Review Tamil

Super Deluxe review: An eccentric, dark and funny morality tale

Release Date: 29 Mar 2019 / Rated: A / 02hr 56min


Cinestaan Rating

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Karthik Kumar

Centred on a few eccentric characters who find themselves in even more eccentric situations, Super Deluxe is layered, philosophical and quite emotional.

Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s Super Deluxe, which is Tamil cinema’s boldest attempt in recent years, is a wildly eccentric, dark and funny tale on what defines morality, what is right and what is wrong, and why chastity is overrated. It is undoubtedly one of the best cinematic experiences and really makes you believe in the hype that has been surrounding the project ever since it was announced.

Centred on a few eccentric characters who find themselves in even more eccentric situations, Super Deluxe is layered, philosophical and quite emotional. As the story progresses, it oscillates between genres, delivering one of the craziest cinematic experiences ever.

The film opens with the segment featuring Fahadh Faasil and Samantha, who play a couple and accidentally end up with a corpse. As they figure out how to get rid of the body, they also try and mend their broken relationship. Through the characters of Fahadh and Samantha, Kumararaja questions what defines chastity in a marriage.

Mysskin and Ramya Krishnan play a couple who are no longer together. This segment questions one’s faith in god and how most of us are blinded by it. Mysskin plays a preacher. He believes in surrendering to the almighty when in need, but when his own son is on the brink of death following an accident, his faith in god is questioned.

Ramya, on the other hand, is a hardworking, self-made woman. She plays a former actress who could never make it big. In order to make ends meet and raise her son, she has tried her hands at all sorts of roles, including soft porn. There is a sub-plot featuring Ramya, her son and Mysskin and it plays out in the most unimaginable way.

The third segment is centred on Vijay Sethupathi, who plays a transgender called Shilpa. This is undeniably the gutsiest role any mainstream hero could ever essay on screen. This segment questions gender dynamics and one's basic freedom to choose who he or she wants to be.

Sethupathi plays Manickam and returns to his family after five years, only to give them the shock of their lives. He is a fully transformed woman now and his family members are unsure how to accept his transformation. Oblivious of his father’s transformation, however, Manickam’s son is really happy to see him. In one of the cutest scenes, he asks his father if he should call him mother. Scenes between Sethupathi and his son are easily the best father-son bonding portion one has seen in Tamil cinema.

One of the funniest segments in the film revolves around five youngsters who are obsessed with the idea of watching porn. When they accidentally cross paths with a local gangster, the event paves the way for a lot of fun. Some of the scenes in this segment are outright hilarious and elevate the overall mood of the film.

The film features great performances from the ensemble cast. Samantha Akkineni, who has mostly worked in commercial films where she has had very little to do, stuns us with a career-defining performance. She is a treat to watch as Vaembu. As a cheating wife, she has remorse and delivers it with a deadpan expression that’s awkwardly funny. Fahadh Faasil proves yet again why he can literally take up any role and wear it like a medallion.

Ramya Krishnan, who was wasted in a few films after the Baahubali series, makes a strong impact with a role that screams empathy. Mysskin is surprisingly good and his sometimes over-the-top performance actually makes his role stand out.

But come awards season, let’s wish Vijay Sethupathi walks away with all the top honours. In a role that can only earn him more fans, he embraces transgender Shilpa as nobody else can, and he makes it one of the best performances of his career.

Super Deluxe is a masterpiece, no second thoughts. If this is what Kumararaja can deliver after taking eight long years, well, he can take more time. We will patiently wait to be blown all over again by his work.

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