‘Raththa Charithiram - Review


Ram Gopal Varma is a pet child of controversies. Some of his biopics in the past invited the wrath of many. So is ‘Raththa Charithiram’, which created waves in Andhra Pradesh even before its release.

The movie on the life of AP politician Paritala Ravi makes one sit sraight and watch. Ramu seems to have done intense research to render an film movie which is strikingly different from run of the mill stuffs.Thanks to a stellar performance by Suriya and intense show by Priyamani and Vivek Oberoi, ‘Raththa Charithiram’ makes it count. Add to it Shatrughan Sinha’s role, the movie leaves one spellbound.

Suriya lives as Suriyanarayanan, who is baying for the blood of his enemy. His subtle emotions, body language and dialogue delivery gives meaning to the movie. Suriya is right there giving one of his best performances as angry young man.Pratap Ravi (Vivek Oberoi), who goes on a killing spree in Annathapuram to avenge the killers of his father, settles down to become a politician. He wins the Assembly election from Ananthapuram thanks to the blessings of actor-turned-Chief Minister (Shatrughan Sinha).

He bumps off all his enemies and their relatives and paints the town red. When everything goes well, an attempt on his life creates kerfuffle.He comes to know that it was Suryanarayana (Suriya), who was waiting for an opportunity to avenge the deaths of his relatives, who got killed in the hands of Pratap.

DCP Mohan Prasadh (Sudeep) identifies the culprit as Suriya. He threatens Suriya to surrender to police holding his wife Bhavani (Priyamani) as captive. Soon, Suriya surrenders to police and goes to jail.

Ravi decides to bump off Suryia in jail but his attempts fail. Meanwhile, leaders of the opposition party, to settle scores with Ravi, volunteers to help Suriya. They decide to clip the wings of Ravi by making Bhavani as candidate in the elections in Ananthapuram.

Ravi now decides to kill Bhavani. Eventually Suriya hatches a plan and decides to execute it at a party meet convened by Ravi. Comes Suriya in disguise to realise his mission. Does he or not forms the climax.

Awesome is one word to describe Suriya's performance. His eyes emote well and in many scenes Ramu has zeroed in on his eyes to make one understand the scene. His diction and body language ooze revenge.

Priyamani is adequate. Vivek Oberoi matches Suriya in performance. However it’s Suriya who walks away with all honours.Technically, it’s one of RGV's best. The slick editing, different colour tones used by cinematographer Amol Rathod adds to the momentum. Especially he has captured the stunt sequences really well.

But there is no denying that the movie oozes blood and gore. There are crude violent scenes. Bullets fly around. On the whole, it is a tight rope walk, but RGV manages to walk with ease.

Thanks to Suriya's performance and RGV's slick narration, ‘Raththa Charithiram’ is a movie that strikes a chord.

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Chikku Bhukku - review

Romance never fails to entertain audience. Since the early days of cinema till now, it has been served in different flavours and whenever it is presented with perfection, it appealed to all sections of the movie-buffs.

From MKT to STR, it’s the stories that are loaded with romance that struck a chord with the masses. Joining the list is Arya, whose ‘Chikku Bhukku’ is an attempt at making a full-fledged love movie.

Manikandan, a former associate of cinematographer-director Jeeva, has ensured that the film oozes with romance all through. It draws comparison of love between 1980s and the present day.

More like Bollywoood’s ‘Love Aaj Kal’, the movie has two love stories woven in one.Also some traces of ‘Varanam Aayiram’ cannot be missed while watching ‘Chikku Bhukku’.

The film begins in London where Arjun (Arya), a disco Jockey, leads a happy life. Also there is Anu (Shriya), who completes her MBA. One day, Arjun is forced to come to his native village in Karaikudi to ensure that his ancestral property is not sold.

Also Anu too is forced to come to Madurai to meet her father who gets hurt in a mishap. The two strangers come together in a train. There begins their journey towards their respective destinations.

Meanwhile, a diary of Arjun's father pops out from his bag. He browses through it to understand his dad's love life. In flashback, the movie goes back to 1985. It is revealed that Sekar (Arya) returns to his village after getting selected as a Police.

He falls in love with Meenal (Preeta Rao). But when their romance comes to light, Sekar's family resists as caste comes in between. A dejected Sekar leaves to Police Training.

There he gets acquainted with Ammaiappan (Anoop), an innocent youth who is his colleague. He comes to know that Ammayappan is in love with his uncle's daughter. Sequence of events reveals that both love the same girl Meenal.

Meanwhile cut to present, Arjun and Anu after crossing several hurdles in their journey reach their respective houses. Now they realise that they have fallen for each other. Meanwhile a twist in the form of Anu’s father ensures all well end's well.

Arya is cool and casual. As father he is more sedate and cool, while the son is vibrant and bubbly. He is impressive in both acts, while Shriya plays her role with charm. Shriya, the beauty with brains, has delivered a commendable performance. Her expressions are noteworthy and in song sequences, her steps are something which leaves us in awe.

Preeta Rao passes the muster. Santhanam who appears in a separate comedy track is little disappointing.

Though Colonial Cousins Hariharan and Leslie have disappointed with their songs but for a couple of numbers, Pravin Mani's background makes it up. Cinematography has presented the modern London and the traditional Karaikudi in their typical style.

Costumes and art work are the two other highlights of the film. It seems the costumer and the art director worked with perfect understanding to give the feel of London and Karaikudi with their works.

Manikandan has tried to ensure that the movie has no dull moments. However at many places the scenes provides one a deja vu feel. Thanks to Arya's breezy performance, ‘Chikku Bhukku’ is cool to watch.

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starring: Shiva, Lekha Washington, SPB Charan.
Direction: Pushkar-Gayatri
Music: GV Prakash Kumar
Production: Sashikanth Sivaji

Director duo Pushkar and Gayatri’s style of film making has evoked interest among film buffs and is being discussed for its cult nature. After auto race in Oram Po, in Va-quarter cutting, it is the run for a ‘cutting’ that takes the audience through a bumpy fun ride for two hours and 15 minutes. The title of the film had kindled much interest and
VA - Quarter Cutting
the fun quotient was only upped by its cast and music as revealed through the promos.

Sura, (shortened for Sundarrajan) an ardent fan of Vijay played by Shiva lands in Chennai from Coimbatore and is on his way to Saudi Arabia for greener pastures. In Chennai, he is being taken care of by his to-be brother-in-law Marthandam (SP Charan), a veterinary doctor. Sura’s (mis)adventure through one night in Chennai and his vigorous pursuit of liquor on hearing that alcohol is forbidden in Saudi Arabia is the frivolous theme of Va-QC which the directors have handled in their own inimitable brand of narration accompanied by a zeitgeistcal crew.

The opening scene with numerous characters almost tests your memory power. However, as the film unfolds, you realize that they have been deftly interspersed through the warp and weft of the storyline in an impressive manner. Intelligent humor woven with satirical work runs through out Va-QC. Although the first half is not homogenously engaging, the second half gains momentum as it cruises through to the climax. Interestingly, the film opens with the lorry sequence and ends in a lorry sequence.

Dialogues augment the fun component, the notable ones being ‘grape’ for group rape, the ‘muttakose’ analogy to intelligence and Shiva asking Lekha for her name. There are umpteen such enjoyable examples in the film.

Credible characterization is one of the USPs of Va-QC with Shiva, Charan and John Vijay taking the honors. Shiva’s and Charan’s body language and their moronic countenance are in perfect sync with the storyline. John Vijay is a revelation in double roles. Lekha Washington as the girl with ‘self suicidal’ instincts does a neat job. There are many small characters like Abhinayasri, Amarendran, Kalyan as part of supporting cast.

The technical team has delivered what is needed for the film in right proportion. Nirav Shah is the major plus for the film and he does it again with his lens which captures the moods of the night with the appropriate usage of lighting and colors (greens and reds predominantly). Effective choreography in all departments marks the car chase sequence. Editor Anthony’s deft work with scissors is noteworthy. G V Prakashkumar’s music is already well received and is in line with the mood of the film. Thediye Thediye number comes alive for its music and visuals.

Directors Pushkar and Gayatri should be credited for respecting their audience’s intelligence and for delivering a ‘different film’ which could in many ways be an avant-garde work. However, will the different genre of comedy appeal to every segment of the audience is something that needs to be waited and watched. All the same, at a time when the term ‘nativity’ in film industry is being used in a privileged context relating only to village based themes, here is Va-QC which brings out the nativity of Chennai and its night life in its own style.

There could be an argument and doubt if someone could go to such an extent for a ‘quarter cutting’.However the psyche of some minds travelling to any length for a trivial matter also cannot be ruled out, with the term triviality itself being relative. Va-QC could work well for population that is casual and sporty.

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