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!

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.

Sandaikozhi *** (2005)

Posted on October 3rd, 2006 in 2005 Movie Reviews,Action,Director Lingusamy,Meera Jasmine,Rajkiran,S,Three Star Movies,Vishaal by truthandhappiness

SandaikozhiCast: Meera Jasmine, Vishaal, Raajkiran

Gist: Vishaal visits his friend after completing college. He not only falls in love with his friend’s sister, Meera, but also gets involved in a fight with the local rowdy. Vishaal whups the rowdy and returns to his family. The rowdy wants revenge. He lands up in Vishaal’s village only to find out that Vishaal’s father Rajkiran is a bigshot and it is next to impossible to lay his hands on Vishaal. In the climax Vishaal and the rowdy butt heads and Vishaal triumphs.

My 2 cents: Even though there is nothing novel about the story of this tamil movie, Sandaikozhi is a well rounded action-masala from Lingusamy. I loved the song “Dhavani potta deepavail” by Yuvan Shankar Raja.

Meera is pretty, needless to say, and wins our hearts with her rowdy behaviour. Vishaal plays shy guy in front of Meera, but shines well in action sequences. Rajkiran plays a local big shot just like in Nanda. Timely dialogues by Kanjaa Karuppu are enjoyable.

Other: For songs, click here.
For Sandaokozhi trailers, click here.
For Sandaikozhi production photgraphs, click here.

Verdict: Sandaikozhi is spicy.

Saravana **** (2006)

Posted on October 2nd, 2006 in 2006 Movie Reviews,Action,Director K.S.Ravikumar,Four Star Movies,Jothika,PrakashRaj,S,Simbu,Vivek by truthandhappiness

Cast: Jothika, Simbu, Vivek, PrakashRaj, Eshwari Rao, Nagesh, RadhaRaviSaravana tamil movie clip

Gist: For Simbu its love at first sight when he sees his friend’s sister Jothika in a video recording. He visits his friend’s village hoping to get in to Jothika’s good books. One thing leads to another and Jothika’s whole family is brutally killed by the villain. Simbu somehow manages to bring Jothika to Chennai, hoping to send her back to London safely. Does Simbu succeed in telling Jothika his love? Does she feel the same about him? That is the rest.

My 2 cents: I have always liked K.S.Ravikumar’s method of story telling, just in case you are wondering why the movie received four stars from me. Simbu and Jothika??? There is no chemistry between them. It is now becoming a rarity to see Vivek in movies. In Saravana, he does a fairly good job. Prakash Raj’s performance is impressive. He is one of the few actors who can mould themselves to fit in to the role. He has great screen presence.

Music by Srikanth Deva is just plain ruckus. Whoever came with this new trend to remix old songs, deserves a kick on the head. People of with talent of their own, like Deva and Srikanth Deva, conveniently use it as an excuse for their plagiarism.

Simbu talks too much. He talks non-stop without even pausing for a breath. It is very irritating. Thank God he does not make silly finger puppets or deliver lame punch dialogues. In tamil they have a term called ‘adhigaprasingi’, that’s exactly what Simbu is. He some how fails to fit in to a hero image.

For all the blatant killing and fighting on the streets that goes on, one wonders what the police is doing!

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

Verdict:Saravana is a good time pass movie. But for Simbu the movie would have been even better.

Aadhi *** (2006)

Adhi movie clipCast: Trisha, Vijay, Nasser, PrakashRaj, Manivannan, Seetha, Vivek

Gist: Vijay and his family move from Delhi to Chennai and he joins the same college in which Trisha is studying. Trisha is a college student with an air of mystery around her. Same is the case with Vijay. Later they find out that they are actually cousins who got split up when the villain butchered the rest of their family. The duo team up to avenge the death of their family members.

My 2 cents: Vijay and Trisha join hands, to do another Teulgu remake, hoping to create another super duper hit like Gilli. Unlike Thirupachi, Trisha is not used just for duets, she is actually a part of the story! The first scene of the movie, with Trisha stabbing Devan, is very intriguing. After that every other scene is predictable.

When we see that both Trisha and Vijay like to eat ice cream while getting wet in the rain, we can put two and two together and guess the rest of the story. After all we have seen only a few dozen movies with the same story line, haven’t we?!

Of the people who form Vijay and Trisha’s family, Prakash Raj is the only one who sticks to the mind. Too many people, the way they are related is not explained, except for the fact that Trisha and Vijay are cousins, everything else was a blur. Malavika, Livingstone(hopefully I have spelled his name right) and a whole bunch of others are wasted by making appearances without even a single dialogue. Vivek’s comedy is very umimpressive. So is music director Vidhyasagar. By the way, whats with Vijay’s hair?!!

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

Verdict: Aadhi fails to recreate the Gilli charm.