Jumanji : Welcome to the Jungle (ENGLISH)

As usual saw this movie as I did not have any other choice to spend my new year night. Also I have seen the first part of this series and thoroughly enjoyed it. Having that on mind I started watching the movie.

The narrative begins in 1996 where a teenager finds the board game on the beach and he plays the game and is immediately sucked into the game. Twenty years later in the same neighborhood, four students are placed in detention together for disrespecting their respective teachers during class. They stumble upon a five-player Jumanji action-adventure console game. Soon, they find themselves teleport into the jungle as avatars they chose as characters from the video game. The mission tasked to the four players by Nigel, the non-player character, is to find the jeweled eye of the Jaguar, which is now stolen by the big game hunter Van Pelt and restore it to the giant statue’s eye socket. Were they able to do that. Lets see..

The movie does deliver few exciting scenes but at the end of it, it becomes clear that nothing significant or memorable has happened. What works nicely is the good banter of the lead actors and the funny one liners which are adequately stuffed in the narrative. It is amusing to watch the ace actors with dynamic characteristics pretend to be ordinary kids. Their performances are obviously charming and spectacular. Can watch once for this sheer entertainment..!! 🙂


Velaikkaran (TAMIL)

Starring: Sivakarthikeyan, Nayanthara, Fahadh Faasil, Sneha, Prakashraj and many more
Editing : Ruben, Vivek Harshan
Music: Anirudh
Cinematography: Ramji
Directed by: Mohan Raja

Arivu (Sivakarthikeyan) is an intelligent youngster hailing from a slum in Chennai, he starts a local FM channel with the help of the area gangster Kasi (Prakash Raj) only to unmask his real face as he misuses the area’s youngsters. But in the process, Arivu understands that he has a family to take care of and decides to start searching for a job. Luckily his first attempt turns successful and he joins a leading food factory where he meets the shrewd marketing wizard Adhi (Fahadh Faasil). Arivu understands that workers in corporate companies also get cheated by the owners to earn huge profits. Just like how Arivu tried to start a revolution in his slum, he puts in effort to bring a new change in the food industry. What happens next forms the rest.

Siva presses the pause button on his usual comedy gimmicks and delivers an intense performance with lots and lots of dialogues as a socially responsible young man. The first half of is fresh with a lot of interesting twists and the manner in which director Mohan Raja throws new information in each and every scene is laudable. Ramji’s cinematography is top class which provides a rich feel to the film. Art director Muthuraj’s hard work evident with realistic slum sets. On the downside, the second half of the film turns tedious with the endless cat and mouse game between Siva and Fahadh. The romance between the lead pair is not convincing and there is no chemistry between them.

There is no denying the fact that movie has its logical loopholes and for its generalized view of corporate and sales people. The story and dialogues look tad too harsh and flimsy in trying to frame bosses and the companies. But with an engaging and responsible story line at its helm, these factors including the faint love portions do not harm the film’s baseline. Raja has done it yet again..!! 🙂

Aramm (TAMIL)

Starring: Nayanthara, Vela Ramamoorthy and many more
Editing : Ruben
Music: Ghibran
Cinematography: Om Prakash
Directed by: Gopi Nainar

The story starts with an inquiry by a senior official on a suspended district collector Madhivadhani (Nayanthara) who reveals through flashback the events that put her in trouble. Rams and Sunu Lakshmi are an impoverished couple who has a preteen son (Kaaka Muttai Vignesh) and a five-year old daughter Danshika living in a water starved village near the famous Srihari Kota. Even as the collector takes step to temporarily solve their water problems, Baby Danshika accidentally falls into a narrow 146 feet abandoned bore well hole. Whether the protagonist can take hard decision against her stand as a government servant and help rescue the child alive or not is told in a realistic and nail-biting screenplay.

The film at 120 minutes has a doc-feel about it but it is the presentation and emotional quotient that keeps you rooting for its characters and their mission. In spite of having one of the biggest star Nayanthara on board there are no cinematic liberties or compromises here. Though the core screenplay is about rescuing the child from the deep hole the writer, Gopi Nainar also uses it as a tool to shed light on many issues. He has beautifully drawn parallels about the rocket getting ready to be launched spending hundreds of crores while the rescue of a life is attempted with just a rope.

Om Prakash’s camera is centred on the emotional journey of its characters and the rough and dry terrain of south Tamilnadu. It is a simple story of life in a village, a bittersweet tale of human frailties. Watch it for the honesty and truths about the sad state of affairs in your nation..!! 🙂

Aval (TAMIL)

Starring: Sidharth, Andrea, Anisha, Atul Kulkarni and many more
Editing : Lawrence
Music: Girishh
Cinematography: Shreyas
Directed by: Milind Rau

Krish (Siddharth), a doctor and his homemaker wife Lakshmi (Andrea) lead a happy life in the hilly locales of Himalayas. Paul’s (Atul Kulkarni) family buys the neighboring house and moves in. Paul ‘s elder daughter Jenny starts witnessing paranormal activities and slowly everyone in the family is terrorized by strange happenings and visions of dead people. Who is the deadly ghosts who haunts Paul’s house and Jenny needs to be finds out at the end of the movie.

The first half is chilling and the big relief is that there are no duets or silly comedy. The romance and chemistry between Siddharth and Andrea is lively. On the downside the second half is sort of letdown as the story meanders into the familiar territory of solar eclipses, human sacrifice and ‘Conjuring’ like demonic ghosts. The flashback of the ghosts is a big let down. Technically the film is excellent transporting the viewer to the cold climate in which the story happens and the art director also deserves a pat on the back.

The captivating background score and adequate cinematography act as catalysts to the tight screenplay, which is devoid of deviations. The performance of the lead actors, too, comes in handy. To say the least, Aval joins the list of well-made horror flicks made in Kollywood..!! 🙂

Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru (TAMIL)

Starring: Karthi, Rakul, Bose Venkat, Abhimanyu and many more
Editing : Shivanandeeswaran
Music: Ghibran
Cinematography: Sathyan Sooryan
Directed by: H Vinoth

The story is based on true events. Theeran Thirumaran (Karthi) is an upright police officer, who uses his brain and brawn in equal proportions. Theeran walks down the memory lane on one of his important case, he recalls his early training days and how a series of robbery cum murder crime executed by a bunch of criminals changed his life upside down. This real-life story turns slowly but smarty into a one-man mission by Theeran to pin down the hard-core criminals.

What works to high degree in the movie is the painstaking research to make the police procedure authentic. The background of the dacoits which takes us a few centuries back in time makes us understand not only their barbaric side, but also forces one to sympathize with them as history is to blame. On the downside the item number in the second half is a deterrent just like the pacing in it. The dacoits who strike randomly getting right to the doorstep of the hero is quite far-fetched. The inconsistencies in a few places alternating between realism and commercial demands mar the narration.

Ghibran’s background score is a huge strength for the film. Sathyan Sooryan’s visuals is another striking aspect, the pre-interval chase in the pitch dark and rain effect is laudable, the second half portions shot in the desert also deserve a special mention. Vinoth proves once again for his authentic narration. Dont miss..!! 🙂

Mersal (TAMIL)

Starring: Vijay, SJ Suryah, Samantha, Nithya Menon, Vadivelu and many more
Editing : Ruben
Music: AR Rahman
Cinematography: GK Vishnu
Directed by: Atlee

An innocent yet fearless village rebel Thalapathy (Vijay) gets back stabbed by a greedy doctor Daniel (SJ Suryah). But three decades later, Thalapathy ‘s two sons-magician Vetri and doctor Maaran (both the roles played by Vijay) take revenge against the cold-blooded Daniel, who runs a leading hospital network. How they do that forms the story.

Atlee did not have a solid story but has only focused on packaging it in a glossy manner and playing to the galleries. There’s nothing new by way of plot, but Atlee cleverly uses the charm and terrific screen presence of Vijay and presents it in an engaging manner, though we are reminded of many revenge sagas where the hero played a triple role. The flashback portion is emotionally charged and most of the logical loop holes pass by thanks to well placed mass moments at regular intervals.

GK Vishnu’s grand visuals, especially in the flash back portions deserve an applause. Atlee with his winning formula of old wine in a new bottle has proved beyond doubt his caliber as a commercial director. Good masala clichéd entertainer..!! 🙂

Meyaadha Maan (TAMIL)

Starring: Vaibhav, Priya, Vivek Prasanna, Indhuja and many more
Editing : Shafiq
Music: Santhosh Narayanan & Pradeep
Cinematography: Vidhyu
Directed by: Rathna Kumar

Sorry again but could not avoid saying that.. All cos i still have many more re-views to be done from my side. So I planned to give a very short but rich in content in the coming blogs untill I catchup with the recent ones.

‘Idhayam’ Murali (Vaibhav) is about to commit suicide on the engagement day of his lady-love and call his friends Vinoth (Vivek Prasanna) and Kishore (Arun Prasath) before ending up his life. The two friends immediately rush to Murali’s lover Madhumitha’s (Priya) house and ask her to degrade the love of Murali over the phone, which actually works that our hero puts a full stop to his suicide plan and decides to enjoys his life to the fullest. But after one year, situations bring both Murali and Madhu closer, they even fall in love. What happens after that forms the rest.

Thematically ‘Meyaadha Maan’ shines in its depiction of friendship. Humor is the backbone of the screenplay and wherever it works with it does to the hilt. The North Madras flavor is retained delightfully in all the scenes. The film’s duration is too long and the team could have trimmed it a bit. When there’s so much freshness in the script, these minor issues can be brushed aside. Debutante Rathna Kumar has shown good command over extracting performances from his cast and narration and shows great promise for the future. Nice journey..!! 🙂