Saturday, January 03, 2009

"Saroja" (Language - Tamil) (2008) - Movie Review

Director Venkat Prabhu should have a great talent to edit the darkened frames of his film “Saroja”. Almost three quarters of the film happens in night and for whatever reasons going with no lighting at all did not help the screenplay made up of nothing but a lazy haphazard work. My friend said it was amateurish but he is being soft. The film goes beyond trouble to make it the cool picture. Venkat Prabhu comes from the MTV generation in the southern part of India and he heavily utilizes those in his film rightly shot even after a not so cool appearance by music director Yuvan Shankar Raja.

“Saroja” begins on a very promising note with “Chennai 60028” element of having that casual environment. It has the friends making fun of themselves and basically using the formula of playing that cocky characters meeting the ultimate embarrassment. And in that Premji Amaren as Ganesh Kumar is perfect. He does the same role what he did in the previous film. In fact I have a strong feeling he plays himself in both the films fitting the screenplay. He should be a fun guy to be around. His comic timing adds a little to the falling story once the group of friends traveling from Chennai to Hyderabad decide to take a different route due to the highway been blocked by an accident. Those are brothers Jagapathibabu (S. P. B. Charan), Rambabu (Vaibhav Reddy) along with Ganesh Kumar and TV serial artist Ajayraj (Shiva). All act the idiot guys and that is not the issue.

The titular character Saroja (Vega) is a school girl been kidnapped by a gang led by Sampath (Sampath) and demand ransom from her father Viswanathan (Prakash Raj). The crazy route of these four friends leads them to the spot of turmoil which is Sampath’s den. Then begins the cat and mouse uninteresting game between these people in complete darkness. Now and then they bring a laugh and that should be the good part of the film.

Let me start with the music which is average if not bad. Yuvan Shankar Raja should be a little bit ashamed to lift the Beethoven’s score when the Van collides. The score very famously used aptly and perfectly in “A Clockwork Orange”. The songs are good and the back ground score is jarring at times. Why does hip hop and rap typically constitute a class of being in current trend and more importantly how it is presumed unanimously to generate the style and coolness the film needs which sadly does not. What happened to the eerie and methodically constructed music not depending on these unwanted influences the same person did in “Katrathu Tamizh” and “Pudhupettai”?

It is said that the film is heavily inspired (politically correct term for plagiarized I believe) from the English film “The Judgment Night” which I have not seen. It can be only assumed that the original was shot in a visible dark with more substance. So there are colourful cut shots from Tony Scott’s influence and interlaced editing in many of the other Hollywood blockbuster and I would not complain on taking those but do not play it like a kid finding a new toy. After a while it becomes a gimmick and hurts our eyes.

Almost two decades ago came a film based on similar plot called “Arangetra Velai”. It had three characters not getting along with each other using a wrong call to revolve their fortune. That film not only was hysterical but also cared for the characters. We wanted them to succeed in their plans and have a good life. The characters in “Saroja” are the people who are there to generate certain timed dialogues for a good laugh and then hide in the bushes of indifference.

Venkat Prabhu’s comedy works to great amount when the care is there. Rest of the times it seems like a filler. It is me writing a college exam during my bachelors degree. Just keep on writing without any remote possibility of logic or sense. The target is to fill the pages and that gladly got me the marks I needed. “Saroja” does not.


Barath said...

\\The characters in “Saroja” are the people who are there to generate certain timed dialogues for a good laugh and then hide in the bushes of indifference.\\
cant agree more da... i was completely unimpressed with the whole and surprised about whole tamilnadu (incl critis) going GA..GA over this movie. may be venkatprabhu needs some strong criticism before he starts his next venture "Goa"!

Ashok said...

Even I am surprised many suggesting this film and mentioning how funny it is. Granted it had some good laughs but not enough to even make the film make decent for 15 mins.