48 Reviews
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Ayaal Sassi (2017)
Open Sarcasm with Black Humor, atypical movie
18 October 2017
I found the movie very entertaining as it had plenty of elements that appealed to me. It is set in the background of artists' lives and starts off with a popular folk song and multiple song gatherings throughout the movie with a distinct folk rhythm to them. Also, it gives a convincing presentation of the closeness in the group.

Sreenivasan has acted really well and the attitude of the protagonist that he plays more or less shadows well with Sreenivasan's own line of open unassuming philosophies. His son Vineeth Sreenivasan has sung the song "Sasipaattu" which is an easy entertaining song as well.

Characterizations have been very convincing. Sasi has his own lifestyle but has the maturity of his age and is very considerate to everyone in his group. There is the husband wife pair and Sasi openly saying that he loves the wife and asks the husband to let her go. Such openness that could have sounded drastic was captured smoothly.

The movie shows a lot about real life. The person who means the world to you and who you gave everything to and for whom you lost everything can be in a situation that they cannot even acknowledge you and yet that is the reality and that needs to be accepted.

There are many such stark sharp realities of everyday life that the movie brings up throughout. The movie also takes stances against various social evils pretty boldly and directly.

There is also a more philosophical thread to the movie about attachment and brings out the futility of attachment again pretty convincingly. Life is not all that lofty. Stay grounded.

Of course, the movie is not for everyone. It is not made to conform to an expectation matrix. It definitely has a soul and life of it's own and has something to say.
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Charlie (VII) (2015)
A visual treat,a joy ride
11 January 2016
Travel, adventure, standing up and fighting injustices heroically, being one with people from poorer or less fortunate sections of society, being able to express the goodness in oneself boldly and completely, not being confined to small predictable lives - these are all longings that will resonate with a lot of people. Charlie fulfills all these beautifully, providing the viewer some emotional satisfaction.

Cinema as a business is built around it's ability to be an escape from the boring routines and predictabilities of life. Charlie fits the business model nicely.

Dulqar is the star of the movie. The movie rests squarely on his shoulders. If he had not delivered, the movie had absolutely no chance. I think this is his best performance so far. He has effectively challenged himself by rising above just being a behavior actor. He is a star. His likability sold. His work on his physique shows. His dialogue delivery is endearing. Charming fellow.

Parvathy is an awesome actress. She has a very crucial role as well. She has much more screen time than Dulqar though the movie revolves fully around DQ. She is beautiful and has kept her presence sweet throughout the movie.

The situations in the movie were not predictable though not all of them were totally new. The story line has been drawn very carefully, wary of the viewer and holding some tricks up the sleeve all the way. Spotted with interesting incidents, the movie is a feel gooder.

The movie has good art work. I will not be surprised if the movie wins awards for it's art work in addition to many others. The sets are interesting. Lot of nice objects have been used to tell the story of the movie.

The songs are impressive and is at par with the movie. Coming at pretty regular intervals, the movie is kept pleasant and musical all through.

Cinematography is excellent. The movie has been written to use lot of beautiful/ varied / striking sights and the camera has captured them nicely - be it the saturated colors of fort kochi, the striking costumes, pooram.

However, the fact of the matter is that the movie is quite sublime and just whiffs off pretty quickly. It was not meant to be deep or leave a lasting impact. It is just a nice roller coaster ride into Charlie's life. I would see it again.
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Pathemari (2015)
Rich in content
26 November 2015
"Pathemari" is a very studied thorough effort to portray the lives of those keralite men who leave their families away and move to the middle east to work and save their brethren from the clutches of poverty. Presented against thorough research with consistent content throughout the movie, it was a very satisfying movie watching experience.

The movie starts with a fable like depiction of how Dubai came up followed by it's city sights. The movie then makes nice smooth transitions in time between past and present, telling the story of Narayanankutty ( played by Mammootty ) who, motivated by the abject poverty at home, takes the challenging and long journey across the seas on the pathemari( big boat) to find work in the middle east. The movie details out the specifics of the challenges of the journey, making some insincere attempts at using special effects to depict the sea storms which was probably the only thing that did not fall in place in the movie.

Thereafter, the movie portrays how he wants to push the family out of poverty and get back home himself as soon as he can and how his family continues to push in more and more demands on him and he is essentially forced into fifty years of gulf life. The subtle family situations that he gets put into have been chosen out of real experiences of many many such gulf malayalees through all the detailed research that has clearly gone into making the movie.

I would contend that each and every situation in the movie has been drawn out of real life, unaltered from multiple real people. There needs to be some conscious thought to understand someone who you do not see everyday. This movie is to push those thoughts into the minds of people who are not making the heart for them.

Mammooty has acted really well and becomes Narayanankutty. His subtle acting stands out beautifully. Narayanankutty has almost found a place in my memories now. I really hope that this movie serves as an eye-opener and allows at-least a few 'Narayanankutty's a fairer go at life.

The review would be incomplete without the mention of the songs penned by 'Rafeeq Ahammed' and music directed by 'Bijibal'. The lyrics capture the pain of the story so nicely that it can serve as a concentrate for the script. The music does great justice to the movie and adds another feather to my rising respect for Bijibal.
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Her (2013)
Surprisingly sensitive for such an unlikely subject
19 July 2015
There are plenty of beautiful emotional conversations across various people in the movie. Sincere love keeps the heart warm all through the movie.

Nicely open, the movie explores every facet of human relationships with the help of a software os. The unlikely frustrations and sorrow that the protagonist feels for the operating system is presented in an amazingly convincing manner. While in the movie, you understand him.

The perspective of the operating system has been used to add dimensions to human relations that would not have been possible with just human characters.
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Premam (2015)
Watched thrice - loved each time!
15 June 2015
Watched the movie yesterday, the serum of rejuvenation that it injected into me yesterday is still flowing strong. I plan to watch the movie again possibly multiple times over this week. The movie has great humor, is amazingly truthful , beautifully heartwarming.

Against the backdrop of simple and unassuming friendships, portrayed with excellent humor, multiple tales of love are presented. All the love stories presented have the genuineness of everyday life. Spectacular things do not happen which makes it so relatable. There are multiple points in life at which one is enamored by someone else and typically things do not work out all the way each time until finally it does. That is all the movie is about - a pretty simple and evident aspect of life.

The movie is a total entertainer as it has great humor, presented with unabashed innovation,awesome songs, great scenery, timely stunt scenes to keep the pep up and most importantly the theme of love that flows through sincerely, straight into your heart, presented with all the vulnerabilities and insecurities that comes with loving someone deeply and giving someone else much more power than oneself.

Movie is novel in its presentation. The sequence of execution does not fit into any of the typical patterns. The movie presents three different time periods with the same characters which worked very well.

Alphonse Putheren has himself played a small cameo role in the movie which is going to endear him to the malayali psyche even more . It is clear that a lot of hard work has gone into the movie and it has been designed to be an entertainer and the movie has worked really really well. He is clearly masterful as the impressions his movie left on me 24 hours back lingers on pretty strong - it is not just the joy of love, the vulnerabilities, the sorrow , the excitement everything lingers on - hats off!

Just back from my third view of the movie. There is not one scene that does not deliver. You appreciate each and every scene and the movie comes to an end smoothly to a successful finish.
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It is different
9 August 2014
Half way through the movie. Quite novel so far. Lakshadweep malayalam is similar to kerala malayalam and has interesting differences. Then there is the inside views of the sea. Beautiful. Thanks to Anoop , my MA team mate for recommending this movie.

Slow paced. Nice treatment. References to Padmarajan movie season - something for a fan like me to be happy about. Lakshadweep culture is something I do not know about. The representation in the movie is that of a kerala that is a few years back.Warm helpful crowd.

Set against a completely different back drop, the incidents in the movie are quite different.

The movie does offer some emotions / insights as well through the romance that Sunny Wayne has for the heroine. On the whole , quite charming. Worth another watch.
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Drishyam (2013)
18 January 2014
The movie is a great commercial winner , a crowd puller. The plot is pretty deep , not something you see every other film.

First half is a warm up for the movie, aimed at establishing the closeness of the family. The trailer is an eye-wash, giving the viewer the impression that the main protagonist is a simpleton, a deliberate attempt, I believe to prevent any anticipation.

Viewer would feel the tension of the plot in the second half and the unlikeliness of it pulling through positively is always alive till a couple of brilliant twists seal the fate for good. The plot is one big winner in the movie.

Asha Sharath, the malayalam serial actress, first time in movie has done excellent work. Mohanlal, Meena , the child artistes , the comedian who plays Sahadevan all have done great work.

The movie is great, Jeethu Joseph has established himself firmer as a strong director in the malayalam movies.
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Thira (2013)
Great job by Vineeth and crew
8 December 2013
The movie is a winner. You will stay riveted to the seat for the whole movie. Pretty fast paced. Nice camera work that conveyed the general mood of the movie very well. Stylized violence using good back ground score and nice camera techniques / choice of colors / settings etc.

Good launch for Dhyan Srinivasan , Vineeth's brother. Dhyan has acted pretty well -no obvious mistakes.

Story does not take you back to any other movie. It is pretty original and has quite some meat in it. Situations in the movie are pretty hard thought out especially given such a young crew of makers. Lot of work and passion has gone into making the screen play.

Direction is excellent. There is hardly a dull moment in the movie. There are a few pieces here and there that don't work but as a whole , I imagine that the direction/making must have happened with complete commitment and great synergy and teamwork. Background scores and cinematography has synergized excellently.

Shobhana has done good justice to her role which essentially is that of the protagonist closest to the film maker, the one who drives the story and who gets to know what happens next first from the playwright.

It is very easy to setup a round table and question various aspects of the movie. Questions like 'how can this happen given that?' , 'that doesn't sound feasible,does it?' On the other hand, the movie predicts a lot more good movies from this team pretty soon and also hopefully real masterful movies a few tens of years down the line.

Craft has definitely improved over 'Thattaththin marayaththu'. Vineeth has definitely learned a lot more than he knew when he made 'Thattaththin marayaththu' and he has executed much much more than his earlier flick. I really love the way the young team is forming up , much like the slightly senior young directors from the Maharajas college team led by Amal Neerad/Aashiq Abu etc.
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Packed with content - Very impressive after all these years
6 October 2013
I had picked this up due to academic interest and expected that this would be a bit boring and that I need to explicitly consider the fact that this movie was made way back in 1929.

Well, the movie was very engaging. Far from boring, it challenged me to keep up with the multitude of content that the movie presents.

It is excellent in everyday-life content , presenting so much of real life. True real content.

The extent of passion and effort that has gone into the making of the movie is also striking.Amazing number of techniques used making the movie engaging even today.
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Very touching
5 October 2013
The synopsis of the movie warned a tearful watching experience. Anticipation is one thing , the experience is another - yes, it was very tear-jerking , realistic, beautiful presentation.

There is a malayalam movie 'Aakashadoothu' that addresses the same theme of a dying mother arranging for her kids' adoption. That movie ranks as stupid after experiencing this one. If this one is a 10/10 , that would be a 2/10 , if this one is barcelona, that one is a mohan bagan.

When someone is forced into a tough situation, he/she works on it and learns to handle it inspite of all the odds. People around react to her. Life goes on too - that is how the movie ends. That is how it should ideally be - the willpower of the protagonist should drive her son's life forward and that is what happens.

The young vibrant positive mother makes all the right decisions for the boy. She has a very responsible challenge in front of her - finding the right parents. She does not go easy on the decision - does very detailed study , weighs out every single aspect emotionally and smartly. Very inspiring.

People around her support her for most. Various people in various ways - very realistic true responses.Detailed heartfelt conversations all through the movie fabric - very open , very true - no flak , nothing to cut through, just the essence.

The mother, the son , the new parents, every one of the protagonists have done great work as actors. Editing is perfect. The use of the camera focussing to impress the head-ache that the mother goes through works very well.

The movie will make you value the people in your life more.
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Hodejegerne (2011)
Can't put it down
25 September 2013
This one added another feather to my amazon prime membership but you are not going to hit the pause button on this roller coaster ride.

Movie starts off in a slow interesting pace with a specific storyline , unique incidents. Suddenly the movie hits the next level , the roller coaster sets rolling , the sleekness turns gory but the movie remains strong all through.

If you have a friend who likes to make smart predictions while watching thrillers, you need to take him to this one. You will enjoy his misses.

The movie is a thriller but travels through various dimensions making it even more difficult to predict anything at all that is going to happen next.A lot many interesting situations , will keep you riveted to your seat.
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Amazing film - wholesome , honest, heart warming, mind blowing.
14 July 2013
You should watch the movie because it tells the universal tale of man's strive for excellence , facing one's fears, giving one's best in a very complete wholesome manner. Inspired by true events, the movie feels very true. A long movie as it is, it touches various aspects and each of these have been splendidly perfectly made.It is like a huge pizza, but every little portion of it is well cooked and offers various flavors for a truly wholesome experience.

As an Indian, you should watch it to know more about Milkha Singh, you have the responsibility that you know what this man has gone through to represent your country and his life just unfolds in front of your eyes beautifully. Amazing content and perfect presentation.

Reminds you of 'Paan Singh Tomaar' due to similarity in theme. While 'Paan Singh Tomaar' was a very good movie, this is way way beyond.

I am a hard core 'Rang De Basanti' fan and have watched the movie at least six-seven times. And when I asked myself whether this movie beat 'Rang De Basanti' , made by the same director (Rakesh Omprakash Mehra), I am inclined to say 'Yes.It has'. The product has come out extremely well - the thoroughness is mindblowing.

While there are so many aspects of the movie that are extraordinary, while you watch the movie , what is most extraordinary is the movie itself. The excellent integrity of the movie is all that I could see while watching the movie.

Farhan has just become Milkha. I do not remember any Farhan movies recently - so Farhan was Milkha for me. Milkha is such a sincere true-heart loving person that you are with him all through the movie. Farhan has done great work.

Songs and music of the movie is great.

Characterisations are excellent. Relationship of Milkha with his sister is most endearing.

The little little incidents on life are beautifully chosen , beautifully picturised. Many heartwarming scenes.

The main thread of the perseverance of Milkha to be the best athlete is very well made. The national significance of sports and what it means to the common people , the excitement , the involvement, everything has been captured very well and true to it's times.

I am filled with admiration for Rakesh Omprakash Mehra and I feel more and more sure that he has surpassed 'Rang De Basanti' with this one.
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Ozhimuri (2012)
Sincere masterful work
24 February 2013
I have been watching quite a few malayalam movies recently. This is the one that has shaken me the most emotionally. The movie has great depth of character and has so many things to say. Everything feels in place in the movie and the movie exudes excellent integrity.

The movie captures the subdued emotional lives of people and how the subduedness can lead to deeply engrained misunderstandings. The complexities that these lead to can be quite unnerving. Human lives are unfortunately challenging in nature.

The commitment to the period and location of the movie has been impressive and complete. The detailing in the usage of dialects in travancore and the mix of tamil and malayalam is striking. The social fabric of the times has been presented.The atmosphere of the movie has been set very purposefully and with great attention to all the details and the story of the movie unfolds against this fabric.

The threads of various complex relationships gives the viewer a lot to learn/reflect on. I have felt that incorrect social norms can often lead to unnecessary complexities.The situations in the movie can also be perceived as the never-ending consequences of the disarray caused by skewness allowed by the social setup of the particular time. If the current social setup allows you a skewness that is unfair, you will be better off not allowing yourself the unfair advantage. Here , we have a time when the wife is allowed to throw out the husband whim-based. Wife throws the husband out. The son is vehement at his mother. The son tries to rule his wife , fearful of her having seen the plight his father faced. This further leads to the distraught in the son's family life. Angsts of various characters presented so very well that it should be tough to go through the movie untouched.

All the actors have done great work. Mallika as the wife/mother has done excellent natural acting. Asif has fit well into the movie as the son. Bhavana has been great as the chirpy current generation girl. Romance between Bhavana and Asif has been convincingly presented. Makeup work for Swetha Menon and Lal has been good as have been their renditions.

Movie presents some incisive insights that flashes in beams of understanding. This is a textbook with lot of room for introspection and reflection.The movie is so completely honest and sincere.Hope for a time when such movies can run well in theatres.
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As romantic as realistic
15 February 2013
Some movies make you feel privileged as you watch them.This one presented many such moments as I got involved in the movie. While you dwell in the beauty of one beautiful moment, another beautiful moment comes along. Very realistic presentation and yet interesting and absorbing.

Andrea has done an exceptional job and to some extent overshadows Fahad in terms of acting.While the initial phase of the movie delivers in the unique story telling , soon the romance of the movie takes over. Very very real , very everyday, very relate-able.

We watched the movie on Valentine's day and it is indeed a great pick for a valentine's movie.Appreciate Fahad on his choice of movies.Wanted to watch it again today but the movie has changed and got to watch Fargo instead which was a good one in itself too.

The sights of Kochi has been nicely captured and as someone brought up in Kochi, I could relate to everything in the movie very well.The lighting in the movie is amazingly realistic. The first shot of the heroine presented as she gets in the way of the car felt real and interesting. The shot of Andrea against the candle prayer lights was very beautiful.

The story of the movie is amazing as well. Santhosh Echikkanam whose malayalam short stories has been enlightening when I used to do some reading, has matched himself scripting this one. Missed a second watch today unfortunately.Andrea keeps coming back as the show-stealer. Her performance has been accurate.The movie wins over Andrea though - good work Rajiv.
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Vishwaroopam (2013)
Certain sections are good.
26 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The movie has many sections that are very impressive but on the whole, the movie has not impressed. The end credits title song ' Vishwaroopam' is good , the unexpected first stunt scene is effective. After all the effort of sitting through all the mindless violence, the movie cuts off threatening a second part 'Vishwaroopam - India'.

Kamal has enormous talent but when it comes to taking up projects like this one, he needs someone to mentor him so that he directs his skills and efforts on to the right things.The movie is definitely better than 'Dashaavatharam' in this sense.

War scenes are well-shot , stunt , action is all well shot but you get too much of an overdose of all this.In terms of violence, the movie parallels Hollywood.

Getting Osama Bin Laden and Manmohan Singh as cameos in the movie was the kind of idea that Kamal needs someone to advise against. I guess there were similar shots in Dashavatharam as well.

The main thread of the movie seemed pretty silly. The movie gives you a headache by the time you leave and I had nothing to take away as I left.
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Quite good
19 January 2013
The movie does hold on well. It is the story of a youngster learning life lessons. A change from personal pleasures to a meaningful committed life.

Some situations were quite convincing. Songs are there but they hardly interfered with the movie. Some humor too in the movie but does not stand out as much.

Prathap Poththan has been the best performer of the movie. Prithviraj has done well too. The movie has tried to push some pieces of life around you into the movie and has done well with that to a reasonable extent.

Interspersing past and present has been neatly done , presenting relevant sections from past and present one after the other without confusing the viewer.

In line with the current trend in the malayalam movie industry, this movie also does not take roads often travelled. The movie is presenting pieces that are new, that have not had a history of being big sells, but they do make the mark for most.
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Second Show (2012)
A personal favorite
17 January 2013
This being a personal favorite, this is more a blog and less a review.

The purpose of this writeup is to find out for myself why I like this movie a lot and why I tend to go back to this time and again in youtube.

The movie is full of 'thara humor' ( poor jokes with a stark disregard for various things at various points.) I enjoy such poor jokes a lot and this movie keeps the string of humor alive all through the movie.

The bold , risky and out of line lives that the protagonists are leading has a tendency to attract people like me who have led a more or less well defined youth life. I have not had friends who would get into trouble for my sake nor would I take any undue trouble for the sake of my friends. And I miss that kind of life. I miss having friends who would standup for me and I miss having friends I would standup for - all the way, risking lives/ physical pain.

I miss having exercised a lot of guts in my life. Life has been pretty easy and straight forward and I have never let my heart run away.

The life in the movie is definitely not advisable in real life. That is what movies are for - to live lives unlivable.

The plot was quite engaging and kept the life of the movie going but that is not the central piece of the movie .When two viewers discuss the movie , the last thing they would discuss would be the details of the plot. The situations in the movie and humor in the movie is what people would discuss.

With regards to performance, Dulqar and Sunny Wayne have both done excellent renditions. The situations in the movie are fresh and with a peculiar humor. The songs by Avial are interesting too with a very traditional Kerala touch.

Various times I have picked this up just to watch either Dulqar/Sunny Wayne's performances. The climax is slightly unconvincing but that is fine.

To summarize, from an objective review perspective, watch the movie for Dulqar Sunny Wayne Avial's songs Humorous situations/threads.

And from my side, personally the reason the movie attracted me is that I have not experienced a lot of camaraderie in my life and I am trying to live it through the movie.
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Talaash (2012)
Great songs , great performances - risky subject
6 December 2012
Aamir Khan is the one who brought us to watch the movie. Aamir has been surprisingly consistent at producing one great movie after another and that too with a diverse spectrum of subjects. Subject of Talaash also had that element of risk. I think Aamir did well to take the risk in the light of the story.

The best part of the movie are the excellent songs. I was completely struck by the song 'Jee Le Zara..' with excellent lyrics , music and feel. It is the kind of song that you can carry away with you and use to pacify you in hard times. The song 'Jiya Lage Na.. ' is equally excellent with a more catchy composition. The other songs are all great too as I listen to them.That is one comment that can be made risk-free : go watch the movie for the songs.

The treatment of the movie is emotional, dealing closely with the emotional turmoil that the protagonists of the movie are undergoing. The dark tension is convincingly captured for most part. The presentation of the climax is pretty good and surprising but thereafter there is a dragging treatment in the same manner which bordered on annoying. It is like a teacher presenting a controversial subject and pushing it as the students listen hiding their disinterest.

Kareena has done so many prostitute roles that she is carrying the role off with surprising ease. Rani has done a convincing job too as the housewife. Aamir has been great too.

I would recommend the movie anyways.It can take some edit - the drag I mentioned earlier - I would cut out the digging scene , shorten the last scene.

Cinematography of Hindi movies has been amazing in recent times. Talaash was great as well.
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Thuppakki (2012)
Blockbuster : an excellent stress buster!
18 November 2012
The movie is a completely commercial and entertaining one. Personally , I was most impressed by the looks of the heroine - Kajal Agarwal. This is the first movie I have seen of her.She has the Hollywood kind of beauty and looks very attractive all through the movie. The director has used her to mellow down the violent disturbing scenes.

Vijay has done good work too and has played his part. In the tamil movie Industry, Vijay is an icon and his role is just to be Vijay and he has done that well. The music in the move is catchy and young and quite impressive. It will live on to keep the interest in the movie while the movie is in the market.

The director Murugadoss had directed Ghajini which was again a huge commercial success. There are fresh plot ideas in the central thread of the movie. The first half itself offers enough content that had I had to leave the movie at half time, I would still have left happy.

Violence - There is violence in the movie. Murugadoss has a penchant for violence and likes to challenge how much cold-bloodedness a hero in the movie can show. Vijay does cold brutal acts in the movie. While the viewer sits disturbed, the next scene would be a softie with the heroine that would put ice cream on top of all the burn and that has worked.

The movie is written and directed by Murugadoss and is dedicated to the Indian army. The movie highlights the sacrifices that the army needs to make and does try to tell the common man that we should also be open to making some life sacrifices. While potentially far-fetched, I agree. Murugadoss , within his soft shy outlook, has a genuine heart and wants to fight injustices around and tends to get violent about it.

Unfortunately, there are certain stupidities too, even for a commercial movie, there is a long fight sequence towards the end of which the villain is shown making a phone call.

It is a complete entertainer and is excellent as a stress buster.
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Run Baby Run (2012)
Joshiy chathichchilla
14 October 2012
As we took out our car after the movie, the excitement of the movie reflected in the drive.Still reeling from a recent speeding ticket, that was a surprise.

That is what the movie has been able to do.Put some excitement in with interesting twists and turns.It felt good to see a veteran director Joshiy come up with a working movie in today's wake of new generation cinema in malayalam.

Mohanlal has done a good job - he brings in his star power and indeed it is surprising how he is able to convincingly pair opposite ladies half his age.

Amala Paul has also played her part well which is just to be the smart star again.Not a whole lot of acting to do but very good screen presence from both Lal and Amala.

Somewhere in the first 20 minutes, I had felt that the movie is starting to get boring but the rest of the two hours was very engaging.It is a winner Joshiy movie.
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Sreedevi as the ideal Indian wife
11 October 2012
Sreedevi was amazing in the movie. At this age, she looks extremely beautiful - I can't think of any other woman as beautiful at her age. Also, she has done her part extremely well. Carefully subdued acting and an excellent screen presence/beauty.

The theme is a great one. It is universal, at least in an Indian context. The subject is so relevant and so common that it is a surprise that there are not very many movies that comes to mind on the subject. The subject being the insecurities of the wife/mother of the house.Rest of the people in the house needs to see and appreciate the value of the woman of the house.

Content of the movie comes in patches - here and there we have good content but there are holes too. Connect was there for major portion of the movie but there was quite a lot of time where I was just sitting in the theatre.

Music is good and after the initial drag, the movie does catch up well. The theme is very simple but it is very everyday and it can touch many hearts, hopefully making the little little worlds of the viewers better.
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Contentful and colorful
9 October 2012
It was a good movie.It was almost a masala-award movie.It had quite a few of the ingredients that makes you feel you have seen some content.It has some ethnic drama scenes , chavittu natakam , beautiful melodious novel/periodic music.The main character moves from one area to another area conveniently presenting the film-maker the chance to present various sceneries/life styles/dialects etc.

Mammooty was present in the movie all along beefing up the scenes with his glamor presence.Movie was a good one.There were striking beautiful sceneries from Kerala nature.Screen cuts were amazing snapshots worthy of an exhibition in itself and this was not the stylish scenery that 'Raavana' presented but more of nature where the stress is on the scenery and not on the filming equipment.

Music is a high point in the movie.Melodious with beautiful rustic touch.Actors have also done a good job.Costumes/makeup have a drama touch to it.

A good watch. As good as some of the other award movies like 'Oru pennum randaanum' , 'naalu pennungal' etc but cannot compare with 'Elippaththaayam' , 'Thambu' etc.

Mind is on art as well as on the market here - no complaints.Hence the viewing is pleasant and not dry reality that totally art-centric award movies present.But at the end of the movie, you are not left with much.You just watched a movie you liked.
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Chamaram (1980)
Great one for it's times
9 October 2012
Following recent discussions about malayalam cinema, Bharathan stood out as being much more of an artist than Padmarajan. I also realized that there are so many movies from this great director that I have not yet seen.

That is how I watched Chamaram on youtube two hours back.

The start of the movie was very endearing with Johnson's 'Naadha nee varum kaalochcha kelkkuvan' and the innocent flawless beauty of Sarina Wahab. The theme score was nice too. The movie seems to have been remade so very many times that the story did not offer anything new.

The movie tells the story of a love affair between a student and his teacher. Uncomfortable truths. Bharathan and Padmarajan have been attracted to such uncomfortable themes and present such subjects in their films.Chamaram also fits into this genre.

Sarina Wahad and Pratap Poththan have done their parts well. Sarina stood out much more due to her beauty.
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Ustad Hotel (2012)
Very lovable , even with obvious imperfections
9 October 2012
The movie was a good one. Music,including background music is a high point of the movie. I think what stood out most though was Tilakan's acting. Tilakan is indeed a veteran actor. Dulqar is also very likable with his simple charms.

The start of the movie was interesting with Sidhique trying to get a boy child. While there were many sections of the movie that were very heart-warming, as a whole piece, somehow, there is an incompleteness. It is fine to leave threads open.

The movie is about a youngster trying to find his life. He pursues his dreams innocently and more or less succeeds in that. His grandfather offers him all the guidance. There is a positive interaction between Dulqar and Tilakan and you feel good as you watch him grow. There is a universal appeal in that theme - youngsters relate to it as their present, older people relate to it in their past.

Music is definitely a high point of the movie. Appangalellam is an interesting number and the fluorescent painted faces in the night is impactive in the theater. Other songs have a heart of their own as well - vaathilil aa vaathilil , sanchari nee.

The movie presents a lot of situations that you do not see usually. The camera work is excellent in certain sequences.Though personally, I am not a fan of Nithya Menon, I think the slow motion running sequence of Dulqar and Nithya has been excellently shot.

The theme background of the movie is awesome.It gnaws at you all the while - there is no escaping it.

The sequence where Tilakan talks about rain in the desert somehow impresses you deeply. The camera work is excellent here too. Some pieces talk too directly to you that you cannot express it. You need to get it from the depths where the impression is and sometimes you don't reach it.

The movie also attempts at presenting real-life situations that people go through in their daily lives. The sequence where Jishnu complains about the food and how deeply hurt Dulqar is as he makes the dish again is a good one. The sequence is earnest and complete in itself and serves to characterize Jishnu but otherwise seems to not integrate. Or may be not, that is how things are in real too. The prejudice against a cooking job. The lorry driver misbehaving with Dulqar in Burqa. Youth who try to live their passion in music.

The movie talks about hunger and how millions are still starving. This sequence is again presented well. It is a feel good movie and I might watch it again.

I can watch it again for all the wonderful people in the movie and the endearing gentle malabari accent. Technically, we watched the first day first show of the movie. We reached 6:45 for the 6 PM show but the 6PM show had been canceled due to lack of people. So 9PM was the show and we were there.


Well, we did watch it again and this watch was as worthy a one, in fact a more worthwhile one. The first half is almost flawless. Varying techniques have been used in different sequences to keep the movie interesting. Humour was the highlight of the first sequence where Siddique is looking for a boy child.The second scene has a continuous sequence where between cuts, the number of sisters with him drop off one by one as they get married one after the other. Dulqar is a Europe returnee and the movie has not one scene in Europe where as the impression is well established.Through catchy music and sketch art, his life abroad is presented through the credits screen.The ego clash between Siddique and Dulqar has been carefully presented too - using mirrors to represent the egos and carefully calibrating the sound inside and outside the bathroom door. This attention to detail is also seen when Dulqar leaves taking just cash and not the gold chain or passport/credit cards from the drawer. Thereafter, the world around Usthad hotel is very well presented as well.

However, looks like there are flaws towards the second half.The usthad hotel is repainted with enthusiasm. But thereafter, the older look of the hotel seems to have been presented again - at least that is the impression I got and that in itself is a flaw.I think there is some lack of focus towards the end.

We have the hotel in trouble, then we have the people fighting and getting it up. And then Dulqar gets an offer to work abroad and is about to go and then Tilakan gets a heart attack. Tilakan sends Dulqar to Chennai Chef who exposes him to hunger and his service based approach to cooking.Then he comes back and Tilakan is not there and the hotel is closed. He then takes over and the hotel becomes a huge success. Looks like some unnecessary coding has been done here.

If I were to redesign this, I would take out the job offer abroad and the heart attack out from the equation. Tilakan can just send him to Chennai Chef as part of one of his assignments and Dulqar can decide to settle down in Ustad hotel.

Either ways, malayalam movie industry is so very back. Earlier I used to hope for more good malayalam movies. Now, I don't have to hope - I just have to look forward to the ones that are on the way.
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9 October 2012
This was again an excellent movie. A very stark look at unpleasant realities. Similar in treatment with the movie 'Jaffa'. It looks like this kind of style is seen a lot in 'Cannes' movies. The ending was striking too - an abrupt ending which gives you the feeling that when you see a simple everyday scene of two girls at a restaurant table , they might be at the end of as horrendous story as this one or whatever else. It is not an everyday theme. Again based out of real situation. Reality is much much more creative than what an imagination can bring about. This held true here too. Reality happens like that - too spontaneous for perfection. If someone is imagining a story, he needs to think/ tends to think about ifs and buts and loses the spontaneity in the process. I liked the way the movie presents so many details that are not really relevant to the movie. Till about half an hour of the movie, you don't even know what the movie is about. That is how life is too, while you are struggling with your cancer , the person sitting in the bus next to you is worried sick about how to arrange money for his daughter's wedding and a young couple somewhere else is in trance. So you see a lot of this and that and suddenly the story grips you. It is a romanian film and you don't know the sensibilities of Romanians. You don't know how a romanian takes this kind of a situation. So you are always playing the guessing game. There is a dinner scene in the movie where ten people or so are having a dinner at her boyfriend's mother's dinner party as she is disconnected with other deeper troubles. It is a long scene and is very impressive. You sense her discomfort to a disturbing extent. You have no pattern to follow that you can say that earlier since this happened, now this would happen etc. You have seen very very insignificant things happening suddenly and you have also been sprung with huge surprises - so you don't know what comes next and it is not in terms of suspense. You are completely involved in the movie all along and you are concerned about the protagonist.The use of sound is impactful too - so many things have been conveyed through excellent use of sound.
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