Saturday, August 02, 2008

My Take on Rajnikanth’s Kuselan

I saw Rajinikanth’s Kuselan today and was totally overwhelmed by that movie. When Kuselan was announced few months ago I was very apprehensive as I thought he is going to ridicule the original version like he did when he remade Malayalam movie “Manichitrathazhu” to Chandramukhi. Having seen the original version of Kuselan – Katha Parayumbol (one of the biggest hits of last year) I thought Rajinikanth is going to take that story thread and change it to suit his image as he did with Chandramukhi.

When I came out watching Chandramukhi, my mind kept on telling me – Malayalam version was far better than Tamil version. But today I couldn’t make a distinction. If you take out Nayanthara from Kuselan I felt Kuselan was little better than its Malayalam version.

Even though Rajnikanth comes on screen only for less than an hour, he is invisibly present in each frame of the movie after his introduction. Having watched lot of his movies it is a totally different experience watching him in this movie. Can we think of a Rajni movie without a fight or a punch dialogue? For millions of his die hard fans he is a living God but through this movie he wants to remind his fans how he is just one among us with the same feelings. Arguably the only superstar among superstars in Indian cinema, he wants to portray the human being in him.

There is no doubt that story written by Srinivasan is a great one but all credits to G Vasu, the director of Kuselan for making few changes to supporting characters especially one played by Vadivelu to suit the taste of the Tamil audience.

After seeing movie Veyil I had become a great fan of Pasupathy. With this movie my respect for him as an actor has grown leap and bounds. Typically when you come out watching a Rajni movie we remember only Rajni but in this movie definitely images of Pasupathy are on your mind along with Rajni when you leave the theatre. Rarely does one get a chance to have a role more important than Rajni in a movie and Pasupathy has fully utilized that chance.

Meena was just mind boggling. Her acting was so natural that there are no words to describe her performance. She did the same role in the Malayalam version also. I felt that she was literally living that role of Sridevi. Vadivelu as usual keeps us entertained throughout the length of the movie with his comedy.

Only negative in that whole movie – Nayanthara – supposed to be heroine to Rajnkanth in this movie. This character was not there in the original version. If Silk Smitha was alive today, she could have definitely got scared after watching Nayanthara in this movie, since Nayanthara has snatched all the roles tailor-made for Silk Smitha. Minimum dress and maximum exposure was the mantra of Nayanthara in the whole movie.

I am not an expert in music and so not commenting on the music of the movie. In two songs Rajnikanth makes his appearance and both are well taken. The song involving Pasupathy, Meena and their kids stands out compared to other songs with respect to picturization.

If you “ADORE” Rajnikanth you will love this movie even though he makes his appearance for less than one hour. He is opening up his heart and mind for his die hard fans in that one hour. If you watch Rajnikanth movie for his heroic performance, then this movie is not for you. Better don’t waste your time, you will be totally disappointed. If you want to see a good Tamil movie with sentiments, comedy and masala, then this movie is for you. I can guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed at all.

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Blogger Sreejith Kumar said...

Then it must be interesting! But it is to be seen whether the 'normal Rajani fans' like it or not.

August 02, 2008 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Sarath said...

good to hear that at least this time they seemed to have maintained the quality in the remake.

I didn't see the movie but saw the song videos...wanted to see how the tamil version of the hugely popular and well written 'vyathyasthaanam oru barbaram balan' song (from the malayalam original) looked like. It was disappointing :P..they made it a typical song with 'paandi' beats!

August 02, 2008 6:53 PM  
Blogger Ajith said...

Interesting indeed, If kuselan matches the mallu version, we have to give credit to the makers. Anyways im sure they will add stuff which were not there in original version. Realistic subjects have little scope in tamil industry. However, producer will have no worries, five minutes of Rajni is more than enough 4 the movie to run the whole year!

August 02, 2008 9:42 PM  
Blogger Brijesh Nair said...

Let us wait and watch if the normal Rajni fans like this movie

even though this song is taken differently, it goes well in the movie.

"Realistic subjects have little scope in tamil industry"
I could agree with you if you were talking about Hindi movies. I feel Tamil movies these days are more realistic than most of the malayalam movies these days. More new directors with creative idea are coming up in Tamil. Movies like Paruthiveeran, Mozhi, Chennai 60028, Kathal (few movies that come to my mind now) are so different. I agree there may be some masala movies but I feel creative movies out number masala movies in tamil industry. I am not sure if that is the case with malayalam movies.

August 02, 2008 10:51 PM  
Blogger Vellayani Vijayan/വെള്ളായണിവിജയന്‍ said...

കുചേലനെക്കുറിച്ച് ബ്രിജേഷിന്റെ വിലയിരുത്തല്‍ നന്നായി.ജീനിയസ്സുകളുടെ കൈയില്‍ ഏത് വിഷയം കിട്ടിയാലും അത് പൊന്നാകും എന്നുള്ളതിന് ഉത്തമ ഉദാഹരണമാണ് ഇത്.ഇനി മറ്റൊരു കാര്യം.”സോണിവെള്ളായണി” എന്ന പേരില്‍ ഒരു ബ്ലോഗ് കണ്ടു.ബ്രിജേഷ് വെള്ളായണിക്കാരനാണോ?
മറുപടി പ്രതീക്ഷിക്കുന്നു.നന്ദി.

August 03, 2008 1:45 AM  
Blogger technology said...

ohoh... First time, Ive heard something good or a positive remark abt this movie ! Il catch up with this soon !

August 03, 2008 4:34 AM  
Anonymous Mani Karthik said...

I'm a big Rajni fan and the movie is a treat! I agree to what ever you said.

August 03, 2008 8:19 AM  
Blogger drsubbu said...

Dear Brijesh,
I read your review of Rajniknth in KUSELAN film review. You written well and painstakingly about this film. I appreciate that. I have not seen the film yet. Butconsider your comments abouts about Kamal's DASAVATHRAM','THIS IS THE WORST FILM I HAVE EVER SEEN' wWas that fair? I have seen Dasavatharam. I agree it could have been better. All the same it is not a bad film to be dismissed like that.Kamal's extra-ordinary effort to make such an effort in Tamil certainly deserved better review and comments rather than total dismissal like that. Educated people like us should be more thoughtful and balanced. Still I appreciate your good and detailed review of Rajini's Kuselan.
Dr T Subramanian

August 03, 2008 9:33 PM  
Blogger Sebas said...

Vadivelu's comedy was amazing, especially when he meets the superstar but do we have to lust through his eyes. Last time, when i was in a surya movie
regarding violence some parents sitting near had their kids turn the other way.I wonder should we have more regulations for the benefit of younger minds,obviously you were sensitive to it.

August 04, 2008 4:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kuselan is complete crap! Vasu screwed the original with his so called masala elements. Kuselan is as good as Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag at best!

August 06, 2008 5:47 AM  
Blogger MayilVahanan said...

I have not watched the movie yet and my comments are not with reference to Kuselan's review. This is in reference to your comments on Dasavatharam in Mani's blog. I have noticed this trend in many people. Even an intellect, when he watches a Rajini movie, they forgot their intelligence in the name of passionately following Rajini. You are sure to be faced with this question when asked. "Are Rajini movies supposed to be watched for fun,grandeur, larger than life character etc?".I think the intellect here is letting the real slim shady dictate terms. This is the effect of carefully cultivated image by Rajini both onscreen and off screen. But the same guy when he watches a Kamal movie dons the intellectual hat, starts analyzing and finds all the negative things. This is not to say that Dasavatharam was a good movie or a work of art. That was a bad movie with shades of brilliance in it. Why such double standards when watching different movies? Will the real slim shady please stand up?

August 06, 2008 9:01 PM  
Blogger padmakumar said...


Thank God I didn't believe you. The movie is a flop.


August 09, 2008 7:00 AM  
Blogger Brijesh Nair said...

Dr T Subramanian
Uncle, I do made such a comment in Mani’s blog about Desavathram. I felt that movie was more like a cartoon than a movie. That movie was like making a shoes first and then trying to find a person whose feet will properly fit into it. Kamal has decided first itself that he is going to act in 10 different roles. We can easily understand watching the movie that after he decided he is going to enact 10 different roles he started to think what all roles he should “create”. A good movie should have been other way around. In this movie I don’t see any point in Kamal acting in 10 different roles other than to satisfy his ego. I loved his characters in Avai Sanmughi, Indian and Nayagan etc but many of the characters he enacted in Desavatharam was crap. The characters of FBI agent, martial arts teacher and the old patty was done with a mask and u couldn’t see any expression in his face. If you want to do a movie with your face covered with mask even you or me can act as hero.

First of all let me tell you I am not a fan of Kamal or Rajnikanth. If a Kamal or Rajni movie (for that matter any movie of any star) is a hit I believe it is good for them as they can increase their price for the next movie.

I thing to remember – Rajnikanth and Kamal are totally different. It is IMPOSSIBLE for rajnikanth to act in a movie like Nayakan or Indian or Mikkal Madan Kamarajan or for that matter most of the Kamal movie.

I do told that Sivaji was good entertainer. If I get bored in a class during lecture or in a movie hall I use to keep on looking at the time in the watch to see who long I need to sit there. For Sivaji movie I don’t think I never looked in the watch and for Desavatharam I looked into the watch umpteen number of times. I have seen movies of Ranjikanth I didn’t like at all. Baba was worst while Chandramuki was just OK. Like that “for me”
Desavatharam was bad.

August 10, 2008 1:14 AM  
Blogger drsubbu said...

Dear Brijesh,
Thanks for your explanation about your comment regarding your view on Dasavatharam.
We have seen this film in a theatre in UK Stockport.
I have not seen or known much about the original Malayalam version of Kuselan. So I won't comment or compare with that. First of all the story line'very old traditional puranic story of friendship between two childhood friends with enormous financial social status difference between the real puranic 'Kuselar with so many children struggling for existence due to poverty and the puranic'Lord Krishna'.Nothing new in this story. very well known story. We don't need to bother about its source.
The film itself: A very below verage film with occasional grace provided by Rajani with a powerful emotionally charged end where Rajani speaks at the school function about his friend 'Balakrishnan'. Except this part the whole screenplay is very badly wriiten and executed. Another good point is the commendable Cinematography. But too much computer graphics imposed unnecessarily eg: the dolphins jumping out of indian water scene too many times-aping miserably 'Titanic' and the water falls, amounts to irritate at times.
Pasupathy and meena are the real hero and heroine of this film. But Pasupathy characterisation drags too much and lacks power. The initial sympathy and empathy dies half way because of poor handling of of his character.Meena has done very well.
Vadivelu is an eye sore.Absolutely in poor taste and outright vulgarity.
Nayanthara total unwanted role. Even when you support her on commercial aspect of the film she is neither beautiful nor glomerous totall ugly and causes considerable discomfort to watch with the family.
Music: a new boy related to AR Rehman. Even Rajni's opening song lacks the usual punch and hype. Even filmimg of that song is poor.
The only good song is the song by Shreya Gosal 'the rain song (forget Nayanthara here).
Over all K BALACHANDER wanted to make some money using Rajni's popularity by making his charisma as the main element. I felt Rajni's hype was little too much and went on,on,on and on....
My general view on Rajani ( also on old MGR )FILMS: Except few earlier films and later THALAPATHI, all his films are tailormade for his image with very glamourous heroines who are always ready to strip and expose liberally whether the script required or not. If you recall most of both MGR and Rajni film are like this. In Sivaji Shreya exposed to the core in Kuselan Nayanthara. Only difference in Kuselan it is too vulgar.
My views about Rajni: I have some appreciation and respect for him as a human being and his unwillingness to exploit political gains using his popularity . In this respect he differs from MGR. Another point his open acknowledgement of his gratitude to Kamal for his upcoming as Superstar.
My regrets about Rajni: he could make good realistic meaning ful films like Kamal. Whatever said and done Every film fan must be grateful to artists like Kamalfor his tireless contributions to the Tamil Cinema both on and off screen.
Tail piece: 3 days ago a very old film 'KARUPPUPANAM' a black & white movie, written,produced and also acted by 'KANNADASAN' was shown on the TV. It was such a beautifully and powerfully made film on black money ,money laundering and its social evils much better than the film 'SIVAJI'
Dr T Subramanian.

August 10, 2008 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Sarath said...

The first point made regarding the larger life image seems to be true... :P. Maybe, this film can be used as an experiment to find out how many of the rajnikanth fans are actually 'sensible' !!

I am not sure if that 'moral of the story' is always true...because as far as I know the manichithrathazhu script was tampered big time to make chandramukhi and it did become a big hit!

August 11, 2008 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kuselan is a crap. I am surprised how could you spend time in writing a review on that!

- Raj

August 13, 2008 4:54 AM  

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