Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Phoonk 2

Medium : Hindi
Starring : Sudeep, Amrutha Khanvilkar, Ahsaas Channa, Neeru Bajwa

Director : Milind Gadagkar

Music : Dharam - Sandeep

Ram Gopal Varma, the technician notable for creating some super hit and 'notorious' projects, had come up with the second part to his own horror film, 'Phoonk'. That project was not a big success, but the them
e of the particular movie had got the 'loop hole' required to make a sequel. This time RGV is in not in the role of the director, rather he is producing it and the director is a new name, Milind Gadagkar, who is also the writer of both the parts. The old version ends where the hero, his wife and his two kids left, after the woman, who is doing some black magic procedures on hero's daughter, is dead.

Now, Rajiv (Sudeep) is shifting to a new place with his wife (Amrutha Khanvilkar), kids and the servant. The kids are enjoying the new place, near the beach which is surrounded by a lonely place having dense forest. They reaches the pace and the daughter finds a doll, takes it to the house. There begins the terror and some incidents happened later as Madhu's (black magic woman) ghost appears to take revenge on the family. Rajiv's sister and her husband reaches there on a visit. At one st
age, the spirit enters the body of Rajiv's wife, telling that she will destroy all those who are lovable to him. Rajiv's friend, the gardener and a person who did the witchcraft proceedings were killed and now the ghost has entered the house, planning to kill the members one by one. What happens to the family is shown in the later portions.

What ever
ingredients necessary for a horror film, has been created here also by the new director. The choosing of such a house, lonely beach, forest, doll etc adds the mood. The situations chosen here are also good enough to make us scary, like the movement of doll and appearance of spirit at night. The scenes leading to the climax, where a bulk of incidents happening, is a good one. The steady cam shot, showing the interiors of house at the beginning is lengthy. Rajiv's sister role has been created to expose glamour only. The ending of the film is incomplete and is also not an acceptable one, gives us a feeling that the team behind doesn't wants to 'kill the duck laying golden egg'. Even in the absence of a commercial success, films like this have got the background helpful to create any number of sequels.

Sudeep, kannada actor, who acted in films like 'Rann' and 'Phoonk' did a nice job. Amrutha Khanvilkar, who did his wife's role has also done ehre part well. The cinematography by Charles Meher is extra ordinary. Dharam - Sandeep gave an excellent background score.

'Phoonk 2' has got some situations that can surely make you scary, if you watch it in a good theater with the 'state of the art' audio-visual facilities. A hard core fan of horror films can try it for such scenes only. The fact is that lack of a neat screenplay has pulled back the project from being a big success.

Rating : 6.5 / 10

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

Medium : English
Starring : Robert Downey Jn, Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
Director : Guy Ritchie
Music : Hans Zimmer

I am not an active reader of English books, but due to my key interest in detective subje
cts, as anybody, I have gone through a few stories of Sherlock Holmes. The famous detective character and his stories, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the 18th century, is always a reference for any person in the movie industry, while creating investigative subjects also. Holmes is notable for finding a solution for extreme difficult cases through his key observation and sensible forensic skills. His companion, Dr.Watson is an important character in such stories.

Now, Holmes is once again in the news, as a movie has been made on such a character, the name being 'Sherlock Holmes'. Robert Downey Jn, who did the 'Iron Man' series, is coming in the title character and Jude Law is being placed as Dr.Watson. It is directed by Guy Ritchie. Though, I heard that many films have been made by placing Holmes as the central character, this is the first time I am getting a chance to watch one of them.

The film opens by showing Holmes helping the police to capture the black magician, Lord Blackwood. When found guilty, the latter one is hanged to death. After few days, it was found that the particular person is alive and he is planning to emerge as the biggest power, with the help of black magic techniques. He is seeking the company of few members from the parliament, for this purpose. Holmes is conducting investigation and he finds the cause of deaths happened in between and its connection with the particular case. In the climax, the truth is being found after Holmes giving explanations for each and every incidents happened in the case.

As the story happens i
n the old Britain, the director had succeeded in recreating such an atmosphere, with the help of the art department, costumes and the visual effects sequences, (few problems happened in the fights sequences at end can be omitted). The cinematography and the background score are the other notable areas. Our impression regarding the central character, Sherlock Holmes, will be lost once the movie started rolling. In my mind, Homes is a serious person, who uses his brain to solve the cases. Here the director had given some heroism to this character, as a result he is acrobatic and he even fights against the villains using his own techniques. Anyway, it is the creator's liberty to mold a fictional character, but sometimes that can have an adverse effect on the audiences. A personal complaint, the creators should have used cinema scope lenses to make the film, I prefer full screen in place of the 20% dark spaces left on either side of the visuals.

The movie 'Sherlock Holmes' is not a genuine portrait of its literary work. But, you can watch it as an investigation subject with a different treatment, where the suspense is revealed scientifically.

Rating : 7 / 10

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

T.D.Daasan Std 6B

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Master Alexander, Tina Rose, Biju Menon, Jagadeesh, Suresh Krishna, Swetha Menon, Shruthi Menon

Director : Mohan Raghavan

Music : Sreevalsan.J.Menon

After a wasted week (by watching
some extremely poor films), I had decided to watch 'T.D.Daasan Std 6B' and that too without any anticipation. Other than the title, nothing attracted me in this project as the writer-director is also not a familiar name in the field. Hence, it was not a shocking sight also to see 5-10 persons to watch the particular film for the evening show in the capital city.

Nandan (Biju Menon) is an Ad film maker, living in Bangalore with his daughter (Tina Rose) and her care taker Madhavan (Jagadeesh). One day, a letter reaches the house, addressing the person who lived there before. It came from T.D.Daasan (Master Alexander), who lives in Paalakkad with his mother (Swetha Menon), who works in a match stick factory. He wrote the letter to
his father who left them years ago, due to family problems. Nandan had asked Madhavan to find out the addressee and to deliver the letter. It didn't happened. Later, the daughter found the letter from the waste bin and when another letter arrived, she decided to write a reply to Daasan as if written by latter's father. Daasan is excited when he got the reply. Without informing his mother, he continued the process. One day, Madhavan found all the letters and informed Nandan about this. Now it became a serious issue and what happens to Daasan, Nandan's daughter etc are shown in the later portions.

The theme of 'T.D.Daasan Std 6B' has got the flavor of some Iranian and
Korean films, which is a new style adapted here. The neat blend of the city and village lives are done here by Mohan Raghavan, the creator of the movie. In the middle, director had used a new technique of story telling when Nandan and his companions discussing about the script of their new project. The use of 35mm and cinema scope lenses to differentiate the scenes are good. The scenes inside the school, quarreling between the students, grand mother's affection towards the boy, the aggressive nature of the mother etc are some of the realistic situations that are missing in the current arena of mollywood.

The director had tried his level best to create a Bangalore atmosphere in our state. He shot the outdoor portions of the city as it is and the visuals involving Nandan's house and the street has been done in Cochin, without any errors (the place written on the school bus as 'Coramangala' instead of the real 'Koramangala' in Bangalore, was an easy method to find out the cheating!). More participation involving the locals should have been done, but in whole, the outcome is good. The scene in which the girl and her cousin (Shruthi Menon) watching tv, by surfing through different channels, felt realistic, but when Daasan and her mother is shown in the human chain in a channel, it felt a created thing. In a scene showing the street protest against the multinational company, it is written 'cola' as it is, which should have been avoided. I think the distributors of the films had also failed to give the promotions and publicity required for the movie.

The back ground score by Sreevalsan J Menon is excellent and it helped to create the serious mood. The film field should utilize the talent of this person who gave a good female solo, 'venjaamarakkaatte...' and some nice songs in the film 'Lap Top' also. Cinematogra
phy by Arun Varma and Vinod Illampally (2nd unit) are good. Vinod Sukumaran is the editor. The performances of Master Alexander and Tina Rose, that represents the two sides of the coin, are excellent. Biju Menon and Suresh Krishna had done their part well. Swetha Menon, who received the best actress award this year, is also good at her role.

'T.D.Daasan Std 6B' is a bold attempt which should be appreciated. Even after such positive responses, it is too bad to see that a majority is not willing to come to theaters to watch this.

Rating : 7.5 / 10

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Kalabhavan Mani, Ponvannan, Nedumudi Venu, Meera Nandan, Sharanya
Director : Anil.K.Nair

Music : Sharreth

Days before, I saw a big hording containing publicity stills of a new Kala
bhavan Mani movie in which it was written that 'a film directed by Lal Jose's student'. The name of the particular movie was a pleasant one, 'Pullimaan'. The star cast didn't attracted me except for a couple of faces like Ponvannan who did movies like 'Paruthiveeran', 'Anjathey', 'Ayan' etc and Rajendran, former assistant of stunt master Thyagarajan, the bald headed guy who came in the villain role in 'Naan Kadavul'. Rajaratnam, who did movies like 'Chinthamani Kolacase', 'Sound Of Boot', 'Samastha Keralam P.O' etc is the cinematographer. This musical subject has got Sharreth as the composer. On the second day of it's release, with less than 10% of the theater attendance, I watched it. The name of the new director is Anil.K.Nair.

Kunjunni (Kalabhavan Mani) is an orphan who is loved by every one in the village. He is the sole singer of the native, who lives in the river side. Kaalan (Ponvannan) is a bad guy in the locality. Kunjunni is attracted by a girl (Meera Nandan) who belongs to the street singers [nadodikal] group. When Kaalan got interested in the girl, Kunjunni begged him by saying that she is his lover and the former had leave her. In the middle, a fight between a local group (Mahendran and Sreejith Ravi) and Kaalan is shown a couple of times and the latter won the game in every sessions. When the villagers decided to arrange marriage of Kunjunni with the girl, it was opposed by the girl's father; later when Kaalan beats the father, he gave a positive signal. One day a family (Sivaji Guruvayur and Sharanya), reaches the village claiming that Kunjunni is their son. They tells the reason behind the missing of their son in his childhood. Anyway, Kunjunni stayed back in the village, with the blessings of his parents.

Pointing out a few from the majority of negatives happened. The director should answer the relevance of showing the opening scene in which the villain committing the murder in a rainy night. All the babies in the village crying and waitin
g to sleep by hearing a song from Kunjunni, is a childish and unprofessional situation (the whole scene has got the crying sound of babies as the bg sound). It looks like the director want to repeat such a situation from old tamil hits like 'Vaidehi Kaathirunthaal' and 'Chinna Thambi'. The lullaby song placed there, 'thanthaanalelo paattu...' that repeats 2-3 times in the film is a below average one. The situations in the tea shop and the river side where the locals (Sudheesh, Kochu Preman, Geedha Salaam, Mukundan, T.S.Raju, Manikandan etc) discussing issues and cracking jocks is not an attractive sight. The placement of a song for which the drama and gramolsavam situations comes and the whole villagers dancing is good enough to elaborate the film length only. Where does the bg music came for the heroine and her sisters to dance in front of the crowd to sell their products, will be an unanswered question. The reason for the hero's mother to identify the song is not known, her affection or familiarity with the particular song is not shown in the flashback. The lengthy fight between the villain and some other persons and that too in the absence of hero, is an unacceptable thing. The situation at night in which the villagers becomes sentimental due to the problem happened in hero's marriage, leading to the song by the old man, is a horrible one. In the beginning song, voice of Vineeth Sreenivasan doesn't suits Kalabhavan Mani (thanx to A.R.Rahman for introducing such a trend!) and the dubbing of Anandavalli for Sharanya's flashback scenes are not suited well. Like this, the list is endless...

'Mallippo mallippoo...' song is the only good one in the list. Bg score by Sharreth is ok. Gimmicks shown in some of the visuals has been done well by Priyadarshan and K.V.Aanand in 'Thenmaavin Kombath', years before.

It is a fa
ct that other than 'Vasanthiyum Laksmiyum Pinne Njaanum', 'Karumaadikkuttan' and 'Ben Johnson', Kalabhavan Mani does not have any other hero oriented films as hits, in the last 10-12 years. I read some where, Mani saying that the lack of good publicity and promotions as the reason for the failure of his projects. An extra amount spend to promote "horrible" movies like 'Pullimaan' should not be happened at any cost, the distributors knows it well...

I wonder, how a senseless and stupid movie like 'Pullimaan', got around 40 theaters to release. Instead of banning the release of other language movies, the film-fraternity should seriously think about this. The debutant director Anil.K.Nair has complemented his "guru" Lal Jose a lot, by making such a 'product'...!!!

Rating : 1.5 / 10

Thambikku Intha Ooru

Medium : Tamil
Starring : Bharath, Prabhu, Vivek, Ranjith, Sana Khan, Madalsa Sharma
Director : Bhadri
Music : Dharan

Being introduced by director Shankar in 'Boys', young actor Bharath has been grown through films like 'For the People', 'Kaathal', 'Chellame', 'Veyil', 'Nepali', 'Kandein Kaathale' etc. Though he had got man
y flops in the middle, on occassions he had given some notable films also. Now his new film has got the title of an old hit from Rajnikanth, 'Thambikku Intha Ooru'. It is directed by Bhadri, a former associate to directtor Sundar.C and had given his debut film 'Veeraappu' (remake of malayalam super hit, 'Sphadikam'). Sana Khan, who acted with Silambarasan in 'Silambattom' is the heroine. Dharan, who gave a couple of good numbers in Bhagyaraj's film 'Paarijaatham', is the music director.

Akhil (Bharath) is the son of a big business man family (Nizhalgal Ravi-Yuvarani) in Singapore. When his marriage is fixed with their family friend's daughter (Madalsa Sharma), he refuses and reveals the story of his love m
atters with Divya (Sana Khan), an international squash champion. Being irritated at this, their family friend bursts out, telling that Akhil is an adopted son. Now Akhil and his friend (Vivek) reaches Chenkalppet in search of his real father. When reached there, he found Divya, daughter of Thirumalai (Ranjith), is attacked by the local don Kumaraswamy's (Prabhu) people. Akhil saves Divya from them through a fight. Kumaraswamy came to know that Akhil is the son of the person who worked with his long years back and left the place after cheating him. Now when gets a chance he wants to take revenge on Akhil's father. In the mean while, Akhil collects details regarding his original father and the real villain behind all the incidents happened in the past.

The story of 'Thambikku Intha Ooru' has been told a 1000 times before, right f
rom the MGR-Sivaji periods. The way in which the hero trying to win the hearts of his lover by coming in the Sikh outfits, is also a repetitive thing. In the beginning scenes of the second half, more attention has been gone to the humor episode created by M.S.Bhaskar, a deviation from the real story. The fight scenes directed by Dalapathi Dinesh is not the very best, as the floor beds and cushions are evident in many shots. The hero, being beaten to the maximum level and then rouses against the villain is also an old masala formula. Vivek's comedy is not the special one here. The imitation of the 'Dasavatharam' CBI officer is good, but it should have been done in a more professional way. The way in which the hero chasing the stranger lady's husband and his gang is a cinematic thing to promote the style of the foreign fight master.

Saalai Sahadevan's camera work is colorful. Bharath is good and has done well in dance and fight sequences. Music director Dharan has given some fast numbers for the mood. Bg score by Praveen Mani is good.

No need to try your luck on 'Thambikku Intha Ooru'. It has got a very old theme presented in the new way only.

Rating : 4.5 / 10

Friday, April 16, 2010

Paappi Appacha

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Dileep, Innocent, Asokan, Suresh Krishna, Kavya Madhavan

Director : Mammaas

Music : Vidyasagar

An actor has to face some ups and downs in his film career, this is a phenomenon that happens irrespective of the language. In malayalam, Dileep is traveling through such a tough time these days. In the last 4-
5 years, majority of his films were not doing well. Though 'Vinodayathra', 'Twenty 20' and 'Passenger' were super hits, he cannot forget the worst performance of 'Don', 'Pachakkuthira', 'Romeo', 'July 4', 'Chakkaramuthu', 'Crazy Gopalan', 'Mulla', 'Colors', 'Moss and Cat', 'Swantham Lekhakan' etc in the box office. In between, he has done some notable films like 'Calcutta News' and 'Kerala Cafe' which were also not commercial hits. His previous films like 'Body Guard' and 'Aagathan' had got average running only in theaters.

Now Dileep has acted under new writer-director Mammaas for the film named 'Paappi Appacha' (title borrowed from the first line of the old hit song from the film 'Mayilaadumkunnu').
Innocent is doing an important title character here. This film is also the come back film for Kavya Madhavan after a gap. Dileep's brother Anoop has produced the film.

We have got few examples of films discussing the theme of intimacy in father-son relationships like 'Orkkappurathu', 'Oru Painkilikkadha', 'Veendum Chila Veettu Kaaryangal', 'Manassinakkare', 'Ishtam', 'Thommanum Makkalum' etc. 'Paappi Appacha' has got a similar subject in which Dileep and Innocent doing the characters of Paappi and Appachan respectively. They belong to a rich family in the village that own a factory, school, fina
nce company etc. At one stage, they put their factory on fire to cheat the insurance company. Paappi loves the school teacher (Kavya Madhavan), but she is not interested in him. She won the panchayat election with Paappi being the opponent candidate. He tried to block the arrangements of the teacher's marriage which in turn caused a break in relationship between the father and the son. A local rich guy (Asokan) now reaches for the father's support and some others (Suresh Krishna) also tried to take advantage of the present situation and how Paappi manage to face the problems is shown in the film.

The introduction scene of the father and son where both urinating through the window, is a childish one. Dharmajan, who is notable through Bluffmasters show in Asianet comes as the companion for Dileep, he is unfit for such a role. As the hero is shown as a lazy and un ambitious person, there is no relevence in the scene where he sees the teacher'
s face every mornings to improve his luck. Asokan, as the rich guy is a comic character that cannot creates a single laughing. The relationship between the father and son is affected in the very next scene where the teacher warns the former by predicting that such things will happen; such a small gap between scenes shows the non professionalism of the new director. The hatred of the heroine, later turning into love is shown many times before. The stability in the portions where son trying to take revenge on the father is affected a lot, sometimes it is treated lightly and sometimes it is serious. By incorporating double meaning dialogues and shots, the director had made the whole environment polluted. The flashback scenes shown in the 2d animation is a good thing, but in some areas the sound and picture length sink has been affected.

The usage of title credits in special malayalam terms is a variety style. 'Stun' Siva, the action director w
ho is notable through films like 'Vettayadu Vilayadu'(T), 'Pachaikkili Muthuchiram'(T), 'Gajini'(H) etc has given some fast action scenes. The bg score by Vidyasagar is good and the remake 'paappi appacha...' song will also be a remembered one as the catchy lines are already there in the minds of the audiences. Cinematographer Sanjeev Shanker and editor VT Sreejith didn't implement any new techniques to overcome the dull shots, wasted comedies and ordinary presentation happened from the side of the new writer-director for this lengthy film.

The title 'Paappi Appacha' is an attractive one, but the content won't give you such a happiness as you expect.

Rating : 5 / 10

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Clash of the Titans (3D)

Medium : English
Starring : Sam Worthingdon, Liam Neeson, Mads Mikkelson

Director : Louis Leterrier

Music : Ramin Djawadi

The delighted feel happened during the 3D experience of Hollywood hit 'Avatar' has
still not gone, now after a gap of 3-4months, another film has been released in the 3D. Being in the capital city, we are lucky enough to watch the 3D version of Hollywood films that is releasing in selected theaters only, all over the country. The new film named 'Clash of the Titans', is a remake of the film with the same name happened in the early 80's. Louis Leterrier, the director of two films from the 'Transporter' series, 'Incredible Hulk' etc; has directed the movie. Sam Worthingdon, who came in a lead character in 'Avatar', 'Terminator Salvation' etc; is doing the hero role in 'Clash of the Titans', which is a based on few excerpts from the greek mythology.

The hero Perseus (Sam Worthingdon) is shown as the adopted son of a fisherman. They happened to see, a group of soldiers destroying
the huge statue of Zeus, king of Gods and thus declaring the war against them. The fall of the statue caused a violent atmosphere in the sea and the hero's family were destroyed in it. He is being taken by the soldiers and later, he wants to take the revenge for the death of his father. During the mission, the warriors group had to face many hurdles on the way. They came to know that Perseus had got some super powers. During the complex journey into the forbidden worlds, they faced some unholy demons, giant creatures and beasts. The hero will survive only if he can accept his power as a god and how he saves the land by acting against the negative powers is shown here.

'Clash of the Titans' is one such English film which is not an easily understandable one, due to the complexity in its theme (it may be my personal opinion). While the 3D experience in 'Avatar' was astonishing, here you don't have such a visual treat. The 3D glasses, that forms an extra dark layer has affected the whole output and as a result of the darker shades, you will be forced to remove the glasses on few occasions due to the deficiency of average brightness in the visuals. The big scorpions created in CG, doesn't look realistic and the warriors traveling inside them has got a robot feel and the whole scenes are not created professionally. The giant sea monster towards the climax is not created in the best way. Majority of the scenes happening in the sets can also be the reason for the absence of a realistic feel.

James Cameroon won the audience' hearts by selecting a simple story like 'Avatar' and presenting it in a beautiful greenish background, but that wont' happens in the case of 'Clash of the Titans' as the story itself is a complicated one and the environment chosen for telling it is dull. The comparisons are done, as both the films are released in the 3D versions.

'Clash of the Titans' is not a promotable one. Those who have missed 'Avatar' in 3D, please don't complaint that what is special in a 3D version, by watching this film !

Rating : 5.5 / 10

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Medium : Hindi
Starring : Vivek Oberoi, Sanjay Kapoor, Dileep Tahil, Isaiah, Nandana Sen, Neeru Singh

Director : Kookie Gulati

Music : Sachin Gupta, Sandeep Shirodkar (bg score)

Other than big corporate companies, bolly
wood films is being produced by music companies also. Tips is one such banner which has produced films like 'Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani', 'Kismat Connection' and 'Race' recently. Their latest production is 'Prince', done by Vivek Oberoi. He is here after doing an important character in 'Kurbaan'. The film is directed by debutant Kookie Gulati, who worked with directors like Priyadarshan and Indrakumar before. Shiraz Ahmed, who wrote the suspense thriller 'Race', penned the script for 'Prince'.

The film starts by showing the robbery of diamonds by Prince (Vivek Oberoi) and his gang in hollywood style. The central secret service (lead by Dileep Tahil) and the CBI team (lead by Sanjay Kapoor) are searching for him. He is in
South Africa now. One day, when he woke up in the morning, he has got a bullet injury in his hand and he even lost his memories. He even forgot his name and the incidents associated with him in the past few days. He came to know later that he used to work for Sarang (Isaiah). Sarang and his team wants the rare and precious coin, which is in the hands of Prince. At this time, his girl friend Maya (Nandana Sen) also reaches there. They found that Sarang is the reason for the temporary memory lose by Prince. The later portions of the film shows, Sarang and his gang's desperate attempt to collect the coin and Prince trying to destroy the enemy gang.

Many situations here resembles a James Bond movie. The visual effects (by Tata Elxsi) and fights (by Allan Amin) sequences are done well. Cinematography by Vishnu Rao is colorful and rich. The peppy background score by Sandeep Shirodkar matches the mood for the film, but the fast songs by Sachin Gupta are not catchy ones, though they are suited for item numbers.

The way in which the hero jumping from buildings to buildings, mountains to mountains and that too in a bike with his lover in back seat, felt too unrealistic. The hero is shown jumping from a fly over to another vehicle and the heroine jumping from helicopter to ground, the climax scene in which hero acts like a spider man are all examples of cinematic things. We can't agree the genuineness of the scene in which the hero's memories are shown on a TV screen in which the clips are taken from the visuals of the film itself. The performance of Sarang, who comes in the villain role is not a professional one. The heroines in the film are also not the above average ones. Vivek Oberoi, in the title role is stylish, but his performance can't be rated as the best one.

'Prince' is a technically brilliant action film filled with many unrealistic situations and performances.

Rating : 5.5 / 10


Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Suresh Gopi, Jagathi, Swetha Menon, Swetha Vijay, Rekha

Director : Sasi Paravoor

Music : M.Jayachandran, Johnson (bg score)

I didn't get a chance to watch films like 'Kaatu Vannu Vilichappol' and 'Nottam'. Though those two films were not that big to be promoted, the second one caught at
tention due to the placement of 'pachappanam thathe...' song in it. Now the director of the particular films, Sasi Pravaoor had come up with a new project named 'Kadaaksham'. The film is in the news due to the inclusion of a remake song, 'praananaathan enikku nalkiya...' by Irayamman Thampi. More over, this film got the award for the best story in the state awards announced recently. The first scene of the film itself gave a clear picture on the "standard" of the film and its director.

Fed up by the outcome, I am not taking an effort to recollect the character names here, so quoting the artists as it is...
The protagonist Swetha Vijay works as a servant in the house where Suresh Gopi, his wife Swetha Menon and their daughter lives. She has to face many mental and physical tortures from many peoples. She is always doubtful by the behavior of peoples around him. The sales man in the shop, the jeep driver, the old man in the house, the servant and the house owner himself became the culprits by trying to molest her in different situations. Her husband (Jagathi) is a drama artist. He is a drunken man always and one stage he even tried to send her daughter forcibly to act in the film, even after she resisted it. Thus to save her daughter from her husband, she sends her to Bangalore for a job. At this time, Swetha Menon leaves to London. The servant takes care of their daughter. At one stage, she leaves the house to Bangalore to bring her daughter back, pretending that she is not safe there. After months, Suresh's wife reached native, they both went to their servant's house, met her husband and the real truth behind her life is revealed.

'Kadaaksham' is a hopeless and intolerable movie, due to its unprofessional presentation and the worst performance by the debutant Swetha Vijay, who did the lead role in the film. Her body language is too awkward and acting is unrealistic. Her running shots (used any times in the movie) resembles the 10 foot taller characters like "Naavi" in the film 'Avataar'. The tall girl is not suited for such a role (may be she will be good in modern outfits, but for a servant character she is a wrong choice). Her lip movements are also not stable and she acts looking here and there. I still can't understand, without doing proper dress rehearsals, how can she be placed in an important character like this, the director should answer this.

The drama scenes featuring Jagathi is too lengthy and will make us restless. The song and its visuals featuring the drama artists are not good. The relationship between Suresh Gopi and Swetha Menon is not portrayed properly. The director had unnecessarily incorporated the romantic bed room scenes by them, it gives a wrong message and might be useful only to a
ttract a few more people to theaters. Another black mark in the movie is the background score used, which should be the back bone for such kind of movies. The experienced music director in the field, Johnson had given a childish and amateur music which had polluted the whole environment. The remake song by M.Jayachandran-Chitra is not good enough to be compared with the old one with Devarajan-Madhuri.

The only positive in the film is the situation happened in the last 5-10 minutes, where the whole story happened so far is shown in a reverse way, all of them being imagination by the central character (a resemblance with the film 'Bhoothakkannaadi').

'Kadaaksham' has got a presentable story outline; if it is done neatly by placing a professional artist as the central character, then the output would have been better and a promotable one.

Rating : 2.5 / 10

Friday, April 9, 2010


Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Biju Menon, Ranjit Menon, Kaveri, Jyothirmayi

Director : N.R.Sanjeev

Music : M.Jayachandran, Rajamani (bg score)

After films like 'Pakal Nakshatrangal' and 'Twenty 20',
two stars Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi decided to act together once again in the new project named 'Janakan'. The success of films like 'To Harihar Nagar', 'Robinhood', 'Happy Husbands', Inn Ghost House Inn' etc proves that this is the correct time to launch another multi star project. In addition to this, the main back bone for this film is none other than S.N.Swamy, who is the master brain behind maximum crime thrillers. His previous work, 'Rahasya Police' with Jayaram and K.Madhu was not a hit. 'Janakan' is directed by debutant N.R.Sanjeev (formerly Saji Paravoor), who has once associated with K.Madhu (in 'Sethuramayyar CBI) and Suresh Krishnan (in 'Achaneyanenikkistam'). The film is distributed by Maax Lab.

The film opens by showing the police party searching for Viswam (Suresh Gopi) a
nd his two friends (Biju Menon and Harisree Asokan), who got convicted in murder incidents. Escaping from the police, they reach the house of a criminal lawyer, Sooryanarayanan (Mohanlal). Viswam tells his story and what all happened these days that lead to their present situation. By this time police reaches Soorya's house, but they were not able to catch them. In the morning, a big police force reached there and how Soorya handles the situation is shown in the end portions of 'Janakan'. The first few scenes, showing the police searching itself is lagging. The minister's son in the car escaping from the police is not created professionally, the continuity in ACP Vijayakumar's character is also a problem in the particular scene. The scene in which Viswam roaring in front of the minister is good, but the director had made it amateurish by showing it in different shots at a time. The tamil actor Sambath, who has not done any lengthy roles so far, is given an important villain role here. He is apt for the role, but the problem happened is in his flexibility which he managed a lot by using dubbing artist Shobi Thilakan's voice. The introduction shots of the DJ character is also not done in the best way. The way in which Vijayakumar fixing his cap felt un realistic most of the time. The cracking of joke towards the end by Harisree Asokan's character in such a mood should have been avoided. The climax shot in the film was unnecessary and it created a negative impact on the whole film also.

The new director, N.R.Sanjeev who came to the film field from the mini screen, had presented the film in an ordinary way only. In an investigative film like this you need more speed in the story telling, some gimmicks in the visuals and the fast cuts also required. In that way, cameraman Sanjeev Shankar and editor G.Murali did not gave an extra ordinary output. Years before, S.N.Swamy wrote a film for K.Madhu-Suresh Gopi named 'Nariman', the motive of the central character there was to expose the wrong function of the judiciary body. Through 'Janakan' also, the script writer had tried to say something which is related to the previous theme. He has made his job easier by creating (deliberately) the minister's son and police officer's daughter as friends for the central girl character which helped him for doing such a climax. You can't have any big suspense here, which you will usually witness in films like this. Here everything is straight, with a (demanded) twist in the climax. The theme of 'Janakan' is having some coincidences with Suresh Gopi-Pasupathi film 'Vairam'.

The main attraction in the film is Mohanlal. It is he who make the film lively, with his excellent performance. Suresh Gopi also gave a good support with his controlled acting.

No need to expect much from a film like 'Janakan', but the theme is a socially related one, which has been in the news in the recent past. More over, you will also be lucky to see the two superstars coming in ordinary roles after a gap.

Rating : 6.5 / 10

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Medium : Tamil
Starring : Karthi, Thamanna, Milind Soman
Director : Lingusamy
Music : Yuvan Shankar Raja

Karthi, younger brother of actor Soorya, has done the lead role in 'Piyya', after films like 'Paruthiveeran' and 'Aayirathil Oruvan'. So, this is the first modern youthful role for
the hero. Thamanna, who acted in films like 'Kalloori', 'Ayan', 'Padikkathavan', 'Kandein Kathale' etc has acted opposite him. She will rise as a successful heroine in the south, with films like 'Thillalangadi' with Jayam Ravi, 'Sura' with Vijay also has to be released soon. After 'Pachaikkili Muthuchiram', once again Mumbai model Milind Soman comes to the south for doing a special role here. After giving films like 'Aanandam', 'Run', 'Sandaikkozhi', 'Ji' and 'Bheema', Director Lingusamy has come up with this new project. It is produced by Thirupathi Brothers (director's brothers) and distributed by Dayanidhi Azhagiri under the banner Cloud Nine, after giving the super hit film 'Thamizhppadam'. The younger representative from the 'Raja' family, Yuvan Shankar Raja, who worked with the same director for 'Sandaikkozhi', is the music director in 'Paiyya'.

Shiva (Kart
hi) searching job in Bangalore. There he sees Chaaru (Thamanna), happens 'love at first sight'. On one such occasion, he even left the office without attending an interview, when he saw her passing by that way. One day, while waiting for her friend with the car in the railway station, she and his uncle came, asking for a trip to Chennai by misunderstanding him as a taxi driver; seeing the girl he agrees. On the way, when the uncle got down at petrol bunk, she requested him to take her alone. She asked him to take her to Mumbai. She told the reason why a gang is following her. On the contrast, another group from Mumbai is in search of the hero. They found him on the way, but he got succeeded in winning them physically. Shiva's flashback is shown in the second half. During the journey, Shiva and Chaaru became close to each other. Finally they reaches the destination and what happens to their relationship is shown in the climax of 'Paiyya'.

The way in which the hero seeing
the heroine in many places in the beginning, is a cliche. After being departed, once again hero finds her standing in the street in the later portion, is a cinematic coincidence. The scene in which painting is done on the car to save from the villain gangs should have been done on a more realistic way. In the climax fight, villain hitting the hero to the maximum and then hero arises from that position, has happened in Indian films unlimited number of times. Karthi is not flexible in the songs and dancing sequences; he needs more practice in such an area. A couple of songs in the post interval area happens in short intervals, which can make few audiences restless.

Hope you remember the thrilling action sequences in 'Run' composed by the debutant Peter Hain; this time director has asked Peter's guru Kanal Kannan, an experienced one in the field, to repeat the same thrilling effect on the action sequences. As expected the output is extra ordinary, the best of this kind we have seen in the recent past. Almost all the songs by Yuvan Shan
kar Raja are good and his background score is excellent to give a good pace. This is cinematographer Madhi's best work after doing films like 'Veyil', 'Nepali' and 'Silambattom'. He gave some colorful visuals, most of the scenes inside the car (tough task for a person behind the camera) are portrayed well. The most expensive editor in the south, Anthony, gave a good support in 'Paiyya' with his fast cuts. After the big flop 'Bheema', though there are some hurdles here and there in this story and its presentation, director Lingusamy can relax to a certain extend, by giving a road movie like 'Paiyya'.

'Paiyya' is a time pass movie, mixed with romance, good songs and excellent action scenes. No need to rethink on the logic in its theme, you can watch it once.

Rating : 7.5 / 10

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Jagadeesh, Sidhiq, Biju Menon, Nayana
Director : Viji Thampy

Music : M.Jayachandran

I had seen a new movie released on the Fools day; with half of the theater capacity only being filled and among them, many left at the interval portion also, the name of the movie is 'April Fool'. Jagadeesh and Sidhi
q played the lead roles here. In these days, when 'In Ghost House Inn' running successfully, these two actors once again joined hands with Asokan (2 scenes), Mukesh and Lal (both came in a scene only). The film is directed by 25+ films older director, Viji Thampy. He is one among the few technicians who came to the field in the second half of 80's, still not getting the chance to direct Mohanlal. His last few films like 'Chemistry', 'Nammal Thammil', 'Krithyam', 'Bada Dosth' etc were big flops. Actor Jagadeesh, who is the writer of films like 'Love Story', 'Oru Muthassikkadha' and 'Adhipan' has written the script for 'April Fool'.

Though I will be watching all the films, Jagadeesh's name as the script writer, gave a little anxiety as far as this project is concerned. In the second scene itself, i smelled something unusual and got into the assumption that 'April Fool' is the carbon copy of 'Bheja Fry', a hindi film released almost 3years before. The lead role done there by Vinay P
athak and Rajat Kapoor were simple but excellent and the film, targeting multiplex audience was a super hit one also. Anyway, I lost the faith at that moment as I was damn sure that the performance of Jagadeesh is not going to be anywhere near Vinay Pathak, who did the lead role there and Viji Thampy can't present the film like Sagar Bellary did.

Krishnanunni (Jagadeesh), who works in the Income tax department reaches the music company
owner's (Sidhiq) house as per invitation from him. The latter one wants a fool for the peculiar type of party, conducted every week in their club. This time, they have selected Krishnanunni, without informing him about this cruel game. He is an innocent guy, who is a music lover also. He is offered a chance to sing in an album by the rich man. Thus he reached the latter's apartment on a friday evening. What happens to the party, whether Krishnanunni is able to entertain all with his foolishness is shown in the later portions.

Jagadeesh, in the lead role is over acti
ng all the time. The way in which he renders different songs for each and every situations, will be helpful to lose your temper. His habit of showing the album is another area that make you restless. The scene in which Sidhiq ordering the food through the phone is too lengthy and un professional. The two songs in the film is presented in a amateurish and below average way, among them 'sundariyam soumini...' song should have been popular if it has been given to the hands of some high school students to shoot. Sidhiq, who is the music company owner, asks the mixing engineer/music director to cut down the sound through actions in the song; it shows that the creators don't know anything in such an area and they under estimates the audiences by showing those foolishness shots. The scene in which Jagadeesh watching cricket also felt unnatural. Nayana, who comes as Sidhiq's wife is struggling for presenting dialogues, their relationship is also not neatly presented. The apartment's indoor, where more than 90% of the film happens, is incorporated with lengthy shots and amateur comedy situations.

M.Jayachandran's bg score is dominated by bg sounds, as they are given as if to match the comedy situations here. Sanjee
v Shankar is the cinematographer.

Remaking a subject is a good idea, but you should also be aware whether the situation in the original one matches with the current version also (watch 'Bheja Fry' in dvds available, for such a comparison). Mammootty's next film has to be directed by Jagadeesh; before starting the project, the former one should think twice and "request" the latter to homework well...

No one was able to fool me till evening 6pm on April 1st, but Viji Thampy and Jagadeesh team succeeded there after by showing their product named 'April Fool'.

Rating : 2.5 /10