Movie Review: Tamizh Padam 2.0 — Celebration of absurdities
I love the absurdities of Tamil cinema. It makes our movies vibrant, colourful and sometimes laughable. Be it an over the top action sequence or a random item song or a stupid punch dialogue or hero worship, some people enjoy them. If we don’t have them, the Tamil movies will lose some part of their identity.
But it’s up to the director to decide the right dosage of absurdity. Two movies made with the same hero and director are received differently. The audience enjoys those absurd sequences if your storytelling is intact. If you keep him glued to the seat, make him laugh, cry and hoot, you can have a car flying 100 feet on the air.
As a culture, we are pretty enthusiastic to make fun of others, but we can’t laugh at ourselves. I believe that’s one of the reasons why we never had a complete spoof movie (until Tamizh Padam 1), and the spoofs have been restricted to comedy sequences. Tamizh Padam ushered in the idea of a full spoof movie that can make the filmmakers laugh at their absurdities, make us laugh at ourselves for enjoying them and above all celebrating them with a pinch of salt.
How different is Tamizh Padam 2.0? What more can you do with spoof? But CS Amudhan has proved that parodies can be bolder and complex with the 2.0 version. For instance, in the first movie, when he takes a sequence, he just managed to make fun of one film or a generic sequence from multiple movies. But Tamizh Padam 2.0 is a meta-level brilliance that packs numerous references in one scene. When you are laughing at the phone conversation of Shiva as a police officer, you might end up noticing a small photograph of MGR (in police attire) on the table. Each frame contains little Easter eggs that will make you smile and enjoy the brilliance of the filmmaker. This time they have gone little further by making fun of the directorial tropes of famous directors (Gautam Vasudev Menon’s voice narration and shaky camera work for instance). It also goes beyond movies and parodies the idiotic political situations of Tamil Nadu including the media idiocy that we see on a day-to-day basis. I am not going to list each of them but the references are endless, and you will enjoy them if you know Tamil movies and famous Hollywood movies.
Nobody else could have done this except for Shiva. His deadpan face and dialogue delivery aid the movie. The best is when he laments that they have made him to “act”. He is ably supported by Chetan (as the Commissioner), Sathish (he comes in different villain getup every scene ), Aishwarya Menon, Santhana Bharathi, Kalairani (as Grandmother), Manobala and R Sunderrajan. Apart from the sleek camera work, I loved the Kannan’s music, especially in the background score. He can’t play the original, so he carefully manages to remind you the music through his excellent adaptations. In some cases, he has to replay the original, and he does it with finesse. The restraint in using musical cues makes the movie more enjoyable. A special mention to the choreographer of En Nadanam (the pre-climax song).
As they are making a spoof, CS Amudhan could have just stringed some scenes together (which would have been enjoyable together) but the story acts as a parody of sorts to the storytelling technique of Tamil cinema. In fact, CS Amudhan makes sure he connects Tamizh Padam 1 and 2 with a simple scene. Some could complain that using excessive references might be overkill, but it’s a celebration of Tamil cinema in its own way. There is something for everyone in the movie. I loved the reference to Chatriyan and Walter Vetrivel (they haven’t been mentioned in Wikipedia yet), and that’s what makes this movie accessible to all ages.
Tamizh Padam 2.0 has its fair share of peaks and troughs (Is it on purpose?) but the movie is a well-packaged entertainer that celebrates Tamil films and enables us to laugh at the quirks. Go watch Tamizh Padam 2.0 in theatres, laugh your heart’s content and fight who was trolled the most.
A 3.5/5 for Tamizh Padam 2.0. If you love or hate Tamil cinema, you shouldn’t miss this at any cost.
PS., As far as the absurdities are concerned in Tamil cinema, there is a culture of hyper-elitism that shuns people who enjoy movies of a particular actor or over-the-top sequences or masala movies. There is a set of audience for every kind of movie, and it’s not for you to judge the taste of others.