Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mayakkam Enna: "Brothers' combo rocks in this slow yet engaging movie!!!

Since the last few years, the quality of movies being churned out by the Tamil film industry has left everyone flabbergasted. Once upon a time, it was all about super human heroes but with time their thinking evolved with the inception of several promising youngsters. Without doubt, Selvaraghavan is one of the prominent directors among this present lot. He collaborates with his National Award winning brother, Dhanush for the fourth time in "Mayakkam Enna". So can the brothers churn out a winner yet again???


Just as in his previous movies, Selvaraghavan touches upon the different facets of a person's character through the various stages of his life. Here the protagonist is Karthik Swaminathan (Dhanush), a struggling freelance photographer who dreams of making it into the big league someday. Though he shoots portfolios & weddings for covering his expenses, his love has always been wildlife photography & idolises the ace photographer, Madhesh Krishnaswamy (Ravi Prasad). Karthik & his sister being orphans, were always in the company of their friends with Sundar being one of them who dates Yamini (Richa) .Though Karthik & Yamini were at loggerheads initially, that hatred eventually turns into love & finally culminates into marriage. In the meantime, Karthik is duped by Madhesh on the pretext of making him his assistant only to realise later on that his snaps won the best photography award but in Madhesh's name. This incident virtually shatters him, plunging him into a self destruction mode which puts his marriage on the rocks. So will Karthik ever be able to resurrect from this depression???

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Selvaraghavan's films has always attracted be it "Kadhal Kondein", "7G Rainbow Colony" or "Ayirathil Oruvan". The major strength of this movie is its off beat yet strong script, with all the various elements added in an apt measure. The first half of the movie focuses on the frustration of Karthik on failing to get a break inspite of repeated efforts. At the same time, he expresses his anguish & guilt on falling in love with his friend's lover. The second half changes gears drastically as it's high on melodrama with the iron willed wife taking lead & making efforts to make things right. On the whole the film is slow, but the events & brilliant performances make it for an interesting watch.

Dhanush seems to be getting better with each & every movie, as he comes up with a brilliant performance yet again post "Aadukalam". Unlike "Aadukalam", this role required him to display varying body language as there is a plethora of emotions flowing through the length of the film. Richa's debut was equally praise worthy as she performs on par with Dhanush, with her dubbing artist Deepa Venkat deserving a word of praise as well. Sundhar was apt as his friend while Ravi Prasad as the arrogant & selfish Madhesh being right on the money. The music & BGM by G.V Prakash was outstanding with visuals by Ramji being a delight for the senses.

Verdict: The impressive track record of the brothers will ensure a good opening at the box office. With almost all the various aspects of the film being top notch, it will have the box office bells ringing in earnest. In short, it's a well made film with impressive performances; so dont miss it!!!

Rating: 4/5

Regards...Ben

Desi Boyz review: "Entertaining yet a no brainer time pass!!!"

It's common knowledge that there has been a dearth of good clean comedies in Bollywood in the last few years. If at all anything of that genre does appear, it invariably hovers around slap stick stuff with ample reference to gay jokes. Trying to bring back some of the wholesome clean comedies is Rohit Dhawan, son of the undisputed king of comedies,David Dhawan. So can Rohit's directorial debut "Desi Boyz" live upto the expectations imparted by the catchy promos, stunning male protagonists & lineage???


Recession is one of the most dreaded yet most oft used word since the past few years. As one would expect, Europe & the US are the worst affected leading to wide spread unemployment. Jerry Patel (Akshay Kumar) & Nick Mathur (John Abraham) are the best of pals settled in UK. Nick is an investment banker, who had everything that he had wished for..a beautiful fiance, smashing career & a heavy paycheck. On the other hand, Jerry had petty jobs but survived living off Nick. Finally the day arrived, when recession came knocking on their door rendering them jobless. It's in such a scenario that they bump into Desi Boyz Boss (Sanjay Dutt) who offers them the job of male escorts. Though reluctant initially, they take it up as Nick harboured fears of losing Radhika (Deepika) while Jerry had to prevent his nephew,Veer from being sent to a foster home. But their fears turn into reality when their profession becomes known. So how can they get it all back???

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Rohit does manage to create a sense of reality by infusing a real life crisis into the plot. As a matter of fact, the first half does entertain the audience as the protagonists share a smashing chemistry interlaced with some really jovial moments. However, the second half falls flat as the film hardly moves forward for John's character as he is seen just wooing Deepika the whole time. Akki does manage to do something more but his track doesnt imply much significance & the film slowly drags to a typical climax. In short, Rohit wasnt able to do anything that will stamp his uniqueness. Pritam's music was outstanding as the title track rendered by K.K & B.o.B is a chart buster not to forget the catchy choreography along with Mika's "Subha Hone Na De". The BGM also deserves mention especially for the revamped version of "Khalnayak".

Akki is a veteran of comedies as his timing is spot on as always while John has definitely grown a lot as an actor & seems much at ease handling comedy as opposed to his performance in "Garam Masala". Their smashing chemistry makes it a delight for the audience as they exude charisma & camaraderie. Deepika didnt have much scope while Chitrangda was reduced to a sexy Economics professor.However, Sanju baba sizzles in his brief cameo, Omi Vaidya tickes the funny bone while Anupam Kher was wasted.

Verdict: The catchy promos & chart-bustering songs will ensure a good opening at the box office. The film is marketed as a popcorn munching entertainer which doesnt take a toll on your brain cells. In short, if you watch it without expectations you will have stuff to laugh about in the first half!!!

Rating: 2/5

Regards...Ben

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nayika review: " Interesting thread but Jayaraj falters!!!"

Finally after weeks of dispute between the various sectors of the Malayalam film industry, this weekend heralded the release of Jayaraj's "Nayika" much to the relief of the movie starved audience. The film has already attracted attention owing to its hatke promos, not to forget the fact that one of the greatest yesteryear heroine Sarada is doning the grease paint after a hiatus. Jayaraj is one of those directors whose directorial qualities keeps fluctuating like a pendulum. So the question now is whether the film is as good as what the trailer conveys or is it just a smokescreen???


Aleena (Mamta Mohandas) was the grand daughter of noted director Job, who had calls the shots for many a star. Prominent among them was Grace (Sarada), who ruled the silver screen until her sudden disappearance. This prompts Aleena to unfurl the mystery in the form of a documentary. But things werent going to be easy, as Grace was leading a life of seclusion owing to her mental imbalance. As part of her search for truth, she meets up with many of Grace's colleagues starting with Stephen Muthalali (Siddique), the owner of the production studio under whose banner she had many successful films with the evergreen superstar Anand (Jayaram). Slowly, Aleena comes across stories regarding Grace's romance & the suicide of her adopted daughter Vani (Sarayu). But the more she came to know, the more suspicious she becomes. Are there many more skeletons to tumble out of the cupboard???

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Whenever I have come across any film displaying the fictitious disclaimer, I have always taken it with a pinch of salt. The same situation happens here as well & there is no denying the fact that many of the characters & events has been inspired from real life with a wisp of fiction. Deedi Damodaran has incorporated many real life events such as Vijaysree's suicide following her wardrobe malfunction in "Ponnapuram Kotta", Jayaram's character which was a mix of  Prem Nazir's mannerisms along with Sathyan's last few months etc. Deedi definitely had an interesting thread but it failed to produce an impact as expected mainly due to Jayaraj's inadequacy. Some of the sequences such as recreating the past seemed appalling as many of the characters seemed to have drank from the fountain of agelessness. Hardly anything happens in the first half since the build up of events does takes an awful lot of time, while the latter half impresses in spurts.

Padmapriya enacting the younger Grace has rendered an impressive performance while Sarada fails to impart as much impact as one would expect. Jayaram was spot on with his mannerisms though it was very much like a glorified guest appearance. Siddique once again showcases his acting prowess while Sarayu was apt in her small yet prominent role. The music by M.K Arjunan was impressive as many of the songs managed to impart a nostalgic feel keeping in with the mood of the movie. As for other aspects, I dont believe it has much to praise nor despise.

Verdict: The film will not open the flood gates, but it will have an average opening owing to the movie starved audience & interesting promos. However, the execution impacts the film majorly driving away any scope of having word of mouth in its favour. Though it does have an interesting thread on the lines of "Thirikatha", it drags at many sequences. In short, it's worth a one time watch but not in theatre!!!

Rating: 2.5/5

Regards...Ben



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rockstar review: "3 R's: Ranbir & Rahman rocks!!!"

It's been almost three weeks since SRK's "Ra One" has hit the screens. Though it did become one of the highest grossers of all time, it's gigantic production cost meant it's an average success. With exhaustive publicity & an unprecedented release in over 4000 screens , the whole industry were expecting it to break all existing records.It might be due to this very fact, that there has been no releases until Imtiaz Ali decided to break the dead  lock with his Ranbir starrer "Rockstar". So can Imtiaz continue his purple patch especially with Ranbir & Rahman giving him company???


Rock music is one of those genres which has been diversified so much that defining it in a single line is difficult. However, through the ages there has been an array of dynamic rock artists who captured the imagination of the audience be it Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen or Jim Morrison. Janardhan Jakkar/JJ/Jordan (Ranbir Kapoor) from Delhi's Pitampura is one of those individuals who dreams of becoming a cult  like Jim Morrison. The film unfolds in Prague where Jordan mesmerises the audience with his concert. But his journey from a middle class aspiring singer to the charismatic icon hasnt been easy. After having faced rejection & humiliation initially, Janardhan stumbles upon the idea adviced by his well wisher that all great musicians had gone through heart break & pain. This entices him to flirt with the college heart throb Heer (Nargis Fakhri), hoping that she would break his heart. But things gets worser than he had anticipated. So will Jordan get Heer or was this the sacrifice that he had to make to attain stardom???

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Imtiaz Ali's brand of films has always sparked curiosity as it invariably focuses on contemporary romance ignited between two unlike individuals with the female usually being of the wild type be it Geet of "Jab We Met" or Meera of "Luv Aaj Kal". In addition it will be a travelogue of sorts, traversing various awesome locales. This is pretty much the case in "Rockstar" as well, but I would have to say this was a far riskier & braver attempt. The first half tracks the transformation of Janardhan to Jordan along with some exhilarating moments between the lead pairs. But the second half fails to live upto the expectations as it meanders along aimlessly & finally concluding in a rather tame manner with the audience given the option to infer.

A.R Rahman is at his absolutely best with the music setting the charts on fire & also it seams in perfectly with the mood of the film. Though "Sadda Haq" is the most popular as of now, all the others are equally impressive since various genres has been tackled with equal finesse. The visuals by Anil Mehta is another aspect which deserves a special mention.

Rahman & Ranbir at the music launch
Time & again, Ranbir has proved that he is indeed the future of Bollywood. There is no doubt regarding the amount of effort that he puts into each project that he commits. Over here as well, Ranbir has been absolutely stunning; infact the very best in his career as he transforms from the innocent, jovial character to the edgy, temperamental Jordan & this film will definitely go down in his career graph as one of the standout ones. Without sounding over zealous, I believe that he is gonna sweep all the awards next year. Nargis definitely has the looks & shares amazing chemistry with Ranbir, but she has got to work on her acting skills.Shammi Kapoor graces the silver screen for the last time ever & puts in an impressive act.

Verdict: The film will have an impressive opening owing to the catchy promos & film drought since "Ra One". Being made at a modest 60 crores, I believe it will have the urban audiences interested. In short, the film lacks punch in the second half but it should still garner impressive returns. As far as my opinion goes, it's definitely a one time watch as Ranbir & Rahman are at their absolute best!!!

Rating: 3.25/5

Regards...Ben