Appuchi Gramam Review – Appuchi Gramam is a Tamil science fiction comedy film released in 2014. Oblivious to the fact of a large meteorite that could potentially destroy a village, people in Appuchi Graamam go about their routine life where village heads fight against each other, young men stalk girls, drunkards flocking the wine shop and misers saving more money and wealth. What happens when they become aware of the fact that their life might end in a day is the plot of Appuchi Gramam.
Director Vi Anand has taken a genre that is not prevalent in Indian cinema for his debut film. This fact needs to be appreciated. All of us would have heard about incidents where people believed that the world is going to end and react to it. Appuchi Gramam is a snapshot of it. The movie is a symbolism of the self-centered and materialistic nature of humanity where there is no care for people. The way in which the movie traverses with its plot is definitely engaging for most parts. The high points of the movie are the following scenes
1. When Subramani is bought back to the village from Police station.
2. When the first meteor strikes the villagers think it is the goddess and start worshipping it.
3. The spat between the two step brothers in the village
4. Meteors striking the village
The major drawback of the movie is the cast. As most of them are new comers their acting is not as convincing in many places. Thanks to some of the veteran actors to make up for the short comings. Some more work on acting and the dialogue department could have worked well. Comedy works for most parts but in few places it drags a bit.
The production quality of the movie is decent enough for a low budget venture. The music and the background score are pleasant. The movie has just enough ingredients to keep you engaged. Also the short length of the movie is another plus point as there is not much in the story.
Overall Appuch Gramam would deserve a watch from you and you would enjoy it sitting on your couch.
Wait for DVD/TV
London Bridge Review – London Bridge is a Malayalam romance drama released in 2014. Vijay is a successful businessman settled down in London. He gets the chance of his life to become the son in law of another famous businessman CS Nambiar. But with a strange turn of events a girl who is the bread winner of a poor family gets hit by his car and her right hand is paralyzed which prevents her from taking up a job. What will Vijay do now is the story of London Bridge.
London bridge did not work for me. Other than the pleasant visuals of London and UK countryside there was nothing enjoyable in this tale of romance. Majority of the movie happens in UK barring a few scenes in India. Through the entire movie the lead pair looks jet lagged. Nandita Raj’s expression is between A and B. Most of the intense emotional sequences fall flat with her single expression face. Prithivraj has tried hard to act but the chemistry between the pair goes missing. The plot of the story is very unique where the conflict is between the romance and morality of self. However it takes a U turn trying when the transition in the hero almost happens very quickly and you would be able to guess the call he would take naturally in the end. The second half of the movie happens to be just a formality to witness the predictable eventuality. If the stress has been made more on the inner conflict of the hero and kept him strong till the end of the movie it would have made a very interesting tale.
Prathap Pothan and Andrea Jeremiah are a big plus for the movie. Although they don’t have much scenes but the sequences they are present are watchable. Another drawback in the movie is its length and pace. The pace is too slow.
Overall this is a forgettable movie for Prithivraj. It had the promises but has failed to deliver on it.
Can Skip it
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Gone Girl Review – is an American thriller social drama released in 2014. Nick returns home on his fifth wedding anniversary to find his wife missing from home with broken furniture and covered up blood stains in the house. As the police starts investigation the mystery deepens and the plot thickens as the suspicion turns towards Nick.
Gone Girl is not just a mystery thriller but more of a social drama which hits hard on the various aspects of the society such as media frenzy public, effect of recession on marriage, dishonesty in strained relationships, upbringing of a child and so on. This one is based on the book with the same name written by Gillian Flynn.
One of the thing that would starkly hit you when watching Gone Girl is that it is very slow paced and the lighting is gloomy throughout reflecting the mood and the theme of the movie. The movie doesn’t have many elements that you would expect in a suspense thriller and I believe Director David Fincher has done it deliberately to focus on the social issues. A lawyer specializing in protecting husbands framed for wife’s murder, reality shows and interviews with emotional confessions are brilliantly woven into the movie. The dialogues like “Your parents have plagiarized your childhood”, “There is a always an idiot in a locality” are hard hitting on the issues the movie is dealing with. Ben Affleck is in his usual self and the role kind of suits his style of acting as it did in Argo. Rosamund Pike has a meaty role to play in the movie and this would be one of her top Hollywood movies so far.
Overall if you enjoy watching movies that are slow and with multiple twists you would enjoy Gone Girl. Many of you would find the length to be longer and a bit dragging. If you are able to appreciate the movie much beyond the pure mystery thriller it deserves a watch.
Go for this Gone Girl she ought to be found!
Aal Review – Aal is a Tamil action thriller released in 2014. This movie is an adaptation of the Hindi movie Aamir released in 2008. Amir is settled well in his life happily. But one day he finds his family held as a hostage and he would need to follow instructions from some unknown person on phone to save them.
The movie states itself to be an adaptation of the Bollywood movie which is good and if you have seen the original you know what to expect from this movie. However there have been some minor variations in this script. The plot of the movie itself would connect only to a niche audience. If you see from the plot perspective and how the movie is executed it has been done well. Debutant director Aanand Krishna has done a good job with the adaptation. The most striking feature of the movie is the environment in which it is shot. It covers many of the below poverty line locality where the meaning of life is much different than the one you see in the middle class or upper middle class locality. This is very apt to suit the mood of both the movie and the main protagonist who is a middle class person. The movie opens at Elephant Gate (Yaanai Kavuni) in Chennai where a chase sequence is shown. This is done very well. So is the entire Chennai portion of the movie which is covered in similar areas.
Vidharth has done justice to his character. He looks stylish in this movie and as the movie builds up his character transforms into a desperate, confused individual. Songs are few in this movie and good that they haven’t used it during the main portion of the movie which otherwise would have been a major distraction. The love angle to Vidharth doesn’t seem to fit very well and barely has a significant connect to the plot. The dialogues are just about average. For a script of this stature some powerful dialogues could have proved to be a plus point.
Overall Aal is a decent adaptation of its original. But for a few flaws the movie is definitely gripping and the way the environment itself is used as a character in the movie is very good. You can watch this one at home.
Wait for DVD/TV
Madras – is a Tamil political action drama released in 2014. Maari and Kannan are rival political party leaders. Kannan’s party has a big painting of Kannan’s father and his political party on a wall in the middle of Maari’s locality. In the pretext of bad omen no one is daring to change the wall painting. Anbu the dedicated party worker of Maari’s party along with his friend Kaali is waiting for an occasion to change the wall painting.
Right from the first shot I enjoyed everything about this movie. After some really bad outings for Karthi, Madras is a very welcome change. After Attakathi, Director Pa. Ranjith has created a very engaging commercial drama. The movie doesn’t go much outside of the North Madras housing board for its entire length but for a few shots. The first half of the movie is just brilliant. If you have lived in a housing board this would bring back some nostalgic memories. The director has dealt with most of the walks of a lower middle class life like the small houses, getting water from common pipe, lack of space for intimacy between couples, young men proposing to girls, football ground, dance groups and many more. One of the most striking things is how the characters are built. At the end they all have a part to play in the story. There are so many of them yet they all have their unique tone and voice. The use of wall as a metaphor to drive the social message of current state of power and politics is brilliant. The screenplay is engaging throughout. It just slacks down a bit in the middle of the second half but soon gets back on track. Santhosh Narayanan’s background score is apt for the drama. Madras is a welcome change in the times where all leading heroes’ movies are not doing so well. If you like political drama and gang fights go and watch Madras for sure.
Burma – is a Tamil thriller released in 2014. Paramanandam alias Burma is a skilled car thief. He works for a financier to seize cars whose due amounts are not settled. While doing one of the car seizing he crosses line with a criminal gang and he has to save the car, his girlfriend and himself.
The movie has a very interesting plot of car theft which is not usually handled as a central plot for a movie. Director Dharanidharan should be lauded for the effort put in here. Believing in a script and making it into a movie is not an easy effort for a new comer. But due to sufficient lack of scale for the project the production quality of the movie suffers to a great extent. Atul Kulkarni and Sampath Raj’s role is not as it is depicted in the trailer, in the movie they have very minimal role to play. The background score is very disconnected which makes the movie disengaging in many places. Overall the movie definitely has some substance in it. If you are willing to see this as a first timer’s effort you would enjoy this movie for the interesting plot it has.
Wait for DVD/TV
Sigaram Thodu – is a Tamil action thriller released in 2014. Murali fakes his interest in becoming a police officer just to keep his father happy. When his father is attacked brutally by robbers he has to step up to take the police duty to bring the dark forces to light.
Vikram Prabhu is becoming synonymous with action thriller. After his debut movie Kumki he has done back to back action thriller movies Ivan Veramathiri and Arima Nambi. Sigaram Thodu joins the list. Vikram Prabhu’s physique is well suited for action thrillers. However this one does not create the impact like his previous outings. Director Gaurav has just managed to push the bar a little higher than many of the crime dramas you would see on television. The story itself is very small and does not deserve the length it has. One of the weakest points in the story is the villain. The significance of a hero’s purpose is directly proportional to the gruesomeness of the villains. The villains look very weak in front of Vikram Prabhu’s character and it looks like a easy cake walk for him to get them defeated. The element of suspense is broken much earlier in the movie and fails to hold you onto the seat.
Overall this one is an average action drama which can be watched at home for its few engaging parts.
Wait for DVD/TV
How Old Are You – is a Malayalam coming of age drama released in 2014. Nirupama Rajeev an ordinary stereotypical wife, a mother from a middle class family is losing her identity within her family and then the society. She has to turn her low point around to establish her identity back.
This one is a nicely crafted coming of age movie for a wife, a mother of thirteen year old in a middle class family. Director Roshann Andrews also has used the importance organic food produce and how every household can achieve this right on their terrace as a backdrop for the movie. Particularly after his success of Mumbai police this one is a very different subject and equally very appealing. The use of foreshadowing sequence where in the lead actress is in a traffic block waiting for the president’s convoy to pass by is very effective. Manju Warrier has done an excellent job with her role and is a very fitting choice. Overall this one does not have a single dull moment and engages throughout.
Irumbu Kuthirai – is a Tamil action film released in 2014. Prithvi becomes very quiet and disinterested after his father’s death. He meets a beautiful girl Samyukta and falls in love with her but to win her heart he would need to come out of the shell and take up motor biking he dreads to do.
The first trailer of the movie was very impressive and captures one of the best shot sequences. Apart from that there is nothing much left. Right from the start you see the hero riding the bike slow until the climax sequence. The screenplay is also follows this and overall makes this a very tiring watch. The bike chase sequence has been filmed well and lot of efforts has gone in. However the situations surrounding this are not very interesting. If the movie had focused on its core theme of bikes and bike races rather than romance and all song and dance this would have been an interesting product. Overall it is a slow race.
Velaiyilla Pattathari (VIP) – is a Tamil drama released in 2014. A civil engineering graduate is jobless for 4 years since graduation waiting for a civil engineering job rather than taking up any other job that is available.
VIP is touted to be the 25th movie for Dhanush and they have taken the safest route of making a run of the mill entertainer. Mostly we brush off run of the mill entertainer but it still takes a lot of effort to get it right. Cinematographer turned director Velraj has created a decent entertainer for Dhanush fans. The first half of the movie would appeal to a larger audience but the second half is only for the fans of Dhanush. Overall VIP wouldn’t bore you and you can watch it on TV or DVD
Wait for DVD/TV
Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam – is a Tamil film released in 2014. Director R.Parthiepan said it is a film without a story. How will a film without a story be what the story would deal with? He also said it is a tribute to 100 years of Indian Cinema. Well the movie is about a team of aspiring film makers trying to search for that convincing story to make their first film. Through their journey the director has conveyed how difficult it is to make a movie that is entertaining for the audience. Making a film is not always as it is perceived by people; it is really a tough job. Years and months of hard work can be trashed by audience in minutes. A magic is only as good till the audience can guess the trick… a film is only as good till the audience can predict the flow. Finally they do realize they can create script from their everyday experiences but the final question is will a producer agree for it? How long they can run behind their aspirations with family commitments each of them have.
The first half of the movie is about the nuances of script writing and also through their discussion covers some of the amazing gems in old Tamil Cinema which has concepts and outlook that none of the modern day movies have. Due to some of the amateur actors and lack of dramatic elements of the story you would feel disconnected in the first half but the second half is very engaging. Through this R.Parthiepan has tried to experiment multiple things; he has tried to narrate a story to the audience that can be made into a film, he also broken all the grammatical rules of script writing but still the end product has come out decently.
This is not for those who search for a standard story and plot in the movie but for those who appreciate the magic of cinema in whatever form it might be. This one deserves a watch for the sincere attempt and for the love of cinema.
Thanks to all those who has the perseverance of creating good cinema and midst of so many difficulties devote their life to entertain the audience – a true tribute to 100 years of Indian cinema.
Watchable – for the love of cinema
Athithi – is a Tamil suspense thriller released in 2014. Madhiazhagan, Vasuki and their kid lead a very happy life. One day they give lift to an unknown person in their car and things take an unusual turn. They learn their daughter is being held hostage and they are held hostage in their car and are forced to do things the stranger demands.
The movie is mostly engaging in parts and the plot promises to be an edge of the seat thriller. The premise for the whole story is a very promising one and when the story reaches its main premise you would find this to be a very engaging movie and would demand your attention. However the situations leading to the main plot is not buildup well. Due to this what could have been a very engaging movie falls short. The buildup of characters is disconnected to the main plot. There have been deliberate attempts to distract the audience from finding out the motive. In the end as it is not related they seem to be out of place for the story. During the abduction episode in many places the real panic, fear and hurry is not seen with the characters which is not a natural reaction. The scene in which Nanda has to leave a suitcase in the bus stand within 20 minutes, the whole sequence is very relaxed and does not thrill. The comedy portion and songs in the movie is a wholesome distraction to the genre of the movie. Director Bharhathan has tried to stuff in messages against the economic differences in the society which is not needed. The movie needed a bold ending to create an impact but ends up with an average ending.
Overall this one is definitely engaging in parts and can be watched at home if you have nothing else to watch.
Wait for DVD/TV – for a promising premise