Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Adi Kapyare Koottamani review: "Kootta chiri for both the audience & makers is guaranteed!!!"

Another 24 hours more & we will bid adieu to 2015 which saw almost 140 Malayalam movies being released, Though majority of them bit the dust, there has been quite a few which did grab eyeballs for its content & treatment. So seeking to claim a spot among such money spinners is John Varghese's debut venture "Adi Kapyare Koottamani". The promos & posters emphasizes the fact that this is a no holds barred laugh riot which is set against the backdrop of a boys hostel. Hmm...will the last movie of 2015 bring smiles to both the audience & producers ???

The film unfolds in Lord Wallace Boys hostel which is under the guardianship of Fr. Alfred Kattuvilayil (Mukesh) who took pride in the discipline of his wards. Though unknown to him, the boarders made merry in their own way with booze & other entertainments. Prominent among them were a gang of four namely Bhanu (Dhyan Sreenivasan), Bruno (Aju Varghese), Remo (Neeraj Madhav) & Koshy (Vineeth Mohan). It so happened that Bhanu had an urgent need for money & a girl by name of Adhishta Lekshmi (Namitha Pramod) whom he meets at the canteen offers to help him out of the blue in exchange for his assistance to enter the boys hostel. The reason as to why she wants to enter the hostel & the problems they face subsequently forms the plot of the movie.

As has been the trend of Friday Film House headed by Sandra Thomas & Vijay Babu, they have ushered in yet another debutant director into the industry. This individual happened to be John Varghese who also scripted the movie along with Abhilash S Nair. The idea of a girl trying to enter the boys hostel does sound interesting, but the excitement in the plot doesn't proceed beyond that. However, the screenplay is made engaging with humorous one liners which keeps the audience engaged. The film works primarily due to the cast that has been assembled who were impressive & the camaraderie that they share off screen has benefited the end product immensely. Shaan Rehman's music was average but I liked the track "Ende Maavum Poothe" rendered by Vineeth Sreenivasan & Co. The same opinion also goes for Ajay David's visuals and Lijo Paul's editing as well.  

In the performance department, though Dhyan is projected as the lead Aju & Neeraj Madhav are the ones who brings the house down with their hilarious antics & cracking one liners. Dhyan has done a decent job but he still needs to work on his comic timing & diction to make it more impressionable rather than appear as buffoonery. As for the rest of the cast, all of them have done a decent job as well be it Namitha, Mukesh, Vineeth or Bijukuttan.

Verdict: It's almost a week since the movie have released & from the reports coming in, it seems to be doing well at the box-office. This is surely an apt choice for this festival season as it will tickle the funny bone of the audience. In short, the humorous screenplay makes it an enjoyable experience & so be sure to check it out!!!

Rating: 2.75/5


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Jo and the Boy review: "Sincere attempt to appear novel but misses the mark!!!"

If at all a poll is conducted as to who is considered among the top 5 Malayalam actresses of all time, one name which is likely to figure in it will be Manju Warrier. She is held at such high esteem that when she announced her return back to films a year back, there were news that scripts were being drafted keeping her in mind & even the movies which subsequently released proved that to be true. Her latest release "Jo & the Boy" is helmed by Rojin Thomas & hopefully, this movie will make use of her talent & be able to make its presence felt this X'mas. does it do so???

Jo (Manju Warrier) is a zestful & sprightly animator who makes repeated futile efforts to make herself conspicuous in the eyes of some leading animation agency. Things take a turn when an innocent & talented boy named Criz (Sanoop Santhosh), walks into her life. Even though they didn't quite hit off in the right note initially, with time both of them becomes fond of each other. Criz proves to be an inspiration for Jo in the creation of an animation character which becomes an overnight sensation around the world. But with fame & money, arrogance & ego clashes sets in that creates cracks in their relationship which forms the crux of the movie.

After having won the State Award for the Best Children's movie for "Philips & the Monkey Pen" in 2013; Rojin Thomas has stuck onto a similar genre in his latest venture also. However, this time around the canvas is more expansive & the subject that he tackles is more complex. The idea of character animation is really impressive but the actual execution of it seemed far too simplistic & barely gets much attention. I do understand that Rojin wanted to focus his attention on the relationship of the protagonists, but in the second half I didn't feel he has done justice to that aspect as well. The choice of Kodaikanal as the location was a delight to the eyes & kudos to Neil D Cunha for the pristine visuals. A word of mention for the visual effects & animation which I felt was done well. Rahul Subramanian's music was in sync with the mood of the movie such as "Do Do Do" and "Ponveyil Veezhave" while Rahman Mohammed ought to have done a better job with the editing as it seemed a shade too long.

Manju Warrier as expected was fantastic in the role that was offered to her & does manage to carry the movie even when the screenplay lets it down. On par or maybe at times (especially towards the climax), even better than Manju was Sanoop's performance & should scoop up the Best Child Artist award yet again. Pearley, Lalu Alex, Kiran, Kalaranjini etc have done a credible as the support cast though the antagonists seemed pretty lame for my liking.

Verdict: It goes without saying that a movie of this genre works on the support that it garners from the word of mouth. However, unlike Rojin's debut venture this one isnt going to bull doze its way to commercial success. There is no doubt in the sincere effort that has gone into the thinking of the script, but the execution was found wanting. In short, it might break even at the most & with more entertaining movies on offer this X'mas; you can check this out after the rest!!!

Rating: 2.25/5


Monday, December 28, 2015

Charlie review: "Positive outlook to life & positive response at the box office!!!"

Among the X'mas releases, the one which had garnered the maximum pre-release hype was Martin Prakatt's "Charlie" with Dulquer Salmaan essaying the role of the protagonist. The well crafted trailer had aroused the curiosity of the audience to such an extent that it registered record number of views within the first 24 hours of its launch in you-tube. So will the actual movie live upto the fanfare after all the queues for the other releases proves that it's not going to be a one horse race.

Tessa (Parvathy Menon) was a strong willed individual who wanted to live life in her own terms rather than adhere to the norms that her family had put for her. On the eve of her brother's engagement, she makes a discrete exit from her home when she learns that her mother was planning to fix her alliance as well. With the help of her friend, she finds herself an abode in Kochi which seemingly brings about a turn in her life. As she poured over the belongings of the previous tenant, Charlie (Dulquer Salmaan) which was left behind, his quirkiness & distinct character caught her fancy. What subsequently follows is her search for Charlie, who touched the lives of whoever he came in contact but whose whereabouts was oblivious. 

It's been a couple of years since Martin Prakatt's "ABCD" had hit the screens which was a commercial success & I have to admit that I liked both his previous ventures with his debut being "Best Actor". Actually his latest venture "Charlie" is the best among the lot as it has been brilliantly conceived & executed. An equal share of the credit goes to Unni R as well who has come up with another gem of a protagonist after C K Raghavan of "Munnariyippu".  The film instills the element of suspense surrounding Charlie but the fact is there is no such hidden aura about him & it's the craftsmanship of Martin in the screenplay which made it appear so. All the characters had some purpose or the other rather than just for the numbers. Though it will surely appeal to the target audience, I am not quite sure how the others will respond to it as it's got a kinda unconventional treatment. When the DOP is Jomon T John, nothing else needs to be said after all he is a genius at what he does. If Gopi Sundar's music disappointed in "Two Countries", over here he was in top notch form be it Akale or Puthumazhayayi & even the BGM was in sync with the mood of the movie.  Another aspect which had caught my attention was the costumes by Sameera Saneesh as it was vibrant & hip and likely to set off a new fashion trend in colleges.

There is no doubt that the film relies on the charm of Dulquer & he has done absolute justice to the character in his own unique style. Even though there was risk of him appearing psychotic due to the myriad of emotions, he was able to tone it to an adequate measure. Parvathy was brilliant & to her credit the character seemed totally fresh without hangovers of her previous performances which speaks volumes about her ability. Aparna Gopinath & Nedumudi Venu makes their presence felt in the limited screen space. As for the rest, Soubin Shahir was hilarious while Chemban Vinod, KPAC Lalitha, Tovino, Neeraj Madhav etc did their parts aptly.

Verdict: Well a cracking initial was expected which eventually translated it to be the Malayalam movie with the highest ever initial collection. In all probability, it will be a blockbuster & which it truly deserves after all it's quite different from the usual run of the mill. In short, dont miss it!!!

Rating: 3.5/5


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Two countries review: "Two hours of fun filled unadulterated entertainment!!!"

Before delving into the review, I would like to first wish all my fellow beings; a Merry X'mas & a blessed holiday season. As many of you would have noticed, I haven't written reviews for Malayalam movies in the recent past primarily due to the non-release of regional languages in the part of the world where I am presently based. So when I came down for my leave, I couldn't suppress the excitement when I set foot into the confines of the theatre to watch Shafi's "Two Countries". The trailer promises it to be a laugh riot after all the cast & crew has a proven track record. But will that be enough to ace the box office collections???

Ullas (Dileep) is a jobless individual individual who was always on the lookout to make some quick bucks by indulging in fraudulent acts.Giving him company in all this was his friend and partner in crime Avinash (Aju Varghese), who invariably faced the after effects. His latest scheme was to marry the affluent Marwadi Patel's (Makarand Deshpande) handicapped sister & inherit the wealth. But at this juncture a seemingly better alliance from Canada (in terms of wealth) floors Ullas & he ties the knot with Laya (Mamta Mohandas) who also happened to be his childhood sweetheart. Everything seemed to work out fine for Ullas or so he believed, until he comes to know that she is an alcoholic addict. This sets off a war of words which poses question marks over the future of their marital relationship.So will the couple be able to find harmony in their life???

It's been quite a while since Shafi's movies had graced the screens with the last one being "101 Weddings" around three years back. However, his last notable hit was "Marykkundoru Kunjadu" which incidentally had Dileep playing the lead. With his brother, Rafi also penning the script; the expectations have been sky high & to be fair to them, they have delivered what they promised. The script doesnt have much depth as expected but the manner in which the screenplay is woven with ample scope for humorous moments & situational comedy make it a joyous ride for the audience. In the technical department, Santana Krishnan has done a fine job in capturing the beauty of Canada while Gopi Sundar's music doesnt linger once the movie gets over.

Dileep was fantastic as the protagonist as it was a role tailor made for him which he has executed with consummate ease. Equally impressive was Mamta & the sizzling chemistry between the lead pairs is undoubtedly the lifeline of the movie. Giving them credible support were the rest be it Aju Varghese & Jagadeesh in the first half or Suraj (who for once didnt stoop to low brow comedy & was genuinely funny) & Mukesh in the latter half. Even the others have also done a decent job as well.

Verdict: The tag of "Janapriya Nayakan" has been accredited to Dileep for the simple reason that he caters to the tastes of the family audience. This fact remains true here as well as it has all the ingredients that his movies are known for. It might be devoid of a meaty script but the humour that has been sprinkled liberally more than makes up for it. In short, an apt example of a holiday season movie!!!

Rating: 3/5