‘I’ on Pongal

Today is Sankranti or Pongal Festival over here. And since I didn’t go home, I did the next best thing to do on such a holiday. Went to a movie on my own that was released for this festival and that of my favorite actor Vikram. The movie is called ‘I‘ (trailer was done very well). Went for an early morning show so that I can come back and relax before I hit my gym in the evening (and a perfect excuse to not sleep in late)

I will try and not give any spoilers on that movie. But even before that, here is a picture from my phone of the display that was kept outside the theaters for the festival. IMG_20150115_094550145

Happy Pongal or Sankranti to all

OK, now coming back to the subject of the post. A very usual story line but the treatment is what makes it different. But other than everything else, the only one thing that stands out most, as in most of his movies, is the hero Vikram. Wow.. Just Wow…He is a body builder and a perfect chance for him to show his 6 packs and all which he did for this movie. He then becomes the ultra modern model which has a different look and again he does look awesome (even though I am that fond of him without his mustache) and the end a person with disfigurement where his emotions gets you every single time… and even in the scenes where he teases the bad guys…Really, the money was worth his performance alone. Hats off to you Vikram.

Amy Jackson, the cute little British actress, is a model so she gets to show case her pretty body without it being odd and she looks very good, no doubt. And I was glad that her lip syncs were bad only in a very few places. That means a lot.

Santhanam, his lines were simply awesome and was not overdone, as it usually happens. And surprise, you have Powerstar’s special appearance too. I was a little bothered the way the transgender character was portrayed. I wasn’t too happy with that.

Since I am not going into the story line, the going back and forth between the timelines to set the events in motion was a little disconcerting at the beginning but then you get used to it. Loop holes are there but then you tend to not bother with it when so much is happening. Felt like a little too many songs, even though each and every single song sound very good and is shot very very creatively and very beautifully, Shankar style. The cinematography and the action sequences and art direction all deserve a big credit. Especially the fights on the roof tops while riding the cycle was very well done. Amazing team work. It is indeed a visual pongal treat with Vikram. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And one more thing, I guessed the culprit even in the first half. It could have been a little inconspicuous.

Jigarthanda – Intelligent & Interesting

Karthik Subburaja’s 2nd directorial venture  Jigarthanda (loosely translated as The Cold Hearted One) after his first successful movie Pizza (a super natural thriller, which I immensely liked and got remade in Hindi recently in 3D). I already heard lot of good reviews about this movie and didn’t have a clue as to what it was about except from the trailers it looked like a another Madurai based Gangster movie, but then I heard that it was a comedy too. So I wasn’t very sure of the actual genre of it. I heard the songs very recently and even though nothing actually stood out and caught my attention it was pretty decent. The music in the trailer was really very good even though it had some Quentin Tarantino effects to it. Now who wouldn’t like that.

As usual I am not going into the story in detail here. The hero of the story is obviously the screenplay but apart from that the one and only person who catches our eyes through out (even may be because it is his story from the beginning to the end) is the antagonist Sethu (played by Simha), the Gangster on whose life Karthik (played by Siddharth) is building his new story line for his first movie. Taking the help of his friend Oorani in Madurai where he is planning to follow the gangster’s life to learn about him more so that he can have a realistic story (so that he can put below the title ‘based on a true story’ in his movie). His plans to gain information goes for a toss and they end up being tagged with the gangster himself, who sort of confesses all his crimes to him. In between there is a small track with a girl who is linked to the gangster, who falls in love with Karthik, and he sort of uses her love for his gain. Finally after all the trouble and lot of drama that goes on in the gangster’s life, Karthik is forced at gun point to make a movie with the gangster himself as the hero. How Karthik turns it against the gangster and what happens then is the final part of the movie. In between we have enough cameo appearances by lot of other prominent people in the film fraternity.

All the supporting characters (including the heroine Lakshmi Menon) have done their jobs very very well. We cannot guess what would actually happen at each and every stage. Something or the other new thing keeps coming up building the story in totally different directions. Too many twists is tricky because it can sort of put you off the movie. There was a time I thought I was getting bored, but then it bounces back. There is a slight slack in the movie at times but again they manage to pull back the audiences. It has drama, action (not the hero based action, but mostly the villain based action), comedy, humor and emotional scenes too. Surprisingly no duets as such and no heroism and in spite of that it was good. This movie does deserve the attention and the appreciation it is receiving. A Good Movie. Now Karthik Subburaja’s third movie will be an added pressure to him. Will he make the hat trick ?

Thegidi – Interesting Thriller

After a long time I saw a thriller in Tamil today. The movie’s name is Thegidi (a very pure Tamil word for deception). It was a very interesting mystery , crime and thriller drama with no big casting. It starts with the guy Vetri getting a job in a detective agency after his M.A in Criminology. He has a good observation skill which helps him from some tight spots.

He is given assignments to find out details about specific people. And one of them is a girl in his apartment whom he starts to like. But then trouble finds him when the people he had investigated die one by one. All are reported as accidental deaths. He is now confused and when he goes back to find out from the agency about it, it is closed. Now it is upto him to find out who and why and how many are involved and to save his love in the process.

It was executed well, without much heroism and all that jazzy stuff. Simple and down to earth way of execution of the script , with some good music in between. The final action sequence could have been avoided where he had to fight a villain. They have a cliffhanger at the end so I am not sure if there would be a sequel. The hero Ashok Selvan is easy on the eyes as is Janani , the heroine. Jayaprakash is the usual Inspector.

I was surprised by the movie today actually.The premise is a little scary though. I know there are incidents like that in real life going on, but seeing it like this actually increases the fear.

A good movie.

I am a fan of …

This post is something I intended to write on 12th December, but eventually did not get around to it. So I thought, let all the hoopla’s go down and then I will do it. So here it is.

With respect to movies, I am not a fan of many actors/actresses, especially in Kollywood. I like quite a few actors, but not a fan of much. And we have been having two big stars always being pitted against each other for so long. Earlier it was MGR and Sivaji Ganesan and then it was Rajnikanth and Kamalhassan, then it was Vijay and Ajith and I am not sure which two are reigning now. Because there are too many to take into consideration. I belong to the generation who grew up watching Rajnikanth and Kamalhassan. When people ask me whose fan are you, I would say, I don’t mind anyone who does good acting. But when they prod a lot and if I have to choose one, I choose Rajnikanth.

I stopped following celebrities life some time ago. Not much worth the trouble, when I had enough of my own to contend with. But I was kept up to date, thanks to my friend. But ever since she moved to a different country, that also go lost. Girl, I know you will read this sometime, so know that you are missed, if not for anything , at least for this 😉

But with this guy, it is difficult to not follow. He has become an icon not only of Tamil cinema but also for whole Indian cinema. He has fans in Japan now and has had it for some time. He is well over 62 years or more and is half bald and doesn’t sport a wig. He is dark skinned and doesn’t dance. News about him, his family always keeps coming up here or there.  He does only one movie nowadays in almost three years and makes sure he comes with a bang. His next movie, (an animation with him as the lead) directed by his daughter is yet to hit the theaters. 12th December is his birthday. Even though he is known to escape to Himalayas to spend his birthday in a quiet way, the whole Tamil Nadu celebrates it. To achieve that status, is no small feat.

Why do I like him ?

  • He has had a rough start and has taken years to come to this level of achievement. His story is not that of one that gets transformed overnight by a single hit. He has had mental breakdowns and had faced depression and come out it stronger than earlier. I always like the don’t-quit attitude in people.
  • His style. He is one of the very very few people in Indian Cinema who has a unique style. In his earlier movies, he has this unique style of flipping the cigarette to his mouth. He got really famous for that and then came his style of wearing his glasses. The twist of his fingers and all that.
  • His voice. He has a very rough voice, but which can bring in quite a lot of emotions. Especially when he has to challenge, I think I like his voice than anyone else’s.
  • He started as a villain and then changed to a second hero and then became a hero and later became a commercial hero. I think his acting skills went unused once he became the commercial hero. And the Tamil Cinema missed out on a very stylish villain. I really liked him as the villain in his earlier movies. He will make you hate him so much.
  • His humility. In his speeches during the functions, he doesn’t write down and talk, but he talks a lot of spiritual things along with stories (which I like) and is not afraid to put himself on the same pedestal as everyone else.  Once when one of his movie flopped very badly, he came back with the next which was a huge hit. He commented in a function, that his occupation as an actor puts him in the same league as a race horse. The moment he fails, he knows he will be shot down. Only elephants take time to get up after a fall, and that horses always spring back with a hop.
  • Recently my brother told me how this guy is one of the super stars who does not promote any product. He doesn’t appear in any ads. He was a serial smoker. But when he quit, he urged his fans also to consider it because he has seen its effects first hand and he would be happy if they learnt from his mistakes. He practiced before he preached.
  • One of his movies, his own production / direction which got sold for a very high price among distributors flopped majorly (I saw the movie years later and I liked it). He paid the loss of the distributors from his own money and compensated each and every one of them.
  • He was pitted as the next Chief Minister of the state, but after twice bitten during election campaign, he kept himself away from it. Even though people urged him , he maintained his distance from politics, which is one of his very wisest move.

These are the facts that are known to everyone and most people who like him will tell you these as their reasons. The main reason I like him is that he has this charisma to feel that what he does is personal to you. He has that personal touch to his acting, to his deeds that makes you feel comfortable with him even through the screen. If I have to say in blogging terms, there are quite a lot of super / power bloggers, but you don’t feel that level of personal comfort with everyone. Only with a very very few you feel that connection, as if they are part of your clan.

I haven’t liked a lot of his movies, but that doesn’t stop me from watching it. Because of his huge fan following, he has to resort to get involved in commercial movies with all the style and stuff. But I wish I could see him in a role of his age, performing, which he did in his earlier movies. Nevertheless, I am still waiting for the release of his next animation movie with all eager 🙂