Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hanuman (2005) - Hindi Cartoon Movie

Hanuman a movie for children and adults to breeze through the Hindu mythology. It is super fast, does not delve into too many details but is explained well enough to understand who-is-who and what was happening.

In fact a lot of things bought the reaction of, "Really? Is that how it was in the story?? I never knew about it." The animations though not to Disney standards are worth watching. Infact they are cute and funny too. The little Hanuman is really 'cho chweet.' The faces of little Ram is very chubby and the grown Ram not so beautiful as he is supposed to be. Some parts of the movie reminded me of drawings taken right out of Amar Chitra Katha comics.

I had fun watching this movie and I am sure you will too. After all Hanuman is our version of a Superhero...

Bajrangabali ki Jai! Jai Hanuman!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Thavamai Thavamirundhu (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

I have not really written a perfect review for this wonderful movie. But have written something nevertheless...Please visit it at


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

ABCD - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 4.0/5.0

Cast: Shaam, Sneha, Nandana, Aparna
Director: Saravana Subbiah
Music: Immam

Bharathi (Nandana), Chandra (Sneha) , Daisy (Aparna) all have a revolutionary angle to them as women...something like a 'pudhumai pen' image that Balachander had created in the 70's. They all have a past or present that is introduced to the audience in a superb fashion.

Anand (Shaam) who is an orphan raised by his uncle is trying to get his foothold in Chennai stays as a tenant in Chandra's house. Chandra a widow (who was tortured and harrassed by her husband) takes to Shaam due to his understanding character. Chandra takes care of Anand with lot of love and affection.

Bharathi, a revolutionary lady who hates being sold away to men in the form of dowry meets Anand in a bus. They become friends due to circumstances and Bharathi falls in love with Anand who has a practical approach in life.

Daisy, a church raised girl works in an office where looks and attire have more importance than the quality of work she does. She hates the looks and glares she gets from men. Anand helps admit her in a hospital after she meets with an accident due to some eve teasers and does not make a big deal of it. Daisy too falls in love with Anand.

Anand as one would think should be in a fix about choosing one of the three...but he is clear about what he wants and make a very sensible decision and in doing so he also makes sure that he helps settle the lives of other women too. No wonder these women fell in love with him.

The director keeps us guessing till the last moment about whom Anand's obvious love interest would be. In all this is a very simple story with a good screenplay and direction which is certified for family viewing. The actors have all portrayed their roles very deftly and this movie also alludes simplicity. This could actually be the big break Shaam has been waiting for after 12B. Sneha who can carry an entire movie on her shoulder carries her role very strongly. The other two women also do a very good job in portraying their characters.

I have very little to tell about the music...but otherwise I would surely take time off to enjoy this family entertainer.

Kanda Naal Mudhal (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 4.8/5.0

Cast: Prasanna, Karthik Kumar, Laila, Revathy, Lakshmi
Director: V. Priya
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja

The music in this movie too did not do it for me. I thought for the first time, it was loud and garrish but I have to listen to it a couple more times before I make up my mind about it.

The story??? Amazing. Simple and Superb...simply superb. I mean why can't people in Bollywood make such movies? They have totally stopped doing that...All I see in Bollywood is NRI-aping movies that are neither funny, real, or interesting. But movies like Kanda Naal Mudhal (KNM) are rare and to be preserved...No vulgarity, clean dialogues, no double entendre's, can really be seen with family, totally feel good, and so on...Really, I felt fresh after seeing the movie. It did not tire me as it did not involve my brain to think, it did not bore me, there was comedy in the movie and not a separate track, and the actors really acted...What more can you ask for? Anyways before I forget let me review the movie...

Krishna (Prasanna) and Ramya (Laila) renew their twenty year old feud when they meet at a culturals only to fight again. Krishna's friend Arvind (Karthik Kumar) who refuses to marry lands up for 'ponnu-parthufying' at Ramya's house at Krishna's insistence. Even though Krishna was the sole reason for Arvind to accept the 'ponnu-parthufying,' Krishna did not know that it was Ramya they were going to meet. On seeing Ramya Krishna tries and explains to Karthik that Ramya is not a soft girl, that she is arrogant, head strong, etc. But Karthik decides that he needs a girl with some spirit and accepts the proposal.

Ramya trying to outdo Krishna tries and acts as if she is a very soft and meek girl thereby disillusioning Karthik who breaks the engagement before he leaves to USA again. Ramya gets angry at Krishna wrongly assuming that he was the reason behind the engagement breaking. Krishna trying to convince her otherwise gets entagled in her family issues and later emotionally with Ramya.

Karthik is coming from USA and now Ramya and Krishna are not sure what to do...For rest of the action watch the movie.

Prasanna has proved with Azhagiya Theeye that he has comic timing and he just reinstated it in this movie. He has done a very good job with no overacting. Sometimes I feel that another 'Mohan' is evolving out of him.

Karthik who had managed to irritate me with is tamil accent actually did not do that in this movie. I liked his acting too...Simple and in fact he suited the role of an NRI perfectly. Laila was cute as a button and played her part to perfection. All supporting artists have done the same. No over acting, no styles, nothing...Just edhartham...Simplicity. Nice job Priya...Hope you make many more good movies like this...But not the same though...

Aaru (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 2/5

Cast: Surya, Trisha, Ashish Vidyarthi, Jay Prakash Reddy, Vadi Velu, Aishwarya
Director: Hari
Music: Devi Sri Prasad

I am missing the point here. What the story about again? Did director Hari think that he could make a film with blood and violence and it would automatically become a hit? Aaru is surely not a Thamizh or a Swamy which I really thought were great entertainers. Aaru is just another attempt at making an also-ran movie. If not for Surya I am sure most of the movie goers would not even waste their time. It is an average movie with average comedy and veyr little window for a story.

The story of aaru alias aaru mugam (Surya) is that of an orphan raised in a kuppam (slum) under the guidance of a dada Vishwanathan (Ashish V.) and his loving wife. Aaru trusts the don with his life while the don does not care too much for Aaru's life. Aaru goes around beating up people, organizing crowds for political gatherings, and so on. Mind you Aaru is a small time rowdy with a great heart (as are all movie small time rowdy's).

Aaru and Trisha bump into each other more than once and Trisha gets impressed by the good nature of the rowdy. In an effort to save Trisha from a kidnapper Aaru throws a gold chain over her neck and brings her home. Trisha obviously falls in love with him and tries to win over Aaru's love. This saving act of Surya wins him negative points from the kidnapping dada (Jay Prakash Reddy).

The climax of the story...Vishwanath (Aaru's mentor don) burns five of Aaru's men for a political demonstration by conning to Aaru. Concerned that Aaru might try to take revenge on him he sets up Aaru to be killed by the kidnapping don (Jay Prakash Reddy). Aaru uncovers the plot and follows up with more killings, blood, gore, and violence...The end is how the end comes to the villain and his brothers.

I am not going to say that I don't like violent movies. There are some that are fun to watch because there is a story behind all the violence. There is justification. But this movie has none. The music did not do it for me either. It was okay. Maybe I will listen to it a few more times and see if it has any impact.

Poor Surya, he can really do a better job choosing his movies. Aaru was surely a bad job. As far as I am concerned all actors did justice to their roles. There really was not much to be done. Violence was one thing but letting a lady use very uncouth abusive language was another. The movie was filled with ugly language and Aishwarya did not hessitate to use them in her male-like voice. I have seen many such don-movies and the same anger and hatred has been conveyed in a better way than with vulgar language.

Let me know if you thought otherwise about the movie.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Gajini (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking - 4.5/5

Cast: Surya, Asin, Nayanthara
Director: Murugadoss
Music: Harris Jeyaraj

First off, great movie, great camera work, great music, good acting, decent screenplay. In all entertaining and a must watch. Nayanthara, a medical student researches on Surya (as Sanjay Ramaswamy) who is afflicted with temporary memory loss and can remember only 15 minutes at a time. He carries with him a recorder-alarm and a polaroid camera to keep track of events and people he meets. He is a leading businessman of a cellular company that is taking over the globe one peice at a time. Nayanthara unearths his past through his diaries...

Although Surya has done a good j0b acting it is Asin who brings in the lighter moments of the movie. Asin (as Kalpana) an aspiring model has her goals set in life. She lands up being mistaken for Surya's girlfriend and she plays along with the story that goes into the hands of the media. Surya who comes to confront her falls in love with her almost immediately and hides his identity from her. Over time both of them fall in love with each other. Asin not knowing Surya's real identity and Surya waiting to tell her who he really is based on her answer to his question (I love you, do you love me?).

Enter villain, the guy who sells children to child prostitution and does all the bad things (A to Z). Asin helps the police department crack his ring and earns his wrath. Asin gets killed in the process and Surya gets hit in the head thereby leading to his temporary memory loss. The rest of the story is how Surya takes avenges the death of his girlfriend. There is a small twist in the story...but is it justified? I don't know you tell me...

Surya has performed in this movie with elan. He has matured as an actor since Poovellam Kettuppar and today he surely is one of the best heroes we have in Tamil industry. Asin, is pretty, cute and can surely act unlike many other new heroines. She will surely make the audience fall in love with her histrionics.

Nayanthara, as you can notice I have not mentioned her much in the review is very annoying to look at. She is fat over the limit (maybe she can lend some of those extra pounds to Dhanush) and can't act.

The songs, Oru Maalai and Sutrum Vizhi are hummable and very enjoyable. Surya and Asin can shake their legs as much as they can act and entertain. As far as adapting and reusing the story from Memento kudos to the director. He has added the correct amount of desi masala to make it commercial and entertaining for everybody.

Maja (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking - 3/5

Cast: Vikram, Asin, Pasupathi, Manivanan, Vadivelu, Vijaykumar
Director: Shafi
Music: Vidyasagar

Hoping that this movie will bring a lot of majaI invited a couple of friends over for Dinner and a Movie. Right from beginning to end the movie really did not make too much sense but that doesn't mean that it was boring. It was a very funny movie with funny dialogues that made you laugh while you wonder where all this is going...

Pasupathy, Vikram, and Manivannan are theives who live together as a family. Manivannan who had lost his family in an accident adopts Vikram and Pasupathy, two ten year olds escaped from an ill-treating orphanage thus forming a family bond. Three of them after fighting and discussing decide to quit their life of robbing and stealing and lead a normal life. They buy a lorry after selling their home and decide to move out of the village.

During their drive their lorry breaks down at a village where Vijayakumar and his family live. Vikram and Pasupathy help Vijayakumar to get back the documents of his house from the village headman Rayar (who is referred to as drawer or underawyer and is extremely feared in teh village) after a long and boring fight with Ramudu and Bheemudu (trained goons). Pasupathy almost instantly falls in love with Vijayakumar's daughter who has just two lines in the whole movie and spends the rest of the time either crying or smiling. And Vikram falls in love with Asin (Rayar's daughter) who has very little window to act but a lot of musical appearances.

The story slowly proceeds into the flashback and the introduction of the real Villain...The reason I am saying real villain is because for the first half of the movie you are made to believe that Rayar is a bad guy but later you realize that he is actually nice. A sweet guy...not the bad daddy of the pretty heroine...With no twist and turns the movie ends...predictably.

Vikram is not upto mark in this movie. With movies like Sethu, Kasi, Pithamagan, etc., under his belt I guess he wanted to try something light hearted and it just turned too light. His presence is hardly felt in the movie. Although he is there in every frame it is Pasupathy who steals the show with his comic timing and funny facial expressions. Pasupathy has really donned the comedian role with ease and it is a fun to watch him exchange words with Vikram and Manivannan.

Vadivelu does not amuse me on most days. The only movie I liked him in the most was Chandramukhi in recent times though he has had a few. Otherwise he just screams a lot and is annoying. In this movie he is actually tolerable and makes you laugh at times. I am not sure if the credit goes to him or to the person who wrote his lines. Manivannan who plays the village drunk, I am sure is pretty used to playing that part by now and does a pretty good job of it with great comic timing. Asin makes special appearances for songs and a few dialogues.

On the whole the movie could be an entertainer if you are in the mood for it. Or else please watch Swamy or Dhool again instead of wasting time for Maja. The movie has its funny parts but it fails to keep you focussed.

Sivakasi (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking - 3/5

Cast: Vijay, Asin, Prakash Raj, Geetha
Director: Perarasu Music: Srikanth Deva

I still don't get it. How can a rich educated girl fall in love with a welder/mechanic/jobless youth? I am not saying that it never happens, but how come it always happens in tamil movies?

Anyways, getting to the story...regular masala vijay movie...Vijay the poor orphaned welder who has four pals around him calling him the greatest and the best all the time. Vijay targetting the male fans, as usual gets over board mouthing anti-feminist dialogues (he gets sued for bashing lawyers...feminists what are you doing???). And I really don't understand how none of the heroines get offended by it but instead fall instantly in love with him.

Asin plays his lady love who cons Vijay which forms a small part of the comedy track. Vijay has a flashback...his family back in the village whom he has run away from. Asin convinces him to reunite with his family. Vijay goes back to find his home upside down because of his brother Prakash Raj. The rest of the story works its way about how Vijay, incognito restores his family back to shape.

Like I said before Masala thrills and twists. Vijay can attract one particular group and that will be his only faithful audience. Everybody else might just call it too much build-up. Really even if Vijay moves his hands while walking normally (not the heroic walk) the swoosh sounds follow is just a little too much. The way he works with his hands remind us so much about Rajni...His acting skills as far as I am concerned are at a standstill...movies from Gilli, Thirupachi and the ones before that all have Vijay acting the same it is redundant...enough of Vijay bashing...

Although, Asin has more window to perform in this movie than in Maja, it feels like Deja Vu from Gajini. I dont want to say again that she is cute and pretty...blah, blah, blah...

Prakash many more times??? How many more times should I see his hamming acting? Well anyway he does his usual role pretty usually...

The music is okay, stunts are fine, screenplay literally runs a movie that has a very "I have seen this before" feeling. Eventually it is a very entertaining movie if you like Vijay...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Athu Oru Kana Kalam (2005) - Movie Review

Tamil Movie Review : Athu Oru Kana Kalam...

Ranking: 2/5

Cast: Dhanush, Priya Mani, Delhi Ganesh,
Director: Balu Mahendra
Music: Illayaraja

The movie starts with Dhanush escaping from prison and making it to Ooty with the help of a lorry driver to whom he narrates his flash back.

Dhanush, a wayward young bloke who falls in love with his servants daughter (Priya Mani) gets reprimanded by his father (Delhi Ganesh). Frustrated he meets up with friends to discuss about his problem. Intoxicated on beer, Dhanush and his friends meet with an accident on their way back home. Delhi Ganesh wanting to teach his son a lesson requests the police inspector to let his son stay in jail for the night. During the stay a fellow prisoner approaches Dhanush for sexual favor and gets killed in the fight that ensues. Danush is sentenced to prison for 10 years.

Trying to depict the harshness of jail term, we, as viewers are put through the torture of watching Dhanush without a shirt on more than one occasion. The lorry driver taking pity on Dhanush story drops him off closer to his girlfriends house who now lives with her grandparents in Kallati, near Ooty. The rest is predictable though unbelievable.

Priya Mani's face portrays the same emotion time and time again. I am sure she can act better if given the opportunity, she is young and very pretty. Dhanush, like I said before and will say it again and again needs to work on his body and running style. With the way he looks he should stop acting like a super hero. Honestly it is never convincing to see a super-lanky Dhanush bashing up villains or even just standing up to them. The rest of the cast portrayed their roles fairly convincingly. Balu Mahendra's direction has given the movie an eighties feel. There is no freshness to the story, characters, or to the actors. Everything looks faded and the story itself is only slightly over 2 hours but feels like eternity. The music by Raja is soothing to the ears albeit sounding extremely familiar.

The movie is worth watching only if you have nothing better to do. Else please do not waste time.

Ratings by outbrain