Super Deluxe trailer: Vijay Sethupathi plays a transwoman in Thiagarajan Kumararaja's Aaranya Kaandam follow-up

The trailer of Thiagarajan Kumararaja's new movie, Super Deluxe, starring Vijay Sethupathi, released this evening and has already taken the social media by storm.

Rajesh Rajamani February 23, 2019 09:34:08 IST
Super Deluxe trailer: Vijay Sethupathi plays a transwoman in Thiagarajan Kumararaja's Aaranya Kaandam follow-up

Ever since Aaranya Kaandam (2010) achieved cult status, the Tamil audience and film-buffs have been impatiently waiting for Thiagarajan Kumararaja's next. The trailer of his new movie, Super Deluxe, starring Vijay Sethupathi, released this evening and has already taken the social media by storm.

Super Deluxe trailer Vijay Sethupathi plays a transwoman in Thiagarajan Kumararajas Aaranya Kaandam followup

Poster of Super Deluxe

What’s novel about the trailer is how it is told in a repetitive story format that reveals a little more with each narration. Vijay Sethupathi’s voice-over adds an increasing sense of urgency with each narration and beautifully synchronises with trailer’s edit.

In Aaranya Kaandam’s iconic trailer, Kumararaja innovatively used the Villupattu song format to introduce his characters and set the stage. And the title Aaranya Kaandam was itself a reference to the jungle chapter in Ramayana. In the case of Super Deluxe, he resorts to a jungle story from Mahabharata — told by Vidura to Dhritarashtra, on the human existential condition.

Trying to console Dhritarashtra who has lost his sons in the war, Vidura narrates the story of a Brahmin who is lost in the dense jungle filled with wild animals. Struck by fear, the Brahmin runs helter-skelter and falls into a well filled with grass and intertwining creepers. He manages to hold on to a creeper and hangs upside down. At the edge of the well is a six-headed huge elephant. And at its bottom is a huge snake. There are rats gnawing at the roots of the creeper that the Brahmin is holding on to. At this very moment, drops of honey from a honeycomb in a tree above drip and fall on his face. Not mindful of his terrifying situation, he licks the trickling honey drops and relishes on momentary pleasure. Vidura uses this story to emphasis the existential condition of human life in the jungle of Samsara or cycle of birth.

Thiagarajan Kumararaja effectively re-tells this story by introducing slightly modified characters. For the trailer, the elephant has been changed to a tiger, the water well converted to a hollow pit and the snake and creeper become one and the same. However, the brilliance of the trailer is not about where its inspiration is located, but in how it infuses this mythological story into a Tarantino-esque neo-noir.

Vijay Sethupathi plays the character of a transwoman in the movie. While his make-up and look have already been appreciated in social media, one still has to see how the character is played out in the movie. Tamil cinema has a terrible record of caricaturing, criminalising and hyper-sexualising transwomen characters. While one badly hopes that Kumararaja has handled the character with sensitivity and dignity, we will have to still wait it out and see for ourselves. Apart from Vijay Sethupathi, the trailer introduces actors Fahadh Faasil, Samantha Akkineni, Mysskin, Ramya Krishnan and Gayathrie among others.

Yuvan’s grand music at the end of the trailer and the red tint in the colour grading add to the overall irresistibility of the trailer.

The movie is scheduled to release on 29 March and all that we can say is - Bring it on Thiagarajan Kumararaja. We have waited over 8 years for this!

Watch the movie’s trailer here

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