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Archive for January, 2008

Vaazhthugal – Thought provoking

Posted by harino1 on January 24, 2008

Director Seeman’s ‘Vaazhthugal’ has dealt with many dimensions of today’s life. The movie, without lashing out any attack on anyone in particular, tries to draw our attention towards today’s lifestyle that gives little room for finer elements of life and amicable coexistence. It also, rather indirectly, underlines the importance of adoring one’s mother tongue, which is inherently linked with one’s culture.

Seeman, known for his social outlook, has narrated a story of two pleasant families with divergent outlooks on love. Both families believe in human values but differ when it comes to love. Can a girl and boy love each other without hurting the elders and deep rooted family values?

Kadhiravan (R Madhavan) belongs to a small family that has high values. The noble hearted Kadhiravan is the head of a software firm. He is skeptical about marriage, as he is scared by the bitter marital experience of his friend, whose parents have gone to old age home.

He is forced to rethink by Kayal Vizhi (Bhavana), the enchanting agriculture student, who has got international acclaim. Kadhiravan gets to see her interview in a TV channel which reveals her wonderful outlook towards life and relationships.

The interview shows her grand big family with full of aunts, uncles and cousins, with Tamil names and ruled by the majestic grandpa (portrayed be Na. Muthusamy of Koothu-P-Pattarai). The home is full of sweetness and unadulterated love.

Kadhiravan, impressed by the girl and her values, falls for her. He particularly loves her family, which adores its elder members. He realizes that he has found his girl and decides to change his mind towards marriage.

He wants to win the hearts of the family members instead of approaching them formally fearing the possible rejection. He enters into the house in the disguise of an interior decorator and wins the heart of everyone, including Kayal. He finishes his hidden mission just when he finishes the job of renovating the huge house.

The problem erupts when the family, which doesn’t believe in love, comes to know about the love. No one in the family is ready to accept the love, as everyone fears that love would ruin the family. How Kadhiravan and Kayalvizhi break the ice forms the rest of the story.

Seeman has to be commended for making a film that makes us think about our life style and changing values. He has driven home the strong message to society to care for others, especially the elders. He has also shown that one could make a film without showing anyone as baddie. The scenes that portray the blossoming of love are poetic.

His penchant for Tamil language is praise worthy. His effort to go for 100% Tamil even at the expense of reality in certain places is admirable, given the overall atmosphere in the society, where the place for the ancient language is shrinking. Someone has to bell the cat and Seeman has dared to do that.

However, there are certain flaws in the screenplay. The grand joint family falling apart over the issue of love is not convincing. The grandpa’s instruction to everyone in the family to deal the issue with affection sounds good. But the way it turns out to be violent is hard to digest. It is hard to believe that the love shared by the traditional family members is not deep enough to withstand such eventualities. The pace of the movie could have been better.

The climax, however, is convincing. The dialogues between Kadhiravan and the grand father are on love, have been well written.

‘Chocolate boy’ Madhavan, as a kind hearted entrepreneur, is a delight to watch. His pleasing expressions strengthen the character and the message. He scores highpoints in romantic sequences. His expressions in emotional sequences are competent.

Bhavana as Kayal carries the role of a cute young girl with a lot of love and affection, with ease. She is quite expressive and energetic. The girl is known for deglamorised beauty and Seeman, who is not the one who tries to thrive on the glamour element, has utilized her elegant charm commendably.

Seeman has introduced a few new faces. Na. Muthusamy, one of the founders of the unique theatre group Koothu-P-Pattarai, impresses with his majestic looks and authentic expressions. The man, who has a hand in shaping up the talents like Pasupathy, handles his role with amazing ease. He excels in the climax.

Artist Trotsky Marudu, another debutant, looks cool as the father of the hero.

Venkat Prabhu, as Kadhiravan’s friend, provides some comic relief. He handles his role as an experienced actor would do.

Yuvan Shankar Shankar Raja’s songs are tuneful and melodious. The songs Chinna Chinna, Azhagu Nila (written by Paaventhar Bharathidasan), and Kannil Vanthathum stand out. Na. Muthukumar’s lyrics go in tandem with the theme of the movie. Cinematography by Sanjay is beautiful.

Overall, ‘Vaazhthugal’ is a worthwhile effort by Seeman on the changing values of our society, with a positive message


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Kaalai – Loud and lacks finesse

Posted by harino1 on January 24, 2008

It is but natural that Tarun Gopi’s second venture after the successful ‘Thimiru’ has been awaited with a lot of anticipation. While ‘Thimiru’ was in no way an outstanding movie, it did have the right ingredients to entertain. Hence Tarun Gopi gained the reputation of a director with potential to provide entertainers.

Tarun Gopi, in his second venture ‘Kaalai’, has roped in young and happening Silambarasan and this has triggered the anticipation further.

Tarun Gopi has worked out a script that has lot of twists and turns. The director has different threads, cleverly interwoven, to provide an engaging fare on screen. The initial scenes lead you towards a particular direction but a few other avenues open as the film moves on. Tarun keeps on surprising you right from the first scene, when Lal (Deputy Police Commissioner) is introduced as an auto driver.

The surprises continue with other characters getting introduced. The confusion over the name Jeeva makes an interesting suspense as to who is against whom and why.

Silambarasan is introduced in a typical way with a fight. A song, in which Nila sizzles along with white-skinned babes follows soon to make the introduction complete.

Meanwhile, the hype created to Silambarasan’s character has gone a bit too far. You are amused to see everyone showing much respect for him as if he is the prince of a kingdom. Later the mystery is revealed when the Theni track featuring Seema, the godmother of Theni, is told. Silambarasan is determined to avenge her death. The killer is the Deputy Commissioner. Incidentally (predictably?) his daughter loves the hero.

The first half moves on deftly playing with the confusion on the name and the second half shows how the all-powerful hero completes his mission. Meanwhile, you get to see some gals including the beautiful and curvaceous Vedhika dancing around Simbu, a smart dancer, in skimpy clothes.

Tarun Gopi is successful in narrating the story with speed despite many loopholes and logical weakness. The way he has clubbed the various threads is commendable. However, many scenes resemble ‘Thimiru’. The hero coming to the city in the disguise of a student, a girl sending a troupe to catch him, and the fight sequence in the bus stand have striking similarities with ‘Thimiru’.

Moreover, the narrative is too loud and it lacks finesse. The hunting game becomes redundant after a point and the build-up to the hero goes to the extent of being irritating. The young director must think new ways of approach for action films.

Silambarasan handles the ‘omnipotent hero’ character with confidence. He has worked hard in stunt scenes but looks less convincing while taking on the hefty villain in the climax. Dancing is his forte and he hasn’t disappointed in this area. But he must seriously think over doing stereo-typed action roles if he wants to develop his career as a multi dimensional hero.

Vedhika announces her arrival as the potential glam girl of 2008. This one with a beautiful and innocent face has just the right figure to take up glamour roles.

Seema is quite impressive as the godmother. She has succeeded in bringing out the power wielded by her through her eyes and body language.

Lal’s performance is emphatic. But he looks uncomfortable in the police dress. Sangeetha stands out in the meaty role with her powerful display of emotions.

Music by G.V. Prakash is just above average. A couple of songs featuring Simbu and Vedhika are good.

The bottomline: Tarun has managed to give us an entertainer but the loopholes and clichés mar the impact.

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Bheemaa – Power packed entertainer

Posted by harino1 on January 24, 2008

A lot has been told about the delay over Bheema. Some doomsayers even predicted that the movie would not see the light at all. But the team of Bheema was unperturbed. Vikram once said, “Bheema is a sure winner irrespective of when it comes. It is worth waiting for such a film”.

Now the movie has seen the light and it has vindicated Vikram’s words.

The whole team deserves applaud for providing us a neat entertainer. Lingusamy, Vikram, Prakash Raj, Ashish Vidyarthi, Raghuvaran, Kanal Kannan, Harris Jayaraj, R.D. Rajasekar and S. Ramakrishnan have done their best to make it a smart and stylish action film. And you have the charming Trisha as a gentle breeze amidst a powerful storm.

The story is all about a tug of war between two underworld gangs trying to outsmart each other. Periyavar’s (Raghuvaran) group is bigger and more powerful, while Chinna’s (Prakash Raj) group is struggling to gain strength.

Enters Shekar (Vikram). The powerful man adds new life to Chinna’s gang. He challenges Periyavar’s powerful troupe and puts China on top. He is the man who grew up seeing Chinna as his ideal. He is a man of steel – physically and mentally. He, as Chinna tells once, bears everyone on his powerful shoulders like the Bheema of Mahabharatha.

The gangs are targeted by the new police commissioner (Ashish Vidyarthi) and the three pronged hunting begins.

Lingusamy has worked out a strong script and executed it with aplomb. He has excellently handled his cast to make it an entertainer. He has to be commended for not restoring to any gimmicks in the pretext of providing entertainment. He is also bold enough to avoid a comedy track, which would have been an irritant in the script.

The characterization is near perfect. Like the legendary Bheema, Shekar is always ready to attack, unmindful of who stands against him. If he puts a step forward, there is no looking back. Powerful, straight forward, and fearlessness. Lingusamy, with the able support of dialogue writer Ramakrishnan, has shaped the character remarkably well. The relationship between Shekar and China is well portrayed.

Likewise, his handling of the track of gang war, entwined with police action, is quite smart. The climax is something unexpected. The picturisation of the songs is spectacular.

Vikram has lived up to the expectations with a dominant and flawless performance. If his hard work to become physically strong is praise worthy, his efforts to transform himself as the character are stunning. He reflects the essence of the character both physically and mentally. His body language – particularly his eyes – is awesome. He breaths fire in the stunt scenes. The fights in the rain and in the construction site (intermission point) are astonishing.

He also scores in romantic sequences, which are very less in this action packed movie. He brings out the transformation in his character because of love in a lovely manner. Hats off to Vikram.

Trisha gets her share in the action movie and succeeds in adding colour to the film by spreading her charm. She looks ravishingly beautiful in songs. Her eyes and minute facial expressions are pleasing.

Prakash Raj comes through out the movie. His character is so powerful that he looks like a second hero. The versatile actor has brought a new dimension to the character of a gangster.

Ashish Vidyarthi in a small yet significant role is competent. His portrayal of a smart police officer, who means business, is flawless. Raghuvaran as Periyavar impresses but his histrionics have become predictable. Sherin in ‘Rangu Rangamma’ is impressive.

Kanal Kanan (action) and Rajashekhar (camera) have added immense value of the film. Kanal’s setting up of the fighting sequences is certainly a treat for action movie lovers. Rajasekhar’s camera work is brilliant. The shooting of intermission fight in the darkness stands out.

Harris Jayaraj’s music, which is already on top, fits well in to the movie. Almost all the songs have come out very well.

Overall, Bheema has lived up to the expectations up to a large extent. Lingusamy and his powerful team have succeeded in presenting an action oriented entertainer. True to its name, Bheema is a power packed action entertainer.

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Vaana – MS Raju makes a touching debut

Posted by harino1 on January 24, 2008

‘Vaana’ is another of the much hyped films released this season. The very fact that MS Raju has taken to direction with it has provided the intrigue element for this film. A remake of a Kannada film ‘Mungaru Male’, MS Raju tries his hand at pathos with this love story. Known for his mass entertainers, it is a detour for Raju from his usual brand of filmmaking.

He has said time and again that the film’s story had touched him so much that he decided to direct the film himself. Then there were rumours that he would be casting his son in the lead role. But as they say, it’s the present that matters and so we have Vinay playing the lead role of the rich, spoilt-brat kid Abhi or Abhiram. Then there is the girl he falls in love with Nandini (Meera Chopra, who was seen in ‘Bangaram’). The fact that he lands in an open drain, the very first time he meets Nandini, does not deter our young hero from chasing her and trying to figure out who she is.

As luck would have it, he lands up in Anantagiri for a wedding with his mother Uma (Jayasudha). Only to find out that it is Nandini’s wedding that he has actually come for. Surprisingly, that does not stop our hero from chasing our heroine and more surprisingly, neither does it stop her from falling for him. Yes, just as you begin to wonder how this could result in a tear-jerker, come the usual twists. Only in this film, it is a rather smooth ending minus the melodrama that you would usually associate with such films.

That MS Raju shows the story from his point of view convincingly is a plus. We have had loads of films in recent times where the hero and heroine in a similar situation move heaven and earth to ensure their love story has a happy ending. However, here we have a more sober hero trying to sacrifice his love for the respect and well-being of their families.

While it is a rather tame ending given today’s times, it takes you back in time where sacrifice and honour mattered more than getting your love. But like in all such movies, the film does not end without someone dying. Here too, someone dies, though it is for you to figure out who that is.

The best thing about the movie is the way it has been picturised. Shot extensively in Sakleshpur in Karnataka, one of the places that have the highest rainfall in the country, it is visually beautiful. The rain scenes have been shot beautifully by cinematographer Stanley Joseph. Though the rain has been used to set the tone for the gray mood of the film, thankfully, there are no hysterical sobs and lengthy dialogues.

The dialogues are mostly funny and this keeps the movie from becoming a sad, sob story. Suman, Naresh, Jayasudha and Sita, who play the parents and are just picture perfect for their characters. As for the lead pair, Vinay does his best to play the part of the rich boy turned sacrificing hero. He plays it with conviction and he has a natural ease in front of the camera which makes him watchable. Meera Chopra has nothing much to do apart from making faces. But she looks like the little sister of Sameera Reddy, with a similar pout and hairdo. So that works for her.

Music too is situational and most of the songs go well with the plot. Finding Prabhu Deva and Sunil in one of the songs is a pleasant surprise. Prabhu Deva looks mature and cool doing the little number.

All in all, it is a film that may not suit the sense and sensibilities of the Gen X. The go-getter generation may not be able to empathise with the sacrificing hero. If they do, then it would be another good film for MS Raju, the producer. Nevertheless, we feel it is a commendable effort by MS Raju, the debutant director.

Cast: Vinay, Meera Chopra, Jayasudha, Seeta, Suman, Naresh and others


Banner: Sumanth Arts

Music Director: Kamalakar

Producer & Director: MS Raju

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Pirivom Santhipom – For family audiences

Posted by harino1 on January 24, 2008

Visalakshi a.k.a. ‘Sala’ (Sneha) is the only daughter in a loving family. She is always amidst her friends and her home is a haven for the girls. Sala is a very homely and introvert girl and loves the tradition and values that come with big joint families, probably due to her being the only child in her family.

Natessan (Cheran), a soft-spoken guy, belongs to a huge and loving Nattukootai Chettiyar family. With his parents, he lives with a hoard of relatives in the form of uncles, aunties, sisters, cousins, niece and nephews, as a joint family. Natessan works with the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB), as an Assistant Engineer (AE) as the story begins.

Fate intervenes in the form of an arranged marriage between Natessan and Sala in a big and pompous Chettiyar wedding. Sala is very happy with her new family and all the chatter and commotion that come along while staying in a joint-family. She showers them with gifts and enjoys pleasing them and seeing them happy. But this happiness that Sala is enjoying is very short-lived.

Natessan, who is sick of living in a joint family, gets a much-needed transfer cum promotion to Attakatti, and relishes to spend quality time with his wife. Sala is ripped off her newly-found happiness and the joy of living in a joint family. The story moves on to tell you the overwhelming loneliness that she comes across in this village in a guest house, and how she yearns for someone to be with her, even if it is a lineman from the EB office or a sales lady.

How Natessan comes to terms with the truth about his wife’s illness forms the rest of the story.

Famous Malayalam actor Jayaram portrays an important role in ‘Pirivom… Sandhipom….’ He plays the role of a local doctor and wields the key to unlock the emotional entangle between Natessan and Visalakshi.

Though the film is not a debate on the nuclear or joint family culture, the director has beautifully brought in the importance of relationships in a person’s life. The film also touches the turmoil that a wife undergoes without voicing out her opinions and placing her husband’s likes and dislikes prior to her own, even if it means that she has to suppress her emotions and give up her likings.

There are also some typical ‘filmy’ scenes like the one towards the climax when the nurse comes and says that Sala is getting better right after the doctor (Jayaram) finishes his counseling to the till-now-ignorant Natessan about his wife’s likes and dislikes.

The director has taken extra care in going into the details of the Chettiyar culture, be it in the slang that the characters talk, the palatial homes or the backdrop of the songs. All these provide a visual treat to the audience.

Sneha as Sala has played her part well. She appears very natural and without make-up in most of the scenes, and this adds more beauty to this beautiful and talented actress.

Cheran on his part has done a good job. But it seems like this actor-director has underplayed his part. In most of the scenes he is seen either talking over the phone or working, and one might feel that he has not used his potential to the full extent.

Though Vidyasagar’s songs have not created a whirlwind, there are a couple of pleasant numbers that gel with the story of the film. The song ‘Eruvizhio siragadikkum…’ in particular is a melody and it showcases the rich culture and tradition of the Nattukootai Chettiyar marriages to every detail.

‘Kanja’ Karuppu, M.S. Bhaskar, and team have provided the much-needed comedy interludes to this otherwise-slow paced movie.

One aspect that is worth mentioning is that, this film is a sharp contrast to most of the films that are releasing today. The film has 0% vulgarity and violence. We can, at any point in time, boldly watch ‘Pirivom… Sandhipom….’ with family and kids, without any embarrassment to either.

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Pidichirukku – The joy and pain of love

Posted by harino1 on January 24, 2008

It’s a simple story told without any pretensions. The boy and the girl (Ashok and Visaka) meet in an accident, which was caused by the girl. The boy gets hurt and gets anger while the girl feels for it. The anger slowly gives way to love, while sympathy turns as love.

Predictably, the strict father rejects the love and puts the lovers apart. He resigns his job and goes to a place without leaving any clue.

But the hero gets a clue and heads to Maharashtra and the searching game begins. He meets the girl after a long and painful search. The girl’s heart still beats for the boy. But they are stopped by the father once again and the emotional climax tells you how they join hands.

Debutant director Kanagu has managed to provide us with an entertainer without the help of too much of gimmicks. He has worked out the first half – blossoming of love, the romance, and the twist – interestingly.

The second half that deals with the painful search tries our patience with monotonous sequences. The director shows us the plight of the boy, but what about the girl? What does she feel? We are left to follow the boy and the girl surfaces only when the boy finds her. The love is not one sided but the portrayal is.

Kanagu has to be complemented for the realistic and impressive portrayal of the mansion and railway station scenes. He has shown that he is able to create and execute different situations with telling impact. But he has to think of a stronger story and work harder to come out with a script that could hold your attention with substance.

The debutant Visaka and the Ashok who does his second film have done well to make the film watchable. Ashok looks smart and emotes well. He has exhibited that he could handle a range of emotions. The boy is quite promising.

Visaka looks credible as a soft spoken young girl fallen in love. She lets her eyes speak in romantic scenes. She impresses in the climax and the scene that leads to climax.

Ganja Karuppu, who comes through out the movie like a second hero, fails to make us laugh. But he impresses in a couple of scenes. The ‘Idly’ scene stands out.

Saranya as the heroine’s mother gives a standout performance, especially in the climax.

Sampath Raj as the girl’s father delivers an emphatic performance. He is impressive in both sound and subtle sequences. His powerful eyes exude emotions excellently.

Music by Manu Rameshan fits the mood of the film – romantic and youthful. The multilingual song sounds good.

‘Pidichirukku’ has come out as an entertainer with an emotional love story. The movie would have been better had the director concentrated on the second half more.

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Novel – Watch ‘Novel’ for Sada and the songs

Posted by harino1 on January 24, 2008

A ‘Novel’, as you know, is a term for an extended fictional prose narrative of considerable length, with some complexity that deals imaginatively with human experience.

Even its other signifier is about something strikingly new or different. But the new film with the same title is typically something that differs in everything from these definitions.

The film offers you nothing different or novel, and has a plot which can be told crisply as a short film, thoroughly extended to create hours of drag. It offers no imaginative settings or not yet heard experiences, but as an intended romantic flick, which sadly, doesn’t show off its heart.

The movie, which is the debut directorial venture by Vijayan East Coast, can be strictly prescribed for those with a romantic temperament. The film develops through the life of Sethunath – a successful businessman and a poet who is presently on the limelight following his new book ‘Swantham’ earning the commonwealth awards. As every media tries to get an exclusive from him, he keeps on evading all the possible attempts of getting into limelight. He passes off the award with less interest as he never knew who has translated the book and presented it as a nominee for the commonwealth awards.

Aneesa, the leading reporter of malayala nadu and an ardent fan of Sethunath is hell bound on getting an exclusive interview   from him and for that she bribes Subrahmaniam Swamy, the personal assistant of Sethu and somehow gets into touch with him. Impressed by Aneesa who is also a product of an orphanage where Sethu was also a resident, he begins to narrate the events in his life that led to the creation of the coveted novel.

Thereafter the film takes us on a romantic trip into the lives of Sethunath and Priyanandini, the later, a singer who hit it big with the lottery commercial that was made by Sethu. Priya who is the daughter of Dr. Bhanumathy gets offers in films, with the support of Sethu, and within days the two are drawn closer to each other. Priya becomes a source of inspiration for Sethu , who is  a victim of a disheartened marriage. He regains his power of creativity as Priya urges him to refresh his writing skills. All is well, until things get complicated following the arrival of Manju, Sethu’s wife from U S, not to let him marry Priya.

As a script, the film’s premises don’t offer much   promises. Moreover, with such a wafer thin plot, an experienced director could have made some sequences work. The scenarists Ashok Sasi, fails to bring out anything much impressive, even though from a weaker plot. The film suffers from slow narration from the very first scene, and the only thing modern and trendy in the film is the costumes that the characters use, all along.

The high light of the film is definitely Sada, who proves well with her first outing in Malayalam. She has a heavy role under her disposal which is done incredibly well. Jayaram is in his very usual self as Sethunath. None of the others in the cast, including Shaari as Manju, Nedumudi Venu as Kunjan Nair, Bindu Panicker as Sethunath’s sister and Devan as his brother-in-law have much to do. Jagathy Sreekumar as Subramaniam Swamy, is wasted in a role that stretch all across the film. The actor seriously is having a bad time with the screen, now a days. Though he is appearing in every second film that is coming out, none of them is giving him ample space to leave his personal mark.

The other highlight of the movie is definitely its songs that are, penned by the director himself. Every song in the film is exceptional, even though it cannot be said about their visualizations. Songs like ‘Onninumallathe..’ and  ‘Urangaan’ are already in the helm of popularity. Azhagappan behind the camera gives the film a pretty serious and good look, withstanding its amateurish plotlines.

Altogether ‘Novel’ is a mediocre attempt with nothing Novel, except the songs.

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Bombay To Bangkok – Same S(h)ame, Nothing Different

Posted by harino1 on January 24, 2008

After the huge success of films like Dor and Iqbal, a Nagesh Kukunoor film starring Nagesh’s chela -Shreyas Tadpade comes your way. Expectations for this flick too are running high. So here’s how the plot goes.

Shankar (Shreyas Tadpade), a Mumbai cook, in desperate need of money steals from the local Don (Naseerudin Shah). Giving the Don’s cronies the slip he escapes impersonating a doctor with a team heading for relief work in Thailand. His plan though goes awry as he loses all the important money bag in the ensuing chaos.

In Bangkok his search for the missing loot is derailed when he bumps into a lovely massage girl Jasmine (Lena Christensen) and is instantly smitten! The hitch is she speaks only Thai and he can’t converse with her at all. A ray of hope comes his way the next day when Jasmine turns up desperately in need of a doctor! Shankar along with his Thai-Sardar buddy Rachwinder (Manmeet Singh), jump to the rescue and unwittingly pull Jasmine into his road-trip searching for the money bag. Hot on their trail are the vengeful don’s rapper son Jam K (Vijay Maurya) and his henchmen who have landed in Bangkok to retrieve their money.

To begin with looks like Nagesh Kukunoor has got it completely wrong this time. His so called comedy of errors looks more like a script full of errors. Kukunoor experiments with a road trip that takes you from the streets of Bombay to Bangkok and in the process leaves the viewers no where. It’s the weak story telling that kills the film. The plot is obvious, all the gags and comedy situations have been seen before (more than once) and it drags on too long. The film definitely needs some trimming as it just prolongs to be called a 2 hour flick.

Some scenes in the film work (especially the ones where Vijay Maurya tries hard to rap), many don’t. The film is full of clichés of all kinds. Right from the cook leaving stealing some bucks and running off to Bangkok, meeting a massage girl, falling in love and so on. The screenplay manages to dance around this bizarre story for the better part of the film’s runtime without reaching any conclusion whatsoever.

Several portions of the film are just purely annoying like whenever Nagesh shows a scene and cuts across to reveal that it was just a dream sequence. It annoys plainly because at the cost of trying to be funny, repetition kills. . Kukunoor tries real hard by inserting a lot of dumb humor into the gloomy premise to try to liven things up when nothing else is working.

Shreyas Tadpade is indeed one of the finest actors Bollywood has ever seen. Without a doubt Shreyas proved that he is a warehouse of talent with his magnificent performances in Iqbal and Om Shanti Om. But this time around the poor chap’s performance suffers plainly due to a tiresome script.

Shreyas does impress with his voice over for the film and his diverse expressions. He does well to don on the romantic guy image. Scenes where he tries hard to communicate with Lena Christensen are impressive. The scene where he goes for a massage for the very first time is humorous. Besides the poor script, even the overdose of lip-lock moments are pointless and dull. Wonder what Kukunoor was thinking when he wrote these scenes? Even including the lip-lock sequences when the credit rolls at the end wasn’t funny at all. Sometimes, being faced with a bad script can even make a good actor bad. That’s the case here.

Lena Christensen suits the character. She does carry off pretty well. Jeneva Talwar as the Physiatrist is pretty good. Yateen Karyekar is wasted. Manmeet Singh is just ok. One of the finest actors in the film who really brings in that laughter is Vijay Maurya as JK/Jamal Khan. Vijay’s rap sequences are really witty.  Naseerudin Shah –was he even there?

Cinematography by Sudeep Chatterjee is ok. The film requires some trimming, so Sanjib Datta (editor) would have to do his bit.

The songs seem terribly forced in. The only track that really impresses is the “Same same but different” number.

On the whole Bombay to Bangkok suffers from a weak story line. With very little resolution and very little depth to all the events that take place, our only laughs come from JK, who remains remarkably enthusiastic throughout.

The film is absolutely tiresome, lethargic and predictable that you often wonder whether you are watching a Nagesh Kukunoor film. Maybe that’s why Nagesh does a repeat of the Aaashyaein sequence with Shreyas running up the hay stacks in this film too. To conclude, the film is “same same”-full of clichés and abosultely nothing “different”.

Rating : *1/2

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Of The People – Half baked ‘Of The People’

Posted by harino1 on January 24, 2008

After the super hit ‘Four The People’, expectations were naturally high about the new avatar of the four vigilante college students, who were always there to help the ordinary man by punishing unjust people. But in this poor sequel to the big hit, the viewers are left in the dire streets with the same old wine in a new bottle story line and powerless iconoclasm of the protagonists with negative thinking of eliminating the wrong doers.

In the new version, the heroes have turned out into territorial gangs with determinant distinctive symbols, even uses Che Guevara in all their proceedings, including style and color of dress, and hand signs. As we are used to watching heroes in these movies, which has also ultimately resulted in our disability to perceive the actual courage of real people. Above all that, the moral and political viewpoint is the most confusing point that the director needs to explain to the people, in person.

This film which opens brilliantly with heavily toned visuals, good title roles and acute camera angles begins with three of the four protagonists of Four The People-Sebastian, Shafeeq and Iyer getting out of jail after serving three years for the crimes committed in the first part of the trilogy. The fourth one played by Bharath is supposedly killed by the police in their earlier encounter. This time, every close members associated with them urge the trio, to play safe evading the violent roads as they used to be. They continue with their studies but for long can’t keep mum to the necessary evils they find everyday, around their society. Finally they reinvent themselves killing the state minister who sold much of the state to international mafia.

Now termed ‘Of  The People’, they venture into the jungle ala their hero Che Guevara, sets up an interactive website, and operates on their laptop taking  complaints from common folks and exterminating  the  wrongdoing big guns wearing the Guevara type dress code. The chief minister of the state, under big political pressures, appoints an officer Harishankar, to grab the trio but in a short time he realizes that the common man are always on the side of ‘the gang’ and he being a righteous guy, change sides operating as a person from the force for ‘Of  The People’, who let them know about the possible evil doers inside the government machinery and the   initiatives of the government to capture them..

The film showcases everything that happened in the political arena in the last few months — whether it is the demolition drive in Munnar, the pathetic roads of the state and the Pathibel incident, ever venomous speaking devaswam minister and his remarks, real estate mafia and land bank concepts, the recent faris interview episode of a leftist Tv channel or the infighting in the ruling coalition suppressing the good intentions of Chief Minister.

The director in the race for creating a safer hit have never looked on to the chances of complex social problems that may appear due to the persistence and proliferation of such youth gangs who get excited with these type of affairs on screen. Jayaraj, with the film has once again brought to fore his lack of stands in any of the societal issues by boomeranging between all type of ideas and beliefs in his past few films.

Even though the film tells a lot about political atrociousness, the narratives don’t inject any kind of vigor asking you to clap for the protagonists, but made lame by the amateurish dialogues by Shreekumar Shreyas (particularly that of  ‘Of The People’) and incompetent  and sometimes indifferent performances from the  majority of the  cast, including Harshan as Harishankar and  the actor who plays the D G P Rajasekhar. The protagonists too appear plastic with singular emotions maintained all through without discontinuity. Govind as Mani Sharma, Nancy as TV reporter and Nedumbram Gopi as the C M are saving graces in the acting departments.

Thanu Balak makes good use of this opportunity behind the camera, but the editing with multitude of cuts and effects seems overdone. Debutante musician Vinu Thomas creates a couple of better tunes, but don’t give any big help to the narrative flow of the movie (as Jazzie’s music has done with the first of the trilogy). Moreover the same backdrops of Boats (vallam) and lorry used in the musical video type visualizations are not refreshing enough to capture our interests.

The film may find it hard to operate itself for more than a few weeks .But I suspect the producer -director himself will be more than happy if the movie does such a rounds for a similar time. It is high time, Jayaraj need to look out for any better scripts and regain his magical touch with innovative ideas.

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Gaalipata – Glorious in parts

Posted by harino1 on January 24, 2008

The biggest hype of the recent times ‘Gaalipata’ of highly popular actor golden star Ganesh and dexterous director Yogaraj Bhat together again after ‘Mungaru Male’ (reaping Rs.50 crores) is a clean entertainer but not up to the expectations. Ganesh the freeloader and chatter box in this film although makes a cake walk should have been controlled. There is a limit for everything. Dialogues at places should have needed some more home work. ‘I want to be with you for 10 to 20 thousand ‘Janma’ is stupid. What does Yogaraj Bhat means by ‘Satta Mela Sukha Sigabardhu’ (after death happiness should not be there). The words like ‘Kanya Kumara, Savithrappa, Gandu Muthaidhe…are carelessly written.

Technically this is a superb cinema because of Super 35, Digital Intermediate, excellent locations and nature coming to the help. In the place of Rathnavelu any ordinary cameraman working for this film with so much of input the result would have been the same.

Yogaraj Bhat once again bank on Ganesh stardom and gives back seat to all others in the film. Sketching each character with different outlook Bhat has forgotten to write a good story for the film. The flow of developments set with beautiful backdrop and tolerable artistes handling the roles makes this film worth watching.

Three good friends Gani, Kitty and Diganth (Ganesh, Rajesh Krishnan and Diganth) come to Megaravalli the place rich in environment and cozy to live for a short period. Gani is a prankster and talkative. His style of creating fun is not heartening. In Megaravalli Diganth takes his friends Gani and Kitty to his grandfather house. Adjacent to Diganth’s grandfather house lives Kodandarama ex-military officer. There are three beautiful girls with different attitude in the house of Kodandarama (Ananthnag). Soumya is silent as on the day of her marriage her husband died, Neethu is very harsh but good at heart is an Ayurvedic doctor and Pavani is prankster.

It is the wild boar that attracts Gani and Kodandaram to kill for which they seek the support of Kitty and Diganth. Kodandaram is not able to take up this because he is on a wheel chair because of this wild boar that rushed against to him and made him handicap. Yet he wants to kill the wild boar and the hunt that starts with these three youths leads him to uncomfortable situation in the house. When they make the third attempt Kodandaram is not able to shoot the boar but he is able to stand on his legs because of shock. He finds his legs in tact because of this boar that goes away silently. He says boar is nothing but the Lord Vishnu’s ‘Varahavathara’. Back home there is jubilation. Kodandarama considers the three youths as lucky persons in his life.

As the days pass Gani falls in love with Soumya, Diganth likes Neethu while Pavani compel Kitty to like her. In the case of Pavani and Kitty things come straight. In the Love affair of Neethu and Diganth, they have to cross a few hurdles but the biggest hurdle is for Gani. Soumya is interested in going to Switzerland to settle down without marriage in her life. Gani tries all his means but gets a strong reply from Soumya. Soumya wants to live in memories of her past but Gani explains her life is not like that in different ways. In the climax when Gani and Soumya are traveling in the boat the force of water topple the boat. Gani taking courage traces Soumya for safety. Then what? You have to watch the rest in the theatre.

Ganesh takes the first place for his casual and speedy dialogue delivery. Next is Neethu who has done a different kind of role. Best supporting award for her is sure to come once again. Daisy and Rajesh Krishna’s cool as cucumber silence is magnificent, Diganth too gives good relief. Bhavana Rao as Pavani has done her best but she is not the right choice for tall looking Rajesh Krishnan. Ananthnag is in his usual role. The belief what he makes in this film is not acceptable. Padmaja Rao and Sudha Belawadi are in normal roles what they do in television serials. Rangayana Raghu is the one actor strikes for his dialogue delivery.

Four songs of Harikrishna are excellent. They are sung very well too. Minchagi Neenu Baralu by Sonu Nigam…is the best in song and cinematography for this extraordinary. Nadhim Dhim Thana….sung by Chitra, Ahaa Yee Bedhurubombege…sung by Udit Narayan and Anuradha Sriram and Ondhe Samane sung by Sonu Nigam are the other three lovely songs in the film well sung and worth hearing again.

R.Rathnavelu camera work is no doubt splendid but he is supported with latest quality equipments.

This is worth watching and double the ticket price!

Scoring 7.5/10

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