Why keep it in when you can scream it out?
This is my life right now summarized in one paragraph: Uni from Monday to Saturday with mostly deadbeat teachers who make me rue the day I was born, petty politics, an increasingly fast decline of the number of friends and fighting with the management for reforms in the education system. This is not including the ubiquitous college student’s existential crisis of whether her life has any purpose, meaning or value. To this, add a healthy dose of hardcore assignments every 20 days requiring the analysis of every other word in a statute – how does the word ‘means’ change the application of the provision from the word ‘includes’? How is ‘motive’ different from ‘intention’ different from ‘negligence’ different from ‘recklessness’ different from ‘mistake’ different from ‘accident’? How is ‘any person’ different from ‘every citizen’ different from ‘a resident’ different from… you get the point.
In this context, the Tamizh movie ‘Anjaan’, starring Suriya, Samantha and Vidyut Jamwal, released on 15 August 2014. With a bit of emotional ‘attyachar’ and the indescribable wonders of BookMyShow which does not allow your family any time to rethink their decision, I was able to go to the movie on the 16th. (psst! Inox has the most amazing caramel popcorn! *drool*)
Why see ‘Anjaan’?
(1) Suriya looks unbelievably gorgeous and Vidyut Jamwal’s smile can make angels sing (cue sigh every time they wear shades or even better, tuxedos!)
(2) Did the above statement make me sound like a miserably vapid and shallow teenage fan girl? Boy am I glad to say yes! Borrowing my friend’s view, sometimes you just feel like taking a break and going for a movie with mindless action sequences and a story which can be followed even if you remove your entire head and watch it. This movie satisfies these criteria remarkably and gives me really great eye candy to go with it! Why would one not want to watch this movie?
No, I get it. Not everyone feels like this all the time. I would be concerned for myself if I did. But I find that college going students around the country feel like this a lot more frequently than people of any other age group. And really, we need a breather once in a while. So if ‘Anjaan’ helped me forget reality and that my laptop screen sometimes seems to be brighter than my future, is it a crime to have enjoyed it?
(3) I’ve always liked long movies. Immersing myself in a movie has been one of life’s greatest joys since time immemorial. Life’s unfortunately become a race in the 21st century, but the movies need not be one. Is a good movie one which condenses the entire story in 1 hour and 45 minutes? A resounding NO. The day you can’t spare the time to even watch a movie is the day you tell yourself “I am living a sad, sad life.” One of the things I really miss about olden days Kollywood cinema is the uber long movie duration. From black and white classics like ‘Chandralekha’ and ‘Vanjikottai Valibhan’ to even the coloured ‘Anbe Va’ and ‘Kadhalikka Nerammilai’, the long movie running time really helped us learn, enjoy and empathize with the characters more, even if the stories were simple, everyday tales which could probably be summarized in 4 lines. As a final argument, look at it from this skewed Economics perspective – you’re paying Rs. 250 give or take (in the first week of release) for the ticket. Would you rather enjoy the theatre seat for one and a half hours or 2 hours and 51 minutes?
That being said, am I really trying to sell to you that Anjaan had a story worth dragging to 2 hours and 51 minutes? God no! Even I find myself hard pressed to try doing that. But it did have a story, predictable as it was. Then why sit through it? I direct you back to argument (2).
(4) I’m a huge fan of reel life romance (and no, I don’t believe in love in real life…not till the age of, well, never) and there was give or take 25 minutes of solid romance in ‘Anjaan’ (see, it did have something other than action! A minuscule, minor portion, almost an afterthought, but this is for the ‘Anjaan’ haters who claimed it was a 3 hour violence fest). Anyone with a similar enthusiasm for the ‘luurve’ quotient can easily sit through the movie. Samantha plays the role assigned to her (impossible to exist in real life but the beautiful and bubbly daughter of a Police Commissioner who falls in love with the big, bad Gunda) in a believable fashion, already putting her miles ahead of other current Kollywood actresses who make plastic look natural, and the song ‘Kaadhal aasai’ has a sweet tone, lovey-dovey video and beautiful lyrics –
“…my eyes search for you, my ears are filled with your voice and in the middle, hearts converse.”
(5) The toothpick. And more generally, Suriya’s charisma. From his introduction with the red flares, the gun handling, his sexy hairstyle, his friendship with Chandru, his falling for Jiva, the effortless comedy in the ‘Katcheri’ scene, his expressions and the way he conveys every emotion through his eyes and just the way the entire movie stands on his shoulders. Suriya fans can watch this movie without any fear of getting bored.
(6) Lastly, come on! Compared to ‘Ayan’ (*shudder* my stomach still rolls with all those scenes of drug abuse) and ‘Aadhavan’ (nobody above the age of 9 should watch this movie), ‘7am Arivu’ and ‘Maattran’ (I can’t even begin on these two), there is finally a watchable Suriya movie! Whoot Whoot!
So, let’s conclude, I probably would not have enjoyed the movie had I seen it any other time. No story, 0 suspense and passable songs? Yes. Can it be watched at least once i.e., does it give ‘paisa vasool’? A resounding yes.