Nandhalala – Album of lullabies!
nandhalala_1024_030708 Ilayaraaja joins hands with the ‘fearless director’ Mysskin for Nandhalala. All the five lyricists have wrapped up highly aesthetic words for this film. As this film is about the quest of a mentally retarded fellow and a kid, the songs are pleasant, positive and poignant.

Male Harmony

Ilayaraja,  K.J.Jesudas, Master Yatheeshwaran, Vijay Yesudas, Madhu Balakrishnan

Female Harmony

Swetha, Saroja amma

1. Mella oorndhu oorndhu****

Singer: Ilayaraja

Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar

A beautiful Ilayaraja number with child sensibility. Sounds like ‘Maina kunju’ and ‘Vandhaal Vandhaal’.This song evinces Ilayaraja’s inimitable Orchestration and instrumentation talents for which he is known for. The piano interludes and chorus adds on to the school rhyme effect of this serenade. Muthukumar has penned a riddle like ‘who am I?’ lyrics with Nietzsche overtones for this song and successfully keeps us guessing till the very end. Another song to the ‘anjali’ genre!

2. Onnukkonnu*****

Singer:  K.J Jesudas

Lyrics: Mu.Mehtha
Only in a very few songs tune, rhythm, voice, instruments and lyrics sweetly fall in place as in a cup of fruit salad with ice cream. Mehtha’s flawless lines explicates the soul of the film. Simple tune and sparingly used equipment make this song another feather in Ilayaraja’s crown. For Jesudoss, this song is Kanne Kalaimane part2. Another Ilayaraja classic for the dark and warm evenings. Right song for this sick world!


Singer: Ilayaraja

Lyrics: Muthulingam
Typical Ilayaraja’s Amma song. Begins like ‘Thenpandi seemaiyile’ and proceeds like ‘Aalolam paadi’.Full of native instruments and customary lyrics. Mesmerising Ilayaraja’s voice breaks down once a while portraying the powerful feel of the song. An ordinary song with a maestro’s finish.

4. Kai veesi*****

Singers: Vijay Yesudas, Swetha, Madhu Balakrishnan

Lyrics: Pazhanibharathy
An awesome melody, celebrating life, rooted in hardcore Ilayarajaism. Reminds us of ‘Ilangaathu veesuthe’. The flute piece which runs along this number is memorable. Though not innovative interms of instrumentation, the wondrous tune tells it all. Once again a number with ‘anjali’ feel- collective joie de vivre.


Singer: Saroja Amma
A gypsy song with a voice and an instrument. The language is  a strange conglomerate of many Indian languages. Though gives us a sick feeling, the rising tempo vividly showcases the meaning of the song. Mysskin’s attempt to do something fresh and original is clearly seen in here.

6.oru vaandu koottame****

Singers: Ilayaraja, Master Yatheeshwaran

Lyrics: Kabilan
A colorful number with a pot-pourri of voices and instruments. Master Yatheeswharan’s voice alternates beautifully with Ilayaraja’s. Must be a road song with fun all along. The tune is native but grand.The violin interlude of this song will haunt you for a long time even in your fantasies. Since this film is about children and from a child’s point of view, Ilayaraja’s numbers for this film remind us of the film ‘anjali’.

Neither with rap nor hip-hop, Ilayaraja scores a triple ton in Nandhalala. Mysskin is adorable for requesting all the songs in pure tamil. It is all about mother and love!

Pineapple Express- Simple strong and sexy!


Saul: “It’s called Pineapple Express. My guy Red told me it’s when this Hawaiian flood takes special dirt to the weed or some shit. It’s pretty scientific. And I’m the only guy in the whole city who has it.
And, its only ten bones more for a quarter.”

Nobody could explain David Gordon Green‘s latest project Pineapple express better than this. Seth Rogen plays a major role in all the three major departments. Though a mundane ‘Hit and run’ kind of script, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have flavoured it enough to make it a blockbuster. Life would become easy if its Pineapple express…

Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) is a wacko process server, who splits his pastime between his high school sweetheart Angie(Amber Heard) and big time drug dealer Saul Silver (James Franco). After getting high on the new ‘dopest dope’ named pineapple express in Saul’s place, he goes to serve Ted Jones (Gary Cole) a druglord where he watches Ted and Carol Brazier (Rosie Perez) a cop, blow up a guy’s head. While trying to flee the place Dale drops a smoke of Pineapple Express and bumps into a couple of cars which is enough to gain Ted’s attention. When back at Saul’s den, both of them realise that, Pineapple Express can lead Ted directly to their hideout, since Saul is the only Pineapple express dealer in town. With a heart full of pressure and a bag full of Pineapple Express the guys gallop away from their fears. Here begins all the fun and fury…!

An age old storyline and characterisation afresh make Pineapple Express rare and roaring. James Franco who plays the junkie strips off the line between screen and seat. For his part Seth Rogen gets high on times aswell. The user friendly plot and avant-garde characters make the happenings more enthralling. The humor-cynicism balance is another factor which adds onto the USP of this movie. The writers have taken care that all the elements required for a comic action movie show their presence in their film. Also the typical Seth Rogen sitcom contributes largely to the tonality of the movie.

Predictability is a detestable word for the makers of Pineapple Express. Once you know that the movie is about Marijuana and junkies, you see the denouement. That’s it. At times Seth Rogen’s dialogues give you a patience test. The writers could have thought about increasing the speed of this express once more. The concluding remarks on friendship and fellowship, tries to sum up the film for us but in vain.

The music of this movie blends aptly into the cat-mice storyline to produce the rocking effect.Tim Orr‘s cinematography captures ordinary locations and locales with a monumental eye. On the whole Craig Alpert‘s editorial work makes sure that one scene grows realistically out of the other, though it falls short at the beginning of the chase. So, when you are in Pineapple Express be cautious with your head, you may lose it busy laughing!

Ghajini- Music Review

Ghajini – Music Review


For the Memento inspired Ghajini, ARR has etched out 6 songs, one being an instrumental. Definitely a decent piece of work, but with a slight deviation from a Rahman album. Every song of this album is an experiment with a subtly interpolated ARR aroma.

Male Harmony

Benny Dayal, Javed Ali, Sonu Nigam, Karthik

Female Harmony

Shreya Ghoshal and Suzanne


Prasoon Joshi

1. Behka****

Singers: Karthik

Within the first 2 minutes, we find Pop, Rock and Jazz elements being fused into this mystery toned song. Lot of innovations have been done on the vocal side (Watch out for the tongue twisters and rollers) Karthik’s experienced voice sinks in perfect equilibrium with the tone, Instrumentation and the tempo of the song. Behka is a Risky melodic experiment by ARR

2. Latoo***

Singers: Shreya Ghoshal

This party song is pitched somewhere in between the western Pop and peppy Indian music and nothing extraordinary about this song, but still ARR lives in the chorus, interludes and drum rolls. Though a quick paced song, Shreya Ghosal gives a melodic touch to this number. May be a visual song fitting the dance choreography and setting. Chiselled to haunt the pubs and discotheques for a while.

3. Guzarish*****

Singes: Javed Ali, Sonu Nigam

A classic Rahman melody, full of sitar interludes. Once again, a piping hot tune from Rahman Bhai’s kitchen. If you are in love, sun or rain, this must be your latest anthem. Awesome voice renderings by Javed Ali and Sonu Nigam. Will rock the theatres for sure. Since melancholy is one of the major themes of the film, there is an interwoven thread of blues. Take heed to it properly to fall in love with it. Play the song, open the window of your room and heart and start melting.

4. Aye Bachchu***

Singes: Suzanne

A rock song, with a streak of a melody running through it. Instrumentation and orchestration along with the muffled refrain, elevates this song to the next level. A pocket sized dynamite but potent enough to cause ample catastrophe. Suzanne’s voice and Prasoon Joshi’s ‘take it easy’ lyrics make sure that this song captures the attention of the audience.

5. Kaise Mujhe****

Singers: Benny Dayal, Shrey Ghoshal

Again a lugubrious love song, with a good deal of pitch variations. Rahman has tried to handle Indian instruments in a western way. Benny’s laid-back harmony blends absolutely with Shreya Ghoshal’s mellifluous voice. These elements adorn this song to suit a lovely-dovey song. The instrumental version of this song is good too! This track seems to be main theme of the album.

Varanam Aayiram- Paradise lost and regained!

Gautham Menon‘s Magnum Opus Varanam Aayiram has come out with a million flying colors. Being a biography, Vaaranam Aayiram blooms in the lines of Aarilirunthu arupathu varai, Autograph and Thavamai Thavamirunthu. As the trailer says, ‘This is not an action film’ but instead a commercially salted Father-son flick. Though Gautham Menon has borrowed a few western colors to deck his epic, Vaaranam Aayiram compels us to say ‘where he picks up doesn’t matter but where he places’.

The plot is worked out by a first person triple layered narrative. Before the narrative starts, we see Krishnan{Surya}, the old man dying out of a throat cancer. The news is passed on to Major Surya{Surya}, who is currently on a rescue operation a few thousand miles and metres away in a military helicopter. Surya meditates on his own experience and what his mother Malini{Simran} and father Krishnan had told him since his childhood. And so it goes… till Surya comes back to perform funeral rites for his father.

To begin with, Vaaranam Aayiram is truly an incensed classic, filled with cross culture references and trends. Gautham has unleashed his full potential in his dream project. May God bless him for his pains in handling the narrative. The first half swims down our throat in full mettled ease while the latter half is the fruit of tree of knowledge. As a complete whole the film is but life, life and nothing but life. For Surya and Simran this innings breaks their own previous records. And about Shamira, she’s the Poet’s ‘Lady Love’, on celluloid. The dialogues are better than any other Gautham Menon film and Romance, flows like ‘sweet Thames’. The second half which contains the more serious side of life,goes on in its own pace and may tire the audience, but the defect lies not with the screen-writer but on the eye and mind of the beholder. The positive energy of this movie is another facet which our society requires to go ahead. In this regard, Vaaranam Aayiram becomes, Gauthams’Autograph’. The Production design and the picturisation of the songs make Varanam Aayiram into ‘thousand hues’. Right from the amorous Backdrops to the intertwining ‘Ilayarajaism’, Vaaranam Aayiram, ‘its a rock song daddy!’

At times we are made to think if its a correct decision to put Surya on the father role, since its too heavy for him in selected areas. In the next place, the movie’s Tamil sensibility is pulled down by the use of English in many important scenes. A few minutes before the ‘Annal mele’ song in Divya Spandana‘s episode are hackneyed and test our patience. Surya’s visit to California may not be justifiable from a few view points. The ‘Aditya’ stratagem seem to spoil the tonality of the movie but the story-telling talents of Gautham saves it at the end.

The Art Director of the movie has sculpturesquely given life to Gautham’s imagination. Rajeevan and Anthony have once again done enthralling work. Harris Jeyaraj‘s hypnotising soundtrack has provided us with a quality musical. Working on a project like vaaranam Aayiram is tough as nails and two thumbs up to Gautham Menon and his crew. Vaaranam Aayiram says “Life is not a bed of roses”

Vaaranam Aayiram – Musical Rainbow!

Gautham Menon and his melodius accomplice Harris Jeyaraj come together once again for Vaaranam Ayiram. After getting hold of the rights, to popularise the songs Sony BMG has given a few songs to the FM stations five days prior to the actual audio release. Harris Jeyaraj has composed seven different numbers for this film. Let us look at them more closely.

Male Harmony: Krish, Benny Dayal,  Hariharan, Karthik, Naresh Iyer, SPB Charan, Devan, V.Prasanna, Clinton, Solar Sai

Female Harmony: Shruti Hassan, Prashanthini, Sudha Ragunathan

1. Adiye Kolluthey****
Singers: Krish, Benny Dayal, Shruti Hassan

A small sticker on the cd cover says “Including the smash hit Adiye Kolluthe”. Basically a rock number built on Thamarai’s enthusing lyrics. Shruti Hassan’s stylistic voice aptly fit into this western song. Benny and Krish sing wondrously to give the music instruments an arduous time. As usual, full of strange haunting chants and guitar interludes. Though the rhythm gives us a ‘heard it somewhere’ feeling, the increasing tempo compensates it. Probably this song is Gautham Menon’s personal favourite. Fit to be a hi… oops! its already a smash hit. On the whole, this number is a “thrilling sweetheart!”

2. Nenjukkul Peidhidum****
Singers: Hariharan, Devan, V.Prasanna

This song hails Hariharan as the divine lord of melodies! Thamarai’s lyrics for this song will be among the best ever made in this decade. Multitudes of chorus are used in this song by harris. With a limited number of instruments, this number creates the maximum effect. A cool song to depict the burning passions of the lover. The guitar pieces which run through the song hits it  for a home run. Another awesome melody in Harris Jeyaraj collection. “Romance Romance and Romance for all days of the year”.

3.Yethi Yethi***
Singers: Benny Dayal, Naresh Iyer, Solar Sai

A song from the Hip-Hop tradition. The ‘Sokkuthe Manam’ TV show star Solar Sai sings along with Benny and Naresh in this number. This song reminds us a lot of other numbers such as ‘Ada gada’ from sathyam, ‘Taxi taxi’ from ‘sakkarakkatti’ and at times ‘Adhiradikkaran’ from ‘Sivaji’. With a whistling opening, Muthukumar’s’s lyrics bringout the pure life of the dirty college students. The acoustic guitar interludes of this song gives us ‘the Ilayaraja effect’. Pretty ordinary song when compared to the earlier two. But still, rejoice with this when a few good friends are around.

Singers: Naresh Iyer, Prashanthini

A pleasant soft rock number packed in with a variety of interludes{Sax, mouth organ, drums}. Though justly used, the drum beats grab our attention. Once again Thamarai’s lyrics claims commendation. At times Naresh Iyer’s voice ‘unsexes’ itself to blend with Prashanthini’s voice which contributes to the soft ‘feminine touch’ of this song. With a variety of instruments Harris Jeyaraj has orchestrated this melody to perfection. ‘Rock’ seems to be the core genre of this album.

5.Oh! Shanthi! Shanthi***
Clinton, SPB Charan
Clinton is back with a bang in this little, soft rock number. Sounds like a softer version of  ‘Mudhal naal indru’. Clinton’s the ‘Oh Shanthi’ refrain boosts up the energy level of this song. However the ordinary rhythm of this song makes us to associate a lot of earlier songs of Harris Jeyaraj. Might turn out to be an awesome background theme and ‘sing along’, if used suitably. “laali laali laali!”

6.Ava Enna***
Singers: Karthik, V.Prasanna

A soft kuthu song decorated with flowers of melancholy. Reminds us ‘Siva siva siva sankara’ from ‘Suyamvaram’ and ‘Appa amma’ from ‘Dreams’. Heretoo Harris finds a little room for his guitar.  Thamarai’s ordinary words are shouldered well by Karthik’s versatile voice and stupendous pronunciation. Though no scope for novelty, Harris has peppered this song with gentle choruses and bass beats.

7.Anul Mele****
Singers: Sudha ragunathan

A song from the Indian Classical music world. Sudha Ragunathan’s genius breaths eternal life into  this song and makes it good. Certain areas of this song resemble ‘Enadhuyire’ from ‘Bheema’. This sounds like an ‘Ilayaraja melody’ too. Will become the favourite of classical music listeners. Finally in this song Harris has accomodated his favourite: Vilolin along with Veena. Seems to convey a particular situation of the plot. Since 90% of the songs are in purely pronounced and unadulterated Tamil, ‘Vaaranam Aayiram’ receives special applause!.


Saroja- Movie Review

Saroja- A rocking remake!

Venkat Prabhu opens his second innings with Saroja produced by Amma Creations after a successful ‘Chennai 6000028’ first innings. Saroja is a loose remake of the 1993 Hollywood film ‘Judgment night‘. Though this movie is a remake, Venkat Prabhu has amiably intertwined his sub-plots into the original main-plot, indianising it, suitable for our audience. The movie is at the danger of being condemned by those who lay emphasis on aesthetic components as ‘Plagiarism’. Anyhow Saroja emerges out well as a quality entertainer with ‘Navarasas’.

The movie projects open ‘the day before yesterday’ of the actual action day, where we see a tanker lorry taking off from Intana, Orissa. Immediately after this, we are pushed on to the ‘yesterday’ of the actual action day in which we find Saroja{Vega} the only daughter of Vishwanathan{Prakashraj} a business honcho leaving for school. And finally we are carried on to the actual day where a team of friends: Jagapathibabu{SPBCharan}, Rambabu{Vaibhav Reddy}, Ganesh{PremG} and Ajay{Shiva} consisting of two brothers, start for Hyderabad to see a Cricket match. A summary of what happened next would be- the container is knocked down during the second day of its journey, Saroja gets kidnapped and our heroes take a strange route to Hyderabad. The turned down container is the turning point of the plot which forces heroes to meet the villains. Though the rest may appear like a run of the mill story, Venkat Prabhu has taken pains to make it different to sustain the interest of the audience till the very end.

A ‘Psycho(1960)’ kind of Highway plot, Realistic action, subtle humor, little pathos and a bit of romance and glamour are the elements which constitute this commercial conglomerate. Screenplay and slapstick humor seem to be the biggest forte of Venkat Prabhu. His ability to produce laughter even at the time of disaster prevents this movie from falling short of its target. This movie mercilessly mocks at Teleserials, commercial heroes and kiddish youth. Undoubtedly Satirizing is one of the trademarks of a Venkat Prabhu film.Though most of the scenes in the first half are directly lifted from Judgment Night, Venkat Prabhu’s movie making skills become evident in the way in which he develops the ‘Saroja girl’ plot. The whole cast wonderfully performs what their master has asked them to do. Proper interlinking, good foregrounding and an attractive falling action make this screenplay even better. PremG’s comedy gives the impression of being effective only in his brother’s movies. If Venkat Prabhu is going to be more original in his future projects, he’ll be in the list of top-notch Tamil Directors.

A few in the audience may find it difficult to make out the plot interlinking at least during the exposition. Secondly, the Policemen appearing and living like thugs look a bit odd, though the Director tries to tie the loose strings at the end. Also too many guest appearances slog the progress and diverts the main focus of the film. A very few scenes fail to go in tune with the final effect.

Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background score for this film is another breakthrough in film scores after Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu. As an example we could quote the tune which swims through when Rambabu meets Pooja{Kaajal Agarwal} in a romantic flashback. Yuvan’s House and club tunes along with rap and pop here and there when the movie moves in darkness, make this movie a musical treat. Sakthi Saravanan‘s camera has created the perfect screen tone for this movie. But during the rooftop scenes and chasing scenes we feel that the camera is a bit shaky. Praveen KL/Srikanth NB‘s editing is another important aspect to be commended. Venkat Prabhu and his crew deserve a cheerful applause for what they have done. So Saroja is ‘An ordinary day, four ordinary men and an extraordinary Judgment night DVD!’

Dark Knight- Sober and somber!

“He is the hero Gotham deserves. But not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero…He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector…a DARK KNIGHT”

This is the epilogue of the Christian Bale starrer ‘Dark Knight’, directed by Christopher Nolan, a Sequel to his 2005 film Batman Begins. The plot is straight: Joker vs Batman and a U turn which occurs at the crisis. The movie begins with the portrayal of Joker’s {Heath Ledger} insane intelligence through a mob owned-bank heist. A while later the silent guardian {Christian Bale} makes his entry to be bitten by dogs, as a price of intruding the talk between Scarecrow and other mobsters. The wounded Batman plods his victorious way home to think of redesigning his suite. Lieutenant  Gordan{Gary oldman} and Batman plan to reduce the crime rate with Harvey Dent{Aaron Eckhart}, the new attorney general of Gotham city. Bruce Wayne learns that the new attorney general is dating Rachel Dawes, his childhood friend. Wayne also offers to throw a fundraiser for Dent, which he explains “one fund raiser with my pals, you’ll never need another cent”. At the same time, when the mobsters are being informed by Lau a Chinese mobster that a small amount of their money had been robbed by Joker and he has shifted their money to Hongkong, away from the Joker and the jurisdiction of Harvey Dent, who is up to the funds of mobsters, Joker steps in and demands half of their money for killing batman. When the offer is not accepted after a pandemonium, he leaves his card on the table and leaves. When Batman takes Lau in custody from Hongkong and hands him over to the Gotham Police department, the mobsters are forced to hire Joker. Following this Joker reveals his mind and tricks putting everybody in trouble. As the Joker says “if you’re good at something, never do it for free” the film makers want you to spend a few bucks and watch the rest of the ‘Dark Knight’ particularly the games of the funny and the freaky knight!

Don’t let the above excerpt to prejudice your thoughts. The Nolan brothers’ attempt to visualize their three dimensional ideas using a two dimensional comic is more than this. The thematic unity of the film in one word is “flawless”. Right from the gestures to the screen tone, every aspect fly well towards the intended ‘sober and somber’ effect which tells us that this is not another superhero movie. Christian Bale has successfully ‘De Evans’ed himself from the ‘Yuma’ world to be the Batman again. Heath Ledger with his ghoulish smiles and startling looks and Aaron Eckhart with his strange transitions give Bale a real tough time. Ledger’s performance as the Joker will echo his name forever. Funny tricks, frightening fireworks and slaughter add verisimilitude to the dramatic character of Joker. The real essence of this movie unleashes only when you give importance to the narrative mode leaving behind the cinematic mode. The questions and sarcastic comments put forward by Joker stir our conscience to the everlasting existential questions. The conflict between Free will and fatalism is one of the major hidden themes of the movie. Joker calls the morals, a bad joke. What do you think?

The falling action of the movie lumbers to tire the first bench movie goers and kids. After a boost of fancy and fantasy the story droops a while. The director has made use of the thread- juxtapositioning technique to build up the latter half of the movie, which seems to be technically perfect but expects the audience to labor a bit. Though Nolan blends philosophy and fantasy well, logic less vestiges of a comic book is seen sprawling over the movie. Also the movie fails to fulfill the requirements of the action genre despite the fact that it has never ending chases and typical ‘bat fight’ sequences.

The technical aspects of this movie take the movie going experience to a different level altogether. The Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard duo’s music inimitably pulls the audience willy-nilly to the dark world. Especially the ‘why so serious’ track go hand in hand with Joker’s terrorising screen presence. Kudos to the duo for the amazing orchestration. Lee Smith’s editing is so perfect for most part of the film so that if you leave your seat for a quick coffee, the rest of your time with the movie may become cold. Apart from these, the stunt sequences and special effects are above the mark. If someone asks you: Why so serious? Proudly tell them, ‘I’ve just seen The Dark knight’

– Spontic

Leatherheads-A Comic craftsmanship!

A sunny day in the early 1920s. A British countryside football stadium. Players are warming up and the spectators are slowly coming in. The band has just begun to play music with their drums and trumpet. Noise all over. A team captain asks his new player, ‘Hey Kid, what position you play in high school?, the fat boy answers ‘Kicker’.Few seconds of silence???!!!! Everyone in the team looks at him in surprise. The Captain again, ‘Kicker?!’ One of the players ask Simultaneously ‘What the hell?!!’. The fat boy replies, ‘That’s ought to be my best position’. An astonished captain asks him, ‘Who’s your coach?’. ‘Maths Teacher’ says the fat boy. The confused Captain manages to say , ‘Huddle up’.The band starts playing enthusiastically. The ball is kept on the line. The fat boy kicks. The ball goes right into the band which was playing enthusiastically. The music and men go haywire. The fat boy takes a grave look. Captain looks at him. The boy looks at him and says ‘Hooked it’. The band seems to be alright now. The boy kicks again. this time right into the back of a teammate. He shouts in pain. Laughter all over.The team manager puts his hat down in frustration and murmurs. The captain pulls the boy and says ‘stand here next to him and you hit anybody that comes near you, anybody that comes near’. The game resumes. The boy knocks one. He knocks two. The referee comes whistling near him and the smiling boy knocks him out too!

The above is just a sample of what ‘Leatherheads’ could do to you. George Clooney plays the lead and has directed this film as well. A Historical comedy with all the necessary ingredients to bake the present day commercial cake. Going back to the early 1920s, the screenwriters have taken into account the condition of pro football or college football at that time and a man’s single handed attempt to change the course of the history of pro football. With a string of finely crafted characters, the movie’s mundane elements hoist up as a heavenly star.

Political satire, History and Romance are the three major themes of Leatherheads. Dodge Connelly{George Clooney} the captain of the ‘Duluth Bulldogs’ an essaying pro football team, endeavours to save his team from being egged out by losing their sponsors. As a part of his endeavour, he  pulls in Carter “the Bullet” Rutherford{John Krasinski} a war hero as well as a blessed pro football player to play for his team by luring him with large sum of money. Both the Duluth Bulldogs and pro football prospers in the reign of ‘The Bullet’. Meanwhile Lexie Littleton{Renée Zellweger} an instinctively investigative journalist appears on the scene with the intention of peeling the Bullet’s mythical war heroism. Both the old Dodge and young Carter fall for this intermediary woman. Consequently the real game between Dodge and Carter starts but off the field. A number of other characters with and without wit form a metal cover to make the story of Leatherheads bulletproof.

A big grin with a heart full of historic nostalgia is what you get seeing Leatherheads. This is a mediocre story like plain bread but with a spread of sweet fruit jam. Though a number of characters are seen, all of them are etched out  properly and vividly contributing to the comic effect of the movie. A few scenes like the opening scene, the jumping scene, the fight sequence and the scene mentioned at the beginning of this article are hilarious. John Krasinski and Renee Zellweger play their games well. We’ve heard that ‘looks can kill’ but this movie tells us that ‘looks can make us laugh’. But these elements are not found sustainedly throughout the film. This factor knocks leather heads on the head and says ‘a bit of extra-care on the script would have saved you from me’. Also the relationship between the characters fail to gain momentum. But however this movie is a quality family entertainer, if you want to laugh your weekends out.

The movie makers have succesfully given this movie its 1920 skin. Even the characters live and speak with the early twentieth century mind and tongue. Stephen Mirrione’s scissors appear to be a little squeamish to cut certain adjuncted scenes from the movie. There is something that doesn’t love a conclusion of this review. In other words there is someone we forget to talk about. George Clooney. Mr.Clooney has exhibited his multitasking skills through Leatherheads. A good screen writer{Along with Steven Soderbergh, Duncan Brantley, Rick Reilly, Stephen Schiff}, an impressive Director and a lovely lead. What else we need from him. To our surprise he is one of the producers{Along with Barbara A. Hall, Grant Heslov, Casey Silver and Jeffry Silver}too. George Clooney who plays the Captain of Duluth Bulldogs is the real captain of Leatherheads aswell. Kudos to Clooney and team. Leatherheads say “Men of future, forget the red cards and fouls, close your eyes and enjoy the warmth of rugged rulelessness of the 1920s for a while!”

Sathyam- An eclectic musical treat!

Album name: Sathyam

Release date: 20.07.08

Music Director: Harris Jeyaraj

Number of Tracks: 5
Male harmony:
Hariharan, Premji, Naveen, Benny Dayal,
Female harmony:
Bombay Jeyashree, Sadhana Sargam, Mahathi, Sunitha Sarathy

After Dhaam Dhoom, Harris is back with his five classy decent songs for Sathyam. Being accused for repeated usage of beats in Bheema, harris has tried to evolve himself out of his old styles and come up with music anew.

1. Ivan udaiyum (Aaradi Kaathe)***
Singer: HariHaran
A hero worship song as well as an introduction number for another police officer. This song comes in the tradition of ‘Karka Karka’ from ‘vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu’ and ‘Oru mugamo’ from ‘Bheema’. At the beginning of this number we don’t hear many instruments save the rhythm beat. But when once the song crosses its crisis, many instruments join hands. particularly the traditional Kerala instruments and drum rolls in the second half add more spice. Hariharan establishes the supremacy of the hero very casually with his
melodic voice, Amazing! But the tune appears cliched and makes us feel, ‘after all another hero worship song’. The lyricist has tried his level best to do what the director has asked him to. Totally, this song gives us a ‘Trance effect’. May produce great results while being watched in the theatres. A wonderful song for rough and tough visualisation.

2. Ada gada****
Singer: Premji Amaran
A peppy rap song with a comic touch. The song opens with a mind blowing ‘shababarababambam’ which becomes a refrain of this song. This song is full of special effects(The echoing effects, distorted old sounds) and haunted by western instruments. May become the favourite number of youth and kids. Premji’s voice is so much in line with the music that it sounds like another instrument! Howsoever at the simplest level, the song has a very good melody, which reminds us Ilayaraja’s 80s. At times this song gives us the feel of Pudhu pudhu from Dhaam Dhoom and adhiradikkaran from Sivaji. The lyrics which are fabulously written in ‘Tanglish’ are funny and interesting!(Nee pazhaiya kaalathu lu(oo)na!). At the end of the story, a jolly good song, which we may listen to in repeat mode!

3. Chellame****
Singers: Bombay Jeyashree, Balram, Sunitha Sarathi
A Harris hallmark, in the traits of vaseegara from minnale, Unakkul Naane from PKMC and Saghiye from Dhaam Dhoom. Erotic as usual. Bombay jeyashree’s voice is a sweet poison which puts us in a heavenly trance. Once again the tune is a bit old and may not be cherished by a particular sect of
music connoisseurs( It reminds us ‘Idhu kaadhal kaadhal’ song). Among the instruments Violin and drums dominate. We could hear Harris’s musical talents unrolling with his perfect choice of instruments(Drums, violin, piano, flute and what not in this song?!) The strange chant which comes in the middle and ends with ‘vetkam vetkam’ ‘Nitham Nitham’ is excellent. This is a perfect song with romantic lyrics suitable for listening on a rainy day’s night after turning our lights off!

4. En anbe****
Singers: Sadhana Sargam, Benny Dayal
A heroine solo song. Takes a soft middle stand between Indian classical music and western music. A soft number with a ‘Iyengaaru veettu’ touch(but the tune is completely different). Similar to Chellame the Instrumental accompaniment is out of the ordinary. Sadhana Sargam sings our brains out! The chorus does a great job too. The sarod-tabla interlude of this song is notable. The lines and the music go hand in hand with each other. The unrecognised voices heard in the later half of the song takes us to a mystic wonderland. The tune of this pianissimotic number reminds us a few old songs. But not a bad song at all. Romance and romance all over again!

5. Paal Pappali***
Singers: Naveen Madhav, Mahathi
A kuthu song for the commercial fans. This song introduces itself with the indomitable ‘saavu melam’, but definitely not of the dirty ‘Srikanth Deva’ genre. The essence of this song is similar to jaari singaari from Thotti Jeya. There are a lot of speaking silences (or pauses) in this song which make it
different. This is a folkish ghaana song like ‘suppamma’ from ‘Rojakootam’. Heretoo we find violin pieces strewn here and there which increase the quality of this ordinary song. Both the singers add life to the native lyrics which takes us to a village-fest. “Style, class and elegance” seem to be the livewire of this album.


Sakkarakatti- Electrifying youth vibrancy!

Album name : Sakkarakatti
Release date : 11.7.08
Music Director : ARRahman
Number of Tracks : 6

Male harmony

Benny Dayal, Blaaze, ,Javed Ali, A R Rahman, Henry, Krish and Naresh Iyer

Female harmony

Chinmayi, Madhushree, Viviane Chaix and Indai Haza

The long awaited soundtrack of the movie Sakkarakatti has hit the stores yesterday. Rahman has scored half a dozen bright and colorful songs for this ‘Shanthanu’ starrer.

1. Taxi Taxi*****
Singers: Benny Dayal, Blaaze, Viviane Chaix and Javed Ali
Lyrics: Blaaze, Na Muthukumar, Viviane Chaix
Basically a friendship song like Mustafa, full of Blaaze’s Rap interludes, Vivian’s ooh laas and french chants. The rhythm of this song is pretty ordinary but the vocals and other additions take it to the next level. This song gives us the feel of a ‘Bollywood’ number. Lyrics bringout this ‘ipod’ age’s friends and their relationships with a bit of slapstick humour. Pals dont miss this!

2. Marudhani****
Singers: Madhushree, A R Rahman, Henry
Lyrics  : Vaali
Probably a heroine solo melody, with soft beats and chorus. Pleasant interludes and Rahman’s hummings complete this soft but quick number. This is the only song which contains ARR’s voice in this album. Dynamic Vaali’s lyrics are spoiled by Madhushree’s poor Tamil accent. So a kind request to Madhushree:’Please find a good tamil teacher before commiting your next Tamil song’.

3. I Miss You Da*****

Singers: Chinmayi, Indai Haza
Lyrics  : Na Muthukumar
Another solo female song in which ARR has experimented with converting different ordinary sounds into one sweet melody. Appears to be a fusion of pop music and dubstep genre. Chinmayi’s versatile voice realises ARR’s dream. Also the song progresses with ‘Adhiradikkaran’ kind of beats now and then. The chorus and beats are avant-garde. May demand a lot of listening before you love it. Muthukumar’s lyrics are very ordinary and fails to impress. The feel produced by this song is similar to the effect produced by ‘Maja Maja'(SOK) and ‘Kettena'(Desam). A song for the world!

Singers: Benny Dayal, Chinmayi
Lyrics  : Pa Vijay
A Tamil version of the song ‘Chinnamma Chilakkamma’ from Rahman’s soundtrack for the Hindi movie Meenaxi(2004). Though a repetitive seranade from ARR, not disappointing. Benny sings very similar to Sukhwinder, the singer of the original Chinnamma. But Benny beats Sukhwinder with his proper Tamil pronounciation. We could hear Sukhwinder’s humming at the end point of this song!. Benny’s adaptable voice eeks out his best at the high pitch areas. Chinmayi in this song sounds very different from ‘I miss you da’. Both the singers have given their maximum effort in this song. Pa Vijay’s lyrics have perfectly fit this Andhra folk song. The song begins like an old Telugu song played in an old philips radio. Fantastic! One of ARR’s best folk numbers. The Andhra feel reminds us ‘Errani Kurrani'(Kadhalan) song. With the usage of folk instruments and a few western equipment Rahman has challenged the kuthu song world!


Singers: Krish ,Naresh Iyer
Lyrics  : Na Muthukumar
Seems to be the ‘soul’ song of this movie. Full of guitar sounds, violin pieces and quick beats. Though the music is of the Rock genre, the lyrics and violin gives us ‘at home’ feeling. A positive and pleasant song which bridges east and west. Though a number of instruments are used, nothing goes haywire. Wonderful orchestration and coordination by ARR. In this song Muthukumar gains what he lost in ‘I Miss you da’ song. The song ends by providing us a jazz feel. Krish and Naresh sing exactly with the feel of south Indian boys. At times this song reminds us ‘Roobaaroo'(Rang De Basanti). But the utilisation of other instruments makes this song different.

6.Naan Epodhu****
Singers: Reena Bharadwaj
Lyrics  : Pa Vijay
Another reiteration from Meenaxi. The Same singer is called back. A wonderful North Indian style song, with a lovely tune and guitar interludes. Beautiful addition of effects at right times. Right choice of voice. Totally an awesome song. But, this awesome song is stained by the awkward pronounciation(Pen or pin??!!) of the singer. This is the third female solo song of this album and the shortest one. Pa Vijay’s romantic lyrics along with excellent instrumentation doesn’t fail to create the intended swooning effect. A sweet song!


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