'Vathikuchi' is an interesting venture from A.R Murugadoss's production company, which he has co-produced with none other than Fox Star Studios India. With the intentions of churning quality movies, Murugadoss and Fox Studios are collaborating for the second time after the successful, 'Engeyum Eppodhum'. This time too, its a former assistant of Murugadoss, who is calling the shots as director. P.Kinslin's debut directorial venture has Deliban, the younger brother of A.R Murugadoss, being introduced as the hero. So, how did this project fare ?

Like it or not, Dileban is being promoted as an action-hero material by A.R Murugadoss. To some extent, Dileban does deliver the basic outputs expected out of an action hero. He is adept in pulling off action scenes, puts his bulky and well-built physique to rough treatments, and has good stamina. But that alone will not make the audience to root for you. There is the acting performance side to being an actor, and Dileban has way lots of room to improve. He maintains a single expression throughout the film (its not convincing, even if the director wanted Deliban to be projected as the as-cool-as-cucumber type !) The dialogue delivery has no modulations in it and he looks stiff in certain sequences. If he is to survive, he needs more practice in acting ! Anjali's role looked like an extension of her 'Engeyum Eppodhum' Manimegalai, with a little modification, with more naughtiness and chirpiness. Her own dubbing makes it perfect for the role but she has to start taking care of her physique more. Saranya Ponvannan was the archetypal sporty and casual mother, we had seen in many recent movies. Sampath Raj and Jayaprakash have easy roles, as they would have done such roles several times, in their previous films. The rest of the cast such as Ravi Maria, 'Pattimandram' Raja, V.C.R, Rajshree, Bala Singh, Sri Ranjani and etc sufficed the need of the script. But what was the director thinking by having Jegan play a negative role ? It was a terrible miscast as he is nowhere near being convincing enough, and ends up looking comical. Its either perfect his acting skills or just concentrate doing on what Jegan is comfortable at !

The film carries some decent technical work. R.Krishnamoorthy and M.J Raju's sound works were good, especially in fight and shoot-out sequences. Sanjey Karan's artwork was decent enough for the simple script, with appropriate props, as most of the shooting was in live locations. Praveen K.L and Srikanth N.B's editing work, keeps the film compact, even with the accomodation of the lacklustre romance and comedy portions. Their handling of the flashback portions and also the fight sequences, was very professionally and maturely done. Rajasekar's action choreography was a big letdown with excessive and terrible rope usage, in the fight sequences. The bad handling of the ropes, makes the action sequences too exaggerated and fake in nature. R.B Gurudhev handles the camera skillfully, with clever usage of the slow-motion techniques for the action sequences and his choice of lighting and color tone, gives the film a raw look, but with a blue tinge.

M.Ghibran's musical score was fantastic, with quirky tunes and background score. "Kuru Kuru" has montages of the hero, going after the heroine, after getting the green-light from her. This song has some well framed, shots. "Amma Wake Me Up" is a groovy and impish song, picturized on the heroine and her bunch of friends, with their shopping 'adventures' and antics. In tandem with the lyrics, the song has been mostly shot in and around shopping malls. "Kanne Kanne" is a dreamy song, where the hero imagines being married to his heroine, and has plenty of montage sequences. "Ari Unnai" is a situational song, showing the hero, getting caught in a dangerous situation. M.Ghibran rocks in the background score with unique sounds, and he is definitely a cut above the rest, among the upcoming young music directors. Expecting more from him, after this and the brilliant debut in 'Vaagai Sooda Vaa' !

P.Kinslin's script is engaging in bits and pieces. The narration was interestingly told in flashback mode but the narration must grow organically and not forced upon. Kinslin shows some talent in handling his script, but his dialogues were not up to the mark, where better writers would have done wonders, especially in the monologues. Also, Kinslin's unnecessarily injects his film, with typical hero machismo, where he is portrayed as the do-gooder and struggles to come to a smooth end. Kinslin's character development was half-baked, especially with the antagonists. The worse was Jagan and his bunch of scheming friends. Which schemers would go on mouthing-dialogues, instead of seizing the opportunity to kill off their targets ? But here, you can see all sort of silly antagonistic antics, especially by Jegan ! But Kinslin should be appreciated for portraying lives of the middle-class characters from a myriad of raw outskirts of Chennai, such as Tambaram, Avadi, Ambattur, Samathuvapuram and etc.

'Vathikuchi' does not live up to the promises it made, but a little more of deft handling and maturity in the script and direction, would have made this film, much better. Keep improving, P.Kinslin !

Ratings: 2.75/5 STARS



The name Bala, spells awe and astonishment among the crème de la crème of Indian directors. Revered for his stunning narration and unimaginable characterizations, Bala's 'Paradesi' is his first period film (set in the 1930's) and also the fastest to be shot (in record 90 days time !). Loosely based on Paul Harris Daniel's 1969 novel, 'Red Tea' which records the author's experience of having first-hand experience, witnessing the deplorable and agonizing state, of the tea plantation workers. With a relatively young cast and crew, Bala has perfectly titled the film and how shocking is the auteur's newest release ?

This was a lifetime role for Atharvaa Murali, and boy, did he grab it with such adroitness ! To have a lead role in Bala's film at such a young stage of his career, Atharvaa was simply outstanding as Raasa ! As the innocent and somewhat gullible chap, he delivered a stellar performance, right from the beginning and till the final crescendo. His climax performance was simply too good, as he brought out the intense pain and frustrations of the torturous hell he is trapped into. Take a bow, Atharvaa !! Vedhika, who resembles the yesteryear Srividhya in some sequences, was not far behind, either. Its amazing to see her grasp the inputs of Bala and to perform with aplomb, in a character and setting which is totally alien to her. She delivered perfect and beautiful expressions, and also kudos for her climax performance ! Dhanshikaa delivered a very matured performance, and its highly commendable because the grittiness and seriousness in her character, was very well brought out by her. Besides that, her voice modulation was fantastic, and she got her pronunciation perfectly. A real talent, to look out for ! Popular advertisement filmmaker, Jerry was natural as the vicious and cold-blooded 'Kangaani'. He has different shades to his role, and came out with flying colors, in his first acting assignment. Debutantes, Udhay Karthik and Riythvika, were brilliant and so too the other odd characters and not to forget, the hundreds of hard-toiled junior artistes. Bravo to the whole casting crew !!

The technical crew, worked in sync with the needs of the script. Poornima Ramasamy's costume designing was splendid, and her hard-work, put in research payed off, very well. All the characters were accurately costumed, and the clothes became part of the nature of the characters. Dheepak Bhojraj's opening titles and credits sequences, with those sketches, had a touch of poignancy. M.J Raju and Raj Krishna's sound work was perfectly in sync with the story, as some minute sounds, makes big mark in the film. Debutant art director, C.S Balachander created the perfect environment and setting of the pre-independence Salur village and the pathetic tea plantation squatters. The huts, the 'Panchayat' temple and the rugged terrains were in tandem with the script and he certainly brought out the village alive, for us ! And cinematographer Chezhiyan, captured those important structures, beautifully with his camera. The cinematography, narrated the script in a visualistic manner, thanks to the camera movements. The very dark color tone, further brought out the gloomy environment needed for the script. Fantastic work by both Balanchander and Chezhiyan ! Kishore T.E should be applauded for his concise and crisp editing, by shortening the length of the film to be just above 2 hours.

G.V Prakash Kumar, collaborates with Bala for the first time and he comes out with in-sync tunes. "Kannaalamam Kannaalam" is one of G.V Prakash Kumar's best and different score. The song was written by director Thiagarajan Kumararaja of 'Aaranya Kaandam' fame and it was picturized on a wedding sequences of the people of Salur. Avatha Paiya" is a beautiful melody picturized on the love trysts of the lead pair, Atharvaa and Vedhika, in and around the Salur village. The emotions and expressions of the lead pair, were captured beautifully by Chezhiyan. "Sengaade" has wonderful lighting, and chronicles the treacherous and long journey of the 'Paradesis' to the tea estate. The camera angles brought out the pain and trouble of the junior artistes, who performed in this song. "Senneerthaana" is a pathos song, highlighting the early hardships and troubles faced by the folks, who has started working in the tea estate. Chezhiyan's framing and color scheme for this song, is commendable. "Or Mirugam" further highlights the continuing pain and agony of the characters, which have now realized that, they are trapped in a hell, waiting for their death. The final song, "Thannai Thaane" is the only dance number, which had Master Sivashankar, along with a foreign artiste, dancing and singing in praise of Jesus Christ. G.V Prakash Kumar, scores well in the background music as well, but he should have toned down some overtly melodramatic score, such as the shehnai sound, just before the climax. An experienced composer would have done wonders, but still kudos to G.V Prakash Kumar, for trying his best, in achieving something different.

To those who are accustomed with Bala's style of film-making, they would know that he shows no remorse in dealing with extremely dark and undocumented topics and settings. Bala's expertise, is his remarkable and extremely bizarre characterizations. In 'Paradesi' too, we get to see intense, raw, gritty and powerful characters. The vision of Bala in sculpting and giving life to his characters, is just unsurpassable by anyone and he continues his terrific form in 'Paradesi' as well. This film, is definitely Bala's most straight-forward and honest film, so far as there is no sugar-coating or deviation in the storyline. Its just a simple, "start-take off-bang-the end" type of narration. Bala's previous films had shocking, brutal, violent and unfathomable climax sequences, but here, its just kept simple. There's only extreme pain, agony, torture and a heart-wrenching ending. There is just pain, after pain, after pain, with no place for whatsoever other emotions, in this latest Bala's offering. Bala's usual "dark comedy" or macabre in nature, is present as well but the humor, is very limited but Nanjil Nadan's dialogues, were in tune with Bala's taste. Especially the in-your-face, crude jokes ! And also the mockery and pot-shot taken at the Church missionaries, who comes for proselytizing purposes, in the pretext of curing people, was hilarious ! Having Rajkiran narrate the starting monologue, was a touch of poignancy from Bala. 'Paradesi' is a laborious and grueling effort from the cast and crew of the film, deserves great appreciation from all

'Paradesi' - Not the "cup of tea" of many, but so much for just a cup of tea in the 1930's ?

Ratings: 4/5 STARS



P.T Selvakumar, the manager of 'Ilaiyathalapathy' Vijay for nearly 30 years, turns director with 'Onbadhula Guru'. With an interesting ensemble cast of youngsters, P.T Selvakumar promised a good comedy film, which will make us forget our worries, and enjoy the comedy, unabashedly. Did he deliver, as he promised ? Did the years of experience, being a manager of a very popular star, help Selva in his tryst ?

We were reminded that the movie is about 4 Idiots, but then it should have been captioned as 4+1 Idiots. Vinay Rai, makes his mini-comeback in this film, and he has more of the screen space among all the 'Idiots'. He tries his best to deliver his dialogues well and maintain a good timing in his comedy. Though far from being perfect, he is passable and with more experience, he can improve his acting capabilities. Sathyan's dialogue delivery was good, as he is always funny with his voice modulation and not far behind him was Chaams, though he had limited screen timing. Arvind Akash, was okay and the additional 'Idiot', Premji makes his presence felt by mocking Tamizh cinema heroes and Tamizh cinema's landmark films and scenes from those films. Lakshmi Rai, makes an entry late into the second half, and was adequate, though it must be noted that she is a little out of shape. The film has a host of artistes doing minor roles such as Manobala, Manthra, Sona Heiden, Geetha Singh, Karthika Shetty, Roopa Shree, Yogi Devaraj, Chitra Lakshmanan and etc. All of them were sincere to their roles, though whether did it leave any impact, is a different question all together. Besides them, we do have 'Powerstar' Dr S.Srinivasan and director K.S Ravikumar, doing cameo roles !

The technical department's job were ordinary and nothing to rave about. N.J Sathya's costumes were too colorful and loud. R.Janaa's art work was simple, especially for the outdoor sequences, though his detailing could have been much better. Silva's one stunt sequence choreography was sufficient enough for the scene. P. Sai Suresh's editing and P.Chelladurai's cinematography were just okay. Music director, K's songs are not even hum-worthy, and is immediately forgettable. "Alayaadhe Summa" is the song which is played during the opening credits and has 'Powerstar' Dr S.Srinivasan doing his funny dancing jigs. He is accompanied by Sathyan and Arvind Akash, and the song is shot mostly in the outdoors, such as parks. "Theera Theera" was picturized in a college setting, and has plenty of merry and dancers, regularly associated with such type of songs. "Vaa Machi" is a song which pokes fun at marriage and the tune is eerily similar to K's previous "Bar Anthem" in 'Mugamoodi'. The picturization is not much different from the earlier mentioned, two songs. "Maidha Maidhaanam" is a club song, which has Lakshmi Rai shaking her legs. It has some creative editing, but with minimal impact. The song had cheesy lighting, and costumes of the artistes, should have been better.

First things, first. Mr. P.T Selvakumar, what genre does your film belong to ? Is it a regular comedy movie, or is it an out-and-out spoof movie ? We have no clue on what were Selva's intentions, and all we can see is just an onslaught of spoof scenes, from the start, till the end ! A majority of the film's scenes were irrelevant and has no purpose. Tamizh cinema stars were made fun of repeatedly and apparently, Suriya was the most targeted, conspicuously. As the spoofing goes on tirelessly, the audience starts to get tired fast and lose interest in the proceedings. What's even more pathetic ? Most of the jokes or spoofs, fall flat and fails to evoke even, the slightest of chuckles, barring one or two, here and there. And the credits can go to the co-dialogue writer M.Ashok Kumar. What's really shameful, are the crude and crass jokes made out of women, which is unacceptable at all ! There is no connectivity between the scenes and a coherent screenplay, as well. Slapstick comedy is a tricky tread, and one can only pull it off, if there's an excellent writing and an equally excellent casting. 'Onbadhula Guru' fails badly, in pulling off such an attempt.

'Onbadhula Guru' - Its even more shocking to see the film ending with a note that there's a sequel to it, with 'Powerstar' as the main lead ! P.T Selvakumar, should seriously consider not going ahead with a sequel, unless it changes hands, to another director !

Ratings: 1.25/5 STARS



'Patheyaram Kodi', has Vivek enacting the main comedy role of the film and the whole movie is just about his buffoonery antics and some slapstick comedy sequences, with some songs thrown into the frame, with moderate low-budget VFX usage.

Vivek, is at complete ease as the silly and amusing CBCID officer, but sadly his jokes are outdated and barely makes us to chuckle. The lead pair Dhruv and Madhalasa, were just caricatures and were used for the sake of having a hero and heroine. Gokul, was credited as having a "special role" but most of the times, he is not in the frame at all, since he is invisible ! There's a big bunch of comedy artistes such as Madan Bob, 'Cell' Murugan, Alwa Vasu, Chelladurai, Thiyagu and etc and were there just to make up the numbers and do not have any meaningful roles or characters of importance.

The technical works are of sub-standard. Sheela Armani's costumes were just below average, even for Madhalasa. Shankar's simple stunt work sufficed the need of the script. Vijay Anand's art work was passable. Sujith Mahadev's editing was just plain simple and C.H Rajkumar's cinematography was just ordinary. Shockingly, the VFX was badly handled and supervised, with remnants of the patchwork, being visible. Yet, there were three companies (Passion Studios, Criya Infotainment and Cerebrums), which worked behind the VFX portions ! The film had unnecessarily plenty of songs and all of them were below average ! G.D Prasad's title score, "Patheyaram Kodigal", was used during the opening credits and in between the chasing sequences. The rest of the songs were composed by K.S Manoj. "Padichi Padichi" is a typical college-opening number, which was shot in and around the college campus. "Bhoomika" is a pathos song, shot on the lead pair and was picturized in scenic locations such as hillside, sandy beaches and serene forests, with few montage portions, inserted. "Azhagaana Poi" is a duet, shot on the lead pair again, with hilly landscape, serving as the backdrop. "CBI Singam" is a item song shot on Vivek and Kanishka Suri who did a small role in the film. The song was shot within the perimeters of a bungalow house and Vivek just casually walks in and out of the frame. "Idhu Enna" is another duet, which had plenty of graphic usage and was primarily shot on Madhalasa, who looked pretty in her casual dress, with an apartment backdrop. "Kaigal Ondraaga" is used in the end credits. Prashant's background score was in tune with the script - silly and comedic.

V.Srinivas Sunder has written the story, screenplay, dialogues and directed the film, with having veteran Muktha V.Srinivasan as the co-writer. We are not sure of the actual intentions of the writers, but judging from the script and screenplay, we can presume that they were intending to deliver a comedy film. With no logic, common sense and any touch of seriousness, that is ! The writing cannot even qualify as half-baked and the script is littered with plenty of lame, stupid jokes. There's not even an iota of depthness, in terms of story-telling and we do wonder, if this film was actually intended for small kids. The proceedings depicted in the film, were absolutely absurd and is way too simple and uncomplicated !

'Patheyaram Kodi' - quintessential sub-standard, lame comedy movie of Tamizh cinema !

Ratings: 1/5 STARS



Karunas is a good comedian, provided that he is given a good scope and character to perform. His tryst as lead actor in films such as 'Dindigul Sarathy', 'Ambasamudram Ambani', might have produced mixed results, but it has not stopped him from doing further lead roles. 'Chandamama' is one such venture, and here, he plays the role of a untalented novelist-wannabe.

The cast comprised mostly of experienced artistes, so it was just a walk-in-the-park for most of them. Karunas, was in his elements doing comedy scenes, but also gets to try out more emotional sequences as well and is passable overall. Shwetha Basu has potential to be a good artiste, if she tutelage under a good director. Harish Kalyan, though was very poor in all aspects ! R.Sundarrajan, M.S Bhaskar, Ilavarasu, Sujatha, G.M Kumar, Madan Bob, Mohan Ram, Kottachi, 'Crane' Manohar and etc all were decent enough for their roles.

'Mafia' Sasi and 'Fire' Karthik were credited for stunt practices, but what was their exact contribution, is a mystery. Mani Suchitra's art work was simple and apt for the low budget of the film. G.Murali's editing should be noted for keeping the length of the film from being over-stretched. Anandha Kuttan's cinematography was sufficient enough. Nothing more to discuss about the camera work. Srikanth Deva's score was pretty bad. "Koyambedu Silk" is a regular dance number, which was shot in a market setting and had Raghasiya as the item girl. Kudos to Karunas, for attempting to dance well. "Yaarodi" is a melody, which was shot on the lead pair in villages, lakes, paddy fields and dams. "Kandene" is a bit song, which comes in as a situational song, which was shot on Harish, recording it in Srikanth Deva's studio. "Narayana" is a dance number, which was shot on Sridhar and also a few montage sequences were inserted, into the video clip. Srikanth Deva's background score was worse, as he fails to balance the synchronization between humor and emotional scenes. The movie, almost had a complete melodramatic score, throughout !

R.Radhakrishnan's script, was a very poorly written one, which is not in tune with current circumstances. Songs are simply thrown in for the sake of having them. Dialogues by P.S Ramnath were just adequate. The screenplay was too boring, which makes us to lose interest in watching the artistes perform. Its still a puzzle, if the director wanted to come out with a comedy film or a melodramatic, one. But whatever it is, he fails miserably in both genres, if you go according to the scenes.

'Chandamama' - might have been bearable for the audiences of smaller towns and villages of a couple of decades ago !

Ratings: 1/5 STARS



Haridas, piqued our interest with its trailer, which promised a clean-cut film, with very good artistes, in Kishore and Sneha, doing the lead roles. G.N.R Kumaravelan, who's last venture, was the pathetic 'Yuvan Yuvanthi', has handled a more serious but delicate theme of autism and the tough life of parents of an autistic child. Can the director redeem himself of a good career, with this sensitive theme as a backdrop, aided by good artistes and technicians ?

'Haridas' is fueled with very good performances, from the two main leads, Kishore and Sneha. The former plays an encounter specialist, who's life comes to a sudden halt, due to situations leading him to take care of his autistic child, all by himself. This film could be one of Kishore's most sincerest and honest performance, ever. His composed, yet heartfelt emotions and subtle reactions makes us to sympathize or even empathize with his character, especially in scenes where he is clueless on what to do next with his autistic son. Also, his macho and charismatic screen presence, makes him perfectly fit into the role of an encounter specialist police officer. Sneha, puts her heart and soul into the 'Amudhavalli' teacher character. Lucky for getting such a role, she pulls off a beautiful performance and her experience, gives her the edge in enacting the emotional scenes. Also, she has mastered the dialogue delivery capability and has handled the dubbing herself, which adds more realistic element into her role. Master Prithviraj Doss, has a very good entry and he was too very much natural in his role as the autistic boy. His body language, mannerism and screen presence gave the character more color and life. The rest of the cast such as Pradeep Rawat, Soori, G.Rajesh Kumar and etc did what was expected out of them, and Rajkapoor, as well as Yugi Sethu make wonderful cameo appearances, especially the later, who was in his usual witty elements.

Rajashekar's action choreography was good enough for the script, though it could have been handled well, especially when you have an able actor like Kishore. Lalgudi N.Ilaiyaraja's production design was simple, yet class. The opening posh apartment setting, the police quarters, and the climax warehouse, all were well set up and designed, giving the film a simple, but beautiful look. Raja Mohammed's editing was neat and the opening sequences were well handled. But the length of the film could have been shortened, which would have made the film even crispier. The movie, would not have been made to look high in quality, without the excellent cinematography by R.Rathnavelu. Randy's simple color palette, with natural lighting worked out brilliantly for the film. Each shot was picture-perfect, and the warm ambiance implemented throughout the film, complemented the script very well. Great work, Randy !

Vijay Antony, had delivered simple songs for the film, which fits well for the film. "Vellakuthira" is a pathos song, used in a particular sober situation. It was shot with few montages and the old house charm was captured beautifully by the cinematographer, with perfect natural lighting. The "Police" song, is a comedic take on the miserable life of police officers. It has an item girl with plenty of dancers, and was shot in the streets. Again Randy, has handled the natural lighting available for this song, pertaining to the situation and this time has more darker shots. "Vaazhkaiye" is a situational song, which acts out as a motivational one, too. It has lots of montages and small sequences interlaced in between those montages. Also, the camera angles, are an highlight of this song, as well. "Annaiyin Karuvil" was shot in a very photographic manner, with picturesque shots along the white, sandy beaches and also few montage sequences, fit into it. The background score was handled well, in most of the scenes bar some, which was too loud and melodramatic at times.

The film has plenty of heartfelt, emotional scenes, which adds strength to the film. The gradual transformation of the autistic son, was very natural and well presented. Although, the police scenes were well sketched, it takes the focus out of the main theme, though it can be excused. A little more maturity in the direction and script writing, would have made this film, an even much better product. Some melodramatic sequences could have been avoided, or as said, handled with more maturity. A.R Venkatesan's dialogues were simple and there are some good dialogues, peppered here and there in the script. But an even more astute writer, could have put in fantastic outputs, in terms of dialogues. Nevertheless, a good job by the dialogue writer. The build-up to the climax was fantastic but the end could have been different, since it felt a little forced and unnecessary. Yet, G.N.R Kumaravelan deserves a pat for handling a sensitive subject, without going too preachy or overtly sentimental. Also, kudos to him for glorifying the pains and sacrifices parents of such special kids, go through in bringing up their kids, in this complicated and tedious life.

Films like 'Haridas' should be encouraged and supported by audiences. Though the script has potential to be developed into an even much better film, yet bravo to G.N.R Kumaravelan, for a simple and family-friendly film. 'Haridas' - Is this from the same guy who gave us, 'Yuvan Yuvathi' ? Wow !

Ratings: 3/5 STARS



Ameer Sultan, the man who gave us path-breaking films such as 'Raam' and 'Paruthi Veeran' is back after a 6-year hiatus, with a gangster flick. 'Aadhibhagawan' has been in the making for the past three years, and sure it would have taken the toll out of the lead artistes, Jayam Ravi and Neetu Chandra. With the tagline, "A Mafioso Action Love Story", Ameer promised an out-and-out commercial film, and with plenty of locations used in the film, will the wait be worth ? Can 'Aadhibhagawan' join the list as one of the best gangster flick of Tamizh cinema ?

Jayam Ravi, who has been having a fledgling career thus far with back-to-back failures, has put in his utmost and sincerest performance in this film. As 'Aadhi' he dished out a laid-back, calm  but an angry young man, who finds a better life in the dreaded underworld. His voice modulation for this role sounds rough and menacing, which is a good changeover for him. And as a surprise packet just before the interval, he emerges as 'Bhagawan', a creepy gangster, who borders the quality of an gender-queer ! He worked out the body language very well, but a couple of scenes do shows his uneasiness in handling such a bewildering character, which reminds us of Prakash Raj in 'Appu'. He performs the action sequences tirelessly and has put his heart and soul in executing each moves. Definitely, this film has provided the most challenging acting assignment, thus far in his career. Kudos to Jayam Ravi for daringly experimenting ! Neetu Chandra, scores extremely well in her role as well, which has varied dimensions to it. Her role, is definitely not the typical, regular Tamizh cinema heroine and she too gets to perform her own fight sequences. And boy, did she put her 4th Dan Taekwondo skills, to good use. A stunning effort from her ! But her dubbing was a total letdown because of the poor lip-sync. Neetu needs extensive brushing of her Tamizh ! Saiju Kurup, as the corrupt police officer was not bad, but the poor dubbing works, mars his acting efforts. There are a bunch of character artistes involved in this film, such as Sudha Chandran, Sai Ravi, Babu Antony, Karuna, Mohan Raj, Bharani and etc but a few of them have been totally wasted, especially Sai Ravi and Sudha Chandran, who lacks proper screen timing, making them redundant to the need of the script.

Due to the long duration of the shooting period, there are several departments which had more than one lead technician. The costume designing by Nithya and Rafi, together with Karishma, was appropriately done but Ravi's 'Bhagawan' could have been taken care off better, especially the overtly flashy and bright jackets ! Vijay Rathinam's sound designing was well taken care off, especially for the action and chase sequences, and the usage of Auro 3D sound recording, must have enhanced the sound quality, by manifolds. Art direction has been handled well by Jacki, Prem and C.G Aanandhan. The interiors of the homes of both Ravi's were well decorated, in accordance to the locality of the geographical locations. The warehouse and police station setting was well taken care off, as well. Action sequence designing has been handled by Ameer himself and Rajashekar provides the choreography of stunt sequences. The action scenes are intense and heavy-duty, especially the warehouse and the climax sequences, shot in Fort Jaisalmer. S.P Ahmed's editing style for the action sequences is questionable. The cuts were too quick, it was pain to the eyes after a little while. This is because the camera angles by cinematographers, R.B Gurudev and K.Devaraj, were tight and close to the characters and the quick cuts by S.P Ahmed, were unpleasant to the eyes. Cinematography was good and the lighting, maintained a dark and gritty look throughout the film, though the color tone of the Thailand episodes, could have been better.

Yuvan Shankar Raja and Ameer, combine well, in delivering chart-busting songs, but sadly the songs are a letdown. The songs are not catchy and is more experimental, in nature. "Eisalaamey" is a club song, shot in Thailand, with catchy dance number by former lead actress Sakshi, who is aging gracefully. The lighting and set designing, gave a seedy club look, perfectly. "Kaatriley" was shot in the Rajasthan deserts, on the lead pair. The editing work is commendable, in this song and the lead pair, was looking good. The "Yaavum" song's opening lines were partially used for a situation. The "Bhagawan Rap" song was shot on the transgender Ravi and is used as his opening song and also appears in the closing credits, featuring Ameer and crew, swaying to beats, which was shot in Canadian streets.  "Agadam Bagadam" is a groovy Hindi number, shot in the picturesque Goan beaches, with plenty of foreign and model dancers, belting out lively dance routines. The song had plenty of cut-shots, but could have been shot more stylishly. The background score was much better than the songs, and Yuvan's usage of various styles, fits the screenplay very well.

Ameer is a director par excellence, and is seen as an perfectionist. And that is why its shocking to see Ameer leaving plenty of loose ends and loopholes in the script ! How does one start a chase in Goa and end up fighting at Fort Jaisalmer, far away in Rajasthan, within one singular chase ?The first half of the screenplay lacks grip and is very much predictable. Also, a few sequences reminds us of Al Pacino's classic 'Scarface' but stylish, nevertheless. The second half has more pace, once 'Bhagawan' comes into the picture and when the other surprises starts to unravel, one by one. Before the start of the film, the viewers were cautioned of the excessive usage of other languages and heavy subtitling, due to the demand of the script. But what we get to see is Tamizh dialogues overlapping the Hindi dialogues, which gives us a dubbing film, effect ! What is the use of inserting a language-usage disclaimer, then ? And the tagline doesn't serve its purpose either. It is indeed a mafioso story but a mafioso, love story? Definitely, no ! The love sequences were very short and had no substance to it. Ameer leaves us with an open-ending, which suggests us that there might/could be a sequel to this, but does this script really warrant one? Not necessary and Ameer has to come up with well written script, if he ever thinks of following up with a sequel.

'Aadhibhagawan' is certainly not on par as Ameer's previous flicks, but its worth watching for the efforts of the lead pair, Jayam Ravi and Neetu. Raw, violent and moody, 'Aadhibhagawan' is not for those, who were expecting another classic like 'Paruthi Veeran'.

Ratings: 3/5 STARS



Director A.M.R Ramesh is known for his selection of controversial incidents as the backdrop of his films. Most notable of them is his work in 'Cyanide', which centered on the assassination episode of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Now, its the turn of the ever-hotly discussed and debated personality, the dreaded and infamous dacoit/smuggler, Veerappan. Scripting the life and times of a man, who terrorized the governments of three states, is no joke and it involves intense research and acute scripting sense, to pull off a great film.

Casting is a very important aspect of any film, and what more with a take on a real-life personality. The pivotal Veerappan, was enacted by the versatile and talented Kishore, who was looking very much apt for the role. The popular mustache look of Veerappan, fitted Kishore to a T. The rough and threatening voice, complements the looks and performance wise, it was a decent effort from him. Arjun as Vijayakumar IPS, was in his usual elements, and playing cop roles is like second skin to him. The cool and smart looks is nothing new and he carries the look with ease, but is that how the real Vijayakumar IPS is in the real world, is a totally different question, though. Suresh Oberoi, looks and behaves very much as the deceased Kannada Superstar Rajkumar. Jayachitra as Chief Minister J.Jayalalitha was a good choice and so does Ravi Kale and Ram Sampath as Senthamarai Kannan and Sethukuli Govindan, respectively. Writer Jayabalan of 'Aadukalam' fame, has an important role in the second half, but his performance was a little raw and less convincing. The rest of the cast such as Shikha, Sulakshana, Vijay Anand and Lakshmi Rai has little to do, in characters of lesser importance. Vijayalakshmi's portions have been sadly chopped off entirely, due to a court ruling of the case filed by Muthulakshmi, the real life wife of Veerappan, who wanted all the scenes depicting her, to be taken off the film.

On the technical front, this film has average works and nothing extraordinary, in order to be raved. The stunt sequences have been well choreographed by Dhilip Subbarayan, Ravivarman and K.D Venkatesh, which was well conceptualized, in accordance to the needs of the script. D.Nagu's editing work was marred by the excessive deletion and the flow of screenplay, gets disturbed. Annamalai's production design was kept minimal and it should have been an easy job for him. There are no song-and-dance routine in this film, and Sandeep Chowta only had the background score department, to prove his skills. Sadly, he faltered in his attempt to deliver a rousing score. The background score was too loud and uninspiring. S.D Vijay Milton's commendable camera work, helped to bring out the look of the film. Capturing the essence of the real life forest and the usage of natural lighting method for the penultimate, climax sequence, are the highlights of the film. And occasionally we can see his trademark camera movements implemented.

A.M.R Ramesh's script is a very simple one and he has picked some of the most important events in Veerappan's notorious timeline. Some of the indispensable episodes are the kidnapping of Kannada Superstar Rajkumar, kidnapping and murder of politician Nagappa, the killings of elephants and illegal smuggling of ivory tusks and the gradual shift to sandalwood and the legendary 'Operation Cocoon'. The research work is evident through the depictions of Veerappan's daily life, such as the spiritual side of his, his friendship among his band of brigands and his behavioral habits. On the other side, we do get to see, the tasks carried out by the elite police pair of Arjun and Ravi Kale, in drawing and executing the plans to nab Veerappan. But the artistic presentation and necessary intensity was missing in the narration and the proceedings looked too simple and bland. There's no exciting element to the script, which can make us be hooked to the film. The forced deletion and extensive bleeping/muting, further spoils the flow of the screenplay. The poor dubbing work, is something unacceptable and should have been rectified, or at least taken care of from the start, itself. Due to the lack of emotional connectedness, the film has a documentary feel to it, and adding fuel to it, is the occasional insertion of actual television clippings. It is quite obvious, that the director has worked on a low budget, but these sort of films will definitely need a budget of higher scale to bring the actual depth and intensity of the topic. Ajaybalan's dialogues were simple and just adequate enough for the script.

'Vana Yuddham' is worth a look, for the subject handled, and to some extent, the performance of the two, lead artistes.

Ratings: 2.25/5 STARS