Sunday, May 31, 2009

Angels and Demons

Usually we say that Indian films revolve around the superstars and heroic subjects. We should watch English films as a benchmark in such cases. They are not behind heroes; rather they give importance of the story of the film and its presentation. The significance of artists in the film is secondary that it goes. In majority of the cases, it may not be true in the case of Hollywood films also. Since the value of the hero always helps the global business of a film, we can’t blame anyone for such things. Now the latest film ‘Angels and Demons’ had got Tom Hanks in the lead role. The actor who did films like ‘The Davinci Code’, ‘Cast Away’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Forest Gump’ etc. His new film cannot be rated as a heroic subject.

To watch a film after seeing its trailer (promo) will help you to understand the mood and style of the film. I also followed the same, since the medium is English. So it was easy for me to get a pre-assumption regarding the fact that the creators of ‘Davinci Code’ has come up with their next project, thus the theme of the film is also some what related to the former hit. The director of both the films (Ron Howard) and writer (Dan Brown) for the two films are same. They had also maintained the same camera man and editors. Columbia Pictures distributes the film. The notable thing here is that the new film’s story has not yet become controversial as in the case of ‘The Davinci Code’, which in turn catalyzed the financial aspect of the project.

As expected, the story of ‘Angels and Demons’ are based on the Vatican churches and its related atmosphere. An important substance is stolen from the laboratory head quarters, some priests are being kidnapped and they have been kept under captivity, the criminals warned that a bomb is being kept in some area around the St.Peter’s square (the place where people assemble to see the Pope greeting them through the window). This all happens at a time when the election of the new Pope takes place. The enemies had left a few clues with signs and letters, which forced the history expert (Tom Hanks) to reach there to help the police. He relates this kidnapping to an incident happening inside the church in the 16th century. After a few findings using the reference from a book in the archives, he almost reached the criminals with his experience (it is not as simple as it is told in a single line). Breaking the suspense, the real culprit is caught in the end. In brief, it is the serious but cinematic representation of a snake and ladder game or some adventurous games, we played in our childhood.

No need to praise the creativity and the performance side of the movie, they are as usual on the top level. The art work on the sets, which shows the different churches in the Vatican area, is outstanding. It is very difficult to separate a graphics sequence from a real shot. The shots and the lighting used by the cameraman and the dim grading given for the film are also notable things. The film which was slower in the first half, takes its real pace in the second half. (With my inexperience in watching English films, I failed to follow few dialogues here and there). The director had succeeded in setting the story line which happens in few hours of a day to a thriller. Those who have seen ‘The Davinci Code’ should see this film also and they might found some similarity in the basic environment shown in both.

‘Angels and Demons’ are for those people who got some passion for English films also.

Rating : 8.5 / 10

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kancheepurathe Kalyanam

The rare combination of Suresh Gopi and Mukesh (after ‘Sundara Purushan’) and that too in a comedy film is the highlight of ‘Kancheepurathe Kalyanam’. Jagathi, Jagadish, Harisree Asokan, Innocent, Indrans, Muktha etc are there in the supporting cast. New comers Fazil-Jayakrishna team has directed the movie, it is scripted by J.Pallasseri.

This is the story of two event management groups lead by the two heroes. Though the story is told in such a new background, the rivalry between two groups is highlighted in a lighter way. Achuthankutty’s (Suresh Gopi) sister is married to Najeeb (Mukesh), which lead to the enmity between two. The former is still a bachelor. Being in the opposition group, Najeeb wants to see his friend getting married. Both of them got a big assignment to organize a marriage in Kancheepuram. The bride is not interested in the marriage, which lead to many problems and the event management groups got stuck in the middle and how they manages to escape from it and what happens to the chronic bachelor is shown here.

On one side you have got Harisree Asokan with Achu and Jagadish is there on the other side. Jagathi plays the rich Gowdar’s role. He has got two wives. The arrangements of the marriage between his son and his sister’s daughter are happening. His brother-in-law, who is the villain, also wants to marry the same girl. The majority of incidents are happening inside a big house and its surroundings.

So what do you feel… is there anything new? No, we have seen many and many like this. The flavor of films like ‘Aramanaveedum Anjoorekkarum’, ‘Thenkasippatanam’, ‘Pandippada’, ‘Puthukkottayile Puthumanavalan’, ‘Thommanum Makkalum’ etc. are evident clearly. Only thing is that there are no good comedy scenes and sensible situations here as we have witnessed in those films. The way in which Mukesh’s wife character acts against the hero in the hospital is a carbon copy of the film ‘Hitler’. The re- entry of Innocent’s character (hero’s uncle) in the end as heroine’s father is presented seriously, though it is suitable there as a cinematic coincidence, the screaming voice from the crowd, felt that they don’t want such things here. With a different make up for the Naattaamai role, Rajmohan Unnithan’s usual look is protected, but his unnatural body language is still revealed.

If ‘Kancheepurathe Kalyanam’ might have released years before with more comedy scenes added, then it is a sure bet. The creators should think that giving same kind of stories again and again in the same location cannot be easily accepted by the audience here after. Sanjeev Shankar is the cinematographer. Mafia Sasi’s action sequence is ordinary and it feels lengthy also. Rajamani has given usual bg score only. The film happens from beginning to end without any twist and turns, so it is easy for us to predict what all can happen in the next scene. He doesn’t have anything big to do; but this is a stress reliever for Suresh Gopi from police uniforms.

‘Kancheepurathe Kalyanam’ is an ordinary film. Its posters might have got many attracting faces, but the film is not an entertainer as you expect.

Rating : 5.5 / 10 (revised)

Saturday, May 23, 2009


After ‘Achuvinte Amma’, yet another film has got the theme of mother-daughter intimacy. The new film ‘Calendar’ is directed by debutant Mahesh Padmanabahan (actor Mahesh). Introduced in film, ‘Mudra’, though the young actor has done many films in malayalam, he became notable through few films like ‘Mrigaya’, ‘Kalyana Unnikal’ only. May be he might not have big films to show in his profile as an actor, after a gap, he is back in the role of director.

‘Calendar’ has got yesteryear actress Sareena Vahab (‘Madanolsavam’, ‘Chamaram’ fame) in the main role. Navya Nair is the daughter. Prithviraj is the lover guy. They are supported by Mukesh, Jagathi, Prathap Pothen, Raju, Mallika Sukumaran etc. The re-recordist, Benny Johnson has used the background theme of old “Maadaprave…” song in the beginning title credits; may be this might be a test dose for the viewers from the director’s side before the lady lead character’s re-introduction.

The mother character (Sareena Vahab) is a college teacher. She lost her husband (Rathish) almost 19years before. She always wants her daughter (Navya Nair) to be with her. Thus when she had chosen her love (Prithviraj), the mother opposes. Her marriage with him does not happen. Now when she gets transfer, they had planned to settle in a far away place. As per proposal from her close relative (Jagathi), her daughter is being married to a doctor (Mukesh). When the girl started enjoying her life, mother once again feels that she will lose her and this cause a split in their relation. Anyway when the daughter began to realize her mother’s real affection, it was too late.

The story line of the ‘Calendar’ can attract family audience and those who love to watch family oriented films. It is not simple as expected. The complexity is revealed in most scenes. The ordinary presentation and dragging in the story telling has every possibility to make us boring. The addition of unwanted comedy sequences by Kottayam Nazir and Jagathi (in some areas) is unappealing. The whole output is more suitable for a television serial or a film happening 10 – 15years before. We can’t accept the attitude of such a mother who doesn’t wants to leave her daughter. The way in which the heroine lost her lover is a cliché.

The inexperience of new director is evident here. He should have been presented the film in a simpler way. The characterization of Mallika Sukumaran as Mukesh’s mother sometimes felt intolerable. She is going after Jagathi’s character most of the time to make his son getting married. (Only attraction here is that Jagathi and Mallika plays the cat and mouse game in many areas after a long gap since they got separated from their real life, the credit goes to the new director!). Maniyanpillai Raju with a dramatic make up, in the role of a priest doesn’t look natural. The way in which the principal nun asking the crying student whether anybody had molested her might have created for laughing, but it projects unprofessionalism. The hero’s introduction scene with such a song also lacks quality. The comedy scenes created here are also not up to the mark. The explanation given by Prathap Pothen’s character in the end regarding mother’s affection towards her daughter is acceptable, but by the time the viewers will be so restless that they will be in a hurry to get out of the theatre.

The script writer Babu Janardhan with his experience so far, should have been more helpful to the new director in molding such a project. Vipin Mohan handles the camera. New music director Afsal Yusuf had given a good melody, “Chirakarnna mounam…” lead by Yesudas. (The 70 year old singer still sings for a hero who is in his mid 20’s; it all happens in the cine field).

Viewers’ taste changes from time to time, hence it is very difficult for a lagging family melodrama like ‘Calendar’ to be got accepted.

Rating : 5 / 10

Friday, May 22, 2009

Newtonin Moonnam Vidhi

“We usually prefer to go for a movie based on its merit only, we won’t look for the star cast…” this is what the majority of viewers claim, when they are questioned. But I don’t agree with that, since most of them will go for a film only after analyzing the faces in posters. A very few exceptions are there and I am proud that I belong to such a category. The reason why I told all these beacause the hero of the new tamil film, ‘Newtonin Moonnam Vidhi’ is actor-director SJ Soorya. The number of viewers I saw inside the theatre provoked me to reach in such a conclusion.

‘Vaali’ and ‘Kushi’ were super hit films and it showed the directorial talent of SJ Soorya. After becoming an actor through ‘New’, he continued such a journey through ‘Anbe Aaruyire’, ‘Kalvanin Kathali’, ‘Thirumakan’, ‘Vyabari’ etc. The majority of the films were flops, but he is enjoying the new role. Though the first few films were directed by the actor himself, he is getting chance to act in films done by other directors also (his last 4 films belongs to that group). The name of his latest film ‘Newtonin Moonnam Vidhi’ (means Newton’s Third Law) states that this is an action subject.

In the beginning, the hero is shown in a rough make up with a tough character. He is in search for the person who is in responsible for his wife’s murder. He decided to take revenge and builds the master plan. The villain is trapped, but he is unable to identify who is behind him. The cause for the revenge is shown in flashback. Hero is a garment designer (SJ Soorya), he gets in love with a media person (Sayali) and the channel owner (Rajeev Krishna) is also fond of her. When she opposes to the womanizer’s wish, the rich man uses some fowl plays and in the end the girl is killed on the same day of her marriage.

The attitude of the new director is clear from the scene in which the hero phones the villain at 10 AM and warns him to kill him at 12noon. May be the story base is not new, but the highlight of the film lies in its presentation. The way in which villain is caught is shown in a thrilling way. When the villain has identified his enemy, he started playing in the second half, but the ultimate victory is not for the baddie. Since the message is conveyed in the beginning that the story happens in two hours, the tempo is maintained till the last minute.

The performance of Rajeev Krishna who comes in the sweet villain’s role is different and outstanding. He has acted as hero in the film ‘Aaha’ (tamil) and done a negative role in ‘Devaragam’ before. SJ Soorya, within the limits has done well in the tough role. The tall heroine, Sayali sometimes becomes over expressive. The way in which villain is destroyed in the climax might be non realistic, but the director had given the justification for it before and it is accepted since we all want to see the hero to be victorious in the end. Anyway it is good to see that the new director Thai Muthuselvan had taken the revenge subject in the backdrop of principle, “Every action has equal and opposite reaction” and that too without much action scenes. Songs by the new music director Vinay goes well with the scene. Camera by Saravanan helps in boosting the action mood.

If you like revenge subjects and are ready to watch a film as it is, irrespective of the hero, then ‘Newtonin Moonnam Vidhi’ will be a time pass for you.

Rating : 7.5 / 10

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Guru En Aalu

(The result of the film 'Bhagavan' made me a second thought and as per suggestions from some of my well wishers, here after the rating on the review of a film will be on 10 points )

While watching the tamil movie, ‘Guru En Aalu’, I felt that the theme is not new. From the title song itself I smelled some similarity in the story line with some of the films watched before. The treatment of this film is almost related to the hindi atmosphere. In the interval area only, I was able to identify that the new film is a remake of an old hit by Sharukh Khan and Juhi Chaula, ‘Yess Boss’. I shouldn’t have taken that m
uch time to relate it, since from the beginning itself main character, which is a personal assistant to rich man says, “Yess Boss…” most of the time.

Big banner KRG produces the remake and it is directed by Selva, who took films like ‘Naan Avanillai’, ‘Karna’, ‘Puthayal’, ‘Amaravathi’ etc. Now the new project has got Madhavan, Mamtha Mohandas and Abbas in place of Sharukh, Juhi and Adithya Pancholi. Vivek is there for comedy scenes. The portrait of the leading characters is almost identical to the original version.

Hero, who lives with his father, mother and sister, has got great ambition is to make lot of money. He is working as the PA to the rich man, who is the owner of many companies. The former will give life for his boss and in return he will be paid bulk amount of money. At the same time the heroine reaches the firm as a model for company brands. She loves the rich man without knowing that he is married and later she decided to leave him. Her dream is to buy a big house and situations made the ambitious hero to get in love with the ambitious heroine
. With the help of his orderly, the rich man tries to attract her and when not succeeded he uses his money power and in the end the real love wins.

There is not difference in the storyline of two films in hindi and tamil, but ‘Yess Boss’ became hit due to its true p
resentation. But here the environment of the film is never serious. The hero’s attitude is fluctuating all the time. By inserting many comedy scenes the stable situation is diluted and sometimes it is irritating. Vivek’s character in the friend’s role is lengthy and at the same time it became unwanted in many situation. He did the Yoga teacher role in the first half. Later he comes in the women getup and gets attracted by a senior bachelor (MS Bhaskar). With a good make up, the romantic scenes between them felt good, but it has been told many times before.

Madhavan, Mamtha and Abbas have performed well. But the script writer-director should have been more serious while borrowing the theme of a hit film. He has handled the situation carelessly. Thus the whole output is affected. Sreekanth Deva’s songs are not memorable. He has taken a hit song as it is from the original version. UK Senthil Kumar handles the camera.

‘Guru En Aalu’ is one such remake that failed to keep the tempo of the original version.

Rating : 5 / 10

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Without much pre-publicity, suddenly one day I read somewhere that a malayalam film is being fully shot in a day (around 18 hrours) and the hero of such a film named ‘Bhagavan’ is Mohanlal. The name of the new director, Prasanth Maambully, created some doubt in my mind. But that too have gone when I thought that if they got a fine script, a wealthy producer, a good cinematographer, some efficient associate directors, then they could make even impossible things happen.

Anyway keeping the name Prasanth Maambully in mind, I entered the theatre; saw many new names in the title credits like editor (Manoj), singers, music directors, re-recordist, dialogue writer, producer etc. Lokanathan, who has worked for films like ‘Kurushetra’, ‘Notebook’ etc is handling the camera, which gave me little confidence.

The film opened with the heavy title logo animation followed by title credits in the backdrop of Independence period and Mumbai attack footages, which went ineffective when the opening sequence in the hospital is shown. The very first lengthy shot of the news reporter showed the un-professionalism of the creators.

The hero is a gynecologist. The homes minister’s wife is admitted to the hospital for delivery. The terrorists reaches there to kidnap him. They are bargaining
to free their friend who is in prison. What all things are happening in the situation and how the doctor reacts to the situation and saves his life is where the theme of this film lies.

A good plot, if done in a proper way has got a guaranteed chance to be accepted. But it all happened it has to be…No need for an extra bulid up regarding the movie, the output is so poor that it became one of the worst films ever happened in malayalam. Don’t ask me, what is the problem here? It is better to say that there is not even a single minute in the film that is treated in a lovable (non boring) way.

Other than Mohanlal, Daniel Balaji (‘Vettayadu Vilayadu’ fame), Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Lena, Sreenath, Sudheesh, Sivaji Guruvayur etc; the director has filled the scenes with a bulk of extra artists with extr
eme poor performances. All the scenes are slow and lagging like anything. The director captures horrible and nasty reactions of the artists here and there. May be the team might have taken the scenes necessary to fill quarter portions of the film length only and while editing, the intelligent director (?) might have realized it and to overcome this, he has used non-sensible slow motions and inserted the same reaction shots repeatedly... We don't understands the characterization of hero's wife. By using songs in unwanted situations which is filled with useless scenes, he made the whole atmosphere dirty. Also the graphics used for introducing different characters including the hero does not have any quality. The dialogues used in the film are also very amateur. The usage of laptops by the hero and villains are also unacceptable. As a whole, we are forced to watch the film in a noisy atmosphere created by the crowd inside the theater (we can’t blame them, the only right thing to do at that time is to react).

Each and every scenes / shots in the film shows the inexperience in the scripting and direction side from the notorious ‘Prasanth Mambully’. The way in which the bomb is diffused, shows that the director is illiterate. He even comes after the climax portion to give thanks for his co-workers and he dedicated the film to all other directors whom he adores. (He could not have done such a great sacrifice!!!) He even admits that he doesn’t have any experience as an assistant director…a correction from my side…he doesn’t have any experience in watching films and don’t know the preliminaries of film making…

“A film happening in a day, which his shot in a day…” this was the message given to the poor star who have done the hero role by the director in the beginning. A good rem
uneration for his date for a single day and also to be part of a project, which can be counted for a world record, might be the explanation from Mohanlal, if questioned for accepting the project. Even then, I don’t know why the most experienced actor participated in such a childish game.

I heard in an interview, the producer claming that they have done many rehearsals before shoot and cost of the film is also not so less since they have used 7 most advanced types of cameras. It is unbelievable, we are sure that no rehearsals have occurred, since the truth lies in the output. They might have paid the superstar well (it has to be like that, since it is branded under his name only). Also feel pity about the Arul Movies, who has distributed such a poor movie to the theatres.

There are many more to write, but why should I? It is better, no need to promote ‘Bhagavan’ as a movie shot in a day or something like that since the output is a total failure. Before going to the next project (if any), the director should know the basics. Years before, while studying in college, without any planning, some of my friends made a documentary movie for fun using a handy cam…To be honest, now I feel that it was far better when compared to this film.

Here after if anybody asks, "Which is the worst film ever happened in malayalam?", the answer is simple - ‘Bhagavan’

Rating : 0.5 / 5

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Black Dhalia

Do you know that actors like Madhu, Adoor Bhasi, Sheela, Bharath Gopi, Nedumudi Venu, Jagathi Sreekumar, Cochin Haneefa, Venu Nagavally, Sreenivasan, Captain Raju etc can be sorted into the same group? Most of them have done main characters as well as supporting characters in the films, but that reason won’t be good enough to classify them into a group. Have you noticed that they are all actors turned directors. Some of them are successive in the direction side also, some are not. The reason why we discussed about this is that the new malayalam film, ‘Black Dhalia’ is also directed by an actor who had done many villain roles. He is none other than Baburaj. He along with his wife Vani Viswanath has done main characters also. Suresh Gopi has also done a guest appearance here.

The story of ‘Black Dhalia’ is based on series of murders and its investigation. It revolves around 10 girls who studies in a medical college. Their freaky attitude had created problems. They all lives in the hostel, being born in rich families, they are enjoying their day today life using lavish money. They will be attending the late night parties and do whatever they want. Nobody is there to control them. Three of the girls from the group are killed one after another. Police investigates the case. At the same time four other men are also killed. In the end the suspense is revealed.

Whatever you can expect in such a subject has been given by the new director, who is also the scriptwriter here. He might have been conscious in some regions while handling such an action film. Casting new faces in the 10 member notorious gang and majority of them being non malayalees cannot be acceptable. Other than Pavithra (‘Krithyam’ fame) and Suja (item girl in many songs by Kalabhavan Mani including “Sona Sona Nee…”), nobody has not got any identity. The problem is that majority of the scenes are shown in the backdrop of these faces; it can create an intolerable feeling among the viewers. Most of their lip movements and in some areas their performance looks awkward. The characters here are very similar to those in ‘Red Chillies’ (directed by Shaji Kailas); our people didn’t even welcomed that movie starred by Mohanlal in a pivotal role, so we don’t know the outcome of this one.

Publciity stills and posters of ‘Black Dhalia’ are good. It has got Suresh Gopi as the highlighted figure, but he is coming only in 5 scenes, 3 in the beginning and the rest in the end (anyway that can be pardoned as a part of publicity). Songs are not up to the mark. Though the semi classical song by Chitra, performed by Lakshmi Gopalaswamy and Ramya Nambeesan is good, we don’t understands its relevance here.

Baburaj has done the CI role here. But he has taken precautions by not highlighting himself more. From the interval time, Vani Viswanath, who comes in the role of DIG, takes the story and she has got a remarkable character in her second arrival. Editing done by Don Max, as expected gives the fast mood for the film. Rajamani’s background score is heavy and it is done in his usual style only. P.Sukumar, the cinematographer has given a good support for the debutant creator. The usage of wireless sounds in the background while showing the police is a notable thing. Anyway as a new director, Baburaj has done his job well.

‘Black Dhalia’ is a murder(s) investigation masala with suspense. You have seen many like this, if you want more, you can proceed... [you should have the guts to accept the (amateur) performance of many new girls that are coming in notable roles]

Rating: 3 / 5

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Very recently, a new trend has started here like bollywood and kollywood. Even if no big stars are there, now the producers are spending more money for photo shoot useful for promotional stills of new releases. Such a thing has happened for the new film ‘Currency’ directed by debutant Swathi Bhaskar. Jayasurya with the half bald head, Mukesh with lengthy moustache and Kalabhavan Mani with long hairs were the main participants. Such a sight has created a curiosity and at the same time it smelled the non guaranteed effect when I think about its success.

This is one such film in which the theme has got some relevance in its name. Thus, ‘Currency’ deals with the story of a person who is in need of money; he finds his own way to make currency notes. Here the hero (Jayasurya) is a silent young man who lives with his mother. He is in love with a sales girl (Meera Nandan). When he badly needs money for his mother’s treatment, he started making fake currency. He comes across an anglo-indian merchant (Mukesh). It was he who forces the former to make more such currencies. The circumstances made them to travel in the wrong route. To the negative atmosphere, another villain (Kalabahavan Mani) came to grab the money. A police officer (Anoop Menon), who is in charge of the investigation, arrives in the post interval time. Though the heroes committed too many mistakes, the new script writer-director had created the climax in a cinematic way only, which has worsened the polluted atmosphere in the end.

The pre-title scenes along with the title credits part were rich and since the hero’s unusual appearance with less dialogues created an expectation also. But, somewhere on the way, the tempo of the film was lost. The villain’s character with such a getup was unnecessary for the subject. The reason given by the director for the hero to make fake notes was brilliant, but he failed to carry it till the end of the journey. Even if we are ready to tolerate the anti climax scene, by adding an extra happy moment in the climax, the whole output has become unappealing.

Camera by Viswamangal Kitsu (named Mangal onscreen) and editing by Manoj are good. Art director Gireesh Menon has to do some hard works to make the output good. The musical theme used by Mohan Sithara in the re-recording is thrilling. Picturisation of the songs were not so attractive. Jayasurya is different and has performed well within his limits. Meera Nandan’s negatives on her face are projecting more, which is not good for the film.

The story of the film is different and it has got everything to make it notable among the masses. The new script writer-director has failed to execute the good base, they got in the beginning. They had tried their best to create a mood throughout, but once out of the theatre you won’t be satisfied enough.

This ‘Currency’ became worthless in the end, since it is handled carelessly...

Rating : 2.5 / 5

Friday, May 8, 2009


On the day itself, when I saw the promotional stills of the new release in malayalam, I noticed the uniqueness in it. You have Dileep and Sreenivasan doing the central characters with Mamtha Mohandas as the heroine, it is being shot in the backdrop of a train journey. Moreover, if the name of the film is ‘Passenger’, then such a project can feel different.

Without any surprise, the film started with a train journey. The first few scenes are carried away by the discussion between passengers travelling in it. They will be having debates on the current issues. At the same time, on another train, a journalist Anu (Mamtha) is travelling. Her husband, advocate Nandan (Dileep) fights against the political leaders for the justice of the villagers regarding the land issue. Satyanath, a private employee and a family man (Sreenivasan) who travels in the train daily, meets the advocate. The minister (Jagathi) who has got many allegations against him wants to take revenge on the couples. Later, Satyanath enters the life of Nandan and Anu at crucial situations and the problems happening between them is shown by the debutant scriptwriter – director Ranjith Shankar, who has once assisted Lal Jose.

Sreenivasan’s role in ‘Passenger’ is a rare representative of the common man who has always got a helping mentality towards others. His simple nature with spontaneous witty dialogues is a portrait from the real life. The characterization of minister in the villain role looks natural. Also the new director had presented the film without any gimmicks. The story is told straightly and the presentation is simple. You can’t witness any special effects on the visual and sound side. P.Sukumar’s camera is effortless and excellent; on the background score area, you have got Bijibal. He has used simple tones which is different and also matches the mood of the film.

Another good thing here is that even though Dileep is casted, you can’t find the presence of any stars here. The hero of the film is the story and its presentation. It is based on many incidents and the majority of them happening within a time span of 24hours. The TV channel interview, train journey and the associated incidents, press meet, mobile cam shoot, addiction to television programs etc are some of the episodes that are closely related to the day to day life.

As a representative of middle class, Sreenivasan suits the character very well. Performance of Jagathi in the villain’s role is also excellent. It is good to see that, after many flops, Dileep has changed his attitude by doing an ordinary character. Mamtha in the journalist’s role is also good. It took some time for the film to take its pace, after a slow start. The attempt of the new director should be appreciated for the best treatment given for an ordinary film. Also, the film leaves a message that enhances the human values.

‘Passenger’ is a real reflection of the society through certain incidents. No need for a hide and seek game there. Just enter and enjoy the journey.

Rating : 4 / 5 (revised)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Vijayakanth, the 150+ films old actor has not got big hits in the past few years. This can be due to the fact that the superstar has entered politics and formed his own party recently. Only few films only by the hero like ‘Ramana’, ‘Vanathe Pole’, ‘Engal Anna’ ( tamil remake of ‘Chronic Bachelor’) etc has been big hits in the post 2000 season. Anyway now he is teaming with the director of family movies, Vikraman for his new venture ‘Mariyadhai’.

Vikraman started his career through ‘Puthu Vasantham’ (Murali, Raja, Mahesh Babu, Chinni Jayanth, Sitara); followed by ‘Poove Unakkage’ (Vijay, Sangeetha), ‘Sooryavamsam’ (Sharath Kumar, Devayani), ‘Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen’ (Karthik, Roja), ‘Vanathe Pole’, ‘Unnai Ninaithu’ (Soorya, Sneha), ‘Priyaman Thozhi’ (Madhavan, Jyothika) and ‘Chennai Kathal’ (Bharath, Jenelia). Excluding last two, all the films among them were super hits. The mode of films created by him, gave him a minimum guarantee among the family audiences. Compared to others, he doesn’t include gigantic action scenes, glamour, double meaning dialogues or anything that related the heroism in his films. Now the director wants to repeat the ‘Vanathe Pole’ magic again.

The story is based in a village where the hero lives with his wife (Ambika), son and daughter. The father – son role is done by the hero Vijayakanth himself. One of their family friends reaches there to stay with the family for a short period. She (Meera Jasmin) became a member of the family soon. The son is silent and his reserve attitude is being noted by her. Thus the cheatings happened to him and a love failure (Meena) in the past is known to her. She loves him and as every Vikraman film, no confusions, a happy ending in the end.

The director has followed the same style he has been practicing through the years. There will be a comedy in each and every dialogue. Ramesh Kanna is there in the servant’s role and Ambika, as the mother who is illiterate in cooking has created many such situations. The father hero, as expected is a respectful person. He is being adored by rich people, police and even rowdies. So this down to earth person doesn’t have big tensions to hold. He is also a supporting factor for his son from the childhood. Each and every shot has got “Vikraman special” background score and effects; this time it is done by Vijay Antony, he followed the same style of SA Rajkumar here, but the songs are not good.

The way in which the attitude of two heroines shown here, resembles many films done by the same director in the past. Some of the scenes which his created for comedy are not up to the mark. 55+ year old hero with the heroine at her 20’s - two of the songs shot on Vijayakanth & Meera Jasmin in abroad, is unbearable. (We can’t complain, since they will tell us “first you look into your own house, then only you interfere into your neighbor’s…”). As every Vikraman film, here also you are having positives and positives only in the storyline to highlight. Villains have to pay their price in the end. Also, with such an ordinary treatment, the director failed to keep the tempo in the suspense happened in the interval time.

In the current speed track, an usual slow film like ‘Mariyadhai’ will have to suffer much to get its pace.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bhoomi Malayalam

Very recently, when I entered a theatre, with only 5 minutes left for the show to start, I saw less than 10 members only sitting there to watch a film. Such a tragic situation has happened for a new malayalam film named ‘Bhoomi Malayalam’. No need to be surprised. It is due to the placement of the this film in a certain category. Since the film is directed by TV Chandran, we are happy to include this film in the section of parallel films or art films.

I don’t know whether such a way of categorization is right. We have experienced names like mainstream, parallel, art etc related to films even from the childhood days. But, I personally feel that it is better to classify films into two types, good and bad. If you are so particular in classifying this film into an art film, then sorry, I can’t agree with you. Those who have seen films directed by TV Chandran like ‘Daany’, ‘Ponthen Maada’, ‘Soosanna’, Ormakal Undaayirikkanam’, ‘Paadam Onnu Oru Vilapam’ and ‘Kadhavaseshan’ will also have the same opinion.

The Mother Earth is the english translation (meaning) given in the credits for ‘Bhoomi Malayalam’. The main theme of the film is the problems faced by few ladies who come from different cross section of the society. It includes a lady worker in the tea estate, a house wife who got mentally ill after witnessing a murder, a journalist who faces problems from her husband and his family, an athlete who is unable to fulfill her dreams after marriage, a daughter who is always afraid of her rich father who is a womanizer and an young girl who is wishing to marry her lover. As every female oriented story, here also the director had tried to exploit the negative acts against the women.

The most important thing to be noted here is the presentation of the film. The director who is also the script writer has created it in a different way. The scenes are linked to each other through different characters. For example, if a scene starts with a young lady, it ends with the rich man and there after rich man will take the story through the next scene and that person who is in the end portion will take you through the rest and go on. Such a difficult way of staging the scenes is adapted well. The post interval session shown as a replica of the beginning scene is also a different style. Also the flash back portion, which happens in the post independence period, is shown well. Director’s approach in showing the attitude of various female characters through facial expressions might be unusual for a film; moreover it resembles the style of plays and dramas. The climax is also not cinematic, it happens on a sudden. Thus as a whole, we can see the flavor of foreign films in many areas of story telling.

Padmapriya, Samvritha Sunil, Priyanka (‘Veyil’ fame), Kripa, lakshmi Sharma etc are those who acted in the female leads, they have performed well as instructed. Suresh Gopi, Govind Pamdasoorya ('Adayalangal', 'IG' fame), VK Sreeraman etc. are also there to support them. KG Jayan is the cinematographer and Issac Kottukappally has given a good bg score.

‘Bhoomi Malayalam’ is not a bad film, but in these days of entertainers and masala films, I don’t think the viewers will opt for this. If you are keen to watch the different style followed by the director in this slow movie, then carry on…(also keep in mind that this is not supposed to be a "commercial" film).

Rating : 3.5 / 5