Monday, October 14, 2013

Vanakkam Chennai - a vanity project in vain

KU:           “I’m tired of sitting at home and playing socialite wife while you have all the fun”
US:          “What fun???? It’s tough work having to act like a wooden spoon and make Hansika perform like she’s Amy Adams”
KU:         “I don’t care. I want to do masti too.”
US:         “Shall I ask Dad and get you a Lok Sabha seat? If we win and it is hung parliament, you could even become minister like Chiranjevi-gaaru”
KU:         “Naaah, politics bores me. Besides, there is a chance I might actually end up in jail”
US:         “What do you have in mind then?”
KU:         “I wanna be your heroine in your next movie.”
US:         “What !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No da kanne, you’re my real life heroine. Let’s not mix real and reel - they are bad bed-fellows *nudge nudge wink wink* ”
KU:         “So what do you suggest?”
US:         “How about me producing a movie and you can direct it with anyone as hero? Even Rajinikant  !!”
KU:         “Woohooo…thank you…. I loooooooooove that Radio Mirchi Shiva, his mokkai jokes are so so funny… him and Santhanam will be awesome, illa chellam?

…and that, ladies and gentlemen, was how “Vanakkam Chennai” was conceived.  An expensive vanity project, funded by an exasperated husband  for his bored-as-hell, lazy wife.  Sounds familiar – someday we will talk about 3 J

What works:
·         Priya Anand – I have tracked her from her Vaamanan days and she was the best thing in 180 too (besides Sharreth’s music, of course). She’s gone from strength to strength with English Vinglish, Ethir Neechal and now VC and she strikes me as someone with huge amount of potential, almost Vidya Balan-like.  She also happens to be one of the few Tamil heroines I would specifically write a script for (more on that later)
·         Hmmmmm….the gorgeous music but then I already had the songs on repeat mode in my iPad

What doesn’t:
·         Almost everything else
o   I am a sucker for a good rom-com but it’s been ages since I genuinely enjoyed a “routine” film in this genre – I have no problems with the boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back storylines except the least I expect is atleast some excitement in the meet-cutes and the making-up process. Here, there is NOTHING. NADA.
o   The story is as old as the hills and it’s probably funny that even this was plagiarized but there is absolutely no excuse for the lack of novelty in story-telling.
o   In VC, the characterizations are stereotyped and weak, the comedy is flat, the song picturisation lacks imagination and goddamnit, the hero looks overweight and the cameraman couldn’t be bothered to hide it – Overall, the entire movie-making crew’s effort seems lazy and I am being very charitable here.

Recommendation:  Watch it at leisure from the comforts of a giant LED TV in your house when it is screened soon on some satellite channel and you might actually not feel bad about the 2.5 hrs gone

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