Vampire Owl: Do you know that writing about short-films is not that rewarding?
Vampire Bat: Yes, especially short-films which are older.
Vampire Owl: So, you understand the same, and is not writing about those bigger movies which will get you more visits?
Vampire Bat: Movies of the Soul’s opinions will not be lost among those many fake paid reviews brought by blind fans and those who sell fake opinions.
Vampire Owl: What about the hope that someone will notice?
Vampire Bat: That exists no more. It disappeared quite some time ago.
Vampire Owl: It is a shame. The fake and paid reviews are still shared more on the movie and celebrity pages.
Vampire Bat: Yes, if we honestly write a movie review, it doesn’t mean much.
Vampire Owl: I wonder how humans managed to be such liars even when it is about art.
Vampire Bat: Lie, hate and lie more; it is their motto. They sacrifice their values for money each and every time.
[Gets some tapioca chips and three cups of Vagamon tea].
What is the movie about? :: A real estate broker (Kochu Preman) is having some bad business going, with most of the properties he is selling, not having many buyers for the same. It is a rather dull time for real estate business, and his efforts are not becoming fruitful. His biggest pain is a property called Grace Villa owned by Saly Grace (Parvathy T) whose son Michael (Vineeth Vishwam) had died a few years ago, and is living with the pain, sadness and depression regarding the same. This particular property has been there for sale ever since Michael had died, and Saly is not ready to sell this property which costs around three lakhs to a maximum of three and half lakhs to anyone at a rate below twenty five lakhs. Many people have come and looked at the property – they have liked it, but nobody is willing to pay about eight to nine times the calculated price.
So, what happens next? :: It is when nobody seems to be interested, that a man named Mathews (Rajesh Hebbar) comes from far away, to the misty town. This man who seems to be there for the first time is very curious about the house, and likes it at first sight. He is determined to buy that property in any way possible, but still the amount of twenty five lakhs seem to be too much for him. Despite the real estate broker and his assistant (Saritha Sreejith) being hopeless about this sale happening, Mathews decides to talk to the lady and come up with some arrangement which will leave him with an opportunity to buy the property at a lesser rate. As he goes to the place and is welcome by Saly, he realizes that there is something about her than what meets the eye, and there is a particular secret that haunts the house. What would that be? Can the mystery be solved and the house be solved?
The defence of Grace Villa :: From the beginning itself, we know that there is something about Grace Villa, something which will bring the nice twist in the end. It was launched by Tovino Thomas, and has some faces which are well-known for us. Rajesh Hebbar is most known to us for the satirical family serial on television known as Oridathoridathu, and has been in the televison programmes for quite a long time – pardon me for not watching television that much. Parvathi T has been there for long too, and we last saw her in three big movies playing the mother of Tovino Thomas, Kunchako Boban and Dulquer Salmaan in Godha, Take Off and CIA: Comrade in America respectively. Kochu Preman also joins them, and there are also the others who play less significant roles. The performances make sure that this one becomes more, as it does more with its material, as we await the mystery to be unveiled.
Soul exploration :: The movie’s theme, as many other short-films is revenge – yes, a lot of short-films deal with revenge or love, or even both these days. This one tells the tale of a revenge that has the strength of waiting, and it only takes a few minutes to execute the same. There is no doubt that people love how this simple and short thing is able to bring so much of effect – people will guess this one half way into the flashback though, and maybe with a little additions here and there, that could have been avoided, and left to be guessed only at the final moment. But once again you will realize that revenge is sweet, and there is nothing as strong as a mother’s need to get justice for her son – well, the thing about revenge is there coming in full cycle in the Tamil and Kannada short-film Red Jacket which I had reviewed earlier. Grace Villa is all about mystery getting to that revenge.
How it finishes :: Grace Villa is based on The Right Kind of House by Henry Slezar, which dates back to the year 1957. If you have read that novel, you will find that the essence of the work is taken right into this short-film which has changed only the elements which are to make it happen at a small town in South India. You will see that the name of the son of the house owner is also the same in this version. The feeling that people have about each other and the house also seems to be the same, along with the order of incidents and location – this is pretty much a faithful adaptation if you just read the work quickly and watch Grace Villa. But the short-film version does seem to explain a little bit more, something which our audience have always wanted. Well, you know what all movie lovers want, as it is to get the story to appeal to them whether it is with mystery or with a message like Mangalyam Thanthunanena, and Grace Villa is undoubtedly a success.
[Walks into the verandah with another cup of tea].
Vampire Owl: I am going to rename my area of the castle as Grace Villa.
Vampire Bat: You have a small room. Why would you name that small a room? Who will notice?
Vampire Owl: There is a mystery behind my room, which nobody will ever find out.
Vampire Bat: What is that mystery? What are you hiding?
Vampire Owl: If I talk to you about that mystery, it will be mystery no more. It is why nobody should know.
Vampire Bat: You are lying that there is a mystery because that can make the other vampires impressed.
Vampire Owl: What are you talking about? I am someone unable to lie. Truth is my other name.
Vampire Bat: You once said that Death is your other name.
Vampire Owl: Yes, I am known by multiple names. There are so many of them, that I forget ninety eight percent of them.
Vampire Bat: You are the kind of vampire who should be a zombie. There is a folk-song among witches regarding that.
[Walks into the silence of darkness].
Release date: 28th October 2016
Running time: 15 minutes
Directed by: Binoy Raveendran
Starring: Parvathi T, Babu Annur , Rajesh Hebbar , Kochu Preman , Vineeth Vishwam, Saritha Sreejith, Vaudev, Suryadev, Saami Vaas, Ranjith, Vinod, Abhilash Abi, Athul S Dev
Watch the movie Grace Villa here:
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.