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Archive for February, 2008

Idee Sangati – Tabu fails to thrill

Posted by harino1 on February 27, 2008

A thriller that is not exactly a thriller, that is Idee Sangati in short. Well, it is more of a chase story to corner the culprits. Not that they are gun-touting bad guys wearing shades and masterminding the plot in plush night clubs. Idee Sangati has simple people, the kind of people we meet everyday, who could turn into petty criminals, in a moment of greed. Chandra Siddhartha’s or rather his borrowed characters from Patanjali’s once popular novel are ordinary people leading mundane lives, but dreaming of making it big some day. It is this greedy ol’ devil hidden in all human beings that Siddhartha chooses to explore and capitalize on, in Idee Sangati.

So, his main protagonists are a middle class couple Swarajya Lakshmi and her journalist husband Murthy. A crime reporter, he settles deals for small fry, to make some extra cash. His wife is like any other housewife, who dreams to have a life of comforts ‘someday’. However, our Swarajya Lakshmi is no torch bearer of high ideals and values. She is one rooted in reality and does not mind how her husband makes additional income, as long he makes some. Life goes on as usual in their household, till a train accident wrecks havoc in their peaceful world.

Mumbai Express gets derailed leading to death and a suitcase full of missing diamonds worth Rs 500 crore. Now, that is bound to turn anyone’s life upside down. So, it does for Swarajya Lakshmi and Murthy. From then on, their life is no longer under their control as the cops and just about everyone is on the lookout for stolen diamonds, the Prime Minister’s office included. This brings in more and more characters into the picture taking the story along. The finale, however, is on expected lines.

The film has it all to make it a superb rob and run story. However, the director focuses more on highlighting the human nature more than on the crime. In the bargain, we are left with a film that neither thrills nor chills. Also, it is an average budget film, so it does not have any scintillating chase sequences or extravagantly shot songs. The dialogues are good at places and that is a saving grace to a certain extent.

To be fair to the director, he does not digress from his story and does not toss in unnecessary elements to make it spicier. Having said that, the film begins to slow down in the second half, as there is not enough content to hold it through.

Abbas looks perfect as a street-smart journalist of a small time newspaper. He looks the age and the part. Being Tabu, she plays the ideal middle class housewife who wants to go up the ladder, with perfection. She brings in her quirks to Swarajya Lakshmi’s character. Given that she is an award-winning actress, it is not very surprising though. But she does look too old for her age, more so in close-ups. You cannot help but notice her struggle, as if she is making a huge effort to get used to the commercial genre, in places. For her part, she tries her best to convince filmmakers that she still has it in her to do commercial films.

The rest of the cast fit their parts well. As for the film itself, some good songs could have helped it. On the other hand, the director could have made the film shorter by tightening the script and doing away with unnecessary songs. For example, one song has been included just to give some screen time to Raja, who is cast in an inconsequential role.

Finally, the film is a no-nonsense flick. But it would be interesting to see if the audience would appreciate something that is so simple!

Cast: Tabu, Abbas, Raja, Sunil, Kota Srinivasa Rao among others


Music Director: John P Varky

Productor & Director: Chandra Siddhartha


Posted in Telugu | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Thoondil – Romantic, suspense and sentimental fare

Posted by harino1 on February 22, 2008

‘Thoondil’, Athiyaman’s entertainer with romance, suspense, and sentimental drama scores on many counts. First it scores in terms of a novel plot that revolves around three characters inter-related with the feeling of love in one way or the other.

Despite having lot of twists and turns, ‘Thoondil’ has a very simple storyline. It is about a young couple Sriram (Shaam) and Anjali (Sandhya) living in London. They have a problem, as Anjali, who is so badly needs a baby, cannot conceive a child due to her inability to produce eggs.

The gynecologist (Revathi) tries her best but she is unable to do any wonders. But surprisingly Anjali conceives and gives birth to a child soon. When she enjoys the life with her husband and child, her child is snatched away by Divya (Divya Spandana), a leading model in London. She happens to be Sriram’s former lover.

Sriram, who loves his wife very much, is not able to redeem his child from his ex-lover for some hidden reason. Earlier, he hid the fact that he had a lover before marriage. When he tells the truth to his beloved wife, it is just too late.

Worse, Divya, who is on a revenge mode, claims that she is the mother of the child. She proves her claim with ample evidence in the court of law as well. Sriram’s efforts to get back the child from the clutches of determined Divya fail miserably.

However, another unexpected turn of events settles the issue amicably, when the helpless couple is just about to leave London.

How does Anjali give birth to the child? How does Divya take the child and keep it with her? How does the predicament get solved? The well written script provides you the answers.

Director Athiyaman has crafted a script that has entertainment value entwined with a suspense element. The twists keep the momentum intact. Athiyaman’s execution of some scenes is praiseworthy (Anjali’s longing for a child, Divya’s love with Sriram, and the way Divya outsmarts Sriram). The way he builds up the suspense (the bullet shot at Sriram’s car, the cyber crime episode, and the developments in the hospital) makes the proceeding interesting and intriguing.

The basic plot is the same old triangular drama. Ex-lover interfering in the life of her man is not a new theme. But Athiyaman has brought in a new dimension in the form of egg donation and its aftermath. Though the way he tells you the story is by and large convincing, he could have thought of stronger reason as to why Sriram has parted with Divya. The parting kiss by Divya is touching.

Performance wise, Shaam, who makes a come back after a long time, has given a memorable performance. He depicts the predicament of a man being caught amidst a loving wife and a vengeful lover with vengeance well. His handling of Ajnali’s childlike behavior is noteworthy.

Sandhya as Anjali has done her part well. She has got the guts to play the role of a mother at such a young age. She is refreshing in romantic scenes and impressive in emotional scenes. Her rumbling over her lost child is quite effective. Her performance makes the audience feel for the plight of the character.

Divya in a role with negative shade steals the show with an outstanding performance. Her expressive eyes, subtle variations in her facial expressions, and her body language (especially when she meets Sriram in the island for the second time and when she shots the man, who threatens her) are amazing. She looks beautiful. She is lovely when she is seen as an aspiring model. She has got a sumptuous role and has handled it with conviction.

Revathi and RK have done their respective parts well. Athiyaman has handled a horde of British actors with ease.

Vivek succeeds in making us laugh though he hasn’t come up with any new idea. His mimicking of Rajinikanth and Sarath Kumar are funny.

The songs (music by debutant Abhishek Ray) are hummable. The background score is effective. T. Kaviyarasu’s camera captures the beauty of London. The Picturisation of beach song is eye candy.

Overall, ‘Thoondil’ impresses with its suspense element, deft handling, and good performances.

Posted in Tamil | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Bindhaas – Puneeth excel Hansika shines

Posted by harino1 on February 18, 2008

This one releasing the next day of Valentine Day is pleasant for the budding lovers in the first half especially because there are new ways suggested by protagonist Shivu to propose his lover Preethi. The first half is refreshing and the post interval is protracted with lot of bashing up from the protagonist and yesteryears tale disgusting to see from veteran director D.Rajendra Babu. This happens to be his 50th film and there is nothing much to laugh for him.

Power star Puneeth Rajakumar seems to have fallen in love to the first half screenplay. The usual Police, underworld don and love winning at the end have been poured on the silver screen time and again.

Shivu (Puneeth Rajakumar) does pickpocket and sells cinema tickets in the black. He is totally flat to the beauty of Preethi (Hansika). How to get in touch with her and build up affinity is the idea he works out in a brilliant style that every boy would like to do at the initial level of loving his girl. That is the Bindhaas style. Be happy no BP is the Mantra of Shivu. After initial hate-love meetings Shivu decides to ascertain the feel in the mind of Preethi. He hands over a cover and says she will definitely open it to know the contents. Preethi says it is impossible. The next day Preethi hands over the letter to Shivu and says she has won. No you have lost says Shivu. It is because she could not read the lovely contents in the letter he says. By slip of the tongue Preethi says no there was nothing in the letter. That is true because Shivu had inserted only blank sheet in the cover. The final test in love Shivu wins and Preethi this time is absolutely in love with Shivu for his intelligence.

Preethi daughter of ACP Vikram Rathod (Nazer) wants the way to be cleared. But Shivu wants a job before his marriage. At this time ACP knows that his daughter in love with petty thief Shivu and give him the post of police informer. At this time ACP says he will clear the way for his marriage with Preethi. Now Shivu a police informer goes in to the den of dons. He wants to catch Saleem the terrorist who has been responsible of blasting of three important buildings.

The mission of Shivu is complete but the ACP deceives him. The frustrated Shivu takes law in to his own hand in clearing his decks for joining Preethi.

Puneeth Rajakumar has given a lively performance in the first half and punching in the second half. His dancing ability and action scenes are fabulous. Hansika is a sweet Cadbury chocolate. She has good timing at places and she is cool in her maiden Kannada film. Komal Kumar, Suman, Rahul Dev, Nazer have given notable performance.

Gurukiran has two lovely tunes – thara thara ontharaa…. And Gubbachchigudinalli….The redeeming feature of this film is the cinematography by H.C.Venu. The Austria locations, top angles, color scheming he has used are very pleasant to the eyes.

Action feast for the fans!

Posted in Kanada | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Yugagale Saagali – Disappointing

Posted by harino1 on February 18, 2008

This is a love and revenge saga we have seen number of times on silver screen. The debutant director Shashankraj fails to impress with such a wafer thin storyline. He has wasted the money of producer and without proper home work he gives a routine stuff that is not good even in one frame.

Shashi (Yashas) the handsome guy in the college is good in studies and cultural activities. Obviously Swathi (Megha Ghosh) show interest towards this boy. It is nothing but pure love. They get the consent from the respective families but on the engagement day the two families meet sends the lovers shell shocked. The two families are arch rivals but Shashi and Swathi say in what way they are related to old revenge. No marriage says the two respective families. The lovers elope and meet a tragic end at the ego clash of the two families.

Yashas making debut has got a good future. He has the perfect complexion and looks to stay in films. He has to improve in his acting is the only suggestion. Megha Ghosh does not suit to Yashas. There is height difference between the two. However to grow the height in acting Megha has to work hard. Vasanthkumar the producer playing the brother to actress Megha Gosh in the film is irritating. Sharat and Ananthnag have nothing notable to portray.

Hamsalekha disappoints this young team with very average music. Not even one song is worth hearing again. Nageshwara Rao in the department of camera has captured the beauty of nature very well.

Posted in Kanada | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Cycle – Impressive cyclists

Posted by harino1 on February 18, 2008

This is not just another typical Johny Antony movie with formulaic, unapologetic cartoonish characters running around in fast paced slapstick. ‘Cycle’ is refreshingly new. It’s an incredible U-turn, dear friends.

You’ll see, even though it’s tough to believe, that how a welcome change in the scripting department can make Johny a brainy director. A director who can deliver films which deal with stark realities.

The director uses the simple theory ”when everybody is going by the book, it’s really easy to know how to break the rules”. And he breaks it with the help of scenarist James Albert to make one of the best “soft thrillers” in recent times in Mollywood.

The film, set at City Centre, a shopping mall in Kochi as backdrop, is all about a few youngsters, Roy and Sanju and their love interests, Annie and Meenakshy. Long-ignored and mistreated by society for reasons none of theirs, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Roy (Vineeth Sreenivasan) is an accountant in a private financing company of Kaustubhan, (deftly played with ease and characteristic gags by Jagathy) who pays his staff, the modest of all salaries. Sanju (Vinoo Mohan) is a desperate cricketer, left out of Ranji team, who is presently working in the same commercial mall in an electronics shop. Roy has a soft corner for Annie (Bhama) who works as a receptionist in a travel agency in the same complex. And Meenakshy (Sandhya), the daughter of Kaushtubhan, is madly in love, always chasing Sanju.

Sanju and Roy, all have plenty of house hold chaos due to poverty. But an idyllic New Year eve celebration turns nightmarish as they are subjected to unimaginable terrors and struggle to stay on their lives. Circumstances conspires them with no alternatives other than to become robbers. After a thrilling getaway after stealing two crore rupees, this heist movie recounts what else the cycle of life holds for them .With tons of money in their disposal but with powerful elites on their search, they are forced to alter their plans following impending pressures.

The scenarist James Albert attempts to examine some key issues affecting our society today.  The highlight of ‘Cycle’ is that unlike most tales of romantic adventures, this survival story frequently reminds its audience that heroism is not one of the qualities distributed before hand in a group; instead it is constantly understated and in only dire situations, begins to emerge.

’Cycle’ does not involve you immediately as it has been quite some time, someone made any probing attention to youth. You have to pay keen attention to what its protagonists are talking about.  But through cleverly drawn sequences and vibrant situations rich in suspense, the director successfully portrays all-too-familiar tenets of youth. It kicks up the tension to near nail-biting level, and spell wonders with more twists and turns than a roller-coaster. This excellent storyline ends in dramatic fashion. The script, though strewn with endless possibilities, would have fared best, with a little sharper sense of humour.

A film like ‘Cycle’ demands strong screen presences to hold the viewer by the collar. Fulfilling the director’s intent, the young and relatively fresher cast emerges powerful enough to do the needful. Vineeth Sreenivasan in his debut screen arrival fits well into the suit and skin of the character, but at times proves to be a poorly made replica of his versatile father. He impresses mostly in the sentimental and affright sequences. Sandhya as Meenakshy has a small but effective role which rivals even her bests. What makes the performance so impressive is that she powers to humanise the character. Her figure out never feels over-the-top. And so is Vinoo Mohan as Sanju who is frighteningly real, van guarding all the proceedings, especially in the later half. This is an inspiring depicting of an insecure chap who hopes to make it all right, with a singular risk. Bhama as Annie is impressive at times repeating a ‘Meera Jasmine’ act, conveying an array of emotions ranging from tough and confident, but also falter at times being vulnerable and tender.

Ranjan Abraham in editing and Shaji behind camera has worked to perfection to make this move a tremendous thrill-ride. Biji Bal also impresses with his background scores while Mejo Joseph in his second outing as a music director deliver a couple of mediocre tunes of which ‘Varanapainkili’ is the pick. The director, but have made the songs standout with outstanding visuals, shot at Singapore .The visualisation of the song ‘Paattunarnuvo’ is also worth mentioning, being one of the best made and timed one, from all Johny Antony movies .

Though the film struggles hard to maintain its racy pace in the second half, it succeeds in retaining the audience’s interest till the end. Unlike most youngster films churned out in Mollywood, ‘Cycle’ proves to be a well thought-out product, which does its job of providing entertainment to perfection.

Altogether, an impressive movie that will always fit into your interestedness, of a being with an engrossing cinematic ride.

Posted in Malayalam | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The Sound Of Boot – Shaji Kailas tries for a difference

Posted by harino1 on February 18, 2008

‘Sound Of Boot’, the new film by Shaji Kailas, is not a superlative inquiring cinema experience, even though soaked in tension, character and atmosphere. The movie, whose structure is basically a murder investigation, has an intriguing look, a bit closely following the footsteps of “Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kaalathu”.

The film follows the tracks  of S P  Siddharth Mahadevan , who is following the commotion surrounding the killing of two senior police officials, Rtd I G Raghavan Nambiar  and SP Abdul Sathar, shortly after their farewell dinner from service,  and also  a missing case of Meera Nambiar,  that occurs at a hilly landscapes. On the very first day itself, he bumps into Rahul Krishna, a college student who has a piece of story to tell about his relation with Meera .

Following the leads, he crashes into the resort holiday home and its caretaker Shankaranarayan, where Siddharth finds the corpse of Meera. Brought in under the clout of suspicion as to his actual role in the event, Shankaranaryanan presents his version of the incidents that happened there, leading to the killings. Each fragment takes the viewer up through the first moment of the previous scene. There are also story flashbacks that are shown in linear sequence, and they move against the main story .But with a few supportive traces, Siddharth builds his cloying version of all the deeply buried secrets, that is finally presented as the original story. As it turns out, there are not any eyeballs awaiting spectacles, but certainly an unexpected additional twist to the proceedings intended to add thrills to the show.

The plot, while slightly thin with lesser number of beautifully drawn out characters, is pictured in picturesque Moonnar and Peerumade, where people hide in shadows (intended to add speculations) and policemen making their own rules, running the high ranges, especially during the declared emergency of the seventies. The scriptwriter Rajesh Jayaraman has tried his best to present all proceedings, operating under a set of rules unique to detective cinema. The highlight is that in aiming for this memorable allegiance, however, he doesn’t fall into the documentary trap. Moreover he succeeds in interweaving narrative of crimes conducted and enacted in the midst of an insurgency regime in the name of surveillance, also portraying the cruel acts of a forgotten decade which unsettled the lives of hundreds. The downside of the film is that the gloomy mystery is not airtight, as it is built around a lot of coincidences and events that finds hard to fit in place to develop a totally engaging plot.

And for the director Shaji Kailas , the saying goes, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it ”. Far from the demands of the scripts, nothing seems to be absent from Shaji’s usual fare, even though he tries to be a bit classy. He has done fairly better in the opening half but in the later, the movie runs out of steam, making an acclivitous mechanical attempt to involve us. Shaji fails to maintain the atmosphere of suspense or tension all through ,particularly towards the end,  reminding many of his loose- ended  antecedents .One can’t help but be disappointed with how “Sound Of Boot ” resolves( with impracticable executioners in bizarre uniforms) , even though it has a better tail piece.

But a few superb performances can never hurt. Suresh Gopi as Siddharth Mahadevan is a welcome relief from his usual agitated mannerisms. And certainly due to that, this may not probably win over the masses. The other actor who deserved mention is Murali , who has brought in a stupefying performance.

In the technical sides also the film is superior with crisp editing by Arunkumar (Sorry, for his credit is montage) and moody photography and extreme angles by Raja Rathnam in which no values are compromised, even though the film was shot in a record 25 days. The only song in the film ”Yamuna Theeram” is an unwanted suffering, but Rajamani in rerecording definitely sets the pace with enthralling theme music.

If you can walk away with several weak plot points that may inquire your intellect, the movie may make you feel as a well made ‘‘endeavor’’.   It may be unfair to expect a wondrous exclamation, from the viewer’s side ‘ at the end of a picture but certainly ”Sound Of Boot” is not the one to be avoided, at least for its atypical narratives. Perhaps that may be the point that the makers are also bearing in their minds.

Posted in Malayalam | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Roudram – Mammootty, fully loaded

Posted by harino1 on February 18, 2008

What do you look out for in a Renji Panikkar flick? Especially when the hero is donning khaki? A film that entertains more with dialogues than with activity.

An action thriller which doesn’t showcase much physical action. A protagonist who single-handedly takes on the vicious nexus of politicians, the mafia, high-ranking police officers and street goons. A hero who is hands-on with media reports and political scandals and delivers punch-lines. A hero who is upright, for whose dedication dear ones pays, sometimes even with their lives, leading to a no-holds-barred hunt for the bad guys.

So you are here in familiar territory, complete with all the Renji Panikkar regulars in ‘Roudram’. Here, the difference offered is definitely Mammootty, who is teaming up with the director in the role of a police officer.‘Roudram’ offers all the regular fare identified with this genre. However, for die-hard fans of the genre, this two-hour-forty-minutes flick is partially entertaining, if not riveting.

The one reason ‘Roudram’ may not work is that the movie’s framework is too similar to the template of Panikkar’s  previous hit ‘Bharatchandran IPS’. The story is all about Narendran, an honest ACP, who has the guts to take on the corrupt system, fulfilling his father’s wish (he was also an officer who died during an operation). Narendran — popularly called Nari — is offered a case to work on, directly from the Chief Minister’s office: a case of the murder of Kambilikandam Jose, a drug dealer.

As usual, the protagonist, with the support of S P Thomas Antony and DIG Shihabudeen lays siege against the corrupt elements of the department like ACP Joy and even the IG Balagopal, who have their dirty interests in the case.

The CM, through opening an investigation of a petty drug dealer, is trying to check the growth of a drug mafia group that may pose a threat to the government. But as Nari goes hunting down the tracks, more and more people associated, gets killed by the evil-doers. And in the final showdown, the CM’s office too finds Nari too dangerous to be given such a case which has got its repercussions on the government’s fortunes. And in the final showdown, the CM plans to call an end to the investigations. How Nari succeeds to trace out and extinguish the threats forms the rest of the film.

The overall treatment of the movie is pegged to the last decade’s potboilers, with a potpourri of various ingredients ranging from drug mafia to corruption in the administration. The direction is also not so commendable as Renji seems to have been more involved with writing bombastic dialogues, than to create any novelty in scene realization or narrative techniques. But the one reason it may work is Mammootty’s excellent performance that makes you root for this larger-than-life protagonist. He has really got himself into shape for this one, trying to get into the minute details of the character. The audience is spared the high-voltage non-stop dialogue delivery that is characteristic of Renji Panikker heroes. Saikumar as mafia king Sethu, Rajan P Dev as DIG Shihabudeen,Vijayaraghavan as Appichayee  and the rest of the cast are in their usual castlines, even airing the same type of dialogues they are expected to do. Newcomer Manju as Nari’s wife Prabha, looks good have not much to do.

The technical departments including the editing by Don max and the cinematography by Sanjeev Sanker gels with the theme. If the pace set in the first half was maintained post-interval too, ‘Roudram’ would have become a really good thriller. The rather tame climax and some slackened post-interval portions hamper the film’s overall flow.

The second half downers notwithstanding, ‘Roudram’ is a mostly taut action that will bank heavily on the Mammootty factor to get things going at the box office.

Posted in Malayalam | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Ontari – Back to good old revenge drama!

Posted by harino1 on February 18, 2008

Revenge dramas had become passé. No longer do we have macho heroes bashing up the goons a la the 1980s and walking into the sunset. Today’s popcorn generation loves romantic comedies and the Gen X wants to see the hero and heroine zipping past on a bike into the sunset. But with ‘Ontari’, the makers attempt to revive the genre of the good, old fashioned revenge dramas.

So, we have all the ingredients that are essential to whip up one. There is the good guy or the hero Vamsi (Gopichand). Then there is the happy family. As is the case with all such films, he falls in love with Bujji (Bhavana). Call it sheer coincidence, but it is love at first sight. Though the heroine refuses to take the cue initially. So, he tells her that he is a CBI officer and voila, she falls for him instantly. Déjà vu? We warned you already!

Now if you think there are not enough similarities with revenge dramas of the yore, then here’s an encore. There is a local baddie Lal Mahankali played by Ashish Vidyarthi, who has a spoilt brat brother Panda (Ajay). By another coincidence, Panda eyes Bujji and misbehaves with her.  Surely this is not reason enough to instigate our hero. So, the next logical act for the revenge drama happens — the kidnapping and subsequent rape of a girl, who is special to the hero. At the same time, he is back-stabbed by his politician-friend Raghava, who stands by Lal Mahankali and Panda. The girl dies and our hero conveniently slips into coma.

From here on, the film enters the revenge mode. But it’s not just the loss that Vamsi suffers from. He also suffers from a different form of schizophrenia or so we are told. He has hallucinations about the girl being still alive. So like in quintessential revenge dramas, the film ends with the hero taking his revenge.

In case you wondered what’s new, then the fact that it is a revenge drama is itself something different, in the age of ‘go-getter love stories’. Then of course, the producers behind the Eetaram Films banner, which is known for its message-oriented films, have decided to take a break and go all commercial. Barring that, whatever you get to watch is something you had watched before.

However, that is not to say the film is a no-no. Gopichand puts in a strong performance and manages to show his softer and rough sides simultaneously. Bhavana is simple and suits her character. As for the others, they play their parts with their usual conviction. The director BV Ramana sticks to the action flick genre and does not bother to digress from it one bit. So, the film tends to get a bit intense and rather monotonous at times.

But Mani Sarma has some good numbers and the songs shot abroad are visually pleasing. Despite it being an action film, you cannot but help wonder how it would have been, had the director tried some comedy, just to give us some respite.

It surely is no trend-setter. But if you are happy watching revenge films, then check this out! You won’t go home disappointed.

Cast: Gopichand, Bhavana, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rajeev Kanakala, Ajay, Sayaji Shinde, among others


Banner: Eetaram Films

Producer: Pokuri Baburao

Music Director: Mani Sarma

Director: BV Ramana

Release Date : 15-02-2008

Posted in Telugu | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Andamaina Manasulo… – RP’s Val’s Day film loaded with mush

Posted by harino1 on February 18, 2008

From a music director, RP Patnaik had turned an actor and then he takes the next logical step to direct a film. For starters, we will talk about the pros of ‘Andamaina Manasulo’. The comedy track is really very good. RP Patnaik comes up with something original and funny. He makes the most of the comic timing of Sunil and Lakshmipati and it is really nice to watch a fresh track after a long time. Both Sunil as music and dance school owner Emmannuel and Lakshmipati as his cook, fit into their parts perfectly. Another plus point of the movie is the message it carries. Without being too preachy, Patnaik manages to put forth his argument about love and child homes.

So, now we move over to the cons. The film lacks a tight script and fails to hold your attention for most of the second half. While what he wants to show is fairly commendable, he takes a round about and that gets a bit tiresome after a point. The film begins with Tushar (Rajeev) remembering his past. This takes us back to his college days and his first day on campus. He bumps into Sandhya (Remya) on the very first day and it’s not long before Cupid does his job. An orphan, Tushar is happy finding a partner. But his joy is not long-lasting as Sandhya goes home for holidays and ends up getting married. Our jilted hero gets busy with his Ph D thesis, after a little lecture on love from his professor.

As years go by, the little girl he once befriends on the campus grows up. And with her, her love for Tushar grows too. However, Bindu (Archana) does not get herself to tell him about her feelings as she fears losing him as a friend. So in true filmi style, there are way too many twists and turns and the film ends on a rather sober note. Of course, Patnaik does unite his lovers at the end.

When it comes to comedy, Patnaik comes across as a real pro. He should really look to making comedy films. As for the rest of the film, it feels as if you were watching a daily soap. Probably, the all new lead cast is to be blamed for this. Unfortunately, Patnaik fails to come up with good music for his own film. Songs like the Nuvve nuvve are just about okay. Then of course, there is the much spoken about song Ammayi navvindi, where industry’s leading music directors have given their playback. But this he saves for the end credits and is played as they roll in. Many Bollywood songs have become huge hits in recent times and Patnaik tries the same, but we wonder if it will work with Telugu audience, as they walk out as soon The End frame comes up.

But Patnaik does remain true to his story and does not succumb to providing cheap thrills in the form of campus romance, which is a real blessing.

As for the cast, Rajeev and Remya are camera friendly, though Archana still has a long way to go. Remya reminds you of Raasi, especially in the second half. Both Gollapudi Maruti Rao and Vadde Naveen put in special appearances after a long time and it is pleasant to see them. Of course, another surprise is the ‘blink and go’ guest appearance by R Narayana Murthy.

All in all, the film is just about average, though the comic track with Sunil and Lakshmipati is something that one will remember for a long time.

Cast: Rajeev, Remya, Archana, Sunil, Lakshmipati, Gollapudi Maruti Rao, among others

Special appearance: R Narayana Murthy, RP Patnaik


Producer: Babu

Director, music director: RP Patnaik

Posted in Telugu | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Jodhaa Akbar – Ashutosh strikes gold

Posted by harino1 on February 18, 2008

After several reshuffling of dates and over 2 years in the making , UTV and Ashutosh Gowarikar bring to you Jodhaa-Akbar a complete epic in itself. Any comparisons with Mughal-E-Azam or Ashutosh’s previous piece of work should be strictly avoided.

Besides a good star cast and soulful music, Jodhaa-Akbar has much more to offer. Set in the sixteenth century, JODHAA AKBAR is a love story about a marriage of alliance that gave birth to true love between a great Mughal emperor, Akbar, and a Rajput princess, Jodhaa. Little did Akbar [Hrithik Roshan] know that when he married Jodhaa [Aishwarya Rai Bachchan], he would be embarking upon a new journey — the journey of true love.

The daughter of King Bharmal of Amer [Kulbhushan Kharbanda], Jodhaa resented being reduced to a mere political pawn in this marriage of alliance, and Akbar’s biggest challenge now did not merely lie in winning battles, but in winning the love of this defiant princess.

Firstly Jodhaa –Akbar isn’t too complex a film to understand, the script and screenplay is simple and above all the language is simple with a mix of Hindi and Urdu.

The characters in the film are so real and leave a heavy impact on you. Only a visionary such as Ashutosh Gowarikar can dare to do such a film. When Ashutosh kept justifying the shuffling of the release date, one thought it was all humbug. But on viewing the film, you are more than convinced that a film of such magnitude indeed requires a lot of courage and patience to firstly shoot it and then edit and compile the various scenes.

It is so obvious on screen the amount of effort put in and the care taken to craft a film such as this. Just observe the casting of the film, besides the prime faces we know of, Ashu brings to you such tremendous talent that fits the bill even with their slightest of roles in the film. For example, take a look at the Villain in the film-Niketan Dheer, he is much taller and built than Hrithik which makes it so believable in the fight sequences that Hrithik is bound to fall when he collides against him. Also take a look at the various kings, the common men depicted in the film, the warriors etc. It’s just apt.

On the performance graph, no one could have possibly played Akbar with such elegance as Hrithik. Hrithik is simply fabulous. It’s not just his body and looks that impress but it is the way Hrithik carries himself throughout the film. He impresses in almost every sequence. Watch out for Hrithik’s duel with the elephant, his sword fight with Aishwariya , his dialogue delivery and expressiveness when he is betrayed by his step-brother. Also the climax fight sequence has some great dialogue delivery from Hrithik.

Aishwariya stands perfect as Jodhaa. Many would state that after Hum Dil Chuke Sanam , Ash is simply at her best in Jodhaa-Akbar. The sequence where she sets her demands before Akbar are impressive. She emotes well in sequences where she is humiliated by Akbar’s step mother played by Ila Arun. She also does well in bringing out that romance and is smooth with the sword sequences.

Sonu Sood is yet another character to watch out for as he portrays Sujamal, Jodhaa’s step-brother with ease. He impresses with both his dialogue delivery and sword handling. Poonam Sinha returns with a terrific guest appearance. Ila Arun freaks you out and watch out for her dialogue delivery with Ash as she expresses how possessive she is of her son Akbar. Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Raza Murad and Rajesh Vivek  are all so apt and add to this epic.

Defintely the credit for this magnum opus goes to Ashutosh whose dares to dream big. But, without a skillfull team of technicians this would still be just a dream. Firstly, A.R.Rehman’s music is simply soulful and the right mix for a film such as this. The songs just grow on you and the background score is simply terrific. On leaving the theatre you are sure to hum either the ‘Jashne Bahar’ or ‘Azeem-o-Shaan Shehanshah’ track. The choregraphy and picturisation of ‘Azeem-o-Shaan Shehanshah’ is splendid.The song that was shot in 12 days is rich in colour , choreography, camera movments-  you name it, it carries all. It’s been a while since the Indian Audiences have ever seen something like this.

Kiiran Deohans brings in topnotch cinematography. You are simply floored by the way the camera tracks out from low below the horse’s legs and various other sequences show you simply how brilliant the D.O.P is. Take a look at even simple sequences where Ash’s brings in a curtain to separate Hrithik from her and the conversation between the two is shot with great style.

Haider Ali teams up with Ashu to bring a screenplay that is highly researched, interesting and very impressive. The length of the film is indeed 3hrs 20 mins but , Haider and Ashu can’t be fully blamed for it.Haider does a cameo in the film , he is seen in the ‘Khwaja Mere Khwaja’ track. K.P.Saxena’s dialogues are terrific. They are simple and carry the aura that an epic such as this requires. Take  a look at the dialogue when Akbar takes on Jodhaa in a swordfight .The costumes by Neeta Lulla are so rich , apt and terrific. The costumes just make the characters stand out.

To sum it up Ashutosh has taken great care and pain in bringing us an epic. Even the animals in the film have been dealt with great care and surprisingly you don’t have a single scene where horses are made to fall , elephants rolling etc unlike those done in epics before. Ashu simply proves that he is a master of crowd sequences right from Lagaan to Jodhaa-Akbar, just take a look at the number of people that fill the screen.

The only drawback of the film is it’s heavy length which can’t really be dealt with as Ashu attempts to compress years of history and bring it to the masses in just 3hrs 20 Mins.  Kudos Ashu!

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