Kanchana 2

Kanchana 2

Cast and Crew:

Director:  Raghava Lawrence
Producer: Bellamkonda Suresh
Written: Raghava Lawrence
Starring: Raghava Lawrence, Taapsee Pannu, Kovai Sarala, Renuka
Music: Leon James, C.Sathya, S.Thaman, Ashwamithra
Cinematographer: Rajavel Olhiveeran
Distributor:  Sun Pictures, Thenandal Fims
Language:  Tamil,Telugu
Budget:  25 crore (US$3.9 million)

 

When a sequel is made, especially for a horror movie, expectations shoot up to a greater magnitude, sometimes, it crosses beyond the usual levels that we tend to anticipate more and more surprises and enthrallment’s from the movie. Raghava Lawrence’s Muni was a sleeper hit and what followed next – Kanchana 2 was a blockbuster one. Obviously, the third installment kept us awaited for many years and finally gets its toast across the screens.

This time, Raghava Lawrence plays a top-notch cameraman for a leading TV channel and is madly in love with a beautiful journalist (Taapsee). When their TV channels drops down with the TRP, the MD (Suhasini) insists them to think something unique that will get them back on foot. Apparently, Taapsee gives an interesting concept of having a show based on paranormal investigation. Things get approved and they plan up a drama to make the entire country believe about existence of ghosts. They have the best fun-filled group that consists of a doctor (Sriman), light boys (Manobala and  Chaams) and a personal security (Mayilsamy) to accompany Raghava Lawrence to restroom when he wants to visit on natural call. Sounds funny isn’t? Everything looks humorous until they discover that the house they are setting up the drama is really haunted. Sooner Raghava and Taapsee become victims of the paranormal incidents and what follows next is a series of spine-chilling moments.

It seems like Raghava Lawrence had clearly understood the pulse of audiences over the success of ‘Kanchana’. Almost everything in the film looks as the same pattern. The first half is filled with more and more humour with an ensemble star-cast that includes Kovai Sarala. Raghava Lawrence as usual manages to keep the audiences so much engrossed and we never feel as though more than a hour has passed by the first half. But the actual problem starts post-intermission. Of course, the comedy portions are very well done, but it stumbles halfway while opening up the flashback. Technically, the film has matured more than its previous installments with good efficiency spotted in animation and CG works. Raghava Lawrence’s smart plans of having four music directors for this film have worked out. Almost all the songs are enjoyable; especially the first song ‘Sillatta Pillatta’ featuring Raghava and his brother would send the mass audiences into high crazy fever. ‘Vaaya Veera’ is a sensual treat involving romance and good tunes. The background score by Thaman sounds quite harsh in few places. Cinematography has been very well done and editing by late National award winner Kishore is so crisp that we don’t sense the transitions. The climax portion of the film seems to be little vague and lacks emotional punch. Moreover, the open ending is blatantly missing and we see just ‘MUNI – 4’ coming soon.

Raghava Lawrence is remarkable. He stuns us vividly with many roles in the film. Particularly, the scene where he turns up with various roles as a young kid, teenage girl and old granny is awesome. Taapsee gets a different role for the first time and her role is an actual surprise as she gets haunted at first. But who steals the complete show is Nithya Menen. This girl creates magic with her minimal appearance. Sriman appears in few places and his portions are rib-tickling. The first half portions involving the episodes of Sriman, Kovai Sarala, Mayilsamy, Manobala and Chaams create huge laughter.

But what creates an actual problem is the length of this film, which doesn’t keep us intact. The audiences feel that the story is stumbling halfway. It would have been nice if Raghava Lawrence had corrected these flaws while penning the script.

Overall, Kanchana 2 is entertaining during the first hour, but slightly drops down the line with some non-engaging moments in second half with an ordinary climax.

 

Verdict: Okay! But doesn’t outperform ‘Kanchana’.

 

OK Kanmani (aka) OK Bangaram

OK Kanmani (aka) OK Bangaram

Starring: Dulquer Salmaan, Nithya Menen
Director: Mani Ratnam
Director of Photography: P C Sreeram
Music Director: A R Rahman
Lyricist: Vairamuthu
Editor: Sreekar Prasad
Production Designer: Sharmishta Roy
Producer: Mani Ratnam
Executive Producer: Mala Manyan
Associate Producer: R. Krishnan
Choreographer: Brinda
Costume Designer: Eka Lakhani
Publicity Designer: Gopi Prasannaa
Stills: C.H.Balu
Studio: Madras Talkies
Distributed by : Studio Green(Tamil), Sri Venkateswara Creations (Telugu)

 

Slightly striking some similarities of his very own film ‘Alaipayuthey’, the film ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’ had its way of grabbing everyone’s interests. Sometimes for grandiloquence and some rare context of theme called ‘Live-in relationship’. Manirathnam’s O Kadhal Kanmani traces through the lives of two youngsters who strongly want to break the stereotypical pattern of leading a life.

Aadhi (Dulquer Salman) and Tara (Nithya Menen) have immersed in their own world of dreams and aspirations. Aadhi is a top-notch video game developer and Tara is a wannabe winner in the world of architecture. Their lives get interwoven for sharing same beliefs and they decide to have a Live-in relationship until they depart from the city of Mumbai to pursue their own dreams across the world. How long will they proceed with this new addition of Live-in?

When it’s a Maniratnam film, we are easily commuted to a different world, where even the most familiar superstars or actors would be seen in new dimensions. So is Dulquer Salman and Nithya Menen who in spite of having shared screens couple of times in ‘Ustad Hotel’ and ‘100 Days of Love’ look so fresh and appealing. There is nothing much particular you could pick from their performances, but they look finely exquisite. Prakash Raj and Leela Samson turn to be the major pillars of this film and their screen presence adds or in precise words, enlivens the film. Thanks to Maniratnam for this unusual casting that stands out as the great asset.

Deliberately emblazoning the film are the brilliant musical score of AR Rahman and saliently striking visuals by P.C. Sreeram. These two magicians throw abundant Midas-touch to the entire film. Incisively, Maniratnam has sketched every scene with exceptional uniqueness and the entire first half could have turned to be simply a mediocre without these technicians. AR Rahman’s background score blending western beats with Carnatic vocals is extraordinary.

The film’s one line is based on simple theme, where the youngsters striving to break the barriers of tradition called ‘Marriage’ gets enlightened looking into the lives of elderly couple. Maniratnam has beautifully conveyed the message that ‘Love’ and ‘Marriage’ are not tradition as many ‘Live-in’ groups perceive, but end of the day, everything is an emotion.

On the flip side, there aren’t any fresh scenes in the movie and most of them look slightly hackneyed.  What brings more emotion to the film is penultimate sequence to climax, where the couple realize that marriage is not about getting confined to the walls of old-age tradition.

Nevertheless, as you wind up with the show, we are questioned if ‘Live-in Relationship’ is a must to express this thought. Even a married couple who are on the verge of parting ways or someone in love who are finally calling off the relationship are enlightened by the experience could have added more sense.

 

Verdict: Well packaged breezy rom-com

 

Idhu Enna Maayam

Idhu Enna Maayam

Ever since the time, GV Prakash decided to kick-start his acting career, his musical panorama has been slightly declining down the graph. Although his song ‘Saivam’ written by Na. Muthukumar has won couple of National awards for the best female playback singer – Uthara Unnikrishnan, his other albums have been not much favouring for his fans. ‘Idhu Enna Maayam’ that comes from the same team of National award winning crew – AL Vijay, GV Prakash and Na. Muthukumar stars Vikram Prabhu and Keerthi Suresh in lead roles.

High Voltage
Singers: MC Vickey
Lyrics: MC Vickey

A rap song seems to have been the planning of GV Prakash to start off with the album. The song is good in places, but it is a very well known fact that our music lovers including us are so much used to this hackneyed genre and something better could be nice. Nevertheless, the efforts of MC Vickey need appreciations.

Iravaaga Nee
Singers: GV Prakash, Saindhavi
Lyrics: Na. Muthukumar

In the past many albums, we have seen the splendid work of these duo singers – GV Prakash and Saindhavi, the real life couple. Almost all their songs have been delighting to our sense and we have completely enjoyed them. Na. Muthukumar especially has written them fabulous songs and this one too gets into the same league that fascinates us.

Machi Machi
Singers: Udit narayan, Devan Ekambaram, Navin Iyer
Lyrics: Na. Muthukumar

Sounds too outdated…. This sort of songs, especially with the Hindi singer like Udit Narayanan were at its peak before many years. But now with the trend completely shifting to unique genres and music lovers expecting something more different, it sounds to be a threadbare one and doesn’t impress you vividly.

Irukkiraai
Singers: GV Prakash, Harini
Lyrics: Na. Muthukumar

Regardless of how a song scores, Harini is always above the top of getting her brownie points. This is a melodious duet with some unique features saliently spotted in the instrumental portions, but the overall composing by GV Prakash is too ordinary. Except for Harini, there isn’t much to specifically praise this song.

Suttrum Boomi Maele
Singers: Shireen Shahana
Lyrics: Na. Muthukumar

As you start listening to the voice of Shireen Shahana, you will start feeling there is something special about her. If she is someone chosen to render a Carnatic, Hindustani or a soulful melody, Shireen Shahana would be the best topper on charts. Regrettably, the singer doesn’t get the proper scope with this rock bound song that is dominated with too much over loud music and sound.

A Walk to remember

The theme music has the same notes played over and again. At first it is really good, but when repeated in the similar pattern of ‘Deiva Thirumagal’ theme music (where the same notes are played constantly in different instruments). Well, the DTM music was finely done, but this one is not something that would achieve at least half its level.

On the whole, ‘Idhu Enna Maayam’ songs are just average and we are yet again disappointed with the musical score of GV Prakash. When the young music director filled his store during the initial phase of career with some mind-boggling albums like Veyil, Kireedom followed by Chartbuster albums like Aayirathil Oruvan, Mayakkam Enna and Paradesi, we had a clear assumption that he would be the best successor of AR Rahman, but he is letting us down over and again.

Verdict: The magical work of GV Prakash is missing

36 Vayadhinile

36 Vayadhinile

Production: Suriya

Direction: Roshan Andrews

Star-cast: Jyotika, Rahman, Abirami, Delhi Ganesh and many others

Music: Santosh Narayanan

Women centric films were found in plethora during the times of K Balachandar, where the female protagonists were highly adored. Off the late, the spotlights turned towards the heroes and with ‘Mass Heroism’. Roshan Andrews forays into Tamil industry with his remake of Malayalam movie ‘How old are you’ titled as ’36 Vayadhinile’. Suriya is producing the film under the banner of 2D Entertainment with Santosh Narayanan composing music.

Happy

Vocals: Santosh Narayanan

Lyrics: Vivek

There is so much of fun and drama involved in the song as it delineates the characterisation of Jyotika in both real and reel life. It looks like she plays a jovial innocuous house wife in this film and will be making a special mark in the film. Vivek has written lyrics in a simple manner and Santosh delivers the song as a singer and music director efficiently.

Pogiren

Vocals: Kalpana Raghavendar

Lyrics: Vivek

The song now shifts to a different mood of fervently inspiring the women at every home. It would be surely the anthem of many ladies who are stuck by situations unable to achieve their dreams. Kalpana Raghavendar renders the song in a surpassing manner with a colossal touch. The instrumental works during the interludes are exquisitely done.

Rasathi

Vocal: Lalitha Vijaykumar

Lyrics: Vivek

This is yet another song that is more inspiring for the women. While the previous one is about the character itself singing, this one is like someone encouraging the character to go ahead and achieve the goals breaking the barriers. Lalitha Vijaykumar, a music teacher by profession has rendered it with perfect timing and her style of vocalisation stands out to be more convincing and appealing throughout the song.

Following these three songs, there are five tracks that include President, Kannadi, Vidya Thedi, Kanavugal Sumandhu and Kaneer Mozhi, which are expected to be one of the background score appearing at the appropriate situations.

36 Vayadhinile album conveys the most intriguing emotional aspects from a woman’s perspective. It is beautifully delivered by Santosh Narayanan. Thanks to the lyric writer Vivek and the singers who have completed the song with more perfection.

Verdict: Intensely soulful and inspiring numbers

Nannbenda (Nanbenda)

Nannbenda (Nanbenda)

Nannbenda or Nanbenda carries forth the traces of previous films from UdhayanidhiSanthanam combination that doesn’t work in any parts. Produced by Udhay’s home banner of Red Giant Movies, the film is directed by debutant Jagadeesh, a former associate of director Rajesh. Nayantara plays the female lead with Naan Kadavul Rajendran and Susanne having some roles to perform.

Sathya (Udhayanidhi Stalin) is no different from the protagonists of Rajesh films, where he is a devil-may-care guy with no intentions to look up for a job and future. From Tanjore, he travels all the way to Trichy or meeting his close friend (Santhanam), which he has been following as a ritual for many years. When he comes across a beautiful girl (Nayantara), he instantly falls in love with her and no doubt, he wants to marry her at any cost and starts following her to woo her heart. But he is surprised to know about the buried past of Nayantara and her shocking crime.

Much alike most of the Rajesh movies, the screenplay pattern travel on the same route. The film opens with flashback mode, where we find the protagonist on the urge to seek revenge with someone, much towards ‘Boss Engira Baskaran’ panache. Naturally, unraveling it towards the end would be a hilarious one with accordance to the similarities. Udhayanidhi Stalin has to overcome and overshadow of what he has been doing in all his three films. It looks like so bored in many places of replicating the same old style. In fact, it’s disappointing to see that the laughter in theatres for Udhay-Santhanam combination has slightly declined from OKOK to Idhu Kathiravelan Kadhal and now with Nannbenda. The lead actors are seen with the similar costumes of their previous films with Santhanam in weird colourful costumes. Everything is a replica and it doesn’t impress us anywhere.

The comedy tracks by Santhanam rarely make us laugh and we have desperately keep our lips ready for smile awaiting their laughter therapy, only to get disappointed.  Nayantara looks little aged and her make-up artist could have worked for best results. Well, aging is not an issue with an actor, but what turns us down is her bleak characterization, which reminds us off her early day roles in films.

Harris Jayaraj gets nowhere outside his usual zone in both background score and songs, except few tracks. Too many songs inserted into the tedious screenplay get us irked.

Lack of comedy, impactful plot and ho-hum screenplay with a performance lacking spontaneity makes ‘Nannbenda’, a boring affair.

 

Verdict: Disappointing drama without humour.

 

Komban

Komban

The village based films had a revival in 2000s with the emergence of spearheading winner ‘ Paruthiveeran ’. Ever since the film had made a huge wave in box office, all eyes eventually turned this side and almost every aspiring producer, director and actor started looking up for similar movies. On the contrary after a certain extent, there was so much of aversion for this genre as the plethora of such flicks made its way relentlessly onto the screens.

Komban – yet again a film set in the backdrops of village had such expectations of whether it could happen to be a similar styled one.

Let’s take a small look into the synopsis followed by a clear-cut analysis about the performance level of this film.

As vivaciously known, it’s a village based tale revolving around Kombaya Pandian (Karthi) who has been happily enjoying the pampering act of his mother Kottaiammal (Kovai Sarala). When he gets married with Pazhani (Lakshmi Menon), from his neighbouring village, her father Muthaiya (Raj Kiran) accompanies her to his son-in-law’s place. Meanwhile, Komban has some clashes with roughnecks and this eventually starts affecting his personal life as well.

During the late 80s with the emergence of filmmakers like Bharathiraja, the village based movies had a significance because of the emotions and relationships, which had gained more importance. But shifting to the 2000s, it was a mere disappointment except ‘Paruthiveeran’ as mentioned above, which blatantly spoke about the violence, bloodshed and annoying feuds.

Komban stands apart and unparalleled for its treatment of script and decorous narration by Muthaiah. One of the major highlighting facts about the film is the crisp narration and duration as well. It remains short and you don’t feel the length anywhere. While the first half is filled with some fun, establishment of conflicts and few more commercial elements with good songs, the second half is more dedicated to the emotional drama. In fact, there is more scope for everyone in the star-cast during second half.

If you’re incisively looking up for the best scenes in the film,  here it goes…

The first 10 minutes of the film including the introduction of Karthi
The intermission sequence, where Karthi and Raj Kiran have their clash.
The surprising action block by Raj Kiran in second half.
The scene before climax, where Raj Kiran and Karthi realize the love for each other.

These scenes get the theatres involved in applause and there are dialogues, which act as additional strength in the film.

On the flip side, the reason behind the conflicts of what we see between the protagonist and antagonist is stereotypical. It’s been the part and parcel of many village based movies. There isn’t much drama between the hero and villain and the climax seems to end up in a flash. Although the climax fight is greatly choreographed, brining Raj Kiran in a different light with action avatar would have elevated the film’s standards.

Quite a disappointing musical score by GV Prakash and it looks like the right time has come for him to decide between Acting and Musical career. If the background score of this film was done with more power, it could have gained extra intensity.

As on whole, ‘Komban’ is a delightful entertainer, which has the best commercial ingredients to impress the family audiences and could turn to be a hit for this season.
 
Verdict: Good time pass movie

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