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average fare
Nasihat has Rajesh khanna & Mithun in lead roles along with deepti naval, shabana azmi, amjad khan etc., but all the actors are wasted.

It could have been an interesting tale of worker's problems & their lives, but instead it is filled with fights, songs & the usual tale of revenge.

The artists go through the motions. Music by Kalyanji anandji is average. Direction by Aravind sen is listless.

Wonder what made kaka to do a film like this. Perhaps the producer was his friend? No wonder, the film bombed at the box office.

A forgettable film for kaka fans


Absolutely awful
Shamitabh is one of the worst Hindi films to have been released in recent times.

Director Balki thinks that the baritone voice of Amitabh alone will pull the film through & that has been the biggest let down of this film.

Amitabh has never been an actor known for his histrionics & needs a good script & good director for a good performance.

Here he has neither & it shows.

Amitabh gets to ham off scene after scene, not to mention the expletives he mouths.

Akshara haasan looks dazed.

A talented actor like dhanush is totally wasted. Wonder what he saw in the script to do this film.

PC Sreeram & Ilayaraja try to salvage the film but to no avail.

Shamitabh - best avoided.

Kati Patang

Fresh love story
Kati Patang has everything going for it - a beautiful lead pair, neat script, lively screenplay, lovely dialogues, breathtaking locales, pleasing photography, melodious music & efficient direction.

The film tackles the issue of widow remarriage, albeit not so deeply. It is a heroine centric film with Asha Parekh doing full justice to the character, her expressive eyes being a big plus point. She pairs up well with Kaka, though she looks slightly older than him.

The supporting cast of Nasser Hussein, Bindhu & Prem Chopra play their parts well.

Rajesh Khanna once again walks away with the honours even though the focus is on the heroine. He is at his dashing, handsomest best & does full justice to his character.

The songs by R.D Burman are melodious & evergreen - pyar deewana hota hai, yeh sham mastaani etc., The film was liked by people of all ages & was a smasher at the box office.

Amar Prem

A Classic is forever
Amar Prem will go down in history as one of the best Indian films ever made. It is superbly directed by Shakti Shamantha (his best effort).

The film takes a look at how society views women who have been forced into the sex trade. Their sensitivities, insecurities etc., are so beautifully touched upon.

The music of the film is by R.D Buraman, a Kaka favorite. All the songs are gems. Specially the "Chingari koi badke" song.

Sharmila tagore has mentioned how Kaka had so masterfully performed in this song in the very limited space they had i.e in a small boat.

It is a lifetime role for sharmila tagore & she makes full use of it. She surely deserved the national award & it is a wonder how she missed it.

The supporting star cast of Madan Puri, Vinod Mehra & Om Prakash are adequate.

Coming to the hero of the film, the eternal superstar Rajesh khanna. He was at his zenith when this film released.

It was reported that when the film crew asked for police permission to shoot the "Chingari koi badke" song near the howrah bridge, the police denied permission stating that they would not be able to control the crowds & that the bridge may collapse. Eventually, the song was shot in a studio set. Such was the popularity Rajesh commanded.

In spite of his super stardom, as is his wont, he did not think twice about accepting this role knowing fully well that this film centers around the heroine. The beauty is he comes out unscathed. He looks handsome in his Bengali dhoti & underplays superbly. The end scenes specially show kaka at his best.

Definitely a film which comes in the top 3 of kaka's films & eternally loved by Rajesh khanna fans.

Watch it over & over again. You will never feel bored.


Good movie...but
Jigarthanda is a brilliant film directed by Karthik subburaj. Siddharth is the hero but it is the Vila Boby Simha who walks away with the honours.

Sidhharth has gone the aamir khan way by giving space to Simha to outshine him. Kudos for that.

The film is definitely different from the usual run of the mill stuff that we see, but in the end, some disturbing questions are asked which have no answers.

The Villain is a murderer but goes scot free in the end. Worse, he earns the sympathy of the audience. Does it absolve him of ll the innocent people he has killed.

I was in fact very disturbed, specially in the introductory scene, where the villain torches an innocent journalist & the audience clapped.

Also, the hero Siddharth is shown as becoming a "rowdy" at the end.

Directors & heroes should realize the impact films have on people, specially youngsters & be more responsible while making films.

Kaaviya Thalaivan

Average film with superb performances
Kaaviya thalaivan's release was eagerly looked forward to by cine goers given the fact that the film was by Vasantha balan film & also Siddharth has been having a good run at the box office of late.

It was touted as a period film with special emphasis on theatre, but fails to impress simply because the script is not tight enough, which a pity since the director had an excellent star cast on hand.

The film simply settles down as a routine revenge saga.

Music by ARR is definitely good, but do they belong to that period? The answer is a resounding NO. He is unable to shake off his western influence & it shows.

The film has lovely sets, brilliant photography & great performances but it cannot compensate for a weak script.

Siddharth & Prithviraj have excelled in their roles, specially Siddharth in the scene where Nasser tells him to act like Soorapadman.

Vedika looks beautiful & also acts well. Nasser is as usual good. Very good support is provided by Singam puli, thambi ramaiah & others.

Who is the other heroine? She neither has the looks nor acts well.

If only Vasantha Balan had concentrated on the script, the output would have been a lot better.

Prem Nagar

Enduring love story
Prem Nagar is the remake of the tamil hit "Vasantha Maaligai" featuring Sivaji Ganesan as hero. It is directed by K.S Prakasa Rao, noted film maker.

Rajesh plays a rich guy who constantly drinks due to a personal tragedy, who gets reformed by hemamalini, who plays a middle class woman.

The film has a thin story line but the screenplay is taut which keeps the viewer interested. The chemistry between kaka & hema is next only to kaka & mumtaz & it shows. The love scenes are handled with finesse.

The sets are lavish & direction is neat. It does not get too melodramatic & has a pleasant end, when we think it would be a tragedy.

The songs by S.D Burman are however, average. Only the song "Yeh laal rang" is passable.

Kaka looks handsome & dashing & has performed his role with grace & style. Hema plays a perfect foil. Good support is provided by asrani, prem chopra & bindhu.

A film which went down well with the viewers & surely one of the favourite films of kaka fans.

Aap Ki Kasam

Romance & Emotion
Aap ki kasam by J.Om prakash features a very good star cast. It was one of the 2 movies which had sanjeev kumar sharing screen space with kaka.

The plot is basically about how suspicion can ruin a marriage. The first half is breezy with romantic songs & lovely locales. The second half turns serious leading to a tragic & emotional climax.

Sanjeev kumar is very good though he has limited screen space. Mumtaz is bubbly & shares an excellent chemistry with kaka (as usual), specially in the "Jai Jai Shiva SHanker" song.

R.D Burman's songs are chartbusters photography is superb.

Now coming to the hero of the film - Rajesh khanna. He is charm personified in the romantic scenes & slowly transforms into a suspicious husband & then a repenting figure towards the end. Though the story is centered around Mumtaz, Kaka steals the show with a stupendous performance.

The scenes where he feels hurt when he requests Mumtaz to sing a song & she refuses, slapping sanjeev kumar with disgust on his face, apologizing to his father-in-law & finally his emotional dialogue & expressions in the climax are remarkable.

A film which will always remain a firm favorite for Rajesh khanna's fans.

Manmadhan Ambu

A Big bore
Manmadhan ambu is a classic example of talent gone waste. It has a wafer thin story line & is a pathetic attempt at comedy.

Kamal haasan is a good actor but he should stick to just that. Wonder what madhavan was doing in this movie. Trisha speaks in her own voice for the first & the last time in a film. Being a tamilian, wonder why her tamil is so bad! Urvasi has been totally wasted.

It is only sangeetha who tries to salvage the film with her performance.

The malayali duo irritate. DSP's music is crap.

Kamal looks like Trisha's dad, with his unshaven look.

One of the worst films of kamal & no wonder it bombed badly at the box office.


Sheer torture
Sivaji is a sheer torture.

Wonder what made Rajini do a movie like this.

Surely expected a better film from the rajini-shanker combine.

The scenes where rajini & his family go to the heroine's house & tell them that they want to stay with them makes you squirm in your seat. The neighbours too support that.

Enna kodumai sir! Then we have the scenes where rajini changes his complexion & then woos the heroine.

How regressive! Shreya literally drops her clothes in the song sequences (after draping herself with a saree in the other scenes) The older rajini gets the younger his heroines become.

It is a pity that rajni is not choosing roles befitting his age.

But his fans like it & no one is complaining.

That is the pity.

One of rajini's worst films.


Family entertainer
Anchal is one of those village based themes which makes for pleasant viewing. It is basically about the happenings in a happy family which undergoes some problems because of the antics of the villain.

Amol palekhar plays rajesh's elder brother who suspects the relationship between his wife raakhee & rajesh. This should have been given greater emphasis by the director but thrust has been given only towards the last few minutes of the film.

The pivot of the film is Raakhee & she has given a memorable performance. Rekha plays rajesh's love interest & this is a routine role for her. Prem chopra is his typical self as the villain.

Now, coming to the hero Rajesh khanna. He plays the innocent villager with aplomb & his romantic skirmishes with rekha are delightful. His emotional scenes with raakhee could have been shown with more punch.

R.D.Murman is the music director. He has given good songs but except for the opening song "Bhor Bhaye Panchi", the rest are average. Maybe it is also because we have come to expect superlative songs from the RD-Kaka combine.

Thge production values are good, the village locales are pleasing to the eyes & it is a clean entertainer without a trace of double meaning dialogue/vulgarity.

A film for the family.

Anbulla Appa

Absolute disappointment
The sivaji-ACT combine have given many hit films, but anbulla appa comes a cropper. There is no script to speak of, the songs are average & screenplay very dull.

Wonder how sivaji agreed to do this film.

It came with quite a bit of expectation since it was an ACT-sivaji-AVM combo, but miserably flopped at the box office.

It is basically about the relationship between a father & daughter played by sivaji & nadiya respectively.

Though the daughter gets married, she cannot bear the separation from her father & after giving birth to a child, she dies.

Sivaji gets many chances to overact (as in most ACT films) & he does so. Nadiya has given neat performance. Rahman is adequate.

In 1 word - disappointment.


Sci-fi gone astray
Vikram was one of the ambitious film projects of kamal, who collaborated with writer Sujatha. This was the last film in which Satyaraj acted as villain.

He had started acting as hero then & was reluctant. But kamal insisted that he act as the villain with the assurance that he would later produce a film with him as hero. That film was "Kadamai Kanniyam kattupadu".

Vikram had a good cast, lovely locales, melodious songs, gorgeous heroines & a smart & handsome kamal as a cop, yet it failed at the box office.

The reason was that that the usual masala elements were missing. Also, after a riveting first half, the film went haywire in the 2nd half when the story moved to Salamia (imaginary country). Janakaraj's antics were annoying & also the pace of the film slackened a bit.

The trailer was in the theatres for a few months before its release raising great expectations, specially amongst kamal fans.

Over the years, it has gone on to become a classic & shown repeatedly on TV.


Entertaining film
Roti was the last film from the rajesh khanna-manmohan desai combo. Pity, MD did not work with kaka again.

The story is of a man's struggle for food (roti) & the lengths he will go to get it. The opening scenes takes you by surprise where kaka escapes from jail.

It then moves to the village where the developments happen leading to a riveting climax. Music is good & direction is racy.

All the artists have done their roles well. Mumtaz is lively & looks beautiful. As usual her chemistry with kaka is excellent.

I have always felt that she is kaka's best pair & roti proves that.

Rajesh khanna, though overweight puts in a delightful performance. He looks smart in glasses & his dialogue delivery is excellent, specially in the climax.

MD is a director who makes typical potboilers (his films with amitabh) but here, his screenplay his at least some sense in it.

Also, in MD's movies, his heroes do not die in the end, but here both the hero & the heroine die.

It was a huge hit when it released & I always wonder why MD & kaka never worked together again.

In summary, a movie which will entertain you whenever you watch it.

Nalai Namadhe

Taut film
Nalai Namadhe was the remake of the Hindi hit "Yaadon ki bharaath" & it was directed by noted director K.S Sethumadhavan.

It featured MGR in a double role. The title itself had a deeper meaning in that it was a clarion call by MGR to his supporters that the future is ours.

MGR was extremely fair but here he changes his skin complexion for the role of Sankar. The other role he plays is named Vijay. Vijay' role has noting much to do. He romances & sings & in general has a nice time.

It is in the role of Sankar that MGR excels. He hardly smiles & is serious throughout. There are many scenes where he displays his acting calibre - the anger he displays at the police station, the casual way in which he deals with the villain who misbehaves with the heroine, his interactions with nagesh when he donates money to the orphanage, his expressions on discovering his brothers & his riveting dialogues in the climax.

It is this character that holds the films & MGR delights his fans in a rather unusual role.

All the songs are excellent & the film has a tight pace throughout.

Though Nagesh does not have much scope for comedy, it is not felt much by the audience.

A riveting film, even better that the original.

It was super-hit at the time or release & one of MGR's best films.

Anbe Vaa

Family entertainer
Anbe Vaa is the only film produced by AVM with MGR. It was directed by A.C Thirulogachander (his only film with MGR). Interestingly ACT is the director who has directed Sivaji the most number of times.

This is a full family entertainer. Simple storyline, fantastic locales, eye catching photography, melodious songs & nice comedy. It has all the ingredients of a full fledged entertainer.

MSV excels in the songs. Nagesh's comedy with Manorama is good, though not excellent. Saroja Devi's makeup is overdone.

The real surprise is MGR. Normally, we are used to seeing him only in action roles. Here, he has proved that he comedy & romance as well. He just breezes thro' his role. His flair for comedy is brought out by ACT, specially the scene with saroja devi where he pretends that he is going to die.

His dance steps are a treat for his fans in the song "Nadodi".

MGR does not disappoint his fans in action also. The 2 fights in the film are brilliantly choreographed.

Ashokan has done a brilliant cameo. When he comes to know that the woman he is going to marry (Saroja Devi) is in love with MGR, his reaction is fantastic.

The film was a huge blockbuster at the time of release. It has also done remarkably well in all its re-releases, though it has been screened in TV many times.

One of the finest entertainers in tamil cinema & certainly one of the top 5 films of MGR.


Excellent film
Director K.Balachander (KB) has made a mark in tamil cinema by making several offbeat films that were far ahead of its time.

Punnagai is the remake of the Hrishikesh mukherjee directed "Satyakam" which featured dharmendra & sanjeev kumar.

It tells the tale of an young man & the trials & turbulations he faces. KB has extracted the best from his artists - Jayanthi, Muthuraman, V.S Raghavan, MRR Vasu & his favorite Nagesh, but the star perfomer however is the hero Gemini Ganesan.

Gemini was always known as the "Kaadhal Mannan (Romance King)" but here he shows what an actor he is. From the first frame to the last, he simply rules the film. His dialogue delivery & his expressions are awesome.

His reactions, specially when his friend Muthuraman's wife accuses his wife (Jayanthi) of immodesty, is superb.

Gemini is one of the most under rated actors of his generation. His acting was subtle & to the point, at a time when melodrama & over acting ruled the roost.

When we compare with the Hindi original, Dharmendra is nowhere near Geminis' brilliance.

No wonder, KBr ranked this film as no.1 among his favourites.

This film must be watched for Gemini Ganesan's masterly performance & for the direction of KB.

Unnal Mudiyum Thambi

Docu-feel movie
Unnal Mudiyum thambi was the last film in which kamal acted as a hero in KB's direction.

The film was a remake of the KB directed "Rudra Veena" starring telugu megastar Chiranjeevi. The telugu film tanked, so when KB wanted to remake it in tamil, kamal was not keen but gave in after KB argued that he would make this film a hit. It flopped in tamil also.

The film has a good intent, no doubt but offers very simplistic solutions. Like the drunkards in the village giving up booze, just like that. Also, the scene where Seetha advises the village women on how to "not cooperate" with their husbands.

Kamal has done a good job though he seems disinterested in quite a few scenes. Seetha does a fine job as the heroine.

Gemini ganesan shows up after a long time on screen & gives a very effective performance as the arrogant father of kamal. Manorama is good though her scope is limited.

The star of the film undoubtedly is Ilayaraja. His carnatic compositons & others songs with a carnatic & filk tonge are simply brilliant.

On the flip side, the film has a documentary feel & is preachy.

The film was originally titled "Sundara Kaandam".

It was KB's tribute to social scientist M.S Udhayamurthy (hero's name in the film) whose slogan is what became the title later.

KB had rated this film in his top 5 favourite films (surprisingly)


Pathetic animation
Kochadaiyan was packaged as India's answer to Avatar, but it is nowhere near Avatar.

The film is a very amateurish attempt at animation. All the characters are cardboard characters. Surely, rajini deserves better.

We come to know now that the rudrathaandavam & even some scenes were done by other artists since rajini's health did not permit him to strain himself.

The animation in "Chota Bheem" is much better that kochadaiyaan.

Music by ARR is OK.

KSR tries to salvage the film with his screenplay but he is let down by poor direction by Soundarya rajini.

A huge disappointment for everyone. No wonder, it bombed big time.


Film for rajini fans
Baasha is a faithful remake of the amitabh-rajini starrer - Hum. I have seen both the films & so can vouch for that.

This film ranks as one of the top favourites for rajini & his fans. It has all the usual rajini ingredients - hero worship, dumb heroine, hero as a male chauvinist, loud songs, jazzy costumes plus punch dialogues.

It was from this film that rajini started mouthing punch dialogues which became a staple fare for all his future movies.

Rajni had done a good job & Raghuvaran matches him step by step. Nagma is glamorous & janakaraj is OK.

Songs by Deva will be liked by rajini fans.

This is the film which saw the downfall of rajini as actor & the rise of rajini as the superstar.


B grade fare
Blood stone is one of the most awful English films to have been released. The trailer was featured for many months in theatres since it was rajni's 1st English film.

It was distributed & released with great fanfare by noted film director T.Rajendar. The film however bombed badly. It ran for hardly 2 weeks.

The reason is simple - amateurish plot, weak narration & poor performances. The hero is Sylvester Stallone's brother & his sidekick is rajini. The film was shot in India & featured many Indian junior artists.

Please do not waste time/money watching it - even on DVD.

Vietnam Veedu

Family melodrama
Vietnam Veedu is one of those very rare tamil movies in which the tamil brahmin community is not ridiculed.

The film was adapted from a very successful play. It is ably directed by Sundaram.

Sivaji ganesan has given a very good performance but his tendency to over act is the jarring part, specially the climax. Also, in his eagerness to speak the brahmin lingo, he stretches a few words & in the process overdoes the accent.

The other actors play their parts well, but Padmini overtakes even sivaji in over play. She frequently keeps fiddling with her madisar, maybe she felt uncomfortable.

The "palakaattu pakkathile" song is overdone.

But for people who love melodrama, this is the film for you.

It can be complimented for one thing though - It does not portray the brahmin community as cowards./villains.

Muthal Mariyathai

Class film
Muthal Mariyathai is easily one of Bharathiraja's best films. It portrays a relationship of a middle aged married man with an young girl. A tricky proposition, but delicately handled.

The film tends to drag at places, but is a must watch. The music by Ilayaraja is the soul of the movie. As for the rerecording, one needs to watch this film to know what a genius Ilayaraja is.

Coming to the performances, Sivaji & Radha are terrific. In fact, radha has matched sivaji which cannot be said of any other actress,save savithri. Seems she acted only for 11 days for this film.

She missed out on the national award to suhasini (Sindhu Bhairavi), maybe because her voice was dubbed.

As for Sivaji, this is one of those very very few films where he does not overact. Seems the director told him before the shoot "Sir, please come & stand before the camera, that is enough".

Bharathiraja has kept a very tight leash on sivaji, something which his earlier directors, save bheemsingh (to some extent) did/could not do.

It is a pity that sivaji, in his later stages did not do similar movies & instead chose to do run of the mill stuff.

The one actress in this film, who did not get credit was Vadivukarasi. As the paan chewing venomous wife of sivaji, she is fantastic. Janakaraj too has done a good job.

There is a nice cameo by sathyaraj nearing the climax which is the turning point of the film. Debutants deepan & rajani are adequate.

One of the best tamil films of all times.


Best Romantic movie ever
Aradhana is surely one of the best Hindi movies ever made with scintillating music by S.D Burman & RDB(uncredited).

The film belongs to sharmila tagore who has given one of her career finest performances. It has a strong storyline, lovely locales, great performances & out of the world music. It is ably directed by shakti shamantha.

However, the movie is remembered & will be remembered forever for 1 main reason - the advent of the superstar Rajesh Khanna. From the opening song "sapnon ke rani" till the climax, he stays in your heart. The charm, the style, the gait, the performance - simply superb.

The movies was a pioneering one in many ways :- 1. It resurrected the career of kishore kumar 2. "Roop tera mastana" happens to be the only song in Indian cinema which was shot in a single take.

3. The finest album by SDB But above all, it gave India its greatest's super star Rajesh Khanna


Laugh riot
Thirusoolam features not 1 but 3 sivaji's. So, you have guessed right. Even a 70mm screen is not enough.

It is the biggest blockbuster in sivaji's career. Now, when you see it, you roll on the ground with laughter.

The elder sivajis' role is OK where U have the famous telephone scene which was the most talked about scene at that time. The 2nd sivaji is a police inspector & the 3rd is a crook.

The 3rd sivaji makes U laugh from the word go. He wears a big medallion on his neck, covers his paunch with a coat & prances around 16 year old girls, apart from rolling over sripriya.

He hugs VKR & then comments " Unga thoppa idikudhu mama". Incidentally, his paunch is bigger than VKR's. U cannot stop laughing here.

Towards the end, both the sivajis go in a jeep to save their parents. They sing a song " puligal irandu varuginranar". It shud have been "yaanaigal irandu varginranar". To add to the laughter, the crook sivaji makes faces & climbs on to the shoulder of his brother sivaji.

If you want to have 2 1/2 hours of unlimited comedy, watch "Thirusoolam".

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