Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Terminator Salvation

Very recently only I have watched the latest version of the 'X Men' series. Now within a week's gap, another hollywood sequel got released. This time it is for 'Terminator', may be more popular than the previous film. The forth part is released. Arnold Schwarzenegger is well known through such a series of films.

An year before,we have discussed the issues regarding the making of a sequel subject. We reached a conclusion that the risk may be minimum since the character and its nature is well known to the viewers. The challenge relies in the fact that how the new film should be molded neatly to make it also a superhit like its previous version.

In one line, 'Terminator Salvation' deals with "Men vs Machines". In that way there is no difference in the base subject. The movie starts through the flashback of a prisoner, who has partly undergone serious experiments in becoming a machine. This guy, who is a mix up of man and machine has got a machine in place of human heart.

The story happens in the future period 2018. US Army conducts war against the machines, who is threat to the nation. After destroying many machines, they captures the man who partly has machines in his body. He escaped with the help of a lady working with the army. When caught by the hero (an army personal) again, he agrees to help them in finding the machine base. In the end, after a great fight between the bad machine and the good machine along with the hero, the army became victorious. When the hero is being seriously injured, machine men's heart is being transplanted to the former which saves him from the death.In between the
climax fight, Arnold also comes in his original character for 20-25seconds (I am confused that whether it is real or a 3d character).

Still the story of unnatural and unrealistic facts continues in the hollywood. Since they are presenting it in a believable way, no need for an argument. The grading of the film gives a different mood. Also once it is a non malayalam movie, we are happy to watch it and if possible give a good certificate. But this film is not so interesting when compared to the previous 'Terminator' series of films. Also the star cast is not heavy when compared to the majority of big budget English films.

If you are a fan of hollywood and really want to know what happens in the new 'Terminator' series, then you can watch 'Terminator Salvation'.

Rating : 7 / 10

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Director Blessy, came to the cine field almost 22 years before as assistant to Padmarajan through films like 'Namukku Parkkan Munthirithoppukal', ‘Thoovanathumbikal’. He has also worked with directors like IV Sasi (‘Varnappakittu’), Venu Nagavally (‘Kizhakkunarum Pakshi’), Jayaraj (‘For the People’), Lohithadas (‘Soothradharan’) etc. His first independent film as director and script writer, ‘Kazhacha’ (with Mammootty), followed by ‘Thanmathra’ (with Mohanlal) gave an assessment on the caliber of this technician. His next few films like ‘Palungu’ (with Mamootty) and ‘Calcutta News’ (with Dileep) were not commercial hits. The concepts of those two films were good, but the main problem happened on the way in which it was narrated. Those who have seen ‘Calcutta News’ won’t forget some of the excellent visuals he took in the background of the city life (the scene in which Innocent’s character’s dreaming, treatment of climax fight etc are some of the examples).

Now the ace director is coming with his latest film ‘Bhramaram’ starring Mohanlal. The title has got some tag lines saying, “Brutally innocent…” and “First Road Movie in Malayalam…” It gives us the message that it is an action subject. (Even the posters of the film reminds us of the yester year film by Bharathan-MT-Lal, 'Thazhvaram'). After working with cinematographers like Azhagappan, Sethu Sriram, Santhosh Thundiyil and S Kumar in his previous films, now Ajayan Vincent gets the chance to hold the camera with Blessy. He is the younger son of veteran director- cinematographer Vincent and younger brother of senior cinematographer Jayanan Vincent. It is a history that Ajayan’s debut film was also ‘Thoovanathumbikal’. ‘Bhramaram’ is distributed by Max Laab (Mohanlal’s distribution company).

‘Bhramaram’ is the story a protagonist (Mohanlal) who comes to the city in search of his childhood friend (Suresh Menon). There is a mystery behind the former’s visit to the latter’s family (Laxmi Gopalasamy and Baby Niveditha). He fails to identify the hero who is his old friend, the instability in his behavior also created some doubts in the family’s mind. Anyway what is the reason behind the hero’s arrival and motive and how the hero tackles the situation is what the director Blessy told in a thrilling way through the revenge story, ‘Bhramaram’.

The highlight of the film is the outstanding performance by one of the finest actors in the country, Mohanlal. His one man show in which he delivers the emotions varying from smile, laugh, sentiments, aggressiveness, enmity etc is notable. After a long time, the superstar has got such a role to execute. The attitude of this central character changes from time to time, some times he is silent, sometimes violent, he laughs and at the same time he cries.

Next thing to be noted is the excellent cinematography. Ajayan Vincent has covered the maximum locations from city side (Coimbatore) to the high range (Marayoor and Nelliambathi). The film which involves many close-up shots and interior scenes of maximum vehicles like jeep, car, auto, lorry and bus has been shown differently in a superb way. The use of Jimmy Jib cameras in most areas also gives the authenticity to the visuals.

The binding factor between the hero and the camera man is, of course, the director. Blessy has proved again by doing an excellent job. The presentation of the film is the highlight here. The combination scenes involving the two friends (Mohanlal and Suresh Menon) will make the viewers curious every moment. By making the hero, drive vehicles like lorry and jeep in the high range, the complexity and outlook of the character is also projected. Suresh Menon, Muralikrishnan (Bharath Gopi's son), Laxmi Gopalaswamy, KPAC Lalitha, Baby Niveditha etc has also performed well as per director’s orders.

The action scenes by Thyagarajan are also good. Mohan Sitara has given two songs; “Annarakkanna Vaa…” song comes as bit in many times. Background score is also apt for the subject.

In the middle of many positives, the director has committed small mistakes by compromising. By placing a little girl (as hero’s daughter), who doesn’t know how to act, the flash back portions have gone out of control in few areas. (her performance has got the flavour of heroine's younger uncle's role done by Shajin in 'Aniyathipravu', hope u remember...) Also the crowd becomes restless for the village scenes of the hero, which affects the tempo of the movie for few minutes. Bhoomika (as hero’s wife), doesn’t have much to perform. In short, the motive behind hero’s journey should have treated more professionally. (I am ready to accept all these things in the sense, since it all happened in the middle of a breathtaking voyage; I don’t want to see another outcome of ‘Thirakkadha’ or ‘Pakalnakshatrangal’ here…!). Anyway it is good that such poor scenes covers only around 10% of the film's length.

‘Bhramaram’ is a thrilling experience which won’t happen always. Though there are small hurdles in the middle, the over all effect won’t make you boring.

Rating : 8 / 10

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Years before itself, tamil cine field has started experimenting on different subjects. The success of films like ‘Paruthiveeran’, Subramanyapuram’ etc repeated in our state also. Now the new film ‘Pattalam’, produced by director Lingusamy under the banner Thirupathi Brothers and directed by Rohan Krishna (once assistant to Priyadrashan), has got majority new young faces. Nadhiamoythu, who has got a great come back through the film ‘M Kumaran s/o Mahalaxmi’, has done a main character here along with the youths.

The main characters are handled by eight plus two students who belong to the same class in an English medium school. They are part of the different gangs. Four of them belongs a group and the rest half are their rivals. The heroine also studies in the same class. The lady head of the institution (Nadhiya) is an inspiring factor for the students; she is also working as the doctor in a mental hospital. The two groups fight each other even for silly things. In the end, when the dignity of the college is questioned in the public, they got united. In the middle one among the group loves the heroine. When she gets closer to another guy in the group, her lover misunderstood her and he decides to take revenge on his friend for the girl. The after effect of such a situation is the climax of ‘Pattalam’.

The story line may not be new; since we have seen the stern presentation of the school going students through films like ‘Desadanakkili Karayarilla’, ‘Daisy’ and ‘Notebook’. This film is no where near when compared with those. In the post interval session, when the rival gangs got united, the story ends there. Then the only possible thing there is to play with the romance, it has happened it has to be. At that point itself, by experience, I predicted the climax of the film. Anyway, it is good to see that many new faces got a chance to perform through such a film; some of them are very talented.

With such a subject, the team should have concentrated more on the screenplay side. Though there are comedy situations here and there, they are average only. Also there are not much serious situations in the story line. The main character done by Nadhiamoythu supports the boys in all their activities, but her character is not neatly defined. She doesn’t have complex scenes to perform. Malayalam young actor, Arun (‘Speed Track’, ‘Olymbian Anthony Adam’ fame) is the only experienced one in the whole group other than female lead. He has also got a solo romantic song to perform. He is not the worst, but his performance is not up to the mark when compared to the other young debutants.

Songs for Jassie Gift’s music is fast. Though we can’t recollect them, it goes with the situation. One or two of them should have been avoided. Sabesh-Murali had given a good background score. Camera by Krishnasamy is good. In whole, the story line of the film is typical only. The main thing is that, it is told simply, without much violence or boring.

This ‘Pattalam’ is an inexperienced young men’s army. No need to join these ordinary people at this point. We will wait and encourage them, until they prove their strength by winning a big battle.

Rating : 6 / 10

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Days before, one of my friends asked me whether I have seen the film ‘Swarnam’ acted by Kalabhavan Mani. When I told him “No”; he repeated the question for some of the previous releases by the same hero like ‘Raavanan’, ‘Aandavan’, ‘Rakshakan’ etc, the answer from my side was not different. His enquiry later sounded like a complaint. Even though there was a chance for an argument, it is better that a movie fanatic like me should keep silent at that time. (we have already discussed the horrible experience of ‘Kabadi Kabadi’). The real fact is that the particular friend has not seen a single movie acted by the same hero in the last 4 years. Anyway I decided to watch the new film ‘Malayali’ by Kalabahavan Mani, for my friend!

The hero (Kalabahavan Mani) lives in a big family with his mother (KR Vijaya), his two brothers (Irshad, Madhu Warrier), their wives, kids etc. He has also got two sisters and their husbands (Sadhik, Srihari). He, being an elder brother is helpful for the villagers most of the time. This attitude is not liked by his relatives. Some business people kept an eye on their properties for a resort project. He doesn’t like the attitude of the brothers and other relatives who supports the outsiders. In such a worse situation, he leaves the place. He reaches Pazhani as a pilgrim. There he meets an old guy (Murali), who shares his problems with the hero. The former is found dead in the very next morning. Hero reaches the old man’s native and stays there. He helps the family to clear the debts. At the same time, he takes his share from the brothers and helps the family who is unknown to him. The situation in that village is also not positive for him and he moves to a distant area. In the end, the lost man is found; his real value is understood to the family members and they all unite.

From the time of Satyan-Prem Nazir itself; we are practicing such a story line. Films like ‘Valsalyam’, ‘Balettan’ etc also followed the same pattern. Without having a wide canvas of audience allover the state, Mani has also gone through the same track. The average presentation of the film and the inclusion of many serial artists had made the project too narrow. Thus most of the scenes has got teh flavour of a teleserial. The melodrama dialogues in the film are also as expected only. The situation in which the old men sitting with the hero in front of the big house and narrating poems looks un natural. The attitude of the hero is repetitive and in this period it looks cinematic in some areas. Only films which became hit for Mani (as hero) were ‘Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum’, ‘Karumadikkuttan’ and ‘Ben Johnson’. It seems like, he wants to exploit his sentimental image again; but it resulted in a disappointment.

The film is directed by CS Sudhesh (‘Maanasam’, ‘Nakshtrangal Prayathirunnathu’ fame). After ‘Black Dhalia’ and the surprise hit ‘Passenger’, P Sukumar handles the camera. As his recent script works like ‘Kancheepurathe Kalyanam’, ‘Panthayakkozhi’ and ‘Don’, J Pallasseri’s confidence level is still in the low level only. Mohan Sitara is the music director.

The name ‘Malayali’ has got a nativity, but we can’t expect it from such a film which don’t have good ingredients to project.

Rating : 4.5 / 10

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

X Men Origins: Wolverine

The forth film in the X Men series is released, titled ‘X Men Origins: Wolverine’. Usually I am selective in watching English movies; to write a review on it is also a wild task. Since the new film belongs to the popular X Men category, we can’t neglect it simply. Hugh Jackman, who has done Wolverine character in the previous films is the hero here also.

The story of the film starts in the 1840’s. In the young age itself hero (Wolverine) gets the super human power to have an iron made extra elongation through his hands. He accidently happened to be the cause of his father’s murder. He and his elder brother escapes from their village and when they grew up they participates in the world wars for the Americans. When the Army Major forms a very special team who has got the super natural powers, they also got a chance to join the team. The difference in opinion caused the Wolverine to be got separated from them. The Major targets the hero most of the time. The former one is conducting negative experiments on the super natural powers. The hero finds him in the end and thus he took revenge on the Major as expected.

The story of the film as usual is unbelievable. The majority of the Hollywood films have got such an unnatural style. But their scripting and presentation of the film is good enough to attract the viewers. We won’t tolerate any super human scenes coming in the regional films, but we are ready to accept any of those in English. This is mainly due to the ultimate visual effects used in such movies. They won’t give time for us to re-think about a particular moment in the film. The scenes like the total disaster shown in the climax of ‘X Men Origins: Wolverine’ is one such example, but we can’t heard a single howling voice from the crowd which gives negative impact. When the hero joins a team, almost all of them have got extra powers identical to him. Anyway all such things are part of the game; I am ready to ignore the truthfulness in many sequences like that. If not, I will be like “odd men out” in the group.

Those who strictly watch Hollywood movies can watch ‘X Men Origins: Wolverine’ also.

Rating : 7 / 10

Monday, June 22, 2009


‘Saravam’ is directed by Vishnuvardhan, who gave films like ‘Kurumbu’, ‘Arinthum Ariyamalum’, ‘Pattiyal’, ‘Billa’ etc. It was heard that he has once associated Ram Gopal Varma and Santhosh Sivan. The remake of Rajnikanth starrer film, ‘Billa’ (acted by Ajith) may not be the best, but those who have seen the film might know the talent of the director. It is evident from the visuals; some of those frames even got the flavor and style of Hollywood films.

Though young actor Aarya had acted in many films, he is remarkable through the performance in a special make up through ‘Naan Kadavul’. Now the actor is coming in a cute getup here. The heroine is Thrisha. The camera is handled by Nirav Shah (‘Dhoom’ series, ‘Pokkiri’, ‘Billa’, ‘Pattiyal’, ‘Sandaikkozhi’ fame). Director’s lucky music director Yuvan Shankar Raja has given the music. JD Chakrvarthy (telugu actor, director) and Indrajith (malayalam actor) have handled the supporting roles.

The first half of the film deals with the romantic situations between the hero and heroine in a lighter way. The hero (Aarya), who is a construction engineer, meets the heroine (Thrisha), who is a doctor. The hero tells his love to the lady and the way in which she reacts is good to see. May be we might have witnessed this in many films, since the chemistry of Aarya-Thrisha has worked out well we don’t feel restlessness. The story of a father (Indrajith) and his kid is shown seriously in a parallel track. The villain (JD Chakravarthy) tries to take revenge on the former by killing his son. Later the situation changed and the hero is getting a chance to link with the kid. Their affection becomes crucial later through certain incidents. Thus the second half is serious through certain action sequences also. There the heroine's character is missing too much, which can be a drawback.

‘Saravam’ mainly lies in its presentation. The credit should go to the director and cameraman. They had provided some excellent and rich scenes. The second half portion which happens in the high range and the forest area has got a foggy mood and the lighting in the climax is also notable. The chit chat between kid and the hero is told humorously (the issue regarding ilayarja-ar rahman is an example here). Anyway the film won’t keep you boring. The attitude of the villain character, which comes with the dog, is silent and unpredictable. All the characters have performed well. Yuvan’s re-recording is good and he has given some fast numbers; the colorful visuals in the songs should also be mentioned here. Action scenes are done by Thyagarajan.

‘Sarvam’ is a watchable one. It is humorous in the first half and later it becomes serious. There are songs, fights and comedy scenes which is necessary for a cine language.

Rating : 7.5 / 10

Thursday, June 18, 2009


After the failure of much awaited film ‘Satyam’, young star Vishal is back with a new action flick, ‘Thoranai’. It is directed by debutant Sabha Ayyappan and his brother Vikram Krishna is producing the film. Shriya Saran (‘Sivaji’, ‘Azhagiya Thamizh Makan’ fame) is the heroine. Prakash Raj, Vishnu, Sayaji Shinde, Santhanam, Lal, Geetha etc are other artists.

The hero comes to the city from his village in search of his brother who left their family 20years ago. Even on the day of his arrival itself, he was a witness for the street fight between two gangs. Later he came to know that one of the gang leaders is his brother. Vishnu (’Pollathavan’, ‘Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu’ fame) comes in such a role. The hero saves him from the hands of his opponent (Prakash Raj). In the middle, he is getting time for romance also. The police also chase the gangs. However the young brother wins the battle and takes his brother home, this is the story of ‘Thoranai’.

The situation is seen many times in many films before. The presentation is also not different. Even the dialogues told by the hero and other characters are heard in many films. The comedy situation created by hero’s friend (Santhanam) is also not up to the mark. Unusual from his other films, the hero has tried to do comedy also. Vishal’s body language is not suitable to make us laugh; hence the outcome is a failure. But the tall man has adjusted it well in dance and fight scenes. This film is the best example for a heroine’s role in a hero oriented subject. She comes in regular intervals; first she fights with the hero and then loves him, to enhance this she has done some songs also. Nobody knows her background or whereabouts. Shriya is also not seen flexible in her role. Anyway as the subject demands, the hero wins the battle in the end with his muscle power.

Prakash Raj in the villain’s role is animated as usual. These types of roles are now a days a left hand job for the most wanted actor in the south. Vishnu, who has got a peculiar style with less expressions or emotions in the face, is good. Since both of them are placed in such a story line, they are like “right men in the wrong party…”

Mani Sharma has given the music; but there are no big memorable numbers. Among them, the presentation of “Vaa Chellam…” song is ok. Priyan’s cinematography is good. The debutant writer-director should try something different in his next film to stay in the game.

‘Thoranai’ is a repetitive cliché. There is action, songs, humour, sentiments etc but they are not enough to make a viewer satisfied once out of the theatre.

Rating : 5.5 / 10

Aanandha Thandavam

After big films like ‘Annyan’, ‘PachakkiliMuthucharam’, ‘Dasavatharam’, ‘Varanam Aayiram’ etc the notable producer Ravichandran under the banner of Aascar Films (previously Oscar Films) has come up with his new project ‘Aanandha Thandavam’. It is directed by AR Gandhikrishna, who has shown his caliber through the film ‘Chellame’. The story of the film is adapted from the famous writer (late) Sujatha’s novel ‘Pirivom Santhippom’. This is a triangular love story featuring artists like Sidharth, Thamanna and Rukmini. Since other two are new faces in the industry, the concentration will be more on Thamanna, the charming girl who is emerging as the top heroines in South India.

After his studies, the hero (Sidharth) comes to the village near the dam site where his father (Kitti) works. There he meets a girl (Thamanna) and when her parents know about their affair, they decided to arrange their engagement. When he went for a job to a far away place, her marriage is fixed to some other NRI guy. The girl also stands with the parent’s wish. Being annoyed of this, the hero leaves to US. There he meets a girl (Rukmini) who always supports him and also advises him to lead a gentle life and thus to take revenge on the ex lover. After few days, when their marriage is fixed, he meets his first love and her husband. Still he has got a concern for her. What happens to the three in the middle of such a situation is the story of ‘Aanandha Thandavam’.

May be we might have seen many hindi films in the past which is having a similar story line. But here it is not a carbon copy of those. Some of the scenes need to be mentioned. The main thing is the choosing of a different location near the dam as the hero-heroine’s native. Such a place (near Thirunelveli) has never been showed in any of the films. Next is the characterization of hero’s father. Kitti’s performance with a natural body language and dialogue delivery should be noted. As expected, Thamanna is attractive. Her childishness and non seriousness character also felt different. Though there is nothing big to spot out in the scenes in US, the director has tried to show the unique customs followed by the citizens through some scenes featuring the college and families.

Only thing and the important area which may not be accepted is the fluctuating behavior of the hero and the heroine. Hero was in deeply love with the lady in the first half, later they got separated, even after knowing that he is cheated he still goes behind her. Also, on the other side the heroine has got an odd character. Though she likes the hero, she refuses to marry him and later even after she got married with some other one, she needs hero’s company. In the end, when hero decided to choose his bride, the first girl again comes to his life. Though still he doesn’t love her, he has got a concern for her. This is the main problem in converting a literary work to celluloid. Readers will easily agree such things, but when it forms the story line of a film it will be hard to be got digested. We can’t complain, if an average viewer gets irritated due to the attitude of the hero in the second half. The creators might fight him by telling “that is what true love is…”

GV Prakash kumar has given some good music. Among them, ‘Kanaa Kangiren…’ is the catchy one. Songs are neatly picturised. Jeeva Shanker’s cinematography is colorful. New hero Sidharth is not a bad choice. Rukmini, the silent girl in the modern outfits has also done well. The main attraction is Thamanna who has got a naughty attitude in the beginning and her innocence is more projected in the second half.

‘Aanandha Thandavam’ is not a straight love story; but it has got romance, hatred, hope etc. It is told in the background of songs without any violence.

Rating : 6 / 10

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ivar Vivahitharayal

The name of the film ‘Ivar Vivahitharayal’ is different, hence it creates some curiosity among the viewers. Saji Surendran, a prominent name in the television field has entered the cine field through this film. He has got Jayasurya and Bhama in lead roles. With the immense experience the young director got from the mini screen, he has tried his luck here starting with a family oriented subject. The script is handled by the noted satirist Krishna Poojappura, who is also from the television field. Anil Nair, the director’s old companion accompanies him by handling the camera.

At the age of 22, the hero presents an unusual wish to his parents that he wants to get married soon. He got an ambitious girl as his wife. The difference in opinion inside a family and the lack of handling the situation by the hero created problems in their life. An extra consideration given by her husband for his friends, made the girl upset. How all such problems affected the stability in the young couple’s life is the theme of the film.

Though we have seen the problems between the husband and wife in many films, here some of the incidents are real adaptations from the society. The over intimacy of the friendship between the hero and his classmate girl is also a notable thing. The lack of experience in managing the house hold details of the hero is shown through a shopping experience in the humorous way. The ego clash between the father and mother is also shown, but it is not new to us.

The director has used the old hit song, ‘Poomukha Vathilkkal…’ performed by Jayasurya and Navya Nair; it has become a promotional boost up for the film. Though ‘Enikku Padanoru…’ song is not a catchy number, the excellent visual effects given by the editor Manoj, helped to make it rich. Background score by Mohan Sitara goes well with the mood. Anil Nair’s cinematography for the film is also good. Suraj Venjarammood in his style is a relief in many scenes which has got melodrama situations. Though the flavor of Dileep in ‘Meenathil Thalikettu’ is there in few sequences, Jayasurya has given his best performance. Different from 'Pulival Kalyanam' and 'Chathikkatha Chandhu', he has tried to ride the film alone without many supporters, which is good for him.

Bhama doesn’t showed much expression on her face, but compensated it with a good extend by dubbing in her own voice. Samvritha’s parent’s character done by Devan and Mallika Sukumaran not at all look like a pair, it is a miscasting. The way in which the heroine quarreled on air through the radio, with the hero is too lengthy, but on the cinematic side it is accepted. Director has given chance for many artists like Ganesh Kumar, Anoop Menon, Suresh Krishna, Mallika Sukumaran etc who worked with him in the television field, sometimes this will give a negative teleserial effect on screen. Rekha in the mother’s role doesn’t look natural or lovable.

Anyway the dubutant cine director Saji Surendran has presented the film with such a storyline in the best way it can. He has incorporated the mixture of songs, comedy and sentimental situations at certain intervals which won't make you boring. Script writer Krishna Poojappura's name should also be mentioned at this time. The pre-publicity and promotional stills of the film are different and it also created attention.

Those who are particular about family oriented subjects can watch ‘Ivar Vivahitharayal’; it gives some message to the youths also.

Rating : 7.5 / 10


The film ‘Vilapangalkkappuram’ was in the media as it has bagged four important awards in the Kerala State Film Awards announced recently. The best actress award for Priyanka, Aryadan Shaukkath for the best story writer; he happens to be the producer of this film also, the best female playback singer for Manjari and Kumar Edappal for costume designing were those winners. The film directed by TV Chandran got released only after those awards were announced.

This is the story of a muslim girl who lives in Gujarat. In the riot, she is a victim of gang rape and also lost her family members in the riot. She escaped to Kerala and being admitted to a hospital. She became talk of the town, in such an in secured condition she leaves the place and lives with a hindu family. This is opposed by her community and the mosque adopted her. Here marriage is being fixed; since she has to face similar brutal situation here she ran way to the darkness. As many victims of the riot, still she lives unnoticed without getting a stable space in the world.

TV Chandran’s style is different from those directors who belong to the same genre, but here all my expectations went wrong. This is mainly because of the problem in storyline. Thus the whole output became intolerable to a certain extent. We have seen similar situations which is neatly handled in films like ‘Kanakkinavu’, ‘Kadhavaseshan’ etc. One can also feel boring due to the slow presentation of such an usual subject.

Though the story writer had tried to tell the conventional thoughts existing in a certain community, we can’t say such things are new to us. From the first few scenes itself, once can predict what all can happen to the girl who comes from a pathetic situation, hereafter. The characterization of doctors (Suhasini and Biju Menon) lacks depth. The way in which Thilakan seriously uses his late wife’s name in most of the scenes can create laughing on some occasssions.

Priyanka has performed well. No need for a controversy on the awards given to her. MJ Radhakrishnan handled the camera. Issac Kottukapally’s background score is good, but the output lacks quality (confused whether it is the problem with the mixing or the theatre speakers).

‘Vilapangalkkappuram’ is an usual subject presented in an ordinary way only. No need for an extra promotion for this film.

Rating : 4.5 / 10

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


'Eeta’,‘AvaludeRavukal’,‘‘Meen’,‘Angadi’,‘Eenaadu’,‘Vartha’,‘Adiyozhukkukal’,'AdimakalUdamakal’, ‘Thrishna’,‘Athirathram’,‘Aavanaazhi’,‘Aksharangal’,‘AalkkoottathilThaniye’,‘Karimbinpoovinakkare’, ‘Anubhandham’,‘Kanamarayathu’,‘InspectorBalram’,‘Devasuram’……. the list is endless for the person who has directed more than 110 films; majority of them being super hits; he is none other than the hit maker IV Sasi, one of my personal favorites. He has given the maximum multi starrer big budget films in the 80s. Also keep in mind that this veteran holds the record for doing maximum films in a calendar year (12 films in 1977).

Now the ace director has come up with his new project ‘Vellathooval’, featuring young faces. Nithya, who acted in ‘Aakasa Gopuram’ and Ranjith Menon (‘Goal’ fame) are the main stars. They are supported by Lalu Alex, Jagathi, Seema, Ganesh, Vijayaragahavan, Seetha, Sithara etc. The script writer of the film is John Paul (‘Chamaram’, ‘Athirathram’, ‘Yathra’, ‘Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam’ fame) and Anandakkuttan, who did camera work for maximum number of films is capturing the frames. So, with all such experienced men in the team, the expectation is high. But the bad outcome of recent films from the director like ‘Tharadas vs Balram’ and ‘Symphony’ is still there in my mind…

The heroine (Nithya) hails from an upper middle class family. Her naughty behavior is always supported by her father (Lalu Alex), but her mother (Seema) was against her daughter’s peculiar character. Heroine’s classmate and neighbor (Ranjith Menon) was not rich, he has also got some family problems. The attitude of his drunkard step-father (Vijayaraghavan) created insecurity for him and his mother (Seetha). Being frustrated, both of them decided to leave their own houses. On the way, they met with a murder incident and returns when their families are tensed. In the end, the heroine gets punishment for accidently killing the villain.

The delay in watching a film usually make me upset, but once inside the theatre the feeling was same, but for a different cause. When will the show be finished…? I never expected such a poor and ordinary presentation of the film with such a bad script. Though the director had told the teen age love story in ‘Ina’ and got success in it; he should think that it was a good film that happened almost 27years before. But, here it is a total failure on the presentation side. We are not in the 80’s, the time is passed and we stand in the middle of ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘Krish’, ‘Shivaji -The Boss’, ‘Dasavatharam’, ‘Twenty 20’ etc… (I know, all of them doesn’t belong to the group of “very good films”, its just an example to relate the period)

The family scenes of the heroine resemble a teleserial only. The director’s wife (Seema), performed with her own voice (since Kottayam Shantha, the usual dubbing artist for her is no more), has got maximum number of scenes to cry, which is intolerable sometimes. Police Commissioner (Ganesh) giving instructions to the ASI, most of the time by standing inside the house is also not good to see. Scenes involving police sometimes treated as comedy and in some areas it is serious. Heroine Nithya, an NRI malayalee used her own voice. It is not so good, but she covered it up with a good performance. Hero’s action and gestures is also not flexible. The songs and its visuals suits well for a film in early 90s only. The script writer John Paul has used the unusual usage “spare me” dialogue in some scenes. (I heard the same in many scenes in the film ‘Nammal Thammil’ released recently, in which he was the dialogue writer). Only advantage with this film is that the director / cameraman can add one more into their list of films if it is counted for a world record…!!!

‘Vellathooval’ is such a poor creativity from the veteran film makers who gave memorable projects at their good time.

Rating : 2.5 / 10

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ong Bak 2

From the old days itself, our audience were always fans of action films. Though there is some space for Hollywood films at that time, we were more affectionate towards heroes from Asian region like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan etc. Into that group, another name added was Jet Lee. In the post 2000 period, yet another young action hero became popular by his own style; his name is Tony Jaa.

Tony Jaa has given films like ‘Ong Bak’, ‘Tom Yum Goong’, ‘The Bodyguard 2’ etc which has got scenes involving ultimate martial arts. We won’t usually welcome an Indian film without a relevant story even if it is told in the action background. But a foreign film with a bulk of action mix can attract the average audiences in our country. This is what the popularity of Tony Jaa films shows.

It was heard that Tony Jaa came to the cine field as a stunt dupe to many actors. He is a great fan of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Lee. He took vigorous training in martial arts and gymnastics to reach the current position. He claims that he does not use any rope works or graphics effects while doing the action scenes (but I spotted out one or two of such shots in his latest film, but that will not be an issue here).

‘Ong Bak 2’ is directed by Tony Jaa. He did the action choreography also. The enmity between two kingdoms is shown. The hero, who is the son of one king, survives the attack from their rivals. He lost all his family members and reached forest. He is been escaped from the slave traders and knowing about the extra powers of the child; he is allowed to live with them. He gets training in all aspects and grows as a super hero. He comes first in all the training sessions and thus becomes the leader of a province and keeps an end to the illegal trade for slaves. Later he went in search of the real villains who destroyed his family and they were all crashed by his ultimate martial art skills.

This story pattern is being followed for most of the films in which martial arts forms a major role to play. Here also the situation is not different. Such a repetition in the story line lacks freshness. The scenes in which the hero delivering his different skills in the first half, created restlessness. Such a lag also affected in the scene in which the hero and heroine performed dance in the later time. The major disadvantage lies in the English dubbing. Since it is done in South India, some of the characters’ voice felt amateur. Also the grading of the film gave an old effect for the output.

The actor-director had also added a thrilling scene in the middle of many elephants, in which he succeeded in taming a big male from the group. The climax is too lengthy, but it involves ultimate action in Tony Jaa style. The selection of costumes and location sometimes resembled the film ‘Apocalypto’ by Mel Gibson. The main attraction as usual lies in the action scenes.

‘Ong Bak 2’ cannot be deeply promoted as previous films by Tony Jaa; but a die hard fan of the hero can try this one also.

Rating : 7 / 10

Monday, June 1, 2009


Seeing the poster of the hero with a non cinematic face, my friend asked, “Why are you wasting time watching such films?” Though I didn’t argued, I passed information that he may not be glamorous, but he is not so ordinary to be cornered…he is one of the top choreographers in south india since last 10years, he has also directed 3 movies and has got success in it, he has acted in many films and even composed music for a recent telugu film. He is none other than Raghava Lawrence.

Adopting the title of old super hit films is now a fashion. The new tamil release has got the name of old hit by Superstar Rajnikanth, the name is ‘Rajadhiraja’. The main attractions of the film are glamour girls like Mumtaz, Meenakshi, Kamna Jethmalani, Snigdha etc who revolves around the hero. Sakthi Chidambaram, the man behind comedy and action masalas like ‘Englishkkaaran’, ‘Mahanadigan’, ‘Vyabari’, ‘Sandai’ etc has directed the movie.

As his father’s last wish, hero helped his three elder brothers to become a doctor, a lawyer and a police officer. The purpose was to serve the poor, but on the contrast, they all had chosen their own negative path using their power to become rich. To hide the truth, they even committed two murders. The hero, who was not aware of these facts in the beginning, is shocked. Three of them have got the support of a minister who is doing all the illegal business. How the younger brother manages all such things and takes revenge is the main plot here.

The basic story of ‘Rajadhiraja’ is good, which can even suits well for any superstar film. Since Lawrence is the actor and moreover he is surrounded by a bunch of heroines, the director had given importance for commercial elements like glamour, dance, fights, double meaning dialogues etc. From the beginning itself, heroines goes after the hero one by one seeking romance from him, which ends in the exposure of the heroine or a duet song or a dance song with fast steps. It is good to see that the main baddie role is handled by a lady; Mumtaz has done well in it. Her combination scenes with the hero also get claps. Other than fights, dances and romance, there are no heavy scenes imposed on the hero which requires natural performance. He also had a bulk of punch dialogues (similar to Rajnikanth & Simbu films) to project his heroism, followed by many double meaning words.

Suresh Devan’s camera gives the fast mood for the film. Kanal Kannan has given some good action scenes. Though comedian Karunas didn’t have much to do, he has given some fast numbers in his new role as a music director. In some areas glamour feels little vulgar, but director Sakthi Chidambaram has made the movie into a time pass adding maximum glamour with necessary ingredients from time to time.

The description for the name ‘Rajadhiraja’ is given as "Low Class King" in the title. As it suggests this is a masala movie which can attract front benchers and sometimes movie maniacs like me also…

Rating : 6 / 10