Tag Archives: review

B(lo)odyguard

I thought Chronic Bachelor was superdirector Siddique’s most boring movie. I thought Rasikan was Dileep’s most boring movie. (No, I didn’t have the courage to watch Moz n Cat, Colors, etc). I thought Mallu movie makers had a minimum sense when it came to placement, timing, picturisation and selection of songs in a movie.

And then, I saw Bodyguard.

Went for the movie purely cos of two factors: Dileep and director Siddique. Both being known for their humorous entertainers, it was my fault to expect a bit of entertainment from the movie in spite of being warned by friends to stay away from it. This was 2.45 hours of boredom.

It starts off as an action movie, goes into college mode, then to romance and somewhere in between, we fall asleep. The actors have little interest, songs are greatly misplaced and unconnected, the editing is bad, and the quantity and standard of humour is way below the expectations.  Nayantara looked good. Mitra Kurien looked half as good as she did in Gulumaal. Thyagarajan, looking seriously aged, had the same expression throughout the movie. Dileep’s characterisation was bad and the number of loopholes in the plot were just too much to count. Guinness Pakru, in the couple of scenes that he featured, evoked more laughter than the designated Dileep-film-comedian Harisree Asokan who had a nearly full-length role.

Then, there is a twist. Yea, the final twist in the movie that’s supposed to make us forgive the makers for the agony we suffered till then. It was unpredictable, I agree, but it was also equally weird and mindless.

What were they thinking when they made the movie! The producer would be a relieved man with the in-film promotions of Docomo, and the general hype and interest surrounding a Siddique movie which would ensure the movie being a hit.

And this movie, I hear, is going to be remade in Tamil with Vijay? In Telugu with Venkatesh?

Oh Lord.

Kerala Cafe – My view

Lazy sunday, had two movies to choose from. Kerala Cafe, the latest malayalam multi-starrer, or Pazhassi Raja, the multi-‘crore’r historical saga.

Well, personally not interested in spending 2.5 hours over a movie in which the final outcome is certain. (The Raja shouts, fights, horse-rides. Finally, the Indian allies betray the Raja and he gets killed by the British. Replace ‘The Raja’ with any king you have learnt about in history text books, and the plot is the same.) Whats the point? Superb special effects, sound recording and originality? Thanks, but no thanks. What, creating history awareness and celebrating our culture? Oh please!

So, Kerala Cafe was the chosen flick. One movie, with ten sub-movies/short films, each lasting 10-12 minutes each. Attempted for the first time in Malayalam.

< Spoiler Alert >

The movie starts off with Nostalgia starring Dileep, and the plot dealing with an NRI mindset. Considering Dileep’s other recent releases, this gets a 7 upon 10. Good for a start.

The next is Island Express, starring Prithviraj (of course, Jayasurya accompanies) and others. Confusing at first, a superb ending gives it 8 upon 10. Really into the movie now.

Suresh Gopi’s Lalitham Hiranmayam comes next. Er, bad concept for a Malayalam movie and bad screenplay. Can’t get boring in just ten minutes, but still, bad. 5 upon 10.

Of course, ten sub-movies, one of them had to deal with a horror theme. Well, Mrithyunjayam could have just not been there. It is just there, as if for the sake of bringing in a horror theme in the movie. An old mansion with ugly figures popping out randomly and doing ‘booo-hah-got-you’  stopped scaring me years back. Cliched, childish and boring. 4 upon 10.

Happy Journey featuring Jagathi Sreekumar is the pick of the first half. Close second being Island Express) Simple theme, well presented, with of course, awesome acting as usual by Jagathi Sreekumar. 8 upon 10.

The second half starts with Aviramam, starring Siddhique. Well, something looked missing. This one about recession could have been presented, er, differently I guess. 6 upon 10.

Shyamaprasad then brings across Off Season, with Suraaj Venjaramood in the lead. Starts off really well and raises expectations, but goes downhill fast. There could have been more creativity in the only light-hearted subject of the lot. 6 upon 10 again.

Bridge, by director Anwar Rasheed, is beautiful. Really different from his earlier ‘masala’ movies (Rajamanickam, Chota Mumbai, Annan Thambi), this one stands out in the second half. 8 upon 10. Salim Kumar looks fine for the role and the old lady impresses.

Revathy’s movie Makal, relating to child trafficking, carried a lot of expectations, and manages to come out ok. This one could have been presented better too. But I still haven’t figured out what the first scene of this one had to do with the rest of it. Hmm? 7 upon 10.

The last one being Lal Jose’s Puram Kazhchakal, starring Mammootty and Srinivasan. This one does not bring any fireworks, but is good. The general tone built up for the twist at the end is good, and the twist does not let the build-up down. 8 upon 10.

The point was to make all the stories linked to a common theme, namely Kerala Cafe, a railway canteen. The link could have been better, considering the emphasis given to it. Certain scenes in some stories appear forced to show something just to relate to the link. Overall, my man of the match would be Anwar Rasheed. Good work with Bridge!

Though not very original in concept, this of course deserves special applause in the present Malayalam film scenario full of cliched plots and flops after flops. Go and watch the movie! One of the better Malayalam releases of the year!

Bhramaram – My view

I personally had high expectations from this movie. Pre-release publicity like ‘first Mallu road movie’, and ‘director Blessy’s first suspense thriller’, and the ‘best ever acting by Mohanlal’ comment I received from my friends who watched the movie FDFS, could be blamed for the same. In the end, I could say the movie fell short of my expectations.

<Spoilers>

The first half showed good promise, with the suspense being maintained well. Leave out an unconnected sub-plot, the first half was OK. But the second half, sadly, was a letdown for me. Driving a jeep over a mountainous terrain for fifteen minutes is not my idea of a ‘road movie’, or of a ‘suspense thriller’. The director has tried hard to make sure the film runs for two-and-half hours. Maybe tried too hard.

As usual, Lalettan plays his part to perfection. No surprises there. But the supporting cast were not up to the mark. Bhumika had nothing to do, and the ‘doctor’ and Suresh Menon were just about OK. Lakshmi Gopalswami just looked good. The two kids,  Meenakshi and Lachu or Achu or whatever she was called in the movie, were irritating. There were two good songs in the movie.

Overall, it looks like Blessy felt somewhere along that he needed to concentrate on the ‘family audience’, as he has been successfully doing with his movies so far. Hence, overdoes the emotional part and the movie as a result, fails to maintain the grip required of a suspense thriller.

The supposed-to-be stunning climax took too long to come, and was predictable for anyone who has seen at least a few old Malayalam movies. A crisper, shorter, better-scripted second half could have bettered the movie. Mohanlal, with his awesome acting (but bad physique) is the only saving grace. Go with low expectations, or go just to admire his superb acting style, and you may like the movie.

By the way, has there been any recent M’lal movie where there are absolutely no bar scenes/drinking scenes? Cant think of any!