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Buffoon Movie Review

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Director Ashok Veerappan gives a compelling story in Buffoon, which he made his directorial debut with. The movie chronicles the misfortunes of a therukoothu artist who gets into all kinds of trouble while attempting to discover himself a better existence.

Vaibhav (Kumara) is a therukoothu artist who believes his current profession as a stage actor does not provide him with much money, and he wants to move to another country in order to make more. He gets into difficulty attempting to do so, then comes up against gangsters and cops who turn his life upside down and force him to face reality.

buffoon review

Buffoon Movie Review

The central idea of Buffoon is greed. One man’s aspiration for power sets off another man’s craving for dominance. In Silambarasan film, Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu, we see how a group of people are like cogs in a machine. Kumaran and his friend Muthaiah (Anthakudi Ilayaraja), who are fed up with their lives as ‘Buffoons’ in a theatre group, wish to go overseas to earn money.

The two main characters, Kumaran and Muthaiah, find themselves in the midst of a drug mafia that’s crumbling because of political rivalry. While there are plenty of fascinating peripheral characters in Buffoon, Anagha’s Ilayal is by far the most interesting. Although the romance sequences between Kumaran and her were disappointing, Ilayal had a lot of potential with her feistiness. But this aspect wasn’t delved into enough, leaving us with a story that feels pretty generic overall.

Buffoon is a refreshing variation on the usual, largely tried-and-true format. While maintaining a mostly traditional paradigm, there are a few revolutionary touches that contribute to Buffoon’s creativity. The Eelam Tamil factor looms large, and Ilayal raises some challenging questions about Sri Lankan refugee policy. She also raises crucial issues regarding the system’s inherent prejudice against people from the community and how they are treated in this country.

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Around the interval point, there is a powerful recitation that reveals the difficulty in finding an identity and a place to call home. Even though this element of Buffoon is far from superficial, it needed more depth. In reality, sometimes when commercial elements are included in films like Buffoon, it takes away from the enjoyment of the movie.

The strongest aspects of Buffoon are Santhosh Narayanan’s songs and score, as well as Dinesh Purushothaman’s cinematography. However, the writing is often inconsistent, which is the film’s biggest issue. This causes jarring tonal shifts throughout the story. Additionally, the trump card or recurring gag in Buffoon revolves around Dhanapalan’s identity.

When you have a well-known actor in the cast who is absent for large portions of the film, it’s not difficult to perform these calculations. Even if they jam a red herring into place, which is clearly demeaning to our collective sense of humor, the reveal isn’t as surprising as the makers intended. In fact, Buffoon would have benefited from not having this angle at all since it merely adds to our displeasure regarding the movie.

Kumaran, who is on the run from the cops for most of the film, shows little indication of fear. We see him hanging out at a local bar and seeing his theater actor father without a hint of concern about being apprehended by law enforcement. While it’s nice to see Tamilarasan in a different kind of policing uniform than Jai Bhim, the initial motivation in this character disappears as the story goes on.

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The biggest issue with Buffoon is that it does not fully deliver on its promises. For example, Anagha’s character development is present but then undone by a predictable ending. Another issue is Muthiah’s Treatment or rather, lack thereof. Even though he plays an interesting role as sort of a sidekick/friend, the film barely acknowledges his existence half the time. And when he suddenly disappears for no explained reason partway through? We’re never given any explanation about what happened to him. Lastly, the theater angle has potential at first but quickly fizzles out and becomes irrelevant to the main storyline.

The film keenly points out the ever-changing landscape of political parties and affiliations. However, it tries to cover too much ground and as a result, fails to do any justice to each plot line. There is a brief subplot about legal identity theft which could have been further explored but was unfortunately dropped soon after introduction. In addition, we get a commentary on how those in positions of power often use others as pawns for their own agenda. Although this realization is an important one, it needed more emotion than what the film conveyed.

The 118-minute runtime for Buffoon leaves little to the imagination because most of it is dedicated to resolving issues brought up earlier in the film. Not only are some resolutions illogical, but they’re also poorly written and lazy. Though Buffoon has potential due to its heartwarming element, it’s wasted because of inadequate execution and subpar writing.

Trailer

Director

Ashok Veerappan

Writer

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Ashok Veerappan

Stars

Vaibhav Reddy, Anagha L.K., Anthakudi Ilayaraja, Aadukalam Naren

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Movie Rating: 4.4/5

4/5 - Movie Rating!

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