Sunday, January 31, 2010

Senior Mandrake

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Jagathi, Jagadheesh, Suraj Venjarammood, Salim Kumar, Kalpana
Director : Ali Akbar
Music : Hari

This is the time of comedy oriented films. The success of films like 'Happy Husbands', 'Gulumaal' and 'My Big Father' might have provoked the director Ali Akbar to come up with a sequel for his own comedy hit in the 90's, 'Junior Mandrake'. The director had given other notable films like 'Mukhamudra', 'Ponnuchami' etc. 'Junior Mandrake' had got an unusual theme where the statue model of a head becoming an unlucky thing for persons attached with it and it is remembered for an excellent performance by none other than legendary actor Jagathi Sreekumar. Rajan P Dev, who did the father role of Jagadeesh in the previous version is no more now. The current sensation Suraj Venjarammood have been added along with Salim Kumar in the new version.

The film opens by showing the scenes of 'Junior Mandrake' along with the title credits. In the climax of that movie, the unlucky statue model (mandrake) is in the hands of the driver (Indrans). Thus here you can see the same character suffering a lot, by keeping that model with him. As per idea of Sahridayan (Jagadeesh), the driver returns the model to a rich man, who is doing financing business now. When the model reaches the rich man's hands, his problem begins. Now Sahridayan reaches there to help him and his wife (Kalpana). They decided to make money out of it by dividing the material into different pieces. Some people offers them big amount of money for destroying their enemies with the help of the mandrake model. Later, the villain character namely 'Senior Mandrake' appears, who is the elder brother of 'Junior Mandrake'. He tries to rob the mandrake model and in the end, after a group fighting the villain is killed.

Though 'Junior Mandrake' was an average low budget film, it was a watchable one at that time, as it has got a bulk of comedy sequences. Here you don't have such scenes. Salim Kumar, who comes in the mentally disturbed person tried best to create laughing. Suraj Venjarammood, who comes in the SI role is not using his usual slang, but Kalpana compensated it by talking in former's slang through out. Jagadeesh has got a couple of tribal songs to do, which is not good to hear and at the same time those visuals will make you boring and restless. The songs by music director Hari is below average.

The interior designing for Jagathi's office is created in computer graphics and it looks too amateur also. I wonder why the director had not called the art director for doing such an easy task. The opening scene featuring Indrans might have been good if it was done in the 'Three Men Arm
y' days, where Indrans was having a wide mass support. The director had recreated the sequence of 'burying inside the ground with head only on sand' using Suraj and Jagadeesh and made it vulgar. This is the best example for a film with maximum number of extra artists placed in each and every scenes, most of their performances showed that they are 'extras' only. The climax shot showing Bin Laden is the extreme childish creativity from the director. Raju Krishna's cinematography is ordinary only. Jagathi has not created big laughing shots as previous version, but he is here in his usual style. Ali Akbar, who is also the script writer should have done more home work before going for such an adventure.

It is better to watch 'Junior Mandrake' once again in tv channels, rather than watching 'Senior Mandrake' in theaters...

Rating : 3 / 10


Medium : Tamil
Starring : Sharath Kumar, Goundamani, Shriya Sharan

Director : K.S.Ravikumar

Music : Rafi

The film 'Jaggubhai' was in the news recently, as the pirated CDs of the film were available in markets, even a month before its release. Sharath Kumar and his wife Radhik
a, who is also the producer of the film, supported by the whole film industry asked the help of the government. As a result of the police action, some of the culprits were jailed. We always tells about the influence of piracy in affecting the business of a movie after its release, but in the case of 'Jaggubhai', it was un believable, as the pirated CDs got released well before the film got released, it shows the deep roots of the cancer that affected the movie medium in the past decade.

Before doing films like 'Sivaji - T
he Boss' and 'Kuselan', Superstar Rajnikanth was actually planning to do a film for director K.S.Ravikumar with the name 'Jaggubhai'.But due to some reasons, it didn't happened and the director might have taken the name for his new film, probably with a new theme. This is the second time that Sharath Kumar is getting a chance to act in a movie rejected by the Superstar, the previous one being 'Ayya' (director Hari) which was also not originally framed for him.

In the film,
Jagannathan (Sharath Kumar) is an IPS officer. His senior (Vijayakumar) always asked him to get married to a bar dancer (Kiran), who is madly loving him. He always refuses the request as he is still having memories of his lover who is in abroad now. One day, he gets a call from a lawyer in Australia, who asks him to reach there immediately, as his lover got died in an accident. He reaches Australia and came to know about the last wish of his lover. He realizes that he is having a daughter (Shriya Sharan) in his lover and Jagannathan alias Jaggubhai became the care taker of the girl, without revealing his identity. He got the help of his friend (Goundamani), who is working in the police department. He saw the villain gang chasing his daughter always and also came to know that his lover was actually killed. How he safe guard his daughter from the baddies is shown here.

More than 95% of 'Jaggubhai', happens in Australia. Shriya Sharan in the daughter's role is glamorous and also has a freak and flirt attitude in her character. The director has even asked her
to do fashion show rehearsals in front of his father. Goundamani as hero's companion is not flexible, his witty dialogues didn't have an effect here. The villain character is not strong and the new face who did it is not impressive. It look like, the director is still wandering with the hangover of his previous film 'Aadhavan', seeing the climax. Such a scene in the air, featuring the hero, heroine and the villain hanging in the helicopter, is a style of films in the 80's. Songs by the new music director Rafi is not at all up to the mark. RD Rajasekhar is the cinematographer here. Don Max is the editor.

I feel sad for the producer and the team behind 'Jaggubhai'. The issue of piracy was the first blow affected them, next one being the outcome of the movie, which is also not a positive one...

Rating : 4.5 / 10

Friday, January 29, 2010

Drona 2010

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Mammootty, Thilakan, Manoj K Jayan, Kaniha, Navya Nair
Director : Shaji Kailas

Music : Deepak Dev, Rajamani (bg score)

The new Mammootty film is directed by action hit maker Shaji Kailas. It is after a long gap of around 10 years (after 'Narasimham', 'Valyettan' and 'The Truth') that both of them had joined for
the new venture 'Drona 2010'. The film is scripted by AK Saajan ('Red Chillies', 'Nadhia Kollappetta Raathri' fame) and notable producer M.Mani who is more than 50 films old has produced the film. Ekambaram, who worked for big films like 'De Dana Dun' and 'Kanthasamy' is the cinematographer here. After 'Ee Pattanathil Bhootham', this is yet another double role for Mammootty, which is his first release in this year.

The film starts when Kunjunni (Mammootty), who is involved in construction business, reaches the village to buy a big house in the locality. He disagree with his relatives, who told him not to go after the notorious and haunted house. He had to face some difficulties from the opponent family men (Thilakan, Jayan, Manoj K Jayan etc) also in this matter. He loves a girl (Kaniha) belonging to the village. Anyway in the interval period, Kunjunni is killed. His elder brother Pattazhi Madhavan (Mammootty) reaches the scene with his assistants (Bala, Vijayakumar, Irshad). He is a psychological professor and a vastu expert. He is here to find the truth regarding the killings happened in the house in the past. The villagers says that the spirit of Savithri (Dhanya, 'Thalappavu' fame) is the cause for all those negatives happened there. Anyway in the end, the villain is found out and the hero changes the dark environment and handed over the house to the actual owner.

The story line of 'Drona 2010' is really complex and confusing. The narration regarding the story used in the middle in Aliyar's voice looks too un professional and more over it resembles like a tele-serial promo only. After the first action scene, hero asks the rowdy (Biju Pappan) about his mentor as if he is seeing him for the first time, but the same men are shown fighting in the flash back scene also. The creators has tried to copy films like 'Manichithrathazhu', 'Anandabhadram' and 'Annyan', but the outcome here is too poor. The villain's son who is beaten by the hero in the past is having a long mark over his right eye, the shape changes from one scene to another (the director and the make-up man should be responsible for the continuity problems). Most of the characters speaks in a 'Namboothiri' slang; it becomes irresistible, when the police officer (Devan), who belongs to a different community also speaks the same.

Suraj Venjarammod is a relief and the audience waited for his arrival in the polluted environment, but the comedy used here is not up to the mark. Kaniha,as the village girl is over acting and she is not fit for the character. The song acted by her is also not needed. The theme song for the hero does not have a punch. Mammootty as the drunken person in the introduction scene felt different, but he is not flexible as expected. The hero fights for her lover in the college is an old concept in the 80's. The climax portion also doesn't gave the justification required for all the doubts. The fighting between the human and the spirit, where the former winning is yet another unbelievable area.

AK Sajan's script is too weak and hence direction by Shaji Kailas is also not the best.
Ekambaram's camera work and the cuts by Don Max also can't save the project from sinking down. Rajamani's background score is ok. Art direction by Saloo K George is excellent. Anal Arasu gave some fast action sequences.

If you are experiencing something positive from a project, then it is easy to point out which are all the negatives in it. When it is one after negatives and negatives only, what should we do ? 'Drona 2010' is one such movie...

Rating : 2.5 / 10

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Medium : Hindi
Starring : Salman Khan, Mithun Chakravarthy, Jackie Sheroff, Sohail Khan, Zarine Khan
Director : Anil Sharma
Music : Sajid-Wajid, Monty (bg score)

Salman Khan's new film, 'Veer' has got a different theme. It is a historical subject that happened in the pre independence period of the later 18th century. The film is directed by Anil Sharma, who gave Sunny Deol films like 'Gaddar', 'Hero', 'Apne' etc. The story of the film is written by Salman Khan. 'Veer', with a big star cast, is produced by Eros International. It is made in a mega budget and has got new face Zarine Khan as the heroine.

The story is about the Pindhari tribe that fought against the British in 1862. The King of Ma
dhavgarh (Jackie Sheroff), join hands with the English to kill many Pindhari soldiers. This provoked their leader Prithvi Singh (Mithun Chakravarthy) who in turn quarreled with the King and cuts his right hand. Prithvi's son Veer (Salman Khan) is bought up as a warrior from his childhood days. When grown up, Veer and his brother (Sohail Khan) were sent to London for their studies, in order to mix up with the British and to know their attitude. Veer gets into an affair with Yasodhara (Zarine Khan), daughter of the King. Veer's brother is beaten up by his lover's brother, who later died during the attack. Veer returns from London, tells about his love. He agreed to kill the King and brought the bride. In the end, the war happens, the King once again plays a fowl play. The British army is beaten by the Pindharis and the King is killed.

'Veer' is a movie that is made in a big canvas. The war scenes done in it are extraordinary. The horse fighting, train robbery etc are done in a realistic way. The visual effects used in it and the helicopter shot camera angles are also excellent. Action coordinator Tinu Varma and cinematographer Gopla
Shah needs special mention. Some of the sequences reminds us of the Hollywood movies like 'Gladiator' and 'Troy'. The art direction and the costume designing area stands on the top. The recreation of the old London and the interior designing of palaces are some of the examples. Music directors Sajid-Wajid had given a couple of good melodies. Monty's background score matches the mood well. After 'Gaddar', which discussed the India-Pak relationship, director Anil Sharma had given a movie that can be included in the 'fight for freedom' category of movies.

Salman Khan is excellent in the title role. Mithun Chakravarthy and Jackie Sheroff also did their roles well. The new heroine Zarine Khan resembles Katrina Khaif in some angles, but her performance is average only. Sohail Khan's comedy scenes dilutes the serious environment, which is not good. It is not a supportive phenomenon, to watch Neena Gupta (Veer's mother) dancing with a big group leading by his husband and two sons. Once the story is shifted to London environment, there happens a deviation from the real plot and more importance is given to the romantic scenes.

No need to keep over expectation about 'Veer'. It is a historical film by Salman Khan, which is shown in an action-romantic background.

Rating : 6.5 / 10

Punyam Aham

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Prithviraj, Nedumudi Venu, Nishanth Sagar, Samvritha, KPAC Lalitha
Director : Raj Nair

Music : Issac Kottukappally

For any actor to maintain the tough position of a stardom, he has to act in a separate category of movies, which is so called the 'parallel movies'. Mammootty started such a journey t
hrough 'Anandaram' with Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mohanlal has done Aravindan's 'Vasthuhara', Jayaram did 'Sesham' by TK Rajivkumar, Dileep has got 'Kathavaseshan' to his credit from TV Chandran and now Prithviraj has decided to join the race through the film 'Punyam Aham', directed by Raj Nair, grand son of great writer Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai.

The film starts by showing the unnatural behavior of Narayanan (Prithviraj), who belongs to the brahmin family. This unemployed guy is frustrated always. He is blaming the system and
his brahmin father who left the family earlier. His mother was a left party worker and she is from a lower caste also. One day he leaves to Kuttanad area. There he meets an old lady (KPAC Lalitha), who is not mentally stable. She takes him to the house and treats him as his son. Her daughter (Samvritha) is being sexually exploited (for money) by her own uncle (Nedumudi Venu), who is a Kathakali artist. Now when Narayanan stays in the house, he gets in affair with her.

'Punyam Aham' mainly deals with the poverty issues, effect of modernization and the nature of the humans to escape from the realities etc. The concept is good, but the film raises many questions. It is due to the problem in the narration of the film, which is not straight. An average viewer may find difficulty in understanding the facts. He may have doubts regarding the symbolic representations and unusual incomplete shots that happens in the middle of a scene, for which the director might only give the solution.

I don't understand the girl's character who stays with the hero's mother and sister in his h
ouse in the beginning area. The rich man role done by Nishanth Sagar looks like an odd one. The mental stability of characters like Prithviraj, KPAC Lalitha and MR Gopakumar changes from time to time. The usage of traditional arts like Kathakali and Theyyam to convey certain sequences in the story is different, but it is an escapism on the part of the director.

MJ Radhakrishnan, who is the favorite cinematographer of parallel films, has done a good work. Bina Paul is the editor. Background score by Issac Kottukappally is excellent. Nedumudi Venu and KPAC Lalitha had done good with their experience. This is a different role for Prithviraj; in the beginning frames he is over acting, but later on he has adjusted himself to be in the track.

Usually, I don't like the classification of mainstream movies and parallel movies. But after watching this, I felt that such a process is unavoidable. The movie that is not presented straightly and if it raises many questions, then such movies should certainly come under 'parallel stream' section, like 'Punyam Aham'.

'Punyam Aham' discusses some serious issues. As the presentation of the film is complex and shabby, it is not a promotable one.

Rating : 3.5 / 10

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Body Guard

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Dileep, Nayantara, Mithra Kuriyan, Thyagarajan, Harisree Asokan

Director : Siddique

Music : Ouseppachan

Director Siddique is enjoying a very long gap of 6-7years after his previous film, 'Chronic Bachelor'. Though he has done a tamil film ('Saadhu Mirandaa' with Prasanna, Kavya Madhavan) and a telugu film ('Satyam Sivam Sundaram' with Nithin, Nila), his presence in malayalam was not there. Now he is back with a film named 'Body Guard' casting Dileep for
the first time. The heroine is none other than Nayantara, who is a sensation in the south indian film industry. Though she got her debut and her first few films in malayalam, she is busy these days in other languages. In between, she did a song in malayalam film 'Twenty 20' also.

The film 'Body Guard' has been in the news for a long time. The shooting of the film, happened more
than 400days. It is produced by Johny Sagariga. As the producer was doing another Dileep film ('Mose and Cat') in the same time with Fazil, the dates got clashed and Siddique had to keep adjustments for his senior director. 'Mose and Cat' bombed in the box office, the producer was having some liabilities. Also the release date of 'Body Guard' was postponed, as the director's previous partner Lal's film 'To Harihar Nagar' was also releasing at the same time. Before the release, we heard that tamil super star Vijay heard this story and he is willing to do the film in tamil soon. Now, after the grand success of 'Keralavarma Pazhassi Raja', producer Gokulam Gopalan has shown interest in distributing 'Body Guard' and it happened. Cameraman S.Kumar and music director Ouseppachan came to the Siddique camp for the first time through this film.

The title role done by the hero is shown as a different character from his childhood days. Jayakrishnan (Dileep) is a person having no fear and his ambition was to become a rowdy. When grown up, he became an assistant (body guard) to a business man. He helped his master to do his illegal activities by giving a physical support. At this time, he heard about Asokan (Thyagarajan), who is a notable millionaire in another village. He wished to work as Asokan's body guard and he reached there with a recommendation. Asokan didn't like the attitude of Jayakrishnan, but later he got a chance to impress the rich man by saving his life. He is appointed as the bodyguard of his daughter Ammu (Nayantara) and he also joined her college as a student as a part of his duty. She was not allowed to move freely, as he always accompanies her. Being frustrated, she decided to play a trick. She is giving anonymous calls to Jayakrishnan's mobile by changing her voice. He is not able to identify her. This game later became serious and a set of incidents happens in both of their life.

'Body Guard' has got a good story with an excellent twist in the climax. But the main problem happened in the way in which the script writer / director conceived it. The characterization of the hero, heroine and her father needs more stability and depth. The presentation of the film is too ordinary and it is suitable for a film in the late 90's. You can't see any colorful visua
ls here. The director is "notorious' for handling humor, which is evident in his previous films. But the comedy used here is not up to the standard. Only a few occasions created natural laughing. The characterization of Harisree Asokan and Janardhanan is repetitive and we have seen it in director's previous films like 'Chronic Bachelor' and 'Friends' also. The phone scenes between the hero and heroine which covers the maximum length of the movie creates lagging. The only benefit from such sequences will be the producer and the new mobile service provider which has been launched last year, as their theme song is being used as the ring tone by the hero.

The director should have given importance to some other situations associated with the hero and the heroine's characters. Too much of scenes regarding phone call should have been avoided. The reason told by the hero through the phone regarding his respect for the heroine felt childish and created negative response from the crowd. People also don't want to see the hero studying at this age and getting a rank in the examination to see his unknown lover. All such situations cannot have a postitive effect as the controversial girl, Nayantara also participates in it. Ouseppachan had given 5 songs, most of them very below average only ("perilla rajyathe..." is a rememberable one), which can also be the reason for demoting the film. Hence, the choreography (done by Prabhudeva, Vishnude
va, Vinod, Poppy) has also not felt the best. Stunt master Malaysia Bhasker, which is seen after a long gap, gave some good punches. Dileep, Guiness Pakru, Nayantara and Mithra Kurian ('Gulumaal' fame) have done their roles well.

It is very sad to see the outcome of the movie which created great expectation and good pre-release reports. Even after getting a good theme, the director had failed on the scripting area. The molding the central characters and its presentation should have been more serious. In these days of advanced technology, we can't allow the viewers to become restless. You should keep in mind that, he is here after watching films like 'Nadodikal', '3 Idiots' and 'Avatar'. Even if, you are having the experienced S.Kumar (camera) and Gowrishankar (editor) behind the scenes, the dryness in the visuals are clearly noticeable.

It is up to you to decide, whether you want to watch 'Body Guard', as the attraction lies only in the story with a good climax. In between, the film is having problems in its presentation side (The fact is that even if the basement of a house is extra ordinary, you can't enjoy your life in it, when it is not neatly built...!!!)

Rating : 5.5 / 10

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chance Pe Dance

Medium : Hindi
Starring : Shahid Kapoor, Genelia D'Souza
Director : Ken Ghosh
Music : Adnan Sami, Sandeep Shirodhkar (bg score)

After the popular film 'Kaminey', that discussed the theme of the underworld people in an unusual way, Shahid Kapoor's new film 'Chance Pe Dance' has got a different subject. Her
e the hero is an ambitious dancer, who struggles to enter the movie field. The heroine is Genelia ('Boyz', 'Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Naa' fame). The film is directed by Shahid's favorite director, Ken Ghosh. It was through his film, 'Ishq Vishq' that Shahid entered the field, later he was paired with Kareena Kapoor in 'Fida', which was also given by the same director. 'Chance Pe Dance' is produced by Ronnie Screwvala, UTV pictures distributes the film.

The Delhi based hero (Shahid Kapoor) reaches to Mumbai with an intention to act in hindi films. He has got the talent in dancing. He is attending auditions, he meets the heroine (Genelia D'Souza), who works as assistant choreographer in films and gets into an affair with her. For meeting the livelihood, the hero is working as the dance tutor in a school. One day, a director (Mohnish Bhel) agrees him to give the lead role in his new film. Later it is changed and It has not worked out and the director had decided to take the new face through a talent hunt. Hero had got some financial problems and he was forced to leave the rented house. His lover motivates him to participate in the talent hunt. His students winning the dance competition is also shown through a show. In the end, hero wins the talent hunt, becomes an actor. After an year, he is a successful actor and it is a dream come true for him and his lover...

The situations involving the hero's ambition for getting into films, the
heroine's support, his father's disagreement etc has been adapted from the film 'Luck By Chance', acted by Farhan Akthar. But the new film stands no where near that film which was conceived realistically and excellently. 'Chance Pe Dance' is too cinematic on the presentation side. The way in which his students winning the dance title, the way in which the hero himself wins the reality show etc are some of the examples. The climax also happens all on a sudden and director had committed the mistake by showing the natural theme in an un realistic way. Due to this, we don't get sympathy towards the hero's character (with the body language of a muscle man), who is shown as if he is going through the difficult days in his life. The lengthy scenes without dialogues, filled with bg score for showing the dance rehearsals and the preparations etc creates great lagging.

Adnan Sami had given some fast numbers for the dancing. Sandeep Shirodhkar had gi
ven the bg score. Shahid Kapoor had done good and also performed well in the dancing sequences. Genelia did the role in her usual way.

'Chance Pe Dance' does not have any situations which can impress you, other than some fast dance steps by the hero...

Rating : 4.5 / 10


Medium : Tamil
Starring : Dhanush, Shriya Sharan, Sameer Dattani

Director : Mithran Javahar

Music : Devisree Prasad

Actor Dhanush is having a good time as his last few films like 'Padikkathavan', 'Yaaradi Nee Mohini' and 'Pollathavan' were hits. Now he had chosen Javahar ('Yaaradi Nee Mohini' fame) to direct his new film
titled 'Kutty'. Sameer Dattani, the kannada actor who is otherwise known as Dhyan ('Monalisa', 'Amrithadhare' fame), also does an important role in the film. The heroine of the film is Shriya Sharan ('Sivaji - The Boss' fame); both of them had acted together in 'Thiruvilayaadal Aarambam' before, which was also a hit. 'Kutty' is produced by Gemini Films. It was heard that this film is the remake of a telugu super hit film, 'Aarya' (dubbed in malayalam also with the same name). It gave break for the young star Allu Arjun. So the credit for the script should go to Sukumar, the writer-director of 'Aarya'.

Sameer is a rich student in the college where Shriya also studies. He proposes her, though she
rejected it, the situation forced her to get into an affair with him. One day, Kutty (Dhanush) expresses his love to Shriya. She is confused. When Sameer opposes Kutty's move, the latter made fun my telling that Sameer is not confident on his love. Kutty is having his own justifications for his love. In between, Sameer arranges some rowdies to beat his competitor. This was not known to the heroine. Sameer's father disagrees with his son hearing the love matters. Fighting against the villain gangs, Kutty helped Sameer to escape with the girl. Three of them travelled and reaches a far away place. One day when Sameer left the place, Kutty gives extra care for the girl. Though Kutty still stands in his love, he is not expressing it. He is also supporting the arrangements for the marriage between Sameer and Shriya. What happens to Kutty's love and who is winning the girl is where the climax of the film lies.

The title character in this film is jolly type and humorous. Dhanush did well in it. Sameer Dattani is apt for the role, but he struggles well to speak the language. Shriya Sharan is ok, but not the best. Gundu Arthi comes as the companion of Kutty, it is very difficult to identify that whether she has done a male role or female role here (moreover Kutty calls her as 'machaa...' always).

Devisree Prasad gave fast songs, it has got a telugu flavor and a couple of them is retained from the original version also. His bg score is good. Balasubramanyam's cinematography is colorful, especially in the outdoor locations in the second half. The train scenes, where they travel and the dance sequence happening in it, is treated as the same; but they are not properly executed, the cheating shots taken from two trains are neatly revealed there. Action sequences by 'Dalapathi' Dinesh ('Chandramukhi' fame) need more gimmicks. The way in which Dhanush's character presented by the director is interesting. Since I have watched the telugu version also, compared with the new version, 'Aarya' always lies the best in the presentation and performance areas.

'Kutty' is a campus love story told in a different style. If you have not seen the original version, then you can watch this for a time pass.

Rating : 7 / 10

Monday, January 18, 2010

Aayirathil Oruvan

Medium : Tamil
Starring : Karthi, Parthipan, Rima Sen, Andrea
Director : Selvaraghavan
Music : G.V.Prakash Kumar

As a viewer, I was having expectations on the movie 'Aayirathil Oruvan' for some reasons. It is director Selvaraghavan's new project after giving notable films like 'Kathal Kondein', '7G Rainbow Colony' and 'Puthuppettai' and it is the second film for actor Karthi (Surya's brother), after 'Paruthiveeran'. Also the news regarding the unusual theme of the film related to the 12
th century and shooting of the particular film that happened for around three years created the hype. It was heard that a tug of war happened between Selva and his favorite music director Yuvan Shankar Raja at the composing time and G.V.Prakash Kumar came in place of Yuvan, who stepped out of the project.

The film opens when the Govt appoints a team (lead by Rima Sen, Azhagamperumal etc) to find out the missing archeologist (Prathap Pothen). They had got a helper (Karthi) and the daughter (Andrea) also joins the group to find his father. Another aim of this journey was to find out the remainings of the old Chola civilization. The journey started with a group comprising of many members. On the way, they have to face many hazards and difficulties. They were attacked by some unusual creatures in the ocean, they have to fight against the tribal people who lived in the forest, many poisonous snakes attacked them, they
have to face some magical happenings in the desert, they spent days without food or water and in the end when they were able to reach their destination, only a few people (hero and the two heroines) remained in the group.

After this portion, whatever happens here is not convincing and also not understandable to me...

From there the story takes a twist and these people get into the hands of the king (Parthipan) along with his people who were living there. They were taken into captivity. The people in that area is having
an unusual dark looks like the tribal people, they are shown as man-eaters also. They tried to kill them, but for some reasons, they can't (?). The missing archeologist was found in their custody. The army reaches there, a war happens between them and the king's group. In the end, victory is for the army, the king and his remaining people were taken into the custody. They were also killed on the way, some committed suicide.

The end frame has got hero running with a child in his hand, written in the frame as "the journey will be continued...!!!" What does the director mean by that ?

Cinematographer Ramji and Editor Kola Bhaskar had done an excellent job here. Bg score by G.V.Prakash Kumar is also good. Fight master (late) Rambo Rajkumar had also done some serious job here. Prime Focus had also got a bunch of visual effects scenes to do. Karthi had done his character similar to that of 'Paruthiveeran'. Andrea ('Pachaikkili Muthuchiram' fame) and Rima Sen are also good in their roles.

It is sad to see that such an enormous amount of time and a mega budget has been wasted for such a project. A new actor like Karthi also have a long gap after his first film and he also might have faced difficulties in arranging dates for another film, which has been blocked by the director here. It is definitely a different attempt by the script writer - director Selvaraghavan. But if it is not clearly communicating with the audience, then what is the use. The end product which has got a length of almost 3hours, raises a bulk of questions, which I think, no one can answer at this time.

'Aayirathil Oruvan' is one such movie I saw in my life, where I don't understand the story or the sense in the majority of incidents associated with it. I was looking at the watch every minute, to get out of the theater in the second half...

Rating : 3 / 10

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy Husbands

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Jayaram, Jayasurya, Indrajith, Bhavana, Samvritha, Rima Kallingal
Director : Saji Surendran
Music : M.Jayachandran

The same team behind 'Ivar Vivahitharaayal', which is one of the few hit films that happened in the last year, Saji Surendran (director), Krishna Poojappura (script writer), Anil Nair (cinem
atographer), Manoj (editor), M.Jayachandran (music) etc had come up with their new project, 'Happy Husbands' produced by Milan Jaleel. They had got a big star cast this time. Jayaram, Jayasurya, Indrajith, Bhavana, Samvritha, Rima Kallingal, Vandana, Suraj Venjarammood, Salim Kumar etc. The film is presented in a comedy background.

Mukundan (Jayaram) is the managing director of Kerala Today magazine. His wife Krishnendu (Bhavana) is too possessive for her husband and always thinks that his husband might go behind other ladies. On the other side, Mukundan's friend Rahul (Indrajith) is not straight and had got a flirt character also, but his wife (Samvritha) dont know anything and she blindly belie
ves that her husband is a good person. John (Jayasurya) is a neat bachelor who works for Kerala Today and he is loyal to his boss. His marriage is fixed now. One day a girl named Diana (Rima Kallingal), who is a bar dancer, comes to the life of these three guys. When Krishnendu sees Diana along with Mukundan, he tells that she is John's wife and thus starts the hide and seek game, confusions etc.

The story is not a fresh one, 'Happy Husbands' is the remake of tamil film 'Charli Chaplin' (Prabhu, Prabhudeva, Abhirami, Gayathri Raguram) which has been made in hindi as 'No Entry' (Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Bipasha Basu, Lara Dutta). No need to blame the director here for doing a remake, as you are getting an opportunity to watch the product that is popular in other languages and more over they have claimed in the beginning itself as the story is inspired from the tamil film 'Charli Chaplin'.

There is out and out comedy from beginning to end as if like a Priyadarshan style of movie in the 80's. Suraj Venjarammod's role has been added for this story and it is a replica of many of the same kind of characters that we have seen from the olden days itself. In some scenes, he had tried to justify the usage of 'trivandrum slang' also. The performances of Jayaram, Indrajith and Rima Kallingal are notable. A couple of the songs happens in foreign locations. The title song featuring almost all the artists is a style adapted from bollywood. The boldness of the team behind to shot some of the portions in the foreign locations, gave a freshness to the atmosphere.

Anil Nair's cinematography is colorful. Songs by M.Jayachandran goes
with the visuals, his bg score is good. Krishna Poojappura, who made the script according to the malayalam atmosphere, had done his job well. Saji Surendran, who made this comedy subject targeting family audiences also, might enter the list of notable directors in the field here after.

'Happy Husbands' is an entertainer. Don't look for the logic and if you have not seen either of its previous versions in hindi or tamil, then you will receive a bulk of laughing situations...

Rating : 7.5 / 10

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pyaar Impossible

Medium : Hindi
Starring : Uday Chopra, Priyanka Chopra, Dino Morea, Anupam Kher

Direction : Jugal Hansraj

Music : Salim-Sulaiman

Mega production - distribution banner, Yash Raj Films had come up with their first project in the new year, 'Pyaar Impossible' having Uday Chopra and Priyanka Chopra in the lead roles. Uday is not a big competitor for the front runners among the bollywood stars. But he has been notable throu
gh films like 'Mohabbatein' and 'Dhoom' series. Former miss world, Priyanka Chopra, who got a good last year through films like 'Kaminey', 'Whats Your Rashee' etc is also one of the leading artists in the hindi film industry these days. The hero himself had written the script and Jugal Hansraj, who had acted in many films and who is also the director of 'Road Side Romeo' is the director of 'Pyaar Impossible'.

The film begins in the University of California, where Abhay (Uday Chopra) and Alisha (Priyanka Chopra) studied. He likes the girl. He was unable to express the love as he thinks that he is an under-rated guy as far as glamor and fashion is concerne
d. After his college days, he reached India. During these 7 years, he is still having Alisha in his mind. He has developed a computer operating system these days and the client (Dino Morea) who was willing to buy his software, cheated him and left the country. He reached Singapore in search of the villain. There he meets Alisha. He came to know that she is a divorced mother now and had got a daughter. He reaches her home as the care taker of her daughter. How he wins her love and what happens to the person who had cheated him is shown in the rest portions.

Uday Chopra had got a character that suits his body language. Priyanka Chopra is excellent in the role of Alisha. Her presentation in few occasions resembles a hollwood style also. Though it is a small role, the father's role has also been neatly handled by Anupam Kher. The way in which the hero convincing the heroine regarding the importance of beauty and good looking through a song is shown well. Salim-Sulaiman gave some peppy numbers and a good bg score. Cinematographer Santhosh Thundiyil ('Krish', 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', 'Kaal', 'Palungu' fame) had given some colorful visuals. Director Jugal H
ansraj, had tried to exploit the maximum performance from the leading artists in the movie.

The theme of this film had got the flavor of a malayalam film, 'Kilukkampetti' by Shaji Kailas almost 18years ago, where the hero (Jayaram), reaches the house of his lover (Suchitra Krishnamoorthy) as a servant and tries to impress the kid (Baby Shyamili). In some scenes, inspiration of Kamalhassan's film 'Avvai Shanmughi' is also there.

There should have been some difference in costumes and make up for the hero and heroine in a gap of seven years. The hero meets the heroine accidentally in abroad, can be treated as a cinematic coincidence. The revenge episode happens in the climax area only, likewise the college episode happens in the beginning area only, they should have been discussed in more scenes.

'Pyaar Impossible' is not a boring movie; here who have got the charming Priyanka Chopra's performance as the highlight.

Rating : 7 / 10

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Black Stallion

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Kalabhavan Mani, Bala, Jayan, Namitha
Direction : Pramod Pappan
Music : Abhishek, Rajesh Mohan (bg score)

Pramod - Pappan, the popular name in the still photography field had entered the movie direction area through the Mammootty film, 'Vajram'. Later they gave films like 'Thaskaraveeran' (Mammootty-Nayanthara) and 'Abraham Lincoln' (Kalabhavan Mani-Rahman). None of those films were big hits and they don't have stability in the scripting side
also; since the directors were good camera technicians, they had tried to do experiments on the visual sides (camera and editing area). Their new film, 'Black Stallion' had got Kalabhavan Mani and Bala in lead roles with south indian glamor girl ,Namitha coming to malayalam for the first time.

The film starts with the child hood days of the hero (Kalabhavan Mani) in Tamil Nadu. His father is being killed by the villain police officer (Mahadevan). The son spent his younger days in the jail, has got the ambition to become a criminal police officer. When grown up, he fulfills the ambition by joining police and he has also got a gang to do the criminal activities. Later, the villain is killed. Hero meets the bar dancer (Namitha) and likes to marry her. She doesn't like him,as her father has been killed by his attack and her sister is brutally wounded as a result of that. The heroine escapes to Kerala with her sister. She meets a professio
nal photographer (Bala) and gets into an affair with him. By this time, the hero and his gang reaches there in search of the girl and the suspense regarding the real villain is revealed in the climax.

The presentation of the film in the action background was not at all appealing all the time. The dialogues used in the film is too poor and amateur. You have got many songs here, coming in unwanted situations. None of the songs composed by music director Abhishek are good and more over it is too noisy. The very fast cuts for the introduction song of heroine can create problem for our eyes. Also don't know the reason of casting Mahadevan ('Pithamahan', 'Ee Pattanathil Bhootham' fame) in police officer's role if he is not ready to take off the beard. You can't cheat the audience in this period. The rope techniques used in action scenes by Mafia Sasi, doesn't look professional. There is good suspense in the climax, but it is not neatly worked out and also the end shot in which the hero rejoins with the heroine is childish. The relevance of one of the gang members of the hero, who is keeping laptop all the time is not known. The word "cli-cho", used by the hero usually is not attractive. The placement of 3d animated helicopter in the combination scene of the heroes in the flashback area is an unwanted thing.

The fatty girl Namitha not at all felt sympathetic in her character. She might have been casted to exploit her glamor. The heroism given for Bala doesn't suits him. Ranjith Touchriver had got some hard work to do on the editing side. The operative cameramen along with the directors had done the maximum gimmicks on the visuals. Rajesh Mohan ('Guard' fame) had given a heavy bg score to keep the mood. The failure in the scripting side by Rajesh Raman is evident.

There is not even a single positive thing to highlight in 'Black Stallion'. It felt like watching a C-class masala film from some other language...

Rating : 3.5 / 10

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Medium : Tamil
Starring : Nakulan, Poorna, Sampath, Santhanam

Direction : Sakthivel

Music : Dhina

Being introduced as one of the actors in 'Boy', Nakulan (brother of actress Devayani) was having a big gap before acting in a film like 'Kathalil Vizhinthen'. It was a different love story that became popular with the help of the hit song "naakku mukku...", then the actor has done a m
asala film like 'Maasilamani'. Those two films were talk of the town, as they were distributed by the mini screen giant, Sun Pictures who gave a new style of marketing technique. Now Nakulan's latest film, 'Kandhakkottai' directed by debutant Sakthivel has been released, he he has acted opposite Poorna (malayalee girl Shamna Kasim's new name; she was popular through the reality shows and has acted in films like 'Alibhai', 'Flash' etc).

Here the hero Siva (Nakulan) is a person who hates romance,as a result he is shown acting against the lovers. He justifies this by giving the example of his paren
ts who quarells each other for small matters even after having their love marriage. On the other hand, Pooja (Poorna) reaches the city to help his brother getting married to his lover, who happened to be Siva's sister. Though Siva hate the attitude of Pooja in the beginning, they got into an affair as per circumstances. Now he supports love, but he has to face the rich man Annachi (Sampath), who wished to get his son marry Pooja at her home town. How he managed to get success for his love fighting against the villain is showed in second half area.

In the first half, the director had concentrated more on mixing the love and hate episodes for the hero. The second half area is filled with violence. The heroine coming to the city for conducting a love marriage is unbelievable. The revenge scenes are interesting, but the fights done by Supreme Sundar is not the best. The old age make up of Sampath changes from time to time, the new director should have given more attention to it. More over a bulk of duet dances (choreographed by Asok Raja) might be an over doze as hero and heroine repeats themselves in foreign locations. The songs by Dhina ("manmadha rasa...' fame) also felt ordinary only.

Nakulan has done the role in his usual way. Poorna, who looks like Asin in few angles, has done her best. Santhanam created some laughing scenes. Cinematography by Krishnasamy is ok.

No need to expect much from an ordinary film like 'Kandhakkottai', which has got a mix of songs, fight and comedy sequences...

Rating : 6 / 10

Monday, January 4, 2010


Medium : Tamil
Starring : Johny, Nishanth, Ganeshan, Thamizh, Sandeep, Sanusha
Director : Panneerselvam
Music : Ganesh Raghavendran

After watching around 150 films in 2009, I started my new year journey with a tamil film, 'Renigunta' done by a group of young faces. The trailer of the film created great expectation also. The director of the film, Panneerselvam was an associate to director Linguswamy in films like 'Bheema' and 'Sandaikkozhi'. He has got debutant Sakthi (former associate
to Jeeva) as the camera man. But they have got the support of an excellent technician from the South India in the editor's role. He is none other than Anthony, who did big films like 'Sivaji The Boss', 'Gajini', 'Vaaranam Aayiram', 'Vallavan', 'Kaakka Kaakka' etc. New face Johny (s/o producer S.S.Chakravarthy), comes in the hero role, supported by Nishanth, Ganeshan, Thamizh and Sandeep. Sanusha, who acted as Sobhana's daughter in 'Mambazhakkalam', is the heroine. She also did sister role of heroine Thrisha in 'Bheema', that can be the reason for the director to cast her as he who also worked in the same project.

The story of the film is about the youths who involves in criminal activities. The hero Sakthi (Johny) is being jailed for attacking the person who has killed his parents. There, he met the four member gang, who has been kept in custody as murder convicts. They saves him from the brutal punishme
nts of the police. One day, they all escaped from the custody and before leaving the city they took revenge on the criminal who had killed Sakthi's parents. They traveled in a train to Mumbai and when they saw the police, they get down in the middle at a place named Renigunta in Andhra. They met Bhai, whom they know from the jail days itself; he was involved in under world activities. As per his request they committed a murder and was allowed to live there. In the locality, the hero finds the heroine (Sanusha), a dump girl. He gets in love with her. The local villain was interested in the girl. Knowing this the hero quarreled with him. Her elder sister wants Sakthi to take her to a far away place. His friends also agreed this. Before escaping from the city, as per request from Bhai, they were ready for committing another murder, which could be the last one in the city. Whether they were succeeded in it or what happened to those friends and the lovers were shown in 'Renigunta' in the second half areas.

In the middle, the tempo of the film is lost, when the focus was on the love matters. That ar
ea had created a lagging here and there. The main attraction is the performance of all the new young faces. Johny had done his part well, like wise the young men who did his friend's roles. The short guy Ganeshan is notable because of his body language and also he has succeeded in creating some comedy sequences. The performance of Sanusha as the dump is not the best. Also the song featuring the heroine's sister and the heroes felt dramatic.

The film had got violence in its ultimate. The scenes in which the parents are killed, the revenge scene of the hero & group, their murder episodes in Andhra and the chasing of the police were all excellent examples. Action director Rajasekhar ('Subramanyapuram' fame) had given some rough and realistic works
here. Sakthi's camera work and Anthony's cuts, helped the film a lot with the good support of music director Ganesh Raghavendran, who created the violent mood with his bg score. Panneerselvam, who had made 'Renigunta', inspired from the Mexican film 'City of God', might also enter the list of talented debut directors who reached the industry in the recent period.

'Renigunta' is a film done by many new faces which has got a couple of shocking sequences in the violent background. The film is about a certain section of youths who grows as criminals in the society.

Rating : 6.5 / 10