Tag Archives: A R Rahman

2.0 Review

2.0 Review – 2.0 is a Tamil Sci Fi action film released in 2018. Dr. Vaseegaran brings Chitti back to take on an evil force that goes around killing people.

For quite sometime Indian movies have been aspiring for recognition of making movies of big scale and making it work. Movies like Chandralekha gave this confidence in the yesteryear. Now movies like Baahubali and 2.0 push the needle in the positive direction in creating a large-scale movie on high budgets and still making it commercially workable. Shankar’s extravagant dream and realizing them as grand visuals makes 2.0 a visual treat. Rajnikanth has shouldered the movie to make it entertaining throughout. As the commercial values rested on Rajnikanth, this has definitely overshadowed the power and purpose of Akshay Kumar’s character which is pivotal to the plot.  That is where the movie falters, the character arc which is always a strong point of Shankar’s movie goes weak. Like many of Shankar’s movies, there is a very essential social message in this one too. However, due to the weak characterization, the message doesn’t hit you hard in your face as it did in Anniyan like it did in Indian.

In essence 2.0 is all about visual extravaganza and superstar show. You are sure to get entertained for the 160 minutes. Shankar has repeated the subtle introduction of the Superstar without any frills like in the first installment. The absence of force fitting of songs is a welcome change, Amy Jackson portions are there merely to add humor to the proceedings. The body language transformation from Vaseegaran to 2.0 is still a treat to watch and forms some of the high points in the movie. As a superstar fan, you would want to whistle as the transformation happens. There are some surprise shades of characters he has played as well, which you would watch in the movie. The scenes comprising of Vaseegaran, Chitti, and Akshay Kumar at the crossroads in the second half is constructed very well and makes you long for more. The movie has a fitting grand climax sequence that has been action choreographed very well. From visual spectacle, we have already seen Chitti and 2.0. The stunt sequences of Bird and the formation of particle animation to create the bird is quite stunning to watch. The bird not being revealed completely, but in parts across various scenes would remind you Spielberg movies like JAWS and Jurassic Park.

High Points: Shankar’s visualization, Rajnikanth’s screen presence, Visual effects, 3D movie, Action Sequences, Animation of the Bird, Social message.

Low Points: Weak Characterization,  Flaws in the screenplay. Sujatha’s magic is missing in the screenplay.

Overall 2.0 definitely pushes the envelope of creating a movie with visual grandeur and adoption of latest technology in Indian movies. This can change the commercial landscape of Indian Cinema in a positive way. Shankar’s dream stands tall at the end of it.

If good writing combines with such technology then it would be a treat to watch. Go watch the visual spectacle in 3D, you would be entertained if you are willing to forgive the flaws in the script.

Don’t miss the post-credits scene like Marvel Style 🙂

Worth a 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

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.

Pelé: Birth of a Legend Review

Pelé: Birth of a Legend Review – Pelé: Birth of a Legend is an American biopic released in 2016. The movie is based on the life of the legendary Brazilian footballer  Pelé. It deals with the time frame where he rose from an ordinary boy to a national treasure.

I was a bit skeptical before watching this movie due to the average reviews it has been receiving. But realized, I was wrong should never go with the critics. The movie is high on emotions and goosebumpy moments which keeps you engaged in the movie. The best part of the movie is that it doesn’t cover much of what the world knows about Pelé but goes into the part where you see an innocent boy, a janitor’s son go on a journey to become a legend.  In many scenes, they don’t show the goal but people’s expressions and emotions.

The emotions are not cloying ones but kept well placed in the script to lift up the human spirits. The movie focuses more on the conflict of Brazilian game style being forcefully removed and how Pelé struggles to get it back.

High Points: The sequence where the kids get the cloth ball rolling without a bounce, The same repeated when the entire team is demotivated where they take it to the light house. The background score of A R Rahman adds a special dimension to the whole film. There are lot more goosebumpy moments you would love. The history of Ginga.

Low Points: If you don’t like an emotional script then you might be disappointed with this, which might be the reason for the average reviews.

Overall Pelé: Birth of a Legend is a true tribute to the legend himself. A country that is obsessed with football as a religion, one man had believed in their core values to lift their spirits high and win for them. If you love football you should definitely watch this one, even if not there is plenty for you to cherish.

Must Watch

24 Review

24 Review – 24 is a Tamil science fiction thriller released in 2016. A scientist named Sethuraman invents a time travel watch.  His twin brother Athreya after the watch and kills him. But before he dies Sethuraman sends  his infant son and the watch in a train.  Was Athreya able to get his watch back? what happened to Sethuraman’s son?… is the rest of the story.

The plot had a very interesting premise that has not been handled in Tamil cinema so much. The biggest positive of the movie is the plot and the belief of the makers in making this into a full-length movie. The production quality is very good. The visuals and frame construction are well done. The character of Athreya has come out well and Suriya has done it well. There are brilliant moments in the movie. The initial chase sequence, the interval block and the sequence in which Mani (Sethuraman’s son) learns the capabilities of the watch.

The biggest weak point in the movie is the screenplay. It is a big let down. But for 45 minutes the movie seizes to be a Sci-Fi thriller and sets its course to become a romantic comedy movie. I felt I was watching a totally different movie. The entire angle of Samantha and her family seem to be force fitted into the screenplay to let the movie go forward. An ensemble of actors in Samantha’s family was largely underutilized including Girish Karnad. The second weak point is the dialogue. Seems like the makers were too carried away to make Athreya’s dialogues perfect that they did not have time to polish other’s dialogues. There are a lot of sequences where the same dialogue is repeated too often and causes displeasure. In particular, the romance portion between Samantha and Suriya the dialogues are way too off.

High Points: The plot involving time travel, Production quality, costumes and Art design. The initial chase sequence. Suriya’s performance. The sequence where Suriya learns about the capabilities of the watch. A R Rahman’s score makes it very pleasant.

Low Points: Screenplay is a big let down. Repeated dialogues make it uninteresting. Weak characterization as only time has been spent on building Athreya’s character. Overload of characters without much screentime. Very less time spent on Sci-Fi genre.

Overall 24 ends up to be a wanna be Sci-Fi thriller that only entices in parts. If I had the watch I would go back in time and not book the tickets for the movie rather wait for it to be screened on TV.

Wait for DVD/TV

O Kadhal Kanmani Review

O Kadhal Kanmani Review – O Kadhal Kanmani is a Tamil romantic drama released in 2015. Aditya and Thara move into a live-in relationship without any commitment to marriage. The plot revolves around their lives.

Director Maniratnam has yet again narrated a light hearted romantic tale in O Kadhal Kanmani. The movie has most of the Mani’s signature style shots like the lead pair cuddling near the door passage on the train, travelling in public bus, short and sweet dialogues. Yet the movie is fresh and sees the world through the eyes of the newer generation. The plot is not new as it has already been explored in Bollywood in movies like Love Aaj Kal and Shuddh Desi Romance. Maniratnam has his signature touch to the plot which makes it very enjoyable watch. If you are deeply looking for a very intense storyline then there is nothing much in this, but the movie is a mere exploration of love in the present era. Cinematographer PC Sreeram and Maniratnam can create magic on the screen. The visuals are stunning. Once the hero, a video game designer and the heroine, an architect are introduced; their first outing Mental Manadhil song is a motorbike ride across Mumbai going through all beautiful architectures across the city and the visuals are like that in a video game.  The treatment is absolutely stunning. The characters of Ganapathy sir and his wife Bhavani played by Prakash raj and Leela Samson adds a much interesting layer to the story. Within the walls of a small apartment in Mumbai, Maniratnam has painted the difference between the love of yesteryear and the love of the present times. The movie slows down a bit post the first half and then gets back on track during the climax. This is a point where the director seems to have struggled pushing the narration which is not based on a strong story line. Choice of Dulquer Salman and Nithya Menen is a good one. This would be a very memorable performance for Nithya as she has carried of the chirpy, bubbly character very well. Her mannerism for smiling for everything is a very intelligent representation of how she takes life casually.

High Points: Maniratnam’s direction, A R Rahman’s music, PC Sreeram’s cinematography, Casting of the characters.

Low Points: The movie does not have a strong plot, the use of disconnected narration to keep the element of surprise might not engage everyone

Overall O Kadhal Kanmani may not be the best of Maniratnam’s movies but still an enjoyable watch for the entertaining narration and stunning visuals.

Watchable

I Review

I Review – I is a Tamil romantic thriller released in 2015. A deformed, ugly looking man kidnaps a top advertising model on her wedding day and keeps her as a hostage in an unknown location. To her surprise he gets her favorite food and favorite clothes. Who is he why has he kidnapped her is the plot of I.

I is a show that is dominated heavily by Vikram’s brilliant performance and Shankar’s imagination. It is not a usual Shankar’s movie you would see. It has a different treatment than rest of his films. The first half in particular is more on the romance side and the second half is a thriller. Vikram has completely transformed himself for the three different phases of the movie. He has given his heart and soul for the movie. Be it the happy go lucky body builder, the remo-ish looking model or the hunch pack character he has fit in the bill of all these with ease and you would enjoy his performance throughout. Amy Jackson looks so beautiful in every frame and of course she has tried acting. The length of the movie is 189 minutes long which is definitely a negative point for the movie. The sequences in China in particular are very dragging and monotonous. Apart from PC Sreeram’s camera capturing the beauty of China there is nothing much to look forward to in this part. Probably this where Shankar might have missed Sujata to a great extent, the duo had created so many entertaining first halves. Around the interval phase the movie picks up momentum and from here on it transforms itself into what we call a Shankar’s movie. You would understand this once you see the movie.

High Points: Vikram’s performance and the struggle he had gone through in shaping himself for the roles is commendable and as he transforms there is a huge applause from the audience, Shankar’s imagination is outstanding the way he has structured the scenes, visuals and emotions are brilliant. He has literally taken a character that everyone would hate for its look and transformed into something the audience would cheer for, Songs are pleasant to watch with Ennodu Nee Irundhaal being the epitome of all of them, Stunt choreography is done very well as with any other Shankar’s movies. A R Rahman’s score fits well for the story.

Low Points: The length of the movie, the drag in the portions shot in China

Overall I may not be a path breaker in Indian Cinema but an effort that would be laudable for the performance, direction and visual effects. If you go with an very open mind you would enjoy it. I is beauty in acting, beauty in direction, beauty in visuals, beauty in music and a beauty in films.

Must Watch –Go for it