Due to professional and personal commitments of the reviewer(s), there will be no more reviews of Tamizh films henceforth on this blog. We are unable to regularly update this blog, because we are not paid to do so and we only got to do it, on personal interest basis & also as a hobby. The sheer number of movie releases, week in week out, also takes the toll out of the reviewer(s), because we are unable to keep up with regular and professional bloggers/reviewers.

On behalf of the others, I wish to thank readers/followers of this blog, who have read, commented, praised, appreciated, criticized the writings of this blog, thus far. All feedback are welcomed, irrespective of the nature of them.

We do not know what the future holds, but if fate/time/GOD permits, we do hope that we can continue to post regular movie reviews in the future.

Till then, keep supporting good films and encourage great talents.



After a break of 4-years, Shankar's S Pictures is back in limelight and this time he is distributing the film made by his former protege, Karthik G.Krish, which is produced by I Studios Entertainment. 'Kappal' promises to be a comedy-riot and is mainly targeted at the urban youngsters. When ones love is in trouble, he/she depend on his/her friends. But what if the friends are the actual problem here ? 'Kappal' explores this situation and did Shankar's protege make his mentor proud ?

For Vaibhav, who has been doing supporting roles, this is a big break for him and his role is an apt character for his style of acting. The character had enough comical shades to it and Vaibhav has made good use of his opportunity. His comic-timing is getting better and even his acting his improving as well. More experiments with his dialogue delivery and voice modulation can help him improve his performance. Debutante heroine Sonam Bajwa looks super cute, elegant, hot & sexy, all rolled into one. She scores in some portions and shows promise. With better choices of films, this young lass can shoot herself into the A-list of Tamizh cinema heroines ! 'VTV' Ganesh was in his usual elements and rocks in a few scenes, with his unique style of dialogue delivery. The team of Karunakaran, Arjunan Nandhakumar, Venkat Sundar and Karthik Priyadarshan complemented Vaibhav well and they had their own moments too. Robo Shankar, George, Steve and etc had supporting roles and among them, Steve stood out for his performance in a character, which strangely mimicked Silambarasan.

S.Tamil Selvan is in charge of costume designing and as per the script's demands, the characters looked their roles, especially Sonam Bajwa, who was looking charming and sexy, in her chic costumes. Art direction is handled by K.Arusamy, and his work gave the rich detailing in terms of set properties. 'VTV' Ganesh's house set-up, as well as the posh houses shown in the film, were aptly propped. K.Arusamy certainly made good use of the budget given ! Anthony's editing was surprisingly jerky, and he could have certainly trimmed many portions, which was slowed the pace of the film. Dinesh Krishnan.B of 'Soodhu Kavvum' fame has handled the cinematography work and it is very slick and functional. The way he has did the lighting for the indoor locations, gave the sequences the apt look and the rich-look of the film was achieved, thanks to his camerawork.

Natarajan Sankaran's musical score works well with the script's presentation style and the flow of the screenplay. "Oru Cup Acid" sung by Santhosh Narayanan is shot in Vaibhav, Karunakaran, Arjunan Nandhakumar, Venkat Sundar and Karthik Priyadarshan and serves as their introductory song. The whole song was shot in a college campus and has montages of the quadruplet of friends spoiling every attempt of Vaibhav in a finding a girlfriend. "Kaali Pasanga", also sung by Santhosh Narayanan, is a comical situation song, in which Vaibhav thwarts a group of rowdies by spewing bad words at them. The VFX executed by WEFX team is commendable. "Ekka Chakkama" is shot on the lead pair and has montages of their love scenes, shot in and around posh and urbane locations of Chennai. The pick of the lot, "Kadhal Cassatta" was shot on the lead pair and a group of dancers, against a candy & sweets themed, set work done by K.Arusamy. Both the sets and Sonam Bajwa looked yummy, indeed ! Dinesh Krishnan.B's camerawork deserves mention for this song. The cult-hit 'Isaignani' Ilaiyaraaja groove number, "Oore Vittu Ooru" from the film 'Karakaattakaaran', is used in this film, though the audio CD had a different remix-version. It was shot against Vaibhav, Karunakaran, Arjunan Nandhakumar, Venkat Sundar and Karthik Priyadarshan, in and around Chennai locations and they were accompanied by a group of dancers, dressed up as super-heroes. "Friendship" is a pathos song, and has montages of the main lead and the supporting artistes, dealing with the break-up between the hero and heroine. Natarajan Sankaran's background score is quirky and works well for the film's mood.

Karthik G.Krish's simplistic but realistic approach and treatment of the script, makes 'Kappal' a fun viewing for most of the time. The hero and heroine's characters were well etched and handled, and the detailing in their characters, could have been a little more articulate. The screenplay was simple and straightforward, although there are some lagging moments, which could have been edited out, alongside some unwanted song sequences. Karthik G.Krish's plus point seems to be his dialogue writing and there are plenty of one-liners, which were very funny and entertaining, especially in the first half and mouthed by 'VTV' Ganesh. There are some loopholes and continuity mistakes in the film, which the makers could have been more careful of, but Karthik G.Krish manages to divert our attention away from those mistakes, with back-to-back comedy sequences. The climax is a riot, especially with Steve's character and the antics played by Karunakaran, Arjunan Nandhakumar, Venkat Sundar and Karthik Priyadarshan. There are some adult-oriented comedy portions and dialogues, which we believe, is a toned-down version from the original scenes. 

'Kappal' - Some rough water, but a safe sail overall !

Ratings: 2.5/5 STARS



After the grand success of 'Kumki', Prabhu Solomon is back with his next love story and this time, its set against the devastating tsunami disaster which occurred on the 26th of December 2004. Produced and distributed by Escape Artist Motion Pictures and Prabhu Solomon's own GOD Pictures, 'Kayal' promises to be an impactful love-story backed by D.Imman's melodious music. Can Prabhu Solomon score a hat-trick with 'Kayal' ?

Debutante Chandran makes a very promising debut. His earnestness in performing well is apparent on screen and he glides into the emotional scenes, with ease and comfort. His rugged and athletic nature makes him fit for the character and with sound decision-making, Chandran can definitely make it big in Tamizh cinema. Heroine Anandhi, get the attention here by playing the titular character. After 'Poriyaalan', this is a big leap for her and an apt choice for her character. Her pleasant and sweet looks complements the character very well and her gorgeous, beautiful and expressive pair of eyes, wins us over. Definitely one of the next sought-after upcoming heroines of Tamizh cinema ! Vincent as Socrates was splendid with his unique dialogue delivery style and comic timing. The rest of the cast such as 'Gemini' Rajeswari, Aarthi Ganesh, 'Yaar' Kannan, Bharathi Kannan, Jacob, Yogi Devaraj, Floent C.Pereira, Vetrivel Raja, Balasubramanian, 'Mime' Gopi, Archana Ravi, Divya and etc did a good job as well and blended well into the story-line. A very good work in terms of casting by Prabhu Solomon. Don't miss out the special cameo appearance by Prabhu, as well !

Technically, 'Kayal' speaks volumes for the hard-work put in by all technicians and putting into account, that the film's budget was on a moderate scale, what the makers have achieved is something everyone should appreciate. VFX by F!REFLY though not top-notch, was very convincing, and they have handled the water elements very well, for the tsunami portions. Tapas Nayak's Dolby Atmos sound mixing added more value to those sequences, and its an experience watching it in Dolby Atmos-available theaters. V.P Senthil Azhagan is in charge of costume designing and his work minimal, though it was very apt for the script and each artiste looked the character they portrayed. 'Miracle' Michael's action choreography was functional and sufficed the needs of the script. Vairabalan deserves applause for his meticulous production design and art work in pulling off the tsunami-ravaged coastal area set-up. Every set-work looked very realistic and brings out the ugly and sorrowful state of the tsunami-affected areas. Watch out for the opening scene, where Chandran stands on top of a left-over staircase ! I.Samuel 2:8 takes care of the editing work and though the climax portion was well cut, the film could do better with some trimming, especially in the first half, which takes its own sweet time unraveling. Complementing the screenplay and Prabhu Solomon's vision is Vetrivel Mahendran's cinematography work. The makers have taken us to every nook and corner of India, unexplored by Tamizh cinema before. The awesome visuals gives us a feeling of watching National Geographic or Discovery Channel documentaries. The climax scene, shot in Kanyakumari, featuring the Valluvar statue and Vivekanandha Ashram, set against the monstrous tsunami, was very eye-catching. Very well, done !

D.Imman's musical composition serves as the backbone of the film. The Prabhu Solomon-D.Imman-Yugabharathi combo has served another simple, melodious and soothing track numbers, in which some of them are absolute haunting numbers. "Paravayaa Parakurom", is a travelogue-type song and features Chandran and Vincent, exploring various parts of India such as Leh, Ladakh, Kaargil, Ajmer, Pushkar, Cherapunji, Shilom, Meghalaya, Kanyakumari and etc. The locations were breath-taking and serves as a great canvas for Vetrivel Mahendran's lenses. "Engirunthu Vanthayo" is a haunting number sang by Shreya Ghoshal shot on Anandhi. The pathos song had the female character mired in a state of confusion. Check out the majestic and beautiful Living Root Bridges of Meghalaya, in this song ! "Yen Aala", shot is a montage-filled dream song, shot on both Chandran and Anandhi. The lush green orchards and naturally brightly-lit paddy fields serves as great backdrop for the song. Anandhi's expressions speaks hundreds of words, in this song ! "Koodave Vara" is a situational bit-song and featured the main leads in search of each other. "Unnai Ippo" is the pick of the lot and the soothing melody was featured montages of the lead pair, searching for each other in different portions. Anandhi's Kanyakumari shots were particularly noteworthy. "Deeyalo" was shot against a Christmas festival celebration backdrop and featured a real church festival as its location. The colorful lighting and crowd factor, added value to the song's concept. "Enge Pulla" sung by Balram, is a very haunting number and is shot on Chandran, getting caught and losing himself in the devastating tsunami waves. The dusty and chaotic atmosphere of a tsunami-affected area was aptly portrayed and presented. D.Imman's heavy and haunting background score helps to sustain Prabhu Solomon's melodramatic writing of his sequences. Though the songs are good, it sort of spoils the flow of the screenplay, especially when you have too many songs.

What worked big in 'Mynaa' and 'Kumki' was the love quotient between the lead pairs, which traveled throughout the films. But in 'Kayal', characters are the ones' travelling and the love takes a backseat ! The film's love angle has no depth in it and its too light to be taken serious. But, the stretch of sequences, which brings the hero and heroine to a meeting-point in the film, was brilliantly written and handled. Prabhu Solomon's handling of drama, comedy and love in those portions was dealt in a nifty manner. The earthy background and simple characters, brings a refreshing element into the script, and the melodrama in the film, certainly helps to elevate some portions of the film. The problem starts when Prabhu Solomon tries too hard and too much in establishing the melodramatic moments, and overdoes it. A little bit of underplaying, would have done wonders to the film. In 'Kayal', nature plays the spoilsport of the lovers, but as mentioned earlier, the impact it needed to create was not powerful enough, to drench us into a sorrow and pitiful state. Prabhu Solomon's quirky humor element worked out well, especially with the character and supporting artistes. Prabhu Solomon could have toned down the philosophical-heavy scenes in the first half, which gets preachy at times. With 'Kayal' Prabhu Solomon tries hard to churn out an classic which can stand against the test of times, like how the lead pair stood against the tsunami, but unfortunately, the film doesn't reach that dizzy heights, though its good in bits and pieces.

'Kayal' - Anandhi is a 'Kayal' indeed !

Ratings: 2.75/5 STARS



After the critically-acclaimed dark and morbid ' Onaayum Aattukkuttiyum', director Mysskin is back and intriguingly, he has chose horror as his next genre. Being an atheist and joining hands with fellow hard-hitting director Bala as the producer, it definitely piques the interest of Tamizh audience. Produced under Bala's B Studios, can Mysskin pull of another brilliant piece of work ?

Naga, an assistant director of Bala, makes his debut as an actor and he excels in his role. The hard work he put in, for learning the violin-playing techniques, paid of well. Though his characterization reminds us of Prasanna's character from 'Anjaathey', Naga commands a good screen presence and hope he chooses proper scripts which can elevate his status in Tamizh industry. Debutante actress Prayaga Martin, looks angelic as herself, but unfortunately she's the purported "pisaasu" of the film and is seen only in her make-up. Kudos for the arduous and grueling task she had to go through. Hope this charming lass becomes a household name in Tamizh cinema. Radha Ravi's performance was an absolute screamer and the veteran literally stole the show, in those emotional scenes ! Hope we get to see more of such performances from this ace character artiste. Harish Uthaman, Kani Kusruti, Kalyani Natarajan, Arnold, John, Om Selva, Bala and etc make up for the rest of the cast and they ably supported the main leads.

On the technical front, 'Pisaasu' is definitely top-notch and Mysskin has extracted wonderful work from his technicians. The action scene choreographed by Mysskin himself with additional output from Tony Leung Siu-hung, was brilliantly staged and beautifully picturized. It's very realistic and raw, but relevant to the nature of the scene. Gopinath's editing was in tandem with Mysskin's style of story presentation. The film's pace and flow was very apt for Mysskin's style and the duration of the film was kept in check. The sharp cuts for the sequences involving the ghost, made the trick, in spooking or freaking us out at the most unexpected of times. Art direction is handled by Jayashree Lakshminarayanan, and the all important protagonist's apartment setup was aesthetically done. The plenty of space in the apartment complemented Mysskin's wide-angle type scenes. Cinematography by Ravi Roy was excellent, especially with all the wide-angle shots, low-angle shots, long shots, slow-motion technique, static camera and the usage of GoPro camera, were very creatively used and re-establishes Mysskin's own style of scene presentation. The lighting was very well taken care, and its important for such scripts, especially when you involve the horror element. The way some scenes were framed, asked for our undivided attention ! Equally impressive was Arrol Corelli's background score. The solo song, "Nadhi Pogum" sung by Uthra Unnikrishnan, was shot on the protagonist, who plays a pathos piece on his violin, and surrounded by beggars and physically-challenged. The subway shots were very well framed and the song catches our attention, with its sad mood. Arrol Corelli's background score is heavy in violin-based re-recording and it serves like an ode to 'Isaignani' Ilaiyaraaja. The heavy tone delivers the right mood and apt depth for the emotional sequences, as well as for the hair-raising moments. Certainly a talent to look out for !

What makes Mysskin's 'Pisaasu' stand out from the regular horror films, is the innovative story-line and the emotional hook, which is the surprise package. Mysskin's compelling presentation, his visual sense, the gripping scene development, everything screams brand "MYSSKIN". The various camera angles associated with his films like the wide-angle, low-angle, static camera, frozen shots and in 'Pisaasu', the usage of GoPro camera, worked out tremendously well for the film. The element of colors as the point of focus, too was very obvious with 'Pisaasu'. Even comedy was very well handled in the film, and its great to watch how Mysskin intertwined humor and scare factor into a single scene, in his own style. The only potential low-point of the film, would be the weak emotional bonding in the "romance" portion. There is no affirmative scene which establishes the importance or reason for the love to be present in the first place. 'Pisaasu' proves that Mysskin has grown into or developed into an extraordinary filmmaker, with his own stamp of film-making style (scene visualization and thematic elements), if you compare it with his earlier films. This uncompromising way of scripting and presenting a film, deserves a big round of applause.

'Pisaasu' - Simple, yet terrifyingly scripted and executed.

Ratings: 3.25/5 STARS



Creating one of the biggest buzz of the year, 'Lingaa' was eagerly expected by each and every die-hard fans of 'Superstar' Rajinikanth, because it has been 4 long years, since his last live action film, 'Endhiran'. Besides that, he is making a comeback under the baton of K.S Ravikumar, who gave two of 'Superstar' Rajinikanth's biggest blockbusters, 'Muthu' and 'Padayappa'. This combo has tried to resuscitate their pairing with 'Lingaa' after the 'Jaggubhai' and 'Rana' got dropped for various reasons. The name 'Superstar' Rajinikanth itself is enough to generate enormous buzz and expectations. Can 'Lingaa' satiate the hunger of his millions of fans ?

'Superstar' Rajinikanth is an eternal style icon and the man proves that age is no barrier for his dashing presence and energetic performance. He holds your entire attention when he is on the screen and the matinee idol looks great in his stylish costumes, although the make-up was a little tacky. The period portion featuring the star as Prince cum Collector cum civil engineer Raja Lingeshwaran is an absolute treat for the audience, because this is the 'Superstar' Rajinikanth everyone wishes to see. You get all the machismo factor and the occasional philosophical lines, which, catches your attention instantaneously, especially when he mouths it nonchalantly. Anushka Shetty's role has some bearing on the script, and nothing much more. She definitely has to take care of her weight, though ! Bollywood A-lister, Sonakshi Sinha makes her Tamizh debut and her pan-Indian looks, makes her fit for her role as a common woman of the 1930's era. Chinmayi's dubbing for her works out in her favor but her character has minimal weightage on the script. Santhanam, brings in his usual fantastic comic-timing and his dialogues are a scream in certain places. Jagapati Babu as the antagonist, was unfortunately wasted and his characterization was poorly written. The rest of the star cast includes veteran director K.Viswanath, Karunakaran, Balaji, Dev Gill, Brahmanandam, Radha Ravi, Vijayakumar, 'Nizhalgal' Ravi, R.Sundarrajan, Manobala, 'Crane' Manohar, Anu Mohan, Falk Columbo, William Orendorff and etc.

'Lingaa' is technically rich with superior production design and grandeur attached to it. Nikhaar Dhawan's costume designing was simple, yet stylish and colorful. 'Superstar' Rajinikanth's lightweight costumes, enabled him to showcase his usual speed, yet at the same very colorful and stylish. Sonakshi Sinha's looks were well maintained for the talkie portions and she looks graceful in the song, as well. Action choreography is handled by T.Ramesh and Lee Whittaker. The action scene involving 'Superstar' Rajinikanth as Raja Lingeshwaran, on top of the train was brilliantly choreographed and superbly staged. But what happened in the climax hot-air balloon scene is a complete shocker, and 'Superstar' Rajinikanth's larger-than-life quotient was simply overblown ! Production design by Sabu Cyril and the art direction by his assistant A.Amaran deserves great round of applause for their arduous task of creating a huge, dam-like set, which must look like in an  under-construction stage, in a record-breaking short time ! Its nearly equivalent to a Shankar-type set work, and the 1930's period looks was very aptly captured. The various set work for the songs, too deserves mention, although most of them reminds of 'Superstar' Rajinikanth's 'Sivaji - The Boss'. Samjith MHD's editing could have been much better, especially with the continuity and flow of the screenplay in the second half. The excessive duration of the film, is also a minus point from the editing perspective. VFX, supervised by P.C Sanath, is a big disappointment, especially in the climax portion, and it looks very tacky. To blame it on the production cost or on less availability of time, can only be decided by the makers !  The film wouldn't have looked this good on screen, if not for R.Rathnavelu's cinematography. His top-angle shots for the Linganamakki Dam, situated in the Shimoga district of Karnatae, were real treat to the eyes. The color correction for the period look, shot in Mysore and other districts of Karnataka, was top-notch. The usage of Red Dragon 6K camera and the Phantom Flex 4K for the train action sequence, deserves a round of applause. The lighting for the train-fight scene, is a must see !

Musical score by A.R Rahman, is hugely disappointing because none of his songs, stands out impressively and all of them are just temporary listens. The imperative S.P Balasubrahmanyam opening song, "Oh Nanba" was shot in dazzling urban locations of Macau and also in the luxurious Ferrari World, located in Abu Dhabi. 'Superstar' Rajinikanth was given space to dance, backed up by hundreds of foreign dancers. "Mona Gasolina" brings us the energetic Mano as the voice of 'Superstar' Rajinikanth and the energy was equally matched by our 'Superstar' Rajinikanth. The song shot on 'Superstar' Rajinikanth and Anushka had various dreamy sequences such as the pirates theme, cowboy theme and futuristic space-ship theme as backdrop and each sets were well designed by Sabu Cyril and A.Amaran. "En Mannavane" is the duet shot on 'Superstar' Rajinikanth and Sonakshi Sinha and it has the typical Bollywood color and flavor to it, be it the costumes of the lead artistes or even the colorful and beautiful set, put up for the song. The lighting for the song looks amazing, and brings out the richness and splendor of the set. "Indiane Vaa" is a situational song featuring 'Superstar' Rajinikanth and most of the cast, depicting the construction of the dam, shot near the Jog Falls and the Linganamakki Dam, looks majestic and involves most of the star cast. The follow-up pathos song, "Unmai Orunaal" has montages of 'Superstar' Rajinikanth facing a crisis and appears immediately after the previous song. A.R Rahman's background score is impressive only in a few places and it proves that the ace musician needs ample of time, to deliver quality music.

The story of 'Lingaa' was written by Ponkumaran and is loosely based on Colonel John Pennycuick CSI, a British Army engineer and civil servant, who undertook the construction of Mullaiperiyar Dam. K.S Ravikumar takes charge of the screenplay, dialogues and direction. Apart from the philosophical dialogues uttered by the senior 'Superstar' Rajinikanth, K.S Ravikumar fails in the other two components. The screenplay has poor flow and continuity and has no spunk or zing in it. 'Muthu' and 'Padayappa' worked tremendously well, due to the right placing of comedy, action and emotional scenes, but more importantly it had strong emotional thread and a powerful antagonist, respectively. But none of them is present in 'Lingaa' and the film fails to rise above its flaws, even with the presence of 'Superstar' Rajinikanth. The writing looks very much 1980's material and is no-way in tune with current trend. The whole script lacked proper writing and its astonishing to note that K.S Ravikumar had a team of screenplay & script-writers to fine tune this script ! What were the makers thinking when they came out with that ridiculous action scene in the climax, can only be explained by the makers themselves. Its perplexing to note that K.S Ravikumar can take the audience for granted, especially when the film involves 'Superstar' Rajinikanth, who can easily get the best of artistes and technicians for his films. Why not come out with a decent script and a racy screenplay, and execute it properly ? 

'Lingaa' - 'Superstar' Rajinikanth to the rescue !

Ratings: 2.75/5 STARS



One of the most eagerly expected movies of the year, 'Kaaviyathalaivan' brings G.Vasanta Balan back to the forefront after the average 'Aravaan' released in 2012. A period film, based in the 1930's and depicting the golden age of Madurai's theater companies and its artistes' lifestyle, is certainly a fantastic premise and supposedly a treat for connoisseurs of Tamizh cinema. Produced by industrialist Varun Manian and YNot Studios' S.Sashikanth, can G.Vasanta Balan strike gold, with the backing of A-list performers and technicians ?

The film certainly belongs to the two male leads and both Siddharth and Prithviraj Sukumaran compete fiercely with each other to deliver good performances. The film is seen from Prithviraj's point of view and being the antagonist himself Prithviraj, making a comeback to Tamizh cinema after 4-year absence, has delivered a very professional performance and his expressions were top-notch. The "tamasic" nature of his character was very well brought out by him. The only drawback one could find with his performance, is his dialogue deliveries, which are laced with Malayalam-accent, which is surely a no-no for this type of film. Siddharth however steals the show, with arguably one of his best performances of his career. His body language, facial expression, eye-movements were terrific and his earnestness is so apparent on screen. Both male leads rocked the stage show sequences and kudos to them once again ! Vedhicka looked like a million bucks and has performed well, in a character with limited screen timing. Her dancing talents were put to good use and hope to see this beautiful damsel, doing more good roles in Tamizh cinema. Anaika Soti makes her Tamizh debut and is okay, though she clearly doesn't fit into the script. Veteran Nassar was majestic as Sivadass Swamigal and the ace performer delivered a near flawless performance. Thambi Ramaiah and Singampuli provide the comic relief and the rest of the cast includes Babu Antony, Mansoor Ali Khan, Ponvannan, Kuyili, Karikalan, V.K.T Balan, George, T.P Gajendran, Anjali Devi, Gayathri, Ponnammah and etc.

With a big budget and top-class technicians, 'Kaaviyathalaivan' has fantastic technical outputs and is a treat for the audience. Perumal Selvam and Niranjani Agathiyan are in charge of the costume designing and kudos for their homework on the attires of the artistes, which resembled the drama troupe folks of 1930s. Also, the detailing in costume designing for the stage show sequences, deserves mention for the designers. Very good work ! Action choreography is by B.Thyagarajan and his work fits the script's nature and is effective. T.Santhanam takes care of the art direction and he deserves a round of applause for the set work he created for the entire film. The sets for stage plays, the drama troupe's home, the palace bedroom and various other sets, as well as the properties pertaining to those period, were all rich and intricate in details. T.Santhanam's art work adds plenty of color to the film and becomes the basis for the film's screenplay. Fantastic output ! Praveen K.L's editing was clean and he keeps the tempo of the film stable throughout, but the length of the film is an issue. But the way he edited the stage play sequences, deserves a special mention. The film wouldn't have attracted attention, if not for Nirav Shah's cinematography. A splendid work of art from Nirav Shah ! He brings out the right look and feel of that era, with apt lighting and color tone. The stage play sequences, especially the "Mahabharatham" episode was a brilliant piece of work by Nirav Shah. 

Music by Academy Award-winner, A.R Rahman was classy and mesmerizing but they sound very contemporary in composition. And the style adapted in instrumentation, reflected more of M.S Vishwanathan's era, rather than the 1930's & 1940's era of Thyagaraja Bhagavathar and P.U Chinnappa. The opening "Vaanga Makka Vaanga" is one of the best of the lot and was shot on the male leads and their drama troupe. The song has many shots of various stage plays and some scenic locales of the Karaikudi and the surrounding Chettinadu area, becomes the backdrop of the song. The extended "Alli Arjuna" song appears in bits and pieces and is a stage act, plucked from the 'Mahabharatham' episodes. "Thirrupugazh" sung by the legendary Vani Jeyaram, is the introductory song of Vedhicka and was shot on her, performing intricate dance movements, with style and elan. "Sandi Kuthirai" was shot on Siddharth and Anaika Soti and is a complete dance number, which was shot like a stage act. Siddharth's character was portrayed teasing Anaika Soti, with the help of Singampuli. "Sollividu" is a another melodramatic song, shot on the two male leads, enacting the epic 'Karnan' episode from "Mahabharatham". The cinematorgraphy and the rich detailing in art work for this song deserves special mention ! "Aye, Mr.Minor" was shot on Siddharth and Anaika Soti and it acts like a night rendezvous between the love-struck couple. The art work, depicting a Madurai palace bedroom and the courtyard scene was very beautifully shot and lighted by Nirav Shah. "Yaarumilla" is a dream song shot on Siddharth and Vedhicka, interspersed with some montages of scenes between the lead artistes. The oil lamp-lit sequence, which was completely shot indoors, was very romantic and Vedhicka looked absolutely gorgeous in her saree. A.R Rahman's background score had plenty of styles and shades to it, and supplemented the screenplay very well. The background score added more tension wherever the screenplay necessitates, and elevates the mood of the scenes.

G.Vasanta Balan has scripted this story and its screenplay based on the autobiography, "Enadhu Naadaga Vaazhkai", written by Avvai Shanmughan, which was last printed in 1972. Also, the life and times of Sankaradas Swamigal, who was one of the founding fathers of Tamizh Theatre movement in the early 20th century, was an inspiration for this film. In fact, Nassar's character is an ode to Sankaradas Swamigal. The film's premise is a magical one and the scope is there for a rock-solid drama film, but 'Kaaviyathalaivan' becomes overtly melodramatic, in many places and has not much depth in its script. The film's basic core is the enmity between Prithviraj and Siddharth, where the former feel overshadowed by the latter, whereas the latter considers the former as his dear brother. The script leaves us with many unanswered questions and there's no organic development in the screenplay. Everything happens just for the sake of story-telling and no explanation is given. For instance, the film takes a turn from relationship issues into a patriotic theme but why such an event happens, is not properly explained. Siddharth's patriotism feel comes out of nowhere and we are expected to just accept things as it is. Writer Jeyamohan handles the dialogue writing, and though the ace writer's dialogues sufficed the needs of the script, the more colloquial-style doesn't really fit the era the film depicts. Was it a conscious decision by G.Vasanta Balan, is a question only he can answer. Films with such themes, should have very strong characterizations, but most of the artistes in 'Kaaviyathalaivan' merely scratched the surface of their characters, rather than delve into them. The film becomes predictable after a stage but nevertheless, it is a wonderful attempt from the makers, to deliver a good film for the Tamizh audience.

'Kaaviyathalaivan' - No where near being an epic, but a very good attempt indeed !

Ratings: 3/5 STARS



After a lengthy hiatus of nearly 5 years, Sibiraj or rechristened as Sibi Sathyaraj is back to the silver screens. Joining venture with his 'Naanayam' director Shakti Soundar Rajan, Sibi has chosen a kid-friendly, cop-dog duo film, a genre forgotten by Hollywood themselves. Produced by Sathyaraj under Nathambal Film Factory banner, can 'Naaigal Jaakirathai' relaunch Sibi Sathyaraj's career in Tamizh cinema ?

Sibi Sathyaraj has given a decent enough performance and shows more confidence and maturity in his character handling. Though the character has more shades of comedy, he does try some serious bits here and there. There's plenty of room more for Sibi to improve and hope this film serve as a good relaunch platform for him. The star attraction of the film is of course Idoh, the lovely yet strong Belgian Shepherd ! Kudos to the entire team for pulling it off by making use a military-purpose trained god, in a proper manner. The action is not top-notch, but this is a good and novel attempt. Balaji Venugopal as the antagonist was an interesting choice, but his characterization lacks detailing and his acting falls flat in some portions. Arundhati, Manobala, Mayilsamy, Chenthu Mohan, Prinz Nithik and etc fill up the rest of the cast.

Ganesh's action choreography deserves mention, especially for the sequences designed for Idoh. The climax sequence has some heavy action for the dog and the director has made good use of the dog's capabilities. The warehouse shoot-out scene in the beginning phase of the film, is another well executed scene. JPK Prem's art direction sufficed the needs of the script. The set created in the forest reserve area and the set properties of Sibi Sathyaraj's house, was neatly created. Praveen K.L takes care of the editing and the ace editor ensured that the film is crisp in its length and straight to the point. The action sequences were well put together by Praveen K.L. Cinematography is handled by Nizar Shafi and his Ooty sequences are the highlights of his camera work, in this film. Not to forget, the color tone used for the rain shots, deserves mention as well.

Dharan Kumar's music is functional and songs do not really had any importance in the film. "En Nenjil" is the bonding song of Sibi Sathyaraj and Idoh, with plenty of funny, montage sequences shot for this song. "Oyadhe Oyadhe" is a situational song and is also shot on the pair, and has the hill stations of Ooty, as its backdrop. The theme song of the film, "Doggy Doggy" appears during the end credits and is shot like a music video, with Idoh being idolized like a movie star, though Sibi Sathyaraj's dance sequences were predominantly used. Dharan Kumar's background score was functional, and the highlight of his work would definitely be the score's recorded to project the bonding between the hero and his dog.

Shakti Soundar Rajan's script has a unique idea and some interesting elements but the film lacks fine writing and thorough detailing. The film's screenplay is not fully engaging and is missing fire it needed, though its pretty straightforward and doesn't waste much time. The emotional thread does help the screenplay to move forward, but the scenes are disjointed and is not cohesive. The dialogues are pretty ordinary and none of them leaves any sort of mark on the audience. The comedy portions are unnecessary, though such scenes are always forcibly inserted into the film, just for commercial purpose. In conclusion, the film is watchable in portion and but could have been much better, if not for the below par execution.

'Naaigal Jaakirathai' - Be more aware of dogs !

Ratings: 2.75/5 STARS



Since the title is very much self-explanatory, 'Vanmham' is basically a story of revenge and vengeance. That is not something very novel or daringly new in Tamizh cinema, but presentation and narration can make a big difference to a mundane subject. Being a double hero subject, can Jai Krishnaa, an old timer of Tamizh cinema and an former assistant to 'Ulaga Nayagan' Kamal Haasan, come clean with his debut film ?

Doing rural subjects is not something new to Vijay Sethupathi but we get to see him perform out and out action sequences, and sporting the white dhothi for throughout the film. He is very natural and mouths the Nagercoil accent very well. The performer in him sneak peeks in a scene or two but otherwise, its just an average outing for him. Kreshna is sincere and has come up with an earnest performance. His voice modulation is better and he has shown some improvement in his acting capability. Sunaina, looks pretty and that's about it with her role. Madhu Sudhan Rao, Anjali Rao, Bose Venkat, Muthuraman, Sriranjani, Radhamani Ammal, Vinodhini, Subburaj and etc completes the rest of the cast. Sadly, no one stood out for their performances, due to poor characterization and detailing.

'Supreme' Sundar's action choreography works for most of the time. Its not raw, quite filmy but somehow it works out. There's nearly equal amount of action footing for both lead heroes but Vijay Sethupathi gets the more intense ones. Shiva Yadav takes care of the art direction and his work fits the bill. The detailing for the inner section of the rural homes were well propped. The market scene stands out, if its pertaining to his work. Veteran Suresh Urs' editing was functional but he could have definitely chopped down plenty of scenes to spice things up, or to at least speed up the proceedings. The film takes it's own sweet time in unravelling and the unnecessary melodramatic moments are just mere speed-bumpers ! Bala Bharani's cinematography is passable and he has captured the beauty of the southern areas of Tamil Nadu, particularly Nagercoil and Kanyakumari very well. The quarry area, surrounded by deep waters, were well captured, especially during the intense fight scene, just before the interval. 

S.S Thaman's musical score is frankly, below average. "Paadatta Paadatta" is the obligatory introductory song for both, Vijay Sethupathi and Kreshna. The typical song-and-dance routine number featured both heroes, with the backing of group dancers, shaking their legs, in and around picturesque areas of Nagercoil. "Aetti Enge Pore" is a duet song, picturized on Kreshna and Sunaina. Some of the beautiful spots of Nagercoil was shot by Bala Bharani, especially of the small water dam and river areas. Kreshna and Sunaina shares good chemistry but the substance was missing from this combination, due to poor writing. "Maname Maname" is a pathos song, and has montage shots of all the main lead characters of Vijay Sethupathi, Kreshna and Sunaina and nearly all the other character artistes. S.S Thaman's background score is passable.

Being an associate of 'Ulaga Nayagan' Kamal Haasan, Jai Krishnaa should have realized the responsibility lying on his shoulders. Being an old-timer of the industry, his knowledge of presentation and contemporary film-making is, sorry to say, grossly missing ! The film has such an outdated theme of revenge but what's inexcusable is the bland, insipid and boring narration and dialogue writing of the film. The film's presentation is very archaic and is full of melodramatic moments, which would have worked out in the 80's and early 90's ! There's plenty of unnecessary action sequences thrown into the linear screenplay. There are plenty of loopholes and unanswered questions in the film's screenplay. Apart from the Nagercoil/Kanyakumari setting and the native accent used in the film, nothing else captures our attention. A certain sequence of the film is directly lifted from the 1998 Malayalam film, 'Kanmadam' starring Mohanlal and directed by A.K Lohithadas. The film is shockingly dreary and flavorless and sadly another liability to the film-based business people.

'Vanmham' - Vijay Sethupathi, you are suppose to be the poster-boy of new-age Tamizh cinema !

Ratings: 2/5 STARS



'Attakathi' fame Dinesh, who had a decent outing with 'Cuckoo' has taken up a lead role with some commercial elements for the first time. 'Thirudan Police' is touted to be a melodramatic comedy fare, with some serious moments in between. Co-produced by S.P.B Charan, can debutante Caarthick Raju come up with a decent feel-good entertainer ?

Dinesh has chosen an apt script for him, where he can showcase his acting histrionics and at the same time, try his hand at comedy. He is convincing as the loafer turned constable, but at some places, he looks quite stiff and rigid. He must certainly improve his dancing capabilities and be more natural in the songs, as his uncomfortness romancing the heroine, is quite obvious. Iyshwarya Rajesh has nothing to offer here and only appears for some romance portions and song sequences. Muthuraman as the main antagonist was okay but its Rajendran and John Vijay who steals the thunder with their comedic acts. The pair complemented each other well and brought out the better comic timing from each other. The climax scene was hilarious ! Upcoming comedian Bala Saravanan is a riot with his dialogue deliveries and voice modulation. His natural demeanor works as a charm for him and sooner or later, he is sure to reach new heights ! Veteran Rajesh sparkles in his short role as a strict constable father and the others like Naren, Nitin Sathya, Krishnamoorthy, Renuka, Uma Iyer, Rajendranath, Vaiyapuri and etc make up the rest of the cast, with a very dignified special appearance from the legendary S.P Balasubrahmanyam.

Sruthi Kannath's costume designing sufficed the needs of the script and most of her work would have been on the heroine since the hero and the other main characters appear in police constable outfits, most of the time. Dhilip Subbarayan's action choreography was very realistic and apt and the highlight would be the jail lock-up fight scene involving Dinesh, Rajendran and John Vijay. The colony chase and the ensuing fight sequence, during the beginning of the movie. Art direction is by Jacki and the set properties for the police station set and also for the police housing colony was very realistic. The difference in class between a superior and a lower-level police officer was well showcased through the projection of their houses. Praveen K.L's editing was clean as usual and the fight sequences were very well edited. Siddharth's cinematography is functional and there's nothing really outstanding with his work, except for the fast movements through the housing colony, involving a fight sequence between Nitin Sathya and Dinesh.

Yuvan Shankar Raja's musical score is way below average for his standards and its pretty much run of the mill, stuff. "Moodu Panikkul" is a duet shot on Dinesh and Iyshwarya Rajesh in the highlands of the lush, green Kodaikanal. The panoramic views are the usual stuff, we are accustomed to. "Dheivame" is a situational bit song, which was shot on Rajesh and is also used during the end credits, and highlights the love of a father. "Ennodu Vaa" is a party dance number and featured Vijay Sethupathi and Aruldass in cameo appearances. Rajendran and John Vijay amuses with their lady get-ups for this song ! "Pesadhe" is the pick of the lot and melody number and has montages of Dinesh and Iyshwarya Rajesh, which was mostly shot in the housing colony area. Yuvan Shankar Raja's background score was just functional and nothing more than that.

Caarthick Raju's story is nothing new and the revenge element is as old as the hills. But the lighthearted treatment of the script is a bit refreshing and the melodramatic moments were kept bare minimum, apart from a fiery verbose speech by Naren. The song placements looked forced and disturbs the flow of the screenplay. Also, there plot development could be more organic and less jarring. The script highlights the pitiful and poor lives of the lower-level police constables and their daily miseries. Their lifestyle and struggle were well captured and how their higher officials make use of them, were explicitly shown. Caarthick Raju has infused the comedy element well into the script but at times, it makes us to ponder on how are we suppose to treat certain scenes, as either being serious or as light-hearted moments. The dialogues are a big plus to the film, especially for the comedy portions, and in particular for Bala Saravanan, who mouthed it perfectly. The end credits, which has photographs of all the technicians with their respective fathers, is an ode to fatherhood and was a nice touch. A film without lofty ambitions, 'Thirudan Police' is meets its expectations, though there are rooms for improvements.

'Thirudan Police' - Funny hide-and-seek !

Ratings: 2.5/5 STARS



After the rather lukewarm 'Settai', R.Kannan, a former associate of Mani Ratnam is back with his own script and judging from the cast, he has given more importance to comedy, this time. 'Oru Oorula Rendu Raja' has the potential to be a safe bet, especially with D.Imman's music and a good cast, but can R.Kannan nail it after continuous flops ?

What's refreshing with this film is that the hero and heroine alone doesn't hog all the limelight. The script gives equal amount of space, time and importance to all three main leads, which are Vemal, Soori and Priya Anand. For Vemal and Soori, this script does not provide much challenge for their acting capabilities and both of them breezed through their roles. Vemal looks continually the same for most of his films and its Soori who actually shoulders the film, among the two "kings". His dialogue delivery and witty sense of humor, together with a good timing sense provides some laughter, though the comedy tracks are below average. Priya Anand is the refreshing element of the film, and she gets a meatier role than what conventional Tamizh heroines get to do. She's at her glam best thus far in the songs and looks sweet during the remaining. Nassar and Anupama Kumar were cast as the antagonists in which, the former was completely wasted and the latter was a total miscast. Thambi Ramaiah, Singamuthu, Narendhra Khatari, Bala Singh, E.Ramdas, Kalairani, Kamala Krishnasamy, Sasha and etc make up the rest of the cast, with a special appearance from Vishakha Singh, who did an important role.

Costume designing by Chaitanya Rao sufficed the needs of the script, especially when the bulk of the story is set in a single day. Particular importance was given to Priya Anand, who looked gorgeous in the songs. Action choreography by Silva, who also played a minor role in the film, was decent and was more situational, rather than purposeful. His choreography matched the physical attributes of Vemal and Soori. N.Subbu's art direction was neat and the set properties for all the live locations matched the scenario. The rundown godown featuring in the climax scene, was the best of his work. Suriya's editing was crisp and he made sure the film doesn't drag for more than 2 hours plus. Other than that, there's no gimmicks in the editing pattern of Suriya's. Cinematography by P.G Muthiah adds more color to the script and there's plenty of aerial shots, using the helicam, but the necessity of it is a different question. The picturization of songs were particularly good and pleasing to the eyes.

D.Imman adds strength to the film with his musical score. The songs are good and provides some entertainment to us. "Oru Oorula Rendu Raja" is the opening song shot on Vemal and Soori. It has the typical rural locations such as the village streets, paddy fields and etc and we get to see Soori doing some serious dancing for the first time ! "Odum Rayile" was picturized on Vemal and Priya Anand and was entirely shot in a railway station. It has a mixture of situational moments, as well as some dream sequence, but the entire song has the railway station and the train as the main setting. "Sundari Penne" is the best picturized song, which was shot on Priya Anand and Vishakha Singh. The rain soaked atmosphere reminds us of Mani Ratnam's heroine intro songs and Shreya Ghoshal's voice is just so wonderful to listen to ! "Kukkuru Kukkuru", a song sung by actress Lakshmi Menon was shot as a highway song and featured Iniya in a special appearance. The girl dances well and provides little bit of glamour effect of her own and is ably supported by Vemal and Soori. "Mazhakaathe" is a typical dream song shot on Vemal and Priya Anand, in picturesque hill stations. Priya Anand appears in glamorous costumes, probably for the first time in Tamizh films and she is definitely an eye-candy ! D.Imman's background score adds more depth to the emotional scenes and certainly lifts up many moments in the film.

R.Kannan handles the story, screenplay, dialogues and direction for 'Oru Oorula Rendu Raja' and he has taken up the issue of noise pollution and the malpractice acts of big manufacturers and how the laborers are victims of circumstances of such acts. The script has been given a road-movie like treatment with plenty of travelling and constant location changes. Though the film was promoted as a comedy film with some social messages in it, the humor quotient is low in substance and its pretty much lukewarm. And some of them are crude in taste, which is not so family & kid friendly ! Soori does make you smile, but those scenes are far and few in between, whereas the social messages were not smoothly infused into the screenplay. The post-climax scenes were jarring and looks forcefully thrust into the story, just to give the film an happy-ending. End of the day, this film is just a basic commercial fare and is primarily targeted at the B & C audiences.

'Oru Oorula Rendu Raja' - Two kings, one queen and the audience ends up as the Jokers !

Ratings: 2.25/5 STARS