Thursday, January 10, 2008

Coming Soon - Pongal 2008 Releases

For the movie fan, its Pongal that officially kicks off the year, with the first big movies of the year hitting the screens. 2008 promises to be another eventful year for Tamil cinema and the Pongal releases look like they are getting the year off to a strong start.

The big one ofcourse is Bheema. Vikram hasn't had a release for 2 whole years(his last film was 2005's Diwali release Majaa) and the way Bheema was going, it looked like one would have to wait for Kandasamy to see him on the big screen. But it looks like its problems have been resolved and it will make it for Pongal. Bheema is one of those films whose continuing delay in releasing really confused me. It is headlined by Vikram, a confirmed box-office draw, and Trisha, one of the leading heroines today. Also, their last pairing was in a superhit film(Saamy). The film is directed by Lingusamy,whose last film Sandakkozhi was a big hit and who has had bonafide hits like Aanandam and Run before that. Music is by Harris Jayaraj, who has recently been delivering one hit soundtrack after another. With such a potent combination, one would expect the distributors to line up for the film eagerly and get it into theaters as soon as possible. But the film ran into numerous delays before finally seeing light of day this Pongal.

Vikram has spoken very highly of Bheema and has said that it will be a landmark film in his career. There were also reports of people who have seen the rushes talking of it reaching Hollywood standards. But the two key aspects that increase the anticipation in the days leading upto a film's release are the soundtrack and the trailer and in those two, Bheema is only 50:50. Harris Jayaraj has once again delivered a superb soundtrack with no song that makes us press the skip button. Oru Mugamo... is fantastic and just imagining Vikram striding along in slo-mo with this song in the background gives one goosebumps. After Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu's Karkka Karkka..., Harris once again proves that one doesn't need to have strong beats and loud singing to deliver a stirring song. Ragasiya Kanavugal... is tops among the melodious numbers (the Irage Irage... interlude is particularly catchy) though Mudhal Mazhai... is really soft and melodious too. Siru Paarvaiyaale... is a typical Harris number that is fast and catchy but still seems melodious. On the other hand, the film's trailer is disappointingly ordinary. After all the talk of a sleek, stylish film, Vikram's role seems familiar and even the dialogs he utters are cliched. One can only hope that the film rises above the trailer.

The remaining films fall into a variety of genres. Simbhu, who didn't have a release in 2007, is back with KaaLai. Not much is known about the film but with a director like Tarun Gopi(who last directed the Vishal-starrer Thimiru) at the helm, the expectation is that it will be an unadulterated masala flick. Simbhu is paired with Vedhika, who we last saw in Lawrence's Muni, and the music is scored by G.V.Prakash. If masala is not your cup of tea, Pirivom Sandhippom is likely the first film on your list. It is directed by Karu. Pazhaniappan, who gave us the wonderful Parthiban Kanavu. He slipped up when he ventured into action territory with Sivappadhigaaram but he's back with a film revolving around human emotions and sentiments. Cheran and Sneha pair up for the film and Vidyasagar has once again delivered a wonderful, melodious album for the director. Family film lovers have another choice with Madhavan's VaazhthukkaL. Directed by his favorite director Seeman, who directed Thambi and also shared the screen with him in Evano Oruvan, the film is supposed to be in praise of the joint family. After Aarya, Madhavan is once again paired with Bhavana here. Bharath-starrer Pazhani is also supposed to be releasing but considering that it is directed by Perarasu(who seem determined to make movies as long as there are city names still left), my hopes for it are rather low.

Will Bheema, like the mythological strongman whose name it has chosen, crush the competition? Will KaaLai trample other films as it run? Will Pirivom Sandhippom meet expectations? Will Vaazhthukkal be greeted by the audience? Or will Pazhani surprise everybody and scale the BO hill? We'll know next week...


At 12:41 AM, Blogger Bart said...

The festive movie lists always add fun when they have a pre-release expectation ranking. My preference ranking would be:
1) Pirivom Sandhipom
2) Bheema
3) Vaazhthukkal
4) Pazhani
5) Kaalai.

What would be your preference list Balaji?

At 1:44 AM, Blogger D.E.V said...

i'm watching "Pirivom sandhipom" tonight. it's the first of ponggal releases to have come out. The movie looks good and the posters give the impresion of another "Partheban kanavu". let me watch and tell u how it goes!!!

At 1:59 AM, Blogger Ganesh said...

//it is directed by Perarasu who seem determined to make movies as long as there are city names still left//
Some suggestions for his new filom titles:

At 6:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sun tv's (fictitious) movie reviews:

naangaavathu idathil pazhani. iyakunar perarasu peraruvai endru peyar maatra vaikkira padam pazhani. orey maganaana barath avar appa murali idam dabaaythu amma-vin dalda dabbavil ulla panjaamridhathai thiruda, kadhai viru viruppaaga thodangi kadu kadupaay mudigirathu. mothathil pazhani mottai.

moonraavathu idathil kaalai. simbhu endraale style endra edhirpaarpuku theeni poatta padam. aanal, vedhika thuni poda marakka, simbhuvin nadathin thullal. aanal, idaiveliku piragu simbhuvin adhiradi seruppadi. mothathil kaalai, "nayan deaths of the ninja."

irandaavadhu idathil pirivom sandhipom. iyakunar karu. pazhaniappan parthiban kanavuku piragu meendum niraivaana padam kuduthirukiraar. azhagaana nadipu, alavaana commercial elements vechu nalinaamana graamathu kadhaiya kann munaala koduthirikuraar. aanaal, cheranin azhugai edho sirupillai azhikkum porull (eraser) tholaithathai pol irupadhu padathin ucha katta comedy. sneha-vin ganyanaamana thotram padathuku pakka balam. vidyasagar paadalgall manadhuku idham. mothathil, pirivom sandhipom, sandhikalaam...

mudhal idathil bheema. indha padathode vimarsanathai bb thevaiyaana alavu alasitathunaala, adutha vaaram sandhipom!

At 6:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice word play in your last paragraph.


At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think

"Vazhthugal" might turn out to be a sleeper hit!

Bheema & Kaalai - look like total action mass masala entertainers! (I love the songs by Harris in Bheema - especially "Ragasiya....")

Pazhani - should be easily the "total wash-out"!! (It should have happened with dreadful "Thirupachchi" or at least with torturous "Sivakasi" or the stupidest "Tirupathi" (well, it started the slide, I guess!). Hopefully, Perarasu would make no more such films!! THANK GOD!!

"PriVOm santhipPOm" - lovely title from one of my favorite Sujatha's novels! Karu.Pazhniappan was good in his previous outings - hope he can live up to that again. My only problem is the "hero" (Cheran) of the film! He is FAR BETTER as a director - but (with all those MGR-style azhuvAchchi!) needs a LONG LONG way to go as an ACTOR!

That's my 2-cents worth!

At 8:04 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

bart, i'd say bheema, pirivom sandhippom, vaazhthukkal, kaaLai, pazhani :)

skanda, no mention of new releases in theaters here :( till yday, imc said they'd be screening 'vaazhthukkal' from today but they've changed it. hope atleast 'bheema' is released on pongal :)

ganesh, won't be surprised if these titles r out soon :)

ram, lol. 'nayan deaths...' was a nice touch. hope that last line comes true :) no news of 'bheema' screening here so far :(

sreela, thanx :)

apala, u forgot 'dharmapuri' the worst in perarasu's hall of shame! i guess u ran out of adjectives after dreadful, torturous and stupidest... quite understandable! :)

At 8:20 AM, Blogger D.E.V said...

Hey balaji, please do not watch "Pirivum sandhipom" as it is soooooooooo boring! the film nearly made me doze off in the theater. It is so slow moving as there is no story what so ever which makes it a real torture expecially the second half.

Karu palinapan has proven that "partheban kanavu" was just a flash in the pan. Even vidvasagar's music was a big let down. One Movie is already down, 6 more to go!

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing much to look forward to amongst Pongal releases. Usual masalas and stuff. Waiting for Dasavatharam and Prakahraj-produced movies

At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bheema, kalai, valthukkal these are the best movies.

by mani from madurai

At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vaazhthukkal will win it, with Bheema second, Kaalai at 3, Bharath's Pazhani at 4 and Pirivom Santhippom at 5 (apparently ghost directed by Chran, who insisted to kiss Seha onsreen.) yuk!

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji - Just checked with the distributor of Bheema. Bheema will be releasing in Bay Area on Pongal Day. Looks like they are working with the local exhibitors and theaters on finalizing the schedule.

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ram, can you do me a favour?

Can you tell me the list of Madhumitha films....



At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking forward to seeing Bheema. Nice write up!


At 10:17 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

thalai ezhuththu.. they are going to show Bheema in park theater!

Bereyessa 10 vendam.. at least IMC6 ??


I hope they have finished the constuction work in Park theater ...

At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indiralogathil Na Alagappan pongal release illaiya ?

At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 2:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw bheema and it is a 3 hour torture. So sad of bheema, a mind blowing flop


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