Cutting: What Shiva did that Vijay and Surya didn’t?
is good. Inevitable as it might be, the consequence
of it is hardly predictable. Nevertheless as human
beings, we seek for change. So when Pushkar –
Gayathri hailed the same with their debut ‘Oram
Po’ – a light hearted take on the life
of an auto driver, an unlikely theme to have found
favor with producers, we welcomed it. It had raw
humor, sometimes difficult to stomach, but totally
relevant for its theme. It was salacious yet likeable,
something we never associated our movies with. The
commercial success rate of the movie is a debatable
topic, but there is nobody who talked ill of it.
Naturally, with Quarter Cutting they raised the
bar set by themselves and delivered an interestingly
idiosyncratic (at least on the surface it appears
so) movie. It has brilliant visuals (Nirav Shah’s
field day), decent dialogues (although the witty
ones are sporadically distributed) and performances.
The movie works at various levels as it treads its
way through the neon-lit roads of Chennai, its partially
lit alleyways, the Napier Bridge and many other
landmarks awash in yellow light in the night. The
very many characters also form layers for the narrative.
The brilliant title graphics give way to the predictable,
yet funny opening scene. Tone of the movie is set and
just when you started to feel that it’s not the
same boy-meets-girl, boy-rescues-girl and boy-falls-in-love-with-girl
story the thought slaps you tight on your face and reiterates
the fact that we cannot do away without that ubiquitous
So what if the movie takes delicious (yet surprisingly
very restrained) digs at image conscious heroes, Shiva
himself ends up performing aerobics (read stunts) for
the benefit of the fellow folks; often thrashing out tens
of them single-handedly. Pot calling the kettle black?
So it’s not entirely surprising that towards the
ending, the movie nosedives into a regular good versus
There are gags, some really good ones. Like when Shiva
tells his sister on the phone about how hopeless her fiancée
is (‘he pukes even without having to get drunk’,
he says). But many are subtle, some old and generally
there are few of them that populate the entire course
of the movie. The humor is mostly situational and since
we are used to laugh out loud ones, it works against the
script’s sluggishness. Reason why there are moaning
complaints in the theatre about the movie making little
sense. Throwing in a few more witty one-liners and generating
a few more laughs (because the relevant situations are
plenty) would have done wonders because at the end of
the day, that’s the only take away from the movie.
All said and done, who other than the couple Pushkar –
Gayathri has the courage to bring to screen a way too
common, yet offbeat (for the screen) theme in ways relatable
by many of us. Let’s salute that mere attempt thus
heralding change in the scene. It’s also thankfully
a break away from the usual love, family and action stories.
It needs to be provided patronage for the sole reason
that it refuses to fit into any particular genre as yet
known in Tamil movies.
Strangely, this week’s Hollywood release Due Date,
starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifaikanais, is
also a similar road trip movie of a businessman with an
intolerably moronic, socially inept aspiring actor for
company. Criticized as the throwback of Planes, Trains
and Automobiles, the comedy movie of the 1980s, (of which
Anbe Sivam also has traces in it), Due Date has very few
laughs but what makes it work is the stupidity of the
Trembley character that is often endearing since it seems
to be earnest and genuine.
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