Thoongaa Vanam (2015) Move Review: A Ticking Clock Which Doesn’t Start

Divakar (Kamal Haasan) is in the VIP lounge of a night club where a producer(Santhana Bharathi) points to the TV showing the news and laments that his completed film hasn’t been released due to him owing money to people and dejected fans have been sent back home. Kamal Haasan references the state of his film Uttama Villain on the day of its release. In another scene, his son picks up the football instead of taking up a cricket bat. In a city this has become quite a common occurrence these days, what with Messi and Ronaldo as well known in a household as Sachin or Dravid once were (please pardon me if I am being blasphemous). Once again, a troubled father-son relationship which we saw in Uttama Villain. There is,of course, more referencing. The lip locks Kamal is involved in with Madhu Shalini and the last line the son utters reference Kamal’s romantic hero image. I remember a function where Radhika Sarathkumar mentioned Kamal and the lip locks from his movies. Like in Uttama Villain and the movies which have becomes star vehicles, the self referencing is part of the script but unlike the star vehicles, these are organic inclusions, especially the lip locks. Smooth.Continue reading “Thoongaa Vanam (2015) Move Review: A Ticking Clock Which Doesn’t Start”

Papanasam Movie Review: A Remake That Works as Well As the Original

Right after watching Jeethu Joseph’s Malayalam blockbuster Drishyam (2013) for the first time, I couldn’t but help wondering how it would be if it was remade in other languages and who would probably do maximum justice to the lead role played wonderfully by Mohanlal. Of course this was way before the film became a huge success,before the various controversies it landed in regarding the authenticity of the film and eventually various remakes getting announced , made and even released (in case of Telugu and Kannada). The only person I felt confident about in terms of fitting into Mohanlal’s shoes was Kamal Haasan for various reasons. For starters Kamal Haasan continues to remain a major star in Tamil Cinema, retaining his fan following all over South India. Talking about how good an actor he is would be a futile exercise as he has already found a firm place for himself among the all-time best Indian actors, similar to Mohanlal. And of course the role requires someone with a lot of maturity, an actor who would look convincing as a family man with a wife and two daughters, and yet be a hero whom the audience would root for.Continue reading “Papanasam Movie Review: A Remake That Works as Well As the Original”

One Auteur. One Actor. One Scene: Kamal Haasan’s Chef-D’Oeuvre Moment as the ‘Uttama-Villain’

Manoranjan, the hot, money-spinning star of Tamil cinema with a humongous fan-base, is at the peak of his self-centered professional career, his latest commercial outing opening to blockbuster collections and thunderous applause among fanatics, when he gets hit with a diagnosis of Stage 4 Glioblastoma multiforme, a type of malignant and notoriously fatal brain tumor with an average life expectancy of 9 to 12 months.

Continue reading “One Auteur. One Actor. One Scene: Kamal Haasan’s Chef-D’Oeuvre Moment as the ‘Uttama-Villain’”

Uttama Villain Music Review: Uttama Veri, Unnadha Theri!

Uttama Villain(UV)’ as a film has been wrapped in a bit of intrigue for sometime now. The initial assumption was that it would be a typical Kamal A-class comedy quickie. But as more and more promotional material is being revealed, it is looking like a much more involving and intriguing enterprise. Also Ulaganayagan’s decision to sign Ghibran for a 3 film deal has left all film buffs puzzled. Granted Ghibran is immensely talented and along with Santhosh Narayanan is one of the few bright hopes for the future of tamil film music. But still, a maniacally perfection obsessed Kamal with immediate access to the IRs, ARRs and SELs of the world signing a young composer upfront for 3 projects tells something. I was personally licking my lips, as Ghibran was coming on the back of a very good Thirumanam Enum Nikaah(TEN) and a great Amara Kaaviyam(AK). I was eager to see how Kamal’s amazing script sense, music sense and knowledge of the language marry Ghibran’s new age instrumentation, novel approach to melody and heavy layering work.

Continue reading “Uttama Villain Music Review: Uttama Veri, Unnadha Theri!”

Amara Kaaviyam Movie Review: Flawed And Dangerously Irresponsible

At an emotionally charged up point in the movie, the protagonist meets his dear lover after a gap of about a year. The mood is almost set up, and the lead pair are supposed to emote to a bewitching background score. But exactly at this moment, a eleven-twelvish kid siting besides me in the theater (who perhaps must have seen a couple of romantic movies) shouts out aloud.  ”Ippa ava azhuva paaren*!”  I smile as I nod in approval. The kid goes on like “Ippa avan enna unmaiya love panriyaanu kepaan paaren!”. I am almost in splits nodding animatedly in a supposedly heart-wrenching scene.  And when he predicts “Ippa ava friend ivana vandhu adipaan paaren!, I pray to God not to let that happen, but the friend dude as if he had heard the kid nice and clear, comes up to get a beating from our protagonist. I can’t help but laugh out aloud. What should have probably been the strongest sequence of the movie falls flat and becomes mundane, because of some serious lack of innovation and freshness in writing. Well, you get the picture right? Predictability plagues Amarakaviyam worse than how plague plagued Surat. To be frank, this is perhaps the lesser of my worries in Jeeva Shankar’s Amarakaviyam.Continue reading “Amara Kaaviyam Movie Review: Flawed And Dangerously Irresponsible”

Naiyaandi: Trailer

NaiyaandiWriter-director A.Sarkunam has been noticed with his 1st and 2nd Tamil films, Kalavani (2010) and Vaagai Sooda Vaa (2011) being commercially and critically accepted. His films have also been appreciated for the good use of humour which blends with the narration pretty well.Continue reading “Naiyaandi: Trailer”