Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hanuman (2005) - Hindi Cartoon Movie

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

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

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

Bajrangabali ki Jai! Jai Hanuman!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Thavamai Thavamirundhu (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

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

http://anurussell.blogspot.com/2005/12/i-had-to-write-this-after-seeing.html

Thanks
Anu
I had to write this after seeing Thavamai Thavamirundhu (TT). My hands had been waiting for this very moment...

Take Paheli on one hand okay...and now take TT on the other...just for comparison...

Paheli...A movie about how a ghost falls in love with a beautiful just-married woman and moves in with her disguised as her husband after her husband leaves town for business. The ghost reveals his true identity to her before they make love and she accepts him at the end of a song...The ghost and the lady live happily till the original returns. Now the ghost outsmarts the original and gets into his body and moves in to live with his lady love for ever...

Question: Let me know if this is silly...if the ghost could have entered and lived in the original's body...made him change his mind about his business trip...and then revealed his true identity...what are the chances the lady would have rejected him??? None. Remember she slept with him anyway...

Indian woman...a friend of mine told me that the movie is about Indian woman...We have portrayed a very good image about ourselves to the world by sending it as our Oscar Nominee...Forget Indian woman...think about the Indian-ness we portray...ghost turning into a man?!?! God...Where do I go and keep my face??? Already the West thinks that we still have snake charmers and ride elephants...now it is just another thing to add to their imagination...anyways I hope you all agree that it is a crappy movie...if you don't...I still stick with my opinion...that we send movies for Oscar Nominations to boost the ego of our already inflated superstars...and that Paheli is a very childish movie...

Now let us talk about Thavamai Thavamirundhu: Now...Cheran has already established himself as a good director-actor after his movies like Porkalam, Pandavar Bhoomi, Sollamarandhakadhai, Autograph, etc. But he just rises up another step in my eyes with this one. Simple story, simple acting, amazing casting, great movie...this is TT in one line.

The story is about father-son relationship...a very important subject but more than often neglected giving importance to the omnipresent mother sentiment in all Indian movies. Well Cheran has explored it with an excellent narrative that sort of reminds you of Autograph but thank god the similarity ends there. Two sons Ramanathan and Ramalingam both named after their grandfather are raised by Muthiah a humble press owner in a small town. Muthiah, only an eight grade dropout works very hard to give both his sons a good education.

Ramanathan, lands up at a polytechnic college owing to his bad grades while Ramalingam becomes an engineer. Ramanathan is married after his father discovers his sons overnight at a police station after being caught at a prostitution house. Ramanathan's wife brings nothing but misery to the family becoming the reason to split the father and son.

Ramalingam, is not a very model son either, he lies to his parents and takes money from his father to have fun with his friends at college. He falls in love with a girl in college and gets her pregnant too. And at a crunch time in the family he elopes with his girlfriend to take care of her secret pregnancy.

Throughout the first part of the movie we go see how the father struggles, begs and borrows to his give his sons the best possible life he count and the second half we see how he gets the stick end of the deal.

Ramalingam always guilty for having ditched his parents at the wrong time returns to his village to raise his family in the village. He then tries to unite his broken family and bring light to his parents darkened life. He makes a rosy bed for both his mother and father to rest their head in their last moments.

Attention to detail is amazing...like it was in Autograph. After Bharathiraja...Cheran is now the king of village subjects...I don't know if he makes commercial movies or art movies that become commercial...When I saw Sollamarandhakadhai, I did not know who the hero was but I appreciated his acting, and when I saw TT I appreciate it even more. He effectively conveys the emotions without too many unecessary information or histrionics. Everyone in the movie...I cannot pinpoint to just one person...has done a great job...forget it...I just do not have words to describe it...just watch the movie...

Coming back to the original discussion...See it and tell me...honestly...which one would you send for an Oscar Nominee?? Paheli or Thavamai Thavamirundhu? A movie that shows the Indian bond between parents and children or a movie on Ghosts...To me the choice is simple...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

ABCD - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 4.0/5.0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kanda Naal Mudhal (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 4.8/5.0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aaru (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 2/5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me know if you thought otherwise about the movie.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I have been itching to write this for a long time. Let us see...Almost twenty days now. Now I have the time...And I will do the same...

Dec 2nd at 7.00am I was already in an auto to the American Consulate at Gemini Circle in Chennai...It was not raining hard yet but the drizzle was maintained at a steady pace. The streets were wet in some places and others were slightly flooded. After five and half years I was going to stand once again in line to get my Visa. Nothing had changed, still the same rude cops outside abusing the auto drivers dropping off more visa seekers.

The rain slowly picked up pace. I was standing with all my important documents in my hand inside a plastic cover (as are the regulations of the Consulate) hoping that the rain wont get to them before I enter the building. Then the passport check and then more wait before the door...Then the security check before you pay your money to the most useless courier service in the world (TTS Visas). I call them useless for many reasons but one of it being their attitude. They are rude, arrogant, and totally useless in terms of directing people around the mess that happens inside, they act as if they are doing us a favor...And then you stand in another line to pay for the Services the consulate renders.

So let us recount, first line outside the Consulate, show your passport and another line before entering the building, security check a third line, the fourth one at the courier payment, and a fifth at the Consulate payment line. Five so far...It does not end here...

There is a short guy with thick mustache inside the Consulate. He walks up and down trying to organize people to send them to the least crowded line for submitting our precious documents. This gentleman walks up and down talking to everyone standing in line as if they are below him, as if they do not understand the few lines of English he speaks. He is angry all the time, frustrated and refers to almost everyone (of all ages) as "aei." In case you did not know Tamil, is a very rude form of addressing a person. But the rudeness doesn't end here.

When you finally stand in the line to submit your papers you are not advised in any place (either on the website or on the walls of the consulate) a preferred way of organizing your papers to make work easy for the recipient. And guess what the lady behind the counter is frustrated and throws her attitude at you. She literally threw the papers of the girl before me through the small hole on her countertops...It was very frustrating to see. She almost shoved me away but thanks to Thameem I had everything organized by tabs.

So after line number six you are asked to sit till your name is called for finger printing which is line number seven. The short arrogant man again makes an appearance and discusses with his attitude-possessed colleagues to see how they can handle the crowd at whom they all sneer. They shove and push us more through more lines. The finger printing is followed by a longer wait for your token numbers to be called (by now you are merely a number). You get a first hand experience to see everyone's interview process unfold right in front of your eyes. Some are happy, some walk out sad but the expression on the face of the Consulate Officers remains the same, Angry.

Then when your number comes you are filled with mixed emotions, if you get your visa it is fine, if you do not then you are embarrassed among 100 people watching you. You don't know these people but by the end of the ordeal you begin to feel either sad/happy for everyone. Anyways the gentleman who took my Visa petition was nice. The only problem was I knew more about my visa regulations than he did. When the whole ordeal is over no one (including the visa officers) tell you if you have received your visa or not. Either you have to ask them twice or if you are too busy packing all your documents the next thing you know you are out of the counter. Then you decide to ask one of 'crowd directors' walking up and down trying to organize people and see what it means to have given away your passport to the Consulate Officer. The answer you get is "Ya, go home, you will get your visa in mail." It is hilarious to see these people throw an attitude as if they have just issued my visa.

So you go through seven standing lines, one sitting line, and the final standing line before you are shoved away in a haste. A total of nine lines in a span of three-four hours and most of the time standing.

The reason I took time to write this is because a lot of things upset me in this process. For a first timer they are too busy worrying about getting their visa that they overlook all the things that bothered me because I was standing there after 5.5 years for a second time. I was used to many of the good old American ways...Like Privacy, being treated courteously (at least most of the times), patience, less bureaucracy, and so on.

From the very beginning of my tour inside the Embassy my psyche was affected by the fact that I am made to stand outside in pouring rain with no shelter. This could have been altered to help people seeking their visa over the last few years. Granted Chennai does not receive too much rain but who cares a shelter can protect people from sun. Why should we be made to stand outside and get ourselves and our documents wet and appear shabby for an interview?? Something to think about in terms of treating people right? At least a little eh? For God's sake we were in the American Consulate...I am sure they can afford a stylish shelter.

The appointment system is all hocus pocus. My appointment was at 8.15am but I saw the Consulate Office only at 10.45am. Wonder why??? Was it Indian standard time? Or did my entry time into the Consulate coicinde with 50 others are let inside?

Why are people so rude? Indians being rude to their own kind? Only in India can you see such subservient system where you treat your own kind badly and the rest above the world. Getting shoved, yelled at, shown attitude to all sits badly on a person who is already tensed about his future. People must be considerate about the delicate mental state most of them will be in while inside the consulate.

Privacy is another issue. You get lauded or axed all inside the same hall where hundred others are waiting. Is it fair to embarrass people like this? Divulge personal information in front of everybody? I know the gentleman before me transferred to two schools, did a half-assed PHD during the recession and is now working in Dallas. Poor guy, I saw the Consulate officer riddling his credentials. Did that gentleman have to go through the trouble in public? I guess not.

The lines are never ending...I hope they could all be more organized and that people would get less confused. Jump from one line to another and no one attempting to reply politely you are lost in the ocean of people all with an either confused or bored look on their face. After so much bureaucracy one is very tired when they finally reach the interview stage.

The above is not a result of my frustration but result of my observation of the way people applying for visa in Chennai Consulateare being treated. Granted we are a third world country but we are also a fast developing country and the developed world needs us either as much as we need them or more. We are not being hired at such an alarming rate for no reason, most of us are talented and hardworking (more work less pay). Then why treat us the way they do? Shouldn't the American Consulate set an example for treating its non-immigrants with dignity? Shouldn't the people working for the Consulate treat their fellow Indians with courtesy and a smile?

I know we have a long way to go when it comes to development but India has always been known for its Hospitality so let it show everywhere!

Thanks
Anu

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I am back, I am back, I am back...Am I happy? I don't think so. I guess I am a little sad and my sadness keeps waning away.

The trip was a success on all grounds. I had great food (very important), good weather (raining but pleasant), wonderful marriage, little bit of shopping, and so on. Over the past 5.5 years many many changes have taken place...Now where can I start?

Chennai: Too many great developments and complaints too. Somethings made me proud while a few disappointed me. Irrespective of all those things Chennai still serves the greatest food for the best price. My dear friend Thameem might laugh at this but Saravana Bhavan still rocks. The barotta with kurma is still my favorite...I am already missing it.

Mumbai: Wow...The traffic, the crowd, the high rises, and the slums, all awed me to no end, or rather scared me...I do guess I have to accept that coming from Chennai I am a small Town girl. I was amazed to see slums co-exist peacefully next to big bungalows. Ya, before I forget the trains...Never in my life...Mark it...Never in my life have I seen eight trains in a row being filled to capacity and hear that all of them will be like that...I mean this was at 8 in the night for the love of God...In Chennai trains the peak hours are the most crowded and even during those times the Ladies Compartments are not filled to the brim (and hanging).

Anyhoo...Over the next few days I will write down as much as I can remember. Ideally I would have loved to write it like a diary but my inaccessibility to an internet center has made it impossible to do so.

Love
Anu

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Countdown Clock: 5 Hours to leave DFW

Girish always thinks that he comes up with great plan. So we decided according to Girish's plan to check-in our luggage at 5.30 in the morning and then go to work for four hours before returning just two hours before to do security check-in.

Like all good plans the follies were...

1. We had called the airport people on Sunday and the customer service rep. said that we could check in as soon as the airport terminal opened…which was at 4.30am that day.

2. On our way to the airport I decided to cross check and called the airport again and they said that they will not let us check in 4 hours before flight…exactly what I had been telling Girish for sometime.

4. So we decided that we should get into work early and leave to the airport from there…which was my original plan…I just wish that men would listen more often…

I am happy that we are checking in on-time and not super early. Anyhoo...I came into work at 6.00am today and that I guess is a record for me and will not be broken for many moons...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Count down for the number of hours has started. Excitement within has slowly diffused. Now I feel like tomorrow is just another day and in roughly 22 hours I will be at work doing the same thing I did today. Does not feel like I will be actually on my way to Minneapolis. Sure is funny. On one level I am so happy I am leaving and waiting for this day to end and on another level I just don't want this feeling of anticipation to end. If it does then the vacation starts and also comes to an end with the same speed.

Anyways just like how Monday and Tuesday were the longest days of my life the Friday and Saturday before I leave will be the shortest. Just thinking about the end makes me stop enjoying the present...

Bye

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Ok...Finally after 5.5 years I am leaving for Chennai... and I hope to maintain an online journal or a journal of some sort...documenting all changes...all exciting ones I hope...

Every day for the past five and half years I have been dreaming about this and fianlly it is coming true. Really hard to believe and won't till I land in Aringar Anna Internarional Airport...

So folks to me, my trip and my wedding....Until then

Cheers

Gajini (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking - 4.5/5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maja (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking - 3/5

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sivakasi (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking - 3/5

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

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

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

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

Like I said before Masala movie...no thrills and twists. Vijay can attract one particular group and that will be his only faithful audience. Everybody else might just call it too much build-up. Really even if Vijay moves his hands while walking normally (not the heroic walk) the swoosh sounds follow him...it is just a little too much. The way he works with his hands remind us so much about Rajni...His acting skills as far as I am concerned are at a standstill...movies from Gilli, Thirupachi and the ones before that all have Vijay acting the same way...now it is redundant...enough of Vijay bashing...

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Athu Oru Kana Kalam (2005) - Movie Review

Tamil Movie Review : Athu Oru Kana Kalam...

Ranking: 2/5

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

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

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

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

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

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