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Mahanati / Nadigaiyar Thilagam - Instant Movie Review #40

Nag Ashwin's - "Mahanati / Nadigaiyar Thilagam"

Positives:
1) Keerthy Suresh
2) Story and Screenplay
3) Direction
4) Production Design
5) Cinematography
6) Music
7) Performances

Negatives:
1) Subplots

Introduction - Directed by Nag Ashwin, who's responsible for one of the best films of 2015 in Yevade Subramanyam, Mahanati is a biographical drama based on the controversial yet heartening life of Savitri garu, one of the most celebrated and exceptional female actresses of the 50's, 60's and the 70's in both Tollywood and Kollywood film industries. The storyline follows the journey of Savitri from her childhood to get married to her sweetheart Gemini Ganesan and later spoiling her health and relations with her family after getting addicted to alcohol.

Analysis - Now, making a biopic is a tough task, the research, and the execution have to be spot on cause you don't want things to go south when presenting the life stories of one biggest lady superstars. Nag Ashwin, did a fantastic job directing the film and the screenplay (excluding the sub-plots) was well written. The film's objection was to make us love, care and feel for the protagonist's character and it delivered on that level cause I didn't find a single person in the theatre without a teary eye. The technical aspects of the movie, cinematography and production design also deserve a notable appreciation. Also, the music and the background score by Mickey J. Meyer was outstanding and matched the film's vibe remarkably.

Performances - Now, portraying Savitri garu and her character accurately is one giant obstacle or even casting the right actor to represent the character is also a huge task. With that being said, Keerthy Suresh was phenomenal to a point where I believed that I was watching Savitri garu on-screen. Her ability to transform into this character who has a multitude of variations has to be appreciated and she carried her role perfectly. She is one of the reasons why the movie worked out so well. Her co-star Dulquer Salmaan along with the supporting cast, Samantha Akkineni, and Vijay Devarakonda also did their best in their respective roles.

Verdict - Overall, Mahanati is an incredible, emotional, thoughtful and a well-illustrated biopic of one of the most beloved actresses of South Indian Cinema and this film did the best it could to display her love for humanity, acting, and movies. So far, without a doubt, the best film of the year.

My Rating - 4/5 | Website's Twitter Handle - @JustMovieFreaks
An Instant Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Naga Chaitanya and Samantha Back Together for Another Film!?

Naga Chaitanya and Samantha Akkineni were and will always be one of the most beloved couples in Tollywood. The newly-wed were seen together in three films previously and their generous admirers are excited for a very long time now to see this adorable pair back together on the silver screen.

Well, if rumors are true, Director Shiva Nirvana ("Ninnu Kori" fame) had already pitched a story draft to Chaitanya with which he was pretty much impressed by and also suggested that his hot gorgeous wife Samantha would be the perfect fit as the female lead. Hopefully, if everything progresses accordingly, we might see Chai and Sam together in a movie very soon.

Currently, Naga Chaitanya is busy shooting for his upcoming film opposite to Anu Emmanuel and comparatively, Samantha is also busy wooing Ram Charan Tej in "Rangasthalam".

A Movie News Report by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal) | Website's Twitter Handle - @JustMovieFreaks

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Mersal / Adirindi - Movie Review

Verdict - “Skilfully Made Commercial Entertainer”

Problems and Vijay movies would make the best love story. Yet again his movie faced numerous allegations from various people, only to be proved wrong and Mersal released amid much fanfare coinciding Diwali festival. Did it satisfy the mammoth expectations? 

Mersal follows the Lemuria continent old story of two brothers avenging the brutal murder of their parents. Atlee’s search for a fresh script without any adaptation continues with Mersal too. Yet what makes Atlee’s movie entertaining is his way of presenting it to the audience.

Atlee managed to throw some spotlight on the dark side of Medical Business and harsh reality about the private hospitals. The scenes and dialogues about the present condition of the state (TN) and the country are highly commendable. Though is the story is nothing new, he has extensively worked on the screenplay with Vijayendra Prasad and executed it well with the top-notch technical team. 

Vijay plays triple roles in this movie and to be honest, this was one of his best performances in his career. His screen presence, charisma, extra-ordinary dialogue delivery proves that he is an amazing entertainer. 

The three sidekicks for three Vijay characters - Nithya Menen, Kajal Aggarwal, Samantha Akkineni didn’t have almost anything to do with the movie. Except for Nithya Menen who had some scope in the second half of the movie and also had more screen time than the other two heroines. 

S.J. Surya yet again succeeds in his portrayal as the antagonist. It’s surprising to see him accomplish his task with so much ease and he looks like a born artist specially made for Villain roles.

Cinematography by debutant G.K. Vishnu deserves appreciation. The movie was visually rich; especially the song “Aalaporan Tamizhan” was absolutely a delight to watch on the big screen. 

The movie has a runtime of over 2 hours and 40 minutes, yet it looked crisp and racy with Ruben’s cut. Even though the first half was a bit lagging, it wasn’t a problem. 

‘The Mozart of Madras’ has brilliantly composed the movies background score with no boisterous music which usually adorns a commercial movie. It didn’t even have a specific theme song and the BGM mingles flawlessly with the movie scenes, giving it the right momentum needed. 

Though being an inspired and off-the-record adapted movie, Atlee managed to pull off a worthy commercial entertainer with a social message. Despite the fact that it has certain logic issues, Mersal is surely a praiseworthy movie for the festive weekend.

My Rating - 3/5
Grade - B (Entertaining With Noticeable Flaws!)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK  (@Nirmalraj2911)

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24 - Movie Review

Verdict - "A remarkable attempt!"

What would you do if you have a watch that not only displays time but also allows you to travel back and forth? Well, I would stop myself from joining Engineering. 

The most awaited film of the year 24; directed by Vikram Kumar stars Suriya in a triple role. The film demystifies one of the most complicated theory and impossible thing to do – Time Travel.

While certain directors intricate the movie by explaining the theory of time travelling, Vikram Kumar had made this film with minimal to zero elaboration of concepts making it easier to understand.

Athreya (Suriya) is the new badass villain in the tinsel town. Though the character is trapped in a wheelchair, Suriya hasn’t failed to show utmost evilness with his looks, body language and dialogue delivery and joins the elite club of baddies. 

Sethuraman (Suriya) is an innocent scientist and the twin brother of Athreya, living a peaceful life with his wife Priya (Nithya Menon) and child. He spends most of the time in his laboratory and works dedicatedly on his Project 24 (A watch which can be used to control the time). Things change when Athreya comes in search of him for the watch and what happens next forms the beginning of the movie. 

Mani (Suriya) is a happy-go-lucky guy and has a watch repair shop. He falls in love with Sathya (Samantha) who comes as a customer to his shop. He has the Project 24 with him and once he gets to know what the watch could do, he has some fun with it until Athreya comes in search of it. 

Samantha is an oozing beauty. Though she has limited screen time, she makes sure everyone falls in love with her eyes and expressions. Saranya Ponvannan, Ajay, Sathyan, Appukutty, Girish Karnad, Mohan Raman and others have done the role of supporting the narration with perfection. 
 
The biggest plus of the movie is its special effects. 24 have one of the best visuals in Tamil cinema industry. They were indeed spell bounding and the flawless CG and VFX along with Thirru’s cinematography made the movie look visually rich. 

A.R.Rahman, his songs and background score serve as another backbone to the film. While the songs are already ruling our playlist, the perfectly scored background music especially the Athreya Theme gives goosebumps.

A simple story made on a complex concept, yet it’s elegant and easy to understand. Vikram Kumar gives a wholesome entertainment for three hours. 

My Rating - 3.75/5
Grade - B+ (Highly Entertaining)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK  (@Nirmalraj2911)

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Thanga Magan – Movie Review

Verdict: “Thanga Magan fails to glitter.” 

Teaming up once again with the blockbuster “Vellai Illa Pattathari” team, the anticipation was extremely high for Dhanush’s Thanga Magan. But it failed to meet the pre-release expectations due to its nondescript story and the monotonous screenplay. 

Tamizh (Dhanush) is a happy-go-lucky guy who whiles away the time with his friend Kumaran (Satish) and cousin Aravindh (Adith Arun). After a break-up with Hema D’souza (Amy Jackson), his parents (K.S. Ravikumar & Raadhika) get him married to Yamuna (Samantha Ruth Prabhu). They lead a happy life until Tamizh’s father commits suicide after being accused of stealing an important file in his office. The rest of the plot deals with Tamizh finding the reason behind his father’s suicide.

A mediocre plot and a predictable screenplay, this is what director Velraj offers in Thanga Magan. The second half of the film was boring to watch with few dull scenes and punch dialogues that were awful. The movie had its moments in the first half of the film, the romantic scenes with Amy Jackson were alluring and the comical part with Satish was good. 

Dhanush never fails to impress with his acting skills. He had given his best in the teenager as well as in the matured age character. But it doesn’t seem to be good for this National Award Winning actor to lose his unique style and mannerism and copy his father-in-law. Dhanush tries to imitate SuperStar Rajnikanth in few scenes in the second half of the film that didn’t receive any cheers from the audience. 

Amy Jackson gave a passable performance. The on-screen chemistry between Dhanush and Samantha was adorable. They both perfectly reflected the middle-class husband and wife. K.S.Ravikumar did justice to his role and he impressed me with his acting skills. Others were okay to an extent.

Though Anirudh’s songs were ear pleasing, the background score was just average to poor. Cinematographer Kumaran had filmed the songs in a very eye-pleasing manner. 

Nevertheless, Thanga Magan is strictly a one time watch for its romantic scenes and the fine-looking first half. 

My Rating - 2.5/5
Grade - C+ (It deserves your attention for a while!)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK (@Nirmalraj2911)

Maari - Movie Review: Click Here
Vellai Illa Pattathari - Movie Review: Click Here

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Son of Satyamurthy - Movie Review

With an imposing combination of a gigantic cast and a skillful director, Son of Satyamurthy recounts a striking story of Viraj (Allu Arjun), an affable moneyed man, who finds himself in a dejected situation after the death of his father as the narrative transacts between human values, relationships, and emotions. 

Quoted as a "Trivikram's Celluloid", this movie had all the attributes and traits we insist on. The complex and the eloquent dialogue raised the quality and made the movie much more compelling to watch. And the director's writing was competent when it comes to comedy and the way he articulated the moral values in the movie.

But, on the other side, the slapdash structure and the mundane screenplay (notably in the second half) which didn't really give the substance to few characters, made the movie a little tedious to watch.

Congested with a mighty potent star cast, performances from Allu Arjun, Samantha, Upendra, Rajendra Prasad and Nithya Menen were overall decent and could be better if they're given few brief characters.

Altogether, Son of Satyamurthy is filled with good thoughts and intentions and is a definite entertainer for a casual one-time watch. 

My Rating - 3/5
Grade - B (Worth a watch!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Kaththi – Movie Review

Verdict: "Sensitive subject dealt with utmost brilliance, A.R.Murugadoss strikes again".

Kaththi the latest outing of Vijay and A.R.Murugadoss after Thupakki released today with sky-high expectations. It has “Ilaiyathalabathy” Vijay playing dual role as Kathiresan and Jeevanandham, supported by Samantha, Satish and Neil Nithin Mukesh.

Kathiresan (Vijay) is an escaped convict from jail who wants to make some fast cash and leave to Bangkok. Jeevanandham is a social activist who is fighting against a MNC trying to capture his village for its groundwater. In a blink of eye, Kathiresan finds himself in the shoes of Jeevanandham fighting against the evil corporate biggie Neil Nithin Mukesh and Jeevanandham lands in Jail.

A.R.Murugadoss deals with the most unrecognised problems in the society like farming lands being taken by Multinational companies, farmer’s suicide and media’s working only for TRP Ratings. It’s indeed a bold attempt by A.R.Murugadoss to take up a sensitive subject.

But he deals it with ease. A.R.Murugadoss has scripted the movie very well and the screenplay is engrossing despite few sluggish scenes in the first half. Dialogues were too sharp and mind blowing in many scenes, especially the one line definition of Communism is not to be missed.

Vijay had given some never before seen performance in Kaththi. There was no usual mass introduction scene and introduction song with philosophy in Kaththi. Samantha didn’t have much screen time expect for appearing in songs and supporting Vijay with his cause.

Neil Nithin Mukesh, the handsome villain, did a great job as a corporate biggie. Satish was as usual good with his one-liners. All the old people in the movie have been carefully handpicked to make their part look sentimental.

Anirudh’s steals the show with his magnificent Background score. Already the songs had become a huge hit but the misplacement of it in the movie makes it unenjoyable.

George C. William’s cinematography mixes with the story and with help of other technicians make in synchronization with colours. “Lalgudi” Ilaaiyaraaja’s art direction is brilliant, especially in ‘Aathi” song.

Finally, Kaththi has all the ingredients to make it a perfect commercial entertainer with a strong social message. Vijay, A.R.Murugadoss and the whole Kaththi team deserves applause for bringing in the much needed social awareness.

My Rating: 3.25/5
Grade: B (Entertaining! With noticeable flaws)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK (@Nirmalraj2911)

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Anjaan – Movie Review

Verdict - “Predictable plot and weak screenplay makes Anjaan a huge let down”

Anjaan, another hugely anticipated movie of 2014 released on August 15th amid tremendous fanfare but failed to satisfy the sky high expectations.

Starring Suriya, Samantha and Vidyut Jamwal in the lead, the plot of the movie is about two Mumbai Gangster-duos Chandru Bhai (Vidyut Jamwal) and his best friend Raju Bhai (Suriya). It is just another ordinary revenge drama with few predictable twists.

Director Lingusamy has come up with a script that is spineless and with a weak screenplay. There is absolutely nothing new to look out in Anjaan’s story. And its mighty length adds misery to our suffering. The movie’s second half drags with lots of unwanted scenes portraying friendship of Chandru Bhai and Raju Bhai and tests our patience till the end.

Suriya was masculine with rugged look and in a not before seen stylish avatar. So was Vidyut Jamwal. Both the dudes were enough to woo us with their charisma and screen presence. Even Samantha changes her girl-next-door look in this movie to an ultra modern fashion babe. She is not to be missed in the songs “Kadhal Aasai” and “Oru Kaan Jadai”. Her chemistry worked out well with Suriya.

Another flaw in this movie was the lip sync off for the Bollywood actors Manoj Bhajpai and Vidyut Jamwal which could be easily noticed and in few scenes it gives you a feeling of watching a dubbed movie.

Santhosh Sivan’s camera work was stupendous and it was the only positive component I could find in this movie. The movie looked colourful through his lens. Yuvan Shankar Raja’s songs have already topped the charts but the misplacement of the songs makes it not an enjoyable one on the screen.

On a final note, Anjaan didn’t meet up with the hype it created before the release. Dull script and boring screenplay makes Anjaan an awful one. The movie could be watched only for Suriya, Samantha and Santhosh Sivan’s cinematography in the end.

My Rating - 2/5
Grade - C (Lost in the Midway!)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK (@NirmalRaj2911)

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