Shankar’s Boys Movie Review : Maathi Yosi, Thats what we say (Think Different)
(Read from the 2nd paragraph if you aren’t familiar with Tamil)
Inga panam illaama irukara ovvoru payanukkum padippu kedaikanum,
Padippu ezhaingalukku etta kaniyakida kudathunu thaan sir naan ippadi paninen – Gentleman
Naattaiye azhikera oru governor irundha enna illana enna – Kadhalan
Podhupanithurai, Pokuvarathuthurai, Kalvi, Sugadhaaram, Minsaram ippadi
ella thurailayum lanjam vaangi vaangi naatai seer kedhututeenga – Indian
Indha America cosmetics ellam nekku pidikaathu. enakku therinchathellam thallaikku seiyakkai, udambukku manjal thool. Please itha ellam edhutundu poidungoo – Jeans
Enakku thevayellam ettu mani nera thookam, poo pola naalu idli, pudhina chatney, mansakku niraivana vellai, appa ammavoda oru kai rummy, pooncholai kiramathilai oru azhaghana ratchashi – Mudhalvan
And now BOYS.
Completing half-a-dozen movies successfully with BOYS is the whiz kid Shankar. Brought up in the neighborhoods of Chennai and having done his schooling and college in Chennai, this is shankar’s wish to celebrate the coming of the age of adolescence. His boldness to describe BOYS as they are has helped him to come out of his pedestrian fantasy movies.
Keeping out the controversies of the media to the end of this review, Boys is a movie with no false pretensions, no intended puns and a no-nonsense movie. Even if you have the smallest nail in the world, I can write the story on it. Five guys and a girl find their hidden talents due to unforeseen situations and take an elevator to their career. The thread that unites them is friendship and love. What begins as a small time eve teasing ends up in a relationship that displays a spectrum of emotions, debacles and re-unions.
Sidharth playing the quasi-hero, leaves a distinctive influence of a typical lover boy in us. Harini playing the full-time heroine is the most natural of all the characters. To use an often used cliche, amazingly brilliant performance. Not a typical heroine to just run around those lavender farms. To our surprise, she often gives a FINGER. Good one.
The other BOYS have done their best and ‘natural acting’ comes so easily to them. That innocent looking Kumar has given a flambuyoant performance. Vivek as Mangalam sir is a typical drunkard whom we find in every other bar in Chennai. He has downplayed his comic sense to match the character. The surprise is senthil’s cameo role. It is a sure shot shankar punch to explain Information is wealth through a most unassuming character of senthil. Glimpses of classic characterization.
A loosely written screenplay has let down shankar’s ambition of unfolding the carpet of The Pimple Age. Nearly the first half of the movie is spent to wade through the life of collegers. But there is honesty in the depiction. Every mischief of these boys is nothing but true. None of them has the slightest exaggeration. From girls to cigarettes to beers to porno movies to ‘first experiences’ do happen in the life of a college guy. Trying to pack all these mischiefs among these five boys made the boys look like bad exceptions of the college crowd. Though everyone who has gone through that phase could feel a pinch of them in these boys. If you can’t, write-off, you are an exception.
A R Rahman has added his part to the celebration. Seven songs which are certainly the best of tamil music, this year. Vaali’s lyrics for the Secret of Success is the best of all. The small songs, which havent appeared in the CDs, are worth a mention. ARR – Shankar combination is known for fantastic BGMs like Ni Sa Ri Sa in jeans etc.. ARR has not done his best in BGMs for Boys like what he did for the songs. Not a single BGM stays back in our minds.
Writer Sujatha‘s down-to-earth dialogues forms the core of the movie. Bringing in the local taminglish lingo of chennai has been a cakewalk for him. The punch comes when harini replies to her father, who ditched his lover for wealth. She says ” You kept my name as harini because it was your ex-girlfriends name. You are still living in thoughts of her. I don’t want to repeat you. I cannot ditch my boyfriend (munna) and then keep my son’s name as munna“. Listen to these lines with the context and you would appreciate it. Except for some dialogues, which are explicit, sujatha proves he is a clean observer of surroundings. The wineshop scene where the boys meet mangalam sir is typical. Dialogues like OTMP are very common in the badly lit, improperly maintained wineshops of chennai.
The proper villains of BOYS are the unwanted graphics. Trying his hand on 3D animation Shankar spoils the quality of songs. The BOOM BOOM song is the biggest let down. The 3D animated character of BOYS in-between this song is horrible. It spoiled the feel and the sets of the song. Those unwanted graphic leaves during ALE ALE are also irritating to the core. How can someone like shankar afford to include such cheap animation in the picturesque Tasmania gardens? Also Ravi K Chandran has done an OK job. Not like the powerful shots in Kannathil Muthamitaal.
Shankar’s over-confidence in his art of selling situations to audience has failed this time. Many scenes including the climax look very ordinary without any build-up sequences. Especially that most artificial scene where all the parents meet together just to hear the often-repeated dialogue that television spoils the kids, from vivek. If 22 crores was the original spending for boys, it’s a lavish waste of money.
Coming back to the controversies created by the HYPOCRITIC media and a portion of public who argue that the many scenes in BOYS are obscene and vulgar in nature. Go back a couple of years in the cinema history. The same Chennai had a special screening of Deep Mehtas Fire exclusively for women in Anand theatre. What a movie to have special screening for women. Surprisingly the show was housefull. A movie that depicts an illegitimate relationship (this type of relationship is still illegitimate in India) between two women, in the same conservative Indian society, is running full houses. But a movie that depicts the lives of five boys as they are is protested to be cut left, right and center to accommodate public interest. Appreciate the height of bias. I’ll have the last laugh. Despite the shortcomings, just for the honesty of filmmaking, I support BOYS. Do you ?
P.S: Read it in Rediff, here