Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Medium : Hindi
Starring : Sanjay Dutt, Mithun Chakraborthy, Imraan Khan, Shruthi Hassan
Direction : Soham Shah
Music : Salim Sulaiman, Amar Mohile

Two weeks before, when I went to watch a malayalam film, I happened to see the trailer of a new hindi film. The scenes shown in it caught attention since it has got an action mood with a multi star cast. Some of the thrilling shots reminded me of a Spanish film. A year before, my friend, who is a regular viewer of foreign classics, discussed about the theme of a film named ‘13 Tzametti’. He always requested me to watch such films. I will be countering it by telling about my busy schedules in watching the regional films. Recently when I told him about the trailer experience of ‘Luck’, he was stunned. The reason is that ’13 Tzametti’ was a Spanish classic treated without any gimmicks, how such a theme can form the root of an action film like ‘Luck’.

‘Luck’ is directed by Soham Shah. He has once directed a film called ‘Kaal’, starring Ajay Devgan, John Abraham, Vivek Oberoi, Lara Dutta and Esha Deol. It was produced by Shahrukh Khan and Karan Johar. The film shot in the backdrop of jungles, proved his directorial talent. ‘Luck’ is also the debut film of Shruthi Hassan, daughter of living legend Kamalhassan. Imran Khan (‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ and ‘Kidnap’ fame) is acted as her pair in the film. Senior actors like Mithun Chakraborthy, Sanjay Dutt, Danny Denzongpa and Rati Agnihotri are also there.

As the name suggests, the film is based on the betting theme. Luck is a main factor which plays the crucial role in the gambling. Moosa Bhai (Sanjay Dutt) is the person who is running such a business. His assistant (Danny) is assigned to find maximum individuals from different areas across world to be a part of the betting game. The main requirement is the luck factor. Those lucky guys who are desperate in need of money is agreed to work for Moosa. Thus the majority of the artists in the film including the lead pairs are acted as the part of the gang recruited to play the big gambling in South Africa.

There different challenging games organized there is cruel and tough. One such thing is that all of them are given a gun with a bullet, all of them are asked to shot their next person at the same time. Those people who are lucky escaped from it (this is the whole theme of the Spanish film, but here they had included it as a game only). They move on to the next round, where they had to face some other dangerous games. In the middle, their tensions, friendship, love, sentiments, hatred, revenge etc is also shown. Thus in the climax also the same luck saves the hero from the villain.

Since the theme is based on luck, the director is on the safer side, thus we can’t complaint about the logic in the story side. Shruthi Hassan is glamorous and has got a north Indian look (she resembles Sarika in her olden days). We have to wait till her next project, to comment on her performance. Santhosh Thudiyil (‘Krish’, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, ‘Palungu’, ‘Devadoothan’ fame) has done an excellent cinamatography. Some of the frames even resembles the Hollywood style. Amar Mohile, who worked for many Ramgopal Varma films, has given a stimulating background score.

‘Luck’ is an action film with a different theme. Those who are particular about it can try your luck also.

Rating : 7 / 10

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bharya Onnu Makkal Moonnu

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Rajasenan, Sithara, Rahman, Jagathi, Sindu Menon
Direction : Rajasenan
Music : M Jayachandran

Tamil film industry has been practicing the custom of directors becoming heroes since last 15-20years. Some of the examples are Manivannan (creator of ‘Amaithippadai’, ‘Kathal Oyvathillai’ etc), Cheran (creator of ‘Autograph’, ‘Porkkaalam’ etc) and Raj Kapoor (creator of ‘Vallal’, Uthamarasa’ etc). Now, Ameer (creator of ‘Paruthiveeran’, ‘Raam’ etc) and Mishkin (creator of ‘Anjathey’, ‘Nandalala etc) also started joining the list. Most of them have got success in it and they enjoy their acting experience to a certain extend. Now in malayalam, director Rajasenan himself is the hero in his new project. His career record in the last 10 years is very poor and horrible. He has given flop films like ‘Swapnam Kondoru Thulabhaaram’ (Sureshgopi, Kunjakko Boban), ‘Nakshatrakkannulla Rajakumaran… ‘( Prithviraj), ‘Immini Nalloral’ (Jayrasurya), ‘Kanaka Simhasanam’, ‘Madhuchandralekha’ (both by Jayaram) and ‘Romeo’ (by Dileep) in the past. The bitter experiences he got from those films even after trying the popular artists might have given him the boldness to do the central character in ‘Bharya Onnu Makkal Moonnu’. Sithara, who got a comeback through ‘Vellathooval’, plays the wife’s character. They have got two daughters and a son. In such a sense only, the name of the film is appropriate.

Chandhu (Rajasenan) is a post master. His love marriage with Liza (Sithara), from another caste, is not accepted by his father (Sivaji Guruvayoor). He is now living with his wife and kids separately, leaving his mother (Sumithra), brother (Rahman) and his wife (Sindhu Menon). Financial problems happening in an average middle class family happens here also. Hero meets his old friend (Mukesh), with his help he reached Dubai. After few months, the news regarding his death in abroad reaches here. His father and brother tried their best to hide the news from his family for few days. Hero’s family members now reached his house for the first time. Anyway, Liza and her kids get the care from her husband’s family only after his absence.

Though he has not done very big mistakes, it is very difficult to watch Rajasenan doing the hero’s role, which covers the maximum scenes in the film. His inexperience in front of the camera is evident in many areas. The scene in which he is shown afraid of his father and he acts closing his eyes is an intolerable one. The humor scenes in the office (featuring Jagathi, Indrans and Krishna) are not up to the mark. We also don’t know the necessity of so much money for the hero. The scenes inside the family in which each and every discussions concluding with the arrival of three kids (two daughters and a son) together is repetitive and more over it is too dramatic. The way in which the hero cracking jokes and scoring infront of his kids and brother through phone doesn't felt realistic. Kalpana has got a song to perform, in other areas she has no job to do. The song in the later portion where the wife and kids behaving happily, unaware of the hero’s death is a clear replica of the film ‘Bharatham’. The senior actor in the group, Jagathi’s reaction there is below average only. The flash back scenes shown through the expression of hero’s father’s face is a good method, but the genuineness in it is not cent percent. The hero’s character gets sympathy due to such an end created later.

Sithara is good in the wife's role. Rahman has also got a role which needs to show some sentimental expressions also. Sivaji Guruvayur (‘Arabikkadha’ fame) has got a lengthy role and has done well. Saloo George is the cinematographer. Music director M Jayachandran had given a catchy number, “Chingaarakkanna…” There is nothing special in the theme. Directors like Thulasidas, Mecartin and Shafi, who all have assisted Rajasenan once, were there behind the camera to help him. People in these days, won’t accept a story which has got the style of a film released 20 years before. Since Rajasenan is determined to take risk, it is better that he should have casted somebody else appropriate for the main role and concentrated more on the script side.

‘Bharya Onnu Makkal Moonnu’ is a family film in which the director himself has shown the guts to act in the main role. No need for the viewers to take such a guts to watch it, since it is not so precious.

Rating : 5 / 10

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Puthiya Mukham

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Prithviraj, Bala, Saikumar, Jagathi, Priyamani, Meera Nandan
Direction : Deepan
Music : Deepak Dev

‘Puthiya Mukham’ is familiar for us, since it is the name of a tamil film acted by Revathi and her husband Suresh Menon, released 17years before. Though the film didn’t do well, the songs were popular, it was AR Rahman’s second film in tamil. Now, with the same name, a film acted by Prithviraj happens in malayalam also. It has created big expectation even before release, as the song “Pichavacha Naal…” sung by Shankar Mahadevan in his style is already a hit by the visuals promoted through mini screen. Other notable thing is that the hero had sung a title song also for the film.

The film is directed by Diphan (titled so in the credits given). Don’t misunderstand him as a north Indian; this is director Deepan’s new name as per numerology. Deepan (s/o Anandavalli, dubbing artist) was an associate to director Shaji Kailas for years and he has directed a film called ‘Leader’ before. It was a political based action subject acted by Vijayakumar, Saikumar etc. Sindhuraj, who wrote films like ‘Pattanathil Sundaran’, ‘Jalolsavam’ and ‘Mulla’ is the script writer for ‘Puthiya Mukham’. It is produced by Anil Mathew and Murugan (two busy production controllers) and distributed by Time Ads.

The hero, Kicha alias Krishnakumar (Prithviraj) is a percussion expert who belongs to a Kalpathi Brahmin family (Nedumudi Veni and Sobha did the role of parents). He is being engaged to his lover (Meera Nandan). He got an admission in the city based Engineering College. He becomes a hero in the college through his extra curricular skills. His classmate’s (Priyamani) marriage is being fixed with their senior student (Bala). The latter one is very rich (Saikumar and Shammi Thilakan played his brother’s role) and he is notorious through his negative activities also. Though she doesn’t like him, she kept silent, since her family forced her for the marriage. Heroine’s attitude towards Kicha creates an enmity between the villain and the hero. Kicha is being brutally beaten and tortured; also he is being warned to stop studies by the villain. As per his father’s advice, he reaches the college after a gap. Now he takes his new face (Puthiya Mukham) and fought against the villains. The issues happening for the hero, his lover, his calssmates, villains etc are all discussed in the second half.

The theme of ‘Puthiya Mugham’ has got the flavor of films like ‘Kandu Kandarinju’ (malayalam film in later 80’s acted by Rahman, Mammootty etc) and Student No. 1 (telugu film acted by Junior NTR). There also the hero is a soft guy in the beginning who takes his violent character under pressure. Anal Arasu, the fight master has got more jobs to do here. The fight scenes are good compared to a usual malayalam film. But it doesn’t come near a telugu-tamil style in quality. The use of wide angle lenses, fewer strings and unlimited slow-fast mix motions created an uncertainty situation in the action scenes in some areas. Bharani K Dharan, who worked for mega projects in telugu like ‘Dubai Seenu’, ‘Devadasu’, ‘Sidham’ etc is the cinematographer. His work is good, but it is not extraordinary here. Samjith is notable through the excellent cuts done by him for ‘Red Chillies’. But he has also not done anything special on the editing side here. Deepak Dev’s background score is not the best, but it is a relief from the usual noisy bg-score. In general, the film needs big improvement in the making side. Even in the middle of certain hurdles, director Deepan had presented the film without giving much boring feel. Prithviraj, the 45+ films old actor is still not being accepted as a star. He has done the role well; this film can also be used as a stepping stone for his career. Amir Khan's walking style in 'Gajini' is imitated by him in some areas.

It is a fact that irrespective of the language, people always love to watch villains being destroyed by the heroes, if the situation demands. Here also the same thing happens. So why don’t we welcome a malayalam film, if we are ready to accept anything similar from our neighboring states. A change is inevitable…

Don’t anticipate much from ‘Puthiya Mugham’. It is a time pass - action film done by an young actor, who can be a tomorrow’s star also. (His career graph and the busy current projects provoked me to say so).

Rating : 7 / 10 (revised)

Rahasya Police

Medium : Malayalam
Staring : Jayaram, Jagathi, Aayilya, Samvritha, Sindhu Menon
Direction : K Madhu, Script : SN Swamy
Music : Rajamani

There are many factors which can influence or attract an average viewer in watching a movie. Among them, the name (title) of the movie is an important one. In that case, ‘Rahasya Police’, failed in the primary assessment itself. Maybe such a name can be relevant when we go through the story line in detail, but the fact is that many people still believes that ‘Rahasya Police’ is a new tamil film acted by Jayaram.

Investigative script writer SN Swamy, has not got big success in his previous projects like ‘Sagar Alias Jacky’ and ‘Positive’. Though the second one was a good film, lack of promotion badly affected the movie. K Madhu, also need a big hit after his previous ventures like ‘Nadiya Kollappetta Raathri’ and ‘Pathaka’. Now both of them joined hands, since they have got a good rapport between them. They gave four series of ‘CBI Diary Kuruppu’ films, ‘Irupatham Noottandu’, ‘Moonnam Mura’ etc. Jayaram is acting under K Madhu after a gap of 19years. Their previous film, ‘Randam Varavu’ didn’t do well. Since the family film ‘Bhagyadevatha’ also did well after ‘Veruthe Oru Bharya’, the director wants to try his luck with him. ‘Rahasya Police’ is a family based murder investigation subject told in the village background.

The film opens as usual; where you can see where the enmity between two groups(lead by Jagthi and Ganesan) in the village, the confusion happens due to the thief (Riyaz Khan) who runs from the police custody and the friendship of four girls (Samvritha, Aayilya, Mangala etc) are there. One of the girls is being killed. SI of police (Jayaram) is in charge of the investigation; his sister also belongs to the same friend’s gang. In the middle, a rowdy (Jayaram’s double role) reaches there with his assistants (Sudheesh and Suraj Venjarammood). There developed a quarrelling between the police and the criminal. Later, it is understood that the arrival of Jayaram’s negative character has got some motive. Anyway in the end the actual culprit is caught, keeping a breathtaking conclusion to the suspense.

Though the story of ‘Rahasya Police’ in one line is good and it has got a good suspense also, the ordinary treatment of the film has made a negative impact. The director still thinks that he is in the 80’s or 90’s. The film made in low budget where the maximum shots are shown inside a police station (a set designed on the river bank) and few houses in the village is an issue in such a case. The badminton played by the girls is shown to register their friendship, that style is apt for the black and white period only and these days audience doesn’t want to see such things. The police and the thief (Jayaram & Riyaz Khan) fighting each other on the each time of their meeting is repetitive and intolerable (action scenes done by Mafia Sasi is below average). The way in which the thief renders his experience is dramatic. The relevance of double role done by Jayaram will be an unattended question. (We all know how far police uniform roles suits for Jayaram!!!). What is the use of casting Harisree Asokan in his beard appearance for the police constable’s role? The way in which Sudheesh cracking jokes is another area of over acting. Rajamani’s background score is as usual noisy and also it is not up to the mark. Venugopal’s cinematography is ordinary only. Siyad Koker, the producer should have think twice before on the main casting and also the background where the story happens. Anyway, the double role combination scenes are done without much mistakes.

If you had the broad mindedness to watch and accept all such negative things in the investigative film ‘Rahasya Police’, then a good climax is guaranteed, where the suspense is revealed.

Rating : 6 / 10

Friday, July 24, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Medium : English
Starring : Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Gambon
Director : David Yates, Producer : Warner Brothers

A friend of mine once passed a comment regarding my madness in watching films. It is a fact, since I won’t usually miss any films (to the maximum extend) which are releasing these days. If I have ignored watching any films, the reason is simple; the particular project would not have a life span of more than 5-6days. Some unavoidable engagements can also be the cause rarely. When it comes in the case of English, the decision taken by me will be on the basis of the interest. It is a fact that, I am not a regular viewer of Hollywood films. We are getting only a small percent of such films as releases here. “Practice makes things perfect…” is the motto, I am following here. The disappointment happening in following the English dialogues can be solved to certain extend due to this. Still I am not succeeded in it. So far I have watched only 1 or 2 films from the ‘Harry Potter’ series released so far. May be, it is a very popular literary work for the kids abroad, but such an interest have not reached me till date. Since, I am in the pool, no use in complaining, I have to swim…

‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’ starts when the three witches attacking the city. They are seen flying through the air in ultra speed. Those people wearing black costumes, destroys the building, bridges and whatever comes on their way and finally vanishes. Harry still studies in the magic school. There you are still having different games conducting in the air. We are also shown the friendship, love and hatred happening in between. With the help of the professor, Harry finds the destroyers. In the end, the old teacher is killed in the attack. The villains are let freed and the film ends where Harry looks farther to the sky in the hope of taking the revenge.

I totally disagree with the way in which the climax is shown. Maybe in the case of a book, it is relevant. But when it comes in the cinematic medium, there should be an end for every story. They might be interested in producing a sequel for this story, but what they have tried to discuss should have been in put a proper format. Every beginning should have an end there itself. Anyway, the film has not gone down from the usual standards of presentation.

Those who are interested in ‘Harry Potter’ series can watch ‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’ also.

Rating : 7 / 10

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Medium : Tamil
Starring : Daniel Balaji, Nithin Sathya, Lakshmi Rai, Manjari Phadnis
Director : Srinath
Music : Yuvanshankar Raja

Vikram Bhatt, the notable producer in bollywood has also directed films like ‘Raaz’, ‘Ghulam’, ‘Jurm’ etc. He is the script writer of films ‘Aetbaar’, ‘Bardasht’ etc. He has now crossed the territory and reached south to produce a film. He joined hands with Vision Jeeva Studios (late cinematographer-director’s production house) for the film named ‘Muthirai’. Aneez Thanvir Jeeva, wife of Jeeva is the script writer and the creative director. It is directed by debutant Srinath. May be a new comer behind the camera, but he has got experience as an actor through films like ‘Santhosh Subramanyam’, ‘Dhaam Dhoom’ etc.

The pre production and promotional stills of the film created great expectation. The posters in the dark shade gave an action feel to ‘Muthirai’ (“mudra” in malayalam; that means symbol). The casting is also different. Daniel Balaji, who played the cop’s role in ‘Kaakka Kaakka’ and the villain’s role in ‘Vettayadu Vilayadu’ is one among the heroes. The second one is Nithin Sathya (‘Chennai 600028’, ‘Satham Podathe’, ‘Pandhayam’ fame). The heroines are Lakshmi Rai and Manjari Phadnis (she acted in some films and also done a supporting role in ‘Jane Tu Ya Jane Na’).

This is the second film which got released on the same date (in Kerala) with an identical story line. Already, we have discussed about ‘Vamanan’. That particular film has got the theme almost similar to ‘Muthirai’. Both the films are based on the murder of a political leader and a video tape in which the culprit’s face is caught. The heroes are being targeted; the villains ran behind them when the tape accidently reaches their hands. Some top officials from the police also join hands with the villains. In the end the heroes are safe and the villains are destroyed.

The base concepts of the two films are same. Here they have provided two heroes and their pairs. One of them (Nithin Sathya) reaches city after escaping from small robbery attempts in the village. He joins hands with another person (Daniel Balaji) who is also leading the life in a similar way. Kishore is the police commissioner. The culprit politicians (Ponvannan) and his orderly (Riyaz Khan) are running behind the tape. In the middle you got a usual love track also. The suspense regarding the politician’s brother (Anand), who got wounded in the attack, is revealed in the end.

Daniel Balaji, who has proved the talent through his previous projects, is not suited well for the hero’s role. Nithin Sathya is over acting all the time. The way in which the heroine (Manjari) getting love with him, the very moment in which he introduces him as a CBI officer is too cinematic and un believable. The romantic scenes and the song situations featuring two couples are also not neatly executed. Yuvan had given some peppy songs, but I am doubtful about its popularity. Rakhi Sawant did an item number also. Saleem,the cinematographer has done his job well. Anthony is the editor.

It is notable that other than Lakshmi Rai, we have got Yuvanshnakar Raja (music), Na. Muthukumar (lyricist), Kalyan (choreographer), Stun Siva (action director) etc who got the rare opportunity to work in ‘Muthirai’ and ‘Vamanan’. Since both the films got released in the same time and are adapted from Hollywood flicks like ‘Déjà vu’ and ‘Following’, the information is relevant. On the making side, both the Indian versions didn’t come near to the original edition.

‘Muthirai’ is an action film which created some hope before releasing. But, the ingredients won’t give you a positive feel once you watched it.

Rating : 5 / 10

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Jayaram, Bhavana, Manoj K Jayan
Director : Deepu

Music : Rajkrishnan, Benny

Following the trend of films like ‘Nammal Thammil’ and ‘Ayirathil Oruvan’, another film ‘Winter’ has released now, after being kept unreleased on a span of 5-6years. It is acted by Jayaram and Bhavana. The director of the film is Deepu (once assistant to Priyadarshan, Rajeevkumar etc). Though Deepu’s first film is releasing now only, he has given a film with Dileep last year, ‘Crazy Gopalan’.

The story happens in a village situated far away from Hyderabad. The hero (Jayaram) is a doctor, who lives with his wife and two young daughters. They are witnessing some unusual experiences from their newly bought house. They find the problem with the vasthu, as the reason for this. Even though an atheist, he decides to shift the house since the tensions are high. They came to know about the brutal killings of many children happened in the same place, a year before. Though the culprit was killed in an accident, similar incidents have started again. The police are adamant in capturing the new criminal. In the climax, the killer attacks the hero’s daughters and at the same time, the hero reaches there and finishes the villain. The family decides to stay back in the house.

It looks like the writer-director has been deeply inspired by the style of notable film maker Ram Gopal Varma and hollywood films. ‘Winter’ has got the flavor of many films by RGV like ‘Bhoot’, ‘Raat’, ‘Jungle’, ‘Darna Mana Hai’, ‘Darna Zaroori Hai’, ‘Phoonk’, ‘Vasthushastra’ etc. Most of these films have got the theme mainly concentrated on a house and the happenings inside it. Even the calling bell sound is repetitive (but Varma used a more frightening sound).

Here the director has tried to keep the suspense from the beginning. At the moment the villain is showed all on a sudden inside the hero’s house, the whole tempo is lost and thus the ending of the film becomes usual. In the middle, the attitude of hero’s daughter created a doubt on the mind of psychiatrist (Manoj K Jayan), but that was also not discussed properly later. The base story thus affected the film a lot. The lack of rich outdoor scenes is evident. (Some frames have been affected with the “old-syndrom effect” due to the late release…)

Horror movies had always been a passion for me. If it is neatly visualized, a good thrilling experience is guaranteed from it. Even Ram Gopal Varma’s new film is based on the unknown enemy in the dense forest; this shows the popularity of horror movies. Still I believe that ‘Bhoot’ is one of the best horror movie made in the country. So after seeing many such films, we can’t easily accept something which is not created with the cent percent quality, even if in malayalam.

Deepu, as a director has done his job well; but his skill as a writer failed in the middle. The film covering only 5 or 6 artists is shot using a small budget within the limitations (location courtesy – Ramoji Rao film city). Background score by Benny and DTS mix by Rajkrishnan, helped to maintain the tempo to a certain level. Jayakrishnan Gummidi is the cinematographer and Arunkumar, who always works for Priyadarshan films, is the editor here.

‘Winter’ is a different attempt which would have been done more neatly. Since we have seen many better films in the same category before, it lacks freshness.

Rating : 6 / 10


Medium : Tamil
Starring : Jeeva, Anbu, Vimal, Vega
Director : Pandiaraj, Producer : Director Sasikumar

Music : James Vasanth

Sasikumar, the actor-director-producer who is notable through the super hit ‘Subramaniapuram’ has come up with the second project. This time, he is not taking too much roles, he is neither acting nor directing, he is the producer of the film. Like the previous project, many artists and technicians have been introduced through this project also. Director Pandiaraj is one among them. James Vasanth has been retained has the music director.

We can’t expect a malayalam film in which almost all the actors are new comers. The title ‘Pasanga’ means children; the story of the film is based on young students in their school days. Usually, we are not ready to accept a film acted mainly by child artists without having a big star cast to support. Among them 1 or 2 characters were only familiar to me, but they are also not popular. All the other characters are relatively new. After the super success of ‘Subramaniapuram’, it is good to see that the wealthy producer has shown the boldness to produce a village based commercial film with many young faces.

The story starts when Anbu (good student) reaches the village school for his studies. His pleasing behavior and the studious attitude is not liked by Jeeva (notorious student) and his gang. When they get time, they fights each other through words and even physically also. Jeeva’s father is their class teacher; but he has not given any additional preference to his son. Jeeva and Anbu have got their houses opposite to each other. Former one has got an elder sister (play school teacher) and the latter one’s elder brother (LIC agent) is in love with her. The enmity between the students carried to the family members also at one stage.

In between all the hurdles how the children spend their life is shown through different stages by the new writer-director Pandiaraj excellently. He has presented the film interestingly. All the artists have performed well, especially the child artists. The introduction of Anbu, as if like a hero, also felt different. The love affair shown in the back ground of Ilayaraja ringtones is good. The incidents happening in a class room, family etc are shown in a realistic way. Though the climax is little cinematic, this media gives such a liberty to the creator who has provided the justification for the same thing in the beginning.

Sasikumar has once again guided us that good stories happen from the real life only. The technical side of the film is also rich. Cinematography by Premkumar, Editing by Yogabhaskar, Art work by Crawford etc are some among them. Re-recording by James Vasanth is also rich; he has given a memorable number, ‘Oru Vekkam Varithe…”

‘Pasanga’ gives us the nostalgic experience of our childhood days. Only thing is that you should have a good spirit to accept it.

Rating : 9 / 10


Medium : Tamil
Starring : Jai, Priya Anand, Lakshmi Rai, Rahman
Director : Ahmed

Music : Yuvanshankar Raja

Though Jai acted in films like ‘Bhagavathi’ and ‘Chennai 600028’, he is being popular through the supporting role in the super hit film ‘Subramaniapuram’. So, when the film ‘Vamanan’ is launched with Jai as the hero, the expectations are high. The film is directed by new comer Ahmed.

Hero (Jai) reaches Chennai on a wish to become a film star.In the meanwhile, a well-liked politician (Delhi Ganesh) is being murdered. His companion (Sampath) is the culprit. The evidence is recorded in a camera. It passes through the hands of an ad model (Lakshmi Rai), the heroine (Priya Anand) and in the end it reaches the hero.

As per his friend’s advice, hero observes peculiar characters and started imitating their behaviors which can be helpful for his acting career. Thus he finds a person (Rahman) who trespasses to other’s belongings; his different but gentle attitude is liked by the hero and started accompanying him in his proceedings. The villain gangs try to capture the tape. In the game, a corrupted police officer (Thalaivasal Vijay) handles the case. An affair is also going on between the hero and the heroine. When he is being listed as the suspect by the police, she runs away. In the end, the hero is freed, some are caught and some shot dead…

‘Vamanan’ is inspired from the Hollywood films like ‘Déjà vu’ and ‘Following’. The new writer-director has tried his best to make it in a kollywood format. Since such a format is not new to us, it will be unaccepted. The director’s choice in selecting the artists for the lead roles proved to be a bad decision. Both their performances are not up to the mark and their chemistry has not worked out well. Priya is not pleasing; her looks and style had a lazy effect. Jai’s attitude needs maturity. He is also not confident and flexible in song scenes. His body language sometimes feels a Vijay style, which is a disadvantage for him. Urvasi, as the heroine’s mother is energetic and good. Lakshmi Rai is casted only to show glamour in few shots. Santhanam in the friend’s character, felt repetitive in nature.

You have got some songs in the middle also. “Etho Seikiraai…” by Yuvanshankar Raja is a memorable one. His background score gives the tempo. Camerawork by Aravind Krishna is colorful.

There is nothing special in ‘Vamanan’, which is supposed to be an action subject. With such a cliché in the story line, you can’t have more.

Rating : 5.5 / 10

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Transformers-Revenge of the Fallen

Medium : English
Starring : Shia Labeouf, Megan Foz
Director : Maichael Bay,
Executive Producer : Steven Speilberg

The title of a film is one of the primary factors on the viewer’s side to decide whether to watch it or not. The poster and promotional stills helps him in taking such a decision. The recent English film’s posters which released last week gave the message that it is an action film. The title was written ‘Revenge of the Fallen’, which didn’t create a curiosity. Later, when a friend of mine told that the new series of ‘Transformers’ is released, I have gone through the same posters once again. On a close look, I have seen written in very small letters, ‘Transformers’ that too under the title ‘Revenge of the Fallen’. The distributors should have taken seriously such a thing by giving the popular title in bold letters. Since people like me would go for everything coming in front of me, it is not a problem.

It is almost two years before that the previous version of ‘Transformers’ got released. It was my first review on English films, since I started the blog. The new film has also got Steffen Spielberg as the executive producer under the banner Dreamworks. The new version which is also directed by Michael Bay has also got the same story line, “men v/s machines”, that too in a booster dose. Here the specialty is that they had given a sub category also, “good machines v/s bad machines”.

Those who know that ‘Transformers’ is a well known video game can watch the film. The reason is that this is one such film which has got computer graphics and visual effects in its extreme. Recently only we have seen the theme that men fighting with the machines in the ‘Terminator Salvation’ film. These days the technicians in Hollywood love to make the unreal characters perform. They think that the creativity will be more if they place robots and machines in place of real artists.

The first scene happens in the 17,000BC where the machines targeting the humans. Then it cuts to the current date when the same thing happens in China. Then the US is being targeted. Army attacks the destroyers. Some similar machines are there with the army to help them. The hero has got the machine part which gives power to the transformers. With the help of his lover and the friend, he went to help the nation from the biggest attack they ever faced. They had got two cars, which has got the power to become machines at any time. They reach Egypt in search of the cause and the army also reaches there to set an end to this dirty game by the bad transformers.

The usual terms we go through while watching such a type of Hollywood film, is shown here also. Some of them are Pentagon, FBI, CIA, Naza, Army Base, Nest etc. We have seen many such scenes in many films before. Still the equation of unbelievable story line with the realistic scenes continues. What to do, they are justifying it by showing them in a relevant way and are succeeded in giving no time for a rethinking. Sometimes we felt it as an animated film in which some real characters are in cultivated. The visual effects sequences which covers the majority of the portions of the film are excellent; but, while doing the hard working, it looks like that the creators were not aware of the length of the film. The story area has also been affected due to this. It jumps from one area to another, thus creating restlessness (To be get bored watching such a product is an embarrassment).

Those who are mad of video games and Hollywood films can watch ‘Transformers-Revenge of the Fallen’.

Rating : 7.5 / 10

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ee Pattanathil Bhootham

Starring:Mammootty, Kavya Madhavan, Suraaj Venjarammood, Salim Kumar, Innocent
Music:Shan Rahman, Rajamani

In the 80’s, films like ‘My Dear Kuttichathan 3D’ and ‘Mr India’ (Anil Kapoor starrer hindi film) were notable due to the uniqueness in theme. ‘Saakshaal Sreemaan Chathunni’, which released in the early 90’s, carried almost an identical story line. All these films have got a fantasy theme. The lead roles have got super human powers which belongs to some other world. Here, they are accompanied by a group of children and the hero in the form of “Kutichathan”, “Bhootham” etc whatever it is, helps them by using the extraordinary power to become invisible. He saves them from the baddies and when they thinks about him, he will appear in front of them to grant their wishes. At the same time, a negative character that does the witchcraft proceedings (manthravadham) to catch the hero will also be there. This is the formula which is common and has been practiced in any of the films which follows this kind of theme irrespective of the language.

Mammootty has done double role in his new film, ‘Ee Pattanathil Bhootham’ which has got the similar theme. After films like ‘Thambu’, ‘Mela’, ‘Valarthumrigangal’, ‘Joker’, ‘Kusruthi’ etc, this is yet another film based on the life inside a circus tent. Different from those, here they have discussed a murder issue also. Jimmy is a bike jumper in the circus (Mammootty’s role here is similar to that of ‘Mela’ which released 28 years before). He is being trapped by the villains as the primary accused in killing the owner (Janardhanan) of the circus. When he is in the jail, “Bhootham” comes out of the bottle. He takes the appearance of Jimmy. Once he comes out of the jail, both of them helps the heroine (Kavya Madhavan), to find the real culprits behind his father’s murder. Mahadevan (‘Pithamahan’, ‘Natturajavu’ fame) is the person who chases the “Bhootham” and make him slave, with the help of a magic stick.

Though he is not too flexible, Mammootty likes to do comedy roles more these days. We can’t argue; the success of ‘Rajamanikyam’, ‘Thuruppugulan’, ‘Mayavi’, ‘Annan Thambi’ etc will be the reply from the hero's side. The two characters have got a contrasting attitude. “Bhootham” have got more actions to do. He appears and disappears with in a fraction, he is over expressive and the voice is partially feminine also, thus it is not pleasing. As usual, Suraaj Venjarammood is the body guard for the bike jumper hero. He cracks jokes in his usual style (It is good that no extra dialogues without lip movements has been added while dubbing). Salim Kumar comes in the role of a foolish police inspector.

Mammootty, Uday Krishna –Sibi K Thomas (script writers) and Johny Antony (director) have worked together in ‘Thuruppugulan’ before. Here the writers have got the liberty to go to the extreme end, due to the peculiarity in the subject. Since they deals with the fantasy theme, their creativity is non questionable. The film which targeted the children audience has got a late release by 2 months. The team behind, has got the delay in graphics works as the reason for this. EFX has done the job; no need to compare it with any of the non malayalam movies, though there are many problems, the end result is not too bad. Two songs featuring the hero and the children have been visualized with in the limits of the hero. Utpal V Nayanar has done the cinematography. Rajamani, as usual given noisy background score, the theme music should have been done well. This is first film for Shaan Rehman (‘Coffe @ MGRoad’ fame). His songs are average only; waiting for his next project to arrive. After the hatric flops, the film is a relief for the hero.

‘Ee Pattanathil Bhootham’ is watchable under certain conditions. You should have free mind, you should have interest in fantasy subjects, you should show the decency not to question the logic and also you should have the sportsman spirit to watch the lighter performance of the megastar who did as many serious roles in his career.

Rating : 6.5 / 10

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New York

Medium : Hindi
Starring : John Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Neil Nithin Mukesh, Irfan Khan
Direction : Kabir Khan
Music : Pritam, Julius Packiam

“A critic may not be right always…” This is what I have written in my profile here. It is applicable to all, including me. There is a particular reason for me to quote this now. I happened to go through a review last week on the new hindi film, ‘New York’. It was such a bad criticism on the film, which provoked me to take a back foot. I shouldn’t have done that, anyway once I came to know that the film is produced by Yash Chopra, I took the decision to watch it.

The story happens in New York. Omar (Neil Nithin Mukesh) is taken into custody by the FBI on an enquiry regarding the 9/11 incident. They want details about his old friend Sam (John Abraham), who left him years ago. The police freed him by putting a condition, he have to collect all the details regarding his friend who is a terrorist now. Omar came to know that Sam is married to Maya (Katrina Kaif), who was their classmate. They got a child now. He stayed with the family and as per instruction from the police he started the double game. He came to know what happened to Sam these days. Once he found that the assumption of the police is wrong, he is in a dilemma. What happens to him and the family is shown in the climax.

'New York' deals with the after effects of the 9/11 incident. In connection to that, both culprits and innocent people were detained by the police as a part of enquiry. They have to suffer a lot in the police custody. What we have heard that normally people belong to a certain community was suffered the most. But here they tell that anyone who lived in US at that time has been tortured by the police as a part of investigation. What happens if such a situation arrives to a common man is what the plot tells.

The film's presentation is the key. Shot fully in US, it has got the looks of a Hollywood film. All the artists have performed well; especially Irafan Khan in the role of FBI officer comes in his usual style. John and Katrina holding the central characters are also good. Neil, the third generation in the legendary singer Mukesh's family has improved a lot since his debut.

Cinematography by Azeem Mishra is rich. Background score by Julius Packiam matching the scenes well. Songs by Pritam is not up to the mark. Anyway the director Kabir Khan (‘Kabul Express’ fame) has created the subject seriously, which has got a global importance these days.

'New York' doesn't have big commercial elements like dance, songs and action as usual hindi films do. But it is a serious attempt from the Bollywood which should not be cornered.

Rating : 7.5 /10

Monday, July 6, 2009


Medium : Tamil
Starring : Nakulan, Sunaina, Santhaanam, Karunaas
Direction : RNR Manohar
Music : D Imman

Promotional and publicity programs or songs in the mini screen enhances the popularity of a film irrespective of the language. We have seen many examples for this. On the other hand, a good film may not do well if it is not promoted in the way it needed. When the producers/distributors of a film own a TV channel also, then in such a case the promotional works will be up to the ultimate extend. The reason why I told this since the big banner Sun Pictures has entered the film field by distributing films like ‘Kathalil Vizhunthen’, ‘Thenavattu’, ‘Dindukkal Sarathi’, ‘Padikkathavan’, ‘Ayan’ and now ‘Maasilamani’. As they have got many channels, they will play the trailers and songs from the particular movie, ‘n’ number of times, which will boost up the running status of the films.

‘Maasilamani’ has got Nakulan and Sunaina in lead roles who acted in ‘Kathalil Vizhunthen’ before. That film was popular due to the difference in the story side and it has got a hit number in the form of “Nakku Mukku…” also. This is a love story in which the hero (Maasi) is an orphan. He finds the heroine on the way and started loving her. He always wished to do good for the society by helping the poor and in secured people. Sometimes he has to fight against the villains also. Divya (Sunaina) is a dance teacher; she was a witness of such actions from the hero and pretends him as a negative personality. Though she was mistaken, he didn’t get a chance to correct her.

By changing the name as Mani, he got in touch with her family members and acquired a clean certificate. When Divya tried to unfold the truth, he tells her that she was mistaken and no need to put some other’s blame on him. She is confused; he also arranged his friends and well wishers to call him by Mani not Maasi. By this time, a family friend of the heroine, who is a corrupted SI of police (Pawan), arrives in the scene. He tried to impress the girl. He went into an open fight with the hero. Anyway in the end, heroine succeeded in identifying the real love.

This story line has been told many times before. The double role game and the misunderstanding issue have got some best examples. Some of them are ‘Thullatha Manavum Thullum’, ‘Naam Iruvar Namakku Iruvar’, ‘Shahensha’, ‘Rab ne Bana di Jodi’ etc. The comedy elements in the film are not up to the mark. The way in which MS Bhaskar comes as a Rajnikanth fan is good, but sometimes it also exceeds the limit.

Music director D Imman has given some peppy numbers. It has got the mix of romantic duets and fast songs. Cameraman Vetri has also done a good job. Though Nakulan (brother of Devayani), is good in songs and dance scenes, he has to improve a lot in the acting area. Sunaina is also good, but in some rare angles she got a small awkward look. The film as a whole was not boring for me.

‘Maasilamani’ is an old wine in the new bottle. If you are too desperate in watching a tamil movie, then you can proceed.

Rating : 5.5 / 10

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Kambakht Ishq

Medium : Hindi
Starring : Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Aftab Shivadasani, Amrita Arora, Sylvester Stallone (guest)
Direction : Sabbir Khan
Music : Anu Malik, Salim - Sulaiman

The name of this new hindi film by Akshay Kumar originated from the first line of a hit song from the film ‘Pyar Tune Kya Kiya’ (Fardeen Khan-Urmila starrer produced by Ramgopal Varma in 2001). Right from his debut in the early 90’s, the 80+ films year old actor, who is also a martial arts expert has grown through films like ‘Khiladi’, ‘Mohra’, ‘Main Khiladi Tu Anari’, ‘Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi’, ‘Hera Pheri’, ‘Ajnabee’, ‘Garam Masala’, ‘Namasthey London’, ‘Singh is King’ etc. Though the majority of them were action oriented roles, in the last 4-5years, Akshay kumar has started giving importance to comedy subjects also. ‘Kambakht Ishq’ is directed by debutant Sabbir Khan, who was working in the field as assistant director since last 14years.

In the last years, bollywood has changed a lot in many aspects especially on the technical side. Even then they are giving films like ‘A Wednesday’, ‘Lagaan’, Chak de India’ etc along with ‘Dhoom’, ‘Bhoot’, ‘Kabhi Alvida na Kehna’etc. Another important change is in the environment of story telling. The majority of the film happens in US or UK or any other country abroad. In the 60% of the films relasing here, we can’t spot out a single scene containing visuals from our country. (Personally, I am against such an attitude of the film makers, but looking on the commercial side I will prefer to be silent). Since, hindi films have got a global audience, Eros International has released ‘Kambakht Ishq’ overseas also. The film fully shot in US, has got casting of Sylvester Stallone. The intention was clear.

Viraj (Akshay) is working as dupe for Hollywood actors in action sequences. His young brother (Aftab) who also works in the same field decides to get married. This is not supported by Viraj. On the other side the proposed girl (Amrita Arora) has got a friend (Kareena) who also opposes the marriage. She tried to separate the couple blaming the stability of their job as dupes. Irritated at this, the hero advises his brother not to break up their family relation. When Viraj met with an accident, heroine who is a doctor conducts the surgery. When gone through the X-ray, she came to know that before stitching, by mistake she left her watch inside hero’s stomach. Without telling this, she started in front of him as if she loves him. When her intention of doing surgery again becomes successful, she reveals that she don’t like him. Anyway after few dramatic situations, heroine begs the hero for love in the climax and what to do, he agrees…!

Have you heard the story before? It was only at the interval time only that I identified that this film is the remake of a Kamalhassan-Simran film in the early 2000period, ‘Pammal K Sambandham’. Only thing they have done is the change of location and addition of more glamour scenes. Universal Studios in Hollywood forms the main location here. The actions scenes directed by foreign technicians are shown as a part of the hero’s profession as dupe in films. Stallone comes in two scenes, his climax fight and the shot in which he tells the word “Kambakht Ishq…” felt cinematic. The way in which the alarm rings inside the hero’s body and its impact is not realistic. Javed Jafri’s character also felt intolerable sometimes. The single comedy scene given for Boman Irani is also repetitive. The film sounds high technically. Cinematography by Vikas Shivraman is notable. Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor have done well.

The original version of this film was a flop. Here they managed to recreate it through ‘Kambakht Ishq’ to a certain extend. But, we can’t promote it as the best.

Rating : 6 / 10