| || |
ILAIGNAN MOVIE REVIEW
by : Behindwoods review board
Pa. Vijay, Meera Jasmine, Remya Nambeesan,
are, perhaps, very few movies in the film
industry which get talked about most for
the seniority and other accomplishments
of its scriptwriter. Mostly, all the hype
surrounding a film is about its hero and
maybe its director. But, now, since it
is Kalaignar who is penning a script for
the 75th time, all the talk has been about
and his amazing ability to keep writing at his age
in spite of having huge responsibilities. Down to
set in the mid-19th century tells the story of the
struggle of laborers against a feudalistic owner.
He believes only in squashing workers under his
feet, throwing them a pittance of a salary, mistreating
them in every possible way and nipping any signs
of resistance in the bud. He creates a generation
of downtrodden laborers who are tired, overworked
and angry, but unable to react or revolt against
years of injustice. Destiny brings a man with courage
into their midst. Does he change their fate?
Set very close to the first struggle for independence,
Ilaingan is an attempt at recreating a period that
is rarely seen in Tamil cinema. It would have made
very interesting viewing if the period had been
carefully and flawlessly reconstructed inch by inch.
Instead, what we get is a half-baked reconstruction
which looks authentic in parts and immature in others.
A lack of consistency in maintaining the period
feel throughout the movie dampens the viewing experience.
Regarding the plot; it has got a lot of potential
in creating excitement and inspiration in the audience;
something that is realized to an extent by the screenplay.
The narration firmly follows the central plot right
from the start, there are very few detours. That
is a good thing; but, being on a serious track throughout
gets a bit tiring for the audience going into the
second half. Also, there are no major peaks in the
proceedings where the excitement levels sharply
rise. There is a level of predictability in the
course of action being taken by both the antagonist
as well as the protagonist. But, there are moments
where the director, crew and cast have worked together
to create a few breathtaking spectacles.
The department that really seems to have worked
overtime for Ilaingan is art. Thotta Tharani and
his team have brought out some awe-inspiring sets.
The big ship under construction is one of the most
magnificent pieces of work seen in Tamil cinema
over the last many years. Each and every frame shot
around this edifice fills the screen and leaves
you stunned. Also, the sheer number of junior artistes
used in each of these scenes is awesome. Be it in
ship construction or the final rebellion; the number
of people involved just amazes you. Suresh Krissna
must be commended for coordinating such huge elements
shot-by-shot. The camera captures the canvas admirably
well, but one cannot detect any consistent tone
adopted to give a period feel. Costumes also lack
consistency that would have enhanced the authenticity.
Dialogues are not in the characteristic Kalaignar
mould; he has chosen to go short and sharp this
time and it works well. Only the climax portions
show the classic Kalaignar lines.
The lead actor Pa. Vijay has done a neat job. The
lyricist shows that he has potential to be a full-time
actor. He scores especially well in the portions
where his job is to inspire a generation of downtrodden
people to rise above themselves and be heard; his
dialogue delivery at these instances impresses.
Heroines Remya Nambeesan and Meera Jasmine have
only a few scenes between them where they have done
fairly well. Suman looks imposing in the negative
garb. Nasser, Khushbu, Ilavarasu etc… bring
in their experience to elevate the movie. Vadivelu
is hardly there; just a couple or so scenes. Vidyasagar’s
tunes are not exceptional but ‘Imai Thoothane’
lingers in your mind.
Ilaingan is a movie that extols the virtues of communism;
of workers demanding their rights and fighting for
them. A good tight plot which seldom deviates, but
is weighed down by a slightly plain graph of narration
and a bit incomplete period recreation. It will
be a good watch for those who enjoy strong-willed
Verdict: United we stand!