Apr 3, 2009

Ayan Review: Surya's Aegan

Of late, Tamil cinema and expectations are not going along well together. I went into this movie mostly for the director KV Anand and the script-writers SuBa, who had earlier combined together to give a good thriller in Kanaa Kandaen. With Ayan, though, KV Anand succumbs to the second-movie syndrome. So, except a fine cinematography, we get bad screenplay, no story, unimaginative choreography, and some insipid performances.
Deva (Surya) is studying M.Sc. computer science while at the same time working with Das (Prabhu) as a smuggler, who smuggles to and from sub-Saharan Africa and Malaysia. Kamalesh (Akashdeep Saigal) wants to become the #1 smuggler and would go to any extent to achieve his goal. Deva and his friend Chitti's (Jagan) sister Yamuna (Tamanna) fall in love, but Kamalesh's plans threaten the lives of Deva and those around him.
In his recent interviews, Surya was seen yapping about a 'different story that has never been told in Tamil cinema'. No such story is found to be seen anywhere in the movie, even after the end credits start rolling. The main story has liberal borrowings from 'Kuruvi', several of 80's smugglers' movies of Kamal and Rajni, and even from Hollywood movies such as Blood diamond. There is a scene in the movie wherein a Tamil director is shown visiting DVD stores seeking story plots from Hollywood for his next movie. Probably KV Anand self-satirically says that the character is based on himself.
It could have been far better, though. There are several twists in the movie which could have progressed well to break the typical formula of Tamil movies. One such twist arrives at the Intermission, which, if cleverly executed, could have surprised us ala the Hindi movie 'Khakee'. The second half has too many of such twists, but by then we know where the director is taking us - a risk-free zone, so those twists don't amuse us much. Another downside of the second half is the huge increase in the irritability quotients of the female characters. Tamanna and Renuka were so annoying.
The development of love between the lead pair is quite lame. One can see Surya re-enacting his 'SOK' and 'Varanam Ayiram' lover-boy roles here again. His body language and dialog delivery are so predictable nowadays. Time for a change, dude! Tamanna, after a promising role in 'Kalloori', has joined a huge list of talented glamor dolls of Tamil cinema. Prabhu offers nothing new, except half the screen space. Having watched quite a bit of Akashdeep as Ansh Gujral in Star TV's "Kyunki saas bhi..", I know that he is quite capable of a more menacing villainy than what we see in this film.
There are some interesting chase and fight sequences, which have been inspired from the last two 007 movies. In an attempt to prolong the suspense of some scenes by using reverse shots, the director and editor have missed out providing suitable links between some scenes, which make the scenes jump so abruptly. The song sequences are also introduced out of nowhere, and hence they don't gel with the story well. The two songs that I loved to hear the most - "Vizhi moodi" and "Anbe anbe" had very poor pre-song scenes, which took away the effectiveness of the songs. While the dance steps in the former songs were cute, the less said about the latter, the better.
Overall, it is a movie worth watching once, if you go with zero expectations. Otherwise, being a Sun TV production, you can soon watch it in small screen "Ulaga tholaikaatchigaLil mudhal muraiyaaga"...


Anonymous said...

This movie sucks though I went with zero expectations!

Anonymous said...

From the moment I watched the trailer I couldn’t believe it’s a movie by the same director of the sterling KK. The twist was lame in my opinion, as I could guess in within first few minutes considering the number of tycoons Das has.

It is irony that the director who had shown not the ordinary blossoming of love which includes pre-marital sex in an acceptable manner in his previous movie failed miserably in portraying the clich├ęd love here.

Not sure if the director watched Karthik’s Vikneshwaran, he is accused of killing his girlfriend’s dad and she gets angry at him. Only difference here is the heroine is shown to be ferocious with her alter ego reminding her each second that she’s indeed “acting”.

It’s understood the director wanted to show all possible technological advancement but he went overboard by touching on reproduction products such as viagara, condoms, and whisper for cheap chuckle. Whisper=bread? nice imagination.

Our hero is definitely revolutionary for not helping the girl who gets raped by the villain but just taking few photographs. Is he in porn industry as well?

The background music was horrendous. I have the feeling that Harris would have been miffed with the movie, so he opted for bottles and cans.

Ebrahim Kabir said...

The movie did not live up to the expectation was a major letdown.

Naren's said...

agree very much....never have i seen a all decent songs of a movie affected by poor pre song seqeunces...and also over all the film was quite noisy and annoying at times..a prev movie i fet the same was gemini...but i din feel bad fr visiting the theatre though....

xxx said...

Ayan is one of the best Tamil movies I’ve watched lately. This movie breaches the stereotype Indians have on those who they affectionately refer as ‘kallu’. Other movies usually use Africa and its diverse tribal people as their backdrop, but in Ayan, Africans are shown in business dealing and for casual sex. Although there was presence of kallu in movies like Fashion, but he was used to bring in the disgust feeling.
Love at first sight is possible, especially when the couple is good looking. So there is no doubt of why the gorgeous Surya and stunning Tamanna shouldn’t be falling for each other within few days. Though it looks like the heroine doesn’t have much to do, but the director makes use of her especially in the second half. Be it emoting her disappointment towards Surya or tactfully installing mic in the villain’s house, she scores. I loved this particular scene, where she gets in the bike and shows her thumb indicating she had succeeded in her mission. There are not many action movies which use heroines as bond girl.
Prabhu is a rare actor who proves that he is capable of carrying out the same acting style without making the audience bored. The only complain I have is the director made such a caliber actor die. I was thinking, when our hero could jump out of the car, why not Prabhu. Then I realized it is not so flexible for an overweight guy to do so.
The twist is one of the best after Sixth Sense; I was dumb struck for few minutes, also the audiences. We stared at each other. Thankfully, our director brilliantly incorporated the reverse shot, not giving me the migraine which Memento did.
Surya’s get-ups of his previous movies in the first song was indeed justifiable to show that he’s crossed 23 movies which puts him in par with other biggies. Soon, I expect fresh crops like Simbhu and Vishal etc to have a montage of their movies soon.

Raju said...

Anon 1, hmm.. the second half was quite boring indeed..
Anon 2 very valid points indeed. I too was shocked at Surya's reaction to the villain's misbehavior with the girl. It was as if whenever Surya wanted, the villain was gullible. The BGM was the worst I heard in several years now.
Ebrahim, I guess 'Tamil movies' and 'expectations' must be consider as oxymoron. Sure recipe for disappointment.
Naren, true about songs. IMHO, a song should be nicely set-up with some events, so that the audience don't find it disjointed. In Ayan, it was apparent that the director just wanted to insert the songs into the movie somehow. You can also include the title song, which was neither in the audio CD, nor in the movie. I am thankful for that.
XXX, LOL.. superb satire. Enjoyed everything.. the best was the subtle message you conveyed - "Excess weight will kill you". :)

mitr_bayarea said...

Reading the review and the comments, I can very well wait for the DVD to come to watch this.

Raju said...

Mitr, yeah, it is a DVD movie for sure..

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