Ondraga Entertainment is launching their first web series-Weekend Machan

Ondraga Entertainment in a short span of time has become one of the leading YouTube channels in South India with over 150 million+ views and 250,000 subscribers, ever since it’s dream-debut with ‘Thalipogathey’.

Ondraga is now launching into new territory with its first web series – Weekend Machan.

This is a show about such weekend plans made by 4 bachelors who live together. Weekends with plans that come true, with plans that don’t have a plan, things that happen without a plan and of course plans that go terribly wrong. But the best weekends are those that just fly and cannot be remembered on a Monday morning. And irrespective of how the weekend goes, the next weekend has to have another plan.

This series is directed by Shammeer Sultan, co-directed by Arjun Krishna, Cinematography and Editing by Mathan Gunadeva. This team made the short film ‘Naan8’ which won many awards including the best film in Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival and Behindwoods Gold Medal Awards.

The teaser of “Weekend Machan” was launched yesterday (10th September) by Director Gautham Vasudev Menon  on the Ondraga entertainment YouTube channel. The first episode of the series is expected in October.

Here’s the teaser-

 

 

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The Best of Tamil Cinema in 2016

2016 was an interesting year for Tamil Cinema with a variety of topics being explored. Some big films didn’t do well, while some small films made impact. Certain stars did well,while some of them didn’t really do well. Here are the films in my opinion which stood a little apart from the rest of the pack and made an impact this year.The movies aren’t sorted in any order of merit. Sorting is done based on release dates.

Continue reading “The Best of Tamil Cinema in 2016”

Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada Movie Review: A Mish of Mashes

There are 2 Gautam Menons (GVM from hereon) all movie viewers are familiar with. The first is an auteur, with full control of his craft. Each and every frame in his film looks like it’s been meticulously planned out, every line crackles with a chemistry one wishes to experience in reality, and there is a certain pleasure to be derived from watching the plot unfold at its own pace, and to be stunned into silence by a plot twist, or to gasp in awe and how a certain plot thread plays out. And then there is the another GVM, who in his zeal to try something out of his comfort zone, mixes things up and creates something that’s neither here or there, in a manner of speaking. The question one comes across before watching Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada (AYM from here on), which of these GVMs was at the helm?Continue reading “Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada Movie Review: A Mish of Mashes”

In Conversation with Rekhs, the Doyen of Subtitling in South India (Part 2): On Subtitling-the Competition, Recognition, Memorable People/Movies, Kabali and More

In part 1 of our conversation with popular subtitling expert Rekhs we discussed a variety of topics including her journey into films and subtitling, the process involved, subtitling for songs, challenges involved etc. Here is Part 2, the concluding part of the freewheeling chat with Rekhs.

(You can check out Part 1 of the conversation hereContinue reading “In Conversation with Rekhs, the Doyen of Subtitling in South India (Part 2): On Subtitling-the Competition, Recognition, Memorable People/Movies, Kabali and More”

In Conversation with Rekhs, the Doyen of Subtitling in South India (Part 1): On Subtitling-the Journey, Process, Challenges, Milestones Etc.

Rekhs is someone who hardly needs any introduction as far as people who have been following Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu cinema are concerned. After all she is the one who has gone on to bring subtitling to the attention of the common viewer so wonderfully. In a relatively interesting span of 6+ years she has already gone on to take care of the subtitling for more than 350 films, mainly across Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu. This Friday (22nd July) sees the release of Pa.Ranjith’s Kabali, one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year and this is again a film which has seen the involvement of Rekhs. Here in the first part of our conversation with Rekhs she shares a lot of insights on how it all started, how her journey has been so far, the challenges that she has faced and some remarkable films that she has been part of so far.Continue reading “In Conversation with Rekhs, the Doyen of Subtitling in South India (Part 1): On Subtitling-the Journey, Process, Challenges, Milestones Etc.”

Achcham Yenbathu Madamaiyada Music Review: Rahmanum Tamziharin Udamaiyada !

‘Avalum naanum’ is a very simple Paavendhar Bharathidasan song set to a very simple and likeable melody. There is a nice 60’s MSV ring when the song begins and then gives way to a more ARR flute section. Vijay Yesudas is someone I really like off late and he does utmost justice to the nice poem. This song too doesn’t follow a traditional pallavi-charanam approach and instead takes somewhat of a 2 part pattern. There is a very moving musical interlude in the middle with an operatic violin section and a sweet flute piece. The tune changes a tad post this, but does not let up one bit on the melody and simplicity. Kudos to ARR, Vijay Y for keeping things very simple and profound respects to Pavendhar for a timeless classic.

Song highpoint – Violin interlude and ‘Avalum naanum narambum yaazhum, poovum manamum’

 

The first thing that strikes you about ‘Thalli pogathey’ is its totally free flowing pattern of music and poetry. The AYM curtain raiser video says that even lyricist Thamarai found it very difficult to grasp this unconventional tune progression at first. It organically describes the symptoms of the hero falling in love. Weather changing, heart beating faster, mind searching for words to describe something, it just goes on and on in free flow and the tease briefly ends at about 2.22 when the main hook line ‘thalli pogathey’ hits you. ADK’s rap kicks in a minute layer and the rest of the chorus is nicely wrapped around it to create a great feel. I could write an essay about just the lyrics of the song, but that is not the goal of this piece. But gems like ‘kasayadi pole mudhugil mele vari vari kavithai’ and ‘yen mudhal mutham…… thamarai veguthe’ keep hitting you constantly. If you are a tamizh loving ARR fan it is sheer poetry, else it is still musical poetry at work.

Song high points – ‘Kasaiyadi …. Vari vari kavidhai’ and the ‘Thalli pogathey’ reveal

 

Raasali’ is a very melodious, inspired and layered take on newly blooming love. I use the word inspired in a very positive sense here as the song has a bunch of healthy lyrical and musical inspirations which it blends to great effect. Very uniquely, the male singer starts off by using a falcon and competing with it on who is ahead. There seems to be a few layers to this. Being a road movie, at the surface it just is a simple speed angle to it. But the actual meaning is, both the hero and heroine competing eagerly to profess their love, which by now is taking full flight. Musically, the song has 2 important inspirations.

The first of them is the beautiful extraction from ‘Valachi varnam’. Not only has ARR chosen a lovely Carnatic composition to blend into his song, he has smartly chosen 2 different parts of the nava raga malika i.e the Kamboji charanam and the famous sree ragam chitta swaram. Not only that, it is way more than a gimmicky fusion and serves as a crisp tone changing interlude at the end of the pallavi.

AYM TracklistThis brings us to the second big inspiration of the track. The 2 charanams are sent in the rhythm pattern of the iconic ‘Muthai thiru’ by Arunagirinathar. The inspiration is very innovatively used, Sathyaprakash sings very comfortably and is at ease with the quality lyrics and the rather difficult pacing of the sandham. Above and beyond fitting to a tough pattern, thamarai excels with quality lyrics like ‘munnil oru kaatrin kali mugathinil pinnil oru pachai kili….’ To beautifully describe the hero’s 2 key passions in life i.e his bike and the girl in his life.

Sasha Tirupathi takes over from the 2nd interlude and though her voice and Hindustani prowess are easily evident, she does struggle a bit with the ‘muthai thiru’ pattern on 2 counts. Her shrill voice puts her at a disadvantage and her unease with tamizh gets accentuated by the tough pacing of the sandham. She just about gets the words right, but a lack of full control over the tamizh emotions is easily evident to a discerning tamizh listener. Still a beautiful, instantly likeable and well sung song with great musical sense, lyrics and rich inspirations.

Song high point – ‘valachi varanam’ interlude with ‘muthai thiru’ transition.

 

Idhu naal varayil’ as someone pointed out has a nice boy band ballad feel to it. It has a nice free flow feel to it. The song talks of the feelings of a pretty boyish guy feeling the beauty of things around him after falling in love for the first time. The central pivot of the song is the concept ‘Idhu varai yedhume ulagail azhagillai endru naan ninaithadai poi aakinaal’ i.e she smashed my feeling so far that nothing in the world is beautiful. Everything else lyrically in the song is an extension of that.  And the trick like in ‘Thalli Pogathey’ is the song takes a good 1 minute to come to the central hook and keeps you on the edge till that. This too neither follows a pallavi-anupallavi pattern nor a typical pop number template and keeps you guessing all the time. Joanita Gandhi makes a brief appearance with her rich vocals too. But all in all this song would be so much lesser without the imposing presence of Adithya Rao.

Song high point – ‘Idhu varai yethume ulagil….’

 

‘Showkali’ is definitely not my kind of song. So I wouldn’t go too much in detail there. It is an interesting rap number with 2 sets of guys going against each other on whether love for bikes or love for girls is more important to their lives. What sets it apart from other typical rap songs is the hyper fast last 30 seconds, which is technically well pulled off, but since the genre by itself is not up my street, I will leave it you to judge it for yourself. It has some good talent involved in Adithya Rao and rappers ADK and Sri Rascol.

Song high point – Last 30 seconds (if you like that kind of stuff)

A very satisfying album in Tamizh for ARR after a rather unsatisfactory 24. He clearly has put his heart and soul into the tracks here and also bought into the director Gautham’s vision and aesthetics. Most of the songs have a very unique song structure and the lyricists Thamarai and Karky(Idhu Naal) have happily come on board by adapting to the innovative structures, yet not a bit compromising with the quality of Tamizh poetry.  The album has some healthy inspirations and roots ranging from Paavendhar Bharathidasan to ‘Valachi varnam’ and ‘Muthai Thiru’. Very laudable and purposefully modernized.

To me personally ‘Showkali’ was the only jar and ‘Idhu Naal’ though very likeable I am skeptical about its longevity. Otherwise all the songs are instantly likeable and very pleasant.

3.5/5 and a smile on my lips for a melodious, soulful and linguistically rich Tamizh outing from ARR and team.

Irudhi Suttru Tamil Movie Review: No Knock Out This

“Do not meddle with the way I coach”, says Prabhu (R Madhavan) to the assistant coach. “If I had listened to you, she would be cleaning toilets like you do”, he says pointing out to the aspiring woman boxer Madhi (Ritika Singh). “I may be the one cleaning toilets, Sir” replies the assistant coach, played by the excellent Nasser. “But you are the one who stinks”, he retorts with arguably the best line written for Tamil cinema this year. (And the year has just begun!). It is, therefore, so very disappointing that Sudha Kongara(Story/Screenplay/Direction) and Arun Matheshwaran (dialogues) choose to punch below their weight and could get this brilliance  only occasionally transmitted on the screen. (But Sudha delivers as a filmmaker – more about that later).Continue reading “Irudhi Suttru Tamil Movie Review: No Knock Out This”

It’s Indeed a Girl Thing!

Celebrating the essence of  ‘Idhaiyathai Yedho Ondru’ from ‘Yennai Arindhaal’

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Vijay, We Are Waiting!

Over the last couple of decades, Vijay has successfully worked with quite some filmmakers giving us glimpses of his potential in films like Priyamudan, Thulladha Manamum Thullum, Ghilli and Thuppaki. As the actor turns 41 today,why not a fantasy ride, reflecting on the kind of awesomeness that could be unleashed on us, if the actor collaborates with some of the best creative minds of our industry!

Continue reading “Vijay, We Are Waiting!”