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.