Salesh Dipak Fernando



Taramani – A film which I loved and hated all at once. A film which starts off with great promise but falls way short of being one of those memorable love stories which we will cherish forever.

Ram gets his women right which deserves a huge round of applause but he gets his men horribly wrong which sort of nullifies the joy that we get from celebrating the imperfections of the women on-screen. The men are half boils who don’t deserve to exist.

The first half sets it up so beautifully but the second half goes on and on and on until it exhausted me. You know your destination is Taramani and board your mode of transport in the hope of reaching there soon but the driver travels the entire city before reaching Taramani instead of opting for the shortest route.

The problem with Taramani is that it deviates too much from the central conflict with too many sub plots which convey too many things all at once.

I find it hard to understand why our creators find it very difficult to write roles where you don’t have to pull down the characters from one gender to elevate the other gender. Why can’t the cry for an equal footing translate on screen too? 

Yuvan’s music is soulful though I am not a big fan of the composer rendering most of his songs. Sreekar Prasad could have done a better job by chopping off scenes which stretch endlessly. The cinematography by Theni Easwar is eye catching. Ram’s voice overs pack a punch where he is brutally honest regarding the things that matter to him.

Andrea gets a meaty role and does a decent job. The debutant Vasanth Ravi tries to do what he can to salvage a half baked character sketch.

The second half screams self-indulgence and that’s where it falls way short of what it could have been. Ram the director impresses in parts but is largely unsure of the journey he wants to undertake. 

Taramani is a plausible decent one-time watch – Nothing more nothing less.



Kavalai Vendam – Another attempt to mint money at the box office by making a mindless comedy entertainer. The sad part it remains merely an attempt. Why do the makers find it so difficult to go all out? Are we not mature enough to embrace a proper adult comedy?

The problem with KV is that the movie tries to be too many things all at once. I loved Yamiruka Bayamen. But Kavalai Vendam despite the technical finese didn’t hold my attention long enough to give it a thumbs up. The first half is watchable with the entire cast having some fun and some genuine laugh out loud moments.

But once the second half begins the movie drags on and on testing your patience. The joie de vevre towards the end seems more like an excuse than an actual conclusion. I guess Jiva is the Sandra Bullock of Kollywood Jiva is an actor with so much potential and promise who gets these mundane rotten scripts. In Kavalai Vendam too he is plausible and shines wherever possible

 RJ Balaji, Balasaravanan and Mailsamy have their moments but those are very few. Mailsamy in particular is one of the few redeeming factors of the film. Bobby Simha seems so eager to prove that Jigarthanda was more of an exception than a norm.

As for the heroines I rephrase Bala Saravanan’s lines in the film ” Ellame nut kalanda madiri”. Need I say more. Better luck next time Deekay. Another weekend where Tamil Cinema sinks further. My verdict. Definitely not my first choice movie for the weekend. But I leave the choice to you




Kaashmora – The trailer fooled me or should I say fooled us – I wasn’t expecting an old wine in a new bottle but unfortunately that’s what Kaashmora is. It is a pale amalgamation of Arundhathi and all those historical movies we have seen over the years and a supernatural element which made me WTF. Just how many horror – comedy will the makers churn out. It is tiring, repetitive and boring. Horror is supposed to excite you and give you chills. The Horror comedy movies these days are like sleeping pills.

Ivlo thana idhai naanga vasantha maligailai pathotum that is the sense of deju vu you get after Kaashmora. You don’t cut scenes from different films and make it into one whole. The sad part is you have a hero who gives it his all. Karthi is at his explosive best in the pre-interval sequences that you almost sit up in hope. Post Interval the script once again meanders towards mediocrity.

And let me add that Nayanthara is only playing a guest role so don’t walk into the cinema hall hoping to drool over Nayanthara you will be in for a disappointment.

I loved Rowthram and Idharkuthane Asaipatai Balakumara. Both were mounted on a fairly simple premise and worked big time. But here the grandeur is out of place. Kaashmora to me is a hurriedly shot montage which falls shot of what it is supposed to be.

Raghava Lawrene thank you for re-introducing the horror- comedy genre but please do something to stop this idea from reverberating again and again. we will be grateful. Kaashmora isn’t too bad a film but you will miss nothing if you skip it.




Kodi – What a relief it was. I almost gave up on the Diwali releases but Kodi surprised me. It is a very clever film. Durai Senthilkumar doesn’t tinker too much with the conventions of commercial cinema. But he deviates it just enough to make us applaud in unison.

 The core plot sets off from the first frame as the groundwork for Kodi’s political aspirations are laid through a father who yearns for the stage. From there it sets off as Dhanush takes over with the now familiar Rajini mannerisms.  Santosh Narayanan aids him with his signature tones.

But it isn’t kodi whom we are rooting for. He’s pitted against an antagonist who consistently surprises him and us. Very few Tamil films make us root for the antagonist. But kodi makes us switch sides with each passing minute.

There are no big plot twists but the smaller surprises keeps us on our toes. Kodi starts off with a game of betrayal and ends on the same note. Dhanush , Saranya and Anupama Parameshwaran are an extension of the cliché we have seen time and  again. The deviations happen with Trisha who makes us go wow with the best role of her career. Her thin frame fits very well as she transforms into a wily fox every now and then. It is a very bold move for we almost take her for granted before she makes the film her own.

I wonder what made her wait for 17 years to take that gamble. The gamble pays off as we shamelessly take her side though she could be morally wrong. Durai Senthilkumar – A job well done. Kodi comes agonizingly close to being a great film and falls short. Dhanush please avoid the Rajini mannerisms and arrest us with your inherent abilities. We are more than willing to surrender to your skills.

My Rating 3/5.

The best among the Diwali releases in all languages.



After the disappointing Shaandhaar yesterday Naanum Rowdydhaan restored my spirits and my funny bones got tickled yet again. Vignesh Sivan seems to have got his intentions right from the very first scene. There’s not a dull moment in the film. From the beginning to end there are enough ROFL moments to keep the audience hooked. 

The plot – The protagonist’s hilarious attempts to become a Rowdy 

Vijay Sethupathi leads the stellar cast with a top notch performance after the awesome yet underrated Orange Mittai. His unique tone is a gift. It just elevates the whole film.  As a wannabe rowdy he just steals your heart.

Nayantara is just getting better and better with each film. Her second innings seems to be going in top gear with the right choice of films. If you loved her in Thani Oruvan. She’ll just mesmerize you in NR. She’s dubbed in her own voice too which is a surprise. Her name Kadambari has a special significance.  Watch the film to know why

Parthiban returns after a long time with an apt role which gives him ample scope to showcase his pluses. There are quite a few scenes where he steals the limelight from the hero. His trademark sarcasm lights up the proceedings in the second half.

Naan Kadavul Rajendran, Anand Raj  RJ Balaji, Mansoor Ali Khan and Radhikaa Sarathkumar all play their parts to perfection. The biggest plus in this great supporting cast is that none of them are wasted despite the limited screen time.

Vignesh Sivan delivers a winner with NR. Anirudh’s music is another plus. He delivers big time with some soothing love songs.

If you are looking for a serious thought- provoking film stay away for this might disappoint you. But if you are looking for a light, feel good film go for it.  It’s worth the 120 bucks spent.

After a long time I saw the whole theatre filled with echoes of laughter. 


Rajathandhiram- An intelligent heist flick.


What a movie! For a very long time Tamil Cinema has suffered from the “mass masala” syndrome which sticks to a standard template and caters to the hero’s larger than life image. Pizza ushered in a new wave of content based cinema which broke the existing Tamil Cinema stereotypes. Rajadhandiram is one such film.

Right from scene one till the very end the film manages to keep you engaged. The screenplay is tight except for a few glitches. The plot – What happens when the conmen get caught in their own web.. You have to watch the film to find out. The director beautifully connects different plot points within a single heist attempt and unravels them towards the end. This isn’t your typical edge of the seat thriller but still keeps you glued to your screens till the very end.

Veera gets a welcome break after the barely noticed Nadunisi Naigal. He is unconventional and suits his role to perfection. It’s another feather in the cap for the versatile Adukalam Naren and Illavarasu. Even Regina looks adorable with minimal makeup though she has very little to do in the larger scheme of things. It’s a daring first attempt by A.G Amid. This is one film which deserves your time and money.

Rajadhandiram – A well planned heist.

My rating 5/5







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