Monday, February 27, 2006

Chukkalo Chandrudu (2006) - Telugu Movie Review

Ranking: 3.5/5

Cast: Siddarth, Saloni, Charmi, Sada, ANR, Sunil
Director: Shiva Kumar
Music: Chakri

Arjun (Siddarth) an NRI from Germany raised by his grandparents comes back to India in search of a match due to persistence from his grandfather (ANR). His grandfather moves to India from Germany to force his grandson to find a suitable bride. But Arjun does not believe in arranged marriage and decides to choose his wife from three of his childhood friends when he lived in India.

Girl #1: Shalini (Saloni), an ace tennis player (something like Sania Mirza). Pretty, smart, witty and fun. Her father (Pratap Pothan) is her coach and is very dedicated to see her make it to Wimbeldon.
Girl #2: Sandhya (Charmi), a PhD student with a revolutionist mind. She is brave and speaks her mind out.
Girl #3: Shravani (Sada), a medical student from a middle class background with a very soft nature. She is illtreated by her family and struggles to keep herself and her sick grandmother afloat.

The problem is Arjun is not sure whom he loves as he likes all three of them. He changes his name to Krishna, his attire to match the personalities of the three girls and also his profession. He does not want any of them to be prejudiced, or have any attachments. Arjun's discussions with his friend Puppy (Sunil) about choosing the three girls is very funny and brings in the comical moments in the film.

The rest of the film is pretty simple and even predictable...Whom does Arjun choose? What happens to the other two girls? The comedy, the songs, the sentiments, et al...

The movie has a very simple plot, good comedy and acting which makes it worth the $5 I spent for watching it.

Siddarth's telugu is a little different but I am happy that he speaks his dialogues...Saloni is the only source of any exposure with her tennis outfits...So the movie is clean...Charmi plays a very intense women always having her face all screwed up...and Sada a very docile girl with a sad look on her face all the time. Saloni and Charmi seem okay next to Siddarth but Sada looks a tad too old or mature for him. ANR does not need any special mention as he has been-there-done-it so many times and he has earned all accolades. He is just perfect for his role.

The music is okay but I was searching for the forward button in my remote on many occasions. Some dialogue seems excessive and could have been shortened and the same applies to the length of the movie.

Do watch the movie with friends and family as you need some sort of entertainment when it starts to drag ;)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Bluffmaster (2006) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 2/5

Cast: Abhishek Bachan, Ritesh Desai, Priyanka Chopra, Bomman Irani, Nana Patekar
Director: Rohan Sippy
Music: Vishal & Shekar

It was bloody cold outside for once in Dallas...Just as spring started last week the cold decided it would visit us at least once and blasted us with icy wind and freezing rain...Since it was an indoor weekend we rented Bluffmaster...Total bad decision...Three hours of a wonderful day lost in watching this movie...

I have always had a sixth sense that makes me avoid crappy Hindi movies...Like Neal n Nikki, Salam Namaste, Zinda, Family, and so many more...But I think my sixth sense was on vacation yesterday and so here is the review...

Roy (Abhi) is a con man who gets rich cheating everyone. He is considered to be one of the best and smartest in his industry (ha!). He chooses to become a conman because he wants to do everything and not just one thing...Like be a doctor or an engineer or a mechanic...Based on his choice...A worthy reason indeed. So anyway the hero proceeds to get engaged to his girl friend Simmy (Priyanka), of six months who knows nothing about his profession...On his engagement he gets exposed and the engagement is cancelled.

Roy distraught starts following Simmy everywhere trying to change his life and become a nice guy...But keeps bumping into Dittu (Ritesh) who is a small time thief. Over the course of time Roy starts developing constant headaches and faints often and on one such occasion Dittu helps him out and takes him to Dr. Bhalerao (Bomman) who diagnoses Roy with some kind of cancer in the brain.

Roy freaks out and goes and tells his to Simmy who throws a deaf ear to his plight. Dittu adopts Roy as his guru and starts following Roy learning the tricks of the trade from the Best. Roy now knows that his days are numbered to a maximum of 90...and wanting to do a good deed agrees to help Dittu to avenge the man who put his father in a mental hospital...aka Chandru (Nana).

Now Nana as usual is a scary person doing scary things and saying corny/scary dialogues...Roy and Dittu plot to cheat him out of five crores...How do they accomplish it? Yup...Go and see the movie...

Ok as I said in my intro...The movie is boring but for the last song rapped by Abhi...Everything else about this movie is boring...Ritesh trying to do a Arshad Warsi...Bomman Irani...Nothing new...Priyanka...Same old pretty lass...Abhi...Ya fine...If my dad was the biggest star in India then eventually (after 10 flops) I would also start acting...But still cannot carry a movie solely on his shoulder...In all the movie is very below average...With Abhi, Ritesh, and Rohan still riding on the popularity of their parents...

For starters try thinking about a novel story...and please even if you want to remake old ones...Let the screenplay not bore the viewers...Pace is really important even you want to repeat old movies...No thanks for trying and better luck next time...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Arinthum Ariyamalum (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 4/5

Cast: Navdeep, Prakash Raj, Arya, Krishna
Director: Vishnuvardhan
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja

Refreshing is one word to describe this movie. Navdeep, a brahmin boy raised in Tirunelveli area moves to Chennai to pursue engineering. Before he leaves for Chennai he gets smitten by a girl he sees on the streets of his village dressed in pavadai thavani.

Navdeep moves in with Krishna who is an aspiring actor and a village acquaintance. Through his friend he meets Samiksha, the girl he had seen in his village...As she is a part of Krishna's drama troupe. They start hanging out together and become sort of friends.

In the meantime Navdeep crosses lines with Arya who is the son of Prakash Raj, a don. Arya murders a man in front of Navdeep's. During another encounter he shoots Samiksha in her leg while she intercepts a bullet aimed for someone else. Navdeep enraged with Arya registers himself as a witness against Arya with the ACP who is dying to arrest Prakash Raj and his son.

Prakash Raj invites Navdeep home to request him to withdraw the complaint. He tells him that he would have killed anybody else but since Navdeep is young and has a bright future ahead of him he is letting him go with a warning. Undeterred Navdeep does not withdraw his complaint. Prakash Raj enraged asks his henchmen to kill Navdeep as the ACP arrests Arya and beats him up in jail.

Prakash Raj learns that Navdeep is his own blood, his son, while he is performing devasham for his wife. He regrets his decision and calls his men off Navdeep. Here there is a small flash back of young Prakash Raj and an explanation of who Arya really is. From then on Prakash Raj along with Arya set on the trail of Navdeep trying to convince him to accept them as family. Navdeep is very much against both Prakash Raj and Arya befriending him and disowns them everytime they chase him......Do they succeed or not? You have to see the movie for that.

I love the movie, the songs, the protagonists, the comedy...Everything. I strongly suggest you watch this...and is perfect for a Saturday afternoon after lunch lying down with chai in one hand...ah! Perfect...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dishyum (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 4.5/5

Cast: Jeeva, Sandhya, Nasser
Director: Sasi
Music: Vijay Anthony

Be prepared. This might be a long review. I really enjoyed this movie and so might just talk a bit more than usual...

Bhaskar (Jeeva) a movie stuntman bumps into Cinthiya (Sandhya) because of his friends. Their meeting is very casual and he forgets her immediately. The next time Sandhya meets him she revives his memory and they become platonic friends.

Cinthiya sees all the trouble Bhaskar has to go through in his profession and sympathizes him. Once while she advises him to get smart or get married before everyone take advantage of him Bhaskar asks her to marry him. But Cynthia says that she has no feelings for him and he is just a friend. Bhaskar starts developing love for her in his heart and starts day dreaming (which means songs!).

Getting frustrated that he has love-feelings for her inside him while calling her a friend outside Bhaskar decides to get married to some girl. On his way to see the girl Cynthia stops him and asks Bhaskar to wait...If he can convince her then she will marry him...Bhaskar takes on the challenge and starts impressing her in the only way he knows...In spite of everything Bhaskar does Cynthia finds fault before she apologizes to him always...In short in more circumstances than one she finds him embarrassing.

Cynthia looses her father (Nasser) while he was fighting a fire leaving her and her mother to fend for themselves. Bhaskar realizes that Cynthia was lucky not to have fallen in love with him as he would have also put her life through torture with her worrying if he will come back safely everyday from shooting or not...They break off and stop seeing each other...

Cynthia gets engaged through her mother to get married shortly. Does Cynthia get back with Bhaskar, what happens next forms the rest of the story.

Simple story...Vijay, Ajith, why even our Rajnikanth has done such movies...Poor dude falling in love with a girl beyond their status...But trust me this movie has a different approach. Everything is natural...The hero does not become rich in the last scene...Neither does he posses superhuman strength killing villains...No opposition from parents (well not as in other movies at least)...The hero remains where he was before he fell in love with his heroine...That is the difference.

Neither does the heroine fall in love with there hero at first sight. She also analyzes her situation from a practical eye rather than romantic (filmy) vision. The hero is a plain and simple guy...In other words a tough guy to fall in love with...That is best part...The director actually proves to us why Cynthia fell in love with Bhaskar...There is actually a reason unlike other movies...Vijay gives a power dialogue and Asin falls in love with a mechanic in Sivakasi...How many rich girls have done that??!!! Annoying!

The dialogues are very effective...Some of them made me think...The story is very honest...The acting is also just perfect. Sandhya has an effective way of portraying herself without overdoing her role. Jeeva is a hero with power backing...But he unlike many others started doing well after his third movie...Did not take too many chances before he could finally be called an Actor. The comedy track in this movie is provided by the small man (Amitabh)...He was hilarious and the his justification in the end touched me...Nasser as father and the 'Anni' lady as mother performed their roles with elan.

In all...I enjoyed watching this movie...The feel good factor is there...The humor is there...Can we watch it with family?? Well but for a couple of scenes...Why not?!...The dialogues are clean...The movie is good...So sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Anand (2004) - Telugu Movie Review

Ranking: 4/5

Cast: Raja, Kamilini Mukherjee, Sathya, Anish Kuruvilla
Director: Sekhar Kammula
Music: K. M. Radhakrishnan

I like such feel good movies. You know the ending right from the beginning but you still watch it so that you can enjoy the sweet feeling in the end. Yes...It is one of those love stories that you have seen time and again presented to you with new protagonists in a new setting.

Roopa looses her family at a very young age in a car accident and struggles alone to make it in life. She takes the help of her grandmother living next door but stays alone in the same house where she lived with her parents.

She is engaged to marry Rahul her co-worker at office. Her decision for accepting the marriage was very practical. Rahul was rich, he liked her and she hoped that he would take care of her. She wanted security that she had never had in life after her parents passed away. Rahul on the other hand is ruled by his mothers whims and fancies. He is spineless and moments before the wedding he takes sides with his mother against Roopa. Roopa annoyed walks out of the hall.

Enter Anand, the son of the person who had killed Roopa's parents in the accident. Anand's father had lost his senses from the night of the accident and was at Hyderabad to witness Roopa's wedding and give her blessings. Anand overhears everything that happened between Roopa and her Fiance and decides that he is going to win her hand and help her.

Anand moves into the portion next to Roopa's and starts wooing her. Anand who is a multi-millionaire rich kid suffers through everything just to make Roopa fall in love with him. Small fights, big fights and then the climax...Do you have any doubt what is going to happen next? If you do...Then you have really not seen many Indian movies...

The music is pleasing, the acting is very convincing, the story is very comforting, relaxing, and entertaining. Hero Anand is very handsome and acts well too. He has a boyish charm at times and looks really mature at other times. Heroine Kamalini has also acted very well smiling through the movie, sometimes her eyes gave me scares though. Sathya as Roopa's best friend Anita steals the show in the movie with her smart ass comments bringing most of the lighter moments in the movie.

Like any romantic story this is really enjoyable to watch. The movie is for family viewing and thank God there is no violence in the movie.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Azhagiya Theeye (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 4.5/5

Cast: Prasanna, Navya Nair, Prakash Raj, Jaivarma, Bala, Kumaravel, M S Bhasker
Director: Radhamohan
Music: Ramesh Vinayagam

The story of how Chandran (Prasanna) and Nandini (Navya Nair) met and fell in love is narrated by Chandran's friends to Ramesh's fiancee.

Chandran, Balu, Ramesh, Chithapa, and one more person are friends who share a room in Kodambakkam while trying to make a name for themselves in the film industry. Nandini is the daughter of a big fish industrialist who wants to marry his daughter to Arvind (Prakash Raj) a software engineer from United States. But Nandini is against this marriage as she wants to be self dependent before she gets married. She approaches Ramesh for help in this issue who in turn leads her to Chandran the aspiring director.

Chandran meets Arvind sir and tells him that since he and Nandini are in love this marriage shouldn't take place. Arvind sir compassionate for the young lovers and understanding what Nandini's father will do he makes his own plans. Without consulting either Nandini or Chandran he arranges for their marriage at the Registrar's office. Nandini also accepts it without any resistance and so Chandran is also forced into it. Arvind sir also helps them by providing them with his house before he heads back to the United States.

Chandran and Nandini, opposites in character, start living together in the same house in different rooms. They blame each other for the situation they were in until a few hardships unite them as friends. After a brief struggle, Nandini gets a job in Bangalore and Chandran gets a chance at becoming a director. Will they be friends, married couple, or part ways??

There is a strong story line backed with superfast screenplay and amazing comedy. The actors have all done a very good job at portraying their characters. The four friends of Prasanna(Jaivarma, Bala, Kumaravel, M S Bhasker) are just too funny. Their comic timing along with Prasanna's has to be much appreciated. Navya Nair has done a decent job...But if you are the kind that appreciates beauty then sorry...She is like an old aunty with a big nose...Prakash Raj although in a cameo role leaves a lasting impression in the movie.

Compliments to the director and congrats to Prakash Raj's Duet Productions for making a second attempt at making movies in spite of Daya. The music is soft and enjoyable.

Do watch this movie...I have seen it three times and still love it!

Ratings by outbrain