Thirrupathi Brothers's N.Lingusamy and N.Subash Chandra Bose have joined hands with actor/director Manobala in producing and releasing debutante H.Vinoth's 'Sathuranka Vettai'. Thirrupathi Brothers are on the roll with back-to-back hits with their distribution and by taking up this project, it has raised the eyebrows of many. What does this intriguing project holds for us and can H.Vinoth make a name for himself ?

Casting for this film is just perfect and the choice of ace Bollywood hot-shot cinematographer Natrajan Subramaniam alias Natty, was a brilliant stroke. He is just so apt and terrific with his screen presence and dialogue delivery and though he is not the conventional hero material, he keeps us glued to the film, with a very good performance. His body language was perfect, he could still improvise on his facial expressions but still, it was a great performance from him. The rest of the cast such as heroine Ishaara Nair, Ilavarasu, Ponvannan, Piraisoodan, Valavan, Dharani, Ramachandran Durairaj, Senthi, Vetri, Sathya, Veedu Sureshkumar and etc were perfect choices for their role and each of them made their marks in their given screen timing. Kudos to the director for the apt casting !

Rangasaamy takes care of the costume designing, and he has done a really good job with the limited budget and has taken care of the detailing for each episodes present in the film and the characters involved in each respective episodes. Jayagar Viswanathan's action choreography was functional and there were no elaborate stunt seqeunces in the film. Art direction is by K.Kathir and his work is commendable as well, especially for the multi-level marketing scheme sequence, which has some elaborate designing and set work and also for his detailing in set properties for each episodes. S.P Raja Sethupathy's editing was good in portions and his slick editing for the intense scenes were good, but he could have worked better in the transitioning from one episode to another, in which there was a sense of rush in the cuts. Cinematography is by K.G Venkatesh and his camera work was top-notch, especially for his top-angle & long trolley shots. Do check out the after court scene of Natty before the interval !

Sean Roldan's music is a big plus to the movie and the musical score brings the story forward in many moments. "Porape Nadape" is the only choreographed song, which was fully shot in a bar cum pub like atmosphere, which had a colorful set work by K.Kathir and lighting by K.G Venkatesh. "Kadhala Kadhala" is a bit song which was shot based on the heroine's moment of falling in love, and was a situational song. "Munne Yen" is a montage song, shot on the lead pair and showcased a new chapter in the lead pair's lives and their hardships in a rustic village. Sean Roldan's background score was unique as well and he shows his quirkiness with different and creative sounds for each episodes and shows his prowess in melancholic scores, as well.

A former associate of Vijay Milton, H.Vinoth's 'Sathuranka Vettai' is an interesting Indianized con-movie, with a touch of black humor. The film is interestingly structured in six different episodes and each of them are funnily titled. Each episodes are apparently based on real life scams, which took place in Tamil Nadu and H.Vinoth deserves applause for his homework done, in coming up with a neat plan and how each cons were staged. But, only the last con really stood out for its outrageous audacity taken by the protagonist and the panache in execution of the con. The rest were quite simple and was too easy too fall for, though some were brilliant schemes ! H.Vinoth's taut screenplay doesn't waste any time, apart from the songs and some melodramatic, sentimental moments but the intensity and seriousness involved in such con movies are missing here. Nevertheless, H.Vinoth's dialogues are fantastic and seeps in sarcasm and wittiness and reminds us of the Manivannan of 'Amaithi Padai' days. H.Vinoth, is definitely a talent to watch out for and with more maturity in script handling, he could reap great rewards in Tamizh cinema !

'Sathuranka Vettai' - A pretty cool movie, which could have been much deadlier !

Ratings: 2.75/5 STARS



It's the 25th film for Dhanush and the star really needs a hit in Tamizh because his 'Mariyaan' was an average affair whereas 'Naiyaandi' was just one of his worst film's to date. Produced under his own home banner Wunderbar Films, this is the directorial debut for cinematographer R.Velraj and the music is already a blockbuster hit, coming from none other than Anirudh Ravichander. With everything hitting the right notes, can Dhanush pull off a hit with his silver jubilee 'Velaiilla Pattadhari' ?

Being the titular character, Dhanush carries the whole film on his shoulder and he is nearly there in every frame ! Its and out-and-out Dhanush film and he has simply rocked as Raguvaran. You can differentiate his performance between the first and the second half. In the first half, it's all about the actor in Dhanush. The subtle nuances, the impeccable comic timing, the camaraderie with his co-artistes and all the song and dance were just a perfect concoction for him to perform his acting histrionics. The second half was all about atypical Tamizh cinema 'masala' hero, where our underdog rises to the occasion and Dhanush flexes his star prowess by pulling off punch dialogues effervescently. The climax fight sequence was tailor-made for him to brandish his 6-pack and machismo & swag mannerisms.'VIP' is just a bang-on for Dhanush, who was a pleasure with his screen presence ! Amala Paul, plays the cutesy and sweet girl-next-door and looks equally sweet and charming. Savitha's dubbing enhanced the role's nature and Amala's post-marriage release seems to be a good mark in her acting career ! Saranya Ponvannan and P.Samuthirakani were brilliant as the middle-class parents and the chemistry they share between themselves, was beautiful to watch. Debutante Amitash was a little letdown as the antagonist, but you can't blame him much when the hero opposing him is a terrific actor. Vivek brings some laughter in the second half with his dialogues and voice modulation. 'Cell' Murugan, Surabhi, M.J Shriram, Hrishikesh, Vignesh Sivan and etc were good additions to the film as character artistes.

Nagu and Pallavi Singh takes care of the costume department and Pallavi scores in her work for the lovely attires of Amala Paul, who looked simple yet sweet and presentable throughout the film. Action choreography is done by a debutante Hari Dinesh and his choreography style for the film, matched the body language of Dhanush, which shows that he has done his homework, pretty well. The climax fight was well choreographed and it really upped the ante, especially with the trademark flying kick from Dhanush ! R.K Vijay Murugan's art direction was brilliant, especially with the interior works for the protagonist's middle-class home. The set properties were just so apt, it naturally blended and looked very realistic, and the camp-like house on the rooftop balcony was a sweetly executed ! Editing is by another debutante M.V Rajesh Kumar and his work deserves appreciation because the film does not have any draggy moments and it was precisely edited, with only the necessary scenes being kept. The songs could be a spoilsport for some, but in such commercial films, they are a must ! R.Velraj's cinematography complemented the film's script and though there are no outstanding framing from him, the necessity was not there due to the script's simplistic story-line. Yet, there are some beautiful night effect shots and also some rain shots, which R.Velraj really seems to be a specialist in !

The film would have lost half the luster, if it wasn't for Anirudh Ravichander's musical score. The songs were just a treat for the fans and each one of them are chart-busters ! "What a Karvad" was shot entirely on the empty streets and the lighting for the night effect shot was neatly done. Lots of top angle shots were used for this song. "Hey Inge Paaru" is a bit song, which has montages of Dhanush and Amala Paul bonding. "Sunrise Theme" appears sporadically in the film and features predominantly during the birthday party sequence. "Udhungada Sangu" follows immediately and was fully shot on the rooftop balcony, on Dhanush and Hrishikesh with some dancers. The beautiful melody "Amma Amma" sung by Dhanush and the legendary S.Janaki, comes right after the interval and is a fit situational song, with montages of Dhanush and Saranya Ponvannan. "Po Indru Neeyaaga" is another short song shot on the lead pair, but this time it has more intimate and romantic montages, in which a couple of them were beautifully shot in the rain. The titular track, "Vellaiila Pattadhari" was also used as a situational song, which highlights the underdog tag powerfully and was fully shot on Dhanush on construction sites. Finally, the "Smiling with the Pain" theme track appears sporadically in the second half. Anirudh rocks with the background score and the lilting string section portion is fast becoming a trademark of Anirudh !

'Velaiilla Pattadhari' is written and directed by cinematographer R.Velraj and his script managed to strike a perfect balance of commercial 'masala' elements, together with realistic story telling and with a powerful social message. As mentioned earlier, the first half was a very entertaining and breezy episode, with all the light-hearted moments, the songs, the blossoming romance, the comedic episodes and etc. It was almost reminiscent of a Selvaraghavan-type of presentation, minus the crude and in-your-face sort of dialogues and scenes ! The second half was all 'masala' with hero vs villain antics, the powerful punch-dialogues, the stirring emotional scenes, the addition of extra comedians and a dose of relevant and contemporary social message. R.Velraj just nailed it and together with a perfect team of artistes and technicians, the end product was simply a pure commercial film, which one can consider as a perfect, relaxing entertainment. Though the commercial elements are cliched, R.Velraj's writing was very organic and the screenplay has a neat flow to it. Also, the dialogues are very contemporary and colloquial and even the social message scenes were not preachy. The romance track was not overdone and some sequences were very sweet and endearing, especially the birthday party episode. 'Vellaiilla Pattadhari' seems to be a quintessential representation of the perfect 'masala' entertainer !

'Vellaiilla Pattadhari' - A bang on D25, Team V.I.P !

Ratings: 3.25/5 STARS



The evergreen song from 'Punnagai Mannan' has its title borrowed for this film featuring a quadruplets for the first time in Indian cinema ! Besides that we have popular director & elder brother of 'Jayam' Ravi, 'Jayam' M.Raja making his acting debut alongside with Maanu, of 'Kadhal Mannan' fame. So, what is this film about and will it catch the attention of audience ?

'Jayam' M.Raja and Maanu has very less screen timing and their importance of their role is a big question mark. Both of them appears to have poorly written roles and M.Raja managed to somehow pass through thanks to the director in him. Maanu is just there for the sake of it. Nithin Sathya's role was such a poorly written characterization, it just irritates us the moment we see him on screen ! Sorry dude, but that's the sour truth. Debutante Malavika Wales, looks confident in her role and has a good screen presence, due to her experience in the Malayalam film industry. The quadruplets of V.Aditi, V.Aakriti, V.Akshiti, & V.Aapti looks very identical and performs cutely, but why they were limited to being deaf & dumb is another big question mark. Some of the other artistes who appear in the film are Manobala, Sivashankar Master, Immanuel Annachi, Vaiyapuri, Swaminathan, Puralavan and etc.

Sai Naresh's costume work was very functional and it fits the story, since the the script's story takes place in a single day. Rajesh Kanna's action choreography also was more functional and there are no fight scenes, actually. Art direction is taken care by Suresh Kallery and his work for the properties of the interiors of the female characters' homes, were spot on. Also, the office set was well propped too, alongside the entrance set-up of the depicted zoological park. Editing is taken care of by veteran V.T Vijayan and T.S Jay and their cuts has no gimmicks whatsoever and the veteran has kept the duration of the film, very short. Sanjay B.Lokanath's camerawork sufficed the needs of the script. The shots on animals were good, but apart from that everything else looks normal. Naga takes care of music and only one song appears in the film, titled "Vizhiyaal", which was shot on the kids and their adventures in the zoo. 

Now, this film's content has no relevance at all to its beautiful title, but what irks us the most is the below-par standard of the script and its making ! The film is about a dangerous monstrous snake, which is on the loose in the national zoo and the quadruplets who are stuck in the zoo ! The idea might sound good, but the attempt was worse than amateurish, especially with the screenplay and the characterizations. There's no logic, no continuity, no maturity and no attempt to convince us at all, with the script. The cute quadruplets have nothing to do, except for the climax and the whole film is filled with unwarranted sequences and elements. The helpless police officer, the idiotic news reporter, the unintentionally funny minister, and etc adds more discontentment to the audience ! John Mahendran's dialogues, especially for the comedy portions involving Vaiyapuri and Immanuel Annachi are okay but apart from that, the rest are just below average. Hope Guru Ramesh comes up with a story & screenplay and direct it, the next time !

'Enna Satham Indha Neram' - Nothing said is much better than less said !

Ratings: 1.25/5 STARS



Long in the making and after quite an delay, newbie Venkatesan.R's debut, 'Nalanum Nandhiniyum' has officially released. A former associate of Venkat Prabhu, Venkatesan.R's story is a countryside-based family entertainer, with the hero and heroine being the central theme. Can Venkatesan.R, make Venkat Prabhu proud ?

Playing protagonist is debutante Michael Thangadurai of Vijay TV's 'Jodi No.1' reality dance program fame. Since dance is his forte, he doesn't seem to have any problem performing in songs, but when it comes to acting, he is no where near being good enough to hold the attention of the audience. He lacks the screen presence and does not show much variations in his emoting, especially in emotionally charged scenes. Meanwhile, Nandita has done a good job with her role and looks completely at ease in performing. She suits the role to a T, and shows good promise. The film has a host of character artistes such as Jayaprakash, Azhagam Perumal, Renuka, Soundara Rajan, Soori, Chaams, Madhumitha, Rinson Simon, Janaki, Rekha Suresh and etc, who have limited screen timing, with roles of unimportance.

Costume designing is by Sivakumar and Santhosh Kumar, and their work was apt for the necessity of the script. The costume designers have kept in mind of the characters, sociological background and comes up with a clean work. B.Thyagarajan's action choreography is functional and Gopi Anand's art direction, sufficed the needs of the script. His properties for the middle-class home setting and also for the rural background, was good. I.J Alen's editing was simple and plain but not flawless. The cuts for the flashback was jerky and could have been much better. Nizar Shafi's cinematography is pretty much functional, but his lighting gave the film a better look, throughout the entire duration. 

Musical score is done by newbie Ashwath Naganathan and shows some promise. But the unnecessary number of bit songs in the film, kills the magic of the original full-length songs. "Sivagangai Cheemai" is an introductory song for the characters of the film, and has montages of all the character artistes involved. "Gummunu Varuguthu" is a typical village festival dance number and has good lighting work by Nizar and Michael shows his prowess and comfort in dance, with this folk number. "Thoongama" is a pathos song, shot on the lead pair and presented in montages, which has some good scenic views of Erode. "Vaadagai Koodu" is a duet song, shot on the lead pair and has a middle-class home as its setting and once again Nizar's framing gives the song a good picturization. "Kodi Neeyadi" is situational bit song, and "Sala Sala" is the final song of the film which depicted a film shooting process, throughout. Ashwath's background score is not bad, but he should avoid inserting bit songs, which impedes the flow of the screenplay.

Director Venkatesan.R's intention of delivering a neat and clean family film, deserves appreciation, but his execution falls flat, especially with the screenplay. The film's dramatic moments and episodes are all too cliched for contemporary Tamizh cinema, though they are not overtly melodramatic. It somewhat reminds us of the Tamizh serials being aired in Tamizh satellite channels. There are too many characters in the film, and most of them are not given proper importance nor any good scenes to act, especially when you have top notch artistes like Jayaprakash, Azhagam Perumal and Renuka. The director's film scenes fail to invoke any sympathy nor empathy from the audience, and the plot too doesn't keep us glued to our seats, due to the predictable nature of it. 

'Nalanum Nandhiniyum' - Good attempt but too old-fashioned for contemporary standards.

Ratings: 2.25/5 STARS



Kalaippuli S.Thanu, known for his lavish expenses for his productions, is back after the huge success of 'Thuppaki'. This time, its the protege of his 'Thuppaki' director A.R Murugadoss, called Anand Shankar. The youngster has assembled a good team and has cast the fast emerging Vikram Prabhu and the current favorite of youth, Priya Anand. With a good production unit and a good technical crew behind him, can Anand Shankar replicate the success of his mentor for the same producer ?

Vikram Prabhu is getting good with each film of his and in 'Arima Nambi', he pulls of the action hero image, quite comfortably. His lanky physique, with a good screen presence helps him to nail the character quite well. The actor has been working on his looks and dance movements as well, and it seems to be paying off well ! Priya Anand has a very fashionable and upscale look to her character. She fits the bill and is the pivot around which the script revolves. She gets it right in the performance department as well, with an acute and mature acting. J.D Chakravarthy makes a deadly entry as the surprise antagonist of the film, and though the intense actor keeps our attention, the character somehow fizzes out to be an average villain we get to see in most Tamizh films. Arjunan, Yog Japee, Aruldass and etc have taken up some important character roles and there are cameo appearances from Lekha Washington and M.S Bhaskar, with the latter coming up with a terrific performance !

Costume designing is handled by Chaitanya Rao, Komal Shahani and Perumal Selvam, and their work was very good, complementing the look and design of the film. Since the film projected an upmarket feel, the lead artistes' costumes were trendy and stylish. One of the film's biggest asset is the action choreographer Dhilip Subbarayan. His action sequences were superbly staged and executed, especially the one before the climax. Though the action sequences were brilliantly executed, its quite obvious that the choreography is an imitation and has been inspired from the Bourne series, starring Matt Damon and directed by Paul Greengrass. Even the henchmen depicted, has the same hairstyle and body language ! T.Muthuraj's art direction was superb, especially with the detailing he has given to the posh apartment, hotel room, and office premises shown in the film. The properties bear a chic and stylish look throughout and adds more glossiness to the film. Editor Bhuvan Srinivasan's cuts are worth mentioning, especially for the action sequences, but he could have definitely trimmed the film's duration, especially for the lagging second half. Ace cinematographer R.D Rajasekhar proves once again, why he is known as a specialist cameraman for action scripts ! The visuals are superb and he has rightly captured the upmarket ambiance very well, especially for the song picturizations. His lighting for the night shots are fantastic as well and his work definitely helped the film achieve its intended look and feel.

Popular percussionist 'Drums' Sivamani makes his debut as a music director in this film. His music blends well with the script, though they are not chart-busters. "Yaaro Yaaraval" was shot in a Hard Rock Cafe ambiance, with excellent lighting and camera movements, within a limited space. The song has a MTV-music video like feel to it, and Vikram Prabhu shows his comfortableness in handling dance and song, as well. "Naanum Unnil" is a belly dance number, featuring svelte dancers in glamorous costumes. It was intended to look like a music-video shoot and R.D Rajasekhar's lighting comes handy, in giving the song the right mood. "Idhayam Un Idhayam" is a romantic duet, and was shot in the exotic and heavenly location of Erawan Falls, situated in the Erawan National Park of Kanchanaburi province, Thailand. The beautiful blue waterfall is a visual treat for the eyes, and R.D Rajasekhar has tried his best in delivering the scenic location from all sorts of interesting angles. Background score by Sivamani gelled well with the scenes and complemented the feel of the script. A decent debut for Sivamani !

Anand Shankar, a protege of A.R Murugadoss, has diligently followed in the footsteps of his mentor. His clever scripting for the first half keeps us glued to our seats, due to the onslaught of action sequences and the guessing game going on. Anand Shankar, keeps it simple with no irritating comedy portions, unwanted romance sequences nor heavy build ups for his protagonist. He maintains the tense mood for most of the film, and has inserted the action sequences at the right moment. His detailing work is excellent, especially with the clues, suspense element and also for his research homework on gadgetry and current world scenarios. There are one or two surprises thrown in the script, which keeps us enthralled. The first half was very well crafted and executed. But the second half takes a little beating, where Anand Shankar has taken the quintessential Tamizh cinema liberties, by infusing some 'masala' elements into the film. The second half drags unnecessarily and all logic took backseat, especially in the climax, where J.D Chakravarthy's antagonist role turns the whole police department into his private henchmen and our protagonist is as good as a trained secret service officer ! There are plenty of small loopholes and loose ends in the script and the director gives away the all-important crucial story of the script quite early and it also lacks some finesse in its writing. But Anand Shankar can be appreciated for his directorial skills and his handling of scenes, as well as good characterization works.

'Arima Nambi' - A trustworthy commercial film !

Ratings: 2.75/5 STARS



Director A.L Vijay had a horrendous time with his last release 'Thalaivaa', is back in action but with a small budget film, produced under his own home banner, Think Big Studios and A.L Alagappan. 'Saivam' is intrinsically weaved around the message of vegetarianism and its conveyed through a lovely theme of familial bonding. Can A.L Vijay strike gold this time after continuous debacles with big budgeted, top heroes' films ?

What works for 'Saivam' is the ensemble of fresh faces in the casting, which was a terrific move from A.L Vijay. The casting is so perfect, and though a couple of them come from the small screen, they do not bring their theatricalities to the big screen, and have adapted well to A.L Vijay's insightful characterizations. Veteran Nassar leads the way as the patriarch of the Karaikudi-based family, and it has been a while we have seen this fantastic actor donning a elegant yet majestic role. Aiding him is the heartbeat of the film, the ever charming and lovely Baby Sara Arjun of 'Deiva Thirumagal' fame. She has a beautiful screen presence with her angelic face and shows more maturity in her performance. Besides them, a plethora of artistes such as Kausal, Ravi, Rajalakshmi, Kalyani Natarajan, Suresh, Lakshmanan Ganesh, Vidhya, Shakti, Suchitra, Luthfudeen Baashaa (impressive debut from the younger son of Nassar), Rahul, Twaraa Desai, Ray Paul, George Mariyan, Malathi, Vittal, Savithri, Shanmugarajan, Rahil Singhi and etc, added more authenticity to the story and its setting. 

Pallavi Singh handles the costume designing and she has done a commendable job, especially with her background checking of the Chettinadu folks and their wardrobe. Also, she gets it right with characters depicted coming from city. Action choreography is done by Manohar Verma and his work befits the need the script and the situations present in the screenplay. Art direction is by V.Selvakumar, a regular in A.L Vijay films, and he has managed to bring to life, the Chettinadu people and their Karaikudi lifestyle, precisely in the film. The minute detailing work such as the various props (baskets and etc) pertaining to people of that community alone, deserves special mention. Editing is by Anthony and his there are no gimmicks with his cut. Every shot is crisp and neat but at the same time, perfectly complemented A.L Vijay's story presentation. The film would not have been as good as it is, if not for the works of Nirav Shah. His cinematography is just top-class, and the most commendable shots of his, are the interior shots, especially for the night sequences. Also, his framing and camera movements captured and elegance and old-world charm of the Karaikudi town so well, it just transports us to that cute town, in an effortless manner !

G.V Prakash Kumar's music is very refreshing and this film is one of his best in recent times. "Moments of Life" is the theme track and plays during the opening credits. "Ore Oru Ooril" depicts the relationship between grandpa Nassar and his granddaughter Sara, within their own lifestyle, with many montages. The pick of the lot, "Azhagu" sung by Uthara Unnikrishnan, is charming song and is shot on the entire family. It has fantastic lighting work by Nirav Shah, which gives us a resplendent feel and look to the song, which was shot in a Chettinadu home. "Kokkara Kozhi" is a situational song, which comes at a very pivotal moment, right before the climax. G.V Prakash Kumar's background score complemented the script very, very well and his separate score for the respective characters' different episodes, should be commended. 

What works for the film is the genuineness and sincerity in A.L Vijay's writing, together with the good understanding and portrayal of the Chettinadu people and their lifestyle. Everything is narrated in an subtle manner and there's nothing pretentious in the presentation. The film is full of feel-good sequences, and though most of them are gems, there are one or two, which goes a little melodramatic. Emotions are beautifully handled in the film, and A.L Vijay's scene composition brings out the effect, even more beautifully. Dialogues are very crisp yet powerful in their own way. A.L Vijay deserves a pat for portraying the dramas and issues faced by the large family and how each one of them differs from the other in thoughts and views. Strong characterizations added more finesse to the script, which keeps us engaged, though the plot is very simple. A.L Vijay's advocacy of vegetarianism is evident in the climax, but the reasoning falls flat and the changeover of the characters in the end, looks forced and artificial. The movie might not click well with some audience, due to the absence of the 'commercial elements' but there are plenty of good humor, very smartly woven into the script by A.L Vijay. Nevertheless, 'Saivam' is still a very beautifully crafted light-entertainer, with heartwarming performances from the cast.

'Saivam' - A.L Vijay's best written & crafted film, thus far !

Ratings: 3/5 STARS