By Haricharan Pudipeddi
Film: B U R M A
Cast: Michael Thangadurai, Reshmi Menon, Sampath Raj, Atul Kulkarni, Sharath Kumar and Deepak Parameshwaran
Director: Dharani Dharan
Rating: **1/2 (Two & Half)
Debutant Dharani Dharan-directed “Burma”, which is about carjacking, could’ve easily been an excellent film with its interesting premise and an equally exciting non-linear narrative.
It focuses on three parallel stories interconnected by a car. Just when you start to enjoy the film’s truly offbeat presentation, the problem begins! Audiences are randomly introduced to a few characters whose presence is not appreciated till a point when it’s too late. Nevertheless, “Burma” is still a reasonably good watch with some decent performances.
Burma alias Paramanandan is an aspiring carjacker who works under Guna, who is known to the best in the business of illegal seizure of vehicles. Burma and his sidekick Boomer risk their lives and seize vehicles for Guna for a pittance. They decide to request for a raise in pay, but things don’t pan out as planned. So they double-cross Guna, and take over the business.
Burma is in love and he has plans to settle down, but he’s not financially stable. He lands an opportunity to change all that. He has to seize 28 vehicles for a local financier. He signs up for the job and starts seizing vehicles one by one, and within no time, he has seized 27 vehicles (you really wonder if carjacking is so easy). When Burma gets his hands on the last vehicle, a high-end luxury SUV, his life goes topsy-turvy.
There are two other stories running parallel to this. While the first one is about a gang that plans to rob a security van carrying ATM money worth crores, the second is about another gang that plans to rob from this gang.
The high-end luxury SUV interconnects these three stories in such a way that you know the director likes to experiment. And his efforts are laudable.
He also avoids all the common cinematic cliches that are often used in Tamil cinema. For instance, the hero and heroine don’t break into a song to prove that they are in love or there’s no backstory that explains how they fell in love. We know they’re in love because they’re introduced as a couple. These are some of the pluses of “Burma”, and that’s what makes it instantly likeable.
But these few reasons aren’t enough to engage audiences. Dharani uses the narrative style of Guy Ritchie films, but what he misses out is the deft execution style of the latter.
I wished the characters had been better etched. There’s not a single character you root for because there’s so much of confusion around them. Even the heroine, who comes from a respectable household, joins hands with the hero in carjacking. We are forced to understand that she’s doing it out of love, but the real reason is that she wants him to make money so that he could convince her father for marriage.
The performances are satisfying, but you wish Sampath and Atul had stronger roles as they are the most popular faces in the cast. “Burma” should have ideally been high on comedy because it’s important for a film that completely relies on its almost unfamiliar cast. There are a few funny dialogues, but they aren’t enough to keep you entertained. The music is fairly experimental, but for one promo song used exclusively for commercial reasons.