“Andhra Mess”… A listlessly plotted film that spends all its time trying to be too cool

Posted on June 22, 2018

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Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/andhra-mess-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan/

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ndhra Mess, directed by Jai, belongs to the “What if…?” genre. This is not to be confused with the kitchen-sink genre, where the director throws in everything and hopes at least some of it works. Here, we are talking about a vision. What if we make flickering bulbs a visual motif throughout the film? What if we pepper the scenes with older songs like Neerodum vaigaiyile and Poomazhai thoovi — in the latter case, invoking not just the music but also the visuals, with the members of a brass band? What if the man who decides the fees for a gangster’s jobs was a doddering TamBrahm who uses a manual typewriter and needs a hearing aid? What if a gun seller’s lair was filled with posters of 007 outings and vintage noir thrillers like Gun Crazy? What if…? What if…? What if…?

This kind of movie works if it all adds up to something more, like it often does in the work of Quentin Tarantino. Take Django Unchained, aka What if the dentist travelled in a carriage with a huge wobbly tooth serving as signage? But that’s just one of the many pieces of wallpaper, whereas the quirky bits in Andhra Mess (I include Prashant Pillai’s ‘What if I went bonkers!’ score) are the whole building. As Va: Quarter Cutting and Jil Jung Juk proved, you can’t construct a building out of just wallpaper! By the time Rathna (Raj Bharath) takes aim at a cow because it was “staring at him,” or Arasi (Pooja Devariya, playing a completely redundant character) plays a game where she blows into a hole on an egg and ejects its contents out, I was resigned to the old adage: all fart, no shit!

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil