A film based on schools and children is not new, but its been quite some time since we saw a good one, notably after 'Pasanga'. M.Anbazhagan, a former associate of Prabhu Solomon has come up with one and this time, the attention is on a dilapidated, old rural school. Produced by his mentor, M.Anbazhagan has chosen a towering presence, in the form of Samuthirakani, in order to play the revolutionary and visionary teacher, who is hell bent in making a change to the fate and life of the schoolchildren.

The biggest strength of the film is the role of Dayalan, played by Samuthirakani. His powerful,  yet subtle performance comes in for big praises, because he raises above the mediocre and less substantial other characters involved in the film. He fits in to the role, beautifully and his dialogue delivery is superb. Eager to see more of him in acting roles ! Thambi Ramaiah as the antagonist was sadly an irritation, with his over-acting and high pitched dialogue delivery, and also with a ridiculous wig ! 'Junior' Balaiah makes a comeback through this film, and has portrayed a neat role. 'Black' Paandi does what he can do best, with his funny and loud comedy sequences. Yuvan, Mahima, Swasika and the rest of the cast fills up the big casting list, essential for such a script.

For a small budget film, this movie has some decent technical outputs. P.R Ganesh, has done well with his costume work, especially in highlighting Samuthirakani differently, to make his character standout from the rest of the cast. M.K Leen's stunt was good enough for the script. Vairabalan has done quite well with the art direction department. His props and setting of a very poorly managed school. Be it the old and creaky props or the more decent and presentable cultural show and felicitation ceremonies, his art work was very natural and fulfills the requirement. R.Nirmal was okay with his editing, but he could have done better with in the climax and pre-climax build-up, which was a little jerky. M.Jeevan's cinematography work, brought out the true mood and color of the rural-school setting, and also good close-ups to capture the emotions and expressions of the characters. D.Imman, who has a good combination with Prabhu Solomon, does a decent job for Prabhu's associate as well. "Adi Raangi" is a good emotional number, with most of the song shot in montages and based on Yuvan's character yearning for the heroine's attention. There were many close-ups, good angles with good sceneries as the backdrop, which captures the mood of the song well. "Nanba Vaa, Nanba" is a montage song featuring the character played by Samuthirakani, in his reformation process, in educating the school kids. The song has plenty of locations and sequences, which highlights the life and times of rural school students. "Andhurundai" is situational song, shot on the backdrop of a cultural event, taking place in the rural school portrayed in the film, with many students performing amateur dances. "Sahayane" is the pick of the lot, a soothing, melodious song sung by Shreya Ghoshal. It was picturized in a montage sequences, from the point of view of the heroine's infatuation with the hero. "Jada Jada" is the situational climax song, with montages featuring the school students preparing to face the examinations.

M.Anbazhagan, should be appreciated for bringing up such a theme, which highlights the downfalls of today's society, in relation to the education sector, in precisely, rural-schools. His dialogues are big plus because without substantial and powerful dialogues, no actor can bring out a good performance and M.Anbazhagan has placed Samuthirakani on a very good platform, to perform. Some of the scenes, where well brought out but was definitely a little overdone. The message M.Anbazhagan intended to convey through this film, is noble but it goes very preachy at times and gives a more sentimental and melodramatic moment rather than a thought-provoking touch. The director could have worked out better with his characterizations because, in order to glorify the role of Samuthirakani, the rest of the cast were subjected to lesser importance or of substance and depth to their character. It would have been more compelling if the others were given proper roles to play.

'Saattai' is a decent film with a decent message for the viewers, when it comes to the education quotient of current school-going kids, especially in the rural side. Not bad for a time-pass.

Ratings: 2.5/5 STARS



M.Sasikumar is back after the lacklustre performance of his previous film 'Porali' at the box-office. This time he is back into his own territory, that is the Madurai-based script with friendship at its base intertwined with a simple love story. He has given his assistant S.R Prabhakaran a chance to direct a film for his own, Company Productions. Also, Sasikumar dons the mantle of hero in this film as well but this time, with some little difference from his previous angry, sickle-carrying, violent roles. So will this 'Sundarapandian' seduce the audience, successfully ?

Sasikumar, with his usual thick beard, is a good performer here but what is different from his previous films is that, here he gets to romance a girl and also carry less emotional dialogues and expressions. He gets to perform more comedy portions and his adeptness in doing such sequences is a big plus for the film because it helps us to get off the image of his previous films, from our minds, while watching this film. He appears nearly throughout the film and his subtle dialogue delivery gives a touch of class for his acting chops. Debutante  Lakshmi Menon, looks very cute and homely and with her big eyes, manages to show emotions appropriately and her subtle performances makes her to be the next good performing heroine in Tamizh cinema. Kudos to her ! Soori is a revelation in this film, with a more subtle and relaxed dialogue delivery and body language which works very well for the scenes and his character is a complement for Sasikumar's protagonist role. He underplays his comedy sequences and is impressive throughout the film. The core strength of the film is the good characterizations and each artistes performing their roles, had done justice to their work and nearly everyone comes out a big winner, performance-wise. National Award-winner Appukutty, Vijay Sethupathi, Inigo Prabakaran, Naren, Thennavan, Sujatha, Sounthara Raja, Thulasi and even minor artistes have the depth and screen presence to make their mark. The director has won half the battle with his excellent casting !

K.Natraj's costumes were very apt and befitting for the characters, especially for Sasikumar, in order to bring out the naughtier side of his and also for the rest of the cast, which gives them the authentic rural look. Dhilip Subbarayan's stunt choreography is good, with the orchard fight scene, being the highlight, where the artistes uses the starches and coconuts as weapons. The stunts looked realistic, which was fitting for the size and physique of Sasikumar. Debuting art director, A.K Muthu gets it right with appropriate props to fill the houses of the township homes, shown in the film. V.Donbosco has done a neat job in the editing department, especially in the climax fight sequence. C.Premkumar of 'Pasanga' fame dons the mantle of cinematographer and he has done a neat job as well. He has captured the rustic and rural look very well, especially in the barren, dry lands in the climax. The bus portions too were well shot, though it involves tight spaces and crowded areas. N.R Raghunanthan's music is hummable with only four songs in the film. "Kondaadum Manasu", the introductory song of the hero, was picturized with many dancers, with a good mix of old and young folks, with plenty of close-ups and wide shots against temple and paddy field backdrop. "Kadhal Vandhu", is a situational song, with many montages involved, mostly inside the bus and along the journey of the bus route, with funny scenes, overall. "Rekkai Mulaithen", was shot on the lead couple, also on a montage method, showing them happily being in love with each other in many locations such as bus, hills, roads and college areas. The final song, "Nenjukkule" is another situational song, this time involving more dramas between the lead pair and the other characters surrounding them. The background score too gels very well with the look and mood of the film, which complements very well for the sequences in the screenplay.

S.R Prabhakaran, gets his inspiration from his mentor's films, because there is a heavy feel of 'Nadodigal', 'Porali' and 'Subramaniapuram' evident in the film (also thanks to Samuthirakani's voice-over for the introduction scenes) . But the strength of the film is the rather fair screenplay and good humor scenes infused throughout the script. The first half serves as good build-up for all the serious dramas in the second half, with light and funny comedy scenes. But the sucker punch is at the climax, where a couple of surprising twists and turns are revealed, though some cinematic liberties were taken. Also, the director should be lauded for sketching strong and colorful characters. His dialogues too are a big help for the script, as the right words brings out the emotion quotient of the scenes, appropriately and spontaneously. The screenplay is rather neat and direction looks promising. Overall, S.R Prabhakaran has done a decent job, indeed !

'Sundarapandian' is engaging and entertaining but Sasikumar should venture out from his comfort zone and do different themes besides, the usual love, revenge and friendship because, stereotyping will be a bane for his cinematic career, be it for any role (actor, director or producer).

Ratings: 3/5 STARS



Srikanth, makes a comeback through 'Paagan' under the directorial debut of Mohammed Aslam, a former associate of Ameer. This is indeed a crucial project for him, as it can salvage his career as a hero in Tamizh cinema. Along with a relatively small cast, this film promised us a decent comedy with some sentimentalism attached, to make itself appealing for the mass audiences. Will 'Paagan' save Srikanth, who had a decent outing in 'Nanban' ?

Srikanth, is a good performer but he needs solid script and acting scope, if at all he wants to make it bigger. Sadly, in 'Paagan' he has nothing much to offer, other than being comical throughout the film and being emotional in certain scenes. He is a total miscast in the film because and this proves to be one of the biggest drawbacks of the film. He looks too polished and refined for a character who hails from the village and is an out-and-out rural folk. Also, his costumes did not help to counter-balance the effect, because it is illogical to see him wearing neat and tidy attires, which contradicts with the character he plays. Other than that, there is nothing much to speak about his performance. Janani Iyer makes her second appearance on screen after 'Avan Ivan' and this is a proper heroine role for her, though it was strictly just a Tamizh-cinema conventional heroine. Looking pretty and petite, it is refreshing to hear her dub in her own voice and adds authenticity to her character. Soori and 'Black' Paandi appears as sidekicks for nearly throughout the film, with each of them performing in styles which they are popular for. Some sequences do evoke laughter but majority of them fell flat and was boring. Kovai Sarala was in her essence but it was a little too loud and over-the-top. George, Anu Mohan, director A.Venkatesh makes small appearances in the film, though they have nothing much to contribute to the flow of the film.

The technical team of the film was just functional and none of the department was outstanding in their work. 'Supreme' Sundar's stunts were a little innovative since it involves bicycle chase sequences and the usage of the bicycle as part of the stunt choreography. N.K Rahul's artwork was simple and natural, with the village house props and bungalow house props noticeable  Kevin's editing could have been better since the movie moves at a very slow pace and also the climax portion should have been better. J.Laxman has captured the essence of Pollachi and Tirupur quite well with his camera, utilizing the lush greenery of the former and the industrial backdrop of the latter. Also, many shots were taken with the camera mounted on the bicycle, to get the feel of the ride of the protagonist. James Vasanthan's music was melodious and soft but it was boring ! None of the songs were hummable or interest-evoking. "Thatti Thavi" is a sequential song, featuring the 'bonding' of the protagonist with his bicycle and featuring many bicycle shots, obviously against picturesque Pollachi. "Poonthendral" is a typical heroine introduction song, featuring Janani Iyer prancing around with a couple of dancers and this too was shot against a lush and green Pollachi. "Simba Simba" was shot on a market set featuring the main casts of the film, minus the heroine and featured few cut-shots. "Ennai Mannipaya" a sad song shot on the lead couple, uses the Jimmy Jib quite well along the high terrains and hill-side areas. "Ippadi Oar" a typical dream song, was shot along temple lakes, with soft and breezy color tone and ample usage of the Jimmy Jib. The background score of the film was just functional and hearing all these poor scores, makes us wonder what happened to the man who gave beautiful scores in 'Subramaniapuram'.

Mohammed Aslam, who is in charge of the writing and direction department. As a viewer, one has no idea who Aslam wanted to project as the protagonist of the film, is it Srikanth or himself (since he gave the voice-over for the bicycle). The direction was poor because none of the character were believable and the direction of the script is also confusing because the viewers have no idea whether is this a full-length comedy film with little sentiments or the other way around. None of the events in the film looks serious and there are big gaps in the screenplay with many questions left unanswered. The climax too was a perplexing because, the viewers have no clue, why the sudden turn of events are taking place and it has nothing to contribute to the story as well !

'Paagan' is a poor product from Aslam, as there's no good direction, proper characterization or even story to tell in the movie.

Ratings: 1.5/5 STARS



'Etho Seithai Ennai' came out without any fanfare or publicity at all, which makes us to brush of this film outright, just before noticing the cast of the film ! It has some veteran artistes who are making their odd return to the film industry and also the hero Shakkthi, son of veteran director P.Vasu. Does this film deserves any sort of publicity ? Definitely not at all !

Shakkthi makes his comeback after a small guest role in 'Yuvan Yuvathi'. He has established himself as a proper actor, who can emote and deliver dialogues confidently, with some little bit of charm in his previous films. What's not watchable here, is the ridiculously etched out sequences in which he has to perform the acts of heroes done in the 80's and early 90's. He has just performed what the director wanted, and there's nothing special here, which is worthy enough for a comeback. Liya, who did a role in 'Peraanmai' makes her comeback as well, which is not worthy off. She struggles in her role and there's no chemistry at all between her character and that of Shakkthi's which makes their love portion sequences like a sore thumb ! Anand Babu and Anandh makes their comebacks too, through this film and together with John Vijay, all three of them look like the cinematic, and over-the-top villains whom we are used to seeing, time immemorial. Bhanuchander, Ilavarasan, Sai Prashanth, Devi Priya makes their presence in small roles and Srinath makes us chuckle a bit in his sequences, with his funny dialogues and body language.

On the technical front, this film has nothing to offer us. 'Rock' Prabhu's stunts were okay, though some portions look overtly-done. K.R Shree, has very less budget to afford, I guess, so his art work is very minimal, with some props here and there. Muthulakshmi Varadhan's editing was poor with the continuity of the story getting hit badly. Ezhil Arasan's lighting was poor which makes his cinematography of the film look like the work of an amateur, befitting for a short film. Ganesh B.Kumar's tunes are not hummable at all. "Muzhu Nilavu" was shot within a bus setting with the lead pair, with some narrow angles. "Pogamal Oru Naal" was shot within a campus setting, shot at night mostly, with some few background dancers thrown into the frame. "Kadhil Mattum" was shot in foreign locales, Venice to be precise, which gives the film a different look but the song composition was bad, with poor angles, which does not bring out the beauty of the place being focused upon. 'Falling in Love" is a montage-filled song, showing the flashbacks of the lead pair and their encounters with each other.

J.Elvin Bosser, the director tries to weave a story of rivalries, love and back-stabbing in the story, but the events stands out mutually exclusive of each other and though the director tries to weave all the subplots together, it did not gel well, making us to wonder, why so and so proceedings are taking place in the script. The rivalry portion was poorly executed, leaving us not hooked to it and worse, not able to comprehend, why the rivalry is there in the first place and what makes the characters to bay out for each other's blood. The love sequences too did not look thoroughly convincing nor interesting.

'Etho Seithaai Ennai' - No idea, what the director wanted to convey as a film !

Ratings: 1/5 STARS



Rasu Madhuravan, known for his village-type, old tearjerkers, is back with another offering in 'Paandi Oli Perukki Nilaiyam' but sadly there's no deviation from his previous track. He has Sabarish and Sunaina as the lead pair this time, with a bevy of known and unknown artistes playing unimportant characters in the film, and appear just for the sake of sentimentality.

Sabarish, son of popular stunt director 'FEFSI' Vijayan makes another splash, or should say tried to make another effort to prove his mark as an actor. He has an interesting get-up, which reminds us of Vikram's image in 'Pithamagan'. He has clarity in his dialogue delivery but there's  no variations in it nor in his body language, which makes his performance look very caricature-like. His expressions are very standard and normal, which does not make him look outstanding from the overcrowded hero circle of Tamizh cinema. Being a son of stunt artiste, he delivers good action skills but his dancing capability seems to be limited. Sunaina looks okay, with decent face and physique and she has some acting capabilities which is not exploited here properly. The only thing which was used properly was her physical features in short, skimpy clothing. Karunas, 'Thambi' Ramaih, Soori and Singam Puli provides some comic relief here and there with their trademark buffoonery antics, and Singam Puli especially continues with his silly and amusing dialogue deliveries. Raj Kapoor, Vaiyapuri, K.Selvabharathi and etc makes up the big cast of the film and all of them delivered what was expected from them by the director.

The film has nothing to shout about technical wise. 'Supreme' Sundar's stunt scenes are okay and bearable but oddly, it looks very similar to the ones composed in 'Pithamagan' ! Veera Samar's art work is minimal, with the microphone and sound service shops, as well as the interiors of village houses looking natural. Suresh Urs keeps the film's pace watchable without much lag but he could not save much, thanks to the poor quality of the script. U.K Senthil Kumar, a veteran cinematographer captures the village portions, properly but other than that, there's nothing much to shout about in his work, apart from one or two good shots in the stunt scenes. Kavi Periathambi's music work is lame and boring. "Azhagu" is the introductory song of the protagonist with boring picturization, based on film festival setting and bad looking 'glamor' girl. "Mudhan Mudhalai" is a song shot in paddy fields and slowly transforms to the scenic localities of the Langkawi Islands in Malaysia, and also featuring Sunaina in revealing outfits. "Kettukodi" is a poorly remixed song of the old Sivaji Ganesan's 'Pattikaada Pattanama' film. This song was shot in the Bukit Bintang and KLCC areas of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, with mostly streets being shot with Sunaina, in short and body-hugging clothes. "Azhagana" song is shot in village setting with background dancers and is a slow-paced melody with more scenes from the Malaysian streets being covered with the lead pair dancing in a silly manner. "Dandanakra" is another festival song, but this one shot at night with again a badly looking 'glamor' girl as the lead dancer !

Rasu Madhuravan should either stop making films or should try to change his direction in cinema, if at all he wants to survive ! The story is out-dated and would have worked out in the 70's or 80's. The dialogues by him are mediocre, the romance portion between the lead pair looked very theatrical, the presence of many village folks as artistes making it look like another tearjerker. When even new, upcoming directors are experimenting with novel ideas, Rasu Madhuravan has stuck with a typical revenge story, which is boring and least interesting. Also, his characterizations were poorly etched out, leaving many looking like cartoons.

'Paandi Oli Perukki Nilayam' is a poor, poor product and its baffling to think what made Sunaina to accept such a film !

Ratings: 0.5/5 STARS