Mozhi **** (2007)

=Mozhi movie clipCast: Jothika, PrithviRaj, PrakashRaj,Swarnamalya

Gist: PrithviRaj and PrakashRaj are musicians. PrithviRaj falls in love with Jothika. Even after he finds out that Jothika cannot hear or talk, he is determined to make her his better half. For this PrithviRaj and PrakashRaj appeal to Swarnamalya, Jothika’s close friend. Due to her bitter experiences in life, Jothika has an inherent aversion towards men. How PrithviRaj wins Jothika’s heart is the rest of the story.

My 2 cents: This is a perfect example of a director’s movie. If we had retained the rest of the combination and changed just the director, we would have a much different movie in our hands. Director RadhaMohan has done such commendable work. The way he has explained how it is possible for a hearing impaired person to enjoy music, is just great.

It is a movie that says music is so universal that even a person who has never heard sound before in her life can enjoy music. It is movie that says that even silence is musical if heard with the right ears at the right time by the right person. A music director has plenty of scope in a movie like this and Vidhyasagar has capitalized on it big time. ‘Kannal Pesum Penne’ by SPB and ‘Pesa Madandhaye’ are my favorites. Time and again SPB proves that he still has the brilliance. He is one of those people who still continue to amaze me.

Prakash Raj deserves a special mention not only as an actor but also as a producer. He has such good taste. I kind of think of him as the person who can follow KamalHassan’s foot steps. Partly because he has the same kind of genius as Kamal and partly because I cannot make heads or tails when he gets in to the genius mode (Any one read poetry by Kamal or PrakashRaj?? I surely need Cliff notes!). Initially he looked slightly old for the role, but he keeps the role alive with humor, sense of timing and you start enjoying his performance.

In one of her interviews Jothika had mentioned that she wanted to do this movie because after she had retired from acting, she wanted to look back and feel good that she had a movie like Mozhi in her filmography. She already has such expressive eyes, she has taken maximum advantage of it.

PrithviRaj is handsome, sincere, has a natural flair for comedy and can act. What more can one expect?

The movie review is not complete without a mention about the dialogue writer. When PrithviRaj explains to PrakashRaj about meeting his dream girl, he tells him, “It felt like I was looking at my mother” and immediately PrakashRaj responds, “Che, vayasanavala?”(Meaning:“Is it a old woman?”). I was laughing out loud. It may not sound like much now, but its one of the jokes where you have to be there. There are so many jokes like this through out the movie.

Other: To hear songs from this tamil movie click here.
For movie trailers click here.
For picture gallery click here.

Verdict: Kind of like Seinfeld, it is pretty much a movie about nothing but still something in it makes us want to watch it! All credit goes to the director!

Paruthi Veeran *** (2007)

Varalaru movie clipCast: Karthik, Priyamani, Ponvannan, Saravanan

Gist: There is nothing ground breaking in the story. Karthik and Priyamani are lovers. But Priyamani’s father is very particular about caste issues, to the point that he would rather kill than let his daughter marry a person from another caste. Initially Karthik does not take Priyamani seriously, he is more interested in drinking and sleeping with other women. He has no second thoughts on lashing out violently on any one who dares to goad his anger. Later he is moved by Priyamani’s love and the lovers decide to elope leading to a long climax that is partly predictable and partly surprising.

My 2 cents: When you look at the movie you can immediately tell that the director has taken time to thoroughly enjoy every frame of his creation. Aamir not only wants to tell us this love story, but also wants to give us a true flavor of the village he grew up in. He has done it so well and so realistically that Paruthiyoor is more of a character by itself than a setting for the story. Take away the essence of Paruthiyoor, there is nothing more left in the movie! I know for a fact that most of the people in Tamil Nadu are going to love this movie and this movie will be a box office hit.

But I, basically, am a city girl. I felt at times that the essence of Parithiyoor was a bit too much, but again that is pure me. I would have preferred it if the accent of the characters were a little “less villagey”. Except for the dialogues uttered by Karthik and Priyamani I needed captions for the dialogues delivered by other people. Throw in few folk dances by transgenders, few brutal murders, real village people, dark oily faces with out makeup, a graphic climax and going back home to two kids who were screaming their heads(at 1.00AM ,we went for the late night show) off the whole time we were gone because they thought that appa and amma abandoned them; thats why I give it only three stars. Again, its just my perspective. Damn, I have never felt the necessity to explain my ratings before!

Karthik, is this really your first movie?! Looks wise I still like your older brother, but you did hell of a job in your debut. You have lived your part without any inhibitions. The part where you walk behind Priyamani with a stupid grin on your face and tell her, “Namakkum vandhiruchu yilla?” was way too, forgive me for the expression, ‘cute’. Kind of reminded me of Pithamagan Surya, not that you copied his body language or anything. Dude your graph is going to skyrocket.

Priyamani is brilliant, especially in the scenes where she yells for food just after she is beaten blue and black by her father. Apparently Ponvannan really hit her because Aamir wanted the scene to be real. It took 10 retakes, which means she was hit 10 times by an umbrella, her head was banged 10 times against a wall, she was thrown down on the floor 10 times and she was kicked on her stomach 10 times. She must have been really motivated to give a hit movie and make people notice her as an actress to put up with this ordeal!

For Aamir the third time is a charm. It is hard to believe that it is the same Aamir who made Monuman Pesiyadhe! All his three movies (Mounam Pesiyadhe, Raam, Paruthi Veeran) are totally different and one cannot find the shade of the previous movie in the next one.

For people who have missed the title card that the music is by Yuvan, they will end up thinking that the music is by Illayarajaa. Like father, like son.

Other: Check out paruthiveeranthemovie.com

Verdict: Go in expecting to come back with a little bit of Paruthiyoor. Some may like Paruthiyoor some may not, but eitherwaysit is sure to stay with you .

Varalaru ** (2006)

Varalaru movie clipCast: Ajith, Ajith and Ajith. Kanika. Aasin just for the songs.

Gist: Ajith plays the provident father and the prodigal son. Son is about to get married with the father’s blessings, things are fine, every one is happy. All of a sudden there are issues. The son behaves badly in front of the bride’s family, is caught red handed making a pass at the bride’s cousin, being suspected of embezzling the father’s money and tries killing the father. Every one thinks that it is a simple case of MPD. At this stage enters the third Ajith. How Ajith and his mother Kanika fit in to the family, why is he so intent on making his father (Ajith) suffer in every possible way and why is he plotting to kill his own father is the small, very small knot of suspense.

My 2 cents: This movie is supposed to be a box office hit in India. Iam still wondering why? K.S.Ravikumar is my all time favorite masala director, but got to warn you this is one of those movies he must have directed when he was sleeping or something. Ajith always has a streak of bad luck, either he ends up with half baked stories by debut directors ( remember Citizen…whew, what was Ajith thinking??!! ) or he ends up with half baked story by successful commercial directors(Thirupathi, Varalaru…Ajith are you still in the same mode?? Why?!). Either way his movies are not that great. He does put in lots of effort, in this movie he has made a sincere attempt to play the role of a dancer, but to me…. he always seems to get a raw deal.

Kanika is Ramya Krishnan’s successor in Thanga Vettai. So I was imagining that she will play a powerful Padayappa-Neelambari type role. Instead she is a doe eyed amnesia patient. What a waste? Each parent bringing up one of the twins, the parents competing through the children, playing a huge ego battle….that, that is what I expected to see.

Instead this is just one woman getting raped, ( The woman is mean, arrogant, what more reason does the hero need to rape her? He has no choice doesn’t he? ) people force her to reconcile with the rapist, ( Especially if she is carrying the rapist’s baby, there are no second thoughts about the living arrangements, she HAS to live the rest of her life with the rapist, its that simple!), the woman running away with one baby (Well… she is under the impression that she only had one kid, because the woman’s mother plays mother and gives away her other baby and never tells her about it. How dumb?) away and ending up an amnesia patient. Me no like all this nonsense.

Aasin might want to erase this movie from her flimography. She acts as a prostitute to play with the hero’s emotions, how much more can a person degrade herself?? Even Pandu, the guy who plays Ajith’s side kic has more screen time and has much better scope for acting.

The screen play and editing were so disjointed that I didn’t even catch the villain Ajith’s name, or may be they never mentioned a name. For some reason I am in a phase where I HAVE to know the names of the characters, even if it is through old fashion dialogues like, “Chandru enge? Adho Chadhru varan. Vaa-pa Chandru. Nalla yirukiya Chandru?”, then I feel like I know Chandhru.

The villain Ajith walks in and out of the house as if there is a secret passage the rest of the world does not know about. Well, there is so much logic loop holes, whats the big deal about how Ajith enters the house?

Other: To hear songs from this tamil movie click here.
For movie trailers click here.
For picture gallery click here.

Verdict: Much better than Paramasivan, Thirupathy…etc but lacks Villain punch.

Pudhupettai **** (2006)

Pudhupettai movie clipCast: Dhanush, Sneha, Sonia Agarwal
Gist: Danush is a high school student. His father kills his mother and all of a sudden his life is turned upside down. He runs away from home fearing his own life and ends up in a gang. There he kills as it is necessary for his survival. He likes the adrenaline rush he gets out of killing people and kills people just because he can. He slowly climbs his way up. One wrong move against the politician he works with costs him dearly and he learns that one also needs a little diplomacy and patience to become a big shot.

My 2 cents: This movie was a perfect combination of everything I don’t like – Selvaraghavan(Kadhal Konden affected me too much. 7G Rainbow Colony was not my cup of tea), Dhanush, Sonia Agarwal, Balakumaran, gangster movies. So I started watching the movie with extreme prejudice. But I have to admit that I liked the movie……quite a bit. I hate to say it, but the individuals I dislike seemed to deliver just the right amount of everything when put together!

Though it is bathed in violence, Pudhupettai is not a movie about the life of gangsters. It simple narrates the journey of an individual from a diffident school student to a gangster. When pushed to the limits and when his life is threatened the timid Kokki Kumar kills because of pure gut instinct. Then he kills partly because he can and partly to preserve his scary image. It indeed is the story of the survival of the fittest.

Selvaraghavan has done a great job. He is quite a director. Deals more with the dark side of society, but he is good at what he does.

Dhanush…hmmm, where do I start? He delivers an extraordinary performance. Either he is a very good actor, or he has stared growing on me (damn I feared this day). When I told this to one of my friends, she looked at me all wired and declared that I need to get of the house more.

Sonia has a small role to play, which works well with my tolerance level for her! She has such sad eyes, frankly makes me think that she is constipated or something! Sneha, no doubt can act well. But she looks less appealing devoid of makeup. Whats with actresses’ fascination towards good prostiture roles?! Was that Alagarperumal, the director of Dum Dum Dum as the sleazy politican? Not bad at all.

Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music is awesome. I am not talking about the songs, the lyrics repulsed me. Na.Muthukumar could have done better than “Padicha naye ulle varadhey” kind of lyrics. Iam talking about the background music, Yuvan was so brilliant, the scenes felt so much more alive because of the music.

Balakumaran’s dialogues are very powerful.

Other: To hear songs from this tamil movie click here.
For movie trailers click here.
For picture gallery click here.
Wikipedia has some interesting trivia about the movie.

Verdict: Do check it out. Definitely not to be watched with kids.

Kallazhagar** (1999)

Posted on November 10th, 2006 in 1999 Movie Reviews,Action,K,Laila,Tamil Movie Reviews,Two Star Movies,Vijaykanth by truthandhappiness

I was cleaning out my yahoo inbox and I found this email. After watching this movie, I had sent a review to few of my friends. I thought it would be interesting to post it here.

Cast: Vijaykanth, LailaKallalagar tmail movie clip

Review: I understand that, unlike me, most of you are actually busy, with “real” work on your hands. But still I got to share this with all of you. Yesterday I watched Kallazhagar starring Vijaykanth and Laila. What is the excuse?…..well it was free and we humans as a race, have a huge weekness for freebies!

The director makes Laila wear a inskirt, dips her in cold water and makes her run for about a mile and covers it in slow motion. Yes you all guessed it right, it is Laila’s debut!

The story goes like this, Laila is a orphan who is cared for by some old woman, who tells her folklore of Kallazhagar while feeding the brat. But she turns to grow up in to a total nutjob, who believes that Kallazhagar will come and marry her just like Kannan married Andaal. One fine day she sees Vijaykanth and thinks that he is Kallazhagar. Can’t blame her, because Vijaykanth is the spitting image of the Kallazhagar statue in the temple. So she goes around bugging the hell out of Vijaykanth. Our man wants nothing to with the whack-job and tells her his story hoping to get rid of her.

Actually Vijaykanth is a muslim guy(Kamaal) who happens to find out that there is a huge plot going on to kill Hindu pilgrims during the Kallazhagar festival. He knows that there will be bombs, but doesn’t know the trivial details like how many bombs, where, who will be planting them…etc. So he comes to the festival disguised as a Hindu guy(KamalaKannan) and gets very pal-y with the village people, teaches vedham and sastram to the Iyengar priests in the village and impresses the hell out of the chief “bhattar”. After a lots of sentimental and patriotic scenes/dialogues he finds out that the “chinna bhattar” is actually a spy from Pakistan and is orchestrating the bomb attack. Kamaal saves the world!

Imsai Arasan 23am Pulikesi**** (2006)

Imsai tamil movie clipCast: Vadivelu, Nasser, Manorama, Nagesh, Veneeradai Murthy, V.S.Raghavan, M.N.Rajaam

Gist: The story is set in 1700’s. Freedom fever is catching on. Manorama, queen of a small territory, gives birth to twins. Nasser, Manorama’s brother decides to kill one child because it is easier to control one child and it is his only chance to rule the kingdom from the shadow. The other twin is not actually killed, but is rescued by Veneeradai Murthy and M.N.Rajaam. The twin in the palace grows up to be the prodigal king with no morals. The other twin grows up to honest and responsible. In a hunting accident, the twins switch places. All the bad deeds are undone, Nasser’s wicked plot exposed and the twins reunite.

My 2 cents: First of all Vadivelu deserves a big congrats, for his hilarious performance and also for choosing a lead role that fits him well. Many a comedy actors have suffered a serious set back to their careers because of their ambition to act as a hero. Vadivelu has done well by remembering the lessons from other comedian’s lives while picking this role. He has done his best to differentiate the twins with body language and dialogue delivery. Pulikesi, the bad twin, invokes laughter with his mustache, eccentric habits, the relaxed way he sits on the throne with one leg hanging down and one leg on the throne, other mannerisms and the assortment of punishments he lavishly dishes out. As the good twin Ukirabuthan, a University of Nalanda grad, he plays it cool, level headed and imitates M.G.R in his intro song.

Director SimbuDevan’s debut deserves every star it has earned. He has kept the laughter flowing both with and without dialogues. Address outside the fort showing a old #, new # and future number#, dialogue box pointing to the lizard, “24 hr service board” outside the harem, posters that say “apppidi podu” in the jadhi sandai stadium, the shots the chief minister takes against Vadivelu, the guards runnig away from Vadivelu when he quizzes them, the way the guards come rushing to the king only in the harem….the list of funnies is endless!

I also loved the way the characters were named – the chubby thalapadhi is called Agandamuthu, the man of the match in the jaadhi sandai is called Sachin-danandam, the poet is called Veerbadhra Olandi, etc. BTW, Olandi’s poem and the explanation he gives for it is a perfect example for “Yidakkaradakkal(sarcasam)”.

Its not just funny stuff all the way, the director takes a jab at the current social and political issues – how mom and pop beverage industries are getting killed by coke and pepsi, celebrity endorsements, cast clashes, child labor, police/government getting bribes, supplying inferior quality weapons to the army…etc. This is kind of a double edged sword. The way he ridicules these issues is laughable. But when Ukirabuthan deals with these issues he takes a serious tone. This looks a tad bit out of place in a comedy movie.

Other: To hear songs from this tamil movie click here.
For movie trailers click here.
For picture gallery click here.

Verdict: Healthy humor for all ages.

Sillunnu Oru Kadhal** */2 (2006)

SEOKadhal tamil movie still.Cast: Surya, Jothika, Bhoomika

Gist: The movie starts with Surya and Jothika getting married. The whole village is rejoicing, but the bride and the groom are as indifferent as they can be. Jothika had always wanted to find a soulmate, fall in love and then get married. So she thinks that an arranged marriage is the end of all her romantic dreams. Surya’s reason for lack of any interest is not explained right away.

Fast forwarding 6 years, Surya and Jothika are leading a very happy married life in Bombay. They have a little girl, head over heels in love and can’t keep their hands away from each other. After reading one of Surya’s old diaries, Jothika finds Surya was in love with Bhomika, his junior in college and had gotten married to her. Bhoomika’s father had intervened and separated them with brutal force. Surya is heart broken and his words are, “I want to live with Aishwarya(Bhoomika) for atleast one day.”

Jothika is shattered to learn about the other woman in her husband’s past. But she is also extremely moved by the longing in her husband’s words. Being the doting wife who intends to fulfill all her husband’s wishes, she meets Bhoomika and agrees to share his husband with her for one day.

My 2 cents: I really wanted to like this movie. I have been waiting to check this movie out as soon as the DVDs were released. Surya is my all time favourite, I had fallen for him after I watched Nandha and Jothika entered my favs list after Khakha Khakha. When my friends told me that the movie was so-so, I was in serious denial. But I hate to admit that they are right. This movie was neither here nor there, I had to create a new category – “2.5 stars”!

Rather than focusing on the story and screen play, director has relied on riding the wave created by the real life romance between Surya and Jothika. There are lots of unanswered questions. I would have been more interested in finding out how Surya and Jothika hit it off. That would have been a nice “Mouna Raagam”, “Dum Dum Dum” kind of movie ain’t it?

After 6 years Bhoomika is no longer a timid girl. She seems to have become pretty independent, sports a devil-may-care attitude and lives in Australia. Then why didn’t Bhoomika make any effort to get in touch with Surya? Director seems to have taken effort to explain a lot of trivial stuff but he has no explanation why Bhoomika had given up looking for Surya.

Jothika introduces herself of Surya’s wife, when she meets Bhoomika for the first time. Bhoomika gives her a strange look and asks her, “Appo naan yaaru?” I loved her attitude in that scene. I really thought that she is going to do something big, but she falls into the typical stereotype.

Had I been in Surya’s shoes, I wouldn’t be standing there crying all the time. I would have been pretty mad at Jothika for coming up with such a stupid one-night-stand kind of arrangement.

Half way in to the movie, I started to get the feeling that the movie had been playing for a very long time!

Surya has great chemistry with both Jothika and Bhoomika. Both the women are very good looking. Lollu Sabha Santhanam who plays Surya’s friend has some great one-liners.

Music by A.R.Rahman. Typical ARR style music. I loved the folk song(Kummi adi), Newyork nagaram and Majja Majja. The other songs have to grow on me.

Other: For songs, trailer and production pictures, click here.

Some Trivia: Aasin was the first choice for Bhoomika’s role. But she turned it down because she felt that the role didn’t have much importance.

The movie’s release date was postponed to be as close to Surya-Jothika’s wedding, hoping that the wedding might boost box office performance.

From my friend – New York nagaram song is actually filmed in Switzerland!

Movie was renamed as Sillendru Oru Kadhal to qualify for tax benefits. (According to the new rule, in Tamil Nadu, movies with pure tamil names get tax break)

A ladies organization filed a stay order against the movie. Reason stated – depicting that the wife trying to fix the husband with another woman is against tamil culture. Could be another publicity stunt to boost movie performance(purely my guess)!

Verdict: Could’ve, should’ve put in more effort.

Something Something Unakkum Yenakkum*** (2006)

Something tamil movie clipCast: Jeyam Ravi, Trisha, Geetha, Prabhu, BaghyaRaj, Manivannan, Haniffa, Mallika, Mouli

Gist: Jeyam Ravi is the only son of mild mannered millionaire BaghyaRaj and ruthlessly ambitious Geetha. He meets Trisha at his cousin’s wedding. Trisha is a simple village girl who adores her brother Prabhu. Prabhu hates rich people. Ravi and Trisha fall for each other. Geetha intervenes and stamps out the romance by insulting Trisha and Prabhu. But Ravi has his mind made up. He begs Prabhu to give him a chance to prove his love for Trisha. Prabhu challenges to a farming contest. If Ravi, a guy who does not know the ABC-s of farming, shows the same yield of crop as that of Prabhu, a seasoned farmer, then he has a chance of win over Trisha. Its game time guys!

My 2 cents: This movie is a remake of a telugu movie by Prabhu Deva. Director Raja seems to have enjoyed the original and has worked hard to preserve the essence of the movie. Raja has relied heavily on ‘cuteness factor’ and it has paid off! Makes me want to see the original.

Except for the jakiradhai joke which is too cliché, other jokes are quite enjoyable. They have taken the whole of the first half to show how love develops between Ravi and Trisha, then the twist and then the climax. By proportioning the movie, they have maintained a good pace.

Ravi learning the tricks and trades of farming is potrayed in a cinematic manner. But it is not possible to cram the whole learning process in a three hour movie, so he shows cute short cuts like headphones while milking cow etc, quite frankly they are enjoyable!

Trisha and Ravi are quite a pair. There is nothing ‘village-y’ about Trisha, but she is quite adorable. Ravi is energetic and shows the right emotion at the right time. Prabhu manages not to over act and BaghyaRaj acts in the only way he knows to act!

Music by Devi Sri Prasad is vibrant and catchy.

Movie is fresh, colorful, youthful, engaging and for the whole family. What more do we want?

Other: To hear songs from this tamil movie click here.
For movie trailers click here.
For picture gallery click here.

Verdict: Something something IS something something.

Pattiyal **** (2006)

Pattiyal tamil movie still.Cast: Aarya, Barath, Padmapriya, Pooja, Haniffa

Gist: Aarya and Barath are orphans who have been best of friends since childhood. They grow up to be contract killers. Haniffa is a government employee who moon lights as a middleman delivering assignments to Aarya and Barath. Most of the hit men come across two types of women – women who are not repulsed by their profession and women who get scared of them. Padmapriya plays the first type and Pooja plays the latter type. Barath and Aarya decide to quit their profession after they kill a big shot in Coimbatore. But fate is a funny thing ain’t it? It has a strange way of making amends.

My 2 cents: Whenever a subject gets popular in Kodambakkam, directors and story writers are so keen on riding the wave that the same story line is repeated in two movies that are released around the same time. Now the craze is about the underworld. Naalai and Pattiyal have the same story. We will never know who stole the idea from whom, but atleast Pattiyal was coherent and well made.

The movie gives as realistic account of the lives of hit men. Contrary to popular perceptions, most of the time they are not people with special training, they are just ordinary people who choose killing as profession. They don’t have any remorse about their profession. They are neither rich nor have political backing. In fact most of them don’t even own sophisticated weapons that aide in their profession. They come dime a dozen and are easily dispensable. The director subtly and explicitly points out all the above through out the movie. When he shows Aarya and Barath learning to shoot by watching Hollywood movies, it is a subtle emphasis on their lack of shooting skills.

In Boys Barath was just a guy who danced well. In Pattiyal he is guy who can act as well. He plays a deaf and dumb guy and scores and ace in his acting. The scene where Pooja throws him out of the house after she witnesses Barath wielding a revolver, he pours out his emotions with hand gestures.

Padmapriya shows versatility. She is a little too hyper at times, but over all delivers a good performance.

Pooja plays a middle class family girl who falls for Barath without any knowledge about his profession. She tends to hand gesture a lot even to people who can hear well, was kind of funny. No serious complaints about her in the acting department.

Sporting a stubble, unruly hair and an irritated expression seems to be Aarya’s version of a hit man. He could have done some more homework on his role. Some times when he yells it is difficult to understand what he is saying.

Other: To hear songs from this tamil movie click here.
For movie trailers click here.
For picture gallery click here.

Verdict: Pattiyal was like a Chase novel.

NEW LOOK

Posted on October 12th, 2006 in Announcements by truthandhappiness

Hi All:

Iam working on some changes on the site’s look and feel. In the meanwhile some links might be down. But please come back and visit me.

THANKS

Next Page »