Sex is everything, and overrated | Super Deluxe

This is the script for the following video essay.

Audiences have reacted to this film in extremes. They’ve called it touching, deep, superficial, or worse, pretentious. These opinions maybe coming from a valid place, but a rather inarguable aspect of Super Deluxe is that it gets very inventive in presenting its philosophies and worldview. On a personal level, it is like a dessert I often indulge on. Scratching further into this metaphor lead me to the fact that ice creams light up our brain’s pleasure points, and made me wonder if this could be why Kumararaja has named his film – which is about various kinds of pleasure – after a fictional ice-cream company? Long-shot for sure. Hi, this is Akilan from @reviewpuram, and today I’d like to start a discussion on one of the many threads of interpretations these amoral stories have taken me on.

The first shot of the film is that of sex and the last shot is also within the same context. Kumararaja sort of breaks it right upfront what the film is all about and then goes onto flirt around it for the rest of the film’s duration, only to finish with a leadup to the same act. So going by this structure, the film inclines towards saying that maybe, everything is about sex.

But then the story also throws light on how people tend to give too much importance to sex. Berlin dies thirsting for it. Soori attempts to kill his mother over it. Arputham, with his religious eyes, despises Leela for her sexual past. Mugil worries about his wife’s physical infidelity more than the emotional vacuum between them. I feel there’s an ironical gaze in these sketches, that in a way, the writers are asking us to belittle sex. Maybe, sex is overrated.

But is this thirst something we can get ahead of? At a conscious level that is? It seems like Kumararaja attempts to answer this with one of these guys. This is Gaaji. The horniest one in your average Bittu Padam gang. What’s his purpose? Is he simply – I feel there’s more to him. Now, hear me out. The alien finding a liking to him isn’t just because the story chooses so, but because his character is designed for that to happen. He is an open-minded guy. Open to adventures, open to consequences, open to both outcomes of the Schrodinger’s cat experiment, and even open to the existence of beings beyond us humans. He is living what the CD shop Akka, sorry! Owner says – The more open you are to new experiences, the lesser you have to worry about, and I believe this is the ethos of the ever-smiling Gaaji. A horny teenager might be a double edged sword of an example to talk about overriding our sex drive, but how about we put it this way – that he’s open and confident about his sexuality. He owns it. He has embraced sex for the basic human act that it is, thus breaking the halo around it. This is also close to what the absurdist porn film within the film does, and Gaaji has already watched it. I am not saying that Gaaji has figured out the “Mystery of Life”, but I do feel he understands acceptance enough to be a step closer to the key than many of us.

So with these exciting designs, Thiagarajan Kumararaja knowingly or unknowingly, seems to have painted a canvas with two ends of a debate – As much as sex is a pivotal part of life, we as a society tend to overrate it. He is normalising sex in the process of showing how we’re consumed by it. Sex doesn’t make us whole, so how could you be broken? It is indeed a peak of pleasure, but one among many others, because there will still be so much more beauty to seek and win from our purposeless lives in this world.

In the end, life is largely about a connection between consciences, and there’s more pleasure on offer than just our bodies.


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