Dhayanidhi Azhagiri's Meeka Entertainment collaborates with Varun Manian's Radiance Media for this oddly titled filmed, 'Vadacurry'. Saravana Rajan, a former assistant of Venkat Prabhu makes his debut in this film, which has the 'Subramaniapuram' pair of Jai and Swathi Reddy back together. The director confesses in the beginning stages, that the film's title has no whatsoever connection with the script, so what will this film be all about ?

Jai dons a role which has no dissimilarities from his previous works. Its the same quintessential middle-class boy, who is soft-spoken yet sneaky and a little naughty in nature. Its a neat performance from him and the director has some deadpan-humor type of dialogues for Jai, which our hero delivers effortlessly. Swathi Reddy looks very pretty and cute but as it is with regular Tamizh cinema, her character has no bearing on the script. The film definitely belongs to RJ Balaji, who keeps us entertained with his quintessential gibberish dialogues, for which he is popular for. He is the lifeline of the film and without him, it would have been pretty difficult to carry ourselves watching this film. The rest of the cast such as Aruldoss, Kasthuri, Ajay Raj, Sai Prasath, Misha Ghoshal, Ramachandran and etc have pedestrian roles. There are cameo appearances from Venkat Prabhu, Premgi Amaren and Mahat Raghavendra, with Venkat having more screen timing. 

Anusha Dhayanidhi is in charge of the costume designing and her works for the lead pair is commendable, which is realistic yet pleasing for the eyes. Swathi was very pretty and cute, in particular. Action choreography is handled by K.Ashok and the major sequence is the climax fight, which was very neatly composed and is not over-the-top, and also suits Jai's physical attributes and personality. Tha.Ramalingam takes care of the art department and his props setting was spot on, especially with Jai's lower middle class home setting and also with the numerous factory and warehouse environment, which were pivotal to the script's story-line. Praveen K.L's editing is crisp, and he keeps the duration of the film short, where it reaches just above 2 hours. The editing in songs, especially has his stamp all over and added more quality output for the visuals. Cinematography is by Venkatesh.S and has done a neat job. The warehouse sequences have good lighting, which enhances the quality of the visuals and the climax fight sequence was well shot.

Music is done by debutante duo Vivek Siva & Mervin Solomon, who worked as sound engineers for Anirudh Ravichander before. The songs are peppy and blends well with the mood and presentation of the film. "Kelunganne Kelunga" is the opening song and was shot on Jai and the characters revolving around him and his lifestyle. The lower middle-class scenario was well captured for this song, which has plenty of montages, put well by Praveen K.L. "Low Aana Life-U" sung by Anirudh Ravichander, had the much talked about special appearance of Indo-Canadian Bollywood star Sunny Leone, a former popular and celebrated pornographic actress. The song has a groove to it, though the picturization was a little letdown, bar the presence of Sunny Leone, providing the glamour quotient. The pick of the album, "Nenjukulle Nee" was shot on Jai and Swathi Reddy with dance sequence interspersing with some montages and has Jai rooting after Swathi. A female version of this song appears soon, and was shot on Swathi. "Ullangkaiyil" was shot creatively with some VFX works done by Lovren Studios, which had the concept of Jai, getting entrapped within a smartphone and its world of applications. "Vaada Nanba" is a situational bit song, which appears during the climax portion. The background score was neatly arranged by the duo and looks like they are a very good prospect for Tamizh cinema.

The film has an extremely simple central plot and the director comes up with sequences, pertaining to this single idea. But the story only moves in the second half, leaving the entire first half redundant ! Youth audience might overlook this flaw due to the good songs and RJ Balaji's wacky dialogues and comedy portions. Saravana Rajan, keeps the proceeding simple and is not very adventurous with his story-telling. But the director's character writing was a big letdown. Jai seems to be in a confused mood throughout the film and its odd seeing him react the way he did during the entire second half. The romance sequence is lifeless and is a complete time waste, especially with Swathi's role being projected as a selfish bimbo. The antagonists were lacking vigor and the surprise the director throws at us after all the suspense-building process, eventually fails to shock us, due to this lack of strong characterizations issue. Some loopholes are evident in the story-line, which the director has failed to take notice of, and there are unwanted sequences in the film, which carries no extra quality input, for the script. The only thing which keeps us glued to the film is RJ Balaji's antics and the 'surprise' element the director keeps in store for us, in the climax in which the villain is revealed. 

'Vadacurry' - RJ Balaji to the rescue !

Ratings: 2.5/5 STARS



Fox Star Studios and path-breaking producer, C.V Kumar of Thirukumaran Entertainment have joined hands and produced an intriguingly titled project called, 'Mundasupatti'. Directed by newcomer Ram Kumar of 'Naalaiya Iyakkunar' fame, this movie is based on a short film which Ram Kumar did for the television reality show. A lot is riding on this film for Vishnu Vishal, and can 'Mundasupatti' and Fox Star Studios salvage his career ?

As for Vishnu Vishal, this is a perfect comeback for him because he is at ease in doing a full length comedy film, though it is his career first. His laid-back dialogue delivery was pretty cool for his character and his screen presence is commendable. The props which accompanies him throughout the film, complements his character, be it the Yashica camera or his scooter. Nandita too looks super comfortable in the her simpleton village belle role. Her body language and mannerisms fits the character quite well and she's pleasing presence in the film. But the two guys who steal the show is Kaali Venkat and Ramdoss, as the sidekick and an aspiring actor, respectively. Kaali Venkat scores with his dialogue delivery which has plenty of sly remarks. The actor was able to carve a style for himself and is omnipresent, throughout the film. Ramdoss, plays an eccentric but humorous character to near perfection. His unique voice modulation and dialogue delivery, with flashy costumes, makes his character to have a certain charm. Veteran Anandaraj delivers the goods, with experience backing him up thoroughly and he too holds his special moments in the film. The rest of the cast such as Gajaraj, Aadesh, Pasupathiraj, Madurai Mohan, 'Lollu Sabha' Manohar, Rahul, Supramani, Kovai Uma, Kambam Meena and etc blends into the film and its plot setting very well.

The film has slick and top notch technical works, considering that it is a medium budget film. Jegathesan handles the costume designing and his work was excellent, especially for the costumes of Vishnu Vishal, Kaali Venkat and Ramdoss, who appeared most of the time in the flashy and colorful 70's & 80's look, especially with the bell bottom pants. Complementing the costumes, is the art direction work, done by Gopi Anand. The properties, especially like the old Yashica camera, Jawa scooter and camera equipments are the highlights. Also, the village and town streets and the small stores, were very well researched and executed by Gopi. Terrific job ! Leo John Paul's editing has a smooth transition from one scene to another and there are some unique cuts in some scenes, but he could have trimmed the duration of the film, especially in the first half. 'Billa' Jagan's action choreography complements the style of the film and whatever action scenes required were neatly composed and executed. P.V Shankar's cinematography was excellent, especially with the handling of vibrant tones and colors, yet the earthy and warming feel of the script was retained. His indoor shots deserves particular mention, especially with the funeral sequences, in which good lighting and camera angles were used.

Sean Roldan's musical score was fun and groovy and it complements the quirky nature of the script. "Uchiyile Udhichavane" is the opening song, which highlights a superstitious beginning of the villagers towards a 'deity' and is a situational song. "Idhu Enna" is a beautiful melody, used as a background score sporadically, throughout the film, which can look overused for some viewers. "Rasa Magarasa" is wacky funeral cum love song, and was shot on all the pivotal characters of the film, which had a funeral scene as the story and some funny moments in it. "Killadi Oruthan" is shot on Vishnu, Kaali, Ramdoss and Nandita and highlights the plight of Vishny and Kaali, serving their 'punishment' for abusing the trust the villagers had on them. There are a few comical montages shot for this particular song. "Kadhal Kanave" is the proper duet song for the lead pair, which was entirely shot in a village setting and has plenty of montages interspersed. "Aambule Singam" plays during the end credits, which has additional scenes from the film. Sean Roldan's background score too must be commended, especially for the funny and rollicking sounds he infused, which raises the humor quotient to several notches. Sean definitely deserves credit for the light-hearted moments of the film !

Debutante Ram Kumar makes no bone about his intentions in coming up with a clean comedy film and he has succeeded to certain extent. The wacky story-line, which has many silly elements infused into the script, tickles our funny bones. There's nothing pretentious with the script and story and the film is meant to be enjoyed as a silly film. Ram Kumar's idea is simple and he weaves a wacky situational comedy around the idea, with the peppering of humorous dialogues and apt characterizations, which were neatly performed by impressive artists. There is no logic nor any believable element with the story, but that should not be the hindrance in enjoying the film !  The intermission sequence was a rip-roaring episode and Ram Kumar keeps the momentum going on with more memorable sequences in the second half. The final 20 minutes of the film is pure fun and comedy, which keeps us entertained non-stop. The length of the film is a concern though, and since the original idea was a short-film, the strain in stretching the film's duration for more than 2 hours, is evident here and there, especially in the first half. Nevertheless, 'Mundasupatti' will make sure that you finish watching the film, with a smile on your face.

'Mundasupatti' - A sure-shot winner for Fox Star Studios and C.V Kumar's Thirukumaran Entertainment !

Ratings: 3/5 STARS



The funny man Vivek, who has been keeping us entertained with his unique humor, is back with a film, but this time in the lead role, sans any comedy. 'Naan Thaan Bala' has Vivek playing the role of a Brahmin temple priest. So, can Vivek strike it with his new avatar ?

Vivek is an actor of intelligence and with years of experience and tutelage under K.Balachandar, he proves that he has more than comedy to in his repertoire. His dialogue delivery in the Brahmin accent was good, along with the Sanskrit verses which he recites. His has projected an apt body language and the veteran comedian proves that he is a versatile actor. Venkatraj.J, makes his debut and plays a role of equal importance with Vivek's. He fits the bill but his performance was below average. Swetha plays the pair of Vivek and has limited screen presence, but makes use of her opportunity and delivered a neat performance. The rest of the cast such as Mayilsamy, 'Cell' Murugan, Dhruva, Sunder, Lavanya, Niresh, Sujatha, 'Kai' Thennavan, Ashok Pandiyan, Meenakshi Ammal, Jeirajeevan and etc did what was expected from them.

M.Selvaraj's costume designing sufficed the needs of the script. There's nothing elaborate with the costume designing and hence, the research work was minimal. Action choreography was handled by 'Super' Subbarayan and his work was very neat and the style fits the characterization of Venkatraj.J's. P.Vijayakumar's art direction was evident with the decorative works he did in the temple sequences, as well as with the engagement scene. Also, the props for the middle class Iyengar homes in Kumbakonam was spot on. Editing has been handled by V.Vijay and his work is mostly pedestrian in style. The stunt sequences have been well put, though. Cinematography is by M.V Azhageya Manavalan, and the visuals are not up to current standards and resembles the visual template of the early 90s films. 

Music is done by Venkat Krishi and he has stuck to his basics, by using religious and Carnatic oriented tunes. "Thiru Vai" is the opening introductory song for Vivek and projects him rightfully as the pious and soft-spoken priest. The indoor lighting for this song was noteworthy. "Uyire" is the love duet between Vivek and Swetha. There are plenty of montages with the locations being temple based areas, temple tanks, rivers of Kumbakonam and the temple streets. "Bhojanam" has the best visuals among the songs, and showcased the engagement episode of the lead pair. The inner temple shots, with the touch of yellow color tone, complemented the ambiance of the religious tone of the song. "Amma Romba" is a bit song involving a cute little kid and was shot in a middle-class home atmosphere. "Ariyama" is a situational song, which has montages of Venkatraj and Vivek facing a dilemma. "Kanmani Penmani" plays as a background score, during the final sequences. The background score too has religious tonality to it and fits the bill.

R.Kannan has done some little bit of research, in terms of Vedic scriptures and hymns but that't the only thing which can be lauded for, in this script. The story is very amateurish and has the epic Mahabharatham's Karnan-Duryodhana relationship as an inspiration. The screenplay is linear and the dialogues are not so preachy but the sequences are mega-serial type and is a big drawback. The presentation is very out-dated and adding more woes to the film is the unnecessary commercial elements, such as songs and redundant comedy sequences involving Mayilsamy and 'Cell' Murugan. The pace of the movie is slow as well, which compounds the negative aspects of the film further. 

'Naan Thaan Bala' - Classic theme with an old-fashioned treatment !

Ratings: 1.75/5 STARS



Prakash Raj is back in Tamizh cinema, and its his second directorial venture in Tamizh. A trilingual project, 'Un Samayalaraiyil' is an official remake of the 2011 Aashiq Abu directed super-hit Malayalam film 'Salt N' Pepper', which had Lal, Shweta Menon and etc in the lead. Backed by 'Isaignani' Ilaiyaraaja's music, and some good co-artistes, can Prakash Raj deliver an endearing and emotional rendition, of a script which has love and food as its theme ?

Prakash Raj is in his elements playing, a singleton 40-plus archaeologist and does a neat job. His reactions and expressions are repetitive and predictive, but that's due to the large number of films he has done, over the years in roles of similar stature. Sneha, creates a decent impression with her acting prowess. She has dubbed herself for her role and the character, suits her pretty much. Newcomers, Tejus of Telugu descent and Samyuktha Hornad of Karnataka origins, passes muster with their performances. There seems to be some serious issue with lip sync, thanks to the multiple number of shots done, for three separate languages. The rest of the cast such as Oorvashi, Aishwarya, Thambi Ramaiah, Elango Kumaravel and have done what is required from them, though no one leaves a very distinct mark, in the film.

S.S Vasu's costume designing complements the artistes' characters. Prakash Raj and Aiswarya's khaki based clothing, reflecting their archaeological backgrounds and Sneha and co, sporting a pretty, contemporary Indian wardrobe. Art direction plays a big role, especially for the amount of props used to decorate the home of the protagonist. K.Kadhirr has given plenty of attention to detail for the works on Prakash Raj's character's home, which is filled with unique antiques and not to forget, the elaborate cooking utensils. Editing is taken care of by a newcomer JO.NI Harsha. The editing work was simple and pedestrian, but it fits the flow of the screenplay. Nothing gimmicky with the effects, but the necessary output was there. Preetha's cinematography works just makes us salivate on all those delicious food and snacks, so tastefully shot and projected on the silver screen ! Its hard not to feel hungry after watching the shots of film, and if you have doubts on it, do watch the elaborate sequence, on the making of Joan's Rainbow cake ! Preetha's lighting and color tone usage, gives the film a warm and fuzzy atmosphere, which complements the mood of the film.

'Isaignani' Ilaiyaraaja's score has its own specialty but the songs are average, considering the extreme standards he has set for himself. The pick of the lot, "Indha Porappudhan" is a Qawali song on food, which has plenty of cut-shots on some of the famous food and snacks of Tamil Nadu. Be ready to salivate, while watching the video clip which has the opening credits as well ! "Eeramai Eeramai" is a montage song, shot on Prakash Raj and Sneha, developing their relationship through phone calls. "Therintho Theriyamalo" was shot primarily on Tejus and Samyuktha Hornad. There were some montages, shot mostly in up-market areas such as malls and cineplex, interspersed with lovely shots of the pair, in a deep woods, with autumn like scenario. The bright splash of orange sunlight effect, adds beauty to the song. Also, a rain set was also built for the song, with minimal props, which Preetha has dealt well, especially with the lighting. The final song, "Kaatru Veliyil" is a situational song, which highlights the separation between Prakash Raj and Sneha, which has montages on them. 'Isaignani' Ilaiyaraaja's background score sounds brilliant in some sequences, and goes silent in most. Raaja sir could have filled them up with beautiful bytes. 

Modifiying the original story and screenplay, which was written by Shyam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair, Prakash Raj's screenplay was very direct and linear, apart from a minor flashback. Viji and T.J Gnanavel duo takes care of the dialogues portion, and though most of them are dull and pedestrian in nature, there are one or two odd gems and a couple of quirky, funny dialogues. The real problem with the film, happens to be Prakash Raj's direction. The film heavily lacks the emotional connectedness with the audience. There are no character development, nor any explanation on how the main lead pair came to love food. Audiences are not able to root for any of the pair's love emotions, because of the lack of depth in narration and everything is passed off in the songs, to convey the plot development. The film fails to establish itself in a genre and dilly-dallies between light comedy and emotional drama. Also, there's an absolutely unnecessary sub-plot involving an elderly Tribal man, which is a waste of time ! And something hard to digest in the story, is the fact that the younger pair, who were cruelly selfish in jeopardizing the older pair's true love and affection for each other, for their own self-interest, walk away freely with no whatsoever of guiltiness, after they are busted ! 

'Un Samayalaraiyil' - Soulless cooking in a confused kitchen !

Ratings: 2.5/5 STARS



'Manjapai' gained some prominence with the audience due to the involvement of two directors, behind the production of this film. N.Lingusamy with his brother N.Subash Chandra Bose of Thirrupathi Brothers has jointly produced this flick with A.Sargunam of 'Kalavaani' fame. Directed by debutante N.Ragavan, a former assistant of A.Sargunam, it promises to throw light on the plight of grandparents, especially those who are from the rural background. Can 'Manjapai' struck a chord with the audiences ?

Vemal, who is so accustomed to doing such simple roles, sleepwalks into the film. He has done it for the umpteenth time. He is adequate in such roles, but how he survives by doing such films alone, is something inexplicable. Lakshmi Menon plays the quintessential Tamizh heroine of such small budget films. She has less impact and of no relevance to the script, apart from being present in the songs and the build-up scenes to the songs. The axis of the script is Rajkiran and the veteran simply breezes through the film. The makers have tried to bring out the sort of performance he gave in Cheran's 'Thavamai Thavamirundhu' but too much of artificiality kills of those intentions, for sure. Rajkiran understood the nuances of his character's aspects and brought out the right emotions, especially for the climax portions. The rest of the cast such as Devipriya, Ashwin Raja and etc has very little screen timing and even little importance to the story.

Natraj handle's the costume department, and he has done a simple and neat job. Lakshmi Menon looks pleasant, especially in the sarees. Action choreography has been done by Dhilip Subbarayan and his work sufficed the need of the director. Nothing extraordinary nor over-the-top. The mini fight sequences involving Rajkiran, was well choreographed and matched Rajkiran's personality. A.R Mohan's art direction was simple, and the most notable work was the protagonist's posh apartment interiors, as well as the office set-up. Editing work has been credited to a debutante, Deva. There are not gimmicks from the editing table, and its just plain simple. The film's duration has been kept to less than 2 hours, which is a welcome relief. Cinematography has been handled by Masani, and apart from the wide angles for the initial rural portions and for the songs, there's nothing to speak about. Pedestrian output !

N.R Raghunanthan's musical score is average and some songs might be of liking to some folks. "Aagasa Nilavuthaan" is the opening introductory song and had plenty of montages highlighting the grandpa-grandson relationship. The song had plenty of rural locations, such as the fields, lakes and etc. "Sattena" is a dream song sequence, which had Vemal doing the routine dance, but alongside dancers of old age. "Ayyo Ayyo" is a montage song and highlights the comedic antics of Rajkiran, who tries to acclimatize with Chennai and the metropolitan lifestyle. "Paathu Paathu" is the typical folk dance number, and is shot on the lead pair with the extra dancers doing the choreographed moves, on a lake-based location. "Anbuthaan" is a situational bit song, shot on all the main characters of the film. The background score by N.R Raghunanthan, is a tad too heavy and melodramatic for contemporary films and sounds forced.

Debutante N.Ragavan has tried to come up with a K.Bhagyaraj-type family sentiment film, which has lots of mushy and emotionally wrought dialogues. The film is too formulaic and there's nothing organic about the proceedings of the screenplay. The sentimental values and the supposedly feel-good factor is forced upon the viewers. Some sequences are just too hard to digest and do make us to wonder, if at all N.Ragavan is targeting the cinema-going folks of the 70's & 80's era ! Well, the intention and message is of noble value, but the script is just woeful, where N.Ragavan tries to evoke sympathies from us by inserting needless dramatic moments, which does not add any value to the overall script. Old folks of the rural side might be out of touch with the globalized world we are accustomed to, but to condescend to the extent of what N.Ragavan did, is indigestible ! The problem highlighted in the film, is something which we can relate to, but it must be told in an convincing manner. 

'Manjapai' - The film opened and ended with the absolutely perfect, "Duh Moments" !

Ratings: 2.25/5 STARS



The small budget film 'Poovarasam Peepee' is the debut film for Halitha Shameem, a former protege of Pushkar-Gayathri, Mysskin and Samuthirakani. Co-produced by cinematographer Manoj Paramahamsa, a film on kids is very much welcomed, due to its rarity in Tamizh cinema, except for the recently released 'Goli Soda'. So, can Halitha pull off another charmer like Pandiraj's 'Pasanga' or?

The protagonists are the kids and the trio of Pravin Kishore, C.Gaurav Kaalai and Vasanth have come out with decent performances. Pravin Kishore has a very good screen presence and timing with his dialogues. C.Gaurav Kaalai, has the capability to bloom into an artiste with good dialogue delivery. Vasanth, the cherubic comedian of the trio, looks very comfortable in doing his role. The rest of the kids such as Varshini, Agalya, Gayathrishree, Bharathi, Guhan Kaalai and Ajith are apt for their roles, especially the former two. The antagonists played by Giri Prasath, Kaali Venkat, Sai Hari, Sundar, Karthik and etc have come out with what was expected from them. Kaali Venkat stood out among this lot, with his convincing and confident performance. Samuthirakani makes a cool cameo, towards the climax.

The film was mostly shot on real locations, hence the art direction mostly comprised of props. T.Muthuraj must be complimented for the prop settings he did, especially with windmill and the tree swathed with answer sheets. Also, the minute detailing on the props used by the kids was very authentic and reflected the setting the kids belong to. Editing task has been handled by the director herself. Though she neatly arranges her sequences, the editing was abrupt and thanks to too many sub-plots, the film drags unnecessarily. Some chopping could have done wonders to the film. The film's real highlight is the beautiful cinematography work done by Manoj Paramahamsa. The rain sequence, deserves a special mention for the exquisite framing and camera movement. There are plenty of good landscape shots and Manoj's creativity speaks volume, if you notice the sequence featuring the boys discussing about answer sheets on a tree. Halitha Shameem also takes charge of the color grade of the film and it complements the look and feel of the script, quite well.

Aruldev's music composition passes muster. "Ko Ko Ko" is the opening introductory song for the kids and was shot entirely on a rural school compound. The song highlights the naughty pranks thrown by the kids in the school and Manoj's tight angle in cinematography, deserves mention. "En Ulagam" is a bit song, highlighting the squabble between the boys, in regards to their mini love episodes. "Gnayiru Dhinangalil", throws focus on each individual kids' ambitions and personal joys. The final climax song is the "Angry Birds" song, which has montages of the kids on their plans to bring down the culprits. The background score by Aruldev was okay, though the beginning portion, which had heavy melodramatic score, was really unwarranted.

Halitha Shameem's script is unique in its idea of having juvenile boys solving a crime case. That's an obvious inspiration from popular writer Enid Blyton's formula for her 'Famous Five' series of story books. Halitha seems to have a knack for funny and quirky dialogues, but the staging and execution was far from flawless. There are plenty of sequences with abrupt endings, which jerks the screenplay, losing maximum impact, in the process. Halitha throws in a lot of unnecessary sub-plots which drags the film and at the same time, does not linger enough to register in our minds nor evoke any empathy from us. But still, Halitha should be appreciated for sticking to the lead characters and drawing up sequences, befitting the age and capabilities of the young kids. The radio broadcast sequence, takes the cake among Halitha's ideas. Halitha has trod the fine thin line, of balancing adult issues together with kids inquisitiveness very well, which deserves appreciation. A surprising aspect of the film, must definitely be the liberal usage of English among the rural kids and some of the terminologies used, definitely reflects the impact of globalization. 

'Poovarasam Peepee' - Kids will take a liking to the film, adults might find it as a neat and family friendly time-pass.

Ratings: 2.5/5 STARS