Ayirathil Oruvan(2010)

01 Feb

Since this movie was touted as a turning point in Tamil movies and a forerunner for the mystery genre, we decided to watch it with our neighbor. And, I am a sucker for dark mystery movies like Pirates of the Carribean, , 2000 BC etc.. Give me some savages, tribal people or pirates with booties, I am hooked even if it is a crappy movie. It is always an added bonus if Johnny Depp is the hero. And, thus, ladies and gentlemen, I watched Ayirathil Oruvan with limited expectations after reading all the reviews.

Three protagonists, one foul mouthed coolie (Karthik), one wannabe glamorous, try my best to show something archaeologist/officer (Reema Sen) and one reasonably good looking archaeologist(Andrea) are on a mission to find a missing archaeologist. Apparently, the guy was supposed to have gone in search of the location of the last Chola prince,one who escaped the Pandya’s wrath and gone into exile in 13th century. The first half of the movie has some great visual treats and lots of people with bows and arrows, talking some nonsense language like Hoohah, kam cho, bar larta ,so on so forth. Yes, happy me. πŸ™‚ After interval , once they find the archaeological site of the lost kingdom, the movie takes a totally different, dark turn and I mean literally dark too…you find people with faces darkened with coal , the whole second half. A very nice twist to the story happens right after the intermission , with the language changing to literary Tamil and some of the insane incidents in the first half fall into place. Our friend A, who barely manages spoken Tamil got totally lost in the second half and my friend L’s dad started snoring. It does get dragging though. If the second half had been cut by at least half an hour, this movie would have been excellent.

Strong points:
The novel story line. Though totally fictional , the concept is definitely worth applauding. Having seen Tamil movies that are getting crappier day by day with stereotypical angry heroes trying to woe girls, this one was a big break.

The Visuals. Kudos to the cinematographer. Some of the graphics like the snakes were really good.

The Cast. Karthik as the coolie has done an excellent job. This is the first time I am seeing his performance and should admit that he has a fruitful career ahead. Reema as usual shows off her sexuality,but the thighs…God save me.. Andrea does due justice to her role. Mediocre.Parthiban as the Chola king who aches to go back to his motherland sparkles in certain scenes.
The literary Tamil in the second half.. Nice on the ears. Hey, if one can get away with saying “En Linga Darisanam” for showing his organ, isn’t that something.
The songs are hummable. Un Mela Aasathan – neat. “Nelladia nillam enge” – by Vijay Jesudas has lot of emotions and gelled with the movie very well.

Weak Points :
The graphics. Though some were good, some were atrocious especially the jelly fish like thingys that come in the very first adventure.
The storyline… Cholas were supposedly an artistic,religious and well educated lot. My chola history comes from “Ponniyin Selvan” , which was a literary fiction based on some real events.Even assuming the guys shown in the movie are banished into caves, they should have been shown to be smart than as savages or cannibals. Doesn’t make sense. If they were good enough to create all those hurdles to protect themselves, they should also be smart to overcome them.

Obviously, the script writer or the director has been inspired by ancient Roman movies, where one gets to see barbarism. He copied even the gladiator arena, just making it visually far worse.

Length of the movie….Looks like the director wanted to capture as much as he can .The soldiers misbehaving with the cholas could have been easily cut. SNORE..

And the boobs..Even though it is a local lady with a kid, spurting blood from her breasts, wonder how the censor board let it go even for an A-rated movie.

Agreed Dravidians are dark skinned people, but when showing people who have not seen much sunlight for centuries, it is not wise to apply black paint all over their faces…..or..were they living in coal mines.. Beats me.

Well, I would say definitely a B-rate movie.As my FIL says,”Adhellam, C-center”. The raw sexual tension between Karthik and the two girls was real. One might expect it in real times , but the coolie Karthik is no gentleman and be ready to hear lot of beeps in the movie( I guess the censor board cut it out) Not that I would have understood them anyway. The concept is original, but the movie could have been lot better. Worth a watch though.


Posted by on February 1, 2010 in movies, Tamil


Tags: ,

14 responses to “Ayirathil Oruvan(2010)

  1. Praveen

    February 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    The movie is certainly a must watch for its novelty sake. I was lost on the 2nd half so refrained from criticising.
    It was an A certificate movie anyways and also the boobs were shown to depict poverty and not sexuality. Justified there I guess.
    The sound track is one of the best in the recent times. Remember “Celebrating life” (Karthik and Parthiban dance) and the Cholan Ecstacy (Reema and Parthiban)?

    Read these two links:
    A Perspective on Aayirathil Oruvan

    One in a Thousand

    • shoba

      February 1, 2010 at 11:21 pm

      I know that the boobs depicted poverty, blood oozing out of the breasts is more poetic and makes literary sense but not visual sense. Especially, with all the graphic blood, it was kind of disgusting . I thought even with an A-certificate the censor board may not allow it. Anyway, doesn’t matter. I have seen crappier movies.

      Coming to the soundtrack, I agree I didn’t do due justice. Actually, I loved the song that Parthiban sings, the best..I am assuming that is Cholan Ecstasy.

      I guess to understand the second half, you should have learnt Tamil. πŸ™‚ Suresh really enjoyed it and I did too.
      Will read the other reviews later. Thanks for the link.

  2. Anand

    February 1, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Having watched the movie first day, second show (what can I say, not many Tamil movies are released in London!), I must say I came back confused, irritated and upset. Agreed, the director has thought ‘differently’ and this is, thankfully, not the ‘differently’ we’re used to hearing. However, he has tried too hard in the persuit of his masterpiece.

    He’s rolled a thriller, horror, adventure, period, Hollywood style adult movie and comedy into one confusing and twisted plot. Expectations are not set right at the beginning and the viewers are left high and dry on what to expect next and this is not the ‘good’ what to expect next either! The first scene on Prathap Pothen disappearing sets the scene for a manhunt, but it looks like the director got it up to the interval and thought, “Hey, it’s only the interval and I still have a whole half to go, we’ve found our man and it will be bad if we have to show the same traps in taking the man back, so let’s do something and make it a Chola-Pandia thing again!

    And the holes, the deep, deep holes in the plot! iPhones working in the most desolate places on Earth will certainly do wonders for Apple Inc., not for the story. Most annoying of all, please, for God’s sake, can someone tell Reema that chewing gum instead of lip syncing is so obvious! It’s like we’re watching a dubbing movie. All the close up images of her face while she delivers pure-tamil dialogues only compound that effect. If she can’t make like talking in Tamil, don’t act in a freaking Tamil movie!

    • shoba

      February 1, 2010 at 11:00 pm

      Yes, the lip syncing was terrible. And oh! yes, the loopholes. There are one too many. Instead of jumping through all the holes,waiting for sunrise and sunset, they could have used the helicopters in the beginning itself.

  3. Praveen

    February 1, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    They have to wait for the helicopter to reach there πŸ™‚

  4. Praveen

    February 1, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    I was educated in Blore and never learnt Tamil πŸ™‚

  5. nourishncherish

    February 2, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Hmmm.. yet to watch the movie. Will wait for DVD to release. Really “different” story line for a change.

  6. Suresh S

    February 2, 2010 at 10:33 am

    First off, I have to give it to selvaraghavan for attempting something new instead of the same old kutthu songs and vivek/vadivel comedy… I think he attempted to cram way too many details into the movie… I honestly thought that the movie ended at the ‘interval’ point… Also, the notion of making hollywood type movies is not copy stuff from movies like mackenna’s gold or gladiator or apocalypso etc., I didn’t get the part where the shadow appears on the same side irrespective of whether it is sun-rise or sun-set… In the original map, they show the island to be somewhere in between port blair and burma and then claim that it is near vietnam… lots and lots of places where there is no attention to details… I think Karthik and Parthiban have played their role very well. Karthik doesn’t seem like a novice actor at all… He has got potential… Some of the songs are pretty good to listen to… From someone who watches any kind of movies that pass my way, I think this is a movie that people should watch…

    • shoba

      February 3, 2010 at 10:39 am

      Ha!! Finally, The Geek talks. Of all the gaping loopholes,you are the one who can point out that the shadow cannot be on the same side at both sunrise and sunset. πŸ™‚ “Nee dhan da ippadi oru comment poda mudiyum”.

  7. Saumya

    February 2, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I just liked listening to the animated descriptions of the movie from you and anand! I’ll pass this one I guess. I got enough from the review

    • shoba

      February 3, 2010 at 10:36 am

      Really Saumya !! Wow, how can you pass this.. I know you wait for each and every movie with bated breath… πŸ™‚ Seriously, knowing you, please don’t watch it.

  8. Praveen

    February 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm

  9. sachita

    February 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Aha, this was a good review, summed up pretty well what i felt too. I couldnt get the barbarian description as well while watchign the movie considering we have decently documented history for tamilians while watching the movie. this is e-adichan copy from teh west a? Selvaraghavan drops few points.

    • sachita

      February 5, 2010 at 12:32 pm

      aiyyo read this as, “couldnt get the barbarian description as well while watching the movie considering we have decently documented history for tamilians” cut the second while watching:)


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