There are things in life we did at a certain age, that we absolutely feel ridiculous about years later- like eating sand, touching own poop, naively dressing…err cross dressing up like the opposite sex largely because a parent cajoled us(only to leave an indelible scar behind thirty years later). Having binge watched Suryavamsam is one such thing. Yup the one with the “rosa poo chinna rosa poo” anthem. I suppose it is bound to have been inflicted on anyone born in the late eighties in Tamilnadu. It’s one of those movies that are so bad that they’re so good. Where do I start? About it being the precursor of several “Supreme Star” Sarath Kumar(SSSK) movies where he plays both, father and son. Or about the tackiest original sound track ever by S.A. Rajkumar which would go on to scar generations for years to come, while taking contemporary music back to an era where it came out of fingers tapping on dalda tins.
So for the uninitiated Suryavamsam is the story of Chinarasu(SSSK) whose utility to his household is the same as mine to the movie- nothing. He’s a pigeon brained son in a family with a stiff patriarch(SSSK again), who condescends him for a sport. This torn carpet like treatment at home doesn’t seem to deter his appetite( as can be seen by the size of shirts, ample enough to camp refugees) or his uncontested reverence for his betel nut chewing father with a static wig. A woman he loves dumps him. Another woman looking for a loser to run a social experiment falls for him and the dad opposes him for scoring without his consent. In the process, he gets kicked out. How he becomes a Bill Gates and reunites with his disrespectful dad is the rest of the movie.
Vikraman’s movies are not movies, but moral science lessons shoved up our throat with an unending number of cliches and white flag tempting background score, for want of a gunpoint. His stories are modest about their ambitions or character sketches. His good men hail from heaven are Ujala-white beings without a trace of grey and his bad men are nigga black. Pardon the racism, but throw anything at his heroes: diatribes, torn chappals, bombs- they’ll not just forgive you, but chip in to lend a helping shoulder on a rainy day. Celestial creatures that they’re.
Take for instance Chinarasu’s delusional love for his maman ponnu a.k.a fiancee, entirely oblivious to the fact that she’s more aroused by a root vegetable. Anyways, he diligently drives an Enfield like every mama would- with color ribbons flowing from both handle bars – to pick her up from the bus stand every holiday. He takes her to the same god forsaken waterfall to sing the rose anthem I was talking about earlier, with little regard to the fact that she’s a doctor who’s feeling up wild daisies on the river bank instead of paying attention to his metaphorical song or that he’s pushing forty without a clue to earn his next meal which is contingent on the kindness of his gluttonous family. So as the D day approaches, she dumps him because who would want to marry an uncle with a brain of an infant and an appetite of an elephant after becoming a doctor, right? But here’s the fun part, he assumes blame for calling off the wedding for no intelligible reason, in the process becoming a punching bag to his dad again. Wow, no one knew there were so many different ways to be a loser with a capital L.
When Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone had to undergo so much foreplay before they could get on with it in Basic Instinct, all it takes here is just an aphrodisiac lizard on the wall. No foreplay. No class. Just plain rubber lizard. And the consummation is left to our imagination. What we instead get is a song which sounds like a love child between crass lyrics and tacky music with the hook line that goes- “Adada Alwa thundu iduppu, un iduppu“(Your waist is a piece of Halwa!).
There are many things that got into vogue through this movie. The windfall song sequence with victory montages being one such. The song begins with Chinarasu driving a dilapidated town bus. Before we can come to the first stanza, he’s already the richest business magnate in Asia, god knows doing what. By the end of the second stanza his wife is a collector and he’s well, shown signing on state budgets and other stuff. The song ends with the voice of the lizard caused accident, their kid. Yeah, one happy family.
One thing that continues to disturb me like it did the first time while watching Suryavamsam is the girl child that had to be dressed up as Chinarasu’s son. Why the casting department- if there was any – had to resort to this weird stroke of genius is beyond me, especially in a state like Tamilnadu which is littered with the male progeny. And the cutesy of this bewigged kid that refers to septuagenarians as, ” Fraaandu”(Friend) violates me.
Long before Benedict Cumberbatch could flaunt the art of deduction in solving crimes, it came to our living rooms with half the fuss, thanks to this film in which the father nabs the perpetrator by a mere sniff. Yeah, just sniffing.He remembers the flavour of perfume and conservatively narrows in on the only person in the entire village of three lakh people, to use it. Movie comes to an end. So does the purpose of having sniffer dogs.