With a chaste Tamizh title to the film, Magilzh Thirumeni has changed tracks from the soft romantic, 'Mundhinam Parthene' to this action-packed thriller. The former assistant of Gautham Vasudev Menon has lots to prove with this new attempt on a different genre than his previous work. Arun Vijay is coming back to screens after a two-year absence, with his home production 'Maanja Velu'. This film is produced by the same firm as well and Arun Vijay needs a solid hit to cement himself as a saleable actor in Tamizh cinema.

Arun Vijay, has put in a sincere and honest effort in his role as the private vehicle driver Selva. His buff body was apt for this action packed role and he pulled off the stunts scenes effortlessly. His body language and restrained emotions was very life-like. Not to forget, a decent dialogue delivery, in sync with the characterization warrants him a good dosage of appreciation. Wishing him luck for serious success, which has been eluding him for a very long time. Mamta Mohandass makes a comeback after three years after 'Guru En Aalu'. This is her first Tamizh film post-marriage and she was the perfect foil for Arun Vijay's protagonist role. The chirpy and bubbly personality is a fresh breathe of air, in this otherwise dark film. Rakul Preet Singh, a former finalist of Miss India pageant makes her splash as an actress through this film, and though she was okay, her character was not properly exploited, hence limiting her histrionics skills. Murugadass and the other bunch of friends roles provides some laughter here and there. But the real scene stealers are the antagonists artistes, Maha Gandhi and Vamsi Krishna. Both of them were menacing and gritty with their performances with their brooding screen presence and non-exaggerated expressions. Kudos to both of them!

The team comprises of technicians who knows their work well and the film has some decent efforts. Costumes were apt and perfect for the roles, not being too flashy and tacky with Ganesh doing for Arun and Deepali Noor for both the ladies. Mohana Mahendiran used proper props to complement the scenes, which were shot mostly in real locations. Praveen K.L and Srikanth N.B's editing had fast-cuts and the movie moves in rapid pace with the duration slightly more than two hours. Thaman's music was simple with only two songs making it into the film. "Kelamale" was shot in a breezy manner with only a single location with various angles and simple choreography by Nagendra Prasad. "Poonthamalli" is a typical dance number and had fast movements by Noble with the addition of Debi Dutta as the 'item' girl. Thaman should improve more on his re-recording in order to avoid the 'heard-before' feel. 'Anal' Arasu has choreographed simple and neat action sequences and the blows delivered looked very real especially the back alley fight featuring Arun Vijay and Aruldass and also the climax fight scene in a factory warehouse. Sukumar's camera work was efficient with the well-shot night effect sequences, heavily used in the second half and the tone used which was apt for the script.

The script was concise and intelligently written, which is a welcome relief among the glut of nonsensical crass commercial flicks churned out these days. The intelligence does not stop only in the twists and turns but also continues in the form of light and subtle humor of the characters. The innocence of the protagonists friends, the quirkiness of the protagonist, the stubborn-yet naive heroine and even the antagonists had subtle humors to their characters which is a refreshing thing to watch. Magilzh has etched out each characters well and established them with correct dialogues and mannerisms which doesn't give them a caricature-kind of feel. The romance scenes between the lead pair is quirky, cheeky and mature and guess its the rubbing off of the charm of Magilzh's mentor. The best aspect of 'Thadaiyara Thakka's' script is the twists and turns which is shown in the second half especially. It keeps the audience guessing and waiting for 'the moment'. But the same factor is the minus point of the film as well. The amount of twists and turns are plenty and they are thrown to the audience at a rapid pace which actually makes the audience to be unsettled and confused. The second half takes a dip in pace but overall it was a decent effort of intelligent writing from the director.

'Thadaiyara Thakka' has a decent script, good action scenes, life-like characters and neat performances from the artistes. If the second half was polished with a neater screenplay, the movie would have been even better.

Ratings: 2.5/5 STARS



Siva Karthikeyan, the television superstar has donned the the mantle of a proper protagonist role for the first time in this S.Ezhil directed film. Hot on the heels of a successful run in 'Marina' and a welcomed acclaim from the masses for his performance in '3', 'Manam Kothi Paravai' will be his proper launch pad into the league of Tamizh cinema protagonists. S.Ezhil is back from a sabbatical, after doing the mediocre 'Deepavali' with 'Jeyam' Ravi and Bhavana way back in 2007. Trumpeting to be a feel-good comedy film, this venture is targeted at the family audience and with a big cast of comedy artistes, it promises to be a nice time-pass film.

Siva Karthikeyan, makes a decent performance in the film and he is known for his superb comedy sense and timing but in this film, it was less exploited as the director wanted his protagonist to have shades of seriousness to the role as well. Hence we can see Siva Karthikeyan doing emotional scenes, and he underplays it well. If Siva is to reap more success as an actor, he has to try out different roles, though this type of boy-next-door kind of roles suits him to the T. Debutant heroine Aathmiya has to improve her expressions and body language if she wants to survive in this heavily competitive world, though she was suitable for the homely, coy girl role and looks like Meera Jasmine. The film has a big cast like Naren, Ilavarasu, Ravi Maria, Sampathram, Jay Kumaar and etc who did their roles as it was expected from them, the comedy roles carried by Soori, Kishore and led by Singampuli keeps our attention. Singampuli was at his usual form with his funny one-liners and his expressive dialogue delivery with a peculiar diction. Adding more fun to this trio is the introduction of Srinath and Chams as well as 'Venniraadai' Moorthy in the latter stages of the film, which brings more funny moments. The episodes after the marriage breakdown are the highlight scenes.

Technical wise, this film carries very average work. Logu's stunt was for a particular scene which doesn't involve excessive punches and kicks which was adequate for the scene. Sivaraj's artwork was kept simple with the interiors of the small town homes, and office premises being the highlight but he could have done better with the set work of the riot scenes. Costumes by Sai Siva was appropriate but Gopi Krishna could have dealt a little better with his editing. Sooraj Nallusami's cinematography was kept simple and no gimmicks were used. D.Imman, who is still basking in the success of 'Mynaa' has given decent songs in this film. "Jal Jal Oosai" shot in the backdrops of a riot and the travel was ok but the choreography could have been better. "Po Po Po", a typical pathos song was shot in a typical manner, with the protagonist sulking in lonely places. "Dang Dang" tries to replicate the big success of "Jingu Chikka" from 'Mynaa' but its not as peppy as the latter. The dance choreography by Dhina on the backdrop of a construction site was lively involving the other artistes as well. "Yenna Solla" is a romantic number shot in the plush, green hill-stations with very minimal choreography and finally "Ooraana Oorukku" shot with many dancers is the song for the frontbenchers with fast dancing and a sizeable crowd.

S.Ezhil who has given decent and sensitive hits in the past like 'Thullatha Manamum Thullum' and 'Poovellam Un Vaasam' wants to cash in on the popularity of Siva Karthikeyan, decided to come up with a film laced with comedy scenes mostly with a couple of necessary sentimental scenes. What makes the audience a little unsettle is the unpredictable arrangement of scenes and the plot. When one thinks that the next scene should be a serious one, the director turns it into comedy and vice versa. Though comedy keeps the audiences entertained, the overall mood and story of the film is important and comedy alone is not going to be sufficient unless the film is an out-and-out comedy flick. S.Ezhil should have concentrated more in perfecting the screenplay. This is because he wanted to give a right balance of good comedy and heart warming sentimental scenes but both elements did not gel together which makes 'Manam Kothi Paravai', a bumpy ride. Also the way the film ends, reminds us of the love movies made in the 1990's and especially 'Kadhalukku Mariyadhai' comes to the fore.

'Manam Kothi Paravai' does entertain us in some sequences but the overall presentation of the screenplay could have been much better. Siva Karthikeyan makes a decent mark but he needs better films if he intends to really make it out as a hero in Tamizh cinema.

Ratings: 2/5 STARS



Vimal and Santhanam who have recently enjoyed success in the form of Sundar.C's 'Kalakalappu' is back with their next offering as a pair in this film. 'Ishttam' is a remake of the moderate urban-hit Telegu film 'Yemaindi Ee Vela'. Debutant Prem Nizar takes his bow as a director and he is backed by the current hot-shot music director Thaman. Also its a project Vimal was looking forward to as it was supposedly be the film which will change his 'village' image.

Vimal, for the first time, has donned a urban boy role which was a good change over for him. But sadly that was the aspect which is the biggest sore point of the film. He did not fit the role at all. Being projected as one in a IT-based industry, certain mannerisms are expected and Vimal missed them. His English pronunciation was bad, making him totally unconvincing as a spoilt city-brat. Nisha Aggarwal, the younger sister of Kajal Aggarwal makes her debut here and she too disappoints with her performance. She is glamorous but her expressions were plastic-like and emotionless and her lip sync was out of out of place, as well. The lead pair had no chemistry between them and both were uncomfortable in pulling off intimate scenes convincingly. Santhanam, the current King of Comedy, tries to evoke some laughter but most of his one-liners were pretty average. Being repetitive in making crude jokes on women and beer, will not do any favor for him anymore. Anoop Kumar, Parvathi Nirban, Pragathi, Yuvarani and the others make up the cast and dished out what was expected from them.

Technical wise this film has average works. Sai Suresh kept the work simple but the continuity of the screenplay was a little wobbly. Mohanjee C.H makes his debut as an art director. His work is kept pretty much simple as well with ordinary daily-life settings used mainly. The interiors of the lead pair's house as well as the girls hostel room are the examples. Camera work was nothing to talk about except for Shekhar V.Joseph's foreign locales but that too is not an uncommon thing in Tamizh cinema these days. The only technician who shone was Thaman. His songs were peppy and had various styles. The pick of the lot are the "Dhinakku Dhina" and "Oru Megham" numbers. Both were shot in typical foreign locations amongst old buildings, snow-capped mountains, green hill-stations and city centers. "Yenmele Indru" was shot indoors involving intimate moments between the lead pair and finally "Aaruyire" was a typical pathos song shot in montage sequences.

The story is by Sampath Nandi and it revolves around the mentality of the current youngsters and how rash are their decision-making skills, especially when it comes to life partner. Dealing with the issue of pre-marital sex needs conviction and Prem Nizar loses out on that element. His screenplay was very average and it gets sentimental and preachy towards the end. The scene which was the turning point in the script was averagely executed, leaving no mark or effect on the audience.

'Ishttam' is a poorly done film, with weak script and poor screenplay which makes it a dull affair.

Ratings: 1.5/5 STARS