Superstar Project 7/174.

aatankhiaatank WPIMDbLB

Aatank Hi Aatank (which Wikipedia translates as “Terror Everywhere”) is a 1995 Hindi gangster film directed by Dilip Shankar. The star cast includes Rajinikanth, Aamir Khan, Om Puri, and Juhi Chawla.

The movie feels just like an average gangster movie. I’ve read that Aatank Hi Aatank is a remake of The Godfather (which I still haven’t seen so I have no idea how much of the film is inspired by it). The story is about a former farmer who becomes a gangster boss in Mumbai. Then some family drama happens and we learn that it’s not easy to be a gangster’s wife. The film is also a revenge drama and eventually almost everyone gets shot and dies. The story isn’t very interesting and the final 15 minutes are the longest ever. The songs too aren’t very good or catchy, except the gangster rap which is hilarious.

Rap rap rap, goonda rap!
I am bad, and I am mad!
I said I’m bad. Ma-ma-ma-mad!

The cast is good but Aamir was maybe a little too young for his role. And he looks so slimy with his hairstyle and moustache in the second half of the film! Rajinikanth performs and looks just fine.

aatankhiaatank-rajinikanthaatankhiaatank-aamir

Some forum posts say that the (unsubtitled) Moser Baer DVD is heavily cut. That’s unfortunate, but apparently the uncut version of the film is on Eros Now and even has English subtitles! I would still like to buy the DVD (as I have it in my collection only on a crappy 3-in-1 disc) but looks like it’s sold out everywhere!

Maybe I should finally watch The Godfather, as my watchlist has at least a couple of other Indian films that are also inspired by it.

Rajinikanth’s total death count in Superstar Project so far: 1

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Superstar Project 6/174.

thaaillaamal_naanillai WPIMDbLB

Thaayillamal Naan Illai (“I’m Nothing Without My Mother”) is a 1979 Tamil film directed by R. Thyagarajan. The movie stars Kamal Haasan and Sridevi and also has Rajinikanth in a short guest appearance.

Moser Baer’s DVD has two large disturbing watermarks (“Moser Baer” and “West Top”) and no subtitles, so I decided to watch the Hindi dubbed version Aakhri Sangram with subtitles and better picture quality from Eros Now. The Tamil version is almost 16 minutes longer than the Hindi version – some of the stageplay stuff has been cut off as well as the childhood flashback from the beginning. The missing scenes don’t seem too important although it would’ve been nice to see the childhood scene with subtitles as it seems to add some background information to the characters, like a swordfight which eventually gets repeated when the characters are grown up.

aakhrisangram_kamal aakhrisangram_crazy

(I’m going to use the character names from the Hindi version that I watched with subtitles. They might be slightly different in the original Tamil version.)

Raja (Kamal Haasan) is a stage actor who a local landlord’s daughter Pushpa (Sridevi) is madly fallen in love with. Pushpa has a nice pet peacock Balwanta who can be used to guard her room and steal things. For example, once he steals binoculars for her so that she could spy on Raja. She soon realizes that Raja is also spying her. “Very good. He also has a binocular.”

aakhrisangram_peacock aakhrisangram_spying

aakhrisangram_romancegoingon

When the landlord finds out that a romance between Raja and Pushpa is going on, he agrees to marry Pushpa to Raja on the condition that Raja forgets his lower-class mother (played by Sukumari). That would also make Raja the next landlord instead of greedy Mohan who had also hoped to marry Pushpa. Raja disagrees even though his mother insists him to agree to the landlord’s condition. Later, the landlord is trying to marry Pushpa to Mohan but finds out that Pushpa has eloped to live with Raja and his mother. However, until the landlord accepts Raja’s mother to his family, Raja won’t consider Pushpa as his wife.

Rajinikanth plays a righteous goon who has been sent to bring Pushpa back home. He has an awesome intro punch and he’s great in the small role that he has. He almost defeats Raja in a fight but Pushpa interferes and explains that she actually loves Raja and Raja hasn’t forced her to elope with him. The goon understands the situation and leaves the couple alone.

aakhrisangram_rajini aakhrisangram_marry

The situation gets worse when the upset landlord breaks up his relationship with his misbehaving daughter. When Mohan finds out that he cannot become the new landlord by marrying Pushpa, he kills the landlord and is elected as the new landlord as everyone thinks that Raja was the killer. After Raja hears about these events, he disguises as a religious guru and gets the new landlord to invite him to his home. It is revealed that the old landlord isn’t dead after all and Mohan has kept him alive to find out where he has hidden his treasure. Eventually Mohan discovers Raja’s true identity and puts him behind bars with the old landlord. Mohan’s plans to marry Pushpa fail once again because of a phenomenal rescue operation by Balwanta the peacock. Mohan gets banished from the landlord’s lands and the landlord finally accepts Raja’s mother as Pushpa’s mother-in-law as he realizes that greatness is not in the caste but in character.

aakhrisangram_end


P.S. I wonder what the VCD cover of the Hindi version has to do with the movie…

aakhrisangram_vcd

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Superstar Project 4–5/174.

kathanayakudu-earthquake

kuselan-kathanayakudu WPIMDbLB (Tamil)
WPIMDbLB (Telugu)

It is finally the time to continue the Superstar Project. I finished watching P. Vasu’s Kathanayakudu (2008) already a couple of months ago but didn’t write anything about it until now. I hope I haven’t forgotten too many details. Kathanayakudu is the simultaneously shot Telugu version of the Tamil movie Kuselan that I had watched a couple of years ago. The movie is a remake of a 2007 Malayalam Mammootty film Katha Parayumpol. I haven’t seen the original version so I cannot do a remake comparison. Bollywood fans might know the story also from Shahrukh Khan’s 2009 remake Billu (which I haven’t seen either).

Ayngaran’s Kuselan DVD has slightly better picture quality than AP International’s Kathanayakudu DVD but both versions are watchable. The biggest difference between the movies (besides the language) is that the main character Balakrishna is played by a different actor (as well as his sidekick comedians). I like the Telugu version’s actor more so there must be a choice between nicer actor and better picture quality. (Kathanayakudu is also 12 minutes shorter than Kuselan but this time I didn’t check if there were any scenes missing.)

kuselan-interval kathanayakudu-interval

Balakrishna (played by Pasupathy in Kuselan and Jagapati Babu in Kathanayakudu) is a poor barber who lives in a small village. One day his childhood friend Superstar Ashok Kumar (Superstar Rajinikanth) visits the village for the shooting of his new movies Chandramukhi 2 and Annamalai 2 (with Nayantara who is playing herself!). Surprisingly, Balakrishna is afraid to meet Ashok again. Does the superstar care about him anymore now that he is significantly richer than his old friend?

kuselan-100 Looks like the children have seen Rajinikanth’s Baasha.

I’m not sure why they named Rajinikanth’s character Ashok Kumar as it’s very clear that Rajinikanth is playing none other than himself. The film is full of references to his earlier work. It’s strange especially because Nayantara is playing herself without an imaginary character name.

Officially the movie was a flop and reviews that I’ve read have been mostly negative or neutral but I don’t see why. Maybe the audience didn’t expect this kind of film from Rajinikanth, as this is definitely not a typical Rajinikanth role. There’s no fighting against mafia or corrupt politicians. Instead, it’s just a simple story about friendship with a heart-touching climax. Superstar Rajinikanth, who despite the DVD covers and opening credits, is only in a supporting role (his character is not even introduced until the halfway through the first half of the film) while Balakrishna is really the main character. (However, Jagapati Babu who plays the main character in the Telugu version Kathanayakudu was nominated for Filmfare Awards South only in the best supporting actor category…)

Jagapati Babu came up with one of the finest performances of his career. This role demands a tremendous histrionics from the actor in Jagapati Babu and he does a wonderful job. His get-up is also good. But one wonders why he has light beard though he is doing the role of barber.

kuselan-vadivelu I’ve never seen anything like this.

While I agree with Idlebrain’s Kathanayakudu review about Jagapati Babu’s superb performance, I think their reviewer hasn’t heard of the famous two barbers puzzle: If there are just two barbers in the town, the barbers must shave each other’s beards and therefore the one with the messier beard is actually the better barber of the two! And in this case the other barber is played by Sunil who is famous for his comedy roles in Telugu movies… Sadly, it seems to be the other way around in the Tamil version Kuselan – Pasupathy doesn’t have a beard while Vadivelu’s mustache is the most horrible ever! (Oops. Now that I think of the puzzle again, I think it actually applies to hair cut and not beard shaving which is easier to do alone. But right now I’m too tired to come up with anything more intelligent.)

Meena plays Balakrishna’s wife in both versions (as well as in the original Malayalam version). Her role isn’t very large but she does a good performance. I haven’t yet seen many of her other films but I can’t wait to see some of them later during the Superstar Project!

It’s also always nice to see Prabhu who has a small role in the film.

Comedy could have been slightly trimmed. I liked Telugu version’s Sunil a little more than Tamil version’s Vadivelu. There are also other usual Telugu and Tamil comedians in minor roles, like M. S. Narayana, Ali, and Santhanam, but their jokes aren’t very memorable. I didn’t even recognize Brahmanandam from Kuselan but he was easier to locate after seeing the Telugu version where he does the talking instead of his Tamil friend.

The songs are awesome in this movie! My favourite one is Rajinikanth’s introduction song “Cinema cinema” which commemorates the 75th anniversary of Tamil cinema and has several cameo appearances by celebrities of the industry. “Om Zaarare” is also very catchy. The picturizations of these two also have very epic costumes! I like the other songs too.

♪ No one has seen God for real but Cinema shows them on screen. ♪

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zwVdzXJFCI&t=9s

Story 4
Star Power 4
Songs 4½
Comedy 2½
Overall 4

kathanayakudu-3

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

baba-srirag-pyramid

Today’s random product review is a Pyramid DVD that contains two Superstar Rajinikanth’s Tamil movies, Baba (2002) and Sri Ragavendra (1985) (also spelled at least as Sri Ragaventhrar and probably also as some other combinations of similar letters). I have no prior experience about the quality of these cheaper 2-in-1 DVDs compared to the usual 1-in-1 DVD releases but I would guess that the quality of a movie in 2-in-1 DVD isn’t as good. Let’s do some comparison!

I have also Baba DVD by Ayngaran and Sri Ragavendra DVD by Bayshore. The most natural way to compare these is to take screenshots of the same frame in each version and check which of them looks better.

baba-srirag

Sri Ragavendra

I actually bought the 2-in-1 DVD because I hadn’t found Sri Ragavendra with English subtitles and it clearly says “WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES” right there in the cover. Surprise surprise, this version of Sri Ragavendra doesn’t have English subtitles. Yes, it also says “BABA WITH SUBTITLE”, but it doesn’t say “SRI RAGAVENDRA WITHOUT SUBTITLE”, so basically this can be considered cheating. It’s actually quite surprising that this movie doesn’t seem to have a subtitled release. Sri Ragavendra is known as the 100th film of Superstar Rajinikanth. (I’m not sure how that is counted as it is number 107 on my list. Maybe they don’t count the remakes of his earlier movies?) Even though it was a flop at the box office, only the fact that it’s his 100th film would be enough to get people to watch it. Maybe there just aren’t enough non-Tamil speaking Rajinikanth fans or something? Now that it doesn’t have subtitles, I too won’t probably watch it before I’ve seen most of the subtitled Rajinikanth films.

Here are the screenshots. The first one is from the Pyramid version and the second one from the Bayshore version. (Click to see them in full size!) The picture from the Bayshore version is slightly more detailed. The only thing that is worse in Bayshore DVD is that it has Bayshore’s logo on the top-right corner and an almost transparent but still visible watermark on the left side while there are none in the Pyramid version. But I would probably still watch the movie from the Bayshore version.

srirag-pyramid-2in1 srirag-bayshore

Baba

Both versions of Baba have subtitles. The first thing I noticed was that Ayngaran’s version of the film is 180 minutes long while Pyramid’s version is only 174 minutes. I didn’t check if there are any missing scenes in the Pyramid version or does it just play the film faster.

Ayngaran DVD is clearly the winner of the picture quality comparison. Most notably, there are more recognizable details and the orange colour is much brighter in the screenshot from the Ayngaran’s version (the second one). Looks like Pyramid’s version is horizontally stretched and then the picture is slightly cropped. Pyramid also has a big but fortunately mostly transparent watermark at the top-right corner. If I’m going to re-watch the film some day, I will definitely watch it from the Ayngaran DVD.

baba-pyramid-2in1 baba-ayngaran

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Superstar Project 3/174.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luMuw5mjEOg

Bloodstone_poster WPIMDbLB

This time I write about an American action adventure movie, but it fits into the scope of this blog because it has Rajinikanth in it. The movie is Rajinikanth’s only non-Indian movie, Bloodstone (1988), which is directed by Dwight Little.

The main characters are Sandy (Brett Stimely) and Stephanie (Anna Nicholas), a newlywed couple traveling in India. A jewel thief uses them to smuggle the Bloodstone, the biggest ruby in the world, past an irritating and comic police inspector, and so Sandy and Stephanie get involved into businesses of dangerous criminals.

Rajinikanth plays a crazy taxi driver who eventually becomes the second hero character, and he absolutely steals the show from his supporting role. There are some really awesome dialogue, a nice knife trick, and of course his traditional cigarette trick. I’ve read that the shooting of the film was challenging because the foreign director wasn’t aware of Rajinikanth’s popularity and there were huge crowds of fans everywhere when they tried to shoot his scenes.

bloodstone-2 bloodstone-1

bloodstone-3 bloodstone-4

I recently watched Disco Dancer and didn’t recall why one of the villain’s henchmen looked so familiar, but he was of course Bob Christo who has a similar role also in Bloodstone. He is convincing in that kind of roles but the other supporting actors aren’t very memorable.

I was quite surprised to learn that a Rajini film has had an official VHS release in Finland in 1988 (Bloodstone – rubiinin kirous, “The Curse of the Ruby”), so I of course had to find and get it too. I re-typed its subtitles into my subtitling software (and made some minor corrections and improvements), and now I’m able to enjoy the better-quality DVD version of Rajinikanth with almost official Finnish subtitles!

Another funny thing that I noticed is that there also exists a Hindi-dubbed version that has some remarkably awful censorship. For example, there is a burglary scene with some sex voices coming from the adjacent bathroom. They have tried to hide the moans with very loudly splashing water, but the original audio track is still clearly audible and the result is just a horrible mess.

DVDs with the original English audio are available on Amazon and sometimes on eBay with American and Australian region codes. I got the American one and I didn’t have any problems playing it with my European laptop using VLC media player. I recommend getting the digitally re-mastered 2003 version rather than the original as it looks a lot better.

bloodstone-vhsbloodstone-remastered

Final verdict: Bloodstone is a mandatory watch for Rajinikanth fans. The story isn’t that original but Rajinikanth’s amazing performance makes it fun to watch. The other main role actors aren’t that unforgettable. The end credits song is too catchy!

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Bollywood expedition update

I continued my Hindi adventures with a 7.5 hours long Dhoom marathon. I liked the third part the most. Abhishek looks just like young Amitabh! I also finally watched 7 Khoon Maaf and My Name Is Khan. All of these are very different than what I’ve used to by watching South Indian movies but still quite enjoyable.

Quick notes from recently watched South Indian movies

  • Kathaswamy: !!!
  • Aa Okkadu: I hoped it would have been better but it still is watchable at least once. Ajay’s role isn’t as big as one might think after seeing the cover. There is a song with some crazy editing and horrible clothing. I love the guys who write the plot summaries on DVDs’ back covers. “The rest of the film is all about whodunit!”
  • Businessman: This movie sadly had nothing special to offer. The hero doesn’t even have to face any major problems.
  • Upendra: I rewatched this one as requested in the end of the film because “IT’S A 2D FILM” but I really didn’t learn anything that I hadn’t get at the first watch. If I’m going to rewatch it again some day, I’ll have to count how many different outfits Upendra has. It has to be somewhere near the world record.
  • Vedam: I rewatched also this one and it’s still one of the best Telugu movies that I’ve seen!
  • Uttama Villain: Kamal Haasan’s newest movie is both very funny and sad at the same time. When comparing Kamal to Rajinikanth, the other big superstar of Tamil cinema, I have noticed that Kamal seems to make more “serious” films (with realistic gravity etc.) whereas Rajinikanth makes epic spectacles where nothing is impossible to him. At least during the 2010s. I should watch more Kamal movies to be sure. (Luckily I like both of these genres.)
  • Crocodile Love Story: Two lovers are trapped in a tree guarded by a hungry crocodile! The movie has its moments but it isn’t as good as it could have been (which is sad because I like crocodiles).
  • Shankar Dada M.B.B.S.: This was actually much better than I expected. I had to watch it because its sequel has Allu Arjun’s special appearance, but it was also nice to improve my knowledge of Chiranjeevi’s filmography as so far I’ve watched mostly the younger Telugu stars.

Bonus clip

Awesome usage of Nokia 2310 (a non-touchscreen model from 2006) in Vedam.

nokia2310

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I don’t always write new blog posts when something cool happens, so maybe I should periodically summarize the most relevant unblogged things from a longer period of time into a single post. This is a brief summary of the most exciting film related things that have happened to me in March 2015.

  • The blog now has a new domain name and I even managed to write a new about page!
  • Even though I didn’t yet advertise it anywhere, I made a new high score system for the Magadheera-inspired Warrior Game that I made last year. (My record is now 353.) I hope to add support for touchscreen devices some day but right now I have no idea how to do that. Until that, it’s playable only with mouse or touchpad.
  • I started the Super Star Project which might have been my worst decision ever. My DVD shelf is already so full! I’m glad I’m not doing a Brahmanandam Project.
  • Now I’ve finally seen Student No.1 (Telugu, 2001) which completed my list of movies directed by S. S. Rajamouli, and Gangotri (Telugu, 2003) which was my last unseen movie of Allu Arjun as the hero.
  • Dhoom Dhoom 1+2+3
  • I’m quite a newbie to Hindi cinema since I’ve watched mostly South Indian films. While I’ve seen some random Hindi films before, I haven’t seen anything that good that would make me watch more Hindi films instead of Telugu or Tamil films. Still Hindi films are more popular than South Indian films, so maybe I’ve just watched the wrong movies? Now I started to explore Hindi cinema a little more systematically than before. I began by watching Sholay (1975) which was actually quite good. I was surprised how well the songs fitted in the story, as most Indian films that I’ve seen have at least a couple of songs that feel a little random and disconnected from everything else. I also got DVDs of some newer “super hits”, for example Dhoom and Krrish series, as well as some more or less questionable Hindi movies.
  • Bollywood for Beginners Bollywood for Beginners
  • Just when I started to wander around in the big and scary world of Hindi cinema, one of the greatest Indian cinema bloggers, Filmi Girl, published a book called Bollywood for Beginners. I’ve really enjoyed reading it so far.
  • I remember a day last summer when I traveled around my home town. I laughed silently in my head because I saw a man that I thought looked a little like Dhanush. Then I came home and read the unthinkable news that Dhanush was making his new film Shamitabh in Finland! I missed a screening of the movie in February but this year the Season Film Festival screened two Hindi films, Shamitabh and Raja Natwarlal, so I got another chance to see it. Both of the movies were worth watching even though I probably missed a lot of references to other Hindi films in Shamitabh. It’s funny that the first Bollywood song shot in Finland is a song about toilets. I also made a fool of myself by some very bad dancing when a Bollywood dance group made the audience to try some dance moves in the cinema hall before the show, but I forgot it as soon as an enormous image of Rajinikanth appeared on the screen in Eros International’s short video clip and said “Let’s begin!” which already was more than enough value for the ticket price.
  • At least three interesting soundtrack albums for upcoming movies were released recently: M. Ghibran’s Uttama Villain (Kamal Haasan), Devi Sri Prasad’s S/O Satyamurthy (Allu Arjun, UPENDRA), and Ilaiyaraaja’s Rudhramadevi (Anushka, Rana, Allu Arjun). I managed to watch the live stream only from Rudhramadevi’s audio launch event. It was held in two different cities on consecutive days so that they released three songs a day. Anushka made a grand entrance in a royal carriage and some of the dance performances were entertaining (while some others were embarrassing).
  • Aa Okkadu Aa Okkadu
  • I also have to mention that I got the DVD of Aa Okkadu (Telugu, 2009) which has AJAY in hero role! I hope to watch it as soon as it fits into the schedule of one of my friends who also is an Ajay fan.
  • And finally, I now have Yoddha (2014), the Bengali remake of Magadheera, on (unsubtitled) VCD, so now I’ll be able to make a screencap comparison between the two if I won’t have anything better to do.
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Superstar Project 2/174.

chandramukhi WPIMDbLB

To begin with, here is Rajinikanth’s title screen for the Superstar Project’s title card gallery. In 2005 it’s already quite shiny.

chandramukhi-credits

Chandramukhi is a Tamil superstar starrer from 2005, directed by P. Vasu. It is a remake of the 2004 Kannada movie Apthamitra (also directed by P. Vasu). Besides the superstar, the cast also includes Prabhu, Jyothika, Nyantara, Vadivelu, “and others”.

Chandramukhi is a “hounted house” type of story. Sometime in history, a fatal love triangle had taken place in the mansion and as a result, one of the rooms is inhabited by a ghost of a dancer named Chandramukhi. Fortunately, we have Rajinikanth, an excellent psychiatrist, to save the day. The story is interesting and easy to sit through at least once, but it doesn’t have anything so special that I would re-watch it in the near future. (Watching the sequel two days later was already enough of the same story.)

I have nothing bad to say about the songs either, although I like the more recent Rajinikanth songs more. One funny thing was the song sequence where Rajinikanth is flying kites with his friends. The result can be seen in the following image.

chandramukhi-kites

rajinikanth-gravitylaw

There are two fights in the movie. The first one is the compulsory Rajinikanth introduction fight which once again is very entertaining because of Rajinikanth’s Law of Gravity. The second one feels a bit pointless, but it’s an unwritten law of nature that whenever a character is played by Sonu Sood, he is a villain and therefore has to be defeated at some point.

Another noteworthy gravity moment is when Rajinikanth saves Prabhu’s character from drinking poisoned coffee.

Don't drink, the coffee is poisoned!


nagavalli WPIMDbLB

Chandramukhi has a 2010 Telugu sequel, Nagavalli, which is also by the director P. Vasu. It is a remake of the 2010 Kannada movie Aptharakshaka (again by the same director). In this movie, Chandramukhi returns and once again a psychiatrist’s help is needed to drive her away.

This film doesn’t feature Rajinikanth except in some flashbacks from Chandramukhi. Instead, the film stars Venkatesh as Rajinikanth’s assistant. I realized that somehow I hadn’t seen a Venkatesh film before, and he actually is quite good in this one. I also liked Anushka’s role as Chandramukhi. Rajinikanth’s authority is in danger as his assistant’s assistant is played by none other than Brahmanandam. M. S. Narayana is in a minor role and he dies almost immediately after his introduction which felt a little inappropriate when watched so shortly after the actor’s death in real life. In addition to those actors, the film also features Shraddha Das who is known for her roles in at least Arya 2 and the Malayalam horrific horror film Dracula 2012.

Though the actors’ performances are good, the movie doesn’t have much to add to the story of Chandramukhi. We get to see a little more of the history part. Also the climax scene is nice. (Now I need to add random thunderbolts to my rules of K/Tollywood drinking game.) I believe that Nagavalli can be watched without seeing Chandramukhi first, but I would still recommend Chandramukhi over this one.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Superstar Project 1/174.

murattukaalai WPIMDbLB

The first entry in my new Superstar Project is his 1980 Tamil film, Murattu Kaalai, directed by S. P. Muthuraman. The film is Rajinikanth’s first film with AVM Productions and had highest budget ever in a Rajinikanth film at the time. According to Ramachandran’s book, this is also the film that made Rajinikanth into a commercial hero.

Rajinikanth is a farmer/bullfighter and the story is about defeating a nasty landlord. We get to see bullfighting, a dramatic love triangle, treacherous bad guys, more bullfighting, an interrupted wedding, fighting on top of a moving train, and there are also some very strange-looking jumping stunts in the climax fight scene at the landlord’s house. Overall, the film was a nice watch but a little slow-placed at times.

While doing the Superstar Project, I’ll also try to take screenshots of the Rajini moments in opening credits, as it would be interesting to see when exactly they change into the bombastic spectacles that they are today. Murattu Kaalai simply displays his name without any mention about his stardom.

murattukaalai-credits

Tagged with: , , , ,

Kantri_poster WPIMDbLB

Tonight I watched Kantri which is a 2008 Telugu film directed by Meher Ramesh and starring Jr. NTR, Hansika Motwani, Tanisha Mukherjee, and Prakash Raj.

I didn’t have very high expectations and Kantri indeed turned out to be just like an average masala movie. The story has a couple of nice twists but nothing revolutionary. Jr. NTR was as good as always but this time he had only about average dancing and fighting choreographies. Prakash Raj gave a solid performance as the villain which was expected because he has acted in a similar role for uncountable times. Hansika and Tanisha were used only for the romantic subplot which was ridiculous (but funny) and unnecessary. Tanisha’s role was much smaller than many of the supporting actors’ roles.

The first kiss

The movie has the complete set of the three most frequent Telugu comedians: Brahmanandam, Ali, and M. S. Narayana. This time they are also accompanied by not-so-frequent but funnier Sunil which is funnier also this time. The comedy scenes, which often are long and boring in South Indian movies (because of too fast paced subtitles and sometimes incomprehensible cultural references), are kept short enough in this movie, and most of the jokes are easy to get with a fairly brief amount of prerequisite information of the South Indian cinema. It’s not often that comedy is actually the strongest part of a masala film.

Ali comedy
Sunil comedy

The songs were not very memorable. I already forgot all of them with maybe the exception of “One, Two, Three, Nenoka Kantri”, and one song might have had some lyrics about mangoes…

Story 2
Star Power 3
Songs 1
Fights 2½
Comedy 3½
Overall 2½

Overall, Kantri is not a must-watch movie but pretty watchable for one time if you enjoy watching Jr. NTR. If you’re not yet familiar with Jr. NTR, watch Yamadonga (2007) instead. If the director Meher Ramesh is new to you, I would rather recommend his next film, Billa (2009), except if you like Rajinikanth. Be sure to watch at least Sivaji (2007) before this one or you’ll miss some awesome Sunil comedy!

Kantri on YouTube Sri Balaji Movies has uploaded the movie to YouTube with English subtitles.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,