Release Date : Apr 07,2017 Movie Run Time : 2 Hours 25 Minutes Censor Rating : U
Production: Vetrivel Saravana Cinemas Cast: Aparna Balamurali, MS Bhaskar, Nassar, Vetri Direction: Sri Ganesh Screenplay: Sri Ganesh Story: Sri Ganesh Music: KS Sundaramurthy Background score: KS Sundaramurthy Cinematography: Dinesh K Babu Dialogues: Sri Ganesh
Editing: Nagooran Art direction: Sathish Kumar Stunt choreography: Dhilip Subbarayan PRO: Suresh Chandra

Small is Big! That is how this year has been for Kollywood thus far with some of the small budget films featuring lesser known names from the industry have made it big as far as appreciation and box office collections are concerned.

8 Thottakkal is another promising film one expects to feature in the ‘Small is Big’ league after watching its promotional video extracts.

An honest spineless Police Sub Inspector loses his gun loaded with 8 bullets.  Who gets the gun and why, what happens next, whose lives are in danger? How a theft case becomes a more serious and intense criminal case is what 8 Thottakkal deals about. Yeah, the story does resemble Akira Kurosawa’s classic old film, Stray Dog. In fact director Sri Ganesh had even mentioned a list of films from where he got inspired to make this film, in the end credits. Nevertheless, this is a new plot to Tamil cinema and it is told in a neat way as well.

Debutant hero Vettri plays the spineless cop, someone who joins the Police Department, not because of passion but due to compulsion. His acting might be looked at two perspectives in large, some might feel he did not emote much while some would say, he has underplayed his role beautifully and has done just what his role demanded.

But the show stealer of 8 Thottakkal will be MS Bhaskar. He is someone who has proved his mettle in so many films. He has acted in such a vast variety of characters but not one film in the recent past has challenged him like this. MS Bhaskar shoulders the film right from the moment he enters the play. In fact the story takes place only after his arrival. Similarly Nasser is a good value addition to the script and we know what he is capable of. How many times has he played an investigative cop in films? Even he must have lost the count. The supporting actors also do a good job, thanks to the director for extracting some superior work from lesser known stars.

Two things work in favor of the film, the intense suspense drama and the underlying emotional plot associated with the story. The emotions in particular have clicked well. Sri Ganesh must be lauded for his gutsy thought to infuse a melodramatic play to a crime plot. That emotion makes the whole plot convincing.

Dinesh K Babu’s cinematography works in hand with the director’s vision. The film drags a bit in the second half and that is where one feels the editor could have been a little sturdier and chopped off few scenes. The love portion did not gel with the context also burdening an otherwise intense script with 2 leisurely sounding songs that pop up at crunch situation. How would someone care to romance a girl when his job is in danger? This film does not deserve to have any songs and it should have been in that way. Apart from the songs and a couple of dragging scenes and the love portions, there is nothing much to complain about in this emotional crime thriller.

Verdict: An emotional crime thriller that has a fresh treatment!



( 2.75 / 5.0 )




Release Date : Apr 07,2017 Movie Run Time : 2 Hours 20 Minutes Censor Rating : U

Production: Madras Talkies Cast: Aditi Rao Hydari, Delhi Ganesh, Karthi, KPAC Lalitha, RJ Balaji, Rukmini Vijayakumar, Shraddha Srinath Direction: Mani Ratnam Screenplay: Mani Ratnam Story: Mani Ratnam Music: AR Rahman Background score: AR Rahman Cinematography: Ravi Varman

Dialogues: Mani Ratnam Editing: A Sreekar Prasad Art direction: Sharmishta Roy Stunt choreography: Sham Kaushal Dance choreography: BrindaSingers: A.R.Rahman, A.R.Raihanah, Arjun Chandy, Chinmayi, Diwakar, Haricharan, Jonita Gandhi, Nikita Gandhi, Raja Kumari, Sathya Prakash, Shashaa Tirupati, Shikara, Tejinder Singh, Tipu
Lyrics: Madhan Karky, Shellee, VairamuthuPRO: JohnsonDistribution: Sri Thenandal Films

How many times have we seen a love story from Mani Ratnam’s stable? He pushes the bar a notch higher whenever he does one, filled with something fresh every single time. Kaatru Veliyidai is the latest entrant to the romantic collection of Mani. So what’s different this time? The characters for sure, the premise and of course the treatment.

What makes Mani Ratnam special is that he comes up with some well-designed characters that stay with us long after the film ends. Here again in Kaatru Veliyidai, even after all these years, Mani has two absorbing characters for us to goggle at. At first, you may not understand them, you may, in fact, hate them for a moment but with time we get more involved. Mani Ratnam’s characters are never perfect as they have their share of negatives. Despite their flaws, you would love them and that is how beautifully sketched characters are officer VC (Karthi) and Dr. Leela (Aditi).

Karthi looks in his ostentatious best. He plays a fighter pilot, a role that you see being performed in Tamil cinema once in a blue moon. A pilot who undergoes so much of mental trauma. More than the trauma, it is his personal in born character, a self-centered young man, who likes no one but himself.  That said, one might feel that Karthi is a little less natural in romantic portions.

Leela (Aditi), a doctor who falls head over heels in love with officer VC, a not so stable person. She is at constant pressure, dilemma and there is too much going on in her head. How she handles herself? Is she mentally strong enough to face her problems? This character faces a lot of challenges. So not an easy deal to play Dr. Leela and for a non-Tamil speaking girl like Aditi it is an even tougher job but she has played it well.

There is this one dialogue that describes this movie in nutshell. When Nidhi (Rukmani), tells to Illyas Hussain (RJ Balaji), “I like you, you like Leela and she likes VC but VC likes only himself.” VC likes only VC, yes that’s what the whole subject is about, how love changes an uncaring selfish man’s life.

Technically, Kaatru Veliyidai is a marvel. We spoke enough about the 2 lead characters but even the loftiest adjective is not good enough to describe the amount of value addition that these two silent heroes have brought into this script through their music and visuals. Yes, we are talking about AR Rahman and Ravi Varman. The songs have already become a part of people’s daily playlist and when seen on screen with the visuals, it gets elevated a lot. BGM is another stellar.

Kaatru Veliyidai is a classical poetic love story. It is not a film to watch but something to experience. An experience that not everyone would accept. Some may blame it for being sluggishly made but some may fall in love with it. There are plenty of silences, classic old school close-ups and slow-motion shots. Some might find it mawkish but some may enjoy that treatment too.

However, the screenplay is not gripping enough to move the story forward. There are some slack moments which make the audience a little restless. But if you are a fan of slow paced love stories, Kaatru Veliyidai may work for you.

Verdict: Strong Technicalities and Mani Ratnam touches make Kaatru Veliyidai a worthy watch.



( 2.75 / 5.0 )



Release Date : Mar 31,2017 Movie Run Time : 2 hours 17 minutes Censor Rating : A

Production: A Sarkunam, Nemichand Jabak Productions, V Hitesh Jhabak Cast: Harish Uthaman, Nayanthara, Sulile Kumar, Thambi Ramaiah Direction: Doss Ramasamy Screenplay: Doss Ramasamy Story: Doss Ramasamy Music: Mervin Solomon, Vivek Siva
Background score: Mervin Solomon, Vivek Siva Cinematography: Dinesh Krishnan Dialogues: Doss Ramasamy Editing: Gopi Krishna Singers: Anirudh Ravichander, MC Akram , MC Rude , Mervin Solomon Lyrics: Ku.Karthik, MC Akram , MC Rude , Mohan Rajan, Vignesh ShivN PRO: Nikkil Murugan

After the success of Maya, Nayanthara is back with yet another horror thriller, Dora, directed by debutant Dass Ramasamy, an associate of director Sarkunam.
What happens when Pavalakodi (Nayanthara) and Vairakannu (Thambi Ramaiah) buy a vintage car, which has been possessed by spirits? The car gets Nayanthara into trouble on various occasions, and this makes her doubt about the unusual happenings. What is the reason behind the car being possessed? Dora answers these questions!
Most of the first half is occupied by Thambi Ramaiah-Nayanthara combination scenes which are neither entertaining nor humourous. However, the scenes involving the car are nicely written and executed. The film’s central core plot flags off only towards the interval, and in few minutes, post the interval, you will be able to guess how the rest of the film is going to be like. Predictability and cliche horror scenes here and there, are a little worrying. But, the second half makes up for the average first half.
There is a small surprise element in the film which we would not discuss in detail about. The film definitely didn’t deserve an ‘A’ certificate, as there are a few elements catered to small kids too. U/A would have been justifiable. Though the film’s flashback is a very sensitive one; it hasn’t been that heavy or impactful.
Nayanthara is the powerhouse of the film, and she has been significant in pulling off her character, thereby being a saviour of the film. Her massy attitude in action scenes, with good support from background score, is enjoyable. However, there are only very few scenes like that. Though Thambi Ramaiah’s performance is good, his scenes test our patience and are not much rib-tickling. Harish Uthaman, as the police officer, has delivered a decent performance. Sulile Kumar, as the main villain, isn’t very impressive.
The film scores high on the technical front. Vivek and Mervin’s BGM works very well, and it has rendered value to the movie. Dinesh Krishnan’s visuals are eye-pleasing and neat, especially, ‘Enga Pora Dora’ video song has been captured and picturised in a cute and lovable manner. Special credits to the VFX department, whose work is evidently seen and doesn’t look tacky.
Though the story is very much a beaten topic, the interesting usage of elements like car and dog by Doss Ramasamy is appreciable and will connect well with the audience. Confined writing, engaging screenplay, and avoiding of unnecessary humour would’ve helped the film to a greater extent.

Verdict: Nayanthara and the car manage to save a cliched, horror-revenge saga, to an extent!



( 2.25 / 5.0 )



Release Date : Mar 31,2017 Movie Run Time : 2 hours 40 minutes Censor Rating : U

Production: AGS Entertainment Cast: Akashdeep Saighal, Bose Venkat, Chandini Tamilarasan, Jagan, Madonna Sebastian, Pandiarajan, T Rajendar, Vijay Sethupathi, Vikranth Direction: KV Anand Screenplay: Kabilan Vairamuthu, KV Anand, Subha Story: Kabilan Vairamuthu, KV Anand, Subha
Music: ‘Hip Hop Tamizha’ Aadhi Background score: ‘Hip Hop Tamizha’ Aadhi Cinematography: Abinandhan Ramanujam Dialogues: KV Anand, SubhaEditing: Antony Art direction: DRK Kiran
Singers: Anthony Daasan, ‘Hip Hop Tamizha’ Aadhi, Georgina Mathew, Kaber Vasuki, Madonna Sebastian, Nikhita Gandhi, Padmalatha, Sudarshan Ashok, T Rajender, VelmuruganLyrics: Arunraja Kamaraj, Kabilan Vairamuthu, Mahakavi Subramaniya BharathiarPRO: Nikkil Murugan

Director K V Anand, known for his all round commercial entertainers, is back with Kavan, a chaste Tamil word for the catapult, a simple device used to shoot small targets with precision. True to the title, the director and his team have delivered a product which emerges a winner in almost all respects, hitting the target spot-on.


The attractions for Kavan are the director, the pacy narrative and his ensemble cast that is led by T Rajendar and Vijay Sethupathi.  The trailer revealed that the story is woven around the boon and the bane of the powerful and the omnipresent media.


Anand wastes no time in starting his story right from where the credits roll. Media is a double edged sword and Kavan talks about its deep rooted politics for TRP gains and its ramifications. He narrates his take with elements that are informative, engaging and sometimes shocking too.


For Vijay Sethupathi, this is the first release of 2017 and the actor gets to play a different character in Kavan. He brings on to the table his version of Thilak, a socially conscious TV journalist. T Rajendar as Mayilvaaganan adds color to the proceedings and his selection absolutely justifies his role and is definitely not force fitted. Rest of the cast in the form of Pandiarajan, Madonna Sebastian, Jagan, Akashdeep Saigal, Vikranth and others have all delivered their parts perfectly. As the media baron Kalyan, Akashdeep is an apt fit.

The dialogues are sharp and scathing and help the director to convey his thoughts. He throws light on the manner in which reality and award shows are conducted in television. Self-deprecation is another enjoyable feature in Kavan. Anand makes fun of himself,  Vijay Sethupathi and Power Star. There is also a fact uttered by Powerstar- as long you people believe that I am a comedian, my life can run. How true can that be!


Technically, Abinandan’s camera works in tandem with Anand’s vision and renders a colorful film. Hip Hop Thamizha’s tracks are enjoyable and his BGM is worth mentioning. Anthony’s cuts provide a neat product on hand.


It is not an easy task to make a commercial entertainer not compromising on the engaging factor and at the same time giving the audience THAT satisfied feel along with a socially relevant message. K V Anand checks-in all these boxes, establishing once again that he can deliver a fulfilling product in all aspects.

Verdict: Kavan is a bold, engrossing take on good and bad sides of Media.



( 3.25 / 5.0 )



Production: Wind Chimes Media Entertainments Cast: Aishwarya Rajesh ,Chandini, Kaali Venkat, Sibiraj Direction: Mani Seiyon Screenplay: Mani SeiyonStory: Mani Seiyon Music: Santhosh Dhayanidhi Background score: Santhosh Dhayanidhi Cinematography: Anand Jeeva Editing: Sathish Suriya

Any hard-core film fan who gets to see the movie’s first 5 minutes could easily guess the entire plot. Plus it is all in the title, ‘Kattappava Kanom’. When you are fishing for hope, it is a fish that gives you hope. No, this is not a say but it for sure suits the director Mani Seiyon who is making his debut. He has drafted a simple story just by keeping a lucky fish as a centre point.

Though the narrative pattern is something we have seen in numerous films in the past, the comedy comes in as a rescue. Sibiraj, who plays the role of the protagonist, performs well enough for the role that was offered to him with some nuanced funny expressions to convey his helplessness. Aishwarya Rajesh, though travels throughout the film, doesn’t quite impress us like she had done in her previous films. Maybe her character is a little too mainstream?She has tiny romance scenes with Sibiraj but those look very hurried and hardly make an impact. Had it been a little more focused, we might have got some good chemistry building between the leads but unfortunately, that isn’t the case.

The film deviates from its core plot now and then. A cute little girl features in the movie. She is the reason why Aishwarya Rajesh does not sell the fish and she also gives a hint that the fish stands as a symbol of luck. But a couple of her scenes could have been put away with.

Kattappava Kanom has an interesting line up of supporting actors like Kaali Venkat, Livingston, Saravanan, Yogi Babu, Mime Gopi and Thirumurugan who keep throwing in comic lines causing the audience to break out in laughter. Comedy has turned out to be a beaming positive in the movie although people might get the feeling that it is being overdone at some places. The director has made sure that he has packed his story with back to back comedy scenes making you overlook all the logical errors.

Another word of caution! You may not enjoy these comedy scenes if you are watching the film with your family as a lot of dialogues have double meanings and some look tawdry. But if you watch it with your friends, you might have a few hearty laughs. So a lot depends on who you are watching the film with.

Santhosh Dhayanidhi’s music has been a plus to the film. Be it ‘Penne Penne’ song or the BGM, he has offered what is needed out of him. On the other hand, the editing could have been a little better, may be tighter.

Although, a guessable tale, Kattappava Kanom has enough scope to be a safe bet but it does not satisfy you completely. You leave the theatre hall with a void. You might feel, yeah, the premise was fine, the actors did a good job, even some of the comedies worked but something was missing. Why? We feel the detailing part was overlooked. The characters did not have any depth and they come and go. The first half has some half-baked romance and a fairy tale fish story with a kid which caters to a family audience whereas the second half has a lot of adult oriented content which targets the youngsters. End of the day, the film gets stuck in-between neither here nor there.

Verdict: A guessable tale with a few good laughs that however lacks focus!



( 2.25 / 5.0 )



Production: Manobala Picture House Cast: Bhanu, Bobby Simha, Charlie, Guru Somasundaram, Keerthy Suresh Direction: Adam Dasan Screenplay: Adam Dasan Story: Adam Dasan Music: Ajesh Ashok Background score: Ajesh Ashok Cinematography: KG Venkatesh Editing: SP Raja Sethupathy
Stunt choreography: Billa Jagan Distribution: Abi And Abi Pictures

Paambhu Sattai, the Bobby Simha – Keerthy Suresh starrer has finally seen the light after repeated postponements. The film’s teaser, trailer, and promos were promising enough. Has the film lived up to its expectations like how the trailer promised?
Dhakshna (Bobby Simha) is a lower middle class youngster, who is living along with his sister-in-law (Banu) after his brother dies in an accident. He falls in love with Veni (Keerthy Suresh), but to marry her, he has to arrange second marriage for his sister-in-law and needs money. How will he get that money? A money mafia group uses this situation to make Bobby as their scapegoat. Does Bobby realize their plan and escape from them? Or will he get trapped in their plan? How does he get the money he needs? Paambhu Sattai deals about the extent one might go for the need of money.
Bobby Simha has delivered a convincing performance with various emotions. Keerthy Suresh, as usual, scores with her pretty expressions, however, she doesn’t have much to do in this film. There are two intense quality artists in the film, Charlie and Guru Somasundaram who deliver neat performances, adding value to the cast. Motta Rajendran, fortunately, doesn’t irritate or annoy you as his role is more of a supporting character.
The first thirty minutes of the movie comprises only of the hero following the heroine and making her fall in love, and the majority of the first half is eaten up by commercial romantic portions with two love songs. Only towards the interval, the main crux is told, and it sets up a good base for an interesting second half. Unlike the first half, the latter half solely moves on the film’s plotline. However, it isn’t that interesting. The narration could have been much better, as you do not feel the connect at many places. The film’s production value isn’t that big, and it is very much evident in the making.
Two of the major highlights of the film are its dialogues and some emotional moments. Charlie’s explanation of the travel of one grain of rice is noteworthy and appreciable. Not just that, there are many more places, where the dialogues work well, both in humor and intense scenes. There are also scenes dealing with human values and relationships, which are likable.
Ajesh’s songs, ‘Neeyum Naanum,’ and ‘Nee Uravaaga,’ are hummable and pleasant to hear. However, the same is not replicated in the background score, and one might feel that the BGM could have been better to elevate the scenes, especially in serious ones involving the money mafia gang. K.G.Venkatesh’s visuals and Raja Sethupathi’s cuts are average and could have been handled with a lot more care.
Director Adam Dasan’s writing has been uneven as his narration falls flat at places, and wanders around, without knowing where to move about. He could’ve been clearer on what he wanted, and concentrated solely on that. But the director knows the knack of connecting to audience’s emotions, and the scenes pertaining to that work well.

Verdict: A promising plot let down by slow and predictable screenplay with commercial compromises



( 2.25 / 5.0 )



Production: Eros International, RV Films Cast: Natty, Parvathy Nair, Radha Ravi, Rajaji, Sanchita Shetty Direction: Ramu Chellappa Screenplay: Ramu Chellappa Story: Ramu Chellappa Music: Natarajan Sankaran Background score: Natarajan Sankaran Cinematography: M.C. Ganesh Chandra
Editing: Athiyappan Siva Distribution: KR Films

Cinematographer turned actor Natty opts for a realistic commercial period film, Engitta Modhathey is directed by debutant Ramu Chellappa. The film basically is about two friends, both painters, one a Rajinikanth fan (Natty) and the other a Kamal Haasan fan (Rajaji).

It talks about their friendship, their love interests, and their professional growth. You expect them to part ways because they are fans of different stars but that’s not how the film goes about. Fan fights are only a part of the movie and the core concept is about politics behind it. That’s when you get introduced to the 3rd important character played by art director Vijaimurugan, who is a powerful, greedy antagonist.

What works in favour of the film is that it kindles some nostalgic moments if you are an 80s person. How people used to worship their stars and how different was it to watch a first-day first show back then and things like that. Ramu Chellappa has definitely worked very well on that part. But on the flip side, usage of English words in dialogues reduces the authenticity of the 80s setup. Likewise, the songs as well as the BGM, though could be pleasing to our ears at places are contemporary and do not give you the 80s feel.

Natty is shown as a fearless young man who faces all his obstacles without any fuss but whereas the character sketch of his friend (the 2nd hero) is not so clearly portrayed. One scene he is angry with his friend and the very next shot he goes to save him. Though we could guess his intention, it isn’t conveyed well enough on screen. Some of the scenes look so abruptly cut. Both the love stories hardly make an impact.

Engitta Modhathey actually starts off well and then goes on a downslope from then. There are very few interesting scenes here and there, but the pace issue remains constant throughout. After an impressive prolog, all you get is a usual template drama. At one point in time, the screenplay goes disoriented and also leaves us to question the primary purpose of the film.

Natty has done what’s expected of him, quite a convincing performance from the actor. He smashes down a dozen roughnecks and at the same time gets into a dream sequence for a duet with Sanchita Shetty. Parvathy Nair is the other female lead and both the heroines are restricted to same degrees of what other female leads get to play in usual commercial potboilers.

On the technical front Art director, K.Aarusamy has done a neat job in this period flick, especially the paintings of the banners and huge cut-outs.

Verdict: A period drama that starts off promising but loses its shine mid way and falls flat towards the end



( 2.0 / 5.0 )



Production: Rough Note Cast: Bharath, Bharath Seeni, Radhika Prasidhha, Rajakumaran Direction: Vijay Milton Screenplay: Vijay Milton Story: Vijay MiltonMusic: SN Arunagiri Background score: Anoop Seelin Cinematography: Vijay Milton Dialogues: Vijay Milton Editing: J.R.John Abraham
Distribution: 2D Entertainment, Sakthi Film Factory

Director Rajakumaran is making his full fledged appearance as one of the lead actors with Vijay Milton’s directorial, Kadugu, which also stars Bharath, Radhika Prassidha, and others. The film is released by Suriya’s 2D Entertainment and Sakthi Film Factory.
Kadugu is all about how an underdog in a society brings out a change in the perspective of a fellow common man. The film explores the lives of Puli Paandi (Rajakumaran), Nambi (Bharath), a school teacher (Radhika Prassidha), Anirudh (Bharath Seeni), a politician, and a school girl. These people, of contrasting professions, get connected with each other through a hard-hitting incident. What is that incident and how life takes a total changeover for all these characters? You are given answers to these questions in a dramatic manner, to an extent.
The idea of casting Rajakumaran in the character of Puli Paandi is very much appreciable, and after watching the film, you would feel, he has done complete justice to the role. He easily fits in that character and his acting is convincing. Bharath has also made a subtle performance, and his eyes convey more emotions. This film would be a memorable outing for the young actor. Radhika Prassidha, scores well, as a school teacher, who has undergone a dark phase through her childhood. Bharath Seeni is also impressive, and his combination scenes with Rajakumaran work well. Director A.Venkatesh, Subhiksha, the schoolgirl, and others, within their given screen time, do what is expected of them.
The film talks about a topical hard hitting incident that might disturb anyone while watching the movie, and the way the emotions are handled is justifiable, and not exaggerated. The emotions work big time, and the audience will be able to connect well with the film. However, there is quite a few melodramatic moments post interval, which isn’t convincing. Not just that, the film falls predictable at many places in the second half. Most of the first half is filled with subtle humour, out of which, only a few workout. The film’s engagement factor might be a concern for a section of the audience.
The cartoon flashback story is very well executed and though, there are no live characters in that, the way it is narrated, makes you feel so attached to them. The interval scene will definitely impact you and questions about Bharath’s characterisation would arise. Likewise, the climax lives up to the expectations, and you might feel happy about the ending. The writing of every character has been done well, especially Bharath’s, which has been written with utmost care and detailing. Apart from the hard hitting, and bold dialogues, the team should be appreciated for the message conveyed towards the end of the movie.
A film like this, with a strong plot, needs a powerful technical backing up. But, the technical works could have been even better. Though there are many long single take shots in the film, few shots look unstable at places. There are a few scenes, which end abruptly and the flow isn’t steady. The songs are average, and the background score is good, to an extent, but doesn’t make a big impact.
Director Vijay Milton is back to what he is good at; handling emotions of a common man in the most realistic way. His solid writing has been the main strength of the film, and the way it has been handled is neat. More crispiness and less melodramatic or no melodramatic screenplay would have helped the film much better.

[Reviewed after a special preview show on Wednesday, March 22nd. Movie releases on Friday, March 24th.]

Verdict: A topical social theme handled in a different and bold manner



( 2.75 / 5.0 )