The second Tamil video song of The Extraordinary Journey of a Fakir is out on youtube and is on its way to the high rungs of the 'most viewed' chart. When Dhanush pops up in video recommendations, you HAVE to see what it is about, because there is promise in it. Since the time when rowdy baby ranked one on the international viral charts for a solid week after the video came out on youtube, this is a logic that even non-Indians understand. So when Zee Music let out news of The Extraordinary Journey of a Fakir, Tamilians weren't the only folk that celebrated. With the makings of Dhanush's first truly international project, The Extraordinary Journey of a Fakir had been one of the most awaited and when screened, it bagged two awards right away - one for best comedy at the Barcelona International film and then an award at the Norwegian International Film Festival named 'ray of sunshine'.

With the trailer showing Dhanush dating beyond borders and jumping world cities, there is little doubt that the movie is a ray of sunshine. After all, Dhanush is one face that could be 'boy-next-door' in any modern country. His art has no embellishments and can transcend language and culture. and he was being supported by an international crew, so that should clearly mean higher quality, right?


Well, the first video song in Tamil has come out and it seems, expectations need to be tweaked down a bit before the release of the movie. Maaya Bazaaru is undeniably an Indian number. Dhanush is busting his moves in a (French?) club and the music is flawless. Amit Trivedi has made wonderful music again and singers are to the point.

It, however, brought back memories of the Tamil dubbed Shaktiman and Junglebook. For one, the video seems to have been shot only for the international version of the lyrics. Emphatic lip movements that would have accompanied Tamil pronunciation is missing and Dhanush's limb-throwing dancing looks incomplete without it. Watching the video felt like the street food vendor aunty scoops out dishes and compiles a plate for you like usual, and then wears gloves to fetch you pickles. Every component of the song looks undeniably Indian. However, there is also a feeling that something has been wiped off.


The feeling of falling short might have to do with the fact that the movie is an international one. Usually, it might mean the quality is higher, but in filmmaking, it seems to mean 'toning down'. For one thing, the world does not know how to enjoy cinema like Tamil audience does. Tamil audience need expressive acting. Though we take them for granted, supporting actors and sidekick roles provide an expression/action unity that we subconsciously enjoy. The viewer does not realise the amount of work that goes into getting hundreds to move in coordination for a dance number, but an Indian dance number - Thara local from Maari, for an example - looks perfect where the sync of background actors/dancers is concerned. Even if it was a club, every single person in the video would have reacted to Dhanush in unison, were this a Tamil movie. Perhaps it is the umami of Indian cinema. Maybe we should expect this watering down in the movie.

To an average Indian movie-goer, international appeal would mean a milder kind of comedy, a milder kind of sorrows, a milder romance, a milder love sickness. it is possible that while the sense of adventure suffices for societies used to simpler movie industries. Tamil audience would have expected more. Therefore, enjoy Maaya Bazaaru, though it is neither like the West Side Story dance number nor like one of ours and whet your appetite for some milder action by the time the movie releases on June 21.

Maaya Bazaaru - Pakkiri | Dhanush | Benny Dayal & Nikhita Gandhi | Amit Trivedi