Style

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Vampire Owl :: It is strange that we haven’t yet watched the first big movie of the year yet.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, and it was also going to be one of the last movies of last year until the release was postponed.

Vampire Owl :: Then we are going to watch a movie which has a two year presence.

Vampire Bat :: Well, if you wish to explain the delay of a movie in that manner.

Vampire Owl :: Haven’t we finished the rest of the big movies? I don’t think that we have the opportunity not to watch this one.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, we also need to begin this year’s movie watching experience without delay.

Vampire Owl :: Exactly; only a fine beginning can ensure that we will end up watching one hundred movies in the theatres by the end of the year.

Vampire Bat :: We have to get there. It is a century which I could have achieved easily if the first six months had more movies watched in the theatres.

Vampire Owl :: So, lets begin the journey within the first week of the year itself.

Vampire Bat :: So be it. We shall begin our battles at this theatre.

[Gets the tickets with some cheese popcorn].

What is it about? :: Tom (Unni Mukundan) is leading a happy life with his little brother Jerry (Master Ilhan) and parents in the city, as he also works with modifying cars while the family also owns a restaurant. His best friend in Kapra (Balu Varghese) working as a car mechanic who doesn’t know how to repair anything. It is during one of these days that Diya (Priya Kandwal) comes into his life with the beginning of the rainy season. They gets closer and as expected, falls in love, with Tom already infatuated with her. As Diya keeps driving her father’s specially modified car through the busy city, she drives her way into Edgar (Tovino Thomas) who is a rich gangster controlling the most powerful criminal empire in the city. Edgar doesn’t like anyone touching his car, as it is to him like the dog is to John Wick, but Diya’s driving doesn’t help.

The defence of Style :: As the name suggests, the movie does look good, and it is stylish; you will know that it is special with the looks right from the beginning itself. The visuals are splendid and there are some good stunts performed in here. There is the attempt to use this visual advantage all the time, and as the big action entertainers have gone so less in number, this one also tries to make something out of that side. The action sequences were mostly very good, but the best one is surprisingly the one from the villain which comes first; that one has the least slow motion sequences and special acts as it is done straight in a believable way; it also kept the style factor very high. There are some pretty good jokes in the middle and the extended sequence after the movie that comes with the credits become a welcome addition. There are some thrills too, even though it is the first half romance and comedy which entertains next after the villain who makes smaller appearances than expected.

Claws of flaw :: There is not much of a story around here, and things go on as predicted. As the makers had already mentioned in the posters, this is indeed the first cliche story of the year, and there is no attempt to add anything different to that anywhere in the story. The later stunts in the movie got a little too much of the flying bodies, and more heroism; the final stunt deviates into the extra masala territory with more villains beaten up – even as this is supposed to have cliches, may be there were elements which could have made this one more believable, but they are left untouched in the end. I am pretty sure that the Malayali audience would have wanted a more believable cliche story as we consider the time from around interval are concerned. The stage was set by the end of first half, and then the movie slowly goes to that too much predictable finish which is not that much for this generation – we are surely beyond that kind of heroism. There could have been more funny moments too along with better songs.

Performers of the soul :: It is the villain who steals the show in this movie, and even though he appears only in a few sequences, it is Tovino Thomas who gets all the appreciation from the audience after the critically acclaimed Ennu Ninte Moideen fame. But as everyone would have wanted, he needed to be there for more time, but we see that he will only be there when the need is there. The makers haven’t used the powerful image that this villain had in the beginning of this movie, to the maximum advantage. The psychotic side of the villain is not used to benefit the movie either, and there goes the bonus which could have lifted this movie to the next level. I would say that when you have a villain with such big screen presence, you shouldn’t restrict him – he should be allowed to thrive like the evil existence that he is supposed to be. But it is not really the case here.

Further performers of the soul :: Unni Mukundan does his role in a simple way, without adding anything grand. Action will surely work nicely for him, as proven. The movie should be a fine setting for him to reclaim the action hero image which he had displayed so well in Mallu Singh. Priya Kandwal manages to be a lot pretty in this debut movie, and even as she doesn’t have much to perform here except for being the fairest one around, she does her job without trouble. I am sure that Malayalam movies will see more of this debutante heroine. Balu Varghese is the one who handles most of the funny side, and he keeps his usual style here, and it works despite not that much humour being worked on here. Vijayaraghavan also has some humour elements to work with here. Also look out for the kid who has his own nice moments. Noby plays another character bringing some humour, but disappears soon. Shine Tom Chacko has just one scene which is not really relevant.

How it finishes :: Coming from the makers of the surprise hit Ithihasa, maybe the audience would have expected a lot more. The challenges are from the most awaited movie of 2015 which was Charlie, the funniest movie of 2015 which was Adi Kapyare Kootamani and the proven crowd-puller which was Two Countries. With Jo and the Boy also around at that time, the shifting of this movie to one week later was pretty much the good idea. With most people already watched the rest of the movie in the theatres, Style surely has a better chance – it is also the kind of movie which Malayalam movie industry has kept away from for quite some time; the entertainer filled with cliches. There will be the kind of audience who will be looking for this kind – there is one hero, one heroine and a villain who doesn’t like them both; you know what to expect.

Release date: 2nd January 2016
Running time: 155 minutes
Directed by: Binu S
Starring: Unni Mukundan, Tovino Thomas, Balu Varghese, Priya Kandwal, Vijayaraghavan, Master Ilhan, Noby Markose, Dominic, Baiju, Shine Tom Chacko

style

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Arrambam

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✠ Before I go on with this one, I have to tell you that October was the month with the most visits for this blog, for which I wish to thank each one of you. My other two blogs also had a fantastic beginning to the month of November, even as I can’t say the same about this one. I also wish all of my readers a very Happy Deepavali (Diwali) and a belated Kerala Piravi Day and a very belated Happy Halloween. I should have wished with the earlier post, but it was written a lot earlier and I didn’t want to mess up with it. I hope you had three wonderful days, October 31st, November 1st, and yesterday the 2nd. Coming back to this week’s choices of movies, this really is a dull week, with no Hollywood releases coming this way and no Malayalam movie releases at all. With that sadness concerning the beginning of a month which didn’t have a good start as Ender’s Game didn’t come this way as expected, I have to take you back to the legendary vampire after my journey to the local theatre to watch another movie, this time a Tamil action thriller flick.

Count Dracula: So you are back. I had checked and found no good English movies this weekend. Did you watch that guy who flies like Superman and acts like Man of Steel and fights an army of mutants including a Professor X – Magneto hybrid, Mystique, Miss Wolverine, Juggernaut, Toad etc? Did you enjoy that movie which should rather be titled as Superman vs X-Men?

Vampire Bat: No, why would you think so? I had seen the trailer and observed its inability right there. I am not a Hritik Roshan fan, a little kid or someone with no other option. Neither do I get free tickets for any movie. It showed that it had no potential from its poor trailer with some graphics which is inferior to Arrambam, a movie which doesn’t need CGI support at all.

Count Dracula: I heard that Koi Mil Gaya is a shameless copy of E.T. and Krrish is just a pathetic excuse to cash in the power of a man who has given us so many better roles. At a time when actors like Arshad Warsi and John Abraham are choosing the right movies, it is a shame that one of the best looking actors had to go with this one.

Vampire Bat: Yes, after watching Besharam, I had decided that I shall not be part of such shamelessness For the same reason, I didn’t watch Boss which was the remake of one of the most pathetic movies in Malayalam. Some bad movies do teach us lessons. Arrambam is the good result of that lesson which was provided with the pain which was Besharam, and I guess I am looking forward to a few more Tamil movies soon.

Count Dracula: So what has it got? You rarely watch a Tamil movie. Anniyan was your favourite, and you watched ony two this year; David and Maryan – see my memory? I never get to use it these days and its nice you keep it working by coming here and talking about these movies of the soul.

Vampire Bat: Let the brain of blood work, as the story revolves around Ashok Kumar (Ajith), a former member of anti-terrorist squad, who is on a mission to avenge the death of his friend due to faulty bullet proof jackets which are provided to security forces – but he was imprisoned and left for dead along with his friends and family. He is supported by his lover Maya (Nayanthara) and a smart, but reluctant computer hacker Arjun (Arya). When the latter feels that he is doing something very bad, and is left with no choice as they keep his lover Anitha (Taapsee Pannu) at gunpoint, he lets the police know and Ashok is arrested after a bomb blast and a car chase. The remaining story deals with him taking revenge on the corrupt Home Minister (Mahesh Manjrekar) and his supporter and the senior police officer (Atul Kulkarni) who were involved in the scam.

Count Dracula: That should remind you of Kamal Haasan’s best Malayalam movie, Chanakyan. Wasn’t that the day you said Urmila Matondkar is the best looking actress of the time after watching that in a VCR? It dealt with one man taking revenge on the politician who destroyed his family, using electronic gadgets and a reluctant helper.

Vampire Bat: Yes, but this is different in a number of ways. The first thing is that there is that relevant social message at the time of scams and corruption, but not something that would inspire you to the horizon. Then we have Ajith Kumar at his best. This is the first time I watch his movie in the theatre, and I can say the same about Arya. Chanakyan was undoubtedly the intellectually superior movie and it was an extraordinary performance from our legendary actor. This one is more of the entertainer type.

Count Dracula: Well, I love that actor – see how he never seems to get too old; the only other person who doesn’t seem to get old at all is Vijay. How does he manage to stay as a young man wonders me. That reminds me that I have to watch Thuppakki, as some gypsies had told me that it is awesome. Get me a DVD some day.

Vampire Bat: Yes, if I decide to watch that. One has to admire Arya’s performance too, as he provides a lot of fun and lighter moments, even as some of them doesn’t work. But, without him this might not have worked this well. One can’t resist liking Taapsee Pannu, being the cute drama queen of the movie, even as there is the doubt if there was some overdose, and if there was the need to explore that drama in another way. Nayantara is there perfectly suited for the role that she plays. The cast saves the movie, and so does the style.

Count Dracula: So there is style too. I have seen that photo of Ajith riding Ducati, and I have my own reasons to believe that there were cooling glasses, bikes and slow motion. I am pretty good at this stuff, right?

Vampire Bat: Yes, there is a treat for Ajith fans, and none of them should miss this movie. There is the abundance of cooling glass, and there is only one bike, plus the slow motion is comparatively less considering what we see these days. The songs are pretty good too. To add it, Arya doesn’t do his BA Romantics like Ranbir Kapoor did in Besharam for horror, as even in the exaggeration, he keeps his cool, and Taapsee Pannu has a good chemistry with him, that is for sure.

Count Dracula: So tell me what works other than the cast and style. Also tell me what doesn’t work other than the overdose of cooling glass and a little exaggeration.

Vampire Bat: Did I forget Kishore who is strong throughout? Did I forget the good performances of the villains? Add them to the list of positives too. The story starts off well with bomb blasts and a flashback which is romantic to the core, and also funny. The movie has a climax which can give positive or negative feedbacks, but for me, it is slightly on the positive. The first half is undoubtedly better than the second. The flashback story of our main hero is less interesting, and one has to wonder why one has to put a festival into every song – is that because the world is running out of ideas? ninety five percent of the time, it is Holi too.

Count Dracula: I see there is too many things mixed about it. But considering the fact that there has been so many bad superstar masala movies in your own language from Lokpaal, Kammath and Kammath and Sound Thoma to the recently depressing Sringaravelan, I guess this can prove as a lesson about how entertainers can be well made.

Vampire Bat: Yes, but there will still be movies like Besharam, and the shame shall continue in this world of humans, but your universe shall live forever as you don’t have to watch such things. Now, it is the time to go home and have that cup of tea, and therefore until we collide on a hunt again, good bye, Count.

Count Dracula: Good bye, best of my winged brethren; for now. May the shadows be with you.

Vampire Bat (to himself): This is not a perfect movie, but there is no reason why one shouldn’t watch this movie this weekend, even while claiming that it is nothing new or innovative. This is a wonderful Deepavali gift for the fans of Ajith, and I welcome everyone to the theatres to choose this one over Krrish 3. Still, one question remains about Bollywood movies. Why is it that movies like Shahid and The Lunchbox doesn’t release in local theatres, but those like Besharam, Krrish 3 and Chennai Express does? We are so profit-oriented and the common man needs better brains; hope some zombie gives one to them instead of eating – a much needed sacrifice.

✠ In this battle of heavyweights, Arrambam clearly outweighs as well as outsmarts Krrish 3 with its theme, and it is evident from the kind of audience who are going to watch both movies. But in the box-office, both will be winners, as this is Deepavali and there are no Hollywood movies gaining entrance, and Malayalam movies have kept away. This is my third Tamil movie of the year in the theatres, after David and Maryan – I have to say that there has not been much disappointment related to them, they were all good enough to be watched with one kind of mood or the other. I shall wait for Thor: The Dark World for now, and until then, if you face two choices at once, you know which movie to go for. No, this doesn’t come from an Ajith fan, and for fans this should be a movie which is not to be missed at any cost; for others, this is an entertainer fulled by performances and style; learn from it dear self-proclaimed mass entertainers and masala action flicks, for this movie can teach you many things.

Release date: 31st October 2013
Running time: 157 minutes
Directed by: Vishnuvardhan
Starring: Ajith Kumar, Arya, Nayantara, Taapsee Pannu, Kishore, Mahesh Manjrekar, Atul Kulkarni, Suman Ranganathan, Akshara Gowda

arrambam copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.