Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Guest post by Kavya

[Pic Courtesy Rediff]

I watched the new animated film Hanuman last weekend(and a few times since then!). I have seen Ramayana many times since I also own that DVD and and so I know the story very well. Hanuman is my favorite character in Ramayana and so this movie was even more fun.

My favorite part of the movie is when Hanuman is a baby. He is so cute(like my baby brother Karthik) and I always laugh when he flies to the sun thinking that it is a mango. The song here, called Akdam Bakdam..., is very fast and catchy as baby Hanuman flies around, fights with rakshasas and saves animals. Though it seemed similar to a song sequence in Tarzan, it is the most enjoyable part of the film. It is also funny when he is naughty and troubles the sages.

Since the film is only about Hanuman, I learned many new things about the monkey God that I didn't know before from watching Ramayana. I thought Hanuman met Rama and Lakshmana only in the forest but I learned that he went to Ayodhya when they were young princes and played with them. I also came to know of many things like why he lost his divine powers till he grew up. The background of some of the segments, like Vaali's episode, were a bit too much for me and so I just watched them just for the animation.

My dad said that the animation was not as smooth as in movies like The Lion King and that it was jerky. Though I love The Lion King, I didn't notice anything different when I watched this movie. It was very colorful and didn't make me bored and that is all I look for in a movie.

"2 Thumbs Up" from me for Hanuman.

Chikubuku Chikubuku Rajni...

Got this as a forward from my brother... Another example of the Rajni craze in Japan :-)

[Click pic to enlarge]

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Time for Heroes

Sun TV screened ‘A Time for Heroes’ on Sunday. It was a show organized by the Heroes Project to promote AIDS awareness and was held in Hyderabad in October. The primary attraction ofcourse was that it was attended by many top stars from all 4 South Indian film industries. But though it mostly followed the format of awards shows, the reason behind the show made it seem more worthwhile than those shows.

Here are some highlights that I can remember, from the show (in no particular order):

- Like the Filmfare awards show, this one too was preceded by a behind-the-screens look with interviews with the technicians, peeks at the rehearsals and chats with the stars as they got ready for the show. I liked this segment since it appreciates the people who do the grunt work to make the show run smoothly but who usually don’t get the credit for it.

- Sun TV donated proceeds from the advertisements to AIDS awareness programs, which I thought was a nice touch.

- Among Tamil stars, I saw Kamal, Vikram, Sarathkumar & Radhika, Simbhu, Prabhu Deva, Sadha, Sandhya, Genelia, Revathi and Sumalatha. The Telugu cineworld seemed to be represented better probably since the show was held in Hyderabad. The Andhra CM was the Chief Guest.

- Kamal and Jayaram introduced Sidharth, a 3rd standard student, who played drums to their kunnakkol (term courtesy my mom). It was the best part of the show since it was very different from what we usually get to see and introduced a really talented youngster.

- Sun TV's interviews with the stars were pretty standard stuff. Dr.Rajasekhar and his wife Jeevitha were two who said something useful. They did a Q&A session between them and answered questions on patients’ privacy concerns, etc. Though sloppily done, it was something useful instead of the standard “I am honored to attend this show”-type replies.

- Sarathkumar and Radhika introduced a couple who are both HIV + but whose son is not. Sarath’s speech about them was very good.

- Richard Gere was classy. He gave a great speech that was very heartfelt and joined in with some vocal background music for the final song.

- Sania Mirza spoke well. It’s the first time I’ve seen her (apart from a couple of pics of her on the court). It was clear why Simbhu wants to make her act in his movie :-)

- Was nice to see Amala after a long time (she came with Nagarjun). She could still give today’s heroines a run for their money.

- Usha Uthup sang songs from all 4 South Indian languages in her distinctively accented voice.

- Sadha predictably danced for Kannum Kannum Nokia… and Andankaakka…

- Shriya danced solo for the Mazhai song and with Tarun for a song from Enakku 20 Unakku 18 . “Damn excited!”, was her response on being chosen as Rajni’s heroine.

- Chinmayi sang Oru Dheivam… with suitable sobriety. But there seemed to be an audio problem and her voice sounded layered.

- My favorite singer turned out to be Vasundhara Das. She sang just the female segments of Erimalai Naane… and Dating…. The songs sounded exactly like they do on CD and she was very stylish on stage.

- Worst segment was the dance for the song from Manmadhan. The guy (I think he’s a Telugu hero) looked flabby and didn’t dance well, and the gals were dressed pretty skimpily.

- All the stars came together on stage finally to sing a song composed by Ilaiyaraja. But not much rehearsal seemed to have gone into this. Only a few of them put their hearts into it while many were silent, mumbling or worse, talking to their neighbors and laughing. While it was admittedly a star show, I felt the seriousness of the cause deserved a more solemn rendition of the closing number.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Thambi Mangal?

[Pic Courtesy Indiaglitz]

That's Madhavan and Pooja in the soon-to-be-released Thambi. Look's like someone's seen Mangal Pandey, huh? :-)

Mary Mary

Its such a pleasure when your favorite author returns to form. And thats the case with James Patterson in Mary Mary. The last few novels from the prolific author were disappointments as he ventured into subjects like international politics, military and even vampire culture. The large canvases seemed have diluted his skill and the novels were almost bland. But he is back in familiar territory here and proves that he still hasn't lost his touch. Or atleast that he has regained it.

Alex Cross is on a long-due vacation in Disneyland with his family when he is asked to "take a look" at a case in Hollywood. A woman calling herself Mary Smith is killing prominent personalities in the movie industry while revealing details of her murders in lengthy emails to a local LA Times reporter. While Alex Cross tries to catch Mary, he also has to fight a custody battle with his ex-wife Christine for their youngest son.

The previous novels, like London Bridges, saw Alex Cross turn into James Bond as he went from place to place, seeking out megalomaniacal villains like The Wolf. But in Mary Mary, he goes back to basics, staying local and going after a serial killer with a more modest goal. Thats exactly what was needed to pick the series up.

A key plot point, which is not known to Cross and other detectives, is revealed to us very soon because of a first-person narrative. That was a little disappointing. But Patterson adds another first-person narrative and this complicates matters enough to keep the suspense going. These three threads are woven together nicely in the end. Though there are only a small number of characters, Patterson still manages to spring a surprise with the killer's identity. And though the motive seems a bit too complicated, it leaves no loose ends.

As always, Cross' family takes up too many pages. They tend to be repetitive as almost every book tells us what a great and strong woman his grandmother Nana is and how much he loves his children. They are little more than speedbumps to the main story. But its clear Patterson wants to keep Cross' love life in a constant state of flux and so it takes another surprising turn here.

Welcome back Patterson!

Sivaji Pooja

[Pic Courtesy Sify]

A very low-profile poojai for a very high-profile film! The poojai for Sivaji was held yesterday in front of the new Pillaiyar Koil at AVM Studio. Looks like only people connected with the film, like thalaivar, producers Saravanan and Guhan, director Shankar, heroine Shriya, script writer Sujatha, lyricist Vairamuthu, cinematographer K.V.Anand and art director Thotta Tharani, were present. ARR wasn't there.

Shankar is ready with the first draft of the story and the shooting is expected to start any day after December 12, thalaivar's birthday.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Gold Hunt

Which of the following organs in the human body does not sweat?
1. Forehead
2. Lips
3. Neck
4. Palm

Question from a 2nd standard biology textbook? Nope. Thats one of the questions posed in the new Sun TV game show Thanga Vettai, hosted by Ramya Krishnan. The correct answer, which actor Srikanth said after a little thought, won him 2 gms of gold!

Today's show featured Prasanna and Srikanth on opposing teams, along with four of their acquaintances. I'm hoping that featuring cine stars is just a stunt to give the show an initial boost. I mean, are Srikanth and Prasanna really the people who need more publicity and to whom a few more grams of gold would make a big difference?

First impression - the show's a total dud. It has gaudy sets modelled along Egyptian lines(with pyramids and sphinxes), embarassingly easy questions(one had the participant match Rajnikanth movies and their heroines) and a screaming Ramya Krishnan trying to inject some artificial energy into the proceedings.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


With the shopping season officially upon us since yesterday, the phrase "mail-in rebate" is gonna be everywhere. This week's BusinessWeek has an article on the popularity of such rebates with companies and their corresponding unpopularity with consumers. The psychology behind rebates is that "they get consumers to focus on the discounted price of a product and then buy it at full price". I guess they might well be called "rebaits"!

The article has some astonishing statistics on the business of mail-in rebates. According to market research, some 400 million rebates, with a face value of $6 billion, are offered in a year. And the reason why companies love them? Fully 40% of all rebates don't get redeemed since consumers fail to apply for them or their applications get rejected. Using TiVo as an example, the article says that 50,000 of its 104,000 new subscribers failed to redeem mail-in rebate offers. This led to a reduction of the company's rebate expense by $5 million, which translated to the company reducing its 1st quarter loss to $857,000 from $9.1 million in the same period last year! So if you think about it, companies offer mail-in rebates since they believe in their customers' laziness and forgetfulness! Makes you feel good, huh?!

The psychology has worked on me too :-( I too have been tempted by mail-in rebates(like on this one, my only purchase during this year's Thanksgiving sale) and I too have, in the past, forgotten to redeem a couple of rebates. But luckily, I haven't had the problems that some people mentioned in the article have had, on the occasions that I did redeem them.

For people like me, the article has these tips:
  • Don't toss the packaging box
  • Keep those receipts
  • Make copies of everything
  • Don't delay
  • Be sure to follow up
  • Sort the mail carefully since checks can look like junk mail
So go ahead. Shop. Just don't forget to mail in those rebates...

Friday, November 25, 2005


I can't recall the last time I enjoyed so much, a movie that has so little! James has an alarmingly bare storyline, an unconvincing romance, over-the-top villains and a wooden hero. But it also has wall-to-wall action picturized with style and that surprisingly carries the movie through.

James(Mohit Ahlawat) has just moved to Mumbai from Goa and with his friend's help, secures a job as a bouncer at one of the most popular discos in the city. Mumbai is under the criminal grip of Shanti Narayan, who has just won the election. His brother, Radhe Narayan, has his eyes on Nisha(Nisha Kothari), a model and when he harasses her at the club, James roughs him up. That makes him go after James.

Mohit in James is not just a hero but a superhero. He swats down the bad guys like they are flies and I don't think he receives even one blow in return - except when he is caught unawares. But his heroics don't contain the gravity-defying leaps or middle-of-the-air twists we see in Vijayakanth films. And they don't involve the Matrix-style gunfights we've seen in movies like Kaante. The fights here are hand-to-hand combats kinda like the fights in Run(1 fight on the street even repeats some of the moves from a similar sequence in Run) that, within the confines of Hindi cinema, seem strangely believable.

Like a John Woo film, James is powered by pure style. If I had kept track, I think more than half the running time of the film would've been in slow motion! Fast cuts and B&W shots are thrown into the mix too. But it works. Every fight is pretty much a well-choreographed dance number. Fists fly, arms flail and bodies fall but it all happens with style and grace. And the variety of locations and props prevents the fights from seeming repetitive. Helping immeasurably is the high-energy background score.

Thats not to say the movie holds our interest every minute. The plot is simply too thin for that to happen. While slo-mo shots work for the fights, they are overused, especially when used on the bad guys while they search for Mohit and Nisha. And the climactic fight seems to drag, maybe because we've had our fill of fights by then.

Mohit Ahlawat is pretty much a robot here. He shows no emotion and speaks at the most a dozen lines. His hands do all the talking. Nisha Kothari seems to be in the Urmila Matgaonkar mould - petite, baby-faced and wearing costumes that leave little to the imagination. The villains try to be menacing but when going up against a superhero, there's not much they can do other than utter threats and then fall to the ground! Rajpal Yadav, as always, grabs our attention in a small cameo.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Birthday Mrs. Y.G.P

[Pic Courtesy The Hindu]

I went to school at Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan(or PSBB, as it is more popularly known) and I have rather fond memories of the school since I spent my entire school life - from LKG to Class XII - there. Among those were some of the best years of my life. More importantly, the friends I earned and the lessons I learned there shaped me and laid the foundation for who I am and where I have ended up today.

PSBB's principal is Mrs. Y.G.Parthasarathy. Since I went to the K.K.Nagar branch of the school, glimpses of Mrs. Y.G.P were pretty rare. But she was always an invisible presence hovering over the school. I used to give her a wide berth on the occasions we met her and a stern glance from her was enough to send even the naughtiest kid scurrying away to safety. But it was always clear that giving the kids a good education was her topmost priority and I was always amazed at the number of kids whose names she remembered.

Mrs. Y.G.P's 80th birthday is coming up and is going to be deservedly celebrated in a rather big way(thats especially impressive if you consider that she is neither an actress nor a politician!). The school's alumni are conducting some community welfare programs to commemorate her birthday. The birthday itself is being celebrated at AVM Rajeswari Kalyana Mandapam with a music program, a short film about her directed by S.P.Muthuraman, the release of her biography and speeches by the likes of scientist M.S.Swaminathan, Cho and N. Ram. The music program will feature Anuradha Sriram, who is an alumni too (she was in the batch before me and I still remember her singing Aayarpaadi Maaligaiyil... at the school assembly.)

Happy birthday Mrs.Y.G.P... And thank you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mangal Pandey - The Rising

Mangal Pandey is a wannabe epic (or should that be epic wannabe?). This story of the first martyr of our freedom struggle is quite ambitious in scope but eventually comes off looking more like a masala film wearing the cloak of a period epic.

Mangal Pandey(Aamir Khan), a sepoy in the British army, has been a close friend of General Gordon(Toby Stephens) ever since he saved the General's life in a war in Afghanistan. When the Indian sepoys refuse to bite off a piece of cartridges that have been greased with cow and pig fat, Mangal does the deed after Gordon swears(based on his superiors' words) that that was not the case. When Mangal learns that the cartridges have indeed been greased with animal fat, he organizes the sepoys to revolt against their masters.

I don't mean to be disrespectful to Mangal Pandey but his part in our freedom struggle just doesn't seem to have enough meat(pun unintended) to carry a two and a half hour movie. Seen within the framework of the entire struggle, he sowed the seeds that eventually led to our independence and so played an important role. But when zoomed in to focus only on him, the big picture fades away and his brave acts seem small in scope. So the movie magnifies ordinary events and is forced to resort to sub-plots, song, dance and even an item number to pad the running time. As a result, the film feels thin and stretched.

The friendship between Aamir and Toby is nicely portrayed. The easy camaraderie the two share inspite of their respective places in the army is very believable. Toby's character, as he struggles between his duty as a British general and his loyalty to his friend, is especially nicely shaped. Aamir's caste consciousness(seen in his attitude towards an untouchable) also is a nice surprise since film heroes are usually beyond such petty feelings.

Considering that the movie is about an important part of our fight for independence, it is strangely subdued. It seems to have all the right elements in place but never invokes in us, the zeal or fervor that is important for a patriotic film to work. I got(and still get) more goosebumps during the single scene in Roja where Arvind Swamy puts off the burning flag, than I got during the entire running time of Mangal Pandey. There are a few scenes, like the one where Aamir stands up to the cannon and the one near the end where people break through man-made barriers and charge ahead while screaming, that do the job but there should have been a lot more of such scenes for the movie to work as a whole.

The movie has enough subplots to make a masala potboiler proud. Apart from making us realize that the main story is really thin, the subplots give the film an episodic feel. There are many abrupt jumps from one scene to the next, especially in the first half. This lack of a smooth flow prevents us from getting involved in the film.

Aamir Khan, appearing on screen after a long gap, fits the role well though the intensity he conveys with his eyes and body language isn't matched by his. His long hair seems more like a gimmick though, seeing the picture of the real Mangal Pandey that is shown at the end. But equal(or maybe more) credit goes to Toby Stephens who without knowing Hindi(I think), indulges in quite a few long conversations and gets the expressions right too. Rani Mukherjee looks gorgeous in a role that reminded me of Sripriya in Vaazhve Maayam. She has the best line the movie though. Amisha Patel has even less to do than Rani.

Technically, the film is top-notch. It looks grand and is gorgeously photographed. Attention has been paid to detail and there are no obvious anachronisms in the period settings. But the vulgar item song sticks out and damages the film's stature. I'm pretty sure there were no skimpily-clad women cavorting like lesbians in the middle of the road in 1857! Rahman's songs fit the mood with the title track and Al Maddath Maula... being my personal favorites.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Today's Equation

A cold-afflicted, fussy 5 1/2 month old

+ a pre-school going 4 year old

+ a sick wife in bed the whole day

= 1 real long day


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Varaporaanyaa Varaporaanya!

[Pic Courtesy Indiaglitz]

I'm not a big fan of Vadivelu. I feel his name on the credits automatically brings down the class of any film a few notches and that he has had way more misses than hits in his comedy routines so far. For every Bharathi Kannammaa, Winner, Giri or Chandramukhi, there have been numerous films where his comedy track raised groans rather than laughs.

But a recent film announcement [thanks Sandya] that elevates the comedian to hero status has piqued my interest. The film, Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi, is being produced by Shankar and its publicity poster has the cast dressed in the costumes of a historical. I feel the latter by itself makes the film stand out from other recent films. The fact that Shankar, atleast with Kaadhal, proved that he has an eye for good and viable projects also makes me look forward to this one.

Vivek too was promoted to hero in two films Panju(?) and Solli Adippen but neither has seen the light of day yet. While he is definitely my favorite comedian, Imsai Arasan... , due to its unique name and poster, has managed to catch my interest more than his 2 films. So lets wait and see if Vadivelu's film makes it...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

[Pic Courtesy IMDb]

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is wild, wacky and wonderful. I have not seen the original version but this one is a testament to director Tim Burton's wonderful imagination and the film's technical crew's talent in bringing it to life. It is one of those films where almost every scene made me wish I was watching it on the big screen.

Willy Wonka(Johny Depp) is the owner of the world's largest chocolate factory and a recluse. Years ago he fired all his factory workers but still somehow manages to make and ship the world's most popular candy bars. One day he announces that he has hidden golden tickets inside 5 of his candy bars and that the finders of those tickets will get a 1-day tour of his factory. Charlie, a poor but good-hearted boy, lays his hands on one of the tickets and joins a chocolate-glutton Augustus, a spoilt Veruca, an over-competitive Violet and an intelligent but cynical Mike on the tour.

CCF is a visual delight. Burton makes the chocolate factory a futuristic, fantastic place and lets his imagination run wild since he is not restricted by the rules of the real world. Tim Burton's name, atleast for me, usually conjures up visions of dark, atmospheric movies with seriousness oozing out of every frame. But things are the exact opposite here. Every section of the factory is a riot of bright colors with no place for anything dull or plain. Even more incredible are the modes of transport used between those sections, like the glass elevator and the boat.

Burton's imagination is not limited to just the physical aspects of the movie though. The different kinds of candy Wonka thinks of(there's a gum that would serve as an entire meal) and the ways they are produced are all pretty fantastic.

The Oompa Loompas turn out to be the life of the film. They are the tiny workers in the chocolate factory who make sure its wheels are turning smoothly. Played by a single actor Deep Roy, who is cloned using special effects, the sight of them scurrying around and performing their roles in synchronized fashion gives the movie its energy. Their song-and-dance routines, played after each kid gets his or her comeuppance, are the high points of the film and are both catchy and choreographed spectacularly.

The film is not all style and no substance though since it eventually drives home the point that one's family is of paramount importance. This gives the movie its heart and at the end, gives us the feeling that we've seen a film rather than just a collection of some colorful sets and nifty special effects.
Johny Depp has made a career out of playing eccentrics and plain weirdos and so playing Wonka is not much of a stretch for him. His make up, hair and other accessories(like those huge glasses) do more than half the job for him and an wink here and a grin there are all that are required of him. The actor playing Charlie's grandfather is the only one who makes a mark among the supporting cast.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Jumble - 10

Unscramble the four words to fill in the boxes. Then unscramble only the circled letters to answer the riddle at the bottom:

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Asin Bio-data

Got this as a forward from my brother. Asin fans, ensoy :-)

Name: Asin Thottumkal
Screen Name: Asin
Nick Name: Malabar Ahzagi, Tamil Ammayee
Date of Birth: 26 Oct, 1985
Birth Place: Hyderabad
Height: 5’4”
Profession: Dancer, Stage compere, Actress, model, business woman
Nationality: Indian
Mother tongue: Malayalam
Languages: Can read, write and speak in Malayalam, Tamil and French. Can only speak Telugu.
Parents: Father: Joseph Thotumkal, former CBI officer
Mother: Dr.Shelin, Surgeon in Kerala Govt hospital
Education: Schools: Naval public school,Cochin and St.Teresa's Hr.Sec.School
College: B.A.(literature) from St.Teresa 's college, Cochin
Modeled: in at least 60 advertisements
Entry into tamil films: Director Jeeva after seeing her in 'Aircel' advertisement invited her to act in his film 'Ullam Ketkume'
Debut: *Tamil: M.Kumaran, S/O Mahalakshmi
* Malayalam: 'Narendran Magan Jayakanthan' directed by Sathyan Anthikad
* Telugu: 'Amma, Naanna, O Tamil Ammayi'
Favourites: * Singers: Balamurali Krishna, P.Susheela, Janet Jackson
*Spots: all places in Kerala
* Sport: Cricket
* Attire: Jeans and Shirts
Farmhouse: owns Vagmon a lovely hill station in Kerala
Dam: A dam near her home is named as Asin dam
ASIN'S: Her company deals with anything from hospital equipments, software, furniture etc.
Desire: Likes to try her luck in the Civil service exams. Wants to prove that film people can also excel in academics.
Hates: Dishonesty
Respects: Nadiya for her simplicity
Loves: to gaze at the water
Singing: Harris Jayaraj had given her an opportunity to sing but she was not able to do because of her busy schedule.
Shopping: finishes all her shopping abroad and avoids at home
Plans: to export carved wood products
Never : * Acts in a movie without hearing the story or knowing the strength of her character.
* Does vulgar scenes or double meaning dialogues
Influential people: Her grandmother Mary, Mother Theresa and her mother.
Favourite food: Fresh water fish and Kerala rice
Hates: Smoking and smokers
Address: Marine drive, Kochi, Kerala
Awards: * Won the 'best young entrepreneur' award when she was only 14 years old.
* Best Actress, Filmfare award for the telugu film 'Amma, Naanna, O Tamil Ammayi'
Facts: * She is a voracious reader.
* At age four she created a record by dancing non-stop for four hours.
* Asin means pure or blemishless
* One of the songs for the film M.Kumaran, S/O Mahalakshmi was filmed in the farmhouse owned by her family.
* Her father wanted to name her Mary after her grandmother.
* She was not able to act in the film 'Shahjahan' with Vijay due to date problems.
* Only child to her parents.
* Comes from a very wealthy family.
* Is a good bharata natyam and Kathakali dancer
* Director Fazil wanted to introduce her first in malayalam films.
Aim: * start a Bharatanatyam school in Kochi
* to publish her poems
* to improve her business
* to be a well known actress

Jo - No Sho

[Pic Courtesy Indiaglitz]
So the most anticipated invitee for Surya's sister Brindha's wedding reception didn't make it after all. Jo, who was back in Chennai after a US stint for Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu, didn't show up at the event. The Sify article says Sivakumar hasn't accepted her yet and she was 'asked' not to attend. Paavampa ponnu...

But the reception was a star-studded event for sure. The (super)star in the picture above alone would've made it that :-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

To-Read List

For the Tamil cinema lover in me, April 14 was a red letter day since movies with Rajni, Kamal and Vijay all got released the same day. For the reader in me, yesterday was April 14 all over again with three books landing up on my to-read list the same day!

I have been waiting to read David Baldacci’s The Camel Club ever since it was released a couple of weeks ago and I finally managed to lay my hands on the book yesterday. Though a little sad that it doesn’t involve Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, the leads in his new, two book-old series, this book about a club of Washington conspiracy theorists seems right up Baldacci’s alley.

James Patterson’s new Alex Cross novel, Mary Mary, was also released yesterday and to my very pleasant surprise, I was able to pick that one up too from the library yesterday. Though Patterson has started the Women’s club series(which is already 4 books old) and co-authors a few stand-alone thrillers, the Alex Cross books hold a special place in my heart since it was a Cross book(Kiss The Girls) that introduced me to Patterson first. So it will be nice catching up with the detective as he goes after a female serial killer.

I was recently contacted by Priya Raghavan, who along with her husband Siva Nara, has written a book called Dollar Wise Penny Foolish. She is apparently a regular reader of this blog(and bbreviews) and enquired if I would be interested in reading their book. The book’s tagline(“romantic book on stocks for aspiring millionaires”) and subject(simplifying stock market concepts through fiction) seemed interesting and I expressed my interest. Priya graciously agreed to send me a complimentary copy of the book and so that book found its way to the coffee table yesterday too.

Its time to start reading!


[Pic Courtesy Amazon]

Vanish is a typical Tess Gerritsen novel – over-the-top and graphic but always moving with relentless pace. Like Philip Margolin did in Lost Lake, Gerritsen expands her usual canvas here, encompassing prostitution rackets and high-level politics. But she still doesn’t lose the personal touch and that makes the book a winner.

Dr. Maura Isles, a forensic examiner, gets the shock of her life when she realizes that the corpse of a young woman, that is waiting for an autopsy, is actually alive. The woman, Olena, escapes and holes up inside a hospital, taking some of the patients hostage. One of the patients is Detective Jane Rizzoli, who is ready to have her baby. As Olena’s life is threatened and the FBI gets involved, Maura and Jane realize that they are caught up in something much bigger.

The book’s pace is very surprising considering that its two leading characters are women and one of them is very pregnant and gives birth midway through the book. But Gerritsen spends very little time on their personal lives, which is usually what bogs down other thrillers. She manages to add a sense of urgency to the scenarios she creates and there are no sections where the pace slows down. And when Gerritsen does talk about the characters' personal lives, the issues she brings up are very realistic and practical( like Jane's internal struggle as she is torn between caring for her baby and her desire to get back to her job) rather than bland romance or melodramatic sentiments.

The other surprising fact is that there is not much suspense. The regular detours to Mila's first-person accounts tell us quite early what the racket is and how Maura and Jane are going to be linked to it. But Mila's narrative, which is quite graphic, does make us develop an abject dislike of the bad guys.

Its a given that Gerritsen's novels are going to be over-the-top but Vanish becomes a little too fantastic towards the end. When we get scenes like the new mom Jane stepping out of her window and balancing herself on a ledge with her newborn in hand, the book loses the already thin thread that was connecting it to reality so far. The book also ends without a real sense of closure. While get to know who the bad guys are, the book ends before they get their comeuppance, which is somewhat of a disappointment considering how much we get to hate them after Mila's description of events.

If pace and action, rather than realism, are what you're looking for, then Vanish should satisfy you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Adhu Oru Kanaakkaalam

Balachander, Bharathiraja, Bagyaraj... apart from the first letter of their names, these directors share one other thing - they are all old-time directors who have failed to successfully make the transition from their generation to the next generation. They all have some true classics on their resume. But their last few movies revealed an inability to modify their style to provide movies that appeal to the sensibilities of a new generation of moviegoers. The taut thriller Julie Ganapathy made me think Balu Mahendra had bridged the gap between his style and the ‘new’ viewers’ expectations better than the others but Adhu Oru Kanaakkaalam makes me doubt that thought.

AOK combines a very Balu Mahendra-esque love story and a prison movie. The former reminds us of some other movies from the same director while the latter borrows liberally from his own Mammootty-starrer, Yathra, which itself was a rip-off of First Blood. So the movie raises a sense of déjà vu in almost every scene. But one thing that the movie has going for it is that it doesn't have the loudness of many movies in recent times. It is quite realistic and avoids special effects, superhuman stunt sequences and punch dialogs.

When we first see Srinivasan(Dhanush), he is in jail, serving time for murder. He escapes from prison and convinces a lorry driver to give him a ride. When the lorry driver recognizes him as an escaped convict and threatens to hand him over to the police, Srinivasan narrates his story about his romance with Thulasi(Priyamani) and the circumstances that made him end up in jail.

Considering that the romance between Dhanush and Priyamani is the backbone of the entire movie, it is given a very unconvincing start by Balu Mahendra. The two were childhood friends and haven’t met in several years. But it takes them only a couple of days to fall in love. Worse, all we see is adolescent lust on Dhanush’s part and some emotion bordering on sympathy on Priyamani’s side before they turn into lovers. So the two never seem believable when they swear undying love to each other.

But though the romance is unconvincing, the strong undercurrent of humor ensures that we don’t think about it too much. I had several hearty laughs during the initial meetings between Dhanush and Priyamani and the conversations Dhanush has with his friends. Balu Mahendra also has this knack of generating humor out of serious situations and so even clichéd scenes, like ‘Delhi’ Ganesh berating Dhanush when he learns of his romance, had me chuckling. Unfortunately, Balu Mahendra also tends to be extremely crude and some of the lines had me wrinkling my nose in disgust.

The second half presents scenes seen in every Tamil movie set inside a jail. We have sadistic wardens hellbent on torturing Dhanush and sympathetic cellmates willing to lend him an ear. Thankfully, Balu Mahendra drops the humor in this segment, which prevents the movie from turning into a farce. So you don’t have to see the prisoners singing a group song while drumming on their aluminum plates(Karunas does sing a song while drumming on his plate but it is a pathos number that is soulfully sung)!

For most of the movie, Dhanush’s character remains realistic. He is no wimp and is heroic(as he proves in prison) but realistically so. So it is a little jarring when the climax shows signs of turning into something along the lines of the climax in Chatriyan. But things thankfully get more down-to-earth soon and the character of Shanmugarajan adds a little suspense after that. But considering that the previous segment had resembled Yathra, I wish Balu Mahendra had retained the wonderful climax from that movie.

Dhanush looks almost skeletal and the movie takes several digs at his thinness. But he gives a good performance in a role shorn of the usual dances and fights. He is especially convincing as the sorrowful convict. Priyamani is good too and has very expressive eyes. But I did feel that a more expressive face would’ve helped in a couple of scenes. ‘Delhi’ Ganesh once again proves he is a very natural actor in a clichéd, unsympathetic role. ‘Thalaivaasal’ Vijay appears in a single scene and gives the impression that he is going to be the main bad guy but disappears after that.

As usual Balu Mahendra doesn’t resort to any regular duets between the lead pair and most of the songs play in the background. Andha Naal Nyaabagam… is the pick of the lot and is picturized in typical Balu Mahendra style as the song plays in the background and Dhanush and Priyamani go about enjoying life as only lovers can. Ennaadaa Nenache…(which was part of the soundtrack) is missing in the movie but Engo…(which was not on the soundtrack), a song about a mother, is a good replacement. Though it talks about the usual love, sacrifice, etc. that are part of all ‘mother songs’, it is somehow very touching. Unnaale Thookkam… has a Ponmeni Urugudhe… hangover but this unnecessary item number picturized on Dhanush and Tejasri is awkwardly inserted and is a black spot on the movie.

Fizzling out?

So there's some hope for Tamil cinema after all :-) Sivakasi, after getting a huge opening and being accompanied by proclamations of being a megahit, has started slipping. According to Sify, "Nobody is able to explain this drastic 50 percent drop." Hmmm... I think I will be able to explain it!

For readers who stop reading comments after the first day or so, there were some interesting discussions about Vijay's box-office clout in the comments section of my review, with some neat and detailed trade facts provided by an anonymous commentor whose uncle is in the distribution business. Check it out. But more to the point of this post, I said in the comments that

"I can't imagine 'Sivakasi' becoming a hit. But if it does, then i will truly accept Vijay's superstardom and box-office standing..."


"I fully accept that the movie could go on to be a hit though personally I think its too early to judge if itll be a hit or not. When u have a top hero, the 1st few weeks go solely based on his appeal. Its the crowds after that that determine whether its a hit or not. Lets wait and see if 'Sivakasi' makes it."

Its feels good to be right :-)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Flash Fiction - 8


I have no idea why the phrase “die with a smile on your lips” is popping into my head now. Here I am, driving back home from work, when the phrase appears out of the blue. Maybe it was mentioned in the latest book I’ve been reading? Oh well, it doesn’t matter where the phrase came from. The fact is I’ve really never understood it. Death and smile are not two things that go together, are they? I mean, how could anyone smile when dying? Who would prefer death to life so much that death makes them happy? In any case, it’s a morbid thought that I don’t really want to be thinking about now. I try to push it out of my mind by raising the volume on the radio.

As I move my eyes back to the road, I notice this kid free himself from his mother’s hand and run right onto the middle of the road. I step hard on the brakes and feel the car going into a slide. I frantically pump the brakes and turn the steering wheel in circles as I see the concrete wall looming near. Things seem to move in slow motion as the car crashes into the wall and I am sprayed with a million glass pieces from the broken windshield. The impact knocks me out of the car, the seatbelt torn from the buckles, and I hit the ground with a thud. As I lie on the ground, blood streaming down my face, I look around to find the kid. He's being scolded by his mother and he’s crying. But he's unhurt. As my eyes close, I finally understand. And I smile.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Route Clear!

[Pic Courtesy Indiaglitz]

Surya's sister Brindha got married today morning. As always, the event was attended by many film personalities and Indiaglitz has an extensive gallery for those interested in stargazing. In the photos, I could spot Jayalalitha, Ilaiyaraja, Ajith & Shalini, Sarathkumar & Radhika, Aishwarya(Mrs. Dhanush) and Satyaraj & Sibi. BbThots was represented by regular reader Rekhs :-)

So Surya sir, ungalukku route clear. Seekkiram JOra, JOllya oru JOdiya kai pudichidunga sir ;-)

Kung fu Hustle Wins

Kung fu Hustle, definitely one of the most enjoyable movies I have seen recently, has won the Best Film title at the Golden Horse awards, the Chinese language version of the Oscars. The film was nominated in 10 categories and won five, including best director for Stephen Chow and best supporting actress for Yuen Qiu, who played the landlady.

Friday, November 11, 2005

4 New Reviews

Reviews for Majaa, Sivakasi, Mazhai and Kicha Vayasu 16 are now online at bbreviews.

PS: IT, which had initially warned that my hard drive was irreparably damaged, successfully brought my laptop back to life this week. So my reviews, templates, etc. are now back in my possession(and backed up!). Thanks to Saravan and the Talkative Man for their suggestions.

Friday Jumble - 9

Unscramble the 4 words to fill in the boxes. Then unscramble only the circled letters to answer the riddle at the bottom.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Teaching Daddy...

My daughter is currently learning to read two-letter combinations in her pre-school. The last couple of days, whenever I asked her to tell me what sound 'th' or 'sh' made, she always followed up her answer with "Its a digraph, appa". I initially assumed that she was talking about some unrelated word that she had happened to pick up from school. I'll even admit to thinking, a tad condescendingly, that her overactive imagination had combined the words 'tiger' and 'giraffe' to come up with a name for an exotic new animal in the forest!

But her repeated usage of the word whenever I asked her the question convinced me look it up on the internet. Turns out its I who could be accused of having an overactive imagination since digraph is the correct name for a pair of letters used to write one sound! I did not know that.

So years after burying myself in the Barron's guide while preparing for GRE's verbal section and after devouring several books, a new word just got added to my vocabulary courtesy my 4 year-old daughter. Just goes to show that one's never too old to learn and more importantly, one's never too young to learn from...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Parineeta is an extremely well-made, classy love story. It deals with the age-old theme of love but its different in the sense that its a love story whose characters never express their love. The movie relies on its characters bottling up their emotions inside their hearts and manages to touch our hearts in the process.

Shekar(Saif Ali Khan), a music composer, and Lolita(Vidya Balan) have been friends since childhood. They both sense that their feelings for the other have been transformed from friendship but are reluctant to express them. Meanwhile, Lolita’s uncle has mortgaged their house to Shekar’s father, who is a businessman first and a friend next. Girish (Sanjay Dutt), the London-born brother of a family friend, seems like a knight in shining armor when he offers solutions to Lolita’s problems.

Parineeta is proof that its the way a story is handled rather than the story itself that matters in the end. The movie's story is a familiar love triangle with familiar elements(like childhood friends becoming lovers a la Piriyaadha Varam Vendum). But the movie still seems fresh because of the way the love stories are handled. The romance between Saif and Vidya and Sanjay Dutt's feelings for Vidya are both understated and handled with class. While the former makes us smile with the pair's unspoken feelings, the latter makes us smile with some sweet moments.

The movie wouldn't have been as successful if it handled just the romance well. Almost every key scene in the film has multiple layers of emotions as people put on a façade to hide their true feelings, be it happiness, love, anger or jealousy. But the director lets the audience understand these through the actors’ smiles, expressions and body language rather than spelling them out. So the movie is always restrained but still very emotional because of the realization that some strong emotions are bubbling just under the surface.

For a movie whose characters did such a good job of internalizing emotions, the climax is disappointingly loud. With Saif breaking down a wall and the people around him cheering him on, the sequence seemed more suited for an underdog-turns-winner sports story rather than a mellow love story.

Saif Ali Khan puts in a very mature performance as the hot-headed man unable to deal with either his love or his jealousy the right way. Vidya Balan looks gorgeous in some scenes and rather pale in others. But she has very expressive eyes and puts them to good effect, especially when she is angry but unable to express it in words. Sanjay Dutt is dignified though his droopy eyes make him look like he has a hangover when the effect he is probably going for is sadness. The most loveable actor though is the one who plays Vidya’s uncle. His naiveté and innocence are very endearing and his whole face seems to light up when expressing happiness. There are a few scenes, where he expresses joy unmindful of the other person's feelings, that are just superb. The actor playing Saif’s father is perfectly cast too and has an air of sophisticated villainy.

This is the first Hindi film in a long time where I haven’t fast-forwarded the songs. The numbers blend perfectly into the film and the lyrics are situational and apt too. Though I haven't heard the songs before, they all seemed very catchy and pleasing to the ear. The movie also looks gorgeous with its lavish settings and extravagant costumes.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rajni Wishes Kamal!

Vijay TV had a half-hour program featuring famous personalities' thoughts on Kamal to mark his birthday yesterday. Prabhu has a brief summary of the program for those who missed it (I was among the unlucky ones).

According to Prabhu, "[Rajni's segment] was the best and very touchy. Those who saw it will agree with me, that Rajni spoke from the bottom of his heart! Rajni said most of the actors take acting casually and dont spend much effort. Whereas Kamal stresses a lot, does research and takes lots of pain when it comes to acting, irrespective of his role! And this always amazes Rajni it seems. As his good friend and fan, he wants to see many more such roles from Kamalhasssan. He wished that Dasavatharam is a big hit for kamal, like what chandramukhi was for him."

Added Maverick in the comments, "As a friend and fan of Kamal, he wants to see more of Kamal in ‘Indian’ , ‘Nayagan’, ‘Aboorva Sagodharargal’ kinda movies."

Spoken like a true Superstar! That is 1 program I am real sad I missed :-(


[Pic Courtesy BusinessWeek]

The latest issue of BusinessWeek looks at how the Swedish furniture store Ikea has become a global brand. According to the article, “Ikea World is a state of mind that revolves around contemporary design, low prices, wacky promotions, and an enthusiasm that few institutions in or out of business can muster.” We’ve been to the Palo Alto store a few times and I couldn’t agree more. The article looks at the company’s brand management, marketing, philosophy and strategy and makes for very interesting reading.

As in the case of most couples, my wife I have completely different tastes when it comes to shopping. Stores like Macy’s and Gap tend to be my wife’s favorite haunts while I could spend hours just walking around Best Buy or Fry’s Electronics. But Ikea is one of those rare stores where both the wife and I (and our daughter!) enjoy shopping. With a friendly atmosphere, a cafeteria and several children’s play areas, the store keeps everyone in the family happy.

Ikea is essentially a furniture store but a few minutes inside the store are all you need to understand the “differentiation” they’ve managed to bring to that rather staid business. You walk into other stores with an idea of what you want but when you walk into Ikea, you get new ideas. Unlike other stores that separate furniture based on type (sofas in 1 section, bookcases in another and so on), Ikea sets up entire rooms with its furniture in place. So you actually walk into fully furnished rooms. And these rooms are furnished with everything down to wall-hangings, pen holders, clocks and table lamps. So, as the article says, “you end up buying things you never knew you needed but at less than $2 each you load up on them anyway!”

Ikea also differs from other stores in how much it makes you work! In a marketplace where stores compete in making things easier for the customer, Ikea is as close as one can get to a “do-it-yourself” store. You take the measurements, you get the things(usually unfinished) you want from the warehouse, you haul them to the car, you assemble them at home and you paint them to look like you want them to! This might look like a bad thing but I'm guessing that this is what helps them keep costs(and hence, prices) so low.

With this kind of a unique shopping experience, it should come as no surprise that along with the Golden Gate, Crooked Street, the 17-mile drive and other sights the Bay Area has to offer, the Ikea store too has become a must-see for visitors from India!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Happy Birthday Kamal

Learned first from Aparna’s blog that today, November 7, is Kamal’s birthday. Heartfelt birthday wishes to the one true all-rounder in Tamil cinema; the man without whom we wouldn’t have had Naayagan, Hey Ram, Indian, Thevar Magan, Aboorva Sagodharargal, Moondraam Pirai, Salangai Oli or any of those other movies that took Tamil cinema a small step up and made its fans, a bit more proud.

Tamil cinema is lucky to have you Kamal… Wish you a Very Happy Birthday!

Sunday, November 06, 2005


To me, the word that best describes Majaa is 'ordinary'. It has all ingredients, like romance, comedy, sentiments and fights, that go towards making a masala movie. But none of these are done to the point of being arresting. That might work for a small movie with modest ambitions. But when you have a popular hero and a movie that is accompanied by a bit of hype, the blandness just doesn't cut it. Ofcourse, since it has all the ingredients and a capable cast that doesn't make a mess of them, Majaa is entertaining. But just barely.

Govindan(Manivannan) and his two adopted sons Aadhi(Pasupathy) and Madhi(Vikram), are now reformed thieves, determined to earn an honest living in another village. But when their lorry breaks down halfway, they are forced to stay in the house of Chidambaram(Vijayakumar), who is buried under a mountain of debts. Aadhi and Madhi go about freeing Chidambaram from the clutches of Kaalinga Raayar(Murali). Aadhi falls for Chidambaram's daughter Selvi(Anu Prabhakar) while Raayar's daughter Seetha(Asin) falls for Madhi.

The film has a hero easy to root for, a charming heroine and a good supporting cast. But inspite of this it fails to get cracking since all aspects of it are muted. Its romance is limited since Vikram is, as far I could see, never in love with Asin and she falls for him for all the wrong reasons. Its comedy is never sustained enough to result in any funny sequences of substantial length. It only raises a few chuckles because of Pasupathy, his broken English and his behavior around Anu Prabhakar. Its sentiments are light and mostly treated with a comic touch. And its fights, barring a couple at the end, are ho-hum. Put them together and you should get an idea of why the movie doesn't really rise above the ordinary as a whole.

Though quite predictable and rather simplistic, the film's story has enough meat to keep the movie moving. The comedy, sentiments and romance keep us engaged since they usually occur in quick succession. So though they are individually weak, none of them last long enough to make us bored. As a result, very few scenes seem to run on for longer than necessary and Majaa manages to keep the viewer engaged.

Majaa completely lacks what I like to call high points. These are sequences, usually in masala movies, that raise our adrenaline and get us involved a bit more in the film. So even if the rest of the movie is ordinary, the movie keeps moving forward on the energy of these scenes(the pre-intermission scene in Baasha, the subway fight in Run and the election booth sequence in Dhool would be some examples). Majaa, on the other hand, flows at a steady pace with no real highs, be it in the romance, the comedy or the fights. Watching it is like driving a car on cruise control. You can sit back and relax but there is a real danger that you might fall asleep at the wheel!

Majaa might have let go of chances of raising both the comedy and the sentiment quotient by starting too late in the lives of its characters. When we first meet Manivannan and his two sons, they are reformed and we then learn of their closeness through bits of dialog scattered throughout the film. But the few scenes of their lives as thieves during the Podhumadaa Saami... song late in the film are very funny and give a hint of what could have been. A segment on their 'pre-reformed' lives might have given the movie a funny start, apart from providing a more solid foundation for their bonding.

Vikram is rough and tough throughout, getting almost no chance for romance. Pasupathy is the surprise package and almost the life of the movie. He makes us push aside his villainous face and image and smile and root for his shy romance to be a success. His expressive face suits comedy just as well as it suited villainy and full credit goes to Kamal for first finding him and then uncovering a new facet of his talent. Asin looks very pretty in most scenes(loose hair suits her much better than a ponytail or other tied-up hairstyles) but after a fiery start(where she gets to whack Vikram on the back), is relegated to the sidelines. Inspite of trying hard, Biju Menon's face just isn't able to convey the menace required to be an effective villain. Vadivelu raises a few chuckles and Murali seems uncomfortable initially before his character changes around.

I've always felt Vikram has a very poor dress sense for song sequences and the first dress he wears for the Solli Tharavaa... sequence has to be the worst so far. The sad part is that that is the stand out part of the otherwise unimaginatively picturised duet. Chee Chee...'s clean picturization belies the sensuous nature of the song's lyrics. In fact the movie on the whole is one of the cleanest in recent times and is the first movie I remember in a while where the heroine and even the item number actress(Sindhu Tolani, who joins Vikram for Thai Maasam...) don't expose their navels! Hey Pangaali...'s picturization manages to match the high energy of the song itself.

There are quite a few fights but the standout is the fight between Vikram and Pasupathy in the mud. Both actors seem to have done most of it without stunt doubles and it shows on screen. The climactic fight is also well mounted though it seems to go on for too long.

Majaa is rather saadhaa!

Saturday, November 05, 2005


My laptop crashed last Wednesday and I heard from IT yesterday that there wasn't much hope of retrieving the data on its hard disk. Didn't affect my work too much since I had little work-related stuff on there. But I did lose my collection of reviews(over the last 2 years) and templates used on bbreviews. Sure they are online but as of now I don't think geocities provides any easy way of downloading multiple files from its site. If any other geocities users know of a way, tips for the same would be greatly appreciated :-)

Of more immediate concern, I did lose the reviews of Mazhai and Kundakka Mandakka before I had a chance to upload them to the site. Hence the lack of updates yesterday. Add to that reviews for a couple of movies(Majaa, Kichaa Vayasu 16) I plan to see this week and there should hopefully be a pretty big update to bbreviews next Friday.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday Jumble - 8

Unscramble the four words to fill in the boxes. Then unscramble the circled letters to answer the riddle at the bottom.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Asin's Screening Policy

Rediff has an interview with Asin, the current darling of Kodambakkam, and one of the things she said during the interview really caught my eye - “First, I look at the story, then my character, the director and the banner. The last criterion is the hero.” Having seen Sivakasi, Asin’s seemingly strict screening policy led me to imagine how the conversation would’ve gone when she was approached by Perarasu for Sivakasi.

Perarasu: Asin, I’ve come to see if you want to be heroine in my next movie Sivakasi.

Asin: Welcome sir. I would love to do the film but I have a few rules about the movies I accept. Most important to me is the story. What is the story of your movie?

Perarasu: The hero is an orphan but we reveal later that he has a family back in his village. So he goes back to his village to set things right.

Asin: Thats such an original story. And though you never mentioned a heroine, it sounds like a story where the heroine has a lot of scope.

Perarasu: It does?! *makes mental note to reduce heroine's 'scope', whatever that may be*

Asin: Now how about my character?

Perarasu: Initially you wear modern dresses but after the chauvinistic hero rudely and vulgarly tells you that your dressing is responsible for perverts brushing against you, you start wearing sarees and fall in love with him.

Asin: Such an interesting and sensible character. I’m sure Ramadoss and the Dalit Panthers would be happy with it too. Tell me more…

Perarasu: You also agree to sleep with the hero to prove your love though you don’t know if he loves you and you get slapped when you ask him some practical questions.

Asin: What a wonderful role! I’ve been waiting to play a character like this. Who’s the genius director who came up with this role?

Perarasu: Me!

Asin: Great! But I only take on movies with good directors. How many movies have you directed so far?

Perarasu: I’ve directed only 1 movie Tiruppaachi.

Asin: Tiruppaachi? That movie didn’t have any heroine, right?

Perarasu: Sure it did. Remember Trisha? She came in a couple of scenes in the first half and danced in the duets?

Asin: Oh, those were duets? I thought they were item numbers... Anyway, which banner is producing the film?

Perarasu: A.M.Rathnam’s Sri Surya Movies.

Asin: Oh my God! So is Ravikrishna going to be the hero then?

Perarasu: No, its Vijay.

Asin: Whew! OK, I'm convinced. Where do I sign?


And while on the topic of interviews, here are a couple of other statements that made me laugh…

Perarasu – “Sivakasi is not a typical Vijay film”

Nayanthara – “Doing glamour roles is no harm as long as it doesn't portray me in a obscene way”