Shankar’s Boys created ripples in Tamil Nadu. Having recieved some real bad, screwed-up reviews from the media, Boys failed to click in the Box-Office and fell as a prey to the media games.
Now, after more than 8 months of the release of Boys, I get this review in my mail box from a person who calls himself Kabbaadiwala. Also he mentions, Kabbadiwala refers to waste collector as stated in a Tagore’s shortstory. He names this as a rare review of boys instead of a rave review.
Having read it, I found myself amazed. The first couple of paragraphs gave me a notion that it is going to be a serious and a profound one. But as the writer eases himself into the Boy’s colloquial tone itself, it becomes a comical read. Reviews can also be written so comically with lots of in-depth meanings to it. With very less grammar and sentence formation, this review offers an insight into the movie. Though at many places, I couldn’t agree with the thoughts of the writter, it needed to be published for the public consumption.
So here goes Kabbadiwala and his rare review of Boys. I disclaim this review and leave it to kabbadiwala to answer the comments, if any.
Living in India; Looking at Boys & Girls – A Rare Review of Boys (!!)
This Review has Parental Guidance PG-14 Rating. Not for kids!!!
Firstly thanks to Lazy Geek for the web space. I am not a film critic or have notions of being something of a film expert on world cinema. However, I realized that these things are not even necessary to share views on Shankar’s “Boys”.
There are different ways in which one can critically appraise a film. The most common folly is for the critic to talk about how he/she would have made the film, with a different story. Or forcefully suggest what should have been the story line and screen play that should have been dealt by Shankar. The other approach is to pit Shankar against Shankar, counter pose his one film against another….and thereby critically look at the current film….
This is to make a mistake of talking about oneself, making a pretense of wearing the hat of the film maker, director, script writer etc,., while simultaneously refusing to appreciate the film at hand, for what it is and for the “story” represented by the film.
Care has been taken to avoid the above dangerous approach.
Now all upto BOYS…. (And what about the Girls?)
Shankar’s BOYS creates hypocrisy, and sticks on to the regular masaala routine, while pretending to be something of Revolution (?). The key success of this film is its ability to create a false and distorted worldview, and also allow the viewers to continue with this myth. So in essence Shankar has managed to strike the right chords with the viewers; however the unfortunate thing is that the film became a victim of the hypocrisy created by it.
This film is itself a Maya merging and striking chords with the confused, disorganized, unfocussed mind of today’s ethos.
Let us now walk Along with the Boys:
1. There are four/five friends…who are all boys….this is fine. They are upto their teenage pranks, “bird watching”, commenting on some statistics of girls, all the time sit on the pavement parapet walls, try an occasional drag or two….etc….
Nothing unusual, and again, these are absolutely NOT new stuff to be portrayed even by Kollywood…
Unfortunately, this is a standard “Masaala” impression of teenage boys by Kollywood script writers, Bollywood and of course Holly wood! By the way all woods are the same. No individual personalities, ambitions, or conflicting desires…
2.All the boys look at a girl, but one guy looks more…just keeps looking…there is no talk …nothing…Without a rhyme or reason, decides that he has to fall in “LOVE (?!)…. That girl again is a doll…something like a Barbie girl, wears elitist dress and nice costumes…does not have any feelings, aspirations, desires, life nothing at all…. All she does in life is going to college, just hangs around with a few girls, visits places like pizza hut, komalas restaurant.
3.Now, the time has come for THE BOY to prove himself on his Love…. He is something of “sacrifice (?!) Incarnate…. Has the intelligence to believe that THE GIRL that he loves, is so debased in morality, that she assures of “FALLING” in love, if ONLY THE HERO BOY, Can completely SEXPOSE himself, and run naked on mount road….in Public
Please remember, he is the SAME BOY, who having invited a call girl, refuses to sleep, because He is a Raama, he called the girl not for exploitation…. but for something else…
4.Love has not season nor even reason…so our sprint master. .
does it all for the sake of Love….then the usual Bollywood type of Jails, a couple of khaki dresses, a few blows, a silly case about obscenity in public…get beaten pulp…
(If this is real India, and Chennai, then cops have a tough task, because they have to round up millions of Indians immediately…
hope you have seen the squatters all along Mumbai and Chennai Suburban train trips…and then again…a few more million beggars, loners, lunatics, lying naked around railway stations, bus stations and public spots…with no one to care for them)
Now, hang on, this is the trigger for a major life long love between Boys and Girls in India….Yes, it happens, THE GIRL understands the sacrifice (let me tell you, this is a consistent message from all the Woods, that all girls like dumb stupid boys who don’t even know how to think, or differentiate between right and wrong. All Girls want their fiancé to be toddlers, who believe everything…)
I was so depressed that Shankar did not come out with a CG depicting the Hero Boy with his fingers on to his mouth…in this very sentimental and deeply emotional shot….
5.More of this superb Masaala and cliché from Shankar’s yard…All parents are up against arms with their teens…Incidentally they are also completely mad caps and lunatics…. Parents and their teens are so differentiated with conflict it is the clash of the Titans…Teens being depicted as humans and parents are all Martians….
I failed to understand how this is all new, exciting and revolutionary from Shankar…. I remember so many BAD Fathers like Amrish Puri’s in Hindi films, and we have our own Tamil edition Nizhalgal Ravi, Raguvaran, Nambiar, Radha Ravi…Vijaya Kumar
6. As humans and Martians cannot co-exist, they have to part ways, so All the BOYS go away from their homes with ONE GIRL reserved for the ONE BOY….now, the boys who were on to common “sight seeing”….except one all of them have become samiyars, brothers, and Sagodharargals….annan thangai urumurai valardhadhamma !!!valardhadhamma !!!
7.Shankar now remembers, first time in Life that there is something called Life, Food, Shelter required..for the BOYS and One Girl…..Kollywood magic….the very simple boys ….now get guitars, drums, banjo, conga from nowhere. .and Bingo!!! they are musicians like Rehman, Ilayaraaja….
So the food, shelter problem is solved….Common after all it is a shankar film, this is not enough in life….SUCCESS…..It is time for Humans to prove their might against the Martian parents…. What best way than to become pop stars…
Shankar is so conservative, that he did not even want to consider the Boys and Girls with a very normal middle class life with Electricity bills, Water problems, Cell Phones and a regular monthly pay packet!!!
For Pop stars, all one needs is a Computer Keyboard, and high beat music, and here and there words like
VAADI, PODI… KADHAL, KANNEER….MALARE..MEGAM, MAZHAI, GOLUSU, ENAKKORU GIRL FRIEND VAENDUM!!!!
Moral of the story….go ahead fall in love without any interaction, just hang around bus stops or something..then get out of the house with impossible parents….when you don’t know how to fend for next time meals….sling a guitar…team up with old friends and became a Success…..
Beautiful Mind!!! Beautiful Life!!! what with a preferred fiancé, and partner….a few Jaalra friends to boot….!!(they dont look like friends but are depicted like aranmanai sevagargal….the only job is to keep Raaja and Raani happy!!! what nice way to exploit friendship)
Yes you all got it….Success is such a simple formula….Even I thought why should I be slogging like a fool 14 hours a day…give me a Shankar….I will beat Michael Jackson…..on World music….!!
a) Everybody pretends as though there is nothing called self-pleasure…. the moment any film by chance should speak about it, their holy spirits are raised to Hell!!!, they scream as though they never heard of this thing…though all humans have been practicing it for time immemorial…..in forests, flats, condominiums, public toilets, trains….Hell man….every single place on the earth….the whole earth is defiled by these secret self pleasures of millions of people….
b) When it comes to justice…. the media, magazines and common man wants to pretend, that they all WORKSHIP parents…nobody will speak against them…(But want to)….nobody would ditch parents….(but they do always…look at the old age homes in Chennai….) They ditch not even for some bogus love…but just US $ jobs…. but they all believe Indian culture is best, they respect home, family, parents….unfortunately small problem you know, you DONT get dollar notes in India…!!!!
This is the source of the Indian hypocrisy….Just do whatever….don’t do it openly…
Smoke daily remember to have mentos before going home…Respect for Parents…. Or go daily for morning walks for smoke
and call it exercise….keep a few match boxes hidden in toilets, drawers etc.. It might come in handy!
Get into multiple lustful relationship.Keep playing games.
Boys with Girls, Girls with boys..
Aanaal, appa , amma sonna ponnu, payanai thaan kattippaen…
like vadivel says in a movie….Mummy, Pappa, Mummy, Pappa no bad words….!!
If you want to know, how much hypocrisy and under cover things go on in tamilnadu, Chennai(or in India), just flip through the Anbudam Andharangam in any popular magazine, or watch Lord Labakdas’s covered faces and marital , extra marital relationships detailed in the TV talk shows….any channel……
But we are a holy nation!!!! SAARE JAHAN SE ACCHA!!!
On Film Techniques:
Shankar lost on editing, screen play, everything in Boys….The film is a collage of still photographs with dialogues(thanks to sujatha…who can atleast imagine how teen communicate among themselves with codes)
Shankar also forgot the basics, 64 cameras for a single shot cannot make a film great…Got to have some serious sense, an Independence day, Day after tomorrow, Titanic did not become great films just with a hundred cameras…There is serious homework, effort, creativity behind it….
So…….Hats Off to everybody….Good Boys, Good Girls, Good Film Maker….and good Audience….
I praise the film for one thing…. that it shows, that Indian Life, culture, people, media, films are all stuck and frozen forever like a million year old chess board, with coins intact where there are no players or moves…..
Nobody changes, and none want to change anything…. Keep making money and continue fooling one self and others . Don’t forget to chant the bogus mantra of Parents, Elders, and Society.
10 responses to “Living in India; Looking at Boys & Girls”
Great review! Boys was touted as something revolutionary, while it was just another idiotic teen comedy. I’ve always hated Shankar’s films. He takes his stories way too seriously and inserts unnecessary melodrama in things that would have worked better as light comedies. In Boys we have the one boy who dies after being hit by a bus, making the rest of the film even more depressing. Like the review says, Boys was riddled with cliches. Parents who oppose the kids’ romance? We’ve never seen that in films before! Also, do we really need a scene of them in jail doing number 2 and trying to clean themselves? Yuck! Speaking of which, that subplot about the revolutionary song or whatever it was they wrote was also unnecessary.
In Jeans he also injects needless melodrama in what should be something light. Remember those overdramatic scenes with Nasser’s flashback of his wife dying and the scenes of Prashant drinking in the sea, throwing bottle after bottle onto the rocks?
The technical side is also abysmal. He overuses Bullet Time at every turn in the Ale Ale song. Bullet Time was overused in commercials and Hollywood films long before Boys came along. The girl and boy throw water on each other for no reason other than to trigger a Bullet Time effect. And the CGI in that junkyard song was also terrible, as usual for Shankar’s films.
I’m tired of Shankar. I’ve hated all of his films. I only saw them because of ARR’s music. Needless to say, I will not bother to see Anniyan. I might rent the DVD when it comes out to watch the songs, but I won’t waste 2 1/2 to 3 hours of my life with the film.
I agree with it mostly. More so on the “hypocrisy” part. Hats off for that! Amen.
But I have to disagree on the “technical” part – the editing etc – when I saw the movie, and when I came out for the interval, I was so happy – here is one man who has put in a HUGE amount of work – take my word for that – the first half was done with a lot of creative presentation – so I am sure Shankar has not done a complacent job – I can see his sincere thinking and working in each frame of the first half. Of course since the movie was – by Shankar’s conscious decision – handlesd in a “light vein” – you could never get a masterpiece. But still, I felt the presentation was so good, I could sit through the many truly distasteful moments in the first half (and I dont mean just the ‘self-pleasure’ stuff – I found Vivek to be distatsteful, especially his intro; but even some of the sexuall innuendo type jokes were class!) and I could just about sit through the apologising second half.
But overall I felt one could watch it precisely for the reasons you said were bad – the presentation.
You know what, when the song “maathiyosi” reached its climax, I had goosebumps – and I felt sad – in that moment I saw – flashing before my mind’s eye – what a great movie couldf have been born out of this moment – if only shankar had approached the concept seriously. But no regrets: he did not; and that’s ok – at least he was a most hard working director – we can see that on screen.
i agree totally with ravi.. sometimes i seriously wonder why shankar is touted as one of india’s best directors.. imho mani rathnam is india’s best director..
all of shankar’s movies have been rubbish.. from gentleman to that nonsense movie boys.. and why does he have to continue using english names for all his films..
i wldnt bother watching anniyan.. especially since arr wont be composing the score..
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mr ravi poyi chathoode….shankar is best director in india…v can see his films with guarenty….