Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Coming Soon - Pokkiri, Aalwaar, Paruthi Veeran

The last few festival days have been rather lacklustre on the cinema side with my personal, pre-release expectations being high for a maximum of two films. But this Pongal seems to be an exciting one for movielovers. It is starting off 2007 with a bang with 3 movies releasing with high expectations and even a couple of the remaining ones providing atleast a few reasons to look forward to them.

Expectations are high for Pokkiri for quite a few reasons. It is a remake of a film that turned out to be the biggest hit of Telugu cinema and since the tastes of Telugu viewers are pretty close to our tastes, the movie has a good chance of entertaining us too. It is also Prabhu Deva's first Tamil film as director. The dancer/actor proved in Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana that he is a director with an eye for nice visuals and the ability to craft an engaging entertainer and both those should come in handy for his behind-the-screen debut in Tamil. Ofcourse, things are quite different for him now since his last film(Pournami) flopped and unlike NN, Pokkiri is a masala film with a big star. So we just have to hope that he can switch genres successfully.

Its been a year since we had a Vijay film since Aadhi released last Pongal. Since the long break was attributed to his re-examining his script choices after the dismal failure of Aadhi, we can expect that Pokkiri has shaped up to his satisfaction. The actor has had a long history of successful Telugu remakes with his biggest hits like Priyamaanavale and Gilli being Telugu imports (then again, Aadhi was a remake of a Telugu hit too!) and will be hoping for another hit. But however the film turns out, with Vijay's dance skills and Prabhu Deva's choreography, we can atleast be sure that the dance sequences will rock. He is paired with Asin once again after Sivakasi, which was a hit, and hopefully, they can repeat their success.

On the other hand, Aalwaar has only 1 reason for us to look forward to it - Ajith. The actor loudly claimed that he was making a comeback to Tamil cinema in 2006 and now those words ring very true. His comeback vehicle Paramasivan(which was released alongwith Aadhi) was only an average hit and his follow-up Tirupathi, was a flop. However his Diwali release, the long-delayed Varalaaru, is now the biggest hit of his career and his performance, especially as the effeminate dancer, has been appreciated all-around. Based on the stills, he looks good in Aalwaar and seems to have finally hit the right spot between the flabby look in Ji and the sickly, haggard look in Paramasivan. He is once again being paired with Asin, his heroine in Varalaaru, and hopefully, the pair is lucky this time around too.

Unlike the above 2 films, Paruthi Veeran's expectations are based on the name of its director Ameer. The director first caught our attention with Mounam Pesiyadhe and then gave us the very different - but still successful - Raam. Paruthi Veeran is his next film after almost 2 years. The film introduces Karthi, Surya's younger brother, as hero and his heroine is Priyamani, the talented actress who has so far not had a good break in Tamil cinema.

As far as soundtracks go, there is no contest and Paruthi Veeran is the clear winner. Ameer and Yuvan proved they had a good rapport in Raam and they have worked well again here. Ariyaadha Vayasu... and Ayyayyo..., are wonderful numbers with great tunes, wonderful lyrics and perfect singing. The folk songs don't stand too well on their own but should work much better on screen. Both Pokkiri and Aalwar albums are very average(when was the last time Vijay or Ajith had a truly blockbuster soundtrack?!) with a variety of songs but barely a couple making an impact. In Pokkiri, Aadungadaa... is a typical Vijay introduction number but has a lot of energy, especially in the Pokkiri Pongal... bits. En Chella Peru Apple... and Dolu Dolu... offer good opportunities for dancing while the Vasantha Mullai... remix sounds like fun. Aalwaar offers a very surprising classical, devotional number in Pallaandu... but other than that, provides the usual mix of duets (Anbulla Kaadhali..., Solli Tharavaa...), a duppanguthu number (Mayile Mayile...), etc.

Hari's Thamirabharani is also hitting screens this Pongal. While the director has disappointed after strong starts in Thamizh and Samy, he can't be completely written off. Vishal too finally had a flop in Sivappadhigaaram after a string of hits and so will be looking for the film to be a hit. Hari is introducing Bhanu, who has been called a Nayanthara look-alike but based on the stills I've seen so far, I see absolutely no similarity. And then there's Guru, Manirathnam's Hindi film that is also being dubbed in Tamil. A Manirathnam film in any language is always something to look forward to but I'll probably be watching the Hindi version and not the Tamil dubbing.

So who will be the winner this Pongal? Will it be a Pokkiri Pongal? Will Aalwaar rule the BO? Will Paruthi Veeran be victorious? Or will dark horse Thamirabharani overflow at the cash registers? Lets wait and see...

25 Comments:

At 6:59 PM, Blogger KayKay said...

Dear BB, thanks for the update. As someone who watches Tamil films VERY SELECTIVELY, yours and Rangan's blogs are my Go-To areas for movie updates. You guys beat any hype-saturated movie mag anyday! Just a comment. You said, "when was the last time Vijay or Ajith had a truly blockbuster soundtrack". For its year, Gilli was the highest selling soundtrack in TN, no? The last melodious soundtrack from an Ajith movie was probably Kandukondein Kandukondein, but that really can't be considered HIS movie can it? Cheers!

 
At 7:08 PM, Blogger KayKay said...

BB,here's Bharadwaj Rangan's superb review of the Guru soundtrack if you haven't read it: http://brangan.easyjournal.com/entry.aspx?eid=3167273

Make you wanna rush out and grab the album immediately. Which I did, of course!

 
At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how long is it before the Thala fans hijack this thread?!

 
At 9:03 PM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Paruthi Veeran - Dark Horse.. I've full faith in Ameer (specially after Raam)

 
At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji.........don't tempt and lure the Ajith & Vijay fans please....ur going to get a stampede in here again...

one might think you purposely do it to get more hits;) :P

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger மு.கார்த்திகேயன் said...

Balaji,
I too expecting these three films for the same reasons

 
At 9:47 PM, Blogger S.Ganesh Kumar said...

Balaji,
Did you read my new post here?And did you see my coment in your post where I've mentioned of the Kamal-Perarasu dream combo?
By the way;I'm afraid what happens now with Ajith and Vijay.If content is watchable;then Azhwar can be a hit.As for Vijay;his look-alike Vishal may eat into his B-centre collections.(Vishal's film is also releasing on Pongal.)Anyhow;I've still high hopes on Ajith's Kireedhom and Billa-2007;both of which can get 2.5 to 3*;if they shape out well.
P.S.:When a person becomes a narcissist;his next movie will be bad.So no hopes on Gautham Menon's;Cheran's and even Surya's next.(Even though Sillunu oru kadhal was bad;he says Bhumika's role in the film was much better than Asin's recent movies!)

 
At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Balaji, the last superlative soundtrack for a Vijay movie that I can think of: Gilli. Very catchy songs and stuck to your head any and all the time. Ajit: probably Dheena. Loved the songs in that film.

With respect to Paruthi Veeran, I only keep hearing a lot of sighs about the soundtrack. Haven't heard it yet, but I'm still surprised that you like at least two songs. Neither my dad nor Krishna really liked the songs much.. So, now I'm confused about what to think! ;-)

 
At 10:24 PM, Blogger Filbert said...

Its good in way that we have both Ajith and Vijay's movies releasing at the same time, bcos only one movie among the 2 has the chance of becoming a hit. Has it ever happened that films of these 2 guys have become hits, when they were released at the same time? Like many here, Paruthiveeran is the only movie that I am looking forward to. Yuvan's songs have only increased the expectations...

 
At 10:34 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

kaykay, thanx a lot for the kind words... yeah i loved the 'gilli' soundtrack and that would probably be count as vijay's last blockbuster soundtrack. looks like we've to look a lot further back for a hit soundtrack from an ajith-starrer :)

anon, good idea but nope. been writing the 'coming soon' posts for a long time now and would've written it no matter whose movies were getting released :)

ganesh, sify has an item on the same thing - vijay vs vishal. can't believe the heights vishal has gone upto in such a short time!

sandya, i love those 2 songs. they've really grown on me and now i listen to them everyday. ilaiyaraja is superb in 'ariyaadha vayasu...'. his diction and voice really suits the song. 'aiyayo...' has some superb lyrics and the singers(i know the female is shreya ghosal, not sure who the male is) have done a great job too. defly give these 2 songs a shot (3rd one 'sami kitta...' is good too but not as good as these 2)

filbert, i remember the same question(movies released on same day becoming hits) posed for rajni & kamal leading to a big discussion when CM and ME were released :)

 
At 11:32 PM, Anonymous ram said...

paruthiveeran
pokkiri
aalwar

while pokkiri and aalwar will be entertainers, paruthiveeran is the one that interests me the most...the first two hrs of raam was absolutely brilliant...the climax was a lil'l weak but overall, the movie was fabulous...hope ameer has a worthwhile story to tell, for the amt of time he's taken to film the movie!

 
At 1:06 AM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Ram,

Actually I think this guy Jeeva has the potential and his dad behind to better Kamal in years to come. If You see first 5-6 movies(thats what he's made so far), he has an enviable variety (more than Bharath..)

Thats what even Kamal also told him when he met him (he himself did not have such a good opening break).

 
At 4:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For telugu pokiri soundtrack was almost half the reason for its success. All songs are excellent.

 
At 7:28 AM, Anonymous ram said...

srivatsan, totally agree...he's an actor who can do full justice to a strong script and good characterization...if he gets 1/10th of the variety of roles that kamal got, he can consider himself an actor with a difference...

 
At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing a beautiful movie by Ameer.

I'm also looking forward to Pokiri even though I can't stand Vijay! I like the vasantha mullai song and mutham ondru song... like how the lines end in "thamizh" :) it's sweet.

Haven't heard songs from the other 2... hmm.

~merino

 
At 7:37 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

Guru and Paruthiveeran - only 2 movies to look forward to. Brief reviews here and there from early premiere shows of Guru indicate that its special. I cant wait to watch it.

 
At 9:45 AM, Blogger skanda said...

i'm not lookin forward to any of the ponggal releases...all looks like made out of the same stuff...

"Alwar" looks like a serious action film with some resemblance to "Samurai"...- boring -

"Pokiri" looks like a boring remake of even more boring telugu film "Pokiri"....'yawnnnnn'

"Thamirabharani" looks like a remake of "sandaikozhi"...probably Hari though they might have forgotton the earlier film already..also will be intresting to see whther hari can make an action film without any blood scenes..

 
At 1:42 PM, Anonymous SamPal said...

>>since the tastes of Telugu viewers are pretty close to our tastes>>

I CAN NOT agree with this statement buddy! I think in recent times it might look that the gap is narrowing - but Telugu view tastes are vastly diffenret from Tamil. Maybe you wish Vijay to have a hit film with this one!! I am really looking forward to "Paruthiveeran" because with these two guys (Vijay and Ajith - you can not expect meaningful cinemas anyway! They entertain, maybe. But They WILL NEVER take Tamil cinema to the next level - I hope at least they don't pull it any further down than it is already!!!) Wish you a happy pongal!!

 
At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey this is wayy off topic but how come there hasn't been a review for Poi?

 
At 6:37 PM, Anonymous raj said...

Balaji, how can you miss the forthcoming delight, any cineaste's dream, TR's Veerasamy?
Too bad, too bad!

 
At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right, mate...Veerasamy may be the one to burn Kollywood's tracks. Veerasamy & TR, hasta la vista baby!

On a separate note, the only highlights for 2007 will have to be Dasavatharam & Sivaji. All others will just make up the numbers to keep the production line operational.

 
At 10:42 PM, Blogger Maverick said...

Guru updates

http://bollywood.celebden.com/?p=932

http://hemant86.blogspot.com/2007/01/guru-inner-retrospect.html

No spoilers :)

 
At 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A totally unrelated tip...

Have you guys seen Kamal's latest appearance. The man is Mr Personality personified at :

http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/tamil/gallery/Events/11338.html

 
At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

watch out for tht Vasantha mullai song frm Pokkiri ...it has the stuff to be a big hit if the video of the song comes good....

 
At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>> But They WILL NEVER take Tamil cinema to the next level -

haha lol ... ppl lot care for this ... as if it is the only field tamilian lacking ... good good ......

 

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