Madras Review – Class Act

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Sep 282014

After wearily trudging through the endless Sahara of trashy Tamil movies, I serendipitously discovered a welcome oasis in Madras (Karthi, Kalaiarasan Harikrishnan, Catherine Tresa, Rama, Ritwika et al).

Pa Ranjith directed the film based on his script (a claim that so far has not been disproved).

Like so many good films, Madras defies easy categorization and is impossible to pigeonhole.

Sure, Madras is a romance. Doubtless, it’s violent. Yes, it’s set within the political context of a sliver of Madras (the northern part of the city).

But this remarkable film is also so much more than the sum of its many pleasing parts.

Above all, Madras is a class act in realism seldom seen in a Kollywood populated mostly by thieves, butchers, pimps, sluts and halfwits.

Theft to Glory

Madras director Pa Ranjith started his climb to cinematic glory as a scatophagous Lavadai Kabal (asshole), who pocketed a good bit of money by acting as an accomplice to theft. Continue reading »

Jul 012014

Kochadaiiyaan - Conspiracy of Silence

So much ink was spilled on big budget Tamil movie Kochadaiiyaan (Rajinikanth, Deepika Padukone) by fawning scribes and reviewers about how the motion-capture film heralded an epochal moment in Indian movie history.

Yet there’s nary a report on how much the Rs 150-crore film lost given its ho-hum response at the box office.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Kochadaiiyaan turns out to be the biggest disaster in Indian movie history.

Conspiracy of Silence

After the endless pre-release hype, a conspiracy of silence clouds Kochadaiiyaan’s losses.

Why this strange silence?

Simple, kiddo – Because so many people now have egg on their faces that they’d rather not be reminded of their inane predictions about the movie!

Even Kochadaiiyaan’s producer Eros International has turned silent on its box office fate after prematurely ejaculating over the “Power of Thalaivar” and boasting that the “film has set a new milestone in the history of Indian cinema.”

Trumpeting a “blockbuster opening weekend” of Rs 42-crore of “an epic dramatization of good versus evil,” Eros claimed to be “seeing an overwhelming demand for a prequel or a sequel.”

After that, only radio silence from Eros.

Ha ha ha ha! 😉

Some Thalaivar. Some Milestone!

Eros and several of the smaller exhibitors must be singing a dirge now.

The big question now is whether Rajinikanth will compensate small-time theatre owners/exhibitors like he did a few years back when Baba sank at the box office.

Kochadaiiyaan debuted in 2D and 3D on May 23, 2014 in six languages on 3,000 screens worldwide.

Rajinikanth – Paper Tiger

Rajinikanth is indisputably a paper tiger whose talent and massive fan following have been wildly exaggerated by Tamil producers and distributors desperate to cash in at a fickle box office.

Most Rajini films I’ve seen are as trashy as any Tamil movie featuring Simbhu, Vombhu, Kombhu, Jeeva, Mava, Kova et al.

A mediocre actor at best, Rajinikanth’s fame owes in significant part to his humble origins. Movie fans love rags-to-riches stories since they ceaselessly fantasize of such improbable events changing their dreary lives.

Folks, given the conspiracy of silence on Kochadaiiyaan’s performance at the box office please vote your estimate of the film’s losses below.

How Big a Flop was Kochadaiiyaan?

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May 292014

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

So without any commentary, I offer readers the below two images (courtesy of Behindwoods).

‘Nuff said. 😉

Kuselan Ticket Price CutImage Courtesy – Behindwoods


Kochadaiiyan Ticket Price SlashedImage Courtesy – Behindwoods

Related Kochadaiiyan Posts:
Kochadaiiyan Overseas BO – Rajini Can’t
May 262014

And I don’t know what to say about my daughter Soundarya who directed this picture.

I saw the picture.

After seeing the picture, I told her. “Soundarya, I’m proud of you. And definitely the whole nation will be proud of you. Congrats.”
– Tamil film star Rajinikanth boasting about Kochadaiiyan and his daughter Soundarya

Ha ha ha ha.

What is that alcohol-loving Rajinikanth high on? Kalla Sarayam? Care to share some with us, Rajini-Can’t? 😉

People are spitting on Soundarya’s face for the pathetic quality of graphics in Kochadaiiyan.

And this jackass Rajinikanth is spinning a tall yarn about his little twit’s “great achievement.”

Shameless wretch!

Kochadaiiyan BO - Disappointing

Paper Tiger

Now is the time for all wise men to accept the truth.

Rajinikanth is a paper tiger!

A tiger who roars only when he has directors like Shankar to call the shots.

Not when he has little twits to “mis-direct” him.

Despite a long weekend (thanks to the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S.), despite the endless hype about the first Indian motion-capture film and despite all the favorable reviews from friendly media, Rajinikanth’s latest film Kochadaiiyan has fared miserably in certain key overseas box office circles compared to his previous film Enthiran.

For the opening May 22-25, 2014 weekend, Kochadaiiyan grossed a mere $436,165 at the U.S. box office (less than a third of Enthiran).

Kochadaiiyan’s fate was no different in the UK. Again, the movie grossed less than a third of Enthiran.

Kochadaiiyan has come in for some serious mauling at the hands of respected critics like Raja Sen who wrote: Continue reading »

Feb 022014

(For SI Blog reader Prabhakar)

Pizza (2012, Tamil) suffers from a yawning gap.

The disappointing chasm between intention and outcome.

Clearly, Pizza’s makers (director/writer Karthik Subbaraj and producer C.V.Kumar) set out to make a different kinda of Tamil film.

Alas, they fell far short of their goal.

Different Toppings

We got an e-mail from a New Jersey film distributor/exhibitor Prabhakar a couple of days back informing us that Tamil movie Pizza was now available for streaming on iTunes ($2.99 for SD and $3.99 for HD) and requesting us to review it.

Pizza Tamil Film Review

When Pizza first hit the screens 16 months back, I remember the film attracting attention for its offbeat story and absence of big stars.

And from what I recollect, the low-budget thriller made some money at the box office.

But after watching the two-hour long movie yesterday, my verdict is that Pizza, while a laudable attempt, is not enough of a thriller to warrant the hype.

As for the film’s supposed cult status, all I can say is that someone has been overdosing on bad weed!

The movie centers around a pizza deliveryman Michael Karthikeyan (Vijay Sethupathi) and his pregnant girlfriend Anu, a horror-film buff.

The film plods on for a while and proceeds into higher gear when Michael encounters a bizarre experience during a pizza delivery at a posh house.

From the moment Michael steps into the mansion, it’s Paranormal Activity meets Kollywood!

But the pizza delivery scene and subsequent happenings in the mansion were too drawn out, way too long, some of the circumstances extremely implausible and Michael’s frantic behavior highly exaggerated. Continue reading »

Jan 102014

A three-hour long unparalleled nightmare, Jilla is Vijay’s vile imprecation against Tamils.

Visually unappealing, silly beyond description and worthless beyond redemption, this atrocity of a movie muddles through one offensive frame after another.

Hates Khaki – Loves Khaki

To ensure that feeble-minded Vijay fans can easily understand the film, Jilla director R.T. Neason (story, screenplay & direction) embraces the KISS principle – Keep it Simple, Stupid.

For the first half of Jilla, Shakti (Joseph Vijay) hates Khaki uniform because a policeman killed his real-father.

For the second half of the film, Shakti loves Khaki uniform because as a policeman he wants to save his murderous foster-father Siva (Mohanlal).

Loving Khaki uniform and hating Khaki uniform! I guess even Vijay’s fans should be able to grasp that!

Folks, loving and hating Khaki uniform forms the essence of Jilla and highlights the infernal nonsense this abominable piece of trash descends to.

I’m not kidding!

Buttock Squeezing

In between hating and loving Khaki uniform, Shakti is either squeezing the buttocks of Police Sub-Inspector Shanti (Kajal Aggarwal) or having his buttocks squeezed by Kajal Aggarwal.

Yes, all butt squeezings are in public. Really!

If Shanti and Shakti are not butt-squeezing each other, then Shakti is piercing the buttock of his cop friend (Parotta Soori) with a geometry compass.

When Vijay’s buttock is not at hand, Kajal squeezes Parotta Soori’s buttocks or balls in the police station.

When Shakti tires of the thrill of buttock-squeezes, he makes do with making Shanti crawl through a mud-pool in front of a few hundred school girls. Or he has one of those school girls take a hard whack at Parotta Soori’s cojones with a club.

Again, I’m not kidding.

Slow Motion Fights – Fast Motion Fights

In between squeezing Kajal Agarwal’s buttock or she squeezing Vijay’s butt, our hero is fighting the bad guys (Royapuram Guna), fighting the good guys (cops), fighting the not-bad and not-good guys (i.e. his father Siva’s goons), torturing the Madurai Police Commissioner (Pradeep Rawat) by chopping his right arm and cleansing Madurai of crime in one night.

And the Police Commissioner, who still can’t lift his right arm because of the severe injury, is so elated with his arm-chopper Shakti that he promotes him to Deputy Commissioner of Police. Nice way to get a promotion is to slash the Madurai Police Commissioner!

I counted 10 fights in the film before throwing up my hands in surrender. Hey, I have only 10 fingers!

As for Shakti’s weapons of choice, again I counted 10 – Cricket bat, bare hands, gun, knife, legs, spear, small stones, wooden planks, wooden clubs and a geometry compass.

And Shakti is expert at all of them, particularly the geometry compass and small stones (a skill he picked up in childhood and used to save a stranger but forgot to save his father and let him die). Continue reading »