With ‘Kalki’ and ‘Thanneer Mathan Dinangal’, formula returns to Malayalam cinema

Posted on August 20, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/with-kalki-and-thanneer-mathan-dinangal-formula-returns-to-malayalam-cinema-tovino-thomas/

Tovino Thomas doesn’t get a romantic interest. But then, his real love seems to be the approximately four thousand cigarettes he consumes through the course of the movie.

How do you describe a ‘mass’ movie? Let me present this scene from Kalki, directed by Praveen Prabharam. The hero (Tovino Thomas, known only as K, like the protagonist of Kafka’s The Castle) is an SI, and he strides into the police station he’s going to be taking charge of. Tamil cinema fans, of course, will argue that no more information is needed. The trajectory of this story will be laid out with the certainty of a mathematical equation. The hero + khaki uniform = ‘Mass’ movie. But allow me to continue. As K looks around the station, the camera becomes his eye — we don’t see him, yet. The eye lands on a local goon, who has a cigarette in his mouth. He wants a light. He gets one. The next shot, we see him hurtling out of the premises, his body aflame. As the smoke behind him clears, K comes out. So do his Aviator sunglasses. So does the punch line: “I am not here to heal anyone’s wounds. I am here to finish off those who inflict those wounds.” Had the movie been any more ‘mass’, you’d find it kneeling in church on Sundays.

Continued at the link above.

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