Tuesday, August 10, 2010


It was an accidental visit to Villivakkam on a Saturday evening that set me back by 600 bucks. The clinic was closed and my daughter insisted we go to just see from outside the multiplex right behind the bus terminus. We did, and I succumbed to the temptation to see what the multiplex was like – why, what a multiplex was like from the inside. The old Royal theatre had made way to its modern avatar – the AGS Royal multiplex. I bought five tickets for Madharasapattinam, not for anything else but the Madras Week coming up. The film was said to contain a lot of shots of old Madras, something that is close to my heart.

We trooped into the multiplex at around 1800 hours on Sunday for an 1815 start of show. The 600 setback immediately rose to 800 – my daughters were simply not complaining about the fare that was on offer. We started with eats and had much more during the intermission – and, why do they call the break in the movies as ‘intermission’ and not ‘interval’?

The theatre was very good. The air-conditioning was awesome and, contrary to the convention in Chennai theatres, was not switched off. The seats were plush, had comfortable levels of pushback. The steps leading to the higher rows were well-lit with blue LED, just enough to find our way but not infringing on viewing pleasure. The sound was good – in all, it offered a very good experience. The wash rooms were also very well maintained and smelled fresh – even during the interval.

Getting a snack was never so easy – no pushing and shoving. Just queue up to the three bill counters, pay and get the receipt. Then you went to the food counter to get your food – they even gave you trays to take the food inside the theatre. The coffee, cardamom tea, cold coffee and hot chocolate were simply superb.

Overall, it was an experience that was worth it – made a bit better by the movie that we watched. I am not sure, though, if I will make a beeline to the next multiplex screen in town.


As the movie calls itself, its USP is the showcasing of Madras, a city that we now ruefully know as Chennai. The movie is very well made, the cinematography wonderful and the music very good – the songs are still ringing; something you cannot say of music these days. How long these will continue ringing I am not sure, but certainly not as the golden oldies of yore, I suppose.

The story line is the usual, yet a bit different. Taking off on the ‘us’ versus ‘them’ theory, it is love between a local boy and a British girl, set in the 1940s. The issue of the invaders’ highhandedness is settled when the hero bashes up the villain – but at stake is not the girl; it is the livelihood of the hero’s community. As independence dawns on India, it is darkness for the lovers. He is thrown into the Cooum by his lover to save his life; she is herself whisked away to Britain.

The story is narrated in a flashback mode and I could not discern any gaps in the narrative. The comedy track was just right; the performances of the major role-players were up to it, without being spectacular.

Madras Week creeps upon us in a few days’ time, and what better than to freshen up for the week with shots of old Madras! Whether it will help in the quiz or not, I do not know, for I am still not sure of being there at the quiz itself. Is somebody listening?


Blogger rajaram said...

yes, of course i was and i am...stil not convinced of your reasons for missing the quiz...by the same rule, you should have left out even lq too, for the last two years. you didn't and i am happy for it...i would be doubly happy if you team up with sundar.
btw, i too liked the film though i wonder why you had not linked it to the obvious film, Titanic.

Blogger gpk said...

I had the opportunity to visit this multiplex with family for the Khatta Meetha. I never dreamt that the good old Royal theatre has transformed itself into a superb multiplex.


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