• Movie Review

    Varisu (2023), an all-out Vijay film

    Varisu (2023), is an all-out Tamil Nadu father-and-son sentiment film that has been made on a Bollywood film set background. Single-handedly Vijay entertains the audience for the three hours of running time. Director Vamshi Paidipally utilises the best of Vijay, which in my view is not his dance or action, but his comedy body language. In many cliche moments, which were countless, Vijay‘s happy-go-lucky style saves the audience. Mangoidiots’ rating for the film is Raw. I enjoyed Yogi Babu‘s comedy tracks, which were relevant and brief. As the family patriarchy, R Sarathkumar has played the role well. Joining him was veteran Jayasudha, in his wife’s character, as the mother to…

  • Movie Review

    Sembi (2022), a mixed bag

    Sembi (2022) by Director Prabu Solomon feels familiar, yet different. It was about the now-common story of the sons of people with power and influence committing the gravest of crimes and walking away scot-free. Kovai Sarala, one of the underappreciated actors of Kollywood has given her best, her performance in the action sequences was brilliant. The first half of the film was engaging and realistic, but the long second half was a cinematic take on the public and the justice suddenly turning over a new leaf. Hence, it gets only a Raw rating from Mangoidiots. The visuals following the tragedy that happened to the young tribal girl, though gruesome, add…

  • Movie Review

    Love Today (2022), a treat for the youth

    For the youth of today, their centre of universe and lifeline is their mobile phones. Love Today (2022) directed and acted by Pradeep Ranganathan spotlights this trend in a humorous fashion. What made the film different was its treatment of the story – it was completely relatable and there was no preaching, moral advice or crime-solving. The audience in the theatre voted yes for the film, and following them, mangoidiots gives a Ripe. Ivana as Nikitha and the love interest of the hero has delivered a convincing performance. Pradeep Ranganathan in his debut as an actor has made a fine effort, but almost in every frame, he reminds us of a…

  • Movie Review

    Bachelor (2021), was quirky and slow yet enjoyable

    The film had an interesting narrative style. In most scenes, we get dropped in the middle of the happenings, there were no gaps between scenes or context provided. This was profound in the first thirty minutes when we see countless characters in a bachelor pad and haphazardly several events happening. We are confused, only to understand what the director Satish Selvakumar had conveyed when the courtroom drama unfolds in the second half. Bachelor (2021) starring Divya Bharathi and G V Prakash Kumar becomes memorable only near the climax, which means you need to endure more than two hours of the slow and quirky screenplay. Due to its length, the film…

  • Movie Review

    Middle Class Melodies (2020), an underrated entertainer

    Middle Class Melodies (2020) starring Anand Devarakonda (Vijay Devarakonda‘s brother) and Varsha Bollamma is a movie with a simple story and it was entertaining.  I liked this feel-good movie, a genre which has become a rarity in recent times. Raghava, a graduate living in a small town dreaming of becoming big by cashing his culinary skills. Did he succeed by setting up a restaurant in the nearby city of Guntur and did he marry his sweetheart is the story? Director Vinod Anantoju has a done job in the casting. Every character including Chaitanya Garikipati as Gopal, Divya Sripada as Gauthami and Goparaju Ramana as Kondalrao were perfect for their roles. A…

  • Movie Review

    Sita Ramam (2022), a period love story of a soldier that was muddy

    I have been hearing from a few friends about the recent period film Sita Ramam (2022), starring Dulquer Salmaan to be good. I caught up with the movie on Amazon Prime Video. This is a romantic suspense story that happens in two time periods 1965 & 1985 and mainly in two places Kashmir and Hyderabad. The art direction, cinematography and music were excellent, but the story and screenplay are convoluted lowering the entertainment quotient. It gets a Raw rating in our Mangoidiots scale. As a young Lieutenant Ram serving in the toughest conditions, Dulquer Salmaan has given a convincing performance. Following last year’s Kurup (2021) this is one more feather…

  • Movie Review

    Natchathiram Nagargiradhu (2022), a chaotic monologue by Pa Ranjith

    Director Pa Ranjith is a well-known and welcome voice in Tamil cinema talking about the atrocities committed against Dalits and the oppressed in his cinema.  In his latest film Natchathiram Nagargiradhu (2022) he has taken it to new levels and made a film that feels like a lesson on the subject. He deserves appreciation for openly presenting the important issues of intercaste marriages and the resulting honour killings, but an entire film with no discernable story makes it uninteresting. It gets our mangoidiots rating of Raw. As a director, Pa Ranjith displays his magic in the opening scene where a couple who are in bed, start a casual conversation followed…

  • Movie Review

    Thiruchitrambalam (2022)

    Thiruchitrambalam by director Mithran R Jawahar is a feel-good romance film that we normally don’t see in Kollywood, which likes to over-exaggerate love, loss, friendship, and family.  Nithya Menen and Bharathiraja have given phenomenal performances, the former casually overtaking Dhanush in most scenes. I like the two-hour-plus running time which benefitted from a no-nonsense screenplay. Even with these, I am giving a Raw rating as the story was unmemorable and on expected lines. In a middle-class household, Thiruchitrambalam Sr. (played by Bharathiraja) is the grandfather of the hero Thiruchitrambalam, and he manages the household and cooking. His son Inspector Neelakandan (played by Prakash Raj) and grandson (the hero) have past baggage…