Two big Tamil trailers came out today (say that ten times fast!). I am slightly more excited about one than the other, because it is a slightly better edited trailer and also has Nivin Pauly. But the other one is pretty darn good too. Most of all, they are both challenges to the Hindi dominance of everything.
Tik Tik Tik first. Its a clearly derivative plot, but does that necessarily make it a bad movie? No! It doesn’t! Who cares if it’s a mish-mosh of Armageddon, Gravity, and Lock Out. What matters is that it looks really really good.
I mean that with all sincerity. Indian film has a long tradition of taking plots from other industries and “Indianizing” them in a way that works, that makes them feel new again. Where it has run into problems is when it adapts action films and adventure films, but without the special effects budget and knowledge available to Hollywood. Then they end up looking like the Indian knock off, rather than the Indian “reimagining”.
But in this case, the special effects appear to be completely on point. And making our hero a magician, adding in some South Indian pride to it, and some songs and a romance (its being promoted as not having either, but I don’t really believe that. There will be something there in both areas), that’s enough of a difference to make me want to watch it. Heck, Armageddon came out the same summer as Deep Impact, and we all watched both movies. Doesn’t matter if the plot is the same, so long as the execution is different.
More interesting to me than the potential relationship to Hollywood films is the potential relationship to Hindi films, that is, Chanda Mama Door Ke, the still-in-production Sushant Singh Rajput film. I suspect this film will do better for the Indian audience than the other one. Sushant’s film is supposed to be “realistic”, he is training at NASA, and so on and so on. And since filming started, the budget has been cut to ribbons. Which means on the one hand it won’t have the Indian appeal of over the top emotions and so on (because it is “realistic”) and on the other hand it won’t have the Hollywood appeal of high quality special effects (because no budget for them). This film is going to come out before that one and offer the audience both, emotions and visuals. And this is why the southern industries are doing better than the Hindi. They aren’t turning their backs on the traditions of Indian film, and they are spending their money smartly.
Okay, moving on, the movie I am more excited about because Nivin is there! And also the trailer is great. Very smart in the editing and all that. And in how the story is presented. Looks like it will be another hyperlink film, as we are told in the first line of dialogue, that the only way to follow the narrative is to see every story separately.
It’s good that Nivin is so hot, and the trailer has such style, because that’s the only reason to see the film. It’s a remake of a Kannada film, so if we just want to know “what happens” we can watch the original. But if we want to see how it happens, with a spectacular dominating star and fascinating filming style, then we will watch this remake. And they sold me! The clever editing, the awesome screen presence of Nivin, all worth watching. Thank goodness there is nothing else coming out on December 8th so I can see it opening night!