I (2015) – A modern Beauty & The Beast Tale

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

ai-movie-poster-shankar-tamil-movie-6
My rating : 4/5

Puli is bad. Nope, I think bad would be an understatement, its worse. I’ve been misled that Puli will be the next bahubali (which is it failed miserably and its story was failed to grip the audience utterly). Maya will be the new breath take to Tamil Film Industry but Puli will be their damnation. I hated it and I walked out of cinema in the middle of movie. I’ve never done that. That is my first time (and i intend to make it the last one). However, i cant get over the feeling of how bad Puli is causing me to search few highly recommendable Tamil films. This is the way to win back my confidence in watching Tamil films again. Luckily, i found it. Through I (2015) i discovered that Vikram is a big deal in Tamil Film Industry and one of critical acclaimed actors in Kollywood.

Vikram as Lingesan
Vikram as Lingesan

Of course a mainstream movie will have a love story as their essence. In this film, the magical true love story happened between Lingesan (Vikram) and Diya (Amy Jackson). Lingesan has been a simple guy all his life. He owned a small gym and having a passion in a body building . He is completely obsessed with Diya which is a supermodel and actress in India. Being her biggest fan, he will buy every single product that Diya has endorsed and even stopped whenever Diya’s commercial film is on air. He entered a Tamil Nadu district Body Builder competition and won the first place. However, There was some jealousy incident occurred and Lingesan has made some enemy out of it. Lingesan become famous right after winning the title and started to do a small scale commercial films on his own. It must be a fate for Lingesan to meet Diya on her film set. Diya treated him like a normal fan but Lingesan fell head over heels for her.

Amy Jackson as Diya
Amy Jackson as Diya

Diya is the rising star in the industry. She is a very hard working and talented artist. However, after she rejected the offer to sleep with one of her co-stars, her offers starting to reduce. She get replaced by other new models instantly. Diya is scared that she might losing her popularity. She asked her agent to help her. She wanted to recruit her co-star to avoid such issue happened again. She found Lingesan advert in newspaper and managed to convince Lingesan to change his appearance. Lingesan transformed from a rural body builder to the urban male model. He even changed his name to ‘ Lee’. Lingesan dropped his dream to win ‘Mr India’ Body Building Competition and followed Diya to shoot commercial film in China. Being a newcomer in modelling industry, Lingesan has caused some of prominent models to lost their contract. Without his realization, the number of his enemy has been increasing. He is not aware of it and proceed with his life without any worry.

Vikram-I
Lingesan changed his name to Lee after the transformation.

Lee and Diya has been such a lovely pair in television and billboard. People enjoyed their chemistry and public demand to see them together on screen. They enjoyed the popularity and attention that has been given to them. Lee has been asked to do a commercial film for a cool drink belonged to one company which he indebted to them for giving him a chance to be a model. Lee rejected it due to some controversy that product has. That cool drink apparent has a high level of dangerous substance that may cause death. Lee replied honestly regarding the toxicity level when reporters probe him to ask why he rejected to do that drink commercial film.  Due to this, the company suffered a major setback and suffered market crash. The company owner planned to make Lee suffered because he almost make his company went bankrupt.

Lee and Diya is enjoying their limelight.
Lee and Diya is enjoying their limelight.

(Spoiler) The most unexpected villain in this story is Diya’s doctor. I didnt expect it a bit. He looked like a decent person and never betrayed anyone. I was wrong. This doctor dotted on Diya and wanted her all by himself. He managed to shoo away all the man that are interested in Diya but failed to keep Lee on a leash. Filled with hatred towards Lee, he banded together all people who hated Lee and plotted their own revenge. Lee is injected with some hazardous substance called “h4n6”. The effect of it has caused Lee to transformed into a hunchback person. Lee suffered heavily from his deformity and remain hidden from Diya. When Diya is getting restless, Lee staged his own death so that Diya will believe that he is no more and she can move on. It all change when Lee is diagnosed by other doctor. He suggested that what Lee is suffering is not from Genetic Disease but a Virus. The doctor said someone might have injected him with it.

Lingesan turned into an ugly monster after being injected by hazardous virus.
Lingesan turned into an ugly monster after being injected by hazardous virus.

Lee finally discovered that Diya’s doctor is not someone he can trust. He kidnapped Diya and plotting his vengeance to all who has done wrong to him. He didnt kill them but he let them suffered from being deformed exactly like they did to him. Diya recognized Lee despite his terrible look after spending a few days with him. Diya refused to go and promised to care for him until he recovered completely. With the help of kind doctor, Lee is recovered partially. His skin return to normalcy but his hunchback is not disappear completely. Diya and Lee stayed in a very isolated place and enjoyed each other company without any regards to their past. They left their world behind and choose solace over fame.

I’ve nothing much to say about Vikram and Amy Jackson. Vikram for all i know has been praised by the critics for nailing both role as Lingesan/ Lee and the monster perfectly. Amy Jackson also received nothing but a positive review for her previous films both for her acting and her deliverance in Tamil language. She is a foreigner but people appreciated her effortless way in speaking the language well.  People who complained that this movie  has a long duration and so many unnecessary scenes has been put in it, they are being unreasonable. Every single scene for me has been put together so well with a story line. A soundtrack composed by A.R Rahman is so addictive especially the first track titled ‘Mersalaayiten’. The video of this song is featuring Lingesan and his vivid imagination turning Diya into every single thing that he saw or touch ; from mobile phone to a bubble in a laundry room.

MAYA (2015) – A WELL-MADE TAMIL HORROR FILM

BY THE GORGEOUS PALAH CHINGU

My Rating : 4.5/5
My Rating : 4.5/5

If it wasnt up to ruby, maybe i wont watch this film ever. First reason would be that Tamil films has a tendency to have a sloppy camera work and the quality picture usually is a sub par compared to Bollywood films. This is how my perception went and truth be told, i’ve watch quite few Tamil films that had a nice story line but you just cant ignore the hideous technical part of it. Sorry but not sorry, that’s how i felt. However, it was about to change. If Tamil film industry can maintain their quality and kept producing the good quality film like this one, i am sure they can even surpass Thailand (that most of us knew that they are the king in making a horror flick films).

Aari as Vasanth/ Arjun
Aari as Vasanth/ Arjun

The story began when 2 guys ( Vasanth and His friend) sitting in a living room playing a poker game. They are having a conversation about a girl named ‘Maya’. Apparently, this ‘Maya’ has been accused of poisoning her husband and she has been submitted to one of a mental institution in a forest named ‘Mayavanam’ due to her insanity. At that time, she was pregnant. Little did she know that her life is going to end there. After she delivered her baby, her child got taken from her. She pleaded and begged but nobody gives a damn. A few days later she was found dead and whether she committed suicide or someone pushed her, the hospital didnt care. They have been using that hospital as a base to test sickening experiment on those patients and one dead patient doesnt bothered them at all. ‘Maya’ story also have a freaky chant  that goes ‘ Maya, I dont have your baby‘ which legend told if you say it out loud 3 times, you are going to get a visit from ‘Maya’. His friend decided to chant it and calling out for Maya. At the third time, a dark figure shaped like a lady showed up behind Vasants, his friend was so shocked and fell behind from his seat. It turned out that Vasanth was doing some prank together with his friend’s wife who showed up dressed like a Maya ghost.

If you watch this film later, you might be wondering why there are some scenes in a black and white color and some are in normal color. Rather than giving you the sizzling spoiler, let me just tell you that there are 2 stories in this film and somehow , they are going to be converged together to make sure you understand the ending. To completely say this film is not a cliche horror film, i will not dare to. If you look at a mental institution, musical doll, lady ghost flying a few feet above the ground, its all there but how director reinvent those cliche that how he left me impressed.

Nayantara as Apsara
Nayantara as Apsara

Another story revolved around Apsara who just recently separated with her husband. She was miserable and at her wit’s end of trying everything to make her life works. She pursued her dream back which is acting but nothing seems to do good for her. Swathi, Apsara’s friend try to help her as much as she could. Apsara’s husband kept coming back and ask for her forgiveness but she remain cold and distant. She tore the check that her husband gave and doesnt let her husband to meet Meera, their daughter at all. What causes Apsara to be so indifferent with her husband, it remains a mystery until the end because thats when you can connect the dots in a story line that director has scattered all over the film.

Lakshmi Priyaa as Swathi
Lakshmi Priyaa as Swathi

Where is the connection of this 2 story that i just mentioned above, you might ask? Swathi, Apsara’s friend is an assistant director for  ‘MAYA’ film that slated to be released in 2 weeks. The film is based on the ‘Maya’ story that has been circulated around and considered a scary one because of some mysterious death related to it. There are rumors saying those who entered ‘Mayavanam’ couldnt find their way out and the tale of headless body cutting a tree in a middle of night happened there. The film production is having some trouble in getting the film distributors and try to market their film via contest approach. In order to generate interest among the audiences, they put up a price of 50 grand to anyone whom dare to watch this film alone in the middle of night at the cinema. The company also monitored a CCTV and heart rate monitor in case the participant cheated (close their eyes during screening and so on) and if anything like heart attack ever occurred during the contest.

Apsara has been avoiding a loan shark for over a week. She promised to pay him but failed to do so because her check bounced back. Her work in a commercial advertisement didnt deliver the payment although they promised her. She remembered about the contest that Swathi told her and decided to try it herself. She was scared but she has to do it in order to pay the debt and feed her daughter. She doesnt want to live under her husband’s assistance. She sat through a movie all alone although Swathi warned her not to to do it in the first place. Swathi told her about the first participant that has met his unfortunate death here. Swathi was convinced that this film carried a curse but Apsara wont heed any of her warning. Apsara calmed herself and watched the film from the beginning. She was scared but she has to endure it. A few minutes of watching the film, Apsara found herself in appeared  in the film.

After being so disappointed with Sinister 2, i thought i will never find  a good horror film this year. I was wrong. The storyline is a little bit complex and it requires you to think what are the connection of 2 stories that shown alternately in the film. The whole film is on point. The cinematography just screamed perfection from the start. This is not an exaggeration. The way they played with scenes in 2 different color tones is amazing. They even captured some of the scenes via shadow to kept the mystery alive. I would love to congratulate the technical department on such brilliant takes. It was a marvel to see takes after takes creating a movie magic. The soundtrack also shouldnt be left behind without any praise because they didnt play safe by playing the tune of cliche horror sound like a women’s laughing or shrieking. They keep it minimal but full of impact in certain scenes. The song featured in a film also not over the top in order to keep the audience in a horror mode. The performance by Apsara (Nayantara), Vasanth/ Arjun ( Aari), (Ram) Amzath Khan and Swathi ( Lakshmi Priya) is laudable and together they made a great ensemble casts.  The way Nayantara carried the film is award – winning performance . They stay true to their character  and managed to convince the audiences to feel the emotions together. You can feel empathy towards Apsara and you can feel angry when Ram dug Maya grave wihout any respect in a ‘Mayavanam’ Forest. Last but not least, The director of this film, Ashwin Saravanan who made a debut with this film, you are truly a gem. I will definitely looking forward to watch your next film. You played ‘fear lies in the unknown’ very well in this film. You let us into our own imagination on how ‘Maya’ will looked like. You didnt throw the cliche ending of how ghost will exposed herself at the end of story. You just produced a glimpse of Maya and finished it with a bang.

p/s: Usually, my post will be full of pictures but its hard to find any picture of Maya in google (either it was too early because it has just been released or this film keeping it simple in terms of promotion and advertising). I dont know but one thing i do know, please go watch this film, its worth your money and time. Trust me on this one.

HAMARI ADHURI KAHANI (2015) – A BITTERSWEET LOVE STORY

My Rating : 3.5/5
My Rating : 3.5/5

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

Where do I start? I am not even a bit interested of seeing this film. I dont know when they will releasing the film or when it will hit the cinema. Least to say, this is not in the list of films ive been looking forward to watch. However, upon reading a bad review of this film, I was intrigued. How bad it was that it has been obliterated by critics in India. All of us can see that the casts of this film is merely no joke ; Vidya balan, Rajkumar Rao and Emraan Hashmi . They are an award nominees actors and their talent is incomparable. What went wrong in this film really arouses my curiosity. I downloaded this film and proceeded to watch it next day.

Mr. Ruparel (Emraan Hashmi) who found his true love in Vasudha, the florist that worked in his hotel.
Mr. Ruparel (Emraan Hashmi) who found his true love in Vasudha, the florist that worked in his hotel.

Here is my prediction on this film. It would be a love story. Hero and heroin against all odds will be together no matter what. Who doesnt love that, right? People pay big money to see that kind of illusion in a film. I was right. Yes, It is a love story. It is a different love story (kinda). How difference? It was between a widow and a single guy. Vasudha (acted by Vidya Balan) is a single mother who worked as florist to provide for her son right after her husband’s gone missing for 5 years. Here is the twist in a film. His husband has been missing for 5 years because of his involvement in a terrorist group. Police confirmed this to Vasudha due to some video clip resurfacing showing that Hari (Vasudha’s Husband) shot some of tourists in that footage. Vasudha get on with her life together with their son. It was difficult but she managed to did it on her own.

They have been working together in 2 films before this. Talk about overflowing chemistry, right?
They have been working together in 2 films before this. Talk about overflowing chemistry, right?

When is the conflict going to appear? Vasudha worked as a florist at one of the major hotel in India. She was good at her job and she was praised for her work. Her husband disappearances has been noticed by her colleagues but Vasudha told them it was normal due to his nature of work as tourist driver. Out of nowhere as usual, the hero appears and charmed the heroine. Mr Ruparel (acted by Emraan Hashmi) is a hotelier and looking for a venture to expand his hotel empire. He met vasudha accidentally in his room. It was cliché but it worked. People digs fell in love at the first sight. It was pure and filled with hope. Instantly, they liked each other but both of them has a different personality. Vasudha decided not to pursue due her status of a married woman but Mr. Ruparel felt that this was a first time he can love somebody more than his own self. Obviously, denial is not working out for Vasudha. She decided to seal her past and choose her own happiness with Mr. Ruparel.

UNFORTUNATELY…..

Vasudha (Vidya Balan) tried to deny her own feeling by running away.
Vasudha (Vidya Balan) tried to deny her own feeling by running away.

When Vasudha returned to India, she found her husband returned to their house with a very poor condition. His husband explained to her the calamity that befell upon him. He has been framed in the video footage causing police to believe that he was a terrorist. She believed him but she couldnt return to be his wife again. She told the truth to her husband about her relationship with Mr Ruparel. Her husband felt so devastated. At this point, she felt guilty but she doesnt love her husband. She was forced in to this marriage and Hari (acted by Rajkumar Rao) treated her more like slave than a wife. Hari took a drastic descision to surrender to police. It causes national chaos as hari is fugitive and police has been looking for him ever since the tourist shooting. Vasudha asked Mr. Ruparel to help release her husband from jail. Being a selfless lover, Mr. Ruparel promised to help her in whatever means he can. Little did Vasudha knew that Hari planned everything. He wanted to make Vasudha drenched in guilt so that she can never be happy with Mr. Ruparel. Vasudha will be attached to him and pleading so that Hari admitted that he is indeed innocent. Hari acted he was doing it to give Vasudha’s happiness. He wanted to make Vasudha’s life a living hell.

Hari (Rajkumar Rao) tried to act that he pleaded guilty for the sake of his own wife.
Hari (Rajkumar Rao) tried to act that he pleaded guilty for the sake of his own wife.

Mr Ruparel found a proof saying that Hari is innocent. However, He and Vasudha is unable able to be together. Suffice to say, the fate has decided. Nothing can be done and Vasudha’s life completely shattered. she dumped her husband and living independently without Hari. Hari managed to track her down and threatening to kill her if she doesnt return to him.

Vasudha replied him with Kill me. That’s what men like you have done to women like me. You either killed us in the womb or right after birth. What strange tradition is this? Everything belongs to you. I’ve to wear your vermillion on my forehead. Your nuptial necklace around my neck. My wrists and your bangles. My womb, my blood, my milk and the child takes your name. Everything is yours”.

This is a story about betrayal and infidelity in marriage. This is also a story about sacrifice and selfless love. You are served with a question ‘What if it was not a happy marriage, what if he was not a good husband and what if there are present chances that let you escape from it?’. You might like it, you might despise it but for me a brilliant casts and a decent plot is a good combination to call this a good film. You might beg to differ but I watched it and thats how I felt.

P/s: Although, the ending is sad but it is a kind of good sad. Hari got what he deserved and Vasudha finally has a chance in reconciling with Mr. Ruparel (sort of).