I strive to watch movies in the first week and write reviews, but sometimes it doesn’t work out the way I plan. The last few weeks, I couldn’t see the movies during the first week of their release. To be honest, a late review doesn’t help a small budgeted film as their lifetime depends on good word of mouth. Even if one person reads my review and watches a small budgeted movie, I would be a happier person.
I liked some of the movies that came out in the last few weeks. A couple of them are low budgeted fare that created a buzz, and another one came from a famous actor. Here are the things that I liked and didn’t like about the movie (in short).
Maanagaram – Unknown faces of a Metro City
Maanagaram is about how random strangers in a new city help each other at the moments of dire need. Any metro city is full of immigrants, and the city runs because of these people. Maanagaram’s strength is the way Lokesh Kanagaraj has crafted his screenplay backed up by some excellent performances by Sri and Sundeep Kishan. But the movie belongs to the brilliance of Charle. Ramadoss makes another bid to show why he is not just comedy actor. The supporting cast is what makes Maanagaram delectable.
Having said that, sometimes the narrative is forced, and I felt the coincidences are too many in such a short period. The entire premise hinges on a mere coincidence, and it’s up to you to accept or deny it. However, Manaagaram is worth a watch for taut filmmaking, strong performances by the actors and the heart.
A 3/5 for Maanagaram for celebrating the unknown faces that we meet everyday. Watch it if you haven’t.
8 Thottakkal – Few on target
I knew MS Bhaskar but little did I know about his prowess in acting. If Mozhi made you sit up and notice him, 8 Thottakkal would make you salute him for the performance. Debutant Sri Ganesh (an assistant of Mysskin) has taken a leaf out of Akira Kurosawa’s Stray Dog and created an enjoyable movie that again depends on the performance of supporting cast (or not?).
A subdued police sub-inspector loses his revolver to a pick-pocket. Crimes are conducted using the pistol, and he tries to find the culprit. Vetri as the lead protagonist is unconvincing, and rock would have emoted better. On the other hand, everyone else around him has provided impactful performances. The movie belongs to MS Bhaskar, and it was like watching an aged Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon. Nasser, Manikandan, RS Shivaji, Charles Vinoth enthral you with their performances. The way director has connected the sequences to each of the character’s past is moviemaking at its best.
Having said that, the lack of strong protagonist, long drawn sequences in the second half and dampening big reveal stood as scars in the movie. Sundaramurthy’s background score didn’t give the significant impact for the film. But 8 Thottakkal is watchable for the performances and the movie making prowess of debutant Sri Ganesh.
A 3/5 for 8 Thottakkal – a clean slow burning thriller that you wouldn’t mind spending your money on.
Power Pandi Review – The power of goodness
It’s commendable that Dhanush chose a story like Power Paandi to make his debut. The best thing about the movie is that the heart is in its right place. If you look at the film, there are no negative characters – you may see an odd shopkeeper or a rowdy who messes with Power Paandi, but otherwise, there are no lead villains in the movie.
Power Paandi is coming of age movie of another kind. It’s the story of Paandi, a stunt director who is trying to come to terms with his retirement life. He is seeking for something in his life, and Power Paandi is about the search but not about the finding. There couldn’t be a better person than Raj Kiran to do the role of Power Paandi. He excels in every scene and shows a broad range of emotions. The scene where he proposes to Revathy is a cracker, and the scene where he laments about his life to Prasanna proves the mettle of the actor. It was heartwarming to see Revathy on screen again, and she eases through her role. The flashback sequence between Dhanush and Madonna Sebastian is well conceived but Dhanush’s antics were over-the-top for a role like that, and it felt contrived. Prasanna, Chaya Singh and DD were adequate in their roles while Rinson and Raghavan (as the next door boy and grandson respectively) are impressive. I remember writing that Sean Roldan could not hold Vaayay Moodi Pesavum together with his background score but in Power Paandi, he has graduated to the next level. Having said that, I liked only Venpani Malare in the list of songs.
The problem with the movie is that the conflict between Power Pandi and his son Raghavan (Prasanna) is contrived and you end up questioning the reasons for his sudden road-trip. The subtlety of second half is missing in the first, but the chemistry between Power Pandi and Revathy leaves you with a smile.
A 3/5 for Power Paandi – an unexpected feel-good movie from Dhanush