Strawberry

Strawberry

From Pa Vijay, he has now graduated into Ppppaaa Vijay, so to speak, as the lyricist, who ventured into actor with ‘Gnabagangal‘ and ‘Ilaignan‘, successfully establishes himself as director in ‘Strawberry’.

At a time when many of our filmmakers are making fun of spirits with eerie comedies, Vijay has made a serious, rather touching, attempt in this genre. And he also conveys an apt message which is need of the hour.

The basic knot of the story is an infamous incident which shocked us a few years ago– when a school going child lost her life due to lack of adequate safety measures in the bus.

Vijay has added elements which are needed to make a movie and presented us as ‘Strawberry’. But he has not diluted the basic idea and sticks to it, at least in most parts.

A taxi driver (Vijay) experiences paranormal activities, as a spirit wants to establish contact with him. It belongs to a child, who died in an accident due to the negligence of authorities.

Even as the child’s parents (Samuthirakani and Devayani) are in inconsolable grief, the spirit wants to take revenge on those responsbile between her untimely death. How it happens?

The child Yuvina Parthavi delivers a solid performance, as her character forms the backbone of the movie. Samuthirakani and Devayani, veterans they are, prove why are they called so.

While Pa Vijay emerges successful as writer, director and producer, he still needs to improve his acting skills. So is heroine Avani Modi, who could focus on bringing out more emotions.

Robo Shankar, Thambi Ramaiah and Imman Annachi are there to tickle the funy bone, while Joe Malluri has done his part well.

Taj Noor’s background score adds to the mood of the movie, and his songs are okay. Cinematographer Maara Varman comes up in flying colours with unusual angles for an eerie plot.

‘Strawberry’ delivers the intended message, but things could have been made more interesting, as certain scenes lack the much needed fizz. Having said that, there is no denial that ‘Stawberry’ has its moments, it is a decent eerie thriller.

Verdict: Decent thriller with its own plus and minus points

Yatchan

Yatchan

Directed by : Vishnu Vardhan
Produced by : Siddharth Roy Kapur,Vishnuvardhan
Written by : Subha (Story & Dialogue)
Screenplay by : Vishnu Vardhan, Subha
Starring : Arya, Kreshna, Kishore
Music by : Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography : Om Prakash
Edited by : Sreekar Prasad
Production company : Vishnuvardhan Pictures
Distributed by : UTV Motion Pictures

Vishnuvardhan is far-famed a smart skill of having simple themes as basic premises and yet he delivers them with perfect quotients. That makes his films quite an enjoyable one and this has been prevalent from his maiden debut Kurumbu.  This time, he adapts a short story written by authors duo Subha and has tried presenting them as a feature film ‘Yatchan’, which is released today. The film, an action comedy features Arya, Krishna, Deepa Sannidhi and Swathi in lead roles with some interesting star-cast of RJ Balaji, Ponvannan, Ajay Rathnam, Thambi Ramaiah and many others.

Two men with different nature and contrastive ideas – Arya and Krishna come across each other urged by situations. Arya is an aimless personality, who by mistake has committed a murder in Tuticorin and has rushed for rescue in Chennai. On the other end, Krishna from Pazhani hills has made his way to Chennai with aspirations to make it big as an actor. His girl friend Swathi has offered him every help out of love. Deepa Sannidhi becomes the major connecting factor of these characters for possessing a gift of ESP.

First and foremost, the film has a simple plot, which could be more engaging when read as a story published in continuity over a magazine. Just imagine, the story begins and something curious happens at the end of two-pages, keeping us so much in eager to know what’s happening next. But when we view this as a film, the same impact goes missing and there are times during the first half, where you don’t see anything happening special. It’s only by the time of intermission, you’re bound to some excitements, but sooner things are back to normalcy.

Arya looks too normal and his performance is effortless, which works out in places. Krishna gives his complete push to make use of this opportunity of scoring brownie points. Swathi looks cute with her looks and her characterisation laced with innocence, silliness and few chirpiness is a sense of attraction. Deepa Sannidhi actually gets a prominent characterisation, but she could have been portrayed in a much convincing manner. You see her suffering from so much of phenomenal power and is wedged between serious situations, but the very next scene is seen shaking legs. RJ Balaji and Thambi Ramaiah are pretty good cherry picks of this show for their comedy is unlimited and keeps savouring us vividly. Ponvannan is good and the one we see in negative role is prodigious.

On the technical front, Yuvan Shankar Raja has exhibited a brilliant task of delivering every song with more elegance. We keep loving the song for the best composing and good picturing by cinematographer Om Prakash. But at times, we find some songs don’t get a proper placement.

If Vishnuvardhan and his writers Subha had made the film packaged with engaging screenplay and something surprising for the audiences as the plot holds such prominence, Yatchan would have been an extraordinary entertainer.

Verdict: Comes with a good plot, but hampered with sluggish screenplay

Savaale Samaali

Savaale Samaali

Director Sathya Siva picked the title of a Rajini film for his maiden venture (‘Kazhugu‘). This time (‘Savale Samali’), he has settled for a Sivaji movie title and has tried to present a comedy flick. Though the intensions and the premise are fine, hardly we get our funny bones tickled while watching ‘Savale Samali’. In fact, this seems to be the ‘savaal’ which we have to ‘samali-fy’.

One good thing about ‘Savale Samali’ is the presence of Bindu Madhavi (who, intentionally or interestingly, the heroine of ‘Kazhugu’ as well). Ashok Selvan, despite his best efforts, fails to be funny. The story revolves around Ashok Selvan, who works in a small time television channel (owned by Karunaas). As their channel fares poor in TRP ratings, they come up with an idea to set things right.

Their plans backfire and they are thrown up challenges after challenges (you have to recall the title here). How they overcome all hurdles and achieve their mission is the crux.After a stunning performance in ‘Thegidi‘, Ashok Selvan fails to impress in ‘Savale Samali’. Bindu Madhavi has little scope to perform, but does her best in whatever space is available.

Jagan‘s one-liners fail to enthuse, while Karunas and others are okay. Technically, the film did not have much to offer, but cinematography is cool and casual.

Making audience laugh is not an easy thing. This gets proved once again in ‘Savale Samali’. But still, the film is far from being unwatchable, and the director should be lauded for that.

Paayum Puli

Paayum Puli

Movie : Paayum Puli (2015)
Directed by : Suseenthiran
Screenplay by : Suseenthiran
Story by : Suseenthiran
Starring : Vishal, Kajal Aggarwal
Music by : D. Imman
Cinematography : Velraj
Edited by : Anthony
Production company : Vendhar Movies
Distributed by : Escape Artists Motion Pictures
Release dates : 4 September 2015
Country : India
Language : Tamil

Often, when a successful combination comes back following a success, it is bound to a critical situation, where the expectations get beyond usual paradigms. Pandiya Naadu was a blatant hit and everyone precisely anticipated something much better than their previous outing. Paayum Puli comes from the celebrated combination of Vishal and Suseenthiran, this time produced by Vendhar Movie S Madhan.

Remember, when was the last time we saw a film based on police officer who has to go through hurdles in completing his mission. Though unable to make a pick, we have witnessed similar movies many times in our movie watching experience. Paayum Puli is about ACP Jayaseelan (Vishal) who through his undercover operation manages to bump off three gangsters who have been responsible for the death of a honest police officer and many businessman. As the mission deepens, he is appallingly bound to a critical situation of his family getting involved.

Suseenthiran has proved his craftsmanship as a screenwriter and filmmaker. His narrative style always remains to be simple and convincingly conveyed albeit the momentum. This was too agreeable with his previous movies, which include Pandiya Nadu and Jeeva. Over here, the screenplay turns out to be little slower and too ordinary is few places. Say for instance, it’s quite a heroism to see Vishal bumping off three gangsters, but it could have been more powerful in depiction. Moreover, with Suseenthiran offering the twist too early, keeps the audiences hooked up with their predictions and how the film is gonna end. The final fight sequence is completely unwanted and Suseenthiran could have easily winded up with the scene, which would have really brought forth additional intensity and power.

Vishal as usual gets over the top performing his best. His action sequences are powerful and body language is commendable. Kajal Aggarwal doesn’t have anything to perform and it becomes too boring to see the actresses are merely used for namesake, but don’t have a strong depiction on the screens. Kajal was portrayed in a similar way in Suseenthiran’s yesteryear hit film ‘Naan Mahaan Alla’. Soori happens to evoke laughter in few places. Samuthirakani delivers a power-packed performance and he is sure to be one among the strong contenders for the nomination of ‘Best Baddie Award’. The one who plays the father role of Samuthirakani and Vishal (He shot to fame with his performance in Komban) does his role well.

Imman’s songs are at its best just like his previous combo Pandiya Nadu, but couple of songs are good. The background score could have been little better. But the stunning cinematography by Velraj offers more strength to the film.

The screenplay is filled with ups and downs that keeps distracts us and there is no depth that would keep us engrossed throughout the film. The romantic portions doesn’t blend well and since we find only cops and encounters, there seems to be a vagueness. While the film gets closer to the climax of 20 minutes, things get on right path. If Suseenthiran had managed to wrap it up avoiding the unwanted action sequence towards the end, it would have been picture-perfect film.

Verdict: Watch it if you’re a great lover of action films

Thakka Thakka

Thakka Thakka

Vikranth, known to be a decent performer on screen and excellent performer on ground (you may recall his memorable shows during celebrity cricket), aims to make a comeback with ‘Thaaka Thaaka‘.

The film, directed by his elder brother Sanjeev, speaks about an orphaned child who grows up to become an angry man. It starts on a riveting note, takes momentum slowly and ends on a routine track.

Sanjeev has conceived a potent knot. But the way he has executed it is avarage and familiar, making the movie one more to the list of usual entertainers.

But Vikranth has improved a lot in acting, except his body language which need little more tuning. Another hero of the movie is Sujit Sarang’s impeccable cinematography, as the visuals speak a lot.

Sathya (Vikranth), at a very young age, sees his own mother getting murdered by a pimp (Arul Doss). He grows up as a fearless guy and Karthik is his trusted aide.

One day, Karthik’s girlfriend (Abhinaya) gets kidnapped. Sathya starts his mission to rescue her, and in the process, he also meets his mother’s murderer.

Abhinaya, Arul Doss and Bose Venkat among others have played their respective roles well, while songs by Jakes Bejoy are average. But his background score is good. There are Vishal, Arya and Vishnu Vishal in a song.

To sum it up, ‘Thaaaka Thaaka’ was aimed as a stylish action-revenge thriller, but ends up as an average fare. But it has some high moments which are laudable.

Thani Oruvan

Thani Oruvan

Movie : Thani Oruvan
Directed by : M. Raja
Produced by : AGS Entertainment
Written by : M. Raja, Subha
Starring : Jayam Ravi, Nayanthara, Arvind Swamy
Music by : Hip hop Tamizha
Cinematography : Ramji
Edited by : Gopikrishna.V
Production company : AGS Entertainment
Distributed by : Sun Pictures
Release dates : 28 August 2015
Country : India
Language : Tamil

After a long hiatus, Jayam Ravi has been striking efficiently with back to back hits. Of course, three releases in a span of two months is something nearly to a miracle in Tamil cinema, where an actor has made up his mind to amuse the audiences with different genres, themes and roles. We extend our appreciations to Jayam Ravi for these earnest decisions.

The tale of a good and honest cop fighting against an evildoer and do you think is something new to Tamil cinema. It’s one of the most fundamental elements of story in Indian film scenario. But what makes it precisely different from the ones we are talking about is unique style of crafting the tale and keeping the audiences engaged with some fresh and appealing scenes. The second appreciation goes to Jayam Raja who has been continuously remaking Telugu movies. Giving a break, he comes up with Thani Oruvan, which indeed is a fresh script that has some racy moments without any hassles.

One more thing that appealingly convinces the audiences is the ensemble star-cast, which doesn’t merely look like a Telugu commercial pot boiler, where there are many actors appearing on the screen for namesake, but yet don’t find a substantial scope. Over here, he has made sure that each and every one in every frame has something more meaningful to deliver.

An honest sincere cop by nature Jayam Ravi and his bunch of friends are tested by the turmoil and upheavals caused by the society’s most happening icon (played by Aravind Swamy). What actually pulls them together putting in a ring of combat is something you’ll have to watch it over the screens. Instead of choosing a stereotypical pattern that goes with just hand on hand combat, where the hero bashes down 20 roughnecks at the same time and finally has his turn of beating the baddie black and blue, the director has managed to balance it with brainy moves.  The intelligent moves made by Jayam Ravi and Aravind Swamy have been very well etched with brilliance. Had the director completely focussed only on this aspect by cutting down unwanted elements, the film would have been more engrossing. But he slightly fails to maintain the momentum because of involving some unwanted commercial elements like romance and comedy, which doesn’t befit accordingly.

Jayam Ravi has always showcased an immense performance in his movies, especially with the ones that are so much emotionally punching. Here, he makes sure of utilising every frame, but we find when compared to his movies like Aadhi Bhagavan and Nimirndhu Nil, it is comparatively little lesser. Nayantara on the other hand has been projected with a difference and she manages to carry her portions well, but yes, she can perform more than this. Aravind Swamy turns the spotlights towards him eclipsing the others in the cast. His performance is vivifying though little unconventional to see him a baddie. The last few minutes of this film brings an impactful performance from this genius. Ganesh Venkatraman is simple at his best. Others in the cast deliver what has been offered to him.

Cinematography by Ramji is top-notch and his visuals are the greatest strength in the technical department. Hip Hop Tamizha manages to deliver at least one hit number in an album, but he has to improvise a lot with his background score.

Director Raja keeps the duration too lengthy around 160 minutes and if it was somewhere around 120-130, this would be a genius thriller that would outperform some of the best films in the recent times.

Although there are some minuses in the film, the gripping moments of brainy confrontations among the characters and the good performance of Jayam Ravi and Aravind Swamy stands out to be a source of attraction in keeping us engaged.

Verdict: Unconventionally good, but could have been shorter

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