Finally, one of the most anticipated and expected project has been released and the Rajini-mania was blaring sky-high ! Holding the distinction of being India's first photo-realistic, performance & motion capture, 3D computer-animated film, 'Kochadaiiyaan: The Legend' features non other than 'Super Star' Rajinikanth as the titular character and though it may not feature the legend in live action, this must truly be a great relief for his 'devotees'. A lot is riding on Soundarya Rajinikanth Ashwin's debut as a director but can she pull it off successfully ?

The film works mainly thanks to the electric and charismatic presence of 'Super Star' Rajinikanth. He carries the entire film on his shoulder and his magnetic voice adds great amount of zing to the film. Among the roles he did, it was certainly the titular character which was the scene-stealer, especially with the powerful portrayal. 'Ranadhiran' has the usual swag and style associated with 'Super Star' Rajinikanth and its a pure treat for his fans. The powerful dialogues can only be mouthed as superbly as it was, by him alone and once again, he proves that no can can match his screen presence, tenacious personality and the magnetic charm, as he does. Hail the one and only 'Super Star' ! Nassar and Shanmugaraja holds more screen timing, next to the 'Super Star' and being talented artistes, they did their part quite well. Aadhi and Jackie Shroff looks convincing as in their roles of royal king and prince. R.Sarathkumar impresses with his Tamizh diction in his cameo appearance. The ladies, especially Shobana and Rukmini were unfortunately bowled out with very few screen timing apart from Deepika Padukone, who plays the heroine. Though her digital version looks pretty and statusque, the lip-sync was terribly out of place, which could be due to Deepika's inability to speak or pronounce chaste Tamizh. The surprise package of all, is the resurrection of the legendary comedian Nagesh, who was brought out well by 'Nagesh' Shankar and Ramesh Khanna. The body language was apt and the dubbing was way too perfect, and the dubbing artiste definitely deserves recognition for his talent !

Art direction by Velu was impressive, especially with the depiction of the huge palaces presented in the film. Also, the sail ships featured in an extensive action sequence, was very well designed. Kudos to Velu ! The action choreography was handled by leading choreographer Peter Hein, along with Micheal. The extravagant, elaborate, stylish, acrobatic action sequences were befitting of the film's genre and story setting. Both of them did an excellent work and their work complemented the style of 'Super Star' Rajinikanth, which further enhances the effects to another level. Neeta Lulla takes care of the costume designing, and her efforts delivered wonders, especially for 'Super Star' Rajinikanth's digital version. The 'Super Star' was looking a million bucks and the credits should definitely go to Neeta. Coming close was Nassar and Deepika Padukone's costumes as well, which had good detailing. Academy Award winner, Resul Pookutty is in charge of sound designing, alongside Amrit Pritam. Their work took the film's effects to another level up, especially with the sound design. Forgoing the usual sound samples, the designers original recording and minute details they gave attention to, from sounds made by the movements of clothes, to the battlefield scenes upped the ante and enhanced the nuances of the script. Editor Anthony's cuts were sharp and rapid, especially for the action sequences which kept the excitement alive and also for a tight duration. 

Academy Award winner and India's most wanted film composer, A.R Rahman delivered a very detailed and intrinsic score for the film and has consciously avoided from having a signature 'mass' theme music or songs as well. The film starts off with "Karma Veeran" which was picturized on the younger version of Rana, making his journey to the kingdom of Kalingapuri. The water element was abundant in the forms of river and waterfall. The song also features during the end-credits, where the film shooting footage were shown. The all-important introductory song, "Enge Pogudho" sung by S.P Balasubrahmanyam was next and features as Ranadhiran's opening song. The flamboyant and rousing anthemic element, typical of 'Super Star' Rajinikanth's opening song was there, and the castle scenes, as well as the cute dance were the highlights of the song. "Medhuvaagathaan" is the duet song featuring 'Super Star' Rajinikanth and Deepika Padukone. The dance movements of Deepika's was very graceful and the imaginary natural landscape featured in the song, alongside the white peacock, were well designed. "Manamaganin Sathiyam" & "Manappenin Sathiyam" were jointly used for a wedding sequence of the characters of R.Sarathkumar and Rukmini. The detailing of the durbar and the color palette could have been better, though the Tamizh wedding depiction, was nicely done. "Idhayam" has elaborate and grandeur in nature, change-overs with the scene setting and the editing by Anthony was seamless. Velu's art designing for the song complemented the dark and moody element of the song. The pick of the lot among the song picturizations has to be the "Engal Kochadaiiyaan" number which served as the introductory song of the 'Super Star' Rajinikanth titular character. The gloomy and haunting Maha Shivarathiri atmosphere, on a rocky and hilly mountain brought out the fantasy element very well, and the 'Rudhra Thaandavam' choreographed for the character was amazing, considering you have 'Super Star' Rajinikanth's screen presence along with it ! "Maatraam Ondruthaan" features 'Super Star' Rajinikanth and Shobana's character and the picturization, complemented the song's theme. A.R Rahman's background score, recorded with the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg, fits the nature and historical period drama genre, though some will miss the usual mass numbers expected in a 'Super Star' Rajinikanth film.

Now coming to the all important USP of the film, the performance & motion capture, done by Centroid {U.K} Ltd, under the supervision of Phil Stilgoe. The animation, project execution and techniques used are definitely path-breaking, for Indian cinema. This could definitely lead more and better projects to come in the future. But in 'Kochadaiiyaan: The Legend', the final result will receive mixed reaction from the audiences. Some will appreciate the effort, but some will definitely point out the obvious flaws. The animated characters did not capture the emotions of the artistes and this is evident through the non-rolling of the eyeballs, expressionless faces and rigid and stiff movements of the character's body language. It can be a hindrance to some audiences, but if you choose to overlook these factors, it might not bother you further. Speaking of detailing, it looks like Soundarya Rajinikanth Ashwin has heavily invested her time in bringing out 'Super Star' Rajinikanth's character to alive so much so, that the other characters suffered big time. Shobana and Rukmini's character depictions were particularly very poor. Despite all these flaws, one should commend Soundarya Rajinikanth Ashwin for her project management and her ability to pull off such an attempt with the barest of budgets.

As for the script, the story, screenplay and dialogues have been taken care off by the veteran K.S Ravikumar. The story is as old as the hills and all the elements found in an historic drama is present in the film, from love to betrayal, from heroism to sadness and etc. What keeps the film together is the super-fast screenplay, starting with a voice-over of A.R Rahman, which leaves no time for unnecessary sequences, apart from the songs, which were too many for a 2 hour film, and were badly-placed. K.S Ravikumar's dialogues are a treat to the fans of 'Super Star' Rajinikanth and the matinee idol, delivered them fabulously. But still, the script suffers due to the animation factor. Yes, such animation helps one to do things which are impossible to execute with live artistes and animals, but it robs the excitement out of the story. Steven Spielberg pulled it off with 'The Adventures of Tintin', but this is where Soundarya Rajinikanth Ashwin's flounders and her weakness is made noticeable. Directing a film involving fantasy elements based on a real life Pandya Dynasty king is no joke. One needs to be a master in story-telling and apparently Soundarya lacks this particular skill. Its not her fault to be ineptitude, but such mastery can only be accrued through better understanding of the nuances of story-telling and from experiences of doing films, unless you are an auteur on the lines of Steven Spielberg, Akira Kurosawa or even Mani Ratnam. Many sequences in the first half fell flat, only for 'Super Star' Rajinikanth to rescue it in the second half with the episodes of Kochadaiiyaan. It could even be K.S Ravikumar's script writing, but unless he directed it on his own, its not fair to be judgmental of his directorial skills with such a story-line. Nevertheless, the film is worth checking out for the attempt of Soundarya and for 'Super Star' Rajinikanth. 

'Kochadaiiyaan: The Legend' - Quintessential, yet a path-breaking 'Super Star' Rajinikanth film ! Can we expect a sequel, especially for the way the film was ended ?

Ratings: 3.5/5 STARS



Balaji Mohan simply oozes quirkiness and wittiness in his writing and with the runaway success of his debut, he is back with an intriguingly titled film, 'Vaayai Moodi Pesavum'. The trailers and teasers spelled a fun rom-com, with a young cast and crew and a stylish presentation idea, can Balaji Mohan pull it off for the second time ? Can Tamizh cinema-fans expect a jolly, good ride with 'Vaayai Moodi Pesavum' ?

Making his Tamizh cinema debut is Dulquer Salmaan, the son of Malayalam Superstar Mammootty breezes through his role as the cherubic and talkative sales agent. Building upon the confidence of his Malayalam films' success, Dulquer makes a fantastic debut in this film and is also nearly flawless with his Tamizh pronunciation and dialogue delivery. A definite talent to look out for and hope Tamizh cinema utilizes his acting capability more and better. Nazriya Nazim was simply too good as the beautiful but introvert medical doctor. She perfectly nailed her character and shares good vibes with Dulquer. Madhubala or Madhoo makes her comeback to Tamizh cinema and my word, she looks gorgeous even after all these years and her experience speaks for her, with those minute and fabulous expressions, she gave ! There's a brigade of character artistes in this film and all of them are just wacky personalities. From the mumbling politician R.Pandiarajan, his wise-cracking assistant Kaali Venkat, the foul-mouthed Arjunan, the crazy 'Nuclear Star' John Vijay and his die-hard fan Ramesh Thilak, the always-drunk 'Robo' Shankar, the grumpy and wealthy, old Vinu Chakravarthy, and finally, Balaji Mohan himself as the wily newscaster, made their marks as each one of them has their own different sub-plots in the film. Besides them, there are a few more artistes like RJ Balaji, Nakshathra Nagesh, Abhinav, Satya Priya, Kamala Krishnaswamy, Abhishek, Mime Gopi and etc in the cast. Cool casting, indeed !

Niranjani Ahathian takes care of the costume designing and her work adds more color and charm to the film's presentation. The characters looked lively and colorful thanks to the vibrant costumes, especially for the gorgeous ladies, in the film ! Art direction is handled by A.R Mohan and his art work seamlessly blended with the natural surroundings. The indoor set-up of the lead characters' homes and rooms, were well detailed and had a sense of stylishness to them. Abhinay Sunder Nayak handles the editing, and though his cuts were smooth and easy on the eyes, he could have trimmed some scenes of the several sub-plots of the film. Some episodes become tiresome after a while and is only there for the funny-gag quotient. Nevertheless, it was still a clean and neat work from him. S.Soundar Rajan's cinematography was excellent, especially with the way he projected Munnar, as the cool and beautiful hill station, with his color tone and lighting pattern. Besides that, his camera movements add more zing and fun into the screenplay and complements Balaji Mohan's writing. 

Young and fresh music composer Sean Roldan, popular within the independent music album circles,  makes his debut in Tamizh cinema. The light-hearted touches and also the groovy touches he gives to his track, has its own charm and effect for the songs. "Shut Up" is the title track and appears during the beginning credits, which has a plain color palette based animation. "Podhum Ini" is the first track and is shot on Dulquer, with plenty of cut-shots, well put together by Abhinay and Munnar's green hillsides were beautifuly captured by S.Soundar Rajan. "Kadhal Ara" is the funky love track, which has mini fantasy episodes in the song, which had simple set works and interspersing of the original story track. "Udaigiren" is a slow, pathos number, which was shot on most of the main characters, especially with the lead pair, in their sad moments, which were shot and shown in montages. "Maatraparavai" becomes a sort of 'happy-endings' song for the characters which were facing separate dilemmas, in their respective sub-plots. The theme tracks such as "Mr.Fix-IT", "Beedhiya Kelappa Jazz" and "The Sound of Silence" appear sporadically, throughout the film, and feature prominently in the second half. Sean Roldan's background score in the second half, adds a good deal of impetus for the film's screenplay, since everyone goes 'silent' in the film. A very good debut !

What works in Balaji Mohan's 'Vaayai Moodi Pesavum', is the simple message of how important and pertinent communication is to each and everyone, and how people take granted of it, being presented in a very fun, and quirky format ! The sub-plots, though has their own respective agendas, are simply funny and very well written by Balaji. Adding more credence to the fun-factor are Balaji's minute and creative ideas, be it the bulletins running during the prime news, the epic YouTube mash-up of R.Pandiarajan's mumbling act, the 'censoring' idea of Arjunan's foul-mouthed ramblings, the spoof and satire of cinema artistes and their real life antics, and etc, etc. Balaji has a proper structure to his screenplay and the second half, falls perfectly well, in which the message was articulately presented. The styling and overall look of the film, be it music, color, picturization, fonts and etc, complemented the script very well, and turned 'Vaayai Moodi Pesavum' as a cool and breezy, up-market entertainer of the year, thus far ! The second half slackens in the pace category, especially with the sentimental episodes, but nonetheless the scenes, were handled maturely. As mentioned earlier, the characters were very well written, keeping in mind the comedy element, and helping the artistes to make their characters stand out, are the humorously written dialogues, which had plenty of witticism, in them. Balaji Mohan has definitely set out a trend in light humor genre, and that too with a dash of fiction in it. This is what you call a whiff of fresh breeze, in Tamizh cinema !

'Vaayai Moodi Pesavum' -  Eccentricity woven into the script, with tenacity !

Ratings: 3.25/5 STARS



After the super-hit success of 'Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya', Santhanam's next production venture under his own company Handmade Films Production, is none other than his debut as a solo hero, with 'Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham'. Jointly produced with PVP Cinemas, it is the official remake of the 2010 Telugu film 'Maryada Ramanna' which had Telugu comedian Sunil as the protagonist. Successfully remade in most of the other regional languages, can Santhanam pull it off as a solo hero, with a proven script ?

Santhanam, who always shares the screen space with his buddy heroes, has taken up the mantle as the lead protagonist this time. It is an apt script and subject for him, and he has performed very comfortably. His efforts in relation to keeping a fit physique, improved dancing skills, and the effervescent screen presence, is very much evident. His comic timing and dialogue deliveries need no mention and as always, there are many perfect punch dialogues for him, to impress the audience. Ads model, Ashna Zaveri from Mumbai makes her film debut, as the pretty face of the film. She fits the bill as the pretty and homely girl role and performs adequately. Not to forget, she too has a pleasant screen presence. Telugu actor Nagi Needu reprises the role he did in the original as the film's main antagonist, alongside Ravi Prakash and Suguntha. Though their roles are the atypical loud and brash villains of Tamizh cinema, the actors did justice to their roles. Siddharth Vipin and Rajakumaran provides the comic relief in the first half, whereas VTV Ganesh has a small role in the second half. The others such as radio and television personality Senthil Kumar, Rekha Suresh, Sujatha, Subbu Panchu, John Vijay, Bose Venkat and etc sufficed the needs of the story. And don't miss out the hilarious cameo of 'Powerstar' Dr.Srinivasan in the first half !

Vasu handles the costume designing and his works has made Santhanam and Ashna Zaveri look very much presentable and stylish, within the commercial needs of the script and for the songs, as well. The VFX work is handled by Lorven Studios and surprisingly, the train sequence in the first half and the climax had very shoddy visual effects, which looked very amateurish. The action choreography is handled by 'FEFSI' Vijayan, and though the film had scope for some good action sequences, the choreography was a little overboard. Dhilip Subbarayan has handled the bicycle chase sequence, which was a very lengthy one, and Santhanam was really put to test, in this particular portion. The art design is handled by A.R Mohan and his work brought out the script's feel and desired look, aptly. The train set and the song sequence set was well put up. Also, the interiors of the grand village mansion was very well propped. Saikant's editing could have been more tighter, especially with the long climax chase and dialogues sequence, which dragged the film's duration unnecessarily. Cinematography is by Shakthi, who has experimented with the lighting, in order to give Santhanam, the extra edge in terms of screen presence. His camera movements, especially in the songs, brought out the necessary look and feel. Richard M.Nathan, too has been credited for additional cinematography works, as well. 

Siddharth Vipin's musical compositions are good but the songs, were badly placed in the film, unfortunately. "Takkar Takkar" is the usual opening song of the protagonist. Santhanam, shows marked improvement in dancing and is evident in this song. The 'mass' feel was brought out well, especially with the street setting and plenty of extras as back-up dancers. More creativity could have given the song and extra edge. "Oh Oh Nadhigal" comes in the first half, with the lead pair and other characters travelling in a train. The camera movements within the tight space of a train compartment was well handled by Shakthi. A separate portion involving only the lead pair, in a train setup was well lit. The visual effects, could have been much better, though. "Vaada Mappilai" is the theme track of the film and is used in crucial moments of the film, especially during Santhanam's introduction to the antagonists scene. The 'mass' appeal of the song fits the seqeunce, quite well. "Chella Kutti" is the quintessential "kuthu" number shot on the lead pair, with colorfully attired back-up dancers, and equally colorful, set work by A.R Mohan. "Otrai Devathai" is a peppy number, shot in a very grand manner, involving plenty of extras and all the main characters, which has a in-house celebration theme to it. "Kadavule" is a situational song, which is played as the background score for the climax bicycle chase sequence. Siddharth Vipin's background score deserves mention, especially for the minute bytes he provides, like the "Maattikittaan" track, which enhances the comedy sequences. But he could have avoided lifting the "Mombassaa" track from the film 'Inception', which was originally scored by Hans Zimmer.

The original 'Maryada Ramanna' was directed by the hot-shot Telugu director S.S Rajamouli, who has co-written the script with S.S Kanchi. And what one should note is that, 'Maryada Ramanna' itself was a remake of the 1923 classic Hollywood silent comedy, 'Our Hospitality', directed and acted by Buster Keaton. That film was a satire of a real-life feudal war between the Hatfield and McCoy clans, which took place during the late 19th century. 'Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham' has a wafer-thin story-line and it is the light-hearted screenplay, which keeps driving the film. The plethora of one-liners and funny punch dialogues from Santhanam are the main focal point of the film's humor aspect. Actor Srinath, helms the responsibility of director of the film and he has played safe, without altering too much with S.S Rajamouli's film. The direction could have been much better though, especially with the long drawn-out climax portion, which was too melodramatic for contemporary standards. The first half train sequence, has the best stretch of comedy one-liners and the cute bicycle track is a funny commercial element, for the film. The song placements could have been much better, as mentioned earlier. 'Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham' doesn't click in all the departments, but overall it is a simple, fun film.

'Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham' - If this succeeds, will Santhanam carry on to do his usual hero sidekick roles ?

Ratings: 2.5/5 STARS



RS Infotainments' Elred Kumar's next production, 'Yaamirukka Bayamey' is a medium-budget venture with lesser known stars. Directed by debutante Deekay, a former associate of K.V Anand, this flick is touted to be a horror comedy, which is a genre rarely exploited in Tamizh cinema. We have our fair share of comedies and horror films, but this hybrid genre, is a rarity. Is this flick, worth of our time and money ?

Actor Kreshna, makes use of his opportunity, well. The expressive demeanor of his character was brought out well by him and he shares good rapport with the other cast members. He might need to work out in bettering his screen presence, as well as his dialogue delivery and voice modulation, which could have given his character, a better dimension. Rupa Manjari, looks cute and performs adequately and makes a good pairing with Kreshna. Karunakaran, is the actual scene-stealer, who keeps us glued to the film. His presence and comic timing, with apt dialogue delivery, evoke the chuckles from us. To put it bluntly, the film would have lost its appeal, if its not for his presence. Oviya, has upped the ante in glamour appeal, and shows no inhibitions in looking sexy. But her character has the lesser amount of screen timing and importance, among the main leads. Mayilsamy, scores in his portion with his usual excellent comic timing. Aadhav Kannadhasan makes a cameo appearance whereas, Anaswara Kumar has a role of importance, with limited screen timing. The rest such as Nalinikanth, Bose Venkat, Namo Narayana, Sona, Devipriya, 'Mahanadhi' Shankar, Balaji Mohan, Rayil Ravi, Yogi Babu, Daniel and etc sufficed the needs of the script.

The film has good production values, which gives the film an appealing look and feel. VFX for the horror segments were handled by Lorven Studios, and they have done a pretty decent job, especially in the climax, involving the main lead characters. Veena Shankaralingam designs the costumes for the lead characters, and the heroines have been particularly given lots of focus, with their dressing. Lalitha Rajamanickam's special make-up, complements the VFX usage of the film. Action choreography has been handled by Dhilip Subbarayan and his works are functional, as there are not important action sequences in the script. Art designing is handled by Senthil Raghavan, and his work gives the film a very alluring look. The mansion setup and its rooms were well designed, which has an elegant yet spooky feel to it, especially when you have dark colors, taking centre-stage. Sreekar Prasad's tight editing ensures that the film is well packaged, and his work in the climax portion, delivers the right output needed to ensure the scary element, is rightly presented. Cinematography by Rammy, is cool and appealing, especially with the cool climate of Nainital well utilized, in terms of lighting. His work is of paramount importance, especially in the climax portions, and his camera movements, delivers the necessary effect. 

Music by S.N Prasad is passable, especially with the songs. "Yemathukaaran" is the opening song and has all four main leads in the picturization. Nainital's hill tops and the other locations are the main premises, as well as the all important, mansion. "Adaikalam" is the introductory song of Mayilsamy, and has a simple and colorful setup by Senthil Raghavan, with Mayilsamy being accompanied by attractive lasses. The satire on fake faith healers is obvious in the song, which is more of like a bit-song. "Vellai Pandhu" is the pick of the lot and was picturized on Aadhav Kannadhasan and Anaswara Kumar, who looked pretty in her yellow saree. The romantic song has good color tone and camera movements, which complemented the romantic feel of 'under-the-moonlight' feel, as well as some picturesque snow capped mountains and beautiful lakes of Nainital. "Ennamo Edho" appears when the end-credits roll. The background score was quite average and passes muster. A better re-recording would have done wonders to the film.

Debutante Deekay, has experimented with the horror comedy genre, as mentioned earlier. He divided those two quotients evenly, with the first half having more funny moments, whereas all the thrills and spooks come blaring in the second half. The horror element was better handled, and though the spook gags were just the conventional effects which one often come across in Hollywood films, it did deliver the right effects. Deekay preserved the suspense element, till the late second half, which keeps us guessing on the suspicious circumstances unfolding in the film. The script has a wafer-thin story line, and though the horror element was well presented, the writing aspect takes a backseat, with no thorough explanation nor story which would have kept us engrossed with the film. The script leaves us with a couple of unanswered questions being overlooked, which open up loopholes in the story-line. The comedy element too, did not work out as a rip-roaring episode, neither. Couple of jokes fell flat, whereas some just did not deliver the necessary goods. As mentioned earlier, without the presence of Karunakaran, it would have been a damp squib. Also, some gags tend to side a more adult content, in its writing and presentation. The basic plot and idea of the script, is lifted from the 1998 South Korean horror comedy, 'The Quiet Family', directed by Kim Ji-woon, which Deekay has apparently simplified and made it more suitable for Tamizh sensibilities.

'Yaamirukke Bayamey' - A little funny, a little creepy !

Ratings: 2.5/5 STARS



Remaking a successful film is a very tricky and arduous task and the difficulty increases many folds, if the original is a critically-acclaimed film. Vidya Balan's 2012 starrer, 'Kahaani' is considered as a contemporary classic in the thriller genre and is acclaimed for its pulsating twists & turns filled screenplay. Sekhar Kammula has been roped in for this bilingual, which has Nayanthara, enacting the role made memorable by Vidya Balan. Can this adaptation retain the same tenacity and fervor of the original ?

If you have watched the original, you must be aware that the whole film is a one-woman show, and Nayanthara has done some sort of justice to the lead role of 'Anaamika'. She understands the nuances of her character well and has delivered a rather decent performance. She does have the commanding screen presence and ability to carry the whole film on her shoulders. And as always it is, she looks fabulous in her sarees ! It would have been better if she could have dubbed for herself, though Deepa Venkat's dubbing was apt. Vaibhav Reddy, who plays a rookie cop, delivers a measured performance, with a serious demeanor throughout the film. Pasupathy, is finally back to the silver screens after some time. As the Special Agent, he fits the character quite well, though the characterization was a tad too loud and lacks depth. A better handling of his character by the director, would have yielded better results. Naresh, Sri Ranjini, Harshvardhan Rane, Thagubothu Ramesh, Vinay Varma and etc were befitting of their roles.

Technically, 'Nee Enge En Anbe' does have some good and decent efforts from the technical crew. Nishka Lulla, had designed the costumes for Nayanthara and our lady was simply gorgeous in her attire. But still the necessity for such good-looks for a grim subject is a different perspective, which needs to be questioned. 'Dragon' Prakash handles the action choreography and his work sufficed the needs of the script. Chinna handles the art direction, and he has done a really good work with the props. The hotel room setting and the area around the hotel, ie the road-side stalls, the Durga Dewi shrine and the busy market, were realistically drawn and has splendor in the detailing, especially for the festival like celebration sequence, in the climax. Editing is taken care by Marthand K.Venkatesh, and he keeps the film tight and concise with the duration, although the climax could have been laid out better, which would have added more intensity to the proceedings. Vijay C.Kumar's cinematography stands out, for the raw and gritty look he gave for the film. The color tone and the camera movements, complement the script's mood and feel, pretty well. The charm of the old Hyderabad and the Charminar, as well as that part of Hyderabad's lifestyle was well captured, with plenty of outdoor shots. Music is by veteran M.M Keeravani or credited as Maragathamani in Tamizh. The film would have lost its lustre, if it wasn't for this man's background score. The score was thumping and plays like another character in the film. Only two songs are there in the film in which, "Evvidam Naan" is a montage track, whereas "Aval Appadi" appears during the end credits. Kudos to the M.M Keeravani once again, for the splendid background score, especially with a Qawwali-piece !

The original 'Kahaani' was conceived by Sujay Ghosh and co-written with novelist Advaita Kala. The killer screenplay was developed by a team of writers, consisting of Sujay Ghosh, Suresh Nair and Nikhil Vyas. For the remake, director Sekhar Kammula has joined hands with veteran renowned Telugu novelist Yandamuri Veerendranath. The screenplay adaptation, disappointingly is not as good as the Hindi original. The first half does not set the needed pace and most of the important sequences, fall flat. There is not gist and vigour in the screenplay, nor any attention-grabbing scenes. The characters were not well-etched out and makes a glaring statement of the director's substandard handling of characterizations. Also, a number of loopholes and mistakes are evident in the film, which the writing and direction team failed to take notice of. But what irks most is the half-baked attempt in presenting a proper bilingual. Some Telugu dialogues were just directly dubbed into Tamizh, which gives the film, a dubbing-film like look, in spite of Brinda Sarathy and Mahesh Sai's Tamizh dialogues. Some dialogues do stand out, such as the ones written for the interrogation scenes. There are plenty of Telugu dialogues in the film, which the script demands, but better subtitling could have helped the audience in comprehending, what's being said and argued. Apart from all these, one should take note that the writing duo has significantly changed the original 'Kahaani's plot and screenplay, and has altered the important twists & turns apparent in the original. To put it bluntly, 'Nee Enge En Anbe' looks like a simplified version of 'Kahaani'.

'Nee Enge En Anbe' - No where near 'Kahaani', yet its a decent watch. Wonder, why the producers insisted for such a low-appealing title. Hmmm.

Ratings: 2.75/5 STARS



Vijay Vasanth, one amongst the big bunch of Venkat Prabhu's 'Chennai 600028' boys, who does the occasional cameo appearances in Venkat's film, is back in the limelight with a lead role. This small budget thriller 'Yennamo Nadakkudhu', directed by a newbie P.Rajapandi is a home production of Vijay Vasanth's brother, V.Vinothkumar of Triple V Records. Can Vijay Vasanth make a decent mark, after the poor outing in 'Mathil Mel Poonai' ?

Vijay Vasanth benefits from a good characterization provided by the director. There's the rustic element based on the geographical background of his character, yet there's the benevolent aspect to his character, which makes his likable and acceptable as a hero. He has definitely improved a lot as an actor, and there's more composure and conviction in his portrayal. But there are some niggling issues, especially in the romance sequences, and he could work out his body language, for the action sequences. Mahima Nambiar, who previously did the Samuthirakani starrer, 'Saattai' makes a decent outing and has a pivotal role to play. Saranya Ponvannan is a treat to watch, especially with her animated expressions and North Chennai slang, which she delivered to the T ! Rahman as the main antagonist is passable, as well as the others in the cast such as Prabhu, Thambi Ramaiah, Sukanya, Azhagam Perumal, Ashwin Raja, Namo Narayanan, Vincent Selva, Sounder, Thirumurugan and etc, who holds the movie together, with neat performances in convincing roles, with good characterizations.

Dakshayini's costume designing was simple and apt for the script, though her work is limited due to the timeline of events in the script, in which the bulk of the events, happen in a single day. M.S Jayakumar's art designing sufficed the needs of the script. The climax portion, which required a good dose of construction based props, was well executed and the detailing of the lead pair's houses, should be noted too. K.Ganeshkumar's action choreography was good, but the chasing sequences in the climax, could have been toned down to reduce the unnecessary heroism element. Also, a more realistic approach would have worked for Vijay Vasanth's image and body language, wherein a more stylistic action choreography, handled in the film would have suited an action hero, pretty well. Praveen K.L and Srikanth N.B duo handled the editing department, and as always, their fast paced cutting pattern, gave the film an extra lift, and the taut screenplay keeps the attention of the audience, quite well. Cinematography is by A.Venkatesh, and his work is commendable, especially with the action sequences, which had tight close-ups and the climax chase sequence, which was well shot.

Premgi Amaren, scores the music for the film and it fits the mood of the script. "Aagayam Vizhigiradhe" appears during the opening credits. "Ora Kannu" is the pick of the lot, and has plenty of sequence shots, well edited and put together by Praveen K.L and Srikanth N.B. In-spite of the plenty of cuts, the song has a smooth transition from one scene to another and had the indoors and outdoors, especially the beach as the locations. "Meesa Kokku" has a temple festival like atmosphere and is a dream sequence between the lead pair and includes the hero's mother ! Saranya Ponvannan makes her appearance, throughout the song and has also sung her portions. "Vaa Idhu Nethiyadi" was picturized on Prabhu, in a flashback sequence, which had the typical dance routine, shot against a festival backdrop, reminiscing the 80's style. "Money Money" was the best shot song in the film and featured Raju Sundaram as the main dancer. The song was shot in a dance club-like atmosphere with the atypical color lighting and sexily dressed female dancers, with some nice camerawork by A.Venkatesh and the trademark cutting pattern by the editor duo. Premgi's background score, works well with the film and there are traces of Yuvan Shankar Raja-inspired score, here and there. 

Written and directed by P.Rajapandi, the film makes an interesting watch, thanks to the abundance of twists and turns, which comes at a rapid pace in the tense climax portion. The director has played his cards well, and arranged the screenplay appropriately, so that the climax will keep the audience on their seats' edge. The film does not lag much and has a pretty straightforward screenplay, with no unwanted meandering. G.Radhakrishnan's dialogues are okay and fits the need of the script, but some comedy dialogues, mouthed by Ashwin and Thambi Ramaiah, were chuckle-worthy. P.Rajapandi has handled his artistes quite well, especially with well written roles, which had clarity in it. But the film slackens in certain places, especially with the placement of songs, and the lead scenes of songs, which were quite dull and boring. Some minor loopholes and gaps are there in the film, but P.Rajapandi covers it up, with a fairly engaging screenplay, with a no-nonsense approach. A little more finesse in the execution, and this film would have been much, much better.

'Yennamo Nadakkudhu' - Well handled, small-budget action-thriller !

Ratings: 2.75/5 STARS



Gautham Karthik, is back to the silver screen with 'Yennamo Yedho', after the impressive debut in the Mani Ratnam directed, 'Kadal'. With a relatively young and unknown cast, this project should put Gautham's cinematic career path, into his own hands. So, how did 'Yennamo Yedho' turned out ?

Gautham Karthik, definitely has the talents and potential to make it big in the Tamizh film industry. His screen presence is admirable and his energetic demeanor, makes him a charm. His dancing skill is quite good, but he can definitely work out on the expressions and dialogue delivery, which can enhance the dynamics of his character. Rakul Preet Singh, looks pretty and gets most of her lip sync right. She shares a good chemistry with Gautham, but performance wise, she can definitely do way much better. Her expressions and overall performance, do look artificial, at times. Nikesha Patel has not much to do, whereas Prabhu provides some form of lighter moments in the film. Anupama Kumar sufficed the need of the script and the others like Azhagam Perumal, Madan Bob, Manobala, Shakeela, Surekha Rani, Sai Prakash, Manohar, Raja Sankar, Sinitha, Kalpika and etc play inconsequential roles.

Sai and Shiva takes care of the costume department and their work was okay and fulfilled the script's needs. Kumar's art direction was just apt, especially with the wedding scenarios and the interiors of the locations such as posh bungalow homes. I.J Alen's editing was simple and neat, and there were no gimmicks with his approach. Action choreography has been handled by B.Thyagarajan and the initial car sequence was well handled. Besides that, the action is very limited since the film is a romantic comedy. Cinematography is handled by Gopi Jagadeeswaran, and his work has nothing extraordinary about it. The car action sequence was well handled, but other than that, its just average. 

D.Imman has scored some peppy numbers for the film, which will find place among music lovers. The pick of the lot, "Nee Enna Periya" sung by Anirudh Ravichander, was shot on the lead pair, with a roadside dhaaba erected for the song, followed by a farm-house like location with the pool-side being the main designated area. "Mosale Mosale" was shot on the lead pair, and this time the locations are in Thailand, where some portions have been shot on the rooftop of a city skyscraper and the rest canned in a Buddhist temple. "Muttaalai Muttaalai" is another peppy song, sung by D.Imman himself, and had the lead pair dancing to the tunes, in the city of Bangkok, with plaza squares and other urban landscape being the locations. "Shut Up" sung by Shruti Haasan, was shot on Gautham, in a club-like location. The typical colorful lighting, back-up dancers and a quintessential item girl, were all present in the song. "Podhaadha" is a pathos bit song, shot on the misfortunes of the heroine, whereas "Pudhiya Ulagai" has montages of the protagonist's own misfortune. D.Imman's background score was above average, and his melody based scores were the highlights.

Debutante Ravi Thyagarajan wields the megaphone for this film, but the film is a remake of the super-hit Telugu film, 'Ada Modalaindi' which starred Nani and Nithya Menen in the lead roles. The story and screenplay belongs to Nandini Reddy and though the Telugu original turned out to be a hit, the Tamizh version unfortunately fails to deliver. The supposedly breezy rom-com, turns out to be a dull affair. The sequences are not synergistic, which leaves us with loopholes and gaps in the screenplay, in addition to its snail-pace. There is apparently no reasoning nor logic in the continuity of the story and everything seems to happen at the convenience of the director's liking. The direction was below average, especially with the handling of the characters and plot setting. R.K Vidhyadharan's dialogues were below average too, apart from a couple in some comedy portions and scenes pertaining to Anupama Kumar's character. In conclusion, 'Yennamo Yedho' is truly a disappointing product and its pitiful to see a talent of Gautham's calibre, to be featured in such a sub-par feature film.

'Yennamo Yedho' - A truly half-baked attempt !

Ratings: 1.75/5 STARS