The mask and the man behind it

The Super Hero Within. Super hero movies are misconceived by people with concepts having really super powers to save the world. Like some one who can fly or some one who can defy gravity and go all out against the evil. Well that’s what hollywood has taught us. But then you have movies like Batman Trilogy (by Christopher Nolan) where the true identity of super heroes are shown. People do not need super heroes who can fly and fulfill their fantasies. When things are real bad, they need inspiration. They need hope that things will be better. They need some one who can re-kindle their motivation to go against evil. Some times all they need is some one to show them a path, a person, an ideology that goodwill always triumphs. The mask is only to hide the fact that there is a real, ordinary person behind it. An ordinary person who has got that will. The man behind the mask does not matter. But the man behind a super hero movie matters a lot. When all the previous versions showed Batman comically, Nolan really managed to build the true super hero that every one relates to. That, not just in movies, even in our world when things go wrong, a super hero can emerge. Like an Anna Hazare. An Abdul Kalam. And turn things around.

Well, I am no big time movie buff. And what said above was my version of a super hero. Mysskin who has claimed to be watching world movies and has given some of the best tamil movies ever certainly cannot go wrong with that. And in all the pre-release interviews, Mysskin has repeatedly conveyed that “Mugamoodi” is not a regular super hero movie. Well, at the end of the movie, one feels at least he could have taken a normal super hero movie. But the budget requirements would require Rajini to be part of it and that would be mean a different script that will suit Rajini. I have watched “Anjadhae” and “Yudham Sei” umpteen times. What really stands apart in these movies is the characterization. Mysskin’s movies have lot of characters and each will make a distinct impact on you by the time you leave the movie hall. The visualization and background scores will create that impact. The amputated friend in “Anjadhae”, the father who gets shot and his son who just runs sideways towards the climax in Anjadhae, the two obese on a bullet in “Nandalala” and “Yudham Sei” is full of such characters. “Mugamoodi” doesn’t have any of them. May be a couple which don’t make much of an impact.

  • With Mysskin, you expect even the title card to be different. You do not want to waste time spent on the title card and want to get straight in to the movie. Why spend the first couple of minutes in the title card display and that too designed in older hollywood sci-fi movie style?
  • And why design scenes like flipping through the pages of a comic book? Something that we have seen in batman movies? Nothing wrong in showing a comic book style scene. But why like an English comic book?
  • When a character in the song itself plays a gimmic on the director saying “Manja saree la oru dance”, why be a stereotype and have a bar song? That too the steps and sequences almost similar to “Kannadasan Karaikudi” in “Anjadhae”. “Kannadasan” was definitely a differently choreographed song but why again?
  • The movie looks heavily inspired from “Batman” series with Girish Karnad playing the role of Fox and the other old man playing the role of Alfred. And scenes where the Mugamoodi stands on top of buildings and the suit sums it up. You almost feel that you are watching an imitation. But then Mysskin doesn’t make those characters strong. Just because he has said this is not like your other super hero movies
  • With his other movies, each character had a role to play and their characters are “created”. May be except the heroine. When I mean created, they are born out the brains of the man behind it – Mysskin. But here every character looks weak – be it the old guys, the police, the Villian or the Super Hero himself
  • The interrogation scene where Nasser gets hold of a bad guy and how he makes that person open his mouth was brilliant. But the same Nasser is made to appeal to “Mugamoodi” saying “we need your help”. You could have got the guy who played as inspector in “Sivaji” movie and get away. Why build a character only to waste it?
  • Of course, the name “Mugamoodi” was coined by the hero out of an accident. He didn’t intend to become  a super hero but when gets caught in a scene where he is scene as a funny super man he just picks a name called “Mugamoodi”. But he really becomes one and when Selva (as the Kung Fu master) calls out “Mugamoodi. Nillu”, it looks funny. Same goes with how Nasser saying “Mugamoodi. Unga help engalukku vaenum”. You gotta watch it and you will feel miserable
  • Mugamoodi asking the master “22 varusham munnadi neenga yaaru”, master saying “22 varusham munnadi” and the scene transforms to a flashback. “Angusamy” (the villain) repeatedly saying “Unga master epapdi setharu theriyuma” and narrating the past. I mean, this is not the way we expect a flashback from you Mysskin. We are used to this kind of flashback in Tamil cinema for so many years
  • And the super hero. With a tag line of “The Super Hero Within”? You don’t even feel that there was a hero in the movie. Great. That’s how Mysskin’s movies are. But you will feel the character. Which doesn’t happen here. If you wanted to inspire people, you gotta have a scene like how Judas narrates to JK in Yudham Sei and asks “Unga thambi tangachingalukku nadandha summa irupeengala”?. Where are dialogues like “Aal balathalum, pana balathalum thoratharan. Evvalavu dhaan da odradhu. Ippo naan thoratharaen. Nee odu”? “Konjundu moolai vechuttu nee ivvalavu pannum bodhu. Yaen da dei. Neraya moolai vechu naanga evvalavu pannuvom”
  • The villain? Again looks like inspired from “Joker” in Batman but deliberately made not to look like one. You are only hoping that it would end soon when he tries to show the psycho side of his in the climax
  • K seems to be repeating the same type of background score as Yudham Sei. Period.
Of course, there are couple of Mysskin “touch” in the movie as well. Like Jiva’s friend Viji who keeps saying “Paathu da”. And says the same when  he dies as well. A very short romantic interlude in the middle of a chase. Well that’s about it. A couple. In the end, it looks like some one asked Mysskin, if he can ever make a masala movie and this looks like his attempt. Yes, it is not a regular super movie. It is a masala movie attempted from a director who cannot make one.

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