Atharvaa Murali makes a comeback with this wonderfully titled film, after the demise of his wonderful father, actor Murali. "Muppozhudhum Un Karpanaigal" has been marketed as a trendy, urbane and slick thriller with good music and cinematography. Debutant Elred Kumar who helms the director's chair is surprisingly the producer behind RS Infotainment, and its a rarity to see a producer turning into a director. Added to that, Amala Paul has been glamorized up for this film and the chemistry between the leading pair is the selling point of the film.

Atharvaa as the troubled IT employee made his mark as a decent debutant in "Baana Kaathadi" continues his fine form in this film as well. He dances well and shows good agility in stunt sequences, and showed more improvement from his first film. With the guidance of more prolific directors, this guy has very good potential to be a powerful performer. Kudos to him for carrying this whole film on his shoulders, though its only his second outing. Amala Paul was cool and breezy throughout the film and so far, this has been her most glamorous outing yet in Tamizh cinema with trendy and chic costumes, a straight contrast to her "Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi" looks. Besides that, it was a change with Chinmayi doing the dubbing for her this time, which actually suits the character which she plays. With two releases at the same time, she is the current hot babe of Tamizh cinema. Jayaprakash was cool and trendy as usual, with this flawless dialogue delivery and voice modulations. Nassar was decent as usual in an limited role and Anupama Kumar and Yashika did what was expected from them. The biggest disappointment though was Santhanam. His comedy track was totally unnecessary to the screenplay and most of his jokes didn't really take off well.

Since Elred Kumar himself has produced this film, it is obvious that he has spent lavishly and its evident through the fantastic output of the film. The DI work by Gemini Labs was well done in 6K and shows very good picture quality. Kiran's art direction was trendy with the posh apartment and office of IT suites, all depicted in a very stylish and contemporary style. But not only that, the artwork in village sequences too were very natural and minimal. Antony L.Ruben's editing was neat, but he could have trimmed the film a bit and made the screenplay racier with the arrangements of scenes. Rajasekar's stunts incorporated some new style of fighting techniques like Parkour and Beacon but he could have avoided the use of the ropes as some stunt shots look fake. Deepali Noor's costumes made the characters look chic, casual and trendy, especially for Amala Paul who comes in various designer dresses throughout the film. The biggest asset to the film though, is cinematographer Shakthi. His framing and visuals were fantastic with such cool and breezy shots, giving the whole film a very calm feeling. The usage of blue tone nearly throughout the film, maintains the cool and aesthetic feel. This man, has a great future in cinema and will be one to lookout for. Kudos to Shakthi!

GV Prakash's music was cool and trendy as well. "Mazhai Pozhiyum" was well captured in the Grand Canyons and follows a road travel theme throughout. One of the rare occasions, where cinematographer Shakthi adopts a different tone color in the film where the whole song was given a warm feeling, with light orange tinge. "O Sunandha" was done in montages and follows the lead pair throughout Bengaluru with well placed angles in camera. "Oru Murai" is the best of the lot and though the picturization was hyped up as it was done in the world's largest gift shop, Bonanza Shop in the Las Vegas strip, it didn't really live up to the hype it generated. But it was still well shot, with cool choreography by Brindha and shot in music video style. Not to forget, the wonderful lyrics of Thamarai. "Sokku Podi" is the usual set-song and the sets were done keeping in mind with the cool-blue theme of the film and Prasanna's choreography was decent. "Yaar Aval Yaaro" was also done in a music video style with untried Gothic theme and the graphic works by Pixon was decent. "Kangal Neeyae" is another flashback montage song, aesthetically shot and also incorporates a warmer color tone. The disappointing fact is that, the songs are a drawback to the film as it slows down the screenplay and was more of a roadblock in the story. GV Prakash should avoid lifting tracks from other sources as one piece of his BGM work was directly inspired from Zack Hemsey's "Mind Heist" track which was incidentally used as the music piece in the initially trailer of the mind-bending Christopher Nolan's classic "Inception"! His other haunting piece which comes throughout the film, was well scored though.

The problem with Elred Kumar's film is that, it has a weak script though the basic storyline is an interesting one. Though the film was made to look like a classy one, once in a while it incorporates unnecessary commercial aspects like comedies, flashbacks, sentiments and etc. Initially, the film was touted to be a romantic thriller but then the romance quotient was not properly emphasized leaving the audience with only the thrills to savor. The script does have its good moments, especially with the scenes just before interval, which really keeps the audience guessing of what is happening. But the thrill and momentum was not sustained at all, and sadly few questions went unanswered and loopholes were evident here and there in the screen which cannot be excused and as mentioned earlier, songs were just pure roadblocks. A couple of dialogues were crisp and witty but they are far in between in the screenplay. A few different perceptions where thrown into the screenplay which looks forced.

Elred Kumar titled the film spot on beautifully, enhanced the film with good technicians and was lavish in spending but let us down with a loophole-filled script.

Ratings: 2.5/5 STARS



"Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi", a 10-minutes short film made by Balaji Mohan was a huge hit on social networking sites once it went viral, has now been made into an 2-hour feature film by the same man. It brings back Siddarth into Tamizh cinema after his last release, the lame "180-Rules Kidaiyaathu". What made the short film go viral, was the relevant theme of love failures among college going youths but making it into a feature film is a different ball game and with the aid of Nirav Shah and Siddarth as producers, Balaji Mohan is sure one lucky, chap.

What makes the film appealing is the perfect, youthful casting. Siddarth as the college kid who always fumbles in love was very apt and thanks to his young looks and suitable pitiable face, was the perfect choice. Since he has experience in his side, he manipulates his emotions well and also his voice modulation, especially in scenes which he has to render his dialogues facing only the camera. Natural and flair, job well done by Siddarth. Amala Paul, was neat and decent and was very much natural as the middle class college kid. A big strength to her character is Deepa Venkat's dubbing as the voice of her character, which was near perfect. Added to that, her sweet looks complemented Parvathi, her character. Besides that all the additional characters were very much natural, from Suresh, Ravi Raghavendar, Sriranjani and etc. A special mention must be made of the actors playing friends of Siddarth, retained from the short-film. They were very good with their portrayal and do manage to bring down the roof with their antics. Especially the chubby guy. He was a scream with his comedy timing and dialogue delivery. Hope to see more of him.

Technically, the film carries good work by the crew. Ramya Ananthi's costumes were very lively and apt. Her costumes for both the lead pairs were colorful and complemented their good looks and it was pleasing to the eyes of the audiences. T.S Suresh's editing was neat and crisp keeping the duration of the film to just above 2 hours and A.R Mohan's art direction, especially the interiors of the lead characters' homes and campus classrooms were well done. But the biggest asset to the film is Nirav Shah's fresh cinematography. The angles, movements in song picturizations all were big boost to the film keeping the frames breezy and fresh, throughout.S.Thaman's music was in-tune with the mood of the film, being lighthearted and fun. "Parvathi Parvathi" and "Aanantha Jaladhosham" were well choreographed by Chinna Prakash and Gayathri Raguram, especially in the opening bits. Both songs were quirky and fun with pleasing cinematography. "Azhaipaaya Azhaipaaya" and "Thavarugal" were done in montages and followed the mood of the script. Well written by Madhan Karky.

Balaji Mohan's initial success with the short film was the quirky and fun manner in the way he handled the script, but he managed it very well in converting it into a feature film. He retained most of the scenes incorporated in the short film. Though it can be appealing to first time watchers, film buffs who are aware of the short film, may find it less interesting to see the same scenes once again, with the same camera angles, gimmicks and even the names of the characters as well! That could have been avoided. But that doesn't stop one from enjoying the film. Its a fresh take on the goof ups committed by youths in their love lives and Balaji's dialogues are additional strength to the film, especially when it comes to one-liners. His depiction of how men and women vary in particular situations were spot on, especially the coffee house scene, where the lead characters were shown thinking in diametrically opposite ways! Also it is nice to see a film without negative characters which is a rarity nowadays in Tamizh cinema. There is a subtle message woven into the script but Balaji takes his own sweet time to present it which can make certain audience anxious to see some serious story telling in the script. Not only the lead characters were contemporary in their approaches, but even the sub-characters, too were very urbane and cool, which helps the film from not being jolted unnecessarily.

"Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi" is a very aptly titled, well made time-pass film, keeping in mind the current issues involving youths in love, aided with well written script/dialogues and also some with decent technical output. Hope Balaji Mohan's work will be an inspiration for more small time short-film directors to come up with even better scripts and feature films.

Ratings: 3/5 STARS



Dhoni is the second directorial venture of veteran Prakash Raj, but the first in Tamizh. As with the case of his first film, this time too he has made a movie based on a story of another director, that is Mahesh Manjrekar which was made into a Marathi film titled "Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho". The movie evoked curiosity once Ilaiyaraaja was confirmed as the music director. The music album garnered acclaim for the live-recording method used by Raja sir after so many years. Considering that Prakash Raj is a no-nonsense actor and who promotes good movies through his production units Duet Movies and Silent Movies, Dhoni is expected to be a movie with good and decent quality.

Though the movie was promoted as tackling issues of father-son relationship, the whole movie is centered on Prakash Raj. He is the soul of the movie and he has delivered and honest and heartwarming performance. Being a veteran, he knows where to deliver all the subtle and sensitive emotions and he has pulled of the role of the caring middle-class father, Subbu very, very well. It is a good diversion for Prakash Raj who's usually called in to do the lame antagonist roles. He stands out in most of the scenes but the television show and breaking the bat episodes are the stand outs. Akash Puri, who is debuting through this film, carries out his role quite decently, though it was obvious he's not too comfortable with the language as the dubbing artiste's voice was not in sync with his dialogue delivery in a number of scenes. Radhika Apte leaves a mark with her sweet personality. A host of experienced artistes features in this film and all of them delivered natural performances. Be it Nasser, Brahmanandam, Chaams, Tejasri, 'Thalaivasal' Vijay, Thanikala Barani, Singamuthu, Murali Sharma, Balaji, and etc. Brahmanandam was a scream in his small role and as usual fantastic with his facial expressions. Kudos to the cast.

Technically the film carries quality output. First of all Isaignani Ilaiyaraja's music was a treat to all fans of his music. The songs were a throwback to his heydays and all of them were picturized in montage sequences. Special mention must be given for the "Vaangum Panathukkum" number which had a special cameo appearance of Prabhu Deva throughout the song and cutely choreographed by Dinesh. Raja sir's re-recording was subtle and was underplayed. Art direction by K.Kathirr was commendable, especially the registrar office sets and the house of the protagonist. Kishore T.E's editing was flawless and S.S Vasu's costumes were natural. KV Guhan's cinematography captured the ambiance of middle class life very well and helps the viewers to relate to the emotions of the characters, especially when the camera moves along with the characters.

Mahesh Manjrekar's story is not something revolutionary as the issue of education has been tackled few times in Indian cinema with "Taare Zameen Par", "3 Idiots" and it's recent remake "Nanban" all highlighted the issue of education being a burden, rather than a joy for kids, nowadays. Screenplay by Prakash Raj and T.J Gnanavel was OK but certain sequences could have been avoided as it was a little cinematic and over-the-top. But it is only a minor issue, as overall the script was well written with subtle humors, emotional turbulence and the trappings of middle-class life were all wonderfully presented which is the USP of the script, as it is something every audience can relate and empathize with. Besides that, another major strength of the film is the dialogues by T.J Gnanavel. They are emotional and soft in nature, yet sharp with in reality. Job very well done by T.J Gnanavel. Prakash Raj has balanced his work as the director and protagonist very well, with good selection of artistes and extracting good work from all of them and at the same time, delivering a fantastic performance.

Hope Prakash Raj continues this wonderful journey as a director and churn out more meaningful cinema like this. Dhoni is a well made film, with a soft-natured screenplay yet manages to deliver a thumping message to all.

Ratings: 3/5 STARS



Director Pandiraj whose last, "Vamsam" was a decent entertainer is back to his forte, that is children's genre. His much acclaimed "Pasanga" is still fondly remembered for the sweet screenplay and the message it delivered. With Marina, he has a different canvass to handle, that is the livelihood of child workers, toiling daily in the second-longest beach in the world. With kids in the fray the movie is expected to throw off some decent moments and also some worthy laughs since it's the launch vehicle for popular TV host Siva Karthikeyan. Did Pandiraj retain the same magic in "Marina" as well?

Though the film was marketed with Siva Karthikeyan and Oviya as the lead pair, in actual truth they are just a part of the film and the story revolves around child actor 'Pakoda' Pandian and his traverse in surviving in the beaches of Marina. Besides him, the film has a glut of child actors and each one of them have been realistic to the core and the projections of their characteristics helps to retain the natural feel and look of the actors. Besides that, there are a host of sub-characters like the horseman, Sundararajan as the old beggar, Arumugham as the performer and his daughter, Jithan Mohan as the postman and etc who actually help the kids' characters to be well established. Siva Karthikeyan, Oviya and Gautham Purushoth were average and it must have been a cakewalk for all of them. Siva Karthikeyan's character was not well etched out as well and he misses his comedy timing most of the time, which actually steals away the funny moments. Jayaprakash and Senthikumari had decent roles and played out their part well. On the whole, it was a decent performance from all the artistes.

The technical department has a decent work as well with cinematographer Vijay surprising us with couple of well composed shots, especially the placement of cameras in the horse, running and cycle race competitions. Besides that, the long aerial shot used just before the interval was very well executed. Vijay manages to capture the look and feel of Marina beach which is very essential for the script. Athiappan Siva's editing and Crawford's art direction was neat and simple. Newcomer Girishh.G's music was mild but the "Vanakkam Chennai" song stands out for the breezy tune. His re-recording impresses in bits and pieces.

The answer for the earlier question is, Pandiraj did not succeed to retain the same magic he had in "Pasanga" for "Marina". The whole movie has a documentary feel to it and many scenes did not connect with each other in an engaging manner, which lets the script down and makes it a boring viewing experience for the viewers. Though the film has a very decent message to convey, the slow and uninspiring screenplay fails to deliver the message in a thumping manner. Dialogues are creative though, with cute touches like Gautham's interesting sayings on love, the kids frank speeches during the interview episode and also was touching especially for Sundararajan's episode. Also there are some funny moments in the film involving Siva Karthikeyan, like his 'budget calculations', his 'revenge' method on Oviya and the 'surprise gift' all subtle humors. Pandiraj did a decent job with characterizations.

Overall, a movie with decent message and story but then poor screenplay and script.

Ratings: 2.5/5 STARS