Super Deluxe (or Aneethi Kathaigal) – Movie Review

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)
Manushyaputhiran (Doctor)
Director: Thiagarajan Kumararajan
Cinematography: Nirav Shah , P S Vinod
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Screenwriters: Thiagarajan Kumararajan, Nalan Kumarasamy, Neelan K. Sekar and Mysskin
Language: Tamil
Overall Stars: 5 out of 5

Trailer of Super Deluxe

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.

Lootera – Movie Review

Movie : Lootera
Genre : Period-Romance 
Cast : Ranveer Singh, Sonakshi Sinha, Vikrant Massey, Arif Zakaria, Adil Hussain
Director : Vikramaditya Motwane
Produced by : Anurag Kashyap, Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor, Vikas Bahl
Music Director : Amit Trivedi 
Language : Hindi
Overall Stars: 5 out of 5

‘Once upon a time..’ kind of setting which traces back to late 1940s in Kolkata and then, the story begins by establishing its key cast – a Zamindari father, his apple-of-the-eye daughter (Pakhi Roychoudhary) and deeper characteristics of ‘father-daughter relationship’ is well established in the first 10-15 minutes. 

Varun Shrivastav enters the screen space as an Archaeologist with his friend and much thanks to teasers and trailers of the movie, we presume this character to be the ‘Lootera’, but wonder how. Stereotypical as we call, people from Calcutta and those who visit Calcutta have well-versed knowledge in arts, music, literature and everything else that’s the key measure to one’s intelligence. 

Both Pakhi and Varun fall under this stereotyped bracket and are drawn to each other immensely. One thing leads them to another and this attraction grows intense with time. The portrayal of their interest for each other is subtly and elegantly brought out by the director and his script. Their romance hits you, grows on you as you watch it and makes you want more of it. True that we always seek from media and its effects are hard for us that we seldom realise it. 

All seems fine until Varun’s grey area creeps into the script with an apt twist in their fairy love tale. He is depicted as one who steals rare and unique antique pieces from local Zamindars along with a group of his friends and his caretaker. Although he loves Pakhi dearly and wishes to get married to her, the night before the marriage, his dubious past takes him over and he chooses that over Pakhi and leaves her in rejection. 

The life of Pakhi thereafter, her emotions, feeling of hopelessness, the pain and agony she goes through and her wanting to move on from her involved relationship with Varun is what we assume is the latter part of the story. Destiny in movies work stronger than real life. Due to unseen circumstances, Varun lands up at her doorstep in Shimla where she has been living a solitary life. Realizing what wrong he had done to her, he tries defying and meanwhile, he gets his hands much dirtier due to situations and consequences. 
He tries hard to win her trust back. And, through a lot of moving moments, he does. 

This script is an adaptation of O Henry’s ‘The Last Leaf’ short story and keeps your emotion tides going up and down with its gripping direction and choice of actors. Most importantly, the music keeps the entire movie breathing and facilitates the audience to connect much much more to these characters. 

An effort by passionate technicians and its crew have only helped ‘Lootera’ to be what it is when you see it on the big screen. Big appreciation goes out to Vikramaditya Motwane, the director – who has really been the boss of this movie. 

Bottomline :  steals your heart, instils a lot more emotions in you and you’d be left with beautiful thoughts thereafter