Vai Raja Vai (TAMIL)


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..!! 🙂


Arima Nambi (TAMIL)


Starring: Vikram Prabhu, Priya Anand, JD Chakravarthy, MS Bhaskar and many more
Editing : Bhuvan Srinivasan
Music : ‘Drums’ Sivamani
Cinematography: RD Rajasekar
Directed by: Anand Shankar

An assistant of Murugadoss debuts in the film which has Vikram Prabhu and Priya Anand as the leads and he directs the film for Kalaipuli Dhanu one of the famous producer of the industry. He debuts with a fresh and almost very talented crew. Much was said about the film as the genre is of edge of the seat thriller. I was pretty much not sure how much the film will be entertaining as nothing much was revealed about the crux of the film. Whether it has passed the muster or not, lets see.

Arjun (Vikram Prabhu) and Anamika (Priya Anand) become acquainted at a high end pub and the sparks fly instantly. They are deeply attracted to each other, but are at the getting-to-know-each-other phase when she is mysteriously abducted. Though he attempts to save her, he fails. Though thoroughly confused and helpless initially, Arjun finds help in Arumugam (MS Bhaskar), an honest police constable who believes in him. The story revolves around the strange events surrounding the abduction of Anamika and how does Arjun finds out the background of the abduction forms the rest.

The film opens with the scene where the hero and his friends rates the girls who comes to the pub. Next, the hero sings a song for the heroine whom he just met a few mins back. Next day they both go for dinner date where they get drunk and to continue the drink, they both go to the heroines flat. Many films take minimum 30 mins to show that lead pairs are getting into love but here its just showed in 2 scenes. Definitely not a cliche’d one which makes us feel that the director has something different (seriously..!!) to offer.

Vikram Prabhu should be given a pat for choosing a script that is apt for his stature. He plays to near perfection and never overreacts. He is full of energy in action blocks especially the long chase sequence atop tall buildings is laudable. Priya Anand as the modern girl looks cute and fits the bill to the T. MS Bhaskar in a cameo is noticeable and a nice casting for his character. JD Chakravarthy proves his mettle once again with a calm and neat performance. Drummer Sivamani’s debut music attempt gets a thumbs up for the background score as it enhances the narrative, but songs are not the same to be said. Several scenes shot at night are a credit to RD Rajashekhar. He keeps us engaged with his excellent camera work almost in all the chases.

Modern gadgets and their use in investigation is highlighted along with our extremely vulnerable situation due to social networking sites that make our private life a wide open book, accessible to all. This shows how much versed Anand’s thoughts should be which is proved by his way of film making. Even though the story might not be a new one but the style and treatment is definitely on par with our Hollywood counterparts. There is enough cleverness in the writing and assuredness in the execution, especially for a debut film. The film is highly engaging, action packed thriller backed by the writing and camera works. Worth a watch..!! 🙂