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Friday, 28 April 2017

Baahubali 2 Movie Review

Baahubali 2 gives you the high of reading an amazingly written epic novel. Director SS Rajamouli has already transported us to the world of Magizhmathi in the first part, we lived with characters, know how they smile, cry and spill anger. However,  there is still a mystery and excitement to watch the sequel. To be precise, the first part is the phase before the wedding, you think you know characteristics of your soon-to-be better half yet there is always a moment to experience an unexplored angle. 

While the first part established the revenge angle and grandiose setup with stellar war sequences, the second part is filled with a lot of emotions but don't panic action movie fans, Rajamouli also has plenty of scenes spread in a royal plate for you. 

The plot of Baahubali 2 is simple, Palvallathevan (Rana Daggubati) cunningly kills Baahubali (Father Prabhas) through Magizhmathi Kingdom's royal slave Kattapa (Sathyaraj) and also arrests Baahubali's wife Devasena (Anushka). Saved by the sacrifice of 'Rajamatha' Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan), Shiva aka Mahendra Baahubali (Prabhas) knows the cruel death of his dad and takes revenge against his uncle Palvallathevan to enthrone as the king of Magizhmathi kingdom. 

The biggest success of Rajamouli is the way he elevates the mass heroism of his protagonist. Check out this scene for an example, in the interval block, Baahubali actually loses but with the help of the people of Magizhmathi, Rajamouli majestically projects him as a Godly figure. 

The voiceless newborn baby (Mahendra Baahubali) turns into a superhero with a single powerful dialogue uttered by Sivagami. Not only heroism, Rajamouli slowly but steadily injects the revenge flavor in our veins, when Palvallathevan tries to tear the heart of Mahendra Baahubali, we feel like breaking the head of latter and it happens. Palvallathevan treated Devasena like a slave so he deserves to die in a fire and it happens.  A villain tries to sexually harass Devasena, we want his fingers to be chopped off, it happens and for that, she's captured as a prisoner, Baahubali enters and we want him to save her, it happens! Like a God, Rajamouli gives everything we wish, with Baahubali the director becomes an ultimate creator and executed a film, which the audience wanted right from the inception of Indian cinema. 

The true success of an epic film not only lies in the exceptional writing, the actors should rightly convey the emotions to the audience and man, Prabhas does it in style, he lived both as Amarendra and Mahendra Baahubali, be it in his shredded physique, sharp look and swag walk, his powerful screen presence gives an adrenaline rush. Anushka looked regal as Devasena, she got a powerful role and brings justice to the character with her authentic performance. Sathyaraj reiterated the meaning of veteran in style so as Nassar and Ramya Krishnan.

Baahubali 2's another big hero is MM Keeravani, his songs and background score are truly epic. Also, kudos to the VFX team and cinematographer for their magnificent presentation. The only negative aspect of the film is the long drawn-out revenge portion and over the top action sequences in the climax but when we are ready to accept Spiderman, Superman and Ironman, why not the towering heroism of our own superhero Baahubali!

Rating: ****

Verdict: Epicness overloaded

(Part of the review with additional inputs available here (

Actors: Prabhas, Rana, Ramya Krishnan, Anushka, Nassar, Sathyaraj

Director: SS Rajamouli

Music: Keeravani 

Producers: Arka Media Works

Friday, 7 April 2017

Kaatru Veliyidai Movie Review

Kaatru Veliyidai
 is a typical Mani Ratnam romantic drama with aesthetic visuals, meritorious music, classy characters and a feel-good romance but sadly,  the director fails to score as a captivating storyteller. Everything we witness in the film is a rehashed version from previous Mani Ratnam films! 

Just imagine Inba(Madhavan)  and Sashi (Meera Jasmin) from Aayutha Ezhuthu, now make the professions of both the characters more sophisticated, we get the stylish fighter pilot Varun Chakrabani aka VC(Karthi) and an independent doctor Leela Abraham (Aditi Rao Hydari). If Inba disrespects Sashi, she would express her anger,  she can't speak feminism but our Leela can.  Talking about Varun, other than his modern look,  he only shares same characteristics as Inba. 

So what happens when Varun gets arrested by Pakistan Army? He tries to escape and meet his ladylove, who decided to break up her relationship with him after witnessing several bitter experiences due to his egocentric attitude.... 

Leaving aside Ravi Varman's scintillating visuals capturing scenic locales and kingly orchestration of AR Rahman, the film's biggest strength is Aditi Rao Hydari, she owns the film with her winsome performance. The way Aditi cries, laughs and emotes completely attract us that when we leave the movie hall, she refuses to move away from our heart. However, the rest of the characters fail to create such impact. Though Karthi looks smart and fresh, he couldn't justify the young and energetic VC. There is a natural swag in Karthi but when it comes to intense romance, he still has a long way to go. 

Mani Ratnam's films are known for inimitable writing without any compromise but here everything looks so convenient and filled with plenty of logical loopholes. Especially, scenes where Karthi escaping from Pakistan Army looks so silly and contrived. 

To be precise, Kaatru Veliyidai is an exotic trip but the overall experience is not so exciting, we couldn't carry any memorable moments back home! 

Rating: 2.75/5

Verdict: An exotic trip but the overall experience is unexciting! 

Friday, 17 March 2017

Bruce Lee Movie Review

After watching Bruce Lee, the first thing strikes our mind is how did the director manage to persuade his producer to invest in such a lackluster script. 

It’s okay to make a bad film but at least a trace of sincerity would convince the audience, who spend their hard earned money for quality entertainment. Sadly, everything in Bruce Lee is lousy and moreover, the actors look bland on the screen, they sleepwalk throughout the film.

Ganesh aka Bruce Lee (GV Prakash) is a timid youngster, name a thing and he will be afraid of it. Our hero’s life goes well with his girlfriend (Kriti Kharbanda) and friend Abbas (Balasaravanan) until he accidentally clicks the murder of a politician (Mansoor Ali Khan) at the local gangster Godfather’s (‘Mundasupatti Ramdoss) residence. Later Bruce Lee and his girlfriend click the second murder of Godfather as he accidentally kills a Judge. 

At one point of time, Bruce Lee in disguise of a courier boy delivers all the pics to the Commissioner of Police, who is a close aide of the God Father. Recalling his previous encounter with Bruce Lee and his girlfriend, Godfather’s henchmen kidnaps the latter. Will Bruce Lee save his ladylove?

As a story, Bruce Lee appears good on paper but the director hasn’t even executed one engaging scene in the whole movie. Right from the first scene to the climax, nothing really worked out in this plodding film. Sorry to say, there is not even a single positive thing to say about Bruce Lee!

We only pity the invested producer for believing the inefficacious screenplay and audiences, who are already inside the movie hall to watch this tedious black comedy.

Verdict:  Tedious black comedy

Actors: GV Prakash, Kriti Kharbanda, Bala Saravanan, Mundasupatti Ramdoss, Mansoor Ali Khan

Music: GV Prakash

Director: Prashanth Pandiraj

Rating: 1/5

Kattapava Kaanom Movie Review

What really works in favor of Sibiraj’s Kattapava Kaanom is the perpetual comic element sails throughout the film. Just like any other fantasy dark comedy, here too we have multiple characters, a simple story, whacky dialogues and lighthearted climax.

All through his life Pandian (Sibiraj) has been only waiting for the lady luck to smile at him, his dad tells him that only a girl whose name begins with the letter ‘C’ will brighten his career.

However, Pandian fall head over heels in love Meena (Aishwarya Rajesh), a happy-go-lucky girl and eventually marries her The couple struggles to lead a normal life as they are yet to financially settle down and that’s when Pandian’s school friend 'Surprise' Sheela (Chandini) presents them a lucky fish (Kattappa).

The couple makes a secret wish in front of the fish that they want one crore but they end up in a huge trouble as three strangers (Thirumurugan, Jaya Kumar, Kaali Venkat) house arrests them to know about the secret shared by a deceased man, who had hidden 4 crores looted money. The strangers also propose a deal that the couple can get one crore if they reveal the place where the money is hidden.

Meanwhile, Kattapa's owner Vanjaram (Mime Gopi), a bad mouthing local gangster, appoints a detective Sankara (Saravanan) to find the whereabouts of his precious fish. The rest of the film is all about how Pandian solve all these issues and comes out with flying colors!

As said earlier, the film’s biggest strength is director Mani Seiyon’s comic writing. To be honest, the film lacks grandeur and fast moving screenplay but several funny characters and comic elements entertain us till the end. Although Kaali Venkat’s one-liners bring the roof down, how censor board passed the film with ‘U’ certificate despite having abundant ‘A’ rated dialogues?

Sibiraj has improved a lot, he scores with his subtle expressions and in a few scenes, the actor reminds us his favorite hero ‘Ilayathalapathy Vijay’, especially in the combination sequences with the kid Monica. Unlike Kaaka Muttai and Dharma Durai, Aishwarya Rajesh doesn’t have great scope to performance in Kattapava Kaanomand she was just adequate. Kaali Venkat is a revelation in the film, he scores with each and every dialogue whereas ‘Mime’ Gopi also attracts with his uncanny performance.

Music composer Santhosh Dhayandhi’s Hey Penne song is hummable and his re-recording suited well for a fantasy black comedy while Anand Jeeva’s cinematography is strictly functional. The film’s runtime is 125 minutes, which is a major advantage as the team didn't include unnecessary songs and sequences.

Overall, Kattapava Kaanom is a decent fantasy comedy entertainer and it’s a harmless one time watch with family and friends.

Rating: 2.75/5

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Maanagaram Movie Review

What if a complex film like Aaranya Kaandam narrated in the most accessible manner, especially for our Tamil audiences, who prefer entertainment over artistic beauty? The end result would have been fruitful at the box office. 

Though a film’s quality can’t be judged with how much money it made for producers, satisfying your target audiences should be the main motto for filmmakers but to be honest, 90% of newcomers doesn’t mind much about the investors. Fortunately, director Lokesh Kanagaraj belongs to the remaining 90%, he exactly knows where to showcase his exemplary filmmaking skills and also smartly incorporated necessary elements for the mainstream audiences in Maanagaram

Maanagaram as the title suggests, the film deals with the perspectives of people on the fast moving urban life. A youngster (Shri) with a lot of dreams comes Chennai for an interview, then there is a care-free city dude (Sundeep Kishan), who goes to any extreme for the safety of his crush (Regina Cassandra). We also have a soft-spoken taxi driver starts his first-day job in the city and a dismayed underworld don(Madhusudhan), whose son gets wrongly abducted by three small time gangsters. How the lives of these four people hyperlinked and lead to the rest of the proceedings have been flawlessly written and executed by Lokesh Kanagaraj.

As said earlier hyperlink cinema is a complex theme, narrating it in the most entertaining fashion needs a lot of work and research. Any good cinema would have realism and fantasy in equal proportions, for example, you may or may not agree with the fact that all these four stories and characters get connected in a single day but at the same time, they are very real and the situations unwind in front of us are relatable. Yes, you get to see a lot of rouge cops (don’t restrict your vision to the last day scenes of Jallikattu protest ) but we also witness quite a few kind-hearted policemen in our daily life— the way Lokesh introduced such realistic characters is the biggest strength of Maanagaram, it's the movie's heart-line.

Discussing the brilliance of Lokesh’s writing, he connected each and every dots in the screenplay— The first scene opens with the interview session between Regina and Shri, the latter gets a call (we don’t know who) and the former gets a call (screen blinks Divya, who is that? We don’t have answer). In the climax, Shri speaks to his dad and Regina tells us much before that she is a close friend of Shri’s girlfriend Divya. Thus we get to know why Regina feels getting a job for Shri is very important! This is just one example of  Lokesh's detailed, there are plenty of things to discuss and decode. 

Among all the characters sketched by Lokesh, Munishkanth is a master stroke. After Mundasupatti, the actor makes us laugh throughout the film, his unfeigned innocence is a major attraction and it has been well utilized in the climax, where he moves away from the money bag!

All the actors have given their best. Sundeep Kishan’s swag mannerisms fit the bill for the bold and daring character while Shri’s subtle expressions rightly complement his righteous role and Regina has also carried her role with great ease.

Special mention to the young technical crew of Maanagaram, music composer Javed Riaz used background score whenever necessary and rightly understood the importance of silence. Cinematographer Selvakumar showcased the nightlife of Chennai in a different color and Philomin’s cuts have contributed for the crystal clear narration.

Our final word is Maanagaram can be watched without any second  thought, book your tickets and enjoy this quality thriller with your family!

Verdict: Must Watch

Rating : ****

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Bogan movie review

Ever since the makers of Bogan unveiled the first look poster, there was a buzz in Kollywood saying that the film’s basic story is heavily inspired from John Woo’s stylish fantasy action thriller Face/Off

Perhaps director Lakshman would have thought that Face Transplantation is a high concept for Kollywood audiences so he preferred the accessible ‘Koodu Vittu Koodu Paaiythal’ (Ancient Body Swapping technique) in Bogan. The director has also justified the title by introducing Saint Bogar and incorporated more such native elements to suit the taste of our commercial audiences…

The film begins with Aditya (Arvind Swamy), who leads a king like life and tells us that his parents should have named him ‘Bogan’. Without wasting time, we get to see Vikram (‘Jayam’ Ravi), an upright honest cop, who operates closely with his young team and nail baddies in Chennai city. 
Unfortunately Vikram’s dad (Aadukalam  Naren) gets accused for robbing truckload of money from his own bank. During his investigation, Vikram finds that somehow Aditya makes unknown people to work for him and they eventually fall unconscious.

To catch Aditya, Vikram sketches a deceptive plan but winning over a criminal of high standard is not that easy. Aditya cleverly swaps his mind/soul with Vikram’s body and from there, the cat and mouse game begins...

The first few minutes of Bogan actually appears as the extension of Thani Oruvan but slowly, director Lakshman’s screenplay tells us that things won’t be subtle here and starts playing it to the gallery.

Be it the typical loosu ponu heroine, action sequences and pre-interval confrontation scene between Ravi and Arvind Swamy, Bogan can be rightly termed as stylishly made routine commercial entertainer!! Yes, Bogan has rich production values, two talented actors to enthrall us but at heart, the film is a regular mass masala entertainer.

Performance wise, Arvind Swamy completely own the film with his riveting performance as the bad-to-the-bone Aditya and attracts us with his stylish swag and apt modulation. Once again ‘Jayam’ Ravi is earnest, more than first half, the actor gets more scope to score post intermission and he does that with so much ease. Hansika looks voluptuous in few scenes in the second half and apart from that, the actress has only repeated her usual set of expressions.

Technically Anthony’s sharp cuts is a major plus while  Soundararajan’s grand visuals and Imman’s pulsating background score helped to maintain the tempo of the film.

Though Bogan worked to major extent, the climax was quite underwhelming with age old villain using hero’s loved ones to take revenge but otherwise, the director has got everything to satisfy mainstream audiences, who seek plain entertainment.

Verdict: Mass masala version of Face/Off
Director : Lakshman

Actors: ‘Jayam’ Ravi, Hansika, Arvind Swamy
Music: Imman

Producer: Prabhu Deva Studios