Super Deluxe Tamil Movie Review

Mar 30, 2019 By Baranidharan Sivasankaran

The year was 2011, and I was one among the three men in the theatre watching a movie called 'Aaranya Kaandam.' After the interval, the count became two. At the end of the movie, I was flabbergasted with what I saw - an altogether different treatment in terms of screenplay, narration and character etching. From then on, I was keeping a tab on director Thiagarajan Kumararaja. It has taken eight long years for him come out with 'Super Deluxe' in which he has pulled off a casting coupe with Vijay Sethupathi, Samantha, Fahadh Faasil, Ramya Krishnan and Mysskin.

Long before its widespread theatrical release, Super Deluxe with its exhibition in festival circuits garnered deep recognition among film critics (Sudhish Kamath's tweet a few months back made me restless to watch the movie). So, in my mind or for that matter in any movie buff's mind, this was the most expected movie for some time now. Surprisingly, with stars in the film, the claps and whistles were through the roof whenever the director's name appeared in the credits. When was the last time this happened in Kollywood?

Like Kumararaja's previous movie, this too is an anthology that had two different stories that took four distinct narrative tracks with a whole host of characters portraying various roles and are tangled in multiple situations. Vembu (Samantha) and Mugil (Fahad), the couple who try to cover up a death; Shilpa (Vijay Sethupathi), the transgender who badly wants to reunite with her family after estranging them for several years; a bunch of teens who run around to cover the mess they were subjected to and a religious zealot, Arputham (a) Dhanasekar (Mysskin) and his wife (Ramya Krishnan), who take conflicting paths to save their son who is battling for life.

Like the trailer, the movie too kept the audience guessing while wholesomely making them laugh and rejuvenate throughout the process. The movie's first half that introduces various characters and their mise en scene was amazingly brilliant, while the latter half had some philosophical bits tucked into elaborate scenes. However, the movie never lost track of the sequence of events that happens over a period of 2 days (it took me some time and discussion with friends to realize the span in which the story took place).

Super Deluxe would undoubtedly find its place among the movie to be referred by aspiring filmmakers on how a screenplay and narrative should be etched. The film seems to encompass one of the most complicated screenplays that took non-linearity to a new level. If one were to get baffled with the sequence of events that was laid out, it's normal. The movie deserves a second watch to connect the dots and enjoy the more delicate nuances and the film making prowess of Kumararaja.

The performances from each character were top notch, thanks to the number of takes that the director commanded from the artists. Samantha has given one of her best performances to date. Vijay Sethupathi as the transgender has played the role to perfection by bringing out the subtler nuances of the character - the scene where he drapes the saree and adjusts his wig stands testimonial to that fact. Fahadh Faasil, though was overshadowed by other characters, was a very critical piece in the larger scheme of things and has delivered a classy and effortless performance.

Ramya Krishnan as the desperate mother who runs around to save her son looked the part with a compelling and convincing show. For Mysskin, the role was aptly chosen, and he was made to fit into that mold, which augured well for the proceeding. The kid who played 'Rasukutty' was a surprise package who had oozed doses of innocent emotions that made the audience weep.

Based on butterfly effect (also known as chaos theory), the movie had some philosophical undertones that questions the purpose of human evolution and at the same time taking a dig at the mundane perspectives that we as a society are trained to put up. A sample would be when Vembu takes a jibe at Mugil when he says that she married her for her caste; Mugil gives it back saying that patriotism and 'Tamizhanda' philosophies too fit into that fanatic cult, but are not subject to scrutiny.

The technicalities were the movie's biggest strength - cinematography (PS Vinod and Nirav Shah) and art departments helped us to get a perspective of the time and space. Editing by Sathyaraj Natarajan was a work of genius as this required the stitching of various complex events. Yuvan Shankar Raja has done a tremendous job with the background score with music that was apt for the narrative. Of course, the other writers (Nalan Kumarasamy, Mysskin, Neelan K Sekhar) along with Kumararaja who have contributed in bringing out this masterpiece have to be credited as well.

As the director mentioned in one of the interviews, the movie does not fit into a particular genre. There were portions with absolute laugh riot, black humor, melodrama, lust, greed, faith, fantasy among other things. So, it's a cocktail of genres bottled together and served with opium toppings. In short, Super Deluxe is dope! Do watch it with a mature and open mindset to get enthralled with a different movie watching experience!

PS: Not meant for the ones who get offended with the profound use of vulgar slang, sexual references, and other deep philosophical connotations. The movie bears an 'A' rating. So, please choose your companions wisely before heading for the theater.

Thiagarajan Kumararaja's Super Deluxe is a work of pure genius that leverages butterfly effect to narrate the mundane perspectives and ironies of human existence.
Rating: 90%
Baranidharan Sivasankaran