are Freedom,money,power and cocaine.
Rajini pudikuma? illa Kamal pudikuma? SP Charan the producer has tweeted that Kamalhassan loves the movie. That is enough reason for movie buffs to go watch the film. Thiagarajan Kumararaja has taken the harder route of opting out of songs in a 2 hour movie. However, the background score is enjoyable, though the sounds are influenced by various world movies Yuvan Shankar Raja produces a truly enjoyable score in the movie. The cinematography is good, with many unusual placements of camera angle and low-key lighting. If you are a Rajini fan then you will like the movie, if you are a Kamal fan you will love the movie.
Overall, Aaranya Kandam is whole new experience in Tamil cinema with a good plot and a twist in the movie. The movie is overpowered by performances from all characters in the movie supported by enjoyable music and cinematography.
AARANYA KAANDAM – To begin with, its still incredible that the director of the movie, Thiagarajan Kumararaja is a debutant. Is he God? The movie begins silently with a moral by Chanakya after the opening credits move on without any kind of graphic or noisy score as it usually happens in most Indian movies. Minutes of silence is broken by a lone dialog by a girl. What happens later in the movie is epic.Cruelty,malice,fear,intellect,bravery,anger,love,innocence and finally money;everything lays the base for the movie. Such a tightly engrossing movie and dialogs seem so realistic.We have only seen movies where the actoractress speaks dialogs that makes sense only on the point of the movie and dialogs which never ever occur to the human mind on a split second thought in normal life.But the dialogs here are so slick and classy(even though if they are adult or vulgar) and seem so realistic.There are no loose ends in movie.Every scene,everyone and each and every object is connected.Now thats what we call 'Flawless' screenplay.Principal photography,backdrop,editing and lighting – Kumararaja brings a new angle to these to portray the gangster parts of Chennai.Small lanes,mills,aging gang-lords,mafia style vehicles take us along with the movie.Certain scenes in slow motion were picturised along with heat of the situation and it was so breathtaking and awesome(the director must be fan of Tarantino or Guy Ritchie I guess).
Background score was amazing and it fit perfectly to the occasion.Be it the scene where Pasputhy escapes from the police or the scene where little Kudakapulli readies his dad for the rooster fight, Yuvan has experimented and brought out his best.The pace of the movie never seemed like dropping as in every scene and shot I could have the thumping feel that someone would might get killed.And when things seem to be set and move on farther, some unexpected twist occurs.
The entire cast deserves an applause as its hard to pin point a specific character.Special mention to Sampath Raj who really had shown viewers how a mass character must action.Also to the small boy Vasanth who has immensely showcased his acting skills with wit and humour and delivers dialogs with ease.Especially his closing dialog to Pasupathy which filled the theater with so much applause.
The movie has brought a new trend to Tamil cinema and all thanks to the producers SPB and SP Charan for promoting such a brave effort. Pure world-class cinema for good movie lovers.People might mention that the movie is adult and filled with blood and violence, but the director has proved his point and made a place in many people's mind.Undoubtedly,one of the best Tamil movies ever made. Can recommend as an Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language movie of the year.So take a bow Bollywood.We can make movies with an entire fresh cast and make the whole world look at us.Not to mention the young Bollywood showoffs(wrongly misjudged as the future of Indian cinema) who advertise their face on all news for a single worthless high budget movie.Thamizh Vaazhga!!!
"Aaranya Kaandam" is a story about drug trafficking and unfolds over a duration of 24 hours. The movie is based on the significant moments in the lives of the seven leading characters. It is supposedly the first new-noir film in Tamil cinema. This was one of the most awaited movies for me and it was released after almost a year of tribulations with the censor board. It won the Grand Jury award in South Asian International Film Festival last year.
The film is about narcotics and a convoluted rivalry between Singaperumal (Jackie Shroff), Gajendran (Rambo Rajkumar) and Pasupathi (Sampath Raj) attempts to grab it. The Director, Thiagarajan Kumararaja, builds up a nice tempo and takes his own time to build and establish each character.
Jackie Shroff in the character of dreadful Singam Perumal has performed outstandingly. His performance was close to perfection in many scenes, every scene of his brimming with reality.Ravi Krishna has been given a complete image makeover when compared to his earlier ventures. He has improved his acting skills a lot and portrayed emotions well on screen. Ravikrishna as Sappa ( a metaphor of fun, impotence, illiteracy etc) will be remembered as one of the most interesting roles in his career. Sampath Raj did well and his body language, dialogue delivery boosts the mood of the film. In his intro-scene, his voice was so manly that it gave me goosebumps. He was at his best, performing with perfection throughout. Yasmeen Ponnappa is tailor-made for the character of Subbu (Subbulakshmi). Somasundaram, Rambo Rajkumar, Ajay Raj are adequate. Another character worthy of mention is the boy Kodukapuli ("Veyil" Vasanth) who deserves appreciation for his acting. His (kodukapuli) chemistry with Somasundaram (kaalayan) was highly impressive. Vinod's camera has captured the darker sides of city life well and his sense of lighting has worked wonders in bringing the right mood. Yuvan Shankar Raja has given us fantastic re-recording and background score which gave the right feel. He deserves all the praises he's been getting since the release of the film. The use of old songs in the background for some scenes that depict the mood in the scene is smart (don't know whether it was director's idea or Yuvan's) .Editing by the duo Praveen K. L. and N. B. Srikanth are crisp.
It is certainly not a movie for children or family audiences, for its highly stylised violence (Quentin Tarantino-ish) and abusive language. Thiagarajan Kumararaja has made a mighty impressive debut with a tight screenplay and superb dialogue writing. Even though many critics felt the film to be slow, I felt editing even a single scene would have dramatically brought down the effect on the audiences. Even though there were a large number of foul mouthed dialogues, they blended well with the screenplay. Others were voluntarily beeped by the team. The casting was simply perfect and acting was impeccable.
"Aaranya Kaandam" was a classy gangster tale and the way it has been conceptualized, executed definitely needs recognition. Hope Aaranya Kaandam becomes a trend setter for the new movies to come. Thiagarajan Kumararaja is a rare find and kudos to SP Charan and Capital film works for bringing him in to the realm of Tamil Cinema. Producer SPB Charan's bravery should be appreciated for producing such films (Previous CHENNAI-600028). He struggled a lot for releasing the film. #Alwaysrespect .But the sad part of Tamil cinema is that brilliant efforts like this are hardly noticed as it does not have the required masala ingredients packaged in it.