A show about nothing…

There are times when the mind goes blank, this is one such time. The mind right now has a vacuum in it and all kinds of thoughts and ideas float within that space without any gravity tugging at it to settle it down quickly. During such blank moments it is a good idea to watch a movie or read a book or write a bit rather than keeping busy with the routine mechanics of life. A bit of solitude helps in greater clarity of thinking. I chose to watch a movie instead which I hoped would settle the stream of thoughts, instead my thoughts became more haphazard than what they were originally. I watched the latest tamil movie of Gautham Menon’s ” Vinnaythandi Varuvayya”  (VV ) which is doing extremely well down south. Gautham’s movies have always been most anticipated and his latest flick VV was one such. VV stars Simbhu and Trisha in the lead role and there was a lot of hype around this movie.  Rave reviews have been pouring in for it and critics and the audience seem to see eye to eye on this one for a change. I was keen to view this movie and determine for myself if my eyes saw what the others did too.

My eyes saw a movie whose cinematography was par excellence, beyond this it failed to notice anything else significant but it captured a few bits and pieces. The story line is routine with a small deviation from the usual, tamil hindu boy loves malyalee christian girl, girl loves boy, girls parents oppose the boy, girl dumps boy, girl marries somebody else, boy excels in his career choice as a Director, boy makes a movie of his love life, boy meets girl again, girl watches the movie with the boy, girl once again walks away. I am sorry for not getting into great depths to elaborate the story, I would be a bit short of patience in doing so. Simbu’s acting is a refreshing change from his usual high pitch punch line gimmicks and monkey antics. Menon has converted Simbu into a sober hero and Simbu is hardly recognizable with his rather soft dialogue deliveries and puppy love intensity. Credit must be given to stereotype Simbu for allowing himself to be moulded under Menon’s crafty direction. Trisha’s acting is sparse and she appears a bit choked most times. She struggles to visibly emote and there is lack of empathy for her role, I am not sure if Menon intended just that. There is no pace in the movie and it was beginning to get on my nerves to hear Karthik ( Simbu ) mention the name Jessy ( Trisha ) a hundred times, over and over in an echoing manner.

This movie is honestly about nothing which has become everything. I expected something extraordinary from Menon especially after enjoying last year’s blockbuster ” Varannam Aiyyaram ( Surya and Sameera Reddy ) , the pulsating and racy 2006 thriller Vettaiyadu Vellaiyadu ( Kamalhaasan) and Kaaka Kaaka ( Surya, Jyothika ). This movie has been lapped up well by the audience because of its tilting towards simplicity ( I think )but overall I thought it most surely lacked substance. Every frame in the movie is only about the longing between the lovers. AR Rahman’s music is ordinarily soulful with the exception of  two numbers, Hosanna and Omanna Penne. Here is the youtube video for this lovely number. I enjoyed this song the most in the entire movie, it’s picturization is exquisite and the music is seductive.

Time and again we continue to be surprised with the results that comes out of nothing, out of ordinary comes extra ordinary. Menon has been able to deliver just this with this movie. This movie has not been delivered on the basis of it’s script but the essence of this one lies in the conversations between the actors and the realistic settings minus histrionics. There is suppression in emotions, suppression in flamboyance and in a way suppression in the actor’s performance yet the movie has emerged victorious. I am reminded of the Jerry Seinfeld show for a strange reason at this time. This show was in all ways a show about nothing and went on to become one of the most successful sitcoms on NBC. I recall how my favorite character George Costanza would crack me up with his nonsensical dialogues and that puzzled expression. A quick popular summary on George *George is Jerry’s best friend. He is cheap, dishonest, petty and often envious of others’ achievements. He is often portrayed as a loser who is insecure about his capabilities. He frequently complains and lies about his profession, relationships, and almost everything else, which usually creates trouble for him later. He often uses an alias (“Art Vandelay”) when lying or concocting a cover story. George was once succinctly described by Elaine as a “short, stocky, slow-witted, bald man.” Despite these shortcomings, George managed to date numerous women and achieved a successful career as Assistant to the Traveling Secretary for the New York Yankees. He fantasizes and occasionally pretends to be an architect and once pretended to be a marine biologist.* The character of George is vague but note how popular he has become, an instant hit with the audience and a favorite with most.

The reason I thought of bringing up Seinfeld is to reiterate that success is almost impossible to determine let alone predict in show business. If a show or a movie clicks with the audience it at times becomes difficult to see the exact causes for the acceptance. Menon’s movie has baffled me, I do find it rather difficult to pin point the exact cause for it’s popular appeal. I never consider a movie to be extraordinary unless I have the urge to watch it twice or more. VV is not extraordinary but I would say it is good in an ordinary way and I would like to again state it is a movie about nothing.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

Cast : Simbu, Trisha

Director: Gautham Menon

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58 Responses to “A show about nothing…”

  1. parmaatma Says:

    This is going to be a long weekend.

    I don’t know anything about Tamil Movies, nor about Seinfeld.

    May be I will find something to update my own blog… Its been a long time…

    🙂

    • Sudhir – Ha ha. I can see some enlightening debate between two Mumbai souls ( Ninad and you ). Yes, looking forward to reading your thoughts.

  2. Aishwarya Says:

    Hi Sharmila,

    4 am and I cdnt sleep! But I chose to blog rather than watch the DVD I picked up last week – Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani! Feeling of emptiness or nothingness is so true.

    The difference between a golden oldie and a recent flick would be like watching the sunset to a laser show. So many old movies that I could watch over and over, quote punchlines, laugh at the same jokes, and enjoy – be it an AB, Kamal, or Mohanlal movie. Nowadays, I wait for reviews from every possible source before I decide to watch a movie, like Wake up Sid or 3I.

    And now I am convinced I shdnt watch VV! I am a Surya-Jo fan, so I have seen Kaaka kaaka. Despite rare reviews for the other 3, I never got around to watching them. Unforgettable music in all though – the romantic ‘Partha mudhal’, seductive ‘Ondra renda’, or the tipsy ‘Ava yenna yenna’…love them all.

    Listening to ‘Paakathe’ from Aaru now. Tamil has some of the best melodies.:)

    • Aish – You should try to watch Varanam Aiyaram and Vettaiyada Vellaiyad. Both are good, I liked Vettaiyada Vellaiyada as Kamal’s acting was well and truly outstanding, and Jo was very good too. I have no problem with the laser shows so long as they dont blind us! I will try to post some more good videos on the blog, I enjoyed the Hosana track from this movie.

      • Aishwarya Says:

        Thanks, Sharmila. Will pick those movies this weekend, and looking forward to more videos here. I liked Hosanna – hummable catchy tune, even the rap blend in well, and good voices – really nice.

        I’ll remain partial to the sunsets, but I guess a laser show once in a while is cool…lol.;)

  3. Sharmila,

    When I try to play the video, it does not work. Is it due to my and/or my browser’s incompetence? 😦

  4. Renate – see if the above works..

  5. Thank you, thank you!

    It’s so bright and colorful. Which city has this been filmed in?

    Definitely not the Catholic “Hosanna” I grew up with!

  6. Renate – you are so welcome, I think the song was shot at Malta. I love this song because it is so colofrful and pretty, of course the music is sensational…

  7. Malta?

    So even the South Indian Film Industry has this habit of shooting abroad?? What’s wrong with India’s beauty?

  8. Nothing wrong at all Renate, it is the whim of the Director to shoot abroad, The audience who dont get to visit such exotic locations get their fill too.

  9. parmaatma Says:

    Aishwarya,

    There is only one way ouy of this impasse.

    I can teach you Marathi, if you teach me Tamil. The only bit I know is what Kamal says in Ek duje ke liye… rumba rumba…

    Are you also a student of anti-gravity aerobic dancing?

    🙂

    • Aishwarya Says:

      Sudhir,

      Deal! Idea romba romba pudichirkku.:)

      Anti-gravity aerobic dancing – I always thought those were computer graphics!:D Or … we could join Shiamak Davar’s summer batch and burn the dance floor!… lol.

  10. parmaatma Says:

    Aishwarya,

    For a beginning, you translate the words when you use them… uless you want me to assume the meaning with the help of dravidian instincts!

    Let me see… pudi is a packet… chir – split… ikku – is; So romba romba pudickirkku means a good good split pockets! ??? Naw. Something wrong in the translation. This one sounds like the periodic mood-swings of one of AB’s fans! 🙂

    Shiamak Davar and antigravity gyro: Burning the dance floor?! Do you smoke while dancing? 🙂

    🙂

    • Aishwarya Says:

      That could go with the jeans for the gyro – low-slung jeans with your translated ‘pudichirkku’.:)

      Pudichirkku is ‘I like’.

      Smoke and dim lights would be a good idea – that way if we step on anyone’s toes, we can make a quick escape…lol..

      • parmaatma Says:

        The Saree looks good to me. The female lead in Sharmila’s clip today actually looks good in the saree. I thought she looked like Amala… the heroine in Kamal’s Pushpak.

        Pudichirkku is ‘I Like’? Hmm.. see this is the difficulty with Dravidian languages and Sanskrit. Sanskrit words can be understood by sorting the consonants… Dravidian words have different mnemotechnics.

        Pappu can’t dance! Cowboys shoot… they don’t dance… I think we might spend the night in a local cop’s cell! And if you are somewhere in Bangalore, you could be arrested by the moral police! I will be safe… I am a Kulkarni!

        🙂

      • Aishwarya Says:

        Yes, Trisha is really pretty and has that sweet innocent look like Amala. Like them both.

        Sudhir, you would use your surname and escape and leave me behind??:( I will use my husband’s surname, Gowda. Hopefully they will let me off? Or maybe not…:P

      • parmaatma Says:

        Well, you see… I am preparing for a screen test for the Amercian Idol… the rule is… When the pub catches fire… you lose the girl.. and then find her on Oprah Winfrey’s show… Voila!!!!!

        OOOOOhhhh!!!! Sob sob sniffle sniffle… I love you Oprah… and the show goes on…

        🙂

      • Aishwarya Says:

        Lol..Sudhir.:D

    • Aishwarya Says:

      Sudhir,

      All that applies only if you aren’t already a good dancer. I dont know aerobic dancing. Do you dance?

      So, what is for ‘like’ in Marathi?

      Oh yeah, I forgot… I dont mind my tuition fees in OMR or INR, I am cool!;)

      • parmaatma Says:

        ‘To Like’ in Marathi is Aawadney. Marathi is Sanskrit based. So, the nouns and verbs change forms to indicate the tense and preposition.

        Like if the name is Ram.

        The prepositional forms would be Ramah, Ramo, Ramey etc… of Ram, by Ram, for Ram, about Ram etc.

        There are nine prepositional forms.

        Same apply to verbs.

        No fees. Whenever you use Tamil or Malayalam words just translate it in brackets (or something like what I do with Ghazals!)

        🙂

      • Aishwarya Says:

        Aawadney. Okay.

        I thought Tamil and Malayalam had similarities with Sanskrit too.

        Will translate hereafter and Sharmila could help too, just in case (you know how my translit is!).

        Thank you, Sudhir.:)

      • Aish – Your tamil has to be better than mine, i cannot read or write tamil, i can only speak it..

  11. I think Bharadwaj Rangan has hit the nail on the head with this review of the movie
    http://www.desipundit.com/baradwajrangan/2010/03/06/between-reviews-love-factually/

  12. Aishwarya Says:

    Sharmila – Thanks for the link. Baradwaj Rangan’s review seems bang on for the kind of complex story this is. ‘Messy Jessie’ seems apt too.:)

    I dont read or write Tamil either, just speak the language, so I hope it doesnt end up like Revathy teaching that Punjabi guy in ‘Mouna Raagam’…lol.

  13. Aishwarya Says:

    Sudhir,

    ‘Mouna Raagam’ (Silent Symphony) is a Mani Ratnam movie released in the 80s. There is a scene where the heroine teaches a Punjabi guy a few slangs in Tamil – pretty hilarious when he innocently uses them later.

    Just kidding. I will try my best to translate right.:)

  14. parmaatma Says:

    Sharmila and Aishwarya,

    Tamil barbekaaadre enaadru istha maadbeku? Kannada kailtaa iddini. Ammele Tamil kali bek anta yochane madata iddini!

    Thats broken Kannada!

    🙂

  15. parmaatma Says:

    Aishwarya,

    You will be surprised about some of the origiins of the languages.

    The form Sanskrit that is inherited by aryans is the one that was simplified by Panini. He introduced grammar and the script containing 14 vowels and 52 consonents.

    The original Sanskrit used in Avesta (The Zoroastrian Scripture) and the Vedas is easier and with very limited vocabulary. There are many tamil words in the original Sanskrit. There are dravidian words even in old Arabic and Hebrew.

    Dravidian languages added more than 50% of the words later used in Sanskrit.

    It is well-known that the dravidian languages and Sanskrit developed in different parts of the world and met on the indo-gangetic plains!

    South India has been providing spices to the world from very ancient times!

    🙂

    • Aishwarya Says:

      Sudhir,

      Sanskrit could have been the international language.
      With your knowledge of Sanskrit, learning the Southern languages must be easy…

      But then if we agree on being gorillas, language shdnt matter. Just beat our chests and make faces at each other. How simple!:)

  16. parmaatma Says:

    ‘Maouna raagam’ is a nice title.

    Have you heard of the re-make that is coming up?

    ‘Mona Raagam, Lisa Taalam!’

    🙂

  17. parmaatma Says:

    Sazaa kaa haal sunaaye, jazaa ki baat karen
    Khuda mila ho jinhen vo Khuda ki baat karen

    … … … Let me talk of my punishments and the retribution
    … … … Those who have found a God, let them speak of God

    Unhe pata bhi chalen aur vo khafa bhi na ho
    Iss ehatiyaat se kyaa mazaa ki baat karen?

    … … … That they should know and not be annoyed too
    … … … How does one bear such caution and be lively

    Vafa-shiyar kai hai, koi hasin bhi to ho,
    chalo phir aaj usi bevafaa ki baat karen

    … … … Devoted there are many, there must be a pretty one too
    … … … Come let us talk for a while about that unfaithful one

    —Sahir Ludhianvi (Translit mine)

    I am off for some feel-good shopping. See you later.

    🙂

    • Aha ! wonder what that ‘Feel Good Shopping’ is !!! Hmm…..

      • parmaatma Says:

        Feel Good Shopping

        Supradyn Capsules, Histac, Amoxycilin 250, Neutrageno foot cream, neutrageno hand moisturizer, Amouage Dia for Men, Amouage hand wash, Room Freshener (Jasmine), 3 trousers, 3 shirts, Apple Juice (5 litres), Paid the telephone bills, re-charge internet cards….

        🙂

      • Ok, i am laughing especially on whats on the list,

  18. Some times simple things told very simple way or nothing specific but an interesting character which projects real human nature with wit attracts the masses more than heavy stories with too much going on in it. George Costanza is a pretty pathetic and annoying character.another one is Kramer. without those two characters the “Seinfeld” would have been a flop show. we are so lucky to have such good comedy shows-soaps like – Friends,King of Queens, Just shoot me, Frasier, Mad about you, According to Jim, Home Improvement, Yes Dear, Everybody loves Raymond, Spin city etc etc.

  19. parmaatma Says:

    Oh.. I guess all middle-aged men would sound like that!

    A few years from now, it would ‘Feel Good’ to just get out of the chair and out of the room!

    I forgot to mention, got the latest edition of ‘Cognition’ by Margaret Matlin…

    🙂

  20. Well,you have put me to wonder again about what to write.Ya did you get any other story of your interest other than Poets and Pancakes?
    Do you know typing?Whats your speed?

    You know I love your writing.And I myself love writing.Some topics that you write on,I feel must be published somewhere atleast.Can I have the authority to get some parts of your blog published in some newspapers….if you permit and of course by your name.I donno whether I should press the submit button after writing this.Tension prevails over me…….And,sorry for not having responded for so long coz I couldn’t get time .I didn’t even read AB’s blog.Usually I prefer reading your’s first now 🙂

    • Thank you Salman. That is very kind of you. My typing speed is pretty ok and never figured how how many words I can type a minute!If you wish to send my articles please email me at sharmilasays@gmail.com and let me know which ones you are shooting off.

      • I meant do you see the keyboard while you type or not.Well,if you are interested to learn typing,I probably have the best typing software available on the internet.I don’t know if you are aware of it ‘Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing’.Its the same one that I am learning on…..

        Thanks a lot for having given me your consent to do so.I’ll definitely let you know which ever I send and to whichever newspaper I send…..I have a list of around twenty newspapers to which I regularly send articles,from NY times to Dailymail UK to Khaleej times of Dubai and some local dailies here and some other published in gulf countries.Is there anyone that you would want me not to send to?

      • Thanks Salman, you can send it anywhere you wish. Thanks for the typing tips, I do see the keyoard a little not much.

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