In our part of the world where cop movies are either about machoism or the good prevailing over the bad, 'Vikram Vedha' remains refreshingly non-judgemental and evolves into a stunning psychological thriller that’s crafted exquisitely and executed to perfection by the charismatic lead cast!
With Dunkirk, Nolan takes himself, his crew and the viewers through uncharted waters and as we sail through the story, shows how war films could be handled extremely different from some of the most famous ones we may have seen and yet give an equally immersive experience as they all have done.
April started with a bang for Tamizh Cinema with opinions cluttering our social media feeds on Kaatru Veliyidai and 8 Thottakal being accepted almost unanimously for its daring content. With Kadamban being passable, it was Pa Paandi that became the talk of the town for its mature content and music, with the additional attraction of being Dhanush’s debut directorial venture. The magnificent Baahubali storm took hold of not just Kollywood but Indian cinema as a whole for a few weeks with only brave independent films like Lens managing to sustain despite releasing in its aftermath. Films like Saravanan Irukka Bayamaen and Yeidhavan (which was well-intentioned) could not break the spell of Baahubali which had audiences thronging the theatres for repeat viewing and multiplex programmers giving it the prime shows. The end of May saw some good efforts like Sangili Bungili Kadhave Thorae and Brindavanam get good response from the critics as well as the box office. Samuthrakani’s much-delayed Thondan was as usual panned by the critics for being preachy yet it managed to attract the masses. Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu, fresh from its premiere in 17th edition of The New York Indian Film Festival managed to get fantastic reviews from a majority of the critics but could not get widespread audience acceptance due to the lack of shows. Gautham Karthik’s much delayed Rangoon opened to excellent reviews with the debutant filmmaker Rajkumar Periasamy’s scripting and attention to detail being praised. Vikram Prabhu’s Sathriyan directed by S.R.Prabhakaran was disappointing while Peechankai was dismissed for not being able to achieve the quirkiness of Soodhu Kavvum in the Black Comedy genre in spite of the interesting knot. Uru suffered the same fate as Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu due to lack of shows and the reviews could not sustain the film long enough in the big screen. But one’s loss is another one’s gain as Maragadha Naanayam which released in the same week became one of those rare films that got critical and commercial acclaim. The fantasy storyline and the hilarious unravelling of the knot worked big time with the masses. Silambarasan’s much talked about Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan [1D] opened to disastrous reviews which aided films like Maragadha Naanayam, Vanamagan and Ivan Thanthiran capture more screens. Vanamagan was praised for the monumental effort of the entire team in terms of performances and CG, it was however derided for being quite similar to Kadamban which released few months back. Ivan Thanthiran got some great comments from both the youth and the critics and it was two in a row for Gautham Karthik with Rangoon also doing well. However, due to the GST and local municipal tax issue and the theatre strike that followed, all the films releasing in June suffered in terms of collections. Overall we at PipingHotViews ended with the below 5 picks of the films that released in this quarter with films like Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu, Ivan Thanthiran, Brindavanam and Uru narrowly missing out.
8 Thottakkal is a film that could have been so much more, but loses steam in the second half in spite of a towering performance from M.S.Bhaskar. Too many stage-play-like dialogues and convenient coincidences bring down the engagement quotient. Still a good effort from a debutant filmmaker who places value on content over style.
With dark humour as its uncompromised base, Maragadha Naanayam keeps adding more flavours of fantasy and adventure as it rolls along. Witty writing covers up for the flat lining phases of the narrative to ensure the creativity stays afloat to spring surprises!
Rangoon is driven way above your average lot of whodunits by confident performances and concerted efforts at stringing a credible story. Pampered by brilliant music and captivating songs, the overall experience is nothing short of a roller-coaster that looked promising for even more!
Yeidhavan is another one of the promising ventures that loses steam towards the end primarily due to too much of spoon feeding via dialogues. Still it is a watchable film from debutant Sakthi Rajasekaran, Kalaiarasan and Team.
A young couple is being shown a fully furnished house in Mumbai by a broker who waxes lyrical about the housing society and how neighbors are never a problem as everybody has their own business to mind. As decision time beckons we see the differing perspectives of the couple and the fact that they are in a live-in relationship. Out of nowhere, the broker says the society doesn’t allow live-in couples. Of course, we don’t see the lady breaking into a song to impress the association head à la Ok Kanmani. The broker instead proposes an idea to solve their problem. And what an idea it is!
In an age where content-driven movies are hard to come by and humor usually means double entendre, Ondu Motteya Kathe is a welcome change and has not just a simple and strong story line but also some intense individual performances and shrewd direction. It does take guts to make a movie out of a situation that one come across in everyday life but it take some real astuteness to sell it as a product and convince the audience. Raj B Shetty checks these boxes!!
With an ensemble cast, rich production canons, stunning cinematography, frame-after-frame jaw-dropping extravaganza, S.S. Rajamouli has not just matched the anticipations but has truly outstripped his own benchmarks. This truly is one magnum opus not just for its grandeur but also for its captivating acting and keep-you-glued-to-your-seats story-telling.