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Old 12-30-2005, 07:00 AM   #1
Lillie_Steins

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By Moviebuzz
Lights, Camera, Action…. It's showtime, folks! The moribund Tamil cinema has come alive with Vellithirai one of the better films in recent times and marks the directorial debut of Viji, the script writer. The film depicts the struggles of a script writer aspiring to make it big but is thwarted in his attempts by a scheming friend who steals his script to become a superstar!

Vellithira lacks the punch of the original Malayalam Udayananu Tharam, a light-hearted comedy which took a satirical look at the tinsel town. The characterization of the three main protagonists here is weak, and Viji's script lacks humour and Prakash's character is made darker and made to look like a filmy villain! Viji and Prakash Raj also studiously avoids taking potshots at the larger than life superstars, and plays it safe, something which dilutes the film.

Saravanan( Pritviraj) is a struggling script writer and has been an assistant to big directors in the industry. He is honest, hard-working, disciplined and a do-gooder to friends and struggling junior artists. He completes the script of his maiden film which he considers "to be a masterpiece". Enter Kannayya ( Prakash Raj) a sleaze ball who gatecrashes into Saravanan's flat and requests him to provide a place to stay for a few days, as he was thrown out of his previous accommodation .Kannayya also pleads with Saravanan to cast him as the hero in his debut film, but Saravanan says: "with his ugly face and overacting it would be a foolish move".

One day, in his frustration, Kannayya steals Saravanan's script, makes a Xerox, registers it in his name and approaches a leading producer (Sarath Babu). The producer takes him to a top director (Pratap Pothen). Initially they plead with him to cast a saleable hero, but Kannayya insists that if his script has to be used, he has to be the hero. So they reluctantly make him the hero of the film. Kannayya employs a manager Ramgopal Sharma (M.S Bhaskar) changes his name to Dilipkanth and gets groomed to be an actor. Saravanan learns about Kannayya's treachery, but he can do little about it. Dilipkanth's first film becomes a super hit and subsequently the middle aged hero starts doing "youth films full of fights, heroism and Kuthu songs" to become a superstar and cultivates a larger-than-life image.

At the same time leading actress Maithili (Gopika) who is in love with Saravanan falls out with her wicked brother who was using her like a milch cow. She finds solace and peace in Saravanan and one day moves in as his wife. Saravanan whose career is going nowhere is offered hero roles as they can market him as "the husband of a leading actress". A peeved Saravanan now pushed against the wall takes up a job as a call taxi driver which is humiliating to Maithili who walks out on him. The same producer who gave Dilipkanth his first break and made him a star now offer Saravanan a chance to direct a film with the superstar in the lead.

Finally Saravanan compromises as the producer says – "there are no permanent friends or enemies in the film industry". But the evil and petty minded Dilipkanth decide to make life miserable for Saravanan during the making of the film and in the end walks out without doing the climax scene! What follows is the actual racy climax of the film with a great twist, which the viewers have to find out.

Prakash Raj steals the show and under him the rest of the cast is overshadowed. He has transformed his joker character in the original to a mean, scheming guy for the Tamil version. Pritviraj has tried to underplay his character as Saravanan but in the process he gets completely overshadowed by Prakash Raj who has once again proved that he is a power house of talent. Same cannot be said about Gopika, as an actress who gets milked by her family. She hasn't looked so bad in any of her films. She looks plump, her make-up, hair and costumes just don't carry pass marks and there is no on-screen chemistry between her and Pritviraj, one of the major minus points. M.S Bhaskar, Sathyan, Lakshmi Rai, Pratap Pothen and Sampat Raj are all adequate in the supporting cast, while Jayam Ravi and Trisha makes "blink you will miss" kind of special appearances.

The music of G.V Prakash is just ok, serviceable with the peppy Suriyane.., Prakash Raj's introduction song as superstar and the melodious Uyirile .. picturised on the lead pair in Bali are the pick. Camera of M.V Paneerselvam and K.V Guhan are eye catching. Viji has struck to the Malayalam climax which is borrowed from the Steve Martin Hollywood film Bow Finger, which makes it riveting. On the whole Vellithira is not a faithful remake and therein lies its pitfalls, but at the same time it is a breezy fun movie.

Verdict- OK
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:00 AM   #2
tgs

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Thank you, NOV. The problem comes if the makers and the ones who are part of it, had tried to *saint-ify* themselves. Anyway will watch it if time permits..
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:56 PM   #3
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Default Prithvi and Prakash Raj in Vellithirai
no thread on this movie anyone seen it yet - not bad reviews so far, though doubt how much it could stand upto its Original


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Old 03-09-2008, 11:59 PM   #4
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3 1/2 stars from Rediff

Prakashraj and Prithviraj have made a name for themselves together � Mozhi, being a fine example. And when you watch their ambitious film, Vellithirai (Silver Screen), you're not disappointed.
A slick remake of the Malayalam blockbuster Udayananu Tharam starring Mohanlal and Sreenivasan, Vellithirai is a candid, and often funny take on the present South Indian/Tamil movie industry, its stars, directors and values -- with blown-up tantrums, palatial homes, shoe-string budgets, shoots, artists and heartbreak thrown in for good measure.
When the scraggly and rotund Kannaiyan (Prakashraj) meets Saravanan (Prithviraj), another struggling assistant director with a solid script and hopes of making it big, you know sparks will fly. They're both good friends at the start, even though Saravanan takes a few potshots at Kannaiyan's acting. A sore point is the young would-be director's friendship with blossoming actress Maithili (Gopika, who turns in a fine performance). Neither get the break he's hoping for -- but matters come to a head when Kannaiyan stumbles upon an opportunity to make use of Saravanan's script.
Soon, Kannaiyan the nobody becomes Dileepkanth the superstar with his set of personal trainers, managers and a full-blown brat attitude. The world turns upside down for Saravanan, who's left fuming at his friend's betrayal.
Maithili, meanwhile, is thrown out of her home by her brother -- forcing her to join hands with Saravanan in matrimony.
While Dileepkanth climbs the stairs of fortune, Saravanan is forced to look for other avenues to prove himself. In the end, it comes to a showdown -- is it to be Dileepkanth's superstardom, or the brains of a keen director?
It's obvious that Prakashraj has enjoyed his role in the film. As the eager-to-succeed Kannaiyan who fawns on every filmmaker, he's the epitome of the struggling artist. Later, as the established star on the covers of Filmfare and Vikatan, he outdoes himself. There's nothing quite so delicious as a villainy Prakashraj.
Prithviraj, meanwhile, makes the best of his assets -- his expressive eyes, which glint in fury, soften with love, or brim over with frustrated tears.
Gopika, in a solid role, gives a wonderful performance. She might be a sought after actress, but still loves her husband enough to make her sacrifices. Lakshmi Rai, M S Bhaskar and Charlie -- in their brief roles -- produce much laughter and push the story along.
But it's the finer details which make Viji's Vellithirai a satisfying watch. The montage of shots which show Prakashraj on his way to success, the confrontations between him and Prithvi, the typical situations that crop up during a film production, and the culmination of the events, leading to a sensational finale... Kudos to the editing! The screenplay, while adequate, could have been tightened. Some dialogues are quite clich�.
G V Prakashkumar's music ought to have been sensational but barely passes muster.
Watch Vellithirai for some good old cat-and-mouse games in the movie industry with well-timed punches. The magic of the silver screen rarely disappoints.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:01 AM   #5
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2 1/2 from Behindwoods

Starring: Prithviraj, Prakash Raj, Gopika, Lakshmi Rai, M.S. Bhaskar, Sampath, Srikanth and others.
Direction: Viji
Music: G V Prakash
Cinematography: Panneerselvam
Production: Prakash Raj

A witty satire of the perils of stardom in Indian cinema. Though Vellithriai, the Tamil remake of Malayalam’s Udayananu Tharam, lacks the original’s brilliant touches, it is still entertaining to an extent. Vellithirai brings back the successful duo of Prakash Raj – Prithviraj together and the combination works well, if not as superbly as the legendary Mohan Lal - Srinivasan combo in 'Udhayananu Tharam'.
Saravanan (Prithviraj) is a struggling assistant director. He lives in Kodambakam, where there are several other hopefuls and wannabes: friends and rivals struggling together. Saravanan’s dream is to make his own film and he has a foolproof scheme to achieve this goal: write a sure-fire script and insist on directing it himself. His roommate, Kannayan (Prakash Raj) a sly, struggling and untalented actor hatches a plot to steal the script, pass it off on his own, and insist on being the star of the film. One day Saravanan pitches his story to Trisha (playing herself) and is shocked to discover that Trisha already knows the story. His dreams shattered, he turns to the famous actress Mythili (Gopika), for help. Can Saravanan outwit Kannayan who has now become a big star?

We won’t elaborate more on the plot that takes interesting turns except to say that the climax borrows from the Hollywood satire about moviemaking, Bowfinger. Prakash Raj in an interview to The Hindu said, “Don’t call it a remake. Call it an inspiration.” The Tamil keeps the outline of the original’s plot but changes many details, including the dialogue, which is written with an eye to a Tamil audience. Vellitherai deftly satirizes commercial cinema: and in the process indicting Indian stars and their nearly fascistic behavior on and off a film set. The most pointed dialogue is when Prakash Raj says to his friend, 'Mustafa turning into Hanuman is possible only in tinsel town'. The satirical portions in the film have been crafted deftly, especially the scene between director and star about the absurd age factor of Indian movie heroes.

Prithviraj is wonderful in this role. He doesn’t stereotype the struggling artist but gives the character doubt, integrity, and compassion. Prakash Raj is flamboyant and complex as the bad actor who has to act to save his life. A challenge for any actor: how does a good actor play a bad one? His over the top stylish makeover as the star in the second half may make him look funny, but that is the point: to make fun of this pompous man. Gopika as expected is quite natural. Though the film’s focus on the personal problems of a heroine makes for good viewing, her extended mushy act does get a bit tiresome.

Everyone in Vellitherai has worked hard to make this resemble a movie about a movie as much as possible. M.S. Bhaskar playing the manager’s role, and Charlie as production manager illustrate this best. Cinematography by Paneerselvam is top notch. One of G.V.Praskash’s melodies is really foot tapping: 'Kanavugal' canned at several beautiful locations is a visual treat. But his background score does leave lot to be desired.

The choreography and sets for the songs are tasteful, even ironic. They are at once mocking and sincere, suggesting that commercial cinema is always a compromise: something a serious filmmaker like Saravanan is forced to contend with on his road to success. Viji, the debuting director, who had earlier scored handsomely for his dialogues in movies like Mozhi and Azhagiya Theeya, seems to be learning the ropes in the direction front. Climax for one could have been shaped up better. Overall, movies about movies are rare enough in Tamil cinema and a new addition to the genre is always welcome and the attempt is much appreciated.
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Old 03-10-2008, 06:05 AM   #6
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Oru padm nalla irukradhuku Director than kaaranam nu solli irukaanga.... padam mokkai podradhukum director than karanam nu theliva puria vechitainga
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:27 PM   #7
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oh padam avalo mokkayaa - was having high expectations on this movie !!
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:48 PM   #8
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watched the film yesterday. crowd was sumaar.
padamum sumaar. orutharam paarkkalaam.

prithvi, thank god, was not irritating as usual. prakasaraj was excellent. gOpika heroine vere nalla nadigai kedaikkalayaa?

velli thirai opened with lots of hope - PR paid tribute to Nadigar Thilagam and his guru K Balachander. story moved slowly. some parts were good - prakashraj stealing the script scene was actually nail biting.

songs are below par with 2 standing out - kanji paanai and uyirilE.
humor was light. climax was sothappal.

vellithirai is a light hearted look on kodambaakkam.
incidentally there was an earlier movie titled kodambakkam which is better than vellithirai in refelecting the actual scenario.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:22 PM   #9
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oru combination success aachu'naa adhe combination'la thirupiyum poga vaendiadhu.... i dono when this scenario will change with tamil films.....
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:26 PM   #10
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PR paid tribute to Nadigar Thilagam
In what way?
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:37 PM   #11
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And I heard that Mr. Raj is abusing thalaivar indirectly in the climax
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:01 PM   #12
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In what way?
in the title cards where a big portrait of NT and one other (kalaignar?) in thier younger days.

And I heard that Mr. Raj is abusing thalaivar indirectly in the climax
i guess ppl in the field will know which scenes refer to whom.
we all know that tamil cinema is filled with eccentrics, and may of such eccentricities are shown.
there is a malay proverb: "who eats the chilli will feel the spiciness."
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:54 PM   #13
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Nerd, I had a feeling that the references were made on the younger actors and not on the top two.

Joe, in one scene, the producer Sarath Babu will ask the asst director Pritiviraj to act in the main role. His reply? "idhu Sivaji pirandha mannu saar!" idhukku mele enna tribute vEnum?
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:06 PM   #14
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Joe, in one scene, the producer Sarath Babu will ask the asst director Pritiviraj to act in the main role. His reply? "idhu Sivaji pirandha mannu saar!" idhukku mele enna tribute vEnum?
Thanks NOV!
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:55 AM   #15
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Yaarume intha padatha paarkalaiya?
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:01 AM   #16
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Nerd, I had a feeling that the references were made on the younger actors and not on the top two.
NIce to know that NOV
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Old 07-21-2022, 06:43 PM   #17
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