Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Idho Yen Endhiran (Review)

It was 10:40 pm on Monday and commotion burst out at Devi Cineplex, in front of the two-wheeler parking lot. The noise of the bikes honking spread everywhere in and around the theater complex. The security guards were running haywire to make the people understand that the parking lot was still full from the previous show, but in vain. The honking continued till the parking lot was finally opened up, couple of minutes before the 10:45 pm show. If it was a group of bikers belonging to the late teenage or the mid-twenties, you would probably not guess the movie they were waiting for. But when every single person from the youngsters to the ladies to the grey haired folks join together in the act, you are looking at a crowd waiting to see a movie of none other than the SUPERSTAR.

Back in late 2007, when Endhiran started doing rounds as Shankar's Robot with Shahrukh, the excitement crawled in. But, that was a different time, when I was in college and movies mattered more. I have come through many stages since then, carrying along the Endhiran excitement all along and its been three years. Phew! The superstar magic speaks for itself, doesn't it? Well, for me, its more about the combo! Shankar has been my all time favourite and A.R.Rahman, I don't even have to give it a mention. All the favoritism and the 3 year long wait is more than enough for me to say, "I loved the movie". Not enough? Then, go on.

I have seen the movie twice already, but the first time didn't count because I've been waiting for this for so long that I was just present at the theater cheering and yelling along, my eyes and ears open but senses completely shut in shock. When I came out of the theater, it was like having woken up from a dream, which attributes to the last 25 minutes of the movie. I sat down to write a review, but I could not think about anything. I had missed something, actually everything. I needed a second watch and it happened soon enough. :)

The Rajini Factor
Calling Endhiran a complete Rajini phenomenon is totally unjust. Rajini does not have a power-packed entry or an introduction song or he doesn't get rich in one song or doesn't deliver punch lines. To add to all this, Rajini runs for his life from Kalabhavan Mani (baddie) in a scene. I got to see the performer in Rajini, the actor in him that I've been longing to see. Does that mean the superstar fan in me was disappointed? A big NO. None other than him could have pulled off such a mighty responsibility with ease and grace. Be it the innocent Chiti that has no feelings or the 'red-chip' installed baddie, he has scored big bucks as an actor. The scientist is impressive too. Towards the end, all I saw in the screen was Rajini because amidst the thousand odd Rajinis, no one else were given a chance. What more do you want? Hail the superstar. He can redo Muthu/Padayappa/Baasha a thousand times and I'm sure I wouldn't like them as much as Endhiran.

Beyond the Sky is the limit?
The news channels came up with "The Magnum Opus of Shankar" propaganda just before the release of Shivaji. No wonder I never saw the phrase this time. If Shivaji is a magnum opus, Endhiran demands the coining of a whole new term. Thinking about what would have been running in Shankar's mind while penning those scenes with thousands of robots, I guess, he'd have wanted to make use of the budget factor to the fullest. I don't think even he could come up with such ideas for a long time in the future. He has set the benchmarks high and dry for every filmmaker in Kollywood. When and how did he shoot in the Kathipaara flyover? Or was it a set? Both ways, only Shankar could have pulled it off. The man has run behind his dreams and caught up with every ounce of most of it. He scores in terms of story, screenplay, dialogues and direction. What was different in terms of screenplay one may ask. Very True. If you are keen observer, you'd notice that he has NOT moved an inch in terms of his formula of organizing the scenes. I wish to see a romantic-comedy without much grandeur from Shankar. He has set my expectations in terms of grandeur too high.

The crew
The final product always depends on how the crew have understood and perceived what is expected out of each of them. Endhiran's crew fall nowhere short of what was expected out of them. Sabu Cyril (Art), Peter Hein (Stunts) and Antony (Editing) are not new to Shankar and they have delivered as usual. The new entry to this team, Rathnavel a.k.a Randy (cinematography) has lived up to the hype of such a big project. The problem is that with these levels of grandeur the audience fail to notice the little things that are done exorbitantly. For instance, the Kadhal Anukkal song has been pictured really well, but the effects added there simply flies overhead. Though Shankar and Kaarki Vairamuthu have added to the dialogues that Sujatha left them, the veteran has been definitely missed. He could have created a whole new effect.

The Rahman advantage
The songs of the movie are definitely ordinary going by Rahman's standards, but then, after seeing the movie, I don't think he could have done better, given the setup. Imagining what a Robot with feelings would sing is not an easy task. The song that swayed me off my feet was Irumbile Oru Idhayam. The people sitting around me listened to two voices of all the songs, one that was playing on the screen and the one that I was yelling off my throat. Talking about Background Score, I can throw a challenge at anybody else in Kollywood who could have even imagined a better orchestration. The Rahman signature is all over the place when Chitti comes back with the Red Chip. One scene that I need to mention here is the sudden transition from techno-synthesized music to a smooth-breezy tabla and a sweet little hum; the scene where Chitti tells Ash about the two good things mankind has ever created. The candles, the lighting, the picturesque and the music blends so well. It was such a melting experience for me. I just can't admire the man enough! Rahman!

Summing up
I felt that if one Indian movie that would find its place in the list of inspirations of a budding animator, it would be Endhiran. One of my friends who is interested in the field sent me an SMS that read, "Feel so jealous about Shankar". The man has worked on the script for 10 years. He has put his heart and soul in to it looking for a good producer who could offer him the scope for risk. Well, the bet has been safely placed when you cast the Superstar, isn't it? The movie is an experience. I loved it and I'm definitely watching it once more to look at what all I could have missed. Whether you like the movie or not, you'd feel that the money for the ticket is well spent. The critics are always there. Looking from a strict critic's point of view, I noticed two things. One, the sequence before the Kilimaanjaro song and the song itself was unnecessary and could have been cut off mercilessly. The stunt sequence after dragging Ash out of the wedding could have been tweaked, probably with lesser number of people. Otherwise I give an 8.0/10 for the movie.

Almost everybody I know have watched the movie already. For the rest, please watch it, at least once. Don't try to look for the hype you imagined. See what's there and I assure you'll enjoy.

The animation and CG couldn't impress me more. The climax takes the movie to an entirely new level. Loved it. However, there was a pinch of disappointment when I couldn't find one Indian name among the technicians who have worked on the Visual Effects. Maybe. Some day. Dot!

5 Expressions:

$ph!nX said...

Hmmmm... I had an inkling as to how you would write this post when I saw Enthiran and I am not disappointed!

I liked the movie overall! And Red-Chip Chitti trying to find out Dr.Vasi was one of the best displays of Rajini in an evil form I've seen. Don't you think he is better suited to negative,sadistic roles?? ;)

Shankar has brought out a great theme here da.. Depicting the flaws in both mankind as well as machines. Rules are meant to be broken and by breaking them, we prove ourselves human :D He had given subtle hints to his motives throughout the film and who better to bring out the best in the movie than Rajini??

They have really decked him up well though! Apart from a few close-ups you can rarely tell that he is pushing 60!

And the songs... well.. um.. the BG score was great, but yea, the scope might not have been enough for Rahman to exploit. And even then, I think he has exploited them to the max!

One thing on which I differ is on Muthu/Annamalai/Badsha. Rajini is unique for every movie. But Muthu and Badsha can never be bettered :) Dot :)

Vibushan L Narayan said...

yes.. rajni seems well suited to a merciless, negative role :D

Chiju said...

@Sphinx and Vibu
Of course. Thats how he started. He rocks when he is the baddie! :)

bala said...

ARR's BGM score was great throughout the movie... chitti dance showcase was technically great... the last twenty minutes BGM with 'arima arima' was electrifying...

ARR told in an interview that he did not want to make any new experiments with this movie... n dats the reason for us missing a song like 'oru koodai sunlight' in this movie...

Rajini as a baddie is too good as all of u say n the black sheep scene is the best part...

on the whole an awesome movie... infact an awesome start of the next era of thamizh cinema... DOT !!!

Keerthivasan said...

summary of ur review pls.. its too big :( unfortunately i do not hav patience to read the whole thing..

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