A slow paced #Villain, left me with a headache! 

Reviews have been calling this film an emotional tense thriller, a film re-defining the nature of a villain, a hero, and an anti hero. It does delve deep into the master killer’s life.. but there are 2-3 villains in this film, who can be but into boxes of good, not so good, monster, beast 

When Mathew Manjooran (Mohanlal) remarks, “there is a villain in every hero, and a hero in every villain” the water tight distinction between two known types in the popular imagination does not begin to blur, but it does lead to a momentary break from the usual black & white categories. 

The good villain is always the social empath who cringes at the sight of injustice. Too many of these incidents leass them to become thr villain – their rise is a tale of their consequences & motivations, the pinnacle of their (mob) justice, eventually ending in the rise of a new hero to erase older villains, gradually leading to their transformation into the newer villain/hero as the case may be. It seems to be a cycle in which anybody, a hero, can be struck down by an unexpected calamity …

… Manjooran is a borderline case, his wife and daughter were unexpectedly snatched away from his happy life …

 can turn into an antihero in due course of time. Does he or does he not (after Drishyam it is hard to speculate) don the role of a villain to avenge the death of his family to become their hero … is one part of the film.

The film begins on the day ADGP Mathew Manjooran (#mohanlal) decides to end his career in the police force voluntarily. He has opted for an early retirement 7 months after a brutal “road accident” killed his wife killed his wife (Manju Warrier) and teenage daughter. 

A melancholic Mohanlal in a salt and pepper bearded bespectacled gentleman in a trench coat look. We are sure to empathize with the restless demons he faces inside him, the craft of this actor. He is on a journey to a mysterious somewhere, away from his familiar people and places … who knows for what purpose … 

Meanwhile, a murder is planned and executed the previous night, discovered in the morning of his last day which stops him from starting on the that trip. The task force concludes that it is the beginning of a series of public grievence redressals. Somebody has turned vigillante to rid the society of its “criminals” who have escaped the law with their power and money. “If that is the intention, how many people will they kill,” asks the Commission to Manjooran. This is the second part of the story.

The third part of the story is when Manjooran and the vigillante come face to face in a dialogue to review the current plight of the system of justice. The Fourth part … is there a suspense in this story… 😎

Stylish, slick & technical in its packaging, the office of the task force looks very similar to the one in The Blacklist or Hollywood films of the genre. In spite of the excellent dialogue delivery of two very seasoned actors, Mohanlal & Siddique, with a supporting cast of  Ranji Pannicker, Chemban Jose & Rashi Khanna in uniform, the idealistic Samaritan intentions in Manju Warrier’s Dr. Neelima, Vishal and Hansika Motwani bringing in the rest of the cast, the satisfaction of public punishments played out in this police procedural was too slow paced and predictable for my taste, or that of an edge of the seat thriller genre from the Grandmaster team. 

Although categorised as a thriller, it seems to be more on the lines of B Unnikrishan’s take on the greyer shades of people psychology. The series of murders is the drama he pulls up to convey this. He uses Manjooran to filter down this to us.  The film like a murder as the top cop remarks a simple equation of who killed who. The rest of the theatrics are ways of camoflauging the details. 

if only the pace was a notch faster, the script, the actors and the style would have fallen right in place making it a crowd puller.

Reaction: I had to get out of the theatre to buy a cup of extra strong coffee as I was fighting hard not to sleep inside. (The speculations of the men sitting behind me about the film kept me awake 😉) 

Villain is a 2017 Malayalam film starring Mohanlal, Vishal, Siddique, Manju Warrier, Chemban Vinod Jose, Ranji Pannicker directed by B Unnikrishan. 

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#solo water, air, at interval …

“In future, don’t call me for a film with Dulquer in it,” said MJ. The last time she said this was when as a family we went to watch Kunjachacko Boban’s Chandamama

We had gone to watch CIA a month or so ago, I was bored by the interval, but she said, respect the makers until it ends… not that she liked the film either. We had chosen DQ over Tovino that day, but found out the nezt day itself that Godha was a much better film than a comrade going to America via Mexico …

Intermission over. 

In Solo, Thrilok is beautifully done. Shekar, needs a lot of patience., literally. 

mom (2017) 

The film goes into the interval saying the oft quoted mother’s day lines, god couldn’t be everywhere, therefore he created mothers. How cliched can a film get! We should have a cliché meter or some such for these kind of films. 

It is a collage of many films, coupled with bad acting, unwanted drama and a pace that made me get up as soon as it said end and run out of the theatre. (If any of you have watched a film with me, you’d know I’m the last one out of the theatre after all the credits have rolled up, applies to films other than Marvel too). Sridevi of English Vinglish is nowhere to be seen, instead we have an actor who is constipated! … Even if one argues, the film is about the sentiments of a mom, even that needs to be presented .. Unfortunately, no. 

As always I love the way justice is meted out to people who slip away from the law as a result of money, influence et al. That was fun to watch otherwise, they try to show a lot, but fail to present it in a manner that is compelling to be anywhere near serious. I didn’t laugh out loud initially because of courtesy, but there were tears rolling down my cheeks because of all that laughter I suppressed even in the most serious of scenes..

Nawazuddin looks different, at times when he did that gimmick with his tongues I thought he resembled a character from xmen! 

Summing up: Clichéd, dramatic and predictable, lousy acting. The plus point, people now will head to Georgia the landscape is outstandingly beautiful! 

Godha (2017)

Watch Godha. Well conceived and executed. Since it is released at the heels of Dangal, there may be similarities.. But godha tells the tale of a village invested in the game of wrestling. To accentuate the importance of the game, they bring in new gen’s fancy for playing & watching cricket.. The tiff they have with the old gen for conducting the tournament on a piece of land which was once the arena (godha) for wrestling.. There is a sacredness associated to wrestling here in this village. Ranji Panicker dons the role of a wrestler, and I’d say, I’m mighty impressed! I like him more as an actor than the scriptwriter he is .. 

There is nothing much to say in terms of story, a girl from Punjab interested in wrestling runs away to her friend’s village in Kerala… where she finds acceptance, and a similar passion she finds in the sport which her brother never had until … 

Godha is directed by Basil Joseph, stars Tovino Thomas, Ranji Panicker, Aju Varghese, Wamiqa Gabbi, Parvathy, Sreejith Ravi, … 

Thondimuthalum Dhriksakshiyum (2017)

This film in a nutshell – when Mahesh meets Annayum Rasoolum, literally. There are scenes of the boat jetty, jangar service, the walking to work, that reminded me of the latter.. Rajiv Ravi has presented a deglamourised life and presented it as an everyday experience.. The result is beautiful, frame by frame.. 

And Dileesh Pothan knows his stuff. If it was Idukki last time, it is parts of Cherthala, and Kasargod this time. And in here, he brings in subtle references to caste politics with word choice, and festivities. 

The beginning, under the banner of Urvasi Theatres, (every film going malayali would know) and the scene from the play, the shot of the audience sitting on the grounds to watch…  sets the mood. The bgm from Bijipal esp during the chases… Watch the film and we can sit and discuss.. 

Caveat: if you liked maheshinte prathikaaram, then you’d also like this film, abd vice versa. There is a drag in the second half at places, but it can be ignored. The actors have done quite a good job, and even Srinda, who dubbed for the female lead. 

Most probably, the Kerala state award for best actor (male) could go to Suraj for his role in this film! Even Fahad, in this film and also Take Off, they could fight it out, or they could both be awarded. As for the best actor in a female lead role, Parvathy, though I didn’t like Take Off like most people did, she is sure to receive a trophy for this one. 

Naam Shabana & Baby

A group of us ( we are a let’s-go-watch-every-film-kind of people) went to watch Baby, on high recommendation from a common friend. After the initial 15-20 minutes, we saw that those recliner seats behind us were not occupied, so all of us trooped in to a seat each, put our legs up and slept off … I never knew until I watched Baby again for Rana this time that the girl from Pink, Taapsee Pannu and Rana were part of that film then. That was the interest level the film had for me or that I was too tired that the recliner lulled me into sleep. But, the fact is Baby put all of us to sleep during that show. The recommender also had a earful for guiding us to the theatre! 

I am a sucker for these thriller films, but Baby never worked for me. Neither did Naam Shabana. But I loved Special 26. And that’s the exact reason why I looked forward to, went and watched Rustom because after A Wednesday I’ve always looked forward to a Neeraj Pandey film. Rustom turned out to be melodramatic on screen and dramatic during the National Awards! Anyways! 

C/o Saira Banu (2017) Malayalam | Manju Warrier, Amala Akkineni, Shane Nigam

Manju Warrier dons the role of a postwoman, Saira Banu. She lives with her college going son, Joshua Peter played by Shane Nigam. That’s the mystery the trailer leaves you with. Keeping the religious parentage mystery aside, the story moves on to a murder of a Bengali worker in a freak road accident one night. Joe, short for Joshua is implicated on multiple charges, arrested and in prison in remand. Amala plays advocate Annie John Tharavadi who is convinced about Joe’s part in the road accident. The crux of the story is none of above, but about motherhood. Watch the film to know the tale. 

There are major lip sync issues especially with Amala, who also has only one smiling expression all through. It is difficult to believe she is the one who sat in a corner covered in blood in the last scenes of Ulldakkam! Shane is a very cute guy on screen, Manju Warrier still needs to look out for a role that can give her a comeback boost. 

My Great Father (2017)| Mammootty, Arya

The plot is simple – when his daughter is sexually ill treated by a masked man, the father takes off to find him and take revenge. A very natural reaction, most of us would have, if we are in a similar situation.

The larger story of the film is about this pedophile at loose, who has been kidnapping little girls, and staging their deaths. There are motifs which the crew of the film uses to dramatise the plot. A special cell in the police are also on the hunt for this man! but that’s where the treatment of the film gets dodgy! There is something very disturbing in the way the film handles the theme of pedophilia. 

video direcred by director Jude Anthony starring Nivin Pauly on the good touch and bad touch has been released. The video is in Malayalam with subtitles in English. Very similar to the Aamir Khan video from Satyameva Jayathe and many others released there after. Children need to know! Tell them and pass on the message. 

The Universe Conspires…

Many of us have quoted “when you want something ….” in places known and unknown to make points, further arguments, to silence another discussant, to inspire a friend in a dire situation, for self motivation… I’m also guilty of having used it many times, what is there, it is very inspiring quote, it only helps. Kochavva also found Paulo Coelho interesting for some reason, and quoted his “the universe conspires …” theory to everyone and everywhere he went in the remotest parts of his village. But Appu took it to heart. He began to believe that the entire universe would conspire to make his dream of boarding a flight come true. Appu is boy of 8 years old who always wanted to take a flight to somewhere. Kochavva and Appu are characters in Kochavva Palo Ayyappa Coelho a Malayalam film released last year. But that brings me to this.. C9Wh4CMV0AE7K8y.jpg

That said, have you had any intense deep seated desires like this little boy Appu?

I started to write this post while the film was being telecast on tv this morning an hour ago, was waylaid elsewhere and then I found this picture quote that coincided with what I was writing. It said what I said in the exact way I wanted it to be. Is this the universe conspiring?

Cheers…

What’s the first memory of you? | Lion (2016) | Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nichole Kidman

What’s the first memory of you from long long time ago? I remember the night my brother was born, when my mother came out of the bedroom and told my father, that it is time to go to the hospital. A rainy night in August, it was around 11 or 12, a Saturday night therefore I was awake that late.

After effect of watching the film LION. A boy is lost when he was a child. 25 years later he goes in search of his mother and brother. The trailer is pretty intriguing too.

PS. It takes about 53 minutes for the back story of the film to come to the present and begin the search. The narration is linear, no flash backs. The pace keeps the interest going. and the trauma of a boy who remembers his past brings up an emotional connection. it is quite an adventure. the younger Surru is adorable!

It is always the little memories. In case of Suru (Dev Patel) it is the jalebis/immerthis that rekindles his urgency to get set go and search for his mother and elder brother. I remember a birthday of mine when my maternal uncle gifted me ladoos, 9 ladoos, for my 9th birthday because I was crazy about them, but the size of the ladoo was 5 ladoos put together, I could hardly finish one.