Super Deluxe Review: An eccentric yet mind-blowing film
It’s always said that a director’s second film is more important than his maiden film and that’s where he/she has to prove their caliber. Eight years after he made his stunning debut film ‘Aaranya Kaandam’, for which he also won the National award, director Thiagarajan Kumararaja is back. And how?
‘Super Deluxe’ is a film that rides high on a plenty of crazy ideas and strange thoughts that’s seamlessly woven in four contrasting stories. Someone who ran away from home is returning back after seven years, but this time in a new avatar that the family finds hard to accept. Then there’s a bunch of sex driven teenagers who keep landing in trouble one after another. A newly married not-so-happy couple are in the midst of something drastic that needs a smart solution or else they are finished. And a priest who has wrong understanding of God and his ways.
Films based on chaos theory are not new but what makes ‘Super Deluxe’ unique and stand out is the way it’s designed. There’s no real pattern and hence it’s impossible to predict where the narrative is heading next. But there is a purpose for everything, right from the character names, to the props, to the songs played in the background and even the ants and centipede.
In a three-hour-long film, Kumararaja has included so many of his politics and outrightly questions our moral values. The black humour is as brilliant as the social commentary, which covers a wide range of topics from life, science, relationships, system and faith. We are asked some thought-provoking questions. What’s right and wrong? Who defines it? Why God? What’s sex? Do we have a choice?
‘Super Deluxe’ has a star studded cast, and it’s Vijay Sethupathi who walks away with all the laurels. Manikyam/Shilpa has to be one of the most daring characters a mainstream stream star has ever done in Indian cinema. Playing a transsexual is one thing and presenting it so convincing and real is another. He is an actor who has often been pointed out for his peculiar style of acting. There has always been a certain amount of repetitiveness in his performances but thankfully in a delightful way. And the actor himself has admitted this. But come here, Sethupathi has simply outdone himself. You just cannot take eyes off Shilpa, because such is the grace he brings. A truly jaw dropping performance.
The other actors- Fahadh Faasil, Ramya Krishnan, Samantha, the teenagers, the cute kid Rasukutty, Gayathri, Bhagavathy Perumal were all exceptionally good. All of them have their moments of brilliance in the movie. Bhagavathy Perumal as the corrupt police officer sends chills down the spine with his creepy smile and gestures. A slight flaw I found was with the exaggerated and loud performance of Mysskin. Some of his portions also dragged a bit. But his character Dhanasekar aka Arputham has a proper definition and his moment of realization is wonderfully staged.
Composer Yuvan Shankar Raja has kept his work minimal by aptly placing songs from yesteryear films in the background. Cinematography by Nirav Shah and PS Vinod is striking and the wide range of colours used does signify the various moods. Another department that needs words of appreciation is the sound design. The atmosphere they have managed to create is captivating.
‘Super Deluxe’ is a film that’s hard to be confined to one particular genre. Not hard, it’s impossible. Like a man high on coke, this film keeps moving frantically and ultimately gives us a cinematic high like never before.