Thaana Serndha Koottam


Thaana Serndha Koottam is supposedly the Tamil adaptation of the 2013 Hindi Film Special 26 with a few changes and additional side spice adding stories. Suriya plays Inyan who is the center of the story and is a typical commercial hero who can dance, fight, romance, deliver punch dialogs and even pull off comic sequences with ease. Keerthi Suresh has virtually no part to play except in a couple of comic scenes and dance in more than a few plot-interrupting songs.

The cast includes comic stalwart veterans like Thambi Ramayya, Senthil, yogi babu, Satyan, RJ Balaji who have very little scope to even fully form their character but the most tragic waste is Brahmanadam who is given a screen space of about 30 seconds. Everything is rushed and easily out of focus as if everyone including the script is working in their spare time to accommodate some other main project. Special mention of the veteran actor Karthik who plays an eccentric yet brilliant investigative officer. He plays his role with surprising vigor and dawns the character to a T.

Lets take a moment here for Suriya. Suriya has time and again set high expectations over the years with Nandha, Kaakha Kaakha, Pitamaghan, Gajini and a few others but last couple of years things are not really working out or him with the commercial hero approach, ok…he tried and kudos for that but as intelligent viewers we are unable to take in another 24 or Mass or Singham even. We demand the mind-blowing actor that Suriya actually is to be back – in the remake direction if necessary.

Vignesh Shivan has directed and also scripted the movie. Previously he has given us hits like VIP and Naanum rowdydhaan. The entire experience is 2 Hr and 18 min and editing is non-existent by Sreekar Prasad, there are so many slack moments that it could have been easily wrapped up under 2 hours.

The background score is off track, interrupting and sometimes even irritating. The dialogs sometime even are hard to hear because of the disturbing eeriness. Anirudh Ravichandran is clearly distracted and/or disinterested and the songs and too long and meaningless to the narrative.

In conclusion – Watch Special 26 instead. With subtitles if language is a barrier.


Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Jumanji 2 - welcome to the jungle

This is a ‘something for everyone’ kind of flick. The concept of Jumanji was introduced to us by Robin Williams starrer movie with the same name in 1981. However, this not a sequel – it is a reboot. So it’s a standalone movie which would make sense in its own way even if you have not watched the original.

Jumanji is a board game which converts itself to a video game and calls out to the world with its drum beats and takes the players into its own world, to be released back only when the game is finished. With this premise, four youngsters gets pulled into the game and gets turned into Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan.

The entire experience is an Indiana Jones style fantasy-adventure loaded with hilarious comedy. Jack Black as the mean girl turned middle aged cartographer (map reading expert) is amazing, Kevin hart pulls of his usual high pitch slapstick comedy with grace, but the expected show stealer is Dwayne Johnson as Dr. Bravestone. ‘The rock’ is fantastic as the videogame playing self-doubting teenage nerd.

The story isn’t just another over the top action comedy, it does not only focus on the saviour and his sidekick and love interest. It does justice to the characters individually and also to the creative premise. All the game avatars are very well defined including the NPCs (non playing characters)

Director Jake Kasden has done a commendable job and part of the credit goes to the writing by Chris Mckenna. Cinematography by ‘the maze runner series’ expert Gyula Pados is a treat to watch. Mark helfrich edits the movie to less than 2 hours and that makes all the difference.

Verdict – watch it for the ‘smoldering’ look.

Tiger Zinda Hai

tiger zinda hai

The plot of the movie is supposedly based on the Indian Nurses Kidnapping by ISIS in Iraq. Director Ali Abbas Zafar seems to have bit into more than he could chew this time. He can be remembered for directing ‘Sultan’ last year and while Sultan had a soulful story, Tiger Zinda Hai  is just too much – There is action, romance, comedy, masala, thriller, tragedy and all these punched with a known international incident.

Almost nothing takes off including the Salman Presence. Salman himself seems too tired of all the fake stunts that he has to do and is seen in 90% of the movie posing/walking in various angles. Katrina does what she is good at – dancing for the ‘swag’ song and a very well choreographed action sequence by Tom Struthers of ‘the Dark Knight’ Fame.

The supporting cast has been wasted on great actors like Kumud Mishra, Paresh Rawal, Girish Karnad who hardly get any screen space at all. Iranian actor Sajjad Delfrooz as Abu Usman is a great find (maybe bollywood should think of Iran to import actors next instead of Pakistan….just saying) But on all these Anupriya Goenka as Poorna, an Indian Nurse is outstanding.

Cinematography and movie visual effects are top quality but the story and dialogue slacks the experience. Editors had nothing to do as 2 Hours and 54 Minutes run time is just too much to take in. Salman himself looks lazy – even in the dance sequences. This is like the Salman Movie where Salman himself is doing just a cameo. Just to remind the audience 4 different people say at random times – tiger zinda hai.

Verdict – Tiger Zinda hai……barely!


Vikram Vedha


Vikram and Vedha have represented the right vs wrong, the just vs corrupt in the form of stories of King Vikramadityan and the demon Betaal or Vethalam from our childhood.

The plot follows Vikram – a headstrong, self-righteous cop who sees good and bad as clearly as day and night or so he believes. On the other side is Vedha – a dreamer, driven by situations and angered by the constant fight for dominance in his own world. Priya is the attorney wife and Chandra is a hard talk but good at heart tough lass. The character painting is an extremely complex art which the writer-director duo – Pushkar-Gayathri excels at, just like in ‘oram po’

Madhavan is back with his amazing screen presence and a glimpse of ‘ayitha Ezhuthu’ and maybe a bit of ‘irudhi Suttru’ but the show stealer is definitely vijay Sethupathi. His thoughtful demeaner, the poriki slang and the menacing beard is just perfect. Shraddha Srinath is exceptionally spicy and takes the lawyer-attorney privilege a bit too seriously. Varalaxmi Sarathkumar is praiseworthy in her short and meaningful role.

Although the entire movie is 2 Hours and 27 minutes but the story is very engrossing and the editing is air-tight. The screenplay is very well crafted, P.S Vinod is brilliant in his cinematography and finally Nassar is a smart choice as a narrator. Overall fantastic edge of the seat thriller.

Verdict – ‘saar, oru kadhai sollatuma saar?’ (saar, can I tell you a story saar)



Jab Harry Met Sejal



The big question is why? Shahrukh still tries to play the DDLJ hangover Europe settled Desi from Punjab. Why does the camera focus on zoomed-in shahrukh’s nose when the movie is shot in beautiful European locations? Why does imtiaz ali – who is a master when it comes to creating complex mind blowing characters like Geet of Jab we met or Jordan of rockstar or Veera of Highway – create such a unbelievable, over the top and superficial characters like Harry and Sejal ? Why do shahrukh still think that with his quivering whispering voice he can still floor the audience?

This time on there is ‘wheat field hand caressing’ immortal scene of the gladiator as well.

Harry (Harinder Singh Nehra) is a tour guide by day and a womanizer by….well rest of the time that he is not tour guiding. Sejal is a Gujrati girl who is engaged to someone else and has lost her ring. With this premise Harry and Sejal travel almost entire Europe without addressing the elephant in the room. The Elephant being why Anushka agreed to do this movie.

In the entire movie there is absolutely no editing. The story is unbelievably weak and acting by the lead pair is totally over the top. Surprisingly Chandan Roy Sanyal as the bad guy is refreshing; rest of the cast selection is as ordinary, Mukesh Chhabra is the casting director who has done PK, Dangal, Gangs of Wasseypur, etc to name a few feather on his casting cap. Even Pritam fails to impress in the music department.

This entire venture is like few talented people have come together and got in each other’s way and as a result the audience gets to endure the 2 Hours and 24 minutes venture.

Verdict – Why ?





The first question that arises here is – what Mubarkan has to offer which Judwaa, Duplicate, Ram aur Shyam, Seeta aur Geeta and even Rowdy Rathore could not offer. The answer to this question is simply – nothing.

The story is predictable, slapstick comedy is boring, the narration is ordinary, and editing is non-existent. The movie has an official runtime of 2 Hours and 36 minutes. With the kind of content, it could have been wrapped up within the 2 Hours. Ileana D Cruz, Athiya shetty just sits pretty and almost does nothing. In fact, Neha Sharma has a far more confident screen presence than both the leading ladies. Arjun Kapoor does his best. The effort that is put in by Arjun is visibly seen. After ‘half girlfriend’ and this – he is desperate for a hit performance. Anil Kapoor has floored his character as usual. He nails it as the eccentric, go-happy uncle. Ratna Pathak Shah and Pavan Malhotra are impressive as well.

Anees Bazmee is the same guy who got the ball rolling in ‘Welcome’. He has come a long way down from there. Rajesh Chawla is the writer and before this he has written four other movies which has flopped and fifth time also does not seem to work.

The Soundtrack boasts of big names like Sonu Nigam, Armaan Malik, Tulsi Kumar, Vishal Dadlani and other stalwarts but the only song that works is ‘hawa hawa’ by Mika Singh. Rest all songs are to be played as background music at dead parties.

Verdict – No, we refuse compare Arjun kapoor with a potato and yes, thankfully Sanjay kapoor has a guest appearance – twice.



Spiderman: Homecoming


This movie deserves an applaud just for not showing another spider biting peter parker transforming to Spiderman sequence. There is no flashback or ‘uncle Ben’ and also aunt May is quite hot. We all know the origin story, but now that Spidy is an Avenger it makes a whole lot of sense to show how the teenage kid can fit into the marvel universe just before infinity war.

But there is Tony Stark in the movie and he is at his sarcastic best. There is a quick sequence shot in India as well (yay!…) But the show stealer is John Fraveau who plays Happy Morgan the perfect bored, uninterested and slightly loathing grumpy baby sitter.

Laura Harrier as the teenage crush fails miserably and Zendaya was hardly given any screen-space. One thing that I wanted to see was the upside down trademark spidy kiss (and it came sooo close in one sequence) Ned, as the confidante/side-kick is just about ok and Chris Evans as captain America features in lame educational videos.

Michael Keaton is the vulture – supposedly the villian, and in spite of everything anybody can relate to this guy. I mean…. You cannot ignore him; He is the batman after-all and has won 26 awards for the movie Birdman in 2014. He makes the character of Adrian Toomes/vulture so much believable.

The runtime of the entire movie is 2 Hours and 13 Minutes but there is not one slack moment. Making a movie 3rd time with 2 very successful franchises behind is a commendable job and Jon Watts does a pretty good job about it. Jon has directed ‘clown’ & ‘Cop Car’ prior to this movie. Both these movies have got average success in box office. So I guess this is his big ticket.

Verdict – watch it because it’s not a origin story and also because Tom Holland did a better job than Tobie Maquire and Andrew Garfield put together.

PS: Don’t wait for the post credit scene, its not worth the time.