Super Deluxe (film)
|Directed by||Thiagarajan Kumararaja|
|Produced by||Thiagarajan Kumararaja|
S. D. Ezhilmathy
|Screenplay by||Thiagarajan Kumararaja|
Neelan K. Sekar
|Music by||Yuvan Shankar Raja|
|Cinematography||P. S. Vinod|
|Edited by||Sathyaraj Natarajan|
Tyler Durden and Kino Fist
East West Dream Works Entertainment
Alchemy Vision Workz
Super Deluxe is a 2019 Indian Tamil-language thriller film co-written, co-produced and directed by Thiagarajan Kumararaja. It features Vijay Sethupathi, Fahadh Faasil, Samantha, Ramya Krishnan, Vijay Ram, Abdul Jabbar, Noble K James, Naveen, and Jayanth in leading roles in separate segments while Mysskin, Gayathrie, Ashwanth Ashokkumar, and Bagavathi Perumal play supporting roles. P. S. Vinod and Nirav Shah handled the cinematography, while Yuvan Shankar Raja was the music director. Directors Nalan Kumarasamy, Neelan K. Sekar and Mysskin have written the additional screenplay for this film. 
The film was released in theatres on 29 March 2019. Super Deluxe was screened and garnered the "Equality in Cinema Award" at the 2019 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. And also screened at Fantasia International Film Festival, the largest genre film festival in North America and Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. In 2019, Film Companion ranked Sethupathi and Child actor Ashwanth Ashokkumar's performances in the list of 100 Greatest Performances of the decade.
A hyperlink woven on four subplots with characters spilling across subplots. One subplot involves a married couple Vaembu and Mugil, and a cop named Berlin; another plot involves Shilpa (previously Manickam), her wife Jyothi, their son Rasukutty, and Berlin the cop; the third plot involves Leela, her husband Dhanasekaran alias Arputham and their son Soori, and Mohan; and the last plot involves five friends: Balaji (Gaaji), Soori, Mohan, Vasanth (Mutta Pupps) and Thuyavan.
Vaembu and Mugil's plot starts at their home with the death of Vaembu's ex-boyfriend during sexual intercourse with Vaembu, while her husband Mugil was away. Mugil returns home, and is requested by the neighbors to accommodate some guests. During this ordeal Mugil finds out about the dead body, Vaembu confesses the affair and the eventual death of the ex-boyfriend, and tells her husband she will surrender to the police and accept her punishment. Mugil rejects Vaembu's suggestion, saying it would ruin him and his family's image. With the uninvited guests at home, they struggle to contain the situation. They talk about how they are both dissatisfied with their marriage. Eventually, they manage to get the corpse out of town but they are still caught by Berlin, a corrupted senior police officer. Berlin blackmails the couple for sexual favor from Vaembu, in exchange to contain the situation and get rid of the corpse. Mugil, in a confused state, tells Vaembu the consequences if they refuse, and urges her to accept the deal. Shattered, Vaembu still refuses, but realizes there are no options left them. Berlin continues to take advantage of the situation and demands his end of the deal there and then. Threatening with his gun, Berlin then instructs Vaembu to handcuff her husband to the car, and tells her to lie down. As he advances towards Vaembu, intending to rape her, a TV hits him on his head, he collapses and dies. The couple dispose both the dead bodies. Mugil forgives Vaembu and they reconcile.
Shilpa's plot starts with a family eagerly expecting the return of Jyothi's husband Manickam, who absconded the family seven years ago. To their shock, Manickam arrives back from Mumbai as a trans woman named Shilpa. The family reacts in various ways to her transition. Shilpa and Jyothi's 7-year old son, Rasukutty, who has been desperately longing the return of his father wants to take Shilpa to school. Rasukutty wants to introduce Shilpha to his friends, and prove them wrong about their mockery of him for being a test-tube baby. Raskutty and Shilpa set off to the school, but on the way there Raskutty needs the toilet. While in the toilet a cop becomes suspicious of Shilpa and drags her and Rasukutty to the police station. Berlin, the same corrupt senior police officer at the station, intervenes and orally rapes Shilpa. He eventually lets Shilpa and Rasukutty go and they arrive at the school. Shilpa once more faces humiliation at the entrance of the school by the school watchmen and is refused entry. Rasukutty enters the school by himself, telling Shilpa to wait as he goes to get his friends. The school watchmen, a father of another student and a few other students continue to harass and humiliate Shilpa. Distressed and ashamed Shilpa buys tickets to return to Mumbai. On the way home from school Shilpa loses Rasukutty. Shocked and distressed Shilpa starts to search for Rasukutty desperately, again encountering Berlin in the process, but this time, they enter into a tussle when he finds out that Shilpa is bald. Shilpa curses Berlin in the style of a trans woman (their curse is feared by many to turn out true) to die. Eventually, she finds him at home. Rasukutty reveals he knows about Shilpa's intention of abandoning them again, and confronts her emotionally. Shilpa realises that Rasukutty and Jyothi accept her as she is, she cancels her plan and decides to stay with her family.
The boys' plot starts with all boys skipping school and gathering to watch pornographic film at Thuyavan's home. As soon as the porn film starts, Soori is left in shock and anger upon seeing his mother Leela in the movie. He breaks the TV in anger and runs away crying, Mohan follows to console him. Thuyavan, afraid of his father finding out about the broken TV, asks help of remaining two friends, Balaji and Vasanth, to find money to buy a new TV to replace the broken on. They accept a job from the local don, but fail miserably. On failing to cut the deal with the don, they are left with an additional burden of more lump sum requirement before EOD. They decide to steal money from a Seth. They initially sneak into his home and escape out with few currency notes. But later they find that those are old demonetized currency and plans to steal from Seth again. When they enter Seth's home again, they are confronted by a teenage girl (Mirnalini Ravi). She appears to have magical powers and strips down to reveal she is an alien. She reveals that the Seth who was lying on the sofa was her companion and has just died, and so she needs a new companion now. She takes interest in Balaji, one of the boys and clones him. One clone stays with her and the other joins his friends. The friends get the money from her and then they buy a new TV and throw away the old one which co-incidentally is the TV which hits Berlin on his head and results in his death (a result of Shilpa's curse).
Leela's plot starts with Soori, who is angrily running towards her with a screwdriver upon finding out she was in a porn film. As he is climbing the stairs to reach Leela, he trips and he stabs himself in the abdomen. He is taken to the hospital, and his father Arputham is informed about this accident. Arputham is a lone survivor from a tsunami who believes that he was saved by God in the form of a statue which he held onto when the tsunami struck. He devotes himself to this god and strongly believes that this god can cure all illness, however on this particular day he is reluctant to give service to the followers. Learning about Soori's condition, he rushes to the hospital and brings the wounded Soori back to his chapel, believing that his prayers would cure him. Then, Leela forcefully takes back Soori to the hospital and struggles to arrange medical expenses. It is revealed that Arputham, who struggles to find money, has begun to question his faith in God after a conversation with Shilpa the day before. During this conversation, Shilpa confesses she feels deep shame and guilt for snatching and delivering children to criminals that injure children and force then to beg on the streets to get money. Arputham states that her confession is the worst that he has ever heard, and there is no forgiveness for her. Shilpa decides to return home to search for her son, but before leaving tells Arputham that she too survived the tsunami by holding onto a rock too. Remembering back to this Arputham, in the present time, begins to doubt himself. He continues to pray for his son, but eventually ends up accidentally breaking the statue and finds diamonds in it. It is revealed that the diamonds are from a sunken Italian pirate ship. He uses the diamonds and saves Soori, but continues to think about his beliefs and religion.
Just before the end credits, the three friends who were in pursuit of buying a new TV go to watch a porn movie at the theater. The movie starts with a doctor speaking about the existence of life and then a sequence of scenes follows where various characters explain the origin of life, the design pattern and similarity of universe, solar system and atomic structure of atoms. And finally the movie ends with the opening title of the porn movie which is "Vaazhvin Ragasiyam" (The Secret of Life).
- Vijay Sethupathi as Shilpa (Manickam), a transgender woman who returns home to her wife and son after transitioning
- Fahadh Faasil as Mugil, Vaembu’s husband who is devastated after he is cheated on but helps her to hide the body of her dead ex-boyfriend
- Ramya Krishnan as Leela, a pornographic actress whose son accidentally injures himself after he finds out his mother’s profession and attempts to injure her
- Samantha as Vaembu, Mugil’s wife who engages in scandalous intercourse with her ex-boyfriend, who suddenly dies in bed with her
- Gayathrie as Jyothi, Shilpa’s wife, who is devastated to find out that her husband is transgender
- Mysskin as Arputham (Dhanasekaran), Leela’s husband and a syncretic preacher who relies on religious healing to save his injured son
- Bagavathi Perumal as Berlin, a corrupt sub-inspector who expresses lust for Shilpa and later Vaembu (main antagonist)
- Ramana as Ramasamy
- Vijay Ram as Balaji (Gaaji)
- Mirnalini Ravi as Seth Girl (Alien)
- Naveen as Soori
- Jayanth as Mohan
- Abdul Jabbar as Thuyavan
- Noble K. James as Vasanth (Mutta Pupps)
- Ashwanth Ashokkumar as Rasukutty
- Manushyaputhiran as Porn Doctor
In October 2016, director Thiagarajan Kumararaja announced his next film after a gap of five years. The film was initially titled as "Aneedhi Kadhaikal" withVijay Sethupathi and Fahadh Faasil were reported to be featuring in the lead roles. Later, Samantha was signed to play a female lead role. P. C. Sreeram was chosen as the cinematographer while Yuvan Shankar Raja composed the music. Kumararaja also produced the film along with East West Dream Work Entertainment and Alchemy Vision Workz. Following a series of schedule changes during the filming process, the makers renamed the title as "Super Deluxe" and cinematographer P. C. Sreeram walked out of the project, and was subsequently replaced by P. S. Vinod. Nirav Shah joined the film as additional cinematographer. Directors Nalan Kumarasamy, Neelan K. Sekar and Mysskin have written the additional screenplay for this film, with each writing one of them writing a portion of the hyperlink.
After completing the first shooting schedule of Junga, Sethupathi began filming for Super Deluxe. He plays a full-fledged feminine character in the film. A still of his character was released on September 2018.At first, Ramya Krishnan was approached to play the role of Leela in the film, but due to some problems on the director's side she couldn't continue. So in order to replace her, Nadhiya Moidu was chosen for the role but again due to some problems, Ramya replaced her and was back onboard becoming the second lead of the film after Samantha.
Marketing and release
The first look poster was released on 8 October 2018. A new poster with the release date of the film was unveiled on 21 February 2019. The official trailer of the film was released on 22 February 2019. The film had its theatrical release on 29 March 2019.
Baradwaj Rangan, in his review of the film for Film Companion praised the director on how he had concentrated on both the larger structure of the story and also on the minute details. He wrote "This is an utterly unique film, a brave film. While watching Super Deluxe, I felt what Pauline Kael described in her review of The Godfather Part II: “the exploding effects keep accumulating. About midway, I began to feel that the film was expanding in my head like a soft bullet.” I’ll just say I’ve never seen anything like this in Tamil cinema, with its mix of the sacred and the profane, the epic and the intimate, the earthly and the otherworldly, the pop-cultural and the philosophical. It’s a film you want to view as much with a microscope (zooming in on the details) as a telescope (zooming out to the bigger picture)." In a later Film Companion segment he also mentioned that he had refrained from watching the film twice, in order to keep the movie “perfect” in his mind and not find flaws.
Srivatsan S, reviewing for The Hindu wrote "No other filmmaker has probably romanticized the Tamil cinema universe with pop culture references as much as Kumararaja. In one of the earliest stretch, a character says, “Dai rascal! Enna maranthutiya?” For a moment, it felt as though Kumararaja was asking this question to us: it’s been eight years since he made a film. If Super Deluxe is what you get from a filmmaker who was in exile, then you don't mind waiting a few years from now till he comes up with his next eccentric film.". M Suganth, in his review of the film for Times of India wrote "There is black comedy, double entendres, swear words, WTF moments, political and social commentary, romance, sentiment and even a musing on what it means to be life on Earth. There is ambition, genius, and also a beating heart."
Awards and nominations
|Date of ceremony||Award||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|8 August 2019||Indian Film Festival of Melbourne||Best Director||Thiagarajan Kumararaja||Nominated|||
|Best Actor||Vijay Sethupathi||Won|
|Best Film||Super Deluxe||Nominated|
|Equality in Cinema (Honorary Award)||Won|
|4 December 2019||Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts||Best Asian Film||Nominated|||
|4 January 2020||Zee Cine Awards Tamil||Best Actor Jury Special - Female||Samantha||Won|||
|Best Supporting Actor - Female||Ramya Krishnan||Won|
|Best Child Artist||Ashwanth||Won|
|Best Editor||Sathyaraj Natarajan||Won|
|Best Art Director||Vijay Adhinathan||Won|
|11 January 2020||Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards||Best Screenplay||Thiagaraja Kumararaja
Neelan K Sekar
|Best Supporting Actor - Female||Ramya Krishnan||Won|
|Best Cinematographer||Nirav Shah
P. S. Vinod
|Best Music Director||Yuvan Shankar Raja||Won|
|12 January 2020||Edison Awards||Best Director||Thiagarajan Kumararaja||Pending|||
|Best Actor||Vijay Sethupathi||Pending|
|Best Supporting Actress||Ramya Krishnan||Pending|
|Best Character Role - Female||Gayathrie||Pending|
|Best Child Artist||Ashwanth||Pending|
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- "Super Deluxe a lip-smacking combination of "high" and "low" art". 29 March 2019.
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- "Andhadhun, Gully Boy lead nominations at Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards 2019". Times of India. 17 July 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
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