( Photo Credit – Still from Tamil Rockerz )

Tamil Rockerz Review: Star Rating:

Cast: Arun Vijay, Vani Bhojan, Azhagam Perumal, Tharun S Kumar, and ensemble.

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Creator: Manoj Kumar Kalaivanan.

Director: Arivazhagan

Streaming On: Sony LIV.

Language: Tamil (with subtitles).

Runtime: Eight Episodes Around 40 Minutes Each.

( Photo Credit – Still from Tamil Rockerz )

Tamil Rockerz Review: What’s It About:

Haunting the film business and people involved in the ghost of piracy. The King Pin of that tradition at this point is the infamous Tamil Rockerz. It is an obviously an illegal website that pirates movies many times even before the release. In a meta-fictional tale, the lives of people involved in making a film Garuda are at stake as the piracy giant has taken an oath to pirate their movie and leak it before the release. What happens next is the show.

Tamil Rockerz Review: What Works:

The format of setting a camera behind the scenes and shooting what goes on in the background of a movie is back in style and very intriguing. The tricky part is that everything needs to look real but also create drama that keeps the audience engrossed in it. Almost like a meta-documentary, where it is real but that doesn’t mean you omit the drama. Tamil Rockerz is about a thing that is real, but the makers write a fictional tale while making a commentary on the real status of the Tamil cinema.

Story by Manoj Kumar Kalaivanan and screenplay by Manoj, Rajesh Manjunath and Arivazhagan (also the director) is not just tackling piracy. It is in a way satire about the system it delves in. It begins with a crowd worshipping a sky high standee of a superstar whose movie is about to release. It’s 4:00 AM and fans are celebrating the first show with full gusto. But the movie leaks. In another scene, a fan says he is ready to sacrifice his education for his favourite superstar. There are gangs and competition between them. It is all real.

Do you know what else is real, the team showing a deeper conversation. A director father is promoting his son and building an image of him as a superstar whereas he lacks the substance to be one. A drunkard cine-goer stands outside a theatre and says, “Tamil cinema died with MGR” while singing an MGR song. Or when Udta Punjab is mentioned and how the political ideology harassed the makers is addressed. Remember I said Meta? This is all that works in the show Tamil Rockerz, that is aware that the land it is set in. It isn’t a fictional world entirely, every Friday you wake up listening to the news of a certain film being leaked.

This is the story about what happens behind the scene. Director Arivazhagan divides his show into segments. There is an interesting flashback (that culminates into very little outcome). There is a police officer with a motive and hate for cinema, a girl who has been through the trauma of an eroding life in cinema, and above all is a star who is living in oblivion, but his father tries to showcase him as a dream.

( Photo Credit – Still from Tamil Rockerz )

Tamil Rockerz Review: Star Performance:

Arun Vijay manages to live the trauma he is suppose to well. Though not given much time to explore that part, he manages to keep us with him. The cop part of it, he has got everything to do it right. The build, look, attitude, and pinch of arrogance. So does his archenemy played by Tharun S Kumar? The actor is so good in the first half of his story that you root for him. The makers don’t give him a deserving end but he is very good.

Vani Bhojan also is limited to a one note character. While her story is quite dark and it isn’t explained or explored well at all. She gets almost nothing to do in the end apart from being in the frame to only help the man in charge.

Tamil Rockerz Review: What Doesn’t Work:

The motives. While the set up is dark and destructive, half of the people do not have concrete motives for what they are doing. Take the police officer played by Arun Vijay for that matter. His back story has a dead wife who was killed by a member of the Tamil Rockerz group coincidently. It only looks like a lazy effort to connect him to the case. And thus no concrete motive. Or for that matter the villain played by Tharun, he only ends up being a stereotype in the second half compared to how he begins.

That is also because the makers chose to keep the antagonist of the show faceless for a very long time. So technically the world is fighting a ghost and the King Pin is revealed by the end. While it is an ideal structure to a story like this, the makers end up keeping the mystery intact for way longer than it is needed.

Also the show highly ignores the hierarchy of the system. The poor director with a three hit film long resume is treated like a spot and no one is concerned about it. One is aware at least in Tamil cinema directors are equally worshipped. In any cinema by the way.

The clash of ideologies is missing it. Isn’t the South industry about legacy, name and nepotism? Why not have the conversation here. The makers could have edged out the superstar character well to have those discussions but he isn’t even a proper stereotype. There is this blink and miss discussion about how over time the source of leisure has been the weapons of destruction for cinema. Like CDs came in for help, but piracy doubled. Would have enjoyed more of them.

The colour tone that the show chooses isn’t a viewer-friendly one. The colours go off in the flashback is understood, but the present with muted colours kills a whole lot of vibe.

Azhagam Perumal deserves a special mention though. He is fun to watch and equally tensed when needed.

Tamil Rockerz Review: Last Words:

Tamil Rockerz is equal parts good and bad. There is scope of a lot of improvement and the by the looks of it there is a second season too. Hope there are only good things packed there.

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