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.

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.

Paarijatham *** (2006)

Posted on October 3rd, 2006 in 2006 Movie Reviews,Director BaghyaRaj,Drama,P,PrakashRaj,PrithviRaj,Roja,Saranya,Three Star Movies by truthandhappiness

Parijatham Tamil Movie clipCast: Saranya, Seetha, Sarath Babu, PrakashRaj, BaghyaRaj

Gist: Saranya is the daughter of SarathBabu. She works as a maid in Seetha’s house. Seetha learns that Saranya’s family used to be affluent, but all the wealth has dried up presently. Seetha is very impressed by Saranya’s warm and lovable nature. She is so impressed that she decides to make Saranya her daughter-in-law. She informs her husband(PrakashRaj) and son(PrithviRaj) of her decision, but she does not disclose the identity of the bride to be. Unexpectedly Seetha sustains a head injury and dies before she could tell PrakashRaj and PrithviRaj who she has picked out to be her DIL. PrakashRaj and PrithviRaj are determined to fulfill Seetha’s last wish, but are mislead and confused. Now enters BaghyaRaj with his usual sense of wit and helps father and son to solve the mystery.

My 2 cents: At a time where the whole tamil movie world is going ga-ga over movies about underworld and hit men, Paarijatham which deals with family drama is a breath of fresh air.

Another heroine oriented subject from the master screenplay writer, BaghyaRaj. He has proved time and again that he can captivate the audience with scanty story line. The movie is littered with typical BaghyaRaj-isms. But since we are watching his work after a very long time, it does not irritate us.

For a debut, Saranya gives a decent performance. Prithiviraj has played a romantic hero, very much different from his previous role as a loan shark(Movie Kana Kandein).

We all know how the movie will end, it is an ending we all expect. The strength of the movie lies in the screen play which keeps us guessing on the route BagyaRaj takes to arrive at the ending. So no complaints about a predictable ending! Anything but the predictable ending, I would’nt have liked the movie, after all I was looking for something light.

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

Verdict: But for the gross comedy track towards the end of the movie, this would have been a wholesome entertainment for the entire family.

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.

Idhya Thirudan** (2006)

Posted on September 29th, 2006 in 2006 Movie Reviews,Director Charan,I,Jeyam Ravi,Kamna,Love/Romance,Nasser,PrakashRaj,Two Star Movies by truthandhappiness

idhayathorudan tamil movie clipCast: Jayam Ravi, Kamna(Introducing), PrakashRaj, Nasser, Vani Vishwanath

Gist: Charan has dealt with the same old love story which has been beaten to death since the dawn of Tamil cinema. Jayam Ravi who is a catering college student is in love with Kamna and it is love at first sight for him. But Kamna rejects him, for no apparent reason. Slowly Kamna realizes that she is in love with Ravi but her ego gets the better of her. She proceeds to flirt with Prakash Raj, leads him on to a wedding in a registrar office. Finally who ends up with who is not something hard or difficult to guess.

My 2 cents: If you don’t ask logical questions, or for that matter any questions at all, it is a semi-decent masala. Villains are thrown all over the movie just to provide so called interesting turns. Ravi is quite good looking and is a good dancer. Kamna gets a pass mark in her debut performance. In the looks department, she is neither here nor there.

There is no explanation why Kamna hates her mother (Vani Vishwanath) so much. Also she flirts with any one and every one, it kind of gets on one’s nerves after sometime. All of a sudden Nasser metamorphoses in to a good guy. Songs are barely okay. Charan seems to rely soley on Kamna’s skimpy clothes to promote the movie.

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

Verdict: In a nut shell, Idhayathirudan lacks the ability to steal the viewer’s heart.

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