Gilli Movie Review – Dharani On Top

We clap, laugh and adore Vijay as he takes over his contemporaries in the race to super-stardom. Gilli portrays a Vijay as a comic hero who battles his villains logically while his physical powers are exaggerated dramatically. Having said that Gilli offers nothing less than sheer entertainment and an edgy thriller for the Tamil film industry which is deprived of such films.

Dharani‘s magic has worked third time. This time he has reached the way to the top gracefully and is sure to remain there for sometime. From Dhill to Gilli, dharani’s journey has been calculated, planned and executed with discipline. Gilli is certainly not a yet-another-telugu-remake of Okkadu. Gilli’s incidental story is not a man’s saga or epic tale. But its production values and entertainment mix has taken the movie to high scales.

It talks about an angry, young and brave Chennaite’s slice of life. Gilli Vijay’s naive bravery earns him the animosity of Prakashraj, a local dada, who chases him and Trisha from Madurai and tries to get him killed. This and the following course of incidents form the crux of the movie. While the movie details the chase of Prakash Raj / Vijay, it also branches out to explain the kabadi aspirations of Vijay and what the aspiration leads to.

The movie starts with a top gear and doesn’t stop until the end of first half. With the movie oscillating between Chennai and Madurai, it finally comes back to Chennai in the second half and settles. After Vijay reaching Madurai for a Kabadi match after the first hour of the movie, the movie gears up. From then on to the intermission, the story itself is told with the help of action. It is one of the very few movies where action itself carries the story forward. Especially the car chase is one of the best action packed chases seen in Tamil cinema. With Vijay pushed to a situation to take Trisha as hostage and help himself out of the clutches of Prakash Raj displays Dharani’s effort make the viewers say WOW. If you want a complete helluva Gilli trip, don’t miss this sequence.

The second half slows down to unfold the story, romance and other commercial elements. But at the same time, Dharani has worked hard to keep the movie going with the songs and the chase, chasing one another. In this nail biting thriller, the comedy and songs form a vent to the tension. The climax with Vinayak Chathurthi processions and the Kabadi match proves the planning and the hard work of the entire crew.

Vijay with his reduced make-up and his Chennai slang personifies the yester year Rajinikanth. His facial expressions and his comical sense make us re-collect the superstar himself. If that is position which Vijay aims to reach in the near future, this is his giant step towards that. Vijay shoulders most of the movie on himself like his previous flicks and carries the movie with a charming style. He also handles the comedy dept for himself while giving a slice of it to Dhamu (Nari). Vijay has also done appreciably well in action sequences which is the heart of the movie. His dialogue delivery skills have improved over the time and here in Gilli, he presents the contemporary Chennai youth.

Trisha looks classy but her role gets reduced to a Barbie doll. Trisha’s costumes in Appidi Podu song look dazzling. Three Cheers to Nalini Sriram, her costume designer. Also Jennifer who enacts the sister of Vijay has done extremely well and one would think they could have given the same importance of the sister role to Trisha also.

The best part that happened to Gilli is Prakash Raj. His comeback after a long time is glaringly well executed. His role as Muthu Pandi suits him well. Prakash Raj and Kamalhassan may not have anything in common but this kingpin-cum-dada Muthupandi role reminds me some shades of Virumandi. Prakash Raj dazzles when he looks at Trisha with an idiosyncratic look and says Chellamey !! I…Love you da!

Vidhyasagar‘s uses the same Dhool formula here too. All songs call for huge crowds and every song has a celebrative mood. However, the night skied Chennai sets and Kokkarakko songs stays tight. It has a very strange feel and is sung well. Appidi Podu song has been picturised and tuned well. It is a special song to get the audience ready for the climax. However the song Yaaro Yarivano during sumo chase reminds us of Kakkha Kakkha but it does the job.

Maniraj’s sets of the Triplicane area is amazing. Only if you get a producer like A M Ratnam, you can think of such a huge spending for a set. But Dharani has used the set well and it finds a place in most songs and important sequences. Combined with the sets, Gopinath’s camera and avid editing races the movie throughout. The action sequences speak of the advanced technical wizardry that Tamil cinema is going through. Rocky Rajesh – the stunt director, Gopinath – the cinematographer and VT Vijayan – the editor gets a mention for the fabulous action sequences. Aalavandan boasted of Hollywood-like action sequence but Gilli, silently grabs away the title.

This movie would be a hit for the kind of team effort Dharani has roped in. Also his brilliant screenplay has made the movie one very fast without too much flaws. Dharani also doesn’t bother too much to give a finger to the logic. Combined with his intelligent story telling skills Dharani also gets a mention for the changes that he has made to the Tamil version of Okkadu which makes the movie adapt to the Tamil tastes.

Gilli is a movie to be watched in a theatre to enjoy the movie thoroughly. This movie will be a sure shot hit, not just for its entertainment and production values but for the incredible understanding of delivering what people want. And that’s exactly what we want.

Kangalaal Kaithu Sei

Bharathiraja’s Kangalaal Kaithu Sei was a big disappontment. Given Bharathiraja’s earlier thrillers like Sigappu Rojakkal, Tik Tik Tik and Captain Magal, this movie wasn’t even close to any of them. First of all, this cannot be even called a thriller. Cause there was nothing in the movie to be thrilled about.

B.Raja still loves to remain in 80s where he was the master of the game. I was majorly disappointed because of the splendid trailer that they etched out for this movie. The promos were classy and called for the best movie making capabilities. But unfortunately the movie was loosely connected with the story. Also we have no clue as to how the hero manages to steal the diamond.

The major let down was the characterizations. In this millenium, a enthusiastic young business man who actively screws up a reporter who asks a stupid question, behaves like a jamindaar in his house. The way in which the hero communicates with his hand to his servants is irritating and looks like S V Rangarao types.

A R Rahman has worked really hard to bring out some really good numbers. Aha Thamizhamma and Azhagiya Cindrella song stays in hearts. I loved the audio of Anarkali song which has some amazing tabla music. But the picturisation was bad with the heroine dressed in Anarkali costumes runs in the sea shore all along the song. Sujatha‘s dialogues just shine in few places.Also the editing which is synonymous to Alaigal Oyivathillai times is very disturbing the pace of the movie.

Priyamani, the heroine looks nice and I hope she would do well in her next movie with Balu Mahendra and Dhanush called Athu Oru Kanaakkaalam. In KKS, She was left with no scope to act. Being compared with the cindrella doll, she behaves just like a doll. Mudhal Mariyadhai is one Bharathiraja’s best film ever. I only hope he can still films like that, which can stand over time.

Are u thinking that I am still puzzled how the hero was able to steal the diamond. Never mind I didn’t understand the rest of the movie also.

The Passion of the Christ – Movie Review

The Passion of the Christ

Watching Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, I was breath-taken, shocked and literally found myself shattered by all that blood and other very infamous violent devices used on christ’s body to physically abuse him.

The Passion of the Christ follows the last 12 hours of Jesus’s life. Passion meaning suffering in Latin refers to the agonizing events in the final 12 hours of Jesus Christ’s life. Starting from Getsemane where Jesus is betrayed by Judas and gets arrested by the leaders of Pharisees, the movie walks along with Jesus from then to his last breath on the cross in Golgotha.

Much as been argued and debated on this highly controversial Mel Gibson’s adaptation of perhaps the greatest story ever re-told. Leaving the accuracy of movie and comparison of the depiction with the biblical truths to the biggies, I would stick with the movie and it’s clandestinely beautiful technical craftery.

As the scenes where the christ is beaten-up and tortured unfold, I couldn’t avoid the feeling that it is an exaggeration par excellence. But as the movie continues to unravel the true epic of Christ, one would accept it wasn’t exaggeration after all.

Perhaps the most authentic scene in the movie was when the Christ is scourged, whipped as the blood pours from all over his body by the Romans. Added to it, he is also beaten by a torture device called flagrum or the cat o’ nine tails, a whip with multiple straps and embedded with barbed metal tips to catch and shred the skin, leading to huge blood loss. In one of the most graphic shot where this flagrum is used on the christ’s body, it gets stuck below his rib cage and gets pulled violently causing a tear in the body from where the blood rushes out like a fountain.

As described by many, it is one of the most violent movies of all time. Mel Gibson as the director wants to show this torture of Christ in detail. It’s awe-inspiring and gruesome but the power of the movie lies in these scenes which are never scene before on-screen.

As Gibson being one of my favourite actors, I would have wished him to play the Jesus himself. But Gibson following the rule, no star bigger than the film itself, paves way to Jim Caviezel, the actor who stars as Jesus. With Caviezel’s amazing sharp eyes and some authentic photography by Caleb Deschanel, Mel Gibson’s brings to life a great hero.

Adding to the authenticity, the whole movie talks the biblical language. Aramaic, a ancient Semitic language closely related to Hebrew that today is considered by some linguists to be a dead language. So you sit through the whole movie with sub-titles that distracts you from watching the movie. This wouldn’t be called a compromise as Mel Gibson makes his Jesus talk like the same Jesus who lived 2000 years back.

This movie is certainly not an entertainer. As some said in a review, that if this movie entertains you, you are a sadist. Also for kids, this movie would be hard to sit through.

Mel Gibson as a director sparkles during those flashback scenes when Jesus recollects his past during Crucification. As Mary sees Jesus carrying the cross and falls down flat in the streets of Jerusalem, she remembers Jesus as a child who stumbles and falls down near the house. She runs fast to catch the child before it falls. But unfortunately the child falls down and gets hurt. This universally accepted sentinmental scene also finds a place in this movie.

With some appreciable BGMs and real-to-life Jerusalem street sets, The Passion of the Christ calls for a breath taking description of the life of the Christ. But what’s tough to comprehend is the human nature during the times of Christ which is dubbed as violent, barbaric and ruthless. Probably thats why Jesus preached Love thy Neighbour. Co-incidental to the above lines, as type them, Kamalhassan yells through the speakers, Anbe Sivam… Endrum Anbe Sivam. Do you think timing can be more perfect than this ?

Kovil Movie Review

Kovil is that kind of movie which you would like to see in doordarshan as a sunday movie. Chandamama type villages called Pulliyangkulam and Vepangkulam have religious boundaries and two youngsters of different religions fall in love which eventually brings war and peace to these villages. Like Kathal Virus, this movie has been misplaced in the history. It is kind of a commercial story that could have been a silver jubliee hit, two decades back. But at this era of crossover films, the way in which the movie is presented blows the old trumpet again.

Saami director Hari’s ability to race the script has risen the expectation for this Simbu starrer. But it is right on the director’s part to try various styles before settling down. Kovil is scripted in a very patient manner which disturbs one’s patience. But Hari manages to bring in some relaistic touch with such a pace to the movie. Also I am not sure if it is fair to show a character of a particular religion to be very fair and the other one belonging to a different religion as a fanatic.

Simbu has managed to do a clean job without yapping too much. He has clearly downplayed his Little SuperStar image which gives some confidence for his future producers. If he can etch such good roles, he could mould himself into the next new line of heroes. Though at some emotional scenes, his body language is similar to his dad, this kid has a long way to go.

Harris Jayaraj needs to be blamed for duplicating his effort. The situations and the songs are similar in Saami. You can even blame the director for that. But having composed Collegeukku Povom song very similar to Kamban Engu Ponaan song is unacceptable. Even if you listen to it for the first, you can just humm the original song.

Thirumalai – The Dhool Magic,

Thirumalai – The Dhool Magic, again !!

Thirumalai is an outright entertainer. Even before the movie released, it was Vijay who set the expectations appropriately for the movie. He called it nothing but entertainment. Today if the movie is a hit, is clearly because of not over-hyping the pre-release marketing and downplaying it very well. Kavithaalaya emerges once again this year as the most profitable producers followed by A.M Ratnam’s Surya Movies.

The debutant director Ramana believes in the fact that a no-story-but-good-screenplay will help the movie reach masses. He has succeeded following Dharani’s footsteps. When Dhool hit the screens early this year, not many thought it would rock the kollywood like what it did. For time being, Dharani certainly changed the rules of the game. Not only were the critics who were astounded by the success but also the directors who thought good stories alone make a movie. Dharani rushed those beliefs out of them. Though not a good decision to go with a thin story line, always, Dhool remains as a milestone in the history of kollywood for it’s sheer entertainment values and perfect mix of each necessary component of a movie. Now there are directors who sit tight and etch out a good story and there are directors like Dharani and Ramana who manage a hit with just clear understanding of what people want. That’s the varied mix of talented young chaps in the battleground of Kollywood. If not for a success like Dhool, Ramana, the director of Thirumalai just managed a small kargil victory.

The screenplay is the most appreciable part of the movie. With less flaws and no hang-ups in-between, it is the intelligent screenplay that takes us on a joy ride. But the feeling of something big is going to happen is indispensable and to our dismay nothing big happens. It is a story of a typical love between a automotive mechanic and the daughter of a rich businessman who owns six satellite channels. It has nothing to more to it. With this one line story, Vijay is the man who carries the burden of the whole movie. He is does it with an experienced ease. But he invariably omnipresent in the movie and that is slightly irritating. Also the relationship between Rahuvaran and Vijay is unexplained. The sudden sisterly affection of Kausalya also set my thinking that there will be a sad flashback in the second half that Vijay is her younger brother and got missed in some festival and she finds him here in Pudupet again. Thanks to the director, he saved us from such classical stupid scenes.

Vijay’s two-day stub and a slender moustache shows his desperate eagerness to appear young and participate among the race to stardom amidst the young chaps like Dhanush and Chimbu. Also his meticulous voice modulation is a big plus. It is because of his expressionless, flat voice in the past, Vijay’s good body language went unnoticed. It has been taken care with utmost care this time and he excels in the character of a Chennai localite. He plays a mechanic in the much-crowded Pudupet except that he doesn’t have a single scene to show him working on a bike. All he does is to keep dusting his self-designed bike. At time he looks like a pathetic cleaner than a well-trained mechanic. Even the small boy who works in his mechanic shed seems to work more on bikes than Vijay himself. Vijay wades through the character of Thirumalai. As he proposes to Jyothika with an innocent look, he also occupies the seat of a comedian. From the looks of Vijay and most of the scenes, it seems to be an inspiration of Rajini’s Baba. He is all out to strengthen his efforts of being as an alternate to Rajini. Good Try !!.

With Jyothika playing the heroine in the movie, the movie is always poised to be fun. As against the unwritten laws of kollywood, this time the screenplay also includes the heroine, most of the time and that paves way for Jyothika to prove her nerve once again. This is certainly not a Kushi again but she gets ample space to appear on screen. She is one hell of a girl who needs some good characters to prove that she is nothing less than others. Vivek becomes a copycat. Like Deva who copies his own music again and again, he tries to recycle his comedies. Old Wine in a old nasty bottle. Stinks.

Though Thimsukattai song seems to be out of place (most of the songs are actually out of place), it becomes yet another Adiye Kappakizhangey (Dhool). Incidentally this song is also sung by Tippu. But the best of them is Thammtakka Theemtakka rendered by both Tippu and Karthik. Raghavendra Lawrence and Vijay dance the best out of this fabulous song. This song is must watch, atleast on Pepsi Ungal Choice.

Though not the definitive winner of the Diwali releases as Sun TV calls it, Thirumalai is a good entertaining watch. If you can afford to forget logic and theories, sit back and enjoy, Vijay and his team.