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Movies made on snakes always attracted attention in Tamil cinema. Taking cue from them, debutant director Charles, in the company of popular television actor Raghav, has woven a script that is entertaining and enthralling in parts.
�Nanjupuram� is more of Anaconda meeting Rama Narayanan movies. Interestingly, the distribution rights of �Nanjupuram� have been bagged by Sri Thenandal Movies, a company backed by Rama Narayanan himself.
There are some interesting visual treat and pulsating scenes that sustain our interest. Raghav, besides playing the lead role, has also made his presence felt as a music composer too.
Monica plays the female lead. Charles�s intention to render a taut thriller should be appreciated. But at the same time, we should also say that it is the execution that goes haywire.
Magudeswaran’s dialogues are razor sharp at places, especially while taking a dig at caste system which is still active at many places of the State. Also, the makers have not gone too superstitious, for a movie on snake would mean too much of it.
The film is set in a village called Nanjupuram. Ridden deeply in caste system, there is often trouble between the upper caste and lower caste in the village. Also deeply rooted in superstitious belief, the villagers believe that anyone who hurts a snake there will get killed in 45 days.
As it happens, Velu (Raghav), an upper caste youth falls in love with Malar (Monica), a lower caste girl. One day, he attacks a snake and was asked by villagers to stay away for one-and-half month. But his love towards Malar makes him to elope with her. What�s next is the climax.
All actors, including Raghav and Monica have played their parts well. Due credit should go to Raghav. He is cool and casual. He has taken all the responsibilities to deliver hie best. Monica plays a de-glamourised character. She has a meaty role to do. Others in the cast are adequate.
Unfortunately, the script misses some novelty. Had Charles blended more of it and reduced cliches, �Nanjupuram� would have been different.
Can a Rajnikanth movie be remade with same aura and feel? Will it reverberate with same energy and gusto? Will it charm the audience? Partially yes seems to be the answer. ‘Mappillai’, a remake of yesteryear Rajinikanth flick carrying the same title, is a perfect treat for the front-benchers, oozing with gusto and energy.
Remake is always a risky affair. No one tries to remake a failure attempt and hence the success of the original naturally becomes the burden on the remake. Director Suraj has taken it in his stride and ensures all charm is not lost.
More of Rajinikanth meeting Dhanush, the movie’s success rides on the latter not trying to imitate the former anywhere in the movie. He is himself and ensures that he gives what his fans exactly expect out of him.
There is tremendous pressure on Suraj’s shoulder for at least half the movie-goers would have watched the original and a comparison is bound to be there. A shrewd Suraj has made some changes to make it more contemporary and lively.
With Vivek giving Dhanush company, there is no dearth for humour all through. If Sri Vidya was an arrogant mother-in-law in the original throwing all challenges at Rajini, Suraj has brought Manisha Koirala for the role, bringing some freshness.
Come to the story, Saravanan (Dhanush) is a do-gooder, who is soft-spoken and admired by one and all. He comes across Gayathri (Hanshika Motwani), daughter of arrogant business woman Rajeshwari (Manisha Koirala) and falls for her.
Coming to know of their affair, Rajeshwari decides to get them both married. The reason is- she is keen on getting a son-in-law, who will always do what she wants and be under her control.
But she in for a shock when she comes to know that Saravanan has a past. He is a ruffian and is feared by one and all. Now she plans to halt all plans, while Saravanan takes up the challenge and ensures that he end up marrying his ladylove.
It�s now a cat and mouse game between Saravanan and Rajeshwari. Then there is one Style Chinna (Vivek), with his own set of friends (including �Cell� Murugan), who is desperately behind Gayathri and tries to win over her love.
Dhanush is the man of the match. He takes the whole burden on his shoulders and passes the difficult test of enacting a famous role played by Rajinikanth with consummate ease. He is good at humour and those scenes where he challenges his mother-in-law. A wholesome role which the actor does exceedingly well.
Cheers to young Hanshika Motwani. Cute and bubbly, she has a meaty role to play in her maiden venture itself. A look-alike of Kushboo, she does gel with the character. Watch out for Manisha Koirala. She performs with a steam and vigour. As a young aristocratic mother-in-law, she is impressive. She brings out her agony, arrogance and anger well.
Vivek as Style Chinna brings the roof down with laughter. His funy-looks coupled with crazy dialogue delivery are a pleasure to watch. With Dhanush, he recreates the magic of ‘Uthamaputhiran’.
Music by Mani Sharma is an added strength. There are a couple of racy numbers and it peps up the proceedings, with the highlight being ‘Ennoda rasi…’ Sathish Kumar’s cinematography is rich and glossy and lives up to the theme, while editing by Kishore is crisp.
Produced by Nemichand Jhabak and Nemichand Jhabak, ‘Mappillai’, presented by Sun Pictures, is warm, bright and bubbly. If you are ready to forget that deja vu feel which prevails in many a place, the film is no doubt a big summer treat.
It is rare that movies are made based on historic novels. For it needs not just huge labour but enough resources. However, Thiyagarajan has brought on screen what is one of popular novels in Tamil – Ponnar Sankar, penned by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.
It is a valorous tale about twin brothers, who fought for their motherland. Produced and directed by Thiyagarajan, the movie features Prashanth playing both the characters- Ponnar and Sankar.
A period film demands huge ensemble of star cast, lavish sets and immense research. Taking the game on, Prashanth and Thiyagarajan have managed to come out with a movie that is more a desi version of �Brave Heart�.
With story, screenplay and dialogues by Karunanidhi, Thiyagarajan has given them good shape on screen. Thankfully with seasoned artistes in his side, he has passed out in flying colours. Karunanidhi’s dialogues are colloquial and touch relevant contemporary political and social issues. There he scores a point.
The movie begins with the wedding of Thamarai (Kushboo), the daughter of King Periyamalaikozhundhu Gounder (Vijayakumar) arranged with Mandhiyappan (Prakashraj), a king of neighbouring country. Enters Nellaiyankondan (Jayaram), Thamarai’s lover and he walks away with her.
Her parents disown her and drive her out of their kingdom.While leaving she throws a challenge at her brother Chinna Malaikozhundhu (Ponvannan) that he would come to their doors one day seeking to marry her two sons for his two daughters.
As years go by, Mayavar (Nasser), a chieftain in the village, comes across twin brothers Ponnar and Sankar (both Prashanth), who are students of Rakki (Raj Kiran). Good at heart, Ponnar and Sankar are valorous and they voice for the sufferings of poor.
One day, they save the sisters Muthayi (Pooja Chopra) and Pavalayi (Dhivya Parameshwaran) from death. Both happen to be daughters of Chinna Malaikozhundhu.
Impressed with their valour, their parents agree for their marriage with Ponnar and Sankar. A flashback reveals that Ponnar and Sankar are Thamarai’s sons and Rakki had taken them with him to save them from Mandhiyappan when they were born.
Coming to know that Ponnar and Sankar are alive, Mandhiappan hatches a conspiracy and ensures that Kali Mannan (Nepolean) and Thamarai’s father help him in killing them.
Eventually a war is fought. The intense battle ensures that good prevails over evil. Watch out there are the likes of Prabhu, Sneha, Lakshmi Ramakrishnan and Seetha among others in the cast.
Seemingly inspired by �Apocalypto� and �Brave Hearet�, Thiyagarajan has ensured battle scenes are shot grand and great. The graphics, supervised by Prashanth himself, is highlight of the movie, though at places look amateurish.
Prashanth, who makes his comeback, has done it doubly well. As a proud prince, he pours out right emotions. In romance and battle scenes, he leaves his mark. His previous experience stands him in good stead.
Kushboo is the pivot around whom the movie revolves. She is good at it. So are the likes of seasoned artistes Nasser, Prabhu, Nepolean, Sneha and Rajkiran among others who chip in with their best.
Unfortunately Ilayaraja disappoints with his music. The songs fail to enter our ears. But he compensates with his brisk background score. Cheers to art director T Muthuraj. He has created huge palace, fort, battle field before our eyes. Shaji Kumar captures them well on his lens.
On the flip side, the movie has many dragging moments. Too many characters come and go without leaving a mark. The first half proceeds at quick pace, but the latter part of �Ponnar Sankar� stutters and staggers.
Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence, they say. No one can understand this better than choreographer-actor-director Prabhu Deva, for reasons which are obvious.
So expectations were high on ‘Engeyum Kadhal’, his directorial venture. Though romance reigns supreme in this film, lack of enough care in the script and narration mar the flow. But hold on! Harris Jayaraj’s music, Nirav Shah’s cinematography and the crackling chemistry of ‘Jayam’ Ravi-Hansika Motwani set things right to a decent extent.
From Laila-Majnu to Karthik-Jessy, romance has been celebrated in various ways on screen. ‘Engeyum Kadhal’ follows this formula, and who knows, it may strike the right chord in today’s youngsters, who vote for candyfloss stories.
Unlike earlier Prabhu Deva films that were more noisy, ‘Engeyum Kadhal’ is rather quite, sedate to start with. The movie is more like a gentle breeze touching your face on a cool evening.
It is a tale of a suave, rich and a successful young business man Kamal (‘Jayam’ Ravi) who wants to break all hectic shackles around him to go on a vacation to Paris, the capital city of France.
It’s boy meeting girl story here. Destiny brings Kayal (Hansika Motwani), a Indian girl brought up in France in his life. Rajasekhar (Suman), Kayal’s father runs a detective agency.
She is shocked when she comes to know from reading his father’s case that a client (Sonu) is currently behind Kamal, only to kill him. Kayal decides to save Kamal’s life. The saviour act turns as love between them.
Kamal leaves France and Kayal is shattered. After almost a year, they meet again and things take a turn.
‘Jayam’ Ravi is impressive. He plays his part extremely well and seems to have got under the skin to deliver his best. Especially as a stylish entrepreneur, he fits the bill well. Hansika, the bubbly, girl is awesome. Her presence itself is a big plus, not to forget her performance. Suman and Raju Sundaram play their part well.
If Prabhu Deva is the heart for ‘Engeyum Kadhal’, Harris Jayaraj is its soul. His mesmerising tunes catches admiration of one and all. Nirav Shah’s lens captures the Paris at its pristine glory.
There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved. It is God’s finger on man’s shoulder. Perhaps the movie ends proving this point. Go fall in love with ‘Engeyum Kadhal’.
Headline. Scoop. Byte. Edition. These words are familiar with all journalists. For a layman it’s the newspaper that he reads finally counts. A photojournalist-turned-director, K V Anand, with ‘Ko’, has rendered a movie that is like reading a newspaper fresh and folded very early in the morning from page one till the last.
Journalists are until known to be portrayed in a cliched manner in Tamil cinema, wearing a pyjama kurtha, spotted with a beard carrying a long shoulder bag. Times have changed and so are the lives and struggles of journalists.
With ‘Ko’, Anand has turned the arc light on the unsung heroes of modern India, the neo-journalists, their dedication and passion towards the profession.
Anand has proved his mettle coming with intense thrillers with great detailing, thanks to writers Suba in his side as it was evident in ‘Kanna Kandein’ and ‘Ayan’.
‘Ko’ speaks about power struggle and press freedom, laced with all commercial ingredients in an interesting manner. All credits should go to the script and screenplay. Tautly written, there are hardly any logical loopholes.
Be it a hardworking scribe or a photographer who are chasing sensation news, a power-lust Chief Minister, or an opposition leader, or a youth who wants to change the political system, all characters do have a say in the film. Anand has woven all of them craftily.
The movie revolves around Ashwin (Jeeva), who is a talented photographer in a Tamil daily Dina Anjali. He is the sought-after lensman in his newspaper for his images speak a thousand words and bring awareness.
There are a couple of other journalists in the same media house- Renuka (Karthika), who covers sensational events and entertainment -in-charge Saro (Piya). They develop an affinity for Ashwin.
A battle begins in Tamil Nadu as Assembly elections are announced. It becomes a direct war between Chief Minister Yogeswaran (Prakash Raj) and opposition leader Alavandan (Kota Sreenivasa Rao). As typical politicians, as they are portrayed, they do everything under the sun to come to power.
But Renuka and Ashwin’s brilliant investigative reports and photographs, help a third force led by youth Vasanthan (Ajmal) emerge the front-runner. He is a symbol of modern Indian youth who believes in clean politics.
At an election rally of Vasanthan, a bomb goes off killing Saro. Vasanthan goes on to win the polls. Now the onus falls on Ashwin and Renuka to find the real culprits behind the attack. Get ready to watch an unpredictable climax.
Jeeva is impressive and played his part exceedingly well. He looks a typical photojournalist. His body language and dialogue delivery are worth a watch. An intense performar, Jeeva pulls it off with ease.
Karthika as Renuka brings out the nuances needed for the role well. She has not exaggerated. She downplays her emotions to gel with the character. Ajmal is a revelation as an aspiring politico Vasanthan. His looks compliment the character.
The veterans Prakash Raj and Kota Sreenivasa Rao have played their part well. They have given right emotions needed for the roles. Piaa in the supporting character is adequate. Watch out for Sona in a cameo. Chinmayi’s dubbing for Karthika is apt.
Harris Jayaraj is a major attraction. All his songs pep up the environment. ‘Ennamo Yedho…’ is pick of the album.
Anand deserves all accolades for rendering a brisk entertainer that is devoid of cliches. Racy all through, it is a movie that is worth a watch, if you are really not bothered about logic at certain places.
Even as the government and the society seriously thinking about the rights to be given to transgenders, comes a film, which conveys the feelings of the third community in a subtle and honest way.
Narthagi, directed by Vijaya Padma and produced by ‘Punnagai Poo’ Geetha (of ‘Arindhum Ariyamalum’ and ‘Pattiyal’ fame), is not the usual kind of films you have been watching all these years.
Made with a purpose, the movie advocates for the rights of transgenders. Though a docu-drama feel prevails, one should understand the motive behind such an attempt to understand and appreciate it.
Coming to the story, Subbu (Kalki), born in a ‘strict family’, undergoes mental and emotional changes. He realises that he is not actually a boy and takes shelter with the transgender community. He is now Kalki.
The society ridicules her. But a determined Kalki becomes a dancer and emerges successful in life. And the climax comes with a message, which would make everyone to think for sometime.
Kalki has come out with commendable performance in the lead role while G V Prakash Kumar�s music adds credibility to the script. The linear narration by Vijaya Padma which takes us slowly into the story is neat and convincing.
The film poses a few questions to the society and in some scenes it also comes with answers. ‘Narthagi’, in the meantime, is also recommended for a section of filmmakers in Tamil cinema who normally portray transgenders in bad light.
On the whole, despite its preaching tone, ‘Narthagi’ is the need of the hour. Kudos to director Vijaya Padma and producer ‘Punnagai Poo’ Geetha for making a gutsy attempt.