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Kathanayakudu August 4, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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3 comments

It was hard to screw up a film like Chandramukhi no matter how hard one tried – the plot of that flick was attractive enough to hide the filmmaker’s incompetence. And to his advantage P. Vasu had already helmed the Kannada version before. However, this time he isn’t so lucky and what you see is the merciless slaughter of another Malayalam blockbuster “Katha Parayumbol”.

Agreed – a lot of people knew beforehand that Rajnikanth wasn’t the main lead (notwithstanding the deceptive promotional campaign) but nobody would have expected his role to be restricted to a couple of monologues, a couple of songs and some fleeting glimpses. But that could have been completely forgiven if the rest of the film had something interesting to say. Nothing of that sort happens either. The original flick was supposed to be about this poor barber and his family and how his life changes after the arrival of a “superstar” in the village since this “superstar” happened to be the childhood friend of the barber. From what I’ve read it was also supposed to be a satirical take on “Star Worship”. What you get in this remake is a cringingly good barber (reminds me of those protagonists in “Super Good Films” features) and a pathetic comedy track which never seems to end. Also, the supposed satire on “Star Worship” almost turns into a justification of the whole phenomenon.

The somewhat emotional climactic reels are one of the few redeeming factors. Another one being G.V. Prakash Kumar’s score. The songs come in as a welcome relief and the “Cinema Cinema” song especially gels very nicely with the situation. If there is one thing which prevents this film from being unwatchable it is Jagapathi Babu. Despite being saddled with an overly melodramatic role he still makes you root for him with his earnest portrayal. I hope this film would revive his career again. Meena, who is back in a Telugu film after a long time does a fine job too.

I only hope Priyadarshan’s remake Billoo Barber with Irrfan and Shahrukh would do justice to the Malayalam original. Watch Kathanayakudu if you have to only for Jagapathi Babu. As for Rajni fans, I’d suggest that they wait for Shankar’s Robot next year.

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7/G Brindavana Colony (7/G Rainbow Colony) August 23, 2006

Posted by Sai in Movies, Reviews, Tamil, Telugu.
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16 comments

The two minute trailer of this movie set to the theme music was what brought my attention to this movie. The trailer was so beautifully cut and so in tune with the theme music that I was sure this was one director to watch out for.

Generally, love in movies happens fast and without much explanation. And when this kind of love happens between two people with very different backgrounds, it is generally not very believable. However, this movie succeeds where most movies fail. Selvaraghavan (who wrote and directed this movie) captures the realism that is not present in most movies. He creates the character of the main protagonist very well without making him unnecessarily noble to cover his flaws. The character is that of a bewarse (useless) guy who hangs out with a group of friends fighting, teasing women, boozing and so on. Though we have seen similar characters, none of them have been believable in the sense that they seem to have other redeeming characteristics but this one does not.

Now, if such a guy happens to fall in love with a girl from a better background, there is no way that she will fall in love with him (unlike many other movies where unreasonably she falls in love at first sight or the second or after a bunch of arguments). But she does and the reasons for her changing feelings are depicted very competently. This is where the movie succeeds. The guy’s love for the girl, the girl’s changing feelings, his inability to change and much more is skillfully captured on screen.

The climax caught many people off guard and a traditional mind set caused an instant dislike for some. However, I believe that this movie without the climax would not be what it is. Caught between her responsibility towards her parents and her affection for the guy, she needs to make a choice. The feelings of the girl at that point are very believable. I was so involved in the movie that what happens after this hit me like a rock. The climax haunted me for a couple of days.

Anybody who thinks that the climax is giving wrong ideas or teaching wrong morals to youngsters should think again. Anyone who is talking about wrong morals is talking crap. Morals are not about sex. Morals are about doing the right thing. Morals are about ethics and honesty. These are rarely present in society, which is reflected in most movies (by this standard any movie which shows a murder, robbery or even lying is showing wrong morals). However, we have conveniently sidestepped the real issues, focusing on sex for any talk about morals. If you believe that you have never done anything wrong and if you believe that you have been honest and ethical throughout your life then you have morals. I don’t know a single person who can claim this including me. So I don’t believe we are allowed to give lectures about why someone or something is morally wrong.

Yuvan Shankar Raja’s soundtrack and background score are awesome. The theme is my favorite (it is supposedly inspired partly from Ilayaraaja’s theme for a movie called Johny). Talachi Talachi Choosa (Ninaithu Ninaithu), Kannula Baasalu (Kanpaesum Varthaigal) and Kalalugane Kaalalu (Kanaa Kaanum) stand out among the other songs.

Ravi Krishna seems to be born to play the role of the main protagonist. This being his first movie, there are no preconceived notions about him and that helps him in successfully fitting the role. Sonia Agarwal does an excellent job too. Suman Setty as the friend and Chandra Mohan as the father are good in supporting roles.

Selvaraghavan (also known as Sri Raghava to telugu audiences) is among the best young directors of South India. He crafts a brilliant film. This movie may not appeal to those who are looking for conventional entertainment. This movie is really for a thinking audience or one that enjoys drama. Anybody who is bored with cliched love stories should watch this.