Home Movies Reviews ‘The Eclipse’ (Adai Mazhai Kaalam) Netflix Movie Review - Stodgy, Repetitious, and Pretentious

‘The Eclipse’ (Adai Mazhai Kaalam) Netflix Movie Review - Stodgy, Repetitious, and Pretentious

The movie follows a man, who is given a second chance at life by a kindly cupid, but he must learn to live in the now by opening his heart to love.

Vikas Yadav - Sun, 11 Jun 2023 14:04:12 +0100 9584 Views
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Karthik Shaamalan's The Eclipse (aka Adai Mazhai Kaalam) is stodgy, repetitious, and pretentious. It only has one message to deliver: Live your life to the fullest. Seize the moment. Carpe diem. And this one message is often repeated by the characters. It seems as if the movie wants to shove this line forcefully down our throats. The Eclipse wants you to be happy and grateful, but it emotionally manipulates you later and forces you to shed tears. It's easy to see through its facile approach and preachy tone. If you cry, you do so, not because you feel sad for the characters. But because you realize you are watching something insipid and banal.

The movie opens with a portentous voice and an accident. The scene is shot in slow motion to give the impression that what you are watching is "art." I found it all intensely excruciating and immediately checked the runtime. I groaned after discovering the length to be 2 hours and 27 minutes. To make matters worse, The Eclipse showed no signs of improvement. When Suriyan (Loga Varman Strideran) and his friends inquire about juice at a shop, the soundscape erupts with the sounds of gunshots. Why? Because this scene is meant to be humorous. Needless to say, the craft is dated. Some scenes are horribly executed and awkwardly inserted to make (or repeat) a point. For instance, after Suriyan cuts his beard, he and his friends spot an old professor in a wheelchair in the middle of the mall. If I cared, I would have criticized the professor's wife for leaving her disabled husband. But it's almost impossible to get angry at or feel anything for these characters. They all are merely mouthpieces delivering the thoughts of the director.

Shaamalan isn't interested in exploring the inner lives of his dramatis personae. He simply moves them from one scene to another. As far as he is concerned, he wants his actors to only convey what's written in the screenplay. Unfortunately, his script is very shallow and doesn't go beyond life lessons and the central romance. Consider the classes at the college. We just see one teacher teaching the class, and he solely talks about carpe diem. During Suriyan's beard phase, the movie reveals he and his love interest, Chandra (Thia Lakshana), have a job. However, we never see them dealing with professional work. They leave their home and go to their offices, but the camera never shows them doing any labor. The Eclipse doesn't consider these things important and consequently is unable to realize that by overlooking these "minor details," it's just failing to flesh out its world and its characters. This means everything feels plastic - a quality that strengthens due to the film's ugly look.

Perhaps, Shaamalan knows his scenes are feeble, which is why he goes for emotional manipulations (or maybe, he's just a bad filmmaker). At first, Suriyan's death is displayed through shocked reactions and blood. After some time, the movie shows us exactly how the accident occurred (the helmet and a hand are crushed by the truck's tire). Did we need to see these images? No. However, Shaamalan decides to lazily mine some reactions from the audience. Hence, the gruesome pictures. Furthermore, the scene where Suriyan asks Chandra if she would miss his presence and the one where his spirit sits with his mother could be subtitled "Shameless Audience Manipulation." Strideran and Lakshana are serviceable, but you understand how tough it is for an actor to cry on the screen when you watch the former letting out a howl of anguish. Strideran is unconvincing when he sobs. When he weeps loudly after realizing he has been dead, he looks like a spoiled kid whining for his favorite toy. This is why instead of sympathizing with him, you feel like giving him a tight slap.

In the name of "humor" and "intelligence," you receive puns like an eye pad. The idea of an ex-cupid-turned-messenger-of-death sounds amusing, but the joke never lands. Since the movie involves an eclipse, the lovers are named Suriyan (sun) and Chandra (moon). The film makes a character utter this connection in case the audience is unable to do so. What's more, The Eclipse doesn't cleverly shift between comedy and seriousness. It treats the tone like a switch that can be flipped anytime to change the mood. This makes the movie more clumsy and jarring. The Eclipse, in the end, wants to tackle a weighty, profound subject. However, the filmmaking is inept, and everything is coated with a superficial layer. Since you live only once, you should avoid watching movies like The Eclipse. They don't provide a very pleasant experience.

Final Score- [3.5/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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