Tik Tik Tik movie cast: Jayam Ravi, Nivetha Pethuraj, Ramesh Thilak
Tik Tik Tik movie director: Shakti Soundar Rajan
Tik Tik Tik movie rating: 2 stars
In the very beginning of Tik Tik Tik, director Shakti Soundar Rajan misses an opportunity to visually establish the scale of destruction that could be caused by the impending danger that is headed straight towards earth from outer space. An asteroid that is about the size of a huge boulder drops on a middle-class residential complex in Chennai. For some reasons, the director, who has also written the film, seems to have preferred not to dramatize the event and play up the damages caused by the large rock from space. There is a visual of falling asteroid, followed by an explosion that sets off car alarms and leaves a hole on the ground. The television channels blare news reports about the death toll and extent of the damage.
Cut to next scene, we have a group of top defense officials debating a highly confidential matter depressingly with the lack of urgency and every actor making almost the same shocking face repeatedly until the end of the scene. A rogue asteroid measuring 60 square kilometres will drop into the Bay of Bengal in seven days unleashing tsunamis and killing an estimated 40 million people. And hence, the Indian defense ministry decides to take the fight to outer space.
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Unlike, the film’s obvious inspiration Armageddon (1988), the defense officials don’t need “world’s best deep-core driller,” for they have already found a deep crater that runs through the core of the sliding asteroid. All they have to do is stuff the nuclear bomb into the hole and detonate it before it breaches the safety line around earth. You may ask, what’s the complication in that? India doesn’t have enough nuclear firepower to carry out the mission. So what’s the plan now? Wait for it, this is where it gets outrageous. Jayaprakash as defense department chief Mahendran comes up with the thought of robbing a nuclear missile from a space station, which is owned by the “beep” (the name of the country in question has been muted for political reasons) and use it against the asteroid.
After the entire defense department decides to go rogue in the name of humanity, the defense officials go shopping for an intelligent thief. And they select M.Vasu (Jayam Ravi), who ends up becoming “the first Indian to step on the moon” in a sloppily composed scene, which serves as an example of the director’s commitment to hero’s image-building even at the cost of the narration.
Soundar takes all the cliches of Tamil masala films, including the seemingly inevitable nod to Rajinikanth, Vijay and Ajith. The filmmakers indulge the masses by making non-stop references to Tamil Nadu’s popular culture, including its new favorite Bigg Boss show and the Oviya Army.
While the mankind is at stake, we have a villain holding Vasu’s son for ransom. The faceless antagonist wants Vasu to rob the missile and hand it over to him or else. Soundar Rajan keeps hitting us with one outrageous idea after another. Ramesh Thilak and Arjunan as Vasu’s teammates bring in some comic relief, while Vincent Asokan and Nivetha Pethuraj appear clueless throughout the film. Even their speaking lines are unintelligent and insignificant. “He has no discipline,” Nivetha says after seeing Vasu for the first time. Vincent seconds her, “He behaves like a rowdy.” Duh. Did they really expect a jailed con-artist to behave in line with military discipline? Do they have any real-world knowledge at all?
Let’s just say Jayaprakash’s role is also utterly confusing.
The film, however, has decent visual effects considering the budget of the film. We get a lot of Jayaram Ravi helplessly floating in space. Of course, he outdoes the gravity and manages to stay on his course. The rest of the crew have largely been kept inside the space shuttle as the director was unable to write good scenes for them.
It was clear that the director wanted to make a space film but he was not ready to think anything out of the box. Restoring to usual tropes to inspire knee-jerk applause from the audience, only exposes his lack of imagination. Tik Tik Tik is blatantly unoriginal, illogical and unscientific to a large extent.