Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kerala Cafe

Medium : Malayalam

Starring : Mammootty, Sureshgopi, Dileep, Prithviraj, Jayasurya, Jagathi, Salim Kumar, Suraj Venjarammood, Sudheesh, Reema Kallingal, Navya Nair, Jyothirmayi, Nithya, Santhadevi etc.

Directors : Shaji Kailas, Laljose, Shyamaprasad, Revathi, Padmakumar, B. Unnikrishnan, Anwar Rashid, Uday Anandan, Anjali Menon, Shankar Ramakrishnan

Music : Bijibal, Ouseppachan, M.Jayachandran, Bombay Jayasree, Rex Vijayan, Rahul Raj, Thej Mervin, Manu Ramesan

Different from the usual style, the new malayalam film named 'Kerala Cafe' has got 10 directors. It has also got 10 different stories. We have seen
almost the same concept in films like 'Dus Kahaniya' (done by different directors) and 'Darna Mana Hai' (different stories by same director) in hindi. Adoor Gopalakrishnan has shown different stories for his recent films like 'Nalu Pennungal' and 'Rendaanum Oru Pennum' also.

Notable writer/director Ranjith is the project co-ordinator and producer of 'Kerala Cafe'. In the director's list, you have got Shaji Kailas, who is the senior most in the group and also Shankar Ramakrishnan, who is a new name in the field, along with two women directors lik Revathi ('Mitr-My Friend' fame) and Anjali Menon ('Manjadikkuru' fame). The stories are given different names also, you have got 10 cinematographers here including Madhu Ambat and S.Kumar.

An average viewer may not be much interested in such things; rather they will raise certain doubtful questions "what does it mean by 10 stories?", "is it an art film?", "is it a multi star project like 'Twenty 20'?" like that it goes. Anyway director Sathyan Anthikkad comes in the beginning of the film to give an idea regarding the movie.

'Kerala Cafe' is the name of a restaurant attached to the railway station where some of the characters linked with each stories are shown, but there won't be any connection between any of the stories. In other words, 10 short films with a duration each of 10-15 minutes in a single show is what 'Kerala Cafe' means.

'Bridge', directed by Anwar Rashid featuring Salim Kumar, Santhadevi, Kalpana etc stands on top due to the excellent presentation of such a simple theme accompanied by an excellent performance of the artists. The choosing of location is also different.

'Happy Journey', featuring Jagathi and Nithya shows the chemistry between two characters while traveling in a bus. The senior actor in the industry holds the key here. The dialogues used here, made it funny and at the time serious also. Anjali Menon, the women director should get the claps for it.

'Island Ex
press' has got a touching climax. The unusual presentation, is not easy to get an idea regarding the theme till the half portion. The difference in the characterization makes the atmosphere more complex. But, later on you also falls in the track. Rahman, Raju, Prithviraj, Jayasurya, Sukumari etc has been handled in a different way by the new director Shanakar Ramakrishnan.

'Puram Kazhchakal' done by Lal Jose is based on a short story by C.V.Sreeraman. It has got Mammootty and Sreenivasan. The bus journey and the unusual mood of the main character is highlighted here, the twist lies in the climax.

'Makal' presented by Revathi is focussed on a certain group of people in the society and the exploitation of their poverty. It has got Sreenath, Agustine, Sona Nair etc.

'Aviramam' featuring Sidhiq and Swetha Menon is done by B.Unnikrishnan. The bondage of relationship within a family is neatly
done in a single location without much star cast.

'Nostalgia' has got Dileep, Navya Nair, Babu Namboothiri etc is directed by Padma
kumar. The story of an NRI and the stability in the relationship is mainly discussed here.

'Lalitham Hiranmayam' has got the combination of Shaji Kailas-Sureshgopi; telling the story of two ladies (Jyothirmayi, Dhanya) that are coming in the life of the hero. The director has presented it in his style.

'Mtithyunjayam' is a horror story directed by Uday Anandan ('Pranayakalam' fame). It is an investigation of the death incidents happened in an old traditional house. Thilakan, Reeman Kallingalm Anoop Menon, Meera Nandan and Fahad Fazil ('Kaiyyethum Doorathu' fame) are the main artists here. The creators failed to give an end for the story.

'Off Season' tells the incident happened in the life of a tourist guide during the off season period at Kovalam. The story is not impressive, hence no need to di
scuss the associated things. Suraj Venjarammood and Vindhyan (producer of 'Orey Kadal') comes in the main roles along with some english people. It is scripted by Joshua Newton ('Rithu' fame) and directed by Shyama Prasad.

On the direction side Anwar Rasheed, Anjali Menon, Shankar Ramakrishnan and B.Unni
krishnan did their best. The performances of Santhadevi, Molly (servant character in 'Bridge'), Kalpana, Nithya, Salim Kumar, Jagathi, Mammootty, Sidhiq and Fahad Fazil are notable. 'Bridge', 'Happy Journey', 'Puram Kazhchakal' and 'Island Express' were good stories.

It is not a good practice to highlight the comedy image of Suraj Venjarammood in such a film. Hence with such a story, 'Off Season' stands "odd one out" from the group. In the case of 'Mrithyunjayam', the problem happened is due to the absence of solution for the crime discussed there. The flash back portion shown in 'Puram Kazhchakal' was not impressive, it was not needed for such a story. The inclusion of complicated and non understandable dialogues used in a beautiful story like 'Island Express' should have been avoided. (common men like me struggled hard to follow those scenes).

We should promote different experiments like 'Kerala Cafe'. I am sure that, at least a couple of stories in it will haunt you for days.

ating : 8.5 / 10

1 comment:

nikhimenon said...

i hav seen this mvie fri ....

ts brilliant one...

the best ones for me were Bridge,happy journey and island express