Monday, April 23, 2007

Unnaale Unnaale


In both 12B and Ullam Ketkume, Jeeva banked on meaty stories. While the former had the fascinating theme of alternate timelines, the latter had multiple love stories involving likeable characters. Unfortunately, he takes a different route and picks a simple love triangle for his third venture. It has some interesting characters but they are not capable of making the light story hold our interest for the entire running time of the film.

Karthik(Vinay), an architect, and Jhansi(Sadha) fall in love. But the two rarely see eye to eye as Jhansi, who is possessive and jealous, always regards Karthik, who is easygoing and friendly, with suspicion. Predictably, Jhansi breaks it off with him. Some time later, Karthik is assigned to a project in Australia and on the flight meets Deepika(Tanisha), a playful, cheerful girl. But once
he lands in Sydney, he once again meets Jhansi, who works with Deepika. And makes it pretty clear that he still has feelings for her.

We've had quite a few youthful love stories but Jeeva makes this one interesting by pairing up a guy and a gal who are obviously not made for each other. So Vinay and Sadha spend most of the time fighting with each other rather than exchanging sweet nothings. This may not be fun for them but for us, it makes the movie different and interesting. On the flip side, the couple's contrasting natures also makes us question why Vinay is so besotted with Sadha. With Sadha constantly suspicious of him and going as far as setting him up to prove her point, it is never clear why Vinay keeps going after her. While we are probably supposed to feel sorry for him (like in the scene where Sadha dumps him), we end up siding with Sadha since she ends up looking smarter than him and understands that they probably won't get along!

Things usually get interesting with the addition of a third person to a love affair but not here. Things are interesting as Vinay and Sadha romance and fight with each other but after the action moves to Sydney and Tanisha joins the act, the movie begins to drag. Things get very repetitive with Vinay's attempts to impress Sadha, Sadha's I-still-hate-you act and Tanisha's over-the-top behavior. Characters' behaviors and actions actually get confusing and we're never sure if they are putting on an act or are really feeling that way.

Its not just the romance that peters out in Sydney. Almost everything takes a turn for the worse. Like for instance the comedy. Raju Sundaram and his friend managed to make us laugh in the first half. But the new characters, like the hotel chef, struggle to make us laugh. Scenes with just these characters stick out awkwardly and one particular sequence, inspite of sparing us the gory details visually, is very crass and crude.

After the proceedings go to the point of testing our patience, the short and sweet climax is a pleasant - and welcome - surprise. Its bittersweet nature actually adds to its appeal and closes the movie out on a nice note.

Jeeva clearly thinks of himself as Tamil cinema's answers to Dr.John Gray as he goes about spelling out the differences between men and women. Almost everyone in the film is a philosopher with atleast a couple of bright nuggets about how men and women are and how they should be dealt with. When it is new and mixed with humor(like Raju Sundaram's conversations with his girlfriend, though they are simply Tamil versions of very popular English jokes), they are easy to listen to and even enjoy. But as we are subjected to the same kind of conversations about men and women over and over again, we just wish everyone would just stop talking (with characters like the eternally suspicious Sadha, Raju Sundaram's girlfriend who punches him and the Australian cook's wife who lets her husband cook and then takes credit by putting on his apron, its clear where Jeeva's sympathies lie!).

Vinay is tall and handsome and so, a welcome addition to our new hero list. He isn't too inhibited in front of the camera either though he isn't taxed too much. Sadha is a pleasant surprise and this is probably the first movie that I have liked her in. She seems a little awkward initially but she uses her expressions and body language to good effect in the second half where she is required to be subtle. Tanisha makes no such impression though. Not particularly cute, she overacts in most of the scenes also.

The movie definitely looks great. It is bright and colorful and there are some wonderful visuals, especially in Sydney. Harris Jayaraj's tunes suit the youthful mood of the film and the picturization of most songs does justice to the tunes. Hello Miss Imsaiye... takes the top spot among the numbers. The visual techniques and the antics of Vinay make it a high-energy number that lifts our spirits. Vaigaasi Nilave... is probably the most melodious of the numbers but the picturization with the battle theme doesn't fit in too well.

20 Comments:

At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Hmm.. UU definitely doesn't sound earth shattering, let alone, anything extraordinary. But considering that the current genre of films coming out, this sounds like something teens and youngsters will welcome with open hands!..

Your comments about Tanisha, make me wonder "Puli-oda pirandhadhu poonai aayduchE? :-) ;-)"..

Better luck next time, Jeeva!

Good for you, Balaji.. you have Naan Avan Illai and Parattai coming up in the next few weeks to keep those reviews coming. Hopefully, indha 2 movies-la yedhaavadhu onnum therinaa.. it would be a big deal! :-)

 
At 3:37 AM, Blogger vICkNeS said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 3:46 AM, Blogger vICkNeS said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 3:49 AM, Blogger vICkNeS said...

Unale Unale -> Disoriented n Boring

Excellent cinematography, though....

A bit dissapointed since i enjoyed Jeeva's Ullam Ketkume very much...

 
At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB..I'm glad I'm not the only one who found the characters confusing and the comedy in the 2nd half pathetic. And what was up with characters (the chef's friends, the woman in the dinner etc) suddenly turning up for one scene and disappearing? This movie certainly isn't worth the acolades that it has received from most of the reviewers.

Kumar
p.s: I would love to hear your take on the "bull" scene!!

 
At 6:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wan't the movie set in Melbourne? Or was I too bored to care??

Kumar

 
At 7:22 AM, Blogger skanda said...

Gosh, u guys better get some life! , "Unale Unale" is far more better most films released this year. it is better than the violent filled "Pokiri" or the dry and humid "Paruthiveerean". i have seen "U2" twice already and can sit through the entire film. Many of my friends love the movie just for the cast, music and the funny dialogs.

I did find some faults in the second half expecially regarding Tanisha's character. it was never clear whether she was really helping or damaging thier relationship. Vinay going after Sada again is justified coz he never hated her. i find no fault either when Sada discovering that she still have feelings for Vinay once Tanisha comes in.

 
At 7:47 AM, Anonymous roge said...

Usually there are some points I don't agree with you on. But I agree with your review almost 100 %. The movie is not earth shattering, but I did think it was nice and entertaining to watch, especially considering many of the crude and crass films that come out usually.

Esp. nice to see you saying something good about Sadha for a change. I've liked her ever since Jayam and think she is highly underrated. (she was not suited in Anniyan I agree, and thirupathi was a stupid character)

As for Tanisha, she is defenitely the more popular one right now. I don't see what's all the big deal about, her acting was ok and she looks ok.

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i havent watched this movie,but i have quite high anticipation for this movie cuz of Jeeva.I simply loved his 12B and indulged myself in each scenes of Ullam ketkume.But i have this little innocent instinct that June Ponal visual has alot to do with Dil Chahta Hai.it was enjoyable to watch though. =)

~rathi~

 
At 9:41 AM, Anonymous ram said...

I will definitely watch "Unaale Unaale" despite your -ve (looks like this is gonna be a ** movie) review...for one, Jeeva's cinematography is something that has made me sit through sheer crap like "Ulaasam" as well as lifted good movies like "Snehithiye" to another level...so, am sure I'll watch "U U" (hopefully on a good print) at least for the visuals...BB, who wrote the dialogues for this movie? just curious coz I thought Sujatha had done a splendid job penning youthful, authentic and sometimes profound (like asin's conversation while rejecting shaam's proposal) lines for "Ullam Kaetkume."

sandya, ur line abt tanisha (puli-poonai) was hilarious! but I think she's very cute! maybe coz its a poona kutty viswaasam on my part towards kajol's family! (that should make me like ajay devgan as well..but mudiyalayeeee...!!)

 
At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

waiting for s.ganesh kumars
Non sequitur

uuugh Non sequitur zzzzz

 
At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skanda..I just find it amusing that a person who can sit through UU twice is asking others to get a life!

Ram..the dialogues are not by Sujatha, but by Ramakrishnan (not sure if he has written for some other film).

Kumar

 
At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Nish said...

This movie was time-pass at best... though Balaji, I think you could have been a bit more lenient since this movie is coming out amongst a wave of vulgar movies (Vyabaari, Thirumagan, even Paruthi Veeran had vuglar moments!)

I'm still waiting for Balaji to review recent masterpieces like Madurai Veeran (with the next generation's Sivaji Ganesh aka Jithan Ramesh) and the extraordinary Kaanal Neer (the magnum opus of the man who gave us Unnakaaga Mattum, a rivetting look into the human psyche). Not to mention the fact that posters of Kaanal Neer's hero Ritesh are totally selling out among the college girls in Chennai.

 
At 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the song juna ponaal is fantastic and was very well picturized. it looked like a glossy boy band music video. you didnt mention anything about that song balaji

 
At 8:11 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

sandya, defly nothing extraordinary for me. i love youthful films as much as the next youngster but this one - esp. the 2nd half - didn't do much for me...

vicknes/kumar, considering the comments about the film in the earlier post, i thot i'd be the only one who didn't like the film all that much. guess not :)

that "bull" scene was silly and the dialog referring to it was totally dumb :)

skanda, thots about a movie will differ. no hard feelings :) but i did like UU less than both those movies u mentioned.

"coz he never hated her"-that alone doesn't sound like enuf reason to keep loving her...

roge, "nice and entertaining to watch" - i think only the 1st half fit that description. and i did like sadha in 'jayam'. i guess 'anniyan' and 'priyasakhi' changed my opinion :)

rathi, i absolutely loved '12b' also. and definitely liked UK.

ram, yep 2 stars. jeeva didnt let us down on the cinematography. movie looks gorgeous.

nish, i will give u that point(about not being vulgar) but i wasn't comparing this to other movies when i wrote the review :)

anon, yes it was good and the 3rd guy had some nice dance steps. but i felt it didn't fit in well with the film. 'hello miss imsaiye' was my favorite.

 
At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Ravi K said...

All this film has going for it is the music and the fact that its clean. But just because a movie is clean doesn't mean its worth watching. So its lacking in fight scenes, vulgarity, etc. Big deal. I think there's something seriously wrong in our film industry if people praise a film just because its not violent or vulgar or sexual. Its not enough for a film to lack negative attributes. It must have some actual positive attributes as well! :)

It was as if Jeeva was trying to make a slick film by setting it abroad, but it came off very soulless instead. And that's not to mention the uninspired storyline and poor character motivations. Why does Vinay like Sada? Or vice versa? As usual, the romance is utterly inexplicable.

 
At 7:50 AM, Anonymous cdm said...

Hi,

This is really a very good post.

Keep it up.

Please find Tamil film songs with Lyrics at http://movies-tv-songs.com

 
At 8:00 AM, Blogger Prasad said...

Dear Chums,

Kindly send me the audio of bit songs in unnaala unnaala

my email id: prasadhrm@aol.com
pap_plk10@yahoo.com

regards
Prasad
9884524140

 
At 9:08 PM, Blogger vineshkumar said...

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At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice article. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did you guys hear that some chinese hacker had busted twitter yesterday again.

 

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