When your job entails watching films every week and writing about them, you toughen up after a while to the short straws you are handed.
After a while, there is a zone of indifference that lazily made films push you to — where you watch proceedings on-screen with mild interest, without much emotional involvement. Super-Duper had me arrested in that zone for almost its entire duration.
To be fair to the film, Super Duper does have a story in place. And it’s a fairly interesting one as well, at least on paper. There is a kidnapping-gone-wrong, a missing drug consignment, gangster and murders, and so on. The film also has quite a few twists.
However, the craft is so amateurish it feels like you’re watching an overstretched YouTube video.
The performances don’t help either. On one hand, you have Dhruva who looks frozen all the time, and on the other, we have Shah Ra being… Shah Ra.
While he gets a few good moments, these are not remotely enough to save the film. Indhuja looks good and has a central role as well, but it isn’t like she has much to do.
Super Duper is styled like a comic book, complete with dialogue bubbles and animations. But when the film uses such animations for extended and crucial sequences, it almost feels as if the director had to resort to animation to stitch up a film from the live-action footage he had in hand.
It isn’t just about the style though, the entire film feels like a cooked stew of pop-culture. There is a don named Vedha and a cop named Vikram (no points for guessing where that’s from).
There is a dialogue from Baahubali somewhere. Indhuja is referred to as the ‘Angel vesham potta Annabelle.’ (The Thangachi Song from Meyaadha Maan, in case you’re wondering).
Despite all its twists, the film feels annoyingly familiar. While I realise that such entertainer doesn’t exactly rely on logic or authenticity, Super Duper’s humour isn’t all that funny either.
It expects us to be amused with punchlines such as “Nadakarathu vena ezhavu aana jeika porathu en love-u” or “Pakkam pakkama dialogue pesradhu mukiyam illa, pakkava pesanum.” However, all I could muster was just a sigh.
You know you’ve watched too many bad films when you find yourself almost on the edge of the seat, waiting for the moment where the film gets problematic. Inappropriate humour, objectification — you know, the usual suspects.
I was thankful to be gifted a few misses in Super Duper before that moment, almost inevitably, arrives. Sherin is made to dance for a special number, but with a reason.
There is a tasteless ‘romantic scene’, that again gets an explanation. And just when I thought my fears were not justified and this might actually turn out to be a non-problematic film, a homosexual gangster is introduced out of nowhere. Of course, he is lascivious. What else could the gay man be in our films?
And for once, I wasn’t happy that my guess was right.
After all this, when Maama says “Ivangalam gangsters, ivangaluku oru boss, avanuku oru thangachi, avaluku oru lover and avanuku oru maama vera, cha”, at the end; I couldn’t help but agree.
|Film: Super Duper
Cast: Dhruva, Indhuja