Monday, July 28, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom

Recently only we discussed the facts that influence the audience in watching a movie. Now the new English film, ‘The Forbidden Kingdom’ has to be referred along with those facts, since it has got two gigantic stars from Asia to project. They are none other than the veteran Jackie Chan and Jet Li. These two Js are coming together for the first time also.

After the entry of these two stars into the Hollywood, only few films have got the story line which is concentrated mainly on their nativity. Here the story happening in the Chinese border. The film is based on an American boy who is fond of martial arts movies and their heroes. The story is shown as a dream of this boy, in which he goes to another world in another century.

The main plot is not new to those who have seen the Hong Kong hit films by Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan. Most of those entertainers were having a villain who will do all the bad things and in the end it will be the hero who will be victorious after him using the martial skills. Here, we can see a dictator king who is disliked by the people for his ferocious character and in the end the super heroes with a combined attack made an end for his reign.

Even in his 50’s, Jackie Chan is cool and flexible; his character reminds us the role in ‘Drunken Master’. Jet Li is as usual serious and energetic. The director has concentrated on the business aspect of the movie by creating a thrilling fight sequence between the two heroes.

‘The Forbidden Kingdom’ has got excellent visual effects in many scenes. The green background used in the outdoor scenes is attractive. The action scenes are neatly choreographed using the string - removal technology. The director has neatly used the blend of modern age and the mythological aspect. So you cant cornered this film simply saying that it has got the flavour of some old asian action movies.

We should welcome fantasy subjects like ‘The Forbidden Kingdom’, since it guarantees a visual treat and time pass.

Rating : 4 / 5

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dark Knight

Months before while writing the review for an English movie, I quoted the difficulty in conducting the post-mortem of an English subject. Here also I am facing the same problem, but since it is a duty for me now, no choice for a walkover...

‘Dark Knight’ belongs to the series of English movies which tells super hero stories like ‘Superman’, ‘Spiderman’ etc. Here the hero character is the Batman. I think all of us are aware of the Batman stories. Such an episode from the comic book is picturised as such to the celluloid. ‘Dark Knight’ is the sequel for the first version of Batman movie.

This film has got all the ingredients of an entertainer subject which comes usually in Hollywood. Such films will be remembered for a longer time due to the performance of the heroes or the way in which such stories are told, but here the villain of the movie has dominated the hero by his performance through his different appearance and body language. Here the villain character is a Joker. All the time his dressing is like that of a circus clown only.

Like we have seen in most super heroic subjects, here also the Batman in his ‘civil dress’ is silent. He lives with public like an ordinary man. While giving the support for the cops, he is wearing his dark dress, he will be flying in air using his powers and he will be using specialised cars and motorbikes also for his mission.

After few dramatic attacks and chases, in the end the victory is for the Batman. No big surprises are there in the story. Knowing the popularity of the Batman, the director has told the story without much twists and turns, targeting the youths and the children. ‘Dark Knight’, told in around 150mnts feels lengthy, but it is not boring as some regional films do. The cinematography of the film stands excellent.

Usually in a dark night we will feel afraid for an outing without a companion, but here in this ‘Dark Knight’ you will get the support of a Batman, go ahead...

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Since last 25years, malayalam cine field is reigned by two big Ms, Mammootty and Mohanlal. But we are not aware of a fact that most of their projects are interdependent based on the themes they are selecting. We can say many examples, 'Kadathanadan Ambadi' came along with 'Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha', After 'Aaraam Thamburan' it was 'Valyattan', 'Mr.Brahmachari' came after 'Chronic Bachelor', 'Keerthichakra' was followed by 'Mission 90 Days'...Some of the films succeeded, some others failed miserably, but both heroes are having a good place still among the malayalee audience.

Like these, the latest one in the list is 'Parunthu' which is released almost the same time as 'Madambi'. Both these films are having the hero's character doing the same role. The film has created a record by releasing in the midnight, the opening show started at 12.01AM in a theatre in malabar area in lieu of the releasing time of 'Madambi' which happened at 3.30AM, a week ago.

Mammootty is doing the negative role of a private financier in 'Parunthu'. In the opening sequence itself, we are shown a family suiciding due to the attitude of the hero. Our hero behaves rudely to each and every one who is lending money from him.
On one such scene, when the borrower failed to give back his money on time, he even asked him to give it in a week using his good looking daughter (?). The hero's antipathy towards his mother who has gone in his childhood days leaving him alone is also shown in a dramatic way.

But as expected, this anti hero takes an U-turn in the
second half, the character is having a drastic change, he became a good man than any other one in the world. When his mother dies, he has done all the rights and rituals. He is saving the suffering families from other financiers through action the end all happy...

We should feel pity that we are getting such an usual story line after another
most of the hero oriented films are like this...this will happen as long as we are not ready to accept films with different subjects / variety treatments.

Majority of the scenes are not easy to digest, the sentimental scenes between the hero and
the servant is one among them. The 'kavadi' dance sequence of the hero is intolerable. The villainism shown in the first half looks artifical since its only a gateway for the hero to become a good man later.Once the show starts, most of the time we will tease ourselves...

To direct a Mammootty film is a luck and an extra credit, but the director of 'Parunthu',
Padmakumar who gave average films like 'Ammakkilikkoodu', 'Vasthavam' and 'Vargam' will be the most unhappiest man if you tells his name along with this film's name.

No words to 'praise' the script writer TA Razak, who is the main culprit in this case.

Its time for our superstars to be choosy in their roles, let them act in one or two films in an year.

I was in a second thought, whether I should waste my time writing review for such films. Since i dont want any of you to hate the (polluted) malayalam movies more...i have committed the crime.

Let this 'Parunthu' flies very high in the air... This ugly bird wont comes near you, so no need for you to go infront of it and be a victim...

Rating : 1 / 5

Love Story 2050

Different experiments are now a days happening in the hindi film field. Some of them are successful, others not. One such film is 'Love Story 2050', which belong to the latter category.

'Love Story 2050' has got a new hero, Arman Baweja, son of director Harry Baweja,who took films like 'Dilwale', 'Diljale', 'Qayamat' etc. The new hero is having the looks, sound and the body langauage similar to Hrithik Roshan, but as far as the over all performance is concerned, he is no where near the
popular Hrithik. His lady love's role is done by Priyanka Chopra; may be the big success of 'Krish', a Hrithik-Priyanka starrer might have motivated the director to choose her as a heroine.

Till first half the film is based on
hero's character who belong to a rich family. As we seen many times, he is frustrated with his father's attitude who give more importance to money than family values. He met the heroine and gradually they fall in love, in the interval time her life ends after she met with an accident.

Hero's uncle who is a scientist is experimenting on the time machine. He claims that with such a thing, we are able to reach the different periods of future and past, once we enter the year on the monitor. So hero with his uncle and 2 other kids, enter the year - 2050 and the destination - Mumbai, they reach the future period for 30days.

The future Mumbai is created in graphics by the director. We can see all the vehicles flying in the car instead of roads. I dont know whether this thing will happen in the future India. Some of the technologies like 3d laser advertisements is relavant. Also the stage shows happening in the air is not easy to believe. In whole, all such scenes resembles a video game only. Here also the hero comes across a lady who is a performer, she looks similar to that of the current year Priyanka. So as per the hero, this lady is therebirth of current year Priyanka. Hero tries to convince her about this and once he is successful, after some hazards in the middle, they all goes back to the current century with the heroine.

'Love Story 2050' is having an unbelievable story lines and scenes. The future period is not entertainig, also its boaring, So let the year 2050 happen in its course, no need for us to see and hate it through 'Love Story 2050'.

Rating : 2 / 5

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Expectations and interest in watching a film differs from one project to other in certain matters. Sometimes we wish to see films if it is acted by superstars, a super director’s name can also attract crowd to theatres, on some occasions superhit songs and good promos in TV channels will motivate you to see a film in theatres.

Young artists like Narein, Jayasurya, Indrajith, Meera Jasmine, Roma, Samvritha etc coming together in one film and such a big start cast can also attract crowd to theatres, the film is called ‘Minnaminnikkoottam’. Moreover the project is scripted and directed by Kamal, who make dubute in malayalam cine field as director 22 years ago. He has also got the track record for creating youthful successes like ‘Niram’, ‘Nammal’, ‘Swapnakkoodu’ etc.

‘Minnaminnikkoottam’ tells the story of youth working in the IT field. Such a background for telling the story is unusual in the malayalam. Though the story is based on IT people, the writer -director has not discussed any issues or the happenings on the official side. Rather he had choose such a place to discuss the love, disliking, cold war, enimity, affection etc among the people.

Most of the scenes in the film is picturised inside a flat where this gang assembles most of the time in the evenings to discuss their problems. I don’t know whether in a busy IT culture round the clock, there is scope for such frequent gatherings. We can also see Roma's character doing side business. I quoted this since such scenes can create a wrong impression on the audience who doesn’t know much about IT field and all. Also repetetion of breakfast and dinner scenes shows lack in potential of the script.

The film is mainly based on Meera Jasmine who hails from a lower middle class family. She is also the lover of Narein who comes from an upper class. The relationship between these two is the main base in the film. The characterisation of Narein’s family look realistic. On the other side we have Saikumar as heroine’s father. He has done well, but the scenes featuring his friends in the house playing cards with him, cooking etc looks dramatic.

Like her roles in recent Sathyan Anthikkad films, here also Meera Jasmine is dominant most of the time. Narein’s character can cause sympathy. Jayasurya will get the claps for his usual comedy. Indrajith is the matured one among the group in attitude. Roma looks charming in her role, Sreeja who gave voice for her should be remembered at this time. Roma's character has got some flavour of Meera's role in 'Kasthooriman'. In the songs sequences, even in the large group Samvritha's dance steps sometimes look odd and aukward. ( I pointed out the same while writing the review on 'Choclate' also, she should be improved on this area...)

Though not so experienced as script writer, the director Kamal has set the project with emotions in such a way as to target the youths and the families. He has placed the artists in such a way that most of shots contain four to five of them. Manoj Pillai has delivered an excellent and colourful frames with his camera. Bijibal’s songs for Anil Panachooran’s lyrics is apt for the situation.

Dont got for this film expecting to see the story of a real IT hub..., but in whole ‘Minnaminnikkoottam’ is a family feast (especially for ladies)... it is having the ingredients like sugar, salt, chillies spices etc in certain proportions...most of the people likes it...some others dislikes...

Rating : 3 / 5

Sunday, July 13, 2008


In the past, I was not so interested in English films compared to our regional films. But I never missed watching eng films by notable actors / directors, also I took effort to watch movies which was referred by others.

Will Smith is playing the (super) hero character in the new Hollywood buzz ‘Hancock’. As most of the Hollywood films releasing here, this is also the story of a super human. Hero has got the potential to do anything he can. Some of the examples like he flies in the air for miles with a truck in one hand, he can stop a full speed train with his body, he throws a bluewhale with his hand to the deep sea, he can even jump up to reach the moon etc is not so easy to digest, but unlike malayalam films we are ready to swallow such entertaining things given by english.

Even with such a potential, Hancock, the drunkard guy was not loved by anyone. Though he has not use the power for his own favour, the kind of destruction and damages caused due to his behaviours has caused disliking in people’s mind and he also became the most wanted guy by the police. As a result nobody was willing to give a good certificate to him. Once when saved his life from an accident a person decides to help Hancock, he wished to change his character. He decided to make him a super hero character like a Spiderman, Batman etc. So as per his instruction, Hancock surrenders and once he is behind the bars gradually the crime rate outside goes high and what happens to him after that is discussed through the plot of ‘Hancock’.

Though most of the time flying, fighting and jumping with the help of computer graphics, Will Smith in the rebel role has done an excellent job. Peter Berg, who has not given notable hits as director ( as far as my knowledge is concerned ) will get an extra boost through this project.

‘Hancock’ has got the visual effects in its ultimate. The writer should have taken little more effort for building the story area in the second half. Anyway there is scope for ‘Hancock’ series like ‘Batman’ or ‘Spiderman’.

If you watch hollywood movies telling superhero stories with extraordinary visual gimmicks, then ‘Hancock’ should also be included in your list.

Rating : 3 / 5

Friday, July 11, 2008


B.Unnikrishnan, who wrote action films like ‘Sivam’, ‘Cover Story’, ‘Tiger’ & ‘Smart City’ has now got the luck to direct super actor Mohanlal. His first venture, ‘Smart City’ as writer –director was not successful. So while going through his career graph and the pre release reports, naturally we will be having doubts about his new latest film also.

Mohanlal plays the role of ‘Madambi’, the rich man in the village. He lives with his mother and younger brother. The hero who is a financier for the villagers is sometimes behaving in a negative manner and in the end as expected he has done all such things for others’ benefit. In the middle we are shown his brother’s love, marriage, discomfort, agony etc.

Rather than concentrating on the usual heroism, this time Mohanlal’s film revolves mostly around the family sentiments and relationships. It is good to see that no romantic scenes between the hero (who is looking old in his body language) and the heroine (Kavya Madhavan) has been created here. The director has avoided such scenes that would have created an uneasiness on the part of crowd.

We cant say ‘Madambi ‘as a fresh subject, it is also an old wine in the new bottle. Ingredients of many films like ‘Kuruppinte Kanakku Pusthakam’, 'Valsalyam', ‘Balettan’ etc has been added here also. Some of the scenes between the villain gangs (Sidhique, Vijayakumar etc) and the hero is seen many times before. Though artists like Jagathi and Innocent are there, no scope for big laughing. Since Suraj Venjarammood is like a ‘pickle for the meals’ now a days, his character is deliberately created and also such sequences lacks depth.

Music director M.Jayachandran has got a good pathos number with Yesudas, his background score also goes well with the mood. Thyagarajan has created some fast action scenes. Here after while discussing B.Unnikrishnan’s biodata , we will see ‘Madambi’ on the top of his list.

‘Madambi’ is not the best one, but in the current scenario of "mollywood", it can be treated as "best from the lot"...

Rating : 3 / 5

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A review on Jan – Jun, 2008

You might be aware of the fact that I was not writing any reviews from last January till June. But I have been watching most of the films released during this interval period. So here I am just briefing some of the best films released during Jan – Jun’08 which I missed writing...

Thaare Zameen Par

Directed by Amir Khan, ‘Thaare Zameen Par’ revolves around a mentally retarted child and how his teacher (Amir Khan) moulded him to the best student in the school. The movie is notable for its beautiful presentation and it also gives a message for the parents, how a child should be grown in his younger days. Film has got its excellence in script by Amole Gupte, music by Shanker-Ehsaan-Loy and cinematography by Sethu. Performance of the debutant child artist Darsheel Safry needs special mention.

Dont miss ‘Thaare Zameen Par’, its one of the best hindi films ever produced in India.

Rating : 4.5 / 5


Directors-duo Abbas Mustan who gave big hits like 'Baazigar', 'Khiladi', 'Soldier', 'Ajnabee' etc is behind the multi starrer big budjet film ‘Race’, starring Saif Ali Khan, Anil Kapoor, Akshay Khanna, Bipasha Basu, Kathreena Khaif and Sameera Reddy. This is an action suspense thriller with an unpredictable way of story lines. Its a good entertainer with an effective technical brilliance.

'Race' is like a thrilling football match with twists and turns...

Rating : 4 / 5


Director Mishkin who got name through his first film, ‘Chithiram Pesuthadi’ is back with a new project ‘Anjathey’ starring Narein, Prasanna, Pandyarajan and Ajmal (‘Pranayakalam’ fame) This is the story of the underworld gang wars and its operations in metros. This is a director’s movie in which he tells the usual story in an unusual way. The scene in which the director uses the artists' foot steps only to show the character's behavior is wonderful and also never seen before. The way in which a set of artists performing in their roles is also outstanding. Camera by Mahesh Muthusamy and songs by Sundar C Babu goes well with the mood.

The word ‘Anjathey’ means "don’t afraid" come forward and watch how tamil film field is climbing heights in this media through a sensible and extraordinary approach.

Rating : 4 / 5


Bharat-Meera Jasmine starrer film, ‘Nepali’ is an action thriller directed by VZ Durai, who gave films like ‘Mughavari’ and ‘Thotti Jaya’. This revenge subject film is also having a different way of presentation. The hero’s life through different phases is shown here, it also creates a sense of curiosity among the audience.

‘Nepali’ belong to a category of films which has got a different and unusual way of story telling, Hats off to the brave director.

Rating : 4 / 5


‘Mrigam’ deals with a social relevant subject like Aids. Acted by the new comer Aadhi and Padmapriya, the film is directed by Sami. It tells the story of a person who leads an indisciplined life and how his wife helps him to become a good human being. In the end how his life is changed when he is affected by such a disease is shown realistically. Though difficult to digest, this film leaves a message for the youths who are going after everything on their own desire.

‘Mrigam’ is like a wild animal, even if it is tamed properly sometimes it will show its real nature...

Rating : 3.5 / 5


‘Bheema’ is an action film by Lingusamy (‘Run’, ‘Sandaikkozho’ fame), it tells the story of an under world don(Prakashraj) and how he reigns with the help of his orderly(Vikram). On the whole may be we can rate this action film as any other films which belong to such a category, but what differs here is the climax which the director has created courageously without looking for commercial aspects.

‘Bheema’ is like an epic with different emotions like violence and sentiments, you can watch it once.

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Calcutta News

After the unsuccessful ‘Palunku’, director Blessy is doing a big budget Dileep film produced by Thampi Antony. Picturised fully in Calcutta, this film shows the life of a journalist and how he come across a lady(Meera Jasmin) who is being trapped in the red streets of the metro. The film has not caught its attention due to a couple of reasons, such a story telling in a wide canvas is not acceptable for an average malayalee crowd, they also don’t want to see Dileep doing such a heavy role. Though flopped financially, this film enhances the directorial craft of Blessy through an excellent camerawork by S Kumar.

Usually we don’t like all the news coming in a journal; ‘Calcutta News’ is like one such journal, if you love reading then go through it...

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Sound of Boot

Though not a big thing to be mentioned, Pyramid Saimira’s maiden venture in malayalam, ‘Sound of Boot’ is a Sureshgopi-Shaji Kailas film scripted by Rajesh Jayaraman. Dont go behind much calculations, its a different action film from the ace director. The only negative you can see here is the casting. Also the film is not picturised colourfully in the middle of a city backdrop, rather ‘Sound of Boot’ has got a high range location only to tell the whole episode.

I cant smell any distaste here, if you like investigation subjects, then watch ‘Sound of Boot’ and decide.

Rating : 3 / 5

Happy Days

Dubbing films (from telugu) has always got a place among the malayalee audience since last 30years. Classical films like ‘Sankarabharanam‘, ‘Sagarasangamam’ etc were popular in the 80’s, Commercial masalas like ‘Aye Hero’, ‘Hey Sundari’ came in the 90’s. After a gap of 10years, films like ‘Bunny’, ‘Happy’, ‘Lakshmi’ etc created waves among the youth. Among them there is a small film acted by many new faces, ‘Happy Days’ has become a massive hit here. The film tells the story of few students who came to an engineering college as freshers. Their friendship, their affection, their enemity, their studies short their ‘Happy Days’ are shown realistically without any gimmicks.

In these days, since malayalam releases are not giving much happiness, people will go for films like ‘Happy Days’ and make it a big hit...

Rating : 3 / 5