Kodi (TAMIL)

kodi-movie-poster_147573311700Note: This is my 200th post..!! 🙂

Starring: Dhanush, Trisha, Anupama, SA Chandrasekhar, Saranya and many more
Editing : Prakash Mabbu
Music : Santhosh Narayanan
Cinematography : S Venkatesh
Directed by: Durai Senthilkumar

This film has marked Dhanush’s entry into the double action for the first time. As the stills and trailer showed, there is not a huge difference between the two characters except the change in the beard. Set against the backdrop of politics, film has Trisha playing the lead to Dhanush for the first time in both of their career. All these add up to a huge deal of expectations. Lets see how the Kodi is flying.

Kodi and Anbu (Dhanush) are twins born to a loyal member (Karunas) who sacrifices his life for his party. Kodi fits in his father’s dream of making it big in politics and he becomes a full-time politician against his mother’s (Saranya) wishes. Anbu grows up as an obedient son of his mother and works as a professor in a local college. Rudra (Trisha) belongs to the rival party of Kodi and she loves Kodi despite being in rival parties. When their respective parties announce Kodi and Rudra as their candidate for an by-election, power game gets intensified between the two. Who wins and what happens to their personal relationship and how Anbu is involved in this forms the rest of the story.

As we have heard many times, content is the king which is once again proved in this film thanks to the director for this. The movie works largely because of the surprise twists and turns in Senthilkumar’s script and presentation. The plot is refreshing and there are no unnecessary twists or excessive melodrama. The first half of the movie travels like a usual commercial entertainer but slowly the film turns into a classy political thriller, especially in the second half. The movie works mainly, because of the gripping good vs evil war. When that is mixed with politics the movie moves on nicely.

For an actor of his caliber, this movie is a cakewalk for Dhanush. He carries both the roles with maturity and elegance. He shines in the mass hero moments as well as the dramatic ones. He differentiates the role very well. It is hard to believe that Trisha was the one who played as Jessie, in ‘Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya‘, is the one who has played Rudra in this movie. Rarely do we see a heroine have a meaty role and Trisha gets that long-awaited opportunity. The actor plots silently and is the face of calm even in the most tense moments. It’s that rare performance that is calculated, effective and one of her career best. Anupama fits the bill as the homely girl while Kali Venkat grabs our attention as a loyal friend. Saranya, SA Chandrasehar play their parts well.

Cinematography by Venkatesh is perfect for a political drama capturing minute expressions of the actors while Santhosh Narayanan’s background score rightly sets the tense mood. Editing is perfect as it slowly paces the film when it moves to the second half. Senthilkumar, backed by his strong cast and crew, has etched the screenplay having all the commercial elements in his mind and has given a strong political thriller which works well most of the time. It is hard to imagine a movie without a strong male antagonist but here that is filled by a female antagonist who is strong enough as hero which is the major twist of the movie. Overall the movie is a well written and packaged commercial entertainer that delivers good.

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Kashmora (TAMIL)

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Starring: Karthi, Nayanthara, Sri Divya, Vivek and many more
Editing : Sabu Joseph
Music : Santhosh Narayanan
Cinematography : Om Prakash
Directed by: Gokul

Kashmora, the title itself sounds different and that was the feel all had when the makers released the first look of the movie. Also the hero of the movie looked totally different that almost many could not identify who the hero was and finally it was Karthi. Such was the difference the movie had created as part of the pre release. Lets see how the movie has fared.

Kashmora (Karthi) is a fake black magician who dupes people and gets money from them using their fear as a tool. With the help of his dad (Vivek) and his family, he slowly becomes the best of town which makes the police and even minister to look for him. Meanwhile, Sri Divya comes for her thesis to Kashmora to make everyone feel that he is a cheat. Kashmora escapes with the minister’s money and lands with his family in a haunted palace where they happen to see the spirit of dead warrior Raj Nayak (Karthi). Who is Raj Nayak and what he does to Kashmora and his family forms the rest.

The movie starts slowly and it takes more time to get into the story. Actually towards the end of the first half the film gains back from where it went down. But what is the need of such a  heavy flashback for such a normal story? There was no use in just repeating the same act of the hero cheating people. It could have been better if Gokul had shown more number of scenes where the hero and his family cheats the people. The war scenes could have made better so that it could have connected the story well. The end of the movie shows the director could not come to a decision how to end the movie.

The film completely belongs to Karthi and he shines as the deadly warrior Raj Nayak with his villainy mannerisms while his performance as the comical black magician is a scream. After Karthi, Vivek steals the show as his dad. Nayanthara was used to project the film’s flashback in a grandeur way. Her styling and screen presence is unmatchable. Sri Divya has nothing much to do. Om Prakash’s camera angles and lighting are what makes this film differ from the usual fare in this genre. Sabu’s editing could have been even more crisper. Santhosh’s BGM makes to feel the movie more interesting. VFX could have been better whereas the detailing of the art team stands tall.

Gokul, who gave us a very strong ‘Idharkudhaney Aasaipattai Balakumara’ which was heavy in its comedy, has taken a different angle to black magic and has tried to give his best. Provided that this era belongs to the ghosts he has mixed that with a spoon of comedy and a vessel of old century fights. Unfortunately he could not give much of what was expected from the trailer and the film moves damn slow even after the story was established. Can watch only for Karthi and the visuals. Better to give a miss if you do not have patience..!! 🙂

MS Dhoni (HINDI)

msdStarring: Sushant Singh, Anupam Kher, Kiara Advani, Disha Patani and many more
Editing : Shree Narayan
Music : Amaal Malik    Background Music: Sanjoy Chowdhury
Cinematography : Santhosh Thundiyi
Directed by: Neeraj Pandey

I have never seen such a very strong response for a biopic anywhere in the near time. There were few but nothing received such a tremendous opening, thanks to the famous cricket, MS Dhoni aka Mahendra Singh Dhoni receives a splendid opening and rousing reception from the time the project was announced. Lets see how the completed film looks like.

The story moves on from Dhoni’s childhood and how he got interest in cricket, his changeover from football to cricket, his struggle in balancing his work life and his passion, his brief romance, his sincerity to the game and everything he did in life. On the cricketing side, it covers the laid-back attitude of the bureaucrats, politics of the game and Dhoni’s tenure as the captain of the team. This itself comes to three hours of film and that’s huge..!!

Neeraj has cleverly avoided controversies and subjects like his selection as the captain, his movement within the team and team spirit. The first half of the film is totally enjoyable. There are many small instances which works in the favor of the film. The finale part involving the world cup victory is entertaining and nostalgically emotional. The special effects, especially in the finale part is of top-notch. Sushant Singh is riveting as Dhoni. He’s got the body language and the cricket techniques. This movie portrays his fantastic talent as an actor.

Disha Patani looks beautiful her chemistry with Sushant is short, sweet and enjoyable. Kiara Advani is fine in her part but her character could have been developed better. Anupam Kher shows why he is still considered the best in his profession. The friends of Sushant also have performed well. Songs could have been crisp mainly the duets. Editing is crisp in first half but not in the second. Camera work shows that there was more difficulty in applying the VFX for that.

Pandey recreated the script and clearly added few main things as screenplay but it would have been even more interesting if he had got many unknown things into the picture. Given the length and substances, the film should have been a roller coaster but this seems to be like a straight road with many speed breakers in the middle. Can watch only if you love cricket and the man who got us the world cup back, MS Dhoni..!! 🙂

Pink (HINDI)

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Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee, Kirti Kulhari, Angad Bedi and many more
Editing : Bodhatiya
Music : Shantanu Moitra
Cinematography : Abhik
Directed by: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury

After hearing many good reviews and the multiplexes adding subtitle to the movie weeks after the release made me to watch this film, finally. Daily I use to hear some nice things about this movie which held me for days in control to see this movie with subs. I saw it last week and lets see how the movie is.

This is a story of three independent girls Minal (Taapsee), Falak (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea who meets Rajveer (Angad Bedi) and his friends at a rock show. Rajveer and his friends try to take advantage of the girls and in order to escape, Minal hits him with a bottle. Days later the girls decide to file a case against Rajveer and his friends. Rajveer belongs to a political family and he files a backdated case and gets Minal arrested. Minal and friends try their level best to come out free and finally get help from a retired lawyer Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan). This leads to a trail and what happens after that forms the crux.

The first half is like a thriller, taut and tense. In a smart storytelling move, the incident is never actually shown which sparks off the chain of events in this film (not until the end credits). We must rely on the snatches of conversations, accusations, and confessions made during the course of the film to piece together what may have taken place which is a smart move. Many things have brought to the light like zero FIR, women can be released in bail though the sections are non bailable, etc. All three girls are excellent. Taapsee has the film on her shoulders and she is consistently, impressively credible. Kudos to the other two too.

Amitabh Bachchan surpasses many of his iconic performances and sets a landmark. Piyush Mishra is fantastic in his role and gives good balance to the towering performance of Amitabh. Aniruddha extracts natural performances from all his actors, and makes a meaningful film without any unnecessary commercial trappings and never once deviating from the core theme. The film is crisp and the camera work is decent as it captures the capital city as it is. Shantanu adds sadness in his BGM. Apart from its great performances, the other boosters of the movie are its taut screenplay and dialogues for which Anirudhha should be appreciated. The movie is a colorful rendering of various emotions and power packed screenplay. Should not be missed..!! 🙂

Remo (TAMIL)

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Starring: Sivakarthikeyan, Keerthy Suresh, Sathish, Saranya and many more
Editing : Ruben
Music : Anirudh
Cinematography : PC Sriram
Directed by: Bakiyaraj Kannan

Remo is Siva’s next after his blockbuster ‘Rajini Murugan‘. Thus the hype surrounded during the release. The reason is not only Siva but the crew of the movie too. Best cameraman, trending music director, specialist for sound and what not the best promotion ever happened for a star of just 10 films old. Lets see whether the film is strong enough to handle these.

SK (Sivakarthikeyan) is an aspiring actor and for him, conversing with girls and falling in love is the toughest thing in the world. As usual he comes across a girl and the moment he sees Kavya (Keerthy Suresh) he falls in love. When SK decides to propose, Kavya gets engaged to a rich doctor. After that he decides to concentrate on his acting career and attends the audition of director KS Ravikumar’s Avvai Shanmughi sequel for which he has to do a nurse getup. Unfortunately SK fails in the test and on his way back home, in the same getup, meets Kavya, who promises to get him a nurse job in her hospital. With this he plans to woo her by being with her all time as nurse. What happens next forms the crux.

The problem starts when the plot stalls itself with filmy and cliche sequences, with a story line that has been presented over the years in too many forms. The major elements don’t seem to click right every time as they don’t flow with the screenplay but rather induced by force like an unnecessary fight. The entire first half is rollicking fun and the comedy scenes are downright hilarious. But the second half, however, dips due to the romance portion and the emotional scenes that are so badly conceived. Sivakarthikeyan holds together the film with his perfect comic timing and he is easily the film’s biggest strength. The nurse look is the trump card of Remo. The actor has pulled off the lady look with sheer perfection, thanks to Sean Foot of Weta studios.

Keerthy Suresh appears a little over expressive, but adds little to the film despite coming for almost all scenes. Sathish and co. tries to tickle us but its not as natural as it used to be like the previous films. Saranya fills the role of the mother. Technically the film is slick, with top class cinematography by PC Sriram, his lighting and close-up are pure magic. Resul has helped the nurse’s voice to be heard like a nurse. Anirudh is a big plus for the movie as he has helped by providing chart busters through songs and his BGM’s. Given a strong team, debutant Bakkiyaraj could have worked even better in screenplay like how he has worked in his dialogs.

Let down by the story and screenplay movie hangs loose in middle. Overall the movie is neither entertaining nor boring. Can watch only for Siva and nothing else to be said on this..!! 🙂

Oppam (MALAYALAM)

oppam

Starring: Mohanlal, Nedumudi Venu, Samuthirakani, Vimala Raman and many more
Editing : Ayyappan Nair
Music : 4 Musics    Background Score: Ron Yohann
Cinematography : NK Ekambaram
Directed by: Priyadarshan

Another Malayalam movie after some time and I chose this movie only ‘cos of the actor director duo and their deadly combo. Also the film falls under the genre of thriller, it made me to think of ‘Drishyam‘, the hero’s previous thriller. Lets see how the movie has thrilled us.

Jayaraman (Mohanlal) is a visually challenged man, working as a lift operator in an apartment complex. A retired judge (Nedumudi Venu), who is residing in one of the apartments there, shares some crucial secrets with Jayaraman about one of his cases and the outcomes from that. In between, Jayaraman suffers from serious problem from his brother as the marriage of their sister is nearing. The movie shifts to next phase when a murder happens at the apartment, during a wedding ceremony. Jayaraman manages to find the killer and takes on him, but he flees from the spot. Jayaraman becomes the prime suspect as evidences are against him. What happens next and what connection does the killer and the judge have forms the rest.

The film slowly opens up the issues and once the things gets expanded it blows up everything which makes us to sit straight. There is no romance or any form of degrade to the blind role portrayed by the hero. Also he is a self-made man who is well versed in Kalari, Kathakali, music and also knows his surroundings well and the way he smells out situations and people are interesting which helps the story to move forward. But towards the end it slightly touches our patience as the movie keeps growing despite it could have ended much earlier.

Mohanlal, has delivered a brilliant performance as the visually challenged lift operator. The actor succeeded in presenting the challenging character with perfection, and it is undoubtedly his best performance in the recent past. Among the rest of the cast, it is Samuthirakani who needs a special mention for his good show. Nedumudi Venu and the little girl are also impressive. Technically, Ekambaram’s camera angles stand out and the frames are splendid and the close-ups are intense. The editing is also crisp and the thriller mode is highlighted. Music and BGM are added to the mood of the narrative.

Priyadarshan, the director of the film, has succeeded in his attempt to try a different film genre. The screenplay, which perfectly weaves the main plot and subplots together, is the backbone of the film. It is undoubtedly a great comeback for the hit maker. Overall a very good, decent thriller that can be enjoyed with the family..!! 🙂