Monday, November 05, 2007

Coming Soon - Diwali Releases

When 2007 started, the year appeared to be a Tamil movie buff’s dream with movies by all the big stars and many other high-profile movies slated for release. But as the year winds down, many of those biggies have been moved to 2008. This Diwali’s fare seems like a mini-version of the same story. Initially packed with many high-profile releases (Dasaavadhaaram, Bheema, Billa were all, at some point, mentioned as Diwali releases), the final line-up has just 5 movies, only 2 of which can be termed high-profile.

Leading the pack is Vijay’s Azhagiya Thamizh Magan. Vijay, coming off a hit, Shriya, fresh off Sivaji’s mega-success and A.R.Rehman, scoring the music for only his 2nd Tamil film this year, are understandably the main reasons for its high profile. But beyond this exciting combination, not much is known about the film. This is probably the Vijay film with the least information known about it in recent times. With his last 2 movies Pokkiri and Aadhi being remakes, we knew exactly what the movies offered. But very little is known about ATM and even the rumors about Vijay playing a dual role for the first time in his career, are not confirmed. With Vijay in the lead, we can be pretty sure it is going to be formulaic, hero-driven, mass masala entertainer but as his last few films have shown, even that kind of a film can be handled in different ways with varying degrees of success. So its upto debutant director Bharathan, who has previously worked as an assistant to Dharani, to make this ATM churn out cash.

To no one’s surprise, Rahman has delivered a soundtrack that is topping the charts. Like Sivaji’s album, this one too is quite eclectic and has the potential to satisfy both Vijay fans and Rahman fans. Ellaa Pugazhum… caught my fancy right away with its rhythmic beats(sounding a bit like the beats of Raakku Muthu Raakku…). Rahman’s unique voice has this ability to suit any song and then grow on us and that’s the case here too. The Pon Magal Vandhaal… remix is the best of recent remixes. Valaiyaapatti… is a fast, fun folk song while Nee Marilyn Monroe… is a peppy, Rahman-ish number benefiting from Benny’s accented singing.

Second on the list is Surya’s Vel but it is definitely the Surya film I’ve been least excited about in a while. Not that the movie doesn’t offer any reasons to be excited about it on paper. It is Surya’s first film since last year’s flop, Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. It is being directed by Hari who has films like Thamizh and Saamy on his resume. It reunites Surya with Asin for the first time since their perfect pairing in Ghajini. And its music is scored by Yuvan Shankar Raja. But my main reason for the lack of excitement is Hari. Though he started strong with the 2 aforementioned films, his films since then have had familiar stories and an overdose of violence. More importantly for this post, his previous work with Surya gave us the vulgar, violent Aaru, his worst film. Vel’s trailer looks depressingly familiar with Surya going around with an aruvaal and there’s barely any noise about the soundtrack either.

3 other films round out the fare for this Diwali.
- Pollaadhavan stars Dhanush and Ramya. The film’s name, the same as one of Rajnikanth’s old hits, has given it good recognizability but the trailer points to it being raw and gritty. Music by G.V.Prakash has become quite popular too with the Engeyum Eppodhum... remix taking the top spot. The slow and melodious Minnalgal Koothaadum... is my personal favorite though.

- Machakkaaran, with Jeevan in the lead, is supposed to be a masala entertainer. Jeevan has been pretty lucky so far with his films like Thiruttu Payale and Naan Avanillai becoming BO hits. Music is by Yuvan but I haven’t heard many good things about this soundtrack either.

- Kannaamoochi Yenadaa is the only film targeting multiplex audiences. Directed by Priya, who was behind the cute Kanda Naal Mudhal, it has the rather curious teaming of Satyaraj and Prithviraj, along with Sandhya and Radhika. Music for this one is also by Yuvan but surprisingly, considering his fantastic soundtrack for Kanda Naal Mudhal, the soundtrack hasn’t made much news.

Now its time wait and watch. In less than a week, we’ll know which of these films create fireworks and which of them fizzle out.


At 1:32 AM, Blogger Naren's said...

Hi Balaji,
A nice sum up. Jus to share an info. About the Remixes you have mentioned, Ponmagal of ATM and Engaeyum of polladhavan, i read that respective music directors are notassociated with those numbers at all.

At 2:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you have so far been unkind to Jeevan but I feel right from Kakka kakka he has proved that he has a certain something. He is different. At the risk of ridicule, I would say that he has more screen presence than ajith and Vijay at the start of their careers.Machakkaran is what --the fifth film of Jeevan.(university, kakka kakka,thirutu payale and naan avanillai) The only problem here seems to be the director Tamil vanan who gave the oh so awful kalvanin kathali.
But still it might give ATM a run for the money and laugh all the way to the bank.
My feelings are ditto for "vel" from a position of stength post KK & Gajni Surya is sliding alarmingly into an abyss of mediocrity.
I cannot imagine how priya & Satyaraj would gel as a team. May be they will but Prithiviraj's choclate stuff puts me off ! kana Kanden may be was an exception performance wise ( or was it character driven?)
Regarding mappilai( I mean Pollathavan - got confused with danush's mamanaar) I won't touch it with a 16 foot pole.
what is left the much touted ATM - I think i'll do what i generally do with Vijay movies, wait till it is shown on" India tholaikaatchigallil mudhal murayaga". Can't risk a tirupachi.

At 2:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My feelings are ditto "as yours " for "vel" from a position of stength post KK & Gajni Surya is sliding alarmingly into an abyss of mediocrity
The as yours got left out giving a totally different slant to my sentence.


At 5:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

//Jeevan has been pretty lucky so far with his films like Thiruttu Payale and Naan Avanillai becoming BO hits.//
I'm surprised that you guys are calling Naan Avanillai as a hit.As far as I know,I saw one TV interview,where the producer complained that the film went overbudget and he'll not be able to recover the losses.

At 6:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

K.Enada is going to be just like Meet the Parents... Prithviraj is poor man's Ben Stiller :)

At 7:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going by the trailers "MACHAKARAAN", and "KANAMOOCHI ENNADA" are my top picks this deepavali. Vijay movies are usually crap and won't be suprised if this one is crap too, so i'm giving it a miss, unless reveiws are good."VEL" trailer looks like another "AARU" - have to wait for reviews.
"POLLADHAVAN" - haven't seen trailer but looks like non-family film, it got "A" certificate, might be a "VALLAVAN(worst movie ever)" or could be a "THIRUVILAYADAL ARAMBAM (humorous undertone,nice entertainer.)"

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji, haven't you heard the Kannamoochi Yenada songs yet? They're absolutely FAB

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

Not looking forward to any of the movies =P.

Don't care for ATM songs or any other songs for that matter... a few from kannamoochi yenada are good. that's about it.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

naren, didn't know that. i read that 'engeyum eppodhum' was by a malaysian rap group and so guess it's not gvp's work. but who, other than arr, did 'ponmagal vandhaal'??

anon, i agree that jeevan is certainly different. his looks arent traditional but thats no issue. i had a problem mainly with his acting. he's been real wooden in his movies(including Kaakka Kaakka) so far and it showed up real bad in 'naan avanillai'. but i have nothing against him and would love to see 'machakkaaran' be a big hit :)

vazhapazham, read somewhere(sify or rediff) today that they were both superhits. so i guess i've been more restrained :)

vanaja, 'kannamoochi yeneda' like 'meet the parents'. thats interesting. did u read that somewhere or is that ur impression based on the trailer or stills?

glass, even the trailer suggests 'polladhavan' is a more violent, serious film. so no surprises on it getting the 'A' :)

prin, first time i'm hearing such praise for the soundtrack. no, havent heard the songs yet. will give them a try based on ur recommendation :)

merino, u like 'kannamoochi' songs better than 'ATM'? 1 more reason to hear them :)

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pon Magal Vanthal is by Krishna Chetan and according to Ananda vikatan it is double role for Vijay

At 12:28 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

See the still then you will know one of the movies that is going to fizzle out this Diwali..

[Surely the worst still of this year if not the century.. ]

At 12:48 PM, Blogger mitr_bayarea said...


good summary as usual. I am waiting to see when Kannamoochi Yenadaa will hit the Bay Area theatres, too bad that Machakaran took precedence in being released here over KY.

Which are the ones you are planning to watch?

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

banu, oh ok. thanx for the info :)

robin, jeevan's droopy eyes don't suit the pic at all. not sure what look he was going for. but 'worst pic of year' is a bit too harsh. I'm sure I can come up with a few worse pics :)

mitr, yeah i know. for now, it doesn't look like KY will show up here. maybe itll be screened if it becomes a big hit.

will defly watch ATM this weekend. probably 'vel' too next weekend. 'machakkaaran' will probably be on the small screen :)

At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB, did you guyz see Evano Oruvan when it was premiered at the Bay Area?

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

prin, 'evano oruvan' defly hasnt been premiered here. i too read about an international premiere for the film but haven't read anything on it since then.

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Check out this link:
Looks like there was a premiere in SFO. And there is a picture of your friend with Madhavan too!! :)


At 9:46 PM, Blogger D.E.V said...

Anyway i'm still watching "Vel" and "ATM" on diwali day. i am keeping my fingers crosed for "ATm" which should be the best among the lot...

So Balaji, ru planning to watch "Om shanti om"? All the publicity of the film had me dizzy to watch the movie. I think it looks like a pretty cool film and somehow on the face value better than all the tamil films releasing for diwali..

At 11:27 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

san, thanx for the link :)

prin, oops! looks like there was a premiere after all. am surprised i didnt get any emails or see anything about it on either.

skanda, unless it gets raving reviews, i'll probably wait for the dvd for OSO :)

At 6:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Balaji, I'm a relative of director priya aunty & after lot of pestering she said it was Indian version of "Meet the Parents"..
Also, Priya aunty admitted that Sathyaraj has impressed her.

At 8:11 AM, Blogger D.E.V said...

The review on "OSO" om indiafm has raised my expectations further. I think u should watch in the cinemas to get the experince.

By the movie, "Kanamochi enada" has got bad reviews from Sify. Looks like one movie is already down. Another 4 to go...

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just out of curiosity, I typed in ATM in google and look what I found -

Apparently, this link says that it is a remake of the malayalam movie Iyer the great. That came as a surprise to me as I still cant believe the ATM is not a usual vijay masala flick but is a tamil version of ITG!!!


At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

skanda..taran adarsh always sucks up to SRK and no wonder OSO gets a good review from him. He once declared Kabhie Kushi Kabhie gham the greatest Hindi movie ever made! I would not trust Sify reviews either as they have their own patrons (Nayanthara, Asin) and people who they try to pull down (Surya).

who review would i trust..BB and baradwaj rangan

At 6:00 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

vanaja, cool. thanx :)

skanda, i think KY getting a bad review is kinda more of a disappointment that one of the others getting a bad review. lets wait and watch :)

anon, hmmm. i'll be really surprised if that is true :)

anon, wow! thanx :)

At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes balaji,
Enggeyum epothum is by Malaysian Rapper,Yogi B..I being a Malaysian am proud cuz the song is catchy enough..

btw ATM songs are FAB..


At 3:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

saw ATM yesterday...atlast Vijay has tried something different....dont expect a high energy vijay film like gilli or pokkiri....the film is good but climax sux big time....Vijay's fans just wont like the climax for sure....

At 1:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing New in the Film. Even there is no difference for the two roles. The film is not different from pokkiri. His dressings and actions are completely same as in pokkiri. OK even if we accept that he won’t change his appearance the screenplay is not interesting, Picturisation of songs are not good. You couldn’t believe yesterday first day show went in so calm that nobody is interested in this Film. If vijay is not acting in a remake film, we cannot take that he has tried different things.


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