Tuesday, August 25, 2009

விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 33

Identify the ten advertisements in the picture grid.


Email your answers to blogeswari {AT } gmail {DOT} com
  • Ten points to be won - One point per correct answer
  • One attempt per person - One guess per advertisement, please.
  • Email your answers to blogeswari {AT} gmail {DOT} com before I post the next quiz. The next quiz will be posted after Sunday,the 30th of August '09
The answers for விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 32 are

1. Rin

2. Sugarfree

3. Domex

4. Gold winner

5. Veta [Vivekandanda Institute has been rebranded VETA]

6. Sunsilk

7. Fair n lovely antimarks

8. Pureit

9. Tata docomo

Results for விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 32 .

Lavs wins with 8 1/2 out of 9. Congratulations!

Ambi - 8 out of 9 ; Mugilan - 7 /9 ; Sumi G and Swap - 6/9 ; Manikandan and R
amaswamy N -

4 out of 9 ;


Good luck for விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 33.
Please do not post answers in the comments section.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kandasamy

Long long ago, so long ago a young man called Susi Ganesan workedwith Maniratnam for many many years getting an alpa salary of 200 bucks for one month an entire project. Frustrated with the slavery and salary at Madras talkies, one day, he got full veeram and pheelings and vowed that he will make a film that is twice the budget of all Maniratnam films put together and today... Susi's kanavu nanavaagified thanks to Kandasamy ... super jeero.. sorry super hero.


Konangi Saamy

The film has an impressive start with Kandasamy in super-hero getup doing ajala gujala stunt beating up Inspector Mansoor Ali Khan after the latter usurps the moneys dropped by Kandasamy, the saviour at a poor lady's place to save her husband admitted in the hospital. The poor lady is given back the money and she believes that its thanks to her prayers to Lord Kandasamy she received the bunch of notes.

But nobody knows that it is CBI officer Kandasamy, the 'Anniyan'ised 'Indian' 'Ramana', the saviour of the ezhais who answers poor people's prayers which are written on a chit and dropped at the Kandasamy temple. To know why Kandasamy IPS turned into Kozhi Kandasamy, please watch Ramana, Indian , Anniyan and some Inglees , Spanish films from Susi Ganesan's DVD collection.

Kozhi Saamy

This film should have ideally been called Kozhi saamy. Kandasamy comes in a Kozhi getup, Shriya Saran has an 'uricha kozhi' hairstyle walking like a kozhi, Prabhu has a permanent 'kozhi muzhi' and Devishri Prasad suffers from a serious 'Kozhi vella kozhi' hangover in his music.

Kaamedi Saamy

Kaamedi # 1: The first or the second name after 'Super hero' Cheeeyan Vikram on the opening credits was Padmashri / Padmabhushan types Dr. Krishna. I was wondering who on earth was Dr. Krishna? Aprom-lu pikchaar choose nenuku artham randi. Pikchar beginning-lu CBI head officer ante oka character unnaru. Manchi reddu dye chesi head-u... manchi golti tamil cheptaaavu, hilarious-u accent anta manavaaru Doctor Krishna. Ade, Sridevi gaaru anta 1980s lu chaala exercise dance chepesta manavaaru Krishna gaaru. youtube link choodaavaa? Exercise dance chupesi manchi oka kilo lose chesaa?

Kaamedi # 2: Vadivelu's comedy irritates you in the beginning. But later you realize that that's the only respite from this 'god'damn film and start enjoying it. Vera vazhi? There are hajjaar supposedly tense moments in the film where CBI officers in white shirt and tie run from one place to another - interrogating, throwing files, Vikram fighting etc and bang! you have Vadivelu and his bathroom kaamedy in the middle of all this. Paaaah!

Kaamedi # 3 : Move over ''Enna kodumai saravanan idhu'' . Prabhu Sir's Bull S%^! is going to be Tamizh youtthhh's mantra from now on. He is supposedly some senior CBI officer types and heads the 'Who is Kandasamy' investigation bureau. Pal's expressions are hilarious. And more funny is the fact that he nods / shakes his head carefully so that the wig doesn't fall. Please not to forget noting this , My Lord. Someone send Prabhu back to Kalyan jewellers and handover a raaaittee card to him, please.

Unsahikkable Saamy

Shriya Saran is Ashish Vidyarti's daughter. Ashish's character is PPP who is one of the many bad men in the film arrested by Kandasamy IPS. Shriya vows to take revenge on Kandaswamy, acts as though she is in lauvv with Kandaswamy, dances in handkerchief outfits, has coffee with him in some remote island, travels to Mexico with him and in the end becomes a bharatiya naari wearing salwar kameez visiting Seth temples in Jaipur.

Suchitra Karthik's dubbing voice just doesn't suit Shriya. Suchi is a very very popular jock and a well known voice in Tamilnadu. The moment you hear her accented tamizh, you can't get Shriya into the picture. It is Suchi's purse vaai and the "Hellllllooo Chennai" that come to your mind when you see Shriya sobbing and seducing Kandasamy.

Don't know about the monies in Shriya's Kandasamy contract but a couple of clauses in her contract I know for sure -

"I will show my toppul in every scene , every shot, every frame..."

" I will do sambandaa sambandham illada belly dance in every milliframe"

" My dresses need to be torn anga anga ... even if they aren't please appoint a villain or design a scene where I tear my outfits deliberately"

- Thank youji - Shriyaji

Cheeyaan Saamy

Poor guy - thought it'd be his next Anniyan of sorts. But sorry Cheeyan - not everyone can become an Avvai Shanmughi or a 'Tiruvarutchelvar' Appar. There's a lot more than just makeup to these getups by Kamalagaasan and Sivaji Saar. But must give credit to Cheeyan. He has put in his best and has made a genuine effort which has unfortunately, gone for a kozhikirukkal.

Tamizh-cinema's next talaivali saamy

Every cameraman wants to be a director and every director wants to be a ... hero! Why ? Whyyyy? After S J Suryah, Missskin, Ameer and a whole lot of directors becoming naanum heroes, presenting Susi Ganesan standing in queue dying to show his ugly expression-less face on screen. He plays a supposedly important role in the film - yet another CBI ABCD officer Ganesan. And worssht, they go flash-backing to show how he and Chiyaaan were friends in the Pizza place etc. Who cares?

Kalakkal saamy

The action scenes with the kokkarakko alais kozhi saamy attacking the villains have been shot very well. It is a delight to watch Cheeyaan Vikram doing the kozhi-man act. Sadly it lasts for about 20 minutes in the entire film. Also, commendable work by Eka, the director of photography. I do admit that certain pans and swish swooshes were unnecessary but neat work Eka!

Kalaipuli saamy

The Puli by now must have become a poonai with the kind of reviews that the film is likely to get. I am sure he has all plans to dub Kandasamy as a P K Mishra-ish 'Bhagawaan-ji' in Hindi. How else would you explain the last scene?

Kann-vali saamy

Kozhisaamy attacks villains - distributes monies - Cheeyan attends office - dances with Shriya - Kozhi attack again as a girl, as an old man , some two-three villains come and go, Kozhi attack again, Cheeyan and Shriya travel to Mexico, Helicopters, landscapes, foreign villains, back to India, Vadivelu's bathroom comedy, Prabhu [as I type this I am ROFL-ing], please-give-me-a-chance Y G Mahendra, please-please-give-me-one-more-chance Charlie , Kozhi's friends in the operation....

Kkkk.....Kandha , Kadamba , Kadhirvela, Kumara, Kozhi... save me from the Kann-vali after suffering a three hour 20 minute torture.

Kadaisila saamy

What could have possibly been Tamizh's first super-hero film is a terrible mishmash of nonsensical ... NONSENSE! Logic-less piece of filth this one is.

Kandasamy aka Kandhaswamy aka Kadhai Kandal saamy - 1 out of 5 - Not even worth a watch on Tiruttu Rs.50 VCD

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Escooos me ..

21 days privilege leave, 10 days casual leave, 10 sick leave - some expire, some don't, some can be encashed, some can be carried forwarded... How on earth does one keep track of these leaves? Come January and I start planning when to take what leave calling admin now and then on the leaves that expire, ones that don't etc etc. I think A, the darling admin person goes pichaxing her head with my never-ending queries.

Touchwood, I don't fall sick very often... usually down with fever for a maximum of 1-2 days in a year and that's usually on a weekend :( Madras trips are combined with long weekends - so that's a max 5-6 days off in a year. Holiday with the purusan is usually twice a year and we haven't gone for a long holiday in two years. So I have hajjaaar leave days accumulated. Getting these sanctioned is a different issue altogether.

... And there are these days when you just don't want to go to work [ya, everyday!]...days when you want to hangout with your pals, catch a film, lunch, shop - basically have fun on a weekday . The thrill of bunking on a weekday just-for-fun is ultimate. With the ten 'casual leave' days that expire in the same year adding the fact that you cannot take more than three casual leaves at any single point, there is a huge problem of the 'excuses' that you give your boss for bunking and use all your 'casual leaves' in the same year.

I have a standard SMS saved - "Hi _____, I am down with fever. Will not be able to come to work. Regards, ____" . Ofcourse I rephrase it umpteen times before pressing the send button. "Wont be able to ?" "Will not be able to?" "Will be unable to ?" - With my limited Shakespearan knowledge inda ingleees vera tollai. And this just like that bunking happens at least 5-6 times in a year.

And every time its a struggle to think of new excuses. I am amazed by the just-like-that
pulugus people give. Here's a list of anda pulugus and aagasa pulugus that I have been hearing from school days till now by people who bunk exams, important meetings, school functions etc.

1. Appendicitis - The most commonestest excuse - be it school or office. Usually used to bunk exams. An Appendicitis treatment takes about 4-5 days and fits in beautifully as an escoos to bunk a week-long exam. Of course you have your dear old doctor chitappa, doctor mama to give you the 'medical certiphicate' and bail you out.

2. Jaundice - For a month-long two-month long leave from school / college when the school has completed the syllabus and expect you to come to school for revision tests, jaundice is of great help. Dutifully supported by parents and Dr. chitappas and perippas students say "I have Jaundice miss" and study to become a 'soda buddi- topper in Dinathanthi first page'. While in college, one vettu-vaettu bunked for a whole three months 'coz she had 'jaundice' and sat at home studying for her CAT, BAT, RAT and MAT exams.

3. Headache - Best escoos for one day offs. But I have problems justifying. Once I had bunked with a talavali escoos and when I came back the following day, a colleague asked "What happened?" I said "What happened??" . She , "Are you ok?" Me, almost forgot the escoos I had given the previous day having shopped, eaten, watched a film "Errr.. ya... I mean...well I am... [checking my previous day's SMS to boss].. you know ... this stupid HEADACHE... ". She again , "Migraine hai kya?" Me wondering if I should go the dreaded migraine route, "Not really, but ya I mean sometimes... headache and you know ... the weather...and..." - Aaala vidudaa saaami I had to sneak out literally not wanting to continue with the conversation further.

4. Migraine
/ Sinusitis - Of late everybody has been suffering from either Migraine or Sinus which seem to have replaced Appendicitis. Best for 3-4 days leave. You can always come back sniffing , teary-eyed thanks to a handful of Vicks you apply just before coming to work. And the best part of Migraine and Sinusitis is that they can be used for repetitive bunking. You can bunk 3-4 days every three months and say "Migraine" "Sinus" .

5. Dental leave
- The latest fad in town. Obviously nobody dare ask you to open your mouth and check. 3-4 days leave - 1st day = "majjjjjjjjjjjor pain, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep'" 2nd day = "Went to doc, did some tests". 3rd day = "root canal !" . 4th day = "majjjor pain after root canal" . Today [ensure you keep your hand on the chin] "Majjjor pain but I sooo wanted to come and finish the work!" Dental always has repeat telecast value 'coz you bunk the next month and say"Last month it was molar... and this month it is polar" or something like that and repeat the entire process.

6. Stomach ache
- Not a great excuse... coz this, particularly for women is usually connected with 'those three days' and hence avoidable. Why go through questions "Do you always get pain? My pain lasts for 5 days but maximum in the 3rd day" - Now why would you want to come back to office after a fun day out with the stomach ache escooos and listen to the 'painful' details?

7. M-i-l, f-i-l not well
- Arrgh! How can one even think of getting other people fall sick for your own good? Two years ago we had strict instructions not to take off during November during a particular activity and Madam G had already booked her tickets for a vacation. So she bunked one day suddenly sending an SMS to boss that her m-i-l wasn't well and she had to rush to Delhi. I believed the story till I overheard (ya ya the same ottukettaal) her speaking to her kalla-kaadhalan in office who was telling her to get Biryani from Hyderabad on her return. Kashtam pa!

8& 9. Accident, Baby and other chillarai escooses - Apart from the above, I have been listening to "I had an accident suddenly - a lorry hit my car... thankfully nothing happened to me... car is f#^$^" and so I can't come for the meeting". "Maid not come. Have to take care of my baby who isn't well " - I'd like to believe that this is a genuine excuse.

10. Down with fever - Safe ,secure, cheap and best. No questions asked the following day. You can fall ill, recover the following day and leave for office. And when you really are un-enthu to go back to work, you can fall ill again. Sniff and be back the next day. Naan 'Down with fever' daan ubayogikkaren. Neenga?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kaminey

Twins - one good - the other not so good , separated not by birth but out of mutual consent. They do get together in the end not before a series of brawls, dishoom dishooms, dishkaaon dishkaoons and a whole lot of Kaminey wars.


Charlie the baddie is a small time gangster and Guddu his twin bro an NGO worker. Guddu is in love with Sweety [Priyanka Chopra], sister of ‘Jai Maharashtra’ gangster and politician Bhupe [Amol Gupte]. Charlie chances upon a guitar with Cocaine worth ten crores. Just when he thinks he has made it big with all the money, enter a whole lot of Kamineys from Kenya to Kolkata who want their share of the big pie chasing Charlie. Guddu’s track runs parallely – romance with Sweety, getting her pregnant and eventually getting married to her. Bhope is against the marriage and chases Guddu. Guddu’s and Charlie’s chasers collide and thus their tracks…

Fhahid Kapoor and other kuttaes n' kamineys

Formerly known as 'Poor man's Shahrukh', Shahid Kapoor sheds his chocolate boy – Prem-Raj-Rahul image and what you see is a completely new Shahid through and through.

Charlie’s fpoonerisms sound quite funny and you actually look forward to them. And how did he manage to get that muscular look, despite being a vegetarian? Protein fhakes or fteroidf? Guddu is charming and his romantic track with Sweety is quite cute. Watch out for the bits when he stutters and she tries to guess whatever he tries to say and viceversa. Priyanka and Shahid - the hottest new couple in Bollywood.

Priyanka Chopra springs a surprise as the Marathi mulgi Sweety. Amol Gupte’s character – Bhupe is something we have seen in umpteen Ram Gopal varma films but his performance is top-notch. Yes we have seen the other characters- Lobo, the corrupt cop , Mikhail – the cocaine addict in a dozen Hindi films but theatre guy Shiv subramaniam and Chandan Roy Sanyal are superb in their parts. The casting for even the smallest of small characters is bloody apt.

Dhantaanaaaan...

...hated this song in the beginning and wondered what the hype was all about 'coz I heard it without the initial Dhantanaaaaaan... Probably the only non-Rahman Hindi song that I have had as a callertune. This film could be called Vishal Bharadwaj's special tribute to R D Burman - not just in the above song but throughout the film.

KamiYES!

OMG! The cinematography! Tassadaq Hussain makes you fall in love with the characters. The camera work is brilliant, blends beautifully with the raw appeal of the film. There are no rich colours, twilight shots, rain-soaked actress in red duppatta singing amidst blue and green settings - What you see on screen is what the movie is - dark and raw!

I am no action movie buff. But action director Shyam Kaushal - particularly in the climax - Pinnittaaru. You wonder if you are watching a Hollywood action flick in this bit.

The film's flawless editing has been credited to two people- Meghna Manchanda Sen and Sreekar Prasad.

Scenes like the ones where Guddu is made to sing during the interrogation 'coz that's the only way he won't stutter, Charlie singing n dancing with the guitar, Sweety's "I love you ....more than Bengalooru, ....Tiruvananthapuram" are quite mad in their own way.

KamiNAY!

The film is slow in pieces and some characters are kinda typecast though the performances are superb. There are just too many characters and probably one of the reasons I'd want to go to the theatre again to get their names, to catch bits I may have missed in certain characters when busy looking at others.

You can't help but compare it with Angrezi / other firangi films. It has that hangover which irks me a bit.

Towards the climax, just when you are looking forward to something exciting, BANG ! there comes a Mohit Chauhan-ish song ! And yes, how can I forget the damn so Bollywood-ey twin ka beta twin in the end . Such a dampener!

And fo...

(yes I know that I am overdoing the 's' to 'f' bit... but let me ... no, please? I am liking it!)

This is probably a first-of-its-kind film in Indian cinema and so you will definitely need sometime to get used to the movie . You turn here n there - to munch your popcorn, to check your SMS - sorry, you miss something important.

Almost all movie buffs in the city were looking forward to watch the film during the weekend. The theatres were shut (H1N1 scare) on Fri, Sat and Sun. As soon as they reopened on Monday, the entire team from office went for the first day first show [for Mumbaikars, it was] yesterday. Monday being Monday, I was busy answering one or two text messages arggh! missed a few dialogues and the nuances in one or two scenes. So, you bleddy well switch off that damn cell phone before you enter the theatre.

If you are someone who loves picturesque locales, Raj ka pyaar, NRI Rahul ka ishq, Gajar ka halwa, Yashjis, Poojas, Kapoors, Switzerland, flight landing, flight taking off, Anaita Sheroff Adajania designed bikinis, Mickey Contractor's cake-up sorry make-up, ironed-hair when just out of bed etc etc in Hindi films- avoid this one. The only thing that you will love is Shahid Kapoor running towards you in the race course.

Music director, Screenplay writer, Director...

...Vishal Bharadwaj - Awesome , awesome!

Kaminey - No Kami in this one- Fooper! - 4 out of 5

Saturday, August 15, 2009

விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 32

Identify the nine advertisements in the picture grid.



Email your answers to blogeswari {AT } gmail {DOT} com
  • Nine points to be won - One point per correct answer
  • One attempt per person - One guess per advertisement, please.
  • Email your answers to blogeswari {AT} gmail {DOT} com before I post the next quiz. The next quiz will be posted after Saturday,the 22nd August '09

The answers for விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 31 are

1.Iodex

2. Goodknight low smoke coil

3. Rediff.com

4. Naukri.com

5. Dove

6. Cinthol Pears

7. Axe

8. Bajaj pulsar
Results for விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 31 .
Its a tie! Krishnan, Manikandan, Lavs and D Rat... - 8 out of 8. Congratulations!

Bhargavi, Priya and Aparna - 7 out of 8.Sud Gopal - 4 out of 8


Good luck for விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 32. Please do not post answers in the comments section.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

அசத்தல் அட்வர்டைஸ்மென்ட் 13

When I watch wonderful advertising films on television, I really wonder what I am doing sitting in front of the laptop tappu tipping the entire day instead of being on the sets of a film. Take the recent Vodafone - 'Set your own busy callertune' film. The idea of the film is very simple. But the execution is quite cute with the 'Aerosmith'-ey tune and 'normal' voices singing their busy callertunes. Would have loved to have worked on this kind of a film.

Today's Asatthal advertisement is not about Vodafone. The Times of India- A day in the life of Chennai film released at a time when the Nakka mukka fever was at its peak. Fell in love with the film completely when I saw it the first time on one of the tamizh channels. An ad for an English daily in Tamizh... with a tamizh song... How cool is that?

With a line like 'A day in the life of Chennai' one could have stuck to the cliche` - A collage film with images of Chennai starting with Marina beach, Kapali kovil, Jasmine flowers, Madisar maamis, Santhome church and so on. But this film portrays the same through the life of a cardboard cut-out which is so.... typically Madras.[finding it difficult to write Chennai time and again... could we stick to Madras please?]

In a minute and a half you watch the rise and fall of the cut-out. A leading actor's cut-out transforms itself into a leading politician's cut-out. Koothhu , kummalam , crackers happen as they celebrate their thalaivar's success. Police tadiyadi follows and the cut-out becomes a scare crow in the end. LOL! The most amazing part of adfilms is that they narrate stories in seconds and yes, minutes. Most adfilms are about thirty seconds long. This one's a minute and a half and the entire story is narrated in this time frame.

Honestly I thought it was directed by a Tamilian or atleast someone from the South. A little research and got to know that the director of the film is Shashanka Chaturvedi, known as Bob in the adfilm world. Vikram Kalra is the producer. Together they run this production house called Good morning films based out of Mumbai. Jason West, who was the cinematographer for Luck by Chance Rock on is the director of photography and Nitya Mehra, the chief assistant director on this film . The music is ofcourse by Vijay Anthony, sung by Madurai Chinnaponnu.

Senthil Kumar of JWT is the brain behind the core thought of the film. It was Bob who created the look and feel. A lot of research has gone into incorporating the nuances . For example ,the paal-abhishegam (milk-pouring on the cut-out) was Bob's idea and coming from a non-tam background, he must have put in a lot of work in detailing and it shows.Bob has no formal training in adfilms, is a college drop-out and started his career in Channel [V] in the production department . Later , he moved to Adfilmwallahs, a well-known production house that directs ad films, worked with them for eight years before branching out to start his own outfit 'Good morning films' along with Vikram.

Surprisingly, the choice of music did not come from the ad agency... it came from Bob who had heard in a night club in Malaysia. He didn't know the lyrics but knew how it sounded like and went hunting for the song. Senthil wrote the lyrics for the song in this film.

The guy in the cut-out was sourced through a casting agent and was chosen after photographing him in different outfits. Rajkumar, a friend of Bob's who had worked with them earlier helped them immensely in choosing the right locations for the film.

Winning a Golden Lion at the Cannes film festival is like winning an Oscar for the best film.When this film was being sent to the Cannes film festival, not many people [from the Indian adfilm industry] thought it would win. After all, it was competing against several other ad films across the world including our very own, Vodafone Zoozoos . Had worked with Senthil on another occasion and would wait for his facebook updates on the nominations for Film Lions. Was maha thrilled when I got to know that the Times of India film was nominated ... and Zoozoos weren't. he he. Even then, wasn't sure of its winning chances 'coz one hadn't seen the other films nominated in the same category from across the world. It was a double whammy when the film was nominated for the best use of music as well. What joy!

The suspense through the Cannes' grand finale weekend was killing me. Has the TOI film won? Will team JWT bring India's first Film lions? It was Sunday morning and TOI carried the good news on its front page. The Times of India Chennai film had won two golds - Gold Lions for the best ad film and for the best use of music! I was exhilarated! India's first Film Lions for a film based on Chennai. Yay!!!

But... but...unfortunately like in most cases, the agency has taken the entire credit for this film. Nowhere will you find references of Bob or Vikram or Good morning films. Though the Cannes entry has the name of the film-maker in the official records, the media has completely ignored the director and his crew. I agree its a great idea... a great script from the agency but without a director's vision, it would have been impossible to create this magic on screen. It is like giving credit of Slumdog millionaire's music to Danny Boyle. It saddens me when I hear the agency's creative headhoncho's name all over - some of the articles even giving the entire credit to the agency as the 'director of the film' and no mention of Bob anywhere. Read this , this and you will understand what I am saying.

That's the sad part of adfilms unlike feature films. The director / production house never get the credit. Its so typical of agency guys to snatch the credit from the people who deserve it the most.

This is a small attempt to give some sort of coverage to the guys who brought glory to India by winning our first Film Lions at the Cannes. Bob and team... you rock!

Presenting, the twin-Gold winner at Cannes - The Times of India- A day in the life of Chennai...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nadodigal

The recent trend in Tamizh films is to portray unemployed – bearded angry young men speaking Madura tamizh as representatives of Natpu-kaadhal-Nermai and so on.

The film reminded me of K Balachander’s Varumayin Niram Sivappu – only the ‘beard’ and the ‘unemployed’ bits, mind you.

STORY

Three friends- Karunakaran, Chandran and Pandi decide to help Karunakaran’s childhood friend Saravanan in his lauvv matter. Saravanan falls in love with the local big guy’s daughter but her dad opposes the entire relationship and Saravanan decides to commit suicide. Karunarakan and friends make a quick plan to kidnap Saravanan’s sweetheart , and get them both married. After suspense , drama and a whole lot of action, Saravanan and girlfriend do get married but not before Karuna, Chandra and Pandi lose everything – relationships, money, Chandra’s leg and Pandi’s sense of hearing. What’s on their agenda when they get to know of Saravanan and his wife’s break-up forms the rest of the story.

The film’s first 45 minutes is such a drag . Once the characters have been established there’s no reason for the film-maker to go on and on reestablishing their families, love lives etc. After an hour you are still in the village with repetitive dialogues and scenes of Karunarakan and Chandran’s love lives, Pandi’s quarrels with his dad, the ‘kadalai’ scenes… yawwwwn!

Once the Saravanan track is established the screenplay is pacy and the entire kidnap bit is filmed very well. It almost brings you to the edge of the seat and you wonder if the three guys will succeed in their mission to kidnap the girl.

But back to slow motion post this. The pace is further slackened thanks to a couple of songs.

A film that’s a max 2 hours runs for 2 hours and 45 minutes testing your patience.

CAST

Sasikumar is apt as Karunakaran – but needs to work on his expressions.Thanks to his beard most of his expressions or the lack of it leave us puzzled. Is he feeling happy? Unhappy? romantic? Kinda clueless.

Quite liked Vijay as Chandran and the romantic track between Chandran and Karuna’s sister [played by Abhinaya] is kinda cute.

Bharani as Pandi is quite annoying. You have seen him in a similar character speaking Madura tamizh loudly, in the same getup. A sense of dejavu` when you watch him say “Enaangaaaaaaraaa… aaaammangeerrrreeeein” and stuff like that again and again. His decibel levels are so high as it is and when they make him lose his sense of hearing, you don't pity him... you pity yourself having to listen to him yell like that.

Tamizh cinema directors need to know that a ‘bubbly girl’ doesn’t have to be portrayed like a ‘looseu’ . Remember Genelia in Santosh Subramanyam or Laila in most of her films-Pithamagan and the likes? This Karunakaran’s girlfriend who is his moraponnu [Ananya] reminds me of them. Constantly eating groundnuts, this so-called chirpy girl comes across as a mental case. Making a 20 year old act and speak like a 4 year old is definitely not cute.. nor is it romantic...puhleeez

Yes – another trend in Tamizh cinema is to use local actors or people who have never faced the camera before. I totally welcome this but not at the cost of inaudible dialogues. Their dialogue delivery is expressionless and fast, most of the time you wonder what they are talking.

Another stereotype – Saravanan’s mother. Her first scene – you wonder if it’s a spoof on some Telugu serial ‘mother-in-law torturing daughter-in-law’ scene. No it isn’t. Dressed always in Jaga-jagaaa silk sarees, Madam mother talks Golt tamizh which is more annoying than her lipstick colour.

The Mahindras have taken over tamizh film brandings oflate from the Tatas. Scorpios are becoming an integral part of ‘tamizh culture’. I strongly object to this matter. Tata Sumos are our ‘culture’… ‘our panpadu’ . How dare Scorpios enter the ‘picture’?

MUSIC

Sundar C ‘Vaazha meenukkkum’ Babu has done the score. ‘Sambo Sivasambo’- the theme song is good. The rest of the songs are a sheer waste. Hariharan’s sad number (Is it in Desh raagam? ) is a me-too attempt.

And Illayaraja makes a comeback in yet another film. When IR’s songs replaced the regular background score in Chennai 600028, it was refreshing. When ‘Siruponmani’ came back as youngsters’ callertunes thanks to its return on ‘Subramanyapuram’ it was charming. But enough guys! Its no more a novelty. Stop using IR’s tunes as background scores. Stop it, really.

Oh yes- another thing Mr. Samutthirakkani (director/ actor), Mr. Sasikumar (actor/ director) and friends! You guys got together and made last year’s biggest hit– Subramaniapuram. I applaud you, salute you and the audience is aware that it’s the same guys making Nadodigal . Do you necessarily have to remind us ? What’s the purpose of using Subramaniapuram’s hit song ‘Kangal irandaal’ in this film and more annoyingly, repeating the girlfriend-giving-those-endearing-silent-looks to boyfriend bit? Arrggh!

What works

The Natpu, Nanban, Anything-for-Nanban, Kaadhal-Thyagam bit always works in Tamizh cinema… better still with “eeeeei… ” “Ennnnnnnnnnnaaaaaa” izhuttu izhutti talking. If you have Scorpios moving up and down the screen, you are bound to have a hit. Add droham, aruval and a whole lot of blood – you have a silver jubilee. Thankfully, Nadodidal doesn’t torture you with blood all over screen like the way Subramaniapuram did.

What definitely works is the climax – Just when you think its all going to be gory and red, the director leaves you with a pleasant feeling when the credits roll.

What doesn’t

The pace. So boring in bits… that you want to step out, have a coffee and come back… and when you do, its stuck in the same place.

Agreed if Karunakaran decides to help childhood friend Saravanan. But Chandran and Vijay who hardly know Saravanan decide to pitch-in and say “Nanbanoda Nanban enakkum Nanban” “Frienddsss saaar” “Natttpu saaaaar” and stuff like that.

Finally…

Tired of angry-young-bearded-unemployed-man.. Tired of IR tunes recycled as background scores.. Tired of Madura tamizh… Tired of expression-less actors… Tired of Paavada thavanis… Tired of ‘ennangraaaaaaaaaaaaa’’’

NADODIYAAWWWN – Watch it on India’s tollaikkatchigalil mudhal murayaga…. 2 out of 5

Monday, August 10, 2009

Nakki Nakki Saapadra Pakkis

My comments section is flooded with comments on the earlier post on Thayir saadam . Facebook has comments-oda comments on the same note. Hamsi suggests I send this note to Midday and call it 'Nakki Nakki saapadra Pakkis'. OB wants a sequel to the post which will be called 'Thayir saadamum madhyana tookamum' and ofcourse there are comments on Maavadu, Narthangai, Elumichangai - the perfect combos for Thayir saadam. But the real inspiration behind this sequel is a kavidhai sent by LS, one of our most talented Tamizh copywriters.

Nila soru saapida

Nee vaa motta maadikku

Anga nila onnu irukku

Adhu un thayir sadhathukku super match u

Thayir sadham thayir sadham

Tharen naan unakku

Nee kaiya mattum alambikittu

Munna vandhu ukkaru

Paati veetu vengla uruli onnu

Adhu ulla thayir saadham fullu

Thayir saadham vella coloru

Nee ippo udatha jollu

Chinna chinna kinnam pathu

Ovvoru kaikum onn onnu

Saapda ready ya kaiya neetu

Paati thayir sadham kuduppa paathu

Muzhichundu irukku maavadu

Adhukku Pakkathula vatha kuzhambu

Correct combination la nee saapidu

Thoppa konjam yeraama paaru

_____________________________________________________________
LS - nee vaazhga! un thayir-tamizh thondu vaazhga!

Etiquettes of eating Thayir saadam

Yesterday's Midday carried an article on a Tea expert who organizes private tea-tasting sessions. Tea being the most favourite and the only item (?) I can make decently well [go watch the youtube video before reading any further], I was intrigued on what a 'tea tasting' session was all about.

Quoting from the Mid day, Teacup India is the brainchild of Radhika Batra in Bandra where she home delivers exotic organic tea that she's personally chosen from plantations in India, China and Africa. "Teas are like fine wines ; their qualities reflect their origin", says Batra. The article goes on to talk about her credentials, her gyaan on black tea, colours of chai and so on.

Bearable till now. But there was a 'box' in the article where Batra talks about 'Etiquettes of drinking tea' . Read these etiquettes: [comments in red.. he he - me!]

1. Take small bites of food so that you can converse politely.

Applicable only to Shobaaa Deeee, Queenie Dhody and other people from the other side of Peddar road

2. Never extend you "pinkie" (little finger) when holding your tea cup

If little finger is a 'pinkie' , what would you call the middle finger? 'Blackie'?

3. Never gesture with utensils and cutlery while speaking

One 'blackie' for Batra please

After reading crap like these, I think I have discovered this new career for myself. From now on...from this moment, I am the 'Thayir-saadam-etiquette-trainer-cum-tasting-expert' in Mumbai.

I am planning to send the following to Midday. Please let me know if this reads fine.

KNOW YOUR THAYIR SAADAM

Thayir saadam is definitely not for the size-minus-zero types of Peddar road and beyond. Girls and women who say "I have put on weight yaa" every two minutes looking at their 22" waist please don't read any further. This article is also not for people who eat carrot sticks, boiled beans and sprouts for lunch.

Thayir saadam owes its origin to Tamilnadu. Thayir saadam needs to be prepared for a minimum of three people which will eventually consumed by one person. Low-fat curd, brown rice are a strict no-no for Thayir saadam. And most importantly no calling Thayir saadam by other names - Yogurt rice, Thayir choru, Curd rice and so on.

ETIQUETTES OF EATING THAYIR SAADAM

1. Eating Thayir saadam with a spoon is bad manners.

2. Ensure that portions of it come out of the gaps between your fingers again and again as you mix generous portions of curd and rice .

3. Don't eat with the edges of your fingers. Always use your hand, take a mouthful and shove it in your mouth.

4. Never not talk while eating Thayir saadam. Have long conversations with Thayir saadam in your mouth.

5. It is important to vazhichify the plate with your hands and fingers and eat till the last bite as the thayir flows down your hand.

***************************************************************************

Tell me, do I have a good future as 'Thayir-saadam-etiquette-trainer-cum-tasting-expert'?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Film critics

The best thing about weekends are the newspapers and tamizh magazines. TOI, DNA, HT, Midday, Mumbai Mirror, Asian age, Kumudam, Ananda vigadan, Aval vigadan, Snehidhi, The Hindu, Dinathanthi... the second half of Sundays are spent with these loved ones.

A huge fan of film reviews, I don't miss a single review in any of the above plus the ones on TV on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Here's a list of some of the critics- the ones I love and hate

Khalid Mohammed: The most over-rated critic in India. When I moved to Mumbai, a friend of mine said that he'd watch a film only if Khalid recommended it. So I started following his reviews closely only to find that he is a complete a$$ licker to the Khans, for obvious reasons. [I am not gonna tell you why - go figure!] . Any film with Shahrukh, Salman, Saif or Aamir always got a good review. And his writing style with heavy terms which talk about everything under the sun but the film is very annoying. Kappi Kusi Kappi Gum also called as K3G , got a five out of five from this man and I was too shocked for words reading the review after watching the film. Our man directed a couple of films which were kizhichyfed by others, particularly the directors who were waiting for their turn. Khalid was with TOI , moved to DNA and I think he's still with them.

Nikhat Kazmi: Decent style, calls a spade a spade but still somewhere has the vazhinjax, nakki
tone to him. Planning to direct a film Nikhat, like the great Khalid sahab?

Kaveri Bamzee: We [the purushan and I] used to wait for her reviews on Headlines Today. She'd say things like "Rani Mukherjee's makeup is so bad you wonder if Yashraj has run out of budget for good makeup artists"or "By the second half of the film, you are busy wondering where to shop for rotten tomatoes in the vicinity". Quite a hilarious style, she has. These days we don't get the channel on cable and I am not sure if she's still on the channel.

Anupama Chopra : Vidhu Vinod Chopra's wife, she is NDTV's film critic. Belonging to the film fraternity, she obviously cannot antagonize her family - ie the film world. Has an over-sweet tone and her reviews aren't very sharp. She isn't witty either. Her face is more an 'Inji-thinna-korangu' when she reviews a film. You aren't sure what she's trying to say.

Mayank Shekhar : From Midday to Mumbai mirror to Hindustan Times, his reviews are bang-on. Purushan and I go for a film based on Mayank's reviews. Kinda refreshing to his reviews on a new layout at HT. But honestly, does a bad job on NDTV [I think]. Very obvious that he is not comfortable in front of the camera. Stick to print, Mayank.

Rajeev Masand: CNN-IBN's Rajeev Masand reminds me of Kaveri Bamzai. In your face reviews - Friday nights 10.30 pm on CNN IBN. But I still wonder what made him give 3 out of 5 to Silly.. sorry Dilli 6.

Madhan
: Cartoonist and writer Madhan used to be Vijay TV's film critic. Madhan joins this great Indian Kamalagaasan Jalra mandram which mostly comprises of Puliyodharais like Crazy Mohan and others - Ramesh Arvind, Santhana Bharathi etc. Pal has this great dream of directing / writing for films and obviously doesn't want to offend the biggies - Oscar films, Kamal Saar and the likes. He wrote Anbe Sivam jalra-ing his way to Kamal Sir. Madhan's last name is vazha vazha kozha kozha. You want to slap him especially when says "Idhu ennannaakaaaaa.." like a Parthasarathy Kovil thaatha. You wake him up in the middle of the night and he's most likely to say "Kamal saar nalla Kaapi kudichaar, Gowthami madam romba nalla Gummi adicchanga" in a film. Worst tamizh critic.

Vigadan Vimarsana kuzhu : Oflate the kuzhu has become maha stingy [like madam Blogeswari] .No film gets past 47 or 48 out of 100 . Pretty straightforward. I am liking Vigadan reviews.

Sugasini Madam-ji: Jaya TV Sunday afternoons Madam-ji in her atrocious clothes comes with her nyaya tarasu . To her Madhavan, P C Sreeram, Santosh Sivan and their films are always top notch. I agree that PC and Santosh Sivan are the best business but their films aren't always. But honestly, she does a decent job in reviewing small budget films like Vaigai nadhi without being very harsh on them. Pal obviously knows the pulse of the audience and reviews it more from their point of view. The only un-sahikkable bits are "Enga padam pannumbodu he was five years old ", "Naanga ", "Naan", "Paramakkudi" "Naan gramatula poranden.." etc moochukku monnooru dadavai.

There are many more like the SUNTV Coat-suit fellow whose punchlines I love and have happily borrowed.. okay okay copied, Sarita Tanwar who is just about okay and several whose names I don't know / remember.

Reading / watching any of their reviews and going for a film is a big disadvantage 'coz you know the story particularly its twists and turns and hence there's no thrill of watching a film. And reviewing the same later is a bigger disadvantage 'coz somewhere you kinda carry the public and the reviewers' opinions . This time I managed to catch Love Aaj kal first day first show and was happy that my review matched with that of the stalwarts' mentioned above except for Rajeev who gave it a 2 out of 5.