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vikram suriya


Everybody is a romantic especially the cynics who are actually, closet romantics and therefore the worst kind. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of romance in the real world or to be more precise there is a paucity of love in everybody’s lives although to the romance – starved individual there usually seems to be a vulgar abundance in everybody else’s lives. This unsatisfactory state of affairs probably explains the surplus “loouve” in the reel world.

As far as our filmmakers are concerned a script without that accursed four letter word is the surest way to commit box office hara – kiri. As a direct consequence, they have been force – feeding romantic rubbish to the long – suffering audience for as long as anybody can remember. The worst offenders are the ones who squeeze in the nauseating stuff into films, with the steely determination of an actress pouring herself into a teeny outfit that was clearly originally designed for a pole, even if the script absolutely has no room for that kind of thing. Recent examples of this travesty may be observed in Thaandavam and Maattrran.

Thaandavam was touted as a sophisticated, action film that was supposed to explore an interesting concept called echolocation. The hero (Vikram) and his best buddy (Jagapathi Babu) are RAW agents involved in thrilling operations to rid the country of terrorists. Those hoping for a superbly made thriller along the lines of a Le Carre novel are in for some serious disappointment because love comes along and plays spoilsport.

The RAW agent is sent an invitation for his own wedding and runs to stop it but winds up botching the operation which gives you an inkling of exactly how effective he is going to be in the war against terrorism. He winds up falling in love with his fiancée because she looks pretty as a picture, getting soaked in the rain, while her umbrella protects a few shivering pups (Awwww!) It is only after the wedding that he discovers that his bride is an ophthalmologist with a killer schedule who thinks they should not consummate their union before befriending each other and seeing if they can find it in their hearts to love each other, although she has no problem with getting married first despite thinking he is a lowly Sub Inspector. Our hero feels exactly the same way, so clearly this is a match made in idiot heaven.

As this cloying romance unfolds at a tortuously slow pace, the viewer is subjected to concentrated doses of cutesiness that makes you wish you had not eaten so much popcorn to kill the taste of all this sickening sweetness, as it threatens to come up every time the star – crossed lovers have their almost but not quite romantic moments. Long story short, the RAW agent gets his brain so addled that he becomes a sitting duck for the bad guys and winds up losing his eyes and his eye doctor who was stupid enough to fly out to meet her husband for more mushiness when the dude is in the middle of a dangerous mission.

Unfortunately, there is more romance in this film that is already bursting at the seams with this completely expendable ingredient. We have a Barbie doll (Amy Jackson) who has even less business being in the film and she is smitten with the brooding RAW agent and runs behind him making goo - goo eyes at him even as he carries on with his revenge mission. If this isn’t romantic overkill, one doesn’t know what is.

Maattrran has the same issue plaguing it. This KV Anand entertainer is about conjoined twins (played by Suriya), born to a mad scientist who likes messing around with multi – DNA genomes and who has made a fortune from an energy drink which is actually pure poison that can potentially destroy gen – next. Again, those who are looking for something along the lines of a Constant Gardener are likely to get punched in the nose because that four letter word demands accommodation and always gets its way in our films.

So instead of a lovely protector of puppies we get a lovely filler of clingy dresses in the form of the delectable Kajal Agaarwal. The lady appears to be pursuing a romantic relationship with the staid and sensible twin although they have decided to keep things pristine probably because of a few technical difficulties which are less delicately raised by a gal cop. And then all issues are smoothly resolved when the sensible twin is taken out of commission and the lady transfers her affections to the other one with nary a pause in the narrative.

The still suffering audience has no choice but to sit through even more suffocatingly sugary love scenes between the lovers. Every time a person rushes to the aid of the lovers who are now on a mission to take down the filthy rich mad scientist who has hired goons in suits to kill everybody who can potentially raise the alarm or who is unfortunate enough to get in the way, the third party is bumped off. One would think that would stop the lovers coochie - cooing at least long enough to shed a few tears but no! the lovers are unstoppable and nothing, not even a dear friend’s body being blown to bits or a beloved brother’s death can put the spokes on the wheels of their headache – inducing romance or stop the barrage of song sequences.

Enough is enough. It is time to kiss romance goodbye and make films that focus solely on the other emotions that have been waiting patiently in the sidelines like, hate, rage et al. Wouldn’t it be lovely to see a film about a  puppy – hating, booze – swilling, tamil – speaking heroine and a hero who hates her guts and is not yet a full-blown metrosexual who are out to save the audience from a slow and painful death by romance at the cinema? Now that would be spicy. And yummy!

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