Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Autograph - a great intro into Kollywood Tamil films

A lot of people have been asking me what is Kollywood? Well, Kollywood is Tamil films combined with the the city Kodambakkam in Tamil Nadu and Hollywood. And why have I been watching Kollywood films? Simple, because I want to. Nothing wrong with that. Honestly, it started with me realizing a handful of good Bollywood films I liked have copied Kollywood films. Then, my Surya crush started so why not?

Since Bachna Ae Haseeno, I wanted to watch the Tamil film, Autograph, which I read that
Bachna Ae Haseeno has taken some inspiration from. Honestly, I don't see it. The only similarties is about a guy thinking back on his love life and the different stages of the women of his life.

I won't give any big spoiler for this film but it's going to be very descriptive so read and beware! Lots of screen caps.

Love how the movie opens with the credit with a letter with each of the characters of the film.

Movie starts off with Senthil, who runs an advertising company in Chennai. He is getting married soon and wants to invite everyone who has been a part of his life to the wedding -- former teachers, classmates, and even lovers. He even wants you and me to attend the wedding. His first stop is the village, Neikaranpatti - Dindiigul District, where he grew up and went to high school.

Song #1 - "Nyabagam Varudhe"
So many flashbacks for Senthil, so many things have changed.
I love how you see the changes through Senthil's eyes. One moment you see the younger Senthil, the next moment, you see Senthil.

Memories of Senthil's first love, Kamala. Definitely one of those cute, puppy-dog love, where he followed her and found every excuse to be next to her.

Senthil loves Kamala so much and wants to protect her. When school ended, both are unable to continue their studies at the same college and parted ways.

Present-day Kamala. Married with children.

Cute scene when Kamala realizes it's her first love. She runs inside the house and looks in the mirror hoping she's looking cute the way Senthil remembers her.

Newcomer Mallika plays Latika and is so natural. Playing the sweet, innocent high school village girl in love with Senthil and maturing to a mother of three living in poverty.

Next stop - Kerala. Senthil thinks about his college years.

Flashback - Kerala was a bit of a language barrier for Senthil since he speaks Tamil and the majority of the people in Kerala speaks Malayalam. He meets a beautiful, kind lady, Latika, and she helps him through his tough few weeks at college.

Song #2 - "Maname Nalamaa"
He never thought he'll forget his first love, Kamala. However, her memories are fading and he's falling in love with Latika.

However, Latika doesn't want to fall in love that quickly.

Song #3 - "Manasukkelle"
But the more time spent together, she realizes she does love Senthil.
My favorite song from the film. Check out that retro look! I think she looks Hema Malini-ish.

Must watch, with English subtitles

Senthil and Latika's love story is so sweet. Just when Senthil found love again.

Song #4 - "Ninalvugal Nenjinil"
However, they can not be together. Afterall, there is the language barrier -- Tamil vs Malayalam.

Senthil re-connects with an old friend who knew Latika, as well. Still wanting to see Latika, Senthil tells him about Divya, the girl who has changed his life and made him realize that he must go on with his life.

Song #5 - "Ovvoru Pookkalume"
When Senthil first meets Divya, she is singing on stage.

Little did Senthil know that Divya will help the jobless Senthil land a job in the advertising field.

Song #6 - "Kizhakke Paartheen"
Both Senthil and Divya realize that they both need each other so they can forget the pain in their lives.

Sneha is such a pleasure to watch on screen. Absolutely love her since Unnai Ninaithu. Sneha's character, Divya, is a bit more complex than I have described. Without giving spoilers, I felt Divya had more depth even though I love Latika's love story more. Defintiely becoming a fan of Sneha's.

Senthil finishes telling his friend the story and still wants to see Latika and invite her to his wedding.

Poor Latika is now a widow.

Now, Senthil is sad because why should he share his happiness with Latika who has been suffering for all these years?

Gopika is awesome. I love her love story the most. From the carefree, bubbly college girl to the sad widow, Gopika's eyes and facial expressions were mesmerizing.

Cheran definitely impress me with everything - acting, directing, writing. Wow! Honestly, I wouldn't have given a second thought to watch this film, just based on him. Come on, I'm shallow. Everyone knows it.

Will Senthil marry woman who he is inviting everyone to his wedding for? I won't reveal anything else about the movie but this. It's enough to make you want to see the movie. Definitely worth a watch. If anything, the "Manasukkelle" song alone should make you want to watch it.

When I first thought about the film title, I was thinking "Autograph?" Why that name? Usually when I hear the word autograph, I think of a celebrity's signature. But in the movie's tense, it's people who have an impact in your life and how you have grown as a person from it.


Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Thats a really good review and it sounds like a really good movie too. I have never seen any of these actors, but I do hope I get an opportunity to see this. v cool

Bollywood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dunkdaft said...

Ooohh..this looks like awesome movie. I love reunions and flashbacks. I have heard about this movie a lot and the title itself is different that stuck in my mind. I even had soundtrack on my hard disk (deleted/corrupted now :-( Songs are good.

Grrr...i can't get DVDs of tamil/telugu movies easily
Grrr....i have crap internet connection that can't play youtube smoothly
Grr......TV channels don't show movies with subtitles....Grrrr....Grrrr....

Nicki said...

Shweta - I think you will like the movie. Cheran isn't eye candy but the heroines are awesome.

theBollywoodFan - I know, right? Yes, please do watch this movie. Can't wait for to watch it.

Darshit - if that's the case, you will like this movie. Wow, I can not believe it's hard for you to find Tamil/Telugu movies with English subs and you're in India, that still amazes me. But hope you get to watch it.

dunkdaft said...

I have a telugu friend of mine. But he also has moved back to home. And I am living in Gujarat. So its damn tough finding tollywood / kollywood.
You know wht happnd while I searched for Bommarillu? I asked my friend in chennai to bring it. He din't find it !! He got me Ghajini [tamil], dvd is not working properly. I got at one place at my town. Seller was sure he has Bommarilu. He searched for 15 min. in his pile and gave up.

One day Sachein was on TV. It had passed 1.5 hours. And no subtitles !! Other channel was at same time playing Bommarillu !!! But that channel was not part of my DTH subscription :-( Very next channel where Ghajini was about to start. That too was not on my subscription.

Only way is to find online. Online Rentals are not 'that' famous in India. So its not there at my place. Online shopping, will make it nearly double the cost [and dvd are costly then normal rates around the world]. So ..........

Pity me.
But I haven't gave up. I will try. And whenever I go to Mumbai, I will surely get a big box of tollywood/kollywood suggested by YOU.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh! SO nice to see you wrote about this! I loved this movie! So pretty and sweet and sad and happy, and...

Ironically I think we have an easier time sometime in the US getting Kollywood and Tollywood stuff. And Darshit, I was able to get both Bommarillu and Autograph at my local library here. USA! USA! You will have to move to the US to have an easier time finding the films, LOL.

What's funny Nicki is that I have Bachna Ae Haseeno waiting for me at the library and I didn't realize it was inspired by Autograph, so thanks to you I will know before watching.

I loved Cheren and Sneha and this made me want to move to Kerala! I love the scenes with Cheren at home with his family. All the rain. Ahh and Chitra sining. I LOVE her voice! Ovvoru Pookalume was the song.

I think I want to rewatch Autograph now too. :)

All the best!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't too impressed with this movie when i saw it except the enjoyable songs. However your review makes it sound much more interesting.

Other good sneha movies that you will surely enjoy are - "Parthiban Kanavu" (the hero srikanth is also a very good looking guy in this movie - he has become fat of late tho!)and "Mercury Pookal".

Sneha has acted in telugu movies too.

happy viewing

Nicki said...

Wow Darshit. Thanks for the info. I hope you get to watch more Tamil and Telugu movies. I find them less glamorous than Hindi films. I love my glamor too sometimes. It's sad that it's not subbed at all for you. :( You know, it's hard for me to find Telugu and Tamil films, as well. But I am lucky to have friends who are willing to send me movies and we exchange films. I saw Sachein online with English subs. I'll message you with the links.

Sita-Ji, wow! You so lucky to just go to the public library and get Indian movies. Not me. I tried and none is like that here. I've heard in other states, you can easily borrow Asian movies as well as Indian movies from the library. I guess since Atlanta is suppose to be so multi-cultural, that there are rentals. I don't know.

I am glad that you saw Autograph and enjoyed it. But I'm still jealous that you're able to go to the library and just borrow it. :)

Oh gosh, don't expect Bachna Ae Haseeno to be as great as Autograph - the main inspiration is the flashback and different stages in Ranbir's life but more like how he has matured as a guy. It's more like he has to see how his exes are doing because he feels bad. I reviewed it here if you want to see, but it's very descriptive if you haven't seen the movie.

OMG, I want to see Kerala now too. Next time you go to India, I haaaave to tag along, okay? :)

Aaaawww, hope you re-watch Autograph

anonymous - Thanks! Honestly, I watched the movie with very low expectations, that could be the case why you didn't enjoy it as much?

Thanks for telling me about Parthiban Kanavu. I hope I can get a copy of it. Plan to see more of Sneha movies. :)