Category Archives: Tamil Movies

Tamil Movie Reviews

Asuran Review

Asuran Review – Asuran is a Tamil crime thriller released in 2019. When powerful landlords in the village, try to overpower the poor farmers to take over the land, the family of Sivasami doesn’t budge and the following events turn into an endless revenge saga between families.

I always wish that Indian directors make movies on already written material than trying to create material on their own every time. Director Vetrimaaran has taken a step if followed by other fellow directors in this country could change the landscape of Indian Cinema in a positive way. Kudos to him for making a movie based on a novel Vekkai by Poomani. This makes the content very rich, characterization very deep-rooted and overall movie a very engaging one.

I haven’t read the novel so I may not be able to comment on how much true to the book the movie has been. My analysis is mostly on the structure of the movie. The structure of the screenplay is much akin to the structure of the cult classic commercial movie Baasha. Due to the rural treatment and the message in the movie, it also resembles Devar Magan in many ways. An innocent protagonist, who doesn’t raise voice against atrocities has a dark past in which he is akin to a menacing Villain, the secret breaks right at the interval block and then dwells into the past to establish the gory side of the protagonist, coming back to the present to close the proceedings. While many directors have tried to emulate the success of these movies have miserably failed, Vetrimaaran banked on the content which eventually created a successful product.

I was very intrigued by the fact of the choice of the name Asuran. In Hindu mythology, the Asuras were always looked down upon by the Devas and were constantly at war between each other. Devas also made peace with Asuras whenever they needed some work to be done with them like in the case of churning the ocean to create Amruth. In the movie too, the landlord keeps a good pact with Dhanush till he is preparing liquor that helps his business grow. It is only later he realizes where his real place is and things change. Even the scenes involving the insult of the upper cast before women, the insult he takes for her laughing and the way he avenges for it are all in correlation to the Deva and Asura wars. In that way, it is a befitting the title.

The characters are sketched well. Although Dhanush becomes of prime importance in the second half, other characters still have a convincing life cycle. It is nice to see Pasupathi and Prakash Raj on screen after a while. The choice of Manu Warrier to play Dhanush wife as well is a great choice. She has a lot more scope in the first half of the movie.

The locations in which the movie is shot adds a more convincing tone to the whole narration. In particular, the forest sequences are taken very well. The background score is the soul of the movie and GV Prakash has done a phenomenal job in scoring the BGM.

High Points – Strong content, Interval Block, background score, depth of characters, visuals of the forest sequence, action blocks, raw treatment

Low Points Too much violence might not appeal to everyone.

Overall Asuran is a very well made commercial crime thriller. It has all the ingredients that would keep you glued to the chair until the end and leave you with a powerful message. It is now available in Amazon Prime.

Must Watch

Super Deluxe Review

Super Deluxe Review – Super Deluxe is a Tamil neo-noir film released in 2019. The story follows the lives of 3 different set of people dealing with different taboos in life and how each of their life influences the outcome of the other.

It is almost impossible to write a review of Super Deluxe without giving away the plot. So if you haven’t watched the movie, do watch it before you continue reading this review.

There are movies that you walk into the theater with a different expectation in mind and the movie is not even a bit of what you had expected it to be. But later as you sink it in you understand the depth of the plot, the construct, the dialogues and all of a sudden everything falls so perfectly in place that you would want to yell “Wow! What a brilliant movie”. The phrase from the song from Delhi Belly “I hate you like I love you” fits in so perfect for the movie.

If you walk in expecting an Aaranya Kaandam you would be largely disappointed. Rather if you let Super Deluxe be it what it is supposed to be then you would appreciate the nuances and the beauty of the neo-noir film. There are actually 4 different threads of the plot that is intelligently arranged in so that it becomes a compelling tale.

You might feel why are you watching it as you start watching it for it is going to make you uncomfortable by breaking all the rules. As you watch it till the end it leaves a great after taste that you can savor for long.

Through the 4 different tales, director Thiagarajan Kumararaja questions the very sense of right or wrong, good or evil. Just like how the day merges into the night and the night into the day, good merges with evil and the vice versa. Time can alter how things are perceived. He questions the existence of God in a statue, while he is making the curse of a Eunuch become true. A girl having an extramarital affair doesn’t mean that she is characterless. Porn stars are there to perform as the market for porn is out there. Who is to be blamed? He even teases the whole plot by getting in an Alien. As you just begin thinking what an absurdity, the alien questions your very thought process by telling, “Why do you think Aliens would just come to America?”. The climax though a bit preachy but a brilliant one as you see the gem of the advice coming in through the narrator in the porn movie who explains the meaning of life and everything. He teases the audience there too, by telling you might just end up thinking of this as a porn movie and miss the essence of it.

High Points: The performances of Vijay Sethupathi, Samantha, Fahad Fasil and the kid Ashwath. The plot and the questions around stereotype that is embedded in the plot. The quirky dialogues in the movie. The Climax, the Cinematography.

Low Points: The length of the movie and the complex plot would have been a let down for many. But if you love the movie you will feel it justified.

Overall, Super Deluxe is a movie that beats the logic of the predictable formula in movies. You might have seen such brilliant non-linear work with Tarantino, Frank Miller, and Guy Ritchie. Thiagarajan Kumararaja does it for a Tamil movie that is going to yet again become a cult hit like his first outing.

Must Watch

Petta Review

Petta Review – Petta is a Tamil action drama released in 2019. Kaali an elderly man joins as a temporary hostel warden in an arts college. There seems to be a hidden agenda behind his move which forms the core plot of Petta.

Petta, a fanboy film of Rajnikanth works its magic in bringing back many nostalgic memories of Rajnikanth movies in terms of shots, action blocks and situations. One big thing that it misses out is on the emotional connection to the character played by Rajnikanth on screen. Barring that it is an out and out entertainer. Like as in flashback sequences for Shankar, twists have become the regular feature in director Karthik Subburaj’s films. Personally, for me, the twists haven’t worked while it seems to have worked with many audiences. The twist of the tale in Jigarthanda and Pizza too did not work for me.

Petta’s first half is a wholesome entertainer, it has comedy, love, action sequences, songs, Thalaivar Swag all making it very enjoyable. The second half narrates an entirely a different story on a different canvas, that almost makes the first half irrelevant to the whole plot. The high orchestration builds up music is generously used in the second half BGM that might have worked well for the first day first show crowd but becomes cloying and making the climax appear to be elongated one. As it has been touted to be the second Baasha of sorts, I can’t resist doing a comparison to the old cult classic which again portrayed a dark side of Rajnikanth. But the first half characters lead back into the flashback as well and when the story connects back all of them are still relevant. That made you connect with the purpose of the lead character. That missed in Petta.

Besides the flaws, Petta is still a well made Tamil film that has many brilliant portions that would make you watch it again. First and foremost is the villaneous avatar of Rajnikanth and he plays it with so much ease and brings a terror on the screen as he gets involved in fights. It was refreshing to see Simran on screen after a long time. You just wished she had more screen time. Nawazuddin is the ideal choice for the Villain, the role is tailor made for him and he plays it to perfection. If you remove the fan flair of Petta, there is a raw gangster tale beneath it, that seems to be a very powerful one and left unexploited for the want of a breezy first half.

High Points: Rajni’s presence, the interval block, entertaining first half, the market fight scene, a Flashback sequence, inclusion of Simran

Low Points: Overuse of the build-up BGM, Twist after twist just for the sake of it

Overall, Petta is a true fanboy flick that captures all fanboy moments in a Rajni film. Lack of emotional connection to the main character makes it fall short of being a milestone movie. Yet there is lots to look for in Petta.

Worth a Watch

Kaala Review

Kaala Review – Kaala is a Tamil crime drama released in 2018. Mumbai’s politician Hari Dhada has hidden agenda of cleaning up Mumbai’s Dharavi to let it open for commercialization, but people of Dharavi protest against it under the leadership of local don Karikaalan.

I was disappointed with the second half of Kabali wherein I felt director Ranjith had a masterpiece in the making but fell flat in the second half. This time in Kaala the screenplay is much tighter and travels towards the purpose. The screenplay also provided a much larger scope for the mass moments of Rajini. Be it the swag of the black dress and shades, not being able to hide his lost love or getting drunk and blabbering in the police station, its out and out Rajini’s moments. He makes all these scenes very enjoyable.

Kaala has a very similar structure to his previous movie Madras. The movie jumps right into the core problem and how the voice of people is not heard in the massive political schemes which are supposed to be for the people. Apart from Rajini the biggest strength of the movie is Nana Patekar. He has played the unapologetic, gruesome villain with ease. His acting and body language are exemplary.

The screenplay does come with its own flaws. The character of Huma Qureshi is very weak and one dimensional. There was a much larger scope for the character but again the writers seem to have struggled with it as they did for Radhika Apte’s character in the second half of Kabali.  The rapper group is becoming a very predictable part for Ranjith’s film which again could have been avoided.

Samuthrakani has played a very good supporting role. It is refreshing to see him explore different roles other than being typecast into roles that shout out social messages. Eswari Rao makes a good pair to Rajini. She has a lot of scope in the first half and the way her character has been sketched is very nice. It is also refreshing to see Dileepan playing a significant role after Vathikuchi.

The subtext of the movie is about the perception people carry regarding the slums. Ranjith has questioned the stereotypes. If we talk about Dharavi or the North Madras slum, we remember movies like Nayagan, Thalapathy, Pudupettai which stereotypes the areas as the hub of crime. Pa Ranjith’s Kaala paints the picture of more life and family values in the slum, unlike the popular stereotypes.

High Points: Rajini’s charisma and screen presence, Nana Patekar’s acting, Mass moments of Rajini and Nana Patekar, a very compelling subtext of the movie, the climax sequence, brilliant cinematography, editing and art design to recreate Dharavi.

Low Points: Huma Qureshi’s character build-up, too much violence in the second half might upset many audiences, some components that are becoming too predictable in a Pa Ranjith’s movie.

Overall Kaala is a compelling tale about the slums beyond our perceptions and beliefs. Pa Ranjith is very sincere in what he believes and has the ability to narrate it in a compelling way. Ram killed Raavan and established Ram Rajya for making people’s lives better, but is that what the people wanted is essentially the question the movie asks. If you like crime dramas then do watch this one in the theaters.

Must Watch

Thaana Serndha Kootam Review

Thaana Serndha Kootam Review – Thaana Serndha Kootam is a Tamil heist movie released in 2018.  Iniyan aspires to become a CBI officer. When he is denied the opportunity due to a corrupt CBI officer, he becomes a con man to teach to teach a lesson to the CBI officer.

The movie is based on true incidents that happened in 1987. It is adapted from the Hindi blockbuster Special 26. Director Vignesh Shivan after his much successful outing with Naanum Rowdydhaan chooses a plot that can guarantee success. However, he is seen too uncomfortable to step out of his comfort zone which spoils the engagement factor that is required for a heist script. His choice of cast is quite interesting one including Suresh Menon coming back to the screen after a long break, Karthik, Ramyakrishnan, and Senthil. The movie has the right set of cast, technicians, music composer needed make it an interesting and engaging tale.

Although Vignesh Shivan has teased the audience with the usual cliches that they would normally see in a movie and changes course, he has still recreated the same cliches at the later point in time. The romance portion between Suriya and Keerthy is an interesting one in isolation but it doesn’t fit well into this tale. He has also mixed comedy into the movie akin to his previous outing. Only few comedy scenes make you laugh. The biggest minus for the film is the lengthy and boring climax.

Why do Tamil directors have the pressure of justifying everything a hero does and create the character of the ones who would oppose the hero as a tainted one?

High Points: Ensemble of cast, background score, romance portion between Suriya and Keerthy Suresh

Low Points: Cliched sequences, a comedy that doesn’t work always, climax.

Overall Thaana Serndha Kootam aspires to be an improved version of Special 26 but just ends up to be a mashup of  Naanum Rowdydhaan and VIP. You can watch this when played on TV/DVD.

Wait for TV/DVD