Chithiram Pesuthadi 2 Review: Well-intentioned, but crams in too much to do justice

Chithiram Pesuthadi 2 (CP 2) gives you an experience that is akin to opening a time capsule — the effect is much nostalgia. First, there’s Radhika Apte from her Dhoni days (way before she became Netflix India’s poster girl). Then, there’s Ajmal who, after quite a break, made a comeback in last year’s Iravukku Ayiram Kangal (2018). Higher on the novelty radar, the film has Dwayne Bravo in a cameo. But the biggest surprise is seeing Suchitra Karthik Kumar’s name in the credits. (She has sung a song for the film.) You get the drift. The film was made in 2013, and it shows. Originally titled Ula, the film was probably conceived before the hyperlink cinema bubble burst in Tamil cinema. But being dated is the last thing you can accuse CP 2 of… In other words, it has bigger problems to worry about.

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Kalavu review: A neatly planned theft

The plot of Zee 5’s latest release, Kalavu, is held together by an incident of theft. Hence, the title. But there’s also another thread that connects the main characters of Kalavu together: Lies. It isn’t a coincidence that Kalavu opens with a couplet structured like a Thirukkural. The Thirukkural, in one of its verses, says that even a lie will be placed on par with the truth if it gives unblemished returns. The film begins with white lies: A son lies to his parents about drinking; a man lies to his friends to make them meet him. But as the plot unfolds, the lies grow darker and so does the intent. Kalavu acts as more of a reminder of our clandestine selves.

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Vaandu review: An incoherent mess

Vaandu reminded me of another film of last year, Sketch. Even though Sketch was a far better movie than this (I can’t believe I am typing this), both films have a similar theme. The former focused on impressionable youngsters who take to thuggery because they find it to be cool. Similarly, in Vaandu, Veera wants to be a street fighter, inspired by his dad Raja. But the latter is pushed to a bedridden state, due to injuries from his fight with Guna. Hence, Veera faces resistance from his mother to get into street fighting. However, he does get into it, and also develops a rivalry with Guna’s son, Logu. The conflict between Veera and Logu forms the core conflict of Vaandu.

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Asuravadham movie review: A fairly well-made revenge drama that shows not tells

The fact that I really liked about Asuravadham was that the film, for the most part, ‘shows and not tells.’ There is some solid writing from director Maruthupandian. When we first see Samayan (A convincing and effective Vasumithra), he is swayed by shadows. The film takes no time to establish who the ‘Asura’ is and the chase starts off almost immediately. When Samayan gets his first death threat, you might think he panics easily. But as the film rolls by, you see that he has reason to. It is interesting that the main objective of both Saravanan (Sasikumar) and Samayan is not to just kill each other. Saravanan wants to taunt Samayan, to see him suffer and the latter wants to know the identity of his tormentor. The demon here is one with too many skeletons in the closet; so much so he isn’t able to identify which deed of his has come back to bite him in the rear.

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