February 21, 2020
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Michael Madana Kamarajan (Tamil)

This laughathon is narrated in cartoonish style and a breathless pace with relentless physical/verbal/visual gags

Michael Madana Kamarajan (Tamil)
Michael Madana Kamarajan (Tamil)
outlookindia.com
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  • Director: Singeetam Srinivasa Rao
  • Year: 1990
  • Cast: Kamalahaasan, Khushboo, Urvashi, Rupini, Nagesh

In spite of its cult status amongst Tamil audiences, Michael remains mostly unknown and unseen by film lovers outside of south India. This trippy caper is about a set of identical quadruplets separated at birth and growing up to become a fireman, a millionaire, a Brahmin cook and a thug-for-hire (all played by Kamalahaasan, predictably devouring the scenery apart from writing its screenplay). And that’s just the beginning. This laughathon is narrated in cartoonish style and a breathless pace with relentless physical/verbal/visual gags that are inspired from cartoons, silent cinema, Marx brothers, and even cleverly cannibalising Kamal’s own oeuvre. The team of director Singeetham Srinivasa Rao and Kamalahaasan (which produced that dialogue-free classic Pushpak in 1987) collaborate with pun-meister ‘Crazy’ Mohan (dialogues) and an ensemble of performers with lunatic timing, which includes an inspired take by actress Urvashi. It takes multiple viewings of Michael to get all the jokes that you missed while you were laughing out loud.

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