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    15 years



A milestone in Tamil Cinema... Tamil version is a must-watch
I remember how crazy I used to be about this movie when I was a kid. It was the most expensive Tamil movie made then and the hype and hoopla when it released were phenomenal. I even performed one of the songs, 'columbus' on stage in school when I was a kid.

Speaking only of the Tamil version, this film is the only one directed by Shankar which is not related to social issues and is predominantly a love story (a rarity these days). Sure watching it then and now, it is a totally different experience. Then, the story, scenes, sets, leads, acting were an eye-opener. Now though, everything seems rather cheesy but the movie sure sustains its nostalgia, beauty (of young Aishwarya and the locations) and the special effects.

No matter what, this movie always holds a special place in my heart as it reminds me of my childhood.

Beyond Rangoon

Not just another exhibition film inspired by actual events...
It was high time a movie about the situation in a largely ignored Asian country like Myanmar had to be made and Beyond Rangoon is Hollywood's answer. Initially I thought Hollywood would dramatize the events of the 8888 uprising and add in the traditionally Hollywood spice of Titanic-type love between the lead heroine and the Burmese male lead who happens to be an old man. Thankfully, nothing of that sort was in place - which may also explain why the film was not financially successful.

Anyway, the film was honest-to-God and I was glad at the accuracy of events portrayed. Apart from the fact that filming was done outside of Myanmar in Malaysia & Thailand and that I missed the exotic Burmese locales, I could not find much fault in the film.

You cannot blame the film for the desperation of the people and the resulting overwhelming actions. It is after all, real events of a civil war. The music by Hans Zimmer is definitely the USP of an otherwise adventurous tragedy for people who have no connection to it.

I was only a year old in Rangoon (now Yangon) during this tumultuous time. When I heard a movie was made on my real-life experience which I was too young to absorb, I had to get the DVD and needless to say, I could hardly have any complaints about it as it is an eye-opening wonder for me.

The X Files: I Want to Believe

Wish there were more spooky stuff
Surely this film was good for fans like me... The background relationship Scully has with her young patient and her efforts at saving him defines the core elements of the film more than the story of the missing agents in the foreground which turns out to be downright gross.

Seriously this film does not seem like an X Files movie apart from the leads. There are not many spooky elements apart from the priest with visions. I think producers could have etched a better story with monsters, maybe even aliens (even if people are sick of them).

Hope there might be an X Files 3 with way more spooky elements. Chris Carter, please hire a good supernatural scriptwriter.


Reached my expectations
I went to this movie with minimal expectations as a friend was bringing me there. I thought it was going to be another silly thriller with fluffy young stars Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba.

But it turned out to be quite an intelligent fare with just the neat pacing and a captivating screenplay. Everything went well till the end when some questions have been left unanswered. Like why Hayden was preyed upon by the team of doctors instead of some other rich guy, and whether the mom gave her heart in the end to her son or her doc boyfriend brought another heart with him. Maybe the film could have wrapped the ending up a bit more than leaving it hanging there. Climax was abrupt yet impactive. Lena Olin was terrific while Jessica Alba and Hayden Christensen show their maturation in the Acting department. On the whole, its a thoughtful entertainment. Wish there were more details though, but the mysterious aura is just perfect for the tone of the film.


Nativity at its creative best
One can trust Ameer for strong characters in his films. Karthi and Priyamani could have been slightly more better at emoting but considering the fact that they are new, it's no big deal.

One can delight at the routine and sets of a beautiful traditional Tamil village visuals. The screenplay has its highs and lows; blink during a rapid sequence of events and you'll miss a lot of the proceedings. Otherwise, the script is a simple love story. The climax is definitely one of the highlights, if not THE highlight. The ending is guaranteed to leave you in tears. Madurai lingo may be a little hard to grasp for those who aren't that well-versed in Tamil.

Nice background score by Yuvan. Songs consist mostly of folk. It is the romantic ballad Iyyaiyo that will remain at the back of your mind.

Mounam Pesiyadhe

1st film of off-beat hat-trick director
Ameer is one outstanding director who has achieved the near-impossible. He has scored a hat-trick for off-beat films(films that don't have commercial aims), which is rare in Tamil cinema. After these 3 of his films that did well at the BO, I have great respect for the Tamil audience as they know what good cinema is all about. Now, Paruthi Veeran is running successfully all over.

Let's look at his first film, Mounam Pesiyadhe. Surya is the protagonist in a character role. Trisha's character is the only character that Ameer has not sketched well in all his films but she has done justice to the role. Like his Paruthi Veeran, this film is slow at some points and the screenplay drags but the end-product is as sawdusting as Paruthi Veeran. How Surya changes his mind with his secret admirer on one side and Trisha on the other(and he assumes both are one!) is brought out well. But Trisha's twist is well drawn out. Watch out for Laila's special appearance at the end!

Of all 3 of his films, Raam was the only fast-paced thriller and starred Jeeva who isn't from the Shivakumar family like the protagonists of his other 2 films. Raam won best actor and best composer at Cyprus film festival.

Let's brace ourselves to see how many awards Paruthi Veeran garners!


E is an honestly ambitious films that experiments with a genre never before seen on Tamil screen. A regular masala flick indeed but one can see the obvious differences. This film can be called an action-packed scientific thriller.

The film portrays a villain(Ashish vidyarthi) who treats slums' poor as guinea pigs for his medical experiments. Jeeva(E) discovers a man Nellai Mani(Pasupathy) who tries to stop the villain from continuing his horrifying plans and when Mani passes on, its up to E to carry the task out by himself.

Everyone in this film has performed their parts well. But songs are a buss and the biggest setback for the film is that it is so ambitious; it tries to imitate Hollywood and explain some logic which slows the pace of the film and at times, come off as boring. The climax was good but its setting looked extremely fake, like rejects from a sci-fi set.

Overall, this film managed to hit as it tackled a serious issue to the best of the directors' capabilities.


social thriller, entertaining potboiler that sans little logic
Well this is 1 hell of a ride. Love the dark cinematography, Gothic setting n style of sin city...Amazing backdrop of Switzerland, could have added more scenes there though, since the film was so short, barely 2 hrs.

Minuses include the money logic of how Kunal landed with that much money to do all he did. And of course, this film follows the commercial bollywood route of a masala potbolier with few distinct villains to fight when pornography as a whole has many many operatives.

So its basically a fictional account of a site called indiapassion.com and its widespread.

Good entertainment, thought-provoking and more films like this should be made to create awareness and reach out to the public via its commercial elements. The kissing scenes of the first night scene could have been avoided though.

Sandai Kozhi

Action wonder since...
I'm surprised no one visited this page to give their comments as this film was probably the only frontrunning Tamil film during 2005-2006.

The title meaning 'fighting rooster' was an apt title due to the climax scene as in a Tamil village, a rooster fighting against another is a sport like soccer. This film is set mostly in the villages of Tamil Nadu and one gets a beautiful nostalgic feeling of the serenity of villages in this film.

Though the script depicts an action film with no new concept- a hero, his heroine, a villain and so on, there are developments one can witness in this film that makes it different from others. For one, the heroine, Meera Jasmine, does most of the comedy and the rejoicing in most segments is appealing.

Watching a relative newcomer, vishal reddy, playing his first-time action role with ease is amazing. Never before have I seen a hero so befitting the action image and delivering his dialogues with dollops of power punches.

There are no flaws in the films. If there are, they are extremely hard to notice. And I'm not an action film fan, but this film made my day.


What more can I say?
I was expecting a sequel to Manmadhan(2004) and instead I feel like I'm watching the same film over and over again.

This is because Vallavan had a similar storyline to that of the recently released films Kedi, Thimiru, Nee Venunda Chellam. In the past we have seen Padayappa and the Hindi films Tumse Accha Kaun Hai & Uff...Yeh Mohabbat. All these films have something in common with Vallavan: the presence of a screen villi( Tamil slang for a female villain).

Female villains are more impressive as they use their brains and emotions rather than brawn to bring about the negatives in the screenplay. It takes more acting skills for female villains than the male ones. Hence, I seriously applaud ladies who have played vamp roles when they have done a good job.

After a swashbuckling screenplay in Manmadhan, Vallavan's script severely pales in comparison. But the film does have its plus points: cinematography, presence of a villi and best of all, Yuvan's wonderful tracks. 'Vallava' & 'Loosu Penne' are sweet romantic tracks. Reema Sen has done a great job as a villi.


Give the Krrish team a break!
I'm not a bollywood fan or a Hrithik fan but I thought Krrish was a sincere effort. The Roshans go all out to set a trend/make a new genre by borrowing/copying/stealing from Hollywood but they did not ruin the experience for me. In fact, they did quite the opposite; I cherished the film. Bollywood rarely has sequels; the Roshans set the record in Bollywood by making the first Bollywoood sequel to their film, Koi...Mil Gaya, which happens to be the first sci-fi Bollywood film. They follow it up with the first Bollywood superhero flick shot for the first time, if I'm not wrong,in the foreign land of Singapore. Altogther, the father-son duo have set 4 records in Bollywood: the first idea of a sequel, the first sci-fi Bollywood film, the first Bollywood superhero flick and the first-time Bollywood shoot in Singapore, courtesy of the Singapore Tourism Board.

Hrithik is undoubted the star of the film, he steals from the very blend Priyanka Chopra but villain Naseerudin Shah and Veteran Rekha hold their own territories. Hrithik has a great body but I wish he will stop smiling too much throughout the film as he does not exactly have the best smile in Bollywood.

Besides heroine Priyanka, the music, of which only 'Ek Ladki' and the theme music stand out, is a buss.

For those criticizing fellow Indians out there who lash out at the film 'inoriginality' and the 'imitation of Hollywood', they ought to be proud that India can at least churn out a special effects galore with believable superhero and an original Indian-type sentimental background story, ignoring the superhero stuff.

Pudhu Pettai

Gangster Flick cum Reality Check
Its gangster flick season in Kollywood. After Thotti Jaya and Pattiyal, Pudhupettai covers the negative side of Tamil Nadu-it's underworld network. This film was released on May 26 2006, and not 2005.

Directed by critically-acclaimed director Selvaragavan, Pudhupettai also depicts the harsh reality of the life of an underworld don. Kokki Kumar, the protagonist, leaves home when his father murders his mother and joins the company of a gang of drug-dealers and brothel-runners. His transformation from a scrawny innocent chap to a notorious gang leader is cinematic and clichéd in some ways.

The events unfold in periodic flashback from Kokki Kumar's cell. The film contains lots of interesting characters- a prostitute who falls in love with the protagonist, a friend who betrays his leader for the sake of his sister who becomes accidentally married to him, a rival gang leader who never gives up and a string of politicians who will do anything of their own free will. Kokki's almost downfall is narrated well and his fatherhood comes off as a clean and believable sentimental arena.

The climax induces some laughter-which comes off as unexpected and thus, not a bad move for the director. Although the film does meet expectations in some ways, it falls short of a few things that arise due to the director's desire to carve the film differently from other typical gangster flicks. I'm surprised the rating was PG-13 in Singapore. It should have been at least NC16. Otherwise, the movie is anticipated to meet critical success. Violence has been making waves in many recent films and Pudhupettai is no exception. Blood is so common in the film that you get used to the sight of red everywhere. However, bloodshed is justified in this film compared to the others.

The ending is also handled in a believable manner. This film may very well be based on a true story. Reality bites, especially in the life of a gangster who is a wannabe-politician.

Dhanush has obviously worked his heart out for the movie. Yet, he seems to overact in a few scenes that makes us wonder is his character is slightly insane. Of the 2 heroines, I found the Sonia Agarwal character more interesting though the prostitute character gets the more accolades. Yuvan Shanker Raja has 2 catchy numbers-Pul Pesum and Vaariya. The theme music is quite familiar-survival of the fittest-which also happens to be the tagline of the film. How that tagline is suited to the movie, I have no idea.

I really enjoy gangster flicks and can't wait for the next one, titled "E" to arrive.

Idhaya Thirudan

WORST commercial garbage EVER!
Save yourself the trouble of watching this film, if you can, seriously! Wasted 20 bucks on this film. Even Saran's previous entry, the boring Jay Jay, was better than this! There were 2 horrible ploys created to attract cinema-goers to this film. They are: 1)cheap actress Kamna's outrageously skimpy outfits that do not suit her flabby tummy & 2)The long and lousy lip lock between the 2 leads in the film. It is a point to note that kissing was previously taboo in the Tamil film industry. Now that the censors are relaxed, pathetic movie makers are exploiting the privilege in every way they can.

First of all, movies like Idhaya Thirudan have very clichéd plots. Egomaniacal heroines have been sighted in memorable movies like Kushi and Kanda Naal Mudhal. The stubborn heroes that pursue them are also very clichéd characters.

This is Saran's 9th film and his most disappointing to date. Even his movies featuring less popular heroes like Alli Arjuna were moderate hits. His swashbuckling debut Kadhal Mannan was mind-blowing and Gemini was impactive. But I cannot fathom in the least why he would make a useless movie like Idhaya Thirudan. This film was the only Tamil film that made me want to ignore the screen most of the time while watching it at the theater.

Debutant Kamna is shameless and a pathetic actress. I will not be surprised if she turns out to be a one-film heroine like most Bombay imports nowadays.

Once an ardent fan of Jayam Ravi, I could not help but feel extremely sorry for him that he would sacrifice his squeaky clean image for a trashy role like this! It is obvious from his on-screen kiss with Kamna that this is probably his first kiss ever. No wonder it was so stony and impassion. To my dismay, this movie may very well cause this promising hero to bid farewell to his chance of emerging one of the top heroes in the 21st century. He should really have stuck to doing squeaky clean masala heroic roles which suit him as total romeo-type roles is clearly not his panache. And the fact that he will soon bid farewell to his bachelorhood by marrying Superstar Rajnikanth's younger daughter Soundarya will not help him either (just like it did to Dhanush when he married the older daughter). It might simply just abolish his female fans' clubs.

All in all, this film was this season's worst. The only watchable parts were the comedy bits. If you are looking for a romantic flick this season, catch Dishyum. It is more worth your money. I just hope Saran's next entry will not diminish after arriving with a bang!


Indian Panorama..indeed!
I caught this film when it won an award on Indian Panorama. Raam was the only Tamil entry among the plethora of Malayalam movies screened at Indian Panorama(as usual, in the previous years). Raam is 1 of the latest in the follow-up the range of movies starring newly emerging young heroes in psychotic roles. Following Dhanush in "Kadhal Konden", Bharath in "Chellame", Simbhu in "Manmadhan", slightly older actors like Surya in "Ghajini" & Vikram in "Anniyan" & even Jeeva's older bro Ramesh in "Githan", Jeeva plays autistic teen Ramakrishna with a close attachment to his mother & allegedly murders her.

The film has an aura of suspense right from the beginning & gives us jolts in periodic intervals. Though the film is mainly a character study, it falls in the genre of a murder mystery thriller. Hence, it is a commercial artistic film which has won many accolades for its director & hero. Worth the DVD. I do not particularly like the songs here though they have topped the album chart for God-knows-what reason. Yuvan Shanker Raja has scored the music much better in films that were less successful. Watch out for Ameer Sultan's upcoming movie, another character study called "Paruthi Veeran" with another new young hero.


A remarkable one-man show!
This is Simbu's take after newly emerging heroes donning psychotic roles. However, Simbu is the first to have penned the story on himself! A very disturbing show that you cannot stop thinking about for at least weeks after watching it! This is because of the storyline of a serial killing casanova with a haunting past that makes him go pychotic till he falls for the lead heroine. CD is also worth every cent of your money with great songs, few sung by Simbu himself. Despite the fact that heroine jyothika is older than Simbu, they make a lovable pair. A great show worth your money and the CD is guaranteed to blow your mind. There might be a sequel to this show too, titled "Vallavan" that is coming out in theatres this year.


cheated but oh well..
I like the film ending.. great to watch. But what initially set me to watch the film was the soundtrack especially this track called "tanha". Turns out, that track was not even shot in the film!!! I feel Disappointed & cheated since "Tanha" was a great track with a soothing, alluring voice of Sonu Nigam. Anyway, guess what? There is a Tamil version of the film called "Githan". It Had a different ending from Gayab with all the different songs from a different music director. So It probably had a different screenplay except the invisibility formula devised by original producer Ram Gopal Verma. Wonder what ending it had different from Gayab? Did Mr.Invisible get his gal?

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