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..Β 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…

Goof up in G #atozchallenge

I had great expectations for the film Rustom. A Neeraj Pandey film, the trailer seemed wow, I had to go watch. And when I finally did, I felt a pang of why did I fall again for such publicity …

On top of that Akshay Kumar winning a national award and Mohanlal winning a special mention yesterday Β – smells extremely fishy, especially when director Priyadarshan headed the committee this year.

We all know Mohanlal-Priyadarshan have given Malayalees many films to look back at – Chitram,/Killukam, Butterflies, Vandhanam to name a few. When Priyan went to Bollywood, he found Alshay Kumar most suitable for the Mohanlal roles he re-adapted into Hindi for a Bollywood audience.

Mohanlal is one of my fav actors, but the films chosen for the award this year!!!! πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„ makes me question the creditbity of the committee and the national awards. But it is not just Priyadarshan alone, whenever Ramesh Sippy was heading this committee, Ambitab Bachchan has won. Thilkkan lost to Bachchan. It is time to think whether a few actors truly are great because they won this award!

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.

August 1 (1989)|Siby Malayil| Mammootty, Sukumaran, Sreenath

Another Mammooty- Sukumaran starrer from 1989. Unlike Utharam, this story is set in the offices of the chief minister of the state and its other back stabbing chambers, where a plot is being hatched to murder the main man by his own party members.

The film begins when Sreenath, a journalist of a local newspaper receives an anonymous call tipping him off about the imminent murder. Sreenath reports it to Mammooty, who plays the role of Crime Branch Officer, Perumal, who are also close friends and college mates of the stubborn and righteous Chief Minister, played by Sukumaran.

An official inquiry into the matter begins which leads to the knowledge of a hired professional killer, who unfortunately is always in disguise, therefore, not traceable. Whether Mammotty and Sreenath are able to save their beloved chief minister or does the hired assassin win this round in finding an opportunity to shoot his next target is the suspense element of the film.

 

 

Manichitrathazhu & the newgen Malayalee

As recent as last week, I hear somebody say that Manichitrathazhu is a crappy film. Pin drop silence followed. It takes time to digest statements like these among a certain breed of Malayalees who love, adore this film. It is a topic which the new age Malayalee brought up in the 90s and after can talk endlessly on if they are movie buffs. Even if they are not, references from the film in the nature of songs, dialogue and trolls pop up every other day.

Manichitrathazhru is a 1993 Malayalam film directed by Faasil starring Mohanlal, Shobana, (she won her first national award for her role as Ganga), Suresh Gopi (one of the two roles in which I love Suresh Gopi the other being the character he played in Innale), Vinaya Prasad in the lead ( who made her way later into Malayalee daily life with her popularity in the non ending serial Sthree alongside Sidduque aired on Asianet), with Nedumudi Venu, Innocent, KPSC Lalita, Ganesh as the supporting cast. To the non Malayalee/non Madrasi as Shaggy puts it, this film is what inspired Chandrmukhi in Tamil and Bhool Bhulaiya in Hindi in recent years. A film, I’d recommend to anybody who’d ask me about what to watch in Malayalam.

Given this context, when somebody says, everybody in the film over acts, the reaction to such is first silence, then may be a kootathalu (a street rabble) or a long discussion that never seems to end. (snarling!)

What is that makes Manichitrathazhru special? For one, I’m a fan of its narration. Two, how the plot itself begins to deconstruct the myth it creates. For instance in scene one, Innocent is seen inspecting the painting work in an age old palace which is declared haunted. As he climbs up the stairs, he accidentally hits on a rocking chair which continues to rock for a while, so much so that when Innocent walks down and runs out, he feels the ghost is in the chair, rocking. I will never tire of speaking/writing about this film, but as an introduction to it, I guess this little bit should suffice. Until somebody else begins a discussion on how muscular Vidya Balan looked while she lifted that heavy cot in the Hindi adaptation, signing off…

Manichitrathazhru means a lock, one of those traditional locks on ornate wooden doors.

Utharam (1989) (in search of an answer) | MT Vasudevan Nair|Pavithran | Mammooty, Sukumaran, Suparna, Parvathy

Utharam (meaning answer) one of my favourite Malayalam films is a murder mystery. Leena (an upcoming poet and a happy sort of wife) commits suicide without any provocation one morning using her planter husband’s (sukumaran) double barrel gun.

Her husband is heart broken. The servants in the house are distraught. Mammooty, a close friend of the family is unable to console any of them and himself. Everyone is shocked, trying to come to grips with what has happened to their beloved Leena/leenamma as they call her affectionately.

Mammooty with the permission of his friend begins a personal investigation to find out the cause for Leena’a sudden decision. He begins with her published poems, her diary entries, and gradually travels to her past, meets different people associated with her since childhood, and her school days. The plot is very similar to a police procedural, but it moves forward without that quintessential police officer. As it is a journey of a friend into a friend’s past there are moments when the journey turns quite emotional.

Does he find the answer – utharam to her death? Is the million dollar queation.

The film stars Sukumaran (husband – the planter), Mammotty (journalist friend), Suparna (upcoming poet, wife who dies) Parvathy (prof and close friebd of Leena). Written by MT Vasudevan Nair, Directed by Pavithran.

Aanandam (2016)| Ganesh Raj | Habit of Life| Vineet Srinivasan

We have all gone on trips from our schools and colleges. Aanadam is the story of one such four day industrial visit from an engineering college in Kerala to Hampi and Goa. Since a trip is something we have all been part of with our friends and classmates, the film brings back memories of our own trips. Like I went back to the time we had planned a visit to Hyderabad in the month of September from college or that time when my brother came to Hyderabad with his classmates, and my roommates and I took them around HiTech City to make it look like they did go on an IV πŸ˜› Many memories fall in to place with a film like this.

  • Aanandam means joy (that happiness that comes from the heart)
  • I like that name for a production company – habit of life
  • All new faces – waiting to see them in other films. (One among them is a friend’s niece)

That’s about it. Straight forward story, from classroom & hostel to everything that can go right and wrong during a class trip.

 

 

Ore Mukham (2016) & Angels (2014)

Two films in Malayalam I stubbled upon by chance. They turned out to be thrillers of the police prodecural kinds.

Ore Mukham (same face)  released last year with a cast of Dhyan Srinivasan, Aju Varghese and their friends who until now have made out and out comedies when cast together like in kootamani.  That’s the twist of the tale, I began watching the film thinking of it as one such but it began with a murder, to be continued with an investigation and finally there was a killer, (obviously!) I found it very similar to Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kaalathu (1990) or I was reminded of the film, one of the two, I don’t know which. 

Even Angels for that matter is a benign title. Who would have thought it would be the story of three murders? With Indrajit Sukumaran in the lead who sits down to solve a crime with the help of a journalist and a live talk show host Haritha. 

The non linear narration makes the twists and turns interesting!