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.