Category Archives: Tamil Movies

Tamil Movie Reviews

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

Aruvi Review

Aruvi Review – Aruvi is a Tamil social drama film released in the year 2017. Aruvi a girl is being interrogated for her involvement in an incident that puts her under suspicion of being a terrorist.

A team of new faces has come together as a team to create a movie that is very sincere to the script and the plot. Without any commercial frills, the movie has the material that would keep the audience engaged throughout. The most striking performance comes from the lead star Aditi Balan who has performed the role with ease and she creates an impact that was intended by the role. The first 20 minutes of the movie revolves around the growing up phases of Aruvi with flashback sequences. Songs and humming have been used as the part of the background score for these sequences, that has striking contrast against the present day dark and gloomy interrogation.  The growing up phase through a series of montages brilliantly covers the growing phase of a girl. This one is a fantastic example of using visual language to precisely convey the story on screen. The entire growing up phase is compressed into a ten-minute sequence without any explicit narration.

The holding back of suspense of what bought Aruvi to the place she is in right now has been handled brilliantly. Though an emotionally heavy subject, the director has handled by adding some humor to it like how Aruvi sees her life despite the condition she is in. Kudos to the director Arun Prabhu Purushothaman for handling a very sincere script with new faces so well.  Also, the movie is not at all preachy with some message.

High Points: A very strong script, no unnecessary commercial cliches, performance of Aditi Balan

Low Points: Any low points can be easily forgotten and forgiven due to the good execution of the script.

Overall Aruvi is a very sincere attempt that would go a long way in setting an example of how a script based on the story without commercial cliches and without being preachy would still work well with the audience.

Must Watch – for the novel attempt

Theeran Adhigaram Ondru Review

Theeran Adhigaram Ondru Review – Theeran Adhigaram Ondru is a Tamil crime thriller released in 2017. The movie is based on a true story where a cop and his team has to solve the mystery of people getting attacked and killed at their home for jewels and money.

Director H Vinoth comes up with yet another compelling tale after his Sathuranga Vettai.  I loved Sathuranga Vettai very much for its dialogues and screenplay. So naturally, I had expectations around Theeran.  Vinoth did not disappoint at all. It is a very racy thriller right from the word go. Karthi has essayed the character of Theeran very well and is a strong backbone for the movie. Bose Venkat has ably supported him throughout the movie. Vinoth has cleverly mixed some of the commercial elements into the movie without much adulterating the compelling tale. Abhimanyu Singh as Oma has performed very well as the villain. The scenes involving him certainly send some shivers down the spine.

The amount of research done by Vinoth is evidently visible. Right from the police training scene to the history animation he has given much attention to the details. The love portion involving Rakul Preet Singh and Karthi is interesting too and blends in well with the theme of the story. Wish our commercial film directors do this instead of bolting on romance and comedy scenes to the movie.

High Points: A well-researched plot, engaging screenplay, location selection, performances of Karthi and Abhimanyu Singh.

Low Points: There are certain scenes made over dramatic in the second half which seem to be touching the border of going overboard. But these scenes do not become a huge distraction.

Overall Theeran is a well researched and an engaging cop thriller based on true events. Vinoth has yet again struck with an engaging drama that keeps the audience entertained with some power-packed performances.

Must Watch

Mersal Review

Mersal Review – Mersal is a Tamil action drama released in 2017. Maaran a doctor who charges just 5 rupees for treating patients is suspected to be on a spree to kill people in the medical profession.

I watched Mersal after much of the hype around it settled down. There has been a huge expectation on the movie after the success of Theri at the box office. Director Atlee has stuck to only commercial elements that work for any mass hero movies to create Mersal. Vijay has a triple role to play this time.  Evaluating this movie from a commercial mass masala film genre, it falls short of engaging throughout. The story is based on some superficial philosophy and wherever the screenplay drags Atlee has used the dialogues around the glorification of Tamil and Tamilan to appease the audience. However, this does not fit the tale. Too many characters with 3 heroines and 3 Vijay there is very less time on the screen to complete their introduction and get to the story. Although Vijay tells he needs 15 minutes of time to explain the flashback, it actually runs for 45+ minutes and slows down the movie even further. Using the same structure of a 3 act play for the flashback was a bad idea.  If this has been inspired by Aboorva Sagodharargal they could have taken a leaf out of the movie to keep the flashback short and quick.

Like I said before the screenplay is inspired by many mass commercial movies. Satyaraj himself says after hearing Vijay’s story that it feels like a Shankar film’s story. Throughout the movie, Satyaraj’s role is to listen to stories and flashback. They could have avoided this patchy non-linear screenplay altogether.  SJ Surya’s role as the villain is a treat to watch.

High Points: Vijay’s screen presence, AR Rahman’s background score, SJ Suryah’s role as villain

Low Points: Too many plot holes, Dragging screenplay, Cliched done and dusted scenes.

Overall Mersal is a mixture of Shankar, Murugadoss and Vijayakanth movies put together. If you are an ardent fan of Vijay then there are many fan moments to enjoy in the first half. However, when reviewed as a wholesome product it fails to cross the line.

Wait for DVD/TV

Kurangu Bommai Review

Kurangu Bommai Review

Kurangu Bommai is a Tamil Thriller film released in 2017.  A simple and straightforward person Sundaram works in the timber shop of a goon in Tanjore. Despite the displeasure of his family and society, he is very loyal to him. When he is entrusted with a work of transporting a high cost smuggled statue, it leads to unexpected events.

High Points:

Nithilan has created a very compelling thriller in Kurangu Bommai. Right from the time the knot is made the movie holds you to the seat barring the love portion which seemed very detached from the movie slowing down its pace badly. The non-linear narration style of the movie has worked out very well that keeps the audience glued much earlier. The choice of the cast is a very interesting one and it has worked very well for the movie. Bharadhiraja’s performance is a standout. Viddharth yet again has chosen a very good script.  The character of Elango Kumaravel is a very interesting one in the movie. Things get dark once his character is introduced and he has played in very convincingly which is in a very much contrast to the comedy portions he usually plays in Radha Mohan movies. The movie’s duration is less than 2 hours which makes it crisp and interesting.

Low Points:

Having said this there are certain loose ends to the script that did not connect well. The love portion and the duet portion although taken well did not fit well into the tale. As they don’t help the movie in moving forward.  The police station sequence was a bit overboard for the nature of the script. For folks looking for a Neram kind of climax, there will be a disappointment.

Overall Kurangu Bommai is a very interesting Dark Thriller. If you are a fan of thrillers do watch this one for sure. Kudos to Nithilan and team for making a good thriller.

Worth a Watch

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