Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Romance and Tamil Movies

Perhaps I was inspired by the list published by on must watch english and hindi valentine movies. Well, as Love is always a constant feature of Tamil movies, I thought I could as well make a list of good movie to watch on mush day.

1. Alaipayuthey
Get the review here.

This was one of the landmark romance movies which talks about life, post marriage. Natural performances from Maddy and Shalini made this one of the biggest hits of 2000. Songs from ARR and their picturisation had a major hand in the film being a colossal hit. Mani Ratnam displays his mastery over cute romance scenes and also middle class life scenes (Pyramid Natarajan and Shalini's father give excellent performances).

2. Dum Dum Dum
Get the review here.

This again is a cute film by Azhagamperumal (an assistant to Mani Ratnam, a coincidence?) where the film starts atypically with the bride and groom not wanting to marry and when they resign themselves to the fact that they are destined to be married, destiny tears them apart and from then on, the film takes a jolly ride to unite them finally. Definitely worth for the take it easy romance scenes and of course, Maddy.

3. Ghajini
Get the review here.
A badly remade movie, but nevertheless, had some very enjoyable but illogical romance between Surya and Asin. There was some talk that the main success of this movie was due to Asin and the that much telecast song, Suttum Vizhi Sudare. That's the reason why this revenge drama gets its place in this list.

4. Kaakha Kaakha
Get the review here.

A well made movie which brought about a change in the way of film making in tamizh. Again, even though this is a cop thriller, the decency and warmth with which the blossoming of romance between Surya and Jothika make it a V-Day watch!

5. Kandukondein Kandukondein
Get the review here.
A remake of Sense and Sensibility, it explores the psyche of 2 women of diverse characters and the men in their life. The romance between Ajith and Tabu was of the reserved and unspoken type while the romance between Ash - Abbas was the exact opposite, fiery and passionate. Later, when Ash says she loves Mammooty, you cant help smiling. This movie had an amazing soundtrack too, courtesy ARR.

6. Mugavari
Get the review here.
A story about a struggling music director and had warm and natural chemistry between Ajith and Jothika. Definitely, one of the decent and natural love stories on screen (forgive the povirinjachu song)!

7. Kadhalukku Mariyadhai
Get the review here.
A clean romance drama, where for once the pair in love decide not to disappoint their parents. Apart from Poove Unnakaaga and GHilli, this is the only other good Vijay movie.

8. Kanda Naal Mudhal
Get the review here.

A refreshing love story from another assistant of Mani Ratnam (this has happened twice and I don't think its a coincidence) where over the top sentiments and overacting were eschewed and substituted with mature underplayed characters.

9. Minnale
Get the review here.

A highly illogical movie which succeeded because of Maddy, cute scenes, great music and of course, Vivek. Though it dealt with lying to win a girl, Maddy's earnestness made the audience root for him. Reema Sen was a letdown, but didn't matter as the movie won people and box office alike.

10. Vaali
Get the review here.
As taut a thriller you can get in Tamizh Cinema, thismovie had some out of the world acting by Thala in a deaf, dumb but villainous role. But the first half had very entertaining scenes between Simran and him and Jothika and him. Though this movie also has Ajith lying like crazy, his exuberance sucks you in.

11. Mouna Ragam
Get the review here.

The trend setting film from Mani Ratnam which had some amazing chemistry between the lead pair(s). This movie was primarily responsible for establishing Karthik as a hero in Tamizh industry. The case was also helped by some extraordinary BGM and songs from the maestro Ilayaraja. The flashback scenes where Karthik comes are still remembered by tamizh audience with "Mr. Chandramouli" being a part of cinema legend!

12. Mounam Pesiyadhey
Get the review here.

A very different and daring attempt from Surya and Ameer. Surya is has a "hate-Love" attitude and this film shows the way he falls (and how!) in love. The ending was a bit contrived and could have been better.

This my list and I know lots of people out there may think of adding / omitting a few. Feel free to add your choices in the comments section.

Thanks to Balaji for the reviews.

Monday, February 12, 2007

"Wallet"ine or Valentine?

Well, here’s February 14th again and a fresh mush wave sweeps through cupid struck hearts. Florists and gift shop websites do extra-ordinary business as do “hangout” zones like Barista and CafĂ© Coffee Day. Moral “policemen” also have a field day, wrecking havoc - in upscale chill out spots and leaving hearts sundered.

Legend goes that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death and fourteenth of February, for long the month of romance, was chosen to “honor” St. Valentine.

I’ve always been skeptical about non-chronology based commemorations – Mother’s day, Father’s day, Valentine’s Day etc. Be it your Dad / Mom / Sweetheart, it is but natural that you share a relationship which is much bigger than just a greeting card and a bunch of flowers. Friends of mine argue that, these days are a way to token your love towards important people in your life.

I feel that, these days try to celebrate relationships which aren’t as simple as saying thank you or giving a bunch of flowers. And in these days of media frenzy, giving a printed greeting card to any of these people is an irony of the highest order. If some greeting card manufacturer is able to give words to your feelings towards somebody, then I feel that either you are cheating yourself that the card captures the essence of your feelings or you are in a totally artificial relationship which isn’t worth continuing. Instead, spending sometime with them on that day is a much better way, as, in these times of “wallet”-happy spending, putting in an effort to spare sometime for a special person is a much more significant thing than those mush-paraphernalia!

I know that I’m going against the popular flow here, but as I always say, I’m entitled to my view!

Jeniffer Aniston and Pachai Kili

I happened to see the movie, Derailed (2005), touted to be the inspiration of Gautam Menon’s latest flick, Pachai Kili Muthu Charam.

First, covering ground on the English original, the movie has two twists – one predictable while with the second twist the director earns a “touchĂ©”! Powerful performances from Clive Owen, Jeniffer Aniston and Vincent Cassell kept me engrossed till the last “shank” was sunk (see the movie to appreciate this pun). The story is about two successful business professionals getting attracted to each other and consequent lapse of reasoning which leads to turmoil in their placid lives. From then on its about how the protagonists try to salvage whatever is left of their lives.

As it happened with Memento – Ghajini, I couldn’t help comparing how the inspired version would be made by Menon. First with the casting – I feel Sharath Kumar has an uncanny similarity to Clive Owen and as for the villain role, it would have been great to see either Rajni Kanth ( from Moondru Mudichu / 16 Vayadhinile days) or Ajith (from Vaali) as the villain has to look good/stylish and also put in a powerful performance. Maddy might also be well placed to do this kind of a sophisticated negative role. But Menon being what he is, might have chosen Milind Soman after careful consideration. And obviously there are two places where the songs will be inserted. One is right after Sharath Kumar – (Jyothika/Andrea) meeting in the train. The other might be after the hotel scene when a sad song might be inserted. One more song might be to establish Sharath's marital life - a melody song mostly!

All in all I’m waiting to see this version of Derailed. And though I enjoyed Ghajini, I felt Murugadas failed to give the same feel of Memento. When I finished seeing Memento, I felt what it was to have short term memory and felt that, that aspect was not present in Ghajini. But to be fair to Murugadas, if Memento was remade as it were, it would not have run even for 1 week – Harris Jayaraj music, Surya – Asin acting notwithstanding. But Menon, if he is remaking Derailed, has made a better choice to remake and has a far easier job than Murugadas and I hope he doesn’t make a mess of it!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Valentine's Special!

Anand and Karthik were walking down the railway staircase when they both saw her. Anand couldn't help remarking, "She's beautiful". Karthik immediately quipped, "Dude, get your eyes checked. She's very normal looking and here you are going gaga over her!". Anand couldn't believe his ears. So far in life Karthik and he had shared likes, dislikes and hates that he wasn't able to believe that Karthik found this girl unattractive. Karthik continued, "She's too tall for you and look at her color - so pale that I can see her veins from this distance." "Surely, she's got a good face" Anand moaned. "What features? A polygonal face and a perpetual stupid smile on her face - Whew, I wouldn't touch her with a ten foot pole!" Karthik couldn't help shuddering. Anand now felt that positively he was looking at a grotesque specimen of the opposite sex and felt grateful to Karthik for saving him from her. Now the girl was within a hundred metres of them and not to be left out, Anand continued, "Actually yes, I think the sun falling on her face directly made her look beautiful - seeing her in the shade, I'm almost surprised how I could ever fall for this tall, pale girl..... You saved me Karthik. I can't imagine myself talking to her for more than two seconds". Now the girl was really only a few feet away. Karthik walked unmindful of Anand's remarks and said, "What about meeting at your house at 5?". Anand, surprised, asked "What about now?" but didn't find Karthik beside him. A quick turn around, he saw Karthik was talking to that girl. "Hi! I'm Karthik. I've been seeing you from quite a distance. You really take my breath away, would you mind a coffee?.........." Anand could help feeling that he deserved a kick in the.......

P.S: The name Karthik doesn't have any conection with the author!