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Oy! July 6, 2009

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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The first frame of Oy! opens with the director stating his admiration for and admitting his inspiration from Erich Segal’s “Love Story“. In a further (rather too honest) admission, the second frame features a bigger list of about 10 movies or so which inspired him. That second frame is visible on the screen for less than a second – maybe we were really not meant to see it. I think it’s because after watching Oy! some of the audience members would try to figure out where exactly those “inspirations” were and hardly find any.

In essence, Oy! is supposedly a “terminal illness” flick which tries hard at every moment not to appear like one. Probably a good idea if you don’t want to alienate viewers who “cannot accept a heroine dying in the end”. Debutante Anand Ranga seriously needs to get a few basic concepts right. First of all trying to make a tragic story into happy one doesn’t translate to inserting insipid “comedy” tracks whose only connection to the movie is that the actors in them share a scene or two with lead pair. More disturbing is his conception of an “ideal woman” in Shamili’s character – whose simplicity is linked with ease to her dumb religiosity and superstitions.

Shamili is a undoubtedly a fine actress and one has to give her credit for pulling off such a badly written role. Siddharth is a livewire as usual in yet again a role tailor-made for him. Unfortunately, he seems to have been caught like many others in the alternate movie jinx – on the brighter side we can hope that his next much talked about big-budget venture might be a good one. Apart from the lead pair, Yuvan Shankar Raja’s score is the only good thing about this movie. The best numbers show up when the movie still hasn’t begun its downhill ride. My pick is the title track (extremely well rendered by Siddharth) which is still playing in my head.

Oy! doesn’t make you cry when it tries to be tragic nor does it make you laugh when it tries to be funny. I feel some of the reviews of this film have been too generous; however given the involvement of Siddharth with this venture – the outcome is indeed disappointing. Worth only a watch in fast-forward mode when the DVD comes out.

Ananda Thandavam April 14, 2009

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Tamil, Telugu.
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Now that I’ve seen the movie, I think I might have figured out atleast to some extent the basic idea of what the original source material was all about. That’s probably the best compliment Ananda Thandavam can receive from me. A good number of folks who were in the audience with me can’t even say this because they didn’t even bother to hang on till the end.

Most of the times when highly anticipated films go horribly wrong; it is almost always because a concept which sounded good on paper doesn’t translate to the screen as expected. But this one is an exception. Here is an acclaimed director who sets about the task to translate an acclaimed writer’s most popular work on screen and the resulting film seems more as if the filmmaker wanted to get back at the (now dead) writer to settle a past lingering grudge. I seriously cannot find a better explanation than this.

I won’t speak about the plot because it might give you an much better impression of the film than it actually is. Coming to what went wrong the crappy screenplay comes instantly to my mind. However, even more vexing are the characters and the way they actually behave. Topping the list is that of Tamannaah. The intent of the filmmaker seems to be to project her thoughts and actions as childish but at the end of it she comes across more like a retarded slut. In fact there is a scene in the movie when the hero’s dad casts doubts on Tamannaah’s behaviour especially given that her parents are unusually eager to get her married to a guy they hardly know and much lower in social standing. At that point of time I guessed there really was some issue with the girl which would take the film in a new direction. Later I realized that was just the beginning of my disappointments.

The hero’s IQ also seems to be just one point more than that of our leading lady. In the midst of this there is one more guy – the philandering rich bald guy who everyone is supposed to hate; even here the director gets it wrong for the only thing you want to hate about him is his fake bald patch – tell me one instance in your life when you saw a brown skinned guy with a balding scalp painted in “white”. In spite of these and other umpteen causes I was still kinda interested know how this craziness would continue all the way till the end. A.R. Gandhi Krishna doesn’t disappoint in that aspect – the consistent imbecility delivered in each frame is really impressive. Even the talented G.V Prakash Kumar fails to impress except for the final song which is beautifully choreographed as well. I wouldn’t really blame the actors for their performances for I don’t see how they could have done more justice to their roles.

Ananda Thandavam is unarguably an instant “so-bad-it’s-good” flick but I think we might need to invent a new category for this – something on the lines of “I-actually-made-it-through-this” flick. Watch it if reading this piece has actually aroused your curiosity – I can’t offer any reason otherwise why you might subject yourself to this. Sujatha surely must be rolling in his grave.

Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam February 20, 2009

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam could have been just another feel good family entertainer on the lines of Dil Raju’s uber-successful flicks – with the underlying thread this time being separated parents. This part is built around the usualĀ  boy-meets-girl and boy-trying-to-win-over-girl’s-father stuff. What makes it stand out is however is the effervescent lead pair of Siddharth and Tamannaah who complement each other so well – something you hardly seen in Telugu mainstream cinema.

The film is mostly lighthearted and even if Brahmanandam’s act happens to be the one which doesn’t impress relatively; still watching him in that hilarious “Geethanjali” gag suffices for it. Venu Madhav actually gets a better role as the hero’s sidekick. Prakash Raj, Ramyakrishna and Nazar are fine as usual. Another thing you’ll take home is the music by Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. It’s a wonderful score and the picturization of the songs is the icing on the cake. The title track is extremely catchy but the one I absolutely loved is the “Subramanyam” number. In terms of pure content there is hardly anything new about this film but the extremely good packaging and other factors combined make it a cool watch.

Apart from the film itself, I was much impressed with the really nice poster campaign – don’t get to see such things too often. Siddharth is in top form though it must be a cakewalk for him to do such roles now. Tamannaah might have a slightly subdued role but she always makes her presence felt – finally an actress who can be given a meaty role to handle and who is not called Genelia. The producer and director go by the names Bujji and Dolly but thankfully their work isn’t as frivolous.

On the whole, KIKK is a fun-filled outing – go for it!