Sunday, 27 March 2011

Pranchiyettan and the Saint Malayalam Film Review

Francis is a  businessman who in spite of finding success in business, is not happy with life since he is made fun of by people due to his lack of formal education. He also has a bete noire in the form of Jose who not only snatches his childhood love away from him but also defeats him in club election due to his better educational background.A freak incident at an awards ceremony prompts Francis to acquire status in the society by any crooked means.The film looks at this attempt by Francis and also at Francis's attempt at romance,his interaction with his favorite saint, a child prodigy with attitude problems,all with elements of humor embedded in them.

I would have termed this film a brilliant attempt,if not for some scenes which did not pan out well.The saint angle was really thought out and brilliantly executed,even though the actor who played saint seems lacking on the acting front in some scenes The film's satire works perfectly in Francis's attempt for that coveted honor. Ranjith as a director shines here  and the manipulations that go on behind the so called esteemed awards is brilliantly captured.My favorite scene here is the padding up of  Francis's resume  with secular credentials and the reactions to it from his associates. As long as the film concentrated on that aspect it worked well,but unfortunately the film starts going downhill when the romance angle was introduced.It just didn't fit with the flow of the movie.The child prodigy angle even though done with good intention did not pass muster,because the boy who played that role was annoying and the incidents to prove his genius looked juvenile and childish.There was no need for that child prodigy angle,rather on an emotional level it would have worked if that kid was just a normal one.

On acting front of course Mammootty  runs away with all the honours.He is in his element as the much maligned Pranchi. Innocent,Siddique,Priyamani all do justice to their roles.

My rating : GOOD     

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Calcutta News Malayalam Film Review

Ajith is a malayalee television journalist working in Calcutta.While on work he meets a newly married couple who happens to be from Kerala.Later on in a television news he finds that the man among the couple has been murdered.Fearing about the safety of the woman,he along with other people from the social club formed by malayalees,search for this woman and finds her at a ramshackle house in a slum area.He finds that the woman named Krishnapriya has been duped by her husband who married her for a sinister objective.The film looks at this journalistic investigation by Ajith and shocking truth it reveals.

Blessy as a director shines in parts,but seems to be confused on what aspect of the story to concentrate.In the end, film do not have a cohesive screenplay and it meanders into meaningless subplots which not only confuses audience,but pull down the movie completely towards the end.The film which starts on an intriguing note instead of maintaining that mysterious,suspense element, needlessly get into superstitious stuff which is not only unbelievable but unintentionally comical as well.Also Blessy seems to play to the gallery by bringing in a stereotype villain and fights which do not serve any purpose,rather becomes a letdown after such a promising start.In spite of all these flaws film is some what saved by few trademark Blessy scenes and good performances from lead characters.Credit has to be given that he has not completely lost it,when you look at the natural portrayal of middle class life of Ajith as well as an authentic portrayal of Calcutta.

Coming to acting front,it is Meera Jasmine all the way because of her awesome screen presence and charm,eventhough she has not nailed the character to perfection.If you do a microanalysis,you can find flaws in her performance,still she carries the film by her sheer presence and innocence which force us to forgive the minor flaws. Dileep gives a fine performance as the sensitive journalist.Innocent as usual gives a fine performance,but the scenes involving him to invoke laughter seems to be cliche and one expects better stuff from a director of calibre like Blessy.Special mention has to be made to Indrajith,who though in a small role was able to make an impact.

My rating : AVERAGE

Friday, 18 March 2011

Oru Naal Varum Malayalam Film Review

This film is about a corrupt building inspector and the effort of a vigilance officer to catch him in the act.Gopikrishnan is a building inspector with government who is in cohoorts with polititians and senior government officials in running a big corruption racket.But a vigilance squad is formed to catch the people involved in this.Meanwhile Gopikrishnan comes across Sukumaran who pesters him to give a building permit for which he is willing to pay bribe.Whether Gopikrishnan accepts bribe and allow Sukumaran to build his dream house,whether the vigilance squad will be able to bring out  Gopi Krishnan's corruption,these things are explored in this film with elements of humor.

The filmmaker seem to be confused whether to place it as a comedy movie or a serious drama and the film lands in a neither zone.In all aspects the film is a complete failure.Mohan lal is of course a great actor with great comic timing,but  his antics here fall flat.The parallel story of Sukumaran's marital problems is not convincing and drags the film to boredom.The court scenes look dramatical and do not make any impact.In the comedy aspect also film fails spectacularly  with none of the scenes registering any hearty laugh.Only saving grace is Suraj who is able to bring a smile with his portrayal of wily driver who wants his share from the loot Gopikrishnan is involved in.Venu is also impressive in a brief role.Sreenivasan is just about  adequate.Special mention on the performance of Kottayam Nasir who impressed.

My rating : POOR

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Kutty Srank Malayalam Film Review

Kutty Srank is the story of a man who becomes part of life of 3 women from different backgrounds..The film looks at life of Kutty Srank through the eyes of these three women who narrate their association with him

For Revamma kutty Srank appears as loyal servant to her cruel,suppressive feudal landlord father.She adopts Buddhism and rebels against her father.Kutty Srank helps her in her  endeavour and helps her to escape.This segment was weak and poorly executed.This whole clash between father and daughter looked theatrical and over the top.Padmapriya also couldn't give a natural performance,rather her performance looked forced and stereotypical art film acting.

I had almost given up the movie and started thinking what is so great about this movie when fortunately second segement started.This story is told through eyes of Pemanna.Here Kutty Srank is in a village populated by Christians,where god fearing people are put into submission by the wily village priest.But there is common passion among villagers for drama spearheaded by Loni who wants Kutty Srank to play the pivotal character in drama.As such there is a villain lurking behind who with the help of priest,want to eliminate Kutty Srank and also want to marry Loni's sister,Pemanna.This segment is well executed.The acting here is of top class with Siddique,Suresh krishna,Kamalini in top form.Unlike the first segment the characters here look natural and credit should be given to Shaji for recreating that time period with authenticity.The way the priest connive with rich and try to manipulate simple folk using his power as messanger of God is well brought out.

The third story is told through the eyes of Kali.Here the film again goes downhill.Just like the first segment it is more into theatrical mood where you have a truck load of villains,a superstitious land lord,human sacrifice etc.To add to confusion you have a writer who is writing the story of Kali.As if splattering of blood in the movie is not enough,the film again ends with a couple of deaths.

I have to say I am disappointed with this movie.As such non linear narration is not such a novel thing,still all the stories had potential,but director forgets to execute it with subtlety.There are moments of brilliance like the second segment.The segment where three women tell these stories is also well executed.Mammootty is perfectly cast as Kutty Srank and he is able to do justice to different characters by adopting the mannerisms unique to each character effortlessly.This is a film which should have been told in a simple,straight forward way and it would have worked.But unfortunately by taking that art house approach it neither appeals to intelligentsia nor to common man.


Friday, 11 March 2011

Sakudumbam Shyamala Malayalam Film Review

Urvasi who excels in playing eccentric woman characters with an element of humor,plays the role of Shyamala,a homemaker.Her brother Shekharan who is a high ranking government official is at loggerheads with her,since she married against his wish.The movie looks at this skirmish with elements of humor where her husband and son stand as innocent bystanders.The only goal of Shyamala is to become more famous than her brother who always make fun of her husband who works with him.By turn of fate she gets an oppurtunity to enter an election which opens floodgates for her to execute her revenge.The movie looks at the aftermath of this in a humorous way.

As a director,Radhakrishnan Mangalath for most of the part gets it right.One of the well directed scenes is the one when Shekharan announces election results and the subsequent reactions.Coming to acting front,there is no denying that Urvasi is apt for this role and she is convincing in it,but there are instances where her acting get into that over acting stage.Sai Kumar who is usually seen in blood thirsty villain roles,for a change plays the kind,understanding husband and pulls it of well.Nedumudi Venu,Kunjacko do justice to their roles.Suraj is outstanding as the wily,slimy politition.He enlivens the movie with his energetic performance.Jagadish with his baffoonery act was irritating.It seems like Malayalam film makers cannot do without some slapping scenes in movies to generate laughs and here Jagadish is at receiving end.This really puts a dampener on an otherwise  engaging and funny movie.


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Thoovanathumbikal Malayalam Film Review

A film which prompts you to look at emotions of love and lust,about the difference between these two,about lust which turns to love.Through this brilliant film Padmarajan is asking these questions and forces viewers to have their own interpretation.

Jayakrishnan after spurned by Radha meets clara, a prostitute.They meet several times and there is ample indication that Padmarajan intend to show this relationship as pure love with the symbolism of rain which occurs when they meet.But unlike Jayakrishnan, the strong willed Clara knows that she has to move away from Jayakrishnan's life.When she comes to know that Radha loves him,she informs Jayakrishnan that she is leaving that place and he should love Radha and not think about her.Jayakrishnan and Radha decides to get married.But in an interesting turn of events Clara informs that she is arriving at Jayakrishnan's place.Jayakrishnan meets Clara at railway station where a surprise awaits him.

This film is  undoubtedly a character study of relationship between Jayakrishnan and Clara.Even though it was lust which forced Jayakrishnan to meet Clara,later we see that it turns into love.Padmarajan through this unconventional relationship is questioning the holier thou morality of middle class society and proves that pure love holds no boundaries.Clara though in love with Jayakrishnan,is not emotional and look at life pragmatically which involves making Jayakrishnan to get over his love for her which again indicates sacrifice, true sign of love.

Special mention has to be made to excellent background score by Johnson.Music plays an important role in enhancing the scenes where Clara and Jayakrishnan meet to a level of highest artistic excellence.Mohanlal,Sumalatha and Parvathy play their roles to perfection.Jagathy's brief role also is one that should be be commendable.


Kariyilakattu Pole Malayalam Film Review

Eventhough most people dismiss a murder mystery quite easily terming it as frivolous and below their standard,truth is it is one of the most difficult genres to attempt in films.Not only the suspense has to to be well maintained,also film has to make sense logically.But this is not a run of the mill whodunit since it being directed by Padmarajan whose films have characters with depth than stock ones which one can find in other commercial potboilers.

A successful but eccentric film director,Harikrishnan is murdered and investigation is done by inspector Achuthankutty to unravel the murderer.Since the director was generally considered a womanizer and famous for his volatile temperament he had no dearth of enemies.As Achuthankutty investigates further he understands that the reason for this murder lies in the past of Harikrishnan.He came to understand the real person behind Harikrishnan which was different from his public persona.He finds that jealousy seems to be the emotion behind this murder and this leads to a surprising conclusion.

Mammooty plays the role of volatile and eccentric character of Harikrishnan with shades of gray convincingly.Mohanlal and Rehman do justice to their roles.Johnson's background score is excellent and in tune with the theme of the movie.

My Rating : GOOD

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal Malayalam Film Review

Without doubt I will say this movie to be the best romantic movie in Malayalam film history.Of course love is the most used theme explored by almost all film makers from commercial masala makers to art house film makers.But this film is so different from all those attempts to glorify the emotion of love,manipulate the audience and make money out of it.Padmarajan in this movie shows his class by exploiting the tenderness of love rather than vulgarizing it.

The blossoming of love between Solomon and Sofia is handled brilliantly by Padmarajan.Here there is no hero who fumbles or  sweats when he is expressing his love,rather a passage from Bible gives indication to Sofia regarding the love of Solomon.The realization on Sofia's face after reading this passage is one of the poignant moment in the movie.Even though I claim it to be the best romantic movie,I do not intend it to be in a pejorative way since romantic films have this notion of being taken lightly.That's why I have to say it is not just a love story,rather a film in which love is part of the film but which also look at the life of a middle class Syrian Christian life with the realism one can expect from a Padmarajan film.Even though all actors do justice to their roles,the standout performance is by Thilakan.As Sofia's stepfather he epitomises the pinnacle of villainy ever one can see in a human being,by the act which he does to Sofia.The ending of the movie also challenged the societal norms when rightly the emotion of love overrode all the stigma associated with dishonor and Solomon proves that he is a real hero.

Johnson's music is another highlight of the film.The feelings of romance reaches a crescendo when accompanied by music which touches your heart.Background music achieves exactly that effect.The songs are also well tuned.

My Rating : EXCELLENT 

Monday, 7 March 2011

Ividam Swargamanu Malayalam Film Review

A land dealer Chandy wants to buy a farm from a farmer Mathews.For Chandy the objective is to sell this land at a good profit to a businessman.But Mathews who made a lot of sacrifices to build up this farm is not willing to sell it.Then a cat and mouse game starts whereby Chandy with his influence start slapping cases against Mathews and his farm.He also gives false hopes of a model township to local people,who also turn against Mathews.But Mathews with the help of Advocate Sunita and Advocate Prabalan turn tables on Chandy with an ingenious scheme of hoodwinking Chandy himself.

Director Roshan is successful in telling this story with elements of humor convincingly.But the starting portions drag a bit and little bit of editing was necessary at that point.The character of Jagathy was an interesting one and Jagathy has done justice to that character.A minor disappointment was Lalu Alex who for most of the part was convincing as Chandy,but in some scenes failed to make the desired impact.


Friday, 4 March 2011

Pathinonnil Vyazham Malayalam Film Review

This film talks about a superstitious millionaire who marries off his daughter to a fraudster to ward off a danger predicted in her horoscope and how his plan backfires in a humorous way.Appu is a good for nothing youth,who is looking for that big break in life when he comes in touch with a gullible millionaire,Chandran Pillai whom he was able to hoodwink and get a job as a driver.When he was forced to marry millionaire's daughter,he put in a condition to tranfer all wealth of Chandran Pillai to himself and this situation triggers a series of humorous situations.

CI Paul excels as superstitious millianaire.Mukesh and Jagathy do their jobs well.Manya overacts and was just about adequate.Director Suresh Krishna was able to maintain the humour well and keep the viewer interested.Inspite of usual plotline used for comedy films of this sort,credit has to be given especially to Mukesh,Jagathy and CI Paul for their fine performances which rise above an average script.


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

No One Killed Jessica Hindi Film Review

This film is based on Jessica Lal murder case.Vidya Balan plays the role of Sabrina Lal, sister of Jessica Lal.Manish the accused is let off by court due to lack of evidence since prime witnesses turned hostile which was enabled by bribe paid by his politician father.A reputed journalist comes across the acquittal and takes up this case and through sting operations expose the foul play behind acquittals.The film looks at how this journalist was able to drum up public support which forces the court to reexamine the case and bring the accused to trial again.

Vidya Balan as Sabrina Lal is perfectly cast.She is able to bring the helplessness of a middle class girl wronged by the justice system to the forefront well.Rani is a disappointment in the role of a journalist.Director wanted to portray her as a tough nut,so he forces her to utter some F words frequently,but it sounds superficial.The trial scene also looked fake and some attempt to generate humor also come unstuck.In spite of these flaws it is a good attempt for a cinematic version of a contemporary incident.The actors who played Sabrina's dad and police inspector have done well

My rating : AVERAGE.

Shikkar Malayalam Film Review

This film tells the story of a truck driver haunted by his past,one who tries to escape from the aftermath of a deed which circumstances forced him to do.Balaraman is a lorry driver involved in transportation of bamboo.He is local hero who has no fear to take on local gangster who try to exploit poor bamboo workers.But he is shaken when an old friend of him visits him.Why Balaraman is frightened of his past,from what he is trying to escape,this suspense element take the movie forward.

Mohanlal as tough as nails truck driver impresses,he is also at ease playing the insecure father haunted by his past.Direction by Padmakumar is impressive and he is able to maintain suspense to some extend.But the back story seems to be forced when suspense unravels.Director's attempt to put red herrings to way lay audience succeeds but seemed to give an impression that it was created just to make an effect,rather than well thought out.Jagathy impresses as a good for nothing alcoholic.Rest of the cast Suraj,Lalu Alex is adequate.

My rating : AVERAGE