Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Annayum Rasoolum review:"Slow realistic love story!!!"

If one has noticed the Tamil films in recent times, there is an exodus of numerous small budget ventures with its premises based on hard hitting realistic stuff. Even our Malayalam industry is slowly waking up to the fact that the audience needs variety & originality. If I have to choose one actor who takes up such subjects, then it has to be Fahad Fazil who has been going from strength to strength with each passing film. With numerous films in his kitty, he kicks off the year with "Annayum Rasoolum" which seems to be promising.


Rasool (Fahad Fazil) is just like any other taxi-driver who motors along the roads of Cochin for a living & makes merry with his buddies which at times borders on insanity. It is during one such tumultuous night that Rasool almost runs over Anna (Andrea Jeremiah). But even in that freak second, his eyes gets locked onto her & as if by destiny meets up with her yet again on a similar crazy day. Since then Rasool starts following Anna everywhere without ever enforcing his presence onto her. His longing gaze & sheepish smiles spoke volumes of his feelings for her but it was always reciprocated with a blank expression. In due time, she reluctantly agrees to his advances; fully aware that life was never going to be the same again.


Rajeev Ravi is a renowned cinematographer with many impressive films to his credit such as "Gangs of Wasseypur", "Dev D" etc. This time around he has donned the director's hat & my word, he has done a brilliant job. Though the film was dreadfully slow in many sequences, in total it was engaging and hard hitting. In addition to Ravi, the scripting credits also goes to Sethunath & Santhosh Echikannam especially for well etched roles for even the supporting cast. At a length of close to 3 hours, it can test the patience of quite a few & therefore it would have been better off if they had edited it by about half an hour or so. The music by K was average with "Kannu Randu Kannu" rendered by Shahabaz Aman being the pick among the lot.

I just have one word to say about Fahad Fazil..."brilliant". I am still struggling to believe whether he was the same person who absolutely sucked in his debut venture. I do agree that Anna's role required someone like Andrea quite sobre & stark, but I believe there could have been better choices. From being the loud & cool dude, it was a complete role reversal for Sunny Wayne who excelled in his part. Each & every member of the cast has done total justice to their roles.

Verdict: If it wasn't for the slow movement, the film would have done wonders at the box office. There is no doubt that the length will act as a deterrent for many but it will still have takers who would cherish this hard hitting realistic cinematic experience. In short, dont miss it!!!

Rating: 3.5/5

Regards...Ben


Monday, January 21, 2013

Romans review: "Dynamic duo impresses despite a trite storyline!!!"

Ever since "Ordinary" made extraordinary returns at the box-office, the combination of Biju Menon & Chackochan has been the toast of the industry. Though their combination fizzed away in Shafi's "101 Weddings", the duo has come together yet again for Boban Samuel's "Romans". Hmm...can they recreate their magic???


"Romans" is the tale of two convicts, Akash (Chackochan) & Shibu (Biju Menon) who flees from custody and lands up in the village of Poomala, only to be mistaken for priests from Rome. The church was in ruins as if under some evil spell with all the previous priests ending up with mysterious deaths. Sensing this could be an ideal place for lying low, they decide to masquerade as the priests from Rome that the villagers were waiting for. In due time, they play on the blind faith of the villagers with their street smartness & magic skills. But can they dispel away the omen before it's too late.


After having impressed with his debut venture "Janapriyan", I do have to say that Boban Samuel has disappointed big time as the script by Y.V Rajesh offered nothing new. The only saving grace in an otherwise average and predictable script is the frequent catchy one liners by Biju Menon which had the audience in splits. Another flaw which I had felt was the length of the movie especially the first half. It definitely deserved a major editing as it doesnt convey much in the extended time.

Both Chackochan & Biju Menon have done their best to inject life into an otherwise lackluster script. Biju was on fire with his tongue in cheek dialogues while Chackochan provides ample support. Nivedita was wasted in a worthless role while T.G Ravi & Lalu Alex enacted their parts well.

Verdict: It should have a pretty decent run as the audience will surely lap up the antics of the protagonists. With biggies lined up for this weekend, collections will take a hit but it should be able to break even. In short, give it a try for some laughs!!!

Rating: 2.75/5

Regards...Ben

Monday, January 14, 2013

Maad Dad review: "Stupid would have been a better adjective"!!!

Last year witnessed the entry of numerous new comers into the industry be it either into the technical aspect or donning the grease. Just a couple of weeks into 2013 & it presents us with a new heroine in Nazriya Nazim through "Maad Dad". The promos hasn't been impressive & that is never a good sign as it reduces the chances of a decent initial. Unlike the title, hope that the movie isn't mad.


Esho (Lal) is a doting father to Mariam (Nazriya Nazim) and was a stickler for things of the past be it his choice of names, car, attire etc. So intense was his love for his late wife, Anuradha rechristened as Annamma (Meghna Raj); that his subconscious mind creates an alternate world where his wife was still very much alive. Time finally comes when he decides to give his daughter's hand to her lover, Dr.Bonnie (Sreejith Vijay), much to the displeasure of Bonnie's mother. What subsequently follows is a predictable tale of inflicting emotional scars on Esho & how everything finally transpires.


Thanks to Revathy S Verma who pretty much handled all the major departments from directing to screenplay, she lacked the finesse of a professional. She has come up with a story which neither offers anything fresh in content nor execution. Except for a couple of emotional sequences, the whole movie was pretty much a drag which kinda became unbearable by the acting histrionics of the supporting cast. Another major let down was the music by Alex Paul as it disrupted the flow of the movie with each song being worser than the previous one. The only positive I felt were the poster designs by Ramesh Channel.

Nazriya Nazim is a well known face in the silver screen as she was the host of Asianet Munch Junior Star Singer & did appear in a couple of films like "Palunku", "Oru Naal Varum" etc. But this is her first entry into the league of heroines or is it "heroin"...wonder what the makers meant by terming her as a narcotic!!! She has definitely done a decent job along with Lal who however goes over board many a time. As for the supporting cast, the lesser said the better as it was downright pathetic.


Verdict: Neither will the film garner an initial nor does it deserve to have an audience in the theatres. In short, dont even bother watching except maybe on TV & that too solely to encourage Nazriya!!!

Rating: 1.75/5

Regards...Ben

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Table No. 21 review: "Thrilling but could have been better!!!"

A week into 2013 and the film industries are waking up to life after the holidays. Among the first few releases of this year, the promos that actually caught my eye was Aditya Datt's "Table No.21". Though devoid of superstars, the presence of Paresh Rawal & Rajeev Khandelwal surely raises the hopes of something exciting. So will this be the first hit of the year???


Vivaan (Rajeev Khandelwal) & his wife, Siya (Tena Desae) is an ordinary middle class family who cant believe their luck when they win an all expenses paid trip to the beautiful islands of Fiji. Incidentally, their wedding anniversary which happened to coincide with their trip was celebrated in a manner they would have least expected. They receive an invitation from Mr. Khan (Paresh Rawal)  the owner of Suva, one of the finest resorts of Fiji to spent their special day there. Things get even better when Mr. Khan offers the couple a staggering 21 crores to be part of his internet gaming show "Table 21". The rules basically involved telling the truth at all costs followed by performing a task for each of the 8 questions asked. But what began as a light hearted game eventually turns out more than what they had bargained for. 


Aditya Datt has come up with an arresting thriller which gets better with each passing sequence culminating in a thrilling climax which leaves a lump in your throat. The stark reality portrayed gives you a fleeting glimpse of the glum realities of many such incidents in real life and the credit for this goes to the impressive scripting by Shantanu Ray & Shreeshak Anand. If at all, I have to name a flaw then it has to be the slow pacing in the first half which doesnt pack as much a punch as expected even though the script had the substance.

I believe it's immaterial to harp as to how brilliant an actor Paresh Rawal is as he always delivers a cracking performance whenever he is given a well etched character. Call it irony or destiny, but after playing host to the game show "Sach Ka Saamne" in the silver screen; Rajeev Khandewal now dons the role of the participant with conviction who has no option but say the truth to win the bounty. As for Tena Desae, she seemed fine though not totally at ease in some sequences.

Verdict: Undoubtedly one of the best thrillers in recent times primarily coz of the climax which draw parallels with the stark reality in our every day life. I believe it has the makings of a hit & suggest that you guys should check it out!!!

Rating: 3/5

Regards...Ben