Mahanadi Review – Maha Garbage

(for SI Blog Reader Twig)

Twits and Twigs have more in common than four alphabets.

Both also lack the gene for good taste, and share the inability to separate wheat from chaff.

At the repeated urging of SI Blog reader Twig, I watched the Tamil film Mahanadi (1994) last night.

Mahanadi has often been hailed as one of the tours de force of Tamil cinema.

Although a commercial failure, the film went on to win a bunch of national awards, burnishing its sheen and endearing it all the more to some Tamil movie fans.

Besides featuring as the ‘hero’ of the film, Tamil cinema’s jackass of all trades a.k.a. Kamal Haasan proudly takes credit for story and screenplay and shares credit for dialogs with the late Ra. Ki. Rangarajan.

Like most Indian celluloid atrocities, Mahanadi is a lengthy ordeal, clocking in at 2-hours and 42-minutes.

Beyond Redemption

Mahanadi reeks of mediocrity.

At the end of the movie, I got up in high dudgeon incensed that 2-hours and 42-minutes in the autumn of my life had been frittered away on piffle.

I have since vowed to never again be taken in by persistent little Twits or Twigs.

The fundamental problem of Mahanadi is that the treacherous knave Kamal Haasan substitutes high art with low trickery.

In an endless Kollywood Sahara littered with talentless clowns like Ajith, Vijay, Simbhu, Vombhu, Kombhu, Arya, Surya etc, Kamal Haasan is a passable actor.

That much I will concede.

But this pygmy talent Kamal Haasan is all at sea in the story department.

Bereft of any skills in scripting and completely adrift on the shoals of his incompetence, Kamal Haasan resorts to a cheap trick – He substitutes a plausible story with an endless series of exploitative scenes designed to tug at the heartstrings.

To discerning viewers like SI, Kamal Haasan’s goal is clear – To weave a series of infantile sob episodes of “How Bad Things happen to Good People while Bad People Lead an Epicurean Life” so that viewers are beguiled into professing sympathy for the unfortunate hero.

Boy, and did that trick succeed in pulling the wool over the eyes of naive film-goers!

After all, if there’s one thing hypocritical Indians love more than anything else it’s to feign sympathy and shed crocodile tears over the plight of their miserable brethren.

And unscrupulous filmmakers like Kamal Haasan have blatantly exploited these hypocritical elements of Indian society for personal gain by churning out several “Evil Trumps Good” trashy films. It’s not unlike Indian professors and social workers getting rich on poverty studies via foreign grants, international conferences and publishing academic papers.

Mahanadi – Exploitation, Ad Nauseam

Compared to the trials inflicted on our hero Krishna (Kamal Haasan), the lot of the planet’s most deprived and oppressed people –  tribals in Jharkand, Jews in Nazi Germany, aborigines in Australia, Blacks in America, Hindus in Pakistan, Muslims in Gujarat – is a happy, idyllic existence.

Without even a minimal pretense of nuance, Mahanadi is nothing more than a disgustingly tiresome litany of trials suffered by our hero Krishna.

I bet even the biblical Job’s suffering pales before Krishna’s:

* As a young boy, Krishna went to a Tamil-medium school and ended up with poor knowledge of English.

* No sooner is he grown up, than our young man Krishna is left a widower with responsibility for two kids.

* The honest Krishna is duped of his money by a clever talking con man (Cochin Haneefa) in a chit-fund scam.

* Despite his innocence in the chit-fund scam, Krishna is mercilessly thrashed by the public and dispatched to jail.

* The honest man’s 12-year-old daughter Kaveri is sold to a lecherous rich man by the villainous Dhanush.

* Krishna’s young boy Bharani vanishes and is later found performing street tricks for survival.

* While in jail, our hero’s mother-in-law dies for want of medicine.

* In prison, the young man falls victim, first, to a sadistic guard and later beaten black and blue by other corrupt prison officials on trumped up charges of smuggling in cigarettes and liquor.

* Because of his fight with the corrupt prison guards, Krishna forfeits his remission, i.e. chance of early release.

* When Krishna is released from prison, he’s shattered to learn that his two young children are missing.

* After her tender days are over, our hero’s young daughter is sold off into the Sonagachi red light district of Kolkata.

* As if all his previous sufferings were inadequate for viewers’ appetites, Krishna is forced to chop off his left arm to kill his daughter’s rapist since the police are closing in on him.

* Krishna is compelled to return to jail after committing two murders (of the pimp Dhanush and the rich John craving nubile girls like Kaveri).

Surely, even in Stalin’s arctic Gulags and Hitler’s Auschwitz or Dachau concentration camps there must have been occasional moments of respite for the unfortunate victims of history.

But it seems there is not a single moment of respite for our Krishna in this pathetic farce of a story.

Suffering is his destiny!

Characters are divine angels (Krishna), hopelessly evil (Dhanush),  shamelessly sluttish (secretary Manju) or hapless victims (Krishna).

Nuance and shades are not words to be found in the dickhead Kamal Haasan’s dictionary.

Everything is a caricature, pathetically cartoonish.

Gullible Viewers

Moi can only take so much of “Bad Things happening to Good People while Bad People are Leading a Epicurean Life” before starting to throw up.

But a lot of gullible viewers are beguiled into professing sympathy for the unfortunate hero.

A sympathy that has bizarrely translated into deep warmth for the crappy movie itself.

Unthinking viewers while exclaiming Ayyo Pavam for Krishna, the greatest victim of life’s injustices in human history, got duped into heaping plaudits for a poorly crafted movie.

The clueless idiots in the audience are just unable to make a distinction between the unfortunate victim and the abominable movie.

Apart from the implausible narrative of endless trials inflicted on Krishna, there are several other issues with the film – the poorly fleshed out romance angle between Krishna and Yamuna, his sudden transformation into a savage beast in prison, the over melodramatic scenes inside the Sonagachi bordello and outside on the street, ad nauseam.

Also, Krishna’s libido rears up at the wrong moments. Just after he and Iyer serendipitously recover Bharani (Krishna’s lost son) and bring him home, Krishna’s dick gets into overdrive at the sight of Yamuna. That scene made no sense, like the rest of the amateurish movie.

The kids are irritating, grotesque caricatures.

Dialogs have little zing.

Tolerable Stuff

I found Poornam Viswanathan as Kamal Hassan’s jail-mate Iyer and Yamuna’s father alright as an actor.

Sukanya in a short role as Iyer’s daughter Yamuna and Krishna’s love interest didn’t wet her saree (i.e. embarrass herself). Despite Sukanya’s sex appeal and some acting skills, it doesn’t look like the babe’s career took off in a big way.

While none of the songs were offensive, their picturization and setting within the context of an overall trashy movie diminished their allure and turned them effete.

Brain Assaulting Nonsense

In fairness to Twig, he/she/it is not the only SI Blog reader to have recommended Mahanadi.

Over the years, several other readers have also clamored for the Mahanadi review. But Twig was the most persistent one.

I’m happy to note that this brain assaulting nonsense Mahanadi was a miserable failure at the box office.

That was the only silver lining of Mahanadi as far as I am concerned.

Moral of MahanadiStay Away from a Mercedes Benz. 😉

20 Responses to "Mahanadi Review – Maha Garbage"

  1. Twig   December 27, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Thank you 🙂

    Waiting for a review for so long and desperate! Responds:

    You are welcome, Sweetie!

  2. thedarkknight   December 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    One of the most overrated Indian actors.

    They call him as Universal Hero.

  3. boopalanj   December 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    If there was one thing that Mahanadhi was useful for, it was to popularize the term “Sonagachi” in TN on those days.

    One of Woody Allen’s funny quotes: “If my films make one more person feel miserable, I’ll feel I have done my job”. I think, Kamal took that quote seriously.

    Back in the days, I could never watch this film fully in one sitting. I considered this to be the pioneer of “Bala” type movies. Pure agony.

    That said, Twig cannot be held accountable for this.

    A lot of people still consider Kamal as a legend for making this film and portraying social issues such as Chit-fund scams and child prostitution. One of the friends I talked to, went on to compare the prison scenes to even Shawshank redemption.

    I remember only a few scenes from the film. Did it depict even going to a Tamil-medium school as a suffering? I went to only a Tamil medium school and I don’t find it appropriate. Responds:

    1. Bala’s movies are different, at least in their esoteric settings. Aghoris in Naan Kadavul or estate coolies in the British era setting Paradesi etc.

    Mahanadi is the simple bad things happening to good people rubbish.

    2. Mahanadi should not be considered a single movie but multiple chapters in a “Suffering” story – Chit-fund Scam and loss of property, Prison, Disappearance of Children, Sonagachi, Killing of Dhanush and the Rich Man etc – with Krishna’s suffering being the thread connecting them.

    3. To compare Mahanadi to Shawshank Redemption is to compare Brother Dinakaran to Jesus! 😉

    4. Shawshank Redemption had rich drama, Mahanadi has none. There were at least three strong characters Andy (Tim Robbins), Red (Morgan Freeman) and the vicious, corrupt Warden (Bob Gunton). Mahanadi is Kamal, Kamal, Kamal. The other characters are like Bharani’s dog in the film. They just keep reappearing at periodic intervals.

    5. Mahanadi is a phony drama, just like its lead star with all his affected mannerisms. Even Kaveri’s nightmare after rescue (vidungada, thevadiya pasangala…Na enna Machineaa i.e. Leave me alone, you whore-sons) and Kamal’s anguished response to that seemed utterly phony to me.

    6. The reference to English education is not the highlight of the movie but happens on multiple occasions in the film – When the family from London visits Krishna’s home, during the confrontation with the rich man (Kaveri’s rapist) etc.

    7. As I’ve said or suggested on several occasions, Kamal Haasan will die unknown, unsung and unmourned outside the borders of Tamil Nadu. Nobody outside Tamil Nadu or some parts of Andhra Pradesh think he amounts to much. The outsiders are right in their assessment of Kamal Haasan.

    • boopalanj   December 28, 2013 at 4:23 am

      Although Bala’s setting for a movie is usually outlandish and quite unusual to the life of a common man, they used these movies to put themselves on the front (either as an actor / director) and the series of interwoven scenes of suffering and pain were being used as an attempt to evoke emotions in the audience so that they both could be hailed as a master storyteller / seasoned actor and an absence of a good story could be hidden beneath.

      I consider, even bringing “Shawshank Redemption” and the name of the other movie we are discussing in the same sentence as a shame 😉

      They simply do not know how to conduct a specific emotion of the scene to audience. So there is usually a lot of loud cries and a long background score of several violins. The scene you mentioned above (Leave me alone, ye whore-sons) is a result of it. (Did a smooch follow? I don’t remember exactly but I thought that was totally silly). Even if kamal has given a blank expression of watching the girl and it was cut short with that, that would have saved the scene instead of the anguished response.

      For all these people, We don’t have to go find some international movies to learn how to do it. There are even local examples.

      As an example, there was this movie – “Ship of Theseus” – a Indian hinglish movie. There are three distinct characters and their lives are followed in the movie, but I liked the monk character more for the conversations on Religion and Principles.

      The (buddhist/jain inspired) monk fights legally against the use of animals for testing in laboratories. Just when we thought what could be the big deal on animals when a lot of people die out of hunger, this one scene comes on the screen – in a lab, a rabbit is pulled out of the cage, clutched to some sort device, and its eyelids are held from closing – a few drops of a liquid (seemingly a shampoo) are made into its eyes for testing (if it causes irritation or not, or something of that sort). [Shortly depicted in the trailer below.]

      No much background score, No dialogues, the monk watches it calm and moves away. But the purpose and impact are felt.

      There are several dialogues, scenes and conversations that indirectly touch upon and question various issues of India – Kidney stealing, Views on Religion, Use of Animals for testing, Stock brokers’ mindset of earning, Poor people’s living conditions in Mumbai, etc.

      There will be another hundred years before much of our directors learn it.

      Here are the links. Responds:

      I watched 85% of your first link and stopped.

      I must see Ship of Theseus.

      Looks to be a very interesting movie.

      I don’t believe the film ever made it to the U.S.

      The good news – the DVD should be coming out soon.

      Thanks! 🙂

      I’m not sure if I was aware of Ship of Theseus earlier. Like everyone else, I too have fallen victim to information overload.

      • boopalanj   December 28, 2013 at 9:59 am

        I sent you a mail on the day I watched that movie. Comments on SI was closed then.

        🙂 Responds:

        Aha! Indeed, you sent me an e-mail on August 4, 2013 recommending this film. Just re-read your e-mail.

        I shall definitely watch and review Ship of Theseus as soon as I get hold of a legal copy of the DVD.

      • boopalanj   December 28, 2013 at 10:49 am

        It was by accident that we chose to go to this movie, since we did not get tickets for any other English movies.

        Fortunately this turned out to be a Surprise. The movie hall was 90% filled although the other screens were showing junks such as Thalaivaa.

        This was a refreshing change in the context of Indian movies, whatever one might say.

        I think it does not hurt to watch the other teasers. Your call, though. Responds:

        Not watching other teasers is to maintain some element of surprise.

  4. unknownvirus   December 28, 2013 at 8:46 pm


    Just watched Blue is the Warmest Color.

    Beautiful movie.

    A bit lengthy with a running time of close to 3 hrs.

    But exceptional acting by Adèle Exarchopoulos.

    The movie wouldn’t appeal to most people but I m pretty sure, SI would love it.

    Had it been about 30-40 minutes shorter, this could be a potential academy award winner. Responds:

    The film is not playing anywhere close by.

    Nearest theatres are Philly, DC and NYC.

    Inconvenient show-times, but I’ll try to see it within the next 10-days at one of the places.

  5. DW-A(1/2)Dr.   December 29, 2013 at 5:37 am

    Think of these as the among the best ever that popular Malayalam movies have to offer.

    Don’t know if you can understand Malayalam but worthwhile if you can manage to follow it.

    The original-before it got remade into other languages: Responds:

    I can follow Malayalam since I’m fluent in Tamil.

    But I will miss the nuances.

  6. gunturlala   December 30, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Mahanadhi is one of the greatest tamil movies.

    I feel you are not a true tamilian, so you were not able to feel to understand the underlined emotion in the movie.

    This movie is liked by many tamils, because of a tamilian actor our own kamal who brought the pain of losing his daughter in a brothel.

    May be this movie do not have a great screen play, editing, cinematography as compare to hollywood movies.

    Does not matter, it is tamil movie by our own kamal, if you can not appreciate it, fine..but do not waster your time in reviewing his movie which kamal may forgot.

    Because he is a achiever, he moved on.

    You too please move on to your fav hollywood and leave us enjoy our own kamal.

    There are lots of Garbage movies in tamil..but not this one..

    It looks apart from you, many people in this blog are wierdos. Responds

    “Our own kamal” ….ha ha ha.

    Thanks for the laugh, sweetie!

    What would I do for entertainment without a “my own Schmuck reader” like you? 😉

  7. prasath.j   December 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Tired of seeing SI dumping another mediocre Kamal movie by benchmarking it with Hollywood standards.

    While I agree that the movie had over the top melodramatic scenes, SI has to keep in mind before reviewing any Indian movie. Any film maker has the responsibility to consider implications of trends in lifestyle, demography, technology and socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, the corresponding region is operating with.

    In India, “Bad Things happening to Good People while Bad People are Leading an Epicurean Life” is happening in every day’s life of a common man (Thanks to the corrupt politicians and the elite class).

    May be kamal would have made this movie to console this average good honest middle class Indian that he is not the only sufferer.

    And that Krishna could be the extreme sufferer in the hands of bad people in this country.

    At boopalanj:
    Western world doesn’t care about the human emotions, bondage with relations etc. and that is reflecting in their current lifestyles, increased rate of divorces etc. Sons don’t even cry for their departed mother souls. But here in india, they make hue and cry (oppari) and weep blood for their departed souls. Nothing wrong in depicting them in movies reflecting their culture. There is no need to control emotions here. Yes, it should not go overboard, but not in this case ( leave me alone ye whore sons) scene. At least Definitely not upto’s sivaji ganesan type melodrama.

    Hence in my view your argument about “ship of theseus“ doesn’t hold good. Responds:

    1. You write: In India, “Bad Things happening to Good People while Bad People are Leading a Epicurean Life” is happening in every day’s life of a common man (Thanks to the corrupt politicians and the elite class).

    Regarding your point on corruption, suffering etc in India, the history of human civilization is mostly the story of exploitation of one class by another class.

    Hardly unique to India.

    The difference is only of degree and the level at which exploitation happens.

    Corruption in USA is no less but it happens at a higher level of the military-industrial complex and Homeland Security Department causing hundreds of billions in wasteful expenditure and needless wars (Iraq attack) that ultimately leads to less money available for education, infrastructure, healthcare etc that impact the common man.

    Several hundred thousand people have been killed in the U.S. in recent years due to lack of access to affordable medical care.

    2. That apart, my fundamental point is that there was no artistic merit in Mahanadi other than stringing together a series of exploitative scenes in a hopelessly implausible story.

    In its essence, the movie is Kamal at the epicenter of a maelstrom of suffering. Nothing more to the movie than one bad incident after another.

    3. I have nothing against Indian films being set in the local milieu although great film-makers transcend such stuff through the power of their imagination that invents/creates new, phantasmagorical worlds.

    4. I was not benchmarking Mahanadi, tacitly or overtly, against Hollywood films but against good cinema. Period.

    5. You write: May be kamal would have made this movie to console this average good honest middle class Indian that he is not the only sufferer.

    The notion of your “average good honest middle class Indian” is largely a media-propagated myth.

    Middle class Indians are among the biggest bribe givers and takers in Mera Bharat Mahaan – School admissions, plot and house registration at lower value to avoid stamp duties, LTC cheating, paying bribes for obtaining Driver’s License to touts at RTO without taking road tests, Paying money for extra Gas cylinder allotments, Ration Card gimmickry, getting government jobs via bribes and countless other petty frauds are mostly the province of the Middle Class in India.

    Kamal Haasan is not so dumb as to be ignorant of the true colors of the hypocritical Indian Middle Class.

    • boopalanj   December 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      I don’t buy the argument that the people from western world do not care for human emotions or bonding or they do not cry. It’s a common misconception and stereotyping (caused by media and false interpretations of american movies) that is equivalent to few American schmucks saying “Rape is part of India’s culture” and to few Indian fools believing “All american girls are sluts”. Every society tends to have different scales on individual / social freedom and that reflects on divorces / marriages, and every sect tends to have different ways of expressing emotions.

      Humans howl like dogs, crave like wolves, and breed like rats, no matter whichever part of world they emerge from.

      That said, the point was about our movie makers’ or actors’ inability to transmit the “emotions” and “impact” of a subject to the audience without employing phony mannerisms. Just because Indians (by your point) are loud wailers, we do not have to see a bunch of people or Kamal screaming loud to convey someone’s death / loss to the audience. Being a visual media, a good cinema can simplify things by making use of the visual story telling. The example of “Ship of Theseus” (You won’t like that movie, sure) I mentioned was to say how it made use of it. And I’m not sure why western world was pulled into this topic because the example is Indian.

      The very reason why kamal’s “crying” is being mocked and made fun by several people today is because it is unreal and unnatural – No one except kamal cries that way, and wherever he applied this – be it, nayagan / mahanadhi / kurudhipunal – it seemed merely funny – and all of them had to be serious scenes.

  8. blessington   December 30, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    wow someone’s butthurt and venting his anger…

    A herd of stary pigs screaming does not mean that movie is bAD..

    KAMAL HAS CROSSED MANY HURDLES INSPITE OF MANY DICKHEADS AND JACKASSES’S (LIKE YOU AND YOUR TYPES OF COMMENTERS) to stand where he has today… If he had to worry about every miserable fucktard then he would have stopped his films in 70s .. Its not kamal’s ego to project himself but in a a story set in such a backdrop only fair if the protoganist holds the centerstage…

    Also kamal cryting when his daughter murmurs is not phony or overacting, suppose if your lazy asses has a daughter would you be happy and smiling and telling her come home honey lets party” this is how normally a parent reacts atleast in indian context .. those are not moved by such a perfomance cannot not only be a god parent but not a human as well..

    Songs are placed. ok.

    The movie released at a time when chitfund companies squandered wealth and were escaping routinely given that period people connected well to the trails and tribulations of a middle class man and Kamal being an intelligent man adopted a story on sucha line and he created one.

    One should only be a dipshit if they feel trails of a middle class man appear phony.

    Of copurse those who are born with silver spoon and supposedly rich pricks who hardly has to a work for living cannot understand the plight of the middleclass … Responds:


    Let’s not delude ourselves here.

    Kamal Haasan is a spent force in Tamil cinema today.

    Kamal Haasan’s sole claim to fame today is that he’s an all-round failure – A failure in his relationships, a failure in his movies, and a failure in his children’s artistic capabilities (seeing his daughter Shruti Hassan on the screen is vomit-inducing).

    In what can only be hailed as a mega-disgrace, Kamal Hasan is losing money and respect even with remakes like Unnaipol Oruvan (Original – A Wednesday) because they are so poorly crafted. How stupid must Kamal be if he can’t take a ready-made hit like A Wednesday and turn it into an acceptable film! A Wednesday was a class act but Kamal crapped all over Unnaipol Oruvan.

    Kamal Haasan is also a Vekka-ketta lavadai Kabal (dirty shameless swine) benefiting from theft.
    Thenali – Theft of What About Bob
    Manmahan Ambu – Theft of Romance on the High Seas

    That you hold a jackass like Kamal Haasan in high esteem speaks volumes about you.

    Given his pathetic record, it’s no surprise that Kamal is the joke of not only Bollywood but also serious movie buffs everywhere.

    Even lowly buffoons of Tamil cinema like Vijay, Ajith, Simbhu, Vombhu and Kombhu are eating Kamal’s lunch. Now that should give you some food for thought.

    2. But for the “release drama” about Vishwaroopam, I doubt it’d have resonated with viewers. Surely, the sympathy wave created by this beggar crying in public about losing his house to the “Seth” helped him to recoup his money.

    Will history repeat itself with Vishwaroopam 2 (i.e. will it succeed) without the sympathy generated by the “Release Drama” of Vishwaroopam 1. I remain skeptical.

    As I said in the review, it was misplaced sympathy of some idiotic viewers for the central character’s suffering that made Mahanadi into a supposed “cult classic.”

    3. Going by your writing and limited understanding, you are obviously English-challenged.

    The point we’ve made is simple and we’ve expressed it in plain English – There’s no proper story as such in Mahanadi except a string of hopelessly implausible episodes that has Kamal’s character at the epicenter of suffering, one incident after another. Under such circumstances, everything appears phony including his supposedly ‘anguished’ response to his daughter’s poorly scripted remarks in her sleep.

    4. There’s nothing wrong in using chit-funds, shit-funds or pimp-funds in a movie as long it’s done artistically.

    But that’s not what Kamal Haasan did with the script. He buggered up the script – Made his character a 10,000% victim, made Cochin Haneefa’s character look like an abject clown and the girl Manju a slut right from the get-go (remember the scene by the temple tank where she lasciviously rolls a betel leaf for him?).

    Does Kamal understand the meaning of the word Subtlety – Clearly not!

    5. You write: Its not kamal’s ego to project himself but in a a story set in such a backdrop only fair if the protoganist holds the centerstage…

    You must be out of your mind.

    Not satisfied with one Kamal taking center-stage, this egomaniacal jackass tried 10 Kamals center-stage in Dasavatharam only to be laughed off the screen by smart Tamils.

    • gunturlala   December 31, 2013 at 11:39 am

      [Trash Talk]

  9. prasath.j   December 31, 2013 at 2:29 am

    At booplanj: Except for a few movies here and there, I don’t think kamal’s histrionics were overdone frequently. Would you call sadma’s (moondram pirai) climax scene as melodramatic? If you say that your eyes didn’t get wet after watching it, you must surely be lying.

    There are a bunch of other overacting, overhyped bufoons (stars) whom should you accuse of before mentioning kamal.

    SRK’s repeated mannerisms in all the love junk movies, snarling sivaji movies of the 60s/70s are a few examples. SI/you might not have seen them at all.

    Let’s face it. When it comes to top 10 natural actors of indian film industry, he would definitely make it to top5 or top 3.

    See this link :

    He is right up there.

    To SI : On a lighter note, Icon bashing has become the easiest sport for all and SI have been quite successful in doing that. Is n’t it? Responds:

    1. Icon bashing?


    Hardly! The Mahanadi review was done in response to persistent requests from multiple SI blog readers over several years.

    Why would I care about a 20-year-old film otherwise!

    In any case, Kamal Haasan is hardly an icon any more. Nameeta, of the ‘Hey, My Bust Comes Before Me Fame‘ inaugurating a beauty parlor would attract a larger crowd than a Kamal Haasan movie on opening day, Friday!

    2. You write: There are a bunch of other overacting, overhyped bufoons (stars) whom should you accuse of before mentioning kamal. SRK’s repeated mannerisms in all the love junk movies, snarling sivaji movies of the 60s/70s are a few examples. SI/you might not have seen them at all.

    Hey, I have seen a few Sivaji “classics” like Pilot Premnath and Hitler Umanath! 😉

    • boopalanj   December 31, 2013 at 4:23 am

      I’ve nothing against Kamal. After all I liked him before (at least more than I do now). The last Kamal movie I liked much was “Anbe Sivam”. But after reading the story of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”, I see that a considerable number of key aspects of that movie were ripped off. I still consider “Anbe Sivam” to be better than lot of his other movies (Including the latest junk Viswaroopam) for the conversations that touch upon Communism, God, (Thanks to Madhan) etc and his acting.

      Seeing various movies out of different countries, it is natural that my admiration towards “ordinary” Indian movies and movie-stars has lessened over a period of time.

      Like you have pointed out yourself, Kamal’s greatness is derived relatively and it exists only on the Indian context. But I’d take Kamal any day – compared to Vijay, Jeeva, Vishal, and even Sivaji.

      And btw, Moondram Pirai was alright. It did give me goosebumps those days, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to appreciate it the same way, in case I re-watch it now. Responds:

      Kamal Haasan is fortunate in two respects:

      Majority of his fans are dolts and most of his following has little exposure to quality cinema. So the idiots think films like Pammal K. Sambandam and Mahanadi are masterpieces!

  10. prasath.j   December 31, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Let’s view the two extremes of Indian cine industry;

    On one side, you have actors like ajith, vijay,abhishek bachan, akshay kumar etc ,who make motion picture seem like still photography.A large segment of actors pool isn’t bothered about trivialities like story, screenplay and acting.
    On the other side, you have some delightful aberrations like kamal,pankaj,naseerudin shah,irfan etc who at times go overboard with their histrionics.

    To my knowledge,kamal has made a conscious decision not to repeat a character in any of his movies. Decided to stay way from the mainstream cinema and atleast attempt to do an unconventional role. Versatility is one area he scores over others like pankaj, naseerudin ought to give some credit to his versatility atleast. “Star + actor” combo and greater national reach are other parameters, where he scores again.

    Now,would you still go with the former?, would you prefer non-acting instead of overacting? You gotta be kidding me?

    Remember Indian cine industry is known for constantly ditching out several love junk movies and “Good Trumps evil” trashy films.“Evil Trumps Good” Indian films are only rare and delightful aberrations. Responds:

    You write: To my knowledge, kamal has made a conscious decision …. to stay way from the mainstream cinema and at least attempt to do an unconventional role.

    What Rubbish! Utter Garbage.

    You should never be allowed near a keyboard again. 🙁

    Manmadhan Ambu, Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu, Mumbai Express, Pammal K. Sambandam….All of these trashy mainstream Indian ‘commercial’ movies came out in the 21st century!

    And they all featured a so-called actor called Kamal Haasan.

  11. Dr.Logu   December 31, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Surprising to see a review of Mahanadhi

    I can imagine how Twig feels after all he is not the only one who requested this movie to be reviewed.

    Until a few years back, I too felt this movie was nonpareil motion picture in the history of the Tamil cinema. Ever since my sojourn to the outstanding movies from different corners of the world I hardly have a itch to watch any Tamil movies.

    Kamal’s best works have always come when he was directed by his mentors like K Balachander, Bharathiraja, Balu Mahendra.

    If he decides to wield the megaphone himself or by someone who’s inspired by him or awed by his stature then his narcissism takes center-stage and the end result just looks phony and silly…

    We must all agree that Kamal is history as far as movies are concerned, hardly relevant in today’s context. Responds:

    Yes, Kamal Haasan has long outstayed his welcome.

    I bet some group will protest Vishwaroopam 2’s release as well.

    Maybe, this time it’ll be Al Qaeda or NSA. 😉

  12. Arun s   December 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Hi SI,

    I think the movie was “Maha Average”.

    Having watched the film 2 times I need to give my perspectives.

    1. The most engaging moments were definitely the initial portions of Kamal and his children in the village.The song involving temple was also nice.

    2. His being duped by Hanifa was also realistic. Hanifa gave a brilliant performance.The screenplay lacked finesse after that.

    3. The fight scenes of Kamal with the jail warden was unbelievable stuff.

    4. I think the romance portions were the most boring.

    5. Most illogical portions were the children coming along with Kamal to the hotel and getting lost. After all, why would somebody involve his children in a personal issue?

    6.The film ended as a routine action film rather than a complete realistic movie.

    7. Regarding the melodrama, it was mostly a forced one. There are better emotional and engaging movies on concepts like rich vs poor. Examples are Vazhukku Enn 18/9 and Angadi Theru. Responds:

    Yes, the first few minutes involving the jumping in the pond and playing in the water etc were less intolerable.

    But after that it was complete downhill all the way.

    Even Krishna being duped by Dhanush (Cochin Haneefa) via the signing of the “Power of Attorney” and 50 blank checks in favor of a relative stranger/new partner didn’t seem realistic to me.

  13. Dr.Logu   December 31, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Happy New year to SI and to my fellow commenters… Responds:

    Thank You, Sweetie.

    We Wish You & the Rest of the SI Community a Healthy & Prosperous 2014.

    It’s 11:15PM on the East Coast now, 45-minutes before the ball-drop at Times Square NYC!

    You can see the Ball Drop ceremony live at Times Square here –

  14. Naveen   January 1, 2014 at 1:23 am

    Times Square’s ball dropped!

    Happy 2014 to SI and all fellow commenters! Responds:

    Thank you Sweetie!

    Good Health & Prosperity to You too in 2014 and the years beyond. 🙂

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