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 !!!