Muthina Kathirikai Review – Muthina Kathirikai is a Tamil comedy film released in 2016. Muthupandi is a 40-year-old bachelor who is aspiring to make it big in politics. He falls in love with a 25-year-old girl. His political rivals plan to spoil both his politics and love interest.
This is an official remake of Malayalam movie Vellimoonga. I loved the Malayalam movie for the humor element it had. Having Sundar C reprising the role of Biju Menon the movie looked interesting as we know Sundar C for comedy timings. However, the expectations fell short as I heard the title of the movie as Muthina Kathirikai. I felt that the makers have missed the core strength of the movie which is more about politics rather than the problem of a 40-year-old man finding a bride. Even the teasers emphasized on the romance portion than the politics. The Malayalam movie had a very apt title Vellimoonga (white owl) which represented the white kathar dress the protagonist wears and nails the theme as political drama in the heart of the audience.
If the audience goes into the movie expecting a romantic comedy they wouldn’t find one. This becomes the biggest weak point of Muthina Kathirikai. The part I liked in the Tamil movie is a sincere attempt to remake the original. However when the movie deviates from it and focusses on the romance portion it completely looks out of place. Also, I felt the cast of VTV Ganesh and his brother could have been done with different actors. They have definitely played their part well but having their names established as good comedians they don’t appear a big threat for Sundar C who could beat him.
High Points: The political drama part has come out well. Sundar C definitely feels comfortable in his zone of comedy. The comedy is definitely enjoyable in many places.
Low Points: Cliched Romance portions, Casting of the opposition leaders, The title and teaser of the movie could have emphasized on the political aspect of the movie.
Overall Muthina Kathirikai is unable to make a delicious dish, however, the dish is also not bad to discard if made at home. You could wait to watch this when played on TV.
Wait for DVD/TV
Theri Review – Theri is a Tamil action film released in 2016. Joseph Kuruvilla lives with his daughter in a remote Kerala Village. He always stays away from fights or disputes. But circumstances lead him to pick up a tiff with the local don and in the course his original identity Vijaykumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police is exposed.
Vijay has gone back to his comfort zone after his experimentation with fantasy adventure Puli. This time, he has joined hands with director Atlee after his successful first venture Raja Rani. When a successful filmmaker gets to direct a successful mass hero there is a huge burden to please the fans of the star. Only a few directors like Shankar, Mani Ratnam have been able to stay focused on the script and deliver an appealing product both to the fans and general audience. Atlee doesn’t fall into that category. He has struggled to find his story in the commercial entertainer. In the end, it happens to be an out and out Vijay’s mass masala movie which has all the minimum guarantee elements for success but would be a forgettable one in the long run.
The movie reminds one of many blockbusters in Kollywood and Hollywood. It has influence from Baasha. Baasha seems to be a milestone for Kollywood like how The Godfather is for Hollywood. It is still inspiring movie makers. Then there are influences from Yennai Arindhal and the directors own Raja Rani and finally, there are glimpses of The Dark Knight Trilogy. In the scenes which mimic the dark knight movies, you will find Vijay modulating his voice as well like Batman :). If you have seen all these movies and is not a Vijay fan then you won’t find anything appealing in the movie. If you are an ardent Vijay fan then there are more opportunities for you to whistle throughout.
For me, the best part of the movie is the romance portion between Vijay and Samantha. It does bring a different face of Vijay which we don’t get to see much. He tries to be a hero who can also cry just out of emotion. That’s new for a mass hero movie. The comedy during these portions has also turned out well. Where he describes the outcome of the fight before fighting is definitely enjoyable. Atlee’s core strength is in this area which he had utilized well in Raja Rani. Mottai Rajendran has a new role of being a sidekick to the heroes previously in Vedalam and now in Theri. I personally would like to see him as a fearsome Villain or in comic roles like Ghost Gopal Varma than seeing him flattering the hero. The biggest surprise of the movie is Director Mahendran donning the role of the Villain. Years of experience is seen in his acting. I would have loved a build-up portion for the villain rather than him just jumping in and only targeting Vijay.
High Points: The romance portion between Vijay and Samantha, Visuals and production quality, Comedy sequences in the flashback, Director Mahendran playing Villain.
Low Points: The overall movie might only appeal to hardcore Vijay fans as they have been generous in creating masala elements.
Overall Theri is created to appeal to the Vijay fans worldwide. It just increases Vijay’s mass masala template movies by one rather than standing out. If you are not a Vijay fan then you can watch it when played on TV.
Wait for DVD/TV
Netru Indru Naalai Review – Netru Indru Naalai is a Tamil science fiction comedy film released in 2015. Elango and his friend Pulivetti Arumugam chance upon a time traveling device sent from the future and uses it make a successful business. But things go hay wire when they alter some undesired things in the past.
A science fiction movie in Tamil is always not a viable commercial option. It takes a lot more to make it appealing to the general mass. While many of the makers are hesitant to take up one debutante director Ravikumar. R should be lauded for his efforts in making a science fiction movie in Tamil and yet making it with wide appeal. If you have seen movies like Back to the future then this concept may not be new to you, however the brilliance of the script is in adapting the time machine to Indian context.
Vishnu and Karunakaran combo strike very well. The sequences involving them are hilarious. The makers have created some similarities to the english movies which I think is intentional. Like the design of the time machine resembles the device from the movie The Time Machine released in 1960 and the scientist Parthasarathy resembles Doc Brown from Back to the Future movie series.
The way the time traveling concept is explained to people should be appreciated as it is simple and neat. When the scientist take out all the time traveling books like theory of relativity, a brief history of time to help the lead characters understand it, they ask him to explain it in simple terms. Thats how the screenplay handles it.
High Points: The screenplay is easy on people without much complications, The comedy has worked very well, A time travel movie in Tamil is a welcome change.
Low Points: Dragging screenplay in parts, in particular when the romance angle of the lead characters are portrayed. This slows down the pace.
Overall there is lot to enjoy in this movie. Although it is not talking about any new scientific theory, the screenplay makes it an enjoyable ride between the present, past and the future.
Worth a Watch
Kaaka Muttai Review – Kaaka Muttai is a Tamil comedy drama released in 2014. The movie had its theatrical release in 2015. The movie revolves around two young kids growing up in the slums and their biggest aim in life is to eat a pizza, but it is not as easy as they think.
Director M. Manikandan has done a wonderful job in painting the view of life through the eyes of two kids from slum who gets excited with simple things in life. Most of the movie is shot with a Camera angle at the eye line of the kids, which gives the view of the world from their eyes much more naturally. The names of the kids are not revealed in the movie and they are just addressed by their nickname “Chinna Kaaka Muttai and Periya Kaaka Muttai”. This is very effective in making them a true representation of unknown kids from slum. The other characters in the movie are also used very well in the larger screenplay and every character has a meaningful role to play in the 2 hour drama. Yet another movie that is shorter in length and works more effective than the 3 hour extravagant movies. Indian moviemakers should take some cues from this and be precise to their premise without introducing unwanted frills.
The two boys playing the lead roles in the movie has performed very well. In particular the younger one is so adorable in his acting and innocence. The movie also touches sarcastically upon some harsh realities in the society. Although subtle but still makes a very compelling impression on issues like economic differences, discrimination based on economic status, child labor and many more.
High Points: The screenplay is the major strength of the movie, Cinematography is very apt for the movie, the performances of the kids, the humor in the script is another big plus
Low Points: There is nothing really as a low point. Such movies should be promoted well to reach more audience.
Overall Kaaka Muttai would bring in smile on your face as you walk out of the movie hall and next time you see slum kids running around their chore you would definitely stop and think about the battle they are fighting. 2 National awards for this movie is well deserved.
Romeo Juliet Review – Romeo Juliet is a Tamil romantic comedy released in 2015. Aishwarya misunderstands Karthick to be a wealthy man and falls in love with him. When they decide to take their relationship to next level she realizes that he is not rich and breaks up with him. Will Karthick be able to win Aishwarya back is the plot of Romeo Juliet.
Producer turned director Lakshman has tried his hands with some tried and tested formula of romance. However the plot uniquely differentiates itself from the lead pairs being the ideal lovers to more self-centered people. When this was a welcome change in the plot, it quickly falls back into the trap of making them those ideal pair. The screenplay is very superfluous and does have a lot of flaws. What keeps the movie ticking is the music and those moments where few of the comedy sequences had worked and brings a laugh. Jayam Ravi has done a decent job in his role while Hansika’s acting chart varies like an ECG graph. The scenes are bit lengthy compared to how precise the modern day scene constructions have become.
When making romantic dramas one of the key things that the writers should pay attention to is the point of view from both male and the female characters. Many screenplay falls into the trap of skewing towards the point of view of just one character. Romeo Juliet is one such screenplay.
High Points: Uniqueness in the plot with self-centered people falling in love, music is a big positive for the movie.
Low Points: Very predictable screenplay, cheesy romantic sequences that had been done and dusted in many movies. It is high time for Tamil script writers to move away from naming their lead character in the romantic drama as “Karthik”.
Overall Romeo Juliet is an average affair that delivers only half of what it had promised to. It would entice people looking for a cheesy romantic drama. You might enjoy it watching this one when played on TV.
Wait for DVD/TV
Anegan Review – Anegan is a Tamil romantic thriller released in 2015. Madhu has to undergo psychiatrist treatment as she gets the flashes of romantic episode from what she believes are her past life and her love partner is same throughout and they don’t get together for due to ill fate. Will she meet the love of her previous birth again, will it be a ill fate again is the plot of Anegan.
Director K.V Anand has tried to take the classic Nenjam Marapadhillai story and give it a modern twist to it. However he has added more twists in the tale to suit to the taste of modern day audience. The movie definitely works well to keep the audience entertained. Dhanush has performed well in his multi roles and out of all of them his role as Kaali stands out. The movie covers three stories mainly out of the many one in Burma, one in the present Chennai and one in Chennai in the 80s. Out of these the story set in the 80s is best of the lot and as it is kept post the interval block it serves as a great build up to the finish. Amyra Dastur looks cute in her role as Kalyani and the role she had taken up suits her acting abilities.
High Points: The visuals Burma, Character of Kaali and the story of Kali and Kalyani, Visual appeal of the movie, Casting of Karthik after a long time is a plus for the the movie
Low Points: Initial set of disconnected events not all come together as the suspense is broken, Out of ordinary climax looks cliched
Overall Anegan has more stories to tell to the audience with a connect with each other. It may not be an extra-ordinary product from K.V Anand but still manages to keep the audience engaged throughout. If you are able to with stand some cliched masala moments in the movie you will like this one.
Darling Review – Darling is a Tamil horror comedy film released in 2015. Three youngsters decide to end their life in a guest house near the beach. But the beach house has more mystery in it than they had imagined.
Darling joins the recent list of horror comedy movies that had worked well in Tamil language. This is a remake of the Telugu movie Prem Katha Chitram. This is the first movie of G.V Prakash as an actor. He had taken a subject that is too light which is good. The best thing about the movie is the humor that had worked well. The horror part may not scare you like many other movies but the humor part would definitely make you laugh your heart out. The scene in which Rajendran appears as Ghost Gopal Varma is a laugh riot. Given that this is the first movie for GV as an actor we can forgive the nuances that he had missed. Nikki Garlani has also tried her best to act. Karunas and Bala Saravanan are a great addition to the cast and they steal the show in many places of the movie. Credit should be given to Director Sam Anton who in his debut film has given a very decent product.
High Points: The genre of horror comedy, Comedy scenes, The scenes in which Rajendran appears as Ghost Gopal Varma, Staying away close to the core plot
Low Points: Novice actors, if you miss the jokes then you may not like this one as many of the jokes are very much related to other Tamil Cinemas
Overall Darling will keep you entertained throughout and make you laugh your heart out if you care for the jokes. If you go with the expectation of getting chills and thrills then you would be disappointed. This is a good addition to the movies in horror comedy genre and definitely deserves a watch.
Kappal Review – Kappal is a Tamil romantic slapstick comedy released in 2014. Vasu and his friends make a promise to each other that they would not get married as it would distance them. But Vasu is interested in girls and he elopes to Chennai and falls in love with Deepika. When his friends come to know about it they try to separate them.
The movie’s expectation soared high with Shankar pitching in the last moment to pick up the production. The genre of the movie did not work for me at all. It is a romantic slap stick comedy which I am not a major fan of. It might work for folks who like movies of this genre. The plot is a very decent one and is different from many other movies. Usually friends help the lovers get together but in this they are the ones who oppose it. The production value of the movie is quite good. The songs shot also have a very fresh perspective. The comedy portion works in parts. For me the weak point was in the performance by Vaibhav and Sonam they had expressions between A and B. This kind of made it very monotonous. There is not character arc for the lead characters that take them through a transformation. They tend to remain the same till the end.
There are quite a heavy comedy department including Karunakaran, VTV Ganesh and their friends. They have tried hard to make people laugh which has worked in parts. As I had mentioned the comedy is for a segment of people and may not entice everyone. The length of the movie is also too long for the content it had.
High Points: Comedy, Freshness in the song sequences, Production quality, Plot
Low Points: Grossness in comedy, Romantic slap stick genre which did not work for me, Characterization and performance of the lead pair, length of the movie.
Journey on this Kappal (Ship) left me feeling tired by the end of it.
Can skip it
Meaghamann Review – Meaghamann is a Tamil action thriller released in 2014. Arul and Karthik are undercover cops working for two major drug lords in the Mumbai and Goa area. They want to bring the ghost drug lord Jothi out and arrest him but it is not easy as Jothi leaves no trace even for his gang to find him
Director Magizh Thirumeni has given an action thriller in Meaghamann (Captain of the ship). The script is an out and out action movie that revolves around the gangsters and drug lords in the backdrop of Goa. There are moments in the movie which are very brilliantly constructed. In particular the scene in which Arya plays card game in the cold storage along with the gang without being aware of the lurking danger is brilliantly done. Asutosh Rana’s characterization is done well. However the director has not been able to successfully maintain the thrills throughout the movie. The movie has too many characters which might make it complicated for the common audience to follow it. The script is gripping overall, but takes a dip with the love interest angle for Arya which seems to be force fitted into the movie. Another point which is missing is the ability for the audience to connect with the purpose of the protagonist. The buildup phase although builds the audiences up for the thrills but fails in establishing the emotional connect. Hence the climax lacks the vigor it had to be established with.
High Points: Action sequences, Performance of Asutosh Rana
Low Points: Too many characters, Love interest for the protagonist, Lack of emotional connect
Overall Meaghamann is a decent gangster movie which could have been done much better. Still there are elements in it which will keep you interested in this captain.
Wait for TV/DVD
Aambala Review – Aambala is a Tamil action movie released in 2015. Saravanan runs an organization responsible for gathering people for political meetings, party gatherings. He falls in love with Maya. He soon learns about his father and he has to go in search of him and his younger brother to reunite them back with his mother. The search lands him in a situation he hasn’t imagined.
Aambala is a run of the mill masala movie that has been done with only commercial intent in mind. Vishal fans would have moments to enjoy in the movie. Every scene from the movie is a minimum guarantee scene that would not bore the audience. There is a large ensemble of cast which will keep the screen occupied throughout. Right from the first scene you would feel the screen is crowded.
The plot of the movie is very age old and even the treatment is not anything new. The team has stuck to elements that would make the movie work. They have relied on the comedy elements to carry the movie forward. This is the only saving grace for the movie. But for this there is nothing new that you could expect here. As there are so many characters in the movie the villain himself does not have much screen time and looks weak in the plot.
Vishal is in his home turf and does the role with ease. Hansika is a mere eye candy. Music of Hip Hop Tamizha is different and fresh. The comedy elements are highlight of a Sundar C flick and it works in this with Santhanam and Sathish filling in for that role.
If you are a fan of run of the mill masala movies then give this is a shot or else you can skip this.
Can Skip it
Pisasu Review – is a Tamil Horror movie released in 2014. A young musician tries saving a girl who had met with a road accident; she dies in the hospital when trying to tell him something. When he comes home strange things start happening at his home.
Director Mysskin has ventured into a new genre for himself. Pisasu has turned out as a very nice product at the end. The movie has a very convincing plot and very engaging screenplay. It is complete Mysskin show and you would see his trademark shot making as in his other movies. The long and continuous shots, characters spread out on the screen; dark shots with high tension are present in Pisasu as well.
Naga’s performance is very apt for the story. As his face is half covered with his hair there is an air of suspense in his emotions. This has worked well for the story. The climax of the movie has been done well. Certain aspects in the movies are left to the interpretation of the audience and you might feel it as incomplete at times like the visibility of the ghost when it appears and when it does not. There is also subtle humor in the first half of the movie when the three friends go on the search of finding ways to get rid of the ghost. The background score fits well for the screenplay.
High Points: With horror movies picking up in Tamil this cashes in as well, Screenplay is very engaging, performances by the lead actors, the twist in the tale, and horror story with a strong message
Low Points: The visibility of the ghost has been used liberally and not consistent, thrills and chills are far apart
Overall Pisasu is a horror movie with a message. Its intent is not to scare you but to emotionally move you.
Kaaviya Thalaivan Review – is a Tamil drama released in 2014. The movie is set in the era of British rule in India during which stage plays were very popular. The plot revolves around two upcoming stage artists Gomathi Nayagam Pillai and Kaliappa. Although Gomathi Nayagam dedicates himself, works hard to reach to fame Kaliappa seems to get everything easily meaty roles for acting, praise from the master, women he loves. This sparks jealousy in Gomathi Nayagam. What happens is the story of Kaaviya Thalaivan.
First of all, kudos to Vasanthabalan for making this movie. As in any Vasanthabalan’s movie the story is very intense and gets on track right from the first shot. Although the plot of rivalry and jealousy has been used in many movies, the entire thing set in the era of stage plays is brilliant. Lot of research has gone into recreating the elements of a stage play. A R Rahman’s music is soul of the film. Siddharth, Prithviraj and Nasser have performed very well. During the second half of the movie the pace lags a bit and at times makes it feel lengthy. It is a neat idea to bring in the elements of patriotic plays in the movie. However the reason behind Siddharth’s patriotism is not manifested well in the plot. Hence his entire transformation into a patriotic stage actor doesn’t create an impact.
High Points: Stage play drama, Acting of Siddharth and Prithviraj, Strong story line
Low Points: Pace and length of the movie, Siddharth’s affinity towards patriotism, Unless you appreciate the era of stage plays you may not connect with the movie
Overall Kaaviya Thalaivan is a very sincere and laudable attempt in Tamil Cinema. It is no doubt the best of Vasanthabalan movies so far. You can watch it for some brilliant performances and a creative story line.