Monday, 31 October 2016

Skyfire - Aroon Raman

Skyfire, written by Aroon Raman, thanks to Flipkart Blogger Review found another new exciting Indian writer. This is Aroon Raman's third book and my first. Even though this book has the same characters from his previous book, he gives enough background information on each every character so it's not a mandatory to read his previous works to begin this.

Skyfire, is another thriller set in India with some deadly threats like weather manipulation and child trafficking. Right from the word go, this book has enough surprises. The prologue sets up the book nicely and gives us a glimpse of what is about to come.

Chandra, a journalist, Meenu, a history teacher, Haasan, a police officer, are friends for a long time. They start to look into a missing kid who's a regular to the school Chandra and Meenu maintain for orphans. They get to know its not just this single kid is missing, there are too many kids from different areas went missing. On the other hand, India gets attacked by mysterious acid rain attack in Indore which followed in many places within India all due to some weather anomaly. Nobody was able to find the reason behind this weather's behaviour.

So one side child trafficking within Delhi, on the other side series of weather anomaly which causes huge casualties and chaos, which is now a national threat. How and whether these two things are interconnected? Who's behind all these? We get the details of how they are connected, how Chandra, Meenu and Haasan get involved into this. And, how they solve the child trafficking and the threat caused to India from this weather manipulation. They travel from Delhi to Bhutan, and even involve Pakistan to solve this.

Once the villain is revealed, we can easily guess 'what' is going to happen, but Aroon Raman keeps it interesting by the way 'how' it happens. The possibilities of the things which can be done by manipulating the weather was unbelievable. The last few chapters were very shocking and brutal with things which are hard to even imagine.

The negative thing about this book is it was very easy to guess the villain when the character was introduced or even before when they talk about him. I wished he wasn't the one behind all this, but my prediction was right. And, usage of Hindi, which I couldn't get it. They kept talking about Shadow Throne, author's previous book, should read that next.

Overall, Skyfire was a riveting thriller and the things which were discussed in this book was scary. Weather manipulation, what a serious weapon it is, I hope no country uses it in warfare.

And, I am going to read other books of Aroon Raman soon.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Deepavali 2016 - KODI Parakuthu

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil - Started Deepavali’s eve with this KJo’s romance starring Rambir, Anushka, Fawad and Aish. Pritam’s music was already topping the charts and the movie ran into enough controversy to raise the hype for this film.

This is another version of Rockstar, KJo’s version with Aish mixed into it. There was too many similarities which cannot be ignored. Right from the hero Rambir, who's trying to become a singer. And, someone advising him that he should have a heartbreak to give soul stirring music and the similarity doesn't end here.

The first half is how Ranbir gets friend-zoned by Anushka, who already had a bad breakup. And, it was fun, Ranbir and Anushka mocking some old Bollywood movies. Ranbir gets so attached, but Anushka sees him only as a friend. So its Ranbir’s Love vs Anushka’s Friendship till the end. 

In the second half, after he gets friend-zoned, Ranbir meets Aish. OMG she was stunning. But, Ranbir still struggles to forget Anushka who was now married to her ex-boyfriend (Fawad). The final moments gets too emotional. Also, the second half was little dragging.

Rabir as Ayan and Anushka as Alizeh has given some fantastic performance. Ranbir was too good for this role. Anushka too equally performed well. And, few nice cameos from Alia and SRK as well. Aish and Fawad have done their part well.

Pritam was biggest strength for this film, all his songs were too good aptly supported by Arjit's voice, just like Mohit's voice in Rockstar. We get two songs back to back and nobody complained. Cinematography was excellent with pleasing visuals and pleasing lead actors, shot mostly abroad.

So ADHM was too romantic and too emotional movie I have seen in recent times. It has some good performances, songs and a smoking hot Aish and most of all it's running with subs.

Kashmora - My most expected movie of this year Deepavali releases. After in the making for quite long time, this movie's first look posters and teasers were interesting which increased my hype even more. Gokul, who has given two contrasting movies, Rowthiram and iDhaba has come up with totally different genre again this time.

The plot, it was disappointing. After seeing the pre-release buzz I was expecting a totally different movie, but what we get was just another horror comedy. What ra?

First half introduces us to fake god man Karthi, as Kashmora and his whole family doing the same as business. Vivek as Karthi's father and Sri Divya as a student who was trying to expose them. And, a glimpse of what's in store in the second half. It has few fun scenes, but not much interesting. 

The second half we get to know about the much awaited historical sequence with Rajnayak, Karthi and  Rathnamadevi, Nayan, who was gorgeous. And, we get to know their history and why Kashmora and his family was selected by Rajnayak. And, it shares some funny moments as well.

Karthi was excellent as Kashmora, we get to know the meaning of this name as well, and as Rajnayak, a brutal "Thalapathi" of a kingdom, as well. Sri Divya does a regular role, nothing interesting. Nayan as Rathnamadevi was really good. I wish to see her as Nandini if someone decides to  make  Ponniyin Selvan into a movie.

The BGM was not great, but does it job in most parts. The songs were disappointing from SaNa, The movie could have been made a little crisp and all the marketing focused into the historical part which occupies less time. 

Overall, leaving my expectation, it was a good attempt for a horror genre except for its pace issues. 

Kodi - Dhanush's first dual hero role directed by Durai Senthilkumar of Ethir Neechal and Kakki Sattai fame. And, it comes after a disappointing Thanga Magan and a forgetful Thodari.

The first half shows the rise of Rudra and Kodi in their respective party (Republic and Democratic, just like USA ) and their love story. Also, Anbu, the twin brother's love story with egg seller Malathi, Anupama Parameshwaran. The politics keeps getting interesting and finally Kodi and Rudra face each other in a by-election. The second half was even more interesting when Kodi (or Anbu) and Rudra starts playing political game against each other.

Most of the scenes seems to be inspired from the headlines we have seen in recent times. And, I just wonder what really happened to all those news. And, Durai keeps us guessing with some interesting cat and mouse game with enough twists.

Dhanush has performed wonderfully both as Kodi and a timd Anbu. It was good to see him do both the characters at ease. Though its still hard to believe him as someone who can beat ten men. Anupama, gets a good debut in Tamil, though her character has lesser time. Trisha, gets one of a better roles in recent times, and she has tried hard to justify this role. And, I kept wondering how Nayan would have carried this role.

SaNa gets the songs right here, but the BGM was totally bad, felt silence in many scenes or is it the theatre's fault. I guess, maybe a deliberate effort from director and him. And, in some of the scenes could have had better scores. Other departments have done their job pretty good, stunts, editing, etc,.

Overall, an excellent and much needed comeback for Dhanush in his first dual role movie. Durai Senthilkumar's writing was better and he delivers a neat political drama. 

So, my pick of this Deepavali's releases is Kodi hands down.  KODI Parakuthu.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil - 3.0/5.0.
Kashmora - 2.5/5.0.
Kodi - 3.5/5.0.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

When Love Finds You - Yashodhara Lal

When Love Finds You is Yashodhara Lal's fourth book. Thanks to Flipkart Blogger Review program for sending me this which gave me an opportunity to know about yet another Indian author. Now, I should try reading her other books.

WLFY is about 'One Indian Girl/Woman' Natasha, a 35 year young VP in sales. She is still single and she is seen as a Hitler in her office. She's a strict boss who doesn't like excuses. The first part covers mostly what's said about Natasha in the book's description. And, introduces most of the characters her friend Priya, her annoying neighbor Mrs. Chopra, her new boss Rishab, who supposedly took her position and another new colleague Nikhil.

I must confess it really irritated me the way Natasha treated her team, her colleagues and even her friend. So, Natasha isn't another ordinary woman, she wants results and she feels her methods are right if it gives the results. And, other feels she lacks people skills. She is tough because the society never accepts a woman as a boss. And, the book also tells about the challenges she faces in the corporate world.

In the second part Natasha and Nikhil become friends. She gets to know more about Nikhil, a single father of a seven-year old girl Tisha. She gets friendlier with her annoying old neighbor Mrs. Chopra. And, her hate towards Rishab grows more and more on every occasion they have been together.

In the final part, Natasha and Nikhil relationship goes to next level. We finally get to know about her father and mother. And, her troubled relationship with her mother. She finally decides to put an end to her haunting memories of the past. And, all her problems seem to be solved after her trip to meet her mother. And, finally a happy ending.

Did Natasha change because of the love? And, even the problem in one of her team is suddenly fixed, but Natasha didn't do much. So, where was the A-game she always brings?

I haven't read the other books written by this author, but I can safely say Yashodhara Lal didn't bring her A-game here.

So, overall it was  just a time-pass page turner without many twist and turns. It just went the way you would have figured after the first part. But, it wouldn't be a waste of time to try this book, somehow you will end up reading till the end.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Pooja Weekend Movies - Rekka, Remo, Devi

Rekka - The first movie I saw this weekend. The hero’s name in this movie is Siva so you can easily guess the genre of this movie. VJS decided to have some fun and wanted to smash the goons in the air like our mass heroes do.

The plot is like any many other commercial movie. The comedy with Sathish works in some places. And, the second half have some senti scenes and a nice song “kannama” featuring a gorgeous Sija Rose as Mala akka in half-saree. I wish she had little more screen time.

The negatives are, couldn't take VJS as a guy who will send 100 men in the air with a single punch. The mass scenes didn't work much, but Imman’s bgm helps get pass them. And, Lakshmi Menon, it's very hard to see her with too much makeup. And, the good thing was she doesn't come into the movie for the first 45 minutes at least.

Overall it's just another passable commercial movie from VJS. And, Im sure he won't attempt another movie of the same kind soon because his Aandavan Kattalai released two weeks before was too good.

Remo - The much hyped SiKa’s movie which has soa top technicians and result was evident. The movie looks rich and colourful roping in PC helps big time.

Another movie on the line of Kadhal Mannan, Minnale, Titanic ;) where hero tries to woo the girl who's already engaged. And SiKa changes his getup and joins as a nurse in the same hospital where Keerthy Suresh works as a doctor.

The first half was fun, SiKa, Sathish and co takes care of the comedy and SiKa’s nurse getup looked good on screen and the nurse character does enough to confuse Keerthy Suresh. And, filled with enough cliches.

But, the second half was a let down. SiKa doesn't do anything to convince Keerthy Suresh to break up from her engagement other than just stalking her. SiKa doesn't do anything like Ajith in Kadhal Mannan or Madhavan in Minnale or Jack in Tittanic to win her over. But, as usual “that guy” with whom Keerthy was engaged was shown as a bad guy.

Overall SiKa does manage to deliver another commercially successful movie without worrying much about logic. And, the team thought the nurse getup was enough to sell this movie. But, I'll watch Kadhal Mannan or Avvai Shanmugi over Remo anyday.

Devi - AL Vijay’s back with a trillingual which brings back Prabhu Deva as a lead. And, its yet another horror comedy which has 2% of horror or Vijay didn't even try to scare us in any scene.

The plot is, thank god, not an usual revenge story like every horror movie in Tamil cinema. It's about a model’s wish to become a successful actress and uses Devi to fulfill its wish.

It's good to see Prabhu Deva as an actor instead of his nonsense crap bolly movies. He does excel in this role which brings out his comic best. And, Tamannah too has done both the roles well, dances well too. RJ Balaji with his limited screen timings works well.

But, the movie looked like a dubbed one in many scenes and Sonu Sood looked odd. And, there isn't any interesting twists or shocking scenes. At least the movie’s running length was just over two hours.
Overall Vijay’s attempt in this genre has few good moments and watchable. Better than his previous movie Idhu Enna Mayam. Watchable.

All three movies were better than Thodari, but not as good as Aandavan Kattalai. Not unbearable and nothing extraordinary.

Rekka - 2.5/5.0.
Devi - 2.5/5.0.
Remo - 2.5/5.0.