Sometimes, a hardworking person can get away with minor transgressions. That’s how I’d view Tik Tik Tik. I’d probably give director Shakti Soundar Rajan a 100 for the sheer audacity to take up a space subject, and for having executed it with a budget that would be a fraction of a Hollywood movie in the same genre.
All through the making of the film, no one mentioned the cost involved; instead of adding zeroes to the budget, the team seems to have used every technique available to squeeze the last paise out of a rupee, and it shows. In his pre-release interviews, Jayam Ravi assured that no one would ever say the sets were “tacky”, and he was being honest.
The biggest trepidation was that the space shots would look artificial; strangely, the team has scored there, and how. They’ve managed some great VFX shots, again relative to the budget, and they almost convince you it’s all real, moondust included!
An asteroid hits a populated colony near Ennore; 14 people die and scores are injured. Defence Space Division chief Mahendran (Jayaprakash) has determined that an asteroid more than 10 times bigger than the previous one would hit the Bay of Bengal in a week, and that it would decimate the region, kill about 40 million people, and redraw the map of India. He addresses a core group of scientists (including Lt Swathi and Captain Raghuram) about ways to stop the asteroid. The idea shortlisted is to steal (gasp) a rogue nuclear missile with the capacity to blast the asteroid. The hitch? A country has hidden it up above in space. A team is quickly assembled — Swathi and Raghuram are joined by a ragtag group that can open the high-security vault in space. Jailed magician and escape artiste Vasu (Jayam Ravi) and his hacker friends Venkat (Ramesh Thilak) and Appu (Arjunan) come on board, go through some super-quick training and are space ready.
Vasu, who adores his son Ravi (a suitably wide-eyed Aarav Ravi), is caught in a moral quandary just as they are about to take off. Once in space, the team is forced to think on its feet, fight with a well-equipped mini army aboard another spaceship and complete the task on hand.
Films are about suspended animation and you can almost buy the logic that people can get space-ready in a week. But, where the director fails is in closing the plot and logic loopholes. Agreed, a film, even if it is set in space and there’s an impending disaster looming, has to have some humour, but alcohol leaking out of a smuggled bottle and floating inside the space craft is not funny! So are the friends pushing Vasu out of the spacecraft when it crashlands on the moon, so he can edge Raghuram as the first Indian to set foot on the moon. That’s a new height for pettiness.
I’d also like to see a real lady Lieutenant walk around or climb a stage to receive a commendation with her hair flying about. Cinematic licence needs to stop somewhere.
The film is mostly gripping, and that’s because the scenes set in space engage you, aided by a racy background score by D. Imman. This is his 100th film, and you can be sure of that at least a couple of BGM sections will become popular ring tones. The heroes of this film are art director SS Moorthy and cinematographer S. Venkatesh. After the titles roll, there are scenes detailing the making of the movie. That will give you an idea of how they went about making India’s first space film.
Every film needs a strong antagonist for you to invest in the risk the protagonist takes. This film stands on a weak wicket in that department. There’s no logical explanation to the antagonist’s motivations. Among the protagonists, Jayam Ravi and Vincent Ashokan score. Nivetha, a fine performer, needed a better-written role.
The director, who has made Naanayam and the hits Naaigal Jaakirathai and Miruthan, is known for his fondness for stories that veer off the beaten track. One just wishes he also gave them the setting they deserved, without distractions such as comedy in the taut piece that Tik Tik Tik should have been.
I’d still recommend a watch, simply because it’s not often that you get to see films where the team’s toil is visible in every scene. Hard work must be recognised.
The Tik Tik Tik review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.