Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Lucking Out

[Pic Courtesy ChennaiOnline]

I saw Ullam Ketkume yesterday and realized that the phrase 'lucking out' would apply perfectly to its director Jeeva.

Consider these facts... It didn't seem like the movie would ever see the light of day with all the financial hassles, salary disputes, etc. Its audio was released more than a year ago and though good, it didn't create much of a ripple. The movie's hero was Shaam, who had never delivered a bonafide hit and was seeing his stock go down further with every new movie. Its heroine was Laila, who had a few hits like Dhill and Dheena when she signed up for the movie but had pretty much disappeared from the movie scene after Pithaamagan. And the other cast members were all debutants.

But turns out the three new faces in the film are Arya, Asin and Pooja, none of whom are exactly unknown right now. Arya is hot property after Arindhum Ariyaamalum. Asin is the current toast of Kollywood this side of Trisha and can boast of movies with Vijay, Ajith, Surya and Vikram at the same time. And Pooja is a real cutie as seen in movies like Jay Jay, Attagaasam and Jithan. I'm sure the three of them attracted enough of a crowd to the theatres initially, which helped get the all-important word-of-mouth going. Jeeva sure lucked out!

PS: I noticed that the movie was produced by GV Films. So was it produced by GV? If yes, was the delay in its release play any part in his tragic suicide? Would its early release have helped avoid the tragedy? Guess we'll never know :-(


At 5:55 PM, Blogger packer said...

Simple and good movie. Great characters, good screenplay, excellent songs and their picturization. Producers : Mahadevan Ganesh and Usha venkatramani.

Why didn't mani ratnam help out GV
when he was in Financial troubles?

At 5:55 PM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

So, is this movie doing good...I was humming a song yesterday...not knowing it is from this film..

'Ennai Pandhada pirandhavalae' younger one immdtly..said...'Dad..that girl looks Ugly'...all thanks to SUN TV !

Poor GV.! I feel sad for him.!

At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the movie last weekend. They pay tribute to GV before the movie starts.

I think its a decent movie. Laila has done a good job :-) And so has others ;-)

At 8:03 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

packer, agree. my biggest complaint was the loooooong climax.

and thats a question that i've wondered about a lot too. esp. since they were on good terms (as far as i know).

narayanan, padathula moonu heroinesume super. so ponnu sonnalenu padam pakkama irukathinga :)

ferrari, laila irritated me initially but gradually grew on me. i liked asin(though that could be cos of her character). pooja looked real cute...

At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji...did u notice that Shaam and Laila's characters are replica of Shahrukh-Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

At 9:25 PM, Blogger packer said...

I ment to say in the context that Mani Ratnam and GV are brothers.

Any how you can check out GV filims website at

//-- press release for GV suicide--
Famous producer G.Venkateswaran of Sujatha Banner committed suicide. G.Venkateswaran, also known as GV, produced some blockbusters like Nayakudu, Dalapathi, Agni Nakshatram (Gharshana) and many more. G.Venkateswaran committed suicide on Saturday afternoon at his residence. The reasons that prompted him to take such an extreme step are unknown at this time. GV produced many films under the banner name of Sujatha and also owns GV films. The rumours are that he is pulled into a severe financial crisis following the loss of share value for G.V.Films company and also failure of his latest movies at the boxoffice.

G.Venkateswaran is the brother of Maniratnam. 53 year old GV is is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. May his soul rest in peace.


Hope they do more movies(hits) like Ullam Ketkume. The movie was produced by major share holders.

At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what an uncanny coincidence...i watched UK yesterday too!!! i loved the movie...yes, the climax was long-winded and yes, the shaam-laila portions were reminiscent of Kuch Kuch...but there was something fresh about the movie's characterizations....Asin's "mind over heart" character reminded me of one of my friends...the character was portrayed in a manner that was realistic and not something offensive...wish pooja's character was fleshed out better...laila was the cutie pie of the movie...loooooved her...

At 10:19 PM, Blogger Kaps said...


Some of your questions will be answered if you read this posting -

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

balaji - Enga ohdudhu sollunga.? Namma oorla oodhudhaa?

At 4:41 AM, Blogger bladehawk1404 said...

I saw this movie a month back. Nothing new or breath-taking about it but i liked it simply b'coz it was a simple and sweet college romantic film. It has resembles to kuch kuch hota hai and a few other college films. Technical aspects was good esp jeeva's camera. The performance of all the actors was good esp Laila who is the heart of the film. However the only let down was the music which was mediocre and explains why it was a flop. Except for 'ennai pandhada' others are so-so,... hj once again lacks any creativity esp in the bgm which has been re-used from his previous films.

This film was produced by Mahadevan Ganesh and Usha Venkatramani of Omni Ltd. It was distributed by GV Films. The film is probably the 1st film to be released by 'court receivers' after some huge financial and legal problems which delayed the film's release.

At 4:49 AM, Blogger bladehawk1404 said...

It was very unfortunate abt GV. I'm not excatly sure why he comitted suicide but from what i heard, GV lost huge amount of money after consecutive flops in Hey, Nee Rombe Azhaga Irruke, Tamizhan and Sokka Thangam. He also burnt his fingers badly after he sold shares of GV Films. Tamil cinema has lost another good producer.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Deepika said...

i watched de movie last was a gud one.asin had an elderly look in de movie.
actually speaking,eman was told dat irene would marry him if he becomes a cricketer.but vat was wrong?he got married with another girl.
and balaji,do u know?de movie had a title as "PEPSI" b4 de movie got released.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Me too said...

Awaiting your (star) verdict , Balaji! Had a good impression about the movie but with people here commenting about its having shades of 'Kuch kuch hota hai', I'm wavering!

At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"me too," forget about Kuch Kuch...its a good need to waver...kuch kuch had only 2 heroines...this had, adhukkagavaavadhu konjam loyal-a irunge!

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

anon, wouldn't call it a replica but yeah, I did get reminded of KKHH at one point...

packer, yeah thats what i meant to. but reread my comment and realized that it didnt seem like that :)

kaps, thanx for the link. very personal and well-written post
that illustrates the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

narayanan, vandhu konja naalachu. so vcd thaan :)

bladehawk, well said. your 1st line sums up my feelings on the film too :)

deepika, yeah i knew that. the letters PEPSI stood for the 1st letters of the characters' names in the movie.

me too, i agree with ram. definitely a good movie. has shades of other movies but no blatant copying.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

I liked this movie alot... It was very heartwarming... I thought Asin looked too old and her makeup was less than desirable... I was not used to the quiet pooja, but she did look adorable, but the best of the lot was LAILA... she was so sweet, I cried when she cried, I laughed when she laughed... And of course my Shaam, awww *drool*, He always does good in whatever role he gets... Arya was good too, although his mush made me laugh...

This is definitely a movie I would want to get on DVD.

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good movie. Similar in atmosphere to Shaam's YNRAI. Asin reminded me of my middle school English teacher (whom I had a thing for). Pooja "somehow" stood out as if she was trying to "really act". Laila was really good...a delight to watch. I am not sure what this movie will do for Shaam (one of my favorite artists and I don't have many of those). Does he have any projects on hand?!

At 5:03 PM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...


He's got ABCD!!! With Sneha and Aparna =)

He's also one of my faves...

At 6:19 PM, Blogger Me too said...

ram, probably that is why I did not like kuch kuch... 2 many heroines! Idhule 3 much-a? But I believe you. Like you I'm a Kamal fan too and one of the few who liked 'Kudaikul mazhai'.

Balaji, appo 'paarkable' 2.5 stars-a?

At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

god i am an alien then!!!
i thot AA was a much better movie and after 12B mayb expected more fm jeeva,UKM was a damp squib.
aiyoooooooda..shaam ku fan followers bbthots la irukaangaLaa??
he cant act for nuts IMHO!:)
no screen presence at all!
Arya was much better...he is the most sought after guy and has 4 movies booked and no dates till feb 2006!!!
i felt the whole movie was shallow and a sheer waste of 3 crores and ppl lost interest in the movie due to all the delay and false starts.
Asin despite her over made up face was the redeeming feature,Pooja is a good adornment thats all...
heard she was dining in some hotel in b'lore and jeeva went up to her and said" you are going to act in my movie"!and pooja was stunned...
Then he made her have her hair permed and coloured...
One thing i agree with u balaji Laila in the beginning swear bugged
me...then she kind of grows on u..
but even the songs in 12B were much better...seriously the first half is more C-able than the second

mayb i expect more than all of u:)
GV had nothing to do with producing this movie!anyways how come none of u hrd this rumor that GV was murdered and it wasnt a suicide?

At 7:39 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

gopi, shaam has been really luckless as far as movies go. but me thinks he is one of the luckiest SOBs when it comes to heroines. simran and jo in his 1st movie and then trisha, sneha, meera jasmine...

me too, ram must be jumping up and down now! 'kudaikkul mazhai' has another fan!!

rekhs, u're defly in a minority here. i agree 12B was a great movie but UK was enjoyable too. read that the movie is running well too.

ipdi commentsla en opinion ellam solliyachu. so no suspense in actual review :-(

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

aiyyo daa...idhu kanavillai endru kaadhil sollungo...aiyyo daa...!!!

kudaikkul mazhai-ku innoru fan-aa...magizhchi...mikka magizchi...!!

rekhs, Ullam Kaetkume mela apdi enna was very enjoyable...thought Jeeva did a fine job...Sujatha's dialogues were sooooo youthful...and authentic...epdi ungalukku pidikkala-nu enakku therile...hmm...ennamo...

btw, any more KMazhai fans?? u r welcome to join the club!

At 11:23 PM, Blogger bladehawk1404 said...

Rekhs, Shaam is one of the better actors around and he's not such a bad actor. Luck is not with him. The movie may not be excellent but it wasn't so bad. Probably i watched it without any expectations that's why i liked it for what it was. Tamil cinema lacks movies like this nowadays which were simple and straight forward with good entertainment value. UK, Sachein and AA are the better entertaining flicks that i enjoyed so far this year along with serious films like Raam.

IMO, 12B was not a great film tough it was a good effort for a tamil movie. The main problem with 12B is the screenplay which was very confusing.

At 12:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

u know what BH...if we compare our "better" movies with "worst" movies then we end up compromising..
we r settling for what we got..not for WHAT WE CAN HAVE...which most often is sec best!
why cant we compare our better movies with the best???
i know its all relative..but UK was no gr88 shakes..mayb u guys r so alienated fm thaai maNN that ur perspective is slightly coloured;)
Ram, went for Paruthi veeran pooja
..u can see the links in indiaglitz
and in the snaps taken by my friend
in his mbl ph which isnt exactly picture perfect but chalega..
me thinks karthi looks like rajkiran!!!:)
sathyaraj spoke and said surya is a better actor than sivakumar( so sad and imagine announcing it) and hope karthi turns out a better actor than surya!!!:(
ram ur "bosom pal" thot sathyaraj was stirring a hornet's nest in the family!
balaji sorry i digressed...
do see the snaps,which were made into an invite, and they actually shot it in the location just for the pooja invite...some where near madurai.
set for release on dec 2nd.

At 6:41 AM, Blogger Me too said...

ram, been hearing about 'Annathe' coming to the U S of A to 'Vettaiyada villayade'. Any info. on his iterinary, pl. share! Naanum oru poto pudichikinu blog-le ottikiren!

rekhs, true that some movies seem better compared to the regular crap. Otherwise how will Manmadhans and 7GRCs get accolades! If I have 'Kaadhal' as my scale then I am going to be disappointed most of the time, isn't it?

Balaji, sorry for (mis)using your space and sorry, if I have hurt anybody's feelings.

At 6:46 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

bladehawk, i thot the screenplay was the best part of 12B. took a very interesting and potentially confusing storyline but told it very nicely. didnt find it confusing at all...

rekhs, i felt UK stands pretty well on its own. i don't think any1 here's calling it a classic.

me too, what foto??

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bj shall we say UK is to me what KM is to u or are u in ram's katchi as far as kudaikul mazhai is concerned?;)didnt read yr review on in the dark.
comments on paruthiveeran?

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


bb the diplomat incarnate "admired" KMazhai but didnt particularly "like" it...he has a nice review on that...look at it...if you want a review, goto his site, if you want a eulogy, goto mine! amma described my "review" with the title of a poem- "elegy on the death of a mad dog!" who is my "bosom pal?" vasanth?!

me too, you wrote, "Balaji, sorry for (mis)using your space and sorry, if I have hurt anybody's feelings." bbthots-ku neenge pudhusu pola irukku...ivlo diplomacy elaam paaka koodaathu...adhu BB velai...mathavange elaam oruthara oruthar thitti theethukanum...!!

isai swarangall pirivadhaal thaan pirakum oru naadhamey...
opiniongall pirivadhaal thaan pirakkum oru blog (sorry rhyming-a varle!)

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Me too said...

Ram's website has pictures of him with various kollywood celebrities except for Kamal. Hoping he would make the collection complete.

Yes, I am pudhusu here. Didn't want to show my true colours so soon!! BTW, 'Annathe' program ketta nazhuvareengale! Neenga mattum photo eduthukalamna?

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

rekhs, i liked KM for what it tried to do. very different and daring. admired it rather than enjoyed it :)

not too sure about the hero in 'paruthiveeran'. doesn't look hero material but then again, lesser lookers than him have gone places. snaps don't look special or anything... but after 'raam', anything by ameer can be looked fwd to i think...

me too, clear now. i read the 'ottikiren' as 'ottirukken' and went to your blog looking for a foto :)
and ram's right... this space is for opening up. mathavanga feelings kedakuthu :-) appo thaane interestingaa irukum!!

At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

me too, no, i have no idea about annathe's US program...therinja sollaren...!!

i have gotten his autograph when i bumped into him @ Lifestyle (Chennai) but didnt have a camera with me:( he was in virumaandi getup...!! my chithi (ardent Kamal fan in the 80s) tunsan aaytaango...she said, "aiyyo kamalu indha vayasulayum epdi irukaandaa!"

neengalum therinjaa sollunga!!

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ram,its a close call bet V and parthiban but yeah in this blog i meant V!:)
balaji naan ram kaaga i have to see KM.. and give my theerpu:)
Ameer is good and so far retaining that rare value in film industry, humilty:)

At 11:56 PM, Blogger bladehawk1404 said...

Rekhs, i think it's not very fair if we compare a particular genre of a movie with another genre. Each genre is diffrent then the other in many ways.

Balaji, you are 1 of the few people that i know who actually said that 12B was not confusing. Most people said that 12B had it's problem in the screenplay and there are many plot holes which was left unexplained. What worked well for the english movie 'Sliding Doors' failed to work in the tamil version.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Me too said...

Balaji, permission kuduthuteenga ille, inime paarunga!!

Ram, naa kooda dhan LifeStyle ponen. Orutharum maattamaatenrangale! Enakku enganga 'Annathe' program theriyaradhu? Balaji Sir blog-le potta dhan!

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