I had to wait for so long to see the movie of the year - I think you could call it that, given the amount of hype and hard work put into the making of the movie - thanks to my busy schedule (hee hee, sorry for the build-up) and to the fact that the movie was sold out for almost all the shows in all the theatres it is running in Chennai!!!
After watching the movie, I couldn’t help but admire and applaud the creative genius that Kamal Hassan is – no wonder; he is the true Ulaga Nayagan. The movie has science, religion, philosophies, humour, ironies – how much time did Kamal actually take to write the screenplay??? Absolutely mind-boggling!
Few of the incidents that made me go wooooooooooow were:
1. Asin (in the current world) while running behind Kamal (in the place where they bury the Perumal idol) bangs her leg on the same Shiva idol that Asin (in the 12th century, as Kothai) hit her head on and died after Rangarajan Nambi was thrown into the Ocean. Does this mean they are being united again after being killed atrociously in their previous birth?
2. Also they lean against the same Vishnu idol after the tsunami and talk about their future. Does it mean that the same God for whom they left their lives has brought them back together (this includes the small Perumal idol that had the vial in it)?
3. Another interesting incident is where Krishnaveni paatti takes Vincent’s body and puts it on her lap and claims it is her son (even when the other guy – Asin’s father? – says she shouldn’t be doing it).
4. I read about Chaos Theory and Butterfly effect. Is it really possible that a butterfly flapping its wings in China could create an earthquake in Cambodia? I was awed…
5. After the movie got over, I could not help but think that Vincent’s intention of taking the sand smugglers to task is like a step to stop the world from getting destroyed by tsunami and other natural calamities that occur as a result of ecosystem getting disturbed by mankind.
6. Vincent laid down his life while protecting his enemies and their family, even though they had vowed to stop Vincent and his mission; even going to the extent of getting Vincent’s men drunk.
7. Kaliphulla Khan and his entire locality are made to assemble at their mosque when tsunami strikes. Does this mean that God (in the form of local policemen who wanted to question them) saved them?
Balram Naidu is a classic character. Made me wonder if Crazy Mohan was part of the crew! Chris Fletcher is evil personified. Especially the dialogue between him and Narahasi (in the final face-off, “Remember Hiroshima?” and “Remember Pearl Harbour?”)made the crowd go crazy. Amazing!!!
I initially (by that I mean before watching the movie) thought the movie might end up being a big fancy dress competition with only one participant. Thankfully, I was wrong. The story and screenplay was so engrossing that not only does one have to keep wondering what is next, but also forget the fact that it is the same man that is playing all those key characters, thereby justifying the need for ten characters (though some do have the feeling that so many characters were included to be played by Ulaga Nayagan just to achieve the magic figure of ten and therefore justify the title of the movie – I disagree).
Now to a few could-have-taken-more-care things:
1. Apart from Rangarajan Nambi and Govind, the other character’s expressions were not too clear (especially because, we all know what a great actor Kamal is and we still can’t forget his expressions in Nayagan) because of the heavy make up. But still, Kamal totally rocks!!! Hats off to him!!!
2. Before the tsunami, Asin has a red dhupatta (of her salwar) around her neck. This remains exactly so even after the huge turmoil.
3. Tsunami hit the Indian coast at around 8:30am on December 26th, 2004. But in the fight between Fletcher and Narahasi that takes place minutes before tsunami strikes, their shadows are too short (like how it will be at say 11am) for us to believe it was 8:30am.
4. Did they kill a poor monkey during the shoot??? :-(
This movie has made me think so much and now I strongly believe that whatever is happening, there is a reason behind it – some call it God, some call it butterfly effect and some call it karma!!! Finally, what you sow is what you reap!!!