24 January 2011

Kai veesum Thamarai

One of those days when I came home early from work and decided to have a small walk around the streets of my house, with the radio plugged into my ears.

The station played this song. I was then taken back to my returning-from-school times, when I distinctly remember this song playing out on the radio. Bliss. Illayaraja is thy name. Check out the way he opens the song, and yes, SPB's sweet voice that caresses the words & our senses.

As a bonus, here is another amazing song that is frequently played on Television. Oh yes, check out that violin interlude at the beginning of the song.

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 5:05 PM 1 comments

18 January 2011

Kaavalan Review - The one in which Illaya-thalapathy roars back to life

Finally ! Illaya-thalapathy Vijay comes back alive. I guess someone did some hard talk with him. All that preachy nonsense, highfalutin approach, un-necessary interference into director's realm, tampering with the story-line, e.t.c., had just one outcome -- a string of flops and thousands of internet memes and jokes.

With Kaavalan, he returns back to doing what he needs to do -- follow orders.

Kaavalan, essentially a remake from a Malayalam movie (I hear that while the base storyline is the same, there have been numerous additions/deletions), is simple and clean storytelling.

Vijay is someone who does not do anything worthwhile with his life. Fed up with this, his parents pack him off to a reformed rowdy, Rajkiran, who was instrumental in helping his mother sail through her childbirth, to serve has his bodyguard.

Rajkiran, decides that he does not have any enemies, and fearing for his daughter Asin's life, packs Vijay off as a bodyguard for his daughter when she goes off to the city for her education.

Asin decides to play a prank on Vijay to make him let-go of his bodyguard costumes, and in general, adopt a take-it-easy attitude. She calls him up and poses as his college mate, who is madly in love with him.

What happens in the end ? Does Asin pair up with Vijay ? How does Vijay vanquish the threat to Asin's life ? All these questions are revealed and much more in simple, and straight forward narration. Watch out for the rather predictable twist in the climax scenes.

Vadivelu is Vijay's side-kick. He provides some outstanding laughs. Notable among those are the "Parvathi Nambiar" joke sequence, and the barging-into-ladies-hostel sequence. As always, his facial expressions and voice modulations are out of the world.

Vijay throws out all the mannerisms and hand-swishing that we have seen in his past few movies, and tries really hard to convey the emotions through his eyes and facial expressions. I must say that he passes muster.

Asin does what is required of her, and so does the actress who appears as her friend.

Background score and songs are by Vidhyasagar. The "step-up" song has some decent rhythm and some nice moves by Vijay.

A must watch, if only to get some relief that Vijay has finally broken free from that dangerous mold that he was getting into.

Welcome back Illaya-Thalapathy Vijay. We did miss you for almost four years, where you thought that just by spewing dialogues loaded with political overtones, and trying to portray an image that you were the all saving messiah, you could be the next super-star. It takes quite a few decent movies and hits like these to get there.


Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 2:11 PM 16 comments