Picket 43

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Vampire Owl :: Is this the right time for a patriotic movie?

Vampire Bat :: Surely it is. We had harthal just a few days ago and observed another bane of our nation. After a negative thing for the nation, this is our chance to reclaim the good things.

Vampire Owl :: So after lots of harthals giving losses of thousands of millions of rupees, we can always gain patriotism by watching movies?

Vampire Bat :: May be movies like this will help. Lets watch and know more about it.

Vampire Owl :: Will such movies make the common man any better?

Vampire Bat :: People only take what they want. So, I doubt it.

Vampire Owl :: Still, they are all patriots on three days an year and if that Team BCCI or Indian cricket team wins the World Cup.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, but when there is the need to do something for the nation, it is to be seen if what is preached can be practiced.

Vampire Owl :: This is the season of Facebook patriots and social workers.

Vampire Bat :: And lets see what Picket 43 brings to the season.

[Gets the tickets].

What is it about? :: Hareendran Nair (Prithviraj Sukumaran) is one of the Indian soldiers who are posted at Picket 43, an area on the border which has seen regular ceasefire violations, and has also lead to the death of a number of soldiers from the Indian side. With the last soldier murdered by the militants, the place becomes something to be talked about a lot among the soldiers and Hareendran Nair is the latest person to be posted there, alone except for a dog with him. As his superior officer Vinaya Chandran (Renji Panicker) denies him leave to go back to his lover to marry her or to support his ailing mother, he is left with no option but to stay at the hostile area. The Pakistani soldier on the other side keeps shooting on regular intervals until a change is made, and another soldier Mushraff (Javed Jaffrey) comes for service. Hareendran and Mushraff becomes friends and the latter promises the former that no militant will come through his picket to attack India as long as he is alive.

The defence of Picket 43 :: The power of patriotism is once again on display here, and this is one of those movies that we need to watch now and then. This might also be our director’s second best movie after Keerthi Chakra that has come after a long time. The movie is also about friendship and that too beyond borders and all kinds of obstacles,as humanity thrives without limitations. There is also mutual respect and love for one’s country which are proclaimed again and again. It also makes things clear that friendship has no limits and it can be made with ease if needed in the presence of a good heart. There is an idea given about the hardships that the soldiers suffer and the sacrifices that they make to serve their country, keeping their personal choices away to keep the citizens safe. The beauty of Kashmir is well captured, as the snow covered world as well as the green side are equally amazing, even as the white side suits the working of the movie better. The shots at Picket 43 are the best of the movie.

The Claws of Flaw :: The family drama and romantic side are completely out of place. It is good that they mention that it is love, and otherwise it would have been really difficult to find any romance there – almost everything shot in Kerala remains clear negative and was not needed. Even the shots which were supposed to be in Pakistan should have been better taken with more imaginary power instead of just going through that Malala-Taliban model idea which needed not much thinking. The focus should have been even further on the friendship and talking about their philosophies about life and what they think about war, and how the two nations could go into a better relationship. Well, those who are expecting a Tango Charlie model philosophy and a powerful anti-war ideology are going to be disappointed. The heavy non-linear narrative style might also depress a few. The songs are also not that up-to the mark. The final shooting scenes also go into heroism, something that was not supposed to be part of this movie. Being slave to the clichés is sometimes a fashion, isn’t it?

Performers of the soul :: Prithviraj Sukumaran shines in the movie as the Indian soldier guarding Picket 43; he excels in those emotional scenes and nicely manages the lighter moments too. He is there throughout the movie, and there is not much time in the movie without his presence, and we can safely say that this is his movie. The next big character, and among the two really significant characters is the Pakistani soldier played by Javed Jaffrey who steals our hearts from the other side. May be he was chosen because he played a Pakistani soldier in the war satire which was War Chhod Na Yaar. Whatever be the reason, he has done an amazing job here. Both of them get some nice dialogues, and a few memorable lines too. Then there is the dog which is a cool addition to the movie, even as there was more scope for things to be added with the pet. Renji Panicker is also good. Prithviraj’s love interest has a forgettable outing here, and so do most of the characters of Kerala episode.

Soul exploration :: Picket 43 links friendship, patriotism and sacrifice together to make an impact, and these are major elements of this movie. The first one is the major theme of the movie which also asserts humanity and hopes for peace, so that there could be humans who no longer hate each other for no real reason – friendship beyond boundaries is the factor at the core. Patriotism is present here and there, but I have felt better of the same with the other running movie from Bollywood, Baby. The use of patriotism was expected and in the beginning and end, it is even more strong – but it is still not a core element. The sacrifice element is also in abundance, and it is not just for the country, but also in the name of friendship and honour, thus the sacrifice element joining the other two together. May be the forced happy ending was not necessary. Even the dog becomes a symbol another friendship here, even as it has no role in the other two elements.

How it finishes :: Releasing on the Republic Day weekend, Picket 43 is doing a nice job at the theatres along with Mili, not really being a mutual challenge as the themes are entirely different with the two, bringing no comparisons into the question. It is also the right time for the release of this movie. There is no better time to get the best results at the box-office. What needs to be appreciated is the effort to take a movie like this, all the way from the South to the North, and using so many themes in it. The same thing seems to be rewarded nicely by the audience, and it was also the movie which has had most number of screens having shows. Yes, Major Ravi is back with this movie. Lets hope for peace and no war, and also pray for a bright future in the relationship between the two neighbouring nations which still have hope for better relations. May God bless our soldiers and may goodness and humanity thrive among chaos and destruction.

Release date: 23rd January 2015
Running time: 103 minutes
Directed by: Major Ravi
Starring: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Javed Jaffrey, Renji Panicker, Sudheer Karamana, Kannan Nair, Haresh Peradi, Angana Roy, Anu Mohan, Anshu Sharma, Sreerag Nambiar

picket43

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

7th Day

7thdayy

The 7th Day significance :: A name which signifies a special day and the tagline which supports the same “The seventh day on which God rested after creating the world in six days”, this was always going to be a different experience. God didn’t need to rest, but he rested on the seventh day which became the Shabbat of Jews, and it is up-to this movie’s release to see how all that would relate to a thriller movie such as this (but it turns out that I thought too much about it). Prithviraj Sukumaran himself says that there has not been any other movie which he has been involved this much, and that only reason that there is no trailer for this movie (there is only the teaser) is because he doesn’t want anyone to have a prior idea or design about this movie which is going to be innovative in many ways. Read more about the same from his official page on Facebook. For anyone who have watched and liked either Mumbai Police or Memories starring the same actor, this was going to be a must watch, and that includes me who considers the latter to be the better movie and among the best of the year. These two movie publicize this movie more than any page or advertisement that can be created – why need anything more?

What is it about? :: David Abraham I.P.S. (Prithviraj Sukumaran) accidently meets Shaan (Vinay Forrt) and Vinu (Anu Mohan) as his jeep hits their motorbike. As he comes across Shaan again and the news spread that Vinu has committed suicide, David feels that there was something strange about the whole thing, and it was evident from their talks and action last night. He goes to meet Shaan who tells him that they have been in trouble for a very long time, and were hunted by the henchmen of a strange and mostly unknown enemy known to many as Christopher Moriarty. They have been trying to run and hide from them in vain, and he was actually separated from his friends before the accident happened. His other friends, Jessy (Janani Iyer), Aby (Tovino Thomas) and Cyril (Praveen Prem) are nowhere to be found and he suspects that they are in deep trouble or possibly dead. David decides to help him and goes out on an investigation by himself, only to uncover strange truths about them, and come to the realization that Shaan might be the only one among the gang who is telling the actual truth. But David is not ready to lose this battle and certainly not the war. His icons are people from the history who lost, but he always plays to win; he doesn’t mind if he tries and losses.

The defence of 7th Day :: The centre of all defence of this movie stands Prithviraj Sukumaran, more powerful than ever. He has the screen presence which makes most of the other things in the movie not that significant. Whenever he is there, everything is under control, as he remains the captain throughout the journey of this ship. Other than that, movie has a nice suspense maintained throughout, and is not without thrills. There is a lot of mystery feeling that the environment of the movie gives. The feeling goes on throughout the movie, especially when our protagonist is on the investigation. The style and lighting in the movie is special, and the darkness that runs throughout the movie helps its mood a lot. There is always something about the inception and development of a dark world in a thriller movie, and this is no exception. We are given the feeling that there is always more than what meets the eye for each character, and even David Abraham himself is no exception, as we see how he changes and reacts according to the situations. There are some stylish dialogues too, some of them which can stay on our minds for at least some time.

The claws of flaw :: 7th Day is a lot like Memories and Mumbai Police, the two other police stories featuring Prithviraj. But the problem is when this one doesn’t give its protagonist to be more of a vulnerable man like in those two, and from the latter, it inherits not just the dark shades, but also the drag which turns out to be rather unfortunate. This also has an investigation going like Memories, but comes nowhere close to that movie in the script or the climax. The occasional drag is a let down, and there are times when the movie becomes less of an investigative thriller and more of a crime drama – something to be expected when the whole thing is related to policeman on suspension and a group of youngsters on the run from a web of crime lead by a ruthless guy whose last name comes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s greatest known creation, as Professor Moriarty gives it to this one, Christopher Moriarty – I would like to think not much about it, and imagine not about them being related. The chain of events begin on Christmas, so may be they chose to have Christopher as the first name. That should have been avoided, and just another usual name could have done; for villains are not known for their names, but for their actions. Any more talk about that name shall shatter the suspense, and lets not venture more into the same.

Performers of the Soul :: Prithviraj’s real beginning with a police role picks up with Vargam, and that spark returned with Mumbai Police, which was incredibly powered with Memories – the two investigative thrillers of last year which had him in stunning performances, the second being something which was to be appreciated by everyone. He slowly moved away from that kind of police role which Suresh Gopi used to do and gain success, and he himself did with not that much appreciation. Instead, he has come up with so much variety in the same, accepted roles in which he could prove his wonderful acting skills again and again. 7th Day is no exception. From Solomon Joseph to Anthony Moses, and Sam Alex to David Abraham, the fourth memorable police role comes to light here, even as you can surely ask the question if he will come last among the four. Well, Prithviraj steals the show, and this movie is so much about his character – the best thing about the movie. The youngsters are okay with their performances, but as expected, Vinay Forrt stands out as the best of them all, followed by Tovino Thomas. Janani Iyer has the least to do among them, and Joy Mathew has a small, but good role.

Soul exploration :: Welcome to the world of another dark investigative thriller. Unlike Memories, this one leaves much less for the soul. Somehow, I was able to guess the villain as well as the main culprit in the movie, and there were two, and I guessed them both correct – that should have just an incident by accident, and you should give it a try guessing. I was also able to bring up the final twist correctly, something which was rather impossible with Memories and slightly possible with Mumbai Police. The first half’s inherent slowness might have been the main thing which hurt its possibilities of being special, and the second half never really manages to make things faster. The flashback scenes were to be without Prithviraj and they also hurt the soul. It need a lot more of life, something which Mumbai Police partially provided with the negative traits of the character and Memories with the powerful presence of a psycho killer and the memories of the protagonist himself. This one doesn’t have such a boost. We expect much more, but we do not get it. But we are indeed satisfied by what we get, and coming from a debutant director, this is very good.

How it finishes :: This is a week of too many movies – the Vishu holiday which gets extended due to Dr. Amedkar Jayanthi and Sunday with just a day separating them from the Maundy Thursday. With the rush of the summer vacations from school kids and college students, there might not be any movie which can’t be a hit unless it does something really stupid. Gangster‘s inability to impress any kind of audience except for the fans and other concerned groups who say it is good for the obvious reasons, will surely help the other movies which release on the very next day a lot – 7th Day, Ring Master and Polytechnic. Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier gets an extended long run, and with Divergent and Rio 2 ready, and as some other movies refuse to go way including lesser Bollywood releases, this will be a nice weekend for the three Malayalam movies which released today. The families with kids might be looking forward to Bhoothnath Returns too. The Easter week is also coming up, and with 2 States and Transcendence waiting to pounce, it is the best to make most money this week, and with some good opinions, an extended run is a certainty. Now this one has less shows, but that is expected to increase in the upcoming days. 7th Day has the upper-hand as far the opinions are concerned.

Release date: 12th April 2014
Running time: 134 minutes
Directed by: Syam Dhar
Starring: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Janani Iyer, Vinay Forrt, Anu Mohan, Tovino Thomas, Praveen Prem, Joy Mathew, T. G. Ravi, Yog Japee

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.