The unlikely team of Raj Kumar Santoshi and Ranbir Kapoor serves up a comedy that casts a spell (well, at least for a while). Plus, the latest Madhur Bhandarkar exposÃ©.
The first sequence gets you. It’s aboard a train — as so many of the best action sequences are — and Bobby Deol, his hands bound, is being escorted to an unidentified gangster, along with a young woman supplied from Varanasi for the gangster’s pleasure. Her bright-red shalwar qameez simply underscores her nervousness; not the the gangster cares, pulling her to him even as he yells at his men to kill Deol’s character and throw him off the train. At that point, a cell-phone — within the woman’s brassiere — rings, and all hell breaks loose, as the narrow passages of the train erupt in gunfire and good ol’ action. Can’t keep a hero down, even with his hand bound.
Read the complete review HERE.
EXCERPT: “Naan Kadavul (“I Am God”) is the logical terminus of Bala’s concerns, which include a concern with the history of the Tamil masala hero persona (there can be little doubt Bala has cinematic history on the brain; the descent of a godlike star into the masses’ midst is a fleeting motif in Pithamagan, in the person of Simran playing herself in a medley of old film songs; in Naan Kadavul, there is another medley, with people — all beggars, I might add — dressed up as MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, and Rajni, not to mention an ultra-lewd man dressed in drag and cavorting to one of Nayanthara’s dance numbers; for the original video of that “Yammadi” song from Vallavan (2006), feast your eyes on this) . The film’s protagonist Rudra isn’t just godlike, he insists that he is god. And not just any deity, but Kaal Bhairava, the Shiva who stands watch over Kashi. Nothing in the movie suggests that Rudra is deluded, or that he is anything other than the Kaal Bhairava who cut off one of Lord Brahma’s heads in violent demonstration of the futility of the argument between Brahma and Vishnu as to who was the real lord of creation; the correct answer was neither the Creator (Brahma) nor the Preserver (Vishnu), but the Destroyer (Shiva). (Indeed, one of Bhairava’s manifestations is even called Rudra Bhairava; and Rudra is of course also the name of the Vedic storm god, subsequently assimilated into the cult of Shiva.) Bala’s creation of an ambience where the viewer simply accepts this claim as normal where Rudra is concerned, and in a context where most other characters in the film are not so sanguine, is his most creditable achievement.”
Read the complete review HERE.
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