Rekka- Crushed Wings (In tamil, we say it mokka)

One of the beginning dialogues from, villan 1 to villan 2, “Nammuku yethiri irunthaal thaan, vaazhavum mudiyum valaravum mudiyum” – Only with the existence of life-long enemies, we are able to live and progress-certainly reminded me of work and workplace. Watching ‘Rekka’ was very similar to sitting through a meeting at workplace. 

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Boss shows some data that has no direct relevance to my life or for the next 55 years of life. Then screens the agenda which could have been a short email message. Moving on, to talk about what was spoken in the previous meeting and what needs to be done. Speaks about vision and mission for the 345th time. Mentions how we, workers, are wasting time during our breaks. As the rest seems to be listening and arguing about matters that don’t matter to me, I take out my phone and start facebooking. 

My mood goes ‘offline’. I simply don’t bother or contribute. I don’t move an inch unless there is a fire breakout. Even then, I rather jump into fire than to be in this meeting- Watching Rekka was exactly like this. Within 10 minutes of the film, I went ‘offline’.
Films are often seen as the perfect ‘escapism’ however embarrassingly predictable films like ‘Rekka’ coerce you to escape from this escapism.  I would have left the theatre but it was raining heavily outside.

The hero doesn’t only kidnap young brides from their forced marriages to save them but at one point, kidnaps an 80-year-old grandma and conducts her 60th wedding anniversary at the temple. Hero utters, “naan punch dialogue pesamatten, punchu punchaa pesuven”, reiterating the fact that he is not a punch-dialogue hero but a hero who talks gently. Then came the introduction song. VS’ moves reminded me of my kindergarten school dance movements when I swayed my hips awfully. His entire being moved with a purposeful clarity in the famous “Makka Kalanguthappa” in Dharmadurai.  

With each stride he made in “Makka Kalanguthappa”, it became more painfully obvious how much heart he put into his routine to perfect his moves. Here, it was a pity to see him struggle. Not that he shouldn’t be dancing, but what he is capable of, is more than a typical Raju Sundram’s hero introduction song.

Periyamma Lakshmi Menon is all-ready to elope with VS the moment she sees him in the college. Disappointingly medieval mindset is evident- film's writer think, even in the year 2016, that there can be nothing more hilarious than showing that the heroine’s mother and grandmother are perfectly fine with sending their daughter off with a complete stranger. So is this meant for comic relief?  As usual, heroines have nothing much to do in such senseless films. I wonder if the hero had nothing to do in this film that suffers from limpid writing and unenthusiastic direction. This is one of those rare films of this century where you basically don’t need any hero and heroine.

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Probably in the fear that someone would accuse the heroine for not acting, she smiles, giggles and raises her eyebrows to emote shock at the most inappropriate places- when the hero kicks the barricade, you see her in the frame, grinning for no reason. She has basically chosen a role that requires her to do nothing but stare unblinkingly and act thoughtlessly. At this moment, I was already thinking of what to eat for dinner later, just like how my mind wanders off during brainless meeting.

When I beam with pride that Tamil cinema has successfully come a long way from frying eggs on heroine's belly, such films engulf me with fear that we are taking a U-turn to crack more eggs.

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For all that talk of heroism that shrieks in the trailer and teaser, VS is also saddled with an ill-etched part that doesn’t tap his acting potential. It’s a role that’s more reckless and over confident than pragmatic. Why else would he blindly forge a bond with an unintelligent rowdy who watches a football match on tv in the middle of a 10-hectare coconut-tree field? That rowdy evokes unintentional fun than fear. Interminable boredom was punctuated by moments of terror. Things could have been improved with even a smidgeon of character development.

In the climax fight, Lakshmi Menon voluntarily asks the villan to put a knife at her throat so that upon seeing that, VS’s blows on the villan’s face would be powerful and impactful. I wish someone had done that to the scriptwriter and director, so that there would have been a more sensible film.