Super Deluxe Review - One of a kind movie that encompasses so many things that it leaves your mind boggling!
Just like Thiagaraja Kumararaja kept saying, Super Deluxe is a film that refuses to slot itself into a single genre. Parallel storylines that are completely unrelated keep tantalizing us with various theories. Honestly you have no clue as to what thread binds them and you are keen on how they would converge at the end. Revealing anything about Super Deluxe would be a spoiler but in short Kumararja pulls the rug from under our feet and has a hearty laugh at the human tendency to look for a reason in everything. He sort of gets us into a make believe complex web, has us trying to decipher the logic and then asks us as to why did we over imagine. The film is packed so much that I for sure know that a lot has gone above my head.
The moral universe of Super Deluxe isn't as blurred as Aaranya Kaandam, as in we are able to demarcate the good and the evil more clearly. But again the perennial question of what is actually good and bad keeps popping up. The film explores gender, sexuality, relationships, porn, religion, faith and what not. It is sort of a social commentary on the absurdities that we have accepted as norm. We love porn and consume it but will not respect a pornstar. The film was far more philosophical than I had expected it to be. There is this thread about a guy who survived tsunami and how he reasons it and fixes a purpose on his life based on that one incident. In a superb scene later, his theory is broken into shackles by another character who has been through the exact same scenario but sees it merely as a happening.
Kumararaja's characters might not be what you see regularly on screen but he treats them like they are. The film basically stresses on inclusivity and this starts from its characters. Unlike Aaranya Kaandam, the philosophies are more direct here, in the sense we have characters speaking them. For instance, the dialogue about how patriotism and ethnic pride not being very different from caste pride. Some of these dialogues did seem more towards the audience than characters speaking among themselves.
The stellar cast does a brilliant job. This is the Kumararaja universe and you hardly see the stars as to how you are used to them and just because they have been cast we do not have them being given more prominence. Vijay Sethupathy is someone who cannot be compared to any other star that Tamil cinema has seen and you cannot imagine any other star willing to do the stuff he has done. It is not merely playing the transgender that I am talking about. The film ventures into zones that is hardly seen in mainstream cinema. And you know what? This isn't a film that exploits someone's miseries and plays it out like poverty porn. With so much talent, what is more heartening is that Kumararaja's priorities aren't misplaced.
Kumararaja's taste of music is apparent throughout (classic hits being used) and Yuvan Shankar Raja has a field day. The technical team ensures that the surreal feel in the writing is translated on screen as well.
Super Deluxe isn't a film that you watch and then narrate the story to your friend. It is a unique cinematic experience and shows what a filmmaker with a hold over the medium and a very peculiar signature can do.