“Tik Tik Tik”… A passable space adventure that could have used better writing, more thrills

Posted on June 22, 2018

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Spoilers ahead…

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

Shakti Soundar Rajan’s Miruthan was billed “Tamil cinema’s first zombie movie.” In Tik Tik Tik, the director dreams bigger. It’s being promoted as “the first Indian space film.” The claim may not hold in a court of law, for we’ve had the MGR-starring Kalai Arasi (1963), where aliens fell for Bhanumathi’s singing and carted her off to a faraway planet. We’ve also had TP Sundaram’s fabulously trippy Chand Par Chadayee (1967), with Dara Singh, as Astronaut Anand, battling lunar wrestlers, space gorillas, and at least one Martian warlord. But Tik Tik Tik is certainly the first Indian film set in space as we know it from Hollywood adventures, with spaceships and docking stations and zero-gravity visual effects and a giant asteroid that, if not blown to smithereens, will crash-land in the Bay of Bengal and wipe out the south-eastern part of the country. What? No more Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai? It’s a catastrophe, alright.

Enter Vasu (Jayam Ravi). He is an escape artist (a snooty character dismisses him as “a petty thief from North Madras”), and only his Houdini-like talents can save the day. The good news first. For a while, the screenplay mimics the ticking-clock rhythms of the title. We cut right to an emergency meeting of the defence department, where the Lieutenant General and Lieutenant Colonel are both women. The latter, Swathi, is played by Nivetha Pethuraj, and it’s a pleasure to see a heroine with practically no “heroine duties.” Swathi doesn’t sing or dance or wave around chiffon dupattas on Norwegian landscapes. There is a duet-type situation, sure — but it’s between Vasu and his cute kid (Jayam Ravi’s son, Aarav). In its own small way, Tik Tik Tik empowers its heroine all the way to the end, when she receives this order: “Load the missile, Swathi.” It’s enough to make you wonder if an asteroid has hit Kollywood as we know it. Whatever next? No romantic subplot?

Continued at the link above.

Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil