Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kanakavel Kaakka

Medium : Tamil
Starring : Karan, Haripriya, Kota Sreenivasa Rao, Sampath, Anil Adityan
Director : Kavin Baala

Music : Vijay Antony

Actor Karan came to the industry in his childhood days (as Master Raghu) in the early 80's through the malayalam movie 'Ina' by I.V.Sasi. After doing hero oriented roles in many movies (even in some b-grade ones also), he reached tamil as a villain in the 90's through K.S.Sethumadhavan's 'Nammavar', opposite Kamalhassan. He
continued doing negative characters and was also spotted in many supporting roles also. In the last 5 years, he has become a hero and as his movies like 'Kokki' and 'Karuppusaamy Kuthaigathaarar' did well at the box office, producers have started running after him. Karan's new movie 'Kanakavel Kaakka' is written and directed by debutant Kavin Baala. New face Haripriya is the heroine. 'Vettaikkaaran' fame Vijay Antony is the music director.

Kanakavel (Karan) is a government servant working in the high court. In the beginning, he is shown aiming the gun to kill the minister (Kota Sreenivasa Rao) at a public function. It ended in a failur
e and the police officer (Anil Adityan), who is in charge of the investigation, finds the machine gun from the spot. Kanakavel is targeting the rich men who are committing crimes and got freed by the court, as per loop holes in the law. Sandhya (Haripriya), who came across Kanakavel, a couple of times, likes his attitude and started loving him. But he was not having time for romance. At one moment, he tells her the reason for the revenge. Whether the police is successful in catching him before that is shown in the action packed climax of 'Kanakavel Kaakka'.

The story of this movie is a mix masala of many movies in the 80's (like 'Naan Sivappu Manithan'), 'Ramana' and director Shankar's 'Gentleman', 'Indian', 'Anniyan' etc. Karan is ok for the role, but his dance sequences with the heroine sometimes stands odd. As every heroine in commercial movies, Haripriya is also placed for the dance numbers. Kota Sreenivasa Rao has done well with his experience. Sampath and Anil Adityan are also good. Vaiyapuri, as the ministers PA is over acting most of the time. Songs by Vijay Antony are not the best and it comes in unnecessary occasions. His bg score reminds of 'Anniyan', at times. The visuals of the songs are also very average. Shaji is the cinematographer and Suresh URS is the editor.

The lengthy dialogue at the court in the climax is good as it is adapted from the real world. The visuals in the flash back family song is a repetitive thing only. The new police officer linking the hero's hands with the crime, happens suddenly, which should have been avoided. The climax fight happens in the court, in the absence of police felt a deliberately created situation. The hero wearing a big mustache in the song to hide his identity is an old formula. All the incidents happening at the same court in the presence of same judge, doesn't felt realistic.

We have seen some excellent revenge subjects in tamil before; even after adapted many incidents from that movies, 'Kanakavel Kaakka' doesn't rise up to the real standard.

Rating : 4 / 10


Medium : Hindi
Starring : Sanjay Dutt, Kunal Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Mahesh Manjarekkar, Bipasha Basu
Director : Rahul Dholakia

Music : Mithoon, Sanjay Chowdhary (bg score)

'Parzaania' was a movie that discussed the sensitive issue of Gujarat happened in this decade. Now after three years, the same director has come up with another project, named 'Lamhaa'. Here the topic is also very big, it is about the untold story of Kashmir (the creators projects like that). Sanjay Dutt and Bipasha Basu did the lead roles along with Kunal Kapoor ('Meenakshi : a tale of three cities', 'Aaja Nachle', 'Rangde Basanthi' fame) and Anupam Kher. Movies like 'Nair Saab', 'Roja', 'Mission Kashmir', 'Fiza' etc were told on the backdrop of Kashmir environment. It is the most beautiful place in the world as well as the most dangerous place also (a dialogue from 'Lamhaa' goes like this).

Vikram (Sanjay Dutt) is an intelligence officer who is assigned on a mission to investigate the blast happened recently in Kashmir. A local leader Haaji
(Anupam Kher) is fighting against the government for an independent Kashmir. Aziza (Bipasha Basu) is supporting him in all his activities. Vikram gave her the details of those involved in the bomb blast happened recently. It caused a split between Haaji's family and Aziza. (Kunal Kapoor) wants to fought elections for the welfare of the people of all segments in the area. Vikram came to know that a rally organized by Aatif at the Kashmiri Pandits locality will be targeted and many peoples are going to be killed. Vikram and Aziza tried their best to act against the rally, what happened to the rally is shown in the climax portions of 'Lamhaa'.

Sanjay Dutt did well in the lead role. It is not that much rough, but his character has got the small shades of his own m
ovies like 'Kaante', 'Musaafir', 'Zinda' etc. Bipasha Basu is ok. Kunal Kapoor suits the role, but his dubbing is not matched in certain portions. Anupam Kher's character is a fluctuating one, sometimes positive and on other occasions, he acts as a villain. The identity of Mahesh Manjarekkar's role is unknown.

The director Rahul Dholakia had conveyed through out that like Kashmir other parts of India are also targeted. The hero has to stop the blast at happening at Jammu. At the same time, the militants are recruiting even many children also on the mission, it all ended very ordinarily as the creators didn't gave any importance to the mission episode and its impacts in the climax part. The advantage got through the hype created by showing some serious scenes like the blast in outdoor portions, the political environment, the big gathering at outdoor rally and mosque, the media people and the press conference, the helpless mother searching for the family members, the help done by the hero to the heroine, the child playing with the bullets, the hero remembering the old incidents in the beginning, the attack on the heroine by the women group, the militants reaching through the border in exchange of money etc all disappeared in a moment. Thus it really became the 'untold story of kashmir'.

Cinematography by James Fowlds gave some colorful visuals of the heaven on earth. The shaking frames along with the tight close ups helped to give the real mood (some may complaint that it is a strain for the eyes). Ashmith Kunder is the editor. Sanjay Chowdhary's background score is good. Songs by Mithoon are not needed in such a story and they are not memorable ones also.

'Lamhaa', that shows the incidents happening in and around Kashmir, started with a big expectation, traveled seriously through some emotions, plans and tensions to reach no where in the end...

Rating : 5 / 10


Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Vincenzo Bocciaralli, Mamta Mohandas, Manoj.K.Jayan, Jagathi

Director : Aneesh J.Karinad

Music : S.Jayakumar

The new malayalam movie 'Nirakkaazhcha' has got an English face doing the lead role with Mamta Mohandas. The prom
otion posters describes the venture as 'An Italian love story'. Mamta, being placed in a prominent role and a foreigner coming as the hero, I thought it should be a serious game by the new director Aneesh J.Karinad, as he got cinematographer M.J.Radhakrishnan as the right hand.

The foreigner (Vincenzo Bocciarall) comes here as an assignment on Ravi Varma painting. He saw Shilpa (Mamta Mohandas), a tourism staff at the hotel. He made her as the model for the painting. This was not liked by her fiancee (Manoj.K.Jayan), but she argued with him telling that she is doing this as a part of her profession. Later, the painter and the model started loving each other. She hate him, when she saw his photos with his lover at abroad and it caused a split between two. After one year, the painter reaches here again as a government guest. She is still angry with him. Shilpa's fiancee wants to take revenge by loving the foreigner's sister...(?)

The preparations done by the foreigner and the activities happening at the time of painting, his relationship with the model, the encounter between the girl's fiancee and the painter, the happiness of the father and his acceptance regarding his daughter's new assignment, the visuals in the first song, the dream sequences of the second song featuring an unknown character with the heroine and the english lady, the lady teacher's training in english, the cabinet meeting, the police officer's performance, the 'kalarippayattu' fight between the two, the back ground score by S.Jayakumar etc etc are too poor, childish, amateur, horrible, dirty and senseless; they are suited well for a 3rd grade Adults only movie (Aneesh J.Karinad should give courtesy to the senior directors who took movies in the particular area like K.S.Gopalakrishnan, P.Chandrakumar, Jayadevan, Sajjan, A.T.Joy etc). It is our fate that we have to see Jagathi, Manoj K.Jayan, Suraaj Venjarammood, Kollam Thulasi, Bijukkuttan, Mamta Mohandas, Kalpana, Geetha Vijayan etc participating in those worst moments mentioned above.

I heard Mamta Mohandas saying that her decision to act in a small role in 'Baba Kalyani' was a wrong one; now she should say what provoked her to take this 'big' role, after doing a hit movie like 'Kadha Thudarunnu'. The creators should be given awareness that any foolishness done by misusing the name of Raja Ravi Varma cannot be accepted by a normal person at any cost.

The experienced cinematographer M.J.Radhakrishnan gave some colorful visuals, his extreme boldness to stay behind the lenses for this particular movie should be recommended for the Nobel prize, so as in the case of editor P.C.Mohanan also. Songs by music director S.Jayakumar should have been acceptable to a certain extend if it was placed in some other movie

While taking out the bike, somebody murmured "this is too much, only a malayalee can do this type of movie...!"

With an attendance of about 15, more than 90% including me left during interval time of 'Nirakkaazhcha' show. Any body who feels that the post interval portions were 'excellent', please inform me, so that I can double this rating...

Rating : 0.5 / 10 (it is half only, not five)

Monday, August 30, 2010


Medium : Tamil
Starring : Eshwar, Dhyana, Nasser, Baala Singh, Singam Puli
Director : Whaterman
Music : S.S.Kumaran

Chennai city (previously Madras) has always been a lucky destiny for those who want to be part of the movie industry right from the olden days. In the 90's, the flow density came down when the making of the movies are shifted to Kerala. Even though more and more studios are made here, still we depend on our neighboring state for production purpose. Now, in the last few years, kollywood (tamil industry) has been producing some notable projects and it comes from new actors and technicians. Thus in every week, we are witnessing a new actor or a new director in tamil, most of them are successful also.

'Virunthaali' is a movie belong to the same genre, done by a new director. His name is Whaterman. No chance to hear this name before, but the di
rector is not a new name as far as malayalam movie and album industries are concerned. His original name is Udayashankaran. He was an assistant to director Lohithadas in 'Nivedyam'. He is also the director of the notable albums like 'Chembakame' and 'Mukundamala'. New faces Eshwar and Dhyana did the lead roles in his movie and his co-worker in 'Nivedyam', Sajan Kalathil is the cinematographer.

Eshwar (Eshwar) is a money lender in the village. He is waiting eagerly for the arrival of his father (Nasser), who is in prison. Archana (Dhyana), daughter of the postman (Baala Singh) is a law student also. Her introduction to Eshwar was not a pleasing one, though she doesn't liked him in the beginning, later they started loving each other. Eshwar helped his friend to get married with his lover. The lover's family was preparing to take revenge. At this time, Eshwar's father got released from jail. How he solve his friend's problem, whether he got succeeded in his own love matters etc are shown in the climax.

The movie started by creating much expectations, but it collapsed as it
goes on. Hero Eshwar (like Kamalhassan's appearance in 'Virumaandi) had done his part well, but the financier character is not stable and it doesn't have an attractive look. Heroine's character lacks depth, she is seen in a part time post woman role most of the time. Nasser is good, the reason for his punishment is expressed through few words only. Singam Puli, the comedian companion of the hero is overacting most of the times. Baala Singh did well in his role. The police inspector's role is a cliche. The negative woman character is having a dramatic look. Such an end given to the story felt a deliberate one (hope director want to repeat the magic of movies like 'Kaathal' and 'Paruthiveeran' there). The sequences featuring the postman character is treated touchingly, but the scripting side of the rest of the portions is not having a serious look. Songs by S.S.Kumaran ('Poo', 'Kalavaani' fame) are not the best. Cinematographer Sajan Kalathil gave some colorful visuals, Raja Mohammed is the editor.

Though 'Virunthaali' has got a debut malayalee writer-director, the lack of professionalism in the attempt, pulls be back from promoting it.

Rating : 3.5 / 10

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Medium : English
Starring : Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Monica Bellucci

Director : Jon Turteltaub

Nicolas Cage, the hollywood actor who is popular through movies like 'Face Off', 'Gone In 60 seconds', 'National
Treasure', 'Lord of War', 'Ghost Rider' etc has got his new release 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice'. He has done the different role of a person bearing some super natural powers. He has joined hands with director Jon Turteltaub and Walt Disney Pictures (the same team that gave the hit movie 'National Treasure'), for the new venture. From the promotional stills and trailers, it is understood that 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' is a fantasy subject; naturally there has to be enormous amount of visual effects sequences in it, but the interesting thing was to watch the performance of Nicolas Cage in such an area.

Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a sorcerer (a witchcraft with super natural powers) who is guarding the nation from the evil powers. He finds an youthful guy (Jay Baruchel), a scientific genius who is having the extra potential to help Blake achieve his mission. Thus Blake teaches him the techniques of science and magic with which he can destroy the baddies. The mission has got a lead line that happens almost 1000years before; there you can see the evil power Morgana is being trapped in a doll and in the current period, Horvath (Alfred Molina), the negative sorcerer with magical powers is searching for the doll and to take Morgana out, which will destroy the world. How Blake and his apprentice fights against them is shown in the climax of 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice'.

The story of 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' is simple, as usual here also you have got good
and bad powers. The positive person wants to save the world from the evils. They are fighting each other most of the time with their extreme magical powers. In the end, the victory is for the hero. The romantic portions of the young guy with the radio jockey, resembles an Indian movie environment. It looks like hollywood movies have also started practicing the culture of giving unnatural ends for their movies, the climax shot provoked me to say so. The visual effects shots used in the movie are excellent, the only thing lies in the genuineness of some sequences in this theme. The fighting between the hero and the villain happens even in the middle of a car chase in the busy traffic. Such sequences resembles a video game only. Since both of them are having magical powers to vanish and appear within seconds,the need for chasing and related sequences should be questioned.

Nicolas Cage, in the lead role did well. Alfred Molina as the negative personality, is soft s
poken and had got a pleasing look also. Monica Bellucci didn't have any thing to perform. Jay Baruchel, as the lover guy is ok. Director Jon Tuteltaub had presented the movie simply, without deeply going into the story side in detail in a complicated way, probably he might have targeted the children viewers more for this movie.

To be honest, Unlike from the usual phenomena, I understood each and every english dialogues used in the movie (without the sub titles), it is a different experience for me, a special thanks to the creators for making the dialogues simple.

'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' is yet another fantasy movie from hollywood, made using the extreme visual effects and computer graphics sequences; those who love such subjects can watch it once for a time pass.

Rating : 7 / 10

Friday, August 27, 2010

3 Char Sau Beas

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Govindankutty, Rahul Menon, Anu Anandhan, Deepan, Kalabhavan Mani, Jagathy, Dhanya Mary

Director : Govindankutty

Music : Jassie Gift, Vinu Thomas (bg score)

Usually we are hearing complaints that no new technicians are coming to the field and thus the movie industry is ruled by mostly experienced hands only. But, we can't blindly support such an allegation. The reason is simple. The majority of the new writer-directors are not coming with a stable product, hence the producers can't support them as there is no minimum guarantee in most of their projects. The main problem is that due to those 'unwanted' elements, the arrival of some real talents to the industry will also be blocked.

I have planned to watch the new malayalam movie '3 Char Sau Beas' only due to the reason that it is scripted and directed by a new comer Govindankutty. He is familiar as the compere of a talk show in mini screen. He and other two new faces had acted in lead roles in this movie. As the name and the tag line (there is a thief in every one) suggests, this is the story of three friends who spends their life, doing thefts. Three engineering students Selvan, Rahul and Zulfi (Govindankutty, Rahul Menon, Anu Anandhan) are doing ATM and locker robberies for earning money for their studies. The police commissioner (director Deepan, 'Puthiya Mukham' fame) is investigating the case. They are planning a big robbery in a rich man's (Salim Kumar) house. When they reached there, they found him dead. They escaped to Selvan's native, a village of thieves. His father (Kalabhavan Mani), who is also a thief, always wanted to make his son educated and not to be involved in any illegal business. When he heard the real situation of Selvan, he is shocked and they all returns to city to find the real culprits behind the murder.

The lengthy opening scene (with titles) in which the thief is chased by a foolish police officer (Suraaj Venjarammood) is a boring one, the performance of extra artists being horrible. The scenes featuring drunken Dharmajan at workshop, the friends becoming angry towards the three men gang at college, the performance of Atlas Ramachandran as college chairman, the robbery done by bomb blasting, the wake up session of the friends and their activities at home, piano room at college, the web cam controlling and its after effects etc etc are the areas which may be helpful to lose your temper. The reason told by the friends for robbery is a childish and an unacceptable funny thing.

The graphics done on screen, for the bike and for few words in song, are not understood. The song at college and the one featuring Jagathi and others will be helpful to make the environment more and more polluted.
The song featuring father and baby is an unwanted one, the repeat lady voice of the same will only be helpful to ran way from the theater. The make up of Kalabhavan Mani (in flashback) and Kannan Pattambi is not having a serious look. The sudden costume change with 'Dhoom' theme in bg, with one of the members in female dress is dreadful. The actions of the IPS officer felt dramatic. The only comic situation (featuring Kalabhavan Mani and his brother) in security dress, comes at an unwanted time towards the end, by that time you will be reached at a 'peak' stage where you won't be able to show any emotions. This is one such movie that is having a bulk number of double meaning dialogues and situations that needs to be censored.

The performance of Govindankutty is amateur and in some occasions he is looking at the camera also. Songs by Jassie Gift are not good. Vinu Thomas gave a heavy bg score. Editor Don Max tried to helped the new director with his cuts, but it all went useless. Bejoys ('Sidharatha' fame) is the cinematographer.

While tamil-hindi industries are creating waves by making some prominent projects, we are 'glorified' with worse and hopeless movies like '3 Char Sau Beas'. I can't believe, how such a creativity comes from a person who was in charge of the movie talk show for years !!!

Rating : 1 / 10

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Paattinte Paalaazhi

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Meera Jasmin, Revathi, Manoj K.Jayan, Krishnakumar, Balabhaskar
Director : Rajiv Anchal
Music : Suresh Manimala, Balabhaskar (bg score)

The months o
f August-September, were considered as a festival season for the movie industry also; but in the recent past, such an attitude has changed and there is no chance for big / notable malayalam projects released during this period. The distributors are doing this, as the collection in the malabar area at this time will be minimum due to the Ramzan season. Anyway, this has helped the arrival of some small projects like 'Paattinte Paalaazhi'.

The only thing that attracted me to watch this movie is the director's name. He is Rajiv Anchal, an art director turned director, who gave movies like 'Butterflies', 'Kashmeeram', 'Guru', 'Pilots', 'Made In USA' etc. This is a heroine oriented music
al subject with Meera Jasmin coming in the lead role. Debutant Suresh Manimala is the music director for ONV's lyrics. Balabhaskar has given the background score. Dr.Rajendra Babu, who had written movies like 'Sphadikam' and 'Yuvathurkki', is the script writer.

Veena (Meera Jasmin) is an ambitious girl who wants to sing in movies. She is the favourite disciple of musician Ustad (Nedumudi Venu) and she becomes friendly with Ustad's daughter Raziya (Revathi) soon. She gets in touch with Ameer (Manoj K.Jayan), a business man and started loving him. At one stage, she left with him without informing her father (Jagathi) and other well wishers. Though Ameer allowed her to continue singing in the initia
l period, slowly she came to know that he is not interested in her passion. She wanted to leave the house, but he is not allowing him. Soon she came to know that she is pregnant. She stays back at one condition. When Raziya comes back from London, she saw a different person in Veena and thus goes the incidents of 'Paattinte Paalaazhi'.

Father buying old pots from market for her daughter to break, is a childish situation. The ambitious father acting against the music director and the daughter keeping silent at that situation are not digestible. Raziya's character coming to the hospital reception at different occasions, felt repetitive, Raziya and Veena praising each other, all things should have been avoided. The actions of new face Balabhaskar does not matches with the dubbing sometimes. The girl escaping with her lover happens on a sudden, it cannot be justified as the romance is not told in detail. The extreme wish of the mother to make her daughter singing at the studio in their house itself cannot be accepted. As the character's instability is showed in the later portions, it is not a big problem. The doctor (Pattanam Rasheed) accepting the identity of Razhia is not realistic. The climax situations had got resemblance with movies like 'Manichitrathazhu', 'Ayal Kadha Ezhuthukayanu', 'Kadaaksham' etc. The climax happenings in the story, written and shown on the screen is a short cut method found by the director for expression. The duet song featuring the marriage party is not treated well.

Since the role demands eccentric behavior, it is suited well for Meera Jasmin. Cinematographer Azhagappan had given some colorful visuals. Songs by Suresh Manimala may not be best enough to be recollected, but it goes well with the movie path. A lullaby song by Chitra can be charted on top. Background score by Balabhaskar is good, being an expert, he did well in the violin bits that comes along with the songs and its bgm in certain situations.

Don't expect
much attractive elements necessary for an entertainment from a musical family subject like 'Paattinte Paalaazhi', at the same time it is not too bad to be cornered...

Rating : 5.5 / 10

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lafangey Parindey

Medium : Hindi
Starring : Neil Nithin Mukesh, Deepika Padukone, Kay Kay Menon, Piyush Mishra, Manish Chowdhary
Director : Pradeep Sarkar
Music : R.Anandh, Zubin Balaporia (bg score)

Yash Raj Films, the most promising production-distribution banner in bollywood, has come up with their lates
t venture named 'Lafangey Parindey'. The youngest member of late singer Mukesh's family, Neil Nithin Mukesh ('Johny Gaddar', 'New York' , 'Jail' fame) and the tall heroine Deepika Padukone ('Love Aaj Kal', 'Om Shanthi Om', Karthik Calling Karthik' fame) did the lead roles. The previous venture by the producers, 'Badmaash Company' didn't do well at the box office. 'Lafangey Parindey' is being directed by Pradeep Sarkar, a former associate to Vidhu Vinod Chopra and had movies like 'Parineeta' and 'Laaga Chunari Mein Daag'.

Nandu (Neil Nithin Mukesh) is a boxer who earns money by working for Usman Bhai (
Piyush Mishra), who runs the under world business. His dream is to become a local gang leader like Anna (Kay Kay Menon), one day. Pinky (Deepika Padukone) is a middle class girl in the same locality, whose ambition is to become a well known dancer. She is taking effort to practice dancing on skate wheels. One day, she met with an accident and lost her eyes. Nandu trains her to overcome the blindness and to lead a normal life. She got selection to the reality show. How she achieves her dream is told in the rest of the story.

Deepika Padukone has done excellently well in the blind role. H
er actions and emotions are suited well for the character. Neil Nithin Mukesh is also good as a boxer. Manish Chowdhary, who comes in the cop's role has got a natural look. Kay Kay Menon also made his job well in a small role. The scatting dance scenes are done in an extra ordinary manner. Both of them gave some incredible steps on wheels under the guidance of Sandro Guerra, an international scatting figure and choreographers Bosco-Caeser. The climax is impressive. The friendship scenes featuring the hero are also done well. Natraj Subramanyam's cinematography is good. Sanjib Datta is the editor. Other than the fast number 'dhathad dhathad..., none of the songs by R.Anandh is not impressive. Zubin Balaporia did the bg score matching the mood. Pradeep Sarkar's directorial effort to make this positive subject should be welcomed.

It should have been more interesting, had the suspense element regarding the heroine's character been revealed in the later portions only. The two versions of the story needs a big interval between them. The winning shot of the boxer with the same action all the times, should
have been avoided. The hero teaching the blind girl has got a realistic look; on the other side heroine's lessons can be accepted in a cinematic way only. The affection between hero and heroine and the related incidents has got the flavor of tamil movie 'Thullatha Manamum Thullum' by Vijay and Simran.

'Lafangey Parindey' won't be the best bet; but a real lover of bollywood movies can watch this, it won't make you restless...

Rating : 7 / 10

Monday, August 23, 2010

Naan Mahaan Allai

Medium : Tamil
Starring : Karthi, Kajal Agarwal, Jayaprakash, Soori
Director : Suseendran
Music : Yuvan Shankar Raja

Director of super hit movie 'Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu', Suseendran is back with his 2nd project. This time he took a city based subject with Karthi and Kajal Agarwal in the lead roles. Karthi is here after enjoying the success of 'Paiyya'. Though a pupular figure in telugu, Kajal Agarwal ('Magadheera' & 'Darling' fame), has not got any big break in tamil so far, her pevious movies in lead roles being 'Modhi Vilayaadu' & 'Pazhani'. The title, 'Naan Mahaan Allai' is borrowed from a Rajnikanth starrer movie in the 80's. Dayanidhi Azhagiri for Clud Nine banner, has distributed this movie.

Jeeva (Karthi) is an easy going guy who is not interested in doing job and earn money. He lives happily with his father (Jayaprakash), a call taxi driver, mother and sister. He met Priya (Kajal Agarwal) in a marriage function, which later developed into love. As per advice of her father, he started doing job. He was not at all serious in his life until his father met with an accident and had to take bed rest for quite sometime. It has changed Jeeva's life pattern. At one stage Priya's father, who is a leading lawyer, stood against her relationship with Jeeva that later developed into a series of incidents.

The specialty of 'Naan Mahaan Allai' stands in the way in which it is presented. Director Suseendran needs special appreciation for developing two separate tracks in the story which meets at a certain point in the second half. The characterization of the new faces who comes in the negative roles are also different. The comedy situations shown in the movie are also good. The main attraction lies in the natural action sequences directed by Anal Arasu. The whole episode gives us a breathless feel. The violence shown in the movie is too realistic and heavy, since it is an adaptation from the happenings in the real world, no need to raise complaint. Cinematographer Madhi ('Paiyya' & 'Nepali' fame) did a good job, so as editor Kasi Viswanathan.

Karthi is good in the lead role. The jolly type character is developed in an attractive manner. His chemistry with Kajal Agarwal is impressive. Jayaprakash ('Nadodikal' & 'Pasanga' fame) did the lovable father role with ease. Another big name to be pointed out is the music director Yuvan Shankar Raja, who gave the 'life' for the movie with an excellent background score; a couple of songs are also good.

'Naan Mahaan Allai' is a real time pass. It starts slowly with a romance, emotionally travels through the second half to reach its real pace towards the later portions.

Rating : 8 / 10

Yakshiyum Njaanum

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Gautham, Jubin Raj, Meghna, Thilakan, 'Sphadikam' George, Capatin Raju

Director : Vinayan
Music : Sajan Madhav

The hot name in the media and movie industry these days will be none other than director Vinayan. He had succeeded in releasing his new project after overcoming the problems that existed among the members of different organizations in the movie industry (since this is not a platform to discuss such controversial matters, I am taking a bye pass to the review part). The movie titled 'Yakhiyum Njaanum' has released in the festival season when there are no big malayalam projects in front of it that can create an opposition. After giving two successive horror movies like 'Aakasaganga' and 'Vellinakshatram', the director is now back with a similar theme.

It is also notable that none of the previous movies from Vinayan like 'Black Cat', 'Hareendran Oru Nishkalangan', 'Athisayan', 'Boy Friend' and 'Adbuthadweep' did well; but the director's boldness to walk against the wind to create some occasional hits, should be noticed. His new movie is filled with the majority of new faces. Late actor Rajan P.Dev's son Jubin Raj makes his debut through this movie. Gautham and Meghna who comes in the lead roles are also new comers. Sajan Madhav, son of notable music director Raveendran, has done the music for this movie.

The movie starts showing Shyam (Gautham), accepting a murder quotation from the minister's son (Jubin Raj). After being successful, Shyam goes to a safe hide out place, an old bungalow in the forest. There he meets a girl (Meghna), started loving her. The big house is giving some haunting incidents for Shyam's companions. When the minister's son is visiting them, he finds the person, whom he gave quotation to kill, is now alive in the house. This cause a split between the former and Shyam. The police arrests Shyam and on the way, the 'Yakshi' girl started his play and he is saved. When he asks about her identity, the girl tells her story. She is here for a revenge against the people who are responsible for destroying her family.

The movie has got
a story line which can be developed into a horror thriller. The problem mainly happens on the placement of actors, the important characters in the story are done by new faces and some average figures from the television media. The humor oriented scenes based on horror are good, but it affected a lot due the problem mentioned above. The comedy created using the dwar is very below average. The over doze of glamor show by the heroine is not a good sight for family audiences. The flash back scenes should have done in a more serious manner. The existence of the second heroine in the servant lady character is mysterious. The reason told by heroine's father to wear the white wedding dress felt funny. The make up of flash back hero is good for a dancer rather than a union leader. Though Vinayan had directed the move with his experience, the lack of professionalism is evident here and there; it might have happened due to the problems faced by the creators (on the casting side) during the making of this movie.

Gautham is o
k in the lead role, his voice rendering is realistic but some times it felt dramatic also. Meghna is excellent in the 'Yakshi' character. Jubin Raj, in the villain role didn't got a big role to perform. Sajan Madhav had given the songs that resembles his father's style, a couple of duets are good. The movie shot in high definition RED cam, by cinematographer Navaz has got many visual effects and CG sequences also. Editing is by Pradeep.

'Yakshiyum Njaanum', made in a different canvas with the placement of professional actors in the important roles, would have given a real horror experience. Those who have already planned to watch it, should keep this in your mind...

Rating : 5 / 10

Monday, August 16, 2010

Plus Two

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Shafna, Roshan, Vishnu Mohan, Justine John, Deepak Murali, Sajin
Director : Shebi

Music : Manu Ramesh, Kannan (bg score)

After the sensational hit, 'Note Book' by Roshan Andrews, another venture telling the story of
teenagers, has been released. The movie titled 'Plus Two' is directed by debutant Shebi, who came from the advertisement field. It has got new face Roshan in the lead role, supported by many new comers. The heroine is Shafna ('Kadha Prayumbol' fame). Music is done by Manu Ramesh ('Gulumaal' fame).

Prince (Roshan) is studying in higher secondary school w
ith his friends (Vishnu Mohan, Justine John, Deepak Murali, Sajin). His parents are in US and he is staying alone. A girl named Meenakshi (Shafna) and her mother reached Prince's house, in search of her elder sister who left them years ago. The very next day, the mother is dead and Meenakshi is left alone. Prince gave shelter for her in the house. Though he hide the matter from his friends, they were succeeded in finding the secret. Prince has fallen in love with Meenakshi. Though she is not giving green signal in the beginning, as days passed, she also fell in the track. One day, Prince's parents (Saikumar and Geetha Vijayan) reached home without informing. It leads to a dramatic change in the life of lovers.

The non professionalism of the new director Shebi and script writer Jain George is evident in majority of the situations. The story is a presentable one, but the problem happened in conceiving it, happens to be the negative here. The opening scene in the classroom in which the student delivering romantic dialogues is not up to the standard. The flashback ending portion leading to the climax happens on a sudden. There are so many cliche situations in the movie; the reason why I am telling this is due to the way in which scenes like Prince's finger is accidentally cut, both lovers bending down to take the object, girl leaving the home without informing etc has been shown, all of them are predicted well in advance by the audience in the theater, they were screaming loudly about the outcome of those scenes in advance.

The hero's relationship with the parents is not defined neatly and hence his father talk
ing emotionally at the hospital became useless. The romance between the lovers also lacks the real tempo. The students has been shown studying in International School, but it is very difficult to find a 'funny' teacher (Suraj Venjarammood) like him in any schools. The mobile episode and the double meaning dialogues are the desperate attempts to create humor. The students are shown playing football in the heavy traffic, the creators should think twice before doing those scenes. They can't implement such playing techniques while fighting against the rowdies.

There is nothing bad to be pointed out in the performance of the new faces like Rosha
n and co. Shafna is having a dull and sad look always (the director should answer whether it is a deliberate effort). Vishnu Mohan, s/o senior production executive Seven Arts Mohan, makes his debut appearance (as hero's close friend) in a slightly humorous way. Dileep Raman is the cinematographer. With a couple of catchy romantic numbers, music director Manu Ramesh did his job well. The visuals in the songs are filled with fast cuts by editor Mahesh Narayanan, but the absence of a professional choreographer is evident in many shots. Bg score by Kannan is ok, but sometimes it is too heavy.

The outcome of 'Plus Two' should have been different, if there existed more seriousness on the scripting and the direction sides. The team behind it should repeatedly watch the movie 'Note Book' and then analyze where they went wrong.

Rating : 5 / 10

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Peepli [Live]

Medium : Hindi
Starring : Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghubir Yadav, Shalini Vatsa, Malaika Shenoy, Nazrudeen Shah
Director : Anusha Rizvi

Producer : Amir Khan
Music : Indian Ocean, Nageen Tanvir, Mathias Duplessy (bg score)

Statistics says that the bollywood actor Amir Khan has taken
his profession seriously in the post 2000 period only and his movie career reached to the next level, by acting and producing a project like 'Lagaan'. Traveling through 'Dil Chahtha Hai', 'Rangde Basanthi', 'Fanaa' and 'Gajini', he became a super hit director through 'Taare Zameen Par'. He is still enjoying the success as an actor, '3 Idiots' is the latest example. In the middle, he had launched his nephew Imran Khan by producing 'Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na'. Now it is time for him to wear the producer's suits once again. The movie titled 'Peepli [Live]', has got many new faces in the lead roles (you won't identify a familiar artist other than Nazrudeen Shah here). The lady writer-director is also new, a former journalist, Anusha Rizvi. UTV pictures is the co-producer.

This is the story of a poor farmer Natha (Omkar Das Manikpuri), who lives in the rural village area in MP. His wife (Shalini Vatsa) usually scolds him for not finding a solution for the repayment of loan taken from the government. He and his brother (Raghubir Yadav) is knocking many doors, finally when they meet the local politicians, they tell them that the government is able to pay an amount of one lakh for the the families of those farmers who are committing suicide.

Now Natha decides to commit suicide to get the amount. The news
comes in a local news paper. A popular TV reporter (Malaika Shenoy) had made an exclusive story on Natha's decision for getting suicide. All the channel representatives now rushes to the place and now Natha became the hot talk of the town. The politicians are getting alert now and news reached the offices of the Chief Minister and the Union Agriculture Minister (Nazaruddin Shah). With the elections coming in the near future, the political parties try to take advantage of the issue. To overcome the competition, the media is also playing their game. Thus goes the incidents of 'Peepli [Live]'.

The movie is a representation of the poor farmers who are taking
much pain to meet the both ends of their life. The cheap plays done by the political parties for their existence is shown realistically. Director Anusha Rizvi, knows very well the way in which a visual medium tackles the news for their existence. It is evident in the scenes featuring the tv channel executives and the reporters at Natha's house. The choosing of new faces in the farmer's family are notable. Their emotions are dominated to such a level by the poverty which is understood from their decision to even commit suicide for getting help from the government and in another scene they are keeping silence even after knowing that no one is going to help them, but still keep faith in the government bodies continues, which is a real reflection on our society. In many areas, 'Peepli [Live]' has got the look of a foreign classic. Producer Amir Khan's keen interest to produce a low budget movie bearing a social theme, with a new director and many new artists needs claps.

Omkar Das Manikpuri and Raghubir Yadav had done equally well in the lead roles. Shalini
Vatsa as the farmer's wife is natural. The dialogues (though difficult to follow some of them, as the rendering is in a local tone) of the old lady who belongs to Natha's family is also a real portrait. The actions of Malaika Shenoy as the news reader is attractive. To be in the minister's role is not a tough task for Nazrudeen Shah. Cinematographer Shankar Raman and Editor Hemanti Sarkar gave good support for the debutant director. The songs are not cinematic, they appears in a regional folk style only. The movie has got background score (by Mathias Duplessy) in very few shots only (may be around a minute or two), but it has never affected the speed.

'Peepli [Live]' is a good satire on politicians and media peoples; while going through the 64th independent year of our country, it gives us the real picture of exploitation of poverty that still exists in the villages, even if the urban development is going fast.

Rating : 9 / 10