I was once trapped on a bus going to Trichy (OK. Thirucharapally.) where they played a ‘Best of Senthil-Goundamani Comedy’ video tape at full volume through most of the journey. I didn’t find a single joke funny and about 20 minutes into the ‘slips and falls on banana’ and ‘caught while looking at neighbour’s wife’ routines I had a headache so bad I would not have found anything funny even if the quality of humour had improved. When we finally got off the bus I was light headed with relief (and possibly the headache).
The only good part… I think Appa and I count that as a bonding experience – a common hatred of M/S S and G developed on that never-ending busride.
That should have warned me. But I booked tickets to watch ‘Kuselan’.
The premise of the script is pretty decent. Honest small town barber is struggling to make ends meet. The bane of his life is his former protege who has opened up a rival salon across the street where he is clearly making more money (even if it is done dishonestly). The boons of his life are his beautiful wife and their 3 understanding children. He is friends with ‘Vijay Kumar’ who has become a ‘sooperstarr’ but the man is far away and life is happy. His main worry is how to get a new chair for his business. Things change when the sooperstarr does hit town for a movie shoot and most of the village that formerly scorned the poor barber is dying to do him favours because they have heard that he was ‘friends’ with the sooperstarr. Our barber meanwhile, is hesitant. It has been many moons after all and the Z category security cover of sooperstarr makes it difficult for him to get through. As the tenure of the shooting nears its end, he has still not succeeded in getting things ‘done’ with the superstar (i.e. get photos with friends/ family, get him to sign call sheet for movie, get him to be chief guest at school function etc.) and the villagers (including his own family) begin to doubt his word. In the denouement (done of course through tear-jerker speech delivered in front of school and village) the sooperstarr speaks of his dear friend Balu (the barber) who gave him his start in the movies and how he cannot find him. In the end they are re-united and all is well.
If they had stuck to just this story line, with a little less hamming and Z-Category Security nonsense and a leeetle more characterisation, this would have been brilliant. Instead you get Vadivel doing the usual brand of staring at the boobies comedy, Nayantara doing item numbers,dolphins and blue skies and unnecessary animation sequences, the Sooperstarr delivering sermons instead of punch dialogues, mad crowds waiting worshipfully for a wave from the sooperstarr for large parts of movie and a soundtrack that makes you wish you were deaf.
(Wiki tells me this is remake of Mallu movie and that this is now going to be remade in Kannada and Hindi. And the Hindi version has Shah Rukh Khan. And Deepika Padukone doing item number. Oh Help!)