Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Usually before a film is made, the writer narrates one-line/ story to the director, then screenplay, dialogues are written, Producer found, cast and crew finalized, shooting begins, editing post-production done, marketing begins simultaneously and then gets released after the film has been bought.

In Ra.One, first McDonalds, Youtube, Godrej, Horlicks, Nokia, Playstation, Western Union, Cinthol, Coke, Gopal palpodi, Gopuram Poosu manjal thool, Arasan soap, Susi Emu farms and other famous brands were first assembled, asked to put money in SRK's undiyal and THEN Saaruk, Mushtaq (his jaalra), Anubhav Sinha (yet another jaalra, also director), Karan Jogar (all-time jaalra), Gauri 'Botox' Khan all sat down together and decided to make a film with the kaanikkais received from the above brands based on what the brands stood for.


Saaruk Kaan is Shekhar + 'Veshti, Angavashtaram, SuruL mudi hair style' Subramanium - gaming designer, husband of Kareena Kapoor (I think her on screen name is Anjali, Pooja or some such thing), doting Appa of a nice cute boy Prateik. Appa designs game with Ra.One,, H.a.r.t and all. the bad guy comes alive out of the game trying to kill Prateik. So as per the rule of the Bollywood-Kollywood-Hollywood books, had to come out alive to save Kareena and Prateik. Not just that. is revived by Prateik after putting 'Subam' card so that we have a sequel to Ra.One called Arrgh.One next Deepavali with a new set of sponsors namely Anil Noodles, Jos Alukkas, Poomex Ulladaigal & Kisscol TMT Kambigal.


Its time Kareena Kapoor takes visiting cards of Botox doctors from Gauri Khan. Looks like Ms.Kapoor's dietitian Rujuta 80000-Rupees-a-session Diwekar's 'nutritious' diet does not cover the eyes. Crow feet around the eyes. Kareena kaa kaa kaapoor!

This Arjun Rampal looks like a crow that hasn't been fed for years. I say Kothavaranga looks prettier! This Rampal fellow has no persnaalty, no looks for a villain.One aaatu-daadi. That's all.


Don't know if Shekhar Subramanium wore a poonal in the film but Kareena sure did. What's with the forever bra showing Poonal Saree and Bollywood heroines? It is thanks to these people, these Peddar road mummies and Worli mammas compete with their teenage kids and wear poonal sarees n bum jutting skirts that don't suit them.

The film's title card thanks Karan Johar amongst 25,000 people. I think it is for letting Saaruk use Karan Jogar patented Karwa Chauth, Karwada Chauth in one senti 'humari-husband-humara-fast' type bleddy Bollywood scene.


Music by Durvasa Munivar aka Vishal Dadlani (if you follow him on twitter you'll know why I call him that) & Shekhar (not Subramanium). Quite like Dildara by Shafqat Amanat Ali. Nandini Sriker's rendition is quite awesome in

Oh yes, let me take this opportunity to plug a dear friend's voice in Chammak Challo. I am glad Hamsika has finally got a big break with this song.

Back to the music of the film by Vishal and Shekhar, ok, no harm idolizing a legend, in this case RD Burman but why do these guys (V&S) end up using RD's tunes as BGMs? They could've tried something totally new as's theme instead of the usual RD type humming.


SRK eats noodles and curd.
SRK saying "Ayyayo", for 'Thank you' , 'Hello', 'Hi', 'Bye' and everything else
SRK acting like a cool dad.
SRK as


This fellow called Satish Shah as Mr.Iyer, Saaruk's neighbour predictably goes around with his "Ayyayo, whatijeee" type nonsensical s%^! Wonder where all twitter makkal putting #wearetamils, #wearemaanasthans hashtag ordering people to retweet their tweets are now, as we witness the greatest insult of all time to Tamizh makkal. Would also like to know what A.R.Murugadoss who believes in whatever he wrote about Tamizh makkal being insulted and thrown out all around the world in 7aum Arivu, thinks about the potrayal of 'us' in Ra.One.


I hereby surrender my membership card as Superstar fan. Greatestestest insult of all time to His fans is Superstar's tundu beedi appearance as Chitti. Horrendous makeup, horrible wig, awful scene placement. I really wonder why He decided to do SRK a favour. It is sad Rajnikant had to stoop down to this level.

The kutty payyan Prateik is rombave cute. Watch the film before he makes his next hajjar appearances in the ads of Boom Boom Boomer, Horlicks, Pepsi, Whirlpool washing machine (as Kajol n Ajay Devgn's kid),Gold Winner oil, Chennai silks Children's day special and so on.

SFXes are very good. Sadly there is no story to do justice to the kicka$$ special effects.

You know these films of the 80s where villains are such caricatures wearing ugly wigs saying "Khoon ke Khilaaf' and some such dialogues? In, Dalip Tahil the so-called stylish NRI type actor (ya ya he was a tundu beedi in the 80s Bollywood films) is not exactly a villain, he is not a 'character' actor either. He is one eno-tano wearing the most atrocious wig of all time. And his gestures resemble the guy below...

he he he ! Me thinks Dalip Tahil & Country club fellow - #sameguy


The plot of super-heroes in a game coming out alive and fighting it out could've made a very good story had they paid some attention to it. Not sure how many parents would want their kids to watch a film with crappy jokes, references to that part of the body again and again. Forget kids, it is a pain for us adults to sit thru' the same Karwa Chauth, Mamta, Paribhasha, references to Bhagwat Geeta, Mahatma Gandhi, Pooja, Anjali, Punjabi, (Kareena's)pout, horse face, poonal saree.. Nahin Nahin Nahin!!!!!!

R'ayyayo'ne - 2 out of 5

PS - If you thought I was going to recommend 7-aum Arivu instead, Illai Illai Illai! adhu vera oru kodumainga!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 35

Identify the nine advertisements in the picture grid (most of them on air now)
Email your answers to blogeswari {AT } gmail {DOT} com or post it in the comments section
  • Nine points to be won - One point per correct answer
  • One attempt per person - One guess per advertisement, please.
  • Please email your answers to blogeswari {AT} gmail {DOT} com or post them in the comments section on or before Wednesday the 5th of October 2011
Answers for விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 35 posted on 7th October 12:15 pm IST

Row 1 - Britannia Nutrichoice, Nirma, 5 star

Row 2- Idea, Sony Vaio, Tide Plus

Row 3: Emami Tasty n Healthy Sunflower oil, Lux, Closeup

Scores Rohini & Lavs - 5/9 - Congratulations!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Film-making: The madness : LOCATION -2

My obsession to spot similar locations across various films continues...

Karaikudi & around

The Chettinad Mansions and Palaces with wooden pillars, long corridors, beautiful windows and doors provide a superb backdrop to films featuring 'rich' families. Kanadugathan also has a temple and lake (if I remember right).The shooting permissions can be easily obtained to shoot anywhere thanks to the local production manager who also acts in most films shot there, as 'taragar', 'village man pottufying aamam in Panchayat' and other important roles.

Prabhu's house in his 100th film Rajakumaran was shot in one such mansion (Chettinad palace?), some bits of the songs Idhu daana from Saamy and Davani poatta Deepavali from Sandakozhi .

Cheran's house in Pirivoam Sandippoam was also shot in one of the huge Chettinad houses.
Have you watched this particular song in this film? The Dining hall is one of the several several several rooms in the house. Just look at the pillars and the flooring...

Kandukondein Kandukondein was shot inside this palace. Look at the Muttram. Simply wow it is, isn't it?

If you are looking for a place to travel to on your next weekend break or a mini holiday, do travel to Karaikudi and do a mini tour around these palaces and Chettinad houses. They are beauttttiful ! A lot of old Chettinad houses are now Heritage resorts. You can also visit the Sandai (local market) every Monday and shop for antiques of Chettinad.


Puducherry is one hot destination for feature films. A lot of advertisement films also have been shot there. The architecture, beach , French roads and streets have made Pondicherry, a favourite shooting location.

Recently, Pondicherry featured in the bike chasing sequence in Ko. I see the French quarter in a lot of songs. Kaatril eeram from Veppam...

One of the main reasons, films are shot in Puducherry is probably because it is not as crowded as Chennai is especially on the roads and it is a lot cheaper. Shooting in Puducherry is most cost effective for producers compared to Chennai.

Talking about Chennai, I had this major query on one location in Chennai where Moondru mudichu was shot. It is the house where Balaji (Kamal), Prasad (Rajni) and Selvi (Sridevi) live as tenants. A huge house, big terrace, Ice-house (Vivekandar Illam) like architecture. Also, located bang in the middle of main road junction. Have been asking quite a few Tamizh movie enthusiasts if they knew where this place is.

Watched the film two days ago on television and guess what the credits said? "Thank you Mrs. Rajalakshmi Srinivasan for giving us a (your) location at 39, Eldams Road, Chennai -18 for shooting"

Ah, it is Ulaga Nayagan Kamalahassan's house at the Eldams Road -TTK Road junction! Wow, whattee veedu!

The name board outside the house - S.Charuhasan, Advocate (Kamal's brother)

The view from Ulaga Nayagan's house - A bus coming out of C.P Ramaswamy road and you can also see the road parallel to it (Ethiraj Kalyana Mandapam road).

The only thing that has not changed from then to now is the petrol bunk at the junction.

Have been planning to write this post on locations forever now and it's a mere coincidence that I managed to do it today as I celebrate the 10th Anniversary of my debut in feature films as a production & locations manager. Though I have moved on to do other things in life those 4 years were simply the best in my career.

My earlier post on locations here. Other film-making links from the blog - Click here and here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tele-vetti 27

Tele-vetti 27 celebrates actor,politician,producer Khushbu's birthday this month.
1. Identify Khushbu's films from the above grid (L to R)

2. One entry per person / Only one guess please

3. One point per correct answer - 9 points to be won

4. Last date for sending your entries - Wednesday, 28th September 2011

5. Please email your answers to blogeswari {AT} gmail {DOT} com or post your answers in the comments section.

The previous quiz and the name of the winner here.
TELEVETTI 27 – Answers – posted on 29th September 2011 - 10:30 am IST

ROW 1 – Alaipayuthey , Michael Madhana Kama Rajan, Kizhakku Vasal

ROW 2 - Jaadi Malli, Singaravelan, Naattamai

ROW 3- Chinna Thambi, Anna Malai, Varusham 16


  • The winners are Kaarthik Arul, Aravind Mano, Gayatri and Meera - 9/9 . Congratulations!
  • Vijayashree R, Sinduja Chakkrapani – 8/9
  • Swapna Sivanantham, Janet Jesudoss, Kamesh Ratnam, Dagalti – 7/9
  • Lakshminarayan Ravichandran, Vinitha , Sud Gopal, Vaseegaran – 5/9
Happy birthday Khushbu!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 34

Identify the nine advertisements (some vintage, some on air now) in the picture grid.

Email your answers to blogeswari {AT } gmail {DOT} com or post it in the comments section
  • Nine points to be won - One point per correct answer
  • One attempt per person - One guess per advertisement, please.
  • Please email your answers to blogeswari {AT} gmail {DOT} com or post them in the comments section on or before Wednesday, 28th Sep 2011
Answers for விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 34 posted on 29th September 10:30 am IST

ROW 1-

(i) Titan (Directed by Rajiv Menon. The younger sis in Minisha Lamba I’m told),

(ii) Asian Paints (the award winning commercial, music by the one and only ‘God’ Rahman, sung by Malaysia Vasudevan, directed by Rajiv Menon)

(iii) Tata Docomo – the one on air currently


(i) Limca , (ii) Icici bank (ATM), (iii) Quikrrrrrrrrrrrr


(i) Chennai silks (With Anushka Shetty), (ii) Hero Motocorp, (iii) Airtel (Har ek Friend zaroori hota hai)


  • The winners are : Sinduja Chakkrapani, Lavanya Parameshwar– 8/9 . Both Asian Paints and Airtel were tough ones. Congratulations!
  • Avinash Natarajan and Rohini K– 7/9
  • Dagalti , Harish V – 4/9

Monday, September 19, 2011

ADra sakka! ADra mokka! - 4

A whole of new jingle based television commercials these days. Some of the ads I like :

ADra sakka!

1. Airtel

In their attempt to get closer and connect with the youth, the guys at Taproot have come up with a lovely thought ' Har ek friend Zaroori Hota Hai'. Ram Madhvani, a veteran in advertising films has directed this TVC. The real heroes of this ad are lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya and Ram Sampath, the music director. Ram has created over 4000 jingles in the past that include Tata Safari -Reclaim your life, Sony Ericcson Thump, Close up - Paas ao and has been in the business for more than a decade. Ram is also the music director of Delhi Belly.

I am aware the fatigue level on this ad is a bit high thanks to its high rotate but one cannot deny that this particular jingle with a repetitive catch phrase has had instant 'Likes' across.

2. Vodafone

It's Vodafone's turn to strike back with a 'youth based' campaign this time for the Facebook phone with a 2 min 20 second ad. Conceived by Ogilvy and filmed by Prakash Varma of Nirvana films, the best part of this TVC is the jingle. Filmed in heavy duty Broadway style, the jingle makes you sing along with it's catch phrase 'He's always on facebook!' and the super 'tan tan tadadadantan tan tan tan ....'

The music director is Mikey McCleary whose recent hits include retro based 'Khoya Khoya Chand' and 'Hawa Hawaai' in Shaitan and the album 'The Bartender' .

3. Volkswagen Jetta

Based on the thought that one will do anything to drive the Jetta, this television commercial features a guy born with wings that made him a celebrity, dumping them to drive the Jetta.

Conceptualized by DDB Mudra, this ad has been directed by Hamish Rothwell for Nomad films & Good oil films. The thought, the casting and the post production are really nice, the only thing that irks me is the expression of our hero in the end as he drives the car. Neither is he happy nor is he sad. What are they trying to say? Nevertheless, it appeals to me. Any idea who the music director is?

4. Hero Honda

A cliched` thought 'A Hero in each of us' and a done-to-death treatment with tense faces attempting to do something and emerging as heroes. Don't know what connection this has with the bike but this Anurag Kashyap & Robby Grewal directed film has the one and only A R Rahman as its music director and the best part is Rahman has (obviously) sung the Tamizh version too! (the Marathi, Telugu versions have other singers).

And this one too, like all ARR's jingles (Airtel, Etios) are on the 'Feel Good' Playlist on my Ipod. "Nammule Hero, Naamandri Yaaro?" - lyrics definitely not written by a Matunga, Chembur based Bombay Tamizh writer. I am assuming it is a lyricist from the film industry. If you know who the writer is please tweet back . The agency is Law & Kenneth.

Edited to add: (22nd Sep) : Tamizh lyrics by Kavignar Vaali. Thank you Anil for the tweet

5. Flipkart

Three films featuring kids with adults' voice-overs. Cute idea, mad execution. The cafe` film has this boy (man!) asking "What you are ordering? What's going to be your first song (on the mp3 player)?" The second boy "Ringa Ringa Roses!". The first one "That's a classic!" . Brings a smile every time I see him say that. Good choice of V.O artiste especially for the kid who says "That's a classic!"

In the same series, the office film is somewhat ok ok. The parlor film where the girl frowns when her friend says "Handsome guy eh!", is cute. Watch it online before it gets pulled off air/ net for depicting kids from North east as 'Parlor girls doing pedicure' in the film.

All three films have been directed by Ayyappa, produced by my one of my favorite production houses - Footcandles film. The music director is Sameeruddin, the agency - Happy Creative services. Here's the cafe` film.

6. Bournville

The earlier Cadbury Bournville ad was slightly outrageous (in a nicer way) with a 'you have to earn it' connect. The new TVC has a Bournville official looking for the perfect Ghana (cocoa) bean. In that process, the not-ok one gets rejected and it starts to weep. The commercial ends with the thought ' Only the best Ghana Cocoa goes into making a Bournville, that's why you have to earn it'

Personally I found the thought a bit overstretched in this ad. But Vinyl Mathew's direction, the overall execution and the great cast get a Thumbs up from me. The production is Footcandles film, music by R Anandh, Ogilvy is the creative agency.

Now over to the ones I hate

ADra mokka!


Fellow Mylaporean, this brand has a great nostalgic value. "Poye Poche! It's gone! Chole gache!" - Remember? Their last campaign had a series of candid camera ads inspired by Funniest Home videos. Then came Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu endorsing the Strong Balm.

With Munni making Amrutanjan's competitor Zandu Balm famous and increasing its market share, Amrutanjan strikes back with its version of Savitha Bhabhi. There's one for the balm that I can't find online. It has a sleazy looking Bhabhi (sister-in-law) applying Amrutanjan on her brother-in-law's forehead talking about applying it before his brother (her husband) comes back from work or some such thing. The other ad for Roll on is no better. Total Bhojpuri type this one is.

Watching this particular TVC for Amrutanjan Roll on, I texted a friend "Did you do the Female voice-over for THIS ad?" Her reply, "Shhh.. Please don't tell anyone!"- eee.. there I said it!

8. Nestea

The thought (addressed to mothers) - "If you want to mix in the Teenager's world, you have got to remix " and hence use Nestea remix. You got it? Then you are a genius. Didn't get head or tail of this ad. Forget the thought, who are the models? Kangaroos! Why Mamma Kangaroo, Teenager Kangaroo, Neighbor / friend Kangaroo? I am totally clueless. Adding to the weirdness is the song with its remixed version - Chanda hai tu from Aradhana. Awful stuff!

May have missed a few in both Sakka and Mokka categories. Would love to know the ones you liked / hated. Do let me know.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tele-vetti 26

1.Identify the Puratchi Thalaivar films (L to R)
2. One entry per person / Only one guess please
3. One point per correct answer - 9 points to be won
4. Last date for sending your entries - Friday, 23rd September 2011
5. Please email your answers to blogeswari {AT} gmail {DOT} com
6. Please do not post your answers in the comments section

  • Edited to add on 24th September 2011

    The answers (L to R)
    Row 1 - Tanippiravi, Parakkum Paavai, Chandrodayam
    Row 2 - Anbe vaa, Nalla neram, Naadodi Mannan
    Row 3- Kanchi-thalaivan, Enga veetu-p-pillai, Koondukkili

    Dagalti wins with 7/9 {I accept the Chandrodayam answer though the number was incorrect :) }

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


This entity called Kollywood fanatic. I don't understand it sometimes. I understand a Rajni fan, Puratchi Thalaivar fan who are both mass. Ulaga Nayagan fan, Nadigar Thilagam fan are class. I also get {Shabaaa..} Vijay fans 'coz, lets give it to him- he can dance well, he has that opening-song appeal. BUT I DON'T UNDERSTAND THALA ROCKZZZZ FANS. I simply don't. He cannot dance. He cannot have expression except "adhu!". Why we have Thala Rockzzzz fans?

After witnessing all the Bros and the sisters of the families saying "Mankatha da", "We rule bro", for more than a year now, we went to watch "Mankatha da" ..sorry Mangatha - A Venkat Prabhu game, today.


For the first time on Kollywood screen, one mega hero Saar has shed the image of 'Ega Patthiniviradhan' 'No Kudi [except when Kaadhal tolvi]', 'Ooorukku uzhaippavan' 'Nallade Seivan' ''NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL HAIRSTYLE kaaran' etc. Calling Spade a Spade, in this movie the hero Vinayak Mahadevan (Ajith) does not make an attempt to act Nallavan, Vallavan. He is a moda kudiyan, sleeps around, has Grey hair, is a Baddd man and he is a (Taru)Thala! Adddhhu! Hero Saar is a suspended Inspector and plans to steal all IPL bet money in Arumugam Chettiar's (Jayapragash) custody along with Sumanth (Vaibhav Reddy) - Chettiar's henchman, Cop Ganesh (Ashwin), Super hacker Prem (gi Amaren) and Vetti guy Magath (Raghavendra). They are pretty successful in their attempt but two of them escape with the monies and whether Mr.Adhu manages to find them and take all the "Money Money Money" forms the rest of the story.


"Annan Udaiyan Padathukku Anjaan" - Thambi Premgi need not worry about getting roles in his films as long as Annan Director Venkat Prabhu keeps directing them. Thambi with his nerdy looks has full kaamedy lines, predictable IR background score as his entry scene and even gets to give romantic look (what's new) to Laxmi Rai. Since it is Premgi rockzzz you just ignore.

There are also other Veteran jokers like the Great one and only Shanmughasundaram Sir. He sizzles the screen with his ferfomance and people ore da laugh when He comes on screen for exactly a milli second of a second. Blogeswari does not want Sir to feel bad. As a long time fan, He will get more screen time on this blog than He ever got in his Kalaiturai Payanam.


Tirisha +own dubbing, Andrea, Laxmi Rai+Suchi dubbing, Anjali, Sagalakala Vallavan Thulasi as Tirisha's mother - Too many ladies, very little for them to do. Tirisha's costumes (Vasuki Bhaskar) are very very nice. I can already see ads from Chennai silks, Naidu Hall, Pothy's advertising 'Mankatha Kurtis' this Deevali. This Laxmi Rai - Apart from this much publicized date with Dhoni what else has this done? Supposedly the b^&* in the Mankatha Game like the Angelina Jolie variety. She is konjam sad.

And Kungumam already has their next cover story ready - "Naan emaandu vittena?" - Mankatha-vil tundu beedi role kedaithadaal kumurugraar Anjali


The Casinos of Ocean's 11 and 13 have become Clubs / Old Theater in Mankatha. The film is hugely inspired by all the DVDs the R.A.Puram boys must've borrowed from Tic Tac. The Dishoom Dishoom scenes, the beeped out cuss words and ofcourse Thala with his Salt-Pepper hair like Hollywood Thala Clooney- ore da Casino Royal in Kodambakkam only.


'Vilayadu Mangatha' is semma title track. Liked 'Vaada Bin Lada' as well. But what was the picturization of 'Vaada' like some Modfurn furniture type ad ? 'Machi open the bottle' though a carbon copy of 'Saroja Saman nikhalo' is seri kutthu material. Rest of the songs were strictly ok. The background score is one big saving grace for the film. Pinna? All three Isaignani varisus - Yuvan, Bhavatharini and Karthickraja have contributed to the sooper rerecording ..*Tatatatainnggg* - nice it is the theme score.


Wonder how Arjun has managed to stay semma youth. Deserved more screen time, for sure. Action King is ACP and an equally important role to Thala but looks like director suddenly thought of this character and puguthyfyed it in the film. Actually looks like director had thought of the story only suddenly.. after starting the shoot for Thala's 50th film with mega announcement and all *Tatatatainnggg*


Some Jack a$$e$ were seriously missed in the film since it was namma 'Bro' Venkat Prabhu Anna's film and we are all one family, one nation, one RA Puram, one cricket - so when Annan makes films we, as friends, sorry Bros put guest appearance. One name that comes first in the missing Jack list - SIMBU ! How namma Former Little superstar (Lolzzz) and present day Young Super star - STR was not given one second screen space in the film is one big puzzle. He is one Big Thala fan Saar!


What works for the film is.. er.. ya, Ajith's cool dude attitude, Action King Arjun, Action sequences (repetitive yes) the super beginning and a racy (and verrry predictable) end.


The things that don't work - Story from the Archives of Hyder Ali, Some hajjar we-are-also-there-people like Yakka Yakka Ambiga's ex husband Rajkant who is there in all Venkat Prabhu movies, Thala's acting n dancing (where? where?), boring two hours in the middle of the film. Also, there is no thrill or suspense element. The director must understand that makkal watch all Hollywood films' dubbed versions these days on TV. So no point doing a twist and turn and giving them a climax that they have predicted when you put Censor Board certificate in the beginning of the film after National Anthem. I waited and waited till something major happened on screen and that something ended up being *Tatatatainnggg* . Yawn!

Mankatha - A Venkat Prabhu over hype - 2.5 out of 5