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Yuganiki Okkadu (Aayirathil Oruvan) February 12, 2010

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Tamil, Telugu.
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In production for almost two years, Selvaraghavan’s magnum opus is finally out. To be honest, though I had high expectations from this film I kinda figured out it might in the end turn out be that great – given the track record of modern “period fantasies” in Indian cinema. I couldn’t have been more wrong – Yuganiki Okkadu totally blew me away! It’s bold, it’s original and most importantly – absolutely engrossing till the very last frame. The latter aspect could also be attributed to the fact that almost 40 minutes of footage from the original Tamil version were chopped off for Telugu audiences.

Yuganiki Okkadu begins as a rescue mission to an unknown place find the whereabouts about an archaeologist who had gone missing in search of a lost Chola Kingdom. I cannot give away anymore of the plot without major spoilers. Selvaraghavan (who also wrote the film) beautifully blends adventure, historical fiction and the supernatural – and it is precisely this expert plotting that mostly earns the film its brownie points. It is also very humorous in some of the most unexpected places. This is also a film where the elaborate set-pieces and VFX seem so much a part of the film – rather that stand out as the lone USPs in plotless blockbusters. But then this isn’t a film for a casual viewer or someone whose idea of a film is a “family entertainer”. There is uninhibited blood, gore and raw sexuality which is sure to alienate a considerable number of people.

The casting is again spot on. Karthi (his second film after three years), Reemma Sen and Andrea are the naughtiest trio you’ll see on screen for a very long time – especially the risque moments between them are a hoot. Parthiban excels in a major supporting role. G.V Prakash again comes up with a great score. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a Telugu movie so much in recent years and I can be pretty sure no one is going to bring out a movie like this in the future unless Selvaraghavan tries being even more awesome.


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

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