Monday, February 15, 2016


The plot starts off  slowly, showing Pandi (Dinesh) waking up early to open a provision store in Andhra Pradesh owned by a Tamilian and in time we get to know that he had migrated from Tamilnadu along with three of his friends to eke out a living. All of a sudden he, along with two of his friends, are arrested by the Andhra police and after a few brutal torture scenes they get to know that they have been arrested in connection with a 1 crore theft case and that the police are trying to frame this case on to them since it involves the relative of a senior police officer and they are in a hurry to close the case.There is a point in the movie where the protagonists, do come out of the tough situation only to get embroiled in another larger conspiracy, where they seem to have no way out and what happens next forms the rest of the story.

The movie is gripping from the word go, and we get sucked into the plot without our knowledge. Every blow and torture that the protagonists are subjected to, we do feel the impact and the sound engineer and the cinematographer should be commended for the incredible feat, because we sense it as though we are right in the midst of the proceedings. There is a scene in the movie, where the policemen sharpen the branch of a coconut tree and get ready to bash the protagonists so that they accept that they had stolen the money. In this scene, we could realize and imagine the horror they are going to undergo and what it culminates into, is heart wrenching.

The director Vetrimaran, effectively shows, how no one is an exception when it comes to system (here, it refers to the police department) and that those who do not comply to the whims of the system, are either sidelined as outcasts or exterminated. The torture scenes are unsettling and not for the weak hearted and the true spine chilling fact is that these events happened in real life (based on the book "Lock Up" by M. Chandrakumar).

The movie is just under 2 hours long and it just whizzes past, thanks to top notch crisp editing by the "late Kishore TE". There are no unwanted songs and comedy tracks, thankfully, but a romantic angle between Pandi (Dinesh) and Shanti (Anandhi) which do not lend much to the main plot. Dinesh has matured into a beautiful performer who lends himself completely into the hands of the able Director, Vetrimaran. I also came to know that he did suffer injuries along with a few others while filming and did suffer emotional trauma after the film, which is understandable, since it has left a deep impact on my psyche as well and made me wary of the local policeman. Hope he gets to play lot more meaty characters in future as well.

Actor Kishore has a role integral to the main plot of the movie and being a seasoned performer that he is,he has played the part more than adequately. Actor Murugadoss, one of the other protagonists has also played a huge part and he has shown how he can excel when a good role comes along. One of the standout performers in the movie, according to me, is definitely Samudrakani. His character is a very complex one and he carries the responsibility with ease and there could be no other person who could have justified the character more than him.

GV Prakash has provided ample support to the Director. Last but definitely not the least, Director Vetrimaran needs to be applauded for, firstly, taking up such a controversial subject and secondly, not succumbing to commercial needs and making the movie how it ought to be made. From choosing the actors, to the technicians and to make optimum use of their capabilities, the Director needs to be sure of what he needs and also needs to be on top of his game. We all had seen a spark in Vetrimaran when "Polladavan" released and he did prove with "Adukalam"that his first movie was not a "flash-in-the-pan" lucky one. With "Visaranai", he has proved his mettle and shown to the world what a mature Director he can become, when given an opportunity to make the film the way he wants to, without any hindrances and for that producer "Actor" Dhanush needs to be appreciated.

VISARANAI is an "in your face", hard hitting, gruesome, gut wrenching, unapologetic, heart breaking true story which will leave an impact on you,like me, long after watching it...If you love the routine commercial song and dance movies and the romcoms (nothing against this genre though, i personally love them as well), this movie is not for you. If you love cinema which portrays a slice of life and provides a message along with brilliant film making of international standards and for those who ponder why we do not make hard hitting authentic films on par with Hollywood and World cinema "Visaranai" is the answer.

My rating is definitely a 4/5 and this movie has already become a cult film. Hats off to Vetrimaran and his team for providing a unique movie watching experience.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

RAJATHANTIRAM movie review

Plot : The story revolves around 3 small time con artists who dupe people, who according to them "are greedy" and they take advantage of their greediness.They are doing really well for themselves until a big opportunity presents itself to them but the leader of the group, Arjun Parthiban (Veera) is reluctant initially, but later agrees when his lover, Michelle (Regina Cassandra) is in dire need of money.The rest of movie is about how the perfectly planned heist goes all awry and wrong for them, how they improvise and will they succeed in their quest or not...

The first half of the movie, up until the interval, is breezy with a lot of situational comedy which blends in well and pushes the screenplay fast and movie takes a serious turn just before the interval. The performances by the three protagonists has been impressive, especially Veera and Darbuka Siva, who have made good use of the roles offered to them. Veera has made a strong comeback after the hugely dissapointing "Nadunisai Naigal" (no fault of his). Regina Cassandra has a good role and she just shines through with her natural performance. She looks stylish, glamorous and pretty at the same time and if this performance is any testimony to her acting skills then she can reach a good position in the movie industry, which basically depends on choosing good scripts like "Rajathantiram" in future as well.

Veterans like Ilavarasu and "Aadukalam" Naren have lent able support to this otherwise inexperienced, but talented cast. The most impressive for me, personally, has been the discovery of the brilliant, "Pattiyal"K.Sekhar as Kanchi Alagappan who is the owner of a big jewellery store and the main antagonists. His performance is one of the biggest pluses and strong-points of the movie. Last but not the least, Direction of debutant A.G.Amid has been spectacular, to put it mildly. Hats off to him for selecting a really different story-line with no big star-casts, but relying solely on a good script and believing in the audience judgement. The screenplay is really good and he unties the knots one by one only during the climax and keeps it interesting with a cat and mouse game.

Brave Directors like Amid should be lauded and appreciated for bring something new to the audience and not testing our patience..if you really want something different and interesting, go watch this movie, guys...I guarantee, you will not be dissapointed...My rating for the movie is 3.5/5...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

K Balachander - Unscalable Mountain

Many refer him as, "Iyakunar Sigaram", but he is known by many other names as well.. "A Discoverer of Talent", "Path breaker", Trend setter" and what not and he wears all these hats with aplomb.He has discovered 3 Super stars, namely Rajinikath, Kamal Hassan and Chiranjeevi, among around 67 others in the film industry.He discovered the actor in Nagesh (a close friend as well) and gave him some gem of movies like "Ethir Neechal", "Server Sundaram" etc, among innumerable other characters...

To recognize the "spark" in an actor a person needs to have good "eye" for talent. The story of how Rajinikanth got selected has been narrated many times before, so i will not go into that.My thought is, at a time, when actors had a "caricatured requirement" in terms of good height, great body, fair skinned, with chiseled features, how did KB Sir feel, that a dark skinned, non Tamil speaking, average body type guy like Rajinikanth (no offense guys, me a die hard fan) will make it really big in Tamil cinema ? Also he would have had a tough time convincing the producers and distributors as well, at that time,i guess. That's his foresight.

In 1950, he moved to Chennai and joined the Accountant General's office as an apprentice clerk.Due to his interest in Theater and drams he joined the "United Amateur Artists" and then a little later he formed his own drama troupe. During his drama days he was offered the job of writing dialogues for MGR's "Deiva Thaai" and slowly he ventured into feature films. His directorial debut was "Neerkumizhi" which was an adaptation of his own play. He had a repertoire of films starting from hard - hitting films like "Neerkumizhi","Server Sundaram","Thappu Thalangal" to  exploring relationships in Aboorva Ragangal", "Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal","Azhagan" to dabbling in comedy in "Bama Vijayam",Poova Thalaya", "Thillu Mullu", etc..

His movies were always far ahead of its times and he was a man renowned for not sticking to traditions and age old diktats of film making. At a time when everyone would give a hand or leg to work with MGR, he decided, that he would never go behind famous stars and wait for their dates, rather would make movies with newcomers and relied only on his script and characters and also to show strong female protagonists in his films. He sticked to these rules right until his death.Not many can boast of such a thing.He had an arrogance and his arrogance was to take Tamil cinema to Himalayan heights.

He also had the talent to identify something unique about an actor casually and then use that mannerism or characteristic of that actor in his films. Especially, he never wanted Rajinikanth to change his fast dialogue delivery, since it was unique, and used his natural walking style and cigarette flipping style as it is in his films, and improvised them into script, that's the genius of this man.

My personal favourite movies of his is "Varumayin Niram Sivappu", Thillu Mullu", "Puthu Puthu Arthangal" and "Sidhu Bairavi".In "Varumayin Niram..." he explored the unemployment and social unrest of the times and who can forget the "Apple" scene from the movie and Kamal's standout performance. In "Thillu Mullu", he discovered the natural comic timing of Rajini Sir and made a full length comedy film, which was far better than the original film ("Golmal" starring Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt). "Thengai" Srinivasan and Sowcar Janaki along with Superstar, brought the house down  with their amazing comic timings. Also no one can forget the brilliant cameo of Kamal Hassan as a advocate with a hundred juniors coming in defense of Superstar. He dazzled in that cameo. In "Puthu Puthu Arthangal" he explored marital infedility and live in relationships. One of my favourite songs "Kalyana Malai..." is from this movie. In "Sindhu Bairavi", he brings in a sympathy for all three characters of Sivakumar, his wife played by Suloksana and Sindhu, played beautifully by Suhasini. This movie had some great songs composed by Ilayaraja and performed by magnificent Yesudas Sir and Chitra.

He always had strong female protaganists in his movies, be it "Arangetram", Aval Oru Thodargathai", "Kalki", "Azhagan" "Sindhu Bairavi", etc. He might have altered his cast and crew at times, but a constant for him after MSV Sir, in music, was Ilayaraja. But due to a fallout between them, he (as a producer) bravely introduced AR Rahman after recommendation came from  the film's Director, Maniratnam for "Roja", a terrorism based subject, and the rest, as they say, is history. Maniratnam said in an interview that it was only because of KB Sir that he became a Director and my humble salute to KB Sir, for this, because Maniratnam is one of my most favourite Directors.

In a recent talk show, a confidant of KB Sir informed that KB Sir, had confided in him that he always knew Rajinikanth would make it big, but never in his widest imagination had he thought of Rajinikanth in his current status of Superstardom and that he felt proud of it. He also said to the same confidant, that Kamal, would always do way better and bring a whole new dimension to an already good scene. Many consider that there are two periods as far as Directorship is concerned, one, before KB and the other, after KB.Directors were recognized a lot more, because of him and he brought an immense respectability to the job. He changed the path of Tamil cinema and many are treading the path created by him right now.

KB Sir, there is no equal to you. Your life is a legacy and the numerous awards and accolades are mere cornerstone in the long list of achievements. Thank you for making many believe that one can achieve the desired results without compromising, if we had the courage to work hard and do our job with utmost honesty and conviction. Hats off and RIP Sir....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

BAASHAA, 20 years young....

It has been 20 years (15th January 1995) since the iconic  BAASHAA  had released...When the movie released in 1995 it was unique and one of its kind movie...right from the titles,intercutting flashbacks with just a silhoutte of the Superstar,bgm that would send all Superstar fans like me, into a tizzy,the frameless glasses,stylish jackets,punch dialogues that echo in the background,etc...It redefined the done -to-death gangster films structure totally and also kick-started "Baashaa" like movies which paled in comparison to the original Superstar film....but none could even match its humungous appeal..

I had watched BAASHAH in a theatre in Madurai, when i had visited my cousin there...i would be around 11 years old then. Although i might not have understood much back then, i still remember being mesmerized by the whole movie...I had lost count of how many times i had watched the movie since then.Whenever they telecast the Superstar starrer in TV, i make it a point to watch it and i know many more BAASHAA fanatics like me would do the same, giving a deaf ear to all the family members who scold you on watching the same movie again and again..I do pity them, since they dont know what it feels like to relive the magic again and again...

Being a Superstar fan, i had bought the book "My Days With Baashaa" by the Director Suresh Krishna. It has very interesting anecdotes about the making of the movie, although not as much as i would have liked :( ...In the book the Director had mentioned how both Suresh as well as Superstar wanted to do an action movie, but since they did not have a story, Rajinikanth himself suggested just the title "Baashaa" and started on "Veera" movie instead.I read in a leading newspaper that the germ of the idea came long back  to the Superstar when he was working on "HUM" with Govinda and Amitabh Bachan..In the movie HUM, Bachan Sir, was a former gangster and now just a elder brother to his other two siblings, played by Govinda and Superstar himself..During one of the discussions between Superstar,Govinda and Bachan Sir, they had thought about a scene where Bachan Sir, will be influencing a person, with his previous gangster background,in order for Govinda to get a job and they had given the suggestion to the Director of the movie, but he rejected the idea informing them that it did not sit well with the script of the film...Years later Rajinikanth had suggested the same scene to Suresh Krishna and that is the now famous scene where Superstar goes to the Head of a college and speaks to him in a office room and finally gets a seat for his sister...This is how the script of "BASHAA" the movie was born.

Coming back to the movie itself, everything about the movie was pretty new at that time.It had such a talented star cast which included Raghuvaran,Vijaykumar,Devan,etc with fantastic music by DEVA, pulsating dialogues by BALAKUMARAN (NAYAGAN fame)...The "Naan Autkaaran.." song is still played today by autorickshaw drivers everywhere for Ayudha Poojai even now..The "Style.." song, the "Azhagu..." song, etc...There are so many memorable scenes right from the introduction of "Manik Baashah" in a cave to the "Ulle Po.." the "Oru thadava sonna nooru thadava sonna madiri" scene which gives me goosebumps even now when i see it..To the scene where he says, "Yen Per Manikkam, enakku innoru per irukku...." and the awesome background music takes over...The intercutting flashback scene, showing Baasha as a shadow,silhoutte..with the bgm (improved upon from TERMINATOR)..the innumerable social messages by way of punch dialogues, the confrontation of Baasha and Antony near the Fort, etc....i could just go on...

If BAASHAA needs to be shown as strong and powerful then he needed to have insurmountable odds stacked against him...That came in the form of the stupendous Antony...I still feel now, that there could be no other actor who could have played the character of ANTONY with so much panache and style like Raghuvaran.,,,He just imposed himself onto you, his barritone, height, stylish frames and jacket, made up for what he lacked in a good body...A handsome guy like him to play a villain is really tough, i would say :) ....

The movie has stood the test of time and many leading stars even now are willing to do a remake of the cult film...Actually Suresh Krishna had asked after the success of BAASHAA to Superstar, if they could make a sequel to the movie and the Superstar outrightly rejected the idea.. His reason was that the sequel should surpass the original film which is highly unlikely and so Suresh dropped the idea altogether..I feel movies like this should not be remade and never touched...Except the remake of yesteryear superhit "Billa" all other remakes had a very bad run..that shows the instinct of Rajinikanth..

I had watched LINGA recently and I felt the Superstar's magic has waned (sadly,feeling bad as i write it :( )...My personal wish would be that Superstar should act in strong character roles as in THE GODFATHER (Don Corleone), or Gene Hackman's role in (CRIMSON TIDE) or Jack Nicholson's role in (A Few Good Men)or Morgan Freeman's role (BRUCE ALMIGHTY) or retire completely..

I just want to end by quoting from a song from the movie itself, "there is only One Moon, One Sun, One BASHAA" and want to addOne and Only one SUPERSTAR...The BASHAA legacy still  lives on now.....Rajini Sir you will always be a BASHAA in our hearts,,,Live long and stay healthy...A humble tribute by a fan to irreplacebale BAASHAA....

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Expendables 3

Watched "EXPENDABLES 3" over the weekend after hearing pretty gud reviews...but compared to the earlier two versions the 3rd part of the franchise did not work out much for me..letz leave out the plot..but just to give a brief,after a failed mission,Stallone has to discard 5 of his trusted guys frm the Expendables team..To capture the villain,Mel Gibson, he has to go in for new recruits,so precious screen time is wasted in identifying and recruiting them..After another failed attempt in capturing Gibson,the old guys return voluntarily (obviously) to help Stallone in his mission along with the new recruits..When it comes to performances Stallone stands tall,also since he has maximum screen time..even Jason Statham had very little action  Arnold looked jaded and uninterested,no Bruce Willis,Jet li in a very brief cameo was barely there,new entrants Harrison Ford did create an impression,Wesley Snipes did have a few good scenes,Antonio Banderas is the "supposed" comic relief,but he did sparkle in a few action scenes along with two new recruits,one being a girl..Mel Gibson had so much potential in that role,but his role was flattered to deceive..the first half was pretty slow,the film picks up only in the latter half,wer u got explode-in-ur-face action that u had been dying to see all along frm the beginning..I wud give 2.5/5 for E3..strictly for lovers of the franchise and mayb a last nostalgic chance for the audience to c all their favourite action heroes frm the 80's and 90's in the big screen..

Note : I had pasted this from my FB page, so it is a short review :)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Anatomy Of A Murder

Watched "Anatomy of a Murder" yesterday and i would say it is one of the best courtroom dramas i had ever seen.

Mr Biegler (James Stewart), a former District Attorney,whose hobby now is fishing to kill time as he is out work, gets a call from Mrs Manion to represent Mr. Let. Fredrick Manion,her husband, on the charge of murder of Barney Quill, the bar owner. Mr.Biegler is supported by alcoholic friend and colleague, Mr.Paul McCarthy and secretary, Maida Rutlege. Mr.Manion had shot Barney Quill 5 times after his wife,Mrs Manion, had come home battered and bruised and had accused Barney of raping her.

Biegler takes the case and tries to prove Mr. Manion on the basis of "dissassociative reaction" and "irresistible impulse" (temporary insanity) as termed by the Army psychologist. In a "dissassociative reaction" a person does not know right from wrong is the definition and in that impulse of temporary insanity (reason: rape of Mrs.Manion) Mr.Manion had killed Barney Quill was to be Mr.Biegler's defense.

Mr.Biegler also checks the motives of a Ms.Mary Pilant, (supposed mistress of Barney Quill) who inherits Barney's belongings after his death, but there is a sudden twist when Mr. Paul McCarthy after an investigation discovers that Ms.Pilant is actually Barney's daughter. Don't want to reveal much more than this.Things heat up, when Claude Dancer (George.C.Scott) Asst.State Attorney General, comes in defense of the State against Mr.Manion. There are quite a few twists and turns, some crackling dialogues, one upmanship. It was almost like watching two boxers fighting each other. There are jabs taken at each other,sly remarks, arguments not relevant to the case discussed by both Dancer and Biegler to convince the Jury into their line of argument. The tension and action moves at break neck speed. The arguments between these two accomplished actors (James Stewart and Gerge C Scott) are electric and the magic that happens when two talented actors completely submit to the Director's vision needs to be seen to be believed.

Directed brilliantly by Otto Preminger "Anatomy Of A Murder" more or less is equal in stature to "12 Angry Men" but brimming with much more atmospheric tension. It is right up there with other great courtroom dramas like "A Few Good Men", "To Kill A Mockingbird", "Philadelphia", etc...

My rating 4/5..brilliant movie !!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Like in the movie's teaser the antagonist tells the meaning of "Jigarthanda" as "Jigar" means "Heart" and "Thanda" means "cold"..What i would suggest after watching the movie is "Jigar" means "bravado" and "Thanda" means "coolness".. Karthik Subburaj (Director) has combined "bravado +coolness" to bring us a delightfully juicy movie...

 The plot of the story is simple, Karthik Subramaniam (Siddharth) is a contestant in reality show for short film makers aka "Nalaya Iyakkunar" like programme.His movie comes up for judgement and the two Judges are Nasser (a Director) and "Aadukalam" Naren (a Producer) who detest just the mere sight of each other. Nasser dismisses the movie as a rubbish film, while Naren hails the film, just to injure Nasser's ego,both enter into an argument and after it is over, Naren,in the heat of the moment, promises Karthik  'on live telecast' in the programme that he would produce Karthik's first film..So, Karthik lands up at the producer's office soon to narrate his story and Naren reluctantly hears the story..After a while he is annoyed and asks Karthik to scrap this film and make an out and out Gangster movie, where blood is spilt all over (ratham therika therika).He also suggests a few classic Gangster movies and asks him to make a movie on those lines... Karthik gives a thought to it and then decides if it has to be a Gangster movie then it has to be about a real life gangster and his frantic search ends with "Assault Sethu", a Madurai gangster known for his gruesomeness and cold bloodedness..Karthik makes his plan to visit Madurai and get help from his friend,Oorani (Karunakaran).

Oorani advises Karthik against the plan, explaining to him on how ruthless Sethu is and if they get caught they are dead, but Karthik convinces Oorani by promising a second hero role in his movie,for which Oorani instantly agrees.So, both decide to get into the close ring of Sethu, but all their attempts fail miserably. Meanwhile, Sethu is given a tip-off by the local police officer that an encounter has been planned on him  and that to be aware of people snooping around him..Both Karthik and Oorani are suspected of being the snoopers and so one of the new recruits is asked to tail them and to find out what they are upto. The new recruit befriends them and Karthik and Oorani, finally heave a sigh of relief and get the details they require. Kayal (Lakshmi Menon) is the daughter of Ambika who cooks for Sethu and his gang, so Karthik gets close to her to get the information that he requires.

There comes a twist in the movie through which both Karthik and Oorani get caught by Sethu gang and are almost killed when Kathik reveals that he is neither a Journalist nor a Police officer as suspected and that he had tailed Sethu and his gang so that he could make a gangster movie and at this revelation Sethu  is delighted and also informs Karthik that he will get all the help he wants. Then events take a turn wherein Karthik is forced to cast Sethu,himself as the hero. How Sethu is hilariously transformed as a hero by taking acting classes from an acting guru (Guru Somasundaram) and what happens after that forms the rest of the story..

Coming to the cast, first and foremost Nasser and Aadukalam Naren have added a lot of value to their small roles. Aadukalam Naren is one of the most talented actors around and his performances in Aadukalam,Anjathe,Pizza,Jigarthanda,etc have been nothing short of exciting. Karunakaran is just brilliant as Oorani and his no-frills-simplistic acting is just hilarious and is another product of short films, Lakhsmi Menon has done pretty well, but one of the most delightful performances has come from the veteran, Sangili Murugan, (an aspiring Director,once upon a time) who runs a small shop and narrates the same story to people coming to his shop and so most of them are are petrified of him. When Karthik is totally dejected and crestfallen, Sangili Murugan comes along and gives him an advice which makes Karthik to go forward and accomplish his ambition.One of the most beautiful scenes in the film,very inspiring (maybe taken from Director Karthik's own life ?) Delhi Ganesh has been simply wasted as Karthik's dad, no scope for this awesome actor in the movie. Guru Somasundaram as the teacher is excellent casting..Vijay Sethupathi makes a superb cameo and simply delights.

Siddharth has done really well and his choice of roles shows his maturity as an actor and shows that he wants to prove himself as a versatile actor who can do any kind of role.Especially want to congratulate him on accepting a movie wherein he is just an instrument in narrating Sethu's story and whole movie revolves around Sethu. Only when actors like Siddharth accept such roles do we get meaningful cinema. Hats off Siddharth!!!

Music by Santhosh Narayan is pretty good, though except "Puzhidi Parakkum paaru" no other song stays in my mind. The BGM is breathtakingly haunting and lends itself beautifully to the mood of the movie. Camera work is also great, especially in the rain scenes...

Karthik Subbaraj, you genius, no words to describe you...He did give a glimpse of his talent in "Pizza" and based purely on that i had waited and wanted to watch this movie without reading any reviews. He has more than justified that faith i had in him, in this movie. This movie is a metaphor and a biography of sorts i believe. Karthik's character is based on the Director himself and Sethu and the gang can be compared to the producers,censorship people and the system,in general. Karthik has brought out all his suppressed angst and has used his skills to mock at the system as a whole.

Coming to Bobby Simha AKA "Assault Sethu"..Any amount of praise for this brilliant actor is too little i believe. He has been putting in consistent performances right from his "Kathalil Sothapuvedhu Eppadi" days.. Director Karthik Subbaraj should be especially commended for giving Bobby Simha this opportunity, since Karthik could have got any leading actor to portray this role but he chose Simha and Simha has responded spectacularly. From the beginning, Simha should have realised that these kind of roles do not come very often in an actor's life and he will have to give his best and at times punch above his height for it and punch he does, emphatically!!! He just breathes fire into "Assault Sethu's" character and makes him as real as possible. I feel an actor is brilliant only if we are able to see just the character that he is portraying, instead of the actor playing that role..I did not see Simha, the actor, but only Sethu the gangster and that is the testimony to the hardwork by Karthik Subbaraj, Simha and the crew as a whole. Simha just owned Sethu and nailed the role completely!!! Simha,the actor, has truly arrived and i expect him to bag the top honours at the awards ceremonies that follow...

This movie is a "Gang-com" like a "Rom-com" :) We have also got a true blue rockstar in the guise of a Director and is one of the top 10 Directors of the future to watch out for...My rating is 4/5...I would have given it a total 5, if not for the length of the movie..Go for it guys,new wave Tamil cinema at its best....

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Velai Illa Pattathari (VIP)

I came to know that VIP was pretty good commercial movie and so did not read any of the reviews and went straight to watch and it definitely did not dissapoint.

The plot of the story is pretty simple, Raghuvaran (Dhanush) is an engineering graduate who does not have a job and also does not want to do any other work except of that of an engineer..As a result of this he is ridiculed by his father (played brilliantly by Samudrakani)...Saranya is Raghu's mother who plays the usual doting mother to an irresponsible son and Raghu's only source of some sympathy in his family..His brother Karthik is three years younger to him but had joined an IT company and earning good money.Raghu's father often compares Raghu to his younger brother, which irks Raghu and sows jealousy in his heart for his younger sibling...There is a point where Raghu gets a good engineering job, courtesy indirectly by his mother...Meanwhile Dhanush's boss bags the Government contract to construct homes to resettle slum dwellers..Obstacle comes in the form of Arun Subramaniam, a rich builder, who wants to somehow stop Dhanush's progress,so that the contract will go to the next lowest bidder,himself...How Dhanush overcomes this hurdle, forms the rest of the story....

First and foremost, Samudrakani has done a really good job as Raghu's father and is very relatable as well. He has quite underplayed the role effectively and his one or two outbursts are also pretty well timed.Saranya Ponvannan as the caring mother has done this role innumerable number of times, but still brings something fresh onscreen and that's the hallmark of a brilliant actor.She is a comic relief at times, but also shows her serious side as well which is remarkable.It seems she cannot age and time has stood still in her case.There is a lot of untapped talent with this realistic actor. His brother, Karthik, has a pretty small role, but does it well. Amala Paul as the girl next door has exactly done what her role demands and sails through it easily.The villain, played by Amitash is quite comical and looks exactly like an "Amul baby" (referred to by Dhanush in the film).He is brought on to the screen to boost Dhanush's image and in the end he is made to look silly. Vivek has a pretty small role, but the veteran has brought in a few laughs. Dhanush-Vivek combo looks pretty good.

Anirudh is one of the biggest strengths of the movie.His songs from the movie are already chartbusters, but what was even more extraordinary was his background score.In my opinion, only Ilayaraja sir and to a certain extent Yuvan can enhance the scenes with great BGM, but now Anirudh is next on that list.He simply uplifts scenes to a whole new level with his brilliant BGM.

Director Velraj (cameraman in most of Selvaraghavan's movies) has done an amazing job with his debut movie. His partnership (chemistry) with Dhanush in many movies earlier, does show on screen and I do feel Velraj is a pretty good  Director to watch out for in the future if VIP is anything to go by.

Last but not in anyway least VIP is a Dhanush show all the way. He has produced the movie,written lyrics and also brilliantly enacted the role of Raghu on the big screen. I never thought a Dhanush movie can be this massy before !! He mouths some pretty good crispy dialogues and shows his class..He definitely reminds Superstar in most of the scenes, maybe he had done it as a tribute to SUPERSTAR in his 25th film. Whatever the reason, Rajini Sir would have been proud of his son-in-law's performance..The only letdown of the movie is the part of the villain, he does not look as big a threat to Dhanush,maybe his role should have been made a little stronger, it would have raised the movie several notches higher..

I have immense respect for Dhanush as an actor and have been following his progres from his "Thulluvatho Ilamai" days.I was one of the many people who ridiculed him in the beginning for his looks,body,etc but he had learned on the job and never stopped learning. Till now I feel "PUDUPETTAI" was one of his best performances and he should have got National award for that movie instead of "ADUKALAM", which was good but not much when compared to Pudhupettai. I also love the fact that he has carved a niche for himself within the industry. When you think of Dhanush now, what comes to mind is an amazing actor with loads of talent, instead of Rajini's son-in-law, that is the strength of his individuality and that is one of his biggest achievements. He has also transcended boundaries, tasted success in the Hindi Film Industry with "RANJHANAA" wherein he learnt and mouthed his own dialogues in Hindi and which went to become a blockbuster. How many would get a chance to work with Amitabh Bachan Sir, but he has, which is a tribute to his hardwork and passion for cinema and his success should also be credited to a huge extent (in his own words) to his brother and maverick Director Selvaraghavan.

My rating for the film is 3.5/5. Go for it guys, it is a good commercial entertainer !!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mayakkam Enna review

A few of my friends had discouraged me from seeing “Mayakkam Enna” (ME) but I felt after watching the trailer and also the combination of the brothers (Selva & Dhanush) they could be wrong and yes I was proven right.

ME is the story about Karthik Swaminathan (Dhanush), how he pursues his passion, Photography, and how he overcomes the many hurdles and pitfalls that lay before him. He lives with an amazing group of friends, who support him and his sister. Trouble starts when Sundar, his close friend, introduces Yamini (Richa) as his girlfriend to all his friends. From day one both, Yamini and Karthik, hate each other, but know underneath that still there is something that attracts both of them. Karthik tries hard to land a good job on the strength of his photographs but meets with failure at every step. Eventhough many discourage him against pursuing this passion he sticks to it. On the other side, he also gets attracted to Yamini, but is caught between his loyalty to his friend and his love, which is brought beautifully on screen by Selva.

He finally gets a chance to prove himself when his idol sends him on a project but after he returns with the photographs, he is cheated by his very own idol and this leaves a very deep impact on him. He becomes kind of a recluse and the rest of the story is about how he regains his lost confidence and ultimately achieves his dream.

Yamini played by Richa is such a strong character who is one of the most significant part of Karthik’s life. Just could not believe that this is Richa’s first film, she has done a fantastic job. In the first half she is a headstrong, practical girl and in the second half she transforms herself into Karthik’s wife. The other notable character is Karthik’s friend, Sundar who also has done a very commendable job.

There are a lot of scenes in the film which are really good. One scene is where Karthik and Yamini hug each other and suddenly Sundar calls up Karthik and both feel very guilty. Selva should be congratulated for bringing this movie to us and Dhanush should be appreciated for portraying Karthik as a reflection of today’s youth.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Aadukalam review

Aadukalam, what can I say about the film? The least I can say is, that it is one of the best films made in recent times and will be mentioned among the best films of this decade. Coming to the story, the film is mainly about the life of men who rear Roosters for fights and the gang includes Pettaikaran (the Leader), Karuppu (Dhanush) and Durai (Kishore). Durai is the financier for Pettaikaran.

Pettaikaran has a great track record when it comes to Rooster fighting and especially against Rathinam. Pettaikaran challenges Rathinam for a Rooster fight challenge and says that the one who loses should not get involved in Rooster fight again and the Tournament progresses. Pettaikaran’s rooster’s wins all the challenges against Rathinam but an issue arises when Karuppu uses his rooster for the challenge against Rathinam’s rooster. Earlier, Pettaikaran had ordered Karuppu to kill the rooster as he felt it will not perform well, but Karuppu on the basis of his affection to the rooster did not agree to Pettaikaran and that sowed the seeds of bitterness in Pettaikaran’s heart for Karuppu. Also Karuppu’s rooster wins the challenge and he is crowned the next Pettaikaran and this further hurts the ego of Pettaikaran.

The performances of all the actors have been superb and the casting is perfect, especially of Pettaikaran (dubbing by Radharavi, who has done a great job). Dhanush has lived the role and this is one of the best performances of him that I have seen. The first half of the film runs at a steady pace but comparatively the second half lags a bit. Also from the climax the Director hints that there might be a sequel. The scenes between Tapasee and Dhanush evoke some comic situations otherwise there is not much scope for comedy. The interval block where the two rooster’s fight is simply superb and the visual effects in those scenes are too good.

The only two things I felt that was often repeated  was the background of Madurai, (it was essential for the film) but I feel that there had been already a lot of Madurai based films made and for a change Directors should opt for other places like Tirunelveli or Coimbatore, etc. The next thing I feel that Dhanush often repeats (almost all of his films) is in doing a role where he is not liked by the parents and often ridiculed. He should change this in his future films. The music by GV Prakash is superb, especially “Yathe Yathe” also he has excelled in the background score of the film which lifts the scenes. The “Ayyayo” song is vintage SPB. How does he sound so youthful even now?? Last but not the least we have to congratulate Vetrimaran for a superb movie and that too only in his second movie. He is surely one of the Directors to look out for.

My rating is 4/5. This movie can be watched at least twice.