Monday, 30 June 2014

Movies 2014 - Best and Worst so far

I have seen nearly 35 movies so far this year in theaters. I still feel Queen is the best movie of this year so far across all the languages. In Tamil I enjoyed Mundasupatti very much and Banglore Days in Malayalam.

I have missed many movies like Nedunchalai, Manja Pai, Brahmman and most of the remake movies.

Best performances are by Ramdoss as Munishkanth in Mundasupatti  and Robo Shankar in Vaayai Moodi Pesavum.

Movies I enjoyed:
  1. Mundasupatti
  2. Thegidi
  3. Yaamirukka Bayamey
  4. Vallinam
  5. Vaayai Moodi Pesavum
  6. Saivam

Movies which were good in parts:
  1. NSM
  2. Golisoda
  3. Pannayarum Padminiyum
  4. Kochadaiiyaan
  5. Nimirnthu Nil
  6. Veeram
  7. Jilla
  8. Oru Kanniyum Moonu Kalavanigalum
  9. Maankarate
  10. Vadacurry
  11. Ithu Kathirvelan Kadhal
Movies that gave me hard time in theaters:
  1. Tenaliramam
  2. Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham

Good Movies in English / Hindi / Malayalam
  1. Queen  (Hin)
  2. Drishyam  (Mal)
  3. Banglore Days (Mal)
  4. Million Dollar Arm  (Eng)
  5. Ohm Shanthi Oshaana (Mal)
  6. X-Men - The Days of Future Past (Eng)
  7. How to Train Your Dragon-2  (Eng)
  8. Edge of Tomorrow  (Eng)
  9. 1983 (Mal)
  10. Dallas Buyers Club  (Eng)
  11. Transformers : Age of Extinction  (Eng)
  12. Godzilla (Eng)
  13. 300-2  (Eng)
  14. American Hustle (Eng)
  15. Hasee Toh Phasee (Hin) 
  16. 2 States (Hin)
  17. The Amazing Spider Man 2  (Eng)

Worst Movies
  1. Heropanti (Hin)
  2. City lights (Hin)

Friday, 13 June 2014

Ponniyin Selvan on Stage - Art at its best

Photo Courtesy : Actor Jiiva, Twitter.

Ponniyin Selvan, a novel, which is being read by all Tamil people for more than 60 years. When I started reading I always imagined how good it will be if it was made into a movie. I saw it on stage as a live performance.

When Vikatan announced that there will be a drama based on Ponniyin Selvan novel this summer I just wondered how is this possible? Making Five books into a drama is not easy. Magic Lantern's team had spent six months to make this possible.

Kumaravel, who's regular in all Prakash Raj movies, is the one who made the screenplay for this drama and also acted in it. All other characters right from Alwarkadiyaan, Vanthiyathevan, Nandini, Kunthavai, Ponniyin Selvan, Pazhuvettair (old man in Sandakozhi), etc., acted really well. But, except Nandini (Meera Krishnamoorthi) other female leads Kunthavai and Vanathi doesn't have a strong character on stage like in the novel. And, Krishna Dayal as Vanthiyathevan was an apt choice who really did justice to that most loved character.

Actor Pasupathi was real surprise who played the role of Aditya Karikalan. Everyone was waiting for Aditya Karikalan and there he enters as a storm and took everyone by surprise. And, some more familiar faces were there.

The whistles and claps when each and every character entered was a proof that almost 90% of the audiences who were present have read the novel and each and every character is still in their mind.

The screenplay, dialogues and the way they have delivered was perfect. It was really amazing to see a live performance of such a difficult act perfectly. There was some little glitches from some characters, but it doesn't matter. The music is also so good which just enhanced the experience. And, the art was done by Thottatharani, I think the name is just enough.

It was a well-spent four hours. Take a bow Magic Lantern and team to bring this to us and I was lucky enough to not to miss this.

The drama's success was seen when everyone stayed until the end to clap and cheer for each and every character when they introduced them to us.

And, a bonus was Superstar also came to watch this on the same day. So along with a mind blowing experience I have seen Superstar as well. What more I can ask, 12-Jun-2014 was a lucky day.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

IPL 7 - A Look Back

IPL 7 comes to an end with KKR winning the trophy second time in three years. This year's IPL was successful more than I actually expected, after the spot fixing scam which has happened last year and few matches were out of India, but still people love IPl because its entertainment, entertainment, entertainment.

A lot of things have changed from last year, new look teams, new champions, no CSK in the finals, no Gayle storm, etc. These are some of the best moments from this IPL for me.

The M&M show during the first leg of the IPL. Max and Miller were unstoppable in Dubai and KingsXI were winning every match. They started with a bang chasing over 200 against the other kings CSK.

RCB started off well even without Gayle, but their season derailed by one stunning catch from Chris Lynn which not only made RCB lose that game which was in their pocket also started a series of losses for them.

Again one more KKR and RR game went into super overs. Last time Yusuf smashed their mystery bowler Mendis to win the game. This time Steve Smith played very very sensibly against their current mystery spinner Narine. He didn't try to slog to win, played very sensibly to take two runs and win the match.

ABD vs Steyn, repeat of what happened a few years ago. ABD tearing apart Steyn who batted all alone to win a game of RCB. For me the shot of the tournament is ABD moving across the stumps and sweeping a delivery from outside off over fine leg for six in that over.

Miracle Match 1, KKR the champions started their campaign very poorly, especially Gambir with three ducks in a row and they won a match because of that miracle from Lynn. When Uthappa opened with Gambir things started changing for them. They were on course to chase a target against RR that too scored over 100 for the opening partnership, then an epic collapse happened, losing six wickets for less than six runs which includes a Hat-trick from a 42-year-young Tambe. I don't think even Pakistan can collapse like this.

A real fight on the field between Pollard and Starc which was too good to watch. Starc tries to follow Pollard with the ball, then Pollard throws his bat towards the bowler it just slipped otherwise it could have been even more ugly.

RR needed 65 runs to win from 24 balls against RCB with Steve Smith and Faulkner at the crease and they chased it with seven balls to spare. Dinda once again proved why he is God.

Yuvi after a disastrous world cup final game, he struggled most parts of the IPL as well. But, he was on form for at-least three games which were worth watching especially two hat-trick of sixes in a match against SRH.

Kings XI's is the master of scoring over 200 runs in the first innings and also to chase over 200 runs twice, first time against CSK and then against SRH. In the second match Vohra played brilliantly who was one of the retained player, but didn't play for a long time. After trying Pujara and Mandeep to open with Sehwag, they finally gave chance to Vohra who just proved why he was retained.

IPL always showcases some of the best catches and this man, Pollard's will be one among them who gets his name in that list year after year. This time he just outdid Lynn's spectacular catch with his catch to dismiss Kevon Cooper. This is the best catch of this IPL.

Uthappa was sensational for KKR which just turned their fortunes in this tournament. Only a second Indian Player to get orange cap and first orange cap holder to finish the tournament as champions. He scored 10 consecutive scores of forty or more until he failed in the finals. I wish he continues his form for our Indian team as well.

Miracle Match 2, KKR against SRH, KKR not only ended the SRH's hopes of qualifying into the playoffs they also won with a high net run rate which made them into the top two in the points table. The miracle in this match was Yusuf Pathan's innings of 72 from 22 balls, which includes fastest IPL fifty in fifteen balls.

Miracle Match 3, MI just repeated of what KKR did the previous day in their match against RR to score 195 in 14.4 balls. Corey Anderson finally played a good innings and scored 95, Rayudu's cameo of 30 from 10, but the best part was Tare hitting his first ball to six to win the game and take MI into the playoffs. A match which will be remembered for making Rahul Dravid show his disappointment on the field. This is the best match of the IPL.

In the eliminator Sehwag played a blinder and scored a century which helped KXI score more than 200 once again against CSK, but it was Raina who stole the show with his 85 of just 27 balls who almost took the game away from KXI before he got run out. This is the best innings of this IPL.

And, in the final which was completely dominated by Indian players, Saha made a brilliant hundred, first hundred in an IPL final who was well supported by Vohra. But, Pandey played innings of his life just like what Bisla did against CSK to win the final and Piyush Chawla hitting a six of Johnson and a four of Awana to win the game.

The players who impressed are Uthappa, Raina, Bhuvi, Axar, Vohra, Chahal, Maxwell, Smith, Duminy, Tambe, Karun. And, the players who disappointed are Kohli, Gayle, Ashwin, Pieterson, Husse.

And, this IPL was completely dominated by the Indians. Orange cap to Uthappa, Purple Cap to Mohit and more Indian players in the top 10 of that list especially Bhuvi. Best emerging player Axar, looking forward to see him in Indian colors against Bangladesh and also an Indian captain winning the IPL again. I hate this guy Gambir, but still well played KKR.