Hara Hara Mahadevaki (TAMIL)

Starring: Gautham Karthik, Nikki Galrani, Sathish, Karunakaran and many more
Music: Balamurali Balu
Cinematography: Selvakumar
Directed by: Santhosh Jayakumar

Hara Hara Mahadevaki is yet another adult comedy which is purely aimed at youngsters. Debutant director Santhosh Jayakumar has basically tried to cash in on the popular WhatsApp adult comedian’s voice with the tried and tested ‘comedy of errors’ formula which was seen in umpteen Priyadarshan comedies. Lets see what the film has to offer us.

The anthology opens with Thalaivar (Ravi Maria) hatching a plan with his henchman Idi (Namo Narayanan) to plant a bomb hidden in a freebie bag at a ruling party meeting and employ Spike (Mottai Rajendhran) and Kumar (Karunakaran). The second story involves Ravi (Bala Saravanan) an expert at changing fake currencies with a similar bag containing one crore rupees. The third one has Ramya (Nikki Galrani) breaking up with funeral organizer Hari (Gautham Karthick) and the fourth episode involving a couple whose child is kidnapped while staying at a resort and the cops are on the case. All these stories collide at the Hara Hara Mahadevaki resort and all hell breaks loose leading to a Sukhanubavam climax.

There are many cleverly camouflaged pokes at current politicians and policemen which receive thunderous applause. Once all the characters enter the Mahadevaki resort the laugh volume is raised to the loudest. On the downside the film takes a long time for its setup which is a yawn and as mentioned earlier the shoddily conceived and executed kidnap episode is a major let down. Gautham Karthik is comfortable as the happy-go-lucky guy, Nikki Galrani looks pretty and delivers what is required for her character. Overall, this movie can be enjoyed if you opt for some fun with a bunch of young friends. But if you look out for quality comedy, you might only come out disappointed..!! 🙂


Spyder (TAMIL)

Starring: Mahesh Babu, SJ Suryah, Rakul Preet, RJ Balaji and many more
Editing : Sreekar Prasad
Music: Harris Jayaraj
Cinematography: Santosh Sivan
Directed by: AR Murugadoss

Ooph moment again..!! Yes another very long break from writing the reviews. Sorry for the break. I have watched 7 movies in the meantime and will start reviewing with this bi-lingual which was also the launchpad for Mahesh Babu in Tamil. Here I go..!!

Shiva (Mahesh Babu), an Intelligence Bureau official develops a spy software to identify people in need of help. This software enables him to arrest criminals, often before they can commit crimes. One day, Shiva gets a call from a young girl and he immediately sends a woman cop to her rescue. Shockingly, both the girl and the cop are found brutally murdered the next day. Upon investigation, Shiva discovers that serial killer Bhairava (SJ Suryah) is responsible for all these. When Bhairava realises that Shiva has identified him, he decides to commit a bigger crime. How Shiva foils the sadistic killer’s plan is the crux.

Murugadoss’s writing has always been intelligent, quick and needful when the screenplay suffers a setback. This movie defies that logic on many extents. He continues to weaken his strong script with lifeless romantic sequences and needless songs. Another big minus point of the film is the abrupt climax and the forced message in the end. Mahesh Babu could not have asked for a better debut in Tamil and his dialogue delivery is flawless. The big surprise is SJ Suryah who definitely steals the show with his performance.

Harris Jayaraj is another hero of the film. Though the songs are needless and average, Harris lifts the film with his brilliant background score. Santhosh Sivan’s visuals are top-notch and Peter Hein’s stunts are scintillating. But the VFX work is not up to the mark. Expecting a really good film, this attempt from Murugadoss failed to proceed with the same momentum with which it was started. Can be missed..!! 🙂

Thupparivaalan (TAMIL)

Starring: Vishal, Prasanna, Andrea Jeremiah, Vinay, Anu Emmanuel and many more
Music: Arrol Corelli
Cinematography: Karthik Venkatraman
Directed by: Mysskin

Mysskin’s take on Sherlock Holmes is what triggered me to watch this movie and that too Vishal in that role adds more spice. Even the title card announces dedications to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and other Baker Street fans. So lets see how our local Sherlock has performed.

Kaniyan Poongundran (Vishal) runs a detective agency with, Manohar (Prasanna) in tow. A school boy brings the case of his Pomeranian dog killed by a bullet which leads the detectives on the trail of a gang of high-tech assassins headed by Devil (Vinay). There is a subplot involving a pickpocket Mallika (Anu Emanuel) who turns over a new leaf for the hero and also aids him in his mission at a crucial juncture. What happens next is told with long drawn out scenes and ends in a gory climax. Mysskin always emerges as winner by offering unique films. On the contrast, a suspense thriller movie always demands the best pace. But here, it proceeds with slow pace. The villain gang are mere caricatures lacking any depth in their characterizations to make them interesting beyond a point.

This is Vishal’s best film since Pandiya Naadu. The actor lived like a detective, his quirky mannerisms, dialogue delivery, body language and effortless stunts convince us that none could have carried away this role. Prasanna has underplayed and through that has established that he has been wasted all these days. Vinay is subtle yet impactful as the antagonist. The impressive array of actors, comprising Simran, Andrea, Bhagyaraj, Anu Emmanuel and John Vijay, do justice to their roles. The stunt sequences are the best moments in the film. Vishal and every other actor have given their heart and soul into it.

Arrol Corelli needs special mention, his BGM has elevated many scenes and keeps the detective play interesting. But his over usage of just Violin could have been avoided. What makes Thupparivalan different from other Mysskin films, is that how he has done away with some of his visual narration techniques and, in the process, has found new ones in the film. Mysskin is definitely one of the most intriguing filmmakers of our times, enthralling us with his innovative storytelling techniques, which connect with the deepest emotions within us. Go watch out if you are the fan of thriller genre..!! 🙂

Kurangu Bommai (TAMIL)

Starring: Vidharth, Bharathiraja, Kumaravel, Thenappan and many more
Editing : Abhinav Sunder Nayak
Music: Ajaneesh Loknath
Cinematography: NS Udhayakumar
Directed by: Nithilan

Movies made by newbies have garnered more appreciation than films by stars in recent years. Many movies in the former category have sprung surprises with their content, and the 2017 release Maanagaram is one such fine example of a well-crafted product. Will this movie be one of such hits. Lets see.

Sundaram (Bharathi Raja) is an innocent loyalist, who work under businessman and smuggler Ekambaram (Thenappan). Sundaram’s son Kathir (Vidharth) hates him for being a right hand to Ekambaram. Ekambaram asks Sundaram to smuggle an idol to Chennai, the latter readily agrees as he feels Ekamabaram is a real savior to him. Ekambaran hands over the idol to Sundaram in a bag with a Monkey logo (Kurangu Bommai) and the old man has to safely deliver to a broker named Sekar (Kumaravel) in Chennai. But the greedy Sekar tells Ekambaram that Sundaram did not come to his house and sketches a plan to loot the money. Meanwhile, in Chennai, Kathir sees an elderly man travels with the monkey bag at a bus stop and a local thief snatch it away from him. Kathir chases the thief and gets the bag but he is unable to see the person who lost it. What happens next forms the crux.

Nithilan has given a predominantly gripping realistic film. It is a crime thriller that carries much more intense portrayals of how the need and greed for money dictates human behaviour. For a realistic crime thriller with a running time of just 106 minutes, the dependence on commercial elements such as fights, a duet song etc could have been avoided. Vidharth could well be on to something here. Kuttrame Thandanai, Oru Kidaiyin Karunai Manu and now this film. His performance reaches the peak in the pre-climax sequence where he learns a so far hidden truth. He underplays and simply excels with is natural performance. Bharathiraja as a kindhearted vulnerable old man has given yet another brilliant performance with apt body language and dialogue delivery.

Kumaravel as the villain does a menacing job and is a pleasant departure from his past roles. Delna Davis is equally impressive. Producer PL Thenappan has done justice to his character. New guy Kalki who plays Sindhanai, a petty thief after the Kurangu Bommai bag, provides the necessary comic moments. These brilliant performances are the major highlight of this film. Kudos to Nithilan for this. Ajaneesh Loknath’s songs are passable while BGM is apt in most sequences. Abhinav Sundar Nayak also deserves a special mention for his smooth and sharp edit. Overall, Kurangu Bommai is a quality crime thriller, which will definitely satisfy all movie lovers..!! 🙂

Arjun Reddy (TELUGU)

Starring: Vijay Devarakonda, Shalini Pandey and many more
Editing : Shashank
Music: Radhan
Cinematography: Raju Thota
Directed by: Sandeep Reddy Vanga

All of a sudden this movie garnered attention all over the city. Non telugu speaking people were waiting for the subtitles and the movie was full for all the shows once the subtitles were available. Whats special about this movie. Lets see..

Arjun Reddy (Vijay Devarakonda), a brilliant medical student, falls in love with his junior, Preethi (Shalini Pandey). It’s a college campus love story until the boy has to leave the campus to pursue higher studies. Distance relationship follows, punctuated with surprise visits and long kisses. Years later, Arjun is ready to marry Preethi and tries to convince her father. He fails. This is then that you come to know that Arjun’s take-it-or-leave-it attitude is not just an inconsequential trait. His attitude is the story’s reason. Separation followed by Arjun’s path of self-destruction. Will Arjun ever be able to outlive his past? Watch it to know it.

The love in the movie is pure, unabashedly bold and hard-hitting. It touches the soul in ways it can’t be explained. It gives the story a modern-day Devdas twist, while making the overall cinematic experience a journey to remember for a long time. Director Sandeep doesn’t make us sympathise with Arjun’s character, and that’s a relief and achievement by itself. He makes us understand his love and pain from a very personal standpoint, and in doing so, he strikes an emotional chord. Sandeep demands our full attention to the world he has created and once you submit yourself unconditionally, it turns into a hugely rewarding experience. Despite the film’s fresh, youthful and bold approach, the second half is too lengthy and goes on and on. It needs a lot of trimming. But it finds its groove with the climax sequences.

The movie totally belongs to Vijay Devarakonda. Vijay puts his heart and soul into his performance. His emotional outbursts are splendid. He has given an intense, unconventional performance. Rahul Ramakrishna as Vijay’s friend is good, mouthing his dialogues in a natural way. Shalini Pandey makes an impression. The supporting cast is also good. Music by Radhan is an asset to the film. Director Sandeep makes his presence in cinema in the very first film. His is completely new voice and has different narrative style. This is a bold, daringly different youthful movie with totally fresh treatment and narration. Not to be missed..!! 🙂

Taramani (TAMIL)

Starring: Andrea Jeremiah, Anjali, Vasanth Ravi, Azhagam Perumal and many more
Editing : Sreekar Prasad
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography: Theni Easwar
Directed by: Ram

Ram has the knowledge in dishing out different genres in all his previous two films and he has come back again with this film where he has dealt with a very relevant subject of how men from all classes wrongly perceive women and realize their folly mostly when it’s too late. Read below for the further story.

Prabhu (Vasanth Ravi) is a BPO employee who has lost his focus in life after a failed love affair with a girl (Anjali). Becoming an aimless after that, a chance encounter with a bold Anglo-Indian girl Altheya (Andrea Jeremiah) turns into love and how it is wrecked by his male chauvinist attitude forms the crux of the story which has many layers to it. Ram deals with fickleness in today’s relationships, extramarital affairs, greed among youngsters, ego trip and a lot of relevant issues apart from a poignant love story. The movie demolishes every kind of stereotype out there – at times with subtlety and at times through a loudspeaker.

Ram the writer-director has used a brilliant ploy to lift the screenplay whenever it lags, by using his voice over to state contemporary truths which works every time in the film. For the first time in Tamil cinema homosexuality is dealt in a sensitive way without judging. Andrea steals the show with her riveting performance, the way she elegantly carries herself is a treat to watch. Vasanth Ravi makes a solid debut, getting under the skin of a confused vagabond who has problems dealing with his women. Anjali in a flawless cameo conveys the feelings and transformations of her character without the help of dialogues. Azhagam Perumal as the kind-hearted railway constable who helps the hero also gets a wonderful scene to shine.

Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music with lyrics penned by the late Na. Muthukumar are pleasant on the ears. Yuvan is in prime form in the background score. Ram should be lauded for choosing the less travelled path and his strong social conscience gets embedded in his works which is true even in this film. Good and should not be missed..!! 🙂

Velaiyilla Pattadhari 2 (TAMIL)

Starring: Dhanush, Kajol, Amala Paul, Samuthirakani, Vivek and many more
Editing : GK Prasanna
Music: Sean Roldan
Cinematography: Sameer Tahir
Story: Dhanush
Directed by: Soundarya Rajinikanth

A sequel to a successful film has both advantages and disadvantages. The challenge is that the sequel has to match the expectations over the first part. The advantage is that you already have a success formula and you just have to tread the best laid path with a little caution over repetitiveness. Lets see how this movie has fared in that way.

Raghuvaran (Dhanush) is now married, so instead of his dad, he is now afraid of his wife Shalini (Amala), who constantly shouts and blames him for something or the other. The film opens with an award function and employees of Vasundra Constructions win in all categories except Engineer of the Year, which goes to Raghuvaran of Anitha constructions. Vasundra (Kajol) wants him to work in her company but the former rejects the offer saying that he wants to be loyal to Anitha Constructions and chase his dream to start his own company with VIP boys. Meanwhile, Vasundra loses a deal to Raghuvaran because of her attitude, which further kindles her ego. Now Vasundra decides to destroy Anitha Constructions by taking over all their deals through her political and personal influence. In order to save Anitha Construction from losses, Raghuvaran resigns his job and challenges Vasundra. So once again Raghuvaran becomes a Velai Illa Pattadhari (jobless graduate)! Will he start his own dream company with his VIP boys and take on Vasundra forms the rest.

The first half of the film is watchable mainly due to the retained scenes and characters but after a point, the film has nothing new to say and each and every scene becomes repetitive and predictable. Especially, the second half is a plodding ride with unimaginative scenes, dull screenplay and a disappointing climax. The other aspect where the film falls woefully short is in the songs and the score, which lack the catchiness of Anirudh’s work in the earlier film. VIP 2’s lifeline is Dhanush, it is his energetic screen presence which is the biggest strength and one reason to watch the film. But sadly, Dhanush’s presence and performance alone can’t save a mediocre predictable drama. On the whole, VIP-2 is not emotionally charged or entertaining like part-1..!! 🙂