SUPER DELUXE: an astute pandora’s box

There are a handful of filmmakers whose directorial debuts were so drenched in cinematic aspiration, namely Ayan Mukherji (Wake Up Sid), Karthick Naren (Dhruvangal 16), Neeraj Ghaywan (Masaan). But, Thiagarajan Kumaraja is one of India’s finest filmmaker whose unconventional debut Aaranya Kaandam (2011) stirred passionate waves across Indian Cinema. Aaranya Kaandam is an ode to deft writing and qualitative filmmaking, and continuously accumulates in its repeated viewings. Thiagarajan exclaims that he was awarded and not rewarded for Aaranya Kaandam. Super Deluxe took years to write, various writers were considered (including SJ Suryah, Anurag Kashyap, Dhanush) ultimately, the individual portions shimmered under three directors apart from Thiagarajan: Mysskin, Nalan Kumarasamy and Neelan. To cut the chase, there was peak excitement for Super Deluxe; lived up what the director intended “viewing Super Deluxe with Tabula Rasa”. And here I’m, thoroughly astonished, gratified and left the Auditorium with more respect; for Thiagarajan’s passion for cinema which literally drools through every frame, even dialogue.

Super Deluxe shares stark camaraderie with Aaranya Kaandam in even clichéd manner, including hyperlink, character writing, raw setting, etc. Right from the first frame, Thiagarajan Kumaraja puts you into the amoral world of the characters – it’s a fateful day where tragedy strikes three individuals: an estranged father (turned into transsexual), an unfaithful wife and an angry young boy. Super Deluxe effectively embraces morality through amoral characters, while being astute. Exploring the darker realms of meaningless life is an another aspect which peeps through claustrophobic or rather trapped environment. The characters are often placed in narrow lanes, crumbled and worn living areas; there’s a constant restriction for joyous ejection (no pun intended). Four hyperlinked stories embrace morality as well as sexuality in distinguished amoral manner, the rootcause of every story happens to revolve around sexuality.  The layers slowly peel off while travelling and unravelling through the asset of human competency, sprinkled with dazzling chaos theory. There’s sensitivity and criticality amidst the struck tragedy yet the sparkling black humour stirs upon wrenching laughter, but the humour is so smart that it’ll leave in split.Super Deluxe is a cumulative experience which draws humour from unexpected places, often it overwhelms with its meticulously designed hyperlink narrative. Thiagarajan Kumaraja resorts towards shifting cultivation, Super Deluxe gradually cultivates through sexuality, spirituality and morality while slowly percolating. Like repeated viewings of Aaranya Kaandam bought in newer dynamics, it is and it will be same with Super Deluxe where even mundane scenes are manifesting. The utopian and convincing universe of Thiagarajan is brought alive by Cinematographers P S Vinod (Vikram Vedha, Aaranya Kaandam) and Nirav Shah (2.0, Thaandavam), who lend contrasting hues which work as an enticing cinematic element. Super Deluxe has a fine colour palette which complements the amorality through saturated colours, characters are often partially lit up and frames captured eccentrically. Editor Sathyaraj Natrajan seamlessly joins the hyperlink leaving enough space for emotions (banked also on long takes). And the interesting aspect of Kumaraja’s venture is the usage of diegetic sounds which contribute valuable construct in the narrative. For instance, the suggestive songs played on radio or even the minor sound of squeaky fan in the Police Station adds subconscious effect. Effectively supported by Yuvan Shankar Raja’s peculiar BGM. Super Deluxe is a super fine example of how every department seamlessly adds towards an efficacious ensemble.Vijay Sethupathi is a game changer, he resides in arms of transsexual Shilpa through empathetic performance; it’s a commendable role which leaves a longing impact. Fahadh Faasil delivers an incredible performance ably supported by Samantha Akkineni. Bucks delivers a pervasive performance in a typical character-role while Gayathrie steals the show in an empathetic weeful scene. Ramya Krishnan and Mysskin are terrific while child artiste Ashwanth Ashok Kumar is hilarious.

Super Deluxe is a path-breaking film which rests in unique realms of unconventional filmmaking splotched with interesting ideas. More importantly, Super Deluxe is like an astute pandora’s box which keeps surprising with innovative storytelling and challenging ideas, brace yourself for a cinematic rejoice!


Language: Tamil
Release: 29 March, 2019
Rating: 4/5


Copyright ©2019 Ninad Kulkarni. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.

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