Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Oru Indian Pranayakatha review: "Fails to sustain the interest towards the latter half!!!"

The past week witnessed Xmas & a host of other personal commitments which explains the reason why I have delayed in uploading my reviews on "Oru Indian Pranayakatha" & "Ezhu Sundara Rathrikal". Among the both of them, I decided to check out the former one first primarily because the promos had caught my fancy with Fahad seeming to be on song yet again. Well did the actual film paint a different picture???

Aymanam Siddharthan (Fahad Fazil) was a law college dropout and the Youth Wing mandalam President of RDF party. He was a popular figure among the public and the sudden demise of the sitting MLA of his party, meant his political career was going to take a top flight or so, he believed. But the high command pulled the rug under his feet by choosing Dr. Vimala (Muthumani) as their preferred candidate. This naturally irks Siddharthan & decides to take time off from the political buzz. At this juncture, his mentor & Party President Uthup Vallikadan (Innocent) entrusts him the job of helping out his relative, Irene Gardner (Amala Paul), a Canadian Malayali with her documentary on orphanages. So how this working relation works out forms the crux of the film.

It wouldnt be prudent to accept the fact that Sathyan Anthikad's magic has been on the wane for quite some time. Things does look much better this time round with an entertaining first half which is in fact a sarcastic take on the political climate in our state. However, from there on Iqbal Kuttipuram's script takes a downward slide with a lack lustered screenplay & poorly etched characters. Even Vidyasagar's music was average at best except for "Nethavu" rendered by Sriram which was an absolute rib tickler. As for other technical aspects, Pradeep Nair has done a commendable job with the visuals. 

Fahad Fazil was fantastic and essays the character of a local politician with utmost ease. Amala Paul has done a decent job but she definitely struggles in the emotional scenes & the dubbing could have been way better. Innocent does bring a smile whenever he appears on screen, however the characters of both Lakshmi Gopalaswami & Prakash Bare were poorly etched which shows on screen as well.

Verdict: Though the brand value of Sathyan Anthikad has been on the wane, there is still a certain degree of anticipation whenever his films approaches release which is the case here as well. In addition, the promos were catchy & Fahad is one of the best among the present crop of youngsters. However, the film wont make the box office go bonkers thanks to a disappointing latter half. In short, you can give it a try for Fahad as the first half is really entertaining!!!

Rating: 2.5/5


Friday, December 20, 2013

Drishyam review: "Jeethu unfolds an enthralling spectacle yet again!!!"

Just a week more for 2014 & we have got a handful of films hitting the screens during this period. Though the array of directors who has lined up for this Xmas is any movie lover's delight, the one that most will be looking forward to will be Jeethu Joseph's "Drishyam, who has been the toast of the industry ever since "Memories" hit the jackpot. With Jeethu collaborating with Lalettan for the first time, the expectations are nigh high. Can Jeethu create magic with the legend???

Georgekutty (Lalettan) is a small time businessman running a cable network in the sleepy village of Rajakkad. Apart from this he is an ardent movie buff & usually takes cues from films to solve his own issues. Flanked by his loving family, they lead their life peacefully until ill fortune comes knocking on their door in the form of Varun (Roshan Basheer), the son of an IPS officer. What subsequently happens is how Georgekutty fiercely guards his family from all the brickbats that gets thrown in their direction. 

Living upto expectations is quite difficult & that is exactly what Jeethu has done with his latest venture. Though the film takes time to take off with a rather slow paced first half, all such doubts are dispelled off with an enthralling latter half which gets better by the minute before culminating in an impressive climax & a superlative closing scene. Ayoob Khan could have done a better job with a tighter first half while Sujith Vassudev's visuals was fine, though Anil Johnson's music was average at best.

Lalettan was fantastic as always & thankfully here he got a good character which he portrayed with absolute conviction and naturality. Kalabhavan Shajon finally got to do something different apart from comedy and he deserves all the applause coming his way. As for the rest of the cast, Meena, Asha Sharath, Ansiba & Esther have all done their roles aptly.

Verdict: The film lives upto expectations & will have the audience thronging to the theatres. With a brilliantly scripted latter half, new releases will find it hard to make a dent in the box office. In short, dont miss it!!!

Rating: 4.5/5


Dhoom 3 review: "Thrills are far & few!!!"

The franchise trend has been in vogue in the West for many years now, but it has been picking up in Bollywood in the past few years. Actually working on a sequel can be like a double edged sword as it could either work wonders or get bogged down by the expectations. Some of the prominent franchise films has been "Krrish" & "Dhoom" to name a few, and incidentally both have releases this year with "Krrish 3" smashing box office records. Can "Dhoom 3" replicate something similar???

The film unfolds in 1990 in the Windy City where The Great Indian Circus is on the brink of  extinction. Iqbal (Jackie Shroff), the owner of the establishment owes a huge debt to the Western Chicago bank but all his efforts for an extension in repayment fell on deaf ears which entices him to suicide. Seeing his father breathe his last in front of his eyes, Sahir (Aamir Khan) vows to avenge his death & embarks on a mission to destroy the bank. The modus operandi flabbergasted the Chicago Police as they had no clue to the identity of the looter except for the image of a clown & a slanderous Hindi statement which prompts them to seek the help of ACP Jai Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan) & Inspector Ali (Uday Chopra). So will they be able to nab the mastermind???

After having scripted the previous two prequels, Vijay Krishna Acharya is entrusted with the task of helming the new sequel. For a person who delivered an abysmal film like "Tashan", I frankly didn't have much expectations but he has definitely done better with respect to that. However, when compared with the previous films, 'Dhoom 3" disappoints big time as the thrills are far & few. The action sequences are excellently choreographed but it's pretty monotonous. Sudeep Chatterjee's visuals were impressive but Ritesh Soni should have done a better job with the editing as it's damn long. Vaibhavi Merchant has done a fantastic job with the choreography especially "Malang" touted as the most expensive dance sequence picturised exquisitely. Pritam's music was average at best while the BGM was fine. 

Aamir Khan has done an impressive role as the protagonist along with Siddharth Nigam (young Aamir), though I feel Hrithik was undoubtedly the best villain the franchise had till now in all aspects. Uday Chopra provides the comic relief, Abhishek Bachchan puts on a scowl most of the times while Katrina barely had much to do except for some aerobics which she executed brilliantly.

Verdict:  As expected, the film will have a earth shattering initial & will have the box office records tumbling. The 100 crore mark is barely a benchmark now & it should saunter its way into the 200 crore club. For a movie like "Dhoom 3", we know what to expect & though it has been executed proficiently, I would still prefer "Dhoom 2" any day!!!

Rating: 2.25/5


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Silence review: "Silent at the box-office within a few shows!!!"

Ever since "Mumbai Police" & "Memories" released, the expectations associated with thrillers has quite literally sky rocketed as it emphasized the caliber of the new script writers in the industry. So when I first saw the trailer of Mammookka's "Silence", I was literally thrilled as it looked damn good. But did it actually deliver what it implied to promise???

Aravind Chandrasekhar (Mammootty) is the best lawyer in town with an impeccable career record & that eventually led him to be bestowed with the honour of being the Judge of the Karnataka High Court. Prior to the sworn in ceremony, he undertakes a family trip to his home town & that's when he receives an anonymous phone call challenging him to a hide & seek game. Though he initially neglects it as a prank call, subsequent numerous tense moments in his family makes him sit up & pay heed. But who is he & why is he after Aravind???

V K Prakash is one of those directors for whom "Arabhashuratham" is the best word that describes him. Most of the times he starts off well & then it spirals downwards culminating in a mish-mashed climax which is pretty much the case here as well. But a significant portion of the blame here falls squarely on Y V Rajesh, whose screenplay lacked any sense of conviction or credibility very much like the mediocre stuff "3 Kings" which he cooked up before. The first half was engaging but that was about it as the latter half showcased nothing apart from Mammookka taking long walks & indulged in deep thought.

Mammootty was impressive & looked awesome as the protagonist but with such a spineless latter half even he couldn't salvage it. Anoop Menon was fine while Pallavi Purohit as Mammookka's wife barely had anything to do. The rest of the cast like Joy Mathew, Aparna Nair, Basil etc. did their roles aptly. Mahesh Narayanan could have done a much better job with the editing as the latter half crawls at times inspite of a running time of less than 2 hours. Manoj Khatoi has done an impressive job with the cinematography while Ratheesh Vegha's music didnt have much to write about. 

Verdict:  Many a time I have noticed that when the makers talk about technical brilliance, stunts or visuals, it more or less implies that the film doesnt have anything more. The same happened here as well with the car chase & underwater stunts being highlighted prior to release, which wasn't great to be frank. As far as my opinion goes, the film disappoints big time after an engaging first half!!!

Rating: 2.25/5


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Vishudhan review: "Cliched latter half dilutes the effect!!!"

Over the years, many films have courted controversy which can be at best claimed to be trivial most of the times. Invariably, either its the device of the makers to grab some extra eyeballs or at times due to the fickle mindedness of our fellow beings. The first look posters & trailers of Vysakh's "Vishudhan" did raise some eye brows, but thankfully it didn't evolve into anything serious & rightfully so. 

Fr. Sunny (Chackochan) is the priest of a rural church where the natives were poor & easily gullible. The church runs a shelter home, Snehalayam with the financial support of Vavachan (Hareesh Peradi), the only rich individual in the locality. Fr. Sunny is actively involved in ensuring the smooth functioning of the establishment & is assisted in the process by Sr. Sophie (Mia George). However, certain suspicious deaths in Snehalayam makes them realise the fact that Vavachan's philanthropy had more to do with business than mere good will. But before they could raise the alarm, Vavachan starts a slanderous campaign against both of them which rips them off their clergy robes. So can Sunny & Sophie ever expose Vavachan after losing the trust of the natives???

After churning out blockbuster entertainers, Vysakh has decided to take a totally different route as far as the script is concerned. But the end result seems to be satisfactory as taking up a sensitive issue could have blown out of proportions if he had overdone it. The first half was fantastic especially the Bishop House sequence & laid the platform for an impactful second half. Unfortunately, from there the film takes a downward slide as the main thread becomes side tracked & eventually culminates into a cliched revenge saga. However, there are some hard hitting sequences in the latter half as well but it was far & few.  Gopi Sundar's music was average at best with "Oru Mezhuthiriyude" being the pick of the lot as it was stunningly picturised as well by Shenad Jalai. 

Chackochan deserves praise on a job well done while Mia seemed fine though it could have been better. Both Nandu & Shaalin Zoya was fantastic & did utmost justice to their roles. However, Hareesh Peradi hams it big time  & seemed to be trapped in the character he essayed in "Left Right Left". Sasi Kumar is without doubt the most serene looking bishop that I had seen in Malayalam films & kudos to Vysakh for that.

Verdict: It's definitely worth watching especially for the impactful first half. Though the latter portion disappoints, it still does have it's moments. So in short, do check it out in case you havent!!!

Rating: 3/5


Punyalan Agarbattis review: "Scent of this humorous satire vitalise our senses!!!"

Just a couple of weeks more & we would have come to the end of an eventful year for the Malayalam industry which witnessed numerous well made films. Jayasurya had a pretty mixed year with some hitting the bull's eye like "Philips & the Monkey Pen", "Mumbai Police" etc. while others like "English" failing to impress. He would be looking to finish the year on a high with Ranjith Sankar's "Punyalan Agarbattis". The signs seems promising but will it hit the jackpot???

Joy Thakkolkaran (Jayasurya) is an educated Thrissur businessman who has been trying to make a mark in the world with his innovative ideas. The latest of his masterplans involves making agarbattis from elephant dung. However, his business venture "Punyalan Agarbattis" fails to take off as the Devaswom Board refuses to hand over the raw material to him for the simple reason that he is a Christian. Joy wages a legal battle & finally emerges victorious; only to see that this was just the beginning of his travails. Can his positive spirit see him through or will he succumb to the dirty politics???

Frankly speaking, I have been a huge fan of Ranjith Sankar's films as it always projected problems & helplessness that a commoner feels on the face of adversity be it "Passenger", "Arjunan Sakshi" etc. Here also, he has judged the pulse of the audience & has produced an endearing yet humorous satire on the harthals that's been plaguing our state since years. I didnt feel any sense of lagging as it entertains throughout the whole period coming across as clean humor without ever resorting to double meaning which galore in movies nowadays. Sujith Vasudev has done a decent job with the cinematography while Bijibal's music was hummable & in sync with the mood of the film with "Aashichavan" rendered by Jayasurya being my personal favourite.

The main aspect of Jayasurya which I find really commendable is his commitment to always experiment with his looks and roles, though inevitably most of the times it fails to impart the desired impact. But over here, Jayasurya was fantastic & will rate as one of his best ever performances landing him with an elusive solo hit. Sunil Sukhada was an absolute scream along with Sreejith Ravi but hope that the latter doesnt get typecasted like Baburaj.  Rachana, Aju Varghese & Nyla Usha all deserves a word of praise for their act. The rest of the cast have also all done their roles aptly.

Verdict: Already the reports are coming in that it's doing well in all the release centres.Whatever positive word of mouth that I have heard prior to watching it was totally justified. In short, dont miss it!!!

Rating: 3.75/5


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thira review: "Likely to garner a tsunamic response!!!"

The last couple of months has witnessed an ebb in the amount of films being released in Bangalore, for reasons unknown. Anywaz with "Geetanjali" having a same day release here in the previous week, I hope there will be more to follow suit. This Friday witnessed the release of Vineeth Sreenivasan's "Thira" with Shobhana donning the grease paint after a hiatus. I have already come across quite a few who had said good things about the movie. So I was more than eager to check it out & this is how I felt about it.

Dr. Rohini (Shobhana) is a renowned cardiologist who had recently lost her journalist husband, Pranab to suspicious circumstances. The Police had closed the case stating that he had died of natural causes after being caught in a paedophilic raid. Even the media was spreading allegations that "Arpan", the NGO run by Dr.Rohini was nothing more than a supply source for sex racket. To make matters worse, all the girls from her NGO gets abducted.  At the same time, in another part of the city Naveen (Dhyan Sreenivasan) witnesses his sister being kidnapped in broad daylight in front of his eyes. Seeing the nonchalant attitude of the authorities, Naveen embarks on a wild goose chase to save his sister & that's when he crosses paths with Dr. Rohini. Both of them join forces to rescue the girls when they realise that the people behind the heinous crimes are the same.

Vineeth Sreenivasan can be termed as a multi-faceted genius, since not only is he blessed with an excellent voice but his previous directorial ventures had also hit the bull's eye. With "Thira", Vineeth has taken his directorial credentials to a whole new level & it's definitely the best among his films.  Rakesh Mantodi has come up with a riveting script with cliched dialogues at times & though there are quite a few having similar storylines like "Karmayodha", "Trade" (which I havent seen but stated by many from which it has been ripped off)...I found this pretty refreshing. The film kicks off from the word go without spoon feeding the audience with the intros of the characters & they maintain the pace throughout. However, I found the climax quite clumsy & hasty but I absolutely loved the closing sequence.

If at all there was someone who could do justice to Rohini's role, then it would be only Shobhana. Actually I feel Vineeth wasn't able to make full use of her acting capabilities. Dhyan has definitely made his accomplished Dad & Bro proud of what he has done in this film, though he needs to put some serious work in his dubbing as it seemed more like aping his brother. Deepak Parambol was quite menacing as the dealer and suited the part.

Shaan's music was fantastic especially Theerathe Neelunne & Thaazhvaram rendered by Vineeth & Hesham respectively. Even though the camera was shaking like crazy in the tense sequences & was kinda too strainful for the eyes, Jomon deserves praise for the visuals & the colour tone maintained. The editing plays a crucial role in thrillers & Ranjan Abraham was spot on, with the BGM providing apt support without being jarring. 

Verdict:  Shobhana is back with a bang & yet again proves as to why she is considered as one of the best ever actresses in the country. The dialogues do appear cliched at times with a hurried climax, but there is no doubt the film has substance & freshness even if some might belittle it stating it's a rip off. In short, it's Vineeth's best film to date...so dont miss it!!!

Rating: 4.25/5


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Geethanjali review: "Dr.Sunny shouldnt have been bothered!!!"

More than 6 months has passed since Lalettan has graced the screens after the forgetful "Ladies & Gentleman". So naturally when his next release was announced & that too with Priyadarshan, the hype & expectations on the part of the audience was quite justified. With the promos of "Geethanjali" looking quite interesting, I presume Lalettan might have hit the jackpot this time around. 

Anjali (Keerthy Suresh) & Anoop (Nishan) are settled in Mumbai and have been in a relationship for many years. So when Anoop lands with an opportunity to go abroad for a fatter paycheck, their folks decides to solemnize their relationship in holy matrimony. They plan to embark to Anjali's ancestral household, Arackal Tharavadu to seek the blessings of her mother, Annamma (Seema). But destiny had other plans, as her mother suffers serious spinal injury from a fatal fall rendering her speechless & paralysed. If that wasnt enough, allegations of her house being haunted proves to be true as Anjali gets repeatedly terroized by the spirit of her deceased twin sister, Geetha. This entices Anoop to seek the help of Dr.Sunny (Lalettan) on the behest of his boss, Nakulan (Suresh Gopi). So how will Dr.Sunny go about his psychoanalysis this time around???

The king of rip offs, Priyadarshan is back after a two year hiatus & yet again he chooses Abhilash Nair. to pen his latest venture who had scripted his previous Malayalam film  "Arabiyum Ottakavum P. Madhavan Nairum". Though Priyan has done an impressive job with the assistance of Thirru's stunning visuals, Abhilash Nair comes up with an average script which is nothing but a rip off of Priyamani's "Charulatha"  (which I am told is a copy of some foreign film of which I am not aware). The first half is structured well with some pretty good spooky moments; but the latter half turns out to be a damp squid with a tame & predictable climax. Even the music by Vidyasagar was average at best though the BGM seemed fine at certain sequences.

Lalettan has done an impressive job with the limited chances he has got on screen. Actually if it wasn't for him & the supporting cast, the film might have tanked big time. Keerthy have definitely done her parents proud (Menaka & Suresh Kumar) as she proves she isnt just a beautiful face. Nishan still struggles with his expressions while Innocent is in his elements with his comic timing. Seema barely had much to do while Siddique does his part well.

Verdict: The film will have a fantastic initial for obvious reasons. However, the audience is bound to be disappointed with the way the script panned out in the latter half. As far as my opinion goes, watch it without much expectations. In short, Sethuramayyar should have been called for rather than asking Dr.Sunny to come from Maachu Picchu.

Rating: 2.75/5


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Aarambam review: "Not quite as enthralling as other Thala flicks!!!"

Diwali has just become grander with Ajith starrer "Aarambam" having finally hit the screens amidst much fanfare and hype. With Vishnuvardhan calling the shots, the expectations are nigh high after all the dynamic duo had made the box office go bonkers with "Billa". So can they recreate their magic??? Well I sure hope so, as the promos look just awesome...

The film unfolds in Mumbai which is rocked by bomb blasts in 3 of the posh malls, all of which were owned by the State Home Minister, Rane (Mahesh Manjrekar). The bombs were planted by Ashok (Ajith), a former bomb specialist of the Mumbai ATS; who however made sure that there was no harm to life as he had informed the police officials well in advance. Ashok along with his girl friend Maya (Nayanthara) follows this up by duping Arjun (Arya), a computer hacker to crash Flash network which belonged to Rane as well. Arjun understanding the mess that his college mate, Maya has got him into; make efforts to alert the authorities. So what was the motive behind Ashok's actions & will Arjun escape from his clutches???

Unlike "Billa", the major flaw over here is that the script is trite and doesnt offer anything new at all. The first half of the film breezes through but the latter half huffs & puffs before meandering towards a tame climax. If at all the film works, it's solely due to the style & persona of Ajith; not to forget some of the well choreographed action sequences by Lee Whitaker. Yuvan Shankar Raja's music fails miserably though it has been picturised well thanks to Vinod. As for other aspects, Sreekar's editing was top notch as well.

Ajith "Thala" absolutely rocked & will have the fans asking for more. However, it pales in comparison to his performance in recent flicks like "Mankatha" & "Billa 2". Nayanthara sizzled as Maya & Arya provides the light moments. As for the rest of the cast, Kishore, Mahesh Manjrekar & Rana Daggubati was impressive while Taapsee was over the top.

Verdict: The film will have a bombastic initial & should be marching its way to being a blockbuster. From a personal point of view, the film doesnt offer anything different, but if you are a Ajith fan, check it out!!!

Rating: 2.75/5


Krrish 3 review: "Potpourri of various Hollywood flicks!!!"

It's been about a month since I have checked out any films as nothing quite interesting had attracted my attention. But as always, festival season is the one that all movie lovers swoon for after all the much hyped films hit the screens during that time to rack in the moolah just as "Krrish 3" has graced this Diwali. The promos does look interesting though there are unmistakable shades of Hollywood. So is it just the promos or is it a total rip off???

Years have passed since Krrish (Hrithik Roshan) had saved his dad, Prof Rohit from the clutches of Dr. Arya (Naseeruddin Shah) & now both father & son were investing their powers for the betterment of mankind in their own ways. But far away, nestled in some snow clad mountains Kaal laboratories was nurturing evil in the form of mutants & viruses. Seeking to obtain a suitable bone marrow donor, to relive him off his paralytic condition; Kaal (Vivek Oberoi) was virtually twisting the rules of nature with his cross genetic experiments. After unleashing havoc in Namibia with his virus, he decides to do the same in India but Rohit & Krrish saves the day for the nation. This entices Kaal who entrusts his mutant, Kaya (Kangana Ranaut) to find out the secret behind the anti-dote. So will Krrish be able to stop Kaal & if so, at what cost???

After having enthralled the audience with the prequels which translated into blockbusters, Rakesh Roshan is back with the latest installment of Krrish. Now before going into the specifics, I do have to admit it's a rehash of various Hollywood flicks which came out in the last decade especially "X Men", "The Amazing Spiderman" & "Man of Steel" to name a few. Actually if you would take any of these films and add oodles of emotions, dance, and songs...you will get "Krrish 3". But even then there is no denying the fact that it manages to interest the audience at various sequences mainly due to Hrithik. Though the budget of the film is humongous, it is still less than 1% of what Hollywood films invest in..so in that aspect the VFX effects are pretty impressive.

Hrithik is the heart & soul of the film, and he has done a fantastic job as Rohit & Krrish with each being as different as chalk & cheese. Actually if it wasnt for his persona & efforts, the average screenplay would have appeared downright pathetic. Kangana Ranaut has done a praise worthy job along with Vivek Oberoi, while Priyanka barely had anything to do. As for other aspects, Rakesh Roshan's music was abysmal to say the least while Salim Sulaiman's BGM was average at best with some being a rip off. Chandan Arora's editing was fine along with Tirru's visuals.

Verdict: The film will have a fantastic initial beyond a doubt and should have the makers laughing to the bank inspite of the huge investment. So will it break any records??? well, I dont think so as it isnt a mass masala like "Chennai Express". In short, though the script is average & the special effects are definitely inspired; I feel you can give it a try!!!

Rating: 3/5


Friday, October 11, 2013

Pattam Pole review: "Predictable like PM's silence!!!"

It's been a couple of weeks since we have come across any interesting releases. With Sachin having announced his retirement yesterday, the mood has been quite sombre & that's when I noticed Dulquer's "Pattam Pole" being released here from today. Though the trailer didn't impress me much, I decided to give it a try after all his films has never been disappointing. So will it be the perfect recipe to kick start the Puja holidays???

Shot in the backwaters of Aleppey, the film begins with Riya (Malavika Mohanan) eloping with her boyfriend, Karthik (Dulquer Salman). Naturally their parents gets worried & the issue seemed all the more complex as both of them belonged to two different communities, with Karthik being a Tamil Brahmin & Riya, a Christian. But the fascination of the lovers were short-lived & they return to their respective abodes as they become strapped for cash and their egos get in the way. Both of them get back to their normal lives but love was bound to rekindle once their armor of ego wore off. But are their parents gonna be so timid a second time around???

To the ever bulging list of debut directors, we have yet another & it is none other than the renowned cinematographer, Alagappan. Call it coincidence or not, but Dulquer's previous film was also by a cinematographer turned director, Samir Thahir. Now coming to the film , we can actually slot it into the category of rom-com & though it feels fresh, the script by Girish Kumar is as predictable as Manmohan Singh's silence. This is the main reason why the second half seems quite dragging though the running time of the film is just 120 mins. Jomon's visuals deserves praise while Jayachandran's music was impressive especially the title track though it felt more like an album.

One of the reasons why the films seems passable are solely due to decent performances with the prominent being Dulquer, who was natural & in sync with the character. Malavika has done a decent job for a debutant & oscillates from being good to average. As for the rest of cast, Archana Kavi & Anoop Menon does bring a smile while Lalu Alex & Jayaprakash has done their roles aptly.

Verdict: It's unlikely to have a great opening as the promos hasn't been catchy though the songs has been topping the charts. With a pretty predictable script, the film will struggle to captivate the audience. In short, you can give it a try as its a passable rom com!!!

Rating: 2.25/5


Friday, September 20, 2013

North 24 Kaatham review: "Best Onam release of this year"!!!

Being the Onam season, there has been a handful of releases of which I was able to check out only 3 the previous weekend, owing to various commitments. Anywaz with just a couple of days left before I head back to Bangalore, today I found some time to spare & decided to check out "North 24 Kaatham".With the other Onam releases failing to impress, I do hope that this has something different to offer. Hmm..lets see...

Hari (Fahad Fasil) is a brilliant software programmer who was the apple of the eye of his boss but more like a sour apple for his colleagues. The primary reason for their disgust was Hari's asocial nature & peculiar behavioural traits be it his obsession for cleanliness, fear of flying or being a stickler for routine all of which was actually a manifestation of OCD. Things take a turn when he is made meet his fears courtesy of a journey he had to make to attend a conference in Trivandrum. But his destination gets altered mid way, when he alights from the train & accompanies Gopalettan (Nedumudi Venu) and Narayani (Swati Reddy), to help Gopalettan reach back to his ailing wife. Little did Hari realise that his journey with the other 2 individuals on a harthal was going to be a life changing experience.

This Onam heralds yet another director in the form of Anil Radhakrishnan Menon into the Malayalam industry & his debut venture has been such that it gives hope for the future. In addition to calling the shots, he has also penned an impressive script which can be categorised both as a travelogue and as a satire into the hardships of travelling on a harthal. Anil has also meticulously looked into the aspect of OCD which hasnt been explored in Malayalam. Even the other technical aspects were equally impressive, be it Jayesh Nair's visuals or Govind Menon's music. Though the film runs for just 2 hours, it lags quite a bit in the second half with a predictable climax, but even then the film was really enjoyable.

Fahad Fasil was fantastic as Hari, imparting the body language & expressions with elan as he barely had a few dialogues to mouth. Nedumudi Venu & Swati Reddy both have done their roles well, along with a special mention of Sreenath Bhasi & Chemban Vinod.

Verdict: Fahad's films are coming with such frequency that even before his previous film's posters can fade, the new one hits the screens but he continues to enthrall. Thanks to an impressive script & praise worthy performances, this is the best Onam release by more than a fair distance. So dont miss it!!!

Rating: 3.5/5


Monday, September 16, 2013

Ezhamathe Varavu review: "Legends fail to impress!!!"

Just a day more for Onam & we have got two movies hitting the screens today with one being "Ezhamathe Varavu" which has stalwarts like Hariharan & M.T at the helm. So after helping out Mom with the preparations for the sadhya tomorrow, I decided to head out straight to the theatre to soak in the creation of the legends. With the promos looking interesting, my expectations were pretty high. So will it satiate my expectations???

Dr. Prasad (Vineeth) is an archaeologist who lands up in the jungles of Wayanad on an excavation expedition on a site believed to be part of the ancient Chera dynasty.  In order to make the site easily accessible, Prasad was provided accommodation in a nearby bungalow belonging to the rich aristocrat, Gopinathan (Indrajith) who revels in hunting. On further acquaintance, it so happened that Prasad, Gopi & his wife, Bhanu (Bhavana) were all alumni of Maharajas College. At around this time, a man eater creates havoc among the tribals with even a myth circulating that the tiger came every 7 years to kill 7 females. So was it just a myth???

In all humililty, I proclaim that I am a novice to even comment on the script by the legendary M.T Vasudevan Nair. But from a personal point of view, I was absolutely fascinated by the tale of the man-eater & the way the plot build up I expected it to be a cracking showdown in the climax. Unfortunately, there was nothing of the sort. Actually, the alternate track focusing on the relationship between the characters seemed to be hazily created. Hariharan has no doubt done an impressive job with the script on offer. The major plus points of the film are the technical aspects such as S.Kumar's visuals, Resul Pookutty's audio & Deepak Dev's BGM all of which were fantastic.

In the performance department, Vineeth has done an impressive job as he enacted the role with utmost naturality. Indrajith impresses as well but he wasn't upto his usual standards especially in the initial sequences. As for Bhavana, she has done a decent job while the debutant Kavitha oscillates from being good to amateurish. 

Verdict: Well the film is unlikely to garner much enthusiasm among the audience & in all probability, the film is bound to tank. I do accept that the technical aspects are fantastic but the film fails to entertain. In short, watch it without much expectations!!!

Rating: 2.5/5


Sringaravelan review: "Dileep's mass masala is a lengthy ordeal!!!"

It's a well known fact that the actor who usually rules the roost during festival releases is Dileep after all his films caters to the family audience, young & old alike. So naturally I was looking forward to check out his Onam release "Sringaravelan" & got myself decked up for the FDFS. The last time I saw a movie FDFS in my hometown was "Ladies & Gentleman", which turned out to be an absolute torture. Hmm...will history repeat itself???

Kannan (Dileep) is a jobless fashion designer who is always on the lookout to make quick bucks by hook or crook. As part of his money spinning scheme, he plans to marry from a rich household & that eventually led him to fall in love with Radhu (Vedhika), the heir apparent of a wealthy kovilakam. But things weren't as easy as he thought as her father, DGP (Joy Mathew) was a dreaded don who plans to marry her off to some NRI to protect her from his rivals. Will Kannan be able to protect Radhu & create a change in DGP's plans???

After the blockbuster "Mayamohini", Jose Thomas collaborates yet again with the screenwriter duo Udayakrishna & Siby K Thomas for his latest venture. The major flaw of the film is the wafer thin plot with hardly much credible comedy sequences which is Dileep's forte. It was made all the more tedious for the audience as it ran close to 3 hours. None of the technical aspects deserves a mention with the music by Berny Ignatious feeling like it should have be in films made a decade back.

Unlike his other films, Dileep barely had much scope to tickle the funny bone as it was mainly entrusted to others like Lal & Kalabhavan Shajon. In all fairness, Shajon delivers the goods but Lal was way over the top testing our patience. Vedhika seemed more like a beautiful looking plastic doll while Joy Mathew got to make up his mind whether he wants acting or direction, as he was far  from impressive in many sequences. 

Verdict: In all probability, the family audiences will lap this up as it is packaged as a mass masala with sprinkling of comedy, heroism & slow motion. As far as my opinion goes, it seemed like a haphazardly created tedious ordeal. The choice is now yours!!!

Rating: 1.25/5


Friday, September 13, 2013

Daivathinte Swantham Cleetus review: "Only God can save Mammookka!!!"

Finally Onam holidays are here & what better way to relax than being at home, munching on the goodies & checking out the new releases. As soon as I landed today morning, the first poster which caught my attention on the way home was Mammookka's "Daivathinte Swantham Cleetus". Though the promos looked average, I was urged to check it out first before anything else. Hope his latest release will be a perfect Onam gift for fans like us.

Vadakkumthala theatres is a drama troupe in Thodupuzha who has been maintaining the tradition of churning out social dramas for close to two decades. But this time around, Father Sunny (Siddique) plans a light & sound show based on the life of Jesus Christ as a fund raiser. All their efforts to find an individual who could play the role of the protagonist proved futile until  they came across Cleetus (Mammookka) who agrees to it after much coaxing. Little did they realise that though Cleetus resembled Jesus physically, he was a gangster with a character more like Satan.

Mammookka is always known to encourage new film makers & the latest to join this band wagon is Marthandan who is quite well known in the advertising circuit. Armed with the script & screenplay of Benny Nayarambalam who is basking in the glory of the superhit "Sound Thoma", Marthandan couldn't be accused of being a touch confident. But things doesnt seem so rosy for him as the script is pretty average to say the least but has a decent screenplay, thanks mainly to a handful of hilarious scenes. As for other aspects, Bijibal's music was pathetic though I did like the BGM.

As always Mammookka has put in an earnest effort but there is a limit to how much he can salvage a mediocre script. The role barely posed any challenge for him except for maybe tying up his hair. Siddique was fine while Suraj is finally rendering some genuine comedy without being irritating.As for the rest of the cast, Honey Rose barely had anything to do while Tesni Khan seems to be typecasted.

Verdict: The film is packaged as a mass entertainer with slow motion, comedy & action sequences which would definitely delight the hard core fans. It should be a big draw for the families & should pose competition for Dileep's "Sringaravelan". As far as my opinion goes, it could be a hit but it's high time that God drill some sense into Mammookka to reject such mediocre stuff as he is far better than all this. In short, it's an average time pass!!! 

Rating: 2/5


Monday, September 9, 2013

Shuddh Desi Romance review: "Desi romance is more like videshi nowadays!!!"

Romance has undergone a sea of change over the years & even our films have showcased this aspect except for maybe Rajshri Productions which still clings onto the pre-historic romantic sagas. Actually in recent years, there has been quite a number of films which has focussed on romance in small towns such as "Band Baaja Baraat", "Raanjhanna" etc. The latest to join this genre is "Shuddh Desi Romance", whose promos looked pretty promising. So does it live upto it's promise???

Raghu Ram (Sushant Singh) is a tourist guide in Jaipur who also earns extra bucks helping out Goyal (Rishi Kapoor), a wedding planner courtesy impersonating as baraati. Finally, the day arrives when Raghu has to tie the knot & on the way to the bride's place he befriends Gayathri (Parineeti Chopra) who had been entrusted by Goyal to pose as Raghu's sister. Just as the imminent time approaches, he develops cold feet & absconds from the wedding pavilion. A couple of weeks later he meets up with Gayathri & before long they indulge in a live in relationship. Soon they decide to solemnize their relation , but on the jotted day, Gayathri bolts leaving Raghu stranded. It is at this juncture that he meets up with Tara (Vaani Kapoor), the female whom he had left stranded at the altar. Hmm... so will they land up at the altar a second time???

After having impressed one & all with "Band Baaja Baraat", Maneesh Sharma has come up with a pretty different take on relationship & would I say a more realistic approach in his latest venture. Maneesh has captured the essence of Jaipur with all its hustle-bustle & he has been well supported by Jaideep Sahni's script. The storyline is no doubt entertaining without raising eye-brows about live in relationship but I kinda found some of the sequences repetitive coupled with a lame climax. Sachin Jigar's sound tracks were good along with the vibrant visuals of Manu Anand.

Actually what made the film all the more enjoyable were the impressive performances of the three protagonists. After a praise worthy debut in "Kai Po Che", Sushant has rendered an impressive performance while Parineeti Chopra seems to be growing in stature with each passing movie & in due time might pose a threat to her famous cousin, Priyanka. Inspite of being a debutant, Vaani Kapoor has performed confidently & doesnt seem to be over-rawed by the camera. Just as wine gets better with time, so does Rishi Kapoor as he was fantastic as the wedding planner. 

Verdict: Thanks to the lively promos, the film will get an impressive opening & will thump "Zanjeer" at the box-office. I wont term it as ground breaking but it's definitely different & makes for an entertaining watch. So give it a try!!!

Rating: 3.25/5


Zanjeer review: "Audience will have to be zanjeered to make them watch!!!"

Remakes has been in vogue for quite some time now, be it from other languages or from the same language itself. Even this year, we have seen quite a few already gracing the screens be it "Himmatwala" or "Chashme Badhoor". The biggest challenge in doing remakes is when the original has been an iconic film which makes comparisons inevitable. The latest to go through this gruelling comparison is "Zanjeer", whose original launched Big B to stardom. So can the remake escape unscathed???

Since most of you guys would have watched Big B's "Zanjeer", I dont think there is any need for giving much of an outline as the basic premise here is pretty much the same. ACP Vijay Khanna (Ram Charan) is an upright cop who takes on the wrong doers with a vengeance which led him to be transferred once to many. His latest transfer took him from Hyderabad to Mumbai where he takes on the Oil Mafia headed by Teja (Prakash Raj). What subsequently follows is the decimation of Teja 's empire by Vijay with the help of his friend Sher Khan (Sanjay Dutt), a reformed illegal car dealer & Jaydev (Atul Kulkarni), a journalist. 

At times, I dont mind giving credit where it is deserved but Apoorva Lakhia deserves no such benefit as he had made an absolute mess of Salim-Javed's brilliant script. It was a tedious exercise sitting through this ordeal which was made all the more tiresome thanks to some uninspired acting. As for other aspects of the film, I cant think of anything which deserves a mention.

Among the various leading South Indian actors who has made their presence felt in Bollywood in the last few years be it Prithviraj, Dhanush or Suriya , I would count Ram Charan's performance as the least impressive. I wish he used his facial muscles atleast half as much as he flexes his biceps. Even Priyanka's act left a lot to be desired along with Mahie Gill who was pathetic though Prakash Raj was fine. But the worst among the lot by a fair distance was Sanjay Dutt, who seemed totally disinterested & appears like an insomniac.

Verdict: The aura of the original might attract a few to check out the remake, but apart from that there isnt going to be much takers. There is nothing in the movie which will attract the audience & in all probability will incur a huge loss for the makers. In short, check out the original if you havent watched it or else dont bother!!!

Rating: 1.5/5


Kalimannu review: "Not quite upto Blessy's standards!!!"

Blessy is always known to make movies which is close to the sensibilities of life & I have always been an ardent fan of his creations right from "Kaazcha" to "Pranayam". Unlike his previous films,  his latest venture "Kalimannu" has been courting trouble from some quarters for his alleged picturisation of Shweta Menon's real delivery for the film. Frankly speaking, I dont find anything wrong in it but the question I have is whether this is just for hype or will it be on par with other Blessy films???

Just like scores of other females in Mumbai, Meera (Shweta Menon), a club dancer also dreams of making it big in the silver screen. But her life gets topsy turved when she gets pregnant & her rich boy friend ditches her leading her into suicide. However, her attempt gets foiled by Shyam (Biju Menon), a cab driver who leads her back to life. Soon they get married & Meera starts realising her dreams of becoming a star. Little was she aware, that fate was going to inflict a deadly blow in the form of Shyam's death on the night of her movie premiere. How she picks up from there forms the crux of the movie.

Blessy had proclaimed during the launch of the movie that this film is basically to highlight the relationship between the mother & her unborn child. From a personal point of view, I dont feel that he has quite achieved what he proclaimed as it seemed more like a preachy second half on woman rights though it does have some pretty impactful emotional scenes as well. As for the first half, it seemed very un-Blessy with items songs packed one after the other without imparting much significance. Jayachandran's music deserves praise for a decent sound track with the lullaby being the pick of the lot.

Shweta Menon has given a decent performance with a couple of touching scenes but it wasnt quite upto the standards that we know she is capable of.  As for the rest, both Biju Menon & Suhasini have done their roles aptly.

Verdict: It's almost close to a month since "Kalimaanu" has released & seems to have acquired a decent collection. As far as my opinion goes, I would rate this as one of Blessy's weakest films to date but still it's worth a watch especially from right before interval until her delivery!!!

Rating: 3/5


Monday, September 2, 2013

Artist review: "Eccentric & complex but deserves to be applauded"!!!

If I had to choose among the present crop of directors who has quite an audience in film festivals both within & outside our nation, then I would have to take the name of Shyamaprasad. Though I have to admit, I am not a hard core fan of his films coz I do find it quite dragging at times but there is no denying the fact that the topics that he discusses are quite varied unlike the normal cliches. The latest to hit the screens from his stable is "Artist". Wonder what he has cooked this time around???

The films unfolds with Gayathri (Ann Augustine) requesting her gifted yet eccentric artist & live in partner Michael Agnelo (Fahad Fasil) to attend a meeting regarding his job in an art firm. But this meeting never takes place as Michael fails to honour his appointment & meets with an accident which renders him blind. Gayathri was barely out of her teens & pursing Fine Arts when she falls for her charismatic senior in college, Micheal. Being the free spirit & eccentric nature that he is, Micheal preferred having a no holds barred relation with Gayathri which eventually led to them dropping out of college & living together much to the dismay of her Brahmin parents. However, tough times lay ahead for her as Micheal was self centric & aloof of the hardships that she was going through to ensure that his painting proceeded without fail. So how was she going to cope with his insensitive nature which became all the more difficult after his accident???

Since both Shyamaprasad & Fahad Fasil are returning from disasters like "English" & "Olipporu" respectively, I was kinda circumspect as to how their present venture will pan out. However, after watching this I do have to admit I was pleasantly surprised as it was much pacier than other Shyamaprasad films. Based on Paritosh Uttam's novel "Dreams in Prussian Blue", the script seemed quite engaging albeit a tame climax. The character sketch was the strong point of the film & Shyamaprasad has done an impressive job with that. Bijibal's music was average while Shamdath's visuals seemed fine.

Fahad Fasil was absolutely brilliant as the eccentric & self centred artist, re-iterating that he is indeed one of the best in the industry. Thanks to the strong character of Gayathri, Ann Augustine finally got a chance to exhibit her acting skills & she has done justice to a large extent. There are quite a couple of scenes where she was fantastic while at times, she bordered on being average. In addition, Sreeram Ramchandran as Tony also deserves praise on a job well done.

Verdict: It is unlikely to have a rollicking run at the theatres as it is bound to be unpalatable for quite a few. However, personally speaking I found it much more engaging & pacier than usual Shyamaprasad offerings, not to forget the brilliant performance of Fahad. In short, do give it a try!!!

Rating: 3/5


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kunjananthante Kada review: "Wish the script was as impressive as Mammookka"!!!

Call it good fortune or a conscious attempt to cash in, but it has been raining movies in Bangalore inspite of the decision of the Anti Piracy Cell a couple of months back to delay the release here. Anywaz among the deluge of films which released this week, the one which got my attention was Mammooka's "Kunjananthante Kada", after all the legend needs to get his act together after the disappointing "Kadal Kadannu Oru Mathukutty". Mammooka has given himself a good chance considering the credentials of Salim Ahamed who was the toast of the industry for "Adaminte Makan Abu". So can Salim do it again???

Kunjananthan (Mammooka) is the owner of a small stationary shop in the serene bylanes of Vattipuram which was popular among one & all as a transit point for all kind of services. But what made the shop even more conspicuous was the upright nature of Kunjananthan who harboured an innate sense of duty to create awareness among his fellow beings to social issues through his posters, not to forget his guts to speak his mind & finicky nature to cleanliness. But all wasnt well with him, be it the frigid relationship he shared with his wife or the repeated requests by the land owner, Nambiar (Siddique) to vacate his shop, which was more like an embodiment of his father's spirit rather than a structure with bricks & stones. As if this wasnt enough, he was further burdened by the Goverment's decision to widen the roads which would effectively mean the destruction of his shop. So can Kunjananthan save his shop???

After reaping awards by the bucketfuls for "Adaminte Makan Abu", Salim Ahamed is back with his latest venture which he has penned as well just as before. There is no doubt that the film has some worthy moments be it Kunjananthan's attachment to his shop or the relationship with his wife. But apart from this, the script doesnt have much to write home about & culminates in an average climax. As for other aspects, Jayachandran's music & rendition was fantastic, but it was too short. One funny mistake which I noticed was that there is a scene in which the song "Muthu Chippi" from "Thattathin Marayathu" is played but the song being shown on TV was "Kanninnullil Nee Kanmani" from "Trivandrum Lodge".

Even though the script has come short, Mammooka was spot on as the protagonist be it with his Kannur slang or body language, but it didnt pose much of a challenge for the legend. Nyla as Chithra was impressive & stands on an even footing with the legend. As for the rest of the cast, all of them have done justice to their roles be it Siddique, Balachandra Menon or Salim Kumar.

Verdict: Inspite of a plethora of releases, this will have an impressive opening thanks to the after effects of "Adaminte Makan Abu" & Mammooka. Even though, there is nothing to trash the movie about the script could have done much more justice considering the caliber of the cast it had on offer. In short, check it out!!!

Rating: 2.75/5


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Madras Cafe review: "Impressive concoction of fact & fiction!!!"

As any avid movie buff would have noticed, our film industry has pretty much dabbled with all sort of genres except for political thrillers which has been far & few. I wouldn't fault the makers for this, coz inevitably most of the time it has courted trouble as in the case of "Vishwaroopam", "Black Friday" etc ; thanks to some whimsical minded individuals & groups. The latest to join this bandwagon is Shoojit Sircar's "Madras Cafe", which has been banned in Tamil Nadu. Hmm... so let's see what's this hungama all about???

Until a couple of years back, Sri Lanka was embroiled in a bitter Civil War between the Government & LTTE (named as LTF in the movie). The film unfolds with the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord to enforce the disarmament of LTF & facilitate the process of regional council. As part of this pact, the Indian Government sent in their Peace Keeping Force but instead of reining in the violence, it gets blown out of proportions. At this juncture, the RAW chief, RD (Siddharth Basu) assigns a covert operation to his trusted military intelligence officer Vikram Singh (John Abraham) which was to weaken the stranglehold of LTF in the region. In the process, Vikram opens a can of worms which eventually culminates in the assassination of our ex-PM. 

After having drawn praise from one & all, for his previous venture "Vicky Donor"; Shoojit Sircar has chosen a totally different topic which belongs to the not so oft used genre of political thrillers. There are no two words about it, as he has come up with one of the best ever political thriller made in Bollywood with the filming being kinda reminiscent of the Hollywood style. The best part of the film is that it doesn't take sides & leaves the judgement to the discretion of the audience. The credit also goes to the compelling script & screenplay by Somnath Dey & Shubendu Bhattacharya aided by the crisp editing & visuals by Chadrashekhar Prajapathi and Kamaljeet Negi respectively which keeps the audience hooked throughout. 

Frankly speaking, I don't think of John Abraham as much of an actor except for his excellent stunts but over here he was spot on as he gets into the skin of the character quite convincingly. In addition, John also have to be applauded for seeking to produce films which are distinct unlike the usual run of the mill. Siddhartha Basu was quite an interesting choice as the RAW Chief & he has done a good job along with Prakash Belawadi (as Bala). As opposed to her previous venture, Nargis Fakhri has improved which was aided to a certain extent that she had to mouth only English dialogues. The rest of the cast such as Ajay Bhaskaran (as Anna), Kannan Arunachalam (as Shri) etc., has done their parts aptly.

Verdict: With "Chennai Express" bull dozing forward, "Madras Cafe" would find the going tough. It's unlikely to cater to the single screens but thanks to the impressive content & execution it should have a decent run in the multiplexes. In short, delve into this without fail!!!

Rating: 3.5/5


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Olipporu review: "Wonder what was the scripter smoking???"

Ramzan witnessed the release of a slew of films with some hitting the jackpot like "Memories", while "Kadal Kadannu Oru Mathukutty" bit the dust. With a couple of weeks still left for Onam, there are quite a few lined up to hit the screens before the festive season begins & leading the pack is Fahad Fazil's "Olipporu". Though the promos seemed average, the presence of Fahad enticed me to check it out. So was it the right decision???

The film unfolds in Namma Bangalore where a group of avid bloggers plans to stage a grand show. But at this juncture, Ajayan (Fahad Fazil) known as Olipporali to his fellow bloggers & the brain behind the show meets with an accident. Being the reclusive person that he is, none of the rest had any clue as to what happened to him. What subsequently follows is a peek into the life of Ajayan & whether he would eventually walk back into life.

As I had mentioned earlier, the sole reason for watching this film was Fahad Fazil as I have always liked his choices. But sorry to say, this was downright pathetic as the script by Gopikrishnan didn't seem to make even an iota of sense. In effect, A.V Sasidharan's directorial debut was quite an unforgettable ordeal as I was fidgeting in my seat hoping against hope for something interesting which never came. Equally pathetic was the music which had some of the most nonsensical lyrics that I have ever heard. The only thing that took my attention was the familiar places showcased in the film such as K.R Puram, Brigade Road & Majestic.

Fahad Fazil seems to be shooting in break neck speed as he seems to be churning out one movie per month on an average. But among the ones that he has done, this will easily qualify as the worst ever though he has done a decent job along with Kalabhavan Mani. As for the rest, no one deserves even a mention.

Verdict: The only attraction of the film is Fahad Fazil but with such a pathetic script, even his presence wont prevent the film from slipping into oblivion within today itself. In short, unless you want to make an ass out of someone dont suggest it to anyone!!!

Rating: 0.5/5


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Kadal Kadannu Oru Mathukutty review: "Ranjith's magic on the wane!!!"

Ever since "Kadal Kadannu Oru Mathukutty" has been announced, there has always been some news or the other related to it in the media. The hype is quite understandable considering the various personalities connected to it be it Ranjith-Mammooka's combo, Prithviraj's production & Lalettan's guest appearance. Already I have heard mixed to negative reactions to the film & with the satellite rights being sold to Asianet at an astronomical amount of 5.75 C, the question that everyone has is whether it was justified??? Hmm..well this is how I felt...

There's a popular saying that it's virtually impossible to find a place where Malayalis haven't inhabited, be it even the moon. Well, bearing testimony to this fact is an obscure place in Germany known as Mettmann where the Malayali Association is gearing up for their silver jubilee celebrations. So as part of their grand plans, the Association entrusts Mathukutty (Mammookka) to arrange a star nite led by Lalettan & troupe. Being a hen-pecked husband, Mathukutty was waiting for a chance to go to Kerala & grabs the opportunity with glee. In addition to this assignment, he also plans a trip to his hometown, Plankamon which he hasn't visited for years. Little did he realise that his sojourn was going to be like being from fire to frying pan.

In the last few years, if the audience had to name one director whose films are eagerly awaited..then undoubtedly in majority of the cases the choice would be Ranjith. However, his latest venture has pretty much quashed all such expectations as the script is downright ordinary, with hardly any substance except for some gimmicks in the form of Lalettan & a couple of humorous scenes. Similarly, none of the technical aspects also deserves special mention.

There is a limit to which how much an actor can carry the movie on his shoulders especially when the script is below par. Inspite of that, Mammookka expectedly imparts an impressive performance as the timid hen pecked husband. As for the rest of the cast, apart from Tini Tom & Muthumani no one deserves special mention.

Verdict: Thanks to the hype the film would have garnered an impressive initial but from then on it is bound to be a downhill journey. The film offers neither anything new nor anything different, so you may as well check it on Asianet!!!

Rating: 2.5/5


Memories review: "Prithvi on a roll!!!"

One of the greatest challenge for any actor is to live upto expectations & with Prithvi growing in stature with each passing movie, this is quite natural. Among the plethora of releases, one of the prominent ones to grace the screens for this Ramzan was Jeethu Joseph's Prithviraj starrer "Memories". Unfortunately, for movie lovers like me...the film was released in Bangalore just yesterday & by now, I have come across many people lavishing praises on the film. Hmm, naturally it has increased my expectations manifold...so will it satiate my anticipation???

The job of the police force can be quite unforgiving at times as the officer puts the life of even his family on the line & Sam Alex (Prithviraj), one of the best in the force was a living example of such a tragedy. The incident reduced him to a pale image of his former self & alcohol seems to be his only resort for solace. It was at this juncture that duty comes calling in the form of a series of random murders which has baffled everyone. But is Sam upto the challenge & is there more to the murders than what seems to the eye???

Frankly speaking, I wasn't quite impressed with Jeethu Joseph's previous venture "My Boss" though it was a blockbuster. So my initial reaction when I heard about "Memories" was kinda circumspect, but after watching it I do have to admit he has proved me wrong fair & square. The plot & characterization was fantastic for which how much ever applause given is totally justified. At times, there are some fleeting glimpses of Sherlock Holmes & "Grandmaster", but the film has a soul of its own. Even the initial credits were shot impressively & reminded me of Tarantino's style. In a thriller like this, BGM & editing plays significant roles  & both Anil Johnson and John Kutty has to be appreciated on jobs well done. 

After many of his movies biting the dust, Prithviraj is well & truly back in his elements with all his recent films being both critically & commercially acclaimed. Over here as well, Prithviraj was absolutely brilliant as the heart broken alcoholic officer with angst & distress written on his face. Not even once does his body language goes over the top nor does it succumb to stereotypical cliches. As for the rest, they have done their jobs aptly including the villain whose name I'm not revealing as it will be a spoiler.

Verdict: Undoubtedly, one of the best thriller in recent times & Prithvi is in top notch form with Sam Alex being on par or even better than Antony Moses of "Mumbai Police". In short, don't think twice, do yourself a favour & watch it!!!

Rating: 4.75/5


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi review: "Kudos to the cast & crew for their sincere effort!!!"

Ever since the promos of "Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi" or NPCB has been beaming on the screens, there has been a great deal of anticipation after all it was touted as the first road movie to release in Malayalam. With Samir Tahir calling the shots along with the casting of the successful duo of Dulquer-Sunny Wayne, it should make for an interesting prospect. The question is whether Hashir's script can do justice to the hype???

 NPCB is basically the journey of two youngsters, Kazi (Dulquer) & Suni (Sunny Wayne) from "God's own Country" to "Switzerland of the East" (Nagaland), in search of Kazi's love, Assi (Surja Bala Hijam). The film tracks the happenings during the journey & the events which led to Kazi taking up this jaunt. Though he had initially decided on embarking alone, his long time confidant & close buddy Suni sticks onto him just as he had done over the years & so begins their adventure on their mean machines. 

 Samir Tahir's credentials as a cinematographer is well documented but with "Chappa Kurish", he has shown that he has it in him to don the role of the director with ease. First & foremost, he has to be commended for his guts to try something different rather than resorting to the same old cliches. Secondly, he has packaged it really well with breath taking visuals by Girish Gangadharan & equally apt music by Rex Vijayan, both of which conveys more than dialogues. Hashir Mohammad has come up with a decent script but I felt it could have been a much better second half as it lags quite a bit & doesnt quite do justice to their hard work.

With each passing movie, Dulquer is slowly & steadily cementing his place in the industry with his own efforts. Over here as well, he has done a good job along with Sunny Wayne, who brings in the light moments with his witty one liners. The soul of the film is undoubtedly, the sizzling chemistry that the two share with each other. Surja Bala Hijam is a well known Manipuri actress, who has done a decent job along with Dhirtiman Chatterjee, Joy Mathew etc.

Verdict: Among the films which has released for this Eid, this is least likely to cater to the families. The collections of this film will depend entirely on the young crowd, but from what I see it should be able to make a mark. It will definitely spruce a new crop of bikers just as "Classmates" inspired a lot of reunions. In short, give it a try after all such different efforts needs to be complimented!!!

Rating: 3/5