Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Watching any movie is like having full meals. Inippu, pulippu, kaaram... it has to have everything in the right proportion and I need to enjoy kattu-kattufying the full meals, and most of all, has to be super value for the money spent, else it gets thrashed.

Most of the [Bollywood] films I have been watching of late, have been so terrible, boring and above all - just not worth the 350 Rupees spent at PVR, they are not even layaak to be reviewed on the blog. Even the much hyped Peepli Live turned out to be one draabai.

And comes, Endhiran after three whole years of fasting. The last full meals I had was on 14.06.'07. Endhiran is not full meals. It's Shankar's Special Thali with not one, three meals in one periiiyaaaaa plate.

Rocking Robot

Dr.Vaseeegaran [Vasi] creates a super duper Robot - Chitti who does everything from shoe polishing to cooking to putting Mehendi. Dr.Bohra, Vasi's mentor and villain refuses to give his nod for the Robot to be used for Defense purposes and asks Vasi to stop his research as well only because Chitti only follows instructions and doesn't quite use his judgement to complete his tasks. So, Vasi activates a variety of emotions in Chitti that helps him act carefully but er.. Chitti actually falls in love with Sana, Vasi's girl friend. Chitti turns the baddie, kidnaps Sana, multiplies himself, goes into destruction mode all in less than two hours 45 minutes giving us a super duper virundhu.

Romantic Robot

I watched the movie with the entire balcony booked for us by a good samaritan. And more than 3/4ths of the 236 people who watched the film with me were non-Tamilians who didn't understand the language. But yet the applauded at the right places. Take for example, the interval block. The stage where Sana played by Aishwarya Rai gives a peck on Chitti's cheek and his reaction post that indicating that he's smitten by her. Junta clapped non-stop...Adudhan Shankar! Adudhan Thalaivar!

Rahman-ic Robot

This is the season of (A R) Rahman bashing. Even now after the songs have become a super hit, people indulge and please themselves bashing Rahman. Vettiyans!

Shankar has done full justice to Rahman's songs. Loved Thalaivar and Chitti dancing for 'Boom Boom..'. 'Kaadhal Anukkal' sung by Vijay Prakash and Shreya has been shot beautifully in Brazil. Next holiday angadaan. Any sponsors?

Honestly, didn't quite like the picturization of Kilimanjaro. Machu-Pichu didn't look all that great. Loved Irumbile Or irudayam. ARR's voice - full justice.

And SPB's voice in Pudhiya Manidha is outstanding and comes in at the right time.

But the wow-o-wow song is Arima Arima . Fantabulous! Adra sakka-nnu naanan. Shankar in a different league only.

Rahman - forget your bashers. Silly mortals. You Rock Thalaivare!

Rouse Robot

Major credit for Robot putting Rouse goes to the Late Sujatha Rangarajan, Shankar and Madhan Karky. The dialogues with the cop Kochi Haneefa, Rangoosi Mosquito and the scene at the hair salon - nalla punch. The Chellatha scene is also too much! The dialogues in the climax where Chitti dismantles himself - Senti aayiten boss!

Even the smallest of small details in the dialogues are to be noted - for eg. Chitti helping Sana during her exams and telling the professors on the things pending from his end.

Rasigan [of] Robot

The director has completely understood the Rajini Rasigan and the fact that they crave to watch the original villain of the 80s. Chitti two point o is the reincarnation of Moondru Mugam, Avargal, 16 Vayadinile. That nadai, that rouse, that style, that Meeeeeiii - Total Applause! Evlo naalachu Thalaivar-a ippadi pathu?

Rowdhram Robot

The action sequences where Chitti ..illa Chittis go about fighting with people are mind blowing.
Don't miss the humor in the train sequence where he actually stops someone from spitting from the train.

Serious-a, Tamizh cinema is going places. At one hand, here we are making films like Kalavani that appeal to the hardcore B and C and there are films like Eeram & Boss (e) Baaskaran for the multiplex mandais and there is Endhiran which has taken to another league only. Vaazhga Tamizh cinema!

Wonderful SFX in not just the action sequences but all the Chitti scenes. The prosthetic makeup for Chitti is flawless. Kudos guys!

Randy Robot

Some fantastic work out there from Rathnavelu, the cinematographer. It would have been quite a task shooting the two Rajnis, action sequences and all. Romba super Sir!

Rajini Robot

I don't know if Rajni should do another film after this. Don't get me wrong. Endhiran is so mind-blowingly fantastic that it is going to be difficult to match the expectations of not just his fans but people world over. And if ever he does one, he should do something completely different - may be an out and out villainous character. Actually, am not sure. Awestruck after watching Endhiran!

Rai Robot

Aishwarya Rai actually looks young in this film. Botox ki Jai Ho! But her costumes are terrible.. really terrible! Manish Malhotra brings his Poonal saari, jarring colors... why why? Savitha Reddy has done a good job dubbing for Rai but puhleez koncham Englipees training chahiye! Accent putting in Englipees - not azhagu.

ROFL ( of )Robot

The producers have spent 150 Crores + on this film. Couldn't they have spent a little bit extra flying down someone to Mumbai to train Danny Denzongpa to speak Tamizh? Annan is rattling in total Hindi and poor Kadhir(avan) dubbing for him.

Revathy Sankaran - Paati only layakku for vetti pecchu. She cannot put one decent act. She puts one adfilm acting "Arasan soappu vangunga" kind of expression. Paavam Delhi Kumar. Doubt if people recognized him as a side side kick. He has exactly two dialogues :( Raaghav the most annoying tundu-beedi vetti has something to talk about for the rest of life. His two and half scenes on Robot. Yerkanave ivan scene poduvan. Inime taangaduda saami!

And the person who has made maximum money on this film is not director Shankar, not Kalanidhi Maran... not even Rajni Saar. It is these model coordinators like Thara Umesh. Too many upmarket, SEC A++ looking junior artistes.

Art Director Sabu's work also is konjam disappointing. Happy home, Vasi's research studio - looked very adfilmi and set-ty.

Raasi Robot

Two hardcore Kamalagaasan fans came to me and said they have observed that Thalaivar always used Kamalagaasan's name in all his films as a sentiment FOR THE FILM TO BECOME A HIT. Do you agree? I don't!

But before I conclude, here's what I would like to say:

Thank you Kamlagaasan! Bigger thank you Saaruk kaan! [They said No to the film before it came to Thalaivar]

Robot Ratings

It'd be an insult to give this film any star, moon or planet rating. And I don't want to squeeze this film under five or ten stars.

If you haven't watched this film, go book yourself a ticket and be a part of this Entertaining, Exhilarating, Exciting, Enjoyable Endhira vizha! What an Experience!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

All alone

A colleague from South spent a week in Mumbai on work including the weekend. Asked him what he did over the weekend and he mentioned watching a film... alone! It was a Sunday morning and since he did not know too many people in Mumbai pal went alone to watch this film. "Alone-a? eppadi daa?" I asked. And appadiye went off in the flashback mode.
Rewind, rewind. First year, two weeks into college and this blockbuster of a film releases. Since most of the girls in class were directly ctrl+v-ed from their schools and had their own 'gang of friends' they end up going for this film once, twice, thrice with their 'gangs'. I was waiting for some gang to call me. All classmates from Convent schools decide to ignore me. Angry with them, angry at myself for not having Englipised my way thru' any of them, I decide to watch this film... alone that too in Devi theater known for its Madras porukki gumbal.
Afternoon show, bunking college. Couldn't quite concentrate on the film. Was worried about some teru porukki coming and sitting off next to me. Was upset with the junta in college. But the film and its MUSIC made me forget everything within the first ten minutes. Loved it, enjoyed the film.. so wanted to go back to college and say "Pongadi!". Super debut in watching films alone.
Post that have watched quite a few films alone. This waiting-for-friend-to-accompany-you business bugs me. Husb is not too enthu for tamizh films. He has suffered enough with me dragging him for all sorts of films - from Anjaneya, Kireedam, VTV , Singam (Oh! I loved Singam) etcetera. So asking him to come for an Angadi theru or Kalavani is asking for trouble.. bayangara trouble. That would mean I return the favor sitting through some Dishoom Dishoom action Englipees film with no subtitles. And most of my Tamizh friends out here always have something or the other come up the last minute after planning for months to watch a Tamizh film.
Watching is a film alone is the best gift you can give yourself. No doing recaps of scenes/ dialogues incase your friend has missed them, no waiting at the theater with the tickets and listening to "coming in 2 minutes" every five minutes and most importantly.... no sharing caramel popcorn [haiyya!].
I want to watch one draabai Hindee padam alone now. I hate luv storys... here I come.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

ADra Sakka - 3

Did you know that 'Pasanga' director Pandi chose Vimal as his hero after the latter showed his Bingo ad to him?

and R Madhavan got introduced to Maniratnam through Santosh Sivan after they (S and M) did a Pond's sandal talc ad together?

TV serials, game shows, feature films, advertising films, documentaries, music videos, tamizh copywriting, radio spots, brand solutions... After having menjufyed for 15 years in all of the above, if there's something that I'd want to go back to and sorely miss, it is working in advertising films.

It is indeed an experience to be a part of the transformation of a boring storyboard into an advertisement film. Casting for advertising films is not an easy task and you get a super kick when you see the final edit of the film with the person you have cast. Detailing plays a very important role in advertising films - right from the tiniest prop to the lighting pattern to the colors - everything has to be pucca before 'action'

Here are some of my favourite films from Jan to June 2010.

1. Indigo Airlines

Clever ad. On time is a wonderful thing is what the ad says. Not once do they say Indigo is on time. I loved the art direction and the production values are awesome. A lot of people find the accent of the voice-over (Monica Dogra) very phirang. I think its fine.

Production company: Bang Bang Films
Director: Harvey B Brown
Director of photography: Vikash Nowlakha

2. Limca

R Anandh's composition and Carolisa's rendition take the jingle to a different level. There's a thin line between the Oh-cho-chweet and the just-there-cute ads. Thankfully this one does not go over the top and become an 'awwwwwwwww' ad.

Director - Vinyl Mathew
Production house - Footcandles

3. Tanishq

Ok ok, I agree with your "How stupid? How can jewellery make a woman want to marry? That too in these days?" but doesn't this commercial bring a smile? Very Illayaraja type music - R Anandh again! And Arundathi Nag is wonderful as the mother with her expressions as she watches her daughter adorn the jewellery. I like.

Director - Vinyl Mathew
Production house - Footcandles

4. Frooti

Not your regular thirty seconder. This is probably the first time someone has tried a Bakra type video on a TVC. Quite different and insane.

Director: Prakash Varma
Production house : Nirvana films

5. Cadbury's silk

Simple script. Good casting (one of the girls looks like actress Shobhana). Very good jingle.

Director - Vinyl Mathew
Production house - Footcandles

6. Brookebond 3 Roses

Karthik and Sujju are back with 3 Roses, with Reeti Gowlai and with their lovely chemistry. A few things I didn't like. i) Abhinav's expression in the beginning after he has his cup of tea.
ii) Lack of continuity - his hairstyle (fringe) keeps changing on and off iii) "Mr. N. Karthik" - huh?

But overall, feel good and naaaice.

Any idea who directed the film?

Apart from the above, I have also enjoyed the LMN series (Lemon Lemon Lemon), Bru 2nd decoction (m-i-l and d-i-l), Tata Sky Plus (Cold war series) and SBI Life .

The more I see ads and write about them, the more I want to go back to advertising films and be a part of the making. I think I will... very soon.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mama... biscotthu

Rains in Mumbai come with the 3 hour traffic jams, wading in knee deep water, umbrellas going out of control, seepage in pudu veedu... but whatever it is, this is one season I really really look forward to.

Morning tea, mid-morning tea, pre lunch tea, post lunch tea, evening tea - have lost track on the cups of tea I have everyday enjoying the rains.

Here's my latest buy. Its a 2-in-1 cup. Tea also.Biscotthu also. Haiyya!

Have you tried the new Sunfeast Marie Light Oats biscuits? They are super yum and ideal for teatimes. Parle biscotthus are worsht.

Ok, I go to eat some pakkoda while you go back and read my last year's rain post.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


He rehashed the Mahabharata, narrated MGR-Karunanidhi kadhai, Ambani ki kahani in his style. The next obvious story is the other big epic. A narration of a story as intense as this one requires the coordinated efforts of the cast and technicians. Maniratnam has managed to extract the best out of them but has he managed to convey his story well? Read on.

Baala kaandam

'Cheeyyan' Veeraiyya, the local demon/don/ Asuran kidnaps Police officer 'Prithviraj' Dev's wife 'Ulaga azhagi' Ragini vowing to kill her in 14 hours. But Ragini ends up being in captivity for 14 days 'coz he falls in love with her. Dev follows Veera, they kill each other's men, shout 'Veeera'
'S Peeee' alternately, a whole lot of dishoom, dishoom, kaadhal-modhal and ya, you guys know the climax by now.

Pak Pak kaandam

You do see a lot of Pithamagan in Veera especially the 'Pak Pak' bit but this man is terrific. Fab performance. Aishwarya Rai owes big time to Rohini, her dubbing artiste. Aishwarya Rai's Hindi dialogue delivery p$%^&* me off but what a total transformation in Tamizh! If 'Ice' is bearable in Raavanan, its purely because of Rohini.

Chalakkudi -Ooty-Matheran Kaandam

I want to take a holiday, NOW to the forests of Raavanan. A lot of effort has gone into choosing the right locations, erecting sets, rain effect, lighting etc. And filming a bilingual, getting the right shots in both versions would have been quite a task. Hats off to the production team!

Rahmana kaandam

Ok, this is not A R Rahman's best but like most ARR albums this one too grew on me. Usure Poguthey and Veera are my favourite tracks. Wish I had more of the former in terms of picturization. Does ARR owe some money to the likes of Benny Dayal and Anuradha 'Keechu kural' Sriram ? Why use people like them for songs that sound super duper in Hindi with the renditions of Sukhwinder and Rekha Bharadwaj?

'Sundara' Kaandam

V Manikandan and Santosh Sivan take the film to a different league. I am usually not for 'Look-at-me-I-am-the-cinematographer' kind of compositions but I shall make some exceptions for technicians like Mani(kandan) and Santosh. The look is very 'Kulu Kulu' to the eyes and that's what keeps you hooked to the film perhaps.

The big 'Dasavatharam Ranganathar' like statue and the temple somewhere in the middle of the forest in the 'Kodu poatta' song are very 'set'ty but Art Director Samir Chandha has managed to make the village look natural.

The 'Sundar' part of the Raavanan is Prithviraj wasted as Aishwarya Rai's brother..sorry husband.

John Vijay as Inspector Hemanth and Prabhu as Veera's brother are just apt for their parts. Prabhu of late is doing nice and cute roles (Ayan).. I like . Pretty Priya 'Soorpanagai' mani - why don't our Kollywoood directors in other films cast her more often in decent roles like this one? She is good.

Un-Sundara Kaandam

Ranjitha of Nithayananda fame comes in exactly 3 1/2 scenes and her screen time is for about a minute or so. What a waste!

Aishwarya Rai's costumes are terrible. Those Anarkali type gowns, brassier-instead-of-blouse with a saree are ugggh.. Ada-chi to Sabyasachi.

Aishwarya Rai herself looks like a kezhavi and honestly her no-makeup scenes scare you. No jokes. Watch out for this scene where she speaks to Veera playing with kids. Kezhadu tattiduthu paattti-kku.

Karthik as Gnanapragasam didn't work for me. His 'vazha vazha kuzha kuzha' dialogue delivery
and over the top antics were pretty annoying. Shut up and go back to whatever party you were/are a part of, Karthik!

Dhanda kaandam

These bilingual things don't really work at times you know. Like for example, locations. 'Raavan' Beera's house [somewhere up Vindhyas] has these white coloured walls with these North Indian type temples around. The Tamizh version has obviously been filmed in the same locations. And hence there is a huge mismatch 'coz here is Vikram and gang speaking 'Enna leee, unna leeee' dancing outside temples that look like this

The next biggest compromise is on music. ARR to me is God! Like I said before I listen to Usure Poguthey atleast 10 times a day. But satisfying both Hindi and Tamizh audiences with the same kind of music is not possible. Some songs that sound fantastic in Hindi don't have the same kind of impact in Tamizh and vice versa.

Mani-Sir, Nikhil Dwivedi who plays Hemanth in Raavan gets beginning credits but not John Vijay who essays the same role in Tamizh. Why?

Ok pa, you guys are remaking Ramayanam.The whole world and its Rams and Sitas are aware of it. Why do you have to force these references to the epic, like Karthik jumping around like Hanuman talking about Sanjeevani, Ragini in captivity for '14' days, Hemanth's dialogue about Mookaruthufying Priyamani etc?

The director failed to convince me on Veera's love for Ragini. There is no depth in the relationship between Veera and Ragini. One would have connected with the film better had this been scripted better.

Raavanan -vs- Raavan

The one (word) difference between both the films - VIKRAM. His body language, dialogue delivery is engayo when compared to Sodappal Bachchan. Abhishek Bachchan is really really bad. If Vikram is Phd, Abhishek Bachchan is 10th fail, copy adichUM. Don't even go near the Hindi version. You will hate it.

Mani Sir, I know there's more moolah in Bollywood. But, could we please have one Agmark Kollywood padam from you with no Abhishek Bachchan, his wife and the likes? Graamathu accent, Asura type psycho characters work very well in Tamizh. Hindi audiences are not used to 'bhaiyya' protagonists, village belles, village fairs etc. That's very Bhojpuri , B-Grade Hindi for them. So let's not attempt something that we are not familiar with please?


Having said all that, the film worked for me because

-> It is tight, narrated to the point with no unwanted stuff [item numbers, comedy track etc.] and keeps you intact in your seat for those two hours and some minutes. This is an achievement in itself considering this becoming a rarity these days.
-> The last Vikram film I liked was Saamy after Sethu and Dhool. Cheeyaan is back with Raavanan. Honest and very very good performance. I liked.
-> Santosh 'God' Sivan and V Manikandan.

Raavanan - Ramayanam reloaded - 4 out of 5

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

ADra sakka! ADra mokka! -2

It is IPL season and also the time of the year - Lots of cricket, lots of ads!

ADra sakka!

1. Bank of India

What's with me and my love for the BFSI ads? This ad deserve an applause for the way it has captured the relationship between people. This one talks about friends who have been friends for years but doesn't show them sharing a cup of chai in the park benching cracking silly jokes, talking sensex, politics etc. The storyboard for you.

Can't find the link for this ad. If you manage to find it online, please post it in the comments section.

2. Idea Oongli cricket

Simple, direct communication. Shot well. I like.

But revealers are mega sodappified. Go to the 'ADra mokka' section for more details.

3. Tata Sky plus

Tata sky plus is positioned as the peacemaker in this series titled 'Cold war'. ' Burnt toast' and
' Elevator' were so-so. I like the Mixer ad the best. Shivani Tanksale as the wife is superb and her expressions are priceless.

ADra mokka!

1. Youngistaan Ka Wow!

Somebody... somebody tell me what 'Youngistaan ka wow' means. Few years ago, team JWT came up with this term Youngistaan which is very yo! captures the spirit of the brand, vibrant, energetic blah blah. Nice. Applause. Applause. They could have continued with the same positioning. But just to prove a point that they have done some work this year to improve the brand positioning, the team thought and thought over several client sponsored beer sessions and came up with Youngistaan Ka wow! Thanks to Pepsi and Youngistaan, team JWT enjoyed a super duper holiday in the USA during the shoot of this TVC.

2. Idea Oongli cricket

Looks like they had lots of time to shoot the teasers but none to shoot the revealers. I guess with a day's call sheet from Abhishek Bachchan, these guys decided to shoot all 45 questions at one go. Take a look at the disaster. Total Vaandhi!

3. Havell's

The ad opens with a Hangman feeling guilty after pulling the lever. He walks, washes his face gets back home and switches on the bulb. This CFL saves energy and hence good for the environment. The voice-over's literal translation is - We do so much of paavam in our life , why not make some punyam .... by conserving energy? huh? Is it dark humour? funny? or are we missing something?


I'd like to nominate this ad for Cannes this year in all categories possible. To come up with a tagline "Vishwas hai ismein kuchh khaas hai" and connect with a super duper ad... wow, hats off to the agency. This is surely the best ad of the year! Please put your hands together for J K Cements!

PS : Me thinks Zoozoos have lost their steam. Four days and no zoozoo buzz!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Vinnaithandi Varuvaya

One number love story was my debut followed by films on policekaarans with lauvv and action. I did yet another cop film. Then I tried to Ctrl+V Derailed followed by a film on Daddy Daddy, Son Son. I sat at home for a year wondering what to do next. "Time for a love story", I told myself and started working on the same. I finalized my artistes, technicians, locales and started shooting ....without a story. I booked Oscar-Grammy award winner A R Rahman as the music director for my Love Story...without a story. The shooting continued.... without a story. The film was ready and a big Giant bought my film. I was all excited . I went around the globe promoting the film. The film released two days ago. I am still looking for the story. If you managed to find it contact me on gautam.englishwonlymenon [at] vtv [dot] com. Thank you very much.

Vaat The Vetti

Travelling, meeting, presenting, sales figures counting, coughing, more and more coughing for two weeks and at the end of all this you still wanted to go and watch only because of Gautam Menon-ARR combo? "Vetti Vetti para vetti!Unakku venum" - ennaye naa sollinden.

Vaat The Valentine

Its love at first sight for yet another Karthik (Young superstar Simbhu) from the tamizh film world the moment he sees Jessie (Trisha), his neighbour. This budding assistant director in films jumps up in the air, does an SRKai movement, chases her on his bike, hits his chest, speaks Englipees dialogues which wonly Good-she, Church Park, WCC peoples understand. Jessie doesn't really like him... or so she says. She is very clear that her dad will never approve of a Hindu boy and hence refuses to entertain Karthik . But he is determined. He chases her all the way till Kerala and she kinda falls for him but is vehement. They travel back to Chennai and after ore da lauv in the train, she still says No. Then yes. Then No.. Then she leaves him and off she goes to UK (or US or some phoren country) only to say "Let's get married" in the end. He makes his first film predictably titled 'Jessie' and yeverybody loves the film. Jessie applauds his effort and a suspense awaits the viewer. Is she is love with him or not? Why did he make that film? Why did she say No,Yes, No and again Yes time and again? The director is as clueless as you and I are.

Velli Thiraiyil Vanduttanga

That's the literal translation of "They have arrived!" he he he. Agreed. Simbhu looks cool and has done a decent job, much better than his earlier films that I have seen on Sun and KTV. But somewhere, the I-chew-all-my-dialogues-and-spit-them-out is still intact. And that's probably why I couldn't see him in the same league as former chocolate boys of Kollywood-Bollywood- Madhavan (Alaipayuthey wonly), Aamir Khan (QSQT), Surya (several films :-p). Trisha's work is very good. Very understated and looks lovely except for a few closeups where the pancake makeup doesn't quite help camouflage her puffy eyes.

Vadakan The Veerakadha

Too much mallu-ing puts me off. The heroine is from the Mallu land, speaks Mallu on and off, there are scenes involving the entire family where the dialogues are fully "ende, unde , aaaaraaanu, oonu kazhinggghoo". Thank God I saw the English-subtitled version. Do the TN released prints have tamizh subtitled for mallu dialogues?

Vaat The Vorking

Two people in love, daddy and brother oppose. He yearns for her. She feels for him. They sing together... dance together. They separate. They are back. We have seen all of this before. Its a simple plot yet narrated with no melodrama, aruvaal, Tata Sumo, "daaaai" etc. The burden is entirely on the lead and they have managed to pull it off quite well... at least till the first half.

The intimate scenes between Trisha and Simbhu are very well conceived, picturized. You can totally relate to them.

Very Terrific Viewfinder

Super impressed with cinematographer Manoj Paramahamsa (Eeram, Unnaipol Oruvan). He has managed to retain the very middle class look of the film through and through with no flashy look-I-am-the-cameraman compositions.

Vogue and The Vague

Trisha's sarees are going to become hot stuff post this film thanks to costume designer Nalini Sriram. But she could have done a much better job in the Western outfits. These look vague, put together in a hurry and terrible in the Kannukkul Kann song.

Very True Vaarthaigal

Like all Goutam Menon's films this one too has 'normal' everyday dialogues. There is even a dialogue in the film taking a dig at his own films with English dialogues.The Kaadhal dialogues like "Yaarum un kann vazhiya enna paakaliye!" fit into the film beautifully.Nice.

Chinmayi's dubbing works for Trisha. Ganesh one of the producers who plays Simbhu's friend is witty.

Vinnai Taandiya Vinner...

...A R Rahman! Have been listening to all the songs for over a month now. My morning routine starts with Omana Penne moving on to Hosannah, Kannukkul Kannai, Anbil Avan, Vinnaithandi varuvaya, Mannippaya and ofcourse Aaromale. Two rotations of the songs are a must. The thing about ARR's songs is the simple melody enhanced by the arrangement. If you listen to them carefully, there will be a musical note heard far far away in the background or the extra 'gamakam' humming fading down in the second paragraph or a violin piece for 5 seconds in the middle of the song. In my opinion, these are the stuff that make them have great recall value.

In this film, there is a scene where Simbhu hums the ARR background score from Bombay, when he sees Trisha in the church. It goes "Pa sa ni sa ni sa ri sa ni dha pa ma ga pa ma ga ma ri". It instantly brought back the shot where Arvind Swamy looks at Manisha Koirali from the top and the camera going round from his point of view. Super!

Vaat The Vorking-not

I mentioned in one of the earlier paragraphs about the burden on the lead cast. In the second half it becomes extremely difficult for us to sit through 'coz of the same reason. Simbhu and Trisha are there in all the scenes through and through uttering the same thing again and again. Becomes repetitive after a point.

Songs are super but Gautam Menon disappoints with his picturization. Suddenly some Lou Bega types emerge from somewhere and point their fingers at us doing the rap-rap stuff. Disappointing.

Repetition - The director probably thinks that people who watch the film are dumb idiots who need to be told the same things several times over. The fact that Trisha's dad doesn't approve of inter-faith marriage and that Simbhu is totally in love with Trisha is repeated over and over again. And every dialogue between them has their name 'attached' at the end of it. "Unakku purilaya Karthik? Enga appa-kku idu pidikkadu Karthik. Karthik, enakku unna pidikkum Karthik!"... Ayyo! we know the names of the lead characters and we understand the problem between them. Why is this repeated like ten times in a scene?

Vaat The Vague

Trisha and Simbhu meet at UK and suddenly the song shifts to US. Simbhu's debut film's credits have Manoj Paramahamsa as the cameraman. I thought Ganesh, his friend (whose screen name i forget) was the director of photography.

Vettu-dabba of The Vellithirai

Samantha and Naga Chaitanya , son of Nagarjuna play Simbhu's on-screen hero, heroine. This guy can't act for nuts. And I am told he plays Simbhu's role in Telugu version. All the best Andhra-ites!

Varthaila vanTha V *!&^@

I am not for using foul language in films even if they are beeped out. The f word pops up pretty frequently. It is very evident that the second half had put the Censor board to sleep. Simbhu's tamizh M word goes unedited, un-beeped.

Vendaam This Vinai

In the last scene, Trisha asks Simbhu how he managed to get her number and he says "adutha padathula sollaren". "Ayyo, vendam Gautam Menaa - nee padamum edukkavendam , engalukku sollavum vendam"

Voltage &The Vegam...

are missing in the film.The film is not pacy. It should not be, infact. You really don't mind the slow narrative in the first half because of Simbhu and Trisha. But its completely the opposite in the second half. You get put off with the repetitions (oops! Aint I repeating the same thing again and again? VTV influence I guess!) and the yawwwn climax. There is no high point in the film... everything is in a mega serial pace.

Vinnaithandi Varuvaya - A lovely first half is spoilt by the maha boring second half.

Vaasalaye Thaandala - 2.5 out of 5

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Name is Khan

Going by the number of five and five and a half stars the film has got from honorable reviewers, let me clarify before I start. My name is Blogeswari and I have not been paid to write this review.
My name is Kaaviyam
The Kaaviyam is about Rizvan Khan played by Saaruk kaan suffering from Asperger's Syndrome 'coz of which he has a problem with social interaction, hates the color yellow and stays away from noise and crowd. He lives with Ammi Zarina Wahab does some craft-giri at home when she is not drawing stick figures explaining Unity across religions, to her son . Rizzzu moves to US with brother Jimmy Shergill and bhabhi Soniya Jehan. He falls in love to hairstylist , single mom Mandira (Gajol). Rizzu and Mandira get married and after a tragic incident you find Mandira screaming at Rizzu to go and tell the President of the United States of America "My name is Khan and am not a terrorist". Off goes Rizzu with his saaku-moottai roaming all over the country looking for the President to utter those golden words.
My name is M.G.R
Rizzu suddenly becomes MGR in Buddhan Yesu Gandhi pirandadu song and saves people from the hurricane, in the climax. Karaj Jogar in a bid to take his film to the International level brings in yet another Forrest Gump moment - a fat Mama Jenny and her scary hair son. Totally absurd this one is. Neither you nor Jogar has any idea on why the characters suddenly pop up on screen singing "Hum honge kaaaaamyaaaab" in Englipees.
My name is Saroja Devi
With MGR around, can Saroja Devi be far behind?
Please, someone explain why Rizzu keeps his hands like Saroja Devi and runs around, throughout the film?
My name is Khhhhashtakaalame
Please note, it is not Kashtakaalam but (from the epiglotis) Khhashtakaalam... Khaashtakaalam.. Everybody, not just Saaruk but everybody including the security officers at the airport overact.. ..over react. The interrogation scene where Rizzu is questioned in a cell by the officer reminds you of Gowravam Sivaji Ganesan interrogating Major Sundarrajan.
My name is Kaanamal Ponavargal
Talented actors like Arif Zackaria, Vinay Pathak, Sumeet Raghavan do tundu beedi roles. You blink and you will miss them. And which terrorist discusses plan out in the open I want to know...so fake I tell you!
My name is Kattthal Koochal
Kajol is straight out of her Punjabu mummy avtar in Kappi Kushi Kappi Gum (K3G)... screams and shouts and makes you think Kirron Kher is deivam compared to her. Her make up is terrible and her acting (barring the one where she cries for her son) worse.
My name is Akka Dutt
You can't stand her torture on NDTV, on twitter... you run out of the house only to find her following you to the theatre.. She does one emosional news bit. Ayyo!
My name is Superstar
Obama and gumbal in out of focus do a 'Baasha Superstar walk' towards Saaruk and gang. Soooper!
My name is Kooppadu

Ok, this film has an Islamic background. But why does each and every song sound very Rahat Fateh Ali Khan- Shafqat Aman Ali –ish. The songs start straight with a koopaadu… Nooreeeeeeekhudaaaaaaaaaaa…. Sajdaaaaaaaaa (a sound-alike of the beautiful Iktara)...etc?

My name is yawn 
Are you on of those whose facebook page is filled with status messages like “ I lrnt a lot fm MNIK…", “Sharuk rocks!” ‘Spread love n peace! Kjo is the best!” “Humanity is humane… We are all one world” etc? Beware!! Don't trust these messages. Don't waste your time, money and energy watching S-I-C-K... i mean M-N-I-K! (rendum onnudan)
Saaruk-ji - Jogarji - please rename your film as
My name is Kodumai - 1 out of 5. Stay out of the theaters !

Sunday, January 31, 2010

ADra sakka! ADra mokka!

A new series where the best and boring television advertisements (TVCs) of the month will be featured.

ADra sakka!

1. SBI Life Insurance

Insurance is the most boring category when it comes to TVCs and it is not very come up with something out of the box for this category.In how many ways can you express the same 'Family, security, anything-for-your-loved-ones, plan-for-tomorrow'? This ad is about planning for a better tomorrow 'coz zindagi hai jeene ke liye which most other, rather, all other plays talk about. But SBI's TVC conveys it beautifully. A young couple listening to Kishore Kumar's 'Hum jab hoonge saath saal...' in the car on the radio and the husband decides to switch off only to sing his own verses to the same tune only what he would do when he turns 60. This brings a cute smile on the wife's face and she asks him if he'd have his teeth intact to enjoy the ice cream that he has been singing about. He replies, they laugh and get out of the car to enjoy the rains on Marine drive.

When we come up with ideas for our clients the boss often asks us to look around for situations in our everyday life. And that's precisely what this ad has done (No, we haven't come up with this thought). Am sure a lot of us break into impromptu songs or sing along with the radio as we drive and this ad has captured this particular situation really well. The casting is very good. The guy's mischievous expressions as she switches on the radio and before he decides to switch off adds to the fun. The ad has been produced by Chrome pictures directed by Amit Sharma.


How, how, how? How on earth do they come up with ultra cute TVCs every single time? The animated 'Hi's , the pug, the alerts and of course the zoo zoos

This TVC is on promoting the number 121 for subscribers to call and choose an offer that fits them the best.

A young girl is looking to adopt (buy?) a dog and the guy at the store shows her a couple of them. She is not quite happy with any of them. Finally she is, with this cute one that strangely resembles her with its big ears similar to her mane :)

Check it out here

Hats off to Rajiv Rao & team Ogilvy!

3. Aman Ki Asha

Am not in favor of any Indo-Pak peace process and Aman Ki Asha as a concept is so... f...ake! But this ad is really nice. Senti yes but quite well done

The ad starts with this old guy trying to mime something to another guy who is watching him through the binoculars. The senior citizen's friends are helping him communicate something. We assume they are playing dumb charades and it is revealed at the end of the TVC that the group of senior citizens are from Pakistan wanting to listen to a song from Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge on the radio and the young guys across the border in India are helping them by calling the radio station on the request hour.

Lovely ad wasted for this concept which is nothing but a stupid marketing ploy.

ADra mokka!

IDEA- Save paper

Their caste war campaign was refreshing when it was on air two years ago. The walk and talk was one big yawn and now the most boring of them all.. Save paper! It is not about the thought but the execution. The ad wants to talk about IDEA cellular replacing papers in airports, churches, colleges, courts, restaurants... ooph! Oh yes also emphasize the fact that Abhishek Bachchan, the brand ambassador is the .. THE TREE himself!

What a mokka Idea sirjee!

See you next month that will feature the Feb ads. Suggestions for the best and worst of Feb to be mailed to blogeswari [AT] gmail [DOT] com.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Remember Adzap - this intercollegiate inter-school thing where teams would take off on popular films / ads? Once upon a time, at every fest Loyola would begin their adzap episodes with two guys saying "I warn you" "I warn you da" "I warn you" to each other and a voice-over taking over with his "Warner bros. present...". Thought it was very funny when I saw it the first time, "okay okay" on the second and "seri da what next?" the third time and "please stop eet!" the fourth time.

Venkat Prabhu is in Phase III now.


The Oor nattamai played by Kollywood family's biggest 'sevagar' ,'Kollywood ozhukkam kaakum' Viji alais Vijayakumar, after drinking a sembu of water and vetti-fying the kaasu decides that the three notorious friends Vaibhav, Jai, Premji and their families will not interact / talk to each other. Vaibhav, the self-proclaimed casanova is nattamai's son ; Premji is the saami-varam tanda son of Poor man's Sivaji Ganesan a.k.a Shanmughasundaram ; Jai's dad is Sandrasegar.

The three best friends decide to leave their village and go to Madurai and have a gala time for a week at Jai's friend Azhagar's house. From Madurai they move to Goa with the sole purpose of meeting 'foreigner women', get married and go abroad and send some money to their folks.

The rest of the story is mindless, senseless madness. no roller coaster ride and all.


Goa starts with a typical Bharatiraja-R V Udayakumar type village song set to a new Illayaraja 80s type tune - birds flying, women is jagajakka sarees dancing, koil backdrop, closeup of a dozen feet with anklets running across the falls. And we are supposed to wonder what the intro song is all about when the film is titled 'Goa'. Supposed to.C'mon VP, something new please! [In case you are wondering who VP is , it is none other than director Venkat Prabhu - the close circle jingujakka media calls him 'VP'..ainggg!]

The scene where Jai's friend Azhagar in Madurai gets married is seriously funny particularly with the intro where you see a welcome sign 'Azhagar weds Angelina Jolie'. LOL! The story here is Azhagar a former tourist guide in Goa meets Angelina Jolie there, fall for each other and get married in Madurai. Angelina's friends are all these oreda white skinned people one of whom falls for Premji.

Premji's track, solely dependent on tamizh film spoofs is the backbone of the film. He excels in his scenes. You have seen it all before but still you can't stop LOL-ing when you see him face a dozen villains and dishoom dishoom to the 'Puli urumudu' track from Vettaikkaran. Jai and Vaibhav loiter around with no great purpose. Their English speakings in Tamizh ishtyle is quite nice.

Thankfully we don't have a Bollywood item number playing the negative role but it is our own Sneha who sheds her kudumba ponnu, kula vilakku image and is paired opposite Vaibhav. This Pia whoever is such a waste of time.

Goahem ahem

There's this gay track of Arvind Akash and Sampath. Sampath has done a fabulous job as the gay partner. Their romance is handled well.. really well! Keeping with the tradition of all gay stuff in Indian films, this one too has you LOL-ing.


After a point, the looking-at-the-camera-for-an-IR-tune bit, Tamizh film parodies, "Enna koduma idhu saravanan" get on your nerves.To add the woes is this re-re-re-repetitive Kangal Irandal track for Premji and his girl friend.

What was Ananda Raj doing the film? One number flashback with Anandaraja, Viji, Shanmughasundaram and Sandrasegar to appease who I wonder. And this guy Ravishankar playing the cop, the vaadhyar, the casino supervisor, villager... didn't quite get what they were trying to do.

Jai and Vaibhav are complete wastes. Since the entire film rests on spoofs, the supposedly serious track between Jai and Pia falls flat . And what was this atrocious climax inspired by Ocean's 11?

Music was a such a huge disappointment. None.. none of the songs worked.


Goa as a film is one of those funny youtube videos with Hitler, Titanic tamizh etc.The Venkat prabhu style of film-making is very evident in every frame of the film. The director was so busy casting his friends and family in various roles, watching DVDs of popular tamizh films and listening to old IR's songs that he forgot about something as important as a story for the film.

Having said all that, watch it with your friends and you are sure to have a fun time!

Goa - Going going going nowhere - 3 out of 5