Vai Raja Vai

Vai Raja Vai

Cast & Crew

Movie – Vai Raja Vai
Music – Yuvanshankar Raja
Director – Aishwarya R Dhanush
Starring – Gautham Karthik, Priya Anand, Vivek, Daniel Balaji, Taapsee Pannu
Producer – Kalpathi S. Aghoram, Kalpathi S. Ganesh, Kalpathi S. Suresh
Studio – AGS Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
Music Label – Sony Music Entertainment India Pvt. Ltd.

Movie Review 

A film without conflicts could be best regarded as a documentary or perhaps to the additional tag of ‘Docu-Drama’. The film ‘Vai Raja Vai’ lacks the impact of what a commercial entertainer or thriller should be. A guy with a special power of possessing clairvoyance, predicting what’s gonna happen next is forced by few people to gamble at casino at the stake of risking his family members and friends. Well, there is nothing of flaw to mention here, but the terrible part turns out with the lousy screenplay, where there is nothing that would surprise you or move to the edge of seats.

Gautham Karthik is a cute loveable boy with handsome looks. He has been born with special power of predicting future. His office senior colleague (Vivek) gets to know about this and introduces him to cricket betting, where Gautham easily pulls down the big figure of 1 Crore from a roughneck (Daniel Balaji). Things turn out to be bizarre for Gautham, when Daniel Balaji traps him up for a bigger game.

The basic flaw with Vai Raja Vai is its course of writing. The narrative part is so much succumbed to an unimpressive style. As citing up towards the first few lines in the review, there is no conflict nor something more challenging for the hero to face. Yes, he is gifted with super power and keeps winning the moments. The story is over merely with few words and how does Aishwarya expect to watch it for two hours. The only scene, where we find the best of drama is the direct confrontation between Gautham Karthik and Daniel Balaji at latter’s place, where he predicts the game. The final scene where Dhanush appears could be the only point, where the theatres turn more celebratory. Priya Anand looks fabulous, but her role is just limited to romantic and dream song sequences. Ethir Neechal Satish has to improvise something unique to prove his prowess in comedy. Actor Vivek stands out to be the best in rendering hilarious lines and of course some unconventional role. Taapsee appears during the second half, walks in skimpy costumes and finally disappears with a small action block. Daniel Balaji is best, but he could have been very well utilized.

Musical score by Yuvan Shankar Raja is groovy in background. Though couple of songs including Pachai Vanna Poove are commendable, they stand nowhere closer to the movie. Cinematography by Velraj is brilliant.

On the whole, ‘Vai Raja Vai’ doesn’t hold a strong plot neither a convincing screenplay. Very few scenes turn to be more interesting, while the rest pull away your patience with dull moments.

 

Verdict: A feeble thriller without any thrills.

Uttama Villain

Uttama Villain

Cast & Crew
Movie – Uttama Villain
Starring – Kamal Haasan, Jayaram, Andrea Jeremiah, Pooja Kumar, Parvathy Nair, K. Balachander
Music – Ghibran
Lyrics – Kamal Haasan, Viveka & Subbu Arumugam
Director – Ramesh Aravind
Producer – N. Lingusamy, Kamal Haasan
Banner – Raaj Kamal Films International, Thirrupathi Brothers
Music Label – Sony Music Entertainment India Pvt. Ltd.

An artist’s life never ends. They remain immortal with their arts and people love them for whatever they are. They are destiny’s child and Kamal Haasan has been an iconic illustration of these strata, where the decades have passed by, but his charisma never fades and we love him for whatever film he makes. There happens to be a depth, an intensity of emotions deeply amalgamated with the plot. Apparently, Uttama Villain traverses through the life of a Superstar (Manoranjan), who is at the peak of his realms. “Everybody loves him” as his mentor Maargadarsi (Late veteran filmmaker K Balachandar) says, Dr. Aparna (Andrea Jeremiah) has been deeply addicted to him and so is his clandestine affair with her. He is reputed husband to obsessive spouse (Urvasi) and a son for namesake. His life takes a turn with sudden shocking news that few more days are left to depart from this world. More shock arrives in the form of his biological daughter (Parvathi) born to a character (Yamini), who was supposed to marry him before years, but man-made fate had incurred.

An entertaining film as a gratitude to Maargadarsi, reconciliation with family and friends becomes the need of hour now.

“I never thought the word ‘Tomorrow’ would arrive so soon. I thought there would be a long time for it.” This intense dialogue conveys more meaning and that’s the rhetoric magic of Kamal Haasan. His performance doesn’t need an analysis. Couple of scenes are more than enough to bring up the adorations. The scene where he reveals about his culmination to his family and the climax that never disappears from your mind at an ease… The next one in the cast is Andrea Jeremiah, who unbelievably steals the show with her emotions. Urvasi as a nagging wife and later a reconciled woman does her best. Maryan fame Parvathi doesn’t get more dialogues to render, but her emotions are wonderful. The one enacting the role of Kamal Haasan’s son is at his best. Nasser appears mostly during the period film shooting and he is excellent. Pooja Kumar in the classical role is good, but she looks more aged that eclipses the glamour. The demise of K Balachandar sir adds more emotional essence to the script; especially his encounters with Kamal Haasan are remarkable. The scene where K Vishwanath says, “I have this arthritis problem or I else I would fall on your feet” wrenches our hearts.

With so many spellbinding moments filled up in the frame, what remains on the flip side is the non-synch of period drama film placed into. We have nothing to blame the folklore oriented drama, which remains so entertaining. But when a serious situation is happening in the life of the protagonist, it becomes so hard to accept the other end of mediocre hilariousness. However, everything gets eclipsed by the final shot, where Kamal Haasan brings the best of his 50 plus career journey as an artist.

Musical score by Ghibran is remarkable in background score and cinematography with different tones of colours.

‘Uttama Villain’ is a masterpiece in the pages of Tamil cinema, where Kamal Haasan proves his wizardry as a writer and artist.

Verdict: Mind blowing drama that involves tears and smile

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

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