Archive for category Tamil movie reviews

Avan Ivan Movie Review

First things first. �Avan Ivan� is no serious kind of a Bala film. It is like a marriage between commercial cinema with the signature style of Bala. The ace filmmaker has woven the script in such a way that there are no dull moments and the wafer-thin storyline does proceed without any lag.
All the characters blend well and there is a touch of realism in each of them even though Bala has opted for some commercial clich�s here and there in the film. The national award winning director has played to the gallery at most places, with Vishal and Arya getting due space on screen to woo the audience with their acting skills.
But quite like other Bala movies, there are enough scope for other characters too that have a bearing on the script.
If the first half is more like a cat and mouse game between siblings (Arya and Vishal), the latter part ensures that the two join hands for a cause. They embark on a journey to take revenge, reminding you �Pithamagan�.
Due credits should be given to Bala for breaking grammars of Tamil cinema. The heroes are not smart-looking fellows, the mother of the lead roles are not dotting, romance comes without duets and there are no punchlines to mouth. On the whole, the film has no structured pattern of narration.
Kumbidaren Saamy (Arya) is a petty thief and his half-brother Walter Vanangamudi (Vishal) is an aspiring drama artiste. They both live life their own way. Their father (Ananth Vaidyanthan) is caught between his two wives.
There is an old time King who lost all his wealth but commands respect in the village. Called affectionately as His Highness (G M Kumar), he showers love on Saamy and Walter.
Both Saamy and Walter do anything for His Highness. As events unfold, Walter and Saamy fall in love with a police constable Baby (Janani Iyer) and a college girl Thenmozhi (Madhu Shalini) respectively which lead to hilarious situations.
Enters a cattle smuggler (RK). He transports animals illegally to Kerala. His Highness comes across his business and ensures he gets punished. But the latter swears revenge on Highness which leads to a riveting climax featuring Saamy and Walter.
It’s a totally new Vishal in the film. As a squint-eyed youth, his dialogue delivery and body language is outstanding. The actor is at his best from the very first reel. He carries the whole burden well in his shoulders. The highlight of Vishal�s performance is a scene where he pours out Navarasa emotions on stage. Wonder where this actor in him was hiding all these days.
Arya plays second fiddle to him. He is cool, casual and is at utmost ease. He carries his role with utmost sincerity. His comic acts don’t fail to make us laugh. Suriya’s cameo, Ambika’s bold performance and the presence of two leading ladies, Janani Iyer and Madhu Shalini, adds strength to the script. RK as the baddie is a perfect foil.
The real scene stealer is G M Kumar. The veteran plays a disappointed but fun-loving old man. He emotes well on screen and deserves applause for playing such a tricky role with consummate ease.
Arya’s encounters with Madhu Shalini especially the dialogues where he urges her to drop her money in the temple, Vishal’s encounter with Janani Iyer in the police station or the scenes involving Ambika swearing on his sons, all have the signature style of Bala.
Arthur A Wilson’s lens captures landscapes of Theni well, while crisp editing by Suresh Urs peps up the proceedings. Watch out for Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background score that reminds his dad Ilayaraja in his prime form.
All said, �Avan Ivan� is not a typical Bala film, and it has its own dull moments, courtesy clich�d scenes and dragging second half. But it also has many ingredients to entertain the masses. The producers (AGS Entertainment) and the director deserve credit for such an unusual attempt.

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Manmadhan Ambu – Hitting bull’s eye

Doing a hilarious entertainer is no tough task for Kamal Haasan and K S Ravikumar duo. Their previous encounters (barring ‘Dasvatharam’) proved a point that they are masters in the trade. ‘Manmadhan Ambu’ is obviously a cakewalk for the two, who give one of the best entertainers for Tamil cinema.
Hold on. Who said comedy movies should not have a strong storyline? ‘Manmadhan Ambu’ does have strong script backed by a taut screenplay. Forget the likes of ‘Thenali, Avvai Shanmugi’ or ‘Panchathanthiram’, fasten your seat belts to laugh out loud with logical sequences, and ‘Manmadhan Ambu’ is right there to entertain you.
It has some entertaining elements, sentiments and emotions. Spying on one’s beloved seems to be the crux. A possessive industrialist hiring a private detective to follow his ladylove, who is on a holiday abroad and the sequences aftermath the mission is what the movie is all about.
Lace it up with Kamal Haasan’s perfection, Madhavan’s buoyant performance as possessive lover, bubbly Trisha and Sangeetha, Ravikumar’s directorial touches and Udhayanidhi Stalin’s production values, the film no doubt impresses.
Unlike recent run-of-the-mill-stuff, the movie has signature Kamal Haasan style of sophistication from the word go. No flashy introduction, easy dialogue without punchlines and candy floss romance is what all the movie is.
If Kamal Haasan is the flesh and blood of the movie, Ravikumar injects life with his screenplay. He ensures that momentum is not lost anywhere (how when Kamal Haasan is at the scheme of things).
Devi Sri Prasad impresses with foot-taping peppy numbers. The combined effort of Manush Nandhan’s camera capturing the huge cruiser and the landscapes of Paris, DSP’s racy re-recording and the wizardry of Kamal Haasan and Ravikumar makes the movie count.
Madhanagopal (Madhavan), is the son of rich industrialist couple (Kitty and Usha Uthup). He is in love in Ambujakshi (Trisha), a popular actress. He happens to visit her at a shooting spot in Kodaikanal, where she shoots with actor Suriya.
Possessive by nature, Madhanagopal mistakes her when she speaks to Jyothika and Suriya’s daughter over phone. Madhan and Ambujakshi pick up quarrel and eventually ends up in an argument.
Madhan, who had been to present a car to her as gift ends up travelling in the car with her arguing which meets with a freak mishap. Meanwhile there is one Deepa (Sangeetha), a divorcee with two children, who wants to live in her own way. She decides to spend her vacation abroad.
When Ambujakshi plans to go abroad for a break to spend her vacation, Madhan suspects her and hires the help of a private detective Mannar (Kamal Haasan). Mannar assures to do the task with a promise that Madhan sponsors for his friend Rajan’s (Ramesh Aravind) medical expenses. He suffers from cancer.
Mannar sets out to Paris and later on a cruise where Ambujakshi and Deepa been to. Both Deepa and Ambujakshi become acquainted and spend time with gusto. Enters Mannar, who after following Ambujakshi closely finds out that she is a upright and a sincere girl, who thinks of no one but Madhan. When he informs this, a relieved Madhan backtracks from the promise he made to Mannar.
Hence Mannar hatches a conspiracy and comes out with a story saying that she is actually dating a man. An insecure Madhan now comes to Mannar again and urges him to stay there and follow her more closely.
Meanwhile, coming to know of Madhan’s act, his parents go dissatisfied with him. Actually his mother wants him to marry one of their relative (played by Oviya of ‘Kalavani’ fame).
As it happens Mannar and Ambujakshi come to know each other. Mannar reveals that he was a commando in Indian army and that he was married to a French woman, whom he rescued from militants in Jammu Kashmir.
But Ambu is in for a shock when Mannar says she was killed in a recent mishap at Kodaikanal and that too when a luxury car knocked her down. All is now between Ambujakshi and Mannar. What happens from here on is narrated in an interesting manner. Did Madhan get Ambu or he repent for his act forms the climax.
Kamal Haasan is there right in every department. Be it the dialogues or the subtle silent expressions, he is breezy and entertaining. He is as solid as Sachin Tendulkar, fresh even after completing 50 centuries on the Test cricket ground. His one-liners and the agile stunt sequences are a delight for audience. Kamal has ensured that his fans are not disappointed all through.
Madhavan plays a bubbly romantic youth. The complex character of an over-possessive lover is handled well by him. Trisha is not far behind. She matches Kamal Haasan in every scene with her performance. Especially her subtle emotions, cherubic dance deserve a special mention.
Sangeetha is apt for the role. She casually dons it and gives one of her best. Also the likes of Ramesh Aravind Urvashi as Ramesh Aravind’s wife Mallika, Kitty and Usha Uthup among others impresses. Malayalam stars Manju Pillai and Kunjan, who play producers running behind Trisha for dates, strike with their comical performance.
Shooting in a star cruiser and a majority of film in a foreign land has been made possible by Udhaynidhi Stalin. Having made a name for himself producing and distributing quality fare, he ensures ‘Manmadhan Ambu’ tops the list.
If the first half settles down to a pace, the second half takes off in a bigger way sustaining the momentum all through.
Three cheers to Kamal Haasan, a man who has entertained us for over 50 years, for continuing his job with same energy, enthusiasm and vigour. ‘Manmadhan Ambu’ may not be a ‘Panchathanthiram’ or ‘Dasavatharam’, but a perfect holiday entertainer with Kamal stamp all over it.

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Nil Kavani Sellathey – Eerie entertainer

 Thrillers are not made very often in Tamil cinema. Producer-director Anand Chakravarathy (the man behind ‘Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu’) has taken the guts to do a movie on this genre.
It is no amateurish kind of a thriller, rather a series attempt to present a spine-chilling entertainer, that is interesting in most parts.
A group of friends on a trip to a secluded place missing one after other sets the premise for an interesting film. Though the knot is apparently from Hollywood, Anand (who plays the lead role too) has given the nativity feel and ensured with whatever facility available to him is utlisied well to do a convincing film.
Sam (Anand Chakaravarthy), Jo (Dhaniska), Arun (Ramssy), Priya (Lakshmi Nair) and Milo (Jagan) head to a small village on a pleasure trip. And they reach the place despite a warning that it is not to going to be a nice trip.
As night arrives, what arrives along with it is a series of mysterious experiences. The friends are attacked one after other by an unidentified villain. In the meantime, a police officer too arrives at the village to unravel the mystery.
What is the reason behind the attacks? Will they survive? All these things are made clear in the climax, which has so much twists and turns, with some being clichéd and some quiet interesting.
The movie impresses thanks to a strong technical backup. The sleek cinematography comes to its rescue. Also the lighting sets up the mood. The thrilling scenes where the lead cast run for their lives have been picturised well.
Selva Ganesh’s music is another major highlight. Movies on such genre get strength from background score. Understanding this, Selva Ganesh has lent able support to the director in setting the mood of the film.
Due credits should go to Anand Chakravarthy. He has succeeded in all this three avatars. The other lead players, including ‘Maanja Velu’ and ‘Peranmai’ fame Dhanshika, have presented an impressive performance.
Without any crass comedy, dumb dance by the lead pair or fisticuffs defying gravitational force, ‘Nil Gavani Sellathey’ is an honest attempt as a thriller. Watching it once in a theatre could encourage more such attempts.

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Aattanayagan – Action replay

Sakthi joins the big league of actors by doing a mass masala movie with ‘Aatanayakan’. Unlike his earlier ventures which where dominated by love stories, the film directed by first timer Krishnaram is more a one-man show with Sakthi playing a messiah in his own style.
The actor flexes his muscles, bashes up baddies, romances and has a gang of friends with whom he indulges in comedy. Krishnaram has chosen a story that is oft-seen in Tamil seen right from MGR days.
But the shrewd director has induced some pace in the script with Sakthi executing it with gusto and right energy. Then there is the likes of Nasser, Adhitya Menon, Ravi Kale, Ramya Nambeesan and Santhanam among others chipping in with their seasoned performance to make it an engrossing fare.
The first half is breezy and revolves around Sakthi, the youngest son in a family, who is chided by elders for his irresponsible ways. He spends time with his friends and falls in love with a girl and sings a couple of duets.
The latter half is more inspired by ‘Devar Magan’, where the protagonist tries his best to stay away from violence, but finally forced to take arms, only to restore peace and harmony.

Lingam (Sakthi), the younger son of Nasser, leads life in his own way. He along with his set of friends (which includes Santhanam and ‘Lollu Sabha’ Jeeva) goes around town enjoying. But Lingam’s father is against his ways. He often compares him with his elder brother Chandran (Adhitya Menon), who runs a software firm in Hyderabad and is caring towards the family. Lingam falls in love with Radhika (Ramya Nambeesan) and he decides to make her sister Indira (Meera Vasudevan) enter wedlock with his brother.
After their marriage, Chandran takes Indira to Hyderabad. But she comes across a startling truth that Chandran is none but a dreaded don in the capital city of Andhra Pradesh and that had hid this truth to his family.
The onus now falls on Lingam to set things right. He promises Indira and Radhika that he would bring his brother back to right ways. But a hindrance to his mission is Boppala Ram Babu (Ravi Kale), who has a score to settle with Chandran. Does Lingam succeeds in his mission or not forms the climax.
Sakthi is cool and ravishing. He plays his part well. Especially in comedy and dance sequences, he is at his best. Refreshing to see a heroine in Tamil cinema sans glamour. Three cheers to Ramya Nambeesan for that. Santhanam plays a typical comedican appearing as Sakthi’s friend and there are many of his typical one-liner wits. Ravi Kale and his gang play the usual villains, while Nasser as dotting father and Adhitya Menonn as the don impress.
Vijay Milton’s camera is cool. He picturises the village streets and that of the busy stretches in Hyderabad well. Harsha’s editing could have been good in the second part. Srikanth Deva’s music is loud and the tunes are too familiar.
Produced by Lakshmi Movie Makers, ‘Aaatanayakan’ ia a passable fare. Providing one a deja vu ride, the movie is commercial cocktail that is the order of the day in Kollywood.

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Easan – Believing in Sasikumar

There was enough curiosity over ‘Easan’ as it is the second film of Sasikumar after the cult ‘Subramaniapuram’ in 2008.
In his second film after two years, Sasikumar has set his focus on Chennai, its urban posh life, its merits and demerits. In the process he has touched upon the life styles of different social classes and their behaviors.
Before the release of this film Sasikumar had said, you can’t slot ‘Easan’ as a thriller or a love story. He was right and very right.
The story begins as a love story, then turns a thriller and then turns a revenge transgression and ends as a social crime novel. Sasikumar has handled the mix of genus rather well except for the length of the movie. A good three hours seems a bit dreary.
Story wise ‘Easan’ is not very innovative. It is a revenge for the killing of a girl after rape by a politician’s son and an honest police officer investigates the case braving pressures from the politico family.
Suspense is maintained till the interval as to who the killer could be. As a clever director, Sasikumar makes you change your guess every time with a lot of characters and sub scenes.  In fact, the game of guessing with a collage of incidents keeps the first half intact.
The story of ‘Easan’ is built by the characters and there is no hero or heroine or a villain or a comedian. Samuthirakani is not the hero, Abhinaya is not the heroine and AL Azhagappan is not the villain, There are around 20 characters and all characters play up to the story.
Casting is also a reason for the sincerity of the film. Samuthirakani as the police officer is subtle and focused. AL Azhagappan as the politician doesn’t look like a first timer. Vaibhav as a spoiled brat son of the politician and Abhinaya as the village girl turning a fashionable city girls are as good as always. Even the other characters those of new comer Aparna, Blessy, Niranjan and Nammo Narayana are good.
James Vasanthan has brought in a good dose of western flavor mixed with local music, which is new and interesting. But placing of most songs look they are item numbers and doesn’t blend with the story telling. But then James Vasanthan always played music to the story without looking for showcasing individual brilliance.
Technically the best done is the cinematography by SR Kathiir. His camera has captured the city night life and the village innocence in two distinctive styles, particularly the discotheque scenes and the opening village sequences. If at all there is one thing you would want to change is the editing. Many scenes could have been crisper and clichéd shots removed. The tedious lengths of scenes in many places actually destabilize the intentions of the director.
‘Easan’ is good by its scenes but knitting them could have been a little more compelling and pragmatic. You may be a little disillusioned if you go to ‘Easan’ expecting the magic of ‘Subramaniapuram’. But then ‘Easan’ is a paradigm shift.

We still believe Sasikumar is a great director capable of repeating the magic of ‘Subramaniapuram’.

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Sanikizhamai Sayangalam 5 Mani – Sanikkizhamai Sayangalam 5 Mani – Review – Sad Sat

 Featuring newcomers, the movie was widely publicised as the first flick made using HDSLR camera technology,
But for the cinematography, ‘Sanikkizhamai Sayangalam 5 Mani’ fails to impress in any department as it lacks logic in screenplay and coherence.
The rural thriller, which is shaky from the beginning, is about a girl, who goes missing and the desperate search by his lover to find her. Directed by Ravi Bharathi, the whole story unfolds from Saturday 5 pm to Saturday 5 pm the next week, justifying the title.
The movie tests our patience at many places. It has a slew of fresh faces with Sarath and Malini playing the lead roles. The only saving grace is cinematography, which is impressive and the use of still camera works wonders.
Maha (Malini), who elopes from her house in Kodaikanal to Vathalagundu to marry her boyfriend Sakthi (Sarath). On her way to meet him she suddenly goes missing. She speaks to Sakthi over phone during the journey, but suddenly vanishes.
Maha’s uncle is a police officer and he starts to search the girl. The blame falls on Sakthi, but he proves his innocence and begins his search for her. Eventually Sakthi and his friends find out the reason behind Maha going missing and a rude shock awaits them.
The movie stutters and staggers in pace. It is more clichéd and predictable. Sarath is passable while Malini disappoints. Music too is jarring. With an interesting knot, the film could have been interesting had the director made the script cogent and tight.
To sum it up, it is a question whether the film would cross next Saturday 5 pm in cinema halls.

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Virudhagiri – Captain’s new innings

 With Assembly elections round the corner, obviously one expected a movie from Vijayakanth that speaks aloud his policies and political ideas.
Comes power-packed with punch typical in ‘Captain’ style is ‘Virudhagiri’. What more he himself has directed the movie making sure that all what he thinks gets stuffed in the film.
One more to the long list of movies featuring Vijayakanth as police officer is this film, which has almost all characters mouthing laurels about him. They appear and disappear from the screen after hailing him the ‘messiah of the masses’.
In a nutshell, the movie is about one upright ADGP Virudhagiri, a one-man army who captures international terrorists who are hell-bent on causing trouble to the peace and tranquility.
How he accomplishes the task has been narrated in the way one would have seen often in his flicks before. For die-hard Vijayakanth fans, there are plenty of punch dialogues besides gravity-defying stunt sequences where the protagonist flies, jumps, kicks and shoots with glee.
Besides stunts, the movie’s other highlight are the songs, set to tunes by Sundar C Babu. The songs too glorify Vijayakanth and sings paeans on him. There are host of villains, who too heap laurels on Vijayakanth, before they are kicked and butchered by him.
Virudhagiri (Vijayakanth), the upright honest police officer, helps Scotland Yard police in thwarting  a murder bid on the British Prime Minister. He returns to Chennai and comes to know of the troubles and violent attacks faced by Indian students in Australia.
Meanwhile, his friend’s daughter goes to Australia for studies and disappears. Now Viruthagiri has double task – rescue her and end the menace forever. He sets off to Sydney and begins his task in James Bond style. How he achieves the mission is the rest.
Vijayakanth is at his best in stunt sequences. He utters punch dialogues with gusto. But he has no pair for any romantic duets in the film. He seems to have donned the dual hat of direction and action with consummate ease. There are a host of artistes including Peeli Sivam, Kalai Rani, Mansoor Ali Khan, Shanmuga Rajan and Arun Pandian.
For die-hard fans of Vijayakanth, ‘Virudhagiri’ is a movie to cherish. For others, it’s a regular run-of-the-mill Vijayakanth stuff.

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