Monday, March 29, 2010

Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru

Medium : Tamil
Starring : Ajmal, Mouli, Rupa Manjari
Director : Nandini
Music : Mani Sharma

Though direction area of the Indian film industry is a male dominating area, we have got few numbers of women directors also in the field to be quoted. Mira Nair, who has been holding the megaphon
e for the last 30years, had directed many hindi & foreign films, Deepa Mehtha had given many notable subjects and some of them notable through contreversies. Choreographer Farha Khan had directed a couple of commercial films, Zoya Akthar, who comes from Javed Akthar's family is also a director in bollywood, Actress turned director Revathi had given two-three films, V.Priya, former assistant to Maniratnam, had directed a couple of tamil films, Yesteryear actress Sheela was also the director of few films, Anjali Menon, one of the directors of 'Kerala Cafe' had also done a couple of short films, Liji J.Pullappally, Geethu Mohandas, Sreebala K Menon, Sangeetha Padmanabhan, Asha Joseph etc are some of the other women directors that had created some short films and feature films.

Now to join the group another young lady, Nandini had come up with her new project named 'Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru' (TTTT). She had worked as an assistant to V.Priya in films like 'Kanda Naal Muthal' and 'Kannaampoochi Enada'. Ajmal, the young actor who came to the field through the malayalam film 'Pranaykaalam' is the hero in 'TTTT'. He had done a couple of tamil films like 'Anjaathey' and 'TN 09 AL 4777' before. New face Rupa Manjari is the heroine. The film is produced by Sathyam Cinemas and Real Images.

Arjun (Ajmal) is working in an advertisement firm. The owner (Mouli) and his wife treates him as their personal favorite. Archana (Rupa Manjari) is also working in the same company. Arjun and Archana are shown as contrasting characters. The former believes in the lazy and don't care policy, on the other hand she wants to do everything in a perfect way. Even if there were disagreement in attitudes, they worked together for a new promotional campaign, acquired by their firm recently. For that, Arjun found a baby to do the Ad shoot; but the problem starts when the client demanded an NOC certificate from the baby's parents. It was not possible as the baby is a kidnapped one. The shoot is now a prestige issue for the owner and it will happen only when they get signature from the parents. The search for the parents and how such a situation is handled is shown in the later portions of 'TTTT'.

The performance of Mouli, who comes as the owner of the Ad firm, is excellent. His messy behavior had got a natural look and the desperate attempt in recollecting names, creates a comedy environment. The cute baby, who is a main character in the movie, needs some claps. Unlike from his previous films, Ajmal's role is not a serious one, he had tried his best to break such an image. He needs more improvement in the flexibility area. The new face Rupa Manjari is cool and attractive. Mani Sharma had given good music, especially the bg score and the TTTT theme used is notable. Cinematography by Sudheer is rich and colorful. The art work supporting the colorful environment inside the office and the house are good. The story of 'TTTT' is not complicated, the way in which the new writer-director Nandini presented it, should be appreciated.

'Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru' is a simple and funny film targeting high class families and the multiplex audiences. It is not the best, but it can be watched keeping in mind that such an attempt comes from a lady director...

Rating : 7 / 10

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Mammootty, Sidhiq, Suresh Krishna, Shaanu, Sneha, Lakshmi

Director : B.Unnikrishnan

Music : M.Jayachandran

After directing films like 'Maadambi' (by Mohanlal), 'Smart City' and 'IG' (both by Sureshgopi), B.Unnikrishnan (also the writer of films like 'Cover Story', 'Sivam' and 'Tiger'), has got the chance to direct a Mammootty movie, named 'Pramaani' (seeing the similarity in title with 'Maadambi', it felt like the writer-director wants to give a similar character to Mammootty also, that he has given before to the other star). Here the hero is doing the role of a panchayat president which he has not done so far in the 30years of his career. After the film 'Thuruppugulaan', once again Sneha coming as the heroine for the same star.

Viswanath Panicker (Mammootty) is a corrupted panchayat president. He is in that position for the last many years. N
o one is there to question this. Where ever there is settlement of financial matters, Panicker reaches there and finds a solution for it by taking bribe; he is doing all this things with the help of his relative (Sidhiq), who is accompanying him always and another person from the family, a circle inspector (Baiju) also helps him. The opposition members also supports the president as they also get their part when the money is divided. At this time, the new panchayat secratary (Sneha) is appointed. She acts against the president in every issues. At this time, a private company owner (Suresh Krishna), meets Panicker and offers crores of money, as a part of getting bulk acres of paddy fields for starting a big project. The panchayat board has given NOC to the dealings. Paniker is deeply attached to the teacher (Lakshmi). She is also the mother of his late friend (Prabhu), who once neatly ruled the panchayat. As per her request Panicker decides to cancel the dealings with the private company, which was not liked by his family members and other officials. Now the hero single handedly decides to work for the welfare of the villagers by acting against the corruption.

The first few scenes of the film showing the hero's real character is not impressive. Till first half the hero is shown as a corrupted person, the reason for the u-turn from it, by changing the character is not neatly defined. The way in which the villagers and his close friend's relatives blaming the hero as a culprit has happened in many films before. The hero is shown as a person ruling the panchayat for many and many yars, but in the flashback portion with his friend, the appearance is not changed. The continuity in the shots is deeply affected in the scenes where the hero eating food at teacher's house and the performance of rituals outside the house. The hero registering the wealth in the name of relatives and all of them acting against him is the same situation that happened in the director's film, 'Maadambi'. The disappearing of the young character (Shaanu) and the hero saving him from the villain's go-down is a repetitive cliche, lifted from many old films. Shammi Thilakan's voice doesn't suits Prabhu, who did a guest role in a single scene and few shots in the song. Suraaj Venjarammood's comedy situations is not attractive as before.

The cinematic makeup given for Janardhanan's character is similar to Fieldel Castro, which is good. Mammotty in the lead role doesn't have big to perform. Shyam Dutt's camera work is good as per the mood of the movie. M.Jayachandran's background score is ok. 'kara karangana...' song is happening in a created situation, choreography by Dinesh doesn't felt professional as Kalabhavan Mani's over acting is evident in it most of the time.

As a spokesperson, talking through the media regarding controversial matters might be good for
B.Unnikrishnan, but along with that he should come up with a better project also to attract the viewers that are not interested in coming to theaters these days.

There is nothing big and different in 'Pramaani' to be promoted. The hero's character shows a negative attitude in the beginning, as expected he acts against the baddies later for the positive climax.

Rating : 5.5 / 10

In Ghost House Inn

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Mukesh, Asokan, Jagadeesh, Sidhiq, Nedumudi Venu, Radhika

Director : Lal

Music : Alex Paul

As happened for films like 'Aavanazhi', 'Nadodikkattu' and 'Oru CBI Diarykurippu', this time t
he 3rd part is releasing for the super hit comedy film, 'In Harihar Nagar'. The third part of the first film, 'Tharadas vs Balram' was a big flop, though there were large humorous situations in 'Akkare Akkare Akkare', it was also not a big hit, as investigation subjects have a minimum guarantee formula, 'Sethuramayar CBI' was a hit, the forth part of the film, 'Nerariyaan CBI' in the particular series which was released within a short gap from the third was not a big hit as expected.

The reason
that can provoke the creators to come up with the sequels for a hit film is simple, the popularity of the characters in the first version of the series might carry forward to their sequels also, which will help them for a minimum guarantee business. Thus, within an year of the release of its previous version of 'In Harihar Nagar' series named 'To Harihar Nagar', writer-director Lal have come up with the third part named 'In Ghost House Inn'. The long gap of 18years happened between the first and second parts have created a curiosity and eagerness while watching the 2nd part, which won't be there to that extend in the case of this third part. All the major technicians worked in the previous version has been maintained here except for the few artists and choreographers.

The film opens by showing a bungalow in an estate where three murders that happened 70years ago. In the current period, Thomaskutty (Asokan) has bought the particular big house to start a resort there. The haunted memories of the old incidents still prevails in the locality and the people calls this building as a 'ghost house'. So the owner now wants his friends Mahadevan, Appukkuttan and Govindankutty (Mukesh, Jagadeesh, Sidhiq) to stay there for a week and thus to prove that the rumors were not true. In the first day itself they all have to face some unnatural situations inside the house. As all of them succeeded in spending days there, then they decides to take their wives with them for few days. They came and at this point some unpredictable incidents happened inside the house. They seeks the help of a person (Nedumudi Venu), who is doing research works on the spirits and their existence. How they finds a solution for the happenings is told in the later portions of 'In Ghost House Inn'.

The director had tried to create humor out of horror situations here. The first half of the film goes through the different experiences faced by the four people in the house; especially the lengthy scene at the house in the first day is good. The post interval area, leading to the anti climax sequences lags here and there. Like the previous version, here also a twist is created in the climax, where the attraction of the movie lies. A series of horror based humorous situations with such a suspense in the climax is good enough to help the project to become a hit, even if this film can be placed only in the bottom of the list compared to the previous two versions.

I still can't agree the character of Jagadeesh as a dentist with such a foolishness, it can only be supported as a role to create unlimited humour. Sometimes the comedy dialogues produced by his character exceed the toleration limit. The continuity of the shots is lost in the scene where whole family members decides to leave the house in two vehicles, the scene starts at evening and it ends in night within a gap of seconds. Thomaskutty's pregnant wife dancing in the song, is unacceptable. The usage of too much of chroma shots in the traveling sequences should have been avoided. Music director Alex Paul, the culprit in the last project for doing unprofessional remixes, has not given good songs here also. In such a subject, the scope of background score will be enormous, which is also not utilized to the best way it can. Venu, the cinematographer had given colorful visuals. Editing by V.Saajan and the title graphics used here are good.

Even if there is lagging in few areas, 'In Ghost House Inn' is a horror based comedy entertainer with a good climax.

Rating : 7.5 / 10

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kacheri Aarambham

Medium : Tamil
Starring : Jeeva, J.D.Chakravarthy, Vadivelu, Poonam Bajwa
Director : Thiraivannan
Music : D.Imman

Tamail actor Jeeva has once again acted under his father R.B.Chowdhary's production banner, Super Good Films, for the new project 'Kacheri Aarambham'. It is directed by debutant Thiraivannan.
Poonam Bajwa, who acted with the same hero in 'Thenavattu', 'Seval' and some other telugu films, is the heroine here. J.D.Chakravarthy has done an important character here. He has acted in films like 'Sarvam', 'Vasthu Sastra', 'Satya' etc and also directed films like 'Homam' (telugu) ,a story in 'Darna Zaroori Hai' (hindi) etc.

Hero Paari (Jeeva) lives in a village. His father is always scolding him as he is not serious abou
t his life and not even does a job to earn money. Desperately he left the village and reaches Chennai. He meets Madhi (Poonam Bajwa), who saves him from an accident. He likes her and started loving him. She requested him to keep distance from her, as she is vigilantly watched by Sivamani (J.D.Chakravarthy), a local don. Anybody who comes infront of her will be destroyed by Sivamani, who is in mad of Madhi for the last three years. Paari reached Sivamani's house and becomes successful in winning his friendship. Paari offers help to Sivamani, he informed the latter that he is not loving Madhi and also told him that within 15days she will be Sivamani's girl. Thus the hide and seek game progresses until the villain came to know about the real facts and how Paari manages this is shown in the climax.

The use of flashback shots in the combination scene between
hero and father where every time hero is shown offering help to the third party, can make you restless. The meeting of hero and heroine through an accident is shown unlimited times before. Heroine asking the hero not to follow her, resembles the scene in the film 'Run' and the villain reaching her house is almost similar to the situation in the film'Pokkiri'. Sivamani is shown as a very bad guy, but he is behaving like a coward in front of the hero. The way in which he beats his gang member who becomes culprit due to the hero's behavior is childish. Once the hero becomes a companion of the villain, the following scenes till the climax is predictable. Vadivelu doesn't have memorable comedy scenes to perform, he is not having much top perform once he becomes the member of the villain gang. Only good situation in the film is the one in which the hero's father (Azhagamperumal) talking casually to his son, becomes serious and he beats his wife who comes in front of him.

J.D.Chakravarthy, a comparatively new face in tamil films is good. Jeeva has done the role in his usual way. Cinematography by Mathi ('Silambattom', 'Nepali' and 'Paiyya' fame) is colorful. D.Imman gave a couple of fast numbers. The choreography of 'vaada vaada...' song felt different. The new writer-director Thiraivannan should come up with a stable and challenging story line next time to reach the list of notable directors.

'Kacheri Aarambham' is not a serious attempt. It is a masala movie with ingredients targeting the front benches.

Rating : 5 / 10

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Love Sex Aur Dhokha

Medium : Hindi
Starring : Anshuman Jha, Rajkumar Yadav, Amit Sial, Arya Devdutta, Neha Chauhan, Shruthi

Director : Dibakar Banerjee

Music : Sneha Khanwalkar

Creators in other languages are searching for innovative ideas every time and they have shown the boldness to execute it onscreen; their viewers are also happy to welcome something which is new and the best. Though we are not ready to inspire such an idea in malayalam, we also like watching a different film that comes from outside the state. We can't blame our directors, as the viewers are also responsible for such an ou
tcome. Films like 'Kerala Cafe', 'Paleri Manikyam Oru Paathira Kolapathakathinte Katha', 'Pakal Nakshathrangal', 'Thirakkadha', 'Danny' etc were different and good, but the question is that how many of us have watched these films in theaters and made it a commercial success ?!

Anyway, the new bollywood film, 'Love Sex Aur Dhokha' is different in the way in which it is presented. After giving hit films like 'Khosla Ka Ghosla' and 'Oye Lucky ! Lucky Oye !', director Dibakar Banerjee is back with a new film named 'LSD'. The specialty is that the film is divided into three stories and each of them is linked with each other at a certain point. The main attraction lies in the story telling technique where hidden cameras plays a major character here. Handycam, CCTV cameras and a hidden spy camera are used in these three different stories.

The first
story is about a film institute student (Anshuman Jha) who is directing his debut film. He gets in love with the rich girl (Shruthi) who did the heroine role in the movie. The incidents are captured through the handy cam own by the director here. At one stage they got married without informing her relatives. What happens to the couple is shown later.

The second story is about the happenings inside a super market. Adarsh (Rajkumar Yadav) is working there, he is having some financial problems. His friend asks him to make a porn clip from the security cameras installed there, to make money. Reshmi (Neha Chauhan), who is a co-worker, became the victim of such a fraud play.

The third story is about a struggling journalist Prabhat (Amit Sial). He meets Naina (Arya Devdutta), an ambitious singer who decides to commit suicide after a notable pop star, who is also a womanizer, refuses to give her a chance to sing a song. Using a hidden cam, Naina decided to take revenge on the pop star with the help of Prabhat. The first and third stories are linked with the super market related to the second story at one stage.

Cinematographer Nikos Andritsakis did an extra ordinary job here; he is the person who gav
e the film an unconventional look. Certainly you will feel that the whole film might have been shot using a hidden cam. Editing by Namrata Rao also helped a lot to convey the plot. The boldness of director Dibakar Banerjee should be appreciated for doing such a product which will break all the rules of the filmi-language. Kanu Behl (co-writer of the movie with the director) had also done a good job. The second story is so much relevant and looks realistic in the current period. All the artists in the film are non-popular faces, they all have performed well.

Each and every frame of 'Love Sex Aur Dhokha' will be like an output looking through a digital camera, you will be having battery backup emblem on the top left, current time on the top right, cam name and film running duration on the bottom left, 'rec' em
blem on the bottom right parts. This is one such film where you don't have any background music used (i am not forgetting such an experiment done by director Jayaraj in the film 'Gulmohar').

If you are ready to face the new and rare experimental method in the film making, then you should watch 'Love Sex Aur Dhokha' (if you don't have time to spare for this film now, then don't forget to watch it when you get a good dvd of the same).

Rating : 8 / 10

Monday, March 22, 2010


Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Prithviraj, Saikumar, Suresh Krishna, Suraaj Venjarammood, Ambika, Sheela

Director : George Vargheese

Music : Thej Merwin, Gopi Sundar (bg score)

The 50+ films older actor Prithviraj is termed
as the rising star of the new generation. Within the last 8years, he has tried his best to achieve his own position in malayalam and tamil langauges. This has reached its peak as he got a chance to act in director Maniratnam's new film, 'Raavana' which is releasing by the middle of this year. His films like 'Puthiya Mukham' & 'Robinhood' were also included among the few successes happened in the industry last year. It is a fact that a minority malayalee group is still hesitating to accept the new youthful actor.

Prithviraj's n
ew film 'Thaanthonni' is directed by debutant George Vargheese, who has once associated directors like Padmakumar, Anil.C Menon and Bipin Prabhakar. T.A.Shahid, who still has got 'Raajamanikyam' and 'Balettan' as his best works, is the script writer. His previous like 'Alibhai', 'Natturaajavu', 'Kaakki', 'One Way Ticket' etc didn't do well. Sheela ('Maya Bazaar' fame) is the heroine here. The film is produced and distributed by Marikar films.

(Prithviraj) is the young member of a big family based in malabar. He lived with his mother (Ambika), uncles (Captain Raju, Raamu, Vijayaraghavan) and the rest of the family members. The unemployed angry young man is shown as a drunkard guy most of the time. At one stage he even beats the police inspector. His brothers doesn't like his trouble making character. Every time when the partition of the property happens, Kochukunju leaves the scene without co-operating with them. Later, his advocate brother (Suresh Krishna) got linked with a murder and it was the hero who saved him from it when a friend of him came forward to accept the charges. When the hero's lover (Sheela), reaches a big wind wheel estate as a part of his thesis works, the hero appears there by telling that he is the owner of the whole land and tells how he became rich, through a cinematic flashback. In the later portions, he is taking revenge against those people who had destroyed his god father. In the end, Kochukunju reveals his real face. He is now accepted by the family members. His father (Saikumar) also appears in the climax; he was considered dead by the villagers once and now it is time for the re-union.

The starting of the film with the voice over of Balachandran Chullikkad and Aliyar is a cliche. The scenes in which the hero appearing in costly cars and tells the reason for becoming a multimillionaire is suitable for a b-grade old tamil film. As every hero oriented films, here also heroine has got a couple of dialogues accompanied by a duet song only ('Periya Thevare...' song and the dance choreographed by Kala is not attractive). Prithviraj, in the title role is ok, but i smelled overacting in few areas and imitating Mohanlal in the drunken scenes are evident. Suraaj Venjarammood is as usual placed to generate comedy; still he is practicing the bad custom of giving witty dialogues as the background voice in shots where there are no dialogues placed. Ambika, as the hero's mother doesn't share a good chemistry with the son's character.

The fight sequence in the desert featuring the three villains are not good. TA Shahid's script is poor, the definition given by him for the friendship is a childish one and the whole situation where the hero's friend accepting the murder charges on behalf of the hero, is not created seriously. 'Kaattu Paranjathum...' song is hummed by the hero many times, the same song in senior singer KP Udayabhanu's voice doesn't suits Saikumar's character. His make up also felt cinematic in the old age period. Cinematographer Sajith Menon ('Kadha Samvidhanam Kunjakko' fame) and editor Bijith Bala ('Calcutta News', 'Maya Bazaar' fame) didn't created extra ordinary visuals to be quoted here. The bg score by Gopi Sundar is good.

With a single film, Prithviraj tried to dominate the image of stars like Rajnikanth and Vijay, by incorporating unbelievable situations. He should keep in mind that the viewers are fed up with these kind of heroism and films like 'Thaanthonni' won't help at this stage of his career.

Rating : 4.5 / 10

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Indrajith, Thilakan, Sidhiq, Jagathi, Lalu Alex, Dhanya Mary

Director : Lijo Jose Pallissery

Music : Prasanth Pillai

Recently, I happened to see the trailer of a new film in mini screen. It was
loaded with colorful action sequences, resembling a hindi-tamil film. Seeing the actors, it was evident that it is a malayalam film, 'Naayakan', the lead role being done by Indrajith Sukumaran, who is enjoying the success of 'Happy Husbands' these days. The director's name was also new, Lijo Jose Pallissery, son of late actor Jose Pallissery, who has been working in the Ad field so far. The big name behind lenses for the film 'Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya', Manoj Paramahamsa has worked as the cinematographer here. Keeping in mind that an attractive trailer alone can't create a good product on big screen, I went to watch the film. (I was shocked to see the celebrations and heavy band music inside the theater howling "Superstar Indrajith Ki Jay", don't know whether these people have come on their own...!)

The film tells the story of Vardhan (Indrajith), a Kathakali artist who is taking revenge against the villain gangs (Vijayaraghavan, Sidhiq etc) one by one with the help of his companions (Anil Murali, Sreejith Ravi, Saloo K George etc). The baddies who were responsible for destroying his family were targeted. For his mission, he is getting a big support from an old underworld gang leader, Kaaranavar (Thilakan). His daughter, who is a lawyer (Dhanya Mary), is in fond of Varadhan. A police officer (Lalu Alex), who is in charge of the murder investigation, has been following the hero. The twist happens when the hero prepares to take revenge on his main enemy and whether he is succeeded in it is shown in the later portions.

Though 'Naayakan' is a revenge story told many times before, the Kathakali background for telling the story and the way in which the scenes are divided into certain sections related to the traditional art, is not seen before. The new director who has got immense experience in the Adv field, has made his debut project notable and attractive, by the way in which the visuals are given. The silent mood needed for an action subject is created. Script writer PS Rafeeq, had also done his part well. The first few scenes felt dramatic, later on it fell on the right track, especially the dialogues relating the examples from the epics are good. The scenes in which the police officer teaching his junior, the combination scene of the old gang leader and the villain inspector, the gun shot still leading to the interval area etc are some of the catchy scenes. Indrajith had done his role well. Thilakan and Lalu Alex also gave a good company. Sidhiq, whose appearance has got the Shekespearian character, is the best. Cameraman Manoj Paramhamsa's visuals, in which the shots are floating most of the time, is a different style used here.

The scene in which the hero reaching abroad to buy weapons, felt cinematic. The reason for the death of hero's family members needs more stability. The film lags here and there, more fast cuts on the editing side (by Manoj) should have been done. Music director Prasanth Pillai, who is claiming as an assistant to A.R.Rahman, has not given atleast a popular song here. His background score is also not the best.

You might have witnessed similar action themes before; don't expect much from 'Naayakan' also and those who are too fond of revenge stories can watch it for a time pass.

(we have welcomed many like this from the superstars before, so why don't from someone who belongs to the new generation...?)

Rating : 6.5 / 10

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Universal Soldier Regeneration

Medium : English
Starring : Jean Claude Vaandamme, Dolph Lundgren

Director : John Hyams

After a shor
t gap, I am getting chance to watch another English movie. This time it is 'Universal Soldier Regeneration', the third one in the 'Universal Soldier Series' of films. The main attraction here is the action hero who did the lead role, he is none other than Jean Claude Vaandamme. May be he might not have big hits to project in the past few years, but I still remember the big crowd I have seen at the theater for the release of his films like 'Kick Boxer', 'Double Impact', 'Hard Target' etc which happened during my school - college days. The fact that I have missed the first two films in the 'Universal Soldier' series of films, provoked me to watch the latest one at any cost.

From the title and the promotional stills itself, the story of the film can be predicted easily. My assumption didn't went wrong, once the film started. The son and daughter of the Russian prime minister is kidnapped by a rebel group. They are demanding the release of around 250 numbers of prisoners to free the siblings. If failed to achieve their demand, the group had given a warning by placing a time bomb at the nuclear reactor, which may explode after 72 hours from now. The officials soon find out the culprits behind the incidents and it is known that a scientist who is capable of developing next generation Universal Soldiers is a core member of the baddie gang. After a day, the prime minister ordered the release of 110 prisoners, but the bomb has to be diffused now. This time the army took the help of commando Luc (Jean Claude Vaandamme), who was also a member of the Universal Soldiers group once. He reaches the enemy's place, kills them one by one and how he saves the people from the custody is shown here after.

We have seen many similar type of subjects right from the olden days in many languages (even a malayalam film by Mohanlal, 'Moonnaam Mura' belongs to the same genre), but the interesting part lies in its presentation. It is evident from the opening scene of the film in which the kidnapping happens. Also to differentiate the theme, the creators had developed a particular group with super human powers as 'Universal Soldiers' also. Though I don't like such unrealistic situations happening in Hollywood these days, since movie is a make belief medium and they are presented it in a realistic way, I am prepared to keep silent.

The chasing and the associated incidents are presented professionally. The gun firing shots and the fight sequences towards the climax are the major highlights of the movie. The director had tried to exploit the action image of Vaandamme, as a result he is talking with the guns only in most of the scenes. The cinematographer of this movie Peter Hyams, who happened to be the director of hit films like 'Time Cop' and 'Sudden Death' by the same hero, has given the natural visuals. His brother John Hyams had directed the movie.

Those who are too mad of Hollywood action movies can watch 'Universal Soldier Regeneration'.

Rating : 6.5 / 10

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Teen Patti

Medium : Hindi
Starring : Amitabh Bachan, Ben Kingsly, Madhavan, Raima Sen
Director : Leena Yadav

Music : Salim Sulaiman

Recently we have seen, hollywood actor Sylvestor Stalline doing a guest role in hindi film 'Ka
mbakth Ishq', by Akshay Kumar. Now it is time for another foreign actor Ben Kingsly, the man who did the title role in the film 'Gandhi', to do a suporting character with Amitabh Bachan in the new bollywood film 'Teen Patti' (pronounced as 'Theen Patthi'). The film is directed by new comer lady, Leena Yadav.

The film tells the story of Venkat (Amitabh Bachan), a mathematical genius, who is visiting abroad to meet an international mathematician (Ben Kingsly). The former tells his story in
which he is shown working as tutor in an institution. He is doing research work in his subject and when he submits the thesis work it is being rejected every time. He is not fed up and still work hard and developed a new theory based on probability and statistics. He tells this fact to his junior (Madhavan). He is selecting four students from the college, as per instruction from Venkat. The theory on the game of cards has been tested and the result was found positive. They decided to try this in a gambling event. Without revealing the identity, they all played and when found succeeded, they move on to bigger places where betting are are done on big amount of money. In the middle, they had to face some hard challenges also. Venkat was not interested in continuing the game, he also reminds his companions that these games are done as a part of research works only. But he agreed to continue the gambling as others requested him. In the middle, an unknown guy who is aware of this, tried to blackmail Venkat for money. At one stage, a split between the friends for the sake of money, also happens. The college authorities became vigilant and the future of Venkat, as an aftereffects of this is shown in the climax of 'Teen Patti'.

The foreign mathematician Ben Kingsly speaking hindi should have been avoided. Even though each and every member in the group, excluding the profe
ssor, tells that they are in badly need of money, the director had no included any scenes to justify their wish. We can't justify the professor supporting the gambling for money, as he is not The gambling environment is changing, but those areas are not neatly executed. Some of the songs are placed in unwanted situations. The way in which the young guys reacting in the group in the later portions felt a cliche.

Cinematography by Aseem Bajaj is good. Amitabh Bachan has done well in the lead role. His sharing of screen presence with Ben Kingsly is also
notable. The man who did Mahatma's role didn't have much to perform here. After the hit film 'Three Idiots', once again Madhavan comes in his usual style here. The direction side is ok, but a good professionalism on the scripting area might have given an extra ordinary result for the movie.

'Teen Patti' has got an unusual theme, the problems in the execution side is the main negative happened here.

Rating : 5.5 / 10

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cheriya Kallanum Valiya Policum

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Jagadeesh, Mukesh, Suraaj Venjarammood, Vidya
Director : Haridas Kesavan

Music : Thej Merwin

Only thing which provoked me in watching 'Cheriya Kallanum Valiya Policum' is the fact that the film entered the 2nd week in my home city(?). Though there are senior actors like Jagat
hi, Mukesh and Jagadeesh in it, the promotion posters of the film mainly contains the current sensation in the industry, Suraaj Venjarammood. Haridas Kesavan (formerly Haridas) has directed the movie. His previous films like 'Kadha Samvidhanam Kunjakko' and 'Magic Lamp' were big flops. Also it is a fact that his first film, which happened almost 20years ago, 'Georgekutty C/O Georgekutty', acted by Jayaram for Renjith's script, was a good one. But after that, his journey continued through projects like 'Indraprastham', 'Kinnarippuzhayoram', 'Kannur', 'Panjaloham' etc. 'Cheriya Kallanum Valiya Policum' is scripted by K.P.Sunil, the director of non hit film 'Good Boys'.

The films starts by showing the hero Kumaaran (Jagadeesh) writing a suicide note to his wife (Vidya) from a far away place. The letter reaches the house and the villagers assembles
there, waiting to see the dead body. At this time, a stranger (Mukesh) also reached there. After a long waiting for days, the local SI (Suraaj Venjarammood) came with the dead body. Once the rites and rituals are done, after few days, a tamilian (Charlie) came with his relatives, claiming for the dead body of their uncle which was wrongly buried there recently. Later, Kumaaran, himself reaches there. He tells his wife about the story of his friend who cheated him by taking money. Finally the villain gang is caught in the fight, police came, all happy (except the 'poor' audience like me who still won't study even after getting big blows like this!!!).

I don't know the relevance of such a title for this film. Don't think that this is the only negative you will be witnessing here! The two children crying and running through the village, passing the news, is a wasted shot. The people waiting the dead body for days, started enjoying games, resembled the hopeless situation in the flop film 'Immini Nalloraal'. How can a senior comedian like Jagathi acted in such a horrible scene of the film history where he inaugurates the arrival of dead body by cutting the ribbon. Indrans, as the drunken man is over acting all the time. Kochu Preman, in the blind's role also tried to say some comic dialogues. The relatives of the heroine and its associated episodes is good for a film in the 60's. The wig make-up of Mukesh is an unprofessional sign. The songs like 'kumaaraa...' and their sudden appearances, the arrival of the tamil peoples, the relatives going out of the house, the incidents at the tea shop etc are some of the irresistible situations. The heroine Vidya coming as the pair of Jagadeesh, looked like a amateurish high school student only. The reason told by hero to drop the suicide attempt is not shown clearly. An unemployed guy spending 10 lakhs for getting a job is an unbelievable thing. Suraaj is casted as the 'bafoon' SI to create laughing, but it has not worked out as it is a repetitive thing only.

Like this, there are many and many....why should I ???

Films like 'Cheriya Kallanum Valiya Policum' are good enough to spoil the name of the whole industry...

Rating : 2 / 10

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Medium : Tamil
Starring : Prasanna, Sibiraj, S.P.Balasubramanyam, Ramya, Yasmin Khan

Direction : Sakthi S.Rajan

Music : James Vasanth, Thaman (bg score)

In the last 10years, we saw the rise of many new writ
er-directors in the tamil field. Most of them are successful due to their uniqueness in the story and scripting sides, along with that they may give more importance in presenting such subjects also. Now Sakthi S.Rajan, former assistant director to Myshkin and Venkat Prabhuha, had got his debut ventrue 'Naanayam'. The film is based on a bag robbery. The director might have got inspiration from hollywood films like 'The Bank Job', 'The Great Bank Robbery' etc and also from the bollywood hit 'Aankhen'. Prasanna and Sibiraj, struggling young stars have done the lead roles. It is also good to see that Sibiraj (s/o Sathyaraj), had shown the bravery to do the negative character like his father done in old days. The film is produced by S.P.B. Charan (s/o S.P.B), who gave films like like 'Chennai 600028', 'Mazhai' etc.

Ravi (Prasan
na) is working with Trust Bank, where Viswanath (S.P.B) is the CEO. The former had developed an advanced technology for maintaining the safety measures of the bank. He came across a journalist Nandini (Ramya), a divorcee and started loving her. One day, a quarreling happened between Ravi and Nandini's ex-husband and the very next day he is killed later. At this time, Fareed (Sibiraj) appears by showing the photos of Ravi's involvement in the murder. He needs the company of Ravi, who is aware of the security systems, for the bank robbery. When Ravi disagrees, by keeping Nandini in custody, Fareed warned him that he will hand over the photos to police. Thus in such an un avoidable situation, Ravi made the master plan for the robbery and whether they are succeeded in it, is the theme of 'Naanayam'.

The film has got a thrilling s
tory with a good suspense. The problem in the scripting side and inclusive of some of the negative ingredients in it is the black mark here. As the audience is too sensible these days, it is difficult to keep a suspense and carry it over till the end. This has happened here also. In the beginning area itself, Viswanath is shown attacked by a stranger, who later appears in the same bank where he works and his reaction towards the matter lacks clarity. We also don't know whey Ravi is so mad of Nandini, as they have not been the companions for a long time. Though Nandini is kept under the custody of Fareed, no emotional attitude is shown by her, that forces Ravi to rob the bank. The way in which Ravi trying to influence Fardeen's close friend, is childish. The way in which Nandini dancing through the lazer beam is a cinematic thing. Other than these, the main negative happened is in the case of songs that comes in unwanted situations. I also wonder, how could a producer like S.P.B.Charan, who is also a singer himself, gave green signal for such a below average songs used here. Music director James Vasanth ('Subramanyapuram', 'Pasanga' fame) failed to deliver good songs.

OmPrakash, the cinematographer had given excellent visuals, which resembles hollywood films in most frames. Prasanna had done well in his role. Sibiraj is also good as the villain, his body language is similar to his father. By making this colorful movie, the new director Sakthi S.Rajan proved that he is a promising technician; he may come up with a better project later understanding the mistakes he had committed this time.

Those who are too mad of suspense thrillers can watch 'Naanayam'; but keep in mind that it is not a stable product as expected, you should be ready to face some negatives in the middle also...

Rating : 6 / 10

Monday, March 8, 2010


Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Manikkuttan, Nawaz, Varadha, Swetha Menon
Director : Salim Baba
Music : Sayan Anwar

Manikkuttan, the young actor who has been notable through the popular tele serial 'Kayamkulam Kochunni', came to the cine field doing a lead role in director Vinayan's film, 'Boy Friend'. L
ater on, he has done supporting roles in films like 'Chotta Mumbai, 'Hareendran Oru Nishkalangan', 'Bada Dosth', 'Kalabham', 'Passenger' etc. Now he has done the central character, in the new film 'Valiyangaadi'. It is directed by Salim Baba, who has given 'masala' films like 'Rapid Action Force', 'Pramukhan' etc.

The story of this film is told in the backdrop of a market, the hero doing the role of a head load worker (coolie). Though films like 'Ee Lokam Ivide Kure Manushyar', 'Chandha', 'British Market', 'Red Salute', 'Mattuppetti Machaan' and 'Ali Bhai' discussed the market based themes, the majority of them didn't get a good success. But the film 'Angaadi' directed by I.V.Sasi, with the
identical theme that got released almost 30years ago, still stands on the top of the hit chart and the hero role done by late actor Jayan is the talk of the town in this century also.

'Valiyangaadi' is a market based in Kozhikkode, where people lives happily and unitedly, irre
spective of the religious and political barriers. Ananthu (Manikkuttan), a well educated guy, loves to do the coolie job. He and his companions (Nawaz, Harisree Martin, Narayanankutty, Saaju Kodiyan, Ramesh Kurumasseri) are willing to support anybody at any time. Ananthu is also treated as the spokesperson of the entire trade union workers. The local business man and some politicians who are unhappy seeing the unity among the people had created a fowl play and put the blame on Ananthu. As a result, he is being thrown out from the market. In the end, the real culprits are caught through the fight sequence and the hero once again became the leader of 'Valiyangaadi'.

The first scene of the film in which the hero's companions ('Cinemaala' team) gathers in a tea shop, discussing the current affairs felt amateurish and it gives the clear picture of the film. The reason for such a casting might depends on the volume of help taken by the script writer Mahesh Mithra from them and it is also a cause to reduce the production cost of the film. We don't know why the director had chosen such an introduction morphing shot (yesteryear actor Jayan to Manikkuttan). Is it because, here also the hero tells the english dialogues like Jayan did in 'Angaadi' ? The heroine showing angry which in turn converted to love is seen 1000 times before. The cause of sudden disappearing of the professor character done by Subair is not clear told. The villain who is introduced in the interval scene has given an un professional performance through out. The attitude of hero and his companions willing to give financial support to anybody at anytime is not a realistic thing to watch. The enmity shown by the hero's true companions in the later portions is a cliche. Swetha Menon, shown in a lovable lady role in the beginning, is certainly not a suspense character as she doesn't have a 'thulabhaaram' Sharadha image among the audience. The heroine character done by Varadha ('Sulthan' fame) doesn't look matured even after wearing specks.

Manikkuttan, in his younger age, had tried his best to do the matured action oriented role filled with punch dilaogues also (but it is not 'good' enough to compare with Jayan's role in 'Angaadi'). The cinematographer Sasi Ramakrishna doesn't gave rich frames, editor Sreenivas also didn't tried to give fast cutting for this action film. Choreographer Rekha didn't gave any new steps here (also don't know the relevance of placing a middle aged man in 'kashayam jubba' dress in the dance song lead by the hero). Director Salim Baba did this film, targeting the front benchers, but it is for the time to tell whether they like this movie. Songs are below average only. Background score by V.Thasi (as shown in credits, it might be a spelling mistake!) is poor and horrible.

The only good thing, i learned from this film is that the hero character here explaining the reason for writing the word 'ambulance' from right to left on vehicles...

Though the end product seems to be unprofessional, 'Valiyangaadi' also contains those ingredients as every 'action masalas' bearing the same kind of themes should have. It is up to you to decide whether you want to be a part of this venture or not.

Rating : 3.5 / 10

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Kartik Calling Karthik

Medium : Hindi
Starring : Farhan Akthar, Deepika Padukone
Director : Vijay Lalwani

Music : Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale (bg score)

It looks like, the director of big films like 'Dil Chahtha Hai', 'Lakshya' and 'Don', Farhan Akthar, has started enjoying his new job in the industry. After acted in films
like 'Rock On' and 'Luck By Chance', his new film 'Kartik Calling Karthik', where he had done the lead role is released recently. Deepika Padukone, who has become a big name these days, is the heroine. Debutant Vijay Lalwani is the creator of the movie.

Kathik (Farhan Akthar) is an introvert and a shy type guy working in a construction
company. His boss is always taking advantage of his non confident attitude by scolding him in public. Sonali (Deepika Padukone), who is a co-worker, doesn't even noticed that such a person is working in their firm for the last few years. Karthik has been watching Sonali and he likes her also, but fails to express his love. By this time, Karthik gets a call at his land line at home from a person claiming that he is also Karthik. Those calls, that comes daily in the morning, are like coaching class for Karthik and gradually it motivated him to change his attitude. Though he was suspended from the company before, now the boss is forced to give him re-entry with a promotion. He gets in touch with Sonali, who is being affected from a love failure and they started loving each other.

One day she says that there should not be any secre
ts between them as she is not fit to face a failure in her life again. Even after the caller warning him not to tell about the calls to any body, Karthik reveals this to his lover. She is not believing it, she even asked him to consult a psychiatrist. He is not willing and it caused a split in relationship between the two. The caller also becomes an enemy to Karthik and he tells that he will destroy him at any cause. Without informing, the hero decides to leave the city to a far away place so that he can escape from the caller and what happens to him in such a situation is shown in 'Kartik Calling Karthik' here after.

With such a subject, director Vijay Lalwani had tried his best to make a thrilling tempo and keep the suspense (though it was anticipated) till end. May be, we might get an idea about the caller in the beginning itself, but as the calls came in front of the doctor and the heroine, we are confused. The problem happened to the film is the area where the hero tried to escape from the city. It is a lack of confidence showed from the part of the director also. The pathos song in that portion is a booster dose for the lagging. The scene in which the hero purchasing the same type of phone with the same color in the second half should have been avoided. It will give a wrong message to the audience as they will blame the phone company in the end for the reason of these problems. Also the doctor finding the cause in the end and showing it to the heroine looks like an advertisement. The climax is not clearly presented by the director, it is doubtful whether all things are cleared or it still exists.

The film has got a good performance by Farhan Akthar and Deepika Padukone. Shankar Ehsaan Loy gave the songs in their style, none of them are catching. Background score by Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale goes with the mood. Cinematography by Sanu Varghese is rich, editor Aarti Bajaj also gave neat cuts. The variety style in the title credits of the film is related to the theme of the film, which is good.

'Kartik Calling Karthik' is a different film. It should have been a must watchable one, if the lack of stability in the second half portions are avoided.

Rating : 6 / 10