Rating: 6/10 (Ludicrous Soccer with Women's Empowerment)
Cast: Ilayathalapathy Vijay, Nayantara, Jackie Shroff, Arjan Bajwa, Yogi Babu, Daniel Balaji, Anandraj, and others
Written and Directed by: Atlee
Music: AR Rahman
Producers: Kalpathi S. Aghoram, S. Ganesh, S. Suresh
Banner: AGS and East Coast
Thalapathy Vijay's movies are now arguably the event movie of the year after Superstar Rajinikanth in Tamil Cinema. His latest movie, Bigil reunites him with Atlee after Theri and Mersal and the actor director due are looking to make it a hatrick in their combination. With Atlee emerging as one of India's biggest young directors and Vijay in full form, can this sports drama deliver the good and emerge successful? Let's find out this review.
Plot: A former player turned coach Michael Rayappan (Vijay) is tasked with coaching and turning around the fortunes of the Tamil Nadu Women's football team.
Performances: Playing 2 diff roles in Micheal and Rayappan, Thalapathy Vijay is excellent as always. His ever reliable screen presence and charm makes him a delight to watch and he carries Bigil much like Mersal and Theri. He is at ease as Micheal. But as Rayappan, the superstar seems a little unconvincing with a stammer. However the look and hairstyle are refreshing too. However, his acting in the beginning of the film may get on your nerves the slightest. It borders overaction.
Nayantara gets more than the typical commercial heroine and does well as the team's physiotherapist.
Jackie Shroff as the villian is weak and underutilized completely. His interactions with Vijay are all mind games and nothing more with routine tactics.
Yogi Babu and Vivek do their best to make you laugh and they succeed to an extent.
Daniel Balaji plays a role he's done 100 times by now and is adequate.
Yesteryear villain Anandraj is just there and makes the most of what he has.
All the female actors cast for the soccer team are apt and do very well especially if this the debut for some of them.
Direction: This is Atlee's 4th film overall and 3rd consecutive film with Vijay. As with any Atlee movie, you know what to expect. The young director will never bring anything new or out of the box in terms of story and it's all a predictable fare. Where he does succeed is in the emotions. Despite the routine story, Atlee's strength is action and emotions, which are the two elements that need to click in order to make action movies and big star movies work so to speak. There are some solid emotional scenes that will make you tear up. He's probably one of the only directors in Kollywood who knows how to use Vijay to the maximum and he utilizes him to the full extent here. His command over his technical team is clearly visible. However, the story has a lot of fluff and extra scene which results in a painfully long narrative clocking in at 3 hours. There are many unnecessary scenes at times. For any action movie to work, you need a strong villain and this film doesn't have one. Jackie Shroff is more a puppet than a menacing villain. The biggest flaw is within the soccer scene was are WAY TOO CINEMATIC in the end. More on that later. Overall, Atlee knows his strengths and plays to them well and succeeds in creating some well made scenes to offset the flaws and uses Vijay to power Bigil to the finish line.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by AR Rahman is adequate. In his 3rd consecutive film with Vijay, one feels the Oscar winning composer did not give his best for the movie as the songs are underwhelming in the end. Thankfully, Singapenney is moving and powerful given the junction it comes at in the movie. Cinematography by GK Vishnu is world class. The visuals are simply outstanding and the film is mounted on a magnificent scale. Editing by Ruben is disappointing. At 3 hours long, Bigil feels like a drag in the end and there are so many extra scenes that just drag the movie in the end. Costumes are good. Fights by Anal Arasu are excellent. However the emotions are missing besides the interval fight to make you feel anything. Dialogues by Atlee are good. Production Values by AGS Entertainments are gigantic. At a reported 180 crores, Bigil is easily the most grand film of Vijay's career and each and every frame is loaded with money and beautiful visuals.
+ 2nd Half
+ Women's Empowerment Theme
- 1st half
- Most unrealistic depiction of soccer
Analysis and Final Take: As stated before, this is the 3rd combo between Atlee and Vijay. If you have seen Theri and Mersal, then you know what to expect when watching this movie. If you haven't, then don't expect too much from Bigil. Simply put, Bigil is another regular commercial entertainer from Vijay with having a massive social message featuring women's empowerment this time. And this works.
The first half is dedicated to showing Micheal's story after an unfortunate incident and the circumstances that cause him to become the football coach for the women's team. The first hour of the film feels completely pointless with countless action scenes and comedy scenes. The film comes into its own when the relationship between Rayappan and Micheal is shown and the unfortunate things that happen. The pre interval and interval sequences are highly emotional. The 2nd half is where the movie takes off and presents many highly emotional and goosebumps worthy moments. The challenge scene, police station scene, acid victim scene, Singapenney sequence, and the climax are all guaranteed goosebump moments.
However like any other movie Bigil has its flaws. And they are very glaring. The first is easily the story. It's insanely predictable and you'll always be a step ahead. The biggest factor is the depiction of soccer in the film. As a hardcore soccer and English Premier League fan, this is easily the most unrealistic depiction of soccer in cinematic history. I frankly don't care if it's cinematic or the purpose of a movie, everything shown is just ridiculous and completely unbelievable. What they show is thet Vijay has the acrobatics of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and ball skills of Neymar combined in the movie. There's even a BGM song that mentions Zinedine ZIdane and Cristiano Ronaldo. There's a scene where he challenges the girls team to a 1 v 11 match and he casually does rabona flicks, around the world juggles, scissor kicks at will. The defenses are clueless throughout the movie and team Tamil Nadu's defenders are pretty much useless because they let up 3 goals in each game and somehow miraculously come back each time. Each and every player has the perfect amount of time to hit bicycle, overhead, and scissor kicks at will. I've never seen someone have so much time to chest the ball, take it down, and then perform acrobatics and score. If you're going to make a sports movie, the least you can do is make it semi realistic or believable and not cheat the audience and take for them for fools in the end.
Movies like Jersey and Chak De India are realistic depictions of their sport. If anything Bigil is a barbarous depiction of soccer. And it doesn't help that these are all the crucial sequences of the movie.
Unless you are a die hard or ardent fan of Vijay and you like soccer, chances are you will hate this movie to the core.
Another problem is the length. As mentioned before, Bigil suffers from many unnecessary scenes and makes for an exhausting watch in the end at 3 hours. And this is being very polite.
In the end, if you can overlook the ridiculousness of the soccer and everything else, Bigil has its emotional and mass moments that work and is carried by Vijay.
Overall, Bigil is an entertainer with ludicrous soccer sequences powered with a powerful and emotional message about female empowerment. Vijay's performance and superstardom, some impactful scenes in the 2nd half, and the overall theme offset the torturous football scenes, predictable story, and pointless first hour of the movie. Watch it only if you're a die hard Vijay fan or like movies with a social message.
Rating: 7.5/10 (Majestic Action Thriller)
Cast: Yash, Srinidhi Shetty, Ayyapa, B Suresh, Srinivas Murthy, Archana Jois, Roopa Rayappa, Master Anmol, Ananth Nag, Tamanna, Mouni Roy, Malavika, Achut Kumar, Naga Bharana, Dinesh Mangalur, Harish roi, Ninasam Ashwath, Avinash, Ram, Lucky, Vinay, Puneeth Rudranag
Music: Ravi Basrur
Cinematographer: Bhuvan Gowda
Production Design: Shivakumar
Lyrics: Ramajogayya Sastry & Madhura Kavi
Producer: Vijay Kiragandur
Format Watched: Amazon Prime (Kannada Version)
On December 21st 2018, a film called KGF released. Led by the stunning trailers and grandeur, the film became an India wide sensation and the Kannada film industry took the nation by storm. Starring Rocking Star Yash in the lead role, KGF Chapter 1 is directed by Prashanth Neel. Why was the film such a sensation? Let's find out in this review.
Plot: Rocky (Yash) promises his mother that he will become rich and powerful. The rest of the story is why he enters KGF and the power struggle that ensues.
Performances: Rocking Star Yash is apt for the lead role and looks incredible as the rowdy Rocky Bhai. The beard and whole look compliment the character very well.
Heroine Srinidhi Shetty doesn't have much a role. Famous Kannada actor Ananthnag garu gets a crucial role as the narrator of the story and is he excellent as always.
The rest of the actors are all new and from the Kannada film industry and they are all well casted.
Direction: Prashanth Neel, take a bow. KGF is simply stunning and one of the most beautifully shot movies to ever come out of India. The visuals in the movie are simply world class and on par with any big budget movie anywhere in the world. The story of the film is simple. It's about a young man's quest for power and his hunt and journey of achieving it. It seems routine and you need emotions for the story to connect. And Neel succeeds mightily in that. The mother sentiment os heart touching and goosebumps inducing stuff. Literally every scene in the movie is grandly shot and is goosebumps inducing. The whole visual style of the narrative is amazing and shows how talented he is. The villain intro in particular is another highlight scene in the movie. Overall, KGF proves that you can have an average story, but it's the execution and narrative story telling technique that matters at the end of the day and Prashanth Neel succeeds in that regard and is easily one of India's most exciting young directors.
Technicalities: As mentioned before KGF is just a stunning movie overall. Not only is the story told brilliantly, but the technical aspects are just another level. Music and BGM by Ravi Basrur is WORLD CLASS. The BGM is the lifeline of the movie and easily one of the best background scores in the history of world cinema. Each and every scene is complemented by the incredible score. Cinematography by Bhuvan Gowda is also WORLD CLASS. Literally each and every scene in the movie is an elevation scene. There are some 500+ elevations scenes in the movie and each and every frame is grand and goosebump inducing to the viewer. The look and feel of the movie gives this rustic and gritty feel to the movie with constant green and brown color palettes. This is some next level stuff from the cameraman and here's hoping that he gets many more huge projects in the future. Simply outstanding. Dialogues are good. The best one is there is no better guardian than a mother in the bread scene. Goosebumps scene. Production Design is outstanding. The KGF set is incredible and the attention to detail needs to be commended. Costumes and Styling are very good. All the other technical departments are excellent. Production Values by Hombale Films are Mesmeric. It's amazing to see such a quality film with world class visuals coming from the Kannada film industry and here's hoping that they keep making bigger and better films for years to come.
+ Background Score
+ Grand Visual Narrative and Scale
- Too Many Bearded Villains
- Overdose of Elevations
Analysis and Final Take: KGF was hyped since day 1 with these trailers that gave us this epic feel and grand visuals. The movie wasn't expected to make any headlines outside of Karnataka. But the result is another Indian film that we can all be proud of. Simply put, KGF is a scintillating film. Not only is the story told well, but it's well made film in all components.
The first starts off in stunning fashion with a flashback. Yash's introduction scene is amazing and then Salaam Rocky Bhai is goosebumps inducing stuff. The first half is very good. The real story really starts at the interval when Rocky enters KGF and the emotions are excellent during this period and carry the film. The climax is outstanding with one particular scene involving Garuda in a pool. The shot there is simply iconic. The film ends with a bang and makes you restless for the 2nd part very similar to Baahubali.
However, this film does have its flaws. There are way too many villains and people in this movie needs a shave ASAP. Every single villain has a damn beard and there are too many villains and too many names thrown around and it's hard to pay attention to who is who. Also despite the background score and cinematography being world class, there are way too elevation scenes which eventually get boring and tiresome to some viewers. The right amount of elevations in doses is fine, but constant ones do tend to leave you exhausted.
Nevertheless, due it's grand scale and solid direction, KGF is a solid movie in the end.
Overall, KGF is a majestic action thriller from Prashanth Neel and Yash. The story, emotions, world class background score and cinematography make KGF a scintillating viewing experience for anybody. Definitely worth a watch for the moves South India is making as a whole. Massive steps towards huge respect from the entire country.
Rating: 3/10 (Loses the Battle)
Cast: Prabhas, Shraddha Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Murali Sharma, Jackie Shroff, Tinnu Anand, Chunky Pandey, Arun Vijay, Mahesh Manjrekar, Mandira Bedi, Evelyn Sharma, Vennela Kishore, Jacqueline Fernandez, Supreeth, Tanikella Bharani
Music: Guru Randhawa, Tanishk Bagchi, Baadshah, and Shankar-Eshaan-Loy
Producers: Vamsi- Pramod
Banner: UV Creations
The most awaited movie of the year is finally here. After a long gap of 2.5 years and the sensational success of the Baahubali series, Rebel Star Prabhas has achieved what most heroes dream to do their in lifetime which is to become a Pan-India superstar. Reportedly made with a budget fo 350 crores and billed as India's biggest action thriller, Saaho is directed by Run Raja Run fame Sujeeth. Does the film live up to the sky high expectations? Let's find out in this week's review.
Plot: In the fictional city of Waaji known as the city of powerful gangsters, Prithviraj (Tinnu Anand) has created an empire for a bunch of gangsters. The main power struggle goes on between Roy (Jackie Shroff) and Devraj (Chunky Pandey). Roy has hidden his wealth in a vault that can only be opened with a black box that contains the key to access it. Inside lies 2000 crores worth of gold.
20 years later, a thief ends up stealing the black box and undercover officer Ashok Chakravarthy (Prabhas) is assigned with the task of retrieving it. He teams up with Amritha Nair (Shraddha Kapoor) to solve the case.
What happens to the Black Box? Who actually stole it? What is the connection between the present and Roy's empire in the past? Watch Saaho to find out the answers.
Performances: After a gap of 2 years, Prabhas finally returns to the silver screen and his performance is adequate at best. One cannot deny his ever reliable screen presence but the performance lacks energy or finesse of any kind. His dialogue delivery is also bizarre and very slurred and slow for some reason. It's safe to call this one of the worst performances and characterizations of his entire career. His weight also fluctuates from the interval onwards and doesn't look the best. His hairstyle also looks odd. Overall, the Rebel Star looks tired and lethargic and it seems that even he got lost in the grand scheme of things. However, he does well in the action scenes.
Shraddha Kapoor as Amrita Nair is alright. She doesn't do much except appear in the songs and the role definitely isn't the best. Performance wise there really isn't much to take home either. She gets decent screen time.
The movie has a huge ensemble cast yet almost everybody is not utilized properly. Arun Vijay as Vishwak is probably the best character in the movie and he gets some solid moments throughout the narrative. So does Chunky Pandey. The veteran actor does well as the main villain with his stone cold killer act. Neil Nitin Mukesh is also adequate.
The rest of the cast in Mahesh Manjrekar, Lal, Mandira Bedi, Jackie Shroff, Tanikella Bharani, Supreet, Vennela Kishore, Evelyn Sharma, Tinnu Anand and even the ever reliable Murali Sharma are all wasted in inconsequential roles and make no impact at all.
Direction: Oh man where to start. First things first. Sujeeth, you can pat yourself on the back for wanting to be ambitious and pushing the envelope of Telugu Cinema and taking it forward. Saaho is unlike anything we have ever experienced in a Telugu movie and the scale and grandeur should be commended. Unfortunately that's all the good that comes out of it. It's clear Sujeeth has a very good eye for his technical aspects in his movies. What he doesn't have is proper story telling ability. Saaho at the end of the day is a disappointment and most of the blame goes towards Sujeeth. It was always going to be a tough task to follow up Baahubali and be successful and he crumbled under the pressure. The biggest problem with the movie is the execution. The ambition is there but the execution is amateurish. The script is another huge problem. On paper, Saaho sounds great. But in reality the way that it plays out doesn't make any sense. The film is another adaption or ripoff of French film Largo Which in which a dreaded tycoon hides his son identity to the world and the son takes revenge on all the villains in the end. Right from the first scene you start to get confused with Tanikella Bharani. Then Jackie Shroff meets his end soon after and then Prabhas is introduced in an awkward fight sequence in a Mumbai slum. The movie lacks any entertaining moments barring the interval twist and maybe the last two action sequences and as a whole, the movie is full of illogical sequences which will be discussed later. The movie lacks any memorable scenes and all the characters end up looking like caracitrues and the name get even more confusing in the end because you don't know what's going in. Action movies are successful because they have minimal story and breathtaking action set pieces. In Saaho the story is so complicated and so convoluted that one gets lost in the narrative from the very beginning itself. The romantic track only adds to our wounds and its cringeworthy and patience testing at best. Saaho has its moments, but unfortunately it never shines bright like Sujeeth promised us it would. He could have easily made the movie in a tighter budget because the 350 crores never really show up on screen. He also failed to utilize Prabhas screen presence and charisma to the full extent which makes it an added loss for the Rebel Star's fans. Bottomline what you need for a successful movie is emotions and a good STORY. Unfortunately, Saaho has neither and ends up being a huge disappointment for everyone involved.
Technicalities: Background Score by Ghibran is phenomenal. He's one of the few bright spots in the entire movie and elevates some scenes with his scintillating background music. The songs of the movie are composed by 4 different composers. All of the songs are useless and only disrupt the flow of the narrative. They are also all terribly placed. However, the locations in Ye Chota Nuvvuna and the pink lake in Baby Won't You Tell Me are outstanding. Cinematography by Madhie is world class. Each and every frame looks amazing and the ace cameraman's work in Saaho is probably his best to date. Whatever the scene was or the context, the lighting and palettes used reflect the grand scale and situations presented throughout the movie. The VFX however takes away a little of grandeur of the visuals. Production Design by Sabu Cyril is world class as well. The sets and design for the entire production is tremendous in scale and visually stunning throughout. Another one of the bright spots in the film. Editing by Sreekar Prasad is not good. The film is too long for it's good and should have been minimum 2hrs and 15 mins or maximum 2.5 hours. Instead Saaho drags on for almost 3 hours and becomes exhausting in the end. Action Sequences by Kenny Bates, Stunt Silva, and a horde of other action directors are excellent. They are unlike anything we have ever seen in telugu movies. The much hyped Dubai chase sequence is alright but fizzles out in the end due to no logic. Visual Effects by RC Kamalakannan are decent. They are not on standard with Hollywood blockbusters at all and a bit amateurish. Choreography and Hairstyling are horrendous throughout the movie. Styling is decent. Lastly, Production Values by UV Creations are exorbitant and grand. But nowhere do you actually see a movie that's worth 350 crores. It seems to be a marketing gimmick by the makers as the graphics are sub standard and makes the audience question where the money was being spent.
+ Production Design
+ Background Score
+ Interval Sequence
- No Emotions
Analysis and Final Verdict: Back in 2017 along with prints of Baahubali 2, a concept teaser for Saaho was released. It featured a futuristic city and Prabhas in a room beating the crap out of goons and a concept of a jetman action sequence. Over the course of time, the film was in the news for various things such as the budget which went from 250 to 300 finally to 350 crores and then the making videos released and further garnered hype and anticipation for the movie.
After the record breaking success of Baahubali 2, SS Rajamouli established Prabhas as Pan-India star and naturally Saaho garnered immense hype and expectations from the audience. The anticipation grew so much and the day finally arrived. After scintillating teasers and trailers and grand songs, the film is just a huge disappointment. Simply put, Saaho wasn't worth the wait.
Generally, action movies don't try to overcomplicate the story by having a basic plot line and filling the narrative with a maybe a few twists and turns and having outstanding action set pieces as it's USP. Saaho tries to do the same and fails miserably. In his interviews promoting Saaho, Prabhas repeatedly kept saying it's a screenplay based film. Screenplay, screenplay, screenplay, and screenplay. While watching the film, the audience raises the question of what script is he talking about.
The film's biggest letdown is it's script. The goal was to make a pan India action thriller that would appeal to everyone and stun the audience and world. Instead Saaho is so complicated from the first scene and filled with illogical scenes and sequences that in the end you're just left clueless throughout the narrative as whole.
One really wonders how UV Creations were convinced with Sujeeth's pitch to make this film because the basic storyline of a son returning to his father's empire and eliminating the threats has already been done in Pawan Kalyan's Agnythaavasi. While Saaho is better than that film quality wise, story wise it's pretty much the same and in a rare instance, it fails both times in the same language. It's clear nobody in the production knew what they were doing except Madhie and Sabu Cyril.
The film is filled with so many bizzare sequences I don't even know where to begin.
1) In the opening sequence, Tanikella Bharani's hand is lit on fire and he places it into a glass of ice and is forced to sign a paper. What the paper is for we are never told.
2) Prabhas is introduced and he literally fights through about 5 stories of a Mumbai slum to rescue some guy who looks like he's in a poor man's version of Hangman. And there he meets a python and panther in a room for no reason, and manages to escape from the panther by bending the jail lock on the window and climbs to the next area. There's also an ostrich that just cooly walks around in the slum as well and nobody questions it.
3) Next he is given a case to handle with Shraddha Kapoor. The flirting and entire investigation makes your cringe and is a complete waste of time. The interval sequences present a huge twist which is probably the best part of the movie.
4) Post the interval, Prabhas jumps off a cliff shirtless to catch a bag. We are never told why. It just happens. And he grabs the bag and it just happens to be a parachute and he magically lands at the bottom which happens to be a beach. We see his six pack and then Bad Boy song follows.
5) They also take a break from the investigation one day and go to the club at night and dance which is where Psycho Saiyaan song happens
6) There at least 1000 bullets fired in the movie including half of them during the much hyped Dubai chase sequence on a bike and not a single one hits Prabhas.
7) Prabhas hops on a jetpack and Sraddha falls from a helicopter on midair. They ack stops working so Prabhas lets go, magically catches Shraddha some 3000 feet in the sky, and they magically fall into a body of water nearby. The water is very conveniently placed.
8) Lastly, there is a 1 min sequence about the Karna village that is just there and you see some weed in the process that an officer is about to smoke.
9) There is a fight scene where Shraddha tries to arrest Prabhas and a fight scene happens with Mr and Mrs Smith playing on a TV in the background. The background score during this scene is akin to what the violin medleys they play at grand gala events with every dressed up in suits and ties. It just seems so out of place and ridiculous. And the people who are trying to kill Prabhas are the very same people who cut a deal with him to find the black box in the next scene. So why try to eliminate him to begin with?
10) Shraddha goes to Austria to be uncover and work with Prabhas and pledges her loyalty to the police. And then a useless song happens which in which she reverses her loyalties again and actually falls in love with Prabhas and they move into a house together there by the beach, A house that is almost identical to Tony Stark's house in Malibu.
If you liked the above scenes, then by all means please watch Saaho. To add to our wose, Sujeeth tries to link everything back together in the last 10 mins but by the amount of twists already make our brain hurt and becomes too much the process.
Unfortunately, the negatives outweigh the positives in this movie and that it's biggest weakness. A simple story that's unnecessarily complicated and tepid performances by the entire cast and a lengthy runtime makes Saaho an exhausting and painful watch in the end.
Overall, Saaho loses the battle and ends up being a massive disappointment, Sujeeth and team try really hard but in the end nothing really clicks. The execution doesn't match the ambition and despite the team's best efforts, it's hard to salvage anything in a movie that promised so much. Despite outstanding visuals, Saaho fails to meet the expectations to keep you engaged throughout it's entirety. Not even Prabhas' ever reliable screen presence can save the film as the star looks tired and disinterested throughout.
Saaho roughly translates to Jai Ho meaning Victory. In the end, it's a loss for everybody involved including the audience.
Rating: 6/10 (Vintage Rajini but Weak Story)
Cast: Superstar Rajinikant, Vijay Sethupathi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Simran, Trisha, Saskumar, Bobby Simha, Naren, Malavika Mohanan, J Mahendran, Megha Akash, Muthukumar, Sanath Reddy,
Story-Screenplay-Dialogues-Direction: Karthik Subbaraj
Producer: Kalanithi Maran
Banner: Sun Pictures
After 2.0, Superstar Rajinikant is back with his latest film in Petta. Directed by Karthik Subbaraj who is hailed as one of India's finest young directors, the action film also features Makkal Selvan Vijay Sethupathi and Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui in crucial roles. Success has been hard to find in recent years for the Superstar. Can Petta be the film that delivers a blockbuster to get his career back on track? Let's find out in this review
Plot: Kaali (Rajinikant) joins a college in Darjeeling as the new hostel warden. A barrage of attacks on the college by various gangs happen and all of them are thwarted by Kaali. A student who is saved by Kaali sees that's there is more than meets the eyes with him and he has a past that is haunting him. Who is Kaali? Where is he from? Why is all of this happening? Watch Petta to find out
Performances: Being a Rajinikant film, it's only fitting that the Superstar is the highlight and centerpiece of the film. Rajinikant is fabulous in his role as Petta and it's tailor made. The swag, the style, the mannerisms, and laugh are all back and it's a feast for Rajini fans throughout the entire movie. The 2nd half brings out a new dimension to this character and makes the audience remember how versatile of an actor he really is and why he has garnered all the success over the years.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is exceptional as the cowardly Singaar Singh and plays his role to perfection.
Vijay Sethupathi gets a decent role and tries to make the most of it. He is sincere and honest as always and matches Rajinis charisma in two confrontation scenes in the 2nd half.
Besides these 3 actors, every other actor in the film fails to make an impact.
The heroines are simply useless as Simran gets a role lasting no more than 10 mins and god knows why Trisha even accepted the movie in the first place as she gets all of 3 scenes and 2 lines the entire film.
Bobby Simha is brutally miscast as a college senior and he is wasted. Sasikumar is adequate and so is Malavika Mohanan. Aadukulam Naren and J Mahendran are wasted in small roles as well.
Direction: After making the classic that is Jigarthanda, Karthik Subbaraj is back and got a chance to direct his idol in Rajinikanth. The first 20 minutes are obvious as to how much of a fan Subbaraj is of the Superstar. But as in any working relationship, one must know the difference between fantasy and fanboying and creativity and well written narrative. Unfortunately in his third film, Karthik Subbaraj loses the plot here. He takes the classic trope of the Baasha format and uses it to his liking to craft Petta and therein is where the problem lies. People expect creativity from a director like Subbaraj and unfortunately he plays it to the galleries. The story has been done to death a million times and the 2nd half has serious issues of tediousness and prolonging which tests your patience. While he has utilized Rajinikant's presence to the full extent, he has not concentrated on the story which results in a disjointed narrative and boring scenes in the latter half. The only positive in the 2nd half is that a nice twist towards the climax happens the movie gets back on track but for the most part, the film has a weak story that sadly even Rajinikant's presence cannot overshadow. Overall, this is more a poor man's version of Baasha that every director seems to be giving Rajini than an out of the box Karthik Subbaraj film that we have become accustomed to watching.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Anirudh Ravichander is fantastic. The BGM is one of the best in recent times especially for a Rajinikanth film. Cinematography by Thiru is excellent. The color patterns during the Darjeeling episodes are outstanding. The lighting patters on dark blue and black for the fight sequences at night deserves special mention. Art direction is good for the most part. Editing by Vivek Harshan is not good. The film could use a serious trimming and no need for an action film like this to be 172 minutes. Dialogues by Karthik Subbaraj are good. Fights by Peter Hein are superb. They're not over the top and they brings out the classic Rajini swag that we have become accustomed to over the years. Costumes need a special mention as Rajini has not looked this stylish in any of his previous films in recent memory. Production Values by Sun Pictures are extravagant. Each and every frame of the film is rich and vibrant and the money spent can be clearly seen throughout the film.
+ Rajini, Rajini, and Rajini
+ Fan Moments
+ Music and Background Score
+ Cinematography and Action Sequences
- 2nd half
Final Take and Analysis: The last few films of Rajinikanth have been underwhelming to say the least. Fans of the star have been frustrated by films like Kabali and Kaala which showcase PA Ranjith political ideologies and fight for Dalits and oppressed people rather than showcasing commercial elements. There was also Kochadaiyaan and 2.0 which was a visual feast but lacked commercial elements as well.
And so comes out hero, Karthik Subbaraj, a proclaimed die hard Rajini fan, who gets the golden chance to direct the star. And it's clear that the director is so enamored by Baasha, that he decides to make his own take on the classic flashback story. This right here, is Petta's biggest problem. For a director known his offbeat and out of the box creative skills, to see him conform to fans wishes and needs is disheartening to see. Not that Petta is a bad film, but you realize it could have been a much better film if it didn't have such a weak story.
The first 20 minutes into the film gives you an idea of how much of a Rajinikanth fan Subbaraj really is. Every moment is a goosebumps inducing experience for the fans. As the story progresses, you know exactly what is going to happen and besides a simple interval twist, the 1st half is bearable. In the 2nd half, the film unravels and really never puts itself back together.
Post the flashback, the mind games and chasing scenes in Uttar Pradesh test your patience and as the film becomes painfully predictable and overdrawn. The length is also a major issue. In the pre-climax there is a nice twist which comes full circle in the climax, but overall, Petta is just short of disappointing. It's a momentary ecstasy that should have lasted much longer. And despite Rajinikanth's presence, even the Superstar cannot save a weak and predictable story like this.
Overall, Petta showcases vintage Rajinikanth but suffers from a predictably weak story which is it's biggest drawback. In the process, Karthik Subbaraj forgets his own creativity and plays to the galleries which only satisfies one set of fans. Watch it only if you're a die hard fan of Rajinikanth.
Rating: 6/10 (Visually Stunning yet Hollow)
Cast: Superstar Rajinikant, Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson, Sudhanshu Pandey
Producer: A. Subaskaran
Banner: Lyca Productions
After more than a year and VFX output hell, Shankar's much waited film 2.0 has seen the light to day. Touted as a spiritual successor rather than a direct sequel to Enthiran, the film features Rajinikant and Amy Jackson in the lead roles while having Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar in the role of the antagonist. Does the film live up-to the gargantuan expectations that people have on it? Let's find out
Plot: A huge force shaped like a bird is stealing people's cellphones and causing havoc across the city. To solve the problem, the government recruits Dr. Vaseegaran (Rajinikant) to investigate the issue. When he finally destabilizes the force, he finds out there's more than meets the eye. Who or what is this force? Why is it wreaking havoc against cellphones across the city? Watch the movie to find out.
Performances: Superstar Rajinikant is in his elements as Chitti and Vaseegaran. It's more or less an extension of what we saw in Enthiran. It's a bit disappointing because the real fun starts when Chitti 2.0 arrives but by the time that happens, it's only towards the climax of the film and you wish the fun factor had lasted longer
To be honest, the hero of the film is not Rajinikant. It's actually Akshay Kumar. He is just outstanding in his role as Pakshi Rajan. The role and flashback that Shankar has created for his role is very emotional and it forms the core of the movie. Despite less screen time, he makes the most of his role and delivers a knockout performance. His makeup and everything else is excellent and Akshay Kumar is arguably the highlight of the film.
As a robot, Amy Jackson is seductive and does her part well. The film primarily revolves around these 3 characters and if there's anyone else that makes an impact, it's Sudhanshu Pandey who play Danny Denzongpa's son from the first film.
Direction: Even though the reception of his last film Ai wasn't universal, Shankar's knack for brilliance and grandeur and his vision were unquestionable. After a gap of almost 4 years, he is back with 2.0. The film to be brutally honest, is pretty weak. The reason being is that the entire first half tests your patience and is completely pointless. After a shocking opening scene, the constant scenes of the force taking out people one after another is tedious and you have no idea what's going on. Only at the interval do you get some sort of closure and everything is answered in the flashback, revealing Akshay Kumar's character. Post in the interval, the technical brilliance is on full display and the climax makes for a scintillating watch. The graphics are mind-blowing and on par with big budget Hollywood films' visual effects. Despite the visual excellence, 2.0 lacks in character development or real exciting moments. It's almost as if Shankar was throwing a hailmary with introduction of the 2.0 character towards the climax. The fun factor and enthusiasm that we associated with a film like Enthiran is completely missing in 2.0. The only character worth redeeming in the film is Pakshi Raja. The rest are all artificial literally and there's really not much to take away from the film. While we cannot deny Shankar's vision and perfection, his eye for visual brilliance doesn't match the adept storytelling skills the great director has become known for in 2.0. It's not his worst film, but it's certainly not the best one either from Shankar.
Technicalities: Music and BGM are AR Rahman is excellent as always. There are very few music directors who rarely make a bad album or give a bad product and Rahman is definitely one of those people. While the songs don't make that much of an impact due to the narrative, he excels with a pulsating background score. Cinematography by Nirav Shah is just outstanding. Editing by Anthony is alright. Art design is magnificent as in every Shankar film. Costume Design is equally as good. Makeup deserves a special mention as the makeup and looks for Rajinkant, Akshay Kumar, and Amy Jackson are all amazing. Dialogues by Madhan Karky are ok. Stunts by Peter Hein are excellently choreographed. VFX by Srinivas Mohan is outstanding. 2.0 is a visual wonder and feast and features some of the best VFX we have ever seen in Indian cinema. Lastly, Production Values by Lyca Productions are magnificent. Though I must say a budget of $76 million doesn't seem to be required for the film
+ Askhay Kumar
+ Visual Effects
+ Flashback and Climax
- Shallow Plot
- Fun Factor Missing
- 1st Half
Analysis and Final Take: When Shankar first announced a sequel to Enthiran, many felt it was unnecessary, including myself. Now that the film has released, it doesn't really change the opinion of the audience unless you're a die hard fan of the director himself.
2.0 is a visual wonder but lacks the gripping elements or overall emotions throughout the entire narrative that Shankar has become known for over the years. If his last film Ai was any indication, the director is giving preference to more style than substance.
And the same could be said for 2.0. The makers have promoted the film as Rajinikant's movie through and through but in reality, the movie belongs to Akshay Kumar.
The film starts off in a sad way and then proceeds to introduce us to an unknown force that is killing people all over the city. The entire first half tests your patience as neither the plot or the motive behind what is going is revealed. Instead we are just treated to shapeshift after shapeshift and murder after murder. It can best be described as a poor man's Anniyan for most of the first half. Only during the interval bang do we get to know what the hell is actually going on. Who Akshay Kumar is and what he goes through in the flashback is very emotional and will possibly bring you to tears. It's a classic Shankar mark flashback which will touch your heart and explains the motives for actions of the antagonist. But in reality, Pakshi Raja is the real hero and since he is fighting for a good cause, you don't hate him. So in reality it becomes good vs good. The climax portions is where the real visual feast is and Rajinikant in his 2.0 avatar will keep you entertained.
But as proved with many cases in the past, a star can only do so much when there is a weak story. And unfortunately 2.0 suffers from this same issue. Despite a stunning visual output, the film lacks any commercial elements or entertainment of any sort and anyone expecting something in the fun range of Enthiran will be disappointing.
Shankar's films always have a good message and this one, albeit implausible to believe, is a very good one. The concept that radio towers and frequencies are killing birds and we should preserve them. Despite this however, the charisma of the leads and the visual effects make for a decent watch.
Overall, 2.0 is a visually stunning film with a hollow plot. The film lacks any commercial elements or real entertainment but is saved by the star power of both Rajinikant and Akshay Kumar along with some of the best visual effects we have ever seen in Indian cinema. It's worth a watch just for the technical brilliance and vision of director Shankar.
Rating: 5/10 (Boring Political Thriller)
Cast: Vijay Deverakonda, Nasser, Sathyaraj, MS Bhaskar, Priyadarshi, Sanchana Nataranjan, Yashika Anand, Karanukaran, Rajendran, Mehreen (Guest Appearance)
Story-Screenplay-Dialogues-Direction: Anand Shankar
Producer: K.E. Gnanavel Raja
Banner: Studio Green
After the smashing success of Geetha Govindam, Vijay Deverakonda is back with his latest film NOTA after a short gap of two months. Playing a CM in the film, the film was predominantly shot in Tamil and dubbed into Telugu. Can Vijay keep the success streak going with this political film? Let's find out in this week's review
Plot: Unbeknownst to him, Varun (Vijay Deverakonda) is made the new CM of Tamil Nadu by his father Subramanyam (Nasser) who is the current CM of the state and reasons best known to him. When his father gets arrested and is sent to jail, it's up-to Varun to run the state and assert his authority over his people. How he does that and what obstacles he faces in the process forms the rest of NOTA.
Performances: Vijay Deverakonda is the only reason to watch this film. He is fabulous in his role as Varun but the role has no lasting impact like Arjun Reddy or Vijay Govind. He gets the job done and his incredible screen presence makes him a joy to watch.
Nasser and Sathyaraj are the other two pillars of the film and veterans are flawless as usual. Tamil actor MS Bhaskar is adequate as the adviser and party member to the CM
Sanchana Natarajan is decent as the two faced party member. Mehreen shouldn't even be called the heroine. It's more a guest appearance as she is there for literally 3 scenes.
Priyadarshi is wasted and Tamil comedian Kanurakarans comedy doesn't register. The rest of the actors are all Tamil actors who are unknown to the Telugu audience.
Direction: Anand Shankar's last film was Iru Mugan, a thriller featuring Vikram in a dual role which failed miserably at the box office. And he is back with his latest offing in NOTA. It's clear that he has no grip on the Telugu sensibilities and played to the galleries of the Tamil audience. A bilingual should have scope for both sensibilities or balance both of them and he fails to do either. Simply put, NOTA has neither a good script or good direction. And the entire fault lies on the director as he is responsible for both departments. Despite the Rowdy CM scenes and a few scenes here and there, NOTA makes for a painfully boring watch,. Particularly because Shankar doesn't capitalize on the high that the aforementioned scene gives. The 2nd half conflict with the dam isn't known to many outside Tamil Nadu. And it sure won't appeal to the Telugu audiences either. The climax doesn't make any sense either. Despite Vijay Deverakonda's presence, Anand Shankar fails to utilize this opportunity and squanders what could have been an engaging political thriller.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Sam CS is decent. While the songs are terrible to hear and badly filmed on screen, the background score provides some respite much needed oxygen to the slow proceedings. Cinematography by Santhana Krishnan Ravichandran is alright. There's nothing outstanding about the visuals. Editing by Raymond Derrick Crasta is poor. The film has serious pace issues which results in a boring narrative. Art is fine. Dialogues are not upto the mark because in all essence, NOTA is a Telugu dubbed film primarily shot in Tamil. Costume Design is decent as Vijay Deverakonda looks stylish for the most part of the movie. Production Values by K.E. Gnanavel Raja are grand. The film looks rich and vibrant throughout.
+ Vijay Deverakonda
+ Sathyaraj and Nasser
+ Rowdy CM portions
Final Take and Analysis: Post Geetha Govindam, Vijay Deverakonda picks the subject that every star hero seems to be associating themselves with in politics. After Bharat Ane Nenu and the forthcoming Sarkar, NOTA is the 2nd film of 2018 from a major star that deals with politics. While Bharat Ane Nenu had a few mass moments to bail it out of being boring, NOTA cannot brag of the same feat. To put it simply, NOTA is a boring political thriller that has aimless scenes and serious connectivity and pace issues.
God knows what Anand Shankar said to Vijay Deverakonda for him to accept this film but whatever it was, it's likely to far from the final product that we see here.
The film opens with Nasser making Vijay the new CM as it seems to be a tradition of nepotism in politics. After Nasser is convicted of a crime, Vijay is sprung into action and must now take responsibility as the new CM. Besides the well taken Rowdy CM scene where Vijay gets emotional over a little girl who dies due to a fire, the film doesn't really provide any sort of insight into Tamil Nadu's current political issues or anything of that sort. Even the dam issue chosen in the 2nd half seems very unnecessary and cinematic so so to speak. While there is a twist in the climax of the film, it really doesn't matter because the film's fate has already been sealed by then.
It's not that NOTA is a poorly made film and one of the worst movies. It's one of those films that has a lot of promise, but the execution is way off and the script just doesn't have the content to be successful.
The fault here lies with both Anand Shankar and Vijay Deverakonda. A star should be equally responsible for the choices he makes along with the director if the movie is bad. NOTA is a prime example of that.
The icing on the cake is a cameo by AR Murugadoss. The result of Spyder is still fresh in the mind of the Telugu audience. Vijay Deverakonda's presence is the only saving grace for the movie.
Overall. NOTA is a boring political thriller. Despite Vijay Deverakonda's scintillating screen presence and decent performance, NOTA simply doesn't have enough content to engage you throughout the 153 minute run time. It shines here and there but doesn't come together as one full cohesive narrative. Watch it only if you're a die hard Vijay Deverakonda fan.
Rating: 10/10 (Masterpiece)
Cast: R. Madhavan, Vijay Sethupathi, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Shraddha Srinath
Story-Screenplay-Dialogues-Direction: Pushakar & Gayatri
Producer: S. Sashikanth
Banner: Y NOT Studios
After a long time, another Tamil multi-starrer has come out. Starring the talented R. Madhavan and the incredibly gifted Vijay Sethupathi, Vikram Vedha was definitely one of the most awaited films in recent times. Directed by husband and wife dueo debutants Pushkar and Gayatri, how does this action drama fare? It's a sure shot blockbuster let's find out why.
Plot: When an encounter specialist named Vikram (Madhavan) believes that there is only good and evil in the world and that police are always good and criminals are always bad, his beliefs are challenged by a dreaded crime lord named Vedha (Vijay Sethupathi) through his own personal backstories he narrates to Vikram.
Performances: I always knew R.Madhavan was a talent and this is coincidentally the first film I've ever seen with him in it. Madhavan is absolutley superb as Vikram and is obviously one of the reasons why the film is so good. He breathes life into the character of Vikram and rocks throuhgout the movie with his witty one liners and the way Vedha changes him is simply superb.
The man of the moment and the show stealer is of course the man himself, Vijay Sethupathi. You can't read Indian film news and not hear at least one mention of his name. I've only heard of his acting capabilities but after watching this film, I've now understood why he's slowly emerging as the next superstar of Tamil cinema. Sethupathi is absolutely scintillating as Vedha and his flashbacks are highly entertaining and his introduction scene is one the best in recent times. He plays the gangster with a heart with such conviction and perfection that you actually forget at times that he's the villain. At the end of the film, chances are you will like Vedha more than Vikram
Shraddha Srinath and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar are good in their respective roles as romantic interests. The actors that play Pulli, Cheta, and Ravi are all superb and do a great job.
Direction: In their first film, Puskhar and Gayatri have delivered a masterpiece. Albeit what seems a routine story at first, Vikram Vedha's brilliance lies in it's storytelling. Specifically because it's perhaps the first film that tries to justify the villains actions and show that there is actually more to Vedha than just a criminal who kills people and is wanted for murder. He's a family man, an honest worker, and most importantly just wants what's best for his family and himself just like everyone else. The film successfully makes you sympathize with the villain for once and shows that he actually has a heart and cares about others that just himself. Add the perfect conflicts and subplots and the witty one liners, their direction is absolutely flawless and it makes Vikram Vedha an absolute classic.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Sam CS is incredible and riveting. The BGM plays a huge part in making the film seem so good. Cinematography by PS Vinod is excellent. The film sort of has a grey color scheme to it and fits well with the offbeat mood of the film. He has shown the not so colorful parts of Chennai and the film shows slums and the life of a common man rather than a superficial hero for once. Editing by Richard Kevin is slick and smooth. Art direction is good. Fights are fantastic and excellently choreographed. Pushkar and Gayatri got the best out of their technical team and Vikram Vedha is an excellent film from start to finish technical wise. Production Values by Y NOT Studios are grand and superb.
Analysis and Verdict: There's honestly not much to write. Vikram Vedha is incredible from start to finish. The film starts off in a fun way and Vikram's ability to recreate crime scenes and apprehend criminals without technology speaks volumes of his characterization.
The characters talk about Vedha so much that you impatiently wait for his entrance. And boy does Vedha make a goosebump worthy entrance. After Vedha enters and starts telling his flashbacks, the films never slows down and keeps going.
While the story may seem routine at times and is a bit predictable, Vikram Vedha is a must watch. Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi breath life into their characters and carry the film from start to finish. In the end, I can guarantee that you will end up liking Vedha more than Vedha. And that is because of the man playing him. Vijay Sethupathi is just too good as Vedha.
Overall, Vikram Vedha is a masterpiece by Pushkar and Gayatri. A film that is truly competent in every respective department and is easily the best Tamil film to come out in a long, long time. A must watch.
Rating: 4.5/5 (Amazing)
After creating new records with Thupakki, the comibation of Vijay and A.R. Murugadass are back again with a film titled Kaththi meaning sword. Claiming to be a film 100x more powerful than Thupakki, how does this film fare? It's incredible from start to finish. Find out why.
Story: Kathiresan (Vijay) is a thief at a prison in Kolkata. When the cops need help tracking down an inmate, he helps them but subsequently escapes. He reunites with his pal Ravi (Satish) and they plan to go to Bangkok. At the airport he falls in love with Ankitha(Samantha) and stays back. That night some men try to kill a man and Kathiresan sees them and decides to save the man. He is shocked to find out the man looks exactly like him. He takes refuge in an old age home posing as that man as he looks just like him and the old people can't tell the difference.
A multinational company wants to take down the village that these old people belong to and just as Kathiresan is about to cheat them and run away with loads of money, he finds out that the man who's place he's taken is Jeevanandham (Vijay) a hydrologist from Thanoothu village in Tirunaveli. After learning about the fight for their cause, Kathiresan has a change of heart and decides to fight for the farmers cause and how he defeats Chirag (Niel Nitin Mukesh) and helps the farmers case forms the rest of the story.
Performances: Ilayathalapthy Vijay has rocked this film from start to finish. There are just so many whistle worthy and clap worthy moments in this movie, you eventually lose count. In films we usually see Vijay the star, but in this film you will see Vijay the actor. He is simply incedible in both roles and his outburst during the pipe scene is world class. Kaththi rides on Vijays star power and he takes the film to the next level. He is flawless in the fights as usual, dances with grace, and gets to mouth some solid punch dialogues. If you're a Vijay fan, this film will be a feast for you.
Samantha is ok as Ankitha. She looks attractive enough and provided the necessary eye candy.
After Vijay, it is perhaps Neil Nitin Mukesh that does the best. He is a revelation as Chirag and uses his brains rather than brawns to get things done. His dedication and patience to learn Tamil and dub for himself must be appreciated by anyone who loves Tamil cinema.
Satish provides laughs as Ravi. Tota Roy Chowdary has a decent role as the inmate that's after Kathiresan.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Anirudh Ravichander is just world class. Nothing less. In some movies, you will remember the songs, but very rarely will you ever remember the background score to a film. Kaththi is one of those rare exceptions. Anirudh has given some BGM that's out of this world and in many instances single handedly elevates some scenes to the level. Examples are the opening credits, interview fights, interval fight, coin fight, and the pipe scene. I can guarantee you will have goosebumps when listening to the background score during these scenes. Cinematography by George C Williams is incredible. Unlimited whistles and claps for the introduction scene and the 360 pipe scene. Art is good especially for the village, old age home, and Chirag's company. Editing by A. Sreekar Prasad is fine as you rarely feel bored. Dialogues by AR Murugadass are very good and he effectively talks about farmers problems so everyone could understand it in a simple manner. Production Values by Lyca are outstanding. Fights by Anal Arasu are world class. The interval fight and coin fight are out of this world good.
Analysis: There are some films that Indians make that are commercial and devoid of logic. There are some films that are story based and forego commercial elements for the sake of the script. Very rarely do you find a film that appeals to both categories. Kaththi is arguably Vijay's career best film and one of the best Tamil film's ever made. The way Murugadoss was able to blend the burning issue of farmers and their plight without missing the commercial appeal to the film is just amazing. The sentiment created through the flashback is excellent and makes you feel for the farmers and actually makes you think about what the media cares about these days.
If a famous celebrity gets into a tussle, that will be broadcasted all day. But if a farmer who struggles to make YOUR food, the one you put on the table everyday and he is literally unable to do anything about a person coming in and kicking him out of his home, nobody seems to bat an eye. It is issues like this that people need to care about in India because farmers are literally the most hardworking individuals in the country and they work day and night to make sure the country is still surviving with crop cultivation and agriculture.
The films starts off in a stunning way with Vijay's introduction and then moves into comedy mode for a bit with the old age home. The film takes a huge turn after the flashback ends and the interval bang is incredible followed by the famous I am Waiting! dialogue. The 2nd half is more or less a cat and mouse game between the hero and villain and the court case and the highlight of the film is Vijay's outburst in the pipe scene.
Overall, Kaththi is an amazing social action entertainer with a very important message for the entire nation of India. Vijay's performance, Murugadoss's direction and story, Anirudh's background music, and the action sequences are the highlights of this film.
If you love Tamil cinema, it's a must watch and if you're a Vijay fan, it's a must watch. If you're a Telugu movie fan, watch this one because it will always be 100X better than the one our makers made (Sorry Khaidi no 150 but you got nothing on Kaththi).
Rating: 3.5/5 (Ajith all the way)
Directed by Vishnuvardhan and starring Ajith Kumar in the lead, Billa is a remake of the iconic film starring Rajinikanth in Tamil and of course Amitabh Bachchan in Hindi. How does the modern day remake fare? Find out in my review.
Story: Billa (Ajith Kumar) is the most wanted and dreaded mafia don in Malayasia. He is wanted by almost every intelligence agency across the globe. DSP Jayaprakash (Prabhu) is constantly looking for ways to nab him but feels there's more than meets meet the eye to Billa. One night, Billa suddenly meets with an accident and he is found by Jayaprakash. Left with no choice, Jayaprakash finds out he has a look alike Saravana Velu (Ajith again) and recruits him for a mission. What actually happened to Billa that night? How do Nayanthara and Namitha play into the plot? And what is the big conspiracy behind the disappearance of Billa? Watch the film to find out.
Performances: It's Thala Ajith all the way. He is the definition of style as David Billa and carries the film on his shoulders. He is equally entertaining as Velu and showcases great comic timing. If you're gonna watch Billa, then Ajith is gonna be the reason 100%.
Nayanthara sizzles in a bikini and puts in a fine performance as usual. Namitha is way too fat and needs to reduce her weight.
Rehman as the villain is good and Prabhu and Aditya Menon as the honest police officers are good as well. Santhanam entertains as Krishna and provides some good laughs.
Technicalities: Billa at the time was probably the most stylish and slick film to come out of Kollywood at the time. Music and BGM by Yuvan Shankar Raja is excellent. Cinematography by Nirav Shah is fabulous. He has effectively captured the ambiance and rich visuals of Malayasia in a stunning way. Art is fine. Editing by A. Sreekar Prasad is fine as you never really feel bored during the movie. Dialogues by Rajkannan are good. Direction by Vishnuvardhan is excellent and top notch.
Analysis: If you've seen Don or Billa, then you know the story. But if you've never watched any of the versions before, then this film will be a great experience for you. The suspense that's revealed in the last 20 minytes of the film is very good and the climax is entertaining.
The 1st half starts off right away establishing Ajith's character David Billa and how ruthless he can be. He gets the hottest girls in town, kills who ever he wants, and runs Malaysia from the bottom up. What more could you want in life? The twist at the end of Billa's character is good and the film then runs in comedy mode with Velu's character. The interval bang is good and the 2nd half is nice with action sequences placed all over so you never feel bored. Credit has to go to Vishnuvardhan for amking such a stylish and entertaining film that has an equally gripping narrative. Ajith's performance is the icing on the cake.
Overall, Billa is Ajith's one man show supported by Vishnuvardhan's flawless direction and taking. Watch this one, for you may not watch a film so technically sound throughout for a long time.
Rating: 3/5 (Action Packed)
Vijay has teamed up with Babusivan for a film called Vettaikaaran meaning hunter. Also starring Real Star Srihari in an important role, how does this action entertainer fare? Find out in today's review.
Story: Ravi (Vijay) is a police wannabe from Thootukudi and aspires to be like DCP Devaraj (Srihari). He idolizes him greatly and wants to be a great cop like him someday. In the process he falls in love with Susheela (Anuskha) and somehow makes her fall for him too. In order to join the academy, he enrolls in a Chennai college and works part time to pay for his bills as an auto driver. In the process he sees atrocities committed by Chella (Ravi Shankar) and picks a fight with him. Chella is the son of the most powerful don in the city Vedanayagam (Salim Ghouse) and he comes into direct conflict with him. The rest of story is how Ravi takes down Vedanayagam and a little flashback featuring what actually happened to DCP Devaraj.
Performances: Vijay is awesome as usual as Ravi and he puts his classic comic timing to full use in the 1st half. He is flawless as usual in action sequences and dances and is incredible in the confrontation scenes with Salim Ghouse. Another one man show from Ilayathalapathy and he carries the film from start to finish.
Anushka is ok as Susheela.
For once, an action film actually has good villains. Bommali Ravi Shankar is excellent as Chella and his voice is a huge asset as always in portaying a character. Salim Ghouse is incredible as well as Vedanayagam and exudes villainy to the greatest extent and pushes Vijay to the limit.
Srihari plays an important and vital role and he is very good as well. Sayaji Shinde is alright as the corrupt police officer.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Vijay Antony is superb. All of the songs are very good and the background score elevates some scenes. Cinematography by S. Gopinath is alright. Art is ok. Dialogues by Babusivan are good. Editing by VT Vijayan is alright as the film is about 166 minutes long and need not be so long. Fights are excellent and are full of Tamil falvor with unrealistic stunts and tons of wirework. Production Values by AVM Productions are grand.
Analysis: Vettaikaaran is an action film and nothing more than that. It doesn't aim to raise the bar any higher than it's needs to and knows it will work with the masses. And the movie is some damn sure fun at the same time. This film is a feast for Vijay fans and action film lovers. It's masala to the core and revisits the age old battle between good and evil.
And Babusivan has actually produced a strong conflict in the routine story he penned for the movie. His direction is top notch and that's what makes th film stand out. The 1st half starts off with some good comedy and then becomes action packed towards the interval. The entire 2nd half is action pakced and loaded with fights. Vijay puts the film on his shoulders and makes it an entertaining watch. The flashback is decent as well.
Overall, Vettaikaaran is an action packed film that has a routine story but is told with excellent narration by Babusivan. The film runs on excellently choreographed action sequences, Vijay's performance, and great direction and decent music. Watch it if you're an action film lover like me.