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Posts Tagged ‘A.R.Rahman’

Enthiran – Needs an update

There was a time in the early 90s when we saw a lot of toy robots imported from Singapore flooding the shops and showcases. They made funny electronic noises which made kids happy. Probably Shankhar wrote Enthiran by that time. Kalanithi Maran produced Enthiran is a middle of the road Rajini film with quite a few Shankar visuals. But the South Indian flavour and the Sun colors are enough to carry the film to the masses. Its time we came out of the movies of this sort.

The plot is simple. Vaseegaran (Rajini) a scientist invents a robot called Chitti(Rajini) assisted by two morons (Santhanam and Karunas) without even attending to his girlfriend Sana (Aishwarya Rai Bacchan). Vaseegaran wants his invention to become a part of the Indian army. Due to a few experiments which go haywire and the robot’s lack of emotions, Dr.Bohra (Danny Denzongpa) one of the members of the AIRT board disagrees to approve the robot. When Vaseegaran tries to imbibe emotions into the Robot, he fails. But when accidentally the robot acquires  emotions, problems begin for the relieved Vaseegaran. His creation falls head over heels in love with his better half. As the antagonist tells Vaseegaran just before the intermission, the story begins here. The movie starts with a very simple Rajini introduction and ends with a massive Rajini bonanza.

Rajini rocks as usual. Whatever he did in his earlier movies is repeated heretoo but in the robot’s skin. Humour and Rajini save the first half that otherwise would have become a big mess. When the robot runs over the train coupes like a control pressed cursor in text editing, we drop our jaws. There are a lot of other interesting chunks in the movie you should look out for. Inspite of the scenes which remind us of Judgement day, Iron man and transformers, Enthiran remains original. But the base line of the story takes us to the science fiction writers of the last century. Probably they were the sources of writer Sujatha’s inspiration. The final 25 minutes of the movie is the yummy chocolate piece which is hidden at the bottom of a cornetto ice-cream. Shankar and Rajini were successfully able to enliven up a dead script that has got no USP except Rajini, Visuals and the last of the eye candies:Aishwarya Rai Bachan. Rahman’s grand BGMs add salt to the movie and try to tie the audience to their seats during the song sequences. Shankar’s innovative vision even in cliched areas make Enthiran interesting in flashes. For a movie made from a cost much lesser than Matrix and Iron man, Enthiran’s visuals are amazing. Hats off to Shankar’s vision and the effort put in by his team.

Enthiran’s script goes haywire once we get back to our seats after the intermission. Shankar uses the MGR formula of a 3 songs after the interval which drains our energy and gives us a patience test. The script loses focus and clarity to the commercial purposes after the interval and makes Enthiran look like a Perarasu movie for a while till Shankar comes back to claim his place in the denouement. Also the ways in which the robot charges itself and the methods used by Vaseegaran to destroy the robot are hilariously illogical and outdated. Come on guys, we’ve grown up. Through out the movie robot makes noises that keeps us in the 80s. Once again Aishwarya Rai plays a dumb doll role toeing the lines of great Indian heroines. The second half of the movie lags and puts you to sleep despite a trio of Rahman numbers and wakes you up with a big noise at the end. Shankar’s vision to make extraordinary visuals is laudable. But his imaginative faculty which we saw scaling great heights in Mudhalvan and Indian falters in Enthiran. With an uninspiring story which runs mercilessly for almost 3 hours he had made Indian cinema a laughing stock. Lack of intelligence and common sense may be liked by the masses but not by any intellectual movie buff. The million dollar question that why most of the Indian film makers always fall short when it comes to good writing remains. The audiences have developed and are muffs no more and they deserve to be respected and not to be fooled.

Even A.R.Rahman’s BGMs don’t work in most parts of the latter half, while his songs are peppy enough to pull audiences out of their seats for a dance. R.Rathnavelu seems to be the master of Enthiran with his amazing camera work. Peter Hein’s stunts are kind of repetitive and need tweaking. Anthony Gonzalves still needs to check the movie once more for scissoring it’s sprawling length. .  Sabu Siril‘s set designs and architecture are amazing but again they’re ‘grandeur supporting nothingness’ in a few areas.   For those who were angry when SRK called robot a half baked story, see and know for yourselves. Enthiran says, I am a layman’s eye candy.

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Raavanan – Muscle , wrestle and the spectacle!


Vikram once said that, as an aspiring actor he pledged to quit acting if once happened to be in a Maniratnam film. His dream has come true. Vikram plays the lead Veera in Raavanan, the most anticipated Maniratnam movie of this season. Aesthetic technicians and star performers deliver us a typical adventure action film with a lot of Indian sensibilities and a bag full of Rahmanic tunes. To bring in the plot of the movie would be a mere waste of time since Raavanan is Maniratnam’s reinterpretation of the Great Indian classic Ramayana. For those who haven’t seen the movie yet and curious about it, Raavanan is a post-modern retelling of the classic Ramayana with a twist.

Raavanan’s plot  unfurls around Vikram who plays Veera aka Raavanan the Robin hood of the Tirunelveli forest with a bunch of villagers including Prabhu. Aishwarya Rai Bacchan plays Ragini, the reincarnation of Sita and Prithviraj plays the tough cop Dev, who is the duty oriented Ram of this version of Ramayana. A simple online search would tell you the no mystery story line of Raavanan. More than  anything else, the locations and the ace cinematography make Raavanan a most important film in the history of Indian films. Kudos to the technical team of Raavanan. The exotic set designs in a misty forest surrounded by waterfalls allow the Director to convert even his most ordinary shots into bizarre and unblemished ones. Raavanan is an eye candy with a good story and a mediocre screenplay.

The narrative technique used by Maniratnam is an age-old way of telling a story, except for the few areas where he adapts the Martin Scorsese like non-linear intercuts in adjacent scenes. But at the end of the day, the screenplay stands out as something cliched but  well told. The next hurdle for Raavanan comes in the form of Suhasini‘s dialogues, which miserably fail to travel along the film’s sexy texture and tone. Too much of information and artificiality mar even the otherwise good exchanges. Though Veera’s  multi-faceted characterisation is an advantage to the plot, it stops at an intellectual level failing to connect with the audience.

Vikram stands out in the film with his killer looks and the dandanakka refrain. Hats off to his million dollar performance. Since the film falls back heavily on feminism for its interpretation, Mrs.Rai Bacchan occupies most of the screen space and time and does justice to her almost perfect character as the beautiful hostage. Prithviraj’s merciless and menacing demeanor flawlessly suits Dev, the Superintendent of police. Other than these three, no character makes an impact on screen. Karthik who plays a pointless forest guard equated to Hanuman, Prabhu, the Kumbakarnan like Singarasu and Munna as Vibeeshnan come and go like passing clouds. Priyamani in Surpanakai‘s shoes,  just treads the same path as Paruthi veeran’s Muthazhagu and fails to leave a mark. Also there are no strong scenes to develop the unusual relationship that blossoms between Ragini and Veera. Ill-developed characters and lack of innovative storytelling spoil an otherwise lovely film. Maniratnam who dazzled us with great storytelling in Ayutha Ezhuthu,  disappoints us in Raavanan’s narrative.

If watched without a critical eye, Raavanan provides more than two hours of solid, quality entertainment(But not for the lay men). The early shots which show us the boat crash from below, the camera swing when Veera speaks to Ragini standing in a parisal, Dev’s angry cigarette stubbing, the falling down and climbing up shots, the great bridge showdown and  the final entry of  cops from the misty veil hail Maniratnam as one of the greatest directors of India today. When Maniratnam, Santosh Sivan and A.R.Rahman combine, this is the output: A visual spectacle with breathtaking shots carried to great heights by wings of music. The camera takes us everywhere: Under the water, inside the caves, into the waterfalls,  and even above the sky. Further it has eyed the forests of Chalakkudi, Ooty and so many other places of India with high-art seriousness. Sreekar Prasad effectively uses a number of inter-cuts to the end of intensified emotions to keep us entertained in a clichéd screenplay. The combination of colors have been immaculate in any Maniratnam movie and in this one as well. The final moments of battle is a perfect mix of instinctual mystery and technical mastery.

Though Tamil cinema has been borrowing heavily from the Ram-Raavanan myth ever since characters started to speak onscreen, this is the first time we see a complete reinterpretation of the epic. This attempt by Maniratnam is similar to what Anurag Kashyap did to the story of Devdas. Unlike Dev-d, Raavanan uses  ’ deconstruction’ in comparatively smaller amounts. But Raavanan falls short of Dev-d in terms of the narrative. Maniratnam succeeds as a man of good taste and  as a director but fails as a writer in Raavanan. Raavanan is not a classic but at the same time it is not a bad movie to be missed. Maniratnam’s Raavanan says I may go down, but I’ll walk tall in the  memory of not my lady love, but the lady who loved me.

-Spontic

Raavan – Muscle and wrestle.
Vikram once said that he would quit acting if he once acted in a Mani Ratnam film. His dream has come true. Vikram plays the

lead Veera in Raavanan, the most anticipated mani Ratnam movie of this season. Aesthetic technicians and star performers

deliver us a typical adventure action film with a lot of Indian sensibilities and with a bag full of Rahmanic music. To bring

in the plot of the movie would be a mere waste of time since it is Maniratnam’s reinterpretation of the Great indian classic

Ramayan. For those who haven’t seen the movie yet and curious about it, Raavan is a post-modern retelling of the classic

Ramayan with a twist.

Raavan’s plot  unfurls around Vikram who plays Veera aka Raavan the robinhood of the forest with a bunch of villagers and

including Prabhu. Aishwarya Rai Bacchan plays Ragini, the reincarnation of sita and Prithviraj plays the tough cop dev, who

is the duty oriented Ram of Maniratnam’s version of Ramayan. A simple online search would tell you the no mystery story line

of maniratnam’s Raavanan. More than  anything else, the locations and the ace cinematography make raavan a most important

film in the history of Indian films. Kudos to the technical team comprising Peter hein The exotic set designs in a misty

forest surrounded by waterfalls allow the Director to convert his most ordinary shoots into bizarre and unblemished ones.

Raavan is an eye candy with a good story and a mediocre screenplay.

The narrative technique used by Maniratnam is an age-old way of telling a story, except for the few areas where he adapts the

Martin Scorsese like non-linear intercuts in adjacent scenes. But at the end of the day, the screenplay stands out as

something cliched but  well told. The next hurdle for Raavanan comes in the form of Suhasini’s dialogues, which miserably

fail to travel along the film’s sexy texture and tone. Too much of information and artificiality mars even the otherwise good

exchanges. Sujatha sir, we badly miss you! Though Veera’s  multi-faceted character is an advantage to the plot, it stops with

an intellectual level failing to connect with the audience.

Vikram stands out in the film with his killer looks and the dandanakka refrain. Hats off to his million dollar performance.

Since the film falls back heavily on feminism for its interpretation, Mrs.Rai Bacchan occupies most of the screen space and

time and does justice to her almost perfect character as the beautiful hostage. Prithviraj’s merciless and menacing demeanor

flawlessly suits Dev, the superindent of police. Other than these three, no character makes an impact on screen. Kathik who

plays a pointless forest guard equated to Hanuman, Prabhu, the Kumbakarnan like singarasu and Munna asVibeeshnan come and go

like passing clouds. Priyamani in surpanakai’s seat just treads the same path as Paruthi veeran’s Muthazhagu and fails to

leave a mark. Also there are no strong scenes to develop the kinetic relationship that blossoms between Ragini and Veera.

Ill-developed characters and lack of innovative storytelling spoils an otherwise lovely film. Evidently Maniratnam needs to

update his storytelling software.

If watched without a critical eye, Raavan provides more than two hours of solid quality entertainment(But not for the lay

men). Right from the set of early shots which show us the boat crash from below the water surface, the camera swing when

Veera speaks to Ragini standing in a parisal, Dev’s angry cigarette stubbing on the criminals’ photo, the going down and

climbing up shots, the great bridge showdown till the final entry of the cops from the misty veil hail maniratnam as one of

the greatest directors of India today. When Maniratnam, Santosh Sivan and rahman combine, this is the output: A visual

spectacle with breathtaking shots carried to great heights by wings of music. The camera takes us everywhere: Under the

water, inside the caves, into the waterfalls,  and even above the sky. Sreekar Prasad effectively uses a number of intercuts

to the end of intensified emotions to keep us entertained in a cliched screenplay.The combination of colors have been

immaculate in any Maniratnam movie and in this one as well. The final monets of battle produce the intended effect with the

required momentum.

Though Tamil cinema is been borrowing heavily from the Ram-Raavanan myth ever since characters started to speak, this is the

first time we see an reinterpretation of the epic.  Maniratnam succeeds as a man of good taste, as a director but fails as a

writer in Raavanan. Raavan is not a classic but at the same time it is not a bad movie to be missed. Maniratnam’s Raavanan

says I may go down, but i’ll walk tall in the  memory of not my lady love but the lady who loved me.

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Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya – Music for love to feed on!

Being Rahman’s first Tamil album after Oscar and the long awaited Gautham-Rahman album, Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya has raised the expectation levels amidst music lovers of all sorts. And now, the sound track consists of 7 numbers, uniquely different from each other, and Thamarai’s immaculate lines continue to shine.

Male Harmony:Benny Dayal, Devan Ekambaram, Karthik, Vijay Prakash, Naresh Iyer,  A.R.Rahman , Alphonse Joseph and  Blaaze,

Female harmony:Kalyani Menon, Chinmayi, Suzanne D’ Mello and Shreya Ghoshal

Lyrics:Thamarai, Kaithapram, Kalyani Menon and Blaaze

1. Aaromale*****

Singer: Alphonse Joseph

Lyrics: Kaithapram

A soft but powerful malayalam rock song which Reminds us of the late 80’s English rock stars and recent mallu rock albums like Aviyal and Thaalam. Alphonse’s vocals take us high when unleashed to the max. And about the tune, it’s one of those Rahman melodies which will haunt your music buds for a long time. The entrancing use of the guitar and the mellifluous chorus will turn your speakers in to a midnight’s stage and your room in to an open auditorium!

2.Omana Penne*****

Singers: Benny Dayal, Kalyani Menon

Lyrics: Thamarai, Kalyani Menon(Malayalam lines)

To be simple, this song is a scoop of vanilla ice-cream with a cherry on top! The composer’s imagination takes you for a magical mystery tour when the Nadaswaram piece begins in the background. Benny Dayal’s already feminine style of singing and the use of synthesiser makes him a flawless instrument competing with the Nadaswaram. And the sparingly used Kalyani Menon’s part in musical Malayalam is the cherry on top. If a master chef like Rahman tries a new dish with Tamil, Malayalam and a few table spoons full of quality music, it shall be called Omana Penne!

3.Mannippaya*****

Singers: A.R.Rahman, Shreya Ghoshal

Lyrics: Thamarai

As the name suggests this is a sorry song which will never make you feel sorry for listening to it. Once again the age old saying that the best of melodies are born in the saddest of situation, proves to be true. Evidently this song is a descendant of Kathale from Duet, Uyire from Bombay, Oru Poiyavathu from Jodi and Aaruyire from Guru. Shreya Ghoshal’s voice is as sweet as a melting chocolate and Rahman hits us with his voice of a lover in sad plight.The christian choir like rendering of a few kurals at the latter end of this song blends two apparently dissimilar things and is very different from that of the Kural song we listened to in Connexions. A song close to the heart of love and everlasting lovers!

4.Anbil Avan*****

SIngers: Devan Ekambaram, Chinmayi

Lyrics: Thamarai

This is a marriage song which asks us to choose love. Here we see a blend of Hindu and Christian musical elements. Also the music sensibility of this song reminds us the golden times of MSV. Devan who is back to Rahman’s camp after a long time is more mature in his timbre and Chinmayi’s versatile vocals aptly fit this amorous tune. As Rahman said earlier, this song is a mix of two cultures. The use of Mridangam Nadaswaram and Church Organ along with synthesised chorus creates the needed atmosphere!

5. Hosanna*****

Singers: Vijay Prakash, Blaaze, Suzanne D’Mello

Lyrics: Thamarai, Blaaze (Rap)

‘A breezy hip-hop song with an intoxicating orchestration’ would be the perfect definition of Hosanna. This song is like that beautiful city of our dreams where we will never find our way out. Turns and twists with a touch of pathos can do magic and that’s what Hosanna does. Once again Rahman establishes that for a song to be effective, technology should be used cautiously. Vijay Prakash’s definite voice takes control of the whole song to the last word, where as Suzanne’s voice supports the lead neatly from the background. The rhythm of this song bears close similarity to Tu Muskura from Yuvvraj.  And in between, Blazee’s rap comes in like a flash and takes us off in style. And Thamarai’s lyrics for this song is the best of the album. Save me, I beseech you! hails this lover with Hosanna!

6.Vinnaithaandi Varuvaya****

Singer: Karthik

Lyrics: Thamarai

Here what we have is an acoustic song with a lot of emotions packed into it. Karthik is as alive and kicking as usual and as anytime before. The tune is fresh and takes some time to grow into you. Being the title track, this number sets the tone of the film. Must be seen with visuals to be appreciated completely. And we can see boys singing this around the city with a guitar in a few months time. A song dedicated to the moon lovers!

7.Kannukkul Kannai****

Singer: Naresh Iyer

Lyrics: Thamarai

A fast paced pop-rock number packed with a lot of techno elements. Rahman’s favourite singer Naresh Iyer drives it home in full throated ease. Apart from a strong resemblance to a couple of songs from Rahman’s latest Hindi album Blue, this number reminds us of Maramkothiye from Anbe Aaruyire. The violin sound which peeps in continuously is a pleasure to listen. At last a song for Discotheque lovers and dance lovers. This song raises our curiosity to see Simbu dance to its tune. Thamarai’s lyrics cleverly portray the mind of a young man trying to win the heart of his lady love without being too cliched.

Though the wait for the album was frustrating, Rahman dispatches tunes which are worth the wait and has tried to do something different and that which he hasn’t done before. Though something in the lines of Minsara kanavu, Indian and Alaipayuthey would have guaranteed him a winner, he steps on to a different plane in Vinnai thaandi Varuvaayaa. And the tunes mean business and not of the syrupy stuff. So Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya is an album showcasing different images of love!

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