Piku (HINDI)

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Starring: Amitabh Bachan, Deepika Padukone, Irrfan Khan, Moushumi Chatterjee and many more
Editing : Chandrashekar
Music : Anupam Roy
Cinematography: Kamaljeet Negi
Written by: Juhi Chaturvedi
Directed by: Shoojit Sircar

Hindi films are no more just the boy meets girl, love, fights, romance, songs and happy ending. It has changed in the recent times and I have been lucky to see few of those films with the help of subs and one such recent flick is Piku. What is Piku about.? Lets see..

Piku (Deepika) is a simple story of a Bengali girl and her relationship with her father Bhaskor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachan), who suffers from constipation, both physically and mentally. Rana Chaudhury (Irrfan Khan) runs a cab company and these three along with a house-help kick off a road journey from Delhi to Kolkata. The trip made Irrfan know about Deepika and her family more and vice versa which enabled the start of a sweet relationship. Eventually, Deepika gets into a cute romantic relationship with Irrfan Khan. However, Deepika and Irrfan’s love story depends on Amitabh Bachchan as Irrfan has to ‘adopt’ Deepika’s ailing father if he wants to marry her. Will Deepika be able to lead a life that she wants to? Will Deepika and Irrfan finally get married? Will Amitabh get relieved from his bowel issues? That’s the film..!!

Kudos to Juhi Chaturvedi for bringing us close to the Bhaskor and Piku family right from scene one. The special bonding that a father and a daughter shares makes the crux of the film which also highlights on a couple of other issues like women empowerment and responsibility towards parents. Juhi and Shoojit only can make a ‘shit’ into a fantablous family emotion drama with a subtle amount of comedy in it.

Deepika Padukone charms us with her beauty of acting and she steal away our hearts with ease. There is absolutely no point in scrutinising Amitabh Bachan’s acting skills as the veteran actor can certainly pull out any role he is offered with and this role of being a constipation patient is no exception. Although, Big B appears to be an irritating old man, his childlike behaviour will simply make you fall in love with him. Last but not the least, Irrfan Khan is one of the best actors in Bollywood and we hardly could imagine Irrfan Khan romancing Deepika Padukone but after you watch their cute chemistry, your conception will certainly change.

Anupam Roy music is in sync with the mood of the film. Kamaljeet Negi pans his camera across the locations, capturing the charms of old Kolkata. Editing, though you might feel that the film is little bit slow at times, is apt with just 120 minutes of length. Shoojit has taken care of the story well and has given it what it needed along with the bitter-sweet emotions along with the motion which doesn’t make you bored at any point of time. ‘Death and Shit can come anywhere’ well explains it. Here is the winner.. Go and enjoy the (e)motions..!! 🙂

Demonte Colony (TAMIL)

Starring: Arulnithi, Ramesh Thilak, Sanath, Abhishek Joseph and many more
Editing : Bhuvan Srinivasan
Music : Keba Jeremiah        Background Score : Chinna
Cinematography: Aravind Singh
Directed by: Ajay Gnanamuthu

One more horror flick in the recent times, but this horror film does not even have any female character in the film and its only horror and nothing else present. Arulnithi needs to give a solid hit as his ‘Mounaguru‘ released 2 years back. Whether this horror flick has given him a success? Lets see..

Srini (Arulnithi), Vimal (Ramesh Thilak), Raghavan (Sanath) and Sajith (Abhishek) are good friends who are residing at a housing board colony. Just like any other horror movie, all the four of them booze away and intentionally goes to the well known abandoned bungalow in the city aka Demonte Colony. Then comes the history of Demonte. Demonte, a wealthy Portuguese businessman invites all the goldsmiths in the country to make a royal chain to his wife, but his wife becomes mentally retarded and when he realizes that someone in the mansion has made her pregnant, he goes on a killing spree. There is an eerie history that whoever visits the bungalow is murdered in a mysterious fashion. During their visit, Raghavan gets the royal gold chain from the bungalow and now all the four friends will get murdered one by one as their house is haunted by the dead Demonte himself. What happens next is the thrilling second half.

There’s no female lead, no glamorous flashback, no hideous outfits – these are some of the reasons that make this film watchable. The first half takes its own sweet time to get developed given the length of the film is mere 120 minutes. The best part about the screenplay is that it has given all actors equal screen presence, thereby avoiding seeing just the lead man to fight against the evil. Arulnithi leads the gang and he has given a decent performance. Ramesh Thilak takes care of the comical part and his one liners gets a good applause. MS Bhaskar who comes in a brief role steals the show and the foreigner who played as Demonte is perfect for the role of depressed businessman.

The film is technically strong. The amazing cinematography of Aravind Singh who uses unique angles and almost aces the technique of shooting a horror flick is something to watch out for. Other positive in the technical aspect is Chinna’s background score. His re-recording and understanding of what needs to be done for a horror flick in too good. Almost entirely shot in a single room with no gruesome ghosts or unnecessary build up, the director has skilfully created the eerie atmosphere, with rain to his advantage and underlying hint of truth. Director just given a pure horror film and made the evil to succeed at the end. Horror fans can embrace this and can visit the colony for sure..!! 🙂

Purampokku Engira Podhuvudamai (TAMIL)

Puram

Starring: Arya, Shaam, Vijay Sethupathi, Karthika and many more
Editing : Ganesh Kumar
Music : Varshan        Background Score : Srikanth Deva
Cinematography: NK Ekambaram
Screenplay : Roghanth
Directed by: SP Jananathan

After giving us many meaningful movies Jananathan comes out with a political action thriller and that too with a multi starrer. Generally Jana’s films has more action along with some social message. Lets see how does Purampokku fare out and what Jana has gives us..

Balu (Arya) is sentenced to death by a military court on charges of carrying out a deadly attack on the Indian army. The Judge gives the execution to Jail Superintendent Macualay (Shaam) who as a human rights criteria, needs to find a hangman who is experienced in doing the job with the least amount of pain to the prisoner. He finds Yemalingam (Vijay Sethupathi) whose father and grandfather were hangmen and he himself had hanged a prisoner when he was young. Balu quickly turn all the prisoners into his friends and boldly fights for their rights. Meanwhile Balu’s comrades headed by Kuyili (Karthika) plans to kill Yemalingam but later recruit him and draw a plan to get Balu out of prison. Do they succeed in their mission or not forms the rest.

Relatively slow paced first half is one of the low points of the movie, the other is its songs. Not that the songs are unbearable, but they actually seem out of place in the entire plot. The directors should get the courage to leave out songs if they are not required which is a sad question that remains to be answered. The story of the movie begins slowly and gains momentum towards the end. Director has a good story to tell, but the length of the screenplay and predictability are a letdown.

Leads have been well cast and have a significant role in the film. Vijay Sethupathi is top notch as he steals the show with his comic one liner and often elevates the energy level. Arya’s character is a powerful one but his body language and dialogue delivery fails to impress. It  is a terrific opportunity for Karthika who sinks her teeth into the character. She not only looks confident but her agile body and expressive eyes convey a lot. Shaam makes a fabulous comeback as the tough no-nonsense cop. Background score by Srikanth Deva is a big boost for the film. The film does not even require songs. Camera work is as usual good from Ekambaram. Art work scores big in the movie with that Jail set where the entire movie is shot. Jana is as usual excellent with his thought and dialogs. Overall this is another film where the concept is laudable but fails short in execution..!! 🙂

36 Vayadhinile (TAMIL)

36-vayadhinile

Starring: Jyothika, Rahman, Abirami, Delhi Ganesh, Jayaprakash and many more
Editing : Mahesh Narayanan
Music : Santhosh Narayanan
Cinematography: Diwakaran
Directed by: Roshan Andrews

Remakes comes up once in a while these days and that a film portrayed mainly on female and their emotions gets special attention. That too when a top class heroine, a decade back, makes a comeback its gets much bigger. Jyothika comes again with this film with the backing of her husband and producer Surya with a top class Malayalam film ‘How old are you?’. Lets see how this remake fares up.

Vasanthi (Jyothika) works as a clerk in the revenue department and age is a matter of growing concern for her. She is a devoted wife to her husband Tamizh Selvan (Rahman), a doting mother and a dutiful daughter-in-law. Tamizh who works as a radio jockey wants to migrate to Ireland, but Vasanthi was unable to find a job in Irish companies due to her unemployable age. While Tamizh feels that she is a waste, her daughter is least bothered about her. One day Vasanthi’s routine life changes completely as she is asked to meet the President of India, who wants to have a conversation with her. The meeting turns out to be disastrous as she faints in front of the president and becomes the subject of jokes on social media. Susan David (Abhirami), an old college-mate of hers rekindles their past and reminds her of the firebrand that she had been once and inspires Vasanthi to reinvent herself. The rest is how Vasanthi prove her worth and chase her dreams to reach greater heights.

The pace of the film is very slow and though the length of the film is crisp it feels as though we are seeing the film for long and at one point it feels like as though we are seeing a documentary. Moreover all the male characters are portrayed as just who just scolds the women. The biggest highlight of the film is its dialogues and they serve the purpose than merely entertain. Writer Viji knows exactly how to strike a perfect balance between melodrama and comedy and he does gloriously so on several occasions. The film is undoubtedly Jyothika’s show all the way. She keeps you engaged with her expressions, emotions and spontaneity. She draws you into her life, makes you smile and brings in a feel for her. Rahman and other other supporting cast have done justice to their respective roles. While Siddharth Basu makes you believe that he is the actual President of India, Abhirami’s characterization is not as convincing as it should’ve been.

The backbone of the film are the songs and the background score of Santhosh Narayanan. Diwakaran’s camera shots looks good mainly during the terrace shots. Roshan should be lauded for conveying the positive message that age is not a constraint for women to achieve success in life. He has faithfully remade his original version and tried to recreate the magic in Tamil and succeeds to a certain extent. Overall, despite few shortcomings, the film is a clean family entertainer which can be watched for Jyothika and only for her..!! 🙂

Uttama Villain (TAMIL)

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Starring: Kamalhaasan, K Balachander, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah, Urvasi and many more
Editing : Vijay Shankar
Music : Ghibran
Cinematography: Shamdat
Written by: Kamalhaasan
Directed by: Ramesh Aravind

After the blockbuster ‘Viswaroopam’, Kamal comes back with another of his story directed by his bestie and he gets the opportunity along with his mentor who just passed away few months back. Kamal gets into his own territory when it comes to his story. His stories could not be understood by a normal movie going audience. Is this Villain also fall under the same category..? Lets check..

Manoranjan (Kamalhaasan) is the number one star in Tamil cinema who was introduced by Margadarsi (K Balachander), but for the past twenty five years he is acting in films produced by his father-in-law (K Viswanath). Manoranjan has a doting wife (Urvasi) and an affair with his doctor Arpana (Andrea). Everything comes to a standstill when he comes to know he has cancer. Manoranjan goes back to his guru Margadarsi to make a film and thus comes a film named Uttama Villain in which the hero Uttaman (Kamalhaasan) escapes from the death many times due to intervention but mistaken to be known as Mritunjayan or the one who is immortal. An evil King Mutharasan (Nasser) imprisons the princess after attempting to marry her. Mutharasan comes to know his life is in danger and hence brings Uttaman to keep him alive. What happens to Uttaman and Manoranjan is told parallel in the screenplay that leads to a riveting climax.

The film is full of performances and only dialog and emotions based performances which does not lead to any commercial elements. Combining Theyyam, an ancient dance form of Kerala and Tamil folk music Villupattu adds new sheen to the film and at the same time these two makes the film to get a bit slow at parts in the second half. Reel life film story which is based on 8th century is of pure Tamil which many feels difficult to connect. Few scenes seems to be of good importance whereas few could have been left off.

It is undoubtedly a Kamal show all the way! The actor sparkles in both the roles, an ego bloated Manoranjan and a simple Uttaman. The emotional bonding between Kamal his wife Urvashi, son and daughter are noteworthy. An ensemble of fine actors is assembled to breathe life into the film’s plot, and each is integral in their own way, despite the length of their parts. Veterans KB and KV show how good their acting is and particularly when they two and Kamal share the screen its picture perfect. Andrea gets more space among the female and she has performed what is needed. MS Bhaskar gets the long awaited role which he has portrayed well. Nasser completely outshines everyone in the film within the film. Pooja Kumar’s acting is good as the princess Karpagavalli but looks more like a Greek princess than a Tamil one.

The film is solid when it comes to technicalities. Dialogues are sharp and witty and evoke laughs at regular intervals. Ghibran’s music is the back bone of the film. Shamdat’s camera and Vijay Shankar’s editing all work seamlessly to give a wondrous movie watching experience. Ramesh Arvind should be given a pat for attempting to bring Kamal’s dream to the screen and succeeding to a great extent. 172 minutes length is the major con for the film but certain films are exception from it as its purely story oriented. I am very sure not all movie goers will love the film but the lovers of pure cinema will reserve a place for this film in their hearts. Strictly for Kamal and his story..!! 🙂

Vai Raja Vai (TAMIL)

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Starring: Gautham Karthik, Priya Anand, Taapsee, Vivek, Daniel Balaji and many more
Editing : VT Vijayan
Music : Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography: Velraj
Directed by: Aishwarya R Dhanush

Three years after her debut film, 3, the director is back with her second directorial venture with all new star cast and crew and also a completely opposite genre from her debut. The trailer promised an exciting and stylish entertainer – a luxurious cruise liner, packed casinos, and the glamorous world of gambling and fashionably dressed people. Lets see whether this gamble pays off or not..

Karthik (Gautham Karthik) is a normal middle class youngster who leads a perfect life with a caring girlfriend Priya (Priya Anand) and lovable family until he meets his colleague Panda (Vivek) a small time gambler. Karthik has the power to predict what will happen next and it is this ‘intuition’ that makes him an extraordinary person. Together, Karthik and Panda win a big betting amount from Randhe (Daniel Balaji) who loses one crore and he takes revenge by blackmailing them to roulette in a casino at Goa to play for high stakes. Who wins the cat and mouse game is the rest.

Though the film is mere 120 minutes of length the placement of songs and the unwanted old retro act by Vivek and MS Bhaskar makes it even boring. The screenplay needs to be more sharp as the genre is thriller but the screenplay is mixed as one time its thriller and immediately the mood sinks off. The much talked casino scenes does not have anything to offer and those initial cricket betting scenes could have been trimmed by a minute and casino scenes could have been extended instead. First half is enjoyable overall and second half is back only in the last 10 minutes.

Gautham Karthik’s character has been portrayed well by him however, he needs to pay special attention to his lip sync and voice modulation, one might feel. His various emotions seems to be similar and there is no difference. Priya Anand is as usual used only for fillers. Taapsee comes in a cameo but she is more powerful than the heroine. Daniel Balaji is back as the menacing thug, and he convinces you to bits, with his acting. Satheesh gets you in splits, as the friend. But it is Vivek who steals the film, as Pandu or the stylish ‘Panda’. He has very serious role and the film ends with the return of Kokki Kumar. Dont miss that. There are many people in the film and not everyone gets their role to perform as the story does not give space for that.

VT Vijayan has done his part well and Velraj captured the scenes as per the mood and scenario. Yuvan’s songs are not so good but BGM stands out throughout the film. Aishwarya Dhanush has penned the story, screenplay and directed the film, which is evidently a dedicated attempt at the commercial genre in Tamil cinema. However, the story is not gripping enough and it slows down considerably post-intermission. Save the climax the rest of film is just a half baked thriller..!! Time pass..!! 🙂