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Monthly Archives: December 2014

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    Great ideas designed for hosts most wanted, so you can bring in 2015 on your terms

    Avoid traffic snarls, obnoxious strangers, tardy bar service and slow buffet lines this New Year’s Eve and throw your own memorable bash with help from our home-friendly services instead

    1. Jump to it
    There’s no better time than now to take a leap of faith with parkour. Prabhu Mani, the president of the Tamil Nadu Parkour Association, will come home to give a demo and teach a beginners’ class. “We will take you through basic techniques, wall climbing and rolling, besides giving demonstrations on strength and power,” he says. Rs.4,000 per head. Expect 10-15 people to come for the demo and class. Details: 9884897546

    Parkour in Gaza2. Lights. Camera. Action
    It may not win an Oscar, but we guarantee a home movie made on NYE will give you a thrill. Look up Ice Boys Ent Co for help. “We will bring our crew, equipment, make-up artistes, script writers, hair dressers, etc, and make a 10-minute movie. Just give us five days’ notice,” says director Subu, of Sutta Kadhai fame. Rs.85,000 for a party of 15 people. Details: 9841033363
    3. Crack up
    They’ve brought the roof down at various venues across the city. Now you can get theatre company Evam to bring their brand of stand-up into your drawing room. According to Bhargav Ramakrishnan, one of the organisers, “We will bring three comedians from the group and perform a 40-minute act.” If they are given a week’s notice, they can even come up with original content exclusively for you. From Rs.90,000. Details: 9884022449

    4. Life’s a song
    ■ Put away your iPods and play lists, and brighten the party with a performance by Varun Parandhaman. The independent artiste and music producer—well known for his song, Cosmopolitan Kadhali, by his band Namma Ooru Boy Band—promises to entertain with Hindi, Tamil and English songs. A two-hour performance will cost Rs.50,000 (including a keyboardist, percussionist and guitarist).
    Details: 9789073827
    ■ You could also look up Syed Subahan, the winner of Super Singer season four. He charges Rs.60,000 for a night featuring top Tamil songs. Details: 9894553104

    evam 25. Curtains up
    Bring the theatre experience home with Stray Factory. The city-based theatre group—that has won applause for plays like Animal Farm and YouTube videos like We are South of India (by Enna Da Rascalas)—will present short comic sketches. “We can also present some interactive, musical plays from Enna Da Rascalas,” says actor Mathivanan Rajendran. Rs.1 lakh for an hour. Details: 9790911711

    6. The alternative bash
    ■ This New Year’s Eve, turn off the music and get in touch with your inner self instead. Blue Movement circle will provide ‘creative movement’ breathing and exercise, which will engage your body and mind through movement. Rs.3,500 per person. From 10 pm to 1 pm.
    Details: 944022904
    ■ 136.1 offers breath awareness exercises, chanting and group prayers (for a minimum of 10). The highlight of the meditation will be chidhakshana dharana (inner visualisation), which will help you focus on the events of the previous year, but without being attached. Rs.1,500 (excluding travel expenses). Details: 42347670

    HorseCarriage7. Royal ride
    This one won’t turn into a pumpkin at midnight! Take in the sights, and check out the party hotspots around town, while sitting pretty in a horse-drawn carriage. Tamilarasan, from R A Puram, rents out his carriage and horses for three hours, for Rs.20,000. You can rent just a horse for Rs.6,000. Details: 9444434286

    8. Pamper station
    ■ Get your nails done or indulge in a luxurious spa treatment—even as the party goes on around you. Experts from
    Naturals can put up a nail bar, give you facials, pedicures
    or anything your heart desires. From `10,000 onwards,
    for a group of at least five. Details: 09092626262
    ■ Spa Senza can also bring home some TLC with nail art, and head and neck massages. Rs.7,500 per person. Details: 43018888

    9. Sing along
    Make the night interesting with some karaoke. Mridula Gopalkrishnan, a karaoke jockey, will host a party for you. “I can start by 10 pm and perform for five hours. I generally look at English, Hindi and Tamil songs,” she says. From Rs.40,000 onward. She charges extra for equipment and supporting karaoke singers, if needed. Details: 9789997900

    DJ nikilesh10. Band conscious
    This is one of our favourites—a live band for our very own. Book the very new Chlorophyll’s Promise for three hours and lead singer Shrey Tandon says, “We will perform blues, jazz, electronics and commercial music. We can also perform covers of bands like The Beatles!” From Rs.35,000 onwards. Details: 9791121224

    11. Spin counter
    Hit the dance floor as DJ Nikhilesh mixes some great music for you. He will entertain with electronic dance music, ranging from deep house to techno and trance. Rs.1,20,000.
    Details: nikhileshteki@gmail.com

    12. Solve a crime
    Here’s your chance to walk in Castle and Beckett’s shoes. Call Bangalore-based MD Riti, a former journalist, who organises murder mystery parties. “Our stories are urban, glamorous and Indian—think popular model found murdered in a bathtub,” says Riti. Her outdoor mysteries—for big groups up to 100—will include questioning suspects, lifting finger prints and solving puzzles (Rs.35,000 onwards). For a smaller group, choose their dress-up mysteries, where the guests get to role play. Rs.15,000 onwards. Details: rmglearning.com
    13. Click it
    Get your party framed with a photo shoot. Vivek Gnanasekaran, a freelance photographer, can do this for you for Rs.5,000. From candids, action shots and posed photographs, he will cover them all for two hours, at the end of which he will give you 200 pictures. Details: 9500268825

    facial14. Telling tales
    “The most popular stories now are New Year resolutions—what people will do next year that’ll be better than what they did this year,” laughs Eric Miller, of the World Storytelling Institute. Give Miller a ring and he will guide you on how to weave real-life adventures (or made-up ones), personal experiences and more, into a storytelling session at your party. He can even give a demonstration. Details: 9840394282

    15. Dance baby, dance
    ■ Get your groove on with Jeffrey Vardon’s Hot Shoe Dance Company. The dancers will give you a Latin dance demo (if you’d like Cuban rumba or the jive, just say so) and a one-hour workshop to help you master the moves. Rs.2 lakhs for two couples showcasing two to three styles. Details: 9840088451
    ■ Bangalore-based Lourd Vijay Dance Company can also arrange eight to 10 dancers to perform three dance sequences set to the latest music. From Rs.3.5 lakhs onwards.
    Details: 080 23315566

    story telling 216. Plan perfect
    ■ Yes, we said you can bring the party home. But we also know it can be exhausting planning one. Design Quotient, one of the city’s popular party planners, can help you put it together. “From interiors and props to catering, we do it all. Las Vegas (with back-lit LED skylines and roulette tables) and The Great Gatsby (masquerade masks and champagne fountains) are hot favourites right now,” says Dhiya
    D’Rosario. From Rs.1 lakh onwards. Details: 9884090718
    ■ Dial A Party (Rs.10,000; 9840034092) and Tattoo Party (Rs.7,500; 9884444198) can also help you with customised dos that
    include photo booths, props, card games and more.

    17. Gravity defying
    Blow the competition out of the water with aerial acts, flame throwers and more. “We have acrobats from Russia, stilt walkers, performers who will startle you by sitting on air, and even a human rubber-band,” smiles Gaurav Gondal, founder-director of Yogi’s Angels, one of the country’s premier entertainment firms. Bring the unusual to your house party at Rs.25,000 onwards per artiste. Details: 09011080000 / yogisangels.com

    18. Hips don’t lie
    If exotica is what you are looking for, we have just the thing for you. Goa-based Neil Ribeiro—of event management company, Wiz Creations—can get you belly dancers, African performers and more. “We also have Tanoura dancers from Egypt, a coyote act by The Lethal Ladies from London, and The Lethal LED ladies, who will perform while covered in LED lights,” he says. From Rs.45,000 per dancer. Details: 9881078792

    19. Chefs on call
    ■ The Park: Chef Rajesh Radhakrishnan has been creating bespoke menus for New Year. Take your pick from cuisines like French, Italian and Mexican, or leave it up to him to surprise you. Once finalised, his team of expert chefs (also a cocktail specialist, should you choose) from The Park will do a quick reccy of your place to ensure they have all they need to create magic for you. Rs.2,200 plus tax onwards per head, for 20 people. Details: 42676000
    ■ The Mad Chef: Koushik Shankar, fondly called The Mad Chef, will let you choose from South Indian specials from his most recent project Maplai—from traditional Thanjavur kair katti golas and ayire meen kuzhambu to desserts like the three-way vattilappam. You can choose another cuisine, too, if South Indian food doesn’t tickle your taste buds. From Rs.299 plus tax onwards per head. Details: 9600066649

    Great gatsby theme party20. Wine smart
    Ringing in the New Year over a session of wine tasting might sound boring. But think again, for sommelier Praveen Krishnamurthy has plenty of ideas up his sleeve. “Wine tasting can be done over many themes—like the Ramayan for instance, where the characteristics of the wine can be compared to characters in the epic. Or even the zodiac signs, for more fun,” he suggests. And for the serious connoisseurs, Krishnamurthy suggests a vertical tasting where you sample different vintages from the same brand. Conducting fee: Rs.50,000 for a group of 35-40 people, plus the cost of the wines. Details: 9566218287

    21. Fun on the grill
    You don’t need us to tell you that this is the best weather for a barbecue! L’Amandier will send over their gas-operated barbecue apparatus from Weber with pre-marinated meats and veggies, and a chef to teach you how it’s done. Don’t forget to ask for their special marinades like chermoula (for fish or chicken) or thyme & garlic (dark meats), their herbed rice, mashed potatoes and desserts, too. Base price of Rs.1,250 plus tax per person, for a minimum of 15 people. Details: 42827882
    22. Up in the air
    Bring the circus into your backyard with Romain Timmers, the Pondicherry-based artiste. He will perform a 20-minute juggling act for Rs.30,000. “I can also perform two sequences of vertical dance—of approximately seven minutes each—and maybe give guests a few pointers, too,” he says. RS.40,000. Details: 9626797736

    23. Jazz it up
    Hailing from Holland, jazz saxophonist Maarten Visser is well-known for his recent performance with dancer Padmini Chettur. Part of the band MV3, Visser plays original songs and charges Rs.15,000 upwards for a solo performance with more than 20 songs. Details: 9940425806
    24. The kids are alright

    ■ Here’s an excuse to encourage your child to get his hands dirty. Well-known potter Malini Kalyanam will teach them clay modelling. But she requires three days’ notice, so hurry with your bookings. Approximately Rs.500 per child (inclusive of equipment). Details: 9042568463

    ■ Get some giggles with a Batman tattoo or a balloon tiara. Wishing Well provides services like tattoo art, a magician, caricaturist and a balloon sculptor. `2,500 for the tattoo artist, balloon sculptor and caricaturist, and Rs.3,500 onwards for the magician. Details: 9841390002

    ■ Playing with fire can be fun, as long as your child is learning pyrography (decorating wood with fire). Instructors from DakshinChitra will show your little ones how. Rs.2,500 for a group of 15. Details: 9841777779

    25. Tag, you’re it
    You can convert your home into a laser tag arena with Eashwar and Karthik Kalimuthu from Chaos Entertainment. “We’ll get 10 suits and guns, and also conduct demonstrations. All we need is a closed room to set up the obstacles,” says Kalimuthu. Rs.30,000. Details: 9940140757

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    Taxi apps to ensure you can party hard and have a safe drive home

    2014 has been a tumultous year for app-based cab services, with global players like Uber facing bans in several states. Nevertheless, companies like Meru and OLA are expanding and the introduction of features like panic buttons are keeping security issues at bay. We lay down the pros and cons of a few top players:

    Uber: It has three categories of vehicles — UberBlack (premium), UberX (affordable) and UberGO (low-cost). Details: uber.com
    Pros
    ♦ Their collaboration with PayTm for wallet payments has been welcomed.
    ♦ Cabs arrive in time and the vehicles
    are clean and in good condition.
    Cons
    sidestripAA♦ Having to enter
    credit card details before
    booking a ride is not favoured
    by many.
    ♦ The in-app
    GPS navigtion feature can be
    unreliable
    at times.

    OLA Cabs: They recently introduced their Money Wallet feature. Customers can also pay through online banking. Details: olacabs.com
    Pros
    ♦ Keep friends updated about your
    location by sharing your ride details.
    ♦ View the estimated time of arrival.
    Cons
    ♦ Late night service is not reliable.
    ♦ The app’s UI is not top notch. Data input
    forms tend to reset automatically, while a few have faced login issues.

    Meru Cabs: This app allows for advance bookings and features a single touch booking feature — just open and tap ‘Now’. Details: merucabs.com
    Pros
    ♦ The app has a dedicated emergency
    buzzer system — use the ICE (in case of emergency) feature to send an SMS to preregistered numbers about your location.
    Cons
    ♦ Drivers sometimes don’t receive pick-up
    details, even after the customer has received their booking confirmation.
    — Karan Pillai

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    Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the night’s best parties, from Chennai to Pondicherry

    DJS from Dubai,Chennai and Mumbai—playing retro mix and techno—unlimited alcohol and finger food to go with it and a large dance floor for all those who want to shake a leg. Slap on some sparkle and make your choice.

     

    Chennai:

    Dance non stop  @ Park Hyatt
    This New Year’s Eve, the Lily Pond will be converted into a dance floor. DJ Mazzr and Chennai-based musician, Kavitha Thomas, will take centre stage, with Bollywood numbers. Canadian musician Monica Lamarche will also put up a special performance, while in-house DJ Malcolm will jazz up the dance floor at Flying Elephant. Rs.5,000 per person. Details: 71771234

    EDM @ The Park
    There is something for everybody at The Park. With Crazy Horse hosting commercial club music and Chandni Bar hosting Bollywood music, there is also EDM at Leather and Lace. Also catch Chennai-based DJs like Riyan, Rohan and Akash. (Rs.5,999 for stags and Rs.9,999 for couples). For an exclusive couples-only party, head to the new Aqua NYE. Details: 42955555

    KebabDJ Chubby @ Hilton
    Known for its great ambience, the Q Bar is the place to be if you’re looking for foot tapping music and dancing. With DJ Chubby playing peppy numbers, the entry fee for the roof top event is Rs.5,000 (includes food and alcohol). Details: 22255555

    Bollywood @ Hyatt Regency
    365 AS, the lounge bar at Hyatt Regency, is all set to host Phenomenal 2015, their New Year’s Eve party with in-house DJ Iris. He will be playing the hits of 2014. Rs.3,599 per person (includes dinner). Details: 61001234

    Techno @ Radisson City Blu Centre
    Under the theme Sensational 2015, Radisson Citi Centre is gearing up for a fun New Year’s Eve party with DJs like Eric Paul and Sam Shroff playing techno and progressive house music. Resident DJ Joshua will also be playing peppy Bollywood numbers. Pick up early bird ticket at Rs.6,499 for couples and Rs.4000 for stags. (Regular ticket are priced at Rs.7,499 and Rs.5,000 respectively.) The entry fee also includes unlimited alcohol and snacks. Details: 30404444
    Galouti kebab400 liquor brands @ Illusions
    Chennai pub, Illusions, is entering New Year with DJ Imran, who’ll play hip hop, house, and some classics. Choose from their 400 brands of liquor, including popular vodka brands like Grey Goose and Sky. Rs.3,999 for couples and stags. Details: 9884498806

    Bottomless glasses @ 10 Downing Street
    With DJ Gani from Hyderabad taking centre stage on New Year’s Eve, chant your countdown on the 10D dance floor. With unlimited alcohol and food on offer, it is Rs.4,999 per couple. Details: 43546565

    Contemporary @ The Gateway
    Welcome the New Year on a dance floor. The Gateway Hotel will have a live DJ playing Hindi and English numbers. Also expect unlimited beer, spirits, snacks and a dinner buffet. Rs.2,999 for stags and Rs.4,499 for couples. Details: 66802500

    1000 dancers @ VGP
    VGP Aqua Kingdom is the place to be for this year’s New Year party. They have a dance floor that can accommodate 1000 dancers. The party will also have performers from Russia, a fashion show and a DJ in addition to unlimited domestic liquor and starters. Entry at Rs.3,500 and  Rs.6,000 (for couples). Details: 24356900

    DJ nikileshChennai Baby Doll @ Green Meadows
    Party at Green Meadows Resort with DJ Ashish, from Meet Brothers in Mumbai (of Ragini MMS fame). The unlimited bar menu includes domestic beer and liquors. Rs.3,500 for couples and Rs.2,500 for stags. Details: 24515555

    Pondicherry:

    Masked theme @ Accord
    If you like mystery and dress-up parties, then this masquerade party is perfect. Organised on Hotel Accord’s 10,000 sq ft terrace, it will feature Pondicherry-based DJ Ram. From 8 pm to 1 am. Rs.6,000 per couple. Details: 8489916523

    Campfire @ Xplode
    This New Year’s Eve, celebrate at Xplode 15 at Ashok Beach Resort. The beach music festival, features DJs like Sha, Sachin Sharma, Surgeffetz and The Alchemy. Also enjoy a campfire on the beach, laser show, drinking games like Chug Champions and fireworks display at sea. December 31. Rs.2,200 for stags. From 5 pm onwards. Details: 9871675629

    Hip-hop @ Green Park
    Green Park Resort in Pondicherry is hosting a party on Paradise beach. It includes dinner, unlimited drinks and music by DJ Bobby Beck. Look out for the video wall and hip-hop performances by Tiger Team from Chennai. For munchies, there’s gobi pakoda, turkey fry and more. Stags at Rs.1,999 and couples at Rs.2,499. Details: 8925066660

    Remix retro @ Promenade
    Party at Lighthouse, the roof top bar at Promenade, with Pondicherry-based DJ Jesse Fox Allen, from New Zealand, will be playing new- beats and remix retro. Also, enjoy beverages like Kingfisher beer and mojitos. Rs.2,800 for couples and Rs.1,700 for stags. Includes a complimentary beer or cocktail. From 8 pm onward. Details: 0413 2227750

    70’s disco @ Mango Hill
    Mango Hill is hosting a disco party from 8 pm to 1 am, with a live set, and DJ Mokos from Germany. He will play remixes from the ’70s and ’80s. Nibble on finger foods like chicken and fish tikka  on sticks, while enjoying  crowd pleaser drinks like pina coladas. Rs.800 per couple (entry plus a drink) and free for the ladies. Details: 0413 2655491
    Rooftop DJ  @ Laila’s County
    Laila’s County is hosting a party at their roof top Dragon Lounge, from 7 pm to 11.50 pm. Featuring a live DJ performance with unlimited beverages and starters, it is priced at Rs1,999 for couples and Rs.1,299 for stags. The buffet dinner (Rs999 with unlimited wine) is complimentary for children. Details: 0413 2333633

    DJ Milano @ Kailash Resort
    Hotel Kailash Beach Resort is bringing in the New Year with DJs Sana, Milano and Mani. Flying in from Dubai, DJ Milano will be playing commercial music. The bar will serve whiskeys (Signature, RC), brandy (VSOP, Morpheus) and more. Rs.4,500 for couples and Rs.3,000 for stags. Details: 24493974

    —Compiled by Aishwarya Kumar & Lakshmi Nair  

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      The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
      Director: Peter Jackson
      Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom
      Having reclaimed their homeland from the dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Smaug rises again and screens are engulfed in smoke, blood and gore. While Bilbo (Freeman) is seen fighting for his life, only Gandalf (McKellen) sees Sauron rising. Phenomenal effects, action and a hint of emotion, make this one the best of the series.
      — Team Indulge

      pk_reviewPK
      Director: Rajkumar Hirani
      Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sanjay Dutt
      When a stranger arrives in the city, he quickly gains a reputation for startling innocence. But the questions that the mysterious PK (Khan) asks about religion, rituals and faith forces people to re-think their long-held assumptions, gaining him both fast friends and steadfast enemies. A story that ultimately boils down to the friendship between Jaggu (Sharma) and PK, this is a gentle movie is neither preachy nor overbearing and lives up to expectations.
      —TI

      review_3APisasu
      Director: Mysskin
      Cast: Naga, Prayaga
      The hero finds himself harassed by a supernatural presence after he takes an accident victim to the hospital. A horror-comic thriller, there are neither any riveting horror-moments nor any genuinely funny ones. It lacks a gripping screenplay and the characters, sans emotional depth, fail to connect. The interesting elements, like the twist in the plot, are few and far between. It falls below the standard set by the director.
      —Malini Mannath

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        The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
        Director: Peter Jackson
        Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom
        Having reclaimed their homeland from the dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Smaug rises again and screens are engulfed in smoke, blood and gore. While Bilbo (Freeman) is seen fighting for his life, only Gandalf (McKellen) sees Sauron rising. Phenomenal effects, action and a hint of emotion, make this one the best of the series.
        — Team Indulge

        pk_reviewPK
        Director: Rajkumar Hirani
        Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sanjay Dutt
        When a stranger arrives in the city, he quickly gains a reputation for startling innocence. But the questions that the mysterious PK (Khan) asks about religion, rituals and faith forces people to re-think their long-held assumptions, gaining him both fast friends and steadfast enemies. A story that ultimately boils down to the friendship between Jaggu (Sharma) and PK, this is a gentle movie is neither preachy nor overbearing and lives up to expectations.
        —TI

        review_3APisasu
        Director: Mysskin
        Cast: Naga, Prayaga
        The hero finds himself harassed by a supernatural presence after he takes an accident victim to the hospital. A horror-comic thriller, there are neither any riveting horror-moments nor any genuinely funny ones. It lacks a gripping screenplay and the characters, sans emotional depth, fail to connect. The interesting elements, like the twist in the plot, are few and far between. It falls below the standard set by the director.
        —Malini Mannath

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          Actors, filmmakers and other industry folk list the movies that made an impact this year

          IT IS that time of the year when you look back at the films that released in 2014 and hope to catch up with what you missed. While Hollywood had high grossers like The Amazing Spider Man 2, back home, comedies like Maan Karate fared well. We get a line-up of celebrities from the film business stating their favourite movie from 2014.

          Suchitra Karthik, singer
          2014 was a bit of a blah year for me personally, so two films that cheered me up and made me chuckle were Queen and the Grand Budapest Hotel. Queen had a great amount of honesty and sincerity and had a brand of humour which I liked the most. Budapest was an out-and-out Wes Anderson style celebration of unashamed pomp and irreverence.

          premji_goliPremgi Amaran, actor
          I loved Goli Soda for the simple reason that it was a reflection of reality. You realise how each child worker in Koyembedu is treated so badly. Each one of them played their part so well. In fact, once or twice I felt the vigour and energy that they had in the movie. I also liked Saduranga Vettai, which again depicted reality and had a comic side to it.

          suhasini_presSuhasini Maniratnam, actor
          I recently watched Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s movie, The President. It is nothing like an Iranian film because it depicts the political scenario of almost every country. It shows how some government employees make a change. Since the rules are very strict in Iran, the director made the film in Georgia.

          rahul_pkRahul Nambiar, singer
          I liked PK, which I watched last week. I could relate to the film because I also question a lot of things like religion and beliefs. It was a fun film and Aamir took a poke at what we think is the truth. There was enough masala and it was well packaged.

          madhan_interMadhan Karky, lyricist
          It has to be Interstellar. I cannot believe the amount of thought that went into the film, how it was presented and the impact it created. I always wanted to be part of a film that is so complex. I had to do a lot of homework before I went for the film.

          balaji_VIPBalaji Mohan, filmmaker
          I liked Velaiyilla Pattathari  the most. I enjoy these mass entertainers. The comedy was natural and it was a come back of sorts for actor Dhanush. The songs and dialogues of the movie are a big hit. I think it is difficult to make a realistic and at the same time, mass movie. VIP is one such example.

          Madhan Karky, lyricist
          It has to be Interstellar. I cannot believe the amount of thought that went into the film, how it was presented and the impact it created. I always wanted to be part of a film that is so complex. I had to do a lot of homework before I went for the film.

          Aadhav Kannadasan, actor
          Kaththi was a memorable flick. I walked in expecting an out-and-out Vijay film but this one was different. It was not just about the masala and commercial aspect, but the movie actually had a social message. The way Vijay makes the second half racy is interesting and worth a watch. I also liked the songs in the film.

          abhinay_jigarthandaAbhinay Vaddi, actor
          I enjoyed Siddharth’s Jigarthanda a lot. Though it’s not the regular everyday Tamil film, it still captivated the audiences. I’m a lover of
          different cinema. It’s very tough to write a script like this one and make a producer believe in it.

          anil_pisasuAnil Krish, editor
          Last week’s release, Pisasu , was terrific. This film depicts horror differently and is made with a different perspective. It may seem to be a horror film initially, but turns out to be a thriller. The characters in the film are intense and captivating.

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          Taxi apps to ensure you can party hard and have a safe drive home

          2014 has been a tumultous year for app-based cab services, with global players like Uber facing bans in several states. Nevertheless, companies like Meru and OLA are expanding and the introduction of features like panic buttons are keeping security issues at bay. We lay down the pros and cons of a few top players:

          Uber: It has three categories of vehicles — UberBlack (premium), UberX (affordable) and UberGO (low-cost). Details: uber.com
          Pros
          ♦   Their collaboration with PayTm for wallet payments has been welcomed.
          ♦   Cabs arrive in time and the vehicles
          are clean and in good condition.
          Cons
          ♦   Having to enter
          credit card details before
          booking a ride is not favoured
          by many.
          ♦   The in-app
          GPS navigtion feature can be
          unreliable
          at times.

          OLA Cabs: They recently introduced their Money Wallet feature. Customers can also pay through online banking. Details: olacabs.com
          Pros
          ♦   Keep friends updated about your
          location by sharing your ride details.
          ♦   View the estimated time of arrival.
          Cons
          ♦   Late night service is not reliable.
          ♦   The app’s UI is not top notch. Data input
          forms tend to reset automatically, while a few have faced login issues.

          Meru Cabs: This app allows for advance bookings and features a single touch booking feature — just open and tap ‘Now’. Details: merucabs.com
          Pros
          ♦   The app has a dedicated emergency
          buzzer system — use the ICE (in case of emergency) feature to send an SMS to preregistered numbers about your location.
          Cons
          ♦   Drivers sometimes don’t receive pick-up
          details, even after the customer has received their booking confirmation.
          — Karan Pillai

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            Time for action
            “It’s not an issue based or an experimental film…It’s a stylish commercial entertainer that’s true to its genre,” says director Magizh Thirumeni about Meegamann, his Christmas offering. The Arya-Hansika starrer has Arya moving away from the romantic outings of recent films, and venturing into an action mode.

            madras3Laugh riot
            Soori has carved an enviable niche for himself as a comedian to reckon with. Makers are now approaching him for roles where he does not have to play sidekick to the hero. On the floors is Sarvadhikari where Soori plays the lead with debutant Renuka and comedians like Robot Shankar supporting him. The film is helmed by debut producer-write-director Shiva. With comedy in the first half, it is thrills and action in the second half.

            madras1aLitmus test
            It’s testing time for Vaibhav who is steadily graduating from acting in multiple starrers to playing solo leads. In the Christmas release, Kappal, he plays the lead again, sharing frames with Sonam Bajwa. Centered around friendship and bonding, it’s a light hearted entertainer. The film is directed by Kartik G Krish, a former assistant to Shankar.

            -Malini Mannath

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              In harmony
              What better way to kick off the weekend than with a rousing musical performance. Carnatic vocalist, Sanjay Subrahmanyan, is performing today at The Music Academy. He will be accompanied by S Varadarajan (violin), Neyveli B Venkatesh (mridangam) and S Venkataramanan (kanjira). From 7 pm to 9.30 pm. Details: 28112231

              Snip cult 2Beat of drums
              Before the dances start, lose yourself in the harmony of sound with a performance by vocalist Mahadevan Sankaranarayanan and mridangist Palghat A M Hari Narayanan. Narayanan, who is training under Dr T K Moorthy, is a master of various styles, including the Tanjore baani. Today, at 10.30 am, Bharath Kalachar, T Nagar. Details: 28343045

              Snip cult 3Rural connect
              As part of the Margazhi season, DakshinaChitra is organising the Village Heritage Festival. Catch Salangai Oli, a troupe from Thanjavur, headed by John Peter, performing traditional dances like kolattam, thappattam, kummiattam and oyilattam. A riot of colour, music and movement, it is on till December 29, from 10 am to 6 pm, at Muttukadu. Details: 24462435

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                The first edition of Sensorium Festival promises a small but serious showcase

                Erykah-Badu Credit: Farrokh ChothiaA casual conversation over drinks planted the seed for Sensorium, a new arts festival that debuted on December 6 in Goa. Curated by novelist Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi and Prashant Panjiar, founder of the Delhi Photo Festival, it is a small but serious event that explores the intersection of photography, literature, fine art, architecture, cinema and history. “This is a place where artists come together to create original work. Unlike most festivals, where guests coast on opinion, here they’ve all made new and beautiful work,” begins Shanghvi.
                FG_01At the festival—being conducted at the Sunaparanta Goa Centre for the Arts, in Panjim— photography has been used as the point of confluence. Panjiar explains that instead of organising a regular photo festival, they wanted to “enlarge the canvas and focus on the documentation of different forms of art through the lens.”
                FG_04Spread over two months, the highlights include writer William Dalrymple speaking about his relative Julia Margaret Cameron, an influential 17th century photographer; Ritesh Batra, the director of The Lunchbox, presenting a digital photo show of dabbawallah; and Italian photographer Fausto Giaccone’s evocative tribute to author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. “I also love Farookh Chothia’s Jazz photographs, with an introduction by Salman Rushdie—the unseen images are lyrical; (scriptwriter) Sooni Taraporevala’s photo stills from Salaam Bombay, which she has combined with her original screenplay, giving me another way to think about photography; and Sohrub Hura’s deeply moving pictures of his mother—it’s my favorite novel of the season, writ large in pictures,” admits Shanghvi, adding that if there is another edition, he would like to explore music and politics.
                Till February 5. Details: sgcfa.org/sensorium.php
                —SPK

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