The Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios de motocicleta)

US Presidential hopefuls take RVs, Che went on a motorcycle. The point is you need to go on a road trip to become a successful leader of the people

Ee Adutha Kalathu (Recently)

Strange and familiar make an appearance together for the first time in Malayalam cinema and the pair is a hit

Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl

Four feisty ladies, upbeat music and a handsome conman. Anushka gets Ranveer. Bollywood gets Parineeti

Das Boot (The Boat)

Best WWII film ever, in fact the best war film ever. In true German fashion, restraint is applied by shooting the entire movie inside a U-boat

Neelathamara (Blue Lotus)

Blue lotus shares the same stature of blue moon in Malayalam, so do good remakes. This one bucks the trend.

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Oct 15, 2009

Sandesham

 I do not know how many times I have seen this movie. One of the best scripts in Malayalam cinema, Sandesham has Sreenivasan and Sathyan Anthikkad at their brilliant best. If Malayalam had memes(of course it has, but lack of content on the internet in Malayalam could be the reason why many malayalam memes are not identified as such) this film would be the source of more than half of those.




The movie is such an exceptional caricature of politics permeating ordinary Malayali lives that to this date I haven't seen another film or a script that is better than this. All credit to the intellectual awareness and language skills of script writer Sreenivasan who also plays a major role in the movie.

It is a story of a family, with two sons each belonging to the main opposing political parties that has ruled Kerala since independence. The party names are jumbles as if to hide their identities but as was intended it does nothing but reveal. Jayaram and Sreenivasan play the sons of retired Indian Railway employee, Thilakan. It is a laugh riot that makes you think complemented by natural acting by all the performers.




Sep 25, 2009

Bruno


Bruno was as expected - outrageous, thick-skinned and probably not safe for family viewing. It is a mindless entertainer in the lines of Borat. If you have watched Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G or Borat you know what to expect. There are a lot more sexual jokes this time around thanks to the subject.

This time Cohen aka Bruno takes shot at red-necks, celebrities who adopt black or babies from developing world, formerly-gay currently straight pastors who converts gays to straightdom and ofcourse male models.

Sep 18, 2009

Tell No One (Ner Le Dis A Personne)

Tell No One is a film French imported from America. Adapted from US mystery/thriller writer Harlan Coban's 2001 novel of the same name, Tell No One won four Cesar awards in 2007. It is an interesting thriller where Dr.David Beck, a dermatalogist is wrongly accused of murder and is on the run. The similarity with Fugitive ends there. Tell No One has more layers of intrigue than straight as an arrow Harrison Ford starrer.


My gripe with French movies is their emotional eloquence that makes most of them a dissective study of human relationships. This movie thankfully doesn't  fall into that trap, although it does have the standard nude swimming scene which is prerequisite for French movies. It is an interesting movie to watch, humane yet suspenseful. One thing I noticed about movies in any language is that to make the movie more beguiling, its sound track has music in some foreign language at key scenes. If the film is in English, it is usually the seductive Spanish salsa or the throaty whisper of a French tune. Since this is a French film, English songs get to do the honors. A good movie from director Guillaume Canet.

Sep 17, 2009

New York

New York is a sauve film, just like its actors. Editing and photography befits the fast pace of the city it is named after. Technically it is more in league with Hollywood movies than with its Bollywood counterparts, all credit to Kabir Khan, its director.





I had watched Kabir Khan's previous venture Kabul Express. Like New York the story deals with the a situation which is the aftermath of 9/11. What doesn't really click for me with Khan's movies is that somehow they fail to keep me glued to story. I am not able to point out anything obviously lacking with the script or the story. But despite the gorgeous heroes, breath-taking locales, slick editing and fabulous photography, something is incomplete?!


Anyway New York shows me that when John Abraham grieves or sheds one or more tears, he looks like a man who had a stroke run over by a train. Katrina Kaif is a good-fit for the American desi, with an accent to match. But the discovery of the movie is Neil Nitin Mukesh - that guy can really act! He doesn't have many films in his resume and despite his caucasian good looks(fair n lovely crazed indians will lap him up like no tomorrow) he might be Bollywood's character actor of the future.

Sep 11, 2009

Sagar Alias Jackie

Eighties was the golden era of Malayalam cinema for me. It was a time when I was old enough to watch movies and coincidentally it was also the time they produced good movies in Malayalam. After being through the nineties and noughties I can vouch for that. Many movies that came out during the time was subjected to mutilation by sequels later on because the first one was so successful. This is a point of note when you consider that unlike in Hollywood making sequels is not an oft-engaged past time in regional Indian movies.

Sagar alias Jacky, one of Malayalam super star Mohanlal's latest outings owes its existence to an eighties Malayalam movie, Irupathaam Noottandu. Sagar alias Jacky was the name of Mohanlal's higly successful role in that movie and now we have a movie cashing on that character.




It is another of Mohanlal's "boot-series" of movies. This is my personal classification for Mohanlal movies in which the superstar's boots (usually heavy workman type) boots make an appearance before the hero himself appears on screen. But this is is one of the better ones. It is a slickly made film, comparable to new Hindi movies in its technical brilliance - fast editing, cutting edge cinematography, costume and art direction sets it apart from the run-of-the-mill boot series crap.Story, no surprises there, it is the usual gangsta image Mohanlal portrays these days with painless ease.

Shobana, Nedumudi Venu, Manoj K.Jayan and a host of other actors play important roles in this Amal Neerad film. If this film stands out in the crowd, the credit goes to the director, Mr.Neerad.

Aug 27, 2009

Velutha Katrina (Velutha Kathreena)


Velutha Katrina is a heroine centric movie from 1968 starring Sheela in the title role, directed by Sasi Kumar. Katrina's character is an odd-woman out in her untouchable caste(Pulaya) and the film depicts the atrocities she had to endure due to her skin color. An exceptionally beautiful and fair lady belonging to a down-trodden caste. Velutha Katrina was made into an award-winning mega serial telecast by Kairali channel in 2006, where Sheela returned to play the title character of Katrina. The serial is not a spin-off of the movie. It just utilized name of Sheela's memorable character in the movie and was also the veteran actress's debut vehicle into Malayalam soaps.

Prem Nazir and Satyan are the male leads in the movie. Adoor Bhasi, Bahadur, a very young Kaviyoor Ponnamma playing the character of the mother probably four times her age, Muthaiyya and Meena forms the supporting cast.

Aug 26, 2009

Minnaminnikkoottam

Minnaminnikkoottam is director Kamal's 2008 offering to Malayalam cinema. Having seen a few of his previous works like Goal, Perumazhakkaalam, Gramaphone, Nammal, Niram etc I don't expect cinematic gems from Kamal but bearable movies that click well at the box-office. Most of his movies have a young theme, which means struggling youngsters(struggling against the titans of Malluwood - Mohanlal and Mammootty, who thanks to their physical and 'political' clout wouldn't budge an inch) will get some much needed screen time.
Whenever Kamal strayed from the 'new-blood' subject, he invariably landed with Mammootty or Mohanlal like all the other Malayalam directors. Karuthapakshikal and Ayal Katha Aezhuthukayaanu comes to mind. What impresses me about Minnaminnikkoottam is that Malayalam finally seems to have gotten a grasp of modernity and stylistic sophistication, that Tamil movies display with effortless ease. The film opens in Singapore, with the lead actress Meera Jasmine playing the role of Charulatha, a software employee ruminating about her past friendships. Meera's Singapore wardrobe and the picturization of the scenes are elegant.

 I am totally bowled over by the browser Charulatha uses - Firefox! Agreed the subjects of the film are some 'just-arrived-in-the-scenes' IT workers - hot, hep and in tune with the times. But even in situations like these since the movies are produced and directed by people twice the age of their subjects and therefore totally out of tune with the current times, there is always some pretty serious botch-ups. Not with this one. They use Firefox, IMs, order take-out fastfood and live in stylistically furnished apartments in Cochin - which thankfully are not furnished with polychromatic curtains whisked away from a Priyadarshan set. Set, art direction and costumes of Minnaminnikkoottam justify the money spent on this film.

The story and the actors are not path breakers in any sense, but I can live with that for it is not over the top chocolatey like Lollipop (West Side Story gone bad.) It is filled with young faces to my heart's content - Indrajith, Samvruta Sunil, Jayasurya, Roma, Meera Jasmine, Naren, Radhika and Anoop, in addition to tried and tested old-timers like Sai Kumar, T.G.Ravi, Mammukkoya, Janardhanan etc. Review - ***/5

Aug 24, 2009

In the Heat of the Night


Before Barack there was Sidney - America's most eligible and tolerable black men representing two generations. The kid from Bahamas who spent his teens in Miami, slept in New York city bus stations, became fluent in Russian(!) acts like a force of nature in one of his finest Hollywood performances in this film. Virgil Tibbs, the character Poitier plays in 'In the Heat of the Night' is ranked as one of the top 50 greatest performances by any actor.

It is an engrossing movie. There is the racial tension that flare up when a colored cop from a more liberal Northern state ventures into Sparta, Mississippi - a conservative white dominated Southern town in the fifties and sixties. Then there is the whole thriller part about who is the real murderer which the smart black cop, Virgil Tibbs tries to solve racing against time and luck. A must watch classic.

Aug 18, 2009

The Good Earth

Cinematic recreation of Pearl S.Buck's classic novel set in China before and after the Revolution, which made China a Republic. Only actors who are not Chinese in this Hollywood reproduction are the main characters Wang Lu(played by Paul Muni)and O-Lan(Luise Rainer.)This ambitious venture hit Hollywood gold by winning Academy Award for Best Actress and Best Cinematography (Karl Freund.) It was also nominated for Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Picture.

Aug 13, 2009

Dark Matter

If you are a grad student in a US university or any university for that matter, this is a must-watch. Dark Matter is an adaptation of a real life incident that took place at the University of Iowa in the early nineties. It deviates from the real incident in some aspects, but the crux of the story, the message it conveys is the same.(In 1991, Gang Lu, a Chinese physics student, disappointed by failure to win a prestigious prize, shot and killed his guide, the award winning student and some other members of the faculty and then shot himself.)

A powerful debut from Chinese opera director Chen Shi-Zheng and written by Billy Shebar, the movie tells the story a brilliant grad student from China whose intellectual flame was quashed by an egotistic academic set-up. Winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, an award given to films featuring scientific themes, Dark Matter follows Liu Xing (Liu Ye) as he gets the opportunity to do research at an American university under the patronage of his scientific idol, Prof Reiser(a convincing Aidan Quinn.) Meryl Streep has a superfluous part. It does give her decent screen time. But it'd not have made much difference to the film if her character was deleted out of the film except that, it adds a big name screen persona on the film's posters.

I have always held the opinion(opinions don't cost a thing) that those who can't do, teach. Like in any case there are exceptions. We are not dealing with those here. Professors in universities reminds me of exiled kings singing their past glories and sitting on an imaginary throne in their own virtual worlds where they still remain kings. The rarefied realm of academics provide endless fodder of willing subjects in the form of grad students that these kings torture to no end to nurture their fragile egos which in the world outside their academia wouldn't stand the test of reality. As the film has correctly depicted Asian students make the best 'subjects' for these 'kings' of academic world. They are servile, dutiful and will go on working hard without raising unnecessary questions.

As a member of an Asian community which supplies the largest number of students to US universities I think the portrayal of university life, esp. of a student aiming for a PhD in science, this film has hit the spot. When it came out there were some accusations of the film being racial. Come on, take off your yellow glasses, you are missing the real color.

Aug 11, 2009

The Boy in Striped Pajamas

Mark Herman's "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" is based on John Boyne's novel of the same name. It is a good film about the Holocaust, although some parts of it made me doubt whether it was a made for TV movie. Maybe the fact that it was an indie I should not have expected the grandeur of Hollywood as in The Schindler's List.

Literature has had notable contributions from the children of the Holocaust - like Diaries of Anne Frank and Night by Elie Wiesel. This is a similar fictional account from the other side of the fence - by a German kid named Bruno played by Asa Butterfield who happens to be the son of a high ranking Nazi military officer. He strikes up a friendship with a boy in striped pajamas(Shmuel played by Jack Scanlon) who sits behind an electric fence.

It is a wonderful story about the loss of innocence, although the loss strikes at the last minute and is deadly for all those involved. The actors have all given this movie their best shot. A memorable movie about the Holocaust.

Aug 10, 2009

The Life Before Her Eyes


A psychological thriller or a metaphysical journey triggered by a school shooting - The Life Before Her Eyes is whatever you make it out to be. An adaptation of Laura Kasischke’s novel, the heroine Diana is played in two stages of her life by Uma Thurman(adult) and Evan Rachael Wood (as teenager.) Eva Amurri as Maureen, Diana's high school best friend and confidante is a discovery.

It is a delicately taken film, the treatment of the scenes by director Vadim Perelman reminds me of the director creating it like a tender blossom. The almost poetic movie leaves the viewer to derive meaning out of the story. Interesting - 3.5 stars.

Aug 9, 2009

A Wednesday

A powerful understatement of a movie just like its main character played by Naseeruddin Shah, A Wednesday is one of the new crop of intelligent movies to come out of Bollywood. Repeated terrorist attacks in Mumbai have provided sufficient fodder to new-age films of late. Mumbai Meri Jaan and Black Friday comes to mind. A Wednesday is another film that joins the ranks, yet it is unique and different from the other two.

A common man's take on terrorism, film has two stalwarts of current Indian filmdom - Shah and Anupam Kher in compelling roles. It is a restrained film, which tries not to get on to the blood, bomb and gore bandwagon which usually accompanies films with a plot related to terrorism, although the possibility of all three hangs heavily through out the movie. A good one from Neeraj Pandey. Review: ***/5

Aug 8, 2009

Krishna Gopalakrishna


2002 offering from all-in-one Menon aka Balachandra Menon, Krishna Gopalakrishna tells the story of Gopalakrishnan(played by Balachandra Menon) as narrated to Gayathri(Geetu Mohandas.) Gopalakrishnan is confined to bed thanks to a terminal illness. As in most Balachandra Menon films this film also deals with dilemmas and tribulations of married life. I am not much of a Menon fan. Except for his exception performance in Samantharangal, none of his directorial ventures held any charm for me, including this one. He is talented in his own right, but not my cup of tea.

Aug 6, 2009

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

A made for TV movie based on Kim Edwards book of the same name, The Memory Keeper's Daughter is slightly better than the book because it gets over in two hours. I tried listening to the audio book sometime back, but quit after reaching maybe 1/4 the way through because of the way it was dragging on.

A passable movie. Dermot Mulroney and Emily Watson play the main characters. There is not much to act for either of these actors because character development is not a strong point of this movie.

Aug 5, 2009

Books Read: July 2009

A new series of entries with which I intend to catalog the books I read. No reviews, for starters it'll be just cut n paste one line description of each book.


A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Bea
h :-A former Sierra Leonean child soldier, Ishmael Beah writes about his lost teenage, when he was forced to flee his home. His family killed and village destroyed, Beah was captured by the army and turned into a child soldier. From the burning jungles of Africa running scared and later seeking revenge to the skyscraper city of New York, this is the first-hand account from the front line thru' the eyes of a child who got involved in a grown-up's war, like thousands of other kids like him.

It is in the same lines as another book I read a while back, which was translated from French called Allah is not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma which didn't garner much international fame as Beah's book but is as much descriptive. While Beah fought on the side of the Sierra Leonian army, the protagonist in Kourouma's book Birahima fought on RUF side.


The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell:- From Publisher's Weekly, "The premise of this facile piece of pop sociology has built-in appeal: little changes can have big effects; when small numbers of people start behaving differently, that behavior can ripple outward until a critical mass or "tipping point" is reached, changing the world. Gladwell's thesis that ideas, products, messages and behaviors "spread just like viruses do" remains a metaphor as he follows the growth of "word-of-mouth epidemics" triggered with the help of three pivotal types. These are Connectors, sociable personalities who bring people together; Mavens, who like to pass along knowledge; and Salesmen, adept at persuading the unenlightened." A very interesting book on pop sociology.


Tokyo Cancelled by Rana Dasgupta
:- A baker's dozen of 'organic' tales set in different parts of the world. Contemporary fantasy?

Aug 4, 2009

Working Girl

These days I am getting re-educated watching old movies from eighties counting back to the sixties. Working Girl came as part of the 'essential eighties' package. What did I come back with, after watching this film? BIG HAIR! Eighties was all about big hair. Melanie Griffith, Joan Cusack and all the working girls in New York city flaunt it.

The movie has Harrison Ford(the irresistible cutie of the era) juggling with two career women. There is the brunette Sigourney Weaver who shows her dark side as the movie progresses and the blond Melanie Griffith who supposedly has all the brains but is relegated to a secretary job. Griffith's voice, a stereo-typical blond voice makes me want to question her intelligence, but she is the good girl who is wronged by the bad dark haired mean character played by Ms.Weaver.

The movie also has a very eighties sound track. It won the Oscar for the Best Original Song for Carly Simon(how much more 'eightier' can you get than that)'s song, "Let the River Run." Another time pass entertainer.

Jul 31, 2009

Crazy Gopalan


Dileep in a new film, but the same old avatar. Street smart thief with a penchant for humor turned out to be a winning formula at the box-office for Dileep with the stupendous success of Meesha Madhavan. In Crazy Gopalan, the village burglar turns a tad high-tech, oxyacetylene torches and ultra sensitive speakers get involved. Salim Kumar plays Dileep's even more comic side-kick who has a sob-story to match the hero's as to how he got into the 'stealing' business.

Radha Varma is the new-comer heroine in director Dipu's version of modern Meesha Madhavan who goes by the name of Kattila Gopalan in rural circles and as Crazy Gopalan when he turns urban. Manoj K.Jayan is the suave suited villain who is also heroine's elder brother, albeit adopted. Dileep's and to some extent Salim Kumar's comic timing is impeccable and that should keep the movie afloat.

Jul 30, 2009

A Streetcar Named Desire

A part of movie re-education series. I am trying to watch older movies before VHS tapes become totally extinct. Not that these movies are not available on DVD, but our library has a huge collection of older movies on tapes and I believe free resources shouldn't go to waste.

Tennesse Williams play about a Southern belle Blanche Dubois, turned into an award winning 1951 by Elia Kazan, A Streetcar Named Desire is a study in human relationships and emotions. As a viewer I can only sympathize with 'southern belles' only so much, so my loyalties rest with the handsome Marlon Brando(as Stanley Kowalski), who Blanche(played by Vivien Leigh) calls a crude Pollack(her misinterpretation of Pole.) It was the first film to win three acting Oscars - Best Actress of Vivien Leigh, Best Supporting Actress for Kim Hunter and Best Supporting Actor for Karl Malden.

Some trivia: Kowalski (feminine: Kowalska, plural Kowalscy) is the second most common surname in Poland. Kowalski translates to blacksmith where it is the patronymic form of the name for Smith

Jul 7, 2009

Naalu Pennungal

Naalu Pennungal or Four Women or Four Ladies or Four Females of the Human kind however you want to translate it is one of the recent offerings from renowned Malayalam film maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan. Adoor Gopalakrishnan and G.Aravindan were the stalwarts of parallel cinema(we used to call these 'award padams') in Malayalam during the last three decades of the last century.

It is good to see Adoor still going strong. His 'award padams' were the easier to digest of the lot. Naalu Pennungal, carries forward that tradition of bearable intellectualism. Infact I did hear that the film ran in packed houses in Kerala which is a notable achievement for a parallel/alternative/indie Malayalam film. Adoor himself confesses that Naalu Pennungal is not complex like his other films.

The process in which this movie was made could be deconstructed thus: Adoor selected four female oriented stories from Thakazhy Sivasankara Pillai's(Jnanpith winner) short stories. Padmapriya, Geethu Mohandas, Manju Pillai and Nandita Das were given lead roles in each one. He made the cinematographer set a really shallow depth of field which ensured any element in the landscape which might have dated or showed an intrusion of modernity(say an internet cafe near boat jetty) in the film was made permanently out of focus. The writer being Thakazhi and the director being Adoor ensured that film would be set in the scenic locales of the Venice of the East aka Alleppy.

Serious analyzes of this film are littered all over the internet so I wouldn't dare to do that. Since all four stories are female-centric, the film provide ample fodder for discussions about latent feminism in Kerala society in the fifties and the sixties. As far as I am concerned, I liked the movie - four interesting stories about four different women who inhabits the same landscape of Kuttanad. It has also renewed my respect for Thakazhi, supposedly one of the greatest writers Malayalam ever produced but I had known him as Thakazhi of the Doordarshan's notorious drag or a TV serial by the name, 'Kayar'.

Jun 9, 2009

Calcutta News

Blessy has a whole lot to say within the confines of one film. That's not a fault if he knows how to package it within 2-2.5 hours. In Calcutta News he fails trying to shoot too many birds with one stone. A small sampling of the subjects he dabbles with in the film are as follows, prostitution, sex-racket, mental issues, ghosts, seances and mediums, growth of media, increased use of mobile technology and underworld kidnappings. It feels like the film didn't want to spare any smoking gun issues plaguing contemporary Indian society.

Bringing in Dileep as the ace news-reporter of the TV channel Calcutta News didn't save the movie either. The new improved version of Dileep with intellectual glasses and santoku sideburns could not make a media-brain out of the actor who is more comfortable playing himself - in films like Meesha Madhavan, Kalyanaraman etc. Infact that plus the use of English in Blessy's script is enough to drive a sane person away from the screen.

Blessy's English might make the British regret ever to have colonized India. I wish he had kept the dialogs to Malayalam, instead of making the characters speak in broken bits of English now and then to reiterate their socio-educational status. The diction of actors and the dubbing artists add injury to the insult. Please, it is Malayalam movie, lets the actors speak in their mother tongue. I wonder how the Bengali in the script (ample opportunities to squeeze it in since the story takes place in Calcutta) would sound to a native Bengali person?

Contemporary issues are Blessy's strong point from his film # 1 - Kaazcha, which he followed thru' with Thanmatra and Palunku. For me, of the above mentioned three films Palunku was the bearable one, even good in places. Calcutta News is riveting at the start, you have to give credit where it is due, but it becomes embarrassing to watch in the second half with mis-information, mis-interpretations and misuse of English.

Too many shortcomings to list, but it had not-so-bad camera work, songs were ok and so was Meera Jasmine and Indrajit in the roles given to them. Review: 2.5 stars
 

Jun 4, 2009

In Bruges

After a long time it was refreshing to watch comedy handled by English / Irish men. Bruges, Belgium is where two English hitmen are sent to hang-out between two jobs. Bruges becomes the place of choice because their boss who sends them there had his last happy vacation in Bruges at the age of seven.

Brendon Gleeson and Colin Farrell are rather impressive as the hitmen in hiding. Ralph Fiennes comes out of his usual historical or period characters to become the crime boss. The dialog between the character is irresistibly funny, which makes me want to believe that all Irishmen might be this hilarious in real life. There is not much of a plot or a story but it is the script and the direction that makes it a winner. An Oscar nominee for script from director Martin McDonagh, In Bruges will not fail someone in search of genuine off-beat humor. For me, it was good to give a different set of laugh muscles a work-out after a long period of repetitive Hollywood comedy. Review: * * * *

Jun 3, 2009

Heartbreak Kid

From the ever-comedic Farrelly Brothers comes the Ben Stiller starrer - Heartbreak Kid. It is supposedly heart-breakingly funny, but somewhere after the first half of the first half the funny gets lost on me. It becomes a romance which tries on some comedy and fails at it. Other than Rob Corddry there was nothing much entertaining in this movie for me.

May 29, 2009

Youth without Youth

Looks to me this is the kind of film a seasoned director makes in his old age. Peppered with metaphysics, memories and music, after dispensing off the standard norms of film-making (because he has the experience and the power that comes with it.) First film Francis Ford Coppola directed after his 1997 movie, The Rainmaker, Youth without Youth is based on the novella of the same name by Romanian author Mircea Eliade.

It is surely not a film for the main-stream audience, a hit or miss with the intellectual types because confusion is often interpreted as a sign of higher intelligence that the commoners are unable to decipher. It starts off intrestingly, a seventy year old struck by deathly lighting becomes thirty years younger - that certainly sounds fun to me. After that it gets murkier and aimless - women, love, the protagonist's life-long quest to find the beginning of language etc clog up the scenes. Wonder what a Roland Emmerich or a James Cameron version of the same would have looked like?

May 25, 2009

Thalappavu

Thalappavu is a thought-provoking take on an issue - dead and forgotten now, but thirty years ago had defined the political climate of Kerala (and certain parts of India) - the Naxal movement. This is Madhupal's debut venture as a feature film director and he definitely shows promise.

It is a neatly made movie as well as an educational experience for a generation who are clueless about the history of their own land and its people. The story is adapted from the real-life relationship between a prominent Naxalite in Kerala, Varghese and a constable in Kerala Police at the time, P. Ramachandran Pillai. Prithviraj and Lal plays the roles of these two pivotal characters and have carried them off with the ease that comes naturally to good actors. Kudos to Madhupal, producer Mohan and writer Babu Janardhanan for bringing this buried snippet of history to today's audience.

May 21, 2009

Nanny Diaries

I was impressed by the book, one of the very few in the chick-lit world I could finish reading. I had abandoned Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Shopaholic series after a couple of pages into them, but Nanny Diaries was a sociological revelation. The style of authors Emma Mclaughlin and Nicola Kraus also played a major role in sustaining my interest.

The movie didn't disappoint either. Mainly because I didn't have much expectations, it was a Hollywood movie from a successful chick fiction product and I kind of like Scarlett Johansson, if she doesn't sing. Johansson and Laura Linney were impressive in their respective roles as Nanny and Manhattan Socialite Mom. The presentation or rather the narration from an anthropological perspective added a quirky appeal to it. The frustration and the helplessness of the Nanny's situation was more evident in the book, whereas the movie was not able to fully deflect the question, "why don't the Nanny just get up and leave?" with a satisfactory answer. Oh well, the book readers always find a lot of lapses in a movie adapated from a book, this one is not that bad.

May 14, 2009

Veruthe Oru Bharya

Veruthe Oru Movie - that'd be a good title for this movie. It was touted as one of the better films to come out in Malayalam in the recent months. Except for a plausible plot and reasonable characters it has nothing that we haven't seen before.

In fact it reminds me of so many movies from yester-years, yet in terms of quality it is nowhere near them. Films like Adaminte Variyellu, Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala, Kattathe Kilikoodu - in general many of the older films associated with domesticity come to my mind. None of them is related to Veruthe Oru Bharya in any other way other than depicting the role of women(or housewives in general) in contemporary Kerala culture. But Veruthe Oru Bharya, IMHO is a recyled product - old story in new cover. It is just a predictable re-hash of all the better movies on similar themes made before in Malayalam.

Jayaram and Gopika play the married couple in the spotlight in this moving marriage melodrama directed by Akku Akbar. To tell the truth, Gopika looks too young for the role, but I understand the director's predicament to find a 30+ year old actress in an industry populated solely with 20-22 year old heroines and 50+ year old heroes.

Another drawback(again it is a personal opinion like everything else in this blog) of this movie is how it tries to define and set rules for marital bliss. A set of unbreakable guidelines if messed with which will cause intense suffering to the parties involved as depicted in the movie. It tries to teach you a lesson for the price of your ticket. Well, I'd have gone to a school for that not to a movie theater.

May 13, 2009

The Visitor

An interesting low-key film from Thomas McCarthy, the director of Station Agent. A college professor arrives in his New York city apartment to find that it has been rented out by some stranger to an 'illegal alien' couple.

Aliens should be correctly understood in the context. Remember the Sting song, "Englishman in New York," which goes like, "I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien,
I'm an Englishman in New York." Here Sting as you know, is not talking about his extra-terrestrial parentage but rather about his US immigration status. Same with this movie.

The clash of cultures is interesting - you have a laid back Connecticut professor who floats thru' his life aimlessly accidentally dragged into the lives and travails of a set of illegal immigrants trying hard to gain their foothold in the US. Here's a movie about a cause, carrying a message where you first identify with the characters, then live for them and in the end it converts you - mission accomplished!

May 1, 2009

Atonement


I thought I had read Ian McEwan's Atonement sometime in the early 2000s. If I had, my forgetfulness is fabulous. I didn't remember even a wee bit of the story when I saw this movie based on the book except for one certain fact,that it was set in England. Anyway, the movie has an interesting plot and successful casting of actors including Keira Knightley, James McAvoy and three who plays various stages of the character - Briony Tallis(Saoirse Ronan, Ramola Garai and Vanessa Redgrave.) The movie is presented mostly thru' the eyes of Briony. That way it could be labeled as a coming of age movie. It is an emotional triangle involving two siblings and outsider which takes place before,during and after WW2.

Apr 28, 2009

Innathe Chinthavishayam

'Thought of the Day' - English translation of the movie title inspires just one thought, Mohanlal and now Sathyan Anthikad as well should stop acting and making movies respectively. The duo has run out of magic of the movies like Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam, T.P.Balagopalan M.A, Nadodikkattu and Pattana Pravesham.

We have reached a stage where even veteran film-makers like Anthikkad cannot take the super-hero out of Mohanlal. Under the guise of a small-time small business owner(a garment exporter) is the good samaritan super-hero Mohanlal - who has all the time, resources, assistants, lecture-power and endless good will in the world to bring peace between three sets of warring couples. Predictable, old over-used story, dialogs and actors inhabit Innathe Chinthavishayam. If you are brave enough to waste your time in the company of 'post-2000s' Mohanlal, then this movie is all yours.

Apr 25, 2009

W

Josh Brolin is good - an actor with an amazing range. I cannot even imagine Llewelyn Moss of No Country For Old Men is played by the same person who plays George W.Bush (aka W) here. But same cannot be said of Oliver Stone, the director. It seems to me that Oliver Stone sometimes delivers sometimes he will just get lazy.

W is one such lazy film. It is an efficient translation of Dubya's life in to the medium of a movie, but if it doesn't keep you bound on the seats unless you are really interested in knowing about Dubya's antics. Other than politically interested Americans, W lacks the magnetism to bring more viewers on board.

Apr 24, 2009

Dev D

Dev D is a pioneer. From now on movies will be made like it, but Dev D owns the mold. In that aspect it is much like Satya which in 1998 started a trend of exploring India’s dark under-belly thru’ guns, gaalis and galis.

Director Anurag Kashyap is said to have given the lead actor Abhay Deol to create his own interpretation of the famed Hindi novel, Devdas. Dev D is the modern version of Devdas fraught with contemporary imagery - MMS, rich babas in their BMWs, sex industry which has gone high-tech and such. In the background there is the fast, crowded and rapidly transforming urban India and also the colorful and rustic India of the country-side which is not averse to change either.

The choice of actors who play the three main roles have been fitting. Both the female actresses - Mahi Gill and Kalki Koechlin could be considered true discoveries. But what makes Dev D stand apart in the crowd is its visual aesthetics and the incredible sound track that holds it together. It is a visual poem with a sound to match, irreverent to tradition, a rebel with a cause - for making bolder and better movies.

Apr 22, 2009

Thirakkatha

Thirakkatha is a mish-mash of reality for creating a story that director wanted to tell - namely that of yesteryear actress, Srividya. Director Ranjith confesses his movie is partly inspired the rumored romance between Srividya and Kamal Haasan during the making of 1975 movie Apoorva Raagangal.



Into what is a biographical narrative of an actress's life, Ranjith then introduces another real-life plot where he places the said actress and the plot five years into the future, in the sets of ground breaking Malayalam movie - Manjil Virinja Pookkal. Then he presents this jalebi-meenkari combo as a product of the research done by a new, up and coming film-maker Akbar(played by Prithviraj) for his next movie project.

It is interesting to note here(some trivia on the side) that both the movies which served as inspiration to Thirakkatha were significant in a similar aspect. Apoorva Raagangal was the movie that introduced Tamil superstar Rajnikant although he only had a small role in it. Manjil Virinja Pookkal was the debut film of Mohanlal, where he was the anti-hero. Mohanlal would go on to become Malayalam superstar for the next two decades and counting.

Thirakkatha is an interesting movie because it is not over-the-top, characters seem real(too real sometimes), cinematography and dialogs are above par, compared to other recent offering in Malayalam lead characters played by Prithviraj and Priyamani are believable. A watchable movie after a long time.

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Hindi movies are learning to laugh at their own heroes or like the trends in fashion, old styles are becoming vogue again. No longer is the hero invincible even when wounded like so many of Amitabh Bachchan's angry young man roles in the seventies and the eighties. It is more like Raj Kapoor's bashful yet funny tramp of the fifties is making a comeback

Shahrukh Khan's Surinder Sahni in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is a simpleton who harbors no high hopes or lofty ambitions for himself. He is the quintessential middle-class urban Indian who is found in large numbers in state and central govt. offices and a very self-effacing one at that. He undersells himself, but being a character in a successful Hindi movie he ends up winning (I am willing to excuse that, considering Shahrukh Khan trying to undersell himself even though it is just for a movie role, might have been a huge task for King Khan.)
But don't worry ShahRukh gets do his histrionics in Surinder Sahni's Mr.Hyde avatar - Raj. Raj is the over the top Punjabi munda, who is what the simpleton Sahni morphs into under the cover of night, to woo his wife -Tani played by Anushka Sharma. One jarring thing I found in Shahrukh-Anushka coupling is that the fresh faced youthful Ms.Sharma accentuates Shahrukh's wrinkles. She holds her ground even in the presence of the mighty Khan, but IMHO ShahRukh should probably go for more mature heroines now.

It is definitely a crowd-puller as the box office counters have attested by now. Its plus point (or minus point for you) is, it is a lot bearable that older ShahRukh Khan commercial successes like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai or Yash Raj Film's earlier block-busters like Dil To Paagal Hai.

Apr 18, 2009

Love Story 2050

Hrithik clone Harman Baweja's debut vehicle, a generous gift from his producer-director parents. A love story that travels across time in to the futuristic land of Mumbai 2050 from Australia 2008. Priyanka Chopra does the Barbie doll routine in double role - one for 2008 and one for 2050, Harman travels in time to be there with Priyanka, always. Only redeeming fact about the movie, if you somehow manage to finish it, is that the future doesn't look cheesy card-board-ish. Thanks to hiring Oscar winners like Weta Workshop and John Cox.

Feb 26, 2009

Oceans 13

Third outing by Ocean and his team. Once in a while I relish this kind of mindless Hollywood action. The quintessential Hollywood - smarty pant one-liners, stylish characters and impossible situations unresolvable in real life solved by dashing n charismatic heroes. Hollywood at Hollywood best. Only problem is, after the movie is over I'd not know what it had been about. I don't remember anything about Oceans 11 or 12, except that George Clooney was Ocean and Brad Pitt was there for additional aesthetics. 13 seems even slower, even though it is a heist movie, there is not much build up towards the final crescendo. If there was, I missed it. If you are in mood for some mindless eye candy this one's for you.

Feb 20, 2009

Golmaal Returns


An absolute timepass that affords some silly laughs. It has a big star cast - Ajay Devgan, Kareena Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor, Amrita Aroa, Arshad Warsi and Shreyas Talpade. A sequel to the 2006 movie Golmaal, the comic timing of all the actors and interesting spoofs of various other movies that pepper the story line make it an appealing watch. The spoof of the Sivaji song, Athiradikkaaran, which becomes Tha Karke in Hindi is interesting, if you have watched the Tamil original.

Feb 16, 2009

Ratoutille

Anything is possible in gay Paree! Dreams come true in Paris, even the dreams of rats. A story of a rat who becomes the main chef of a celebrated Paris restaurant, Ratatouille is a treat to watch for both adults and kids.

Feb 15, 2009

Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!

Abhay Deol strikes again. My favorite actor to come up in Bollywood in recent years, this Deol is a bit different from his brood (comprising of his uncle Dharmendra, his cousins Sunny and Bobby Deol & Esha(?!)) and so are his films. They are quite a distinct genre in itself and cannot be pigeon-holed into hitherto known categories of Bollywood movies.

In Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye, Abhay Deol plays a street smart thief, who steals big(Mercs, beamers and the like), lives big and does it primarily for fun. Set in Delhi, it is the every man's view of India's capital city. As someone who has lived there I realize that this is the first real Dilli movie of modern times (of course there had been eighties movies like Chashme Buddoor)which portray the middle class man's Delhi. From costume to places and the typical Delhi-ite lingo, this movie has Delhi written all over it without one shot of Edwin Lutyen's Delhi.

The characters are quirky yet common, beautiful yet ordinary. Paresh Rawal plays three different roles in the movie without being repetitive. This movie has more in common with off-beat international movies than the run-of-the-mill Bollywood movies. Review: Excellent

Feb 14, 2009

World Trade Center

It was touted as one of the best movies to be made about 9/11 and the name of the director, Oliver Stone, seemed to justify that claim. But a few minutes into the movie it came to me that World Trade Center is no Platoon or Natural Born Killers.

The film has Nicholas Cage as John Mclaughlin along with Michael Pena as Will Jimeno, two Port Authority police officers trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center. This is a real-life story and McLaughlin and Jimeno were the last survivors excavated out of the rubble, alive.

I am not even sure now whether it is possible to make a movie about 9/11 without an over-the-top infusion of pro-American patriotism and rhetoric. I stayed away from Flight 93, another ‘best movie’ about 9-11 because of the above mentioned reason. But even Oliver Stone doesn’t seem to have gotten it right.

Feb 12, 2009

Surf's Up

An animation hit as American as apple pie despite it’s opening scenes set at ‘Shiverpool’, Antartica. There is an aspiring young surfer called Cody Maverick(voice over by Shea LeBouf), a washed up surfing icon in hiding, Geek(voice over by Jeff Bridges), Chicken Joe - the only chicken in the world who is a surfer(voice over by John Beeder) and a host of other interesting characters. The movie is composed as if it is a reality TV show tracking Cody’s rise to stardom. A movie for everyone in the family who enjoys a good laugh and some animation action.

Feb 11, 2009

Chal Chala Chal


Govinda attempts to do a Mohanlal in this copy of eighties Malayalam film, Varavelpu. He doesn’t do bad, because Govinda is a natural actor with good comic sense, he doesn’t have to be Mohanlal, he can be himself and carry off a humorous role quite responsibly.

But in trying to adapt an eighties subject from a South Indian village to urban Maharashtra(Mumbai/Pune) of the twenty first century, director and script-writer concocts a product that has zero credibility. Had to stop watching Chal Chala Chal somewhere before the halfway mark.

Feb 10, 2009

Away From Her


A look into the twilight years of an aging childless couple, where one of the partners is a deteriorating patient with Alzheimer’s disease. It feels like a Hallmark or HBO movie with serious undertones and there is no promise of a happy ending. It is life as it is, as it might happen in those last years if we make it that far.

Julie Christie, plays Fiona, the graceful wife who becomes a victim of AD and Gordon Pinsent plays the husband who comes in terms with this new person his wife has morphed into – for better and for worse. Here are two people who have grown into each other, comfortable in their own company but are driven apart by something much beyond their control and have to come to terms with it. Only one has to reconcile to the new situation of near abandonment, the other(the wife) is blissfully unaware of her changed behavior, thanks to her medical condition.

Directed by Sarah Polley, herself an actress, this Canadian film made it to many charts as the one of the top 50/100 movies of 2007.

Feb 6, 2009

Akashagopuram

We often talk about putting together a gag gift-bag for one of our friends, the practical joker extraordinaires that we are ;-) So far, we have found two items. The criterion to be included in the gift bag is, 1)the item should look sophisticated and cool from the outside 2)once consumed it should make the 'consumer' gag but the consumer will have to consume it anyway for the fear of looking uncool.

The two items we have found worthy of inclusion are - a type of Chinese wafers, that looks like sweet innocent childhood sugar dream personified but tastes like dead decayed fish and Limburger cheese. (Trivia: In 2006 a study showing that the malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae) is attracted equally to the smell of Limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet[2]. This discovery earned Nobel Prize in Biology.)

Last week we found item #3 to be included in the gag bag - a DVD of Akashagopuram. Based on Ibsen's 'Master Builder', Akashagopuram has Mohanlal as a successful architect practicing in England. It is supposed to be a movie for the intellectuals, which rules out the possibility that I would be able to derive any enjoyment from it.

There are many directors who are not willing to adapt to the changes brought forth by the passage of time. K.P.Kumaran, the maker of this movie seems to be one such person. I mean, who wears Prada and Gucci and still talks in the flowery prose employed by 18th century playwrights? Mohanlal acts every bit like the super star he is, floating above the ordinary masses. The casting is fine, but the script is way out of touch with reality. Had it been a period piece, the ornate dialog would have been justifiable, but this is set in present day England with a set of characters who fit the landscape perfectly except when they open their mouths.

I don't know whether producers don't read the script before investing money in a film. Maybe just the mention of Mohanlal's name made them gladly empty their coffers to produce this waste of a movie.

Feb 2, 2009

Kattathe Kilikoodu

In eighties, Malayalam movie magazine, Nana used to serialize scripts of movies for their readers. Kattathe Kilikoodu was one among them.

In those days, under the strict pseudo-Communist regime of my father, who had modeled it after Chinese Communists during the Cultural Revolution we as a family abstained from going to theaters to watch movies. Even the ownership of a tape-recorder was considered blasphemous. But we did watch movies, thanks to numerous film societies spawned by VSSC. The movies showed by these film societies fell into two main categories. One set which we call independent movies these days and another comprising of mainstream movies which had aged a minimum of 2-3 years after their commercial release. So to catch a piping hot Kattathe Kilikoodu in theaters soon after its release was near impossible. I opted for the next best thing - read its script in Nana.

What interested the eight year old film aficionado in me was the presence of children - the movie had four children. It centered around a family of an English professor(Gopi), his wife(Sreevidya) and their four children and a gu(e)st of wind that blows in to their family as a young female collegian(Revathy.)

Kattathe Kilikoodu is Revathy's first Malayalam film. It is hard to believe this movie, directed by Bharathan was a commercially successful movie in the eighties. It is a film of great quality, We don't make movies like this in Malayalam anymore. The casting is superb and all the actors had delivered unbelievably impressive performances.

Sreevidya's acting brings me down on bended knees. I cannot imagine that in real life, Sreevidya had a very short marital life than ended in divorce and no kids. She presents herself as the embodiment of a perfect mother, wife and home-maker. Gopi, Mohanlal, Revathy and KPAC Lalitha - all has left their indelible marks of acting on this film. Another incredible movie from Malayalam cinema's golden era.

Jan 28, 2009

A Mighty Heart

Angelina Jolie is Mariane Pearl - the woman with the mighty heart. The film follows the kidnapping and the search for Wall Street Journal journalist, Daniel Pearl. The strength of this movie is its solid characters. There is the character of Mariane Pearl, the wife of Daniel Pearl and then there is Asra Nomani - Daniel's colleague from work who in a way leads the search along with Ms.Pearl. Then there is the Pakistani side - the real investigation team headed by CID chief,Javed Habib(played by Irfan Khan.) All these people are what moves the story along, because apart from the search there is not much of a story. An interesting movie because Hollywood has tried to stay out of a Hollywood movie.

Jan 27, 2009

Sivaji : The Boss

My first Rajnikanth movie ever. I have seen half an hour or stray bits of Rajni movies before. A song here, a song there or a youtube clip of Rajni's superhuman antics which he employs even to light a measly cigarette. That is what I call respect. It is the first message I get from the movie messiah of the Tamil masses. Respect.

He respects even a lowly cigarette, that he gives his time and his skills to perfect the art of putting it into his mouth. This one movie has revealed to me the reason for Rajni's godly status - he respects you, you could be the lowly of the lowly and he is the filmstar who makes millions but he will show you respect where you deserve it and he doesn't mind being the butt of jokes himself. Something Malayalam superstar Mohanlal could do in the eighties before he ascended the superstar throne, not anymore.

Rajni movie requires a different set of standards to analyze. You cannot compare a Scorsese film with a Rajni film. For that matter you cannot even compare it with an RGV film(much closer home.). It'd be a classic case of mulaku bhaji vs caviar(Caviar makes me gag, so much for sophistication!)

Shivaji is entertainment for the masses. The spectrum of viewers could be varied as a farmer from Kumbhakonam to a South Indian NRI in Boston. The one thread that binds them all is their love for Rajni movies. These movies have only one aim - to showcase Rajni. There would be a namesake story, a fair doe-eyed heroine (definitely of non-Tamil origin, preferably North Indian), plenty of stylish songs featuring Tamilians' penchant for neon colors and numerous fights to showcase Rajni's pre-Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon era stunts which probably CTHD copied.

I am not going to venture into the story, because there is not much of it and the story is besides the point anyway. Shivaji was the most expensive Indian film at the time of its release, in April 2007. It was an unprecedented hit, not only in India but in all of the overseas markets it was featured. The director is S.Shankar and the music is composed by A.R.Rehman. Comedian Vivek's lines in the script have more humor than the most humorous Malayalam of the current times.

There is nothing to analyze nor is there any haloed message to bring home. This movie upholds the first principle of movie-making - to offer an escape from reality. You have the guarantee that there is no hard-biting reality, only fantasies - loud and colorful with a predictable good ending and a Superman who can do almost anything you ever wanted to.

Jan 19, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire



Good things, first. It is definitely a feel good movie. A Dickensian tale about Mumbai. When it is Dickensian you've to start in the under belly of society and there has to be cute downtrodden little children. Mumbai has both - the slums and the unbelievably cute pint sized entrepreneurs.

Vikas Swarup's novel about a boy from the slums who is about to win a billion dollar in a TV quiz show caught Danny Boyle's eye. Dev Patel caught Boyle's daughter's attention thanks to his performance in a British TV series. Voila! Dev Patel lands the lead role in Slum Dog Millionaire.

It is an entertaining movie about India. A movie has to be set somewhere, right? This one is set in the slums. There is this whole hoopla about the disgusting portrayal of India in the movie. Well,it is a matter of logic and ensuring monetary returns.. If a movie has to be made about India, in India, with Indians in it by a foreigner(or an Indian) who is aiming at western markets - it has to be either about religion & self-discovery (like The Darjeeling Limited, The Guru etc) or about our biggest selling point - poverty and subsequent degradation of life in slums and/or red-light districts (like Salaam Bombay!, Water) or you have to be Merchant-Ivory. Slum Dog as the name obviously suggests falls in to the second category. For a change it has a happy ending, a nail-biting and emotional ending, just the way Indians like their movies to end. Of course, there is a happy song just before the credits roll because Danny Boyle wanted to make a quintessential Bollywood movie. Looks like he succeeded.

Except that if this 'Bollywood' movie was made by an Indian, Golden Globes wouldn't have known of its existence nor would A.R.Rahman(the music director) of the movie would've featured in the Oscar shortlist. IMHO A.R.Rahman has composed only one worse musical score than this one in the recent past and that'd be for Yuvraj.

In my view SlumDog Millionaire is the one rare movie about India that'll keep the ticket counters ringing in the West. You cannot blame Danny Boyle for making an interesting movie that the majority of the audience liked to watch. It just shows he is good at what he does. About the awards, those might be a tad overrated. O, what the heck, come on India, it could promote some slum tourism in this depressive economy.

Mongolian Ping Pong

An idyllic film set in Mongolian childhoods. The children of the vast grassland come across a ping pong which they mistake for an ethereal pearl. It is one of those laconic foreign movies that is interesting because it shows us a window to a strange and interesting culture far beyond our worlds.

Jan 12, 2009

300

The best thing about 300, in my eyes, is its graphical presentation style, visually immaculate and captivating as history itself. Based on Frank Miller's graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopyle, where Spartan king Leonidas leads an army of 300 elite hoplite (because they have left behind son(s) in Sparta to carry on their names) against the massive army of Persian king Xerxes.

Zack Snyder's direction is impressive, so is Gerald Butler's physique which he worked to achieve in order to play the role of Leonidas,. But what makes the film the hit that it was is its art direction and special effects.

There is one glitch though, a serious one from my non-American eyes. The 'freedom rhetoric' that is peppered through out the film. Come on, we are not in the US of A, after 9/11, trying to mobilize troops to go fight the terrorists from Middle East. This is Sparta, in 480 BC where slaves outnumbered free Spartans. Sparta was a hostile territory for progress, sandwiched between two mountains with a land that required a lot of effort to produce some yield, slaves were Spartan's solution to work the land. Spartans spent so much time in military training because they lived in constant fear of slave uprisings. All that 9/11-ish glorified talk about 'preserving freedom and liberty' looked out of place coming from a Spartan.

Spartans were great warriors, they lived and died to defend their land and their kin. That point should have been emphasized instead of the twentieth/twenty-first century talk about fighting to preserve the values of a free world. Review - 2.5/5 (The film is an artistic achievement, but the moral direction it took fails to satisfy me.)

Jan 11, 2009

Cycle

Cycle is a mediocre Malayalam movie that has come out in a period that'll be known in Indian regional cinematic history for really bad Malayalam movies. It is the film debut of Sreenivasan's son Vineeth Srinivasan who is already well known as a playback singer.

It doesn't have a story to write home about, but it does well with what it has. It has one of the 'RamjiRao'-ish plots where the main character's are trapped in a do or die situation, with a bit of comedy and romance thrown in. There are no superstars to spoil this simple broth and two youngsters who are in the lead roles act convincingly. Btw Vineeth Srinivasan's and his leading lady's wardrobe looks pathetic even to someone like me who has absolutely no fashion sense.