Dec 28, 2007

Top Ten Songs 2007

It is that time of the year when everyone comes up with their list of favorites. It took me nearly 3 days to come up with my fav songs from Hindi, Tamizh and Malayalam. I also take this opportunity to thank my colleagues Anish and Selva in helping me come up with the different releases in Hindi and Tamil.

Please note that these songs are not based on popularity or sales. These are my personal favorites and the songs are listed taking the whole album into consideration rather than a single song.


1 Saawariya
Music – Monty Sharma; Lyricists – Sameer, Nusrat Badr, Sandeep Nath
2 Johnny Gaddar
Music – Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy; Lyricists – Jaideep Sahni, Hard Kaur, Nilesh Mehra
3 Taare Zameen Par
Music – Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Shailendra Barve; Lyricist – Prasoon Joshi
4 Salaam E Ishq
Music – Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy; Lyricist – Sameer
5 Guru
Music – A.R.Rehman; Lyricist -- Gulzar
6 Om Shanthi Om
Music – Vishal-Shekhar; Lyricists – Javed Akhtar, Vishal Dadlani, Kumar
7 Partner
Music – Sajid-Wajid; Lyricists – Sanjay Chhel, Shabbir Ahmed, Jalees Sherwani
8 Bhool Bhulaiyya
Music – Pritam; Lyricist – Sameer
9 No Smoking
Music – Vishal Bharadwaj; Lyricist – Gulzar
10 Anwar
Music – Mithoon; Lyricisits – Hasan Kamal, Saeed Qadri, Shyam Ravindran

Rozaana song from Nishabd also deserves a special mention. I could not accommodate it in this list as it was the only song from the whole album.


1 Mozhi
Music – Vidyasagar; Lyricist -- Vairamuthu
2 Patchaikili Muthucharam
Music – Harris Jeyaraj; Lyricists – Thamarai, Rohini
3 Sivaji
Music – A.R.Rahman; Lyricists – Valee, Vairamuthu, Na Muthukumar, Pa Vijay
4 Unnaale Unaale
Music – Harris Jeyaraj; Lyricists – Pa Vijay, Valee
5 Katradu Tamizh
Music – Yuvan Shankar Raja; Lyricist – Na Muthukumar
6 Azhagiya Tamizh Magan
Music –A.R.Rahman; Lyricists – Vaali, Alagundu Somu, Pa Vijay, Na Muthukumar, Thamarai
7 Deepavali
Music -- Yuvan Shankar Raja; Lyricists – Na Muthumar, Kabilan, Yugabharathi,
8 Chennai 28
Music -- Yuvan Shankar Raja; Lyricists – Vaali, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Gangai Amaran
9 Kreedom
Music – G.V. Prakash Kumar; Lyricist – Na Muthukumar
10 Ninaithu Ninaithu Paarthen
Music – Joshua Sridhar; Lyricist – Na Muthukumar


1 Arabi Kadha
Music – Biji Bal; Lyricist – Anil Pachooran
2 Hello
Music – Alex Paul; Lyricist – Vayalar Sarathchandra Varma
3 Kadha Parayumbol
Music – M.Jayachandran; Lyricists – Anil Pachooran; Girish Puthencherry
4 Vinodayathra
Music – Ilayaraja; Lyricists – Vayalar Sarathchandra Varma
5 Ore Kadal
Music – Ouseppachan; Lyricist – Girish Puthencherry
6 Nivedyam
Music – M.Jayachandran; Lyricists – Bichu Thirumala, Kaithapram, Kuttapan, Lohithadas
7 Chota Mumbai
Music – Rahul Raj; Lyricisit – Vayalar Sharath
8 Rock n Roll
Music –Vidyasagar; Lyricists – Girish Puthencherry
9 Big B
Music – Alphonse; Lyricists – Ophi Tharakan, Santhosh Varma
10 Chocolate
Music – Alex Paul; Lyricist – Vayalar Sarathchandra Varma

Phew !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dec 25, 2007

Current Favs : Dec 5 - Dec 25

The final post in this category. Right now, im in the process of listing down my 2007 favs from both Hindi and Tamil.

Kadha Parayumbol(Malayalam), Kalloori(Tamil) and Pirivom Sandippom(Tamil) are the new entries this fortnight. Suprisingly, they have managed to get into the top 5 also. The Deewangi song from OSO has been made to re-enter in the list. So here goes :

1 Maa from Taare Zameen Par(Hindi)
2 Vethyasanaam Oru Barber from Kadha Parayumbol(Malayalam)
3 June July Maadam from Kalloori (Tamil)
4 Sol Sol En Nenje from Pirivom Sandippom (Tamil)
5 Naan Meendum from Billa (Tamil)
6 Valayapatti from Azhagiya Tamizh Magan (Tamil)
7 Oh Chandamama from Rock n Roll (Malayalam)
8 Ellorukkum Ethi from Rameswaram (Tamil)
9 Deewangi from Om Shanthi Om (Hindi)
10 Yoon Shabnami from Saawariya (Hindi)

Dec 24, 2007

Movie Review :Taare Zameen Par – A Gem in Indian Cinema.

For all parents and parents to be, here is a movie that you should be watching to know how hurt your child would feel even when you come with a very casual statement.

How often do you remain speechless after leaving a movie hall? That too after watching a Bollywood movie? Rare; it is a known and accepted fact and I guess the previous attempt was only with ‘Gandhi, My Father’. Well, Taare Zameen Par (TZP from now on) is a sincere and novel attempt and is remarkably well told too. The movie lingers in your mind even for a couple of days, after watching it.

To make a movie on children is not that easy and that could be the reason why movies of similar genre are just a handful. TZP is not a childrens movie; but a movie about children. It also explores much more than these - the way parents react when they come to know about their childs performance at school, the way teachers treat children at school, the way a child is looked at by the classmates when he/she is a total loser. All the emotions are shown beautifully and there is absolutely no scene where you feel that the messages are going overboard or where the scene looks artificial. The movie impresses from the very beginning as one sees Darsheel Saffarys name appearing during the credits before Aamir Khans. Again, how many film makers have let this happen? The story unfolds gradually and does not bore you even when the movie is going on a slow pace. Each character shown is someone that you could relate; be it the brother, the best friend or even the bus conductor!

The story revolves around a kid, Ishaan (Darsheel Saffary), with dyslexia and how he overcomes his difficulties and wins the heart of everyone with the help of his teacher Ram Nikhumbh (Aamir). Darsheel, from the Shiamak Davar camp, is the backbone of this movie and it is amazing when you notice that the kid single handedly carries the whole movie on his shoulders. All the right expressions -controlled and equally composed. Spontaneous acting and powerful screen presence, this kid could go places. Tisca Chopra who plays Darsheels mother is also excellent. However, Vipin Sharma who acts as Darsheels father is sometimes dramatic.

One could witness Aamir as the director and story teller in this movie more than Aamir as the actor. The entire first half revolves around Ishaans character and the superstar is shown only 30 seconds (literally!!!) before the intermission. He lives upto the brand that the media has given him—Aamir , The Perfectionist. He is the real superstar of Bollywood- directing, acting and even to have the guts to produce an offbeat movie of this kind.

Though the script is almost flawless, it is only after Aamirs entry that makes the movie a little less natural. The first half shows the movie from Ishaans point of view, depicting his emotions and his mental trauma. The second half loses its grip on the audience as the teacher becomes more important and the screenplay moves from his point of view. If the first half makes you search a hanky, the second half would make you just moist-eyed.

The screenplay
of the movie has let in cinematic liberties too. For example, the predictable climax, the intro scene and dyslexic past of Ram Nikhumbh, the reduced mothers character in the second half and the clumsy teachers in the boarding school. But these negatives are very negligible when compared to the positives highlighted. Moreover, there should be some element of happiness in this complete tear jerker and that should be the justification for the negatives mentioned.

Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is simply brilliant and goes well with the mood of the film. Even the BGM’s are equally outstanding. The other departments; editing, camera graphics, art, extra actors all have done an equally wonderful job. Hats off Aamir, you have extracted the best from each one of them and gave us a powerful film.

On the whole, this debut venture of Aamir Khan is for all the age groups. Highly recommended; a movie one shouldnt miss at any cost. Aamirs TZP deserves repeated viewing and I am sure most of us would do that. This movie is certainly a Taara, bollywood mein.

Dec 17, 2007

Movie Review : Billa - Stylish, Suave and Sleek

Remaking a movie would normally start and end with comparisons. That too, comparisons would only increase by leaps and bounds if the orginial version had the reigning superstar of Kollywood essaying the title character. Kudos to the Director Vishnu Vardhan and the 'Ultimate Star'/'Thala' Ajith, for the confidence and guts to bring out their take on the classic Billa. If the old Billa was a regional trendsetter during its time, the new Billa would take Kollywood to the national level for its technical brilliance and for the overall package.

The story isn’t new and it had come out in three versions already - the two Don’s in Hindi (enacted by AB and SRK) and Billa in Tamil(Rajnikanth). Though Vishnu Vardhan had adopted minor changes to his version in the screenplay, he has done complete justice to the original Billa. With the omission of the character played by Thengai Sreenivasan in the original, the movie is only trimmer; devoid of any emotional moments. No sentiments, no love between the lead pairs (thankfully); this is one rare Tamil movie !

Ajith as the menace Billa and the innocent Velu is apt for the role and there is no one in the industry at present who could carry this role with such finesse. Prabhu,as DCP Jai, after a long hiatus is seen in a meaningful role and does justice to the character. Nayan Tara as Sasha has very little to em
ote but looks exceptionally good. Namitha as Ajiths girl friend CJ has very little screen presence. The other actors who make their presence felt are Rahman who acts as an Interpol Officer Gokulnath and Aditya who acts as DCP Jai’s assistant, Anil Menon. While the latter is adequate for the role, the former sometimes goes overboard with his performance.

Music by Yuvan Shankar Raja has already topped the charts with tracks like ‘Vethalaye Potthendi’ and ‘Seval Kodi’. The picutarisation of the rest makes you fall in love with the other tracks as well. Yuvans BGM’s is quite fabulous with the chilling theme music that plays quite often. Neerav Shah, as usual, has done his part brilliantly and with his skills, Indian Cinema can expect a new cinematographer turned director very soon. The movie does not lose its tempo at any point and makes the viewer glued to the seat till its end. Sreekar Prasad, responsible for the crisp editing and for maintaining the length of the movie at 2 hrs and 15 mins, is at his best.

However, the person who stole the limelight from everyone is Anu Vardhan who handled the costumes of the movie. Never before did a South Indian movie look so classy and polished on screen. Clothes maketh the man, they say, but here we would have to rephrase it to Clothes maketh the mov
ie. The characters gel with the clothes rather than the clothes getting gelled with the actors. An example is the clothes worn by Nayan Tara; though she wears a bikini, she never looks vulgar in it as her character, arrogant and vengeful, demanded it. The entire costumes, be it for Ajith, Nayan, Prabhu or even for the extras in a shot, makes the movie a visual treat. A commendable work, indeed. The makeup artist Bhanu also deserves compliments here in making the characters look good and non-artificial.

So is the movie that perfect? Well, it has its flaws too. There are some che
esy dialogues in the movie which could have been avoided. In certain scenes, the length of Ajiths sideburns keeps changing and is the same with his paunch too. Also, the choreography isn’t something that is worth mentioning. But all that seems negligible when taking the movies overall presentation into consideration.

Billa is a revelation for the Ajith fans as they had been watching their ‘Thala’ doing only insignificant roles in the recent times. Director Vishnu deserves a pat in the back for coming out with a product that truly lives up to the hype the movie created. It is an example of excellent team work; on and behind screen. Billa is a new experience from the entire South Indian Film Industry that you would not want to miss. It is one of Indias most stylish movie ever !!!

Dec 6, 2007

Current Favs: Nov 5 - Dec 5

First of all, I apologize for the delay in posting this as my last entry was from Oct 16 - Nov 5.
Billa, Aaja Nachle and Rock n Roll are the only three new entries here although there had been several releases like Welcome,Halla Bol and Novel. Among the expected ones, Rock n Roll disappoints big time and so does Aaja Nachle. Three songs of Billa would catch your attention immediately while the remaining three needs time to grow on you, especially the Naan Meendum number. I dont think there are any more prominent releases this year. We would have to wait and see if there are any changes to this list by the end of the year.

1 Maa from Tare Zameen Par(Hindi)
2 Yoon Shabnami from Saawariya (Hindi)
3 Nee Maryln Monroe from Azhagiya Tamizh Magan (Tamil)
4 Vethalaye Pottendi from Billa (Tamil)
5 Ellorukkum Ethi from Rameswaram (Tamil)
6 Mere Dholna from Bhool Bhulaiyaa (Hindi)
7 Jab bhi-female version from No Smoking (Hindi)
8 Valayonnidaa from Rock n Roll (Malayalam)
9 Aaja Nachle from Aaja Nachle (Hindi)
10 Dus from Dus Kahaaniyaan (Hindi)