My Year of Prakash Raj

Some people spend a year
cooking Julia Child's recipes, or following all of the rules in the Bible, or reading books by people who spent a year doing something. My quest is to watch the 200-some films of South Indian character-actor-extraordinaire, Prakash Raj. (It'll probably take more than a year... and I'll post about some Prakash-less films here as well.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Round-up for June 2010

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total (6/30/10):  5
Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total (as of 6/30/10): 30

Nuvve Nuvve (Telugu, 2002)
I think I'll need to do a picspam post of
Prakash Raj characters drinking whisky.

Date watched: 6/6/10
Role TypePrakash Dad
The story: Rich girl Anjali (Shriya) falls in love with poorer boy Rishi (Tarun). Her indulgent father Vishwanath (Prakash Raj) opposes their romance, and tries to bribe Rishi to end things.

Movie Rating: 2/5  I saw this and Thiruvilaiyaadal Aarambam back-to-back, and they sort of bleed together in my mind. I went back to watch some clips, and it didn't jog my memory a lot.  So not really memorable as either good or bad.
Prakash Raj Rating: 2.5/5 This was another variation on the tycoon father character that Prakash Raj has played in NVND and Premaku Velayara. Dhanush was kind of squirrelly, so I can see why the father didn't think he was the best match for his daughter. In going back to refresh my memory, I found some fun hand gesture-acting:
"Angry"                                              "Distraught"                                      "Irritated"

Thiruvilaiyaadal Aarambam (Tamil, 2006)
Date watched: 6/7/2010
Role TypePrakash Dad*
The storyRich girl Priya (Shriya) falls in love with poorer boy Thiru (Dhanush). Her indulgent older brother Guru (Prakash Raj) opposes their romance, and tries to end it.

Movie Rating: 3/5  I liked this one best of the two Shriya-Prakash movies I saw back to back. It seemed to have a little bit more humor in the battles between the Thiru and Guru,  Dhanush was a little more lively than Tarun.
Prakash Raj Rating: 3/5 *Even though he's playing Priya's brother, it's definitely a paternal role. So, it's the tycoon dad type, but more on the humorous side.  The most memorable thing about this film was the brief appearance of a dancer wearing a Prakash Raj mask in the song "Theriyama."  
(Definitely watch the whole song, it's a pretty fun mash-up of Chinese costumes, assassins and random other things.) Also, there's a cute scene where Guru/Prakash Raj is cooking breakfast for the family:

Nuvvu Naaku Nachav (Telugu, 2001)
Date watched: 6/19/10
Role TypePrakash Dad
The storyVenakteswarlu (Venkatesh) comes to the house of his father's friend Murthy (Prakash Raj) to help with the wedding of Murthy's daughter Nandini (Aarti Agarwal.)  Nandu and Venky fight, then fall in love.
Movie Rating: 3.5/5  This is one of the more fun wedding-based movies I've seen--lots of opportunities for songs, and cute drama as everyone is stuck in the same house. Venky's charm goes a long way in this movie,  Aarti is good as the spoiled bride-to-be, and Sunil has some fun comedy scenes as Venky's buddy. OH, and I totally forgot about Suhasini who shows up as Nandini's awesome aunt who knocks some sense into the young lovers and the upset father--yay Suhasini!!!
Prakash Raj Rating: 3/5 Another solid portrayal of a father getting his daughter married to the wrong guy. He has some cute comedic dialogues with Sudha, who plays his wife:
In the last act he gets all Amrish Puri in DDLJ and starts slapping women when he finds out about the romance (blech.) At least that's followed by a nice speech by Suhasini, and a climax at the railway station when he stops a machete-wielding Venky from forcing the greedy groom and his father to go through with the wedding.
"I am sad that this is not Lagavulin."

Pokkiri (Tamil, 2007)
Date watched: 6/21/2010
Role TypePrakash Bad
The story: The Tamil version of Pokiri. Tamil (Vijay) is a street tough who ends up working for and then against mafia don, Ali Bhai (Prakash Raj.) There's also a romance with Shruti (Asin) and a big twist at the end (unless you've seen Pokiri or Wanted.)

Movie Rating: 4/5  Since I'm a huge fan of Pokiri, I expected not to like the remake so much, but I actually liked this version almost as much as the Telugu original. The songs were slightly better in Pokkiri (except I still like Mumaith Khan's item number in the Telugu version more), Asin was a bit more spunky as the heroine, and Vijay does the best at conveying emotion. Prabhu Deva had some nice whimsical and stylistic touches to this without going as overboard as he did in Wanted.
Prakash Raj Rating: 4/5 Ali Bhai is pretty much the same menacing character as in Pokiri (with slightly better fashion sense.) He gets some great,  evil-comedic dialogues (for me, they detracted from the tension of the final showdown a little bit):

I need to get a better quality dvd with subtitles.
Mozhi (Tamil, 2007)
Date watched: 6/30/10
Role TypePrakash Pal
The storyKarthik (Prithviraj) and Viji (Prakash Raj) are playback musicians in the Tamil film industry. Karthik falls in love with Archana (Jyothika) who is deaf, while Viji falls in love with her best friend Sheila (Swarnamalya). Karthik learns to accept Archana as the person she is, not just the person he wants her to be, while Archana struggles to overcome her fears and to embrace the love that Karthik is offering.
Movie Rating: 5/5  I love this film--even if Prakash Raj wasn't in this film, I'd still love it.  I'll do a much longer post to talk about all of the great things in Mozhi. Nearly every character in this film is a fully developed, from the main characters to the supporting and comedic characters. Every scene is used effectively to further the action and to develop the characters. Music is integrated so well as an actual part of the story, and the comedic scenes help to build characterization and move the plot along. Deaf people and deaf culture are portrayed with complexity and nuance. If you haven't seen this film, please, please track it down and watch it right now!!
Prakash Raj Rating: 4.5/5 Although Prithviraj's Karthik was technically the lead male character in this film, Prakash Raj's Viji was a huge part, and is was in nearly as many scenes. He has lots of great straight-up comedic scenes--like this one, when Brahmandaman walks in on Viji who is dancing in a towel:

I especially love how humor and joking around is such a central part of the Viji-Karthik friendship:
Possibly the greatest bromance in all of South Indian film.
Likewise, Viji and Sheila's romantic storyline is sweet and filled with humor.

Adorable moment when Viji realizes he's in love with Sheila.


  1. Soooo jealous!!! You saw Mozhi! This is another one of those DVDs mocking me with no subtitles :( Did you find it with or without subs?

    Also Nuvvu Naaku Nachav sounds interesting from your short description. Is it worth seeing for anything other than PR?

  2. One that just came out. The movie was terrible, but Prakash Raj was just as impressive.

  3. Nuvvu Nakku Nacchau is my favorite Prakash Raj comedy. The dinner scene was borrowed from "Meet the Parents", but Prakash's poetry recitation was hilarious!

  4. @dolce: I borrowed a subbed copy of Mozhi from DilBert, but I think njmtv may have the subbed copy. Nuvvu Naaku Nachav was pretty enjoyable--I have soft spot for Aarti Agarwal, and did I mention that Suhasini is in it? :-)

    @mohan I just found out yesterday that Prakash Raj is in Orange. I thought I might get motivated to go see it tonight, but I read your review (and a few others) and I'll probably wait to see it on dvd with subtitles.

  5. Couldn't resist leaving one more comment :) Apparently Prakash Raj had offered his role to Prasanna (the lead hero of his previous two productions and also a sweet actor) . The latter couldn't do the role for some reason, so Prakash Raj stepped in.


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