Sasi, who is known for his sensitive and emotional story-telling methods, is back with a flick after the critically acclaimed 'Poo'. However, this time the landscape is urban and theme is an action-oriented suspense thriller. The film has been long in the making, for nearly 3 years and is a very, very vital film for Bharath, if he is serious about salvaging his acting career. Also, Bharath has put in tremendous effort to sculpt his physique, which is marketed as a USP of the film. So how does this fresh pairing works out, aided by a new team of technicians ?

Bharath has poured his best efforts to look and bring out the raw emotions of his characters, especially with the rough, bearded look. His dancing skills are of no questions, and has handled his stunt sequences not too bad, either. He has shown good maturity in handling his character but there are lots of room for improvements in terms of dialogue delivery and timing. He could work out more on his modulation, certainly. But bravo to the man, for his excellent output of his laborious hard-work, put in maintaining that eight-pack physique. The need of it for the script, is a different question altogether, but still hats-off to him. Of the two female leads, Mrithika has the meatier role and she does a fairly good job. Pulling off the innocent and naivety-filled character, seems to be an easy job for her. But still there is a long way to go. The petite and svelte-bodied Erica Fernandez was okay in her role, though she was not given enough screen space nor the proper room to stamp her mark. Nevertheless, another good looking glamor-girl is available for Tamizh cinema. Santhanam, chips in with his comedic one-liners, which is spread unevenly in the film, while also having a scope for more serious sequences. Sudesh Berry is a disappointment as the antagonist, as he is not convincing and looks out of place, though his' was an interestingly-motivated character. The film's small cast such as Letchumi, Ravi Ratnavelu, Rajbharath, Manobala, Swaminathan and etc are there to fill out the necessities of the script.

P.R Ganesh's costume designing was apt, in bringing out the persona of the characters and their current circumstances. Rajeevan's production design was simple but on the dot, especially with the interiors of the room sets used, such as bungalows and psychiatrist's counseling room. But the car-wreck should be the actual highlight of his work. Ravi Sri Chandran's action choreography was well handled, and fits the capabilities and physical aspects of Bharath, very well. Subarak's editing is a little too sharp and it hurts the flow of the screenplay. A smoother transition from one sequence to another could have made the film, even more better. But kudos to his work for the song sequences. Saravanan Abimonyu's cinematography was good. He has experimented with lighting and color tones for the various change-overs and mood of the script, and it has brought good results for the film. The car-accident sequence was very well and professionally handled, by the new cinematographer.

Newcomer Simon's music is just average but his love melodies, are pleasant numbers. "Rowdy Girls" was shot as Erica's opening song and was picturized in a harsh landscaped area, with minimal props and few dancers. Erica's costumes, made her look elegant. Some good editing by Subarak for this song. "Saregamapa" was used used as a background bit-song in few scenes of the film. "Mudhal Mazhai Kaalam" has montages and dance sequences mixed, with the latter shot on simple sets and had seamless dance work from Bharath. "Kaadhal Indha Kaadhal" was shot on Erica and Bharath, and has few montages used as a situational song. "Vizhiyile Vizhiyile" is the pick of the lot, and was shot in localities of Malaysia such as upmarket streets and parks, as well as indoor dance portions. Subarak has experimented with some editing methods for the song. A decent work from the crew, indeed ! "Elavu" was shot in a club-like setting, with dark lighting and featured John Vijay in a cameo, and was used as a situational song. "Ghanni Khamma" was shot in North India and featured Mrithika in the song, which was only used as a bit song. The background score was just functional, but the melody numbers have been used well.

Sasi, is a director who can handle his subject very well. He has used Aravind and Suresh Kumar's basic storyline, and developed a screenplay, with many intriguing mini plots and some fine twists and turns. However, the crux of the film is the love episode of Bharath and Mrithika, which was not up to the mark. The direction was a little disappointing, because the love episodes were not strong and emotionally, powerful enough to drive the film further. To have this sort of work from a director, who is a master in sensitive love portrayals, is a disappointment. But Sasi tries to make up for it by packaging the film with enough suspense elements and revealing it one by one, as the film progresses, though the non-linear screenplay is a little turn-off. The relationship between Erica and Bharath was not worked out well too, as it is inorganic and has no depth in it. The dubbing for the artistes are substandard, and is the real turn-off, actually. Sasi should have worked out well in regards to his casting. There are minor continuity mistakes and the detailing is a little amateurish. A more gripping screenplay and direction, could have worked wonders for the film. Songs have been ill-placed, as well and spoils the flow of the screenplay.

'Ainthu Ainthu Ainthu' is a neat thriller, but with its own shares of flaws.

Ratings: 2.75/5 STARS



 The coming together of the two Vijays of Tamizh cinema, 'Ilayathalapathy' Vijay and director A.L Vijay, has piqued the interests of Tamizh cinema followers. The intriguing combination, brings two, distinctively different people of styles and cinema, into a single film. The former, for his 'mass' masala entertainer, whereas the latter for his sensitive and slow-moving style of film-making. With a good production crew and a big star cast and top-class technicians, did 'Thalaivaa' really strike a fine balancing-act, en-route to winning the prospective thumbs-up from the general audience?

Its a waste of time, writing and eulogizing the dancing and comedy prowess of Vijay as a star. He has done it plenty of times in his 20 years of cinematic life as a leading hero. Its the actor and performer in him which we would really want to watch on the silver screen and in 'Thalaivaa', our wishes are granted, in commensurate proportions, in terms of space and scope. The first half is the usual act of the charming, lovable and sweet-natured persona, with the perfect comic-timing, smooth dance movements, and cute romantic approaches. The second half is a total transformation all-together, where its dark, gritty and has a serious undertaking in his acting approach. It is quiet refreshing to see him enact a role, which was a fairly well-written one. Though we have seen him in roles which oozes authoritarianism and style, plenty of times, in 'Thalaivaa' he strikes a fine-balancing of doing a fair bit of acting, yet at the same time pull of his distinctive style and entertainer act, with panache. His action and dancing sequences were neatly done, as well. Kudos to A.L Vijay for presenting a refreshing and energized Vijay to us ! 

Veteran, Sathyaraj was brilliant in his short screen-time. His powerful, yet pensive mood suits him very aptly, and for an actor of his stature, it would have been a piece of cake ! Amala Paul pulls of a decent job with her limited role and enhanced the credibility of the character's natural persona by dubbing in her own voice, fluently. Santhanam, as usual pulls of his witty one-liners, with the perfect timing and evokes laughter from us. Its amazing to see this guy pull it off in each and every film he is involved ! The antagonist, Abhimanyu Singh should have done better in his role as his portrayal lacks the intensity, the character demanded. A powerful star cast in Rajiv Pillai, Ragini Nandwani, Nassar, Udhay, Ponvannan, Y.Gee Mahendran, Suresh, Manobala, Subbu Panchu, Kishore, Ravi Prakash and guest roles from Rekha and Sam Anderson, gives the film a solid base, in terms of performances. Good casting from A.L Vijay !

Deepali Noor and Pallavi Singh's costume designing was in sync with the mood change-overs of the film. The lead pair looked very presentable and charming in their stylish costumes, and extra brownie points for the special change-over for Vijay in the second half. 'Stunt' Silva's action choreography was very believable and stylishly done, especially the night fight sequence. Very realistically and subtly handled by Silva. R.K Naguraj's production design, gave the film a very rich and clean look. His props and set work for the second half as well as the cool interiors for the first half, based in Australia was artistically handled and followed a particular color-tone in the change-overs. Anthony's editing is flawless, though the length of the film is rather questionable. The major strength of the film besides the casting is the cinematography and Nirav Shah proves his a wizard once again. Nirav has captured the beauty of Sydney and also the raw and rustic nature of the other side of Mumbai, perfectly ! His color-tones usage for the respective halves in the film, blends well with the mood of the screenplay. His top-angle and tight close-up techniques were well used. Another top-notch work from Nirav !

G.V Prakash usually reserves some of his best for A.L Vijay and he continues it here as well. There is a bit song like a hum, which goes "Thaalealo" in some important sequences in  the film. "Tamizh Pasanga" was shot in Sydney and is a good platform for Vijay to prove his good dancing skills. The set-up was well done for the song, and Sydney's mild weather and clean rive-side environment were well used, as well as able aid from the group dancers. "Sol Sol" was only used as a short bit-song when Vijay casts his eyes on Amala Paul for the first time. "Yaar Indha Saalai" is a sweet song shot in montages, with the splendor and beauty of Sydney in the evening, captured very aesthetically by Nirav. The song has some additional great lines from Santhanam mixed together with the montages. "The Ecstasy of Dance" was the best picturized track in the film. The mellow lighting and the warehouse set, blends surreally with the tune and kudos to Amala Paul for keeping in pace with Vijay for this short soundtrack, with her dance movements. "Thalapathy" is a sort of coming-age song, eulogizing the heroism and savior-nature of the hero, and has good props and detailing and few scenes thrown into the song duration to spice up mood. "Vaangana" is a cute, dance number and was colorfully set-up by R.K Naguraj, with intricate props . G.V Prakash also features in a surprising cameo role in this song. The background score is better in the second half, and G.V Prakash is showing marked improvements from film to film.

A.L Vijay, as mentioned earlier, is someone who churns slow and melodramatic films, with some sort of astuteness. He has experimented this time by imbibing his style into an action story, atypical of Vijay's choice. The experiment is unique and interesting but the doesn't keep us glued to our seats as the film languorously takes it's time to unravel. The first half, though light-hearted, does not serve any strong pertinence to the overall script and theme line of the story. But some shocking turn of events in the late first-half suddenly jolts us out of slumber and again catches our attention for a while. There is nothing new or daringly creative in terms of storyline and script as A.L Vijay has been heavily inspired from particular films done by Mani Ratnam and Ram Gopal Varma, and has also rehashed some of Vijay's earlier films' story-lines ! But what might work for some section of audience, is the treatment and presentation of A.L Vijay, who handles his characters and scrip quite well. His directorial skills is of no question. Only the ability of in-depth and strong script-writing which is a cause of concern. Dialogues are particularly "old-fashioned" and the climax is not so engaging, though it has been well executed and shot by Nirav.

'Thalaivaa' - A decent watch with very less logic-defying "masala" elements, though it is an average commercial entertainer. A fairly higher rating, just for the production values.

Ratings: 3/5 STARS



Shiva, who is fresh from the release of the average-grosser, 'Thillu Mullu' comes up with another comedy caper, which has all the ingredients associated with a 'Shiva'-brand film. A relatively compact team of newcomers, the unit of 'Sonnaa Puriyaadhu' is captained by Krishnan Jayaraj, who was an associate of C.S Amudhan. Bearing the hallmarks of his guru, Krishnan has also dabbled in a spoof-like script and with Shiva in the helm, can they strike another success just like 'Tamizh Padam' ?

Shiva, with his quintessential poker-face reactions, evokes the laughter in most of the scenes and it looks like the whole film has been laid rest on his shoulders alone. His timing and dialogue delivery are just near-perfect, which hits the right, intended notes. He particularly, rocks in the dubbing process sequences, which were just a scream ! Some minor references to 'Chennai 600028' and 'Tamizh Padam' brings 'sweet memories' to us. He has also tried his hands in 'singing' and be sure to check out the opening song he "Rosa Hai" in the very beginning of the film ! Vasundhara Kashyap delivers a neat performance and actually excels in some scenes, but she lacks the necessary charm and 'punch' needed to be on par with Shiva, which is a must for this particular script. Savitha's dubbing works well for Vasundhara.The rest of the cast such as Manobala, 'Blade' Shankar, Vatsala Rajagopal, Aarthi, R.S Sivaji, Meera Krishnan, Singamuthu, Saravanan, Pradeep, chips in at the relevant moments. Not to forget, a funny Sam Anderson cameo is also infused into the script, alongside Gangai Amaran.

Producer Saandika Amarnath, doubles up as the costume designer as well, and the characters looked good in her choice of clothing. T.Ramalingam's production design was not bad, especially with the props of the interiors of plush apartments and also of a well-erected television studio setting. T.S Suresh's editing is just functional and so does R.Saravanan's cinematography works. 

Yathish Mahadev's song recordings were below par, though. The opening credits sequence, starts off with the "Theme Song" of 'Sonnaa Puriyaadhu. "Kelu Magane Kelu" is an sort-of opening song for Shiva in the film, and was shot in general, public places and locations such as malls and parks. "Devathaiye" is a montage song, shot in the greens of the rural and focuses on the marriage episode of Shiva's buddy, in the film. "Gaaliyaana Saalai" is a love melody between the lead pair, and has been shot at a pristine seaside resort by cinematographer R.Saravanan. "Un Thozhil" is a pathos song, which functions as a situational song and was shot in slow montage sequences of Shiva's. Instrumentals such as "Sagaroo" and "Dance To It" are used at certain points of the screenplay.

Krishnan Jayaraj has developed a screenplay based on a simple idea envisaged by Yathish, but the actual USP of the film must be credited to the dialogues. Written by K.Chandru and D.Saravana Pandian, the lines are pretty humorous and cheeky. And with Shiva at action, there's no need of assurances for them to make sure that their dialogues will reach the audiences. Krishnan Jayaraj has tried to pull off something like 'Tamizh Padam' but his attempt unfortunately, goes vain as the screenplay and direction lacks class in handling. Some of the sequences were amateurishly and poorly dished out, especially the television game sequence. Though T.S Suresh has tried to keep the pace of the film as crispy as possible, the second half drags a little, but the blame should fall on the director's shoulders as, it is his screenplay which stretches the pace. But credits to him for coming up with good characterizations, especially of Vatsala Rajagopal's, who plays an elderly woman who is obsessed with her iPad and an active user of social medias !

'Sonnaa Puriyaadhu' - Works in bits and pieces. And only for a few, folks ! (Shiva fans, to be precise)

Ratings: 2.25/5 STARS



G.Boopathy Pandiyan, an excellent comedy script and dialogue writer turned director, is back after a three-year hiatus, with his last release being the dud 'Kaadhal Solla Vandhen'. He teams up once again with Vishal after 'Malaikottai', which was released 6 years back. Vishal has been consistently missing the elusive hit-status mark for his films, and his career looks like to be in an imminent danger. Will or can this duo strike back again, and that too with Santhanam in their company ?

Vishal is pretty much in his comfort zone with this script and he has delivered earnestly, what was expected out of him. His execution in stunt sequences are well filmed thus far, and it continues in 'Pattathu Yaanai' as well. His dance is improving film by film. And that's about it with his performance. As for debutante Aishwarya Arjun, well, she is there. In songs and the build-up sequences before them. (Was Arjun briefed about the actual state of his daughter's debut film ?) Santhanam, the only saving grace in the film, tries his best to muster some humorous portions out of the poorly written scenes. He has tried a different type of modulation for his dialogue delivery and it works to some extent, and his body language has marked improvement. But unfortunately, he goes missing in the second half, until the climax, where he makes an appearance for a brief moment. Murali Sharma and John Vijay play the roles of the main antagonists and only the latter makes some mark in the film, and that too due to his good comedy timing. The rest of the cast such as Chitra Letchumanan, Mayilsamy, Jagan, Karthik Sabesh, 'Vada Poche' Sarithiran, 'Pattimandram' Raja, Seetha, 'Besant' Ravi, Rajendran, Swaminathan and Singamuthu appear in insignificant roles, alongside Subbu Panchu and Mouli, who make cameo appearances.

Sai and Vasugi Bhaskar's costume designing was in sync with the needs and wants of the commercial demands of the script and thanks to Vasugi, Aishwarya looked more presentable in the songs. Anal Arasu's stunt choreography was also in sync with the necessities of a commercial caper, and the second half stunt scene, shot in the rain, is particularly more impressive than the others. Karthik Rajkumar's production design was minimal and his props, sufficed the needs of the sequences. A.L Ramesh's editing is just functional. Nothing experimental, in style. Vaidy.S's cinematography reminds us of R.D Rajashekar's work in Vishal's previous, 'Vedi'. The bright yellow hue, gives a bright look for the entire film and his shots for the second half stunt sequence, canned with rain effects, looked good.

S.S Thaman's musical score, is pretty average to say the least. Repeated listening might pave way for some sort of liking to them. "Thattungada Mealatthae" is the opening song of the hero and his bunch of friends. The song was shot on barren crop fields, with minimal art work and some comedy bit thrown into, involving a glamorous 'item girl'. "Enna Oru" is the pick of the lot among the songs, and is shot on the lead pair and which happens to be a fantasy song. The sand work in beaches and colorful streets are the highlight of the songs, with pretty costumes designed for Aishwarya. "Raja Raja Naandham", has a mix of dance and montages blended into it. The montages were some comedy bits and the dance portions were shot in an simple manner. "Poosani Kai" was shot at an open balcony terrace, featuring Mayilsamy and the lead pair, with the former involving in some quirky dance movements. "Thale Kaalu" is the archetypal 'kuthu' song warranted for such 'masala' flicks. The song features, as usual, colorful sets and groups of colorfully dressed dancers. Sabesh-Murali duo handles the background score department, surprisingly. They have done justice to their work by giving good focus for the comedy portions and also for imbibing Thaman's tunes into their re-recording.

Its unforgivable for someone like Boopathy, who has a very good humor-filled script-sense, to come up with such a tepid and lukewarm script. The script is jarringly out of logic and sense. The scenes are disjointed and there is no proper continuity in the flow of the screenplay. The comedy sequences are low in humor and high in irritable factor and many of them are unwarranted ! The story is prehistoric. The over-used trend of having Ilaiyaraaja's composition is also incorporated into the screenplay. Its just puzzling to come up with a conclusion, as to what was Boopathy's idea, behind this project ? Is it supposed to be 'masala'-filled humor film or vice-versa ? Only he has the ability to narrate the answer to us (hopefully !). As mentioned earlier, Santhanam's dialogues are the only saving grace in the film, and he alone has greatly helped the script in sustaining our remaining meager interest of us' on the film.

'Pattathu Yaanai' - Success still eludes Vishal, successfully !

Ratings: 2/5 STARS