Huh. Well, this just barely didn’t work. All the separate parts worked, but they somehow didn’t come together in a way that made for optimal impact. I think I might have to blame the director.
I know this is based on a really good Kannada film. A Kannada film that I cannot watch because I cannot find a copy of it ANYWHERE. Very frustrating. But working backwards from the evidence in this movie, I can see that it would have been a very good film. This film has wonderful narrative construction, and interesting unique characters, that’s all great. It’s just the execution of it all that failed, and that execution is exactly the kind of thing that can be lost when you change directors/cast/industries.
I have to compare it with Lucia/Enakkul Oruvan where I was able to see both versions. And both versions were worthwhile on their own. Lucia was the smoother version, the simpler in some ways with the rough edges worn down. But it also had its own unique take on things, the images were similar but slightly different in a way that told me the direct had a vision for this film, a vision of his own not just an awkward attempt to mimic someone else. But that was not the case here.
The whole film felt kind of like seeing someone wear borrowed clothes. They aren’t exactly wrong, but they aren’t right either, they were clearly picked out to fit someone else. It’s a first time director, so maybe he doesn’t have his own unique look yet and he is trying on other people’s, but I would recommend in that case he at least try an original story done in the style of someone else, instead of borrowing a very personal story and a very personal directing style. The original, it was not just written by the director, he even starred in it! It was completely a Rakshit Shetty production, and it would be very hard for someone else to take that over.
Speaking of starring, this is of course also my beloved Nivin’s first Tamil film. He does……okay. He is a little hampered, again, by it not really being “his” character. I may not have even been able to see that, if I didn’t love him so much. But comparing it with even something like Thattathin Marayathu, which wasn’t the greatest role or the greatest film, but was clearly designed for him, and you can see that something is missing. He does a good job playing the role, but it doesn’t let him show off his own particular charm, what makes him special as an actor. And therefore it is not a good introduction for him to the Tamil audience. If I were seeing him for the first time in this film, I would think “he’s a good actor, but I’m not really in love with him.”
And it could have been altered so easily! The point of the narrative is two-fold. The neat dovetailing of the multiple perspectives and plots so that, by the end, you can see how everything fits in one to the other. And the power and tragedy of forgiveness.
This director somehow wasn’t able to bring out that power and tragedy of forgiveness, not in the right way. So I would have told him to go home, live with the script for a while, and make it his own. Change the stories just a little, however he wanted, to bring that message out the way he wanted to bring it out. And then come back and shoot the film that was his film, that still had the 5 stories, but make the way they played out something that had meaning for him, something he was excited about shooting.
And I would have told Nivin to look at his character, get deep in to that mindset and who this was, and then write his own monologue, his own something, just to make him special, make him Nivin-y
In the end, that would have made this a better movie for everyone. A better first film for the director, a better first Tamil film for Nivin, and a better film for the audience, who would feel like they were getting something new and original, instead of a tired retread of a better version that wasn’t available to them. The frozen grocery store samosa version of a movie.
(This. I’ve gotten them, and they end up just making you really really want a “real” samosa)
I really hope you do find a copy of ulidavaru kandante and also Kirik Party, which Rakshit also co-wrote and produced. He is one of the most critically claimed actors in Kannada Cinema.
And oh, I believe U Turn is available on Netflix, which is directed by the director of Lucia, Pawan Kumar. It’s a great movie too. And while at you’re at it, Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu is another brilliant movie starring Rakshit Shetty and Anant Nag(who you might remember as Vivek Oberoi’s father in Yuva)
And also, Nivin’s Neram was a bilingual in Tamil and Malayalam, wonder why Richie was advertised as his Tamil Debut?
Good point! I guess it is his debut as a “hero” in an entirely Tamil film with a Tamil cast, but it’s still pretty silly to ignore Neram.
And he gets a shot which says “Welcome to Tamil Cinema” or something?
Yeah. It’s kind of clever, better than the rest of the film.
On Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 9:14 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I don’t think they ignored Neram – They were claiming this is his first straight Tamil film. Nivin even insisted that they release in Kerala without the Malayalam dubbing.
But even then there was a Tamil film called “Aviyal” which featured six short films, and Nivin appeared in one –
Kannada version has 40 minutes longer duration. Characters are better established.the multi linear narration and good editing makes it a gripping movie. Richie was straightforward and spoonfeeding narration.
Nivin was good. But did not match upto rakshit level.rakshits tiger dance scenes were awesome.Those scenes in tamil didnt create any impact at all.
40 minutes would make all the difference. The broad strokes of every character and story are established, but I never really fell in love with them, or felt challenged by the narrative.
Pingback: Tuesday Tamil: Richie Review (SPOILERS), Nivin is Alone in the Film | dontcallitbollywood
In just wondering if this is going to get remade in hindi!! I definitely should watch the original and this one before that shouldn’t I?
I would guess the original first, and maybe skip this one entirely. Someone told me the original is 40 minutes longer, and apparently those 40 minutes are where all the depth was.
But Nivin playing someone else instead of himself! All his Nivinness is gone. He doesn’t even hide a smile with his hand.