Saturday, March 26, 2011

August 15 review : "Perumal fails to recreate prequel's magic!!!"

After our Men in Blue barged their way into the semis courtesy of a hard fought battle against the mighty Aussies, it was time for celebration & to cash in that festive mood, Shaji Kailas released the Mammootty starrer "August 15". Though originally slated for a pre-World Cup release, it got delayed owing to various reasons. It marked the return of "Perumal", an investigative officer immortalised on celluloid by Mammotty through its prequel "August 1", helmed by Sibi Malayil in 1988. So naturally a lot of expectations are riding on it & with Shaji Kailas wielding the mike this time around, the question is will he able to do justice to the "Perumal" character???


As it was in the prequel, the plot revolves around an assasination attempt on the CM. The movie unfolds with the CM V.G Sadasivan (Nedumudi Venu) being put in the ventilator owing to a massive cardiac arrest. In due course of time, the CM comes out of peril only to be told that he was actually poisoned which had led him to this predicament.Sensing a major lapse in security, the bigwigs assign Crime Branch Officer, Perumal to investigate & bring the culprit to justice. Being an expert of such scenarios, Perumal anticipates another assassination attempt on the CM. Will he able to foil the attempt before the killer attains his aim??? All this & more forms the framework of this sequel.

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Its always tough to live upto expectations especially in the case of super-hit prequels & incidentally thats the situation here. S.N Swami, a wizard in crafting thrillers is definitely bogged down with this burden, as is evident with his inability to come up something interesting that will captivate the audience. The script just doesnt have anything out of the ordinary & seems like a revamped version of the prequel. Shaji Kailas, thankfully avoids his usual camera gimmicks which makes us reach out for Crocin. However the lack of an interesting script severely hampers his direction. As for other technical aspects, except for the background score by Rajamani nothing else deserves much of a mention.

Just as it was in the case of the prequel, the movie revolves around Perumal & the killer. Mammootty has done total justice to his character (Perumal) with details such as the swagger & style as enacted in the prequel being reproduced. As for the killer, essayed by Siddique; though has done a decent job fails to live upto the aura of Captain Raju. The other characters more or less didnt have much of substance to impart to the story.

Verdict: Though devoid of any superhero antics, the lack of an interesting script is going to be the bane for the movie. With changing times, the writers have to come up with new ideas to satiate the audience which unfortunately S.N Swami fails to realise. In my opinion, the movie is likely to incur a loss & award an extended run for "Christian Brothers". All in all, though there is nothing stupid or absurd in the film; it lacks the punch. So if you dont mind watching a revamped version, watch it or else forget it!!!

Regards...Ben

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Christian Brothers review: "Paisa vasool masala entertainer!!!"

With the World Cup & the board exams in full flow, the film industry has been going through a lull. However this weekend turned out to be a breather before the World Cup enters into the business part of the tournament with many high voltage matches drawn out. So it seemed to be the most ideal time to release a movie & what better to whet the appetite of the movie-starved audience with the eagerly awaited mega starrer "Christian Brothers". After having being delayed indefinitely owing to several reasons, it released to a lot of hype & fanfare worldwide. So was this hype justified after all its helmed by the maverick director Joshiy..hmm lets see


After having enthralled one & all, with their script in "Twenty-20", Udayakrishna-Siby K Thomas duo along with veteran director Joshiy is back together again with yet another entertainer. The movie begins in Munnar where a suspicious land deal is being carried out by Thampi (Vijayaraghavan) & his sons. However the village officer,Kochuthoma (Jagathy) refuses to play game & hands over the actual documents to his brother,Capt Varghese Mappila (Saikumar) for safe-keeping. As expected, the baddies finish off Kochuthoma & is in hot pursuit for the documents. In the meantime, Mappila's younger son Joji (Dileep) who had gone to attain priesthood in Rome leaves it half way through after falling in love with the Home Minister's daughter Meenakshi (Kavya). Her family doesnt approve of this & tactfully gets her back to Kerala only to have her kidnapped. What then unfolds is a plethora of plots & subplots which will take us through many interesting events & incidents.

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Frankly speaking, its been a long time since I have liked Mohanlal in a superhero avatar..but boy!!! he surely rocked in this one as the underworld negotiator,Christy. Suresh Gopi as Joseph Vadakkan IPS meets shoulder to shoulder with Mohanlal in mouthing dialogues & kicking butts. Its been noticed that Suresh Gopi always comes up with an inspired performance whenever he isnt the solo hero & here too, the trend continues. At times, personally speaking I found him to be better than Mohanlal. Sharath Kumar as Andrews has more of a guest appearance but even then he does manage to capture the eye-balls. However, I feel Dileep was given a half-baked role & it could have been etched out better. As for the heroines, except for Kaniha & Kavya to a certain extent; the others were just meant to look good. The remaining crew consisting of Biju Menon, Vijayaraghavan, Saikumar etc have all done justice to their oft played roles which was nothing but a usual run of the mill stuff.

Just as it was in "Twenty-20", the script teems with plots & subplots along with numerous characters. Though running at close to 3 hours, it doesnt make us cringe in our seats owing to this very fact.The second half does surely lag a bit to include some sentimental stuff keeping the family audience in mind,but its acceptable. The music by Deepak Dev wasnt exactly great except for "Mizhikalil Naanam" rendered by Nikhil,Ranjith & Rimi Tomy; however the background score by Rajamani deserves a word of praise. Last but not the least, the veteran director Joshiy seems to have a panache as well as the capability to handle such mega-starrers. Its definitely no mean task to give adequate screen space to such huge stars, but time & again he has proved that he is the best in doing that in Malayalam.

Verdict: From the moment, Mohanlal comes somersaulting with his guns blazing (though that was a bit too much!!!); you are assured of a hard core masala entertainer & it lives up to its billing. After having gone through a mediocre 2010, it was imperative that Mohanlal starts off this year with a bang & he sure does with equal support from Suresh Gopi. Having it released worldwide in 250 odd theatres, its gonna be a run away hit & the producers are likely to go laughing to the bank. In my opinion, do watch it without searching for logic & you wont be disappointed.  Its definitely not in the league of "Twenty-20", but sure has its own enthralling moments. So do check it out!!!

Regards...Ben