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Petta - Music Album Review

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Releasing “Singles” ahead of the main album release has been prevalent in Tamil Cinema for over 4-5 years although I don’t recall which was the first movie which did this. So Music Director and Film Director of Petta Anirudh and Karthik Subburaj released the first single “Marana Mass” on 3rd December which opened to a thunderous response and garnered 1 million views on YouTube in just 4 hours. 

This was followed by another number “Ullaallaa” which released on 6 Dec., a peppy number with a bit of reggae and rock. Finally, the full music album was released on 9 Dec. 2018 at a grand gathering which was well attended by the Cast & Crew of the film including Superstar Rajinikanth and Kalanidhi Maran of Sun Pictures. Subsequently, Sony Music released the entire album on YouTube the same day at 9pm and finally Amazon Music released it on 10 Dec. 2018 at 6pm.

Marana Mass is a peppy tune sung by Anirudh and a short yet interesting part sung by SPB, perhaps as the voice for Superstar. Ilamai …

Tidbits about Shankar, The Film Maker!

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Being a fanboy of Shankar ever since his first film Gentleman in 1993, here are a few snippets I found out from the film 2.0.

All the films of Shankar are named on the Hero / Key Character of the film except Jeans  although I wonder why - perhaps it was only his third film, so maybe he tried it differently. All his films have had the name of the protagonist such as Gentleman, Kadhalan, Indian, Mudhalvan, Boys (after all, the film revolved around all the four friends), Anniyan, Sivaji, Enthiran, Nanban, “I” and 2.0. 
He seems to be a devout Hindu and references for this could be seen in most of his films. All his key characters have been Hindus and there’s a strong reference to the Almighty in every movie while in Enthiran, he takes to another level where Chitti, The Robot refers his creator Scientist Vaseegaran as the Go who created him. Subtle yet strong message that a Mother is God while for the machine, it is his Scientist. He has worked with AR Rahman in most pf his films except Ann…

2.0 - Film review

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As always, I witnessed the frenzy and frolic during the FDFS today (29th Nov) for the Superstar Rajinikanth film 2.0 (also known as #2Point0) at Rohini Cinema, Koyambedu at Chennai. I have been watching FDFS of Thalaivar (as we popular address him) films for over 35 years and it’s a given thing that wherever I am or whatever I do the day before release or the next day, I must watch the First Show. We reached at 3.30 am (yes, that’s right) at the Cinema to witness the celebrations his ardent fans hold. Here’s a glimpse.

The film started at 4am sharp and was welcomed with thunderous applause. Given that Superstar Rajinikanth’s last two films were with Pa. Ranjith and revolved around social issues, fans (and critics) have been waiting and wanting to see the magic that Director Shankar could weave after his 2010 release Enthiran (Robot in Hindi) with the Superstar which went on to be one of the biggest hits during that time in Indian Cinema. While 2.0 has been in the making for over 3 year…

Chekka Chivantha Vaanam - Film Review

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I have been a fan of Mani Ratnam movie for over 30 years, I must confess. This is not the first time Mani is handling a multi-starrer. Exactly 30 years back, his much acclaimed Agni Natchathiram released which had two young heroes Karthik & Prabhu in the lead with a fantastic role by Vijaya Kumar. In 1991, he pulled off Thalapathi featuring Superstar Rajinikanth & Mammooty. In 2004, we saw Ayutha Exhuthu with Surya, Madhavan and Siddharth in the leads. From controversial political overtones in films like Mumbai, Dil Se and Guru to extreme romance-led subjects like Alaipayuthe, Raavan, OKK and most recently Katru Veliyidai, he has tried his hands on every genre perhaps. Having produced most of his films by himself, he never had the need to worry about critical acclaim or Box-Office collections. Add to that, he has to his credit portraying young heroes in their early career as strong protagonists - Prashanth, Arvindawamy, Madhavan, Shah Rukh Khan all the way up to Dulqeer Salman…

Vada Chennai - Music Review

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A decade after the gangster flick “Pudupettai” released, Dhanush’s next titled “Vada Chennai” directed by Vetrimaran is ready for release after being under production for a long time. The actor who received critical acclaim for Pudupettai has never looked back ever after in his film career spanning a decade and a half now. Over the years, Dhanush has matured immensely as an actor and has given some outstanding performances in Tamil films like Vengai, Padikkadavan, VIP, Power Pandi and many more as well as his Hindi outings such as Raanjhana and Shamitabh with none other than Amitabh Bachhan. 

Vada Chennai is not going to be a sequel to Pudupettai. But the songs that were released on Monday, 23 Sep. 2018 have a similar antidote to the previous gangster outing. Santhosh Narayanan  in his 25th film "Vada Chennai" has once again played to the gallery with peppy numbers and a long list of songs. Off late, SaNa has been adding smaller tunes to the music playlist which are mostly s…

Imaikka Nodigal - Film Review

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Imaikka Nodigal Frankly, I didn’t read a single review before I went to see the film. All I knew was it was a crime thriller, Nayanthara on the lead and Anurag Kashyap on a negative role. I wasn’t even aware that Vijay Sethupathy played an important role in the film, although I had seen Atharva on promos. The songs were out long back and were peppy but were frankly passable. So, I went with a complete open mind to watch the movie.  Boy, I wasn’t disappointed. 
From the first frame till the climax, it was an edge-of the seat (ok, not so much) thriller. The Director conned me at every stage when I predicted a certain outcome which was a great welcome that it wasn’t yet another crime thriller. The very motive of the serial killer Rudra is kept a secret till almost the film ends – I wouldn’t even call it a climax because the film ends suddenly even as you keep thinking the next twist set by the Director. The only predictable scene was when I thought Anurag would get shot and he did.
The film…

Viswaroopam 2: Kamal is back in full form

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Disclaimer: I am big fan of Actor Kamal Hassan. Yes, I do have differences with his opinions on politics, religion, etc. But that doesn’t take away the Kamal-fan off me. 

In the recently released “Kaala” featuring Superstar Rajinikanth, Director Ranjith has sort of portrayed “the white” as villain and “black” as the hero. In Viswaroopam 2, true to his leanings and admirably so, Kamal Hassan mocks at the “Brahmins of South India” settled in Lutyens Delhi and work from the South Block who wield power. So much so, that an “Iyer” character commits suicide although due to his own misdeeds and realizing what a traitor he is. Neither did Kamal in the film nor do I, endorse a certain “Iyer” who lives in real in the Indian Capital, has Leftisit and Communist leanings and a friendly camaraderie with Pakistan High Officials. In another scene, Kamal makes a “Jihadi” realize that he is actually believing a lie to be true – very powerful words, not restricted to those who claim to be Jihadis but to…

Is FM Radio still relevant?

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When I used to be a kid, I would literally wake up to the music playing on radio – early 80s. Those days, we had Vividh Bharathi operated by AIR – All India Radio. There were set timing for every program and it would work like clockwork (as compared to today where even so called “Live” programs are recorded and played. So, from 6am to 6.40am, there would be devotional songs and News at 6.50am. That was the cut off to sleep, else hell would break at home. Dad would also listen to various kinds of music, from Carnatic to Film songs on Radio. Over time, I just took over this habit and till date addicted to music. For many years, the Alarm on my mobile phone has been Venkatesa Suprabatham; continues while I read newspapers, get ready to work, while driving, while working (if I’m alone, that is) and all the way till we go to sleep. No wonder, my kids have also taken to this habit – so much so that my younger one even has made a playlist on the iPod which is to play every night.
When the FM…

New Releases and OTT

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I saw Kaala feat. Superstar Rajinikanth the third time yesterday (Thursday 21 June) on its 14thday after release. Was happy to book online and reached KG Cinemas, Coimbatore ahead of schedule time. To my surprise, rather the lack of it, the screen was near empty. One of the oldest and largest Cinema Screens in India with over 800 seats, we were just 50 of us spread across the seating areas. Each of us had an agenda, perhaps. For me, it was noticing a few nuances and the undertones of dialogues, sequences and inner-meaning of the screenplay. Will reserve that for another column since I found a number of interesting perspectives.

Kaala will be pulled off screens from today since Tik Tik Tik, a Space Odyssey feat. Jayam Ravi is finally releasing today and a dozen films are lined up for the next 3 months including big ticket releases featuring Ajith, Vijay, Surya and Karthi to name a few. Of course the much awaited Vishwaroopam 2 feat. actor turned politician (sic) Kamal Hassan is also up…

Kaala - Film Review

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By now, most people who have been following the film and haven’t watched already know the storyline – Kaala alias Karikaalan is a migrant from South Tamil Nadu who settled in Mumbai a few decades back and helps scores of people settle and survive the tides of the mega city under the supposedly largest slum of Asia, at Dharavi. He is a Robinhood and savior for his people and the life story of the protagonist has its ups and downs. The storyline is just this without any overdose or complication. Previously, a few Tamil films have been made with the “Dharavi” area in the background, notable ones being Mani Ratnam’s Nayagan feat. Kamal Hassan (loosely based on the Western classic “Godfather”) and most recently, Thalaiva feat. Actor Vijay Joseph (Sathyaraj plays Vijay’s father who is also a Don).

Kaala is an out and out Pa. Ranjith Film, the lucky Director who gets to work the second time with the Indian Superstar. Their previous outing Kabali in 2016 had a mixed result and a fair share of…