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UYIRE (2019) - TV Series

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Director: Kumaran Sundram, Abbas Akbar
Writer: Jaya Rathakrishnan
Casts: Puravalan, Ashwini, Guna, Indra, Arvind Naidu, Nisha Kumar, James Kumar, Malene, Thavanesan, Nishana, Sankari
Language: Tamil
Genre: Family Drama
Episodes: 62
Music: Vicknesh Saravanan, Kala Charan

SYNOPSIS:
An ex-military officer father, a kind and supportive mother, three smart and capable daughters - Raagavan and his family seem to have it all - happiness, wealth and an unshakeable family bond. Secrets get revealed that threaten to break apart the family.

REVIEW:
You don’t see much TV series reviews in this blog but sometimes, some work you stumble upon will push you to talk or debate about it. One such work was ‘Uyire’ a 62 episode long form drama that reminded me of my favourite Singapore TV series, ‘Nijangal 2’ that was aired 7 years ago. This spiritual similarities is not purely coincidental as both series were helmed by the same creative team. As suggested by the synopsis, the series follows the tribulat…

US (2019)

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Director: Jordan Peele
Casts: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker
Language: English
Genre: Horror / Thriller

SYNOPSIS: 
A family's holiday plan turns chaos when a group of doppelgängers begins to terrorize them.

REVIEW:
“We are Americans” – the most terrifying line in the film that Jordan uses to reiterate his socio-political symbols in 'US' after an impressive debut with ‘Get Out’ that strikingly placed his argument on race and class. ‘US’ might not be as genre defying as ‘Get Out’ but certainly throws more ideas on us.

After the credits, the film opens up with young Adelaide enjoying the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with her parents in 1986. While her father is distracted, she wanders off and ends up in a house of mirrors. The power winks off, and she finds herself standing next to what looks like her own reflection or actually...that is the hook! The credit sequence that follows is intriguingly brilliant. The camera …

THADAM (2019)

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Director: Magizh Thirumeni
Casts: Arun Vijay, Vidya Pradeep, Tanya Hope, Yogi Babu, ‘FEFSI’ Vijayan
Language: Tamil
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Music: Arun Raj

SYNOPSIS:
The murder of a young girl creates great confusion among the cops when they find out that the suspect found has a look-alike.

REVIEW:
Magizh Thirumeni has a good track record, be it his first breezy but low-key romantic flick, ‘Mundhinam Paartheney’, his breakthrough action flick, ‘Thadayara Thaaka’ or his latest thriller ‘Megamaan’. He has progressively established his strength for writing thrillers and ‘Thadam’, for me is his best in structuring suspense. From the first romantic track with the lead, Magizh buys our attention with his unique staging of flirting. From early in the story, we are introduced about the look alike, Kavin and Ezhil. The suspense is then effectively built after a murder. 

The investigation scenes are well crafted and I particularly liked how Divya, the police constable is being confused by the two stori…

PETTA (2019)

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Director: Karthik Subburaj Casts: Rajinikanth, Vjay Sethupathi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Simran, Trisha, Bobby Simha, Sanath, Mega Akash
Language: Tamil
Genre: Action / Drama
Music: Anirudh

SYNOPSIS:
Kaali (Rajinikanth) joins a college as a hostel warden and sets things in order in his own playful way, from playing Cupid to a young couple (Megha Akash and Sanath), romancing the girl's mother (Simran) to putting the rowdy boys, headed by Michael (Bobby Simha) in their place. But there is more to him than meets the eye.

REVIEW:
Even though Rajini has been actively churning out movies in the past 2 to 3 years, one might miss the Superstar’s core style that is perceived to be his unique strength and the reason for dominating the industry for the past 40 years. But thanks to the die-hard fan turned director, Karthik Subburaj who fills the void by creating pure ‘mass’ film with Rajini’s style stamped over each frame.

Karthik Subburaj, who is known for his trademark voice of filmmaking has let loos…

VISWASAM (2019)

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Director: Siva
Casts: Ajithkumar, Nayanthara, Anikha, Vivek, Jagupathi
Language: Tamil
Genre: Action / Drama
Music: D.Imman

SYNOPSIS:
Thookudurai (Ajith), a village ruffian, clashes with a big shot to protect his long separated family.

REVIEW:
After a dismal product like Vivegam, many eyebrows were raised when director Siva signed Ajith for the fourth time. In my opinion, except, their first outing Veeram (2014), none of the others made a big emotional connection with the audience. However, after watching this film, we get a sense of how the team has applied all the lessons learned from their past fumbles.

Siva is clearly more comfortable in rural subject and Viswasam oozes with that confidence right from the first frame where he opens with a series of Ariel shots of the village greenery. He takes a beaten to death story and has tried to treat it with energy from frame to frame. By focus sing on the thread of father and daughter’s love, Siva builds the stakes around that quite consistently. Th…

KOLLYWOOD 2018

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In my opinion, 2018 was a healthier year than last year with increasing number of quality films that were delivered by young filmmakers who dared to explore with their content. We also saw experienced, proven filmmakers like Mani Ratnam, Shankar and A.R.Murgadoss churning out films from their hearts with the biggest actors of Kollywood. And here are my sincere thoughts on Kollywood 2018 as we wrap up the year.
*Ranking are based on profits, critical acclaim and my overall opinions on the films
20) THAANA SERNTHA KOOTAM

Consensus: Vignesh Sivan and Surya combo garnered lots of attention due to the former’s previous film, ‘Naanum Rowdy Thaan’ which elevated Vijay Sethupathi’s character. The film was entertaining and was a clear Pongal winner thrashing Sketch and Gulebagavali to emerge as a box office hit. The only problem I had with this film was the over use of commercial elements, especially the climax that diluted the original idea of Special 26. Nevertheless, the film marked a positive…