“Alex Pandian”… Crap artist

Each time you walk out of a film toplined by Karthi, you think, “Surely it cannot get any worse.” And each time it does. The actor’s latest atrocity, directed by Suraaj, is named Alex Pandian, apparently with the belief that appropriating a screen name used by Rajinikanth (and singing Pokkirikku pokkiri raja) can make anyone a super star – and the film puts the fear of God in you right from the censor certificate. Running time: 164:43. Surely no simple entertainer warrants that kind of length. Things get going with an action sequence where the background score makes you feel your temples are being pounded by hammers. Then we get lots of “comedy,” courtesy Santhanam, whose buttocks are impaled first by a bull’s horns and then by a kuthuvilakku, but not before his family jewels are mauled by a wayward carrom-board striker. Meanwhile, a leering Karthi, a guest in Santhanam’s house, devises a game with the latter’s three grown-up sisters that involves a lot of chest-to-chest contact. And this man is supposed to be a saviour of women.

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One of those women is played by Anushka, the importance of whose role is demonstrated by the fact that she utters not a word through the entire first half. When she finally speaks, she’s been kidnapped, and she shows not the slightest sign of fear or anger. She treats it like a minor inconvenience, as if she ran out of chilli flakes before finishing her pizza. Who she is and why everyone’s after her are the questions that are meant to keep us awake. Finally, some sort of plot begins to unfold. It isn’t the greatest of plots, but at least we’re not being asked to watch Santhanam cupping his crotch and walking away in pain. The Ilayaraja homages are only expected – romantic songs like Pothi vacha malligai mottu and Rajinikanth songs like Solli adippenadi and Vaazhkaye vesham – but what to make of the surreal scene where Karthi smashes a rifle to pieces and fashions a flute from the barrel and begins to play Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s theme from Hero? The only thing you can do is walk away thinking, “Surely it cannot get any worse.”

Copyright ©2013 Baradwaj Rangan. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.

38 thoughts on ““Alex Pandian”… Crap artist

  1. Karthi seems to be a nice chap with a perennial grin on his face.He must try to learn something new to stand in this industry.

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  2. What a pity! I only saw his debut film Paruthiveeran during the Berlin Filmfestival, and I liked the film a lot, and thought, Karthi was spectacular. There seemed to be a lot of promise. Sorry to hear he’s obviously making the wrong choices with the roles he accepts … After all, he should maybe rather pursue his original plan and work as a director?

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  3. “ran out of chilli flakes..” hahahahaha!

    Seriously, these comedians carve their careers out of the average Tamilian’s stupidity. One guy in the theatre laughs because he’s supposed to- he doesn’t want to look stupid for not getting the ‘joke.’ And then, one by one, everyone else laughs along because they are so used to following the herd. It’s this kind of retarded shit that makes people stars in Kollywood. Duds.

    Suraaj’s an imbecile; a crap artist, as you rightly put. Mappillai and Padikathavan are pieces of shit.

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  4. So yet another offering from Coovumwood featuring a rising star who once made interesting role-choices, but now chooses to jump on the “mass hero” gravy train where he gets to act like a sexist asshole to his fan clubs raucous applause.

    Is it Sunday already?

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  5. KayKay: Jumping on the “mass hero” gravy train is one thing, but to do something so vulgar and filled with cheap double entendres is something else… I don’t know how they call this a “family entertainer.”

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  6. Rangan,
    Neenga epdi Karthi+Suraaj combination padam lam pakkareenga? Job requirements?
    I decided to give this one a miss after the last 2 atrocious S-movies. That in over 6 years, Karthi has given just one memorable film is such a disappointment coming from a very talented actor. It’s a telling tale about the choices stars in Kodambakkam make. Jeeva probably is an exception in this regard, atleast in recent times.

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  7. My dear Rangan
    Your review is perfect. But what I dont understand is why similar crap movies of yester years of MgR,kamal,and Rajni are extolled?

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  8. The comment above perfectly summarizes what I want to say. Karthi has a good screen presence and a decent actor but seems to be in a marathon of crapfest.

    You should start putting likes for comment.

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  9. lol jeeva is giving flop after flop and his last hit KO was another crap aswell….vijay and karthi are the only actors who r doing good films…..

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  10. Why won’t The Hindu publish articles like this? This and Dabangg 2 and Jism-2?

    I remember N.Ram speaking of protecting and fighting for right to the freedom of speech at the Chennai International Film Festival last month.

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  11. maniac : I am with you , Vijay and Karthi all the way . Thuppaki was brilliant , you could time the movie by the occurrence of the song and the fight .Serious scene number 4 , must be interval block, song number 5 , someone is going to get kidnapped, Fight number 4 , now the heroine will is going to come in and “be funny”. It just takes away all the guess work out of movie watching, you know things like what will happen next and so on – i loved it.

    And Alex Pandian – i mean look at the still above – any movie that shows Anushka in that costume is worth watching.

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  12. But B, this “suitable for the whole family” is crap Kolly film makers have been dishing out for decades. I remember reading Indian Cine mags as far back as the ’80s, where crap-meisters like Rama Narayanan would wax lyrical about an upcoming film, boasting it’s a “great family entertainer” , only to have said film feature lewd dances by the likes of Jayamalini and Jothi Lakshmi jiggling their ample assets in addition to the usual heaping helping of male chauvinism and requisite double entendres and cheap vulgarity.

    It’s the women I feel sorry for. At least HK cinema has it’s quota of Kung-fu trained ass-kicking females and Hollywood does trot out a Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley and The Bride periodically. There’s even the odd femme fatale of Ishqiya and the dogged detective in Kahaani for some female empowerment courtesy of B’wood. What’s on offer for a South Indian Female film fan looking for women of substance who don’t need to go, as you say “chest to chest” with a man for validation of her worth? Reruns of old Balachander movies?

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  13. Sivakumar’s 2 sons are taking turns stinking up the joint with their singams,pulis, siruthais and karadis.
    Its high time our audiences gave both of them a break. Idhula rajni padam title vera.
    Unfortunately the yearly Pongal/diwali ritual of going to films means such films will atleast break even and that means more crapfest coming our way. This is from a guy who has a post-graduate US degree and left a job there to come here to pursue films because it is “his passion”. He seemed more serious in his choices than his elder brother initially but then the rat race began, the big studios wanted a piece of the pie, lure of mass-stardom too inviting and everything went down the toilet. Unless an established director with a strong vision can give him a complete makeover he is going to be in poop-ville for a while

    BR, BTW is this going to be in print? It is high time some of the print reviews called it out as it is and not sugarcoat their criticism.The channels are not going to do that obviously because they have already sold their slots for movie promos and success meet celebrations.
    It takes only about 2-3 days after the release these days to announce success parties

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  14. The trailer featured some pretty thrilling fight scenes, but I figured the movie would suck. I can’t bring myself to pay time and money to see this. Your review just confirms my opinion that Tamil films make for good 30 second trailers, but terrible feature films. Brief explosions of entertainment amidst tons of half-baked plot and interminable songs and “comedy” sequences.

    “what to make of the surreal scene where Karthi smashes a rifle to pieces and fashions a flute from the barrel and begins to play Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s theme from Hero?”

    This bit sounds like it could be pretty brilliant, if only the film fully committed to this kind of weirdness.

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  15. Hi Baradwaj, sorry this is off topic. Are you surprised that Barfi did not make it to the short list. Why is it that no Indian film, not even the Adoor or Ray ones, make it at these awards?

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  16. Karthi is having a benjamin button kind of life … Started amazingly then steadily leering towards utter crappiness … Seriously needs to reinvent himself or else Sivakumar’s ‘so(u)n’ will soon vanish into oblivion. As for the Movie, Suraaj, why do you hate us??

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  17. Raj Balakrishnan: Not surprised at all. I liked the film a lot, but it’s not really “Oscar material” — in the sense of what the Academy usually looks for in order to nominate a film in the Best Foreign Film category. Wrote along these lines in this piece here: http://tinyurl.com/3f79r55

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  18. If you see the interview of Karthi, he said suraaj had given him a one line narration and he had accepted it, what that one line narration would have been? it is there to see.

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  19. Hi Baradwaj, thanks for the reply. I too liked Barfi. Knew it would not be in the final 5, but thought would make it to the short list.

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  20. Among all the people in the “current” lot, I have most faith in Dhanush. In between his movies with Suraaj (and not to mention the deplorable Hari!), he still gave me movies that I liked, be it the fantastic Aadukalam or 3 and the mediocre-ish Mayakkam Enna.

    But Karthi has been one moving from one disappointment to the next. And I read somewhere that he will be acting in SMS/BEB/OKOK Rajesh’s next movie. Gah!

    If the sequel to Aayirathil Oruvan ever gets made (or is it being made already?), I am not even sure whether Karthi would agree to be a part of it. But I guess, Selvaraghavan can always rely on his brother, though.

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  21. “what that one line narration would have been?”

    “you give me the dates, I ‘ll deliver a minimum-guarantee masala that makes a lot of Pongal money at the B and C centers”

    I also read somewhere that the production house Studio Green(run by Karthi/Surya’s relatives) arm twisted theaters into giving major screens for this film, thereby sidelining Viswaroopam. Rumored that the case Kamal has filed with Competition commission of India could be against them. If true, this is sad. This is what SA Chandrasekar did to promote his talentless son for many years despite the numerous flops.

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  22. This was my first Karthi film. I was duly unimpressed by his antics. And why would the sisters want to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on him???

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  23. “his family jewels are mauled by a wayward carrom-board striker”.
    Why are you being so cryptic? I’ve been wondering for a while now, how a striker (however wayward it might be) can maul ‘family jewels’ ? it seems like I have to watch this crap to find out.

    OT: Try ‘Annayum Rasoolum’ if you can. It’s released today outside Kerala, with pretty good English subtitles.

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  24. Hello Mr.Bharadwaj,
    I think it’s not worth your time going to see such movies and reviewing them. These movies are utter crap. I read your ‘Conversations with Mani Ratnam’. Well done. After reading the chapter about Iruvar, I felt like watching the movie again. Saw it (probably for the 4th time). What a class movie! Tamilnadu does not deserver Mr.Mani Ratnam. All his class movies – Iruvar, Kannathil muthamittal etc. did’nt do well in the box office.
    Would you consider this request? Can you please do a ‘Rewind to the 90’s’ and do a movie review and ‘iruvar’. Would love to hear your thoughts. I am sure we all are appreciating these movies much more than watching the crappy ‘siruthai’, ‘singam’ and ‘alex pandiyans’.
    Keep up the good work Sir!

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  25. Kiruba: With subtitles? That’s interesting. I love the soundtrack for the film, BTW. These new boys — K, Anirudh, Santosh Narayan etc — are doing some really nice stuff.

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  26. WHAT ? Vijay and Karthi !!!! I truly hope that was a typo or a brain freeze ??? Or you just picked two names from a basket and typed them in ? Or you have a vijay and karthi fan holding a gun to your head as you typed this ?

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