Monday, 15 January 2018

Pongal Releases 2018

Gulaebaghavali: Started Pongal with an unplanned decision to watch this movie first. After a very long time, I went into a movie without even watching the teaser and trailer. So, it kinda worked in its favor, since I went in without any expectations and not knowing anything about the story helps too.

The story is about four cons tries to pull off a heist, a "puthaiyal", from a village and it is told with a lot of comedians and less comedy. I was expecting a ghost to jump out at any moment, but thank god there isn't any ghost here.

I really liked Revathi's character, it was a surprise to see her in this kind of a role. And, also loved the "Arengetra Velai" connect. There was her retro pic and also VK Ramaswamy's in her place. Among others Munishkanth, who kinda did more talking than the hero Prabhu Deva himself. And, he kinda looked uninterested, the usual charming was missing.

The songs were real drag should have skipped them and the visuals didn't help either, though he dances brilliantly. And, the romance between Prabhu Deva and Hanshika was worse than romances in recent ARM movies. But, at least the heroine is not a loose ponnu here. And, enough of Motta Rajendran doing dubsmash for some popular songs. I really wish he isn't part of every movie.

Overall it was just watchable since the stakes were really low and Revathi's character was a surprise which made me make it through the movie.

Neither funny nor a thriller.

Thaanaa Serndha Koottam: Special 26 was one of my favorite of Neeraj Pandey's movies. When I heard this is a remake I was excited, but the director kept denying the rumors. When the teaser released it was finally out that they have "adapted" the same for Tamil Cinema.

The problem with this "adapting" are they completely ruined some of the best moments in Special 26. Special 26, has a perfect screenplay, except the heroine portions, with enough twists and a fantastic climax. Vignesh ShivN added more comedians, songs, etc and the movie doesn't even look like a period film at all. Failed. When the heroine was introduced as a part of their gang, I thought Vignesh ShivN fixed the only problem Special 26 had, but he didn't. Again, she gets a separate track with some unwanted songs and who knows what happened to her at the end. Failed again.

Surya was having fun after his Singam. He even gets a scene to mock his height. Ramya Krishnan for Anupam Kher's character was one casting idea I liked. And, Suresh Menon with Gautam Menon's voice didn't work for me at all. Gautam's voice is very well known so it was little out of sync. Too much of build up for Karthik who did nothing at the end. Senthil with petromax light was a good touch, but he overdoes it too.

The dialogues were good and he conveniently mocks current situation in a period movie. Anirudh's Sodakku was good, the visuals looked colorful, which completely ruined the period setup. You can't show "MOUNTROAD 1987" to make us believe it is 1987.

Since I loved the original, he didn't fix the only problem the original had with the heroine character, added too many back stories and completely ruined the ending with adding some fights and the way he escapes was just too much and I really missed that Manoj Bajpayee's laugh at the end. 

I am not sure whether Vignesh ShivN did all these changes on his own or he thought Surya won't accept the original. But, he sure makes things funny and colorful, which could have worked for the people who haven't seen the original.

Why fix something which ain't broke?

Sketch: One movie you still wonder how does this combination actually happen? Vikram with a director of Vaalu? You read these rumors before the movie starts, but it wasn't a rumor and this really happened. So, obviously, I had zero expectations with this combo since I hated Vaalu.

I made up my mind even before entering that this is gonna be a hell of a film because of the buzz in social media. And, almost the whole first half, except for the last 15 mins was so bad. Towards the interval, with Vikram finally putting a Sketch the movie picks some momentum. The second half was not bad either, batting the cliched romance portions with Tamannah. And, the climax twist was good, but the message at the end was too much, suddenly the director wants to convey something to the society it seems.

Thaman's BGM was a real plus, except someone shouting "sketch potta, sketch potta" in the middle. And, Vikram's screen presence was a real plus. Really liked him in this character, but still, his age is very evident, he is getting too old for the romance. He doesn't have to do anything special here after a long time.

I want to know, who wrote the punch dialogue, "Sketchu sketch potta sketch miss eh aagathu", I can understand this line and it sounds like a punch dialogue. But, the next line is "apdi miss aachuna sollu pisire illama senju mudipen". Is this even a punch, why would you miss your sketch and why would redo it if someone points out that you failed. So, will you put a "sketch" without failing or not?

I don't know what made Vikram accept this at this time, maybe he thought it is time to do a quickie. I really think if he doesn't want any experiment like I or IruMugan, he should try his hand with a bunch of newcomers like Logesh Kanagaraj, etc. I am sure they can do a quickie with a meaningful script.

Offers nothing new and didn't even try either.

My final ratings and best to worst, so it is evident that I enjoy watching Vikram more than Surya.
  1. Sketch - 2.5/5.0.
  2. Thaanaa Serndha Koottam - 2.5/5.0.
  3. Gulaebhagavali -  2.0/5.0

Saturday, 6 January 2018

My Awards - 2017

Based on the movies I have seen last year: 2017.

Best Film Tamil -                           Aruvi

Best Film English -                       COCO

Best Film Hindi -                          Trapped

Best Film Malayalam -                 Angamaly Diaries

Best Film Telugu -                        Arjun Reddy

Best Director -                              Thambi Prabhu (Aruvi),

Best Actor Male -                         Karthi (Theeran Adhigaram Ondru)

Best Actor Female -                     Aditi Balan (Aruvi)
Best Comedian -                           Ramdoss (Maanagaram, Maragatha Nanayam)

Best Villain -                                 M.S Bhaskar (8 Thottakal)
                                                    Abhimanyu Singh (Theeran Adhigaram Ondru) 

Best Supporting Actor Male -      Vivek Prasanna (Meyaatha Maan)
                                                 Bharathi Raja (Kurangu Bommai)
Best Supporting Actor Female -  Sshivada (Adhey Kangal)
                                                 Revathi   (Pa Paandi)

Best Albums -                               SOLO
                                                      Power Paandi (Sean  Roldan)

Best BGM -                                  Sam C S (Vikram Vedha)

Best Music Director -                  Sam C S  (Vikram Vedha)
                                                      Ghibran   (Adhe Kangal, Theeran Adhigaram Ondru)

Best Dialogues -                          Suresh Sangaiah (Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu)
                                                Rathna Kumar (Meyaadha Maan)
                                                Mohan Raja     (Velaikkaran)

Best Male Playback Singer -       Pradeep Kumar (Megamo Aval,
                                                                            Nee Kavithaigala, 
                                                                            Rail Aaraaroo, etc)
Best Female Playback Singer -   Luksimi Sivaneswaralingam (Senthoora - Bogan)

Best Lyricist -                               Vivek (Thangachi Song, Megamo Aval - Meyaadha Maan)

Best Screenplay -                         Lokesh Kanagaraj (Maanagaram)

Best Adapted Screenplay -          H.Vinoth (Theeran Adhigaram Ondru)

Best Cinematographer -              G.K Vishnu (Mersal)
                                                Ravi Varman (Kaatru Veliyidai)

Best Editor -                                Richard Kevin (Vikram Vedha)

Best Stunt Director -                   Dhilip Subbarayan (Theeran Adhigaram Ondru)

Best Art Direction -                     Muthuraj (Velaikkaran)

Best Choreography -                   Mersal Arasan - Mersal

Best Posters Design -                  Aruvi

Best Opening Title Credits -       Vikram Vedha, Maanagaram

Song of the Year:                        Dhevadhai Pol Oruthi (Solo)

Best Song on Screen -                Aalaporan Thamizhan (Mersal

Best Debut Actor Male -            Vasanth Ravi (Taramani)

Best Debut Actor Female -        Shraddha Srinath (Vikram Vedha, Ivan Thanthiran)

Best Debut Directors -               Lokesh Kanagaraj -       Maanagaram 
                                                    Suresh Sangaiah -        Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu
                                                    Nithilan Swaminathan - Kurangu Bommai
                                               Rathna Kumar -            Meyaadha Maan
                                               Dhanush -                     Pa Paandi

Best Debut Composer -              Bindumalini and Vedanth Baradwaj (Aruvi)

Underrated Movie  -                   Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu, Kurangu Bommai

Worst Movie -                              AAA

Disappointed Movie -                 Kaatru Veliyidai

Disappointed Music Album  -    Si3

Overrated Movies  -                    Aval, Thiruttu Payale 2

Do Check My Awards 2016201520142013

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Top Movies - 2017 ( Tamil / English / Hindi / Malayalam / Telugu )

Following on the songs, here comes my next post at that time of the year, top movies list (good and bad). Watched a total of 227 ( movies which includes 94 in the big screen.

Best movie in Tamil is the one that released towards the end of this year Aruvi. In English it's COCO, the animation movie which made me cry. It talks about following your dreams as well as the importance of family and yeah with a fantastic concept of "land of dead". It also has some good music and some interesting twists. In Hindi it is Trapped, this unusual thriller which kept me at the edge of the seat with a terrific performance by this year's hero Rajkumar Rao. The Malayalam cinema or I would rather say the Indian cinema of this year for me is Angamaly Diaries. That last twelve minutes is the peak of cinema experience for me this year. And, Telugu cinema came to party in big way in the second half of this year with the raw Arjun Reddy, Vijay Devarkonda was mind-blowing.

Special mention to A Taxi Driver  in Korean and Ondu Motteya Katha in Kannada.

Also, missed a few movies which were popular and got good reviews, Aramm in Tamil. Parava, Mayaanadhi in Malayalam. Secret Superstar and Tumhari Sulu in Hindi.

And, ICYMI, don't miss this romantic thriller short streaming in YouTube, Germanyin Senthaen Malare.

Six among my top 10 favorite movies in Tamil are directed by debutantes. It would be interesting to see what they do next in the coming years.


Impressive - Must Watch: Rated 5.0 - 4.0

  • Baahubali 2 - The most loved and most satisfied biggie of this year easily.
  1. Aruvi - "Rooolllingg Sirrrr..." Aditi Balan gives a knockout performance of this year and this movie was nothing I have imagined. It holds enough surprises, laughs and cries. Love you Aruvi.
  2. Maanagaram - "Naama Kettu Irupoma, sir?"  The most interesting screenplay of this year, the way it connects everything to a single point at the end. 
  3. Vikram Veda - "Oru Katha Sollata sir?" A commercial movie which doesn't take the audience for granted and provides interesting twists and clues throughout the movie. And, taking the "Vikramaditya and Vedhalam" concept and setting it with a cop and a gangster was a fantastic idea.
  4. Power Paandi - One of the best feel good movie of this year, about a romance of an old couple. You will feel a little guilt if you're treating your parents the way Prasanna did. The kind of movies most often seen in Mollywood.
  5. Theeran Adhigaram Ondru - "Mein Beiguna Sir" One of the best cop stories in Tamil cinema after a long time and it was a treat to watch all the research Vinoth have put into making this film which provided enough thrills and chills throughout the movie. And, Karthi more than made up for his dud Katru Veliyidai with an excellent performance as the cop Theeran.
  6. Thupparivalan - "Ivan Thupparivalan, peyar Kaniyin Poongundran" I really liked the way Sherlock Holmes was adapted to Tamil cinema by one of my favorite directors Myshkin. And, also liked the way the whole thing starts, with a dog getting killed.
  7. Kurangu Bommai - "oru katha solren, kekuria?" Another good movie from a debut director, which was a good thriller told in a nonlinear way with some fantastic performance from the legend Bharathi Raja and also from Kumaravel. 
  8. Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu - "Arumbadupattu" An unexpected journey, just a group of people decides to go to a temple, thinking what can go wrong. And, the things that follow was told in a hilarious way. Loved each and every people present in the movie. Really takes you that village setting.
  9. Kuttram 23 - An excellent medical thriller where Arun Vijay fits to the role of a police officer to a T. Arivazhagan made sure to fill the movie with some interesting twists and thrills.
  10. ‎Meyaadha Maan - "Neenga etha vechu kudipeenga?" - My most l-o-led moment in theater this year was during this scene when Vaibhav uttered this sentence. Another rom-com, but with brilliant characters and witty dialogues make this a wonderful watch.

Good : Rated - 3.5 - 3.0 - 

  1. Ghazi 
  2. 8 Thottakal
  3. Rangoon
  4. Maragatha Nanayam
  5. Adhe Kangal
  6. Lens
  7. Kavan
  8. Pandigai
  9. Nibunan
  10. Velaikkaran
  11. Mersal
  12. Enakku Vaitha Adimaigal
  13. Bogan
  14. Spyder
  15. Ivan Thanthiran
  16. Kadugu
  17. Yeidhavan

Average: Rated - 2.5 - 2.0 - Watchable

  1. Aval
  2. Mayavan
  3. Thiruttu Payale 2
  4. Peechangai
  5. Ippadai Vellum
  6. Nenjil Thunivirunthal
  7. Puriyatha Puthir
  8. Yaman
  9. Magalir Mattum
  10. Kootathil Oruthan
  11. Neruppuda
  12. Meesaya Murukku
  13. Dora
  14. Sangili Bungili Kathava Thora
  15. S3
  16. Bairvaa
  17. Pothuvaga En Manasu Thangam
  18. VIP2

Not Bad: Rated - 1.5 - 1.0 - Could have skipped

  1. Sathriyan
  2. Katappava Kanom
  3. Engitta Modhathe
  4. Gemini Ganesanum Suruli Rajanum
  5. Sivalinga 
  6. Balloon
  7. Brindavanam
  8. Kathanayagan
  9. Hara Hara Mahadevaki
  10. Vanamagan

Worst: Rated - 0 - 0.5 - Should have skipped

  1. AAA
  2. Muthu Ramalingam
  3. Koditta Idangalai Nirappuga
  4. Bruce Lee
  5. Vivegam
  6. Kaatru Veliyidai
  7. Saravanan Irukka Bayamaen
  8. Thondan
  9. Karuppan



Impressive: Rated 5.0 - 4.0 - Thrilled or Enjoyed or had much fun.

  1. COCO - For this music is my language and the world es mi familia
  2. Get Out
  3. Spider-Man:Homecoming
  4. Thor: Ragnarok
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
  6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
  7. Wonder Woman
  8. Baby Driver
  9. Okja
  10. The Big Sick

Good : Rated - 3.5 - 3.0

  1. Lady Bird
  2. IT
  3. Jumanji
  4. War for the Planet of the Apes
  5. Dunkirk
  6. Justice League
  7. Logan Lucky
  8. Beauty and the Beast
  9. Kong: Skull Island
  10. John Wick: Chapter 2
  11. Wind River
  12. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
  13. American Made
  14. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
  15. Berlin Syndrome
  16. The Lego Batman Movie
  17. Transformers: The Last Knight
  18. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Worst to Not Bad: Rated - 0 - 1.5 - Could/Should have skipped

  1. The Mummy
  2. Passengers  
  3. Fifty Shades Darker
  4. Resident Evil 6
  5. The Fate of the Furious
  6. xXx: Return of Xander Cage



Impressive - Must Watch : Rated 5.0 - 4.0

  1. Angamaly Diaries - That single shot climax which runs for more than ten minutes is extraordinary and a fantastic experience in cinema this year.
  2. Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum
  3. Take Off
  4. Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela
  5. ‎Rakshadikari Baiju Oppu
  6. Godha

Good : Rated - 3.5 - 3.0

  1. Ezra
  2. ‎Ramleela
  3. C/O Saira Bhanu
  4. The Great Father
  5. Sunday Holiday‎
  6. Varnathil Aashanka
  7. Oru Mexican Apartha
  8. Munthirivallikal Thalirkumbol

Average: Rated - 2.5 - 2.0

  1. Aby
  2. Alamara
  3. ‎Solo
  4. CIA
  5. Georgettan's Pooram
  6. Shakavu
  7. Jomonte Suvisheshangal
  8. Lakshyam


 Impressive: Rated 5.0 - 4.0

  1. Trapped
  2. Newton
  3. Bareilly ki Barfi
  4. Hindi Medium
  5. Rangoon

Good : Rated - 3.5 - 3.0 - Liked it 

  1. Jagga Jasoos
  2. A Death In the Gunj  
  3. Mukti Bhawan
  4. Naam Shabana
  5. Anaarkali of Aarah
  6. Subh Mangala Saavdham 
  7. Jolly LLB 2
  8. Raees

Average: Rated - 2.5 - 2.0 - Watchable

  1. Badrinath ki Dulhania
  2. ‎Simran
  3. ‎Toilet Ek Prema Katha
  4. Haraamkhor
  5. Kaabil
  6. ‎‎Ittefaq
  7. Golmaal Again
  8. ‎Tubelight

Worst to Not Bad: Rated - 0 - 1.5 - Could/Should have skipped

  1. Half girlfriend
  2. ‎Jab Harry Met Sejal


 Impressive to Good:

  1. Arjun Reddy - Suffering is personal, let him suffer.
  2. Fidaa
  3. ‎Mahanubhavudu
  4. ‎LIE
  5. Ninnu Kori


  1. Anando Brahma
  2. ‎Shatamanam Bhavati‎
  3. Raja The Great 
  4. ‎Goutham Nanda
  5. Khaidi No 150
  6. Ra randoi Vedukka chuddam
  7. DJ
  8. Nenu Local
  9. Katamarayudu