#Mondaymusings

Pingami (succesor) is a 1994 film in Malayalam with Mohanlal & Thilakan in lead roles. 

Unlike the usual everyday life* of a character whipped up by Sathyam Anthikad, this is a thriller. Therefore, when the film begins with a familiar scene of a friendly conversation at a bus stop, a captain returning home for his annual vacation, the audience will not suspect a hidden mystery.  

However, Captain Vijay Menon (Mohanlal) like his audience will soon find out that Kumarettan (Thilakan) whom he found severely beaten up, left to die, on the road has a key role in his life unknown to him until then. 

The plot begins to gain a certain momentum when on the next day, Kumarettan’s death is reported in the newspaper as a hit and run lorry accident. When an irritated Vijay confronts the duty doctor and the editor he finds their careless attitude towards the death of this man disturbing. On further enquiry with the locals, he finds out that the deceased was a journalist, known for his fearless exposes of corrupt politicians and businessman. The hit and run was a successful attempt to take his life. Vijay determined to get to the bottom of this murder, visits Kumarettan’s home to get access to his personal writings and space. 

The story that links the two men takes on a depth when Vijay reads a diary entry about a tragedy 18 years ago. Little did he know when he took this man to the hospital out of human concern, that he had been the sole witness to the brutal murder of his father considered until then to have committed suicide.

At the beginning of the film, Vijay finds a letter posted by Kumarettan protruding out of the post box. He tries to push it in, unable to do so, he takes it out, and makes sure it drops into the box safely this time. That letter becomes a key to solving the case. How he later links Kumarettan of the road accident as the sender of the letter, to finding out the secrets behind the death of his father, and missing mother and baby sister, is how the film ties the lives of the two men together in the plot. 

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Kamaladalam* (1992)

Today, as I re-watched Kamaladalam, I wondered about the immense trust Sibi Malayil & Lohitadas, the makers of the film, had in Mohanlal* to play a classical dancer. Lal had proved to be an excellent dancer in his earlier films, however, in Kamaladalam his character demanded him to behave like an expert in Bharatanatyam with his actions and performance alike. Usually, in such a case, a trained dancer is brought in as cast, like Faasil did, to pair up with Shobana’s Nagavally* in Manichitratazhu*. 

Looking back, this was a gamble Malayil & Lohitadas took with Mohanlal. But Mohanlal has done really well. During the release of the film, there were rumours that Lal used a body double for his dance scenes, which is possiblity, but I’d like to believe it is Lal and Lal only. 

*Kamaladalam is a 1992 Malayalam film written by Lohitadas and directed by Sibi Malayil. This was released in the same year the female lead actor of the film Monisha died in a gruesome car accident. 

*Mohanlal is a well known actor & superstar of Malayalam Cinema. 

*Shobana bagged her first national award for actor in a leading female  role for Nagavally/Ganga in Faasil’s Manichitratazhu in 1992. 

*Manichitratazhu is one those cult films in Malayalam which has recently been remade in Tamil, Bengali and Hindi. 

#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. 

Spiderman Homecoming (2017)

All the reviews say it is awesome, the best in spiderman movies so far, so on and so forth. But the second half was hopelessly long.. There were points were I sat there watching because I was a fan! Sometimes some things act as compulsions, one of moments….  The teenager, the classroom, the excitement of being part of saving the world team, tom Holland ….. spot on, but … there are many many many buts after they set all this up in the first half.. 

Would love to know what all of you made of it.. 

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! 

Musafir … (Tiger)

Musafir is a key villain in a Malayalam film titled Tiger. A police procedural with Suresh Gopi in the lead investigating a murder of a top official,  a notorious NRI influential main villain who has bought many police officers and govt officials….. It is a regular Suresh Gopi, macho, dialogue heavy, dishoom dishoom film. But this is one film I go back to every once in a while. It is freely available on youtube for one, that could be a reason. But I go back to see how this villain named Musafir is revealed, and his cover is blown! 

Take-off (2017)|Mahesh Narayan|Parvathy, Kunchacko Boban, Fahad Faasil

Takeoff is a well made film in all its departments, conceived, and executed well by its technicians and actors. The only problem I had with the film was, to me, it seemed more like a documentary, which is also is a way of filmmaking. There is no doubt the film will amass awards, Parvathy, in particular, who has held the film together from start to end. I loved Fahad Faasil’s role as the Indian Ambassador, Manoj Abraham, the best among the key characters. 

Takeoff is a Malayalam film released in 2017 based on true events surrounding the rescue of 46 nurses held hostage in Tikrit, Iraq in 2014. The film on top of that, is a tribute to late Rajesh Pillai (d. March 2016) the director who gave Malayalees, Traffic, touted to be the film that changed film making in Malayalam in recent times. 

#whykattappakilledbaahubali

Now that I know who Kattappa is (I watched the first film in the series last night), every meme falls into place. And I can empathise with whoever is/was anxious about the why and the frezny … 

I’ve had my share of sleepless nights, theorising when Rowling had killed Dumbledore in The Half Blood Prince and the final book in the Potter series was still 2 years away! Dumbledore can’t be dead! Similarly, why did the very loyal Kattappa kill his favourite Baahubali? If a storyteller be it a filmmaker or a writer can grab the attention of their audience and sustain it for over a year or more that is indeed the success of their art. 

I know why Kattappa may have killed Baahubali, 😊😊😊. 

For the uninitiated, 

  1. Baahubali is a two part epic fantasy that has captured the trends in social media and most of the Indian film going audience since its release in 2015. The second and final sequel released over the weekend putting an end to the suspense 😊. 
  2. Harry Potter is a 7 part story in the school story genre of a young boy in a wizarding world imagined by JK Rowling. It took the reading world by storm post 9/11 though the first book released in 1997. 

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.