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!

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.

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.

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.

Kasthoorimaan **** (2005)

Posted on October 2nd, 2006 in 2005 Movie Reviews,Director Logidass,Drama,Four Star Movies,K,Meera Jasmine,Prasanna by truthandhappiness

Kasthoorimaan tamil movie clipCast: Meera Jasmine, Prasanna, Sarath Babu, Vinodhini

Gist: Meera Jasmine is a blithe college girl who likes playing harmless pranks on her co-students. Every one in college is under the impression that Meera is from a wealthy family. Prasanna is from a once wealthy family. He has ambitions to pass IAS and become a collector. Prasanna’s family is heavily in debt and the family members are looking up to him to restore the family’s good name. Meera learns about the plight of his family and offers to helps him out by lending him the money to pay his tution fees. Meanwhile Prasanna stumbles upon the truth that Meera is also from a poor family and that she works as a part time nurse, tending to invalid people to support her family and pay for her education. As if she does not have enough problems, her brother-in-law is lusting for her. Prasanna looks at Meera in a whole new light and develops respect for her. Their friendship slowly matures in to a sweet romance. Watch the movie to find out if Prasanna manages to pass IAS and marry Meera.

My 2 cents: This Malayalam remake by Logidass(Meera’s mentor) is beautifully crafted for Meera. And being the talented actress she is, she aces through the role and captivates our hearts by her superb acting. Be it a carefree college girl or a harassed sister-in-law, she fits the role with ease. And the climax….wow! The way she pulls off a star studded performance with just her eyes and body language is amazing.

The story revolving around Meera, doesn’t mean that the other characters are blanked out. Every one has a part to play and are given a good chance to express themselves.

The only person who seems to have fallen short of expectations is llayaraajaa. Pretty mediocore music with a stange sense of deja vu.

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

Verdict: A bit on the heavy side, but a well made and executed movie.

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.