Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011


"It would be blasphemous to call Rajnikanth, Rajnikanth. He is and will always be Tamil cinema’s Thalaivar. The response and the verve that single epithet evokes cannot be expressed in words. When Thalaivar was rushed to the hospital for alleged food poisoning, it was not just his family but millions of fans stopped what they were doing and prayed."

Read on....

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nootrenbadhu - Maintain 180 degrees of separation

If Shankar had directed this movie, it would have lasted all but 30 minutes. The movie boasts of stunning visuals but we can soak it in quickly, you don’t have to pause to ensure we really do enjoy. Think Siddharth taking two steps backward after opening a door, this lasts for roughly a minute. Yawn!!!

The movie opens up in the banks of Ganges and your thirst for an urbane, crisp movie stops right there. The dialogues, characterization and intrigue are best portrayed here and are completely lost in the remainder of the movie. It becomes predictable and clich├ęd.

Every director has to be a good writer. You need to get the screenplay taut before you let the camera do its work. Obviously, Jayendra doesn’t believe in that. Just because you play golf with Mani Ratnam does not mean you can direct another Idhayathai Thirudathey. That was a classic, this is a wannabe.

Nithya Menon starts off on a good note and keeps it there. There are many highs in her performance -Movie Theater, enquiring about Mano, lost in love, she has talent and scores well. Priya Anand is a different story. She has a meaty role and lets it slip through her whinny and over the top act. She has a great figure but that is simply not enough, especially when we have to watch her for roughly half the time.

Siddharth delivers. Confused yet angry when Vidhya falls for him, Confused and excited when in love with Renu, he uses this movie as a great comeback vehicle. We have already acknowledged and accepted him as a city boy who charms the girls so it would have been refreshing if he had attempted a different tangent.

Jayendra makes his debut as a director. When it’s your first movie, there is always a scene or a part of the movie that is a testimonial to your brilliance. Having waited a really long time to make this movie, you expect details and care, not in just the visuals but the finer aspects - plot and screenplay. He misses that bus completely. There are scenes that are quirky but we have already seen that. Like the puthu vellai mazhai, Gautham Menon did that in VTV. There is no innovation, no twists and the movie plods along in the path well-travelled without attempting anything novel.

The part before the intermission is good on many levels. Chennai looks beautiful, costumes blend into scenes and mostly it’s fun to see Mano live life. The part after, is like nails grating on blackboards - annoying and you can’t wait to get out. Instead of appreciating and agreeing to AJ's quest for anonymity we label him a self-absorbed jerk and that is where the movie plunges downward. But one of the merits of watching a movie in theaters is that the audience starts guffawing at the director’s ill attempts. That makes it easier to sit through.

Balasubramanien has extraordinary talent - everything is fresh, colors melt into the background, lighting is adequate and he takes the burden of the crew single handedly. Banu wields her magic touch and the leading ladies look even more beautiful. Shareth's music becomes repetitive and he could have worked the BGM better.

Nootrenbadhu (180) could have been that urbane love story - old wine in a new bottle but it just reeks of stale odor.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I should be calling myself a writer... so i'm a writer with humble beginnings.
Links to my columns on behindwoods.com - your best source for tamil cinema - news, interviews, scoops and columns :D

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reality Shows - No Brains Please!!!

Just when i was cheering Mavericks ousting Lakers from NBA and booing Lamar for his unsportsmanly conduct, i caught a glmipse of Khloe & Lamar - The reality show which aims to take a peek at the lives of Khloe Kardashian(ring a bell) and Lamar Odom. Frankly, i just wish they shut their windows tight...nobody wants a peak at anything. So as a confused follower of the first amendment to air anything, i turned off the idiot box.

Reality shows are where the big bucks are. I'm not even sure what constitutes to reality shows anymore. I thought MTV hosting candid camera was a reality show until you see the beelines of Kardashians, Jersilicious, Jersey shore, Real Housewives, Bachelor, Bachelorette, Apprentice etc... The only one i have watched an episode of is The Bachelor to satiate my curious mind.

From my (limited) knowledge, the first few episodes of the reality shows are astonishingly similar.
  • If the show is about a couple, their fairy tale wedding with cleavage sporting bridesmaids would be aired. Friends would ooh and aah about the proposal he made and how deep and meaningful their love is. Kekaravan kenaiya iruntha...
  • If the show is about a group of girls, it would talk about how they were best of friends and how their shared everything from lip gloss to life partners..Ahem..
  • The wife would have OCD and the husband would be ABCD...no...ADHD.. and we would be BOHH(banging our head heavily)
  • The wife's/girlfriend/housewife's ovulation cycle and how it is in their calendar to do it. You will even have an assitant consuting her black book to read this out to you... Its a matter of time before facebook status feeds have this information. Manangetta makkal, i say
  • They would fight about which frangrance their perfume line should be about, what color their million dollar nursery would be, which island they should vacation in...Thupuketta pasanga.
  • Finally it has to be about, how he doesnt spend any time with her, he is always at work, having fun with his men-friends etc.. sweetheart all our lives are like that!!
You would have to leave your brains behind if you want to watch atleast one episode of these shows, they dont even provide entertainment. Yet most of them are extremely popular...My take is if you want to torture somebody, then tie them to a chair and make them watch Khloe & Lamar. Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

India Chronicles - Part 3

  • Chennai's Theater scene truly rocks - Margazhi Maha Utsavam, Washingtonil Thirumanam and Dirty Dancing... all in one city.
  • Sandwich shop outside Alsa Mall is chennai's equivalent to Italy's pizzerias. Divine.
  • Melt in your mouth bondas from Sangeethas - Priceless.
  • Shopping at Pondy Bazaar beats bargainning at Canal Street
  • Chennaites take the raving beauty of Elliots for granted. Time stands still when you are sitting in the beach lost in idle banter with a dear friend.
  • Perumal koil Puliyotharai ... need i say more?
  • Public transport rocks but the auto anna will charge half an arm. Yaruku bun?

Friday, March 11, 2011


Doha, Qatar. Vast expanses of desert, tip of the country bordering the ocean, home of the FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar is a country bursting with possiblities. And it doesn't dissappoint. The fact that we had family to provide us with great food and excellent company was a bonus.

Desert safaris, sand bashing is a favourite past time and a tourist must-do here. We can rent a buggy(medium or large) or a Jeep for an hour(~$45). The buggy is easy to maneuver and since you are in the middle of nowhere(literally), speed is a thrill. Many locals drive the buggy over the sand dunes but that is strictly not for the faint hearted. Driving to the dunes, one can spot one too many of the desert's favourite companions - Camels.                         

Al Corniche offers an excellent beach and downtown view. The promenade around the doha bay is frequented by joggers and is a great spot for a leisure stroll. Doha's skylines is impressive and the construction boom would only add to it. You could also head to a beach resort(Sea Line) which offers private entrances to the beach. Visting beaches around the world has only made me appreciate, the wonder that is Marina.

The market place in Middle East is often reffered to as Souk. Souks have an old fashioned architecture and have everything to offer from spices, shoes, carpets, clothes to pets. Cafes outline them and smoking hookah is an evening indulgence for localites.
(Hookahs are originally from india but have gained popularity in the Middle East)

Citi Center and Villagio are places to hit if shopping is on your mind.
We missed spending a night in the desert(reminds of Jaisalmer days) and belly dancing. The latter made the Mr bang his head in agony. To each one's own...