Friday, June 27, 2008

One Way Ticket

Prithviraj’s new film ‘One Way Ticket’ is directed by Bipin Prabhakar. Their previous action packed venture ‘Kaakki’ was not so successful as expected. This time they got the support of experienced cinematographer Vipin Mohan to capture the scenes written by Babu Janardhan. Though the latter has not produced big hits, he has written some notable projects like ‘Dreams’, ‘Varnappakittu’, ‘Chandranudikkunna Dikkil’, ‘Thachiledathu Chundan’, ‘Achanurangatha Veedu’ etc.

Prithviraj is a taxi driver here and he is also a hard core fan of Mammootty (Here ‘One Way Ticket’ is the name of the new film acted by the Megastar) In two scenes, Mammootty himself comes in a guest role as an actor, but thats not good enough to lift this film, since it has got a weak script in the backdrop. The opening sequences shows our hero’s worship towards the actor and also there is a song in which the hero and the party dances in front of the posters and stills of Mammootty, which is included to give an extra boost. The usual clich├ęs like family sentiments, love at first sight, enemity from heroine’s family etc are also there.

The history of heroine’s family and how the hero comes to her rescue is shown almost 100 times before. The villain character done by Thilakan is not having a depth and he is not looking serious in appearance. Eventhough a very small character, we don’t understand the comedy in the role of Sudheesh. Since there are no experienced artists featuring in the family members of the hero, such sequences look amature only.

Only scene acceptable in the film is the one in police station involving Mammootty (as actor) and Maniyanpillai Raju (as Sub Inspector), the reason for this lies in the dialogue said by the latter. He says looking at the star after quoting some of the hit film names in the 80’s,.... “Sir, this is not the era of good films, those films done by You and Mohanlal at that time were really great“....This is a dialogue which is relevant in this period where films like ‘One Way Ticket’ is releasing.

There is a line in the introduction song of this film sung by Jassiegift, “One Way... Ticket... ithu superaaa...“ But at the end of the day,...very sorry....nobody can agree with that...

Rating : 1.5 / 5

Sunday, June 15, 2008


A vaishnava priest in the 12th century, an Indian scientist working in US, an English killer, a Japanese kungfu master, a CBI officer, a Punjabi pop singer, an old lady, a dalit leader, 7 feet tall muslim and last but not the least Mr. George Bush, the US President..........these are all characters featuring in the new tamil film ‘Dasavatharam’ directed by KS Ravikumar (‘Avai Shanmughi’, ‘Thenali’, Padayappa’, ‘Muthu’ fame ) & produced by Aascar Films’ Ravichandran (‘Anniyan’, ‘Ramana’ fame )

Have you ever seen such 10 roles done by the same hero in a be, around 40 years before you have seen 9 roles in one film, ‘Navarathri’ , by late Sivaji Ganesan..... but now ‘sakalakalavallabhan’ Kamalhassan has beaten that record, he has done all these 10 roles specified above, in his new film titled ‘Dasavatharam’. Other than those, he has carried an extra burden on his head, he is also the script writer of ‘Dasavatharam’.

The first few minutes of the film is extraordinary, showing incidents happening in the 12th century. In the battle between the King and the Priest, the latter has to pay the price. Then there is an U-turn, takeoff to the 2004 period in US, where the hero scientist was part of some bio chemical inventions, his boss tries to cheat them by selling it for some bad purposes. So our hero escapes to India with the product, chased by an ex CIA agent. On the way they are targeted by many harsh circumstances and how they face all those things for a happy ending is what ‘Dasavatharam’ tells us.

It is good to say the story of a film in two-three sentences..., but to make a 180+ minute film.... happening in entirely different 2 periods....covering locations in US and India......scenes showing the effects of Tsunami.....and the important thing is the 10 roles being done by the same is not a simple job.....”its a herculean painful process at a high risk”.....the only Indian actor who is ready to fight such a battle is none other than Kamalhassan, the ‘ulaga nayakan’ -as the climax song words in the film indicates.

Kamalhassan has done well in most of the roles, among them the performance of the CBI officer and the English man stands on top. The characters of George Bush and the Japanese Kungfu master shows the excellence in makeup by Westmoore, from hollywood. Cinematographer Ravi Varman, who did big films like ’ Veetayadu Vilayadu’ & ‘Anniyan’ before, has given his best. No mistakes has been done by the editor,Thanigachalam. Himesh Reshammiya’s songs goes well with the scenes only. In the background score, Devisree Prasad has done a good job. The film has got good Computer Graphics in each and every frames, among them the opening scenes in the 12th century and Tsunami scenes in the climax needs special mention (pls dont compare with hollywood films !!!)
Two Ravis – Ravichandran & KS Ravikumar should also be remembered, former for producing such a big venture and the other one for co-ordinating all the roles and directing it into the celluloid.

Some of the characters like the George Bush, the old lady, 7 feet tall man, japanese kungfu master etc are unneccasary for the subject...Heavy make up has created problems in facial expressions for some of the characters like 7 feet tall man and old lady. Too many 'Kamalhassans' in the same scene can create boring & lagging sometimes in the second half. Also, the story containing big issues like bio chemical things is not easy to digest for an average viewer. Though Asin has performed well in the role of an innocent brahmin girl, some of the ‘tit for tat’ shots with the hero should have been avoided.

Films like ‘Dasavatharam’ can also happen rarely in this period...... Dont take it as a time pass......This brave attempt from the Universal hero should be appreciated.....Its upto you to decide whether you want to be a part of this mega venture with ups and downs...

Rating : 2.5 / 5

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sarkar Raj

Ramgopal Varma’s new film ‘Sarkar Raj’ is a sequel to his old hit ‘Sarkar’. Here Amitabh & Abhishek Bachans are having the company of Aiswaya Rai. This story starts from where the ‘Sarkar’ ended.

Sarkar’s son decided to help an NRI (Aiswarya Rai) who came to start a hydro electric power project in a village in Maharashtra. In the game they had got some local hurdles to face. Also they had to come across politicians and businessmen who try to make things happen according to their way. In the end how the Sarkar wins the battle is what the director had shown through ‘Sarkar Raj’. As far as the story is concerned, may be we have heard this many times before, but the way in which the director told this by putting extraordinary frames and the way in which the characters renders the dialogues is where the speciality lies.

This is a director’s movie. Hope you are aware of Ramgopal Varma’s technical brilliance. One cant forget his films like ‘Shiva’, ‘Satya’, ‘Kaun’, ‘Bhoot’, ‘Company’, ‘Sarkar’ etc. So I rate him on the top when the list of the best directors in our country is taken. In ‘Sarkar Raj’ also he has followed his usual colour and successful way of story telling.

Though Abhishek is dominant in the first half, its the real Bachan who steals the show by his incredible performance. Aiswarya Rai is also good in her role of an NRI. We can see some of Ramgopal Varma’s usual actors in ‘Sarkar Raj’ also. They all know how to give their best in a Varma kind of movie.

Cinematographer Amit Roy’s work should be appreciated especially in indoor scenes where the lighting needs special attention. Amar Mohile has delivered good back ground score which gives a good pace for the film, among them ‘govinda govinda...’ bg music punch line is notable.

After the downfall of ‘RGV ki Aag’, now Ramgopal Varma can make the critics’ mouth shut through ‘Sarkar Raj’.

Different from the ‘amul baby’ approach of Khans –Kapoors, hindi field has got some variety of films to project, ‘Sarkar Raj’ is one such example. If you like this way of story telling, then don’t miss this film.

Rating : 4 / 5

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Arai En 305il Kadavul

I don’t know whether you have seen the superhit movie ‘Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi’ acted by Vadivelu in double role.If you have, then you must know about the makers of the particular movie. It was scripted /directed by debutant Simbudevan and produced by Shankar, the superhit director behind ‘Sivaji’, ‘Muthalvan’, ‘Gentleman’ etc.

Now Simbudevan, who was once associate to Shankar is coming with his second film ‘Arai N 305il Kadavul’, which is also produced by Shankar. Here the hero characters are done by two comedians, Ganja Karuppu and Santhanam. Jyothirmayi and Madhumitha plays the heroine characters. Prakashraj, who is a biggie in the south Indian movie field, comes in a lead role and he is the main attraction.

The story happens among two unemployed youths staying in a lodge in the Chennai city. Such places are known by the name, mansions. In the middle of one of those suffering days, What happens if a ‘Kadavul’ (God) appears before them and decides to help them by staying with them as a human. This is the theme of ‘Arai En 305il Kadavul’.

Dont you feel something crazy ?!... You cant...Such innovative ideas can be seen in tamil films these days and they are succeeded in creating it.

The director has portrayed the mansion in detail, which is a main background for the story. No need for a special mention on Prakashraj, he is simply the best. Ganja Karuppu and Santhanam who came as supporting comedians for heroes in movies so far, is doing the lead roles and the outcome is good.

Though there is large scope for visual gimmicks and effects, here the director has executed the scenes by adding a pinch of such shots to a certain extend only. The pathetic situation of unemployment and its reflections on the society is told humorously here. Some of the dialogues told by the ‘Kadavul’ is relevant in the current arena.

Cinematography by Sounder rajan, Art direction by Sasikumar and Music is by Vidyasagar also holds the key.

Some of the scenes needs special mention here; the dreaming sequences by Ganja Karuppu, the un parallel growth of their friend from IT feild, life inside the mansion etc. shows the talent of the director Simbudevan.

Shankar has produced films like ‘Kathal’, ‘Veyil’, ‘Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi’ and ‘Kalloori’ before. He should be appreciated for giving chance for new directors who comes with a variety subjects like this.

‘Arai En 305il Kadavul’ is not a big budget film. But it won’t keep you boring. This is a good film with an unusual story.

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Indiana Jones 4

While discussing about English films, a friend of mine who is elder to me always says about experience of watching the old hit film series ‘Indiana Jones’ in his childhood days. But I didn’t have such nostalgic feelings about the movie, since I had watched those films in mini screen only. Now I am getting a chance to watch the latest film among those series, ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull’.

I think all of us are familiar with the name, Stephen Spielberg. He was the man behind the famous blockbuster ‘The Jurassic Park’. He is one of the best directors Hollywood has ever seen. His latest venture ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull’ is the 4th one of the Indiana Jones Series of films. The previous version were released in 1989, 1984 & 1981. The hero of all these films is none other than, ‘veteran’ Harrison Ford.

‘Indiana Jones 4’ is the story happening in the late 1950’s. The hero, who is a professor, is being kidnapped by the Russian agents. They want his help to discover the historic precious crystal skull and how he manages to escape from them is what this film deals with. In the journey he finds his wife who was living separately with their son. In the end the hero has an emphatic win over his enemies as expected, the family unites and the film ends with a 'kiss'.

Though the film happens in the mid 20th century, we can see a bulk of visual effects and graphics shots in most of the sequences. Those who have seen the older versions of ‘Indiana Jones’ may agree with me in this matter . Those films has always given importance to realistic action scenes, since those days has not got much popularity for Computer Graphics.

The chasing scene in the forest, the sequence in which hero’s gang falling from the water falls and happenings in the climax are unbelievable. Some of the scenes even reminds us of the ‘Mummy’ series of films. The main drawback in the film is the usage of too much of computer graphics. Since this is an English film, they will present these things in some what believable way...hence we are ready to digest whatever they are giving us.

Among all these, Harrison Ford in the mid 60’s remains the main attraction of this movie.

If you watch English films occasionally or if you are a hard core fan of Harrison Ford / Indiana Jones, then you should watch , ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull’.

Rating : 3 / 5