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...


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


Gajini (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking - 4.5/5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maja (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking - 3/5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sivakasi (2005) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking - 3/5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Athu Oru Kana Kalam (2005) - Movie Review

Tamil Movie Review : Athu Oru Kana Kalam...

Ranking: 2/5

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

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

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

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

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

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