Jayam Ravi’s Tik Tik Tik: What Works, What Doesn’t, Film Companion
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Tik Tik Tik is credited as India’s first space film and sees the Jayam Ravi – Shakti Soundar Rajan duo reunite after their zombie film Miruthan.

Plot – India’s Defence Space Division (DSD) has to foil an asteroid attack which has potentially disastrous consequences for the Tamil Nadu populace. Their plan involves destroying the large asteroid with a powerful missile before it can enter Earth’s atmosphere. To make matters interesting and cinematic, the Indian crew has to steal this missile from a Chinese space ship. A father-son angle (with Ravi’s adorable son Aarav making his debut) adds to the film’s emotional quotient.

What Works

  • The genre is the film’s biggest calling card. The film offers its share of thrills and interesting moments. The treatment, modus operandi, technicalities and the trajectory of the scenes in space will remind you of films like Gravity. But those who aren’t clued into Hollywood will find Tik Tik Tik fairly intriguing.
  • Jayam Ravi and Nivetha Pethuraj carry their space suits and uniforms with grace. This isn’t a film where the actors are required to showcase their performance in great measure. It’s more about looking the part, and they pass the test.
  • It’s also refreshing to see a film without any forced songs / dance routines and the mandatory romance track despite having young actors like Ravi and Nivetha on board. The director deserves a pat on his back for not deviating from his core subject.
  • The scenes inside the space shuttle prove the quality of the set work and production design. The ‘zero gravity’ effect is also presented well. It couldn’t have been easy for the actors to perform while being held by ropes and harnesses. Art director S.S.Moorthy should be proud of his work here.
  • This is composer Imman’s 100th film album. His title track and the father – son melody ‘Kurumba’ (which is like a showreel of little Aarav with a lot of real life footage and pictures of him and Ravi) are popular tracks already. His background score and the sound design for the space scenes fill almost the entire film, leaving very few silent moments.
  • Given the budget constraints in Tamil cinema, the VFX work (by Ajax) is fairly good, but not outstanding. The scenes where Ravi is stranded in space, floating dangerously (akin to Gravity), are memorable.

What Doesn’t

  • Arjunan and Ramesh Thilak are meant to provide comic relief to the masses but the purpose isn’t served.
  • The Indo – China confrontation scenes in space don’t work either. It becomes far too convenient for our hero (who also happens to be a magician and an escape artist apart from being the typically robust action star) to get the job done.
  • The sub-plot and twist involving Jayaprakash, and the casting of Aaron Aziz as the Chinese space crew’s lead, are further let-downs.
  • As a whole, there aren’t many ‘wow’ moments and clap-worthy scenes despite the really novel premise of the film.

Final Word – Tik Tik Tik‘s USP is its space setting which warrants a visit to a big screen. Director Shakti Soundar Rajan dares to be different yet again and he executes the technical requirements of the film competently. Had the content been more gripping and had the lead characters encountered more challenges, the viewing experience could’ve been wholesome.

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