Sunday, July 11, 2010

Madharasapattinam - Movie Review

Madarasapattinam.. was that name something of a nostalgia of this city’s re-christened name of “Chennai”??.. Well this one is a love and lost story which happens in Madarasapattinam in the then Madras presidency. So much was I impressed by the ostentatious audio release and the innovative invitations for the same of this movie. The CD cover resembled an ‘anna’ paisa and accompanied some rare pics. But.. but.. but.. where was this innovation and effort in the movie’s story ??

As usual , I was late to this movie as well..Though I was comfortably seated in the Elite class tickets in Sathyam cinemas, i still felt the pain on my neck with movie’s uneasy lengthiness.. The first half was little over stretched and the second half did a little patch up by enhancing the pace of the movie.

The story is nothing new, something that’s similar to a lot of pre-cursors and much familiar in treatment as well. An elderly Amy Wilkinson comes back to India in search of her long lost lover Paruthi and as she remembers her good old days as the daughter of Madrasapattinam’s Governor, the movie unfolds to the pre-independence period. This traces back to the love story of the washerman cum wrestler Paruthi(Arya) and the beautiful daughter of the Governor Amy (Amy Jackson). Thrown in is a little story of confiscation of land from the washerman to build a golf field and some revolts against the British rule.

Watchout for yourself if Amy succeeds in finding Paruthi and a touching climax though it was predictable. Arya as Paruthi was good. The ruggedly handsome man flexes his muscles and does some fight sequences to his credit. Amy Jackson as Amy was cute(of course a sure eye candy ;) ) and much a Barbie doll like. She does tries to act a little. The older Amy was better in terms of acting. But it was the late ‘Cochin’ Hanneefa and ‘lollusabha’ Jeeva who entertained with their comedy interludes in the ‘flashback’ and present parts respectively.

OMG !! something i forgot to mention this. I guess the director Vijay must have been a big fan of ‘Titanic’.. Anyone could sense the strong influence of Titanic in this movie. Hmm.. a little analogy.. Instead of the diamond necklace here it’s a ‘Thaali’, the back and forth shifting of past and present through the eyes of ‘Rose Dawson’.. err.. sorry Amy in this case.. Even Amy’s hot iron hair curls and the trench coat are much similar to Kate Winslet’s in Titanic..

The art direction was good.. much effort had been taken in re-creating the Madarasapattinam with Trams, hand written signboards etc.. But unfortunately, they all still carry the fresh paint which seems odd. . The songs were pleasing.. ‘Pookal Pookum’ was a worth mentioning melody and the cinematography was adequate.

Despite certain positives, the movie couldn’t make an impact owing to the screenplay with innumerable flaws. And the comparisons i drew with “Titanic” became inevitable as i had watched Titanic more than 30 times i almost lost count..

So to the Director Vijay, “Better luck next time”.. The screenplay was so buoyant that it didn’t make a profound impact, just like my love for the city of ‘Madras’, it’s been 4 yrs since i moved here and yet to fall in love with this place J..

Afterall it’s a period film, after quite some time.. so give it try and it’s watchable once

Friday, June 18, 2010

Raavanan- Movie Review

TGIF – Thank God It’s Friday..:).. I was waiting for those updates at office, which never came even after lunch. I had already planned to leave early to catch my train to hometown. Hmm.. a little thought .. How about trying to watch “Raavanan” ?? My TL confirmed those updates are yet to come J.. whoopee !!!!... I did a windows + L and switched off my monitor (Go green folks!!) and left for the theatre. I hired an auto and was just in time to the tambaram “Vidya” theatre’s matinee at 2:45 p.m.. Did i say the balcony ticket which i bought here was even more costlier than some posh multiplexes in the city ?? It’s a highly anticipated ManiRathnam movie andso i didn’t mind that J

Now to the review.. well wait !! before the review there’s something else to be discussed.. guess what ?? the lead actors and the story ...

The Story– Need no introduction to the Ramayan which has been an inspiration for many other stories. But what’s different is this one ?? well.. this allegorical Ramayana leaves you with questions like, “Is the righteous always right ? Does the wrong has the right to express their part of right ?? .. err.. sorry about that .. but I would say there’s nothing much as a story in this movie but it’s an experimentation which leaves the viewers with quite a few questions.

Aishwariya Rai – OMG !! such an elegance !! an expressive pair of eyes which does acquire a characteristic of it’s own to carry forward her character “Ragini" which is the epicentre and infact the most empathised one between two males of opposite poles. She was splendid !!

Vikram – hmm .. what am I to say about this actor who is beyond excellence.. He plays the protagonist “Veera” and does his job to perfection hands down.

Prithviraj – he plays the role of the cop “Dev”. Fortunately he’s the only one gets to wear some fancy costumes whilst the others are soaked in muddy waters or ‘mutani’ matti . Prithvi plays his role quite adequately and stands equal to the other stalwarts.

Hmm.. well.. well.. the review ?? Unfortunately, the above lists were the positives of the movie. The main negative or the sad part is that the movie rides on a very known and thin storyline. You wouldn’t even regret if you missed the first half of the movie as it has nothing to render. Infact, it’s the breath taking visuals and awesome cinematography which forms the first half. Not to forget Mrs. Aish Bachan who carries the first half. The actual story unfolds only in the second half.

The flashback brings “PriyaMani” and quite a story which had been long awaited by the audience. A host of other actors like Prabhu, Munna, Ranjitha and Vyapuri join the “Veera” gang, while Karthik plays the forester who helps Prithviraj. It was quite baffling to me as why Mani sir opted for desperate measures like (making karthik do a monkey act or the police officer asking priyamani if he cud cut her nose) to define the characters ?? I guess almost all of us know the Ramayan and could have identified the character mapping even without such deliberate additions.

Despite these shortcomings, it was the climax which impressed me and the numerous questions which it lead within me while i walked out of the theatre. Go for the movie for it’s iconographic cinematography of typical ‘Manirathnam’ movie. The breathtaking visuals and songs are definitely the positives which could make you forget that the movie lacked substance. The awesome camera the miss world mesmerise you .. err..t he ex- miss world J

Go with zero anticipations.. You wouldn’t regret.. Time to catch my train.. Have a nice weekend folks !!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's not that wonderful .. though..

Though I couldn’t manage to get tickets for this movie in the all-time favorite ‘Satyam Cinemas’, I did manage in a newly cropped multiplex, high above the Ampha Skywalk Mall.. well it was the PVR in chennai.. With three rounds of screening… ( post a metal detector :( … ) , ticket checking, body frisking and a bag-checking (phew !!! ) … where in which the umbrella had to go in for a separate token (I was wondering when this redtape is gonna be over !!! ).. all I had to loose was the first 15 minutes of the movie “It’s A Wonderful Afterlife “(IAWA)…. Well that explains i had left with only 85 minutes of the remaining movie..

Did i really get to believe that it was witnessing only 85 minutes of it ?? Hmm.. let’s not conclude that here before further reading ;).. Gurinder Chadda again comes back with a Punjabi family …errr… not exactly a family this time, but a mother-daughter duo.. If in the “Bride & Prejudice” aka “Balle.. Balle… Amritsar to L.A” it was Mrs. Bakshi’s concern (more appropriately constant worrying) over the marriage of her 4 daughters, here in IAWA, it’s Mrs.Sethi who is determined to get her only daughter married away happily.. Mrs. Sethi’s (Shabana Azmi) determination goes overboard to the extent of even killing people (in her own way) who rejected her rather unattractive, plump daughter Roopi.

The ghosts of her victims continue to haunt Mrs. Sethi as they couldn’t be reincarnated unless their murderer dies. Mrs. Sethi has no regrets in killing herself but she has to find her daughter a suitable match before that. In addition to the four victims, an accidental victim, her neighbour Mrs.Goldie joins the wagan of ghosts to help Mrs.Sethi in this matrimony mission. ( oh.. don’t look for the logical reasons here !!! ). Comes in a tall, dark, handsome childhood friend, Raj (Sendhil Ramamoorthy) who by the way spies on Roopi reluctanlty playing an undercover cop. Well .. the rest of the story is very much predicatable but the much elongated climax quite mercilessly test the patience of the viewers.

The ghosts who reappear in the very same manner they were murdered, Roopi’s mate Githali @ Linda with her psychic powers and obsession for Indian sprituality keeps you in splits but quite scarcely.The thrown in gags and a few practical jokes are a fun but couldn’t help much to the weaker screenplay.

With an actor of such magnitude as Shabana Azmi, what was rendered was an average package of a movie with few fun elements which was a disappointment. As such, the churned up curry fails to appease your taste buds..May be the recipe by itself is little bland (just like the hotdogs sold at PVR.. I didn’t like them much :()

Go for the movie for the mere comical interludes.. look for nothing more..!! you might enjoy it :)..

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Angadi Theru - Movie Review

After the critical and commercial success of “Veyil”, Vasantha Balan strikes once again in this reality drama “Angadi Theru” - the market street. Definitely the movie sans the essentials of a commercial potboilers but what is rendered is a serious cinema which is quite raw and real. Mind that the truth is bitter. For all those who are in Chennai, needless to say about this busy street which is the epicentre of the movie. The story evolves around the salespersons, revolves around their lives and atlast convolves to the basic theme “Whatever happens, life must go on !!”

Hmm.. in a ways the movie is quite a parody on one of the famous shops in Ranganathan Street. It’s been chirstened as “Senthil Murugan Stores”.Hope you all guessed the real name ;). hmm.. now to the story..The sudden demise of his father makes Jyothilingam(Mahesh) as the next breadwinner of the family though being a school topper who aspires higher education. He comes to Chennai along with his friend to work in the shop. It’s in here Jyothilingam meets Kani(Anjali), a salesgirl with whom he often locks horns with. After a few instances love blossoms between the two.

The magnificient facade of the shop is a direct irony to the pathetic conditions of the salespersons within it. From restroom visits to falling in love, the salespersons are refused even the barest humanitarian treatment leading to a suicide of one of the salesgirls. This leaves the lead pair thinking about their future. Did the couples unite ? Did they start a life together ?? hmmm.. watch the movie to find the answers for yourselves. :)…

Alongside the main storyline, there are quite a few interludes involving street vendors in the busy street. These are carefully etched to tingle your thoughts about the lives of lesser-privileged people we could witness around us. Infact the plight of the salespersons were depicted in their true sense. Quite a few of them move your heart. Scenes involving Marimuthu(Pandi) render some slapstick humour and take-off a little in an otherwise gloomy screenplay.

Plaudits to the director for parodying one of the famous shops and the omnipotent owner ”Annachi” very boldly. The lead have done their parts well and Anjali is definetely an actress who could join the league of serious performers. The ‘director Venkatesh’ who comes as the ruthless supervisor ‘karungali’ is worth mentioning. The cameo by Sneha is again good and quite sticks to the base storyline. The music is adequate and “aval apadi ondrum…” is a breezy melody. But the ‘karangali’ song was an unsolicited add-on which could have been avoided.

The biggest strength of the movie happens to be it’s crude reality potrayed in it. The cinematagrapher has captured this reality in the very same rawness of the ever bustling market street.(i still wonder how the crew managed to shoot in that street :) ) The dialogues which are slang laden are another positive but are tepid at times when the lingo goes overboard. “Ela vanga la.. ela ponga la..” were lavishly used all along the movie.

On the flopside, the slower pace of the movie, certain deliberate inclusions and too much of rawness add to the demerits.

Go for it, only if you have a taste for reality cinema..

On a personal note i liked the movie :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Two of a Kind..But different

The two paintings which i did at a different time came together ironically now .. Hmm.. perhaps they share something in common for this union.. Two of a kind.. But different.. Well, both the paintings share the common theme of 'Reflection'. One being the change of reflection and the other being a reflection of a persona.

Reflections change

Woman & Vanity

The first painting was named 'Reflections change'. I chose this title as, many a times in my life I had to laugh when I intend to cry. The reflection was a camouflage in this case. Of course, this 'false-face' helps a lot in many instances. Hope many of you would agree with me on this :). The second one which I titled 'Woman & Vanity' is much of flaunting of an image which is true to the reflection of the persona. The former being a neutral figure I chose a woman for the latter. Afterall, vanity is predominantly a woman's forte but camouflaged reflections are not bound to any gender. Of course a woman's vanity is not only confined to her 'flauting showiness' but also to her love, compassion and many more virtues.. Hope that justified the title for the post ;)