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An Analysis On Aparichitudu By Just Another Film Buff
A quote from the movie 'Adaptation' says, "The only idea more overused than serial killers is multiple personality." Scripted by Charlie Kauffman, one of the leading writers in Hollywood today, it takes a dig at all those stereotyped movies and the new and upcoming writers ready with an MPD script. The concept of course had been waiting to be tested on our Indian audience by our play-safe film makers who perhaps apprehended difficulty in conveying the idea to the average film goer - whether his intellect can comprehend this notion of a split personality. Fazil's 'Manichitrathazhu' made in Malayalam on this split personality concept in 1993 went on to be a super commercial and critical success and eventually fetched Sobhana her first national award. About 10 years later it was remade in Kannada and created the same magic commercially and subsequently prompted the Tamil superstar to test this proven-to-be-reliable and economically viable formula on the Tamil audience. The rest as we all know is history. But little did we know that Shankar had been working on this idea way before the shooting of 'Chandramukhi' began.
A look at Shankar's filmography shows his alternation between a social theme and a love story. He followed up a 'Premikudu' after 'Gentleman', a 'Jeans' after 'Bharateeyudu' and a 'Boys' after 'Oke Okkadu'. As is evident the films with strong social messages have always been his forte. In 'Aparichitudu' he chose the concept of MPD to convey his message of social awareness and personal responsibility that the system is composed of we - the people and rather than blaming the politicians or administrators we should be blaming ourselves for its defects and failures and the under developed state of our country. In the process he cleverly blends the two films directed by David Fincher - 'Seven' and 'Fight Club'. In 'Seven' the killer chooses different persons, he thinks are committing seven cardinal sins (inspired by Dante Alighieri's 'Divine Comedy') and considers himself as the weapon of god handing over the comeuppance. The name of the sin the victim has committed is written in bold at the crime scene. In 'Aparichitudu' the protagonist derives his punishments from Garudapuranam and writes the name of the punishment at the crime scene. The MPD point of Ramu turning into personalities he cannot be and would like to be resembles 'Fight Club'.
Critically a director is said to have faltered if the manner, medium or method he chooses to convey his point overshadows his basic intent. In 'Bharateeyudu', Kamal in the role of a freedom fighter infused with patriotism blends in smoothly with the content of the movie and his anti-bribe message comes across in a strong manner. In 'Aparichithudu', the novel MPD notion and the aura and presence of Vikram along with his spontaneous transformation from one character into another, mesmerizes the audience, thus outshining the message Shankar intends to put across to the people.
Vikram delivers a performance, which rivals his earlier ones in 'Sethu' and 'Pithamagan'. Very few people would have essayed the roles with such ease and elan (may be Kamal in his prime). After watching the film one wonders whether it is the same Vikram who started out his career in Telugu several years ago and how come our film makers failed to tap the potential of this gifted actor.
Like in his earlier movies Shankar leaves no stone unturned in maintaining production values, in promoting and in mounting the publicity of the film. Right from the thousands of invitations of the film printed during the start of the shooting which cost Rs. 2500 per piece up to the traveling expenses alone amounting to 45 lakhs, and the costly vinyl hoardings in every corner of Chennai - 'Aparichithudu' is as rich as a Shankar film can get.
The film has its share of flaws -
These flaws apart, kudos to the director for his conviction in the script. He not only chose a completely complex and novel point for his 24 crore film but also presented it in a pukka commercial and convincing manner avoiding any confusion in the process. He did nothing wrong on the commercial front. And yes, he might have been fully aware of the above-mentioned flaws in his film and equally confident that if the MPD theme and its portrayal on the screen strikes a right chord with the audience, these flaws would get washed away in the flow. And who knows, the movie with its astounding success both in Tamil and Telugu might well be a trendsetter, opening the gates for a spate of MPD movies in the next few years.
- Just Another Film Buff
- Why would Ramu who is such a law-abiding citizen, post in a website which adapts illegal ways of punishing people?
- Is the heroine so dumb as not to recognize Ramu whom she has been acquainted with for so many years when he comes before her as Remo with some make-up and change in hairstyle.
- MPD is a psychic disorder in mind and has nothing to do with the physical aspect. It is impossible for a person to change from a completely muscular body to a sagging belly in a few moments (as shown in the fight with Prakash Raj).
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