12 Sep, 2014 1 hr 39 mins U/A
Michael Thangadurai, Reshmi Menon, Sampath, Karthik Sabesh, Atul Kulkarni
Synopsis
The momentum ebbs and flows and there are times when you feel like there is no energy in the scenes even as you marvel at how they are shot
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  • Critic's Review
  • Times of India
Synopsis: In the world of car seizing, Guna is the go-to guy but his star is on the wane with the entry of Burma, a newbie carjacker. When Bothra Seth, a loan shark-cum-gangster, goes to Burma to help him seize 27 cars, Guna plans to beat the upstart at his own game.

Movie Review: Right from its opening frame, Burma oozes style and debutant Dharanidharan establishes straightaway that he is not after just another crime thriller. The frames are uber-cool (Yuva is the cinematographer) and the trendy music (by Sudharshan M Kumar) only adds to the film's overall attitude and atmosphere.

The noir-ish plot involves various strands of stories. There is Burma, a young carjacker, who is threatening Guna, the guy who thinks he is at the top of the trade. Burma gets an 'assignment' to steal 27 cars from Bothra Seth and the smarting Guna decides that it is a chance for him to teach a lesson to the upstart. Meanwhile, a gang is plotting to steal five crores from a high-security van. Then, there is a beautician who has gotten hold of a priceless Faberge egg. All these characters crisscross each other leading to chaos that result in Burma facing a situation where he has to race against time to save his lover Kalpana.

There is a lot to like in Burma , which revels in the quirks of its characters and situations. Guna likes to dress up in striking floral-printed shirts, a couple of gangster sidekicks are named Bruce Lee and Jet Li, there are nods to films like Jurassic Park (water in a tumbler ripples while Bothra Seth is beating someone senseless in the adjacent room), Kurudhipunal (Burma's caller tune is set to Kamal's Veeram-na enna theriyuma dialogue from the film), and Pudhiya Paravai (whose scenes are intercut with a scene involving shooting) while the song that plays on the radio when Burma deceives Guna is Gundu Onnu Vechurukken from Arangetra Velai . There are also smartly-written scenes — the scene where all the storylines meet together, the one where Burma steals the 27th car (which also has a reference to Aalavandhan ) and one where Burma and Boomer (his friend/partner in crime) outwit the gang of robbers. There are also nice touches that sort of complete what came earlier. In one scene, Burma says that dogs will bark at high-flying planes referring to Guna and at a later stage, Guna puts a different spin to this line and says that even plans that fly high have to touch the ground at one point of time. The manner in which Burma is finally set-up by Guna and Bothra Seth also mirrors what he did to them earlier.

Even the romance track is nicely integrated into the plot and isn't allowed to take up too much of time. You wonder how Kalpana, a cultured girl, might fall for a low-level criminal like Burma, but then you see her tagging along with him when he is doing his 'job' and being an accomplice — maybe, she gets a thrill from his way of life and this could have resulted in attraction towards him.

However, the film doesn't come together as a whole as it ideally should. The momentum ebbs and flows and there are times when you feel like there is no energy in the scenes even as you marvel at how they are shot. It is also a little too slick (everything, including garages and hotels and Burma's house looks pretty like in TV commercials), and you wish there was some bit of dirt and grittiness in the frames. There is also lack of clarity in certain scenes. The whole part about Boomer finding the cash and the Easter egg in the car while he and Burma are trying to outwit the robbers is staged somewhat unconvincingly. We wonder how Boomer could have transferred most of the cash to another bag (how did he come to have a bag is another question) and filled the original bag with something else in the space of a two minute-window. Guna's presence at their hideaway is too convenient, and we doubt if Burma would take on Bothra Seth, who seems to be an extremely influential guy (he says that the commissioner is his client in his introduction scene). But then, it is also consistent with how Dharanidharan often refuses to neatly tie up the knots. And the manner in which he chooses to end the film only reiterates that he isn't afraid to breaks conventions, and such confidence is always a good sign in a first-time filmmaker.
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