Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Review by : Kaushik L.M

Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D'Cruz, Rupa Ganguly Direction: Anurag BasuMusic: PritamProduction: Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapoor

Barfi caught the eye thanks to its poetic trailer and beautiful songs. Ranbir’s deaf and mute act, Priyanka’s autistic character and Ileana’s Bollywood debut ensured that Barfi carried huge pre-release hype. Director Anurag Basu is also known for his meaningful movies despite his previous failure, Kites.

Set majorly in Darjeeling, Barfi centers on the lead character that spreads happiness in whatever he does. Despite being deaf and mute, his charisma and cute antics, just floor the women. Shruti (Ileana), engaged to another rich man, is bowled over by Barfi when she comes to Darjeeling but their love doesn’t bear fruition due to the obvious social and physical challenges that Barfi has. At that point, he also happens to give refuge to the autistic Jhilmil (Priyanka) who doesn’t have understanding parents. Barfi also has to constantly handle a policeman’s (played by Saurabh Shukla) pursuits for reasons ranging from petty theft to alleged kidnapping.

Does Barfi find true love, what happens to the two women in his life and whether he is allowed to live in peace by the police force and other influential people? Rush to a nearby theater to experience all this and more.

The initial romance track between Ranbir and Ileana is sheer poetry. Though there are traces of ‘The Notebook’, the director just sways you along with his presentation. The clock scene is one such gem.

The movie is also rich in comedy thanks to Ranbir’s amazing versatility at buffoonery. He is able to entertain hands-down with his Jim Carrey type antics. The kidnapping act at Jhilmil’s house, the chase scenes between Barfi and the policeman, the bank robbery, Jhilmil’s escapades with Barfi etc. are all replete with humor.

It takes tremendous guts for a top notch glam queen like Priyanka Chopra to go totally offbeat. A really tough role pulled off convincingly. She has pushed the bar higher for sure. Ileana has a dream debut and she turns out to be quite the charmer in the 1972 and 1978 scenes. Her large ‘bindi’ goes very well with her elegant sarees and she personifies a Bengali woman perfectly.

And the man Ranbir Kapoor is a true once in a lifetime performer. His ease at histrionics, emoting, entertaining, his charm, his looks etc. make him a total package. Barfi owes a lot of its class to this powerhouse performer who is now firmly on top of the actors’ honor list. He is among those rare favorites among both the men and women.

Barfi is also brilliant technically with all the departments working in perfect synergy to ensure the director’s vision being translated flawlessly. The movie’s BGM score is replete with violins, accordions, pianos and it just blows you away. In fact we have three people playing these instruments in the movie itself as the scenes play out. Recently, we had the 2011 French movie ‘The Artist’ which had a mesmerizing soundtrack. Now, Barfi is a worthy contender in the soundtrack department. Goosebumps galore at many places!

Pritam’s songs are again top-notch. They gel with the script, are rich in melody, instrumentation and perfectly complement the movie. This is a landmark in Pritam’s career as well.

Ravi Varman’s frames are picture perfect. The movie has a green, yellow color theme to symbolize vibrancy and happiness. The locations have also been captured in all their pristine beauty. A momentous show from the ace cinematographer!

And despite the movie having some physically challenged characters, there is hardly any scope for melodrama save some very intense scenes. Laudable!

On the downside, maybe we can point out its length and slow pace towards the climax.These are just minor blips in an otherwise noble attempt.

Once in a blue moon, arrives a magical movie that just blows you away with its sheer beauty and brilliance. This Anurag Basu creation, acted brilliantly by Ranbir Kapoor is one such must watch experience.


Review by : Kaushik L.M

Starring: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Shahana Goswami Direction: Madhur BhandarkarMusic: Salim-SulaimanProduction: Ronnie Screwvala, Madhur Bhandarkar

Madhur Bhandarkar is known for his movies which have more than a mere account of real life incidents. He works based on such dramatic incidents and for this movie he has chosen Bollywood as his ground. Initially planned with Aishwarya Rai, Heroine comes today with Kareena Kapoor as its face.

This flick is the fictional account of Mahi Arora, an impulsive, bipolar and eccentric actress who just can’t handle the workings of the industry. The influx of newcomers, her personal affairs, the manipulative ways of the industry etc. disturb her to no end and she takes solace in alcohol and tobacco. All her moves to stay in the limelight and to prove that she is still a saleable name, form the crux of this Madhur Bhandarkar movie.

The movie has excessive doses of drama and theatrics. All the clichés that we have read about Bollywood like gay designers (this is getting too much), MMS scandals, egotistic superstars, back-bitching heroines, and alcohol and cigarette addiction among stars have been detailed in this movie. We even have a cricketer who dates Mahi for awhile while Mahi also casually comments about starting an IPL team after her film career fades off. We already know the above thanks to the media and there is nothing new that we haven’t read or heard before. Talk of shallow research by the director.

The movie also suffers due to the very limited entertainment that it offers. A similar movie that released in late 2011, ‘The Dirty Picture’ was a runaway hit as it had adequate doses of entertainment mixed with drama. Here just the drama element shines through.

All this said Kareena Kapoor sizzles! She looks fab and hot to say the least and confidently carries herself in short revealing clothes in scene after scene. Her fan base is sure to increase post this movie. But the looks are just one part. Her acting is also spectacular. We have seen her as the bubbly young girl in many films but in the tight close-ups in this movie, she shows some serious caliber in no uncertain terms. Towards the end, she arrests the audience’s attention as she watches all the frenzy unfold post the MMS scandal.

There are many good support characters like Arjun Rampal as superstar Aryan who has an on-off relationship with Mahi. Randeep Hooda as the Indian cricket team’s vice captain, Angad Paul, though a blatant caricature of Virat Kohli, is adequate as well.

Shahana Goswami as the Bengali actress in a low budget movie that Mahi works in, scorches in the few scenes she comes in. That suggestive lesbian scene between her and Kareena is unwarranted though. Ranveer Shorey is a riot too, as the Bengali film director who directs this low budget movie about prostitutes.

Helen as the aging actress with whom Mahi empathizes is earnest and endearing. There are other notable characters too like Mahi’s ruthless PR played by Divya Dutta and her longtime loyal secretary. There are more glamorous women and men playing the other stars while Sanjay Suri as superstar Abbas Khan is a horrible caricature of Shahrukh Khan.

As said before, the movie’s entertainment is limited and the song Halkat Ki Jawani is among the very few such enjoyable sequences. But Kareena’s gracious skin show may also be considered as entertainment for the male masses. In fact, ‘Heroine’ has skin show all over it.

Salim – Sulaiman are in charge of the music and just one recurring theme is repeated in the movie’s BGM score.

The movie has a lot of glitz and glamour and hence each frame is rich and glossy. A rich production, it sure is.

On the whole, Heroine owes whatever little it has to Kareena Kapoor. This is a lifetime performance by the feisty actress and she turns out to be the only consolation in a slow paced movie. If only the drama and stereotypes had been reduced, the movie could have offered a bit more than just a solid Kareena performance


Review by : Behindwoods Review Board 

Starring: Suriya, Kajal Aggarwal, Sachin Khedekar, Vivek Oberoi Direction: K. V. AnandMusic: Harris JayarajProduction: AGS Entertainment, Kalpathi S. AghoramSubtitles: Rekhs

Maattrraan brings together the tested hit combination of director K V Anand and Suriya once again after Ayan. Touted to be the first Indian film to use performance capture technology, Maattrraan centers on conjoined twins as a basic arc but delves more on the adverse effects of genetic engineering when man starts thinking himself to be God.
Anand’s previous films have established him as a mainstream movie maker with a lucid understanding of the semiotics of commercial film making that entertains and educates the audience to certain extent.
To hook the contemporary attention-scant viewer to the screen for an extended period is an uphill task and Anand succeeds in this domain fairly well. Good looking and efficient cast, rich and grandeur visuals, pleasing music, energetic stunts, an interesting premise and an able direction help him in this endeavor.
Interestingly for Suriya this is his second film on the subject of genetic engineering immediately after 7aum Arivu. Whether it is a restrained reaction or a cheerful retort, this hardworking actor delivers it with consummate ease. As the flamboyant Agilan or the grey matter rich Vimalan, Suriya brings out the necessary dichotomy quite well, very typical of him. His sincerity and dedication is palpable in every frame. Be it the action sequences or the romantic frames, Suirya crafts a niche performance.
Kajal Agarwal has a significant role to play too and she pulls it off successfully. Chinmayee has dubbed for Kajal and the fact that the former can speak good Russian helps the character appreciably. However, even during serious scenes, the lady seems to be having a cheerful disposition! Sachin Kadekar has a meaty role next only to the hero and he gets his acts right with his fine portrayal as a maverick scientist. Tara who featured as Karthik’s little sister in Agni Natchathiram is Suriya’s mom in Maattrraan and the lady fits her role perfectly.
One of the major highlights of the film is its VFX. Helmed by Srinivas Mohan of Endhiran fame, the VFX team has worked hard and it is evident in all the frames that feature the conjoined twins. The action sequence at the roller coaster ride is the best example where all the departments like the camera, stunt, VFX and Suriya have worked in epic tandem and the result is brilliant. Editing plays a crucial role in such visual effects intensive movies and editor Antony has done complete justice to his craft.   
Cinematographer Soundarrajan creates a huge canvas in song sequences in the Nani Koni number and fills it with rich and spectacular sights. The splendor of Norway is breathtaking in this song. In all, the film looks rich and grandeur, thanks to Soundarrajan’s angles and lighting. Scintillating songs and good RR of Harris Jeyaraj enhance the appeal.  Kaal Mulaithe Poove is a visual and an aural delight. Other tracks are also humworthy.
It is apparent that stunt master Peter Hein has worked over time to get the appropriate effect more so when the scene involves conjoined twin. However the scene in the forest towards the climax is a long drawn affair and could have been trimmed.
The concept of genetic engineering and especially baby designing is new to Tamil cinema (or even to Indian cinema?) and Anand has packaged this concept interestingly. Humor does not course through the films’ veins but the scene at the theatre when the impish Suirya teaches a few lessons on romance to the somber Suriya provides light moments.
KV Anand has managed to make the script pacy. However at 2 hours and 48 minutes, the movie still feels a tad lengthy. This could have been reduced.
There is a pattern in K V Anand’s films. There is a definite social message which he masquerades with commercial components and packages it interestingly. Maattrraan also follows the route and it delivers what it promises- a rich and stylish entertainer with an interesting story.


Review by : Kaushik L.M 

Starring: Rani Mukherji, Prithviraj Direction: Sachin KundalkarMusic: Amit TrivediProduction: Anurag Kashyap, Viacom 18

Aiyyaa is from the Anurag Kashyap School of filmmaking that has a promise of something different. The basic plot is one of romance and it has been executed in a very wacky and innovative manner. The movie has been directed and written by Sachin Kundalkar and stars Malayalam superstar Prithviraj opposite the ultra-talented Rani Mukherjee.
Meenakshi (Rani Mukherjee) is a typical middleclass Maharashtrian lady who is pretty frustrated with her mundane life which is populated by weird characters. To break loose from the drama in her dirty house, she escapes into a fantasy filmy world in which she imagines herself to be the heroine in popular films of the 90s. Her mother wants to get her married off at the earliest to any good groom but Meenakshi desires a South Indian painter named Suriya. Meenakshi literally smells him wherever he goes as she has a heightened sense of smell. Till the end, she is not able to express her feelings to him and whether she is able to come out of her shell and reveal her feelings to Suriya forms the rest of this wafer-thin plot.
Meenakshi’s house is a real madhouse with a weird blind grandmother who is bound to the wheelchair but her mouth knows no bounds. Her father is always busy with the multitude of phones at the house and with his cigarettes while her younger brother is obsessed with his four dogs. Her mother’s only goal in life is Meenakshi’s marriage. If this is the case at home, at the library at which she works, Maina (played by Anita Date) is her colleague and she is a bucktoothed film crazy dancer who dresses in the most bizarre ways. It takes guts to play such a character for sure.
The grandmother and Maina give the film its best moments with their absolutely crazy acts. The way Maina talks is another laugh-worthy aspect though it is equally irritating too.
Rani Mukherjee is the heart of the movie and she is expressive and lively as always. The portions when she learns Tamil to communicate with Suriya, are delightful thanks to her childish shrill voice. ‘Pakkoda’ Pandi has a cute cameo as Meenakshi’s Tamil teacher and the bridge between her and Suriya. Prithviraj as Suriya is hunky and starts mouthing some lines only towards the end. It’s a neat performance from him towards the end when we can see good chemistry between him and Rani. As said before, all of Meenakshi’s family members and her colleague have breathed life into their characters and bring a chuckle in us, now and then. There is also a character named Madhav, who likes Meenakshi and is ready to marry her and he is what they call ‘perfect husband material’ (as Maina brands him in the movie).
The movie is well made and the BGM score by Amit Trivedi lifts the movie a notch. It resembles Barfi’s soundtrack (guess both the composers were inspired by Amelie’s soundtrack). The Dreamum Wakeuppam song was a real eye sore in the promos before the movie released and the song turns out to be an irritant on screen too. It gives the feeling of watching a ‘midnight masala’ episode (that’s how the song is positioned in the movie too). There are few foot tapping songs but the sensual one towards the end is another needless interlude. Rani’s belly dance moves in this song are intricate though.
Rani Mukherjee’s costumes and dance moves for these dance numbers border on the crude and we may wonder why such an accomplished actress needs to do such numbers.
The length of the movie and the shallow plot also count among the other bloopers in the movie. One may find the movie annoying often thanks to the inactivity.  Meenakshi’s relentless sniffing scenes have also been overdone.


Review by : Behindwoods Review Board 

Starring: Ajmal Ajeesh Khan, P Samuthirakani, Swasika, Yuvan, Magima, Thambi Ramaiah Direction: AnbazhaganMusic: D. ImmanProduction: Prabhu Solomon,John Mex

‘People don’t change, life just unfolds them’- is exactly the essence of Saattai. A good teacher acts as the perfect catalyst to bring out the best from the students. This film is about one such teacher, Dayalan, played by Samuthirakani and how he moulds the students and changes the teachers of a village government school.
Directed by Anbazhagan, Saattai falls in the line of several films  that talk about importance of education system. Thambi Ramaiah, Junior Balaiah, Yuvan, Swasika and ‘Black’ Pandi form the rest of the cast list. Prabhu Solomon has produced the film and Jeevan has cranked the camera.
Samuthirakani as the strong-willed teacher and Thambi Ramaiah as the self-centered villain are the biggest strengths of the film. The former impresses with his subtle reactions and the National Award winner, Thambi Ramaiah’s portrayal is sinister with a lace of comedy. Yuvan and Swasika as school students have delivered all that was required of them. ‘Black’ Pandi of Kana Kanum Kalangal fame, tickles everyone with his pranks. Junior Balaiah too has done a decent job and so have the rest of the cast.
The portrayal of a government school is absolutely superb. The students and their pranks are funny yet Saattai fails to engage the audience. The dialogues are too preachy and rhetorical as they have been heard before. Imman’s songs, ‘Adi Rangi’ and ‘Sahayane’ sound mellifluous. However, the latter’s lyrics seem too matured for a 12th standard girl to be singing. The number ‘Jada Jada Jaada’ fails to sound inspiring enough to make the students rise to the occasion. It’s the same case with some ‘inspirational’ dialogues in the film too.
The intentions of the director are very noble and he should be applauded for being bold enough to take on the teachers who threaten to compromise the importance of their profession. Few scenes like harassing a female student in the name of internal marks and punishing children for petty reasons were convincing, even though they were a bit overdone.
As far as cinematography and editing are concerned, the requirement has been met.
On the whole, Saattai shows the education system from the perspectives of the students, teachers and the parents. With the news that just over 2,000 teachers, out of the 6 lakh appearing for the test, pass the state board’s teacher’s standard examination going viral in Tamil Nadu, Saattai is a timely film. The preachy dialogues in the film are what students listen to in real life. This is probably why the film fails to make the intended impact as there is nothing out of the box.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mahesh, Sukumar’s film for 2013 Pongal

Mahesh, Sukumar’s film for 2013 Pongal
Super Star Mahesh Babu’s new film with creative director Sukumar has begun its shooting in Hyderabad from today and the makers have decided to commence the film with a rock song composed by Devi Sri Prasad.
Prem Rakshit is supervising the choreography while Mahesh and Kajal Agarwal are participating in the song shooting. Anil Sunkara, Ram Achanta, Gopichand Achanta are producing the film on the banner of 14 Reels Entertainments. Ratnavelu is cranking the camera for the film.
Sukumar is planning to wrap up the film early and release it for Pongal 2013. Businessman that released for this year’s Pongal has already completed 100 days turning out a big hit and now Sukumar-Mahesh’s film lined up for Sankranthi release

Gabbar Singh Music Review

Film: Gabbar Singh
Starring: Pawan Kalyan,Shruthi Hassan,Ali,Brahmanandam,Kota Srinivasa Rao
Director: Harish Shankar
Producer: Ganesh Babu
Banner: Parameswari Arts Bannar

Power Star Pawan Kalyan’s Gabbar Singh is one of the most talked films of the season. Directed and produced by Pawan Kalyan’s die-hard fans Harish Shankar and Ganesh Babu respectively, the film was eagerly awaited by the fans. Despite the remake of blockbuster Dabangg, Harish Shankar has changed the script and retained the main plot to suit the Telugu audiences’ taste. Shruti Haasan played the leading lady. Energetic Devi Sri Prasad who composed a magical musical hit Jalsa for Pawan Kalyan has scored tunes for the Gabbar Singh, a commercial mass entertainer. Gabbar Singh album has 6 songs in total and here is Gabbar Singh music review on way2movies…
01. Dekho Dekho Gabbar Singh – 3.75/5
Lyricist : Ramajogayya Sastry
Singers : Baba Sehgal, Naveen Madhav
Devi Sri Prasad has started off the album with the title track, and like Jalsa title song he makes Baba Sehagal go behind the mike and the duo never disappoints. The tune is hummable, catchy and Ramajogayya sastry’s lyrics like power ke bradingu, veedu following mindblowing were penned keeping Power Star’s image in mind also highlighting the heroism and the fans would be quite pleased with this number.
02. Akasam Ammayaithe – 3/5
Lyricist : Chandra Bose
Singers : Shankar Mahadevan, Gopika Poornima
Akasam Ammayaithe is a melodious slow paced song with a mix of Indian and western beats. It gives you a qawwali feel and at instances reminds you of popular Hindi song Chand Sifarish from Fanaa film. Chandrabose has penned decent lyrics. The right placement of the song and colorful picturisation can make this even more good track.
03. Mandu Baabulam – 3.5/5
Lyricist : Sahithi
Singers : Kota Srinivas Rao, Chorus
Sahithi devoted the song to all the drinkers and versatile actor Kota Srinivasa Rao has sung the track which turned out to be his lively performance and DSP has to be applauded for making Kota Srinivasa Rao go behind the mike for keeping the feel and situation behind it intact. Sahiti’s lyrics are hilarious and the song was well-executed.
04. Pillaa – 4/5
Lyricist : Devi Sri Prasad
Singers : Vaddepalli Srinivas, Pawan Kalyan
The song takes off with Pawan Kalyan’s vocals and he utters dialogues in his style. Apart from scoring the tune, DSP has also penned the lyrics for the song and they were interesting and holds your interest. The track is fast-paced, peppy and the singer Vaddepalli Srinivas crooned it energetically. Pilla will sure turn instant hit among the youngsters.
05. Dil Se – 4/5
Lyricist : Bhaskara Bhatla
Singers : Karthik, Shwetha Mohan
Yet another melodious number which is hummable with rhythmic sound that gives a peppy feel. This enthralling track is crooned by Karthik, Shwetha Mohan and it’s mellifluous to ears. The youthful song has feel good and cute lyrics by Bhaskar Bhatla. Lyrics like ‘Gunde jaari gallantayyinde, teera chooste nee daggara unde..’ the beautiful way of expressing their love, will capture your attention. Bhaskar Bhatla’s lyrics are asset for the song.
06. Kevvu Keka – 3.75/5
Lyricist : Sahithi
Singers : Mamta Sharma, Kushi Murali
The most awaited item song is here. With the catchy word Kevvu Keka... and highly energetic mass beats, the song totally rocks and has all the elements to flatter the front benchers. With very high expectations on the song, Devi Sri Prasad managed to come out with different yet catchy number. Mamta Sharma’s powerful voice is apt for the track and she has delivered a spirited performance. Malaika will sizzle for this raunchy mass song like in the original while Pawan Kalyan will enter a bit later. The visuals of Kevvu Keka are most awaited by the fans. This one is for all the mass masala song lovers.
Final Verdict
Gabbar Singh album is yet another great attempt from Devi Sri Prasad to grab the attention of the music lovers though lacks freshness in a couple of tracks. The album has a mix of classy as well as mass songs. Packed with a couple of melodies, a youthful song like, Pilla, Dekho Dekho and the mass songs, Gabbar Singh will turn out a hit album. DSP recreates the Jalsa magic with Pawan Kalyan but this time in a mass style.