Pa Paandi (TAMIL)

Starring: Rajkiran, Revathi, Prasanna, Chaya Singh and many more
Editing : Prasanna
Music : Sean Roldan
Cinematography : Velraj
Directed by: Dhanush

Dhanush has now entered into direction..!! After acting, producing, singing, writing lyrics he dons the hat of the director. He has chosen a 60+ actor as his lead in his debut directorial venture. Lets see what he has tried saying us through his story.

Power Paandi (Rajkiran) is a retired stunt master in Tamil film industry, living with his son Raghavan (Prasanna), daughter-in-law (Chaya Singh) and their two children. Raghavan wants his dad to stay at home and spend his time but Paandi is a person who can’t take things lightly, as  he wants to work and be occupied. When Paandi picks up a fight with the local thugs, it causes embarrassment to Raghavan. This forces Paandi and he writes a letter and leaves home. The old man wants to explore life and goes on a road trip to meet his first love (Revathi) in Hyderabad. What happens next forms the rest.

Dhanush has packaged the movie in such a way that the film has necessary commercial elements including fight, romance, songs and family sentiments. Establishing the characters and premise  takes up a chunk of the film’s first half. The film’s second half moves briskly, save for the unnecessary songs that act as speed bumps in the narrative. Rajkiran carries the entire film on his broad shoulder and shines in every frame emoting effortlessly be it charged up for the fight sequences or becoming a child when playing with his grandchildren.

Revathi lifts the film with her brilliant performance though for a very short period of time, she steals the show. The way she sits down with her daughter and discusses the idea of companionship at 60. Take a bow. The flashback scenes of Dhanush and Madonna Sebastian (young Rajkiran and Revathi) though well-written is cliched. Prasanna as the son who repents for his behavior towards his dad after he goes missing has given a good account of himself while Chaaya Singh as his wife does not get any scenes to score. Rinson as the boy next door who has a casual and loyal friendship with Power Paandi is so natural that you wish there are more scenes between them.

If simplicity is the heart of the film, Sean Roldan’s music is the soul. The background scores and the album itself is all about narrating Power Paandi’s story. Velraj’s camera captures the rural flavor and ambience effectively. Dhanush gives us a heartwarming film that, despite its conventional storytelling, packs in a huge emotional wallop. An emotionally strong film but not too much emotional on a story basis. Can give a try..!! 🙂

Komban (TAMIL)

'Komban'-Poster

Starring: Karthi, Lakshmi Menon, Rajkiran, Thambi Ramaiah and many more
Editing : KL Praveen
Music : GV Prakash Kumar
Cinematography: Velraj
Directed by: Muthiah

This director’s debut was a full and full rural film where he has portrayed the love side of a man and his mother’s sentiments towards her son. That was a mediocre hit over rural sides. He joins hands with the hero who comes back from a victory in his last film and returns back with this film which was surrounded by pre-release controversies and finally managed to hit the screens. How it has performed? Lets see..

The story revolves around violent rivalry among three villages, Vellanadu, Arasanadu and Semmanadu. Each wants to have its own man as the elected head. Kombaya Pandian (Karthi) of Arasanadu is a fierce guy who has the support of his entire village. He lives with his mother (Kovai Sarala), brother (Karunaas) and his uncle (Thambi Ramaiah). Komban meets and falls in love with Pazhani (Lakshmi Menon) who is the daughter of Muthaiah (Rajkiran) who is a man of peace and hates violence. Komban crosses path with Gundan (Super Subarayan) a ruthless local politician and his henchmen and this incident triggers a chain of violent incidents which culminate towards the climax.

The film delves into many relationships – mother-son, father-daughter, husband-wife – but lays emphasis on the complex relationship between fathers and sons-in-law, a relationship that is seldom explored. Also there are too many cliches with the characterizations of the villain gang. Though the plot of the movie is not new to Tamil Cinema, the way it is put across with right mix of comedy, action, values of relationships and sentiments work wonders for the film.

Karthi does a pretty good job with his amazing screen presence in spearheading the film. He has the looks and feels demanded by his character of high moral standing. Rajkiran proves why he is so highly rated as a character actor. He does comedy and sentimental scenes with equal ease and reserves his best for the climax when he totally dominates the screen. Nothing to add about Lakshmi Menon as she looks and acts exactly like what she has done in her earlier films. Kovai Sarala and Thambi Ramaiah provide some comic relief, while Super Subarayan as the Gundan, looks menacing.

Velraj’s cinematography has shown the rusty Ramanathapuram locales in different color tone and  GV Prakash’s music and BGM are noteworthy. Sharp cuts of Praveen KL has helped the movie to maintain the pace and the running time is not also too long. Muthiah has based his subject on the experiences of his own and has succeeded to a great extent in presenting not only the raw life of the rural people but the way they love and respect relationships. Another rural mass entertainer with ingredients to satisfy the masses..!! 🙂

Manjapai (TAMIL)

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Starring: Vimal, Lakshmi Menon, Rajkiran and many more
Editing : Deva
Music : NR Raghunandhan
Cinematography: Masani
Directed by: N Ragavan

To be frank a film acted by Vimal never kindles interest unless any big names involved in it. Thus the film was released almost more than 300 plus screens due to its extensive marketing. I still dint have interest. Finally I was made to watch this film which has Rajkiran returning back after a hiatus. Not so interesting songs too. Lets see what this bag offers us.

ManjaPai tells the story of a grandfather and grandchild played by Rajkiran and Vimal. Tamizh (Vimal) has been brought up by his grandfather since his childhood. He manages to settle in Chennai as a software engineer where he struggles for going to USA from his company. So in the meantime he invites his grandfather to Chennai and what happens next is the crux of the film. Add love segments (with Lakshmi Menon) in the middle mixed with overdose of emotions will form the remaining part of screenplay.

The director has attempted to highlight the isolated life and callous attitude of people in the city. But most of the incidents seem superficial and predictable. The film is too formulaic to make a hard-hitting statement that people in villages are naive, helpful and their love unconditional. But does all this apply to people of this generation or even the so-called villages? The highlight of the film is none other than Rajkiran, who has come out with brilliant performance. Rest of the cast is not noteworthy to mention.

Raghunandhan’s music and Masani’s camerawork just passes muster. Editing could have been pepped up at many places. The film suffers from a lack of pace right from the beginning to the long-drawn-out tragic climax, which comes as a total disappointment. Overall with its cliched plot, the film has absolutely nothing new to offer. 🙂