Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

Wish you all a very happy New Year! Here's hoping for a wonderful 2006...

4 New Reviews

Reviews for Sandakkozhi, Kanda Naal Mudhal, Thavamaai Thavamirundhu and Vetrivel Sakthivel are online at bbreviews.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Kanda Naal Mudhal

I described the soundtrack of Kanda Naal Mudhal as a "delight". Until the intermission, it appears as if the same term could be used to describe the film also. But what transpires on screen after the break dashes that hope. What starts off as an enjoyable, different film eventually ends up as a pale copy of countless other romances.

Krishna(Prasanna) and Ramya(Laila) have been at each other's throats at every occasion they met in the past. Now they come face to face again when Krishna accompanies his US-returned friend Arvind(Karthik) to finalize Arvind's alliance, for the girl they go to see is none other than Ramya. Krishna tries to poison Arvind's mind against Ramya but Ramya does the job herself when she tries to act as someone she is not. That irritates Arvind, who tells her the marriage is off. But Ramya believes it is Krishna who has sabotaged her marriage and her hatred for him increases even more.

Kanda Naal Mudhal is a love story that is undone by love! The movie is youthful and fun as long as none of the characters are in love. It creates likeable characters, fashions interactions between them in an interesting way and creates a knot that looks like it will be fun to unravel. But once love enters the picture, the film stumbles badly. It loses track of what made the first half so enjoyable and turns mushy, cinematic and cliched.

The first half is interesting because it has familiar players in the field but they end up playing a different game. With two men and a woman, the story has the elements of a love triangle but plays out differently. With the fights between Prasanna and Laila and the drama between Karthik and Laila, it proceeds interestingly. The above two factors also lend themselves to comedy and this has been exploited in a subtle manner. Laila's posing as a possible doormat wife Karthik's exasperation at the same and Prasanna's attempts to reveal the truth lead to some very funny moments.

But after Karthik is almost out of the picture, the film becomes completely predictable. And thats not its only problem. There are several rather silly sequences(the one with Prasanna and Laila in the middle of the road takes the cake) and the dialogs, which were natural and funny so far, turn overly sentimental and artificial.

Its pretty amazing that when a film takes a turn for the worse, all aspects of it seem to be affected. I'm talking about the picturization of the song sequences here. The first few songs like Erimalai Naane... and Kookoovena... are picturized very differently and interestingly. Even Pushing It Hard..., my least favorite of the songs, is picturized in a humorous manner and is placed at a suitable point. But the second half sees both Merke Merke... and Panithuli... picturized very unimaginatively. The former is also awkwardly placed while the latter starts off as a seemandham song before turning into a weak duet. There is another song, sung very badly by Yuvan(I think) that was not part of the soundtrack.

Prasanna gets another role that suits his strength - subtle comedy. He has this ability to say funny things with a straight face and that is very funny. Laila looks incredibly cute here, particularly in the scene where her marriage with Karthik is finalized. She is in her elements when she is fighting or playing for laughs but comes up short during the emotional scenes in the second half. Karthik fits the role of the US-return and his accent sounds true. Among the 2 seniors, Revathi seems more natural compared to Lakshmi, who always tends to overact.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Thavamaai Thavamirundhu

'Dad' is a rather sorry figure in Tamil cinema. He is typically the hen-pecked, doormat husband hiding from his wife and pampering his daughter in secret or the strict father chiding his good-for-nothing, teenage son and in return, being insulted by him(and his friends!). Cheran sets things right and gives 'Dad' his due with Thavamaai Thavamirundhu - his ode to a father's love. It is a beautiful, emotional film that touches our hearts and reminds us of the power of meaningful, good cinema.

Muthaiya's(Rajkiran) entire world revolves around his two sons Ramanathan and Ramalingam. His only aim in life is to see them get a good education and towards this end he is forced to supplement the meagre income from his printing press with ever-increasing debts. But neither of his two sons end up the way he wanted them to. Ramanathan moves to the city with his shrew of a wife while Ramalingam(Cheran), whose lover Vasanthi(Padmapriya) becomes pregnant after their moment of passion, takes her to Chennai to attempt to start a life on their own.

Cheran has an uncanny knack of making his films seem like a slice of real life. Thavamaai Thavamirundhu is unabashedly sentimental but presents the sentiments with a quietness and subtlety that touches our hearts. There is no loud melodrama but the silence in many places has a much bigger impact than words or tears ever could have.

Tamil cinema and realism don't go hand in hand but we've still had the occasional realistic film (Kaadhal comes to mind). But Thavamaai Thavamirundhu is effective in its own way because it reminds us of our own lives. By firmly grounding his film in reality, Cheran manages to hold our hands and take us down different points in our own memory lane as his film's characters grow up. When Rajkiran takes his sons to school on his cycle, I could see my dad taking me to school on his scooter years ago. And when Cheran's daughter says that she doesn't want an injection when they are at the hospital, I could hear my daughter saying the same thing just a few days ago. It is this ability to capture real life so accurately that makes the film so special and powerful.

For a director who gave a near-masterpiece of romance in Autograph, the romance here seems to start off on the wrong foot. It feels awkward and cinematic, two words that never applied to any segment of the previous film. But the romance is pretty shortlived as Cheran and Padmapriya soon get to tackle the real world a la Kaadhal. The segment is stark and realistic in its own way but the fact that we want the film to get back to Rajkiran is a testament to the power of the portrayal of the father-son relationship so far in the movie.

Movies with a similar theme usually have the sufferer(usually parents or the elder brother) struggle until the very end or strike out on their own to teach a lesson to the people who let them down. But Thavamaai Thavamirundhu takes a different but very realistic path as Rajkiran and Saranya get to enjoy the sunset years of their life in the exact way they had wished to. This leads to an absolutely exhilarating hour of cinema. We have come to love them so much that we feel happy when they feel happy. I watched this entire hour with a smile on my lips and a tear in my eye.

This is not a movie for the impatient. It has a leisurely pace. But the slowness is necessary for the strong emotions, both stated and unstated, to sink in. This is not a movie you watch but a movie you experience. For instance, as the camera captures the intimate details of the printing process, what we are seeing is not just the process but the hardship Rajkiran is undergoing to make sure he has money at the end of the day. But at the same time, there are a couple of places where Cheran seems a little too self-indulgent. Some judicious editing could have eliminated the few places where the movie seems to be dragging its feet.

Rajkiran is simply phenomenal in the role of Muthaiya. His soft and soothing voice proves to be capable of conveying love and affection by itself and his body language is just perfect. His laughter is guileless and his sadness is heartbreaking. Saranya, though in the sidelines most of the time, provides able support. In a reversal of the usual roles, it is she who is the more practical of the two and her unhappiness with her first daughter-in-law results in more than a few laughs. Cheran is content to play a supporting role but is convincing in the role of a man who only gradually realizes his father's importance in his life. Padmapriya is more convincing as the struggling wife and the dutiful daughter-in-law than as the college girl. Most of the other characters are new faces and they do their jobs adequately.

Sabesh Murali rise to the occasion admirably. Enna Solgiraai... is a beautiful melody and both its tune and its lyrics reflect the moment. The other songs blend well into the film too.

Thank You Cheran!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Executive Decision

A conversation between my wife and me when we were on our way to lunch on Saturday...

Me: Where can we go to lunch?
She: You can pick the place today.
Me: *surprised* Oh, OK. Lets have Mexican.
She: Nah, I don't feel like stuffing myself with cheese today.
Me: Then lets go to IHOP. Its been awhile since we ate there.
She: I can never find anything good to eat over there.
Me: OK, what do you feel like having?
She: I want to have Indian food.
Me: OK. We can go to Saravana Bhavan.
She: We always go there. We should eat somewhere else today.
Me: Do you have a place in mind?
She: We should go to Udipi Palace. Its been awhile and they have a good lunch buffet.
Me: OK!

I'm so glad I still get to make the decisions in my house :)


The above conversation also reminded me of a joke I read a long time ago.

Man 1: Are you the boss in your house?
Man2: Yep. My wife's told me to say so!

Sivaji Update

A pic[thanks Maverick] from Sivaji's shooting spot. According to the accompanying Tamil newspaper article, Rajni plays a dual role of father and son in the film and the son appears in various getups to take revenge on the people who jailed his father unfairly. This getup,with a hairstyle reminding us of the Rajni of the 80s, is supposed to be for the disguise of a Railways officer.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Tamil Cinema Quiz Answers

Thank you for the enthusiastic response to the quiz (I did get a few more emails than I expected). One of the pleasant surprises was getting responses from people who I didn't know read my blog. I enjoyed reading the answers and have individually responded to everybody who sent me an email. So do let me know if you sent me the answers but did not get a reply.

Now for the answers...

1. Thillu Mullu is said to be the film in which these two actors shared the screen for the last time. Since then, films of the two actors releasing on the same day is the closest we’ve come to seeing them in action together (after a long gap, that happened in 2005). But the two actors did appear together on the screen in one movie as late as 1999. Name the two actors and the film.

The actors are Rajnikanth and Kamalhassan(Kamal had a cameo as a lawyer in Thillu Mullu). The 1999 film in which they appeared together on the screen was Suyamvaram. This was the film that was shot in 24 hours and both Rajni and Kamal lighted the kuthuvilakku to signal its start. This was shown during the credits :)

2. The heroes of Tamil cinema get to be young forever while the heroines quickly graduate to playing roles even beyond their ages. Consider this actor-actress pair for instance. Over the span of 16 years (1975 to 1991), the actress has played the actor’s wife, sister, mother-in-law and mother. Name the actor, actress and atleast one of the movies each of those relationships was portrayed in.

The actor is Rajnikanth and the actress is Srividya. The two played husband & wife in Aboorva Raagangal, brother & sister in Manidhan, mother-in-law & son-in-law in Maappillai and mother & son in Thalapathi.

One of the popular answers for this question was Rajni and Sujatha. While I know she has acted as Rajni's wife(Avargal) and as his mother(Uzhaippaali), I'm not aware of any movies where she has played his mother-in-law or his sister.

3. This young actor actor debuted in a fairly successful 1996 movie (the heroine was a newcomer too and went on to become famous for her physical assets rather than her acting prowess) but is still struggling to find a foothold in the industry. He could take tips from his father, who has been around for more than 2 decades playing many different roles – hero, villain, supporting actor, etc. The actor and his father have appeared in only 1 film together so far. Name the actor, his father and the film.

The actor is Arunkumar, son of Vijayakumar. The two acted together in Paandavar Bhoomi.

As for the other trivia in the question, the "fairly successful 1996 movie" was Priyam and the heroine in that was Manthra.

4. This director is now the king of masala in Tamil cinema, having delivered 3 huge box-office hits in the last 4 years. But he entered the industry rather quietly in 1999, directing a political thriller under his original name. The film, which never made it to the theaters, could be classified as a political thriller and was distinctly unlike his subsequent 3 movies. Name the director, his original name and that first film.

The director is Dharani, the man behind Dhill, Dhool and Gilli. The political thriller he directed in 1999, under his original name V.C.Ramani, was the Napoleon-Mammootty starrer Edhirum Pudhirum.

A few of the emails mentioned that Edhirum Pudhirum was released. I thought it never made it to the theaters since I didn't read a single review of the film at the time that I saw it on VCD. This article also says "unreleased debut". But if it was indeed released, then yes, that was an error in the question. My apologies...

5. All it takes is a single film to turn one’s image around. Consider these 2 actresses. The first went unnoticed in a deglamorized role in a 1993 flop while the second was introduced in a glamorous role and even did a vampish dance number in a Satyaraj starrer. But both underwent image makeovers in 1996. While the former became a sex symbol by letting her skirt fly high a la Marilyn Monroe in a big hit, the latter became the epitome of the homely heroine after a superhit. The new images of the actresses were clear when they played sisters in love with the same man in a 1998 film. Name the two actresses and the film they appeared together in.

The two actresses are Devayani and Rambha. The film they appeared together in was Ninaithen Vandhaai, where they played sisters in love with Vijay.

As for the rest of the trivia, Rambha appeared in the '93 flop Uzhavan while Devayani showed no signs of her homely side in movies like Thottachinungi and Sivasakthi, the Satyaraj-starrer. Rambha turned sex symbol in Ullathai Alli Thaa while Devayani adopted a homely image in Kaadhal Koattai, both of which were released in 1996.


Karthik, Bart, Sandya and Ram got all the answers correct...

Hope answering this was as much fun for u all as creating it was for me :)

Friday, December 23, 2005

2 New Reviews

Reviews for Aanai and Anbe Vaa are online at bbreviews.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

2005 Box Office

Sify has come out with the final box-office tally for 2005. No surprises on the first four entries in the list. We know that Chandramukhi has been breaking BO records and the fact it is the biggest hit in Tamil cinema history made sure there was no suspense about the top spot on the list of 2005's moneyspinners. The fact that Anniyan and Ghajini were superhits was no surprise either and with reports (and claims from both Vijay and Perarasu) that Tiruppaachi was an even bigger hit than Gilli, its place on the list was a given.

But the fifth entry came as a surprise to me. Was Arindhum Ariyaamalum really that big a hit? I knew the movie got good reviews and was a hit but its superhit tag comes as a surprise. So it was a bigger hit than movies like Raam, Kanaa Kanden and Ullam Ketkume?

When I saw AA, I liked it but didn't exactly see it as becoming a commercial hit. It had a regular start that laid the foundation for a common-man-against-dada story but followed it up with a nice twist that made the second half very unexpected in both plot and tone. I liked the surprise and the new direction the story took but I thought the change in tone(to comedy) after setting the viewers up for action would disappoint viewers. I guess it didn't! And Yuvan's chartbusting music couldn't have hurt.

The director, Vishnuvardhan, was the same guy behind the irritating Kurumbu and AA was a big step up for him. I read somewhere a little while back that he would be directing Vikram next. But he has recently started Pattiyal with Arya, Bharath, Pooja and Padmapriya. Not surprisingly, Yuvan will be scoring the music again. I said in my AA review, "if he follows this trajectory, his next film will be something to look forward to". So I guess I'll be looking forward to Pattiyal :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Andrum Indrum

Monday, December 19, 2005

Tamil Cinema Quiz

When IMDb turned 15, quizmaster Anti commemorated the same with an interesting 5-question trivia quiz. I did participate in that one and got all 5 answers right(with IMDb's help ofcourse). To celebrate the same, here's my attempt at an Anti-style quiz on Tamil cinema. For all 5 questions, intermediate or final answers can be found on bbreviews.

1. Thillu Mullu is said to be the film in which these two actors shared the screen for the last time. Since then, films of the two actors releasing on the same day is the closest we’ve come to seeing them in action together (after a long gap, that happened in 2005). But the two actors did appear together on the screen in one movie as late as 1999. Name the two actors and the film.

2. The heroes of Tamil cinema get to be young forever while the heroines quickly graduate to playing roles even beyond their ages. Consider this actor-actress pair for instance. Over the span of 16 years (1975 to 1991), the actress has played the actor’s wife, sister, mother-in-law and mother. Name the actor, actress and atleast one of the movies each of those relationships was portrayed in.

3. This young actor actor debuted in a fairly successful 1996 movie (the heroine was a newcomer too and went on to become famous for her physical assets rather than her acting prowess) but is still struggling to find a foothold in the industry. He could take tips from his father, who has been around for more than 2 decades playing many different roles – hero, villain, supporting actor, etc. The actor and his father have appeared in only 1 film together so far. Name the actor, his father and the film.

4. This director is now the king of masala in Tamil cinema, having delivered 3 huge box-office hits in the last 4 years. But he entered the industry rather quietly in 1999, directing a political thriller under his original name. The film, which never made it to the theaters, could be classified as a political thriller and was distinctly unlike his subsequent 3 movies. Name the director, his original name and that first film.

5. All it takes is a single film to turn one’s image around. Consider these 2 actresses. The first went unnoticed in a deglamorized role in a 1993 flop while the second was introduced in a glamorous role and even did a vampish dance number in a Satyaraj starrer. But both underwent image makeovers in 1996. While the former became a sex symbol by letting her skirt fly high a la Marilyn Monroe in a big hit, the latter became the epitome of the homely heroine after a superhit. The new images of the actresses were clear when they played sisters in love with the same man in a 1998 film. Name the two actresses and the film they appeared together in.


Answers can be emailed to bbalaji [at] sbcglobal [dot] net.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Yaaru Theriyudhaa?

A Movie Wishlist

Ever since Kavya and Karthik were born, our movie watching has been restricted to the small screen except for the high-profile Tamil releases and the occasional Hollywood release. But 'tis the season for wishing (and hopefully, getting!). So in the spirit of the season, here are 4 movies that I wish I could catch on the big screen before the year-end.

Thavamaai Thavamirundhu
Cheran's film finally made to the screens this weekend here in the Bay Area. It has received high praise all around (though my wife and my parents, who have seen it, echoed the similar opinion that it was "slow but good" but still felt that the sky-high praise was a bit too much). I have always been a fan of Cheran and absolutely loved Autograph. So no surprise that this is on top of my wishlist.

Spielberg's film, on the killing of 11 Israeli athletes at the '72 Munich Olympics and the subsequent attempts by the Israeli Secret Service to capture the Palestinian killers, is opening this Friday. Berardinelli has called it the best film of the year while it is pretty clear that Ebert's review is gonna be an eulogy too, considering that he has ranked it third on his Top 10 list for 2005. Its been awhile since I caught a Spielberg film in the theaters and this looks like a good one with which to break the streak.

King Kong
Hollywood usually reserves some of its big guns for year-end and this film seems to be the biggest gun of 'em all this year. This 2nd remake by Peter Jackson, who more than proved his skill at directing big-budget epics with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, has received uniformly good reviews all around. Ebert has it in his Top 10 list and it looks to be a surefire entry in Berardinelli's list. Based on the trailers and the desciptions of the scenes in the reviews, it looks like the small screen just wouldn't do justice to the big ape.

In his past few movies, Mohanlal appeared to either follow the path of his Tamil peers by playing the larger-than-life dada or attempt to recapture the glory days of the 80s and 90s by starring in silly, slapstick comedies. Going by Sify's glowing review, he seems to be back to doing what he does best - acting - in this film. He is playing a down-to-earth, middle-class man afflicted with Alzheimer's disease and the review has called it his best performance since Vaanaprastham, for which he won the National award. The film is helmed by Blessy, who directed the critically and commercially praised Kaazhcha with Mammootty.

So my stocking's all hung up and ready!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Camel Club

The Camel Club finds David Baldacci in familiar territory - American politics. The books tends to be little rambling at times but is an engaging read.

The title refers to a group consisting of four conspiracy theorists - men who are convinced that the government is upto no good and whose only aim is to expose its wrongdoings. During one of their clandestine meetings, the men become eyewitnesses to the murder of a Secret Service agent. Their investigation into the murder makes them realize that they have stumbled onto a real conspiracy with far-reaching effects. An aging Secret Service agent becomes their ally as the club and the agent are independently drawn into the massive conspiracy.

Baldacci usually populates his novels with numerous characters and this book continues the tradition and even steps it up a notch. There are so many characters introduced in the first few chapters that I frequently had to refer back to their initial introductions to remember who they were. But the good guys are a likeable bunch. The four conspiracy theorists are unique and interesting and the Secret Service agent, who is nearing the end of his career, is human enough to earn our sympathy. The latter's romance is very cute.

The basic plot itself is quite complicated and the book definitely is not a light read. There are a lot of details on Middle Eastern politics and history, which at some places feels like Baldacci is showing off his research. But the details are admittedly necessary for us to understand the motivations of the people involved.

Baldacci uses obvious - and at times irritating - ways of prolonging the suspense but it works. We know that the bad guys are planning something big but using an MO that reminds us of Day of the Jackal, Baldacci gives us one piece at a time without revealing the big picture. We get tidbits about what each of the players are doing but not enough to understand the entire plan. This makes sure we keep turning the pages.

The final plan, though outrageous, isn't disappointing and its magnitude makes us feel the buildup was deserved. And its always fun seeing how the pieces fall into place. But the proceedings after the plan is executed are anti-climactic. The plan of the bad guys is more than a tad disappointing and though the last section is action-packed, it becomes a little too unbelievable. There is only one good surprise and things come together too conveniently.

Friday, December 16, 2005

3 New Reviews

Reviews for Aaru, ABCD and Kasturi Maan are online at bbreviews.

Friday Jumble - 11

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

Thursday, December 15, 2005

War of the Worlds

One of my favorite descriptions of War of the Worlds was given by James Berardinelli before the movie was released. He described the film as our chance to see how Spielberg would have handled Independence Day. The director, who showed aliens as our friends in both Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T, treads a more antagonistic path here, showing aliens who simply want to exterminate us. The film is definitely less silly and has a stronger emotional core than Independence Day. And that is because, inspite of all the technical wizardry, Spielberg doesn't forget the human element.

Tom Cruise plays a construction worker who is divorced and from the looks of it, not too sad about it. One weekend, he gets custody of the kids while his ex-wife goes to visit her current husband's family. His plans for the weekend are further killed when steaks of lightning cause giant tripods to come out of the ground and start eliminating the inhabitants of earth. So he tries to take his kids back to his wife.

The best part of the film is that it shows its hero as “one of us”. Sure the camera stays focused on him and he doesn’t get vaporized like guys next to him (after all, he is Tom Cruise!). But for almost the entire film, he is an everyman whose only goal is to stay alive. He runs away from the aliens, is almost lost among the escaping crowds and gives up in a fight when he is outnumbered. He does everything we would do if we were caught in the middle of an alien attack! Even when he performs a heroic act, it is to save his daughter and he depends on others to complete it.

The film is manipulative but skillfully so. Having Cruise’s young and helpless daughter tag along gives the film a strong emotional underpinning by giving us a character we start caring for very quickly. There is more tension in the single scene where Dakota is almost separated from Cruise, than in all the scenes of the aliens going on a destroying spree put together. And the gradual bonding between Cruise and her is nice. But Cruise’s son is an irritant, behaving too irrationally even for a rebellious teenager. The confrontations between Cruise and him counterbalance the strength of the emotions between Cruise and his daughter.

The movie lost me once it began to focus on the aliens rather than Cruise and his family. Their MO seems too unbelievable even for a sci-fi film and not much is offered by way of explanation. Their eventual motives and how they plan to go about it are also pretty hazy and I never really understood how they are eventually brought down. Independence Day may have been silly but atleast it was understandable. War of the Worlds, maybe intentionally, was too vague.

The human element is evident even on the technical side. Rather than focus on the aliens' attack, Spielberg opts to show us the devastation caused by the attack. The torn down building, the downed aeroplane and a creepy shot by the river all fall under that category.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Start Breaking the Code

For most readers of fiction(including this one), and quite a few non-readers too, I think, the most anticipated movie of 2006 is definitely going to be the movie adaptation of The Da Vinci Code. The first full-length trailer of the film is finally out and it looks gorgeous. But I'm still not convinced Hanks will make a good Langdon.

Best Kanna Best!

Businessweek has come out with their choices for the best products of 2005. Barring the iPod Nano and the XBox 360, none of the other products on the list were very obvious choices. And even more surprisingly, many were products I wouldn't buy even if I had the money(like a $350 golf ball finder!). But there are a few neat things in there. Here are 5 that sparked my interest...

- By logging on to, you can put your photo on a stamp thats valid for US mail. That would've been a nice novelty if I still wrote letters back home!

- In another example of personalization, you can have any 2 2-word phrases embossed on M&Ms. Talk about being sweetly personal!

- If you have kids who love playing in the water in the hot sun(are there any that don't?!), you'll love this. Coppertone has a spray sunscreen that goes on as a clear mist with no white streaks and no rubbing.

- These guys have a really lame ad on the radio but their product sounds interesting. Called Slingbox, you hook it up to your TV. You then install their software on your PC or laptop anywhere in the world and Slingbox will beam live broadcasts or recorded shows over the internet to your machine. Seems perfect for those boring nights in the hotel room when on an international business trip to a place like Japan.

- I'd love to see how Cyber-trainer works. Its a video workout program with something called an EyeToy camera which puts you on the TV screen next to a personal trainer who guides and assesses your program. With the right personal trainer, this one might finally get the couch potatoes off their butts!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Nope, this is not a plug for Cingular wireless! Its just excitement at the fact that Karthik has recently started turning over to lie on his tummy. After all, rolling over is a big achievement for him. He can now lift his neck and see stuff that he didn’t even know existed. I’m sure it has given him a whole new perspective on things.

Turning over is pretty much the first big full-body maneuver for him (as it is for any baby). So far he has smiled, reached out with his hands and grabbed and kicked his legs. But those actions seemed to happen naturally. Turning over is the first thing that he really tried to do. It wasn’t an easy ride though. There were a lot of painfully unsuccessful attempts as he was unable to push himself over his shoulder and fell back down, thumping the back of his head on the playmat. But he kept at it until he got the hang of it (wonder who he got that from… not me!).

Watching him roll over is as exciting for us as it is for him. The first rollover is a rather momentous occasion and I still remember, right down to the dress she was wearing, the first time Kavya achieved it. The anticipation as he turns to the side and then down and finally pushes himself over his shoulder… the excitement during the last ball of a cricket match or the thrill of the minutes leading upto Rajni’s introduction in a new movie don’t even come close!

He has now pretty much mastered the art. And he obviously likes it since anytime we leave him lying on his back for even a few seconds, he ends up on his tummy! But each time he turns over and then gives me that wide, toothless smile of victory, I understand the meaning of the word ‘perseverance’ all over again!

Sivaji Starts!

I owe Karthik one for this pic! The ad apparently came in The Hindu today marking the official start of Sivaji. I'm guessing this was one of the pics taken at the super-secret Mumbai photo-shoot. Thalaivar looks really cool with a slightly different look. A belated birthday gift for the rest of us :-)

The countdown begins...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Favorite Rajni Film Scenes - I

"The Unmasking" - Baasha

While Annamalai may be my favorite Rajni movie, Baasha is probably Rajni's most popular movie among fans and non-fans alike. Though featuring a larger-than-life role as always, the film had realistic violence rather than cartoonish stunts and lacked his trademark comedy or politics, which probably makes it the most universally liked Rajni film among his recent films.

While Rajni films are usually dismissed as disposable entertainment, it is undeniable that Baasha is a real trendsetter. Its story of a man living in anonymity before his very different past is revealed, has since been copied numerous times. But none of the imitations have come close to matching the power of intensity of the original.

My favorite is the pre-intermission scene where everyone finally learns that there's more to the meek auto-driver Maanickam than meets the eye. Everything in the movie builds up to this scene and it doesn't let us down. From the moment Rajni sees the blood on his sister's lips, the adrenaline starts flowing. And it never stops. We almost feel the impact of the punch as Rajni lashes out at the first henchman who approaches him and as he flips his shirt back and stands with his hands on his hips, we get goosebumps. The "Ulle Po!" to his brother is uttered with such fierceness that we flinch and the subsequent fight sequence is pretty raw and realistic. Finally, as Rajni utters the immortal line "Naan oru thadavai sonnaa... nooru thadavai sonnaa maadhiri" with the streetlamp shining only on him, the film announces the intermission on an incredible high.

Favorite Rajni Film Scenes - II

"The Election Result" - Annamalai

Annamalai is my favorite Rajni movie. It follows the Rajni formula but still manages to seem well-grounded in reality with memorable characters and non-melodramatic relationships that don't seem over-the-top. The hilarious comedy, great stunt sequences and measured political double entendres make it a really complete film.

My pick from a number of great scenes is the one where Rajni wins the Hotels Association Chief election and the fact that it has no dialogs is testimony to Rajni's charisma and screen presence. The scene has great buildup as we see only Rajni's feet walking up to the room even as the results are being announced and the door opens on cue, as his name is announced, to show him standing behind, smoking his cigar. He has our full attention as he walks up(in slo-mo ofcourse) to the head of the table and in a move that spells arrogance, blows smoke right into Sarathbabu's face. And he then sits down, crosses his legs and leans back in victory. Whew!

Whatever music director Deva's faults may be, he really had no equal in composing the background score for Rajni. This scene has mindblowing, soaring BGM that heightens the impact and perfectly hits the peak at the end.

Favorite Rajni Film Scenes - III

"The Warning" - Maappillai

Maappillai had a few firsts for Rajni - he spoke long lines for the first time, had his first dance sequence with fast steps(Unai thaan...) and appeared in a different getup(for the opening sequence) after a long break. Rajni, the mappillai, and Srividya, the mamiyar, have several confrontations in this box-office hit but the movie saves the best for last.

With no one but her money-hungry relatives around Srividya, Rajni warns her about the pitfalls ahead. But Srividya still harps on money and answers all Rajni's questions (about the things she can buy) with a "Vaanguven" until Rajni stumps her with a zinger on whether she can buy manjal-kungumam with money. And the following final line of the meeting is destined to make any Rajni fan go delirious

Srividya: Maappillai, naan thamizh naattukke Rani madhiri.

Rajni: Athai, neenga thamizh naattukke Rani madhiri. Naan thamizh naattukke...*wearing glasses after twirling them*... adha en vaayalaye solluvaanen!

Favorite Rajni Film Scenes - IV

"The Challenge" - Padaiyappa

Padaiyappa had enough scenes to satisfy Rajni fans who had been waiting 2 years too see their thalaivar on the big screen again. Ramya Krishnan as Nilambhari was perfect as the fiery, haughty temptress and Rajni's confrontations with her sizzled.

In this scene Rajni and Ramya meet after she blocks his way with her car and Rajni puts her in her place as only he can. Ramya challenges him that she would wed him and Rajni warns her to keep away. As Ramya removes her sunglasses and Rajni wears his with a flourish and a smile, it is pretty clear who the winner is. The film's oft-repeated one-liner "En Vazhi Thani Vazhi" provides the perfect finish to their conversation.

Favorite Rajni Film Scenes - V

"The Return" - Uzhaippaali

This scene occurs when Rajni returns to his house after learning that he is indeed the rightful heir to the house and its riches. To start off, he looks dashing in his suit, with his trademark sunglasses and the tilak on his forehead.

Uzhaippaali is rather lean on political double entendres but this one sequence makes up for that. The dialogs, which match what his character has been through, also manage to wonderfully parallel his real life ("Naan nethu koolikkaaran; innikku nadigan; naalaikku..."). And when he says, with his characteristic smile, "Naan saadhaarana manushan illa. Eeswaran... Kodeeswaran", its impossible not to clap!

Happy Birthday Rajni!

[Pics Courtesy, Chandramukhi website]

Birthday wishes to Rajnikanth, the Superstar of style, the king of Kodambakkam, the Baa(d)sha of the box office. But most importantly, the trendsetter who has been imitated but has never been(and will never be) matched.

Happy Birthday to the one and only thalaivar...

Yep... today, December 12, is Rajnikanth's birthday. Though he has already celebrated [thanks Kaps] it, its my turn today :-) So to celebrate the occasion, I will be counting down my top five favorite Rajni film scenes today. These are scenes that show us why he is the star that he is; scenes that showcase the larger-than-life (super)star in him; scenes that, for me, were well worth the price of admission.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


[Pic Courtesy Sify]

Blame Aaru on Tamil cinema's unwritten rule that refuses to accept a hero as a mass hero unless he plays a rowdy. Vijay did it(and still keeps doing it!). Ajith did it. Vikram did it. They all did it with varying degrees of success though. Surya did it disastrously once before in Sree but now that Ghajini has put him on the verge of superstardom, he has predictably done it again. The itch to do such a role is by itself not surprising considering the prize but the vehicle he has chosen for satisfy that itch is disappointing.

Almost all movies featuring a rowdy as the hero(the last one being Thotti Jaya) have a pretty standard storyline of the loyal rowdy eventually turning against his master and Aaru doesn't deviate from this one bit. Here Aarumugam(Surya) gets not one but four masters - brothers Viswanathan(Ashish Vidyarthi), Boominathan(Rajkapoor), Loganathan and Jagannathan. Mahalakshmi(Trisha) is the rich college girl in love with him. When Aaru, who treats the four as his brothers, realizes rather harshly that they consider him as little more than an expendable commodity, he turns on them.

Aaru is not too sure about where exactly it should fit in. On one hand, it is too violent to be a crowd-pleasing, masala film. On the other hand, it has too many commercial ingredients to be called a gritty, realistic film about a rowdy. In the end, it lurches between the two, with episodic scenes of gratuitous, brutal violence interleaved with a filmi romance and sparingly funny comedy.

Unless Sivakasi figures among your favorite movies of the year, you should starting watching Aaru only after the first quarter. After a good introduction for Surya, the film stoops very low as it lays the groundwork for later happenings. This section of the film is loud, crass and vulgar, with two duppanguthu numbers, crude jokes and double entendres galore.

A heart-wrenching incident eventually brings about an improvement in the film. Surya turns serious and as long as the focus remains on him and his mission, the movie works. He is a man on a mission and since he has 4 bad guys to take care of, he is able to get results immediately rather than play games with 1 villain or keep clashing with nameless henchmen. So the movie manages to maintain its pace though the comedy and romance still serve as regular speedbumps. But the villains' brutality and Surya's ways of dispensing revenge make sure that we never get a respite from the violence. This is one violent movie and Surya and Hari better have their heads checked for proclaiming that it is a "film for the entire family".

Surya and Trisha pretty much play a ping-pong match of romance as they keep loving and then rejecting each other one after the other. But the romance does manage to rise above the cliches of a rowdy-rich girl love story. It is not as cute as the romance in Dheena or as mature as the one in Thotti Jaya but it is developed in a pretty sensible fashion considering how mismatched the participants are. There are some tender moments that work and the couple's behavior remains sensible to their character arcs throughout.

Aaru is tolerable only because of Surya. He is convincing as the rowdy and inspite of mouthing foul language and spewing unprintable expletives, the likeability that he has earned in his last few movies manages to see him through. And inspite of all the shouting he does(some of which is indecipherable as he speaks too fast), it is clear that subtlety and quiet emotions are his strengths. The scene in a marriage hall and the scene where he quietly delivers a threat using one of the villains' cellphone confirm that. Trisha looks cute(or is it just that I've missed her?!) but her collection of expressions looks pretty small. Vadivelu has a pretty substantial role but there are only a few throw-away lines that raise some chuckles. Most of his episodes(like the one where he runs into people who seem to have survived big accidents) seem to be buiding up to a good finish but than fail because the punchline doesn't exist or is just too weak. Ishwarya, with her face darkened artificially, adds to the loudness with some crass language but I admit that she does so convincingly. The villains are pretty much indistinguishable from one another. Kalabhavan Mani once again proves that he is much better as a bad guy rather than an overacting comedian.

Aei Thottute Thottute... is the pick of the song sequences but thats mainly for its location. The barren landscape with the rock faces and the castle built right into the rock face provide a great backdrop (was the location the one used in the climax of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?). Dhrogam Dhrogam... provides a nice background for some sequences and the lyrics and the tune match Surya's anguish and intensity. The slow version of Nenjam Ennum... plays in the background while the fast version earns our irritation just because of the time it pops up.

Aaru is a ratha aaru.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Coming Soon - Aaru

[Pic Courtesy Sify]

For me, the most surprising thing about Aaru is how little buzz seems to be surrounding the film. We have a popular actor who is coming off the biggest hit in his career; a heroine who is the top heroine in the field right now; a director who gave a huge blockbuster hit just 2 years ago and hasn't really given any duds since then; a producer who, as a director, has proved that he knows the pulse of the viewers; and the ever-popular rowdy subject that allows one to squeeze in all the necessary commercial ingredients. Inspite of all these, the movie somehow seems rather low-key even on the eve of its release tomorrow. Not that that is going to affect my decision to see it this weekend :-)

Surya's Ghajini has proved to be a blockbuster in both Tamil and Telugu and the actor is at the peak of his career. He has had a string of roles that have earned him a good name, whatever be the movies' box-office fate, and he hasn't made a wrong move for quite a while now. On the other hand, heroine Trisha has been missing from Kodambakkam for a while now(her last movie was Tiruppaachi). She didn't have much competition but with Asin becoming a contender for the top spot with a single movie, Trisha needs to make sure she isn't forgotten completely. The two are coming together once again after Mounam Pesiyadhe, which was arguably the first movie in Surya's current success streak. Its a good pairing that is easy on the eyes.

But the movie's subject does give rise to some doubts. Surya is apparently playing a Chennai rowdy, Aarumugam, and the last time he did a similar role in Sree, the results weren't pleasant. But then again, Aaru is being helmed by Hari who directed the excellent Thamizh on the same subject. And while Kovil and Ayyaa didn't exactly set the box-office on fire, Saamy's huge success makes sure he can't be written off just yet. So I have my fingers crossed. Another plus point is that Aaru is produced by Saran, who has had many a box-office hit to his name. I'm sure he will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Shankar, who has tasted success as a producer too.

Aaru's disappointing soundtrack is probably a big reason for the low buzz. Kanda Naal Mudhal's soundtrack proved that a good soundtrack can raise viewers' expectations for a low-profile movie but Devi Sriprasad's numbers here are definitely not hit material. So its upto Hari now to make them popular with good picturization.

The film is slated to have a good opening inspite of the rains and the expected cyclone (Ooru aaraa irukku but Aaru paakka ooru ready :-). Lets hope Aaru hits a sixer at the box-office...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

When I entered the theater to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I didn't remember much about the book except that I didn't like it very much. The film reminded me why. Sure it stands well enough on its own as a fantasy action-adventure. But as a Harry Potter fan, it was impossible for me to see the movie on its own i.e. completely independently of the book. All reviews I've read so far call it the best Harry Potter movie yet but I beg to differ. That credit would still go only to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The Prisoner of Azkaban was a classic. With a complicated plot that included an ingenious time travel segment and stunning plot twists that suprised us with who the good and bad guys were, the book was an exhilarating read. Goblet of Fire was a huge letdown after that since it was just too simplistic. And that, naturally, is what happens in the movie too. It is a straightforward tale that has more swashbuckling action but holds few surprises. Its as if J.K.Rowling wrote the first 3 books in the the true spirit of writing, understood that they were made into movies and then wrote Goblet of Fire with the eventual movie in mind.

What Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is is the best Harry Potter action movie yet. The three contests of the Triwizard tournament are action-packed and full of thrills, spills and chills. The special effects are spectacular and there are several "Wow!" moments, especially in the first one - the fight with the dragon. Many of the segments, like the opening Quidditch match(which, unfortunately, is cut short) and the scene in the fight where the dragon walks on the Hogwarts roof, are truly breathtaking.

The movie also gives us our first look at Voldemort. Granted that no amount of makeup could create a Voldemort scary enough to rival what we've imagined, but Ralph Fiennes is unrecognizably creepy in the role. We also have a new Dumbledore since the actor who played the headmaster in the last 3 movies is no more. Though his face is almost completely covered up by the big white beard, the new actor seems a little too young and animated - very un-Dumbledore-like.

I'm a big advocate of the theory that the experience of watching a movie doesn't even come close to the thrill of reading the book it is based on. But I have to admit that the non-wizarding portions of the book translate very well to the screen. With familiar actors, who are now 4 movies old, donning the same roles, Harry, Ron and Hermione have become real people rather than characters in a book. So the emotional attachment we have with them is stronger than what we would've had if the characters had remained on the written page. So the shyness, love, jealousy and all those other feelings that are part of the teenage years work well on screen and make segments(like the Yule Ball dance) funny and enjoyable.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Aaru Audio

Devi Sriprasad has so far stayed on middle ground. His albums like Maayaavi, Sachein and Mazhai have all contained some good numbers. At the same time, very few numbers have been good for repeated listens and none have reached the level where they could be called “among the best songs of the year”. He continues the same in the Surya-Trisha starrer Aaru. There is good variety and the album has a couple of decent numbers. But its nothing to be excited about.

1. Aei Thottute Thotte…
A rather catchy duet with a nice interlude in the Unkitta Maattikichu…bit. There is just too much percussion throughout the song though and the drumbeats in the two stanzas overwhelm the song. The small bit between the stanzas, with a guy sounding like he is straining real hard in the restroom, is totally unnecessary.

2. Dhrogam Dhrogam…
This intense number sung passionately by Hariharan(perfect choice) comes as a surprise in a movie advertised as a mass masala film. The Dhrogam Dhrogam… interludes add some pace and pep to an otherwise ordinary pathos number. As the title indicates, the song is about betrayal and has some nice lyrics.

3. Nenjam Ennum…
A melodious, soothing short piece that had me asking for more. Gopika Poornima sounds great. Has she sung any other songs?

4. Nenjam Ennum…
What a difference the beats make! This number has the same tune as the previous song but the fast beats and upbeat voices of the singers (especially Kalpana) make this an energetic, folksy duet. The recent trend of adding rap-like bits with completely silly lyrics continues here too. Needless to say, I prefer the other version.

5. Onnu Rendu…
Sounds like a generic intro song for Surya. As in all such songs, the lines are filled with threats aimed at the bad guys and philosophies and advice aimed at the audience. Hope Surya doesn’t start singing to the screen too.

6. Paakkaadhe Ennai…
A slow number that sounds like an 80’s number. It is a duet but is a bit too low-key. I actually thought it was a pathos number before I listened more carefully to the lyrics.

7. Soda Bottle…
The song starts with a take-off on the old number Marudhamalai Maamaniye…. But then it’s a typical duppanguthu song that goes exactly how you would expect a song starting with Soda Bottle… to go. At places, the song sounds like a more duppanguthu version of Sachein’s Vaadi Vaadi….

Monday, December 05, 2005


I’ve always maintained that it’s the screenplay that makes or breaks a film. You could assemble interesting characters, burden them with legitimate problems and introduce some suspense with respect to the eventual resolution the relationships between them. But without a smooth, gripping screenplay that ties all these together, the result is a disjoint, uninvolving film. Case in point - ABCD.

Like Pepsi (which was then renamed to Ullam Ketkume), ABCD too is named after the first letter of the names of its four main characters - Anand(Shaam), an unemployed MBA graduate who stays at a rental house; Bharathi(Nandana Kumar), who opts out of her wedding when the suitor’s parents ask for dowry; Chandra(Sneha), who is a widow but a relieved one since she is free from the clutches of her sadistic husband; and Divya(Aparna), an orphan who has been raised by a nun. The three women run into Anand under different circumstances and become his friends.

The very fact that ABCD is a character-driven film makes it different from other recent releases. The characterization tends to be a bit extreme(especially in the case of Shaam) but the director sculpts four characters who are different from each other and makes the events in their life seem believable. In other words, the characters may not be realistic but if they exist, these events could happen in their lives. It is easy to accept the actions of Sneha, Nandana and Aparna and it is perfectly understandable when they fall in love with Shaam. They may be very different from one another but they are looking for the same thing in life.

The relationships Shaam shares with these women are also portrayed elegantly. Sneha gets the most screen time among the three women and so it is natural that her segment has the most effect. It is given time to develop and is the most eventful. Shaam at time appears to be leading the women on but this is necessary since the key question driving the movie is who he will be united with in the end. But the presence of some convenient supporting characters makes the final outcome a little predictable.

Director Saravana Subbiah seems like a man who knows where he wants to go but not how to get there. He has a plan for how the movie should proceed but hasn’t thought much about how to push in that direction. So he comes up with extraneous characters and inane situations that serve no purpose other than to set the stage for the next scene. For instance, he wants to put Shaam and Sneha in an uncomfortable situation. So he invents an uncle for Shaam and makes Shaam worry in the middle of the night about a lie he told the uncle! Scenes like this are scattered throughout the film and pretty much kill its flow.

Further damaging the smooth flow of the film is the way it is structured. Almost the entire story consists of Shaam interacting with the three women. So we get segments that simply portray Shaam’s meetings with Sneha, Nandana and Aparna, one after the other. Added to that is Vadivelu’s comedy track which, though it has a flimsy link to the main story, is essentially a separate track. So the film has an episodic feel. All that is missing is a title card for each segment with the episode number, in Tamil megaserial-style!

A character-driven film like this needs to be fairly realistic for it to work. It needs to give us the feeling that we are watching a slice of real life on the screen. But ABCD fails to do this. The relationships between the protagonists are depicted fairly neatly and without much melodrama but there are just too many unrealistic things (like, a girl has an accident that requires surgery but then goes out on her Scooty a couple of days later!) that jump out at us. These are admittedly small things that I wouldn’t even be talking about in a masala flick. But when the director’s aim is to present a relationship-oriented film where sentiments and emotions have precedence, these things stand out and affect our involvement in the film.

The film has quite a collection of bad performances and Sneha is the only relief. She is as natural as actresses get and her face is able to switch expressions at a moment’s notice. She is easily the best actress working today. Shaam seems to have mistaken ‘good’ to mean ‘pazham’. His voice is strangely nasal and without any modulation and his dialog delivery is irritating at times. Nandana has a rather odd walk and while her voice bristles when delivering all those dialogs, her face fails to match the intensity. Aparna (is she the same actress who was the heroine in Pudhukkottaiyilirindhu Saravanan?) has probably the weakest role among the three actresses but she looks pretty and is adequate. The actor playing Sneha’s father delivers almost every line with a sad voice and overacts.

There are a number of small songs scattered throughout the film. The duet between Shaam and Nandana has the weirdest picturization I’ve seen in any movie this year. Its picturized with sepia overtones and for some reason, includes images of a toddler flying over some buildings. It is actually quite creepy!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Mr. & Mrs. Smith is in the same league as After the Sunset. Its story is thin and incredulous and its action sequences are standard. But the movie chugs along powered simply by its attractive leads and the chemistry between them.

John(Brad Pitt) and Jane Smith(Angelina Jolie) are the Smiths - a couple whose marriage has lost its spark after 5(or 6) years. Though he's a contractor and she's a consultant on the surface, the two are in fact professional assassins working for different agencies. Their secret lives come to light when both of them are assigned the same target to take out.

The film works more as a comedy than as a romance or an action flick. Pitt and Jolie trade some delicious lines between them and the script has a number of zingers that make us chuckle. While most of these take off on the state of their marriage, there are some general one-liners that would've made directors like Quentin Tarantino proud(my favorite: "Happy endings are just stories that haven't finished!"). But whenever the two start uttering romantic lines(which thankfully isn't all that much), it sounds fake. And the action sequences are uninteresting and only the funny moments interleaved with them help relieve the tedium.

The film is guilty of unnecessarily raising our expectations and not meeting them. The way some of the initial scenes have been mounted(like the secrecy around the agency's boss) led me to look forward to some nice twists or plot developments later on. But nothing of that sort happens and the movie is content to concentrate on its leads. The ending too is sudden and there's no sense of closure.

But Pitt and Jolie have the charisma, screen presence and chemistry needed to carry such a thin story. Place any two other actors in these roles and the movie would've been a damp squib. I've always thought Pitt has great comedy timing and that comes in handy here. His deadpan expression as he utters some of his lines is great. Jolie is pretty much Tomb Raider without the costume. She has the best last lines and has an edge over Pitt in most scenes. Vince Vaugn is the only other actor with significant screen time as he plays kind of the comic sidekick for Pitt.

Friday, December 02, 2005

3 New Reviews

Reviews for Adhu Oru Kanaakkaalam, Pambara Kannaale and Kundakka Mandakka are online at bbreviews.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Coming Soon - Thavamaai Thavamirundhu

Any new movie of Cheran is cause for celebration for lovers of quality Tamil cinema. All his movies so far have been well-intentioned, clean films that touched us at some level, either through the message they conveyed or through the emotions they explored. He is one of the few directors who has understood the power of the visual medium. Like KB before him, he understands that a picture (i.e. a scene) is worth a 1000 words and conveys emotions visually than through dialogs or action. He possesses great imagination and creativity and his directorial touches are proof of that.

His first few movies were downbeat affairs. They took up heavy topics like caste, physical disability and corruption in politics and presented them without sugarcoating the issues. Though Bharathi Kannamma and Porkkaalam were hits, the excellent Desiya Geetham was a disaster, which made him rethink his ways. But his answer, the optimistic and commercial Vettri Kodi Kattu, was disappointing. Commercial cinema was clearly not his forte and his efforts to add commercial elements to his style were half-hearted.

With Paandavar Bhoomi, he finally found his niche. He concentrated on human emotions and relations, relegating the social message to the background, to come up with a moving tale. He sharpened the same in Autograph, his biggest hit to date, where he completely abandoned the ‘message’ to present a simple but heartfelt tale of love.

The title and the trailer point to him continuing the trend in his next film - the eagerly anticipated Thavamaai Thavamirundhu. The film has not had it easy so far. Initially scheduled for Diwali, it became embroiled in financial problems and doubts were raised about it being released this year. But it looks like it will make it to screens this Saturday itself. The film is supposed to be about the love between parents and their offspring - a topic Cheran could do full justice to.

After Gopika in Autograph, Cheran introduces another heroine from Malayalam films, Padmapriya. She doesn’t look very pretty in the pictures, especially compared to recent Malayalam imports like Gopika, Navya Nair, Nayan and Asin. I’m hoping she’s just not photogenic but make up for it with her performance. The cast also includes Rajkiran and Saranya. Music is by Sabesh Murali.

With Kanda Naal Mudhal also just released, this weekend might just be the real Diwali for fans of good cinema.