Feb 7, 2009

Naan KadavuL - Give a miss

This is the first Bala movie that I watched in theater. With or without expectations, this movie sucks. I felt like I was watching a movie on the physically handicapped who are exploited and forced into begging. Arya's role in the movie is just a tad more than a guest one. The story appears disjointed, with the story of the suffering handicapped people and Arya's segment connected only by a bare thread of the location.

After witnessing the depressing story of the 'begging industry of India' in 'Slumdog Millionaire', we get to watch it much more elaborately in this movie. I felt that it was definitely overdone, with Bala's famous liking for morbidity going way too far. Beyond a point, their sufferings made me feel sick. The scene involving 'the man with the scary face' could have been handled quite differently. The closing minutes of the movie have some badly edited scenes and the climax appears to be rushed. The only positive aspects of the movie are the performances by Arya and Pooja.

The climatic one-to-one fight between the protagonist and the antagonist appeared to be very amateurish and cinematic to me. The latter knows the fate of the three people who went to attack the former, but still he goes against Arya bare-handed and single-handedly. Pooja's migration from the hill cave to a church and then to the hands of the villain is not explained; especially the last one could have been avoided, saving a lot of pain. The climax was quite undigestible since it reflected the pessimistic mindset of the director.

The technical aspects of the movie are quite good. Music is OK. The long scene in the police station involving look-alikes of MGR, Sivaji and Rajni was quite unnecessary, what with an overdose of such artists in various TV programs, except for a few seconds of an unhappening twist that is to follow. I found one aspect very ironic. Jeyamohan, who is the dialog-writer for this movie, had strongly condemned Sivaji's style of acting in his blog exactly a year ago. In the police station, someone tells the Sivaji-lookalike that he wishes that Sivaji had taught what acting is, to the contemporary actors. Jeyamohan has even removed that attacking post from his blog.

Back to the movie - the only thing that connects this movie with Bala's earlier ones is that he portrays (again) a dark side of the society. Whereas the previous ones had some humanity in them, here it is all dark and violent. True, the guy and his assistant who are in charge of the temple beggars have some soft corner for them. Other than that, it is hard to explain why Arya is shown attacking some people in Varanasi and why he is angry in the movie all the time. And, Arya appears to be too muscular and fleshy for someone who hardly eats any food and is shown surviving only on Ganja.

You might like it if you are a hardcore Bala fan.


ramya said...

That was a very short review. I am never a Bala's fan. when I hated pithamagan itself, I wud never attempt watching this..

Anonymous said...

I don't think even hardcore Bala fans would like it !

matrix said...

I enjoyed his previous movies but not this one.I don't care if Bala portrayed the real society but that's not an excuse to puke out a plot less movie.

B.Gopinath said...

Hey dude...The most childish review I hve ever read. I think u r a popcorn guy, want a movie which makes you feel great n come out fresh..If u r a soft guy, go n watch some play boy movies...U have become sick after seeing some sufferings of beggars huh? U r a weak n thats ur problem man! Just write, Iam not capable of seeing these kinds of movies... Don't tell mistakes in the movie...

I advice u to watch some movies like Shindler's list..City of God..Begging & Beggars..Cannibal Holocaust..These r some of the movies which portrayed the emotions n sufferings of differnt kinds of people..These movies changed the way a movie should be made..Highly criticised n got awards...Make urself strong n once again see the movie 'Naan Kadavul'..If u can't, just see some soft Gautham Menon's, Dr.Vijay's, Dhanush's, Sharukh's n some other fuckin masala movies n enjoy ur life..U won't feel sick...U can write whatever u think in the review..Nobody will criticize u...

Do u know something about Aghoris or their way of living? Hve u atleast understood the core of this movie? Oly if u know sanskrit n little bit hindi, u can understand the dialogue spoken by Arya, just before Interval..The dialogue which comes for seconds explains the secrets of the Creation..Oly mistake bala has made is not including subtitle for sanskrit n hindi dialogues..Go n see d movie with ur friend who knows sanskrit n hindi or wait for official DVD release with english subtitle...Don't review a movie without even understanding the dialogues and movie itself...

u want Arya's segment n hadicapped people be more connected, huh? Want an aghori to dance with them n share their feelings?

Without liking the movie, how u r attracted by the performances of Arya n Pooja? Hey school boy, go n learn 'How to review a movie?'...

Hey looser, be a Man n write some meaningful reviews..

Raju said...

Ramya, I watched all of the first three movies of Bala quite late after their release. My attempt to pay tribute to him by watching first day has ended in huge disappointment, I must say.
Anon, surpringly, some apparently do. As you can see from Gopinath's comment above and some other sporadious bloggers in blogosphere, a few have apparently liked it.
Matrix, can't agree with you more. :)

vm said...

Hi B.Gopinath,

Wow..didn't know this movie was so impactful that it managed to turn you into a wild Aghora.

Soft guy and Play boy movie - what an incredible correlation.

Why not you watch the above mentioned movies once again to realize that those movies were rich in the plot as well. If you don't understand English, I suggest you watch it with someone who can translate to you.

There are many movies where the actors have done splendid job but the story fails to impress.

Anything would appear childish if you have a childish mentality.You decide, who's the actual loser now. It's time for you to visit the shrink.

Raju said...

Gopinath, hey man, cool down, will you? True I wrote a short review last night, since I didnt want to think a lot about the movie any more before bedtime. I ask you to read it in full now.

LOL.. you are true in that I love popcorn while watching movies.. especially with a lot of butter, but since I am on a diet, I didnt have it while watching this movie. Thank 'kadavul' for small favors, since I wouldnt have been able to eat it, thanks to Bala's obsession of filling the screen with people who are unfortunate to be born with abnormal features. I dont know if you have read my earlier reviews, but I am not the type of guy who goes to movie halls to feel great. Simple evidence is, I am a Kamal fan, and I really don't like most of Rajini, Vijay and Simbhu's movies. If you had read my review carefully, I mentioned that I felt sick only 'beyond a point', which was sometime post-interval. I may like soft movies if they are good, but that is not to say that I dont like serious ones.
I have indeed watched Schindler's list and other Holocaust movies like Pianist. Even the movies like Silence of the lambs, Hannibal, Sincity, Oldboy, Perfume and Titus - just to name a few.
FYI, I know quite a bit of Sanskrit and I followed all the Hindi dialogs. I am surprised at the number of assumptions you have made on me without knowing about me. Anyway, what about most of Tamilnadu who can follow neither Sanskrit nor Hindi? Though I didnt mention it in the post, the absence of subtitles (at least here in the US) showed either an arrogance or negligence from Bala. Of course it is possible to have good performance in movie with a crappy story. Aalavandhan, and to some extent, Dasavatharam come to my mind immediately.
Let us agree to disagree, and move ahead, shall we?

Sriram said...

Hi Raju, thx. Will deftly give this movie a miss!

B.Gopinath said...

Hi Anonymous vm,

I think u haven't seen much movies. Don't know, Why u r replying without even seein the movies I mentioned. If u have seen the movie Cannibal Holocaust, u wouldn't have replied about the matter Plot in the movie.

Of course Schindler's list, city of god n lot of movies are rich in plot. Even, many masala movies made in India are also rich in plot. I mentioned those movies to explain that they too exposed a particular subject rawly.

So u r saying a great movie should be rich in plot. Not oly u, lot of people are complaining like this, "There's no plot". Life, which also doesn’t have a plot, can move you, sometimes to tears, and you never see it coming.

Let me remind you some great movies (definitely u won't like these) which have little or no plot. Pulp Fiction, Into the Wild, Cannibal Holocaust, Two lane Blacktop, Forest for the trees, Lost in translation, Wrong turn..... These movies are all about a character and they are Genuine and honest to the subject..

See the movie Cannibal Holocaust n then reply again..Movie released on 1980 which genuinely exposes the barbarity. There's no villian n no plot as u told. But it is considered as the best horror movie of all time and known for its visual effects.

Any movie which is real, genuine and honest to the subject topic (romance, violence, spiritual, lifestyle or anything it could be) will be considered as a great.

Naan Kadvaul exposes the sufferings of beggars genuinely. Such a raw exposure is necessary to make viewers to feel, "How difficult for a human species to survive if it is not capable of" and "It's better to kill a weak than forcing it to live amidst strongs". Some natural

If some editing mistakes, plot are the main concerns for u while seeing a movie, then u r d person to see the movies Shrink, Polar express...lot n lot of movies which doesn't have particular Genre....

Most of the people don't like this movie. Coz just they don't want to know about the 2nd world people (Ex:Raju) and spend 3hrs on it. That Raju guy felt sick after seein a movie! A good movie will always make people to think n feel about it for some hours n may be days.

I don't understand why u called Naan Kadavul, a plotless movie. While replying, just explain why u hve said like that. Simply replying for a comment is the easiest job in the world.

B.Gopinath said...

Hello Raju,

Again ur review sucks...No need to prove that u r a popcorn guy with a reply...I know u r..try to learn n judge which movie is a good one and which one is not..

After seeing movies like Pianist, Perfume: The story of murderer, Silence of the Lambs, if u r not able to identify the great movies, then u r poor....

'Pooja's migration from the hill cave to a church and then to the hands of the villain is not explained'

these lines prove in which level u r..

Refer my previous reply to an anonymous...

There s no meaning in replying to a popcorn guy..

FYI: I am not Bala's Fan.

Anonymous said...

The high light of the film is that the story doesn’t even start till the climax!
One of the worst film. Rating being 1 out of 5.


vm said...

Hi B.Gopinath,

I've watched the movies mentioned above. Cannibal Holocaust is excusable since it is clear in its genre - Horror! if you have noticed, most cult/ horror movies don't have well etched plot, all needed is gory scenes/ graphics thrown here and there to give us some adrenaline rush.

Not all masala movies are bad and not all art movies are good. Masala - bad, Art - good --This kind of stereotype should be breached.

I watch all kind of movies; I don't limit myself to certain genre. Liking or disliking a movie is subjective to each individual. Even people, who like a specific genre, might dislike movies in that genre which didn't appeal to them.

Be glad that Raju didn't say that he puked while watching this movie. Sick here is not in literal sense. I think you are mistaking dislike for the movie as a whole with physically disabled people.

I did feel touched by their suffering but I can't agree with your claim that movies should make viewers feel that the weak ones should be killed. Optimist viewers might have a different take on this.

Just because the movie showed the suffering of the disabled people, we can't justify it as a good movie. This movie has its flaws as mentioned by Raju.

Me too said...

Disappointing, huh? I had really been keeping my fingers crossed for 'NK'! Inspite of all the negativity, I liked Bala's movies. If I couldn't watch 'slumdog...' for more than 1/2 hr, I don't think I can handle 'NK', I guess!

Anonymous said...

Regarding Arya being too muscular and fleshy for someone who hardly eats any food, you certainly missed the point. It is his mother who says she hasn't seen him eating. The movie has scenes of Arya in the Shmashana, many times. They just don't make it clear if those are before or after a meal! Some scenes (especially at the climax) must have been cut by the censors. They must have objected saying, "Indians eat after pooja, not eat Pooja".

Anonymous said...

anon @ 5.41 PM

You are assuming a lot. Bala need not show him eating the flesh but a word or two that he's has eaten them would do. A statement that he's eaten the mallu man wouldn't have been as bad as showing that leper guy.

Nitin said...

i see. i have heard both positive and negative reviews for this movie, haven't seen it yet, waiting out for dvd or some good quality online. i wouldn't call myself a Bala fan, but he is definitely different, that makes me wait for his movies, and ofcourse with his combo illayaraja, i definitely waited on this movie for a while. i know arya has that same expressionless face in all his movies, i was hoping for some quality performance, its bad that i have heard from many people the connectivity between his and the beggar story is very thin, i wonder why Bala went that route, oh well, i will see it for the sake of seeing i guess. But bala really needs to do some genre hopping, he seems to be a staunch follower of balu mahendra, even he did some genre hopping, and gave some different movies. Bala needs to give some pleasant movies for a change rather than morbid reality that people try to ignore. I mean, i hated passion of the christ for this reason, after a point, its just a torture movie.

Anonymous said...

How could Arya show better expressions? He is supposed to be an Aghori, one who has given up all worldly things, especially feelings. Their only goal is to attain salvation, and help other souls attain it too in the meantime.

In an abstract sense, the movie is a lot tamer than the endless number of movies, where a local don keeps the villagers (or a colony) in check, killing and maiming those who oppose him. So many vigilante movies, from Rajini's Sivappu manithan to Vijay's Thirupachi have this theme. It is the fault of the human psyche if we are affected more when the victims are physically or mentally handicapped. It is just that Naan Kadavul showed what happens to a victim who is actually beaten up. Other movies that are actually more gruesome (say, Baasha) just avoid the fact by showing the victim with a small amount of blood in his mouth and a bandage around the head, and of course, the victim recovers in the next scene, just in time for the next fight!

Gopinath said...

Hi RAJU and Anonymous VM,

VM has mentioned that this movie has flaws as reviewed by Raju....Actually Raju and VM should be an Amateur movie viewers and reviewers.....Some of the childish faults shown by Raju....

Raju's Fault-1: " The story appears disjointed, with the story of the suffering handicapped people and Arya's segment connected only by a bare thread of the location."

Here, hero is an aghori who even doesn't want to have relationship with his mom....has his own sense of reality,as GOD. He wants liberation from the cycle of reincarnation. And he is following the path in the village too.He has chosen a place near by a temple in mountain, where he can get Gaanja. Even he doesn't care about people living there..In the same location handicapped are begging...No other way is there to connect an aghori with these handicapped....He sees handicapped, his mom, police men and all other people equally...He doesn't give any special care to those hadicapped...He just sees them as the other people....If the hero is an ordinary man, then there must be some scenes relating him and the handicapped.. Here it is not needed...See Arya as an aghori not as a regular hero....

Raju's Fault-2: " The scene involving 'the man with the scary face' could have been handled quite differently."

Again, here Hero is an aghori....No way to show an aghori better than the way shown in this movie...He carries the sense of reality the character requires, with ease. Just tell how u 'll handle an aghori quite

Raju's Fault-3: " Pooja's migration from the hill cave to a church and then to the hands of the villain is not explained;"

Even a school boy can understand....If those links are explained, u would have reviewed "movie is so lengthy..Some unwanted scenes could be deleted..."

Raju's Fault-4: "The climax was quite undigestible since it reflected the pessimistic mindset of the director."

As far as an aghori is concerned and as the name of the film suggests, the hero is a guy who goes on with his sense of reality that he is god, and who believes he has the power to take lives. The mindset of an aghori is shown
here. Why do you care about a director whether he is a pessimist or optimist?....It is shown as an aghori gives liberty for a weak(pooja) from the cycle of reincarnation..amazingly subtle subconscious mind of an aghori is
expressed.....This expression of subconscious mind through an action could be seen only in some great movies....use of euthanasia is incredible! There is no reason for saying it as a pessimistic ending...it's spiritual...
You said that optimists might have dealt the situation differently...Optimists would have cried, felt sick and joined her in an orphanage...! U'll surely like it...If u r unable to digest go n puke...And just write "I don't like this movie" and don't advice others "Only hardcore bala fans would like it"

Raju's fault-5: "It is hard to explain why Arya is shown attacking some people in Varanasi and why he is angry in the movie all the time. And, Arya appears to be too muscular and fleshy for someone who hardly eats any food
and is shown surviving only on Ganja."

Just watch the movie with some concentration.....then u'll understand why he attacked...Aghoris eat human flesh
too...This is indirectly shown in the movie (court scene)...Also u will see Arya doin yoga in front of a cremation ground in the village....They 'll eat from the remainings in creamation grounds...If that too shown in this movie, u would have puked in the theater itself...Also the court would have banned the movie for attackin the belives of the people....

So, don't just blindly watch a movie....learn something about aghori and then watch Naan Kadavul...

This movie reviewer Raju might say

"Only Spielberg's Hardcore fans will like Schindler's list"

if he doesn't have idea about holocaust in II-World War.

vm said...

Hi Gopinath,

#2 : You've stated that I'm an amateur viewer and reviewer. What do you call yourself who got this wrong ---" The scene involving 'the man with the scary face' could have been handled quite differently." --- you don't even understand which guy Raju was referring to. So, how abt you reading the post with some concentration and not blindly.

#3: You give us an explanation and we will decide if it would have made that scene lengthy or not.

#5 : You give an explanation of why he attacked them. There wasn't any subtlety in that court scene. For someone who has felt Perfume a good movie ( in the end the protagonist would be eaten by other humans), this movie wouldn't have made the person puke. There need not necessarily be a scene of him ripping off intestines of the guys and consuming them, am not expecting overt scenes.

# 1 & 4 : We do know the facts abt Aghoris. But what's the point of the movie if it leaves us assuming without a slight hint "oh this is what wud/cud have happened". I'm not asking for petty details, but there should be explanations for certain scenes.
You have lots of non credential justification of why some scenes were not shown. This movie is definitely pessimistically spiritual. The ending concerns us coz we paid for it.

Be glad that he said at least some section would like this movie :)


In your next review..mention this too " only X's hardcore fans will like Y, and will give non-credential justification for the movie "

Good that you've removed your picture. Some creatures might even go to the extend of performing voo-doo on anti-bala :D.

Gopinath said...

Hello Anon VM(Raju),

Yeah..I do accept...I wrongly noted d point-1....

You hve been replying, "I seen the movies mentioned...I know about aghoris..." But there are no signs that u hve done so things... If a man who even unable to understand what a reply is about...then there's no meaning in having discussions...

Again, i don't want to justify the points 2,3,4 & 5 to an amateur.....waste of time!

Even if i do n waste my time in this blog, some meaningless replies will be the answer from an amteur viewer.....

Coz of people like VM(Raju), directors doesn't want to give something new..

Eat popcorn.....Live long...world needs people like u..!

vm said...

Hi Gopinath,

"Yeah..I do accept...I wrongly noted d point-1." --> BOO!

"You hve been replying, "I seen the movies mentioned...I know about aghoris..." But there are no signs that u hve done so things" --> things ?? what things?? doing ganja inhalers?

"Again, i don't want to justify the points 2,3,4 & 5 to an amateur.....waste of time! " --> admit that you are not capable of explaining. Have you heard of Sour Grape?

"Even if i do n waste my time in this blog, some meaningless replies will be the answer from an amteur viewer....." --> Psychiatrists often become one among their patients to cure them.

"Coz of people like VM(Raju), directors doesn't want to give something new.." --> No, we are not threatening Bala that we will bomb his house.

"Eat popcorn.....Live long...world needs people like u..!" --> are you a fake Babaji? your blessings sound so.

VijayGanesh. S said...

Fascinating to read the discussion board !

Naren's said...

well i have no issues with any reviewer giving his 2 cents about his experience of a movie. Freedom of expression you see.but that GIVE IT A MISS...eppo sir varuthu ungalukku antha athihaaaram. my view is that Naan Kadavul is altogether a different expereince. A great movie i would say. Music is OK. Thats sample fr ur taste.

Anonymous said...

Ha haaa.. Enjoyed the discussion...
@VM, I appreciate your comments to THE GREAT GOPINATH.. well said..

Raju said...

Sriram, cool... edho ennale mudinja nalladhu.. ;)
Gopinath, that popcorn stuff was a tongue-on-cheek remark.. Sad that you took it with the face value.
Your point about me being poor despite watching some great movies: It is ironic, isnt it? A kinathu-thavaLai, who watches only tamil movies might appreciate NK for being 'different' and 'surreal' but I can certainly claim that I am more wiser after watching movies made in different parts of the world.
Now, if you want to talk about Pooja's migration from and to different places, how on earth can you justify it? Firstly, on the hill, she is vulnerable; Murugan leaves her at the church, where she is definitely safe. Who brings her back to the asylum? Does Bala suggest that the nuns were also involved in the scam? I can list of numerous other possibilities (like the police raiding the church and kidnapping her), but pl. try to throw some light on what happened, since that dictates her fate.
If you check in my earlier post about a kavithai, you can see from the discussion that me and Mary had that I was well aware of the presence of aghoras before the release of the movie. You can also see the discussion in Balaji's posts (check my blogrolled friends' list) during the week leading to the release.
And, if you think that me and VM are the same, you are wrong, buddy.. If you check my posts written several months ago, you can still find VM in the comments section.
I haven't touched on several aspects of the movie.. but, I certainly felt that showing Arya's continuous ganja-smoking could have been avoided. Yeah I know that aghoras smoke pot, but is it necessary to show it in almost every place in the movie? Even for a normal smoking scene shown on TV, one can nowadays see the warning.. but, for this dope-smoke, NONE!

Raju said...

Vijay Ganesh, LOL.. Why do I remember the story about a lion and 4 bulls? ;)
Naren, I appreciate your comment. My 'GIVE IT A MISS' is not an 'athihaaram'. It is just an advice. I dont buy on 'naan kadavul being a different experience'. I am hearing the cliched word so often nowadays.. 'Rajni movie is an experience'; 'Kamal movie is an experience'; 'Mani Ratnam movie is an experience'... Yeah right... every movie watching is a unique experience in its own right, no? My concern is what kind of experience it is.
Anon, :) glad you enjoyed it.. Thanks a lot, VM!!!

Anonymous said...

naan kadavul - purindavargalukku pidikkum puriyaadavargalukku pulikkum.....

-aham brahmasmi....

Nidhi said...

after reading a lot of reviews (mostly negative), I got to see the movie yesterday. It wasnt bad at all. Infact, I felt it was a good movie. There were some faults, but hey, nobody's perfect :). Definitely not "give it a miss" movie in my opinion.

Potri said...


Please do not spend all your energy in proving through brains explaining that the world is not flat to a bunch of morons!

Every soul realizes in its own journey that light and darkness are not different but two sides..

Glad you appreciate the movie and let's move..

Inspite of critics, truth triumphs!

Duality (Good and bad) exists!

Thoughts progress to no thoughts and settles!

With love to all,

BB said...

Pathetic movie. Mr.Gopinath seems to be one delusional viewer. This standard attack on reviewer like have you watched this sh** .. have you watched that sh**. It is like one of those Z grade horror flick which hollywood makes. Nothing more.
If there is Razzie award in Tamil movie industry this will win hands down. He took 4 years for this crap?
I was laughing right through this crappy movie.

Anonymous said...

seriously its an ugly dirty movie.
felt like running out at interval,but they closed the gate..had to take up all the shit shown it till the climax.
ugly ugly ugly...
heard some stupids praising it..may be they hav some serious mental problems...

forgettable said...

well, Its an excellent movie,I really thank to Bala for giving this kind of movie,that no one gave before in tamil. And It should come under "documentary movie"

just most of us don't like these kind of movie,because most of us are well trained by movies like "love" and "violent heroism" based movies.

Those who searched in deep about "meaning of life" will definitely like this movie. Others will like it later when the time raise.

Everyone is not same ;)

hehe, sorry for commented lately, but its worthy movie to comment.


Gopinath said...

Hello popcorn guy, FYI: Bala wins best director national award for the movie 'Naan Kadavul'. Jury for 2009 consisted of 13 members, including Rahul Dholakia and is headed by Buddhadeb Dasgupta.

So just give reviews for the movies like Kung Fu Panda, UP or any other disney productions n plz dont try for anything more than that!

Raju said...

Hello Gopinath aka Bala footlicker, FYI: Saif Ali Khan, Anil Kapoor and Raveena Tandon are some previous national award winners (especially Saif, how on holy earth?!?). So there is nothing so holy about the awards anymore. They have to be viewed with a filter. I dont care who were in the panel for the award. I didnt like it, and thats it. And I didnt say that I didnt like his direction blindly. I have given my reasons in the post as well as in the comments. So, I dont think he deserved the best director award. PERIOD.

Gopinath said...

Cool boy! Again i am asking u, don't post things in which u don't have any knowledge. I want u to check out who are all the previous winners of National Film Award for Best Direction. FYI: it includes Satyajit Ray, Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

And I hve already said that i'm not Bala's fan. I am replying to ur post simply coz, it was a utter nonsense review for a very good movie.

Kamal said...

Gopinath Sir - this may be a laaate update, but till today I've watched Naan Kadavul close to 15 times and enjoyed the movie. You explanations are matured and makes sense. Thanks!

Raju Sir - Please... Please... I agree you may be a watching movies from many languages across world, but that doesn't mean the people watching regional movies are dumb. Your comment on music, sorry!!!