Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Indian Rupee Malayalam Film Review

Before getting into analysis of Indian Rupee, one thing I would like to point out is the refreshing attempt on the part of director Ranjit to portray the regional slang ie in this case Kozhikode language throughout a film. In most commercial films writers attempt to play safe by going for that standard Malayalam so that no one is offended.I don't know how much of the Kozhikkodan Bhasha here in this film is authentic, since I am not from Kozhikode and that is one thing Kozhikkodan natives have to decide.

This film deals with two small time real estate brokers,their dreams to make it big ad the lessons learned in that process when large sums of money is involved.Prithviraj here plays the role of that honest,but one with big dreams and with the gift of gab tries his best to achieve his dream,that is become rich. But everything is not rosy at it looks since,if one has to become rich overnight,there are lot of shadier people out there with far shadier deals.This poor broker learns the lessons of life the hardest way when he gets involved in one such deal.

Director Ranjit has to be appreciated for maintaining a racier screenplay. It is able to maintain the interest of the viewer and keep him in a state of suspense about the action that unfolds before him.But there are some roadblocks that derail the flow.I did not get the far more importance given to the role played by Thilakan.I feel that character was quite unnecessary to this story.It seems as if Ranjit is so enamored of Thilakan that he invented a role and just added to the screenplay just for the sake of it. I am not denying that Thilakan has given an impressive performance,but this character do not add any value to the film.One of the cringe worthy scenes from the film was the preaching part on Dowry by already proven crook Thilakan and I found it quite ironic.Regarding performance of Prithviraj, I have to say that he was quite impressive,but still I  feel that he has to go miles before his acting look natural like that of the two M's. In some scenes I find him somewhat wooden.Timi Tom and Rima have played their supporting roles well.The performances throughout are satisfactory and film looks at a contemporary subject in an authentic way rather than with the usual commercial trappings.

My  Verdict : GOOD

Monday, 24 October 2011

The Cult Of Santhosh Pandit

I am a big malayalam film buff.Due to time constraints I may not be able to watch latest malayalam movies,but I try to keep track of latest releases and their box office fate.I was surprised when I came across a news that a film called "Krishnanum Radhayum" starring Santosh Pandit has opened to bumper response.Even when the two big M's are struggling to get a big initial,then who is this Santosh Pandit?.I was curious and did what most of the people do these I came across the cult classic video song "Raathri Shubharathri".Of course the video was entertaining and it proved that Santosh Pandit has a skin which a rhinoceros will feel envy of.but more than the video what attracted my attention was the comments which followed the video.Malayalees are generally a gentle,peace loving people but it seems everyone here is venting their  fury with the choicest of Malayalam words your grandma wouldn't want to hear.Why this outrage?..Even though no one will admit,but deep inside everyone has a dream,to become a superstar,say those thunderous dialogues,bash up the villains and save the heroine.But truth is most of us do not have the guts to work towards that dream.Santosh Pandit at least try to do this in his own unique style,it is another matter whether his work measures up to the current standards of the society.May be it is ahead of its time,may be not.

Why this sympathy for Santosh when everyone seems to be hell bent on bashing him?The interviews he has given.He seems to genuinely believe that he has created a masterpiece.At least he gives that impression.Nothing wrong in that.Honesty counts.If it is other than that and he is hoodwinking all of us then he is world's best actor.At any day I will take a honest "Krishnanum Radhayum" than pretentious craps like Christian Brothers,20-20 or China Town.As far as the question of talent which is pretty much subjective,I will say that he do have talent as far as music direction is concerned.The song sung by Chithra is a genuinely good one.Even though the tunes of songs are pretty much generic,the orchestration is well worked out with some good flute work.

Santosh Pandit may or may not remain as a superstar,but Santosh Pandit phenomenon is here to stay.As internet enters more households,you expect a barrage of youtube videos of wannabe Santosh Pandits in near future.Hope that some genuine talents come through,some future Bharathans and Padmarajans

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Dante Club Matthew Pearl Novel Review

The Dante Club is an interesting mystery novel where a group of poets try to solve the mystery behind a series of gruesome murders.It is a debut historical mystery novel by Matthew Pearl.Here the background is Boston of 1865.A group of poets which consists of Longfellow,Holmes,Lowell and Greene(called fireside poets) want to bring to the American public,English translation of  Italian poet Dante's divine comedy.But Augustus Manning,treasurer of Harvard fears that the excessive violence in Dante's poetry will bring chaos into the society so try to dissuade the poets from this task.But they are determined to complete this task since they feel that they have an obligation towards American public who should be made aware of the  beauty of Dante's poetry.Then a series of gruesome murders occur where the victims are tortured and to their horror they find parallels to their work about Dante and these murders.The novel takes you through the stages where the poets assume the role of investigators and try to unravel the identity of the sadistic,unhinged serial killer.

The basic premise of making real life literary heavyweights to be the detectives them self is an interesting concept,but which can fall apart if not executed properly.In that sense I will say Pearl has come out with flying colors.One can see that Pearl is in awe of these literary figures and has done his research well to make it seem real and authentic.He has succeeded in recreating the Boston of 1865 and its history convincingly so that even a lay person who is not well versed in the history aspect will find the mystery aspect interesting and would love to know more about the fireside poets,Dante and the civil war which all served as the background of that period. The book is a page turner and keep your attention throughout.At the same time Pearl is able to give a depth to the main characters where one see the poet's burning passion for their work,their dedication to see their work come to fruition,but at the same time their compassion for the victims,their acceptance of coming in terms with the destruction of human life on wake of their work ,all these conflicting emotions captured in excellent writing for most of the part which can be considered to be of high literary quality. 

My Rating: GOOD

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Marykkundoru Kunjadu Malayalam Film Review

Malayalam commercial cinema,just like other language commercial  cinema has a structure,the films should have the necessary masala ingredients to make them a  boxoffice success.Usually these type of films do well at the boxoffice but will be cliche ridden and really a pain to sit through.To give credit to Marykkundoru Kunjadu,it is a film well steeped in the usual malayalam commercial structure with the usual cliches,but fortunately do not stoop too low to be considered as garbage.The film has its moments,works like a sort of fable with an innocent charm to it so that the obvious manipulations which is on your face can to some extend be exempted.

The setting is a remote picturesque village where you meet the hero Solomon who is a simpleton with dreams of becoming a film director.He is lazy and is a burden on his poor family since he is not serious about life and is not interested in helping his family.As such he is on constant lookout by brothers of the girl  he loves,who don't hesitate to take advantage of his meek character to subject him to  physical beatings when opportunity arises.When a stray stranger appears at his house,he takes his help to fight back against his tormentors.The film looks at the mystery behind the sudden appearance of this stranger and his connection to Solomon's family.The film interestingly sets up the mystery where the audience is subjected to probe on the true intention of this guy.

As I mentioned, the film is like a fable or a children's story where there is this setting of this village with God fearing people, a church with its missing golden cross,where hero is expected to bring back the golden cross and everything will turn out fine.As such this story line looks little bit implausible,but then this is a  fable  and at the end when mystery unfolds you feel that this film has touched the right chords  and as much implausible this story is, you feel that the film has succeeded in telling a story with its human touch intact.

For Dileep who has played similar characters before this role is cakewalk and is something tailor made for him.He has done justice to the role.At some point I had a fear that given the superhero image which is expected from our  heroes,he will ultimately fight back against his tormentors and teach them a lesson which our super heroes usually do.Fortunately director do not take that route and so there is no dilution in hero's character.Some minor flaws like excessive stunt scenes to generate sympathy for the hero should  have been avoided.As a director Shafi has been able to bring authenticity to the setting and has handled his job well.Performances are pretty uniform and Biju Menon,Innocent,Vijayaraghavan,Jagathy,Salim Kumar all have contributed to make this film pretty strong as far as acting department is concerned.You can't find fault with any of these performances.For me the standout scene in this film is the introduction of Salim Kumar through the character of government doctor.This is a really well thought out scene and here the intended humor is of high quality.Of course the same quality is not  maintained throughout but as  pure entertainer,the film do not disappoint.