Demonte Colony (2015)

டிமான்டி காலனி  (2015)

டிமான்டி காலனி (2015)

Demonte Colony (டிமாண்டி காலனி) is a horror film starring Arulnidhi, Ramesh Thilak apart from 2 others, the four friends after a session of drinking in TASMAC (liquor bar) wanting some thrill enter a deserted bungalow in what’s claimed to be in Chennai’s Alwarpet area. The house belonging to a wealthy businessmen of 19th century Sir John Demonte is rumoured to be haunted. After entering the house, what happens to them, do they all get killed as the rumour mills claim is rest of the film.

The first time I learned about DeMonte colony was in the Chennai Heritage walk to Alwarpet organized by Chennai’s favourite historian Sriram V. In the tour Sriram didn’t say anything about the Ghosty stories of the place, he just mentioned that by a last Will executed on 19.7.1820, Mr.John D’Monte had given all his fortunes in favour of various charitable institutions under the management of the Bishop of St.Thome.

The screenplay of the film is excellent, the story is delivered in a straight line and as it progresses our anticipation increases. The film is not heavy on “graphics”, in fact we hardly see a ghost fully but still we get shivers in our spine many a times, I did. Arulnidhi has delivered a brilliant performance, at many scenes you could see the fear in his eyes clearly. He has shown he has the potential to come a full round in Kollywood, all the best to him.  There are no female lead characters, in fact other than the four friends, we see only M.S.Bhaskar in one important scene, that’s all. Director has avoided many cinematic formula pitfalls in the movie, Hero is shown as not a squeaky “clean” person, there are no “item” glamour dance, still you will get to see a “druken” dance by the Hero, God save the Tamil youth who gets inspired to drink after constant marketing for it by Kollywood.

Highlight of the film is the last film, it was completely unexpected and has been told well. Director R.Ajay Gnanamuthu and Music composer Keba Jeremiah have delivered a solid film that’s a must watch this season if you like this genre.



India Pakistan (2015)

India Pakistan 2015 (இந்தியா பாகிஸ்தான்) directed by N.Anand has Vijay Antony & Sushma Raj in lead roles. When I first heard the title I presumed it’s some heavy political, war movie. It’s not, it’s an usual Kollywood film, to prove that the director has included a TASMAC (Alcohol) induced dream song by the hero and a temple festival dance song. This also tells you to keep your expectations low, once that is taken care, it’s a feather light screen play that is certainly enjoyable.

India Pakistan (2015) tamil film

India Pakistan (2015) Tamil film

The story is about how Karthik (played by Vijay Antony) and Melina (played by Sushma Raj) get on a wrong foot when they end up sharing an office space. Both are lawyers who are fighting for their first case, as expected both fall in love and in the end life happily ever after. In between there is a bad cop, two village honchos who are fighting a land dispute case and a young love couple of the village who have runaway from their parents. If all this makes you feel the movie to be boring, fear not, the Director has saved us by serving the movie on a full comedy crust. The climax scenes in warehouse are a laughter riot, I could hear the whole theatre in splits, brilliant performance by veterans – Manobala, M. S. Bhaskar & Pasupathy.

Vijay Antony will do his audiences a big favour if he goes for an acting workshop, he finds it difficult to carry this “simple” character on his shoulders, not even in one scene he brings out appropriate expressions in his face. My tummy waiting for dinner would have thanked M. Thiyagarajan the editor of the film had he used his scissors a bit more, to trim off 1 or 2 songs and 15 minutes of the film.


36 Vayadhinile (2015)

வாடி ராசாத்தி, புதுசா இளசா ரவுசாப்போவோம், 
வாடி வாலாட்டி, வறியா, புலியா, தனியா திறிவோம்,
ஊரே யாருன்னு கேட்டா,
உம்பேர மைக்கு செட்டு போட்டு உறுமிக்காட்டு,
காட்டு காட்டு காட்டு
வாடி ராசாத்தி, புதுசா இளசா ரவுசாப்போவோம்

Above lines are looping in my mind for last few hours. The lines are from the comeback film by Jyothika, titled  36 Vayadhinile (36 வயதினிலே) which I saw today with my family. The film is a remake of a successful Malayalam movie “How old are you” starring Manju Warrier that got released last year, Tamil remake is directed by the same director as original, Rosshan Andrews.

36 வயதினிலே

36 வயதினிலே

Growing up in 90s I am a fan of Jyothika. Seeing her in silver screen after her last performance in Mozhi (2007), a gap of 7 long years made the film every bit enjoyable for me and the film is entirely about Jho’s character.

In India where only 5% of women make it to corner offices, the premise of 36 Vayadhinile is very relevant. The story is on how women in Indian households lose sight of their dreams due to demands of marriage & raising children. Their horizons getting limited to a small circle of kids, husband &  in-laws, in that order, then one day when the kid turns into a teenager the lady suddenly realizes that her life has been one without any purpose. While this is true in many households,  36 Vayadhinile Jyothika’s character as Vasanthi gets belittled by her own daughter and her husband (played by Rahman) feeling ashamed of her lack of any significant achievements. My lovely wife is beside me as I write this post, so let me not discuss what Osho said for all humans “What is the purpose of life?, There is no purpose. Life simply is“.

The screen casts with Rahman, Devadharshini, Delhi Ganesh, Nassar, Jayaprakah, Abirami & others in their respective roles seem to be apt, fine selection by Director. Sadly, writer Bobby Sanjay has not managed in his screenplay to bring to life this easy to identify story, and that’s what prevents 36 Vayadhinile from becoming a memorable film. In the first half we feel close to Vasanthi with her unassuming behaviour, then suddenly the film leapfrogs to top gear. We are suddenly taken along with Vasanthi to meet Hon’ble President of India, I wonder if President has to meet every women in India who has a terrace garden then he will not have time for his evening tea in the Mughal Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan

What makes the film stand out from Kollywood cliché is what it leaves out. I expected the “greedy” wholesale vegetable merchant (played by Ilavarasan) to play villain attacking her organic farm venture, that didn’t happen. So did the romantic songs that didn’t play or the lengthy dialogues that we don’t hear spoken between the couple during their tiff.  Overall 36 Vayadhinile equals Jyothika and nothing more.

Chennai, Hotels

The Pizzaaz

Recently this new restaurant opened in the lane before AVM Rajeswari marriage hall in Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore. It’s called “The Pizzaaz“, their claim is to be serving Pizza’s that are wood fired. Today wife & me went for dinner here. It’s in the ground floor of an old Madras Bungalow, the place is Fan cooled, there are no Air Conditioner. Since we went for Dinner the place was cool, but I can’t imagine sitting here for lunch in Chennai’s hot summer like today.

The Pizzaz in Radhakrishnan Salai, Chennai

The Pizzaz in Radhakrishnan Salai, Chennai

The food is prepared fresh, so it took nearly 45-60 minutes for our pizza order to be served, it was piping hot, crunchy and tasty. The food is priced not expensive, our dinner of 1 x Mojito, Minestrone Soup, Greek Salad, Medium (9″) Spicy Pizza was billed for Rs.742. I am sure to go there again after few months.

Spicy Veggie Pizza

Spicy Veggie Pizza


Chennai, Events

Felicitation to Prof.M.Anandakrishnan

I had the opportunity to be attending the  felicitation function for Padma Shri Dr.M. Anandakrishnan organized by Tamil Nadu foundation USA today at Hotel Hilton, Chennai.

Padma Shri Prof.M.Anandakrishnan Felicitation at Hotel Hilton

Padma Shri Prof.M.Anandakrishnan felicitation at Hotel Hilton,Chennai

Prof. (as we call him affectionately) accomplishments are long. I had the privilege of walking behind him in few occasions over nearly two decades period, trying my best to observe & learn, through one of his facets as Founder Chairman of INFITT propagating Tamil language in Information Technology. Three occasions I have seen him close from dressing room and part of the team under him are 1999 Tamil.Net 8 bit Tamil encoding, 2010 Chemmozhi conference in Kovai, Tamil Nadu Government G.O. on Unicode standard, apart from few other occasions.

(From left) Valli Anandan, Venkatarangan, Prof., Palaniappa Chellappan, Cadgraf A.Elangovan

(From left) Valli Anandan, T.N.C.Venkatarangan, Prof, Palaniappa Chellappan, Cadgraf A.Elangovan

He is man of few words, but each word he speaks is measured and delivered after deep thought. I have written few conference resolution drafts, committee recommendation drafts, when I share it to him he reads them carefully and completely, then suggests edits of few words, those edits will be insightful and at the same time profoundly altering my own understanding of the underlying work. When I was fresh out of college, being naive I thought that technical standards discussion meant algorithms & source code, but watching Prof. work I learned they are equally about navigating bureaucracy & procedures, managing shrewdly personality landmines and above all having your goal always in sight. Couple of detours in between during your journey should be welcomed, not resisted which can derail the whole train. His ability to spot talent at early stage and bring them are legendary. Thank you Prof.

May almighty shower a long life for you!!!