Sakalakala Vallavan, directed by Suraaj, belongs to the genre I like to call the “whoosh movie.” Every edit is accompanied by a whoosh on the soundtrack. The idea is to give the impression that something is happening all the time – and if nothing is happening, if it’s just a simple edit taking us from one place to another, then at least put a whoosh on it. After a while, I began to feel the film would have been better with nothing but whooshes, start to finish. That would certainly beat listening to dialogues like this one: Enga atha ponnu… naan kattikka pora bun-nu… Or this one: Ava gummunu irundhaa… Naan gammunu irundhen… Or the one in which Vivek rhymes “anaconda” with “muttai bonda.” For some reason, that combination is making me think of the porn sites that have been banned.
The story goes something like this. Jayam Ravi plays a heart-of-gold villager named Sakthi. He loves Anjali (Anjali). But he’s forced to marry Divya (Trisha), who’s such a Horrible Damsel From the City (HDFC) that she feeds her dog burgers. I need you all to pause here and absorb this tectonic moment in Tamil cinema, which, so far, has only shown the HDFC herself eating burgers. Divya marks the evolution of the HDFC – all “realistic” filmmakers, please take note. Moving on, anyone who’s seen the older Sakalakala Vallavan (or Pattikada Pattanama) will guess that Divya will learn about the existence of rice, sambar, meen kuzhambu, and so forth, and live happily ever after with Sakthi. Oh, but to get there.
With these films, you have to find some way to pass the time. Some people play games on their smartphones. The guy next to me was playing a cricket-based game. I chose to tick off the numerous film references. Soori’s introduction scene is from Thevar Magan. Then there’s Endhiran, Annamalai, Thalapathy. The most bizarre reference is from Padithal Mattum Podhuma. As Anjali teaches Sakthi swimming, we hear strains of Pon ondru kanden from the older film, which had Sivaji Ganesan and Balaji swimming in a similar pond. The fact that Suraaj went for this song over the more obvious Oru poongavanam says something – I just haven’t decided what.
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