Category Archives: Tamil Movies

Tamil Movie Reviews

Vikram Vedha Review

Vikram Vedha Review – Vikram Vedha is a Tamil Neo Noir film directed by the duo Pushkar and Gayathri. The film released in 2017. The plot is akin to the folklore tales of Vikram and Vethal where Vikram was a righteous king who set out to the deep dungeons to capture Vethal. Vethal kept telling him tales where the lines of right vs wrong were blurred. In the end, the Vethal asked a riddle as to what is the right thing to do. Once Vikram answered it escaped. The movie starts with the animated version of this and the story has the same theme with a police officer and an encounter specialist Vikram after a deadly gangster Vedha.

Madhavan plays the role of the encounter specialist Vikram and  Vijay Sethupathi plays the role of Vedha. The plot is definitely a very interesting one that can keep you glued to the seats. Vijay Sethupathi has literally rocked the show in his role as Vedha. From a characterization perspective, this is written strongly as well and has a good character arc. Madhavan too has equally performed well in bringing out the demeanor of an encounter specialist.  The movie starts with what appears to be a casual outing for the police team and ends in a deadly encounter mission.  Very nicely done and it sets up the tone of the movie and establishes Madhavan’s character very well. Even before Vedha appears on the screen there are tales about him which establishes him as a deadly demon. And when he appears it stays up to the expectation. When he narrates the first story it is quite gripping and the twist of his escape from the situation is also well planted. The movie had been extraordinary till this point.

Post this there are more occasions he narrates the story to Vikram but quite unsure as to why Vikram listens to it patiently. He is shown to be a cop who doesn’t take even seconds to leave the bad people alive. Why does he have to listen to Vedha is still a question. When Vedha knows he would escape from the situation why does he have to tell a story to Vikram is also not established well. We did not know why Vethal told stories to Vikram as well isn’t it. That’s the only analogy I could draw for this.

Shraddha Srinath and Varalakshmi’s roles help in moving the story forward.

High Points: Vikram and Vethal as a plot device, Vijay Sethupathi and Madhavan’s performance, The initial story narrated by Vedha, The background score, and cinematography.

Low Points: The screenplay has many loop holes in the second half and it is hard to reason out why Vikram’s and Vedha’s behavior changes.

Overall Vikram Vedha is a Flamboyant and stylish encounter that would make you whistle at many moments. If you are able to ignore the loops holes in the screenplay you would enjoy this very much.

Worth a Watch

Maanagaram Review

Maanagaram Review – Maanagaram is a Tamil thriller released in 2017. The movie plot revolves around events that happen around Chennai on two nights where the incidents affect people who were strangers to each other till then.

Director Lokesh Kangaraj has created a well-knitted screenplay in his first full-length feature film Maanagaram. His short film Kalam in the anthology of shorts released under the name of Aviyal had been interested in how situations create difficulties and situations make it easy when unexpected. Maangaram follows the same pattern on a bigger scale. The lives of a Don, a police officer, a jobless youth stalking his love, HR manager, a new employee, a taxi driver, small-time kidnappers and school boy cross each other on a fateful night in Chennai. The knots get more complicated as the movie progresses and it makes the proceedings very gritty. The screenplay is engaging right from the word go.

The screenplay is engaging right from the word go. The eerie and uneasiness of a big city is created very well by the director in the first few scenes. When you start hating the city there is this dialogue “People would complain and speak wrong things about this city, but they would never leave it” He has created a very nice character to the city itself. Although it is dark it is very enjoyable. The performances of the lead characters help in moving the story ahead. There is also dark humor in the scenes where Ramdoss comes in. In particular, the episode of him walking into the school to kidnap a boy is hilarious.

High Points: A gripping screenplay, performances of the lead actors, dark humor. No songs which could have otherwise slowed down the pace.

Low Points: Due to the genre this may not appeal to folks who expect a linear tale with one protagonist.

Overall Maanagaram is an excellent first movie from Lokesh Kanagaraj. If you love dark action thrillers, don’t miss this one.

Worth a Watch

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion Review

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion Review – Baahubali 2 is a Telugu historical fantasy fiction released in 2017. This movie is a sequel to the Baahubali: The Beginning released in 2015. Shivdu, after rescuing his mother from the prison has to take over Mahishmati kingdom by defeating Bhallaladeva to regain his father’s glory. The movie is also released in Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi as well.

More than Shivdu’s plight, the expectation has turned towards the reason as to why Kattappa had killed Baahubali. There are no much surprises here. I am not going to reveal it and spoil the fun for you.  The movie is an out and out visual grandeur with a lot of war sequences. The visual effects are quite stunning with some great production quality. Rajamouli is a true magician for he makes everything believable and when you sort of think logic he has slipped in emotions for you to overlook it.  Prabhas, Ramyakrishnan and Sathyaraj have a more elaborate role to play in this edition. Anushka plays a younger avatar and the love interest of Amarendra Baahubali. Rana’s performance comes only in the second half of the movie.

Certain key sequences in the movies have been done really well. The initial war sequence in Anushka’s palace, the pivotal scene of Kattappa killing Baahubali, the interval block. All these sorts of gives you goosebumps.  There are many minimum guarantee cliched sequences as well in an attempt to please a wider variety of audiences like the introduction of Prabhas, catapulting using a Palm tree, the final war sequence. Despite these the movie still keeps you engaged for the 2 hours 47 minutes of run time. The creative touch in the titles using brass statue figures to cover the highlights of the first part of the movie is brilliant.

One of the key element I look forward to in Rajamouli’s movies is the characterisation. The stand out is the characterisation of Rajamaata and Amarendra Baahubali. Rana and Anushka’s characters have been constructed well. I felt Kattappa’s characterization has mellowed down from the first part. He fills in for the role of hero’s sidekick in the first half of the movie. While the performance is enjoyable, but having seen Kattappa fierce fully jumping on his enemies to save Sivagami this did not go well for me. While focussing on visual grandeur the script loses the emphasis on drama. For instance, Anushka trying to practice with two arrows just passes through subtle when compared to Shivdu’s irresistible desire to climb the mountain in the first part. You could see many instances where the script hasn’t given any time for you to soak in the drama of the scene. Whenever the drama is created even fewer instances it is quite a treat to watch for instance Bhallaladeva stopping his father from speaking in the meeting and letting him loose at an opportune moment, the crown ceremony during the interval block.

The climax fight looked to be a cloying overdose of special effects and emotions.

High Points: Visual Effects, the interval block as in the first part, Prabhas, Rana, Ramyakrishnan and Sathyaraj’s performance, the initial war sequences, Kattappa killing Baahubali.

Low Points: Cliched sequences of the hero worship. The BGM scores well in key sequences otherwise it was a forgettable affair for me. Kattapa’s character transformation to be hero’s sidekick performing comical acts. The Catapulting sequence using palm trees.

Overall Baahubali 2 is a much greater visual grandeur compared to its prequel. In a haste to cater to formalities, it fails to bring in the punch like its prequel. Nevertheless, it is a treat to watch this on the big screen.

Worth a Watch

 

 

Kaatru Veliyidai Review

Kaatru Veliyidai Review – Kaatru Veliyidai is a Tamil romantic drama released in 2017. VC an Indian Air Force fighter pilot is captured by Pakistani army as a war prisoner during the Kargil war, his hope to meet Leela once more keeps him alive.

Director Maniratnam creates a yet another gem out of his “Akshaya Patra” (inexhaustible vessel) of love. He still has some much more stories to tell. In Kaatru Veliyidai, he deals with yet another tale of romance the core conflict being male chauvinism. The canvas for the tale he has chosen is quite interesting. It is a love between an Air Force fighter pilot and a doctor. The swag of a pilot naturally makes the male chauvinist behavior very believable. I will not dwell more on the story and spoil any fun for you.

Ravi Varman’s cinematography is a great plus. The entire movie is a visual treat. The breathtaking view of the Himalayan mountain range makes it even richer. I couldn’t take the eyes from the screen. Extreme close up shots, communicating with eyes, a lesser number of dialogues, a slow movement of the scene to build up the drama all makes it very appealing. I love drama in the movies, off late watching the treatment of directors like Hari, KV Anand and many other directors I have led to believe that slow moving shots, communication through silence all have become old fashioned. But this vintage magic of Mani sir is still magical. Those short and sweet dialogues still evoke the emotions in you. Those silent visuals still teleport you.

The most striking performance is from Aditi Rao Hydari. She is not only eye candy but her eyes speak a lot. The scene in which she looks into the mirror and questions herself, she has performed so well. Karthi’s performance is also good. At times you feel he goes overboard with his performance but all this works well to establish his male chauvinist attitude. RJ Balaji for a change has acted in a mellowed down manner. He could make you laugh even with serious dialogues without trying too hard with mixing Tamil and English.

The music and background score of AR Rahman is very apt for the visuals. Mani sir has re-used some of the iconic romance scenes from his earlier movies shamelessly. And we too would enjoy these shamelessly as they still stay fresh after so many years.

High Points: The treatment of the core conflict of love, Breathtaking visuals, slow drama and communication through silence, Aditi’s performance are all high points.

Low Points: If you don’t like silence in movies or slow drama you might feel a bit restless.

Overall I would say Vintage Mani Sir is back. He still has a lot of love (stories) left in him. If you love movies like Mouna Raagam, Alaipayuthey, Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya, you would love this one too.

Must Watch

 

Kavan Review

Kavan Review – Kavan is a Tamil thriller released in 2017.  Thilak an aspiring Television anchor takes on the task of exposing an unethical practice of the media to sell news.

(Since IPL 10 has started I have used cricketing metaphors :))

Director K V Anand has batted in his home turf. He has also eliminated some of the mistakes in his recent movies. Instead of playing defense there are sixes flying all over the park in the first half. What happens to a match that starts so exciting and a wicket falls? Even some good stroke play gets boring. Kavan’s wicket falls in the interval block. The second half becomes a customary end to the proceedings with some cliched twists.

The first half of the story not only introduces the main characters of the plot but also introduces what happens in the media world to the audience. The tiff between the two lead characters, the social issue all of them adds extra flavour to the whole scene. The only flaw you could point out is some of the elaborate scenes of the reality show and lengthy TR dialogues could have been made crisp. Nevertheless, it is an entertaining first half and sets up your excitement for the second half.  K V Anand also has teased the audience with a dramatic interval block but reverses it to what fits in with the story.

The second half is a let down for me. Although the social issue takes the center stage, the script runs out of ideas for moving the story adding additional knots and removing them very convincingly. Everything looks a bit artificial. In the climax scene, there is no tension at all as you know the hero is going to win as he has the upper hand. If you had empathized on the villain you might have some thrilling moments here.

Coming to the checklist of KV Anand, many of it is fulfilled in this one like a party song, romance on the top of a high mountain peak, KV Anand trolling himself, a social issue. But for one thing having a song after the death of a character.

High Points: Very engaging first half, the core plot of exposing unethical media practices, Vijay Sethupathi and Madonna Sebastian’s screen presence.

Low Points: Lengthy dialogue scenes, Cliched second half.

Overall Kavan would be a treat for masala movie lovers where you want to watch a movie without thinking anything. Hence this gets a Worth a Watch verdict.

Worth a Watch

Bairavaa Review

Bairavaa Review – Bairavaa is a Tamil action movie released in 2017. Bairavaa , a collection agent for a bank falls in love with Malarvizhi. However, he has to fight against some deadly villains before he could marry her.

A hero who is invincible from the start solves people’s issues like his own is the basic requirement of a masala film. Bairavaa is one such movie. The makers have banked upon the star value of Vijay and created a feast that only his fans can enjoy. He fights against some deadly villains, dances to the catchy beats, delivers power-packed punches to the villains. Keerthy Suresh’s character is pivotal to the script to give a strong purpose for the hero. Satish, Motta Rajendran and Thambi Ramaiah handle the comedy department. Out of these the witty one-liners of Satish make you laugh. Jagapathi Babu and Daniel Balaji play the cruel villains. Daniel Balaji is definitely threatening as a villain and a good choice for the movie.

The minimum guarantee elements still don’t make the script cohesive. At no point in time, you get connected to the hero’s purpose as to start with it is not his purpose and also some very easy loopholes defy logic to insult your intelligence. If they have concentrated on getting the script tighter Bairavaa could have become a very promising entertainer.

Contrary to the popular belief it is difficult to create successful commercial entertainer.  Vijay might need to wait for his next movie to strike it right.

High Points: Vijay’s performance, The witty dialogues from Sathish, Performance of Daniel Balaji, Chase sequences.

Low Points: The flashback that doesn’t have a connect with Vijay,  Weak screenplay not able to connect to the audience.

Overall, you can skip Bairavaa unless you are a hardcore Vijay fan or plan to watch this one with a hall filled with Vijay fans where every punch from the hero is applauded.

Can Skip it

 

 

 

Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada Review

Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada Review – Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada is a romantic thriller released in 2016. Leela goes on a road trip on a bike with her friend’s brother. What begins to be a feel good romantic journey turns ugly when they meet with an accident.

The movie starts with a statement that it has been inspired by the scene in The Godfather. This scene should be where injured Michael plots revenge against the corrupt policeman. If you are expecting a VTV kind of a movie you would be in for a surprise as it is not a romantic drama. Only the first half of the movie is dedicated to romance and you would see all the songs appear in the first half of the movie itself. Then the second half is the inspiration part.

This is GVM’s way of movie making and story telling. You may like this or hate it but beyond everything you see a genuine sincerity in making what he believes in. There is a very casual approach in the first half as the scenes and the dialogues flow like they have been taken using a candid camera. There is also an element of surprise about the name of the lead protagonist. This is kept under wraps till the final sequence in the movie. He is passionate about riding his bullet and the initial scenes and dialogues would connect well with the biker community. Manjima Mohan is an eye candy who follows the tradition of a GVM’s heroine.

The second half of the movie is gritty and keeps you at the edge of the seat. A genre that I believe that GVM excels in. He can create a gruesome villain out of anyone. Baba Sehgal in this case.  The placement and creation of Thalli Pogathey song are beautiful and would be one of the high points in the movie. This kind of reminded me of a different opening by Myskkin in Pisasu. The hospital scene, the chase, and episode at the doctor’s house are the most engaging part of the movie. What happens to be a breezy ride on the tracks becomes a roller coaster ride. However, the big minus for the movie is the climax. When the suspense is unveiling, the story of movies Gangs of Wasseypur or RGV’s political crime drama is narrated with new characters so all the suspense built so far becomes for nothing. The non-linear editing with flashes of scenes, in the beginning, is the only knot that ties this. Still, this is not very effective. I only wished there was a foreshadowing done a bit earlier.

High Points: Thalli Pogathey song, Cinematography of the travel and the fight sequences, the hospital and final chase sequences. Picturization of the songs.

Low Points: The climax is the low point in the movie as the audience were not prepared for it.

Overall AYM is a movie which offers you many things you might like than hate. If you are able to withstand the disappointment in the climax you would be able to appreciate all other good things it offers.

For the sincere attempt and for Thalli Pogathey this one is

Worth a Watch

PS: A note to GVM and other Tamil directors, when you portray IPS officers please don’t let them sport a beard. Understand, undercover cops are allowed to have a beard, but when they take up normal duty and wear the uniform they are not allowed to have a beard.