Touring Talkies comprises two vastly different films. One, a love story and the other, about child rape and its consequences in a small community. SA Chandrasekhar casts himself in the lead for the first part of Touring Talkies. As Antony, a terminally ill man in search of his long lost love, he is not in his element in front of the camera. A lit cigarette is never too far from SAC, and his dialogues are chock full of references to his star offspring.
Fifteen minutes into the film, just as the camera lovingly traces every mole on SAC’s weathered face for the third time, it all becomes blindingly clear.
Touring Talkies is a supremely self-indulgent effort from SA Chandrasekhar.
There’s an arduous flashback sequence involving Abi Saravanan, who plays SAC junior in the movie, and his erstwhile love. In the age of Weta Workshop, SAC and his team decide to go old school on the make-up front and simply stick on a black pottu on Abi’s face to recreate SAC’s prominent mole.
Papri Ghosh makes an appearance as Hemamalini, and is tasked with answering the most inappropriate of questions.
“Have you attended [sic] age?” the boyfriend asks.
A few minutes later, he asks for a kiss. Then, a date. SAC’s heroine nods the wrong way to everything.
That becomes a neat plot twist.
On paper at least, the first half of the film must have looked like an epic tale of star crossed lovers who finally re-unite. Set to some lovely background music by Ilaiyaraaja.
The real thing, however, falls way short of the mark. Post intermission, the second part begins in earnest and Sunulakshmi tries to revive our interest with her expressive eyes. This is SA Chandrasekhar’s territory after all – there’s a social evil that needs to be battled, a wrong that must be set right …and two strong female leads.
But this is where SAC pulls the rug from beneath our feet.
A few close-ups of cleavage, followed by an atrocious scene involving coffee and a certain bodily product later, we decide we have seen it all.
Some tour this was.
The Touring Talkies 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 an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site