Director: Sam Anton
Cast: Yogi Babu, Elyssa Erhardt, Devadarshini, Charlie, Mayilsamy
It seems like no Tamil cinema these days can resist taking pot shots at the ruling disposition, and somehow bring in all current topics of discussion in tea shop benches, office canteens, bus stops and houses. From Thermocol Raju to Thoothukudi Shootings, and everything in between, Gurkha, directed by Sam Anton and starring Yogi Babu, throws shade at things happening in Tamil Nadu and tries to hold audience attention for its 2 hours and 25 minutes’ run time. And, it mostly does it, thanks in main part to an unlikely action hero Yogi Babu. The man hangs upside down and scales down the face of a tall building, rescues children, brings a knife to a gun fight, frees up kidnapped hostages and defuses a bomb, with the help of a lazy labrador.
Gurkha is written and directed by Sam Anton, and produced by 4 Monkeys Studio. It stars Yogi Babu, Elyssa Erhardt, Raj Bharath, Anandraj, Devadarshini, Mayilsami, Livingston, and others. The film was shot by Krishnan Vasanth and edited by Ruben. Gurkha features music by Raj Aryan.
A Nepali Gurkha comes to North Madras, falls in love with a local woman, marries her and thus we have the world’s first Tamil Gurkha. Yogi Babu plays Bahadur Babu. But, for the film’s entirety we only see and hear him as Babu, and that’s all we need.
There is a lazy dog – Undertaker, a golden retriever/Labrador. Babu and Undertaker become friends and brothers and are jointly expelled from a police training programme. And thus become security guards.
Then there’s Margaret, played by Elyssa, an American consulate official who can and will talk to the Chief Minister of the State and tell him to, in polite words, get lost with his special request for visas. She lives in a big, beautiful house with a swimming pool and is surrounded by guards all the time. And, it’s this woman that Babu falls in love with at first sight.
There is a man who is addressed as Thyagu (Raj Bharat), and who says he is an ex army man, and recruits ex-army men and plots to kidnap the Chief Minister but then changes the plot to kidnap Margaret, and hold a mall hostage.
You have the usual collection of characters without which a 2019 spoof can exist: policemen who are incompetent but powerful, A Chief Minister who is a joke, sex loving godmen and selfie hating old men, cardboard cutouts of journalists, and film reviewers who dare question the films they make their livelihoods on.
And so, a mall is held hostage, and Yogi Babu and his sidekick – Hussain Bolt (Charle) – are the only ones who can rescue them. And they do.
Gurkha is funny. But it’s the funny of the ‘you had to be there’ sort: partly, the situations but mostly the gags and the lines and how Yogi Babu delivers them.
Based entirely on limited samples (100, and Gurkha), it seems Sam Anton likes to drop hints about what the core conflict of film is early on, and then takes his time to build it up, seemingly allowing unnecessary or trivial things to take precedence in the script. In 100, it was the romance of Atharva and Hansika, who more or less vanished from the film after her first 4 scenes. Here in Gurkha, we have the Babu-Margaret romance, which at least is more central to the plot. But given that the film is a spoof and a commentary on goings-on in Tamil Nadu, it doesn’t matter that these diversions in script are trivial, as long as one leaves the cinema hall feeling money’s worth was had. Which, going by overheard conversations and giggles, was had.
And so the reviewer’s job becomes both easy and tough at the same time. Call out the minor niggles and flaws or overlook it in appreciation of the overall result? What will Blue Shirt Maaran do?
The Gurkha review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.