‘Tik Tik Tik’ Is a Biryani Without Brains
In spite of all of these “influences”, <i>Tik Tik Tik</i> doesn’t tick.
In spite of all of these “influences”, Tik Tik Tik doesn’t tick.(Photo: The Quint)

Review: ‘Tik Tik Tik’ Is a Biryani Without Brains

Starring Jayam Ravi (and no one else of consequence), Tik Tik Tik is touted as the first “Tamil Sci-Fi Film set in Space”. If “first” stands for most rudimentary and amateurish effort, this movie holds with the hype.

Directed by Shakti Saundar Rajan, who also directed Miruthan (2016), the first Tamil zombie flick, Tik Tik Tik is a biryani with 20-year-old ingredients; chunks of Armageddon (1998), cutlets of Now You See Me (2013), and a large tail piece of Gravity (2013). Also random bits of Ocean’s Eleven (2001).

In spite of all of these “influences”, Tik Tik Tik doesn't tick.

The Space Factor

Tik Tik Tik is not a science fiction film. This is as much of a sci-fi flick as a Mills & Boon novel set in Mars. The story would have worked just as well (if not better), if it were set in Chennai, with the local police replacing the Indian Army, and the streets of Triplicane replacing the outer space sequences.

A still from the film.
A still from the film.
There are three women in the film. One is a co-astronaut who sports long manicured nails, open hair in zero-G and utmost devotion to the hero, who despite no experience as an astronaut is better at it than she is.

The other woman is a colonel in the Army, who sheds tears of joy, or sorrow at the drop of a hat, and who salutes like she's got a telephone directory tucked in her armpit.

The third woman is an ISRO scientist in a yellow (or is it orange?) salwar. This costume doesn't change over seven days, during which the events of the movie unfold. She stands through most of the film. Her only job is to express shock, dejection, and “oh no! What will happen next?!”.

Coupled with over the top background music, the film feels like the “300th Episode Special” of a Tamil mega-serial. D Immam's music in this film is surprisingly bad, and quite repetitive.

Hans Zimmer should be cursing himself for creating the now annoyingly ubiquitous ‘BRAAAAAA!...’ score. Immam abuses this in almost every dramatic shot, which has a compulsory CGI zoom-out. The overall effect on the eyes and ears is emetic.

Saving Grace

Yes, there is one. Aarav Ravi, Jayam Ravi's on-screen (and off-screen) son. The father-son chemistry is a treat to watch, especially in a song that features a montage of stills of a baby Aarav growing up into a boy of six/seven, in his father's arms.

This is as much of a sci-fi flick as a Mills &amp; Boon novel set in Mars.
This is as much of a sci-fi flick as a Mills & Boon novel set in Mars.

The other aspect of the movie that helps one sit through is the comedy track provided by Ramesh Thilak and Arjunan. It doesn't comply with logic, but the one-liners are quick and frequent and full of current references.

Tik Tik Tik is a brainless, harmless entertainer that will appeal to anyone looking for a few hours of air-conditioned popcorn-fuelled cinema.

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