Monday, December 31, 2012

Da Thadiya review: "Aashiq Abu strikes gold yet again!!!"

Just a couple of hours more to herald 2013 & it just crossed my mind that I had forgotten to upload my review on Aashiq Abu's X'mas offering "Da Thadiya". Actually I have been attending a host of functions & munching on the goodies in the past one week, that I was strapped for time. Call it coincidence but my over-indulgence on pastries have got me struggling with a bulging waist line which has made my Mom to state that unless I diet I will be a thadiyan soon. Hmm...I better start having some diet control but I wonder how the protagonist of the film managed???


Luka John Prakash (Shekhar Menon) is the scion of a small time political party headed by his father, John Prakash (Maniyanpilla Raju) & uncle, Jose Prakash (Edavela Babu). Since childhood, Luka had an intense craving for food which made him swell up into a 120 kg giant. But he was a gentle giant at heart & loved by all as he harboured a helping mentality towards his fellow beings. His cousin, Sunny aka Shaddi (Sreenath Bhasi) absolutely adored him & knew that the only thing which made Luka weak in his knees was his soft corner for Ann Marie (Ann Augustine). Due to her insistence, Luka agrees to enroll into an Ayurvedic slimming programme run by the dashing, magnetic young guru Rahul Vaidyar (Nivin Pauly). So will Luka be able to resist the craving pangs???


The reason why Aashiq Abu clicked in "Salt N Pepper" was due to his treatment of the subject in sync with the mannerisms & thought process of the present generation without resorting to superhuman stuff. That's exactly what he has replicated in his latest venture as well. Though the script wasn't anything out of the ordinary but the screenplay & dialogues works big time. However, the second half had a couple of sequences which did hamper the tempo. I do agree that "Enthanu bhai" is quite a hit in social network, but frankly speaking I didnt quite enjoy it as it seemed they were trying hard to portray it as being hip but Bijibal's "Allah allah..." was a treat for the senses. 

Shekhar Menon is a well known face in the party circuit as he is an established DJ in Cochin. There is no doubt that the role has been tailor made for him & he has done total justice to it. Inspite of being a debutant, he seemed quite at ease facing the camera & mouthing the lines. But when it comes to getting the best lines, that credit goes to Sreenath and he was damn impressive. Nivin Pauly have made a name for himself by being the good guy many a time, but if you ask me he is even better & a natural when essaying characters with shades of grey. As for the rest of the cast, they have done their parts aptly.

Verdict: Among the Xmas releases, "Da Thadiya" & "Bavutty" are the ones that have actually garnered positive responses. So in short, eat, drink & make merry watching this enjoyable film!!!

Rating: 3/5

Regards...Ben

Friday, December 28, 2012

Karmayodha review: "Relevant subject but average execution!!!"

Among all the films that has released this Xmas, if there is one person who would be having a laid back confident smirk on the face then it has to be Lalettan. Both Dileep & him are the only two stars who has been having box office success by the bucketfuls in the past 2 years. Seeking to round off this successful year, Lalettan has collaborated with Major Ravi in his latest venture "Karmayodha". The question now is whether it's gonna be yet another drag like "Kandahar" or does Major Ravi has something new to offer???


Madhavan Menon aka Mad Maddy (Mohanlal) is a ruthless encounter specialist with the Mumbai Police. His modus operandi was to eliminate the enemy after extracting the necessary info & he prefers getting it done alone. The latest assignment that has been entrusted upon Mad Maddy was the abduction of a young girl  the clues of which eventually leads him to Kerala. Very soon he stumbles upon disturbing facts about a flourishing sex racket in the region headed by Khais Khanna (Murali Sharma). Naturally as one would expect, Mad Maddy prevails in the end.


Finally Major Ravi has emerged from the barracks & gathered courage to pen a script not related to the Armed Forces, Frankly speaking, his choice of subject is praise worthy as its relevant to the present times but it meanders to a very predictable & loud climax. The film does have its moments with Lalettan playing to the gallery in full earnest with his style & nonchalant attitude. Coming to the music, neither did it have scope nor does M.G Sreekumar has the talent; he should rather stick on with playback singing. 

If it wasnt for Lalettan, this film wouldnt have survived the opening weekend. Lalettan was brilliant as Mad Maddy & virtually carries the movie on his shoulders trying to make up for the flaws in the script. Murali Sharma as the psychic villain was mediocre & was a pain for the senses. As for the rest, I dont remember anyone having much of a role as it was a one-man show.

Verdict: Among all the Xmas films, this will have the best initial collections over the opening weekend which will go a long way in ensuring that the film is a viable venture. With reviews likely to hover from average to bad, the film wont have much of a run unlike other Lalettan films of this year. In short, its average & predictable, so you can afford to give it a miss!!!

Rating: 2/5

Regards...Ben

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bavuttiyude Namathil review: "Mammooka heaves a sigh of relief!!!"

Failure can be a dirty habit if one gets used to it & to shake off its ill effects does requires a good deal of self confidence and will power to introspect and who knows it better than Mammooka & the Indian Cricket team. Inspite of impressive performances in quite a few of those flop ventures, his choice of subjects has been way off target which denied him an outright solo hit in the past 2 years. This time around he has joined hands with Ranjith for "Bavuttiyude Namathil" who is personally going through a purple patch to provide him with a new lease of life. So can the duo recreate the Pranchi magic???


Bavutti (Mammootty) is the trusted chauffeur of a wealthy household who was considered more as part of the family than a lesser individual. He was like a friend to his boss, Sethu (Shankar Ramakrishnan) helping him out in dodgy business scenarios as well, while he was a brother to Sethu's wife Vanaja (Kavya Madhavan). On the other hand, Bavutti never misused his freedom & took it upon himself to protect the family from any ill fortune. But life can be a tricky proposition as a potential family crisis emerged with the arrival of Vanaja's ex-lover. Will Bavutti save the day yet again???


After a hiatus of 12 years, G.S Vijayan is back with his directorial skills & he has been backed to the hilt by Ranjith's script. The story doesn't boast of anything out of the ordinary, the screenplay & humorous dialogues imparts a spark to the film. Though it does seem to get a bit lax towards the latter half but all in all it was a pretty good effort. Coming to music, "Allahoo" composed by Shahbaz Aman was impressive & the BGM score especially the one played for Harisree Asokan was good.

Being the brilliant actor that Mammooka is, he lives the role of Bavutti with unflinching ease that you cant help admire his skills in diction mouthing the humorous lines in Malabar accent. Kaniha was brilliant as the house maid Mariam as I have never seen her in as much ease & finesse in any of her previous films. Kavya & Shankar were fine while Vineeth & Harisree rocked in their brief roles.

Verdict: The film will have a slow opening considering the competition on offer especially with Lalettan on an awesome run. However, positive word of mouth will ensure that Bavutti has a sustained run thereby earning a much needed hit for Mammooka. In short, dont miss this feel good movie!!!

Rating: 3/5

Regards...Ben




Matinee review: "Deserves more matinee shows!!!"

Last few years has witnessed an exodus of films with its core themes focusing on the hardships faced by the starry eyed film aspirants trying to make it big on the 70mm screen be it "Best Actor", "Cinema Company" etc. However majority of the films spoke about the protagonists achieving their aim by the end of the film.So it was naturally a pleasant surprise when the debutant director Aneesh Upasana proclaimed that his venture "Matinee" will lay bare the reality of many such aspirants condemned to obscurity after their dreams got shattered.


Najeeb (Maqbool Salman) is the heir apparent to a reputed orthodox Muslim household who believes he was destined to don the grease rather than confining himself behind the desk of his father's flourishing business. Finally luck bestows him with the opportunity to play the lead for a flick titled "Puthuvasantham" with Savithri rechristened as Nisha (Mythili) slated to play the female lead. Nisha's life was quite the opposite  of Najeeb as she had to put up with the tortures inflicted on her by her wayward father. However,both their lives changed for the worse after the release when it became evident that their film has been splattered with soft porn to woo in the audience. Both of them gets banished from their households & lands up in Chennai seeking a solution to their woes but to no avail. Though Najeeb seeks redemption, Nisha realizes that the only way forward was to continue her career in soft porn films. 

This is without doubt one of the best subjects that has come out this year. Penned by Anil Narayanan, the script looks into an aspect of tinsel land that many of us aren't aware of. Being a debutant, Aneesh is lucky that he had the backing of a credible script which he executed pretty well. Another curious feature that I observed that this might be the film which has thanked the maximum no. of persons towards its making as it kept scrolling for a pretty long time. Ratheesh Vega's music was average though the item song "Ayalathe Veetile" was a rage in youtube. 

After Dulquer's dream debut, now it's time for his cousin Maqbool to live upto the name of his legendary uncle, Mammooka. Though he played a brief role in "Asuravithu", this is truly his launch pad & he has done an impressive job as he seemed an apt choice for the role. Mythili unleashes an even better performance rendering out her frustrations mouthing obscenities. As for the rest of the cast, they have done a decent job as well.

Verdict: With Xmas films ruling the roost now, the film has more or less left the screens, However, with a better release startegy it should have raked in more revenue. Anywaz, I would suggest that you guys should definitely give it a try as & when you get a chance!!!

Rating: 3.5/5

Regards...Ben

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Talaash review: "Aamir impresses as expected!!!"

Ever since 2012 started one of the most awaited films was "Talaash", which wasn't surprising at all considering the quality of work Aamir Khan churns out every time he appears on the big screen. Almost three years have flown by since he last appeared in a commercial venture with "3 Idiots", which to date still holds the record of being the highest Bollywood grosser ever. As always the expectations are sky high & the intriguing promos has just increased it further. So can the film replicate the success of "3 Idiots"???


"Talaash" unfolds with the death of young superstar, Armaan Kapoor (Vivan Bhatena) as he drives his car onto the pavement & plunges into the icy sea. Inspector Suraj Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan) gets entrusted with the investigation, but little did he realise that it was just the beginning of a labyrinthine scenario. The more he searched, the murkier it became & having to fight with his inner demons over his son's death, his life became a living hell. His son's death sucked out the life & spirit of his married life with Roshni (Rani Mukherjee) & the only emotional solace that he obtained was from Rosy (Kareena Kapoor), a sex worker whom he had met during the investigation. So will Shekhawat's search for the truth & inner peace bear fruit???


After a mediocre directorial debut with "Honeymoon Travels", Reema Kagti is back behind the camera with this latest offering. Along with Zoya Akhtar, she has weaved an impressive script which blends together various emotional & suspense elements. From a personal point of view, I found the first half & a major portion of the latter half brilliant; but the climax wasn't quite upto my expectations. However, Reema Kagti has to be applauded for executing this genre of film so impressively. Equally praise worthy were Mohanan's visuals which captured the stark under belly of Mumbai realistically & Ram Sampath's music which was in sync with the mood of the movie.

There are no words to describe Aamir Khan who as always comes up with a power packed performance portraying Shekhawat with elan as a person who is brooding over his loss & getting suffocated fighting his inner demons. Both Kareena & Rani were impressive in their respective roles & contributes to the film without being over shadowed by Aamir. Actually the casting of the film was spot on with hardly any weak links; however a couple of them deserves special mention like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who was brilliant & Rajkumar Yadav, who deserves a pat on the back.

Verdict: Being an Aamir Khan film the box office bells are likely to ring like crazy in the first couple of days. It will be a hit for sure as it will have a wonderful run in the metros & overseas, however the single screens are unlikely to relive the magic of "3 Idiots". The primary reason for that being many of the audience wont be able to relate with the climax but still it's a praise worthy effort to tackle this genre. In short, definitely give it a try!!!

Rating: 3.5/5

Regards...Ben

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Face 2 Face review: "Leaner patch than Sachin!!!"

Whenever Lady Luck is smiling, she does so with such luminosity that we are blinded with happiness. But once that period phases out, then it seems like nothing in this world could make things work in our favour which is exactly what Mammooka has been experiencing since the past 2 years. All his movies during this period has been duds thanks to an outrageous choice of films that questions has been raised over his continued presence in films. Pushed against a wall, Mammookka is now counting on V.M Vinu's "Face 2 Face", to provide him with some breathing space. So is there any scope of hope??? Hmm... signs are quite bleak.


CI Balachandran (Mammootty) has been under constant suspensions as he had rubbed quite a number of big shots on the wrong side owing to his fierce honesty to his uniform. Sick with the treatment meted out to him by the political honchos, he makes a living striking gold in the real estate business. At around this time, the state is rocked by the brutal murder of Thomas Punchakadan, son of political king-pin Varghese Punchakadan (Vijayaraghavan) who happened to be responsible for the latest suspension of Balachandran. So was it divine justice or did Balachandran have a hand in this planned murder???


V.M Vinu's efforts to make an enthralling thriller has fallen flat owing to an absolute non-existent second half. I wonder what Manoj Payanoor was smoking as he seems to have gone absolute bonkers in the latter half after a pretty decent first half. The only thing which is worth mentioning is the sly dialogues along with some engaging investigative anecdotes in the first half. Lesser said about the music by Alphonse the better as it did nothing than irritating the ear drums & disrupt the flow of the film, while the other technical aspects were average at best.

What do I say about Mammooka??? As always he has done a decent job but reduced to an on-looker towards the end. There is no doubt that he seems to have lost all sense of logic or else how do you explain his crappy choice of films in the past 2 years. As for the rest of the cast, none of them deserves even a mention.

Verdict: Considering Mammooka's recent track record, the film will open to very low expectations which should have done the film a world of good. But so pathetic was the second half that it was able to breach even such low expectations. In short, dont watch it or leave after watching upto interval!!!

Rating: 2/5

Regards...Ben