Deepavali Cocktail 2016- ADHM, Kaashmora, Kodi

Aei Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM)

It was enormously gratifying to look at the high level of visual aesthetics that Karan invested into his frames. ADHM is yet another delectable synthesis of startling onscreen beauty, melodious music and limitless fun-filled discowala songs. Each frame of the film had been done up with care which was evident in its striking visuals. Honestly, I did enjoy some parts in the first half where Ranbir and Anushka had unapologetic, adultered fun aimlessly walking around on the streets of London, Vienna and then quarrelling like a honeymoon couple, clubbing like a curfew-less teenager and then almost indulging themselves in many jalapulajenz matters. 

Jalapulajenz, in my lingo, refers to an act that you are never allowed to watch on tv because your mum would have demanded you to quickly go to the kitchen to bring a glass of water. 
Unforgivingly, ADHM was peppered with lots of jalapulajenz. And there was no kitchen in the cinema theatre. So I did get to watch every bit(e) of it.

World- renowned film maker Alfred Hitchcock once said that “Self-plagiarism is style.” Certainly, Karan has religiously accepted that as his style of film-making. There were so many instances when he made references to his previous films. Doing it once, was funny and nostalgic. Doing it repeatedly- I am sorry Karan, it failed miserably.

Every ebb and flow of emotion was underlined, but ironically ended up diluting the actual impact of the scene instead. Especially the entry of Aishwarya Rai. I was eagerly waiting for her to set the screen on fire. Instead, at one point, her character and presence and the repetitive poetry recitals in unintentionally funny Urdu dictation made me wonder “What is this man?” The question—what is this?– which popped into my head and flickered throughout the 2nd half, got into such a loop that it chased all other coherent thoughts, if any, away.

There was friendship struggle and then love struggle. Anushka separated from their first love. Then a divorcee, Ash, entered. Then friendship struggle. No it wasn’t the kind of love that Anushka could commit to but Ranbir wanted to be loved. Why? What was the reason? Fawad Khan who did a fantabulous job in Kapoor and Sons was there in ADHM. And he was there. That was it. Anushka and Ranbir shared a bro-coded friendship. A marriage between Anushka and Fawad. Then friendship struggle continued with RAnbir and Anushka. And Again, why? They spent most of the film engaging in the most inane of doings, and wasting our time most comprehensively and completely without telling the audience, a concrete, solid and convincing reason for their confusions.  The process of falling in love and why it didn’t work all times with everyone, which was crucial for this kind of film, was clearly missing here- and this was the debris that we saw under the crumbled, crushed, collapsed and absolutely ruined 2nd half of ADHM.

I booked tickets for ADHM and very lovingly and affectionately chose ‘K’ row seats. That is how much I love you Karan!

In the film, Anushka at one point, cried to Ranbir.

Anushka to Ranbir: I love you but not the way you want me to.

Me to Karan: I want you to make films but not the way you are doing it.



“Aaviku bayanthukitu idli-ye kooda thosai kallu-le thaan sudhum”- Vivek pleaded to the terrifying spirit, RajaNayak. Such one-liners in Kaashmora evoked laughter and entertained the audience to a certain extent. Kaashmora is a multi-genre movie- a mixture of comedy, horror and period film which is made on a whopping 60 crores. The director’s strength is comedy. It was evident in many dialogues.

Unfortunately, despite some funny moments, the director seemed to have heavily compromised on storytelling, as at times the film lost its grip on the viewers. There is a very delicate thin line between silly and funny. Kaashmora swung unstably on both sides. The periodic film portion, other than the fact that the director’s desire to have VFX in his film, didn't add much strength to the narration.
The problem here was little bit of repetition of the ghost without nothing new actually happening. Again when things looked like stagnating,there was a very well executed sequence that took everyone by surprise. One only wished there were more moments of these type.

In the periodic film portion, the womanizer and villan Raja Nayak was killed. It was the bad guy who died! In fact, wasn't that  Deepavali for us? So the remaining part of the film failed to make us empathetic towards whatever conundrum happening on screen. It wasn’t the heart-wrenching moment of why a loyal servant like Kattappa in Baahubali got killed that made viewers devastated. 

Kaashmora is not the light fun crackerjack Diwali film you’d like to sit through this festive season. It is laden with an overbearing inconsistent moments of horror and comedy which eclipse all of the film’s efforts to pull us into its embrace. The proceedings get so jarring that they finally topple over.

For god’s sake, someone should pass a rule or something for these tamil directors to only plan for a 2hr film and nothing more than that. Precise and crisp editing has to be the way. If Kaashmora was trimmed another 30 minutes, it would have been a better film. In fact, I would have given a different and a more positive rating for the film.

Just like how karthi’s fake mustache embarrassingly fell off during the film’s promotional meet, the weak, silly and not worth-praising story fell flat.  


Don’t judge a book by its cover is still relevant these days. And Kodi seemed to be a perfect example of how a trailer didn't really do justice to the content of the film. When I watched the trailer that had all elements of a typical violent Tamil cinema with villans, sickles, jeeps, heroic stunts and perfectly choregraphed hero introduction song, I thought I was in for a blasting, roaring and ear-drum bursting moments of “dei avanai thookurenda!”

Expect the unexpected. Kodi proved me wrong. Kodi was deliciously dramatic, and packed with sinister twists and turns with superb performances and solid writing. Screenplay is king. Inevitably, the king ruled Kodi. Screenplay anchored itself so well in the flow of the storyline that had perfect casting. Kodi might seem like a political drama but it was in fact a love story between 2 politicians. There you go, surprised? Dhanush and Trisha, who have never been paired before, were lovers of opposite political parties. The director exuded brilliance in not showing how they fell in love, but chose to focus on what happened to their lives after falling in love. That writing deserves an applause.

The surprise package was of course Rudhra- played by Trisha. She has played this ‘swarna akka’ role minus the screaming, yelling and rolling eyes to perfection in her own style. Bristling with a murderous gleam in her eye and as the power-hungry politician, her acting was simply her career-best. The scene when she folded her arm, bowed a little to her political party’s leader and requested for a place in the parliament seat- that cunning gesture and body language exhibited by Trisha, it was an absolute delight to watch her perform. Her acting sets you crave for more ‘Rudhra’.

Kudos to casting director- the role of a political leader by SA Chandrasekar (actor vijay’s dad), saranya as dhanush’s mum, kali venkat as the loyal friend and of course Dhanush who played both as the bold politician and timid professor. There was one or two dull moments and a cliché climax. The transition in Dhanush’s character in the 2nd half, was not really convincing. However, the overall plot and story-telling were gripping enough to engage the audience throughout. 

This is another reminder of how a film with equal importance to both the male and female protagonists or antagonists can elevate a movie to one notch higher. 

Deepavali cocktail 2016 

ADHM: the quarter-fried muruku from ice-cold oil

Kaashmora: the shattered multi-coloured cookie

Kodi: A good pineapple tart that had the perfect balance of buttery crumbly pastry and a sweet yet tangy pineapple jam.