Avengers : Age Of Ultron (ENGLISH)

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Yes here it is. The sequel to the blockbuster (yes its just a word for the Avengers) is out that too a week ahead of its world release. Usually we will be jumping to see a superhero movie. But Avengers are special. This is a film where you can see nearly four to five superheroes fighting together either to save the world from bad evils or to save the people. Here too they do that but as this is a sequel there are some story stuffs too.

This time the Avengers are pitted against Ultron, an artificial intelligence peacekeeping force, ironically created by Tony Stark @ Iron Man to protect the world. As invariably tends to happen in these scenarios, the invention goes rogue and turns on his creator, becoming convinced that the only path to peace involves the elimination of the Avengers. The beginning of the film sets the tone for the rest of it. The superheroes are assembled trying to retrieve the Tesseract and the team finds itself in the middle of an onslaught. The film starts with an adrenaline rush that is challenging to match. And it indeed makes for one of the most arresting scenes in the film. The VFX is spectacular and you know that you are in for a joyride.

A lot of time is given to the fears and back stories of the Avengers. This is where the film starts lagging in the middle till the toe-curling climax revives it. The problem that Avengers suffers from is too much of everything — too many superheroes (there are three more than those present in the prev version), too much emotion as practically all of them have their dark moments and too many narrative strands. But there are some cool parts too. Some smart humour Thor’s hammer gag is the best part.

Expectedly this is a bigger, louder, and more action-packed sequel. There are more jokes and more set pieces. The stakes are certainly higher, but there’s very little tension. It might not be the same good one like the first one but this too has its share and there are subtle hints in the movie, as well as a teaser at the end (stay till the end of the credits) that pave way for the next two instalments of the ‘Avengers’ and raising the expectations for all superhero movies to come. Avengers always cannot be missed..!! 🙂

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Kanchana 2 (TAMIL)

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Starring: Raghava Lawrence, Taapsee, Nithya Menon, Kovai Sarala and many more
Editing : Kishore
Music : Thaman, Sathya, Leon James, Aswamithra        Background Score: Thaman
Cinematography: Rajavel Olhiveeran
Directed by: Raghava Lawrence

Kanchana was the first film to make the new genre say ghost based comedy type of films in the Tamil industry. It comes back with Kanchana 2 but not as a sequel based. Each and every time a new film comes and goes in this genre. So will this one be too on the same line or is there something different to present. Lets see..

The story is nothing different from any of its earlier versions which is mixed with some social issue and message on that. Lawrence plays the role of a cameraman at a popular television channel. In order to boost up the TRP’s the channel plans to make a series on ghosts and start on that with the crew which has Taapsee, Sriman, Manobala, Chaams, Mayilsamy, Pooja and Madhu. They enter a haunted house as a part of their work schedule and return after witnessing a horror unfold in front of their eyes. Needless to say, after a few days they discover that both Lawrence and Taapsee are possessed by different spirits seeking vengeance. Who are those ghosts and what do they want forms the crux of the story.

There are very usual elements like songs, dance, comedy and as usual some special VFX added to make feel that this is a ghost film. First half goes very slowly until the story starts. VFX looks ordinary overall and the climax looks like its based on Mortal Kombat game. Lawrence plays a dual role and there are many differences in his characterization. Taapsee is the surprise package of the film, be it as the show director or when she transforms as the ghost. Nithya Menon steals the second half but the flashback looks outdated. Kovai Sarala and others have performed what was needed.

Second half could have been trimmed a lot and Lawrence changing into different characters could have been cut short. Music by different persons gives more satisfaction and Thaman’s BGM are perfect for a ghost based film. Rajavel Olhiveeran’s camera work is precise and has done justice to the horror genre. Lawrence, has come a long way as a director and sure knows how to cook up a normal story with the needed stuffs. However, the second half is tiring in parts and the flashback sequences are over-dramatized. Climax looks a tad blunt and incomplete. Kanchana 2 is definitely an entertaining movie but could’ve easily been much better with a better second half. Time Pass..!! 🙂

O Kadhal Kanmani (TAMIL)

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Starring: Dulquar Salman, Nithya Menon, Prakashraj, Leela Samson and many more
Editing : Srikar Prasad
Music : AR Rahman
Cinematography: PC Sriram
Directed by: Mani Ratnam

From where to start for this film..? After two back to back debacles the director needs a much breakthrough. Though he is experienced he needs to prove that he is still the same who has the legend tag attached to him. So he buckles his shoes with his best crew and goes with a not much known star cast as lead pair and takes a genre in which he is well versed, but this time he has updated as per the trend. So what he has given this time with the Kanmani..? Lets see..

The story takes place in Mumbai. Adithya (Dulquar Salman) is a digital game designer and Tara (Nithya Menon), an architect. They both have their own ambitions and they are career-driven individualist’s who have strong perception about their personal space and life. They meet each other and become friends instantly, thanks to the similarities in the way they think. They decide to move in together and start living together in the house where Adithya lives as paying guest. There lives Ganapathi (Prakashraj) and Bhavani (Leela Samson). What happens in the lives of the younger couple and as well as the elder couple forms the rest.

Many may think what plot has been handled as the live in relationships are not much encouraged in our country but Mani has not tried to say it is correct. The dialogs are gems even though it has the usual Mani’s stamp of having just one word. Excellent casting works wonder for the film. Even though the film is mostly based with the young couple, the real romance is conveyed through the elder ones. The ending is based upon the elder couple’s romance is where the film is alive.

The film completely depends on the lead pair be it the younger or the elder. Dulquar Salmaan has managed to perfect his Tamil accent and his expressions too are apt for the role he’s been asked to portray. Nithya Menon is the soul of the film as she brings alive her character with not just those expressive eyes and infectious smile, but with her acting too. Although first half is a tad bit lengthy, Prakash Raj saves it with his performance. This is one of his best performances apart from ‘Kanchivaram‘ and ‘Vetayadu Vilayadu‘. Leela Samson, her debut film, playing his wife has done justice to her character as an Alzheimer patient.

Though the film is for youth the crew is not young though. AR Rahman scores both with his songs which is already a runaway hit and also with his BGM’s which makes to take a note of it (eagerly waiting for the BGM’s). PC Sriram’s lighting and angles deserves a special mention. Its full of color’s in the entire film mainly pink, violet and many cool ones. The design of the house where Adithya lives is a proof of it. The animation part in the entire film is a very interesting one as the hero is a game developer. Going by the climax we can clearly say that Mani Ratnam has not taken the liberty to show that youngsters prefer only live in and thus he managed to play it safe and proved he is stil the king in making films based out of love given any time. Go and enjoy as the film is more than OK..!! 🙂

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy (HINDI)

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Starring: Sushant Singh Rajput, Anand Tiwari, Swastika Mukerjee, Divya Menon and many more
Editing : Manas Mittal
Music : Sneha Khanwalkar
Cinematography: Nikos Andritsakis
Story: Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay
Directed by: Dibakar Banerjee

This film is loosely adapted from a Bengali crime fiction writer’s series of stories based on the Detective Byomkesh and the happenings which takes place in 1940’s period. Dibakar’s earlier movies were ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla‘, ‘Oye Lucky Lucky Oye‘, ‘Shanghai‘ and the critically aclaimed ‘Love Sex aur Dhoka‘. He joins the thriller detective genre by taking help from Sushant in the acting side. How and what this Detective does in the movie? Lets see…

Set in 1940’s of Kolkata (err Calcutta), Byomkesh (Sushant) is vulnerable jilted lover who has just finished his college meets Ajit (Anand Tiwari) asking help from Byomkesh to find his missing father. The findings lead Byomkesh to a boarding house owned and run by Dr Anukul Guha (Neeraj Kabi) where Ajit’s father was staying before he went missing. Byomkesh starts living in the boarding house to solve the case and his interactions with Ajit’s father housemates takes a deeply, snaky twists and turns that turns wicked, violent, dirty, bloody, criminal and political unfolding in a slowly but tempting and delicious cooked up mystery ending with a tangy lip smacking end.

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!, ending with a Y and an exclamation mark, is a pure Dibakar Banerjee creation. The re-creation of Calcutta is done with loving, lush camerawork which gives us both light and seductive shadows. The trams with those adverts, the old buildings, the streets full of carts are all spot-on. Initially it takes time for us to get settle with the story but once the things are starting to throw on bang we have a smart and crafty thriller before our eyes. But as the location is in Bengal the film sometimes slips into and becomes a Bengal film with very slow dialogs which loses the pace. Climax fills up all these gaps overall.

Sushant Singh Rajput hits a jackpot with this performance. Completely immersed in the character he shows flair of subtleness in his portrayal. The support cast adds the required wealth Anand Tiwari as the sidekick is fabulous. Neeraj Kabi as the boarding house keeper is excellent. Divya Menon as Satyavati is fine. Swastika’s performance lifts the film. Nikos’s stunning camerawork honours the makers cause. Vandana Kataria does an outstanding job. The presence of tram, cigarettes, match boxes, cars, man pulled rickshaw, coffee shops, and the hoardings everything is in complete sync with the era. BGM stand out almost in every sequence. This is a film that deserves to be watched, especially for its masterful film making..!! 🙂

Nanbenda (TAMIL)

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Starring: Udhayanidhi Stalin, Nayanthara, Santhanam, Karunakaran and many more
Editing : Vivek Harshan
Music : Harris Jayaraj
Cinematography: Balasubramaniem
Directed by: Jagadish

Udhayanidhi and Santhanam..!! If these two are in a film then what sorts of story it could be other than comedy..? As usual its a comedy and it looks like a similar film as that of the hero’s debut. So lets see is there anything different from that fim..? Sathya (Udhay) and Siva Kozhunthu (Santhanam) are close friends, as expected. Udhay falls head-over-heels in love with Ramya (Nayanthara), a bank employee the moment he sees her. Ramya has faced ten days imprisonment for a crime!  And when she narrates her past to Udhay, he finds it extremely funny and laughs out loud which hurts her sentiment and now they part way. Scorpio Shankar (Rajendran) gets killed and these two are arrested by their childhood enemy (Karunakaran) who is a police now. How these two gets relieved forms the rest.

There is a whiff of director Rajesh throughout the flick, and why not as Jagadish was an assistant to the former. The film finds its pace nagging at times, trots to and fro between romance and comedy missing the heart of any movie, a solid script. The romance lacked depth and comedy missed novelty. The predictability of the dialogues and some unwanted sequences added to the blandness of the script. First half was okay of sorts when compared to the second.

Udhay has improved a lot in dancing and dialogue delivery, the actor looks confident and scores even without Santhanam. Nayanthara looks like a dream in all the songs and her gorgeous screen presence lifts the movie. However, Santhanam looks disinterested and stereotyped and this is the time to change his way of performance. Karunakaran and Rajendran fills up the film. Balu has captured the songs very well and Harris’s songs are as usual. National Award winner Vivek Harshan has done his part with what was provided to him.

Jagadish’s screenplay is painfully predictable and you will find yourself chuckling and cringing alternately while watching the film. It is unfair to expect any story in such a genre and on the whole, this film may appeal to its target audiences. Not a worthy product from such a strong team..!! 🙂

Komban (TAMIL)

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Starring: Karthi, Lakshmi Menon, Rajkiran, Thambi Ramaiah and many more
Editing : KL Praveen
Music : GV Prakash Kumar
Cinematography: Velraj
Directed by: Muthiah

This director’s debut was a full and full rural film where he has portrayed the love side of a man and his mother’s sentiments towards her son. That was a mediocre hit over rural sides. He joins hands with the hero who comes back from a victory in his last film and returns back with this film which was surrounded by pre-release controversies and finally managed to hit the screens. How it has performed? Lets see..

The story revolves around violent rivalry among three villages, Vellanadu, Arasanadu and Semmanadu. Each wants to have its own man as the elected head. Kombaya Pandian (Karthi) of Arasanadu is a fierce guy who has the support of his entire village. He lives with his mother (Kovai Sarala), brother (Karunaas) and his uncle (Thambi Ramaiah). Komban meets and falls in love with Pazhani (Lakshmi Menon) who is the daughter of Muthaiah (Rajkiran) who is a man of peace and hates violence. Komban crosses path with Gundan (Super Subarayan) a ruthless local politician and his henchmen and this incident triggers a chain of violent incidents which culminate towards the climax.

The film delves into many relationships – mother-son, father-daughter, husband-wife – but lays emphasis on the complex relationship between fathers and sons-in-law, a relationship that is seldom explored. Also there are too many cliches with the characterizations of the villain gang. Though the plot of the movie is not new to Tamil Cinema, the way it is put across with right mix of comedy, action, values of relationships and sentiments work wonders for the film.

Karthi does a pretty good job with his amazing screen presence in spearheading the film. He has the looks and feels demanded by his character of high moral standing. Rajkiran proves why he is so highly rated as a character actor. He does comedy and sentimental scenes with equal ease and reserves his best for the climax when he totally dominates the screen. Nothing to add about Lakshmi Menon as she looks and acts exactly like what she has done in her earlier films. Kovai Sarala and Thambi Ramaiah provide some comic relief, while Super Subarayan as the Gundan, looks menacing.

Velraj’s cinematography has shown the rusty Ramanathapuram locales in different color tone and  GV Prakash’s music and BGM are noteworthy. Sharp cuts of Praveen KL has helped the movie to maintain the pace and the running time is not also too long. Muthiah has based his subject on the experiences of his own and has succeeded to a great extent in presenting not only the raw life of the rural people but the way they love and respect relationships. Another rural mass entertainer with ingredients to satisfy the masses..!! 🙂

Ivanuku Thannila Gandam (TAMIL)

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Starring: Deepak, Neha, ‘Naan Kadavul‘ Rajendiran, Sentrayan and many more
Editing : Ramesh
Music : A7
Cinematography: Venkatesan
Directed by: Rajesh Seetharaman

Another film which I saw as I had no other option and my friend was insisting that he has to see a film that time. Other films were completely full and this was 80 percent to it. Even though the film got released few weeks back it sustained among many releases. So lets see whats in the store.

Saravanan (Deepak) is a TV host who wants to achieve big in the media line but faces stiff competition and politics through one of his colleague. Meanwhile he gets money for his marriage from a goon and he is unable to pay it back. His marriage gets stopped and thus he comes across the pressure from the goon and also in the work side. Meanwhile he has a love episode in between. Due to heavy pressure he drinks along with his friends and once he comes to sense what he hears is the death of his colleague and the goon. He gets a call which says that the caller had killed them as per what he said. Who is the caller and what did Saravanan say to him is the end product.

Screenplay in the first half is stagnant. Apart from the last 30 minutes which turns this movie into an unbelievable fun riot, the rest of the movie fails to evoke enough interest to keep the audience hooked. There are many sub plots but the ones which has comedy stands out. Though ‘Naan Kadavul‘ Rajendran makes his appearance only in the second half, he carries the entire film from that point onwards. This film can be termed as his film as this movie would almost be worthless without his contribution. Deepak has done a fair job but needs to be more mature while emoting.

Editing is perfect as the film is just over 120 minutes. Camera angles are good but at times proves that this is a low budget movie. There are only a few songs which does not hinder the speed of the movie and the BGM is ok. Director wanted to give a film which is rich in comedy quotient which he almost delivered but he has lost his path in scripting the screenplay. Rajendran will hold you at times or otherwise this is a film which falls flat..!! 🙂