Dora, your friendly neighbourhood dog/ghost

Let me get this out of the way – Thambi Ramaiah has got to stop doing that thing he does – talking to himself in every movie, irrespective of the character. It has become as grating as Santhanam’s rhymes that are passed off as jokes.

Dora is a horror movie that tries to be a comedy for some of its running time, but doesn’t leave you feeling too irritated as it comes to an end. It features the lady who can do no wrong, Nayantara. She gets slo-mo walks, racy background music, action sequences, and a bit of dialogue that essentially tells us she has no peer in all of South India. Make way for the female superstar!

The story follows Pavalakkodi (Nayantara) and a dog (Dora) who is now a friendly ghost inhabiting the body of an Austin Cambridge. Do not be fooled though, the dog has some vicious tendencies when revenge is at hand. There is a backstory about a girl who was raped, and how Dora died out of sorrow and starvation – this made me feel worse than expected. We know the end of course, and we know how the parallel stories will be tied together, but we don’t mind watching even if the proceedings get too silly at times. As a bonus, there is no distracting love track! Pavalakkodi tells her father she is happy being with him, she doesn’t need marriage to make her happy – we know this is something rare and precious as far as Tamil cinema goes. And mercifully, the movie doesn’t end with her falling in love.

I take issue with Pavalakkodi’s outfits though – the monochrome leggings and kurtas are really an eyesore. Why not some fun prints for the superstar next time? I was also somewhat concerned with the vilification of migrant labourers from North India, who are shown to be paedophiles. There aren’t any good characters to balance this out, and I found myself thinking about the consequences of this kind of stereotyping.

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6 thoughts on “Dora, your friendly neighbourhood dog/ghost

  1. ” a friendly ghost inhabiting the body of an Austin Cambridge.”
    –> My goodness! A friend of mine told me that parts of the car are likened to the dog’s, in unintentionally funny ways. Did you laugh out loud during the movie at places where the director wouldn’t have wanted you to? Just curious since your reaction seemed more positive than my other friend’s.
    There’s an embargo in my house – no horror movies! (Decision of the missus, not mine.) With Dora, I think I will be spared the scenes where the Austin Cambridge is leaking oil when parked next to a lamp post!

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    1. Yes I did laugh at places I wasn’t meant to I think – but it was good fun. 😀
      Actually, I think the parts where the car was likened to a dog had decent visual effects.

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      1. Oh, really…well, as I’ve said earlier, I am always amazed how the same movie elicits so many different reactions.
        I just realized that I had typed, “intentionally unfunny” instead of “unintentionally funny.” And I thought that the coffee had kicked in – apparently not. Could you please edit it? It’s a horrible error on my part 🙂

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      2. Haha yes, and also how the same movie elicits different reactions in the same person at different times. I find this happening with me. 🙂
        Edited your comment, though I read it the right way before editing too.

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  2. “also how the same movie elicits different reactions in the same person at different times.”
    –> Absolutely true. Three movies that are very important to me are Rhythm, Iruvar and Kannathil Muthamittaal. I feel like these are movies have ‘aged’ very well as I have grown older. I see them in a different light, thanks to my own life experiences as well as understanding the craft a little better thanks to the likes of Roger Ebert & Baradwaj Rangan. By the same token, there are also movies like K Balachander’s and Bharathiraja’s films that I don’t enjoy much anymore. Not to say that these movies haven’t stood the test of time; it’s just that I don’t see them the same way anymore and don’t seem to enjoy them. Sindhu Bhairavi is a case in point – used to love the movie. I don’t enjoy it much anymore. I find the directorial ‘touches’ to be in your in face and Suhasini’s acting to be too mannered. Only the songs and the comedy seem to hold appeal now. And maybe Sulakshana’s performance.

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