Suraj, director of the Pongal release Padikathavan, is likely to direct Ajith according to believable sources. Plans for Ajith’s next project, incidentally his 49th film, however is concrete. Directed by Charan, the movie will star Sameera Reddy in the lead and will be scored by Harris Jeyaraj. Ajith’s 50th film will be directed by Venkat Prabhu.

Now, as it seems, Ajith will be in another film directed by Suraj. Though the information is not flowing in from Suraj or Ajith, the Kollywood news trappers ascertain the possibility quite strongly. This is in spite of the previous grapevine of the Suraj – Ajith combo before Aegan having gone into silence.

All said and done, as per latest trade reports, Padikathavan is leading the collection charts among the Pongal release movies.

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SUN out of SMS

January 24, 2009

SUN Pictures has pulled out from the buying race of the Jeeva starrer Siva Manasula Sakthi. SMS, as it is shortly referred to, is produced by Vikatan Talkies and is ready for a possible February release. SUN Pictures said to have insisted that the movie be released at a later date, to avoid over publicity to the company as Padikathavan is only recently released, as opposed to the release date on February 14 for Valentine’s Day; however the producers seem to have other plans.

SMS is directed by Rajesh and is scored by Yuvan Shankar Raja. The movie has Anuya playing Jeeva’s love interest. As the title suggests, SMS is a mushy romantic tale which is Vikatan Talkies’ maiden production venture in films.

Ajith’s big moustache

January 22, 2009

Managing to evade the eyes of his numerous fans, Ajith managed to watch Villu at the Prarthana drive in theater last Sunday. Of course, he was careful enough not to get out of his car at any point of time which would have resulted in a mini mob forming instantaneously. After the movie he called up Vijay and talked about the positives in the movie for a long time. He specially mentioned the stunt scenes and asked Vijay to not get involved in too many risky fights.

Meanwhile, Ajith is also getting himself ready for Asal. He has reportedly gone in for a change in his look and is now sporting an extra large, thick moustache, something he has not tried before. Asal will be directed by Saran. Ajith-Saran’s previous movie, Attagasam was a double action flick. This had created some speculation that even Asal would be on the same lines. However, Saran has said that this time round it will be just one Ajith.

The Rajnikanth starrer Endhiran, which has Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as his lead pair, is being produced by Sun Pictures on a whopping budget of Rs. 140 crores. Endhiran’s director Shankar, known for his penchant for creating extravagant sets in his films, has erected a huge glass chamber to can just a few scenes of a duet. Sources close to the Endhiran unit say that it is impossible for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Rajni to stay in the glass chamber for a long time and hence only a very few shots will be picturised in it and not the entire song sequence. The necessity to erect such an extravagant set is to enhance the visual effect, it is said.

Naan Kadavul song review

January 15, 2009

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Produced by K.S.Srinivasan, directed by Bala and starring Arya and Pooja in the lead roles. This film’s tagline ‘Aham Brahmaasmi’ ( an upanishadic line) says it all—the search for God inside you. The movie is supposed to portray the life of an Aghori, of a saiva (?) sect which practices cannibalism. Suitably the movie has Varanasi as its backdrop. Bala has crafted it painstakingly for almost three years now and with maestro Ilayaraja handling the music department, this film has generated a lot of curiosity. Bala is well-known for his intense films.

Om Sivoham…

Vocals: Vijay Prakash.

Lyrics: Vaali.

A rather longish song, but very well conceived, full of siva-bhakti. The use of appropriate native percussion instruments, sankha, drums and some fascinating tabla work add the right amount of awe to the presentation of Shiva as the fearsome, all-destroying Rudra. You hear a bit of ‘rudram’ and some descriptions in praise of Shiva in his varied manifestations. The swirling beats, now dipping, now blazing, bring to your mind’s eye the thandava of the Lord. Quite well sung too.

Kannil Paarvai…

Vocals: Shreya Ghosal.

Lyrics: Vaali.

Gentle, pathos-laden lyrics—is it sung by a visually challenged girl? The song itself moves on a slow rhythm with curving sangatis, in what appears to be Tilang raga with a generous Hindustani touch. Is that the dilruba we hear at the start and in the first interlude? This too adds pathos, The violin pieces too are sober. When Shreya goes to a higher pitch, the words are not distinctly heard. The dholak –like rhythms suit the mood of this song. Haunting.

Madha un…

Vocals: Madhumita.

Lyrics: Vaali.

A tiny number set to native rhythms. Must be his own old hit.

Picchaippaatthiram…

Vocals: Madhu Balakrishnan.

Lyrics: Ilayaraja.

The cry of a deeply anguished soul in search of lasting peace. Sung with lovely ‘vinayam’ by Madhu Balakrishnan. Again some pleasing tabla work. Is that the guitar that is made to sound like the ‘tundana’ that the mendicants use? Adds a startling touch. The violin and the flute sangatis too flow along as if afraid to break the pensive mood of the number itself. Looks like Mayamalavagowla, but could be Vagulabaranam raga too.

Amma Un Pillai…

Vocals: Sadhana Sargam.

Lyrics: Vaali.

The same mettu of song no.3, but notice the different feel of the rhythm—here it is all tabla. Again a sober number, that of a woman crying out against loneliness. Also observe how the dramatic violin sangatis are quietly set off by soothing notes from the veena and other instruments. You get to hear guitar and keys too. Clear articulation from Sadhana.

Oru Kaatril…

Vocals: Ilayaraja.

Lyrics: Vaali.

A repetition of song no.2, with very few changes in lyrics. Ilayaraja sounds flatter after you hear Shreya. At least he has articulated the words well.

Verdict:

The songs look very purposeful and thankfully not frivolous. The theme of the movie itself is obviously a serious one, going by the mood the album conveys. Of course there’s nothing new or striking here, but there is an indefinable mellowness about the music itself. Frill-free and polished Ilayaraja stuff!

Starring: Ravi Krishna, Sharvanand, Kamalinee Mukherjee, Tejashree, Nasser, Ilavarasu, Crazy Mohan.

Direction: Ilankannan

Music: Mani sharma, E.S.Murthy, Vidyasagar

Production: Raj Television Network

Kadhalna Summa Illa; the title might suggest a love story that is strong in its emotional content. But, the movie is much more than just love. It is also about a man who discovers life as it should be during his quest for love. Even though this is basically about a man who falls in love with a woman, there is very little romance in it as we see in regular movies and that is what makes Kadhalna Summa Illa, a remake of the Telugu hit Gamyam, different.
Telugu actor Sarvanand debuting in Tamil (also part of the Telugu original) plays a millionaire who knows very little about the realities of life. He lives in a world of his own which consists mostly of over the top partying and similar stuff. A typical spoilt brat, one might think. But he seems truly smitten when he sees Kamalinee Mukherjee (also part of the Telugu original), it is like some part of him wants to change for the better. But as he discovers, Kamalinee is poles apart from him in terms of background, upbringing and lifestyle.

She is someone who believes in serving society and is quite active in this direction, and he sees no way to woo her but to take up her cause as his own. Even if unwillingly, he does. And gets quite close with her. But his past comes back to haunt his present and Kamalinee is quite upset, and she leaves him for good. He is not able to sleep easy after that; he wants to find her out and claim her back and his journey in search of her takes him through the many colors of life. He sees many people, one of whom is played by Ravikrishna (played by Naresh in the original), who is a petty thief but helps him honestly in the search for his love.

The film is an honest execution of a neat script. The director, Ilangkannan, has not felt it necessary to fill in any commercial ingredients like duets, and rightly so. What makes the movie different is its theme itself: a man’s journey through life. There is no opposition to his love, there is no regular villain in the movie, it’s just a man’s destiny that takes him through many experiences. And, there are a couple of very good messages. At a point in the movie, the hero and his friend come upon a group of naxalites, an incident which ends in a shootout with the police. The naxalites claim to be fighting for the peoples’ cause, but the director has managed to convey effectively that they have chosen the wrong path. The movie also shows how the rich and prosperous can make themselves much more valuable to society.

Performances are competent throughout the movie. Sarvanand is apt for the role and does his part neatly, having played the same character once before. Kamalinee does what is required but one feels there is a lot more in her than what she has delivered. Her look is inconsistent throughout the movie.

The surprise packet however is Ravikrishna. Many doubts have been raised about his abilities but he proves that he is not as wooden as many think he is. All he needs is good opportunities. The scene stealer is M.S. Bhaskar. Appearing in just one scene, he makes the most memorable moments of the movie, recreating with aplomb what Brahmanandam had done in the original.

Technically, there is not much that can be said about the movie, the music is just about average. Even with all the positives, the movie has its innate limitations that do not allow more than a certain level of liberty to spruce up proceedings. It is not a regular entertainer, but it is definitely a good attempt that won’t disappoint you if you are not intent on a full-length commercial movie.

Raj TV must be commended for showing the courage to venture into film making with such a project and more so for releasing it amid high competition. However, one fears that the movie could find it very hard to survive, given the opposition that it faces.

Verdict – Kadhalna Summa Illa: Worth a watch for Pongal

Villu Movie Review

January 12, 2009

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Villu movie is as usual a treat for all vijay fans. But for others..??? Check out the review here