Tuesday, February 06, 2007


While director Hari started off very strongly with Thamizh and Saamy, he did not live up to that initial promise with his subsequent films. Though he seemed to get back some of his old touch in Ayyaa, he definitely hit rock-bottom with the crude and violent Aaru. But he makes amends by returning to the village milieu in Thaamirabharani. He captures the lives of two families at war well enough though for us, the feeling of having seen it all before is unavoidable.

Bharani(Vishal) lives with his uncle(Prabhu) and thinks the world of him. The family's arch business rivals are Shakuntala(Nadiya) and her brother(Nasser). When Bharani thinks that Shakuntala's daughter Banu(Banu) is trying to make him fall for her as part of a bigger plan to besmirch his family's reputation, he plans to insult her. But the act has bigger repercussions that drive a deeper wedge between the two families.

Films set in villages always involve two warring families constantly trying to upstage one another and so the proceedings in Thaamirabharani have a very familiar feel to them as Prabhu and Vishal repeatedly clash with Nasser, Nadiya and Vijayakumar. The characters involved are all stock characters(the respected elder on the 'good' side, the villain on the 'bad' side who wants to keep the enmity festering for personal gain, the old woman who wants to see the families united, etc.) in such films too. So the film rarely presents something new.

Thaamirabharani is all about conflicts. With a large number of characters on either side, two or more of them seem to be fighting, either verbally or physically, most of the time. Though this makes the movie quite loud, it also gives the movie a lot of energy. We might simply be seeing different facets of the same conflict but things happen and so the movie moves along at a good pace. Some of the words thrown around in the arguments are raw enough to make us flinch but that adds some realism and provides a strong reason for the continuing enmity.

The big twist in the story doesn't come as a very big surprise considering the characters involved. But because of what it exposes, the rest of the story becomes quite predictable. We know exactly who will be still standing at the end of the film and in a film like this, that takes away a lot of the involvement. It also points to a tame ending that doesn't go too well with rawness of some of the earlier proceedings (again, as in Ayyaa, it is a toss-up between a violence-laden climax and a soft one and Hari has chosen the latter route). But the small revelation at the end is a good surprise and ends the film on a nice note.

'Ganja' Karuppu has now graduated to having his own comedy track but is annoying most of the time. The confusion that arises because of the dog sharing his name isn't funny the first time around and so, really irritates when it is used repeatedly. His segments unrelated to the use of his name(like the incident at the police station) don't fare much better and are silly and unfunny.

Vishal, not surprisingly, already seems stereotyped. He tries some comedy but it is not very effective and he really needs to work on it. No such problems with the stunts though as there are some impressive leaps and kicks scattered around. Debutant Banu is definitely on the flabby side and rumors about her looking the same as Nayantara are way off base. But she delivers a competent performance. Prabhu is dignified and the same goes for Nadiya. Nasser reminds us of Devar Magan in both getup and performance. Thaaliye Thevaiyilla... is a nice melodious number from Yuvan Shankar Raja.


At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hari's become so inconsistent with the quality of his films... i loved thamizh...liked saami and ayya...could tolerate kovil...but arull and aaru...aiyyooo...nenachu paakave bayam-a irukku!!! but there was a certain grace in his presentation in both thamizh and aiyya that i liked...very smooth screenplay and nice dialogues...wish he could display those traits in all his films...coz i think he's capable of writing some wonderful dialogues...bb, anything abt thamirabarani;s script that stood out?

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

vishal > vijay.

At 2:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another one to add to the production-line, run-of-the-mill, in-your-face,louder-than-thou-art-heard-before type movies meant for mass consumption where logic, narrative, characters, aesthetics, etc etc, needs to be left at the door. Let's wait with bated breath for more of such to come our way...

At 3:52 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Bang on, review. Kanja karuppu shows us why Vadivelu in Pokiri is miles ahead inspite of being repetitive. Irritating.
Vishal doesn't show anything new except that he tries stupidly some comedy scenes and tolerably senti scenes at the end. Heroine might fit the bill for future thangachi roles.
First half was so-so but second half deeply soaked in sentiments carries the movie through. Overall a timepass effort from Hari. Prabhu stands tall at the end of the show :)

At 5:09 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Joke apart, Prabhu is dignified (his flashing white dhoti, shirt adds) and reminds of the yesteryear Oor periyavar roles (like in Ninaivu chinnam and Parambarai).
Anyhow, the movie is certainly not a classic or half-way to that.

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bart, have u seen how prabhu sometimes evokes Sivaji in his body language...i'd be a fool to compare anyone with Sivaji but just saying that the son does remind me of his dad when he does two things - that guffaw of his...and the gait...
prabhu used to be a very dependable performer, always rising above the script in movies like duet and lifting movies like siraichaalai and ponmanam...april 14th 2005, he gave us "senthilnathan" and the universe would never remain the same...!!

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never figured out why "enna koduma saravanan idhu" became so notorious. Just one review mentioned that line at that time and suddenly it seemed to have become Prabhu's nemesis. avLo kodumaiyava irundhadhu andha line? :-)

Vishal and Jeeva have joined the masala list. so whats new? Cant blame them when even established actors(ala Kamal, Vikram) have taken to the masala route consistently of late. Mozhi, Chennai -28, MaayakaNNaadi, Naan kadavuL, Dasaavathaaram, Vaaranam aayiram might be a few ones to look forward to in the future, as far as films that dont tread the same route even if they do happen to be commercial.

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I used to remember a time when a bunch of my cousins (all girls, of course) and I went on a Prabhu rampage in 1994, when I had gone to Chennai for the first time in 7 years. That was the time when Priyanka and Duet had just released and before my departure, Vietnam Colony had also hit theaters.

You should have seen our hooting, hollering and whistling every time Prabhu smiled (with those cute dimples beaming) and beat up a bad guy in Priyanka, the court scenes and whatever else we could feast our eyes on.. Aah.. Prabhu-na Prabhu dhaan..

He could do no wrong.. In that same vacation for 4 weeks, we went and saw Duet twice in 3 days. I still remember the guy at the ticket counter says, Saturday annikki 15 tickets vaangi, ivalavu pEr vandheega.. Yenga inikku 5 ticket dhaan vEnumgareega.. obviously, the rest of the clan are not Prabhu fans like us cousins! :-)

Those were the days, my friend! :-)

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, didn't think the screenplay was very smooth. but the dialogs were realistic and sharp, esp. during all those modhals :)

bart/ram/vijay/sandya, prabhu's acted in many good movies but that line in 'chandramukhi' is what he's remembered by now! kinda what happens in real life too. u could do a whole lotta good but something bad, even if small, overrides all that and will probably be remembered the most!

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

srivatsan, who's in tamizh MA?

vijay, u missed out 'pachaikkili muthucharam'... thats top of my list right now :)

At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

---Flash News ---
Ajith has injured his back again during kireedom shooting and it has left him paralyzed .. He's in Apollo Hospital with his wife Shalini by his side..

Pushpha Puroshothaman

At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Balaji,

A list of forthcoming films in 2007, I anticipate Wide-eyed:

*Dasavatharam - Kamal Haasan, Asin, Mallika Sherwat

*Sivaji - Rajini, Shriya, Nayantara

*Azhagiya Tamil Magan (Only cos, it seems to resemble Abhishek's Bluffmaster) - Vijay, Shriya, Namitha

*Kireedam - Ajith, Trisha

*Billa - Ajith, Nayantara, Shriya

*Bheema - Vikram, Trisha

*Dhaam Dhoom - Jayam Ravi

*Koodal Nagar - Bharath, Sandhya, Bhavana

*Nepali - Bharath

*Naan Kadavul - Arya, Bhavana

*Oram Po - Arya, Pooja

*Leelai (Produced by Ram Gopal Varma) - Maddy, Shamita Shetty, Nandana Sen

*Arya - Maddy, Bhavana

*Nee Indri - Maddy (Dir by Pratap Pothan)

*Evan Yaaro - Maddy, Sangeetha

*Vaaranam Aayiram - Surya, Andrea, Ramya

*(Can't believe I'm saying this but) Lee - Sibiraj, Nila

*Thamizh MA - Jeeva, Meghala (New Face)

*Unnale Unnale - Vinay, Tanisha Mukherjee, Sadha

*Pachaikili Muthucharam - Sarath Kumar, Jyothika, Andrea

Not looking forward to :

Surya's Vel
Vishal's Sathyam
Jo's Mozhi
Vikram's Kandasaamy
Bharath's Killadi
Jeeva's Thennavatu
Jeeva's Rameshwaram
Vijaykanth's Sabari

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Sandya said...

Balaji, Thamizh MA stars Jeeva. Stills!

Pushpa, let's not go off the deep end here! Ajit? paralyzed?.. Let's take a fresh breath of air before we write stuff like that, please! :-) ;-)

At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it s true ajith was injured but he is not serious . pls dont create your own stories

At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it s true ajith was injured but he is not serious . pls dont create your own stories

At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thala get well soon.


At 7:01 PM, Blogger Bart said...

Yes, there was a time when they said Prabhu-Karthik would be the future Rajini-Kamal. Agni Nakshathiram times :) Both have fizzled out. But atleast its nice to see Prabhu holding his own through some meaningful character roles unlike (vayira) "kalakkura chanduru", Karthik.
Pachaikili is based on "Derailed", an english novel and should be a racy thriller. "Oram Po" might be another form of Indian "Fast and Furious". "Mozhi", "Chennai - 28" and "Mayakkannadi" promise to be different. "Periyar" is another movie to look forward to.

At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

babs, i have been going crazy over karu karu...(pachaikili muthucharam)...yes, it is an awesome number...incredibly catchy...

At 6:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dunno if its a rumour or not about Ajith.. Thala is actually pottai and that's why can't have kids..
Its no wonder he was so genuine as feminine character in Godfather :)


At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wonder whether its a big deal for people to post comments that have a little decency...kadavule!

At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

at least he is not doing any character which reuires searchng a mole in someone's stomach .
dnt talk abt ajith just to hide the ineefficiency of your favourite crap copy cat actor.

At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This kadi Prin has posted some junk as is ususal with the list of movies coming up etc, looks like a cut and paste job. Dude get a life.


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