Sundar.C came back to the limelight as a successful director with 'Masala Cafe' after his ill-fated decision of becoming a lead actor. Now he's back with another ensemble young cast in 'Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru' and also with a different city backdrop. Can Sundar.C maintain his grip in the box-office with his enviable track record of churning out hit comedy movies ? 'Masala Cafe' did kick-start, but can he follow suit with TSVK ?

For Siddharth, it would have been a piece of cake enacting the loser role of Kumar. But its interesting to see him do a complete comedy film, which could be the first in his career, thus far. Nevertheless, an easy and comfortable job for him. Hansika Motwani, is not far behind and she too delivers a convincing performance, with apt expressions and neat comedy timing. Not to forget, she looks a million bucks in this film, and is perfect for the role of a quintessential Tamizh audience dream-girl ! The man Santhanam, was just too good as Mokia, and his ever-present, rocking dialogue delivery and comedy timing was there, to deliver the actual USP of the film. We just wonder, how this guy can go on and on, with his antics in nearly all the important films of a calendar year, and yet never fail to evoke laughter ! The biggest asset of the film is the big cast which has RJ Balaji, Ganesh Venkatraman, Devadarshini, Bosskey, Aishwarya Menon, Chitra Letchumanan, Manobala, Nalini, Veena Kumar, Vidyullekha Raman, Sri Ranjini, George and Vichu Vishwanath, who all chipped in with their comic antics, which further enlivened the screenplay. Besides that, there were cameo appearances from Vishal Krishna, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, John Vijay, Karunakaran and Khushboo Sundar, which further spiced up the humor quotient.

Khushboo Sundar takes care of the costume designing, and she has done a wonderful job, especially with the main characters of Siddharth, Hansika, Santhanam and Ganesh, who were looking great ! 'Thalapathy' Dinesh's stunt choreography was functional and sufficed the need of the script. Gururaj's production design was simple, yet neat and his art work for the a song sequence was well handled. Praveen K.L and Srikanth N.B's editing was smooth but sadly the songs were just unwanted breaks in the film's screenplay. Gopi Amarnath's cinematography was fresh and cool on the eyes, with cool color tone and well picturized song sequences. His lighting is a must-mention, as well.

C.Sathya's musical score was easy on the ears and pleasant to listen to. "Melliya Saaral" is a short song, which was used as the heroine's introductory song, which was shot in a posh office setting. "Azhagendral" is the pick of the lot among all songs, which was well shot in a rural temple setting, which had a celebratory marriage backdrop. Not to forget, Hansika was smashing in the sarees ! "Kozhu Kozhu" was shot on the lead pair in Japan, and had backdrops of harbor, railway stops and city center. "Enna Pesa" had more scenic locations of Japan, with beautiful snowy mountains, and spring-filled blossoming trees of postcard worthy gardens. "Lovekku Yes" is another popular track from the song, which had different and colorful sets by Gururaj and efficient lighting from Gopi Amarnath. "Thiruttu Pasanga" is an end-credits song, which featured nearly all the artistes from the film, dancing on a graphic-filled backdrop, and good editing from the editors. 

The winning element of the film, is the screenplay by Sundar.C developed with a team consisting Srinivas Kavinayam, Prabhu Dass, Karunakaran and Nalan Kumarasamy of 'Soodhu Kavvum' fame. The urban setting was well used for the script and Sundar.C never leaves any open space or gap in the screenplay, and the jokes starts to come in thick and fast, scene by scene. The second half plays an even faster tempo, with lesser songs. Sundar.C's directorial skill should be applauded, for he has handled the film expertly, which should be credited to his experience of handling such humor-filled comedy films, in his long career. Besides that, he has used the services of Nalan Kumarasamy once again for the dialogues department, along with Venkat Raghavan, who came up with side-splitting one-liners, especially for Santhanam, who uttered them nonchalantly. A bonus plus-point for the film is the clean and family-friendly jokes, with no double entendres or loud slapstick comedy. Some sequences were well conceptualized, keeping in mind of the contemporary urban audiences' taste and connectedness element.

'Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru' - a clean, jollyfull entertainer. Sundar.C is definitely back in action !

Ratings: 3/5 STARS



'Thillu Mullu' is a legendary film, directed by K.Balachander and ably performed by Superstar Rajinikanth and Thengai Seenivasan, who made their roles memorable ! And when one is to remake one of the classiest comedy films of Tamizh cinema, it takes a bucket load of guts and dare to do it, and to have Shiva to reprise the role of Rajini's, the stakes just shoot several notches higher. Badri has taken the extremely daunting challenge, by remaking the cult hit. Did he succeed in making any sort of justifications for his actions ?

Shiva, does what Ajith did when the latter donned the role of 'Billa', another role made memorable by Rajinikanth. He made the role as his own, without any imitations of the Superstar. His stoic expressions, with a poker face, is his USP and he plays to the gallery with them. He pulls of his comic portions with consummate ease ! The naughty and quirky smile adds more sheen to both character(s) he portrays in the film. Prakash Raj, dons the role of Thengai Seenivasan's, and he too follows Shiva's way by not imitating the legendary actor, and utilizing his own creativity to the hilt. It must have definitely been a cake walk to the veteran performer. Isha Talwar makes her debut in Tamizh cinema, and is lucky enough to have an easy role to do. A big bunch of comedians such as Kovai Sarala (in her usual loud self), Soori, Sathyan, Manobala, Ilavarasu, Sachu, Monisha, Devadarshini, Ajay Rathnam, Swaminathan, Ashwin Raja and George contribute to the fun quotient of the film. As for cameos, there are Venkat Prabhu, cinematographer Sakthi Saravanan, rapper Blaaze, Bosskey, Valeri Nobbe, and Shivashankar but the grandest of it, goes to the one and only Santhanam, who was in his usual wise-cracking elements ! He takes center-stage in an extended cameo, and happily entertains us, with his one-liners !

The technical department of the film was functional with their contributions, and there's pretty much nothing to rave about in particular. 'Thalapathy' Dinesh and 'Dragon' Prakash's stunt choreography was quite overboard, though it fitted the style and presentation of the overall film. R.K Vijay Murugan's production design was okay, especially with the interior props of the protagonist's middle-class home and the posh bungalow and office premises of Prakash Raj's character. Praveen K.L and Srikanth N.B have done their best, to keep the film racy and not languorous in its pace, though two songs in the second half were absolute speed breakers. J.Lakshmanan's cinematography was adequate, though his song picturization was quite ordinary, considering the brilliant works being showcased in contemporary Tamizh cinema by fellow cinematographers.

M.S Viswanathan and Yuvan Shankar Raja join hands for the first time in composing songs for a film. The legendary latter's two songs have been retained for this film, while Yuvan has composed another set of two fresh songs. The cult opening title song, "Thillu Mullu" had both the composers making a cool cameo, along with Canadian singer Tha Prophecy, in a video song mixed with funny montage clips. "Kai Pesi" was shot on the lead pair, in nice locations with simple building landmarks, and interspersed with funny montage sequences of Shiva day-dreaming of his heroine. "Aaja Aaja" was shot in a Dubai club, and also had scenic views of Dubai, with a glamorous Isha Talwar. "Raagangal Padhinaaru" was also shot in more picturesque locations in Dubai, especially in the desert landscape. The background score was just functional, along with some nice touches of melody, sprinkled in few moments.

Badri has taken the basic thread of Sachin Bhowmick's story and Hrishikesh Mukherjee's screenplay and made a more contemporary slapstick mould of the original comedy film. The film is enjoyable, especially with the funny and wacky one-liners of T.Balaji and Ramesh Vaidhya's. But for those who have watched the original, the unchanged storyline might bore you, since one is familiar with all the twists and turns. Badri has made use of his artistes USP to good use for the film and incorporated all of their pluses into his style of presentation of 'Thillu Mullu'. As mentioned earlier, the crisp film could be even better, if the songs did not play as mere speed-breakers, especially in the second half. Some sequences have been especially inserted into the screenplay, just for the sake of making use of the artistes' performance style and ability. The eccentricity and zany attitude of the original is not present in this, loud and clumsy film, which might be a turn-off for the fans of the original.

'Thillu Mullu' - Badri comes unscathed in his remake attempt but still some classics can be just left untouched.

Ratings: 2.75/5 STARS



M.Sasikumar, who had a decent score at the box-office with his last 'Sundarapandian', is back once again with the same pair in Lakshmi Menon, and more 'importantly' back in his home turf, Madurai. Directed by a former associate of Boopathy Pandian, Muthaiya has played it safe by scripting a story based on what he and the lead artistes are comfortable with. With Madurai as backdrop, its inevitable to expect plenty of bloodshed and violence. But were they all justified ?

Starting off with the M.Sasikumar. We have seen him before as a Madurai youth, so there's nothing refreshing here, in terms of performance and characteristics. He has been portrayed as the quintessential rough-and-tough, machoisme-filled Madurai rogue. His comedy timing is getting better and better and he has improved a lot in terms of being comfortable with dance and action sequences. Not bad, but there's nothing much better, either. Lakshmi Menon has an inconsequential role, who just comes in like a typical Madurai girl-next-door. It has been the umpteenth time Saranya Ponvannan played an emotional, rural mother and she just breezes through her role. There's nothing much for the character artistes such as Rama Prabha, Vaijayanthi, Lal, Rajasimman, Gnanasambandhan, Namo Narayanan, Murugadass, Saravana Sakthi, and etc to perform, but the particular guy among a group of friends, who dons the role of 'Pappu' evokes some laughter with his dialogue delivery.

The technical department's work just passes muster. Natraj's costume designing was apt, as each artistes looked the characters they played, very much, and evidently showed the various social strata displayed in the film. Dhilip Subbarayan must be commended for choreographing action sequences which suits M.Sasikumar's personality and style. The opening scenes, though very much morbid in nature, was somewhat, stylish. Suresh Kallery's art direction sufficed the need of the script. The props for each situations and locations looked perfect and any exacerbation was toned down. Gopi Krishna could have done a lot better, especially with the length of the film. His editing for song sequences were smooth, though nothing new in treatment. Mahesh Muthuswami's cinematography was sadly, only functional and the man's true potential has been not exploited. The opening night chase sequence was well shot, but apart from that, nothing else sticks to our mind.

M.Ghibran, has tried to be innovative again with his musical scores but pithily not a single number is hummable. "Thaattiyare" was used as a simple opening song sequence for the protagonist and only plays for a very short time. "Kaathu Kaathu" has dance choreographer Dinesh and his dance crew dancing for the opening song for the heroine, which has been shot in narrow streets and alleys of a smaller town in Madurai. "Aruvakaaran" is a montage song, picturized on the lead pair, showcasing the blossoming love of the heroine on the hero. "Aatha Un Selai" is a sentimental situational song, also shot with plenty of montages, shown as flashbacks, picturized on the hardships faced by the protagonist and his mother. Also, we do have an uncredited Malaysian song, "Akkamage" by Malaysian artiste Darkkey. The song was picturized on M.Sasikumar, dancing in modern outfits amidst dancers, in the narrow streets. The background score, was lacklustre and uninteresting in terms of quality and output. Do not bring down your quality, M.Ghibran !

Coming to the script and direction, debutante Muthaiya has penned plenty of scenes and sequences, but a good, major portion of them do not serve any purpose at all and is absolutely redundant ! The storyline is wafer-thin and the presentation is very much outdated. If one has to come up with negativeness of the film, the list will be endless, for sure ! Stories based in Madurai, always have had a litany of gory sequences, but what Muthaiya executed in the climax, was mind-numbing and shocking. Also, its pretty lame and archaic to watch the director make use of old Ilaiyaraja classics, excessively. The screenplay wanders without any aim the direction has been pretty poor. M.Sasikumar, should read more into scripts and choose to come out of this Madurai-circle and enhance his repertoire. And for Muthaiya, please do keep up to date with the tastes and mindset of present film watchers.

'Kutti Puli' - Doesn't even raise a 'meow' !

Ratings: 1.75/5 STARS



Adding to the list of next-gen different thinkers of Tamizh cinema, here comes Alphonse Putharen, who churns out a bilingual in his debut venture. Simply titled as 'Neram', this film evoked curiosity with its well-cut trailer and a rocking video song, "Pistha" which had lyrics taken from Sathyan Anthikkad's 'Kinnaram'. With a totally new cast and some known faces, did the young and compact team of 'Neram' lived up to the expectations ?

Nivin Pauly from Malayalam cinema, makes a decent debut in 'Neram'. He is idealized as the chap-in-bad-luck very well and brings out the emotions, pretty well. There is definitely room for improvement in regards to expressions and dialogue delivery, but credits for Nivin for delivering a neat performance comfortably. The cute and pretty Nazriya Nazim, steals our hearts with a spirited and believable performance in the character of the cute girl-next-door type. Its a little minus though, in regards to her character getting lost during the middle of the story. All in all, we have the next homely-cute girl of Tamizh cinema in Nazriya ! Simhaa, who has been making names appearing in 'Pizza', 'Soodhu Kavvum' and etc dons an antagonistic role for the first time, and its a complete makeover for him. He looks very much convincing and menacing as 'Vatti' Raja. Better films and directors can bring out even better performances from him ! Thambi Ramaiah and John Vijay shares a special 'chemistry' in this film with their repartee and counter dialogues ! The rest of the cast such as Charlie, Ananth Nag, 'Crane' Manohar, Deepak Nathan, RJ Ramesh Thilak, D.Crawford, Anand Chandrababu, Sabaresh Varma, Sai Prasad, Sherif, Akhilan, Vijay Muthu and etc made their presence felt. But the real icing on the cake was Nassar, who was a scream in his role as 'iPhone' ! The veteran certainly brought the house down with his antics and excellent dialogue delivery. 

The film carries very good technical work, from a relatively young and ambitious crew. Muralidharan's costume designing was very apt for the characters, as each artistes were made to look convincing as the characters they played. Rajakrishnan M.R's sound mixing was spot on, especially for the chase and stunt sequences, which brought out the effect well, on screen. 'Run' Ravi's stunt was very natural and realistic, and mostly involved chase sequences, which were well conceptualized and shot. Mohana Mahendiran's art work involved many props, used to fill up backgrounds involved in the film. The work was minimal, but efficient. The director, Alphonse Putharen himself takes up the editing work, and the film was very astutely directed, according to his vision of the script. The chase sequences were very smoothly done and also not to forget, the lovely montages in the songs. Anend C.Chandran's cinematography was gritty, has several moods in the film, pertaining to the sequences and has good framing sense. The sepia color tone was very well handled by the young cinematographer and he certainly shares a great sense of understanding with the director. Very well done job !

Newcomer Rajesh Murugesan delivers refreshing and cool music, which complemented the script and style of film-making of the director's. "Kadhal Ennule" is a sweet melody picturized on the lead pair in montages, showing their lovey-dovey moments. The camerawork had plenty of close-ups, which brought out the love moments pretty well. "Kaatru Veesum" is another simple yet beautiful number, which was used as a cheeky situational song, shot on Nazriya and Deepak Nathan. The slow motion effect was well used for this song and Mandaiveli was never shown so beautifully on screen. Even the simple streets looked so fresh and pristine ! The popular "Pistha - The Run Theme" was used during the penultimate chase sequence and also for the end credits, which the latter has gone to be a viral video on social medias. The theme music tracks such as "Neram Theme", "Phone Booth" and "Thiruttu Isai" were well placed as background scores with additional lovely rendition of Beethoven's classic Für Elise !

Alphonse Putharen's script which was developed with a team consisting Pradeep Palarr, Mohsin Kasim, Jegesh Vijay, Krishna Shankar and Sherif, is a simple thriller with some very well conceptualized sequences. The usage of the Chaos Theory or popularly known as 'The Butterfly Effect' was a cheeky, nice touch. There are moments in the film, which keeps our attention hooked to the screen, and there are moments were the momentum falls flat and goes slow-mo. Pradeep Palarr's dialogues, especially the one's involved between Thambi Ramaiah and John Vijay were brilliantly and cheekily written ! As mentioned before, the chase sequences, which plays an the most important part of the film was very well conceptualized. The story telling was pretty smooth, probably due to the editing work carried out by the director himself. The premise is engaging, the thrill effect is there, but still the audiences will be left feeling wanting more from the script and idea of Alphonse Putharen. Right from the beginning, with the opening card starting off with Quentin Tarantino's saying which goes, "I steal from every movie ever made" the premise takes off very well, but the end product falls a little bit short of meeting our expectations. Nonetheless, the film was still a tension-free product, with good dosages of entertainment.

'Neram' - worth watching and investing our time !

Ratings: 3/5 STARS