Nedunchalai (TAMIL)

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Starring: Aari, Shivada, Salim Kumar, Thambi Ramayya and many more
Editing: Kishore
Music : C.Sathya
Cinematography : Rajavel Oliveeran
Written and Directed by: Krishna

 
This was one of the film which was looked just for nothing when it was actually ready except for the factor that it was directed by none other than the one who actually did Sillunu Oru Kadhal with the music of the Mozart of Madras. The songs of this film got released and it sounded good and pleasant. Then came the news of a big production house backing it and then there was no looking back for this film. Good promos and hype made the film a look out.

Tharpai Murugan (Aari) is the guy who steals things from the lorries along with his group and gives it to his boss (Salim Kumar). Manga (Shivada) runs a Dhaba on a highway which does not have any customers but suddenly starts to get more as the reason is Murugan. Enters the Inspector Masanam (Prashant) and gets attracted by Manga. He wants to obtain her with use of Aari for which Aari does not support him. There forms the enemity between them with Manga being in the middle. What happens next forms the slow and steady part of the film.

The action of the movie set in the 80’s period portrays it well through the Art department. The clarity in the characters are clear as why a mallu girl was chosen as a heroine as she has to act as a Malayali girl. Same goes well with the character of Salim Kumar. Aari plays the Murugan character well as a well toned and hard guy with gutsy expressions in his eyes. He emotes well too. Shivada takes off well and lands very well which makes confuse whether is this her debut performance for her in this language. Thambi Ramayya and Ashwin takes care of comedy whereas Salim Kumar plays a solid role. Prashant brings vengeance through his eyes by playing a cruel Inspector.

Music and camera elevates the film more higher. Music gels well with the film be it the BGM’s or the songs. Melodies tops in the films. As the name has light in him, he has not used any lights in the film it seems. Rajavel Oliveeran visionised the film really well. Be it the chase scenes or the songs or the fights, he can be given a pat on his back. Krishna should be appreciated for taking time and giving a film with a totally different genre particularly after a romantic one. His highway gives us a rusty feel and makes us travel to a different genre. Althogh the journey seems to b a not new one the travel can be enjoyed..!! 🙂

Queen (HINDI)

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Starring: Kangna Ranaut, Rajkumar Rao, Lisa Haydon and many more
Editing: Abhijit Kokate, Anurag Kashyap
Music : Amit Trivedi
Cinematography : Siddharth Diwan, Bobby Singh
Written and Directed by: Vikas Bahl

A film which released with less expectation as acted by Kangna who started acting as a devil woman in films like Krrissh and hence the only connecting factor of the film was the Anurag Kashyap brand producing it and has some rocking numbers by the Dev-D guy. Thats all was the things people were able to predict about this film. So, is the film so simple like how I described.? Its a no-no

Rani (Kangna) is dumped just a day before her wedding by her fiance Vijay (Rajkumar Rao). Agitated after hearing this, she decides to go alone for her pre-booked honeymoon trip, because staying home would not help her to overcome this situation. So, she finds herself in Paris with Vijaylakshmi (Lisa) for her company and 3 more room mates for company in Amsterdam, and the journey she embarks on makes ‘Queen’ the kind of coming- of-age and what happens in the end places a beautiful crown on the top of the lady.

This unusual plot premise could easily have lost its way in a already familiar English Vinglish-style adventure in an alien land and ended up flat but its the ample dose of screenplay which makes this film a winner. On her journey she drinks, dances, got caught by Police, struggles with a stalker, advices a single mom who later happens to be her friend, pole dancer who is indian, like this many. All these things are neatly captured and presented in a enjoyable manner.

Kangna Ranaut’s performance is outstanding. Be it the Rajori girl all excited about her wedding or the girl rejected in marriage as she has not ‘changed’ or the confident girl who makes a place for herself selling golgappas or naively buying sex-toys, hiding her infatuation for an Italian restaurateur or showing deep dejection about fiance, Kangana touches the right chords. Lisa Haydon and Rajkummar Rao lends good support to the story as like the Taka, Tim and Alecjander aka Sikandar. The end credits featuring Taka and Sikandar were really cute.

Amit Trivedi’s songs add value to the scenes and the BGM’s are good. Camera work shows poisse shades of Paris and Amsterdam. Vikas Bahl has made it sure that all the scenes are perfectly shot and utilized well. The director has to be patted for making a film which tells that women has the power and will to come across anything. Don’t miss Queen for anything and everything where Kangna had once again proved her mettle in acting. Queen is a sparkling tremendous little gem. Go for it..!! 🙂

Vallinam (TAMIL)

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Starring: Nakul, Mridhula, Atul Kulkarni, Jagan, Jayaprakash and many more
Editing: Sabu Joseph
Music : Thaman
Cinematography : Bhaskaran
Written and Directed by: Arivazhagan

As everyone says the second film of a director is the most watched that too if the debut was a run away hit. Club that with a very strong producer in the industry and that too a sports film. Then the expectations will be sky high. But what this film faced is the just opposite. The film was lying in the cans for long time and finally comes out. So what does this sports film going to say to us.

Krishna (Nakul) is a talented basketball player in Trichy. During a game an accident takes place and his best buddy Shiva (Hero Kreshna in a cameo) dies. To get away from the past, Krishna leaves Trichy and moves to a Chennai college. He finds that cricket is the most favoured game and given undue advantage in the college sports curriculum. Due to the villainous cricket captain Krishna starts basketball team in college. What Krishna does to bring up the basketball team with the help of heroine (Mridhula) forms the rest.

First hats off to the crew for not using a full fledged CG part for taking the basketball scenes. And that too they have used special camera person for taking the match. And the entire cast has trained and acted and played well in the film which makes you forget that you are not seeing a film but a match. The heroine is a big let off and the love portions does not make any impact apart from the heroine’s dad being the sponsor for the tournament.

It is undoubetedly the best movie of Nakul. He has matured as an actor and has come out with brilliant performance. His voice modulation and acting are good. Jayaprakash, Jagan, Amzad, Atul Kulkarni and others have done justice to their roles. Heroine Mridhula looks horrible and watchable in only the song whichcomes in second half.

Bhaskaran’s cinematography is excellent and Thaman’s music stands out well. Arivazhagan has come out with all together different genre and showed us what all the practical difficulties that a sportsman and sports need to face out to prove it out. Vallinam is a good attempt and needs encouragement. It is worth watching once for the efforts put by the young team and the spirit on the game.

Nimirndhu Nil (TAMIL)

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Starring: Jayam Ravi, Amala Paul, Soori, Sarathkumar and many more
Editing: AL.Ramesh
Music : GV.Prakash Kumar
Cinematography : M.Sukumar-M.Jeevan
Written and Directed by: Samuthirakani

After a very long time and that too after a double act disaster from Ravi, yet again he comes up with another double act where he joins hands with the power packed director and the theme is also a power packed. What does this film gives us as it gains a very big pre release talks. Lets see.

Aravind (Ravi) who does his schooling in an Ashram where he learns decorum and discipline for self humans comes to real world where he faces many challenges and fails in each of his tries. Poomari (Amala Paul) gets attracted to him as he is so simple. He is frustrated which virtually induces him to fight against corruption against law and order. How he achieves that forms the rest.

Exposing the corrupt officials while receiving bribe and how they face the legal charges is a twist in the film which is otherwise nothing new in content wise. The officials form a group to disprove the charges levelled against them is further more interesting which makes the audience to look up and wait what the film will give when powerful media comes into the main. But the rest of the second half is a letdown majorly because of the needless song sequences.

Jayam Ravi, who plays a double role in the film has essayed his character with aplomb and near perfection. The major segment of the first half of the movie sees him portraying an innocent man with noble intentions and he has brought life in to the character by means of his natural acting mainly in emotional parts. Sarathkumar is impressive in his cameo and it’s a cakewalk for Gopinath to don a news anchor. Amala Paul does not have anything more than being the arm candy of the hero. Soori raises a few guffaws with his one liners and the actor has done justice to the role. Some of the regulars from the camp of Samuthirakani also offer some laughs.

GV could have done much better in the songs except the first song. His BGM’s are apt. Cinematography by M.Sukumar and M.Jeevan is average and was found to be wanting in many sequences. One major drawback in the film is the VFX portion. The highway stunt sequence was too artificial for anyone’s liking and failed to capture the imagination. The dialogues in the film seem to be one of its highlights. Samuthirakani has handled a plot which is not new except for the twist in the part of its narration which is partially taken back by the entire second half of the film. Still the film can be enjoyed by the audience who still owe that the society has to be changed. The chance is yours..!! 🙂

300: Rise of an Empire (ENGLISH)

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The invading Persian forces led by the god-like Xerxes and navy commander Artemisia battle the Greeks, led by Themistocles in the hope of conquering the land. With the odds against him, Themistocles must use wits and strength in equal measure to save Greece from destruction.

While the first 300 movie dealt with Leonidas and the events at Thermopylae, here the focus shifts to the equally furious sea battle, fought on dark, choppy waters. King Xerxes (Santoro) and Queen Gorgo of Sparta (Headey) face off, with their respective commanders Artemisia (Green) and Themistocles (Stapleton) leading their navies. Although the previous movie is referenced in the gorgeous opening shot, the battle then rides on Themistocles’ able shoulders.

This is not a sequel nor a prequel too. It deals with incidents here and there from the past mentioning the reason of why Artemisia who is a Greek now in Persian attack. But we are clear at the end that what will be the third part is about after the Sparta and Themistocles joins hands to defeat Xerxes. That will be one interesting final battle.

The film itself looks fantastic, awash in a red-sepia tone that dominates everything. Although you will have seen many action films set during a point of time in history (this one’s set in 480 BC), there is plenty in here to keep your attention from start to finish.

If you see whether this film is more better than the first one i would strictly say a NO. The first part had a life in it but this has only blood and fleshes, but except the stellar performance from Eva Green. Overall this empire is not even a gold bath but strictly a Blood bath.

Thegidi (TAMIL)

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Starring: Ashok Selvan, Janani Iyer, Kaali, Jayaprakash and many more
Editing: Leo John Paul
Music : Prasanna Nivas
Cinematography : Dinesh Krishnan
Written and Directed by: P.Ramesh

Another CV.Kumar’s venture where he handpicks another short film series winner to make a film with the needed budjet and crisp story. As its backed by CV.Kumar, the film gained more popularity and thats what made me to to see this film.

As this film is based on an investigative thriller type of genre, I am not going to say the entire story. Vetri (Ashok) does a Criminology course and gets selected for a detective firm where he gets assignments based on ‘shadowing and surveillance’. He meets Madhu (Janani) and what does the story makes these two to be together along with a excellent script for thriller genre makes this film wonderful.

The first thing to look on the film is its short running time of just 2 hours. The first half keeps you on toes and makes you think and the second half gives you a thrilling and jubilant ride. First half romance between the lead pair is excellent and a moment makes you think whether this is a thriller film or a romance genre type. Such are the scenes which involves the lead pair with cute and neat expressions.

Ashok Selvan has proved his subtle acting abilities once again. His performance adds a huge value to the project. Janani Iyer is equally brilliant and she portrays really well using her big eyes. Their chemistry works out well for the film. Kaali as the hero’s friend depicts the real life friend character with good dialogs and Jayaprakash excels in his character of a Police. How comes he is best suited to all type of roles makes me surprised many times.

Debutant scoring of Prasanna keeps us along with the film without any deviation. The duets are excellent and the thriller type BGM is amazing. Welcome addition to the industry. Dinesh Krishnan’s cinematography is upto the mark. Leo’s editing is sharp and his work has given a sleek look to the film. Nobody would have imagined that a newcomer would make such a thriller which Ramesh had pulled it using the best of his short cast and crew. Overall this film is a well analyzed and perfectly executed thriller which should not be missed at any cost.  🙂

Highway (HINDI)

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Starring: Randeep Hooda, Alia Bhatt and many more
Editing: Aarti Bajaj
Music : AR.Rahman
Cinematography : Anil Mehta
Written and Directed by: Imtiaz Ali

The team of Rockstar joins together again with a different backdrop this time where the theme is loosely based on a road trip. Not a big star cast but the crew is top class and lets see what does this road trip offers us.

Veera (Alia Bhatt) daughter of a big shot goes out for a break with her reluctant fiance. Veera steps out in a petrol bunk and gets kidnapped by violent criminal Mahavir Bhaati (Hooda) and his gang. She is tied-up, beaten, Veera’s thrown onto a terrifying truck that drives off on a never-ending highway, leaving established society far behind. What does Veera experience on this trip and what does Ranveer and his gang gives to Veera forms the story.

The film would have been a bigger triumph had the plot, which just hangs on a collision between two diametrically dissimilar individuals and worlds, packed a little more punch. It adopts a novel mode to address issues pertaining to the class and culture divide, the exploitation of women in feudal communities, and the safety, or lack of it, of the girl child within and without the family.

Highway belongs undoubtedly to Alia Bhatt. Veera gains as she takes control of the situation, captivating her charm, confronting assault. Hooda’s Mahavir is frightening, tightly controlled, the actor portraying dark dislike with crackling tension, switching to bewilderment with comic ease. The film’s dreamy visuals are perfectly complemented by AR Rahman’s terrific tracks, and a minimal background score that’s never intrusive. Shot remarkably by Anil Mehta, whose camera captures not only the astonishing beauty of India’s landscapes but also the chemistry of the lead.

The film – a brave experiment on Imtiaz’s part, who uses long stretches of silence, improved dialogues, and characters over plot to drive the narrative – doesn’t necessarily work. It’s meandering and indulgent in many parts, tiring you out well before it’s over. This Highway starts with many potholes and then runs good which eventually has many lows which is not suiting for the road.