Nee Naan Nizhal Review – Nee Naan Nizhal is a Tamil crime thriller released in 2014. A serial killing of five Indian origin people in Malaysia starts of a investigation by the Malaysian police. The five murdered individuals do not have anything in common but for a common facebook friend.
The movie definitely has a strong plot and an underlying social message around cyber-crime. This is the first movie for director John Robinson and kudos to him for taking up a good plot. The first half of the movie is very sluggish. The songs could have been avoided as they slow down the pace of the movie. The entire Coimbatore episode surrounding the five friends seems out of place for the movie. The forced comedy sequences involving MS Bhaskar does not make you laugh. The director could have used this time and space to increase the complexity of the knot. For any investigative thriller to be very effective it is very important to build knots and making the case look unsolvable leading up to the climax where the knot is removed and the surprise is revealed. Nee Naan Nizhal has missed out on this despite having a great potential for a gripping thriller. The story picks up from the interval block. Sarathkumar and Manoj K Jayan are good choice for the supporting roles. Again building on their characterization would have made it even more interesting. The use of comic style animation to narrate the flashback is very effective. This is now been adopted by many of the new age film makers. Given the restrictions of the Indian censor board this definitely is a very effective alternate medium for conveying the intensity of the problem.
If you are able to sit through the sluggish first half of the movie you might enjoy the second half which forms the meat of the story. Overall the movie is watchable at home for its plot.
Wait for DVD/TV – for its plot
Raanjhanaa (Amibkapathy – Tamil) – A local boy in Varanasi falls in love with a Muslim girl since his childhood… Soon he finds rest of his life, aspirations, dreams, love, pain everything limited to her (Bas Tum Tak…!)
Anand L Rai has given a very good story that is just not limited to a puppy love story. The first half of the movie is colorful and enjoyable, the cinematographer Natarajan Subramaniam brings the lively colors of Varanasi in front of your eyes… the second half of the movie has a serious tone and through the journey of Kundan and Zoya the director takes you through the current political affairs in the country. Love prevails in the end and stays immortal. Dhanush is a very appropriate selection for the movie and has essayed his character very well, Tamil audiences might have watched this in many of his movies. Abhay Deol is charismatic in the portion he plays. Anand hasn’t let any star cast over shadow the plot and the screen play but has the story lead the way all through. The life and soul for the movie is A.R Rahman’s musical score. Raajhanna would make you laugh, cry and think. It is a wholesome entertainer that will keep you engaged throughout… Go for it!
Ghanchakkar – An expert in opening lockers and stealing money goes into retirement. He is affected by partial memory loss and one of the things he forgets is where he has hidden the money from his last heist. He has to remember this and find the money as it also has the share of his accomplices.
Ghanchakkar is a slang word commonly used to refer to a dumb person although its literal meaning is to spin fast. The movie is crazy and dumb in parts as its title. If you go in with the expectation of a ROFL comedy you would be disappointed. Ghanchakkar is one such movie which comes once in a while completely whacky in the way it is executed and catches you off guard. . The movie is brilliant in parts particularly the heist sequence and the characters of Emraan Hasmi and Vidya Balan. The pace of the movie is slow, it gives you enough time to savor the humor as you move along. Many of which you might miss as they are subtle. Despite its slow pace the McGuffin (I had written about this in my Friday Facts) keeps you engaged with the script. The ending is completely unexpected and be ready to be caught off guard… Overall the movie is all about the journey not the ending… Soon you would find two groups of people who would just love the movie or those who simply hate it… If you are open for “not the usual script with song and dance” then Ghanchakkar is watchable…
Watchable – for its difference from the usual!
Eastern Promises – is a crime thriller released in 2007 A 14 year old girl dies in a Britain hospital after giving birth to a child. She has a diary written in Russian Language which is recovered by the hospital nurse Anna. She doesn’t understand Russian and sets out on a path to find the father of the child. The path she takes is dreadful and leads her to a Russian mafia gang. Does she succeed in her mission is the rest of the plot.
The movie is engaging right from the first shot at the barber shop. We get introduced to the mafia world through the eyes of Anna who is fearless and is very much focused on her mission irrespective of the perils associated with it. The screen play is very engaging and the dark tone of the shots suits the theme very well. Naomi Watts and Viggo Mortenson have given brilliant performances. If you are fan of mafia movies and crime thrillers this is a must watch.
Must Watch – for Crime thriller fans
Theeya Vela Seyyanum Kumaru – A boy who is not good at impressing girls takes the help of a consultant who is an expert in helping men woo women. Does he succeed in this remains the rest of the plot.
The plot has certain similarities to the Hollywood movie Hitch however director Sundar C has given a very well local adaptation that is enjoyable. In 1996 Sundar C directed a movie Ullathai Alli Thaa, a blockbuster that made people laugh out loud without worrying about any logic. Screen play based on comedy has been the home turf for Sundar C and he is very good at it. In between he shifted to movies centered around action which did not give him the same amount of success and accolades his comedy scripts had given. Glad to have him back on his home turf doing comedy scripts. After Kalakalappu he gives yet another movie that will make you laugh throughout if you are willing to not think too much about any logic around the incidents. The biggest risk had been Siddarth essaying the character of a boy next door as he already has an image of a romantic hero. However pleasantly he had played the role very convincingly. Santhanam is the life line for the script and he lights up the scenes very well. If you are a fan of movies like Ullathai Alli Thaa and Kalakalappu, you would enjoy this one as well. Watch it and have a hearty laugh!
Thalaivaa Trailer released during audio release from Sony Music India
McGuffin – Also referred as MacGuffin is a plot device which is used in many of the suspense, thrillers or adventure movies. McGuffin is a plot device which might be any object, place, person or a goal for which the protagonist is ready to give up anything including life. However in the end it turns out to be unimportant to the over all plot. This has been a very old technique described in literature. The director who made this very popular was Sir Alfred Hitchcock and he used it very successful in many of his movies. If you have seen Hitchcock movies you would understand this very well as he was master of this technique and many new directors are still following this.
Some of the recent movies where this technique has been used very well. In Avatar the unobtanium is the McGuffin. The briefcase in Pulp Fiction, the Crystal Skull in Indiana Jones – The Kingdom of Crystal Skull are other examples of McGuffin. Some of the Indian movies recently used this technique very well. In the blockbuster Kahaani, Arnab Bagchi is the McGuffin, in the recent Tamil movie Pizza the mystery house where the hero delivers Pizza is a McGuffin. Its is a very hard technique and needs to be handled well. The success of the script is all about how the audience like the McGuffin in the plot. If they like it the movie becomes a successful one. You might be able to find many movies where you did not like the McGuffin and hence disliked the movie.
Inglourious Basterds – A film by Tarantino released in 2009 revolves around two plots that ultimately converge with each other. The story is set in 1944 when there is a group of Jewish soldiers known as Basterds are feared by the Nazis. A jewish girl in her late teens is running a cinema in Paris and has grudge against the Nazis. There is a German film planned to be premiered in the theater and Hitler is planning to attend it. Both the girl and the Basterds in parallel come up with plan to assassinate Hitler. Will they succeed in their plan is the rest of the movie.
This is one of my all time favorite Tarantino movie. It has been executed brilliantly and there is never a dull moment in the movie. The bar scene where the ensemble are playing games although seem to be an uninteresting narration but the tension in the plot and the anticipation of what is going to happen next makes it a brilliant scene. Typical Tarantino style of having very insignificant foreground to a tension packed background plot (remember the conversation of Samuel Jackson and Travolta about McDonalds in the movie Pulp fiction). None other than Tarantino can make such interesting sequences. Brad Pitt has acted very well. The performance that stands out is that of Christopher Waltz… the performance was simply superb and no surprise that he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2010. For brilliant performances and narration style Inglourious Basterds is a Must Watch!
The Departed – This is 2006 movie directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a crime thriller where a police superintendent makes one of the new recruit to infiltrate the drug trafficking gang. While the boss of the gang simultaneously makes one of the gangster infiltrate the police department. With moles in each group the plot gets interesting when both the boss and the police superintendent figure out the existence of moles in each of their groups. The rest of the movie is a race between them to uncover the moles faster than the other so that their own person in the other group is protected. What happens in the end is the rest of the plot. This movie is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong movie Infernal Affairs.
The movie has a very close resemblance to the original, including many of the camera angles. For a director like Martin Scorsese to do this, you know how well the original has been made. Like the original this also follows the 3 Act Play to the book as mentioned in my recent Friday Fact section. The movie has some brilliant casting with Matt Damon, Leornado DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg. The movie just gets much bigger due to its cast ensemble. Kudos to Martin Scorsese to bring such a movie again back to the screen with strong casting a true tribute to the original. The Departed went on to win the Academy Award for the best picture. For the brilliant casting and narration this is a must watch.
Infernal Affairs – This is a Hong Kong movie directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak. It is a 2002 crime thriller where a police superintendent makes one of the new recruit to infiltrate the drug trafficking gang. While the boss of the gang simultaneously makes one of the gangster infiltrate the police department. With moles in each group the plot gets interesting when both the boss and the police superintendent figure out the existence of moles in each of their groups. The rest of the movie is a race between them to uncover the moles faster than the other so that their own person in the other group is protected. What happens in the end is the rest of the plot.
I had promised you that I will write about a movie which has followed the 3 Act Play to the book as mentioned in my recent Friday Fact section. This is the one. It keeps you at the edge of the seat throughout. Its a well written screenplay and the complications build up very nicely leading to a phenomenal end to the story. The characters who has infiltrated the other group for more than a decade undergo identity crisis, which I thought was very brilliant thought by the director and it also helps in making the scheme of things very interesting. This movie is treated as a rebirth of Hong Kong cinema and went to win many awards in the Hong Kong Film Awards Ceremony. The movie had been remade in multiple languages including The Departed in English and Homam in Telugu. Post the success of the movie Andrew Lau made a prequel Infernal Affairs II and a sequel Infernal Affairs III to the original which also had very good reception with the audience. For an engaging and thrilling script this movie is a must watch.
Dum Maaro Dum – A suspense thriller that revolves around drug trafficking and associated crime. ACP Vishnu Kamath a previously corrupt cop looses his family in a road accident. He transforms and he is posted to Goa to clean up the drug gangsters. Lorry a footballer and aspiring student to go to abroad for studies is forced to smuggle drugs to fulfill his ambition. Kamath finds and arrests him. Lorry’s friend DJ Joki tries getting him out of Jail. All the source of drug trafficking leads to a mystery man Michael Barbosa. The story gets engaging as the plot moves towards the search of Michael Barbosa. Did Kamath succeed in cleaning up the drug gangster mob? Did Joki succeed in saving Lorry? Did Michael Barbosa meet the end? – is the rest of the story.
Rohan Sippy is one of the brilliant film makers of recent times. His movies are stylish and does not have any frills attached. They are also noted for new plots and unique way of story telling. Unfortunately his movies do not make a box office blockbuster. Dum Maaro Dum is no exception. It is a brilliant movie but unfortunately did not make a bang in the box office. Probably he doesn’t need so much star value in the flick which is just a distraction. The hero of the script is the story and not any of the characters. For the enthralling suspense, slick editing and engaging screenplay Dum Maaro Dum is a Must Watch. If you have missed watching this movie when it was released then grab a DVD and watch it…