“Like any other good work of art, the film Super Deluxe by Thiagarajan Kumararaja is lending itself to multiple, equally compelling interpretations. With its clever use of cinematic techniques, this multi-layered film has enthralled the cinephiles and also awakened the average film-goer to the possibilities of the art form. Thanking the director for opening up the discussion space through his film, we are happily jumping into the bandwagon with our two cents,” writes Krishna Raj P.M.
We believe that the theme of the film is about the meaninglessness of the choices we make in life. When life presents a choice before us which is usually binary in nature, we choose one, using either instinct or logic. The film comes across as a commentary on this process of decision making which is elaborated through its characters.
Let us start with the stories of boys and Samantha. Both explore a taboo and end up with dead objects. So a dead TV and a dead man drives the story forward. In the process, they end up with one more dead TV and another dead man. The dead object saves someone life by causing death. The boundary between life and death becomes blurred.
Mysskin and Sethupathi’s lives mirror each other so much. Their transformation to new lives is triggered by the same event. They have unshakable trust in their new identity. They both believe they have the power to grant boons and curse people. When their children are in crisis, their faith is tested. Again the boundary between the choices they make, belief in Mysskin’s case, gender in Sethupathi’s case is blurred.
Ramya Krishna and Samantha also have made choices which they do not regret. They refuse to be called whores and it takes the men in their lives to come around and accept them the way they are. Fahadh Fazil also presents these dilemmas in the case of nationalism and casteism. His rant on film and political worlds are also in the same realm. Here are a bunch of people who are not ready to be labeled in a particular way and want the fluidity in their identities.
Berlin, the inspector is a nice metaphor for society demanding structure and order. His hypocrisy and self-serving nature should come to an end for people to accept others the way they are. The dichotomy of choices in peoples lives is extended to the world of perception by an alien character. There the difference between real and imaginary worlds is also blurred.
This brings us to the main question of why the film is titled Super Deluxe. Following our analysis of the blurring boundaries, we conclude that Super Deluxe is a metaphor for superior choice. When we make choices in life, we presume that we have done that with full considerations and we believe that our choice is better than the other option. But in the end, it’s all the same. We may travel in a super deluxe bus, eat in a super deluxe hotel; it is no different from traveling on an ordinary bus, eating in a small place. The end result is the same.
So it’s simple. We should not be obsessed with the dichotomic nature of humans and accept everyone as they are.
Take a bow, team Super Deluxe for providing a new cinematic experience and reaffirming our belief in the art of cinema.
Krishna Raj P.M. is an associate professor at Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bengaluru. He is interested in subjects related to the philosophy of technology and aesthetic computing and has authored three books. His writings can be read here.
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