Friday, December 6, 2013

Aarambam movie review

Probably one of the biggest year end releases in Tamil cinema and with multiple star power Aarambam created sky high hype and to add to it the distributors/theatre owners decided to screen innumerable shows in Chennai. Imagine 91 shows for a movie in just one multiplex. Totally Insane!

Getting straight to the point, as expected, Aarambam did not live up to that hype. The movie had a lot of potential. The first half was very exciting and for a change I thought that I would give a good rating to this movie. But a boring and dull second half left me un-engaged and think of other things during the show.

If I had to point out one best thing in the movie, it would be the cinematography. It was stunning and world class. Om Prakash needs a pat on the back for taking us through some amazing and never before seen visuals and camera angles. Apart from this, if something scored, then it was surely Ajith. He pulls it off with ease and class.

All the other departments failed. Editing was below par, songs were totally unhearable (better to hear just the background music - Young tamizhachi was a good and stylishly shot number but with a straight rip off party prelude), acting by others were passable, graphics were very amateurish.

Arya makes a fun of himself throughout the movie, Nayantara follows his path. Tapasee, on the other hand, was cute in certain areas and her delivery was different from the others. Rana Daggubati was utterly useless. No scope for him.

None of them in the cast knew how to dance. Choreography was like aerobics. 

At a high level, the film looks like a stylish hollywood flick but frequent hiccups in the screenplay, logical fallacies and other minor errors brings down the overall quality of the movie to a level lower than expected.

For a movie of this scale, errors like "using mouse on a non-clicking interface", "tamil dubbing characters starting to talk directly in tamil" and "location errors" should have definitely been avoided. Also, the director could have avoided a lame joke on Ajith's namesake enemy Vijay by not letting a Vijay look-alike come and do some unwanted gimmicks in one of the scenes which involved the character coming out of a theatre playing Rajini's Sivaiji.

To sum it up, I would say Arrambam is not that bad it does have its own ways to work, but the negatives along with a cliched storyline lets down the viewer. After a decent first half, I began to think if this is one of the best Ajith flicks in my list but at the end this thought ends up in the trash.

A swing and a miss is Aarambam but still is definitely better than Billa 2. Watch if you want to have some timepass and definitely watch if you are an Ajith fan.

Rating: 2.5/5

Aarambam: Could have actually made it simple!

All in All azhagu raja review

All in All Azhagu Raja" (AIAAR) marks the halt to M.Rajesh's hat-trick of success and marks the hat-trick of duds for Karthi. It is really astonishing to see Karthi outdoing himself with every movie of his with his absurd script selection. After "Siruthai" became a surprise hit, smitten by the mass hero tag he has chosen movies like "Sakuni", "Alexpandian" and now this one, all of them worse than the predecessor. With  AIAAR, he has hit all time low. It will be a greater challenge to someone to make a movie that might be worse than this, and hence Karthi can heave a sigh of relief that his worst is over and he has only things to look up from here for currently he has hit the rank bottom.

One can see this coming from Rajesh. He too seems to be loosing his touch with every other movie of his. His previous "Oru Kal Oru Kannadi" was the weakest and most loose of his three previous movies somehow managed to hit the right chord with the audience. But this time he has made it sure that not even those who are starved of entertainment of any sort in their life would find it amusing. Not even a single scene makes you laugh, it only irritates. It would be a difficult challenge for anyone to finish watching this movie in theater. Only solace in the movie is Radhika Apte and the "Unnai Partha Neram" song and its picturization. Everything else is unmitigated torture. Wonder what anger the makers had on the unsuspecting Tamil cinema audience.

Karthi needs to do a lot of soul searching. It is really surprising that coming from a family of intelligent actors he is not able to choose scripts that are at least okay, leave alone interesting. Movies that he has been doing off-late not only look bad on screen would not have looked any better on paper too. He should come out of his current brain fade for he is a good performer, earlier movies of his bear the testimony to the fact. Kajal Agarwal has made it a point to star in the most silliest of roles it seems. When was the last time we saw her in a more bearable role, probably never.

Prabhu is getting overboard with his histrionics and irritating dialogue delivery. In the whole movie he is in the "Yenna koduma Saravana ithu" mode. YENNA KODUMA PRABHU SAAR ITHU..??!! Saranya is wasted totally. Santhanam is continuing with his poor form. But it is heartening to see him putting some effort in trying to do something different coming out of his comfort zone, banking just on his one-liners. Radhika Apte is pleasing to the eyes and is one of the few reason why one can sit through the second half albeit for for just half an hour.

Thaman's Ilayaraja inspired songs are good to hear. "Unna Partha Neram", a throwback to the vintage 80's is an instant hit.

Sakthi Saravanan's cinematography is nothing much to rave about. Movie is technically there or thereabouts.

On the whole, with "All in All Azhagu Raja" Rajesh has invented a new genre, like romantic-comedy, adult-comedy, black-comedy, slapstick-comedy, AIAAR is  "ANNOYANCE-COMEDY".

Bottomline: Exasperating watch.


Pizza 2 review

Santhosh Narayanan is the hero of the movie. What an outstanding background score Santhosh, take a bow.  One of the best scores in a thriller in recent times. The Atmos effect is also very well done.  Songs however fail to register. Deepak Kumar Padhy's cinematography is outstanding. The lighting, both interiors and exterior of the villa is very well done, apt for a thriller. Technically movie is one par with the best. It is astonishing how these new generation of film makers are able to make movie this stylishly and technically this grand with limited budget. The doyens of Tamil cinema, are you listening.

Ashok Selvan as the protagonist (though not in the regular Tamil cinema sense) is adequate. Though he lacks the charisma of a lead, he still manages with his sincere effort. Sanchita Shetty is totally clueless about what is happening and what she is supposed to do. From her promising effort in "Sudhu Kavvum", this is a difinite fall from her. Vegan Rajesh gets a good part after a long time and he has done it well. Nasser is adequate while rest of the cast have done their parts to satisfaction.

It is heartening to witness the young generation of Tamil movie makers trying out various genre and themes which are till now not much tried by our more established directors. Also the home work and research these guys put in and the quality of the end product they come up with are heartening. One can only hope that like Malayalam cinema is undergoing a brilliant transition after the young filmmakers started to take over, Tamil cinema also will follow suit.

On the whole, "Pizza 2: Villa" is a neatly done suspense thriller that is engrossing, technically brilliant with outstanding background score, notwithstanding average acting.

Bottomline: Exciting times for Tamil cinema.


Irandam Ulagam review

Selvaraghavan has a penchant for exploring the new territories right from his debut. Not only that, each and every movie of his invariably has engaging screenplay that keeps the audience in it's leash. This time around he has tried to explore another novel concept not explored yet in Indian cinema and at the outset one has to congratulate him for that. But the problem with "Irandam Ulagam" is unlike his previous movies this time his screenplay is very loose and not engaging even in parts. The movie moves at such a sluggish pace that in spite of you trying to get yourself involved with the movie it becomes very difficult to do so.

One wonders what has happened to Selva, that maverick writer-director that we all know of. "Irandam Ulagam" is more like an intoxicated rant by Selva against Tamil Cinema industry that is churning out commercial mass masala movies on and on, successfully at that. But what he has come up with is nothing but a kiddish movie that lacks not only soul but fails in the basics of movie making itself. Movie has come out more like a project for some movie making competition by novices of movie making rather than a full length feature film.

The screenplay and the direction are so shallow that it is difficult for the viewers to get affected by the characters, and their emotions. It is brilliant that Selva has stuck into such an interesting premise and concept. The cinematography (Ramji  who is awesome with his frames) and the visual effects are so grand and opulent (which look very very good on the big screen unlike the amateurishness that was stark in the trailer except for the bizarre Rama Narayananesque monsters ) which deserves standing ovation for considering the budgetary constraints the end results are exceptional. But Selva fails to pay the degree of respect such visual splendor and riot of imagination deserves with his lackluster writing and direction. The end product is like having built a palace par excellence with the grandeur and artistic imagination of a purist and then dumping it with all the old trash and garbage. Selva fails to pay the respect to first his creativity, then the medium of cinema and above all the movie goers who shell out their hard earned money and valuable time.  
Arya is a bad choice for this movie. He can't emote for god's sake and you wonder when the movie makers will finally realize it. The umpteen number of close-up shots that are intended to showcase his emotive skills are pure torture to the audience who are already under tremendous annoyance of having been taken for a royal ride by one of the most promising directors of recent times. Anushka is at least bearable in the role of Ramya. Her Varna role is wrought with confusion. The most comical thing in this "so called purist"movie is its support cast. None of the foreign actors can act. And by making them mouth Tamil dialogues the director is playing a cruel joke on the audience's sensitivity and intelligence. It gets so funny that even the so-called serious sequences end up being unintentionally comical. You will invariably end up getting the feel of watching a Tamil dubbed B-grade Hollywood movie that might have got a title "Kovakaara Ponnum Muttal Kadhalanum".

"Pazhangalla" and "Kanimozhiye" are good melodious numbers by Harris Jayaraj. Movie's background score is by Anirudh. One wonder why for the result is nothing that impressive. By far the weakest work he has done so far.

Of all the inadequacies of the movie if there is one thing that may keep you glued to the screen it is Ramji's cinematography. His hard work and ingenuity of vision is evident in his frames which are on par with any international movie. Armed with brilliant Visual effects, each and every frame is like an opulent painting.

One wonders whether Selvaraghavan has become tired or lazy but his regression is hard to phantom. Nothing wrong in thinking out of the box and having grandiose ideas, but whatever one does one should not compromise on the basics. If you do, then the end result will be something like "Irandam Ulagam", half-baked, stale and almost repulsive.

On the whole, "Irandam Ulagam" is for Selvaragavan what "Mugamoodi" was for Mysskin, "Rajapattai" for Suseendaran, and "Nayyandi" for Sargunam.

Bottomline: Free association on dope.


Jannal Oram Movie Review

Cast : Parthipen, Vemal, Vidharth, Poorna, Manisha Yadav, Ramana, Sanjay Bharathi, Rajesh, Santhana Bharathi, Singam Puli & others..
Directed by : Karu Pazhaniappan

Karu pazhaniappan is well known for his crisp & witty dialogues. He is back on track with this romantic thriller. First half of the movie, moves on a bit slow with fresh hill side breeze up on the audience along with the aroma of love, fun , flirt & wittiness. Interval scene starts to make the audience have a grip on the movie.Second half of the movie, moves in such a way that we would definitely not  be able to guess in what direction movie would take you through.
 Notable things were

  • Never get drunk when you are at your work.
  • love pannina aapu confirm di :P
Overall jannal oram  is a sweet journey, what we get is a glimpse of other people's life like the vision which we get through the window. Never judge people from it, untill you get to know the entire version of the story.

Jannal oram     4 out of 5

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mayakkam enna movie review

Depicting the multi-layers of human relationships and its ramifications comes very naturally to Selvaraghavan and when he has a National Award Winner for histrionics as brother to translate his vision onto the big canvas, what more can one ask for? The combo has proved themselves in the past and reiterates the theory in Mayakkam Enna too.

Mayakkam Enna is about a man who rediscovers himself in the journey of life and the crucial role of a woman in it. The premise remains Selva’s comfort zone and the director has played it with aplomb.

Firstly Selvaraghavan should be lauded for taking on a fairly bold subject and not bowing down to any commercial element in the form of inane comedy or such unnecessary detour. It needs immense courage and conviction and hats off Selva! And to weave a story about normal people and to tunnel into the innermost recesses of a tortured soul is a child’s play for him and he has reveled in it.

Dhanush’s biggest advantage is, the moment he appears on screen, you immediately invest your emotions with him and start caring for him (character) unmindful of its color. And in Selva’s films, it definitely goes a few notches high. The scene where he expresses his anger, irritation and edginess to his friend on being rejected by the ace photographer is just one small sample of this malleable actor’s prowess and Mayakkam Enna is sated with such performances.

Richa Gangopadhyay- Is she a debutante? Hard to believe! She is the perfect foil for Dhanush. Mayakkam Enna’s finest moments belong to the scene where Richa reveals her impotent anger at Dhanush on losing her baby. There is not a single dialogue in this powerful scene and you only have Richa’s emotive actions. It’s surely a masterpiece that would make your eyes go moist.

It is not an exaggerated statement to say that G V Prakash’s RR is exceedingly brilliant bringing out the finer feelings so beautifully and Selva has utilized GV’s music alone to convey his thoughts instead of dialogues in many sequences. After Ilayaraja’s RR, it is GV’s RR that is going to be well spoken for a long time. And of course, Oda Oda and Adida Avlai are situational and hence enjoyable.

Selva’s narration is also aided well by the lyrically inclined work of lensman Ramji and the frames are a poem by themselves.  When the protagonist is a wildlife photographer, there is always an additional advantage and Ramji delivers the best. Kola Bhaskar’s editing enhances the brilliance of the film.

Richa’s character in the first half is likely to be misunderstood as someone very frivolous but the second half has made her highly respectful and strong and her characterization is sure to find patrons in women audience.

On the downside, Mayakkam Enna is very languorously narrated with a lazy rhythm which may not go well with the mainstream audience. The characters of an attention seeking or a weak hero and a strong heroine may be viewed as Selvaraghavan’s clichĂ©s.

To sum it all, Mayakkam Enna is emotionally rich and is an inebriating experience by itself.

Desi Boys Movie Review

Desi Boyz is a very important movie for several people, Akshay Kumar hasn’t had a proper hit in a while, John Abraham's last film proved that he single handedly can’t pull in the audience to watch his movie And its the debut film for one of the greatest entertainer David Dhawan's son Rahul Dhawan. And with Ra One destroyed after the record setting first week and Rockstar's below average second week it’s indeed a very important release for Bollywood. Can Akshay Kumar and John Abraham create the same magic which they did six years ago with 'Garam Masala'?. Even in this movie they have a time of their lives enjoying with a lot of women, just that this time, the situation forces them. But they do not really complain till it threatens to take away what or who they love the most.

Desi Boyz is set in the background of the 2009 recession which starts taking its toll on the employment scenario in UK. Nick Mathur (John Abraham) is a successful investment banker who shares his house, salary and beer with his childhood friend Jerry Patel (Akshay Kumar). Jerry is the perfect bachelor- happy-go-lucky, college drop-out, under qualified for any job and most often unemployed. He sponges off his best friend to lead a life of comfort and to support his dead sister’s child Veer. However, soon their lives take a hit when Nick loses his job. The never ending expenses to sustain their love and loved ones force them to take on the less respected job of male escorts under the banner of Desi Boyz.

Will this job sustain them for long? What if their loved ones get to know of this? Well, things take a sudden turn when they are exposed and their profession threatens to take away Nick’s fiancĂ© (Deepika Padukone) and Veer.

First time director, Rahul Dhawan does follow in his father’s footsteps. The film is a decent entertainer with humor sprinkled throughout. The first half is well paced with many developments that keep us engaged. All the scenes with the child are emotionally strong. The second half, on the other hand, has quite a few loopholes. With no money, Akshay Kumar going back to college and John spending time in wooing Deepika rather than looking for a job dilute the film. The court room scene is bizarre, especially when Sunjay Dutt hands over his visiting card to the judge. These gaps take out the punch from the film, not to mention the ending.

On the positive side, the second half brings more laughs with the short and sweet performances by Omi Vaidya and Bharati Archekar. The latter brings in nostalgia as we are reminded of Radhika in 'Wagle ki Duniya', a famous TV serial of the late 80s. Akshay and John look fit and put up a decent performance, but nothing outstanding. Deepika does well. Chitrangadha Siingh as the second female lead sizzles on screen and plays her role commendably. Anupam Kher and the kid who plays Veer, deliver their parts effortlessly.  Sanjay Dutt in his cameo appearance could have been better.

N Nataraj Subramaniam wields the camera beautifully. The introductory shots establishing the situation in London are very well taken. Technically, in terms of editing, the film is good, though the graphics were not very impressive. Art work is commendable.

Pritam scores with his already hit title track. The other songs are decent too. But sadly the choreography does not match the energy of the songs. Especially, the steps for a song like Desi Boyz could have been much livelier.

Overall, Desi Boyz is a one time watch, a decent entertainer. And with no other major releases this week, you can watch it this weekend though Rockstar would be my suggestion if you have not already seen it.