(A movie that is full of big names but also full of holes in the plot. Image source: the Net)
All of us watches movies (some on daily basis) and at some point of life, you will come across movies that can only be classified as “great”. A first-class classics like this and new ones like this. We pay to watch these movies (those who subscribe to the movie channels at Astro, you will know what I mean) and thus all we ask for is that if you can’t make a great entertaining movie, then make one that is logical.
Read these first:-
- Oh Dear, Tamil TV Serials!
- WW2 Movies
Take for example “Chennaiyil Oru Naal“. I have seen the movie once before and despite the hype and despite an ensemble cast (they had a lot of big names there – Radhika, Prakash Raj, Sarathkumar, Cheran, Prassana and even Surya) and despite it had a good premise (well, for the most part of it), it was a big let-down by serious flaws.
In information age these days, small flaws look too glaring especially when the audience is well informed and have high expectations. In that sense, most Tamil movies had its share of shortcomings except perhaps Mysskin movies (like this and this) which in my mind is at the top of the list when it comes to dark-themed storyline.
I did not have the time to do up a review on Chennaiyil Oru Naal back then. But the notion of the flawed storyline somewhat reinforced my earlier impression of the movie when I saw this movie again on Astro last weekend. My mom was watching it and I was “forced” to watch it whilst I waited for my son to finish using my bathroom (the Boss often waits until it is time for my bath time before he dashes in my bathroom for his bath).
But before that, a quick synopsis of this movie for those who have not watched it:-
Meanwhile, Gautham’s ailing daughter’s heart condition becomes worse and she urgently needs a heart transplant. At first Karthik’s parents do not agree to take their son off the ventilator and donate their son’s heart but Ajmal and Karthik’s girlfriend persuade them into it.
Now that the heart is available, the problem was transporting it from Chennai to Vellore. No chartered flights or helicopters were available and so the heart had to be taken by road. Someone had to drive the 150 kilometres in under two hours during the rush traffic.
City Police Commissioner Sundara Pandian is asked to carry out the mission. He initially refuses considering the complexity and risk involved in the mission, but finally heeds to the persuasion of Dr. Arumainayagam. Satyamoorthy, being an experienced driver who has driven for ministers, volunteers to be the driver of the Jeep carrying the heart. Mainly takes this initiative to regain the name he lost to the bribe incident.
Accompanying him on the mission was Dr. Robin and Ajmal. As instructions are given from Sundara Pandian, Satyamoorthy follows the fastest route to the hospital.
However, at some point, they lose connection and the vehicle mysteriously disappears. Under pressure and stress, Satyamoorthy trusts his own instincts and takes his own route. Sundara Pandian loses patience and hope that he’ll be able to transport the heart in time, resulting in cancelling the mission.
Just in time, Satyamoorthy manages to get connection, which motivates every one to get the heart safely in time.
Sounds impressive huh? It does look very sound on paper but after watching the movie, you know that the movie makers could have done better if they had just stopped for a second and reviewed the details. No one is perfect, I agree but since it involves a long process of movie-making, a lot of talent from various departments and plenty of money, they should have strived for perfection.
Firstly perhaps knowing this would be questioned, they pre-empt the audience that there are no chartered flights or helicopters were available to transport the heart within the 150 km range. Well, that’s quite fine but considering the number of big-wigs involved in getting the approval and planning of the transport by car, you would have thought that surely they could have pulled something in getting a helicopter for the transport.
Don’t tell me that Gautham – the famed actor in the movie could not get his friends and his fans to help out on this? Even they could not get helicopters at the start, considering all the delays in transporting the heart by car, perhaps it would have been prudent if they have waited for the helicopter nonetheless.
Ok never mind, the moviemakers were bent on making the transport the heart via a car as the main plot and twist the rest of the story on this premise.
So they make the next mistake – the choice of the car used for transport. A bulky 4WD instead of a fast sedan – how that makes transporting the heart any faster? Then you will notice that 4WD would be driven without any police escorts – presumably because it was driven very, very fast.
But without any escort, a fast car on a lonely road (as shown in the movie) is opened to many other obstacles on the road – all you need for one idiot on the road to ignore the siren and wham bam out goes the mission out the window. In the movie, with a lot of people on the roadside – speeding car was not even portrayed correctly.
The car seemed to be cruising leisurely at many scenes in the movie. And it was so to a point when the passengers were inside the car without the need to buckle up.
Then they had to have the scene of the car being driven through a slum to “catch up” on the lost time. And these too are done without the police clearing and blocking the relevant roads within the slum to ensure fast drive-through. No police escort either.
Instead, the hero Surya comes into the picture (rather on TV) and appeal for the occupants of the slum to give way to the car. How many people in the slum were glued to the TV at that time is not shown (remember it is on a working day, so a bulk of them at home would be housewives) but it seemed to have attracted a sizeable army of slum youths to clear the way. How convenient!
Further, it is a slum with narrow lanes with unexpected crowd and obstacles – don’t you think that it is riskier to the mission? Why risk many “hearts” just to save one heart? It does not make any sense.
Before that, there is a scene of the doctor hijacking the car (ya, you may ask WTF?) and getting the car off course and it takes some time before some sad, emotional pep talk before the doctor comes to his senses and gets back into the car and the mission. In reality, how this could have happened if the whole mission from the start has been closely monitored from a central command post? You see, this is why you need a police escort.
And why the driver (played by Cheran) insist on bringing the loony doctor after the doctor had jeopardized the whole mission and his superior had given a clear instruction to hand over the doctor at the next police checkpoint? It is not like the doctor helping him in a big way. In the end, surprise, surprise – the seriously injured wife decides not to press charges on the doctor and he is released.
Come on lah, just because he had played a role in delivering the heart, the whole justice system forgets his earlier confession to murder?
Sigh, I know they could have done better…