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MULTIMEDIA VIDEO


TAMIL CINEMA:
Brave But Flawed: Aayirathil Oruvan


Cast: Azhagamperumal, Reema Sen, Pratap Pothen, Andrea, Karthi
Music: G.V. Prakash
Director: Selvaraghavan


Director Selvaraghavan’s three-year-long project Aayirathil Oruvan is indeed a brave attempt that breaks away from stereotypes. The director treads a different path and presents breathtaking visuals and outstanding performances.

A secret team led by archaeologist Anitha Pandian (Reema Sen) and a military officer Ravi (Azhagamperumal) goes on a thrilling journey to track down missing links after an archaeologist (Pratap Pothen) vanishes into thin air during his mission to discover the lost Chola civilization (Don’t rush for your history book. As the disclaimer says that it is pure imagination!).

Lavanya (Andrea), daughter of the missing archaeologist, joins the team to find her father. Muthu (Karthi), a labor contractor, get into the team almost accidentally. After a tedious and horrible expedition they come near the palace of the Chola king (Parthiban) and his people, who live in a different world.

The film moves smoothly until this point. However, the magical transformation of Reema and the revelation of her identity and the following sequences are bizarre and dilute the film’s appeal.

The fight sequence with the tribal folk, the arduous journey through thousands of snakes, running into a desert are a visual treat, though the graphics could be better.

Cinematography by Ramji is top class.

Selva leaves many questions unanswered: If the team suffers due to the paranormal power of the Chola dynasty, why couldn’t the kingdom save itself from extinction using the same power? The king, who seems to posses magical power, has no clue during the final war. Where has all his magical power gone? The first half with comedy, action, eye-catching songs, stunning visuals and grandeur saves the film from being a complete wash out. The 190-minute-long film fails to impress as a whole, as the second half is filled with many unconvincing twists and poorly executed sequences. The fantasy element is stretched too far.

Selvaraghavan should be applauded for trying to widen the frontiers of commercial cinema but he has failed to make it a success by going overboard with the fantasy angle.
[Chennai Online]

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COVER STORY
Jyoti Basu and Indian Left:
Mixed Past, Grim Future

The Indian left has failed to learn from the pragmatism and humility of communist titan Jyoti Basu, writes Partha Banerjee.


EDUCATION
A Beacon of Modernity:
Aligarh University

Aligarh Muslim University evokes a romance of a different nature — the love of education, tradition and something else, writes Ras H. Siddiqui.


DEVELOPMENT
Mind the Gap:
Pre-Budget Musings

India’s budget must take up the challenge to make the process of development inclusive so that the gap between the rich and poor decreases, writes Sandeep Pandey.


OTHER STORIES
EDITORIAL: Indian Left After Jyoti Basu
NEWS DIARY: January
SUBCONTINENT: The Antics of N.D. Tiwari
SUBCONTINENT: Save the Tiger
RECIPE: Malai Chicken Tikka
HEALTH CARE: Battling H1N1
SUBCONTINENT: Battling India's Fog
COMMUNITY: India Republic Day Essay
AUTO REVIEW: 2010 Toyota Camry LE
BOLLYWOOD: Film Review: Veer
BOLLYWOOD: Guftugu
TAMIL FILM: Aayirathil Oruvan
BUSINESS: News in Brief
COMMUNITY: News Briefs
INFOTECH INDIA: Tech Briefs
HOROSCOPE: February


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2009 IIFA Awards, Macau
A Siliconeer Exclusive Photo Essay



ENTERTAINMENT
81st Annual Academy Awards
A Siliconeer Exclusive Photo Essay



ENTERTAINMENT
IIFA Awards 2008
A Siliconeer Exclusive Photo Essay



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