Vaanam crosses 50 days

Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011 | 0 comments
Vaanam, the remake of Telugu super hit Vedam, directed by Krish, has crossed the 50-day milestone. It has set the cash registers ringing and is being touted as one of the biggest hits of the year. The multi-starrer cast of Vaanam with Silambarasan, Bharath, and Anushka must be celebrating. STR who says he watches all of Telugu superstar Allu Arjun's films says that he knew that he had to make Vedam in Tamil and immediately made the suggestion to VTV Ganesh who agreed. And the rest as they say is history. Looks like Silambarasan's instincts were bang on this time.

STR and Anushka celebrates

Posted on Saturday, May 7, 2011 | 0 comments
Pleased with the reception that his latest outing Vaanam had got, Silambarasan had organized a success party for the cast and crew of Vaanam. The party took place at a popular hotel in Chennai a couple of days ago. Vaanam’s producer VTV Ganesh, distributor Dhayanidhi Alagiri, Anushka, Krish, Dharani and others were at this success bash. Vaanam, the remake of Telugu flick Vedham, has turned out to be hit, according to Kollywood circles. This prompted STR to celebrate with his cast and crew. Vaanam’s director Krish also has a special reason to celebrate as he is likely to go to Bollywood with this remake.

What makes Vaanam Rock

Posted on Saturday, April 30, 2011 |
Vaanam is about five converging lives that literally set off a cataclysmic explosion. In many ways it could be considered a milestone. The film reaches for the stars and makes no bones about it, but does it make the cut? Is it path breaking cinema at its most glorious complete with integrity and pathos? The answer to that question is the same one teachers give to parents about students who have unlimited potential but can do much better. This is so, because, of the five strands that comprise the narrative, three could have been more engaging, to retain audience interest in all aspects of the movie.

STR’s story is the one that rocks, big time. It is not perfect but it is thoroughly riveting. He plays Cable Raja who is far too good looking and smooth – talking by far and the extent of his ambition begins and ends with filthy lucre. To further his aim of getting a one – way ticket out of his ‘Kuppam’, he plans to marry a rich – plasticky doll who is short of brains and body fat but nothing else. He is close to achieving his dreams but all he needs is the sum of Rs. 40, 000 to close the deal or as he croons lustily to a hooker – ‘No money no honey ma!’

Together with Santhanam, he tries to raise the money using any means available ethics be damned, finds himself on a slippery slope towards damnation, and finally redeems himself. STR reveals the unlimited potential he has as an actor and there are a few scenes where he comes close to transcendence. His eyes speak volumes and his hold over the audience may best be defined as mesmeric. There is this particular scene that shows Simbhu struggling with a dormant conscience that has suddenly come awake and he fights it allowing his darker side to win albeit temporarily. A myriad of conflicting emotions from desperation to self – loathing to sheer human greed make their way in rapid succession across his eyes and you want to stand up with the truck driver high on ganja in the first row and scream your approval.

All this makes you so much madder at the director for making him provide the comic relief in the film which results in you not taking the character seriously even when he makes the ultimate sacrifice and the second completely unselfish act in his life. But even so, he and Santhanam are the best things about Vaanam. The duo is a laugh riot, and their antics hit you like a gallon of caffeine every time they come on screen. When the other characters take over the narrative, you find yourself missing Cable Raja and his sidekick in petty crime.

As regards the weaker threads, you have a weaver and his daughter – in – law who desperately need, Rs. 40, 000(Coincidence!) to pay off a loan shark and rescue their boy who has been kidnapped and is being held by said shark. Saranya plays the poverty – stricken mother and she does a good job but the problem is her character moans and groans once too often and you are taken on an unpleasant trip down memory lane where a screen – mom’s only job in life was to wail and bemoan her tragic fate. The weaver accompanies her in paroxysms of grief and despair, till you find overwhelming irritation muscling out the pangs of pity you had felt initially.

Speaking of pity, Prakash Raj’s strand fails to pack a punch and he cuts a somewhat pathetic figure. The thespian plays a Muslim (you know that because he wears those cute little caps as a badge of identification throughout the flick) going through the worst phase in his life and whose troubles are compounded by a runaway brother and a cop who is a tad biased against Muslims in general and him in particular and who runs into him more often than either they or the audience care for. Prakash Raj’s search for his brother and trysts with the supremely lacking – in – judgment cop make for some scenes that drag a little and though the veteran lends gravitas to the role, it is nothing we have not seen before.

Bharath’s is a Rocker dude in the film but his story does not achieve its potential because he and his friends are not convincing enough. They dress the part, look the part, even talk the part, but they were not able to wing it and come across as wannabe more than anything else. Bharath is the selfish rocker who cares about himself, his music, his girl, and little else, and who undergoes a personality transplant when life gives him a few hard lessons. But he has trouble selling it to the audience because it is too far a departure from who he is in real life though the effort he puts into the role is commendable. Besides this strand deserves a round of applause for sending out the right message to today’s youngsters.

Vaanam also has a sizeable sex quotient with a hooker, Saroja who fortunately does not have some sob story that is usually mandatory for justifying such a career choice. She knows her body is her fortune and she has no qualms about using it, her main grouses being that the pimp who runs the brothel helps herself to a hefty cut and that her experience unlike in other jobs is not considered an asset. Anushka as the feisty prostitute with quite the big mouth turns in an entertaining performance. In the end, she decides to get off her back and opt for a more respectable job and you are genuinely happy for her.

The music is a definite plus and STR’s tracks walk away with the honors. They have tremendous mass appeal and they have great energy and bounce that makes it extremely easy on the ears. Yuvan Shankar Raja has done it again. Simbhu and Bharat are great dancers and their talent in this department is suitably showcased. However, it must be mentioned that while it is great to listen to ‘no money no honey’ while driving or chilling at home, it tends to put the brakes on the proceedings.

Finally, Vaanam deserves a pat on the back simply because it inspired STR to get off the beaten track and begin experimenting with the roles he takes up. He has come a long way from the days when he played the loser with the attitude in movies like Alai and Dum. The Young Super Star has raw talent in abundance but it needs to be molded before he can really come into his own as an actor Tamil Nadu can be proud of and show off to the world. Hopefully, he’ll churn out more films like this in future.

As for the director, Krish his novel attempt has paid off in big bucks, so it looks like he has found his pot of honey at the end of the rainbow – colored tapestry he wove with his Vaanam. And there is no begrudging him that. It is a worthy attempt and required grit and guts to try something so different. So warts and all, Vaanam and the man who made it deserve hearty congratulations.

Movie Review

Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 | 0 comments
Prolific Telugu director Krish comes to Tamil bringing with him his critically acclaimed Vedam as Vaanam with an ensemble cast of STR (Silambarasan), Bharath, Anushka, Vega, Saranya, Prakash Raj and others. Vedam had given Krish an admirable name to reckon with in the Telugu industry and for his debut in Tamil, the director has chosen the same premise which explored the various layers of human emotions, adhering largely to the original.

Vaanam follows a multi narrative format, which is fairly new to Tamil cinema. The product is about how the lives of five completely unrelated individuals from different places converge at one point cascading in a transformation of their persona and the ensuing corollary. The refreshing factor about Vaanam is it has eschewed the standard DNA of commercial flicks and Krish’s authority on the narrative comes to the fore with this delectably mounted product that tugs at your heart strings.

The characters in Vaanam are very ordinary, relatable mortals with their respective grey shades. Krish has not attempted to aggrandize them and they stand before you immaculately unornamented with their blemishes. STR as cable Raju, Bharath the rock star, Anushka the commercial sex worker, Saranya the helpless mom of an abducted son and Prakash Raj on the look out for his lost brother are the axles around which Vaanam hinges.

The screenplay is intelligently woven around these characters and Krish builds his narration in a neat pattern not losing steam or our attention anywhere. Although dialogues by Giri provide a significant value, it dazzles when Anushka insulted by policeman Radha Ravi says “we sell our souls unrobed but you guys do that with all your robes on” (naanga thuni avuthu velai porom, neenga thuniyoda velai poreenga) or when she jocularly says that while for other jobs, experience is a big plus but in flesh trade, it is just the reverse. Giri’s caliber as an effective dialogue writer is revealed when STR in a choked voice states that truth needs courage and lies do not. And mind you, Vaanam is replete with such gems.

All the artists have performed well and have equal screen presence. But the finest moments, of course, belong primarily to STR who reiterates that at the hands of a good script and a director, he can walk away with all the acting honors. The testimony to this is the scene when he snatches the money bag from Saranya and the vicissitude of emotions that play on his face that toggles between greed and conscience. And the scene at the police station when Anushka wonders if his love was true, the profound expression on his face is noteworthy.

Anushka, the foul mouthed sex worker oozing oodles of oomph meets the sensual demands of her character but sans vulgarity brings tears while pleading to the doctor to save her friend saying that she is ready to sleep with him innumerable times. Bharath delivers a subdued performance and Prakash Raj is his usual best. While Vega, Soniya and Jasmine are adequate, Saranya, Santhanam and VTV Ganesh have delivered a natural and neat portrayal. The scenes with VTV Ganesh are enjoyable and when he talks about standing in front of director Shankar’s house with Rahman as company is hilarious. Santhanam as STR’s friend is his perfect humorous foil. Anushka’s transgender friend Karpuram and Saranya’s father-in-law are impressive.

Under Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music, the opening song ‘Who am I’ showcases Bharath’s dancing skills which is youthful and peppy. The latest youth anthem ‘Evandi Onna Pethan’ is well picturized and STR’s adeptness with his feet and Nirav Shah’s brilliant camera work in the number are noticeable. Although ‘No money no honey’ is enjoyable, it does not add value to the film’s progress in any way.

Nirav Shah’s cinematography is appreciable and the angles and lighting sensibilities up the production value of the film. The different type of lighting at the lodge is just an example. With his tight frame composition, Editor Anthony is impressive.

Even though Vaanam is alluring in most aspects and travels linearly on the attempted track, the cinematic feel of the climax is a placid wart. The track ‘No money no honey’ is apparently forced and brings down the tempo of the film.

Director Krish makes his impactful debut with a different narrative format that holds the attention of the audience. Vaanam is succulent with diverse complex human emotions from deceit to greed to rage to remorse.  The film has a plot that can find patrons among wider variety of audience as the theme of humanity is much a catholic one that transcends barriers.

Movie Preview

Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 | 0 comments
Vaanam is the remake of the Telugu superhit action-drama Vedam, directed by Krish. Silambarasan plays the lead in Vaanam that also has an ensemble star cast including Bharath, Anushka Shetty, Saranya, Vega, Jasmine and Prakashraj. Vedam was a critically acclaimed action drama when it was released in Telugu. Vaanam focuses on the theme of organ trafficking and hence has a point or two to make in terms of messages.

Vaanam’s casting has undergone various changes before the launch of the movie’s shooting. It was said that Anushka will not be a part of the movie, after which Taapsee was approached for playing the role. However, Anushka came back to the movie to re-enact the role she did in Telugu. Sneha Ullal was also supposed to have had a significant role in Vaanam but she was given the elbow subsequently and was replaced by Jasmine.

Yuvan’s music has become the talking point for Vaanam what with the Evan Di Unna Pethan song topping the charts with its most irreverent lyrics in the recent past in Tamil. While scoring this dance number, Yuvan also seems to have been inspired from the latest pop hits, infusing bits and pieces from popular songs in Evan Di Unna Pethan, sung by Silambarasan. Venus Music, following the popularity of the song, expressed its wish to produce a music video in Hindi to be telecast in Hindi channels.

This song will be called Kaun Hai Baap Tera in Hindi and will have Silambarasan crooning for Yuvan’s music.
Vaanam’s sound track has 5 songs with Srikanth Deva lending his voice, associating with Yuvan for the first time. Silambarasan plays the role of Cable Raja and Vaanam’s story is said to touch upon the five natural elements of the universe namely sky, air, water, fire and earth. The movie will essentially be a string of short stories connected to each other culminating into a climax.

Vaanam is releasing this weekend in theatres by Dhayanidhi Azhagiri’s Cloud Nine movies. Vaanam’s cinematography is handled by the acclaimed Nirav Shah. Vaanam will be Silambarasan’s next after his hugely successful romantic movie VTV.

Vaanam ready for Release

Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011 | 0 comments
Vaanam has been awarded with a U/A certificate and is ready for release. The Censor Board officials also muted some of the dialogues in the film. The movie will hit the screens on April 29th, 2011. Vaanam has created a lot of expectations as this film is a remake of the Telugu hit flick Vedam. Also, this is Silambarasan’s first release after the astounding success of Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya last year. Vaanam is directed by Krish, who had also directed the Telugu version. Anushka plays the female lead in this film. Sonia Agarwal, Bharath, Vega, Jasmine and others also share the screen space in this film.

Music Review

Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 | 0 comments
Simbu's Vaanam is one of the much-awaited summer releases in Kollywood. The story revolves around five people who meet in the climax of the film due to unforeseen circumstances. Vaanam also has Anushka, Bharath, Vega, Prakashraj, Sonia Agarwal, Jayaprakash and Ganesh in prominent roles. Every time Simbu teams up with Yuvan, you can expect an explosive album in the offing! And this time too there, is no difference; so here we bring you an exclusive music review of Vaanam!

The album begins with the energetic 'Evan Di Una Pethan' which is already topping the charts. The song is rendered perfectly by Simbu; Yuvan's English raps in between form another major highlight. Music director Yuvan Shankar Raja has made the song very peppy by using heavy beats. Apart from singing, Simbu has also penned the lyrics for this simple and colloquial song.    
Then comes the desi 'No Money No Honey', a typical 'kuthu' number. Srikanth Deva, Andrea and Simbu has rendered this peppy dance track. It is a mass kuthu number likely to be picturised on Simbu and Anushka. However, the music is too loud and dominates the lyrics.  

Next is a solo number 'Vaanam' rendered by Yuvan Shankar Raja. The song is likely to appear in bits and pieces throughout the film. When the guitar strumming begins, you already know this track's going to stay on 'repeat' for a while.

Benny Dayal has crooned the fast-paced, energetic 'Who I Am'. Check out for some amazing instrumentation from Yuvan in this track. This angry track is likely to appear when the hero gets frustrated on life. The opening of this song reminds us of 'Uriyin Uriye' from Kaakha Kaakha. The heavy drum beat and catchy lyrics will definitely attract many young listeners. 
'Cable Raja' is likely to be the intro song for Simbu (as he plays the role of Cable Raja in the film). Abhishek and Lawrence have sung this mass number. We are already expecting some electrifying dance moves from Simbu in this track