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Life as I'm learning it

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Location: Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, United States

"It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match'd with an agèd wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me."

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Pudhupettai: powerful, ruthless, spectacular

When was it last you saw a gangster movie in Tamil? Pattiyal, you say? That was about contract killers. I'm asking you about a gansta' movie. When was it last that you saw a movie which reached out from the screen and hit you hard in the face?

Want to savour both those experiences in a bit over three hours? Go watch Selvaraghavan's Pudhupettai (whichever way you want to spell it: Pudupettai, Puthupettai, புதுப்பேட்டை)

The movie is about an adolescent who is driven to the world of crime because of circumstances, and his rise and rise in the underworld. It shows us that promising Dhanush who went AWOL since Kaadhal Konden. Kudos to him for choosing to get back to his brother for that badly-needed hit, and more kudos to Selvaraghavan for extracting the very best out of his brother.

With his physique, Dhanush might not convince us as the perfect gangster, but his acting -- boy, he's simply poured his heart into this movie. He has put in such a riveting performance that the jury for the State Awards can tell themselves they won't see a better acting performance this year.

The movie depicts reality in all its gory glory. It's long, mind you, well over 3 hours. And the story just keeps unfolding. Personally, beyond the 150-minute mark, I kept peering into my watch telling myself, "Oh, please, let this movie not end." And that's because each scene has been handled with utmost care. So much that one cannot say which is the best scene in the movie. Each scene clashes with every other scene in the fight to be called the best.

The background score is brilliant; top marks to Yuvan. Arvind Krishna's camera work is magical. Every actor has chipped in with a good performance. In fact, the person sitting next to me quipped once, "How do they spot these actors? They are so natural, and so very good." Sneha has put in a good performance. The same cannot be said about Sonia Agarwal though; but her screen presence is limited, and the characterisation is weak.

The only real spoiler, if you ask me, is the last ten minutes of the movie. There is a point in this film (just as Pasi Sathya departs) where the credits should have come up, and the audience would have left with a heavy heart, and in absolute praise. But the three ensuing scenes dilute that effect, and make you wonder, "Why did they do this? Why spoil the experience?"

However, if you choose to overlook the last ten minutes, I think this movie deserves a perfect ten! A movie like this, I have not seen before in Tamil. At least not since Dalapathi!

Pudhupettai is not a modern classic; it is a modern epic!


Blogger sam said...

hi man! you have made the expectation sore to the highest point! let us see ...

5/27/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Vijay Krishna said...

Sam, don't go by what I've written above. The movie is much better than that.

5/27/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Praveen said...

Hey, I saw the movie last night!! Try read my review...

5/27/2006 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Anu said...

Sam, I warn you, of the 13 people who went together to see this movie, ALL of us loathed it. With the exception of VK. Dont do this to yourself.

5/27/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Kaps said...

the first review I read was the Sify review. your review is a total contrast from the Sify review. I think I'll wait till the VCD is out. I was quite disappointed after hearing that Oru Naalil doesn't feature in the movie.

5/27/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Selva said...

Please dont call it an epic, PP is hardly a mimic of one

5/27/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Gokulakrishnan S said...

this is killing... I wish the movie is runs well for a couple of more months before I visit TN again !!

5/27/2006 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Sanjeevi Kumar S said...

Nice review

this is my review


5/28/2006 12:19:00 AM  
Blogger jvpoirot said...

hey , is the movie really so good? must check that out then ;)


5/28/2006 01:09:00 AM  
Anonymous tamizhan said...

Glad u liked it dude.. Ppl should go without expectations and enjoy what the director has struggled to create.

5/28/2006 04:23:00 AM  
Blogger Sanjeevi Kumar S said...

Definitely we should welcome this type movies.

5/28/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Vijay Krishna said...

@Pravin: Read your review. It was much more balanced than mine.

@Anu: I really think you are doing Tamil movies a dis-service. People, I know this lady... don't believe her ;)

@Kaps: The Sify review was downright poor. It sounded as if the guy who wrote it had a grudge over the popcorn served during the screening.

@Selva: I cannot remember which movie it mimics. If you are citing Nayagan, you must watch The Godfather. In any case, I respect your opinion. I was touched, and my review reflects it.

@Gokul: I'll bloody well accompany you, for sure.

5/28/2006 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Vijay Krishna said...

@Sanjeevi: Read your review. It was good, except that you've revealed the entire story.

@jvp: I'm certain this is a great movie. Maybe not a masterpiece in the real sense of the world, but it is better than most good Tamil movies I've seen.

@Tamizhan: I read your review; it echoes my feelings.

5/28/2006 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Anu said...

@VK, everyone is entitled their opinion, aren't they? :)

5/28/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Vijay said...

This movie is somewhere at the top in my worst movies list! Why?

The story is in itself a maze.. I guess Selvaraghavan is as confused a soul as most of this reel heros. Dhanush - Boy, u think ppl watching the movie r fools? A guy weighing hardly 45 kgs slashes 150 trained goondas and that too not once, every single time!! The climax - was a real good comedy.. A few gory scenes could have been avoided - the scene where Anbu beats up Sneha - it really yucked!

Pluses of the movie:
Screenplay, Music, Dhanush's acting (but plz don't keep yelling, my ear hurts), comedy! The director has easily patched up the absence of a comedian in this movie.. Dhanush does score well there..

Overall rating - 3.5/10

5/28/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger A.J.Anto said...

Th review has whetted my movie appetite. I can't wait to hit chennai so that i can watch this movie...

5/29/2006 03:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys, Please don't have any expectations about this movie, you will definetly get disappointed. Lets not compate this move to any master piece. It definetly doesnot deserve it. Lots of yelling, killing..... Selva thinks that he is too practical but audience won't blindly accpet everything. This is a pakka movie about slum. May be slum people can be proud of watching this movie, any professionel or educate please don't praise this movie. I was a fan of Selva about his KadhalKondein and 7G, but he had spoiled all the reputation and expectation by this one movie. Waste of money. All the wonderful songs doesnot match with the scenes even the background music(theme music) doesnot fit. All the pre efforts(like indiaglitz add, music composing -pity on Symphony orchestra).

Please don't boast this movie. It doesnot deserve any credits from an educated or cultured perspective. There is a limit to tolerate, but this movie exceed beyond that.

Shame on Selva raghavan.

5/29/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Vijay Krishna said...

@Anon: When asked once in an interview what is the one thing he thought could be better in Tamil cinema, Selvaraghavan responded, "Namma audience-oda rasanai maaraNum." Think about it.

5/29/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Simply Senthil said...


Do you know 6-7 scenes are deleeted in the second half of the movie. I m eager to know how the film will be without those scenes.

5/29/2006 10:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Vijay Krishna said...

@Senthil: Yeah, some friends told me that a few scenes were left off. For example, the scene where Pasi Sathya appears. It's sad to know that it was cut, it was well shot.

5/29/2006 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger gitu said...

Hi all,
I completely accept the review.I saw it in coimbatore and even i was really amazed to see tht selva has hell lot of talent behind him.Coimbatore crowds were one who made movies like sethu and pithamagan a hit..but even they were not happy with it.ppl like perarasu are the sole reason.Splendid performances by danush and Sneha.a national award for both of them should not be surprise..For all those ppl who say tht seeing blood and sneha getting beaten by anbu yucks....it is clear tht u dont want see reality..Selva i would say tht even if this movie flops due to ppl like the above ..please ignore..u r in the motto to change the mindset of the ppl..please continue ur good work...ass-clown perarasu is on the way..It was also disheartening to see rediff too letting pudhupettai down..

5/30/2006 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Great review! I liked the movie though my friends didnt. Movies like this will change Tamil cinema. The hardwork and thinking that has gone into making of the film is amazing. The scene where they recover dhanush after he kills the biigie is great. The camera and colours used were amzing in that scene. Even in the scene where they kill dhanush father is amzing. The clouds and the mood was amzing. The best camerawork from India I would say. Music is alos amzing. He has proved whos son he is!The scene where dhanush gets his first training lesson is a good example where no BGM is used! Ilayaraja was too good in this. He knew where to use music and where not!And the director should be congratulated for coming up with a nice movie. I can compare this movie with the "Aviator". Its always hard to tell stories which revolves around a person and you have to cover some part of his life in 3 hours! The director has handled it very well. There are lots of scenes which deserves a pat. Expecially the scene where he kills the villian in climax!. Overall I give it a 9.5 out of 10. (I rate nayagan as 8 out of 10). A must watch. He should release this movie with english subtitles as well!

5/30/2006 06:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do u think selva ...really a gr8 director?A person who is more focussed towards sex and women cannot be creative...this is jus an extended and changed version of previous gangster movies in tamil ...real credit goes to cameraman and music director none else ...selvaraghavan is jus a maniac .He conveys only sex , violence in youth masses nothing else...si there any message in the film ...jus think ...is this entertainment ?...infact i am a graduated youth who dislikes his films particularly for bringing his own ditchful ideas into masses.

5/31/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Vijay Krishna said...

@Gitu: True. People will claim that movies like Pudhupettai suck, because they show reality; and they'll fall over each other and watch Karan Johar's NRI movies which talk about the love lives of billionaires.

@Jack: I wish there were more movies like this - that are chilling and real.

@Anon: Please ask yourself if sex and crime don't happen in society and movies. There are movies which show sex and crime for the sake of showing them. Pudhupettai is the opposite. I think you missed the movie amidst the sex and the crime.

6/01/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Sex and Women are part of life. I cant think of a life without both of them. So there is no wrong in telling a story based on them!
I still remember a question asked to Madhan(Anantha vikatan) by a reader
"Why does everything in life revolves around sex?"
His answer was "There is nothing in world which is more interesting than sex ......"
So if a entertanment film should be interesting it should have all interesting components :-)!
And selva who is saying story of prostitute has to show things about sex ans women.

6/01/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Hi said...

No doubt the movie was good. But to say it was better than Nayagan & Dalapathy is an insult not to Manirathnam but tamil movie goers. VK - you should stand corrected on this boy.

6/02/2006 02:58:00 AM  
Blogger Subro said...

VK, you liked the movie? You must be kidding right. I wonder how many more one-man-team movies with Dhanush as hero, the audience can sustain. I felt Sullan is better.

6/22/2006 10:46:00 AM  

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