Friday, November 13, 2009

Squee-filled first reactions on Kanthasamy.

1. as noun: A noise primarily made by an over-excited fangirl, however it has spread rapidly and is now widely spread among the web community. ("Squee, I love Harry Potter!")
2. as a verb: To elicit aforementioned noises and to generally fangirl something. ("I need somebody to squee over this new trailer with.")

It's winter in Finland right now, which means picturesque views and brightness all over, but sadly it also means cold, dark mornings and slippery roads you have to careful to walk on. I had an exam today and walked home via the post office, picking up this order from Ayngaran, feeling kind of annoyed with winter already. I decided I'd watch Kanthasamy (or Kandasamy or Kanthasaamy or whatever spelling you prefer) for a post-exam pick me up, but I wasn't exactly confident whether it'd do the trick. In my heart of hearts I knew I was kind of hoping for an Anniyan 2, masalatastic big budget Vikram-starrer that would be insane, socially conscious, masalatastic with awesome music and all the works. But I was worried - it's not like anything really compares to Anniyan, which I've previously heralded as the most entertaining film ever and my friends liked it as well.

So I was purposefully lowering my expectations to meet the cold, icy ground below me. And to my great surprise, Kanthasamy actually delivers, more than I expected but also more than I could've thought to ask.

But because my brain is too fried right now from sheer love for the film, and because I don't have the time to screencap this monstrously long film (3 hours 17 minutes, yikes!), I'll just do bullet-points which I will attempt to keep as spoiler-free as possible.

1. Vikram looks amazing in this film. How blue are his eyes? Were those contacts? Am I bad fan for not knowing? Who the hell cares?

2. Shriya did great, playing a heroine that's not the typical coy, conservative Tamil heroine and gets quite a lot of time on screen, looks as gorgeous as ever, and I loved the way they kept the chemistry and dynamic between hers and Vikram's character interesting throughout the movie. It's very sexually charged, but doesn't feel sleazy because she's the sexually assertive character here -- rare fare in an Indian film! I enjoyed it a ton.

3. The songs. Oh lord. Excuse Me Mr Kanthasamy is my new favourite Tamil picturization, Vikram picturization etc etc etc. Amazingly shot, so much fun, awesomely catchy. Lovelovelove!

4. Actually the whole picture is beautifully shot but sometimes I did suspect the cinematographer being on drugs of some sort. The sheer editing pace is kind of nuts. Sometimes I love it, other times I just want the damn camera to settle down! And the filters and the effects. Well, whatever. It's a gorgeous movie, we'll leave it at that.

5. The plot. Er. Talk about complex. I mean, I understood everything but sometimes I stopped to enjoy Vi-- the scenery and was a tad confused. The forthcoming rewatches will tie the puzzle together, though, I assume. Let's just say there are a lot of players and how they all tie together is not as plain as you might think. The socially conscious message is as heavy-handed as you'd expect and as crowd-educating, too, but I liked it. Don't know much about the issue, so can't pick it apart from an economical/political standpoint, but, you know, it's there.

6. I liked how the climax was not at all what I expected. Liked it a ton, in fact.

7. The get-ups. Oh god. I died from laughter. And generally really really really liked the feathered rooster-like avatar I saw from the posters and initially thought I'd hate. Vikram is a genius when he acts like a bird. I can't believe I just wrote that sentence.

8. There's a couple of really epic fight scenes but generally the movie never descends into an adrenaline-packed gorefest. The plot is actually awesomely structured, because it keeps you on your seat - if not on the edge of it, then at least wanting to know what happens next. For a movie whose type most of us are familiar with, it manages to be predictable and yet have some moments of suspense. I have to give props, Susi Ganesan has done a tremendous job here.

9. I loved Vikram's performance so much I almost want to quote a non-me source for praise because while I am ridiculously biased, what for example Qalandari says about him in Kanthasamy, is just so spot on. If you don't mind spoilers, go read that review because his reviews are always suberbly written. But yes. I guess the fact I liked the bird costume tells you everything you need to know; a large part of why this film works is because Vikram's in it. He makes you buy into it, even when it gets goofy.

9.5. Did I mention how hot he is in this movie?

10. It's impossible not to compare this movie to Anniyan, so I'll get it out of the way. First, I love and adore both. Second, Anniyan is funnier. It's infused with Vivek's amazing comedy, whereas Kanthasamy only has Vadivelu's amusing but unbrilliant comedy track. Anniyan is also goofier, more extravagant, more unintentionally funny. Kanthasamy has those laughs as well, but it doesn't have Remo, and it is just a pinch less ridiculous. It has its own comedy, especially with the romantic track, and the comedy there is spicy - not exactly clever, but certainly funny enough for a ton of giggles. And the ending doesn't make one laugh as it does with Anniyan; it solicits a mere peaceful smile, just like it should.

11. Oh I'm sorry, did you think this would be a short post? My first reactions are lengthy, it would seem.

12. The depiction of Mexico (yes, they friggin' go to Mexico! Vikram speaks Spanish!) is kind of half-awesome, half-weird. I'm not sure if Mexico really has that western saloon cowboy hats type of scene, but the film doesn't go for any super-offensive stereotypes and actually shows regular people, regular scenery (and interesting scenery, not just luxurious sights of this and that tourist attraction like Indian films sometimes do), which is kind of lovely. I'm mostly in love with these scenes because of the plot at that point is really awesome.

13. I'm so glad I watched this film on Friday the 13th. Screencaps and proper review later this weekend, I assume, should I have time.


Cindy said...

Awesome! I'm so glad this turned out to be good. I'll watch almost any film at least once for Vikram, but it's nice when the film is worth watching in itself as well.

MinaiMinai said...

I had to laugh when I read your "squee" definitions- I've been wondering exactly what that phrase meant that I've seen on fan forums- now I know! :) I figured it was some sort of fangirly vocalization. :D Anywho, loved your review! This film sounds awesome!

veracious said...

Cindy - I've said 'no' to a very few Vikram films, like Kadhal Sagudu (or smth) which looked sleazy based on a youtube clip. But it's just so great to have a good movie with him once again, one where he acts awesomely, one that he carries. Also excited about the upcoming Mani Ratnam films, which will probably be good stuff.

MinaiMinai - The first definition is from urban dictionary, the second one I wrote based on how some people use it and how I sometimes use it myself (for example, I'm so glad more ppl on Bwhat are into Southie films now - more ppl to squee with! :D).

It sounds awesome but do wait for the screencaps which I'll try to get both on this blog and onto Bollywhat when the damn forums work again. It looks amazing as well.

Anonymous said...

I was (sort-of) hoping you would be as unimpressed with this film as you had been with 'Bheema,' only from the point of view of one less film on my 'to buy' list...

Then again, I'm glad to see that Vikram is back on form...

ajnabi said...

So, veracious, would you recommend this as a Vikram introductory film? I haven't seen a full movie with him, just stuff on youtube.

veracious said...

piyaara - Sorry! Then again, this film is worth its price. I doubt you'll regret getting it.

ajnabi - Hmmmm. My first Vikram film was Dhool, which had funny comedy, goofy songs, cute romance, action, and he looked gorgeous with a moustache (in this movie he's shaven, which is also hot but I feel like not really his natural state, as weird as that sounds). In my bias I would lean towards Dhool.. I feel like Kanthasamy might be a little too crazy for a introduction.

Or maybe not, my friends loved the super-nutty Anniyan but got bored with the more typical Tamil masala plot of Dhool.

I'd say go for Dhool but if you absolutely cannot track it down or whatever, go for Kanthasamy (and when searching for the latter, take note of multiple spellings; Kandasamy, Kanthasamy, Kanthaswamy etc).

ajnabi said...

Oh, good! I've got Dhool in my queue already; I'll just send it up to the top ten. Thanks!

Anonymous said...


I had a big smile on my face for most of 'Kanthaswamy.'

Vikram's rooster costume and mannerisms cracked me up, despite the fact that he was ultra cool for most of the film.

I think I would of liked it to have been a bit shorter and, while Vadivelu's comedy track was Ok, I think it could have been left out altogether.

I'll have to give the film another viewing sometime but, on first impression, its one hell of a crazy rollercoaster ride of Vikram goodness.

Thanks for the recommendation.