Swarna Kaduva

swarnakaduvaa-2

Vampire Owl :: There are too many creatures roaming around in the world of the Malayalam movie industry.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, Pulimurugan’s leopard is also there.

Vampire Owl :: And other creatures with the support of Biju Menon.

Vampire Bat :: Vellimoonga’s owl and Marubhoomiyile Aana’s elephant, they were interesting creatures too.

Vampire Owl :: You know that Marubhoomiyile Aana already had a tiger in it.

Vampire Bat :: But that was not golden. And with the owl being silver, how can the tiger not be made of gold?

Vampire Owl :: With leopard and tiger there, will there be a lion?

Vampire Bat :: Yes, Sinham 3 will have Suriya, Anushka Shetty and Shruti Haasan in the lead roles.

Vampire Owl :: It is more like a zoo.

Vampire Bat :: But the general trend is that Malayalam movies with creatures in the titles do some pretty good job.

[Gets the tickets with cheese popcorn].

What is it about? :: Rini Iype Maatummel (Biju Menon) is assisting the rich jewellery owner Lonappan (Innocent) in almost everything. Even though he is just assisting the man, the ultimate aim is to make it huge in one way or the other. One day, when Lonappan’s car hits an unknown man, things take a twist of events which end up in the murder of another person, Divakaran (Suresh Krishna). Now Rini’s job is to make sure that the dead man’s wife Lovely (Iniya) doesn’t say anything about her husband being missing. Meanwhile, a nurse, Deepthi (Poojitha Menon) is witness to him being involved in the crime, and he marries her to make sure that she doesn’t talk about it to anyone. During all these events, Rini manages to take a few lakhs of money from Lonappan, which he hopes to use in starting another jewellery shop. With no problem in lying and cheating people, can Rini get what he wants?

The defence of Swarna Kaduva :: Here is another simple, fun-filled comedy movie with Biju Menon as the lead. There are some nice comedy sequences which are handled the most by Biju Menon, and followed up by Innocent and Hareesh. The movie also has its message, which means that the man gets to have a better character in the end. The jokes are mostly working, with exceptions – it was not really that easy with things getting a little bit dark for a movie of this kind, but the humour holds on. Another point is that there is no real drag in this movie, and things go on smoothly, without making us bored. The graph of this movie goes straight ahead, with no struggle anywhere. The main character is also a fine representation of many people of this era, who wishes to become rich easily, without going the honest way – those people who are looking for short-cuts and dishonest ways to success are reflected on our protagonist.

Claws of flaw :: The big comparison is going to be made with Vellimoonga here, and surely that much is fun is not around here. The feel-good factor is also not there, as this not that light-hearted as Vellimoonga with its twist of events. The climax is not that interesting, and things go through predictable lines on too many occasions. This movie could have been better with some more effort at the climax, and keeping closer to the light moments all the time, and having the messages in a more visible manner. There are moments which could have been avoided to make this movie shorter – the romance with Iniya’s character is one of them, and one does feel that there are more “pennu kaanal” and related stuff in this movie than intended – the last one is surely too much of an extension even though there is some fun there. This flick is just a fifteen or twenty minutes too long despite having no drag.

Performers of the soul :: The movie is all about Biju Menon as expected, and others only come in to give him the needed support – as some people would refer to, as the “key” or the “special ingredient”. Just like the other movies with him as the solo lead, like the big surprise hit which was the comedy entertainer Vellimoonga, and the strictly average flick which was Salt Mango Tree, Biju Menon never ceases to give his best. Even the other movies with him in the cast, including Marubhoomiyile Aana and Anuraga Karikkin Vellam had him scoring heavily with the comic scenes. We remember how it started off so well with the movie Ordinary, with those earlier signs in Marykkundoru Kunjaadu and Seniors – we can really go for his movies as a safe bet these days as far as the comic side is concerned. His Rini here, is similar to the character he played in Vellimoonga, and so there is no doubt about how well it goes.

Further performers of the soul :: But there is one difference, as this one here has more negative shades, and there is no good quality about this character throughout the movie. But it is safe in his hands for sure. The point to be noted is that he is both the hero and the villain of this movie – there is nobody else giving him competition. You go for this movie seeing him on the poster, and you won’t be disappointed. Meanwhile, Innocent is back to doing what he does the best, and brings the laughter – we are always happy to see him there. Hareesh also has his moments, a good number of them. The role of the leading lady is shared between Poojitha Menon and Iniya, both of them doing a fine job, with the latter being the more intense of the two. Sudheer Karamana and Suresh Krishnado provide some nice support here when they are present on the screen.

How it finishes :: Earlier it was Aanandam, and now this little movie is also all set to leave a nice mark. This one will not bring anything huge or out of the usual way, but is sure to keep you interested throughout its run. One thing that we wonder about though, is about putting in the poster that this was directed by the one who directed Mayamohini and Sringaravelan; that is more like negative word-of-mouth. It is strange considering the fact that nicely done comedy movies like Mattupetti Machan and Udayapuram Sulthan are part of the director’s filmography. If this idea was based on box-office collections, one has to remember that times have changed, and those two movies, if released now would have got no collection of that kind – the world has changed, and we need Swarna Kaduva as itself rather than resembling those two terrible movies mentioned in the poster.

Release date: 4th November 2016
Running time: 148 minutes
Directed by: Jose Thomas
Starring: Biju Menon, Innocent, Poojitha Menon, Iniya, Sudheer Karamana, Suresh Krishna, Kottayam Nazeer, Hareesh Perumanna, Rosin Jolly, Baiju, Anju Aravind

swarnakaduva

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Pathemari

pathemarii (3)

What is it about? :: Pathemari is a movie of struggle and survival through an unfair world. Pallikkal Narayanan (Mammootty) is a man who left for the Middle East with his friend Moideen (Sreenivasan) and many others on a boat defeating the waves of sea to swim and reach UAE at a time when the border laws were not as strict as it is now. Becoming part of that exodus from Kerala to the Gulf area at that time when unemployment was at its peak, Naranan becomes the symbol of the journey that one has to undertake to make sure that the whole family survives. He is someone who struggles for not just one’s own family, but the extended relatives as he keep working to see life getting better for them while his youth as well as the existence beyond that disappears. But he continues to do the same without complaints.

The defence of Pathemari :: There is a lot of truth and sincerity on display in Pathemari. It is certain that a lot of NRIs, not just of the Middle East, but also belonging to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and may be even other nations can relate to the story here. It doesn’t change according to circumstances, but instead stick to the common man. The movie’s second half and the ending are the more powerful ones; the finish might be the most touching one – simple, but easy to be connected and with significant power to touch one’s emotions. It is sad, and with its sadness, the movie becomes lovable; with the depressing truth which it shows on the screen, it becomes more beautiful – it is a poetry of lost hope and desire which brings tears to the eyes of the audience; this is what the ending of the movie is truly about. There are also some nice visuals for support.

Claws of flaw :: Pathemari doesn’t bring anything new to the most part of its story-line. There is the usual problems of a man who has left home reflected here. It follows the sacrifice model of movies like Vatsalyam and the problems of the man who returns from the Middle East with the relatives as in Varavelpu, even though this one follows a more realistic path and passes through the ages. There is also some drag here and there, even though the emotional side hides it for most of the time. The movie could have shown some more of the life in the Middle East too, how the protagonist had struggled there throughout the ages with how the others have lived and faded around there; it would have been a fine boost; after all the movie is also shot there – but we have to appreciate the fact that they have kept the movie not too long. The songs are not interesting, but other music is catchy.

Performers of the soul :: Even though Mammootty takes some time to appear in this flick, he becomes the heart and soul of Pathemari as soon as that happens. Most of us have been complaining about his choice of movies with Acha Din and Utopiayile Rajavu, but he gives no chance for us to complain this time. As the director had earlier said, what we see is the just the character through ages, and not Mammootty as he lives as this character who becomes not just Pallikkal Narayanan, but many other people who really exist. It is his grand return to the class role that we see here, and it is something worth the applause that even the multiplex never hesitated to provide. What has to be admired more about this movie as the commercial thing is that it didn’t overdo its promotions, and the fans have also been self-controlled in their actions in favour of this movie.

Further Performers of the soul :: This is also the debut movie of Jewel Mary who was first seen in Utopiayile Rajavu which released first because of the delay on Pathemari. She is good on her debut, and her performance is clearly above what was seen in the movie which first released. Sreenivasan has a memorable role in this one, and so does Siddique who has a smaller but interesting character to play. Salim Kumar just has a small presence while Joy Mathew brings another good performance on screen. The actresses Anju Aravind and Anu Joseph gets to play the sisters of Mammootty, and it good to see them back on the big screen out of those serials. Siddique’s son Shaheen Siddique also makes a good debut in this movie. All of them make sure that Pathemari is indeed driven by performances.

Soul exploration :: There is something about the life of the NRIs that people here won’t know about. Even though the people who leave for the foreign nations these days have better status, it was not the case during the early days. As the situation here was so bad, they just wanted to get there so that things could only get better if they survived. But people here would think that they live a happy life there and are sending only a small amount of money after spending like they wish to. It might be so in the case of some people these days, especially the youth, but in most cases, when we consider people who have left to save their families, it has always been about survival and saving the family. There are lots of people who haven’t gained much for themselves or their children, but have managed to make sure that their brothers, sisters and cousins have managed to do better – aren’t they winners too?

How it finishes :: As far as NRIs who have left not for glory, but due to the problems at home are concerned, this one will be a big reflection. It will also be effective for the rest, and it won’t be easy for anyone to leave the theatre without being touched by the emotions, and this abiding sadness is an achievement for the movie. In the end, we know that there are good men and bad men, and with both types among the achievers, we further feel that most of the people who have failed are actually very good men who have sacrificed a lot for others – but it is actually an achievement in itself to have suffered and gained victories for others in a world where only the rich are officially considered the achievers even by the relatives and friends of the poor. It is an achievement often forgotten, as the rich write their own names into the history; but God knows, and so does nature.

Release date: 9th October 2015
Running time: 109 minutes
Directed by: Vinay Govind
Starring: Mammootty, Sreenivasan, Joy Mathew, Jewel Mary, Siddique, Anu Joseph, Anju Aravind, Salim Kumar, Shaheen Siddique, Saju Navodaya, Yavanika Gopalakrishnan, Hashik TK, Kalabhavan Haneef, Viji Chandrasekhar, Santosh Keezhattoor, Safin, Nyla Usha (cameo)

pathemari

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Jamna Pyari

jamnapyari(

What is it about? :: Vasoottan (Kunchako Boban) is an auto-rickshaw driver and the son of a man who died trying to rescue a kid from inside a bus which crashed into river during heavy monsoon. He is a person who follows his father’s footsteps and never tries to back away from helping someone in need – he has been the helping hand of the common man at his town for a long time. One day, he meets a girl Parvathi (Gayathri Suresh) and she asks for his help. What her family needs is a total of one hundred Jamnapari goats for their farm, so that they can meet the deadline for a contract or lose their property. There are big shots who are standing in their way. Vasoottan decides to help them with the support of his friends Prakash (Joy Mathew) and Sabu (Suraj Venjaramoodu) along with Tony (Neeraj Madhav) who later joins them. But there are some problems which they have to overcome on their way to success.

The defence of Jamna Pyari :: For this Onam, what comes to the screen in the form of Jamna Pyari is a simple family movie with drama and comedy factors being there. There are mostly no ups and downs with this movie as the major focus is on the protagonist’s goodness, and also to provide the viewers with a feel-good effect. It is just the life of common man depicted with the help of an incident which centers around the goat. The mixture that forms part of the movie are mostly of a family drama, and also the light-hearted comedy, light romance and the typical feel-good movie. The Vasoottan song is very good and sets the mood for the movie. There are also good visuals of different parts of Kerala along with some areas of Tamil Nadu. The humour comes up interesting here and there. The Thrissur slang is interesting throughout the movie.

Claws of flaw :: The movie doesn’t really have a new thing here except for having a goat at the centre of everything. It does remember one of having watched Polytechnic which starred Kunchako Boban and he was there solving his own problems, and here he is like Jayasurya of Mathai Kuzhappakkaranalla, as an auto-rickshaw driver ready to help others. Most of the characters in this movie are under-used, and so is the goat idea. The hesitation to use more of the goats to create further comedy was surprising – there is a little too less amount of comedy in this one rather than what was expected. The final use of deus ex machina just arrives as if to bring us to an end. There are too many easy paths taken in this movie when things could have been nicely detailed with full humour, also adding further beauty to the romantic side!

Performers of the soul :: With Kunchako Boban who has been the first big romantic hero whom we remember, and also with Gayathri Suresh who was the Miss Kerala in 2014, couldn’t this movie explore the romantic side better? The romantic hero and the beauty are there, and the movie just misses out too much with those opportunities. Kunchako Boban is excellent in this avatar too, even when his character is often let down by the situations. This is a comfortable role for him, and he never falters. Gayathri is here doing a very good debut, and might be the prettiest face for a very long time. Her dialogue delivery was so cute in this one. May be she could have had even more screen presence, because the true setting is around the family of her character, and twist of events begin with her journey in the auto-rickshaw.

More performers of the soul :: So we welcome the new heroine Gayathri Suresh to the Malayalam movie industry during this Onam, and take this opportunity to wish her best of luck as the number of new heroines with charm and high potential increase by one. Along with the same, we see the large number of known faces being there as the supporting cast. But the depressing side is that they are so less used. You see actors like Sudheer Karamana and Pashanam Shaji for just a few minutes, and even though Aju Varghese is there on most of the posters, he has a very small role in this movie as a friend of the protagonist who comes in the beginning and the end. Neeraj Madhav is the one who comes up with the funniest moments, but we ask for even more.

Further performers of the soul :: Joy Mathew remains rock solid here all the way, and Suraj Venjaramoodu has his moments of comedy, even though he too should have been used for a full comedy character. The big surprise here is Renji Panicker’s different avatar – this might be the first time that he comes to the big screen as a villain. He remains a fine negative character throughout the movie, and you can expect more roles with negative shades coming up for him considering the fact that he did so well in this movie which doesn’t focus that much on characterization. I consider this a true pleasant surprise! Meanwhile, it was good to see Muthumani providing nice support to Suraj in the comic side. You will get another surprise in the form of Roja’s cameo, and Anumol is also there in a smaller role

How it finishes :: Sometimes I think that I am lenient with this movie which doesn’t bring anything huge, but thinking deeper about this, this movie leaves us with beautiful messages, to help people in need, and work hard to achieve what we love and need the most. I consider this a fine message for this Onam, and this message raises the level of this movie further, and it is always better to have something wonderful to think about and let it have a positive effect on our lives. I am a pessimistic person, and some of the dialogues and messages in the movie did bring a smile on my face. Therefore, lets continue to enjoy this festival season of Onam and add this movie to the list of flicks to watch! What is an Onam if we don’t watch all the big Malayalam releases for the season? May be you can start with the feel-good factor of this movie.

Release date: 27th August 2015
Running time: 126 minutes
Directed by: Thomas Sebastian
Starring: Kunchacko Boban, Gayathri Suresh, Joy Mathew, Muthumani Somasundaran, Neeraj Madhav, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Aju Varghese, Maniyanpilla Raju, Anju Aravind, Sudheer Karamana, Pashanam Shaji, Anumol, Roja Selvamani

jamnapyari

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Mili

mili (3)

What is it about? :: Mili Nair (Amala Paul) is a girl who has underachieved throughout her life and has developed a certain amount of inferiority complex about not living up-to the expectations. Being a high level introvert and never having even one real friend, Mili is disliked by her room mates in the hostel, the group of three lead by Renuka Menon (Shamna Kasim) who hates her, and the other two Shelly (Swapna Menon) and Raji (Sija Rose) who feel irritated by her behaviour. Her only two means of happiness are the day-care where she works and the sisterly relationship with Nancy (Praveena). But one day, she is forced to leave her job, and the guy whom she has a crush on, seems to be in a relationship with Renuka. She is highly disappointed and thinks about suicide, but Nancy’s brother Naveen (Nivin Pauly) helps her, and after bring introduced to the friends circle of Anupama (Sanusha Santhosh), her life gets a twist or two as she finds the strength within her.

The defence of Mili :: Here is a movie with so much strength to make you feel and directly go through that path of the protagonist who becomes a kind of answer to Bollywood’s Queen, even as this won’t have that much of good reviews, because three out of five is what awesome Malayalam movies can get from the critics here. I would actually consider this movie better than Queen and also Highway with its empowerment of the central female character. It is also better than the last year’s Malayalam flick How Old Are You are which was less realistic and had a protagonist was too talented that what she comes up with is no real surprise. Meanwhile, Mili has the rise of the real subaltern who comes out of her problems which go back to her childhood and rise like the real queen. Mili is a completely realistic movie, and its incidents and emotions connect directly to the audience. Cheers to Gopi Sunder and Shaan Rahman for the highly effective music too.

Positives and Negatives :: The movie is a straight take on its content, even as it is an ordinary story in its base. There are some silly moments in the beginning which might have been meant to bring some fun there. May be Mili should have been shown as “just another introvert” or with a further clear background. Well, the movie touches you and it shakes your heart with its emotional power. “Manpaatha Neettunna Mohangale” is a bloody good song, and when heard in relation to the movie is a wonderful experience, something that makes you feel the power of the journey of the protagonist, as long as you have a heart with enough of empathy. It is a stake through the heart, but is something of exhilaration on one end. The movie ends with a speech which is the soul of the movie, and it is up-to you to decide if you want it in the end. But the power of the final words cannot be questioned as it is incredibly strong and the return of that song in the end is a remarkable addition to the emotional strength of the movie.

Performers of the soul :: The movie is impressive in its characterization, and it is reflected in the performances of the actors. Mili’s character goes through a great path, right from the awesome child actor to the amazing performance from Amala Paul who has undoubtedly managed her best in Malayalam with this one protagonist. It is nothing other than inconceivable bliss to watch her as Mili. Here is she acting without make-up and making it work in an amazing way. Nivin Pauly gives a great support, and him doing this role in a heroine-centred role is worth an applause. Sai Kumar is also very good; the same can be said about Praveena. One thing that is to be noticed is the presence and the nice support of the young actresses in this movie, starting with Sanusha Santhosh about whom we are well aware of, and has already left her mark. The others including the better known Shamna Kasim and the rest of the list having Sija Rose, Swapna Menon and Soumya Sadanandan makes us realize that Malayalam movie industry has so much power in its core for years to come.

Soul exploration :: It is clear that some people are not able to be inspired by Mili and can’t like it. I can understand that. It is mainly because of their inability to connect with those who have problems in their life. May be they are hundred percent extroverts or some who were born with silver spoons in their mouth, or those who had a very easy path throughout their lives. They might be big genius people who knows everything. But for us others, who can connect easily with a person having troubles, this movie is a big thing. May be some people don’t need to be motivated because they are so awesome, but I am really motivated with this, as I know my weaknesses. It is okay that some people can’t connect with people having problems, but I can. May be it is because I am not that good, and the positive thing about that is that I can surely feel the power of motivation that is present in this movie. I am an introvert, a proud introvert – and I feel the pain and the abiding inspiration. Let me tell you something about Mili – she remains the introvert even in the end, but a confident one.

How it finishes :: You can read my earlier preview and expectations about this movie here: (https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/introvert-queen). But I have a request; it is that if you can’t relate to the feelings of someone who has a behaviour problem and with people having any trouble with being “normal”, don’t watch this movie. If you think that people who are different are idiots and don’t deserve anything, please stay with your higher level of people. If you think that getting high scores in exams and getting a big job with a high salary are the only things that matter in your life, please stick to the great people who have managed to do so. Mili is for people who have empathy, and it is not for those who take pride only in one’s own achievements by degrading others. Mili has a few lessons for the parents, not to scold the children for the problems that they couldn’t solve in Mathematics or for the ten marks that they lost in Physics – love your children and teach them to be good, not scoring machines.

A few more words :: The movie ends with the lines from William Wordsworth’s The Rainbow: “the child is father of the man”, and you ask yourself; how can that not be true? The other name of the poem is My Heart Leaps Up – hope that gives you a clue. Romanticism never seems to leave me. Mili has a lot for women, introverts and all the subaltern, with a mighty message to rise. The modern world asks for winners and in the world of competition as the weaker ones are avoided, a good person is the true winner. Society provides us with labels, but it doesn’t reflect the real us. During the movie, I often wondered if Mili is a manifestation of the kindred of my soul’s unexplored side. There are those moments which tunnel through your brain and heart to send shock-waves right through. You have the right not to agree with me, but my rating stands, because I completely follow my mind and heart on this one. I will leave you with one awesome song from the movie.

Release date: 23rd January 2015
Running time: 113 minutes
Directed by: Rajesh Pillai
Starring: Amala Paul, Nivin Pauly, Shamna Kasim, Sanusha Santhosh, Sija Rose, Riya Saira, Praveena, Sai Kumar, Amol Parashar, Vanitha Krishnachandran, Idavela Babu, Anju Aravind, Ambika, Bindu Panicker, Devi Ajith, Baby Nandana, Master Neil Kaushik, Baby Ammu, Sangeetha Mohan, Soumya Sadanandan, Swapna Menon

mili

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.