Who is our good friend Prakash Raj talking about? None other than "Chiyaan" Vikram, of course!
Amaluu over at Bollystalgia put out the call reminding us that today - April 17 - is Vikram's birthday and encouraging us to post something in the birthday boy's honour. Like I need an excuse to get one of my shamefully unwatched Vikram dvds down off the pile!
Bheemaa (N. Linguswamy, 2008)
Is it too shameful to admit that pretty much the entire reason I ordered this film in the first place is because Vikram looks like THIS:
in the promo shots for it?
You know what? I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. Fortunately for all of us who sometimes order films for such flimsy, shallow, yet TOTALLY understandable reasons (just take a good long look at that picture. DRINK IT IN):
a) Vikram is as talented an actor as he is SMOKING HOT (that is to say: the man is blessed in all areas); and
b) Bheemaa is, not to put too fine a point on it, ABSOLUTELY, GRIPPINGLY, RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME. It twists, it turns and is entirely unpredictable and engaging (and I don’t want to write too much about the plot because you need to watch it for yourself, SERIOUSLY). I laughed (a lot), I gasped (a lot) and I cried. And I drooled a little bit. I mean – watch THIS:
“Chiyaan” Vikram plays Shekar, an enigmatic man who is pretty much a fighting machine – blessed with stealth, eagle eyes, perfect aim, fists of steel, and all the other awesome skills that enable him to repeatedly take on entire mobs of armed men single-handedly and unarmed, and emerge victorious, barely even breaking a sweat.
Shekar ends up offering his considerable talents to one of the two powerful gang lords in Chennai: his childhood idol, Chinna (Prakash Raj). Chinna is respected and loved by the public because he and his men are known for ‘cleaning up the streets’, righting injustices like vigilantes and ensuring that real lowlifes are punished. Chinna and his gang are technically criminals in that their methods of dispensing justice go outside the law – but it is this freedom that makes them super effective, and certain officials (like the D.I.G) recognize that Chinna and his gang can do things the police can’t legally do (if the police turn a blind eye). When fighting machine Shekar joins Chinna’s gang, Chinna’s status is elevated to the point that nobody in Chennai can touch them…which means EVERYBODY wants to bring them down. And EVERYBODY sees Shekar as the reason for Chinna’s success, calling him the “Bheemaa” of the gang.
At war with Chinna is Chinna’s former mentor Old Man, the leader of the other big gang in Chennai. Morally opposite to Chinna et al, these guys don’t care who is implicated in their gang war or in their lust for power and domination; they don’t care about justice or appear to have any kind of moral code. They want to kill Chinna and Shekar and be back on top.
And into the middle of it all comes a new police commissioner, intent on cleaning up Chennai and eradicating the gang war altogether. His strategy: shoot any goonda on sight. Clean up the streets. Forget the formalities of policework: just kill them all.
So it sounds pretty heavy right? It does get action packed, with SO MANY hardcore superwow fight sequences…but seriously, DON’T BE MISLED.
It’s also hilarious. Sometimes on purpose – one of the things I noticed Bheemaa does is something I noticed in another N.Linguswamy film I watched the other day (Paiyaa): set up a male protagonist who is uncomfortable expressing his emotions, and have him fall in love, and try to explain it. Shekar eventually falls in love with a girl – Shalu (Trisha) – after falling through her roof and landing on her as she is practicing for a dance recital (which is funny in itself):
Also: I REALLY got the impression that he didn't just...uh..."fall" on her and "roll around".
and the killer suddenly finds himself looking at flowers differently and trying to discuss them with his goonda friends, to little avail.
And I haven’t even touched on the BEST PART.
One of the things I love THE MOST about this film is the sweet, utterly ADORABLE bromance between Shekar and Chinna.
FORGET THIS. THIS IS NOT THE ROMANCE TRACK IN THE FILM.
This is the ONE TRUE PARTNERSHIP.
YEAH WE LOVE EACH OTHER SO WHAT?
Before I saw this film, I would have said “Who doesn’t love Prakash Raj?” because seriously, who doesn’t? But after watching this – if you are not COMPLETELY SMITTEN WITH THE MAN, then there is something wrong with you. Or we can’t be friends.
HE'S SO AWESOME!
This is the point in the film where he won my heart for good.
I think I took more screencaps of Prakash Raj in Bheemaa than I did of Vikram. AND YOU KNOW THAT’S SAYING SOMETHING. He’s just so adorable as Chinna, and the bromance between him and Shekar eclipses EVERYTHING ELSE.
Prakash Raj is just the same as you or I - BEREFT without Vikram.
I don’t want to write too much about this film and give it all away – but seriously? AWESOME. You cannot go wrong with Vikram and Prakash Raj, and this film totally backs that theory up.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHIYAAN VIKRAM!