'Vanakkam Chennai' has been making the right noise since its inception and its noise increased by a few decibels  thanks to the super-hit soundtrack from the young starlet Anirudh Ravichander. A directorial debut by Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi and the project being bankrolled by her husband, its pretty much her comfort zone and its rather a safe-bet in penning a rom-com script. The music was really good, but how does the movie fare ? A dream debut for Kiruthiga ?

Shiva, one should say, has chosen a script which offers more serious sequences and acting capabilities for him. Though there are plenty of sequences, which enabled him to showcase his trademark comic timing and dialogue delivery with a "poker-face" reactions, the script did offer him more than that, and he has managed to dish out a decent performance indeed. Credits to Kiruthiga for adapting Shiva's style and incorporating into this rom-com, perfectly ! Expecting more from Shiva after this and hoping for more refreshing roles from him. Priya Anand proved that she's more than a pretty face and the damsel nailed it with a fine performance. The excelled in the second half and in the climax sequences. She's pretty much comfortable in her role as an NRI and has tried perfecting her English accent. Her pleasant screen presence and good dialogue delivery in her own voice, are added plus points for her. An apt choice for the role, indeed ! Santhanam, is at his comfort zone and has done it for the umpteenth time. His wisecracks are funny, though its getting repetitive. Rahul Ravindran makes a good entry in the second half, but sadly his character does not leave much impression. Oorvashi, Manobala, 'Black' Paandi, Aarthi, Swaminathan, 'Nizhalgal' Ravi, Misha Ghoshal, Renuka, C.Rajkumar and etc were apt for their roles and there are some noteworthy cameo appearances from Sangeetha, Nassar and producer Udhayanidhi Stalin himself !

Shilpa Vumitti and Rajini Natraj Vishnu should be appreciated for their fine works in the costume designing, for Priya Anand and Shiva, respectively. Priya, especially looked a million bucks and would 'Vanakkam Chennai' is the best of her films, in showcasing her gracefully. Dhilip Subbarayan's "unique" action choreography was well executed and is a pleasant surprise indeed. Good job from the artiste who did the action sequence ! V.Selvakumar's production design is tastefully done. The plush apartment setting and the sets erected for the songs were rich in colors and detailing, and gives a colorful ambiance to the film, as well as a glossy look, too. T.S Suresh's editing was flawless and neat for the songs, especially but he could have trimmed down the second half a little. Richard M.Nathan's cinematography is a big plus for the film, since its his work which gave the film the rich and pleasant look throughout. He has captured the picturesque beauty of Theni very well, with brilliant framing and also his camera movement for the indoor sequences are very commendable. The space in the sets were well utilized by Richard, and the soothing visuals are the results of his excellent work. 

The actual star of the film, is definitely the hot-shot young music director, Anirudh Ravichander. His songs are a knock-out and absolute chart-topping numbers. "Ailasa Ailasa" is the opening number which had a photography exhibition as its backdrop and some great photographs were included as slides for the song, with some neat camera movements by Richard M.Nathan. "Hey" had plenty of montages and was shot on Shiva and Priya Anand, each of them separately, and showcased their new adventures. The urban sets complemented the mood of the song. "Engadi Porantha" was shot in Binny Mills, which was colored with vibrant colors and designs and had well-dressed back-up dancers, accompanying the lead pair. Some montages are interspersed into this song sequence as well. "Osaka" was beautifully shot by Richard M.Nathan in Theni and had wonderful and pleasing visuals of the rural land, with greenery and dry lands, equally portrayed. Priya Anand looked beautiful in the traditional attires, too ! "Oh Penne" was picturized cleverly with some camera tricks employed by Richard, in creating a puzzling illusion for the audience. The dream-like set work by neatly done by V.Selvakumar and Priya was a stunner in this song ! "Chennai City Gangsta" was showcased during the closing credits and was done like with a music video concept, featuring Anirudh Ravichander himself, alongside his singers, Hard Kaur and 'Hip Hop' Tamizha. Anirudh's background score was also rocking and blended perfectly well with the script. 

'Vanakkam Chennai' is a rom-com to its truest sense. The first half goes breezily with well-placed songs and some light-hearted moments between the lead pair and only the second half of the film, Kiruthiga did employ some emotional quotients of the script. The screenplay unfolds in its own sweet pace, which may test the patience of some audience, but many would not be complaining, since the sequences were enjoyable. Though the lead pair's characters were well written, a few peripheral characters such as Oorvashi and the one who plays Rosy Aunty, were needless and irritating. The climax is a little stretched out, which could have been much tighter. What's pleasant here is that, there are no sour-face inducing sequences nor double meaning dialogues anywhere, and credits to both Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi and S.Divyanathan for developing such a screenplay and clean dialogues. Since the people behind the writing of the film are clever women, such an end-product is expectable  . The blossoming-of-love episodes could have handled with more maturity and deft handling, which could have accentuated the feelings the sequences tried to convey. Kiruthiga actually achieves the necessary element of a rom-com, which is the rooting for the lead pair by the audience, and its commendable that she has managed to do it in her debut film. 

'Vanakkam Chennai' - Delivered what it promised and meets the expectations generative of such flicks. 

Ratings: 3/5 STARS



'Naiyaandi' made its news due to the unwarranted "body-double" accusation pointed at the makers by the upcoming "next-big-heroine" of Tamizh cinema, Nazriya Nazim. In her first big-hero project, Nazriya's claim to fame suddenly became infamy. All's well that ends well and the movie got released smoothly. A.Sarkunam's first big hero project with Dhanush, promised a good family entertainer, on the lines of the director's 'Kalavaani'. Was all the hype and hoopla, justified in the end-product ?

For Dhanush, its back to the light-material scripts, and 'Naiyaandi' turns out to be too light for him. He simply waltzes through his role. The National Award-winning actor did not strain a bit, acting capability wise and shares good rapport with his supporting cast members. When expectations are sky-high when this man comes out with a film, and its tad disappointing that 'Naiyaandi' does not meet that expectations. After her claim to fame with 'Raja Rani', Nazriya gets a solo heroine role and she looks pretty much in her comfort zone. Looking cute and bright, she displays her acting skills convincingly. Among the glut of comedy actors, Sriman and Sathyan were an amusing pair in the second half, with their comedic antics. Soori vibes well with Dhanush whereas Vamsi Krishna was resorted to a farcically written antagonist character. Meera Krishnan, Pyramid Natarajan, Sathish, Immanuel Annachi, Singampuli, Ashvin Raja, Naren, Sachu, Manobala, Prof Gnanasambandhan and etc were adequate fits for the supporting roles. 

K.Natraj's costume designing was apt for the rural-based characters and Nazriya looked cute in the songs, especially. R.K Vijay Murugan's production design sufficed the needs of the scripts. Be it the elobarate village festival setting, or the for the songs, the sets were neatly erected, with good detailing. The lamps and bells stacked in the protagonist's house is one such clear example. Dhilip Subbarayan's stunt choreography suited Dhanush's personality and the final climax sequence reminds us of the 'Sandaikozhi' climax action sequence. Raja Mohammed's editing was a letdown, and some sort of connectivity is missing in the transition from one sequence to another. R.Velraj's cinematography work is a big plus to the film. The visuals are crystal clear and the rural landscape is a pleasant sight for the eyes. Also, R.Velraj's lighting was commendable for the sequences featuring the lead pair, surrounded by lamps and bells.

M.Ghibran's work just passes muster, though he is a creative person with unique sounds infused in his song arrangements. "Marriage Marketil" was uniquely done, with a full animation concept, featuring the debacles faced by Sriman and Sathyan, in finding brides, respectively. "Ae Le Le" was shot on the lead pair, and has some majestic and beautiful Swiss localities in the background, such as lakes and mountains. "Yendi Paathagathi" is a bit-song shot on Dhanush and featured some good framing by R.Velraj. "Munnadi Porapulle" is a duet shot on the lead pair and accompanied by foreign dancers. The song featured more urban landscapes such as rivers and harbors. The much publicized "Teddy Bear" song was picturized keeping kinds in mind, with vibrantly colored sets with a gaming arcade backdrop and costumes for the dancers. "Inikka Inikka" is a sensous number, which was shot cleverly by R.Velraj with plenty of close-ups of the lead pair. Nazriya was looking very good in her sarees. Though the background score had plenty of unique ideas, they don't linger in our minds.

A.Sarkunam, known for his nuanced handling of his scripts, fails to entertain us this time. An inspiration from the 1993-Malayalam super hit film 'Meleparambil Aanveedu', starring Jayaram and Shobaran, the script is almost farcical in entirety and turns out to be a quintessential damp squib ! The entire comedy portions in the first half is a big letdown and only with the presence of Sriman and Sathyan, funny elements serve its purpose. The performances of some supporting artistes are too casual. The script has no purpose at all, and there seems to be no serious element at all, apart from the climax, which is rarely palpable. The screenplay is a letdown and there seems to be no smooth progress from one scene to another nor any logic or continuity. Some sequences stood out like a sore thumb and has no purpose in the film. Dialogues were insipid and boring. It really boggles our mind, thinking what convinced Dhanush to accept this film. A.Sarkunam's script has a time immemorial formula written all over, if you view it with a hindsight. Throw in some exaggerated sequences and characters, and all you get is a complete mess and wastage of good artistes and technicians' capabilities. 

'Naiyaandi' - An appalling product from A.Sarkunam ! Its shocking to see it coming from the director who gave us 'Kalavaani' and 'Vaagai Sooda Vaa'.

Ratings: 2/5 STARS



After the cult-hit 'Soodhu Kavvum', the in-demand hot-property of Tamizh cinema, Vijay Sethupathi is back quickly. Another off-beat project and another dark-humored film. But the direction is by Gokul Ramana instead, who previously wielded the baton for the Jivva-starrer 'Rowthiram'. What's interesting is that Madhan Karky has been roped into the board as a dialogue writer and the barrage of peripheral characters. Did 'Idharkuthaane Aasaipattai Balakumara' satiate the thirst of fans of different attempts ?

Vijay Sethupathi, has rocked it once again with a brilliant and acute performance. This guy is raising the bar for himself, higher and higher for each of his films, and this flick is no different from it. The guy oozes composure and apt maturity to handle this peculiar 'Sumaar Moonji Kumar' character with panache ! His improvisation in dialogue delivery is fantastic and he finishes off his dialogues with the apt timing, needed. His theater experiences, have obviously molded this guy into a very good performer. The climax definitely belongs this chap ! Ashwin Kakumanu, has a parallel role as Vijay's, which plays an important part in the script. His histrionics are diametrically opposite to that of Vijay's and he has grabbed his opportunity with both his hands. Though some sequences might suggest a sense of over-acting or exaggeration, it adds more zing to the script. The balancing act sequences between his nagging boss and possessive girlfriend, was well performed. Swati Reddy and Nandita, look good on screen and did what was required from them, with limited screen space though their characters were of importance to the script. The supporting cast have been fantastic as well and all added more fun elements to the script. Pasupathy takes the cake but still others such as M.S Bhaskar, Soori, Livingston, Robo Shankar, Rajendran, Daniel, Sai Ramani, Madhumitha, Pattimandram Raja and etc were fun to watch with their unconventional and peculiar characters.

Harikesh and Karthik did their research well, in terms of the costume designing, as each character was very much complemented by their costumes, which reflected all the weirdness the characters portray. Anbariv's action choreography was adequate and very realistically choreographed. S.Sivaraj should be applauded for his very detailed work in regards to the production design. All the minute, small props mattered for the sequences, which mostly was shot on real locations and some of the artificial sets, looked very much realistic as well. Leo John Paul's editing styles worked aptly with the presentation of the script, though the second half's pace drops a little and the dragging factor, kicks in. Mahesh Muthuswamy's cinematography style was very contemporary and fits the mood and feel of the script.

Siddharth Vipin's music was peppy and appealing to the audience. "Naaye Naaye" is used as a background score during Vijay Sethupathi's introductory scene and also in the late second half. "En Veetula" is the pick of the lot, and was shot on Vijay Sethupathi and Nandita, in and around a low-cost housing colony board. Plenty of dancing and montages are interspersed in between the songs, and its also great fun to watch and listen to this number. "Yean Endral" was shot on Ashwin and Swati, and also had plenty of slow-motion montages. The backdrops were based on contemporary and modern urban-setting. "Enge Ponalum" is the infamous "Prayer Song" and was shot in a bar-like setting, which had good detailing work by S.Sivaraj. V.S Raghavan makes a cute cameo appearance in this song, and Vijay Sethupathi is slowly picking up the dancing skills. The background score too is fun and brings out the quirky elements of the script, very well.

Director Gokul Ramana has cleverly laid out all his ideas and plans and placed them well in his script. But the screenplay was a winner, which was very cleverly and intriguingly written. The narration does not lose its core contents and makes us to stick with the characters for the entire film. To add more strength to the writing, is Madhan Karky's funny, intelligent yet unconventional dialogues. The film is replete with funny dialogues and its great fun to watch black comedies, written and executed well in Tamizh cinema, these days. Though Gokul has perfectly played his cards by executing each of his mini-ideas into the screenplay, the second half could have been a little tighter. Also, the director should be applauded for his character sketching and apt casting for each roles. Not to forget, cheers to Gokul for ending this dark-humored film on a sweet note, which leaves us with a smile on our faces.

'Idharkuthaane Aasaipattai Balakumara' - We are "HAPPY", too !

Ratings: 3.25/5 STARS



After the infamous failure of 'Mugamoodi', Mysskin has resorted himself to another thriller, a comfort zone of his. With the backing of his personal favorite 'Isaignani' Ilaiyaraaja, Mysskin's latest thriller takes place in a single dead-night of Chennai. He himself has donned the all important role and the other significant character is portrayed by Sri of 'Vazhakku En 18/9' fame. Will his newly launched, Lone Wolf Production's maiden film, reap the success and put Mysskin back in the spotlight ?

Mysskin perfectly delivered what was necessary for the character of a hit-man  Unsurprisingly, as the creator of the character, he will be the best to understand and catch the nuances and intense emotions of the character. Mysskin cleverly uses his strengths as an actor and delivered the goods. The graveyard scene is definitely the most-talked about scene of his. Sri, delivers a compelling and truthful performance. Ably guided by Mysskin, the young lad has taken this opportunity for good and showed his capability as an maturing performer. Very impressive development from his 'Vazhakku En 18/9' days ! The whole film primarily rests on these two characters, as dictated by the title. The rest of the cast, such as Adithya Menon, Bharat, writer Shaji, Ravi Venkatraman, Shaokat, Mona, Chaitanya, Angel Glady, Neelima, Ram, Sriram, Gajaraj, Ragulan and etc were very adequate. Shaji, especially was impressive among the lot.

Jaishankar and Shankar's costume designing was very apt for the characters and also added the extra detailing for the grim and dark look of the film. Sathish Kumar's production design sufficed the needs of the script. The props were very intricately presented and nothing looked overdone. A very complementary work for the script. Gopinath's editing suited Mysskin's style of story presentation and the pacing. But the second half could be trimmer, as the pace drops and lagging effect, starts to kick-in. Tapas Nayak's sound designing plays an important role as well, especially for such thrillers. He perfectly balances the silence and minute sound detailing needed for the respective sequences, in the film. 'Billa' Jagan's action choreography suited Mysskin's personality and also of the character's. Cinematographer 'Junior' Renga, does a brilliant job with his lens. His framing sense and the dead-night shots of eerily silent places, perfectly projected the mood of the script. The wide-angles and long-shots are all typical hallmarks of Mysskin's films and Renga, has perfectly understood Mysskin's wants and needs. The real hero of the film is definitely, 'Isaignani' Ilaiyaraaja for he is the one who brings out the soul of the film, with his background score. With no songs featured in the film, Raja sir's brilliance in background score, is definitely in full force and galore ! The legendary music composer, understood perfectly where to maintain silence and where to fill up the spaces with his majestic music, and when ever the music starts playing, it heightens the mood of the sequences, very aptly. Hail, the Maestro !

'Onaayum Aattukuttiyum's strength lies in the suspense built and sustained by Mysskin till the climax of the screenplay. The director has his grip over the audience with his arresting presentation and plays his cards, well. He keeps all the suspense elements close and slowly unravels it one by one, and till then its just a puzzling, guessing game for the viewers. The twists and turns are shown very subtly and does not disturb the eerie feel of the screenplay nor jolt the viewers, out of shock. Scenes are very intelligently constructed and executed, with Renga shooting them, in a striking manner. The no-nonsense approach needs to be appreciated since Mysskin has not made any sort of compromises to suit the commercial tastes of the 'masala'-loving fans. The characterizations of most artistes, has the stamp of Mysskin all over, and for those who are uninitiated, please do watch Mysskin's previous  , to further understand what it means by 'Mysskin characters'. Humor is present here and there and its very mildly infused into the plot. To put it bluntly, this film is definitely the best from Mysskin's stable, thus far.

'Onaayum Attukuttiyum' - A fantastic comeback from Mysskin ! Dark, brooding and above all, satisfying !


Ratings: 3.5/5 STARS



'Raja Rani' has been making quite some buzz since its inception due to all the big names associated with it. Produced by none other than A.R Murugadoss, who collaborates with Fox Star Studios (the Indian subsidiary of 20th Century Fox) for this rom-com. Directed by a newbie Atlee, who has assisted Shankar in 'Endhiran' and 'Nanban' and also known for his YouTube-hit short-film 'Mugaputhagam', it has the best of casting with good-looking artistes and best of upcoming technicians, behind-the-scenes. Hence, does 'Raja Rani' justify all the hype and buzz it bombarded in the medias ?

First, things first. Let's start off with the lead pair Arya and Nayanthara. Arya oozes charm and wits in his role. He is at total ease with the character he plays, but the actual plus point is his performance and matured handling of the emotional scenes. And the ladies' guy, shares great rapport with both heroines featured in the film. This film would have been a piece of cake for Arya ! Nayanthara made a perfect comeback to Tamizh cinema, after a three-year hiatus. A very composed and heartfelt performance from her. She definitely has the advantage of enacting the best-written role in the film, but still credits to her for pulling it off easily. Definitely, one of her career-best performance, thus far. And its an undeniable fact that she is the actual fulcrum of the movie.

Jai, makes a splendid appearance as the naive, innocent, timid Surya. His antics were good relief in the first-half, and his voice modulation as well as dialogue delivery complements the nature of his character. The latest sweetheart of Tamizh cinema, Nazriya Nazim has one of the 'cutest' heroine introductory scenes in Tamizh cinema ! The girl personifies cuteness and proves her mettle in dishing out typical bubbly-crazy Tamizh cinema heroines, perfectly. Sathyaraj plays the uber-cool urban dad, many teenagers and youths would die to have one for themselves. His stylish make-over looks very refreshing on-screen. Santhanam, has his right balance of emotional scenes as well, and he delivers it finely. But nonetheless, his comic is brilliant as usual, especially in the flashback sequences, featuring him in an odd-wig, with a Rajni-type mannerism. Sathyan was terrific with his comic timing and complemented Jai, very well. Rajendran's suave avatar was a crackling surprise and the other characters such as Manobala, Singamuthu, Dhanyaa Balakrishnan, Wang, Arun Raja, Misha Ghoshal and etc did their parts well.

Atlee has appointed four various costume designers for the film and each of them, Deepali Noor, Chaitanya Rao, Sathya N.J and Kavisa Rebello, should be congratulated for their excellent work in the costume department. All the artistes were looking at their best, be it in any scenes. The heroines were stunningly pretty, especially ! Dhilip Subbarayan's action choreography was simple and neatly executed. T.Muthuraj's production design was of A-grade ! The setting, be it for ordinary or for the songs, everything looked colorful, fresh and sparkling. The posh apartment setting, or even the middle-class home setting was very minutely done, in detailing. A swanky environment is what you get and feel for most of the film's duration. Very good job, T.Muthuraj ! Ruben's editing could have been better, especially with the lengthy climax portions, though his edits are fine for the songs. The real hero of the film is definitely the cinematographer. A sure-hot, next hot-property of Tamizh cinema, George C.Williams captures the sunlight beautifully and his color-palette usage were just terrific ! Brilliant visuals and deft camera-handling. The next big cinematographer has just arrived !

G.V Prakash Kumar's songs were complementary for the setting and mood of the script. "A Love for Life" theme music plays in the opening sequences, which had the church wedding scene. The framing and photographic-shots were just too good ! "Hey Baby" has good montages between Arya and Nayanthara and then transcends into a drunkard-song type, with even Gaana Bala making a sneaking cameo appearance. The second part of the song was shot in dark, dead-night streets of Chennai. "Chillena" was shot on Jai and Nayanthara, and had plenty of sequences, shown in montages. The usage of sun light and color by George C.Williams, in the opening portion of this song was catchy. "Unnale" is a bit-song, also shot on Nayanthara and Jai, with different backdrops of each character, shown interspersing. "Oday Oday" was shot on a lavishly decorated Binny Mills and was picturized on Arya and Nazriya. The colorful sets and costumes, complemented the mood of the song well. "Imaye Imaye" was shot on Arya and Nayanthara, and was used as a situational song, with a couple of montages, edited well. G.V Prakash Kumar handles the background score very well too and definitely 'Raja Rani' would be one of his best works, collectively. 

Now, the theme of life after love is not something unique nor novel. This same theme has been handled by greats such as Mahendran and Mani Ratnam in their films, 'Nenjathai Killathey' and 'Mouna Ragam' respectively. The only difference is that, such a themed film was missing all the while for the current generation of social network-crazed youngsters. Atlee shows maturity in the way he handles his artistes and getting the best from them. But the hallmarks of a good director-in-making, does not stop with that alone. The actual crux, which is the script, has plenty of flaws and weaknesses, in terms of logic and organic, emotional development. The foundations are there, but Atlee fails to establish a strong reason for the lead pair to overcome their past relationships and to accept their new life-partner. If you are to watch this film in hindsight, you could actually realize the amateurish writing and the kiddishness of the theme's presentation. The film has its own good moments and sequences and a couple of well written dialogues, but it just ends there. The flick fails to actually satisfy the rom-com genre its supposed to be and its only a rom-com in partitions. The long-drawn out climax is a turn-off as well, and there are some discrepancies in the character development aspect. As for Arya and Nayanthara, though this film did not do any sort of damage to their respective careers, such films can be avoided, as they have progressed ahead with more challenging and varied roles.

'Raja Rani' - A misguided, supposedly rom-com, with fantastic production outputs. A fairly good rating, only because of the technical outputs artistes' contribution.

Ratings: 3/5 STARS



'Ponmaalai Pozhudhu' has been in the making for quite sometime. Featuring the debuting Aadhav Kannadhasan, the grandson of the legendary lyricist/writer Kannadhasan, A.C Durai makes his debut as well as a director in this flick. Love seems to be the primary theme here, though the powerful performer, Kishore's participation gives some hope for us, for a different angle as well. How did this flick fare ?

Aadhav Kannadhasan fits the role of the protagonist of this film. He is confident in front of screen and has a good sense of dialogue delivery methods. He seems to be in comfort zone, even with heavy-duty emotional scenes, with tight close-ups, but nevertheless the young lad has plenty of things to look upon and to contemplate improving. Gayathri, looks very realistic and natural as the young and chirpy lass. A perfect lead pair for this particular subject ! Kishore, in his limited role was a scene stealer, with very nuanced and composed performance. His expression and usage of his eyes and body language to bring out the feel and mood of his character, was just a cut above the rest in the cast. Anupama Kumar, had a cool act as Kishore's wife in the film. She just breezes into her role and its about time for Tamizh cinema, to fully utilize her talents. Aruldass, scores in his realistic portrayal as the rude and suspecting father of the heroine while Sri Ranjani was apt for her less-impressively written role. 

Sarala Vijayakumar has worked well in the costume designing, as the characters looked their part, pertaining to their backgrounds and social demography. Silva's stunt choreography was in tune with the need of the script and what the characters can demand. Sanjey Karan's production design was simple and functional. The props for the middle-class homes setting was well done, though the up-market posh bungalow could have been dealt better. Ramsudharsan's editing was sufficed the need of the script, as the length of the film was crisp, though the transition from one sequence to another was jerky. Rajavel Olhiveeran's cinematography was average.

C.Sathya's musical score was neat and sounds pleasant. "Vaarkodhume" was the opening number, which was shot on the hero and his bunch of friends partying in an up-market bungalow. The club setting worked out well for the song, though the detailing could have been better. Rajavel's roving camera movements over the glamorous dancers, were apparent. "Masala Chicks" has few cut-shots and was picturized on the lead pair and dancers, with few backdrops such as the school compound, shopping complexes and the outdoors. "Nee Indri" is a situational song and had montages of the lead pair, picturized going through a separation. "Adikkadi" is the pick of the lot among the songs. Shot on the lead pair, who looked good, the song was picturized in Calcutta, with some of its landmarks utilized. "Iravugalil" also had montages interspersed with song picturization using famous landmarks as backdrop-sets. The background score of the film, was disappointing, as it is too loud and uninspiring.

A.C Durai, handles the universal theme of love for this flick, and his focus of attention is the juvenile gang. The 'puppy love' theme is something which has been handled by some legendary directors, to upcoming newbies, so there's nothing novel about it. What matters is the treatment and execution, which A.C Durai falters. The direction and writing falls completely flat. The minute saving grace would be Kishore's episodes and sequences, where some good lines and points are made. But other than that, the making is very insipid and sort of amateurish, though that might be complementary for the theme. A.C Durai wanders between the love-episodes and the father-son duo relationship and the film suffers, due to this needless wandering between themes. The faulty making does not commensurate with the good intentions of highlighting a sound social message, relevant to parents and teenagers, as well.

'Ponmaalai Pozhudhu' - Insipid and amateurish.

Ratings: 1.5/5 STARS



Shaam, who after some initial moderate successes, faded away from the limelight of Tamizh cinema. Due to his poor choices of films, chances were dry and lacking and Shaam had to resort to other nearby tinsel-towns to keep alive of any cinema survival chances. And V.Z Dhorai appears to be handing out and olive branch to Shaam, though his own records are not so impressive, either. Will their '6 Candles' bring back the necessary attention and success they have been craving for ?

For Shaam, this is a sort of a make-or-break film, in relations to his career. He has earnestly poured his entire dedication and attention in bringing out the actual miseries and grievances endured by the protagonist character. His extreme changeover in physical appearances deserves plenty of appreciation and but its certainly not encouraging to put one's health and life at risk, just for revival of cinema career. Even after more than a decade of presence in film industry, the actor has not properly grasped the fine nuances of dialogue delivery and voice modulation, which takes away the sheen needed for certain sequences. Nevertheless, a very good try from Shaam. Poonam Kaur looks out of place as a young mother and her lip-sync, dubbed by Savitha, was a little messy. Not to forget her over-dramatized acting in emotional scenes. Munnar Ramesh was adequate and so does Anil Murali as an effeminate villain. The rest of the cast such as Nagi Needy, Master Vivethan, Narayan, Sandro, Nagendhiran and etc were functional.

M.Nanaji and Elias has done good homework in the costume designing, especially for Shaam's various change-overs. 'Super' Subbarayan's action choreography was well done, though the execution skills from Shaam dampened the actual intended impact. The meat market stunt scene was well choreographed, especially. K.Arusamy's production design was decent, especially with the police station set and also props for the many real-life locations, present in the film. N.Arun Kumar's editing was merely functional, but kudos to him for keeping the length of the film short and for having a direct-to-the-point narration with no lags and gaps in the screenplay. Krishnasamy's cinematography was gritty at a few places, but the visuals could have been much, much more better. A seasoned, ace-cinematographer would have done wonders, for such subjects.

Srikanth Deva's musical score was just namesake. "Aagayame" was the introductory song and featured the lead pair's happy family life, involving plenty of montages. "Bigulu" was a bit-song, shot in a whore-house like surrounding. "Thedukindrathe" also has plenty of montages and different cities as locations, with a radically changed Shaam, in search of his missing kid. The background score was a little loud, and Srikanth blew off a good chance to prove his credentials.

V.Z Dhorai, who has handled dark subjects or characters for his films such as 'Nepali' and 'Thotti Jaya', again threads a path less traveled. This time, he has taken the subject of child trafficking as his theme and kudos to V.Z Dhorai, for putting in good amount of research done for the script. He certainly keeps us engaged with the film, by keeping a crisp and tight screenplay and an honest story, with a heavy subject to experiment. Though V.Z Dhorai spoils the script with some over-the-top elements such as sudden heroism, he stills strikes us with some heart-wrenching moments, especially the pre-climax and the climax. The director can be lauded for his direct-approach in story-telling, though Jeyamohan's dialogues were a big letdown. The dialogues were just way too ordinary, and such scripts must have powerful dialogues, which can really sink in the true nature of the mood and feel of the scenes, into the minds of viewers. The subject can be a tad too heavy to digest for some, but the direction was fortunately (rather, unfortunate for the critics) quite average and amateurish. An average end-product leaves the genuine critics and film aficionados, a lot to be desired.

'6 Candles' - Great material, not-so-great execution.

Ratings: 2.5/5 STARS