Deiva Thirumagal is a poignant emotional tale of a father and daughter. A father who is as old as the daughter mentally and a daughter who loves her dad more than anything else. Vikram as Krishna is brilliant with his portrayal of an autistic adult whereas Sara is fantastic in her portrayal of a 5 year old. The supporting cast of Nasser, Anushka, Santhanam, Amala Paul are apt to the story with mellifluous music from GV Prakash and wonderful cinematography from Nirav Shah. Vijay has given one of the best movies of Tamil cinema that transcends Tamil cinema to the next level…

This would have been my review (like the other big bash reviewers) if I had not seen “I am Sam”. Alas, as an avid movie watcher I came across that movie long back when Sean Penn was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. Deiva Thirumagal (DT) marks a new chapter in the book of Tamil Cinema plagiarism. Unlike the other reviewers claim, DT heavily inspires from “I am Sam” and the only difference being the second half of the movie because Vijay could not have copied that part as it’s very specific to US legal system.

Vikram’s Krishna is modelled completely on Sean Penn’s Sam. The actions, emotions, sound of the laugh, the way he runs, the way he kisses his daughter, the way he hugs his daughter, the meticulous way of arranging things, the way he speaks and even his hair style is Sam. I could see only Sean Penn and not Vikram. Although they have tried to comprehensively copy what Sean Penn did, Vikram could not even match 10% of what Sean Penn did (mind you some critics consider it’s not the greatest performance of Sean Penn till date). Sara’s Nila is completely different from Dakota Fanning’s Lucy because Lucy’s character is more matured and she understands what’s happening around her. Nila is more simplistic and straight forward Tamil movie child but Sara has portrayed Nila brilliantly. Some of her expressions tug your heart and she is the star of the movie for me.

The problem with DT is that it’s frivolous. The whole court room drama is nothing but a joke whereas in “I am Sam” it addresses the bigger issue of why a mentally challenged person should or should not raise a child. The way Anushka and Nasser try to manipulate the situations instead of real arguments completely takes away the seriousness of the issue. The way Vijay has taken liberty to copy the characters from the original is baffling. The four friends of Krishna is exact replica of the original – including the way they look. The first half of the movie is exact replica of I am Sam with a neighbour lady helping Krishna to understand about raising a child, the questions Nila asks, the shoe buying scene and even the Abbey road tribute scene. (Sean Penn is a Beatles fan in the movie and there is a tribute to Abbey road cover in the movie)

So after the first half is ready, Vijay understood he can’t have the same legal issues as the original. He brings in characters like the Grand Father (Sachin Khadekar), Aunt (Amala Paul) and Nasser (the lawyer). All set, bring in a lady lawyer (Anushka) for the protagonist (by the way Michelle Pfeiffer’s character is more complex in the original), so that it will be easy for a romantic angle too and assistants (Santhanam) for comic relief. Santhanam does evoke some laughter with his witty one-liners. Sprinkle some tear jerkers and the recipe for success is ready. GV Prakash has done some decent job with is songs – “Pa Pa”, “Vizhigalil” and “aariro” are wonderful tunes but he has to grow up in background scores. The way he switches between tunes in the scenes are jarring and abrupt. GV, please watch some Ilayaraja movies to understand the brilliance of silence.

Deiva Thirumagal is a very enjoyable tear jerker for a person who hasn’t seen the original. But it puts us with a question whether we should encourage such plagiarised content in Tamil movies. There are innumerable stories, short stories and novels that can be made as fantastic movies. But talented directors like Vijay are taking the easy way out in remaking movies and ripping off Hollywood stuff. I can’t understand whether it’s lack of creativity or “who’s gonna find out” attitude that makes them to do such movies. The way they claim shamelessly in TV programs about the way they created the story and characters is pathetic. Vikram was even more shameless to claim that he visited so many places to research about mentally challenged people when he has just replicated what Sean Penn did in the original. If you are making such movies, you are not taking the Tamil movies to next level but bringing it down to million levels down.

I am not going to rate this movie on any stars as it was painful to see such a rip off. And for those who think the movie is brilliant, I shall remind you – “Ignorance is bliss”

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Sylvian

Posted by Sylvian

Marketing Analyst by profession, a quizzer by passion, a blogger by choice, a poet by chance, a non-conformist by gene and a rebel by birth

18 Comments

  1. Hi Sylvin, I haven’t watched I Am Sam, but watched one Ajay Devgan, Sushmita Sen starrer, in which the mentally challenged Ajay tries to keep the custody of his bright kid, and the lady lawyer Sushmita Sen helps him win the custody from the rich, influential Anupam Kher, who’s daughter give birth to the kid. Is this ring a bell 😉 Well, I liked that movie ( Mein Aisa Hi Hoon ).

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  2. Ramya Sadasivam July 19 at 4:17 pm

    Whether or not the movie is good, I know you will never come up with a positive review, any movie for that matter 🙂

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    1. I think I replied to you in Facebook but for the record – I wrote good reviews of movies like Aaranya Kaandam and Azhagarsamyin Kuthirai – did anybody watch it in theatre? For me Aaranya Kaandam should have been hailed 100 times more than these ripoffs

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  3. “Ignorance is Bliss” – Really!!! Otherwise you wouldn’t have written that GVP has given some nice tues like “PaPa”. Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VPpw1jN-mE

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    1. Thanks for the comment Karthick. I wrote the review before I knew those were copied ones. I came to know through a friend in Facebook that even Jagadothom is copied tune. GV does it again. So the “ignorance is bliss” suits me too 🙂

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  4. And, regarding your post, I agree 100% to your views. In my opinion, even if they decide to remake/rip-off a Hollywood movie, they should be honest/man enough to give credit to the original film. That is where our directors suck. 🙁

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  5. Anonymous July 21 at 2:30 am

    Thank god someone had a negative review of this movie, i was waiting to read this.

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  6. 1. Let us assume that credits to “I am SAM” were given by the DTM team. The Producers of I am SAM will now have a solid proof to sue DTM for plagarizing stuff without consent as per copyright laws of respective countries.
    Don’t you feel that leaving that fellow untouched instead will keep DTM legally safe. A case by I am SAM team will not stand today.

    2. I was disappointed that you were not willing to appreciate at-least to where it was due. The second half as you’ve mentioned and the climax was a really wonderful experience (atleast I enjoyed it). Hope you can appreciate the local ingredients included in the right mix.

    3. Hope you’ve had the chance to watch other movies which were inspired, copied, plagarized, dubbed etc., Doing it better than the original is in itself a challenge. Why didn’t Mudalvan and Nayak, Dilse and Uyirae, and many others which succeeded in one language did not find acceptance with the others.

    4. We are used to watching stereotyped cinema’s with the same age old formulas. When there is a different movie we forget from where it has come from instead appreciate what was there for us to see. Hope you are kind enough and not be point blank against the DTM team.

    5. I have read a few other movie reviews of yours. You had appreciate movies like KO, Aaranya Kaandam, Vaanam and others…. I wonder what will your review be for the movie Maaveeran.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Ashok. If they are worried about legal cases, they should not have copied the movie in the first place – don’t you think they should have legally bought the rights of the movie? and still “I am Sam” producers can sue the movie as the whole of first half has been copied scene by scene.

      2. After the first, i was able to only laugh at the second half because of the frivolous nature of court room scenes. Sorry it didn’t touch my heart.

      3. I accept that I have watched a lot of them – almost 80% of the Kamal movies has a string out of hollywood movies if I am not wrong but the way he does is different. He doesn’t copy the scenes mostly, the screenplay is well written in fact a few of them we would not have even heard about the original. I am even critical of some of those movies. Any plagiarism whoever does it is condemnable.

      4. I am ok with watching stereotyped movies, masala movies as long it is original and enjoyable. If it’s not enjoyable, its not worth it. I think I have argued about this in my post itself, if you are bringing copied content in the name of different movies, sorry its not appreciable and it will bring down the levels of Tamil movies. There are innumerable short stories, novels, original screenplays in Tamil why not make it if you want make different movies. If you bring out that and make it enjoyable for the audiences, then you are talented. I am point blank on DTM team because of their attitude and I don’t want copied content in my Tamil movies. Amir, Mysskin and even Vetrimaran fall in to this category of directors who compromise on content in the name of different movies

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      1. Sylvian, Thank You for the response.
        Probably I am talking with a critic who appreciates only original content. No wrong with your opinion. If that is the case, Where do you think is Tamil Cinema to be ranked in World Cinema. (I guess you should say atleast a 2 of 10).
        Can you name atleast 10 Recent movies in Tamil which you find to be path breaking and are original in content.
        I understand K.Balachander dealt with original but controversial subjects. Can you list other Directors who provide commercially succesful movies in Tamil with origial content (This is for my collections).

        I feel original movies are a risk, especially when someone thinks of an entirely different genre of movie targeting a small audience. And asking our directors here to make such movies(and that too succesful) is asking for the skies.

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        1. Thanks Ashok for the reply…

          I would not rank Tamil movies in comparison to world movies nor I say that movies should be like iranian or korean or spanish movies. Because those movies are taken for their own culture and depict the same. I love the mass masala movies of Indian cinema because I think there are no better movies that make people enjoy the experience. For instance there are movies like The Hurt Locker and James bond in English – I wish such stuff co-exists in Tamil Cinema

          What I am against is plagiarized content – movies like Aaranya Kaandam, Azhagar Samiyin Kuthirai, Angadi Theru, Nadodigal have brilliant content and also made money. Why do you think Bharathiraja, Mahendran, Bhagyaraj, Parthiban, Bala gave hits – because they had original content and made movies which struck the hearts of people. Even Balachander had got inspired by stuff – do you know Naan Avanillai is inspired by a Marathi play?

          Taking original movies is not a risk. It’s rather the other way – taking copied content is easy and safe. If you can’t make original content, I would ask these directors to buzz off and leave way for people who wants to make original movies. Thiagarajan Kumararaja of Aaaranya Kaandam have to run pillar to post to make such a movie. It depicted a normal north madras mafia life. If our talented directors take original movies, we will give all these world movies a run for their money

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      2. Just going through your posts..I am telling from the bottom of my heart..Dont,in your life review for a movie ever..Nobody is going to read yours..You have been reviewing for these many years but still nobody knows you..Because your reviews are shit..If you are so concerned about pligarism and stuff better make a movie..we will see if you can be the best..Or remake the same I am Sam..I bet you,yours will suck!! Btw nobody hated DTM ever..

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    2. 5. I have not watched Maaveran or Margadheera as its called in original. I have been recommended by a lot of people to watch it. If i get a chance, I will review it. I have condemned about Ko copying State of Play too. Maaveran is a dubbed version and Vaanam is an official remake – I wish I could see the originals with good subtitles like we get for international language movies

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  7. A very cleverly written review. I haven’t seen the Tamil one yet and I don’t think I will either, but I am Sam is one helluva flick! If they had copied it, well I don’t know…. I really hope it at least hasn’t been diluted with some of our industry’s pet ingredients “Love song, Amma sentiment, etc…”

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    1. It does have a love song eshwar – between the lawyer and the lead character 🙂

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  8. I have written regarding this film and others, even before I read your blog. I am happy that at least someone out there shares similar point of view. I hope as a wannabe film maker, in future, I would try my best to raise the bar. Probably, you might watch films made by me and of course it would be definitely original. I am tired, sooooo tired of watching these so called copy cat greats of our Tamil and Indian film industry as a whole. Instead of banning them from taking further films, it is discouraging to see them winning accolades for copying stuff that too without giving proper credit to the original creator. What a disgrace. Hopefully, on the positive note, when I start making films one fine day (hope it happens sooner ;)), I would definitely keep away from these kinda of sick acts in the name of making a great film. I would rather like my film called a original rather than a great copy cat :). TQ so much for sharing strong views against plagiarism. I appreciate your blog. God bless you bro.

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  9. Nice review! Will looking forward have a look of this.

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  10. ‘I am sam’ makers should sue director vijay. How can someone can steal such great work.
    how can this director fool tamil audience. shameless guy.

    Reply

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