Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year - 2008

Wishing all readers a Very Happy New Year 2008 - Hope you guys have a blast.

My pick of Movies this year

1. Chennai 600028
2. Paruthiveeran
3. Mozhi
4. Polladhavan
5. Billa
6. Sivaji (makes it only bcoz of Superstar)
7. Katradhu Thamizh
8. Kalloori
9. Evano Oruvan
10. Periyar

The films are in no particular order... the number is just to keep track of 10....

Best Songs:

1. Vaaji Vaaji

2. Athiradee

3. Jalsa Pannunganda

4. Saroja Saaman Nikalo

5. Kaatrin Mozhi

6. My Name is Billa

7. Engeyum Eppodhum

8. Madhuraaikku Pogadhadi

9. VIzhiyil Un Vizhiyil

10. Unnale Unnale - June Pona and Unnale Unnale

Again, the order doesn't signify anything.

Super Scenes/Visuals

To be updated later....

Have a great new year, once more.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Billa - Review - Packaging does matter

Finally caught up with the new Billa last week.

My 2 cents:
1. Cast

a. Ajit

Acting in a role of Rajni Kanth really requires some guts and to give Ajit his due, he hasn't tried to imitate Rajni either in mannerisms or dialogs or anything. Ajit pulls off the don role with ease, as predominantly requires him to maintain a detached attached look and in the role of Velu has tried some comedy which are mostly of the slapstick kinds - he is not majorly successful in this and it is majorly because of bad dialogs. The action scenes show Ajit in full flow and the car chase scene - I think it is one of the more realistic car chases I have seen in tamizh cinema - no dupes and the director has really used Ajit's racing background very well. Along with Nirav Shah, Ajit remains a pillar for this movie clicking with the audience. But looks-wise, Ajit needs to shed weight - he looked trim and fit in Kireedom and has to go back to that mode. His paunch really looks bad in the second half - I have seen his interview in Sify regarding his weight, but my take on actors is that they have to keep their looks intact as their livelihood depends on their looks and their talent.

b. Prabu
Has tried a difference character role - and has succeeded mostly. But in certain places, shows wrong face reactions - which leaves the audience confused. His role is developed better than the one for Balaji in the original

c. Nayantara
Looks like a dream and has really taken risks and performed stunts pretty well. Is a huge huge improvement on the obese Sripriya in the original.

d. Namitha
Totally unwanted and has been included only for some B- or C- Class audience. Pathetic.

Direction - Screenplay - Dialogs

Vishnu Varadan has done the same mistake that Shankar did in Sivaji. While concentrating on making the film a visual masterpiece, he has lost some points on the screenplay and dialogs section. The english bits of dialogs are good, much better than the bits used by Gautam Menon in his films. But VV has to be given due credit for completely reworking the film and for me, who has watched the old Billa atleast 10 times, I wasn't able to see any resemblance to the old film's scenes. But the only bad thing was VV has failed to create more twists and turns and so, the film is pretty predictable, especially in the 2nd half.


Nirav Shah, take a bow - you, along with Ajit make this a super duper viewing experience. The action scenes rock and I won't be surprised if he gets a National Award soon.


YSR has scored well with My Name is Billa and Vethalaya Potendi and Seval Kodi and has majorly screwed up with the other 2 songs. The BGM, though more than makes up for the songs with a pulsating bit. To listen to it, see the esnips widget below

Get this widget | Track details | eSnips Social DNA


Sreekar Prasad has made sure, the film is crisp and there are no jarring cuts and continuity shifts.


Anu Varadan - You've really made everybody look ravishing in this movie - and easily she walks away with the years best costume designer award for 2007.

On the whole, the movie is a definite one-time watch - just for Nirav Shah and Ajit - they have given their heart out for this movie. And defintely, this movie does give a new direction for commercial tamil cinema - with technical finesse apparent in every frame.

Verdict - 3.5/5

Monday, December 24, 2007

Charlie Wilson's War - A review

If you don't like Tom Hanks - Avoid this film.

If you like Tom Hanks - Don't go near this movie.

Pathetic. A 2 line story stretched over 2 hours, stretching your patience as well.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Evano Oruvan - A review

The initial stills evoked interest. They hinted at something different and daring. And Madhavan is one of my favs. And this review - boy, did it evoke interest? I got to see the movie on an online pirated streaming version - well, I'm pretty ashamed for that, but come on, this movie didn't release in this godforsaken city on the west coast of the east coast.

Onto the story - nothing new in that - One man rising against the widespread corruption/apathy towards virtues. Indian, Anniyan, Citizen, Mudalvan and a zillion other movies have had the same base story - what differentiates EO is the protagonist. You don't have exaggerated fight sequences where the "hero" dons 10 getups or flies 25 feet to deliver a kick to 3 men joined together using ninja or some such crap. You don't have unbelievable "akramam" happening. Mostly, everything - the cause (akramam) and the effect (Madhavan's reaction) are believable and not exaggerated. The story actually scores heavily in the manner it shows Madhavan becoming a violent man and his subsequent agony - especially the scene where Madhavan talks to God, you feel his anguish pretty well. The climax particularly would surely touch a chord with one and all, who love good cinema.


Madhavan has come up with a good performance, reminding us of Anbe Sivam, Ayidha Ezhuthu days. Sangeetha, though appearing on-screen for a few minutes, has proved Pithamagan was no flash-in-the-pan. Seeman, again, is doused with reality (edhartham) and doesn't have the usual affected (midukku) mannerisms/physical personality as do Tamizh Cinema cops. Others in the cast are effective and efficient - nothing more - nothing less. Only sore point is the Councillor who overdoes on both dialog front and acting front.


Kamath has put in a good effort and has largely, delivered. The drug ring scotching was very cinematic, compared to the rest of the sequences. The opening sequence was top class and he has made the viewer understand the boredom/routine-ness of Madhavan's life. A very rare attempt, almost at par with Memento. It shows that Kamath has worked with the confidence of reworking/remaking his own successful script.


Very good frame composition with excellent close up shots - the camera-work was devoid of unwanted shakes/effects whenever Madhavan goes into a frenzy which was welcome from the usual jig the camera does whenever the hero goes hyper in many films.

Music and BGM:

Compared to Dir, cast and DoP, BGM is not as effective - with silence dominating in many scenes. The song at the end credits is also not anything to write home about. On the other hand though, the silence works in most of the scenes in connecting to the thoughts of the actors on screen.


Editing, majorly is good - a few scenes could have been cut/trimmed, especially in the second half.


Madhavan has penned the dialogs and has acquitted himself well for a debudant - but at certain places, the intended punch doesn't come through - especially in the talk-to-the-god scene and the place where the old woman chastises Madhavan at the hospital.


The movie is one of those rare attempts at good and meaningful cinema, but could have better - mainly due to the deja vu from previous masala vigilante movies and partly because of toned down dialogues / underplayed scenes.

Stars - 4/5

0 - Horrible/Pathetic
1 - Bad
2 - Okay
3 - Good
4 - Excellent
5 - Amazing

Coming up: Reviews for Kalloori, Billa and Katradhu Tamizh.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Azhagiya Tamizh Magan = Azhugiya Kandraavi

First things first. For those of you who are "Vijay Rasigargal", please don't read further. Logic and Common sense aren't things for you, going by your star's latest venture.

1. For some one who says he makes movies for family audience, especially kids (with montage shots with kids in every movie), why the heck do you need Shakila in the movie? And do kids necessarily need to see a water drenched Namitha, wearing something which is for a girl half her size? "Dr." Vijay, please, for godsake, don't ever say you make clean films. Starting from you putting soap for Srividya, to making jokes about Shakila, you cater to C - grade audience. Period!

2. A guy who is advised by doctors not to travel from Mumbai to Chennai, can fight heavy duty, but can't run a short sprint?? WTF??? Does Vijay think people who see his movies are those with no IQ or intelligence? Gaping logic holes the size of Namitha are everywhere in the movie.

3. When will Dr. Vijays movie get out of the manja-pachcha colors of Ramarajan? Yellow shirt and Green trousers are okay, but Yellow colored staircase?? God Save Tamizh Makkal.

Okays - let me stop haranguing Vijay - onto the movie - or whatever you can call it.....

The story is liberally inspired majorly by previous double action movies, most notably Attagaasam. Attagaasam was by no means a good movie and when someone gets inspired from that, you know you are in for a pathetic movie and thats what you feel, at the end of the 2 and half hour nonsense called ATM.

Guru(Vijay) is a do-gooder on the lines of MGR in 1960s and shows you liberal doses of his sentiments - be it on kids, mother, father, next door dog... whatever. Abinaya (shriya) is the typical tamizh film heroine - zilch common sense, mouthing cho-chweet kinda inane dialogs. They meet and fall in love in keeping with the Tamizh Cinema Rules and Regulations. Only twist is that Guru happens to acquire ESP suddenly and after a couple of scary incidents, foresees himself killing Shriya. So he runs away from her and goes to Mumbai where he sees a replica of himself, Prasad (Vijay again, with the same hair style and shave panna blade illadha madri dhadi) and immediately realises that his ESP vision had this "bad" vijay killing Shriya. Fast Forward - Guru is hit by a lorry (we are thankful - he got what he deserved for his pig headedness) and Prasad goes to Chennai and Shriya, meets him and with no questions, takes him to her house. Prasad manages to fool everybody. Finally, Guru manages to get well and comes back to Chennai and in turn, is accused as an impostor. Things thankfully reach a crescendo and an inspired speech about "karpu" (Y-U-C-K) from Shriya (highly ironical, seeing her in the song sequences :P) Prasad turns a new leaf and all's well in the end. Somewhere in middle, you have a mini bit-song with Namitha and an included rape/sex scene.

Special Attractions:

1. Dr. Vijay's absolutely un-describable acting talent. Man, how did this guy even get so far with ZERO acting skills - the confrontation scenes between 2 vijays are highlights - for pathetic graphics and pathetic acting.

2. Its okay to try to become the next superstar - but dialogs like Naan thaan next BOSS, Paate podu (in Rajni's kannada accent) and the mottai boss mannerism affected character all reminds me of one character in Chinna thambi - "ennaku kalyanam! ennaku Kalyanam!!" kinds - I can imagine Vijay in same getup shouting "Naan daan next Rajni! Naan daan next Rajni!!!"

3. Thoroughly out-of-form ARR.

Trying to give stars to this movie is like trying to find a reason for Agarkar to be in the Indian team.

Verdict: ZERO Stars (ZERO acting + ZERO Direction)