Sunday, April 17, 2005

Chandramukhi - The review

Thalaivaaaaaaaaa... Kalakitta!!!!!

Chandramukhi is definitely a Rajini movie. And as a Rajini fan, I was not disappointed. The characterization is treated differently, but it is nevertheless a movie with the Thalaivar trademark at a lot of places. On the whole, I was impressed with the packaging of the movie, with not too many compromises made either to the original screen play. The fact that the story was (unusually) ready-made with limited scope to project Rajini as a superman (in fact, Mohanlal’s portrayal as Dr. Sunny Joseph in the original Manichitrathazhu was restrained) works positively in this direction. But for all of you, who are ambivalent towards Rajini, the gravest injustice you could do to Chandramukhi would be to go to watch it with visions of Padaiyappa in your mind.

Chandramukhi is fun, with Thalai’s comic sense in full flow. The Thalai-Vadivelu combo certainly matches with his combos with Senthil and Goundamani in other movies. But that’s were any comparisons should end. This is not your typical Rajini padam. That is good, mostly. To be very frank, I think I would have squirmed in my seat at the few instances of double entendre if I had been watching with a "knowledgeable" person of the opposite sex.

I would also have appreciated the movie better if there were not so many close ups used. Like LG indicated in his Mumbai Express review, close ups don’t gel in a comedy track and contributes negatively to the Rajini – Vadivel (and to a disappointingly lesser extent, Nasser) comedy track which is one of the strong points in this movie. Another point that I would need to make here is the fact that some of the scenes seem incomplete and without explanation. As someone who saw Manichitrathazhu a couple of years ago, I will say that this movie mostly stays true to the original. So the incompleteness seems to be more due to our inability to fathom a lot of issues in the movie in the face of the Rajini aura which is what lot of people expect to see and keep searching for, with some success. Any more effort to explain the technicalities of the mental issues relevant to the movie, would probably make the movie bulkier.

I am unable to decide whether Jyothika's performance needs to be appreciated. But that might be just because, Shobana, being the trained classical dancer that she is, won the National award for her performance. I feel that Jyothika did her usual “raised eyebrows, I am pissed off” routine, albeit with a devilishly made up face complete with botched kohl around the eyes and jasmine strands falling apart in her hair. Prabhu does not have too much of a role, but again this is true to the original. Actually it has to be appreciated that the producers did not view this as a pad to re-launch Prabhu’s non-existent career. Nayantra and Malavika add to the beauty quotient, while Vijaykumar appears in an almost invisible role. And just when I was thinking whatever happened to the 'Punnagai Arasi' K.R.Vijaya, she makes a late appearance here as Prabhu's mom. And I’d have been happier if Thilakan had been roped in to reprise his original role as the tantrik with a healthy attitude to the science of psychology. The jibes and the unspoken words between Thilakan and Mohanlal in the original were amusing, but here, Rajini’s interaction with the tantrik does not raise above the normal. For all you trivia mongers out there, Vineeth is Shobana’s real life cousin. He seems to be only actor currently in the business who can handle a classical dance sequence with ease. And that is a valid enough reason for his presence, though he looks kind of jaded in the flashback-esque scenes, as does Thalaivar in the same scenes which is one of my few grouses with the movie.

But I think I am still stuck on the original to do enough justice to this movie. Also I think I spent too much time whistling than listening to the lines. So, a second watch definitely beckons. In fact, multiple watches! As for comparisons between CM and Mumbai Express, you should watch Mumbai Express before deciding whether u liked either or both or neither of the movies. Don't rely on reviews to decide whether a movie is good or bad or plain ugly. Reviews are PERSONAL OPINIONS, not gospel! I, for one am certainly going to watch Mumbai Express, as soon as I get the chance.


capriciously_me said...

lol...cud not hear the movie in the clip!!

check out :D

Prabhuram said...


Aiyo..Idhukku dhaan Madras'la irukkanum. Indha paazha pona ooru ..cha!


anantha said...

@ CM: paathutten... Early morning e, i read accounts by a number of ppl who saw the movie FDFS!

@ Prabhu: Correct machi :( But naan nalaikki night, NJ poren.. night show :)

Anonymous said...

Hey.. Chandra Mukhi is Fabulous...
Namba Thalaivar ikku orru O podduga ..

Shall be watching it again mostly next week....


Anonymous said...

Hey ... super cool machan, your Blog came up at News items...
Sizzling HOT..


JaganLee said...

Thalaivar padam paathen.
Pul arichiduchu... Kandippa super-duper hit. Innaiku thirumbavum poga poren.

Twin-Gemini said...

Vidhi Yara Vittadhu :-)

JaganLee said...

I really donno, why reviews are bad in rediff and sify. They are comparing it with the original version,manichitirathazh, which is absolutely ridiculous..
But the word of mouth, for the movie is really good...bound to be a super hit.

Hawkeye said...


u missed watching it in udhayam. i was nostalgic and energized at the same time. watch mumbai express too.. its pretty good.

i guess u missed the first 15-20 minutes of the movie. KR Vijayam appears in the first 15 minutes.


anantha said...

See, when I got into the theatre, Devuda Devuda was on....and the guy next to me told me 10 mins :(

Hawkeye said...

then you missed sivaji ganesan also :-) I think devuda comesa a little late. you have the first prabhu scene_> rajini intro -> a big fight -> rajini meets prabu -> rajini meets KRVijaya -> Rajini meets Jo -> Rajini see sivaji -> prabhu explains rajini a problem -> rajini decide dto go to the viollage himself -> devuda is when he travels on the maatu vandi

so u missed the initial setup. v. bad. I have to reduce some super star points away from you. a true rajini fan would have sat from the initial title card that showed trisha and the one which said "thanks to kamal hassan"

sudo said...

Frankly I wonder how you guys call this a goor Rajini movie. His role was more like that of Vijaykanth's. The absense of his usual punch words were very conspicuous.

anantha said...

@ Bharath: Ya I know! Mebbe Mapquest and the NJ Highway authorities will reimburse me on my loss! Trisha va ? :O
Are you sure? Illa edhavadhu computer a video padam paathuttu immediate a did u go to the theatre to watch CM? Mebbe you were just hungover from that video! :D
And mebbe I'd have to ask your wife to see if she noticed Trisha anywhere on screen (at the theatre obvsly)! :p

@ Mahesh: The absense of his usual punch words were very conspicuous.
Ummm Mahesh, expectation is the root of all evil! Even if I don't go on such heavy logic, why is change so hard to digest? I thought the movie was refreshing without any of the hoopla that rings all around TN and elsewhere cos of every single line of dialoques. Frankly, I'd rather have this kinda Thalaivar padam rather than a Muthu with heavy political messages. And we never did call it a "goor movie" :D We called it a "good movie".. he he.. just joking boss.. no offense. Keep coming back and pls do leave some comments.