Sunday, April 05, 2009

Review of A Wednesday & Expectation on the Tamil Version

A DVD for Rs 99 is a pretty good deal for a movie of this class.  As I sat to watch the movie with my son, we realized that the batteries in the DVD remote had drained out.  So, we couldn't switch on the sub-titles.  From time to time, I had to pause and intervene like the way Gemini Ganesh used to do during Hum Log days and interpret the dialogs to my son.

Overall a sleek movie.  It is good to see such a quality production in India.  Good casting for the main characters.  Both Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher are great. I liked the CM character -  a smart politician with a heavy Maharashtrian accent in Hindi and English.  The character of the  TV reporter and that of Jimmy Shergil were good too.

But, there is always scope for improvement.
  • The background score was too R D Burman style, could have been a lot better.
  • The movie continues with the character stereo types you get to see in Hindi movies - all honest cops are Rathods, Khannas or Singh.  Supporting good cops can be Muslims and all the low level (or corrupt or inefficient) ones are Maharashtrians.  Repulsive.
"Is violence the only solution for violence?" can be a reasonable question.  But in this movie, we are not looking at the political correctness, but that of the agony of a common man in Mumbai.

Now for the expectations on the Tamil part.

Is there a similar sentiment in the Tamil context?  May be - looking at the current law and order situation in the state, you may have a similarity.  But the common middle class man doesn't go through the kind of terror that Mumbaikars had gone through.  We have different problems altogether.  So, this is something to watch out for.

On the casting, I have serious doubts on Kamal's ability to play the role of a common man.  This character is supposed to exhibit vulnerability, helplessness and fear.  There was a big difference in the acting of Sanjay Dutt and Kamal Hassan in Munnabhai and the Tamil version.  Sanjay Dutt, in spite of having a hero like body looked so vulnerable - Kamal was nowhere near that expression.

When was the last time, Kamal played a role of a common man - Mahanadhi? After that, we saw Kamal hiding behind clumsy make-up in Indian, Avvai Shanmughi and Dasavatharam.  There were other characters marked heavily by a change in hair-style, moustache, scarred face etc - not in one of them, he appeared as a normal man.  He seems to be too dependant on the make-up than on the facial expression and body language.

'A Wednesday' left the religion of the protagonist outside the scope of the movie.  Naseeruddin Shah can pass as a Hindu, Muslim, Parsi or a Christian.  So, you really wouldn't question the religion of the character, but accept him as a common man in Mumbai.  Kamal would want to exhibit his secularism. The recent photos show him sporting a beard.  You can imagine the rest.

The title itself indicates that the movie would be heading in a different direction.  It is titled as "Thalaivan Irukkiraan" - "There is a leader"!  So, there could be scenes to establish Kamal as the Thalaivan, there could be a flash-back where he would fight the goons (stunts by Kanal Kannan), shake his hips in a flash-back to the choreography of Brinda.  

At least be thankful that Crazy Mohan is not writing the dialogs!


Mukundhan said...

I liked your review. The movie had a good subject and Naseeruddin Shah aptly underplayed his character. It did turn little cinematic now & then (especially scenes which were included just to show how tough Jimmy Shergil was as an officer). But the overall content presented in the movie was good and refreshing.

On your question- "When was the last time, Kamal played a role of a common man - Mahanadhi?". I suppose you missed "Anbe Sivam". His portrayal of a "common man" in this movie was realistic and natural. I definitely feel Kamal can do a good job here as well.

- Mukundhan

Ranganathan said...


'thalaivan irukkiran' changed to 'unnai pol oruvan'!

atleast, kamal listened to your words of wisdom!!