Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s Aaranya Kaandam begins with the interaction between Vishnugupta and Chanakya, the former asks ‘Define Dharma’ and the latter says ‘Dharma is fulfilling your need/what needs to be done’ (Ethu Thevaiyo Adhu Dharmam). But for a change in his sophomore film ‘Super Deluxe’, the filmmaker reserves the moral story in the climax. He uses five different episodes featuring protagonists who committed sin (in society’s point of view) to tell you the hidden secret of life. Interestingly, Kumararaja’s original title choice for Super Deluxe was Aneedhi Kadhaigal (Immoral Stories)!
Super Deluxe begins with Vaembu (Samantha), married to Mughil (Fahadh Faasil) is in deep trouble as her boyfriend who came home to have sex with her dies. Vaembu seeks help from Mughil to dispose the body but the distressed husband has one condition- that she should sign the divorce paper and disappear from his life!
Then there is a bunch of adolescent boys who decide to watch porn (Title is Mallu Uncut!) in one of the boy's house. Unfortunately, one of the boys’ mother (Ramya Krishnan as Leela) is the porn star in the film, so the boy gets frustrated and breaks the LCD TV. While Leela’s son madly runs to kill her mom, he accidentally stabs the screwdriver into his stomach. Just like Leela’s son, her husband Dhana Sekar(Mysskin) also tried to commit suicide but later becomes a priest named Arputham as he believes that God saved him from Tsunami which killed millions of people.
We also have Shilpa (Vijay Sethupathi) who went to Mumbai to become a transgender and returns back home after several years to meet his wife (Gayathri) and son Rasukutty (Ashwanth Ashokkumar). The real immoral tale belongs to the lecherous cop (a brilliant Baghavathy Perumal) who goes to any extreme and misuse his power to fulfill his lust. All these characters are directly or indirectly connected to the sexual predator and they understand the meaning of life in a single day!
First things first, kudos to Vijay Sethupathi and Samantha who has put in the best performance as Shilpa and Vaembu. Kumararaja is capable of creating the same impact with newcomers but the presence of big stars brings more attention to the film! Moreover, we often judge a girl who intentionally or unintentionally has extramarital affair but we don’t have the rights to slut-shame them. Vaembu accepts that she did a mistake but the society and in fact, her husband tries to brand her a slut at one point. She is confused and is not really in love with her husband (an arranged marriage).
The society also looks down upon a porn star and immediately judge them but not the millions of viewers who watch it! The transgender community is often ill-treated —from adults to children, they are often treated disrespectfully. In fact, we call them ‘Athu’ (They want to be 'she' but we call them ‘it’). But sexual offenders don’t get such harsh treatment in the society, some of them even enjoy decorated powerful designation. Moreover, these moral codes are created by humans, they would relax some things as they evolve so there is nothing called immoral in the society until you don’t really hurt anyone to fulfill your desire!
Super Deluxe is yet another proof that Vijay Sethupathi is an acting monster, the scene where he ferociously curses Baghavathy Perumal is brilliant! Samantha, gives us a flesh and blood character, a complex woman who feels instantly real and she sparkles! Ramya Krishnan’s climax conversation in the hospital with Mysskin and her son is enough to prove her acting prowess.
Mysskin’s understanding of God after he interacts with Vijay Sethupathi and Ramya Krishnan is sure to give goosebumps to the audiences. Full marks to Gayathri, the small boy Ashwanth and the bunch of youngsters. Fahadh Faasil's character might look easy because he pulls it off effortlessly but it wouldn’t be an easy role for any other actor. Fahadh’s character represents most of us, as he often blames the system and irresponsible people around him! After Cochin Haneefa in Kamal Haasan’s Mahanadhi, Baghavathy Perumal will be the most hated villain in Tamil film history.
Needless to say, Yuvan Shankar Raja nails it with his background score. Both the cinematographers PS Vinod and Nirav Shah lit up the frame even in the darkness while capturing the emotion of the actors.
There are several golden moments placed in the film including the Vadivelu comedy plays in the background just when Samantha and Fahadh have an intense argument. The director also paid homage to Ilaiyaraaja by placing songs like Anthyilla Vaanam, Maasi Masam, Vanitha Mani and also to Bappi Lahiri—the film begins and ends with the ‘I’m a disco dancer’ track!
The Alien connect is another master-stroke by Kumararaja, he also placed a dialogue “So you believe the existence of aliens only in the US) seems to his reply for non-believers. Ending the film by pulling off his own leg is another tongue in cheek moment created by the filmmaker. He compares Super Deluxe with formulaic sex stories filled with lust and ends on a moral note! He indeed finished his film with a sex doctor (Manushya Puthran) narrating the hidden secrets of life and ends his note with a wink, the nurse removes her specs and the end credits rolls. Interestingly, the porn film title is ‘Vazhvin Ragasiyam’ (Secret of Life)!
Super Deluxe review: Must Watch
Reactions from Social Media:
#Superdeluxe Is fun, is disturbing, is entertaining, is boring, is mind blowing , is first of its kind, its trippy and is world class. Exact feel i got in a RIDE OF A LIFE like never. Cannot stick this to a GENRE but will stun you
BRAVE AND FEARLESS FILM MAKING
Mani Yuvan Dravid @rahulmanidravid
#SUPERDELUXE is one of the best movies to come out of Tamil film industry in recent times. Brave. Bold. Dark. And a whole of fun.
This is why i love movies. For experiences such as this.I knew the movie will be bonkers but nothing could have prepared me for what i just witnessed.
#SuperDeluxe @itisthatis Breaks every rule in film making to present an experience that WOWWS you and makes you feel does film making necessarily have to follow a template
He says neither films or life have to follow s template
A BOLDLY ENTERTAINING BRILLIANT CINEMA
Thiagrajan delivers the epitome of all the directors involved. I saw more Mysskin, his God and religion in it though. Sriram Raghavan is also thanked (and referenced) in the film and you can see why. ;) #SuperDeluxe
Overloaded with happiness, witnessing this out of the world work from the great creator. What to mention even, everything made with atmost perfection & execution. @tylerdurdenand1 @itisthatis