Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bheema; vigilante justice was never this boring!

Oh, Bheema. I waited for you so long, through all the delays and the set-backs. I knew I should keep my expectations low - you would not amount to anything more than an average Tamil action masala. "But," I kept thinking, "I like those, don't I? And this one has Vikram, and Prakash Raj, and Trisha looking lovely. Surely that's got to count for something, right?"

And so finally you arrived, without much notice, and I began watching. And stopped. And tried continuing. And stopped. And like this, little by little, I progressed until I finally tied myself down for the last hour or so.

Bheema, like so many Tamil films, is a tale of men. Women are a footnote, the kind you merely skim through. The most central relationship is between gangster Chinna (Prakash Raj) and his bodyguard/goon Sekar (Vikram), who first saw Chinna as a kid, and has since then aspired to be the kind of Man with a capital M that Chinna is. It's a kind of a manly love story - one of admiration, devotion as well as friendship. Law-abiding is not an option in their world; the police are corrupt and useless to the extreme.

Of course, Chinna's gang uses violence to punish those that go unpunished by the police - the true wrongdoers. And so very have truckloads of film violence, Sekar being a badass extraordinaire, the director trying to inject emphasis with annoying computer effects and way too many stylized shots and of course, the joke of a romantic storyline between Trisha's character and Sekar.

There's no reason why she falls in love with Sekar and then stalks him here and there. She fully understands he's one rude, dangerous feller (with admittedly rather nice looks & physique) who couldn't give two craps about her, and yet she bugs him until the magical moment when he against all reason suddenly likes her a lot, too. The song sequences are glorious visually, and if I focus hard to forget about the actual "love story", I enjoy them a lot. In general, though? Meh.

I remain a fan of Prakash Raj but when the storyline is as much a mixed bag as this film's was, there's not much even fine actors can do with it. There is always the occasional convincing moment but I just didn't care enough for the characters, or their cause. Even the most fantastically choreographed fight scenes made me shrug and check the time stamp - how much of this film did I have left to view..

But maybe I'm being harsh, maybe I just needed to get into the good ol' action masala mood, maybe there was a scene I missed because I was busy filing my nails or something. Or maybe my evaluation is completely correct, and this is just one of those tragic low points in Vikram's career; the kind where you agree to do films beneath you even though just about everybody knows you can do better.

And if nothing else, I quite enjoyed the "Siru paarvayalae" song, a historical picturization where for no reason whatsoever Vikram gets captured in various settings and Trisha dances and then releases him and yet nobody tries to recapture him. There's no logic, but who needs logic when you can have the pretty? Here's the song on YouTube.


Anonymous said...

I don't know how many times now I've stumbled through films that I felt I should love...but somehow just couldn't get into. Weird. But I know just how you feel with this one :-)

lapetitediva said...

I liked this film(aside from the ubiquitous Prakash Raj), but that's probably because I just shut off my brain and enjoyed the visuals :)

S said...

I have yet to see this film, but I know how you feel when you watch a movie and look at the time more often than the screen,seems to happen to me regularly these days...

veracious said...

memsaab - The multiple release delays told me this movie couldn't be very good but eh, weird how I was still disappointed.

lapetitediva - What sucks is that sometimes the story ruins enjoyment of the visuals a little.. :/

Reviewer - Yep, it was constant clock-watching. Miraculously enough I didn't skip a single scene!