“Super Deluxe”… A unique, ambitious, insanely detailed, blessedly amoral drama that’s as epic as it is intimate

Posted on March 29, 2019

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Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/super-deluxe-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan-mysskin-vijay-sethupathi-thiagarajan-kumararaja-unique-ambitious-insanely-detailed-blessedly-amoral-drama-thats-as-epic-as-it-is-intimate/

How does one talk about Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s second film, Super Deluxe? A logical place to begin is perhaps the director’s first film, Aaranya Kaandam. Super Deluxe is certainly something of a companion piece. The monologue-y trailers are similar, as are the multiple storylines revolving around ensemble casts and bound by an overarching philosophy. (Remember “Edhu thevaiyo adhu dharmam” from Aaranya Kaandam?) There’s even the sense of a cinematic universe being created, one that contains both films (and maybe future films from this director). The women in these films have similar-sounding (and male-sounding) names: Vaembu/Subbu. From a poster on a wall, we sense that Jackie Shroff’s character from Aaranya Kaandam appears to have existed a little before this film’s timeline. I could even imagine the father-fixated little boy (a superb Ashwanth Ashokkumar) in Super Deluxe growing up to be the Guru Somasundaram character’s son in Aaranya Kaandam. And remember the little plane that the Ravi Krishna character “swallowed” as part of a magic trick? We get big planes here, and they perform their own bits of magic.

And yet, the films are different. Aaranya Kaandam was filled with adrenalin-pumping pleasures: the pulse quickened at the pulp rhythms, the slo-mo stretches. And the film was emotionally direct: you felt for the Guru Somasundaram character and his son, and you laughed at the story about the gangsters named Gajendran and Gajapathy. Super Deluxe is far more ambitious, and moment for moment, far less instantly gratifying. It’s a long, slow fuse that keeps you on edge about when it will explode, and when it does, it’s a big bang. Or, perhaps, the Big Bang. WTF, right? More on that, later. For now, I’ll just say I’ve never seen anything like this in Tamil cinema, with its mix of the sacred and the profane, the epic and the intimate, the earthly and the otherworldly, the pop-cultural and the philosophical. It’s a film you want to view as much with a microscope (zooming in on the details) as a telescope (zooming out to the bigger picture).

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil