Movie: Super Deluxe (or Aneethi Kathaigal)
Genre: Dark Comedy
Cast: Vijay Sethupathi (Shilpa / Manikam), Gayathrie (Jyothi), Ashwanth (Rasukutty), Fahadh Faasil (Mugilan), Samantha Akkineni (Vembu), Ramya Krishnan (Leela), Mysskin (Arputham / Dhanasekaran), Bagavathi Perumal (Berlin)
Director: Thiagarajan Kumararajan
Cinematography: Nirav Shah , P S Vinod
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Screenwriters: Thiagarajan Kumararajan, Nalan Kumarasamy, Neelan K. Sekar and Mysskin
Overall Stars: 5 out of 5
Recommend that you watch the movie before reading any further.
Super Deluxe is set with multiple narratives, all weaving into one in the end, by sheer coincidence.
Narrative 1: We see Mugil-Vembu, a married husband-wife couple trying to dispose the body of Vembu’s ex-lover from college, who dies when they both were having a private moment in the bed.
Narrative 2: A group of 5 amorous teenagers decide to watch a porn film — only to realise that one of their mothers, Leela is cast as the lead porn actress.
Narrative 3: Leela’s husband Dhanasekaran converts his identity to Arputham after a near-death experience with Tsunami. He lives alone and propagates his faith to near and dear ones in the vicinity.
Narrative 4: Jyothi and her son Rasukutty await the arrival of Manickam — the man of the household, who abandoned them nearly 8 years ago. While the entire family prepare Jyothi to expect another woman in her husband’s life, on the day of arrival, everyone is shocked and surprised to meet Manickam transformed into Shilpa, a trans-woman.
The entire story flows through seamlessly raising hard-hitting questions on life, relationships, religion, society, political governance, gender equality, aliens and more importantly on human tendencies at the core of it. As an auteur, Thiagarajan paints a similar message from Aaranya Kaandam that there is no right or wrong – nice use of Blues / Greens or Red to denote this. Everything is seen with a perspective and based on context.
Super Deluxe paints the entire Tamil Cinema universe in glimpses. Vembu’s ex-lover looks almost similar to Arjun Reddy. Manickam turned Shilpa is asked what he was doing in Bombay. Arputham calls his faith text as – Anjathey Nambu. If coincidence and storytelling are backbone of this movie, it fits in pretty well right?
The story also intertwines interesting song references to build intensity as well as feed on audience’s familiarity — by using Viswanathan- Ramamoorthy‘s Pal Vannam Paruvam, super duper hit songs of Maestro Ilaiyaraaja including Anthiyile Vaanam, Vanithaamani, Maasi Maasam, Ennadi Meenatchi, Saathu Nada Saathu and Bappi Lahiri‘s I am a Disco Dancer.
Thiagarajan proves yet again with his compelling narrative structure – heavily inspired by Film-maker Alejandro González Iñárritu. Super-deluxe, as the name suggests is grand, awesome and worth the fun ride.