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..!! 🙂

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Thangamagan (TAMIL)

Dhanush, Samantha & Amy Jackson in Thanga Magan Movie Posters

Starring: Dhanush, Samantha, Amy Jackson, Radhika and many more
Editing : Rajesh Kumar
Music : Anirudh
Cinematography: Kumaran
Directed by: Velraj

After a big gap comes a real big-ticket movie towards the close of the year. As usual the expectations were huge since this is the biggest regional release after the heavy floods and from the combination of VIP team. Lets see how this son has given this film.

Tamizh (Dhanush) is a happy lad, roaming with his friend and his cousin Aravind. Tamizh is smitten by Hema (Amy) and after few chases they both fall in love. Over time, Hema and Tamizh fall apart, and eventually Hema gets married to Aravind and Tamizh finds Yamuna (Samantha) and they are two happy families. The happiness gets spoiled when Tamizh’s father (KS Ravikumar) commits suicide. When nothing is known about the suicide, the rest is the story of how Tamizh uncovers the truth.

The casting of the main characters are the big plus whereas the casting of villains is a big let down. For such a hero who punches through his mouth every now and then, the villains looks just flat. Second half struggles with its poor screenplay with scenes which offers nothing in many places. Comedy clicks well in the first half which is easily the biggest thing in the film. The film rests completely on Dhanush’s shoulders. He turns on the charm in all characterizations as the ideal son, lover and husband. Amy Jackson has a better role and it’s such a pleasure to see a heroine not playing the usual character. Samantha in a homely role is impressive. Radhika and KS Ravikumar provide the ample support as same as Satish.

Editing is good as the film is just few minutes over 2 hours. Debutant Kumaran’s camera has clicked in both halves. Anirudh has provided songs that are needed for situations and as usual excels in the BGM’s. Though the story is impressive it does not help the film due to the bad screenplay. Though it has not clicked fully still the film has something to offer in the form of comedy and the family essence added into it. A good time pass film overall..!! 🙂

Paayum Puli (TAMIL)

PaayumStarring: Vishal, Kajal Agarwal, Samuthirakani, Soori and many more
Editing : Anthony
Music : D Imman
Cinematography: Velraj
Directed by: Suseendran

Susee is one director who moves from one genre to another in each of his films. After his ‘Jeeva‘, he joins hands with his ‘Pandiya Naadu‘ star Vishal and thus the movie gained expectations as their previous outing was a run away hit. Lets see whether this too manages the same status..

Jayaseelan (Vishal) is an undercover encounter specialist whose latest assignment is to eliminate a gang in Madurai who are extorting money from rich businessmen and later killing them. A senior officer who kills the gang leader Bhavani’s brother is killed in front of the public and soon Jayaseelan shoots almost all the members of the gang. But still there is one more person who is the leader of them all. who is that leader and whether Jayaseelan killed him or not forms the rest.

If a thriller takes its own sweet time in narrating its fundamental theme, then that’s a big let down for such a genre film. Sadly, this film falls under this. Adding to this is the love portions of the movie. Susee could have easily cut off two songs in the first half and could have used them to develop the screenplay. After giving all these, when a twist comes you don’t know how to take that forward. The twist is well utilized in the second half but half the damage is done in the first.

Vishal perfectly fits into the police role and also acted well towards the climax. Kajal, no comments. Soori tries to pace up the first half and gets partial success too. But the best of the lot is Samuthirakani. He once again gives a sterling performance as the politician who turns from good to totally bad and the entire second half rests on his shoulders. Imman’s BGM is okayish, Velraj’s camera excels mainly in the night sequences. Anthony could have suggested to chop of the songs so that the film could have been some 15 mins shorter. Dull screenplay in the first half falls before the strong second half, but overall treatment could not withstand before the entire picture..!! 🙂

Vai Raja Vai (TAMIL)

vai-raja-vai

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..!! 🙂

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..!! 🙂