Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kollywood Kisnan - 7

Dance Master Raghuram celebrated his 50th year in the film industry as a dancer/ choreographer, last year. He had assisted dance master A.K.Chopra in his initial years before moving on to become an independent dance choreographer for films.

 He had acted as Balram Naidu's assistant in Dasavatharam and also appeared in one of the shooting scenes in Avvai Shanmugi .A lot of film choreographers start as background dancers, become assistant choreographers and then become full-fledged dance directors. In the music videos of the 90s and 2000s you'll still be able to spot popular dance masters of Kollywood, Shridhar, Johny, Dinesh, Noble etc.

Here's an old song featuring the Late E.V.Saroja with Raghuram master as a teenager. He comes in the beginning and also at 2.00 


Here's Raghuram master as Lord Murugar in the famous 'Muthai-Tharu Pathi Thiru Nagai' from Arunagirinathar



Raghuram Master passed away last month after a brief illness. May his soul rest in peace.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Thalaivaa

Every wannabe male actor enters Kollywood with big dreams of becoming a Rajni, Kamal or Sivaji. A decade into the industry and after having worked in the usual romance-action type films there comes this 'teeradha daagam' of doing a Nayagan , Devar Magan, Mudhal Mariyadhai type film.

'Ilayathalapathy' Dr.Joseph Vijay Chandrasekhar is no exception. 20 years in the industry and a variety of action kalanda sentiment kalanda romance mixed movies, our man also wanted to a 'different' film. Enter director A.L.Vijay with his intelligensia of the intellectual look. After having copied from films like Titanic, Lagaan (deeiiiii) and I'm Sam but still insisting they are original scripts our man decides to join hands with 'Ilayathalapathy' in this 'different' venture.

So these two meet, discuss storyline etc. Aal izzz well . But you know there is thing that they need to add to the script. It is the thing called 'Massssssss' at times called as 'Marana masssssss' . We've seen it on hoardings by fans, fb posts, tweets particularly during rockzzz vs Dr.Joseph fights. Nobody exactly knows what it is but all the directors and actors know is that , be it an 'Elipathayam' type film or an Avatar or even our own Veerapandiya Kattabomman type film, if Dr.Joseph Vijay or rockzzz decide to make a film of any kind, it should be 'Masssssss' or 'Marana Massssssss'.

So here we are. Making a GodfatherdevarmagaNayaganSarkarBaasha-ish Marana Masssss film titled Thalaivaa -film by Vijay with Vijay for Vijay-ians! 


Dharavi to Down under 

In the 90s, Sathyaraj becomes the Don of Dharavi in Mumbai after his friend and leader of Tamilians in Mumbai, Nasser gets dejected and decides to escape from Bombay with his son, after some random riots. Sathyaraj gives his son Vishwa (Vijay) to Nasser and tells him to take care of him. 

Cut to 2013- Both sons - 'Bro' Santhanam & 'Bro' Vijay are now in Australia running a mineral water bottle company. 'Bro' Vijay meets Amala Paul , love happens and they come to Bombay to seek the blessings/ approval of father Sathyaraj unaware of his Don-giri. Circumstances make him to take up Don-giri ... How he became a 'Don' from being a 'dude' is what is narrated in 3 hours 2 mins. With 'Nurai eeral panju pondra....' + Mukesh dying a dozen times on screen it ends up being a 3 1/2 hour film.

The Vettis of Ozzz

The first half set in Australia is quite a breeze . Santhanam's brand of mokkai kaamedy adds to the fun. Surprise surprise there's no 'Amala Paul, Aavin Paul' joke in the film. The Sam Anderson scene is easily the best one in the film. (Then you can imagine the rest) . Vijay and friends put one super dance for 'Tamizh Pasanga'. This anthem of sorts for Tamizh dudes definitely needed to be a better song.  What to do? Our nephew composer Pragaas thambi is so busy putting angry tweets with 'En Kadamai En Urimai'  that he has no time for unimportant things like making music. 

Vijay and Amala Paul's costumes (Deepali Noor) were semma cool and thankfully she was not wearing sleazy Deepika Phadukone type 1/4 sarees . 

Bro to Bhai 

The film start losing steam once the story shifts to Bombay. It's director A.L.Vijay's film and since he is known for his 'original' scripts, you already know the story from what we saw in the trailer. Vishwa 'bro' becomes Vishwa 'bhai' bashes up random people in Bombay, walks out wearing cool black goggles with 2-3 people behind him (minus the 'Baasha' background score . Miss you Deva! ) 

There's also this 'You are God, You are leader, You are our next CM' feel song. What ya Bro? Not all songs can be MGR's 'Neenga nalla irukkonum' and make you CM no? Poes Garden Poongodhai watching this time no? You didn't foresee all this?

At one point of the film both hero and villain were after some video tape. Apparently I was yawning so much I had missed that "key" video tape scene in which an amateur cameraman films something being plotted against some people or some such thing. No no not in Mudhalvan bro. This scene is in Thalaivaa only bro.

As long as he was a dude in down under all was ok. This Bro becoming Bhai became a big bore.

Side 'Bros'

Villain bro - You know our director Vijay Saar. He thinks original. He directs original. For villain bro also, he wanted one unique identity. We've seen 'deeei' villains, 'eeeei' villains, cool villains, kaamedy villains. This villain is very different. He meditates and chants enemies' names always. Very different no? Pppah!

India's Matt Preston a.k.a our own 'Panneer Pushpangal' Suresh 'bro' - He plays V.K.Ramaswamy, Saroja Devi's father in Pudhiya Paravai... sorry, meant Amala Paul's father in Thalaivaa. 

Y.Gee.Mahendra - You hear his voice in the trailers. His entire 'we-are-Superstar-Rajnikant's-relatives' family was present during the audio launch of Thalaivaa. So one obviously assumed 'ore da' important role. But bro, his screen time in the trailer was more than what he had to do in the main feature film.

Bros Manobala, Ponvannan as Janagaraj, Delhi Ganesh in Nayagan... cha cha, again again mistake... meant Thalaivaa. 

Company artistes bros - Our director A.L.Vijay's films are like anda kaalathu Gemini studios / AVM films. Just like the pazhaya kaalathu films,  he ensures the same faces are repeated over and over again in his films. It honestly gets tiring to see the same mix.

The one and only 'Nephew composer' Bro 

GVP with all the 'bandha' instead of spending time demanding Royalty can, I'm sure spend more time creating better songs than these 'Thalaivaa thalaivaa' or 'Sol Sol Sol' ones in the film. The only good song was 'Vaanganna Vanakkanganna' very well choreographed by Dinesh. (Also is it like an unwritten rule these days that the dance master must put a guest appearance in every song?)

Slick and Slack

You remember these old films with constable being called out as "4 nought 4" or police making entry in the climax with their "Hands up!" . The film is full of such clichés'. There is one "crucial" scene where two people say "We are from Crime branch". Instead of  getting ore da shocked you actually say "ivangaLa vecchu kaamedy geemedy panliye" . What's the point when you get the best of technicians and make the film look good but has such para kadi done-to-death scenes?

Vijay-iyawns

Vijay looks semma fit, neat and trim in the Jeans-Tshirt (bhai) costume. He dances really well and as always better than the dancers behind him. His last film Thuppakki, again a marana massss hit was fairly decent. Copy or not , I don't know but it kept the audience engaged and interested in the film especially the non-Vijayians (or is it un-Vijayians?)

This one's made for Vijay's fans but the director should keep in mind that you can make a marana massss masala , with no logic etc. You copy and all, no problem. We have enough English / Spanish / Korean (new fad) movies to be copied from. But if you are going to copy from Mudhalvan , Sarkar, Pudhiya paravai (which completed its 5000th broadcast on ktv last week), every MGR film (where he bashes up villains for 15 minutes after being beaten up for the first 5 minutes ) , I'm sorry bro, the film ends up being a...

Thalaivali - Time to sleep - 2.5/ 5

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Chennai Express

This is what the movie's trailer promised.

A flim on Soueeth Indian log - Check
Saarugaan acting as ..Sa..er..rug..kkhan - Check
Tamizh characters who speak bad tamizh - Check
Tamizh characters who speak terrible tamizh - Double Check
Deepika in something called half saree which is less than 1/4 saree - Check * 100 times
Cars, cars and more cars toppling - Check
Bad music - Triple check

For everything unimportant like logic, authenticity, decent sets, dialogues, acting, accent that's questioned in Indhi films, the reply these days I get is "Kya yaar this is a Rohit shitty film.. what did you expect?" Ok then !


Spoilers ahead (idula oru build-up vera)

Ready Steady Ponga da dei!

Saarugaan is 40 year old Rahul (wow, what a name!) living with grandmother and his very-funny-you-see Dadaji with Harry Potter thaatha level beard . Thaatha dies when he's 99 years old when Sachin tendulkar gets out at 99.  Rahul is more interested in going to Goa than going to Rameshwaram to karachify the ashes of dadaji. He poi-pulugifyes to his paatti that's he off to Soueeth ke India and gets on to Chinnai express. He meets Meenamma (Padukone) who is chased by her 'gunda' cousins for escaping from their village because she doesn't want to marry 'Thangha Bhali' her morai-payan or some such thing. Rahul wants to help Meenamma and both arrive at her village. Whether Rahul successfully fell in love with Meenamma and if she managed to escape from getting married to Thangha Bhali is the story.

Dadar station-il oru DDLJ 

This DDLJ film. I have never bothered to see it nor do I intend to watch its 1000th premiere on tv and scream "awwwwwwww.... DDLLJJJJJJ... cho chweet!!!" especially when Lata Mangeshkar & Kumar Saanu sing "Tujheeennn dekhaaan to yeehh" . Saari ba! The scene where Deepika Padukone and thugs are saved by Saarugaan is a DDLJ spoof-aam. Makkal ore da laughing. We were laughing looking at the crowd laughing. Seri kaamedy.

Thamil language ko thenth day manaya

So we thought Mehmood killed Tamil. Dheephika Phadukhone ghoes a steph fhurther and does thenth day, thirteenth day khaariyam and all phlaying an authentic Thamilian speaking lhike this. Was Vicks one of the sponsors of the film? There was a hundred brands in the initial credits so I may have missed it. Dheephika Phadhukhone perpetually spoke like someone had inserted a tudappa kuchi in her nostrils. 

Ennamma Kannu Sowkyama to EKSI

Sathyaraj is the dreaded Don a.k.a 'Pheriyah Thalai' in this film. In the first scene as he appears you say "Wow, nammaaLu kalakka-p-poraaru" . He says "Ennamma kannu sowkyama?" You clap and whistle and all. But then when scene after scene he walks & says "Ennamma kannu sowkyama" you feel so sorry for him having been reduced to one dummy piece. In Thillu Mullu Thengai Srinivasan's words our manasatchi asks us "Idhula enna perumai?" every time you think of "our" Sathyaraj in a mainstream Indhi cinema. EKSI!

V&S for VRS

This was one of the most boring soundtracks in recent Indhi padams. Song after song sounded exactly what these guys have been producing for 15 years now. No wonder there was an additional song added for the much-needed buzz to the music of the film. Time for VRS , V&S.  

Toy Train 

Dheepikha Phadhukone's village 'Komban' (and like most of us wonder if it's an elephant or a village) makes Doordarshan Tuesday drama set backdrops with the same flower vase and azhukku curtain look like epics . There are some characters who come as cousins, friends, villagers of Komban who make you want to give an Oscar award to Sam Anderson's makeup and costumes. I actually wanted to check if the movie was called 'Chennai Express' or Toy Train. 

Bogut Bogut Funny hai

When there is no umpteenth DDLJ spoof or SRK's self-reference for the millionth time, there's super funny amazingly hilariously comedy of a dialogue "Don't underestimate the power of a common man" for which junta puts a super laugh. Kyun why yean endukku ? Someone tell me yaar!

Eid ka chand aur Idli ka chutney

Also this pyaar for SRK. I see these "Maine aaj SRK dekha. Kal Eid hai" "SRK ko dher saara pyaar" "SRK tu Eid ka chand ... main Idli ka chutney" type messages from ladies log on fb and twitter. So people actually love and like this fellow and his face-a? Mereko samajh nahin Aatha Amma!

End mein kya bolta

Ok it's an Indhi padam and a Saaruk kaan padam. Add Rohit shitty also. So leave brain, liver, logic, kidney & all home firstu. The movie is not an aruvai like 'Ra.Ayyayo One' or 'Jab tak hai Javvu' but that does not make this an epic film. 

The film is a cardboard version of all Tamizh and telugu masala films which include Ghilli, Chandramukhi, Muthu, a dozen MGR films etc. Ya there is some Sivaji Ganesan type acting also by Saarugaan in the end. 


Bockwass express - Tamizh cinema vaazhga ! 2.5/5

(Now if someone could please tell me why these Naarth Indians were laughing so much in the theatre. Total entertainment happened looking at them loffing lyk anything)


Sunday, July 07, 2013

Singam II (not Singham II you Amits)

These days it is getting increasingly difficult to sit for 2 + hours in a movie hall. The '+' in this can be anything between 1/2 hour to 2 hours. A 9.30 am movie at PVR starts only at 10.10 am after we've mourned Mukesh's death a million times for ghutka-paan-sori-padai etc, saluted Indians in 'Being Dabanng' shirt to tracks to coat-suit standing for the National Anthem, watched the 'Mumps vanda Hippopotamus' Sanjay Dutt in Policegiri trailer a dozen times before the movie starts, during the interval etc. By the time you are out of the theatre after watching an average Tamizh / Indhi padam, it's almost 12.30 pm. 

So making one sit glued to his/her seat during the entire 160 minutes of the film is indeed a difficult task. In the last couple of years, I wanted to walk out of so so so many films like Ek Tha Tiger, 7-am arivu, Nondasamy, Goa, Damnchakkar, almost-every-other-Steel-Iron-Super-PittaLai-man Hollywood film and so on. Movies to me is all about entertainment. The hero-heroine-villain-comedian can dance, sing, cry, act do whatever but ultimately they should entertain me in some way or the other. 

That way Singam-2 is entertainment, entertainment, entertainment. In many serious scenes, when Dorai Singam (Suriya) is busy giving dialaak about Indian Police or the importance of National flag or about Indian Police or about ... er.. Indian Police I found myself laughing aloud thinking about the great director Hari Saar has put in his heart, soul and Mercedes and Scorpios conceiving this with all sincerity. This review or note or (in bloggers' jargon) thoughts/ ramblings on Singam II is my salute to the one and only director Hari Saar. Give him the Bharat ratna now!

If you are one of those torrent vaasis who watches movies on eeteeb and hard disk types, kindly skip reading this. You'll never be able to understand and appreciate the vision of Hari Saar watching this epic on Sinnathirai


Story ley!

The movie starts with a gist of what happened in Singam 1 as a preview to all unfortunate souls who missed it. Dorai Singam (Suriya) is on a mission to nab the baddies as an undercover cop. He is now an NCC teacher in a school and is moppam pidichifying the villains. He realizes the local industrialists are smuggling drugs , follows them in Tuticorin, Kerala, Chennai and finally comes face to face with the kingpin Danny at South Africa. In between all this, are duets with Anoushka, one side laauv with Hansika, kaamedy with Santhanam and Viveik, Amma-Appa sentiment, Blackberry, video calls, ipad password, false eyelashes and some hi-tech stuff contributing this world-class entertainer. Whether Dorai Singam nabbed Danny and told him who the king of Indian ocean was, did his romance with Anoushka work out, have we been made to realize the power of Indian police is what the suspense of the story is. 

Where there is no 'vay' ....

...use a "ley". Since the film has a Tuticorin backdrop we have a lot of veys and leys. All the leys and veys apart from travelling in boats saying eeey, veeey , leey also do an item dance with Anjali and her my-chitthi-is-forcing-me-to-dance velakkennai kudichcha look wearing left-overs from Khushbu-designed-dress in Kalakalappu. Kadavu'ley'!

Truly International vey!

Dorai Singam polandu kattufyes not just in Thoothukudi Tamizh but also in Indhi and English. When he utters the pullarikkira "D for Dil, D for Dushman, D for Dosti, D for Dorai Singam...." you want to clap non-stop and put a D for Dhanyavaad for Hari Saar for making Kollywood world-classer than what it is.

Director Hari Saar has made the villains speak Malayalam, Sinhalese and there is also Babylese which is villain Mukesh Rishi's va-va-va-va ba-ba-ba le-le-le and dupping coming to his rescue. Raguman looks confused and speaks one nember confused Tamizh. Chetta nee border cross cheydu Kerala migrate cheyyu, angane chaaya, Banana chips kazhichu. Kettiyo?

Music ley!

There is one dialogue in Singam 2 where Viveik makes one lengthy explanation of DSP standing for Devi Sri Prasad reminding us that the music director of the film is Sri Sri Sri Devi Sri Prasad. If there's one guy who should retire and resign immediately after this film, it is DSP! His songs sound like leftovers of Singam 1 and several other Golt movies. What's worse he ends up singing some of the tracks which obviously have been recorded in the bathroom . Constipated he sounds. "Sing and dance.. Singam dance" - Elay DSP! VRS vaangu ley!

Kaamedy vey!

What Peter, Muthu was to Nambiar in old films, Soosai is to Tamizh films these days. Every film has a kadarkarai background, fishermen sandhai, church backdrop, Parama pidha, Thiruchchabai reference scenes and there is a Soosai . I was infact looking for an Esakki as well. May be the character got chopped at the edit table. Santhanam plays Soosai in the film doing his own bit here and there adding to the madness. In between almost nail-biting serious scenes where Suriya is putting heroic dialaaks on what-else-but "INDIAN POLICE!!!!! " there is one sudden Santhanam kaamedy. That is the biggest Kaamedy of all ley!

Apparetion D ley!

Dorai Singam is on an ultimate mission to nab the baddies and comes up with Mission D where he is given the authority to shoot people and do whatever he wants to achieve his mission. This is one extra secretive mission which only Hari Saar's real life Mamanar & former Ettu-p-patti raasa Naattamai Vijaykumar and Dorai Singam are aware of. In one of the several climax scenes of the film, villain Raghuman tells Dorai "I'm aware of Mission D.. D for Doraisingam". Adukku Suriya says "D for Danny not Dorai singam" My gawwwddd! This this this this is one more fantastic-pullarikara moment of the film when you want to clap and put D for Dappanguthu for Hari Saar. 

Actors Gumbal ley!

I hope Hari Saar does NOT send this film for the National film awards. He should instead eye for the Aascars, Nobel Prize, Magsaysay and other International awards. To offset the presence of a bad Bhai, there is also a good (Kareem) bhai played by the one and only Mansoor (piles vyadiyo?) Ali Khan . To reiterate and remind the dumb audience that is us, that he is a "good" bhai, we have his wife in Burkha (note it you idiots!) at the hospital scene. I recommend Mansoor Ali Khan for Magsaysay award for putting up with piles vyaadhi and nadichu tuppufying. Long time no see Mansoor Bhai. Hope we see you more often from now on.

The Nobel Peace prize has to be given to Vijaykumar Saar. C'mon so much he has put up with right from Singam 1 to 2 for his daughter's (Director Hari Saar's wife) life! What's with actors like Radha Ravi and Kitty always looking constipated throughout the film .. I meant in  the 11 seconds they appear (5.5 seconds each) ? I strongly suspect there has been some food poisoning in the unit food during the shooting of Singam II. There is also Nasser, Manorama, Viveik, 'Shadows' Ravi, Sumithra, Yuvarani and one huge gumbal

There is also what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here Anoushka Shetty and here-I-am-looking-cute-and-bubbly-in-my-umpteenth-film Hansika Motwani as well. Looks like ivangalukkelam saappadu potte Producer would've spent half the budget of this film.

Indhi-vey

Dear Ajay Devgn, you can put dialaak, romance heroiney, dance, sing, jump, hit villains like Suriya but can any of your Indhi TV channels do a "Konjam Nadinga Boss" with any of your Singham 2 dialaaks should you decide to remake this too? The answer is NO! While watching the film, felt super thrilled at the very thought of namma makkal putting Singam 2 dialaaks in this world famous program on Adithya TV. Incase you are not aware of this awesomeness, here is a sample

Last wordsu ley

Meanwhile, while our dear #Thalarockzzz fans (still figuring out titles of 53, 55, 59.5 films) and #ThalapathyRockzzz fans (wondering how to remove their "Sura"tic tag) are trying to post pirated  links of Anoushka in Singam 2 with Kungumam on her Vagidu discussing whether she was married to Dorai Singam in the movie or not , and how Director Hari Saar has made this major continuity error of the blunder of the millennium and how Singam 2 is a blot to Kollywood's clean slate of epic movies like Billa 2 and Sura, guess who is loffing all the way to the bank making Kodis and breaking box-office records on Day 1?

"Sing and dance.. SINGAM dance!"  - bwahahahaha! 

Here's my rating of ... 4 stars... on Suriya's uniform . This man truly deserves a standing ovation, Padma Bhushan, Vibhushan, Param Vir chakra , Kalaimamani, Mylapore Academy, Adambakkam Fine arts and the other awards. 

Let's make him a 10 stars potta Chief Police Officer Dorai Singam - Ezhundu adicha ezhara tonne weighttu - Bring it on, Singam 3!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Quinoa Padutthum Paadu - Recipe # 3

Thank you twitter makkale for your overwhelming response and interest to participate in this contest. But you see, this season 1 is open only for the Master Chefs of Madras . When I have season 2 inviting Tabulouehehehe type recipes, I shall surely keep all of you in mind.

For those wondering what this is all about, it is  Quinoa popularly called Koina based contest announced last week. Read post here. Read ? Now go to @prabhuferrari's first recipe that was posted here . Then came @mdeii and his exotic recipe here .

Our third and final contestant - @lordlabak
 
Lordlabak is a nadamaadum Bollywood dictionary. From knowing the bio-data of every kuppai actor (Imran Kaan ;-) ) to analyzing Karan Jogar's shows, lordlabak has Bollywood in her viral nuni. From being an ardent fan of Chitti serial , Neengal ketta padal type sun tv shows, I suspect this transformation to being Bollywood lover has something to do with cooking Koina and the poshness. Lordlabak aims to have 10000 plus followers on twitter which I told her will be possible only if she starts writing columns about Cilantro chutneys, Cathay pacific seat belts and Cows' names in DNA, Minnttu Lounge papers. Lordlabak blogs here .
 
Over to her recipe
 
@lordlabak's Quinoa Pongal or Quinoa Khichdi for Amits
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa soaked for 2-3 hours in water
  • 1/2 cup moong dal
  • Mix the above with salt and turmeric powder and pressure cook until you hear 4-5 whistles.
  • If you see sprouts or strings coming out of quinoa you know it's cooked well.
  •  Add cashew and cumin seeds in ghee and sauté until cashews turn light brown. Add it to the cooked quinoa Pongal to give it a little flavor.

Disclaimer
 Super healthy hence may not taste well. If you don't like it, reuse it as glue for household projects. But make sure you evaporate excess water and make it pasty.

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When @lordlabak sent me this recipe, she mentioned her family was semmaya toongifying after eating her Quinoa Pongal. I did have a word with her husband later who said it was not tookkam but mayakkam. Poor guy had to almost ezhudivechify his car & veedu to the doctor for the treatment , he added. Thanks to Kadavul krubai they are all ok now. Quinoa is now added into the list of ketta varrthai that is now allowed in the house it seems. Praise the Lord!
 
So makkale, you have read Thalaivar @prabhuferrari, Annan @mdeii & Akka @lordlabak 's Koina recipes. Voh My gaad! Now I cannot wait to reveal the name of the Mega Master Chef of Madras who will jedge the three entries and announce prize of minjipoana Quinoa packet and a book of their choice, to the winner. Stay tuned, people.