2013 in Review

Happy New Year everyone. I was waiting for WordPress to give me my year in review, but no such summary and statistics came up for this blog, and so I thought I should come up with a movie summary instead. I had posted this without detail on Facebook, and I guess I would share this in detail here for the new year.

2013 copy

Best Malayalam movie: Celluloid
Its awesomeness approved by Kerala State Film Awards and the National Film Award committee of India. Prithviraj starts the year well. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/celluloid/

Best Hindi movie: Madras Cafe
There is absolutely no doubt about this one, as even with actors not known for their acting, this movie nails it. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/madras-cafe/

Best English movie: The Conjuring
I had thought long and hard about this one, but a horror movie always deserves an extra push and this one deserved it. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/the-conjuring/

Best Animated movie: Frozen
Unlike Brave, this year has a respectable animated movie at the top. People of no age group can afford to miss this one. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/frozen/

Best Action movie: Pacific Rim
Guillermo del Toro doesn’t miss out as he makes the right robot movie in our world plagued by Transformers. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/pacific-rim/

Best Visual experience: Gravity
This visually superior movie is all set to make it big on the Academy Awards next year, that is for sure. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/gravity/

Best Thrills: Drishyam
The director Jeethu Joseph maintains his cent percent record with another thriller, his second super hit of the year. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/drishyam/

Big Surprise: Philips and the Monkey Pen
Not that inspiring from the name, and not at all hyped, this movie is a beautifully crafted allegory with children as main characters. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/monkey-pen/

Righteous One: North 24 Kaatham
This movie is so simple and yet scores with the simple thoughts about goodness, righteous and happiness, and it has the power to change lives. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/north-24-kaatham/

Magical Movie: Amen
This movie is magical with or without its clear share of magic realism, and it is one of its kind, to be remade in other Indian languages. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/amen/

Powerful Experience: Rush
For a movie which can bring even non-Formula One fans to feel the emotions, there is no evil to be said about this one. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/rush/

Game Changer: Go Goa Gone
This movie might be the best thing that has happened to Bollywood in 2013, and I hope that this zom-com brings good changes instead of mindlessness. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/go-goa-gone/

Personal Favourite: Memories
One of the two brilliant movies from the director of the year, this movie establishes Prithviraj as the Malayalam actor of the year. Check for review: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/memories/

Unnoticed One: 10:30 am Local Call
This movie had lots of good things about it despite a small cast except for Lal. This is a thriller as well as a love story with strength at both levels. Sadly, it didn’t get the attention or the appreciation it actually deserved.

Worst Malayalam movie: Kammath and Kammath
The movie provides us a world of nonsense and one can’t even understand what they say or intend to say. It wastes two actors and two actresses in a few hours of crime which they call a film. The side-effects of this movie include an eternal hatred for dosa which I could overcome only by hating idli.

Worst Hindi movie: Besharam
The shameless movie of the year has one of the so called young actors of the future in one of the worst roles anyone can do. This movie is a disgrace to Gandhiji as it released on the day of Gandhi Jayanthi. Taking in a whole family of actors and adding bad jokes which are older than our leading actor doesn’t help either.

Worst English movie: Mortal Instruments
This movie wonders who is the lover of whose brother and demons, vampires, hunters and werewolves have never been this retarded. There is this nonsense which makes Twilight look better. One comes to know that Lily Collins is incredibly cute, but the story or the characters makes no sense even when they are not on screen.

Most Undeserving Hit: Chennai Express
This is a painful watch as its take on the South – the actress has a Hindi accent which is not from the South of India, but from outside the nation, and the movie isn’t even funny enought to be taken lightly, and its romantic side is terrible. This is a clear case of stereotyping, and with all due disrespect to Krrish 3 and Dhoom 3, this will remain the undeserving one.

Of a Mental Asylum: Olipporu
From the moment it begins, to the end, the movie has tried to do something intellectual, that is for sure – but at most times, it makes no sense and with this movie, I have stopped watching Malayalam movies on the first day, alone. In the movie Nadan, Jayaram tells a few words which are applicable for this movie.

Worst Drag: Annayum Rasoolum
This had three hours of nothing but drag – the hero looks at the heroine, and keeps looking at her till the end of first half, and in a relationship of few words, they kiss, he goes to jail and she dies in a world of pathetic pseudo-romance. To add to an already slow movie, there is slow motion – what is wrong with these people?

Worst Drift: Bicycle Thieves
This movie drifts again and again with no idea where to go and what to do with its characters. There are twists of no sense and characters of no use. After stealing the title from Vittorio De Sica, this one comes up with a heroine who looks many times younger than the hero, and lead by her being weird. almost everyone acts strange, wonder why.

Worst Emptiness: Kili Poyi
This one has nothing, but smoke inside it, with clear glorification of drugs and a loose lifestyle, and its characters are so plain that one can hope to have just smoke inside it and feel the emptiness throughout the world. The movie itself is a black hole which has unfortunately made an impact of nonsense.

Worst Lie: Neelakasam Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi
This movie is a lie from the beginning to the end, and has characters who use the mask of travel for being stupid and aimless. The leading character is a man who pretends so much that he obviously has no identity of his own, and the journey is useless. This is rather an Indian Born Confused Desi (IBCD).

Worst Stupidity: ABCD
This one uses that kind of jokes which can’t appeal to even the worst of brains, and it is surprising that it became a big hit. The story of two shameless people who live a shameless life to end shameless doesn’t bring up any interest, except for the fine debutant performance of Jacob Gregory.

Unbearable One: Sringaravelan
This year’s most shameful comic movie comes up with a hero who falls in love with the heroine in another strange and meaningless way and their adventure is indeed a mentally retarded one, with the only hope being the beautiful heroine. Why would someone subtitle a movie “The Romantic Fighter” is beyond all hope.

Clueless One: The Host
There are no Twilight movies this year, and this movie is the worthy successor to that legacy, coming from a work of the same author. From the beginning to the end, this is a clueless alien invasion with no sense. At the end of the movie, we are aliens and would wish to escape from that world.

Worst Hype: Django Unchained
A story of violence and racial hatred has the shoot-at-random-people theory going throughout it. If the colour is different, shoot more people, and dead people are so much fun in this movie. Show a grin after you shoot people, because murder and destruction is so much fun. I have written a review, but you needn’t read it 😀

Malayalam Only:
Best Actor: Prithviraj Sukumaran (Celluloid, Memories, Mumbai Police)
Second Best: Fahadh Faasil (North 24 Kaatham, Amen)

Best Actress: Remya Nambeesan (Philips and the Monkey Pen, Left Right Left, Nadan)
Second Best: Swati Reddy (Amen, North 24 Kaatham)

Best Pair: Fahadh Faasil and Swati Reddy (Amen, North 24 Kaatham)
Second Best: Nivin Pauly and Nazriya Nazim (Neram)

Best Performance: Prithviraj Sukumaran in Celluloid
Second Best: Prithviraj Sukumaran in Memories

Best Negative Shades: Indrajith Sukumaran in Left Right Left
Second Best: Indrajith Sukumaran in Ezhamathe Varavu

Best Villain: Joy Mathew in Amen
Second Best: Sreekumar in Memories

Best Supporting Role: Indrajith Sukumaran in Amen
Second Best: Fahadh Faasil in Immanuel

Best Comic Lead: Asif Ali in Honey Bee
Second Best: Kunchacko Boban in Pullipulikalum Aattinkuttiyum

Best Debut: Reenu Mathews in Immmanuel
Second Best: Keerthi Suresh in Geethanjali

Surprising Performers: Vijay Babu in Philips and the Monkey Pen
Second Best: Lena Abhilash in Left Right Left

Best Impact: Shobana in Thira
Second Best: Indrajith Sukumaran in Amen

Best Character: Georgekutty in Drishyam (Mohanlal)
Second Best: Sam Alex in Memories (Prithviraj Sukumaran)

Best Director: Jeethu Joseph (Memories, Drishyam)
Second Best: Lijo Jose Pellissery (Amen)

Best Child Artist: Esther Anil (Drishyam)
Second Best: Sanoop Santhosh (Philips and the Monkey Pen)

Best Song: Memories Never Die (Memories)
Second Best: Etho Sayahna Swapnangalil (10:30 am Local Call)

PS: Most read movie reviews:
Drishyam (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/drishyam/)
Oru Indian Pranaya Katha (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/oru-indian-pranaya-katha/)
Phata Poster Nikla Hero (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/phata-poster-nikhla-hero/)

*103 movies watched on the big screen this year, with 71 of them reviewed. There were 44 English movies, 43 Malayalam movies, 12 Hindi movies and 4 Tamil movies. Total Reviews including honorary ones = 109.

Warm Bodies

warmbodies!

Welcome to Zombieland – not as the name of the movie, but as a world with is not only a “zomcom” like Go Goa Gone, or “romcom” like all those pathetic movies which have eaten the brains of Bollywood and still continues to do so; for this one from Hollywood is everything at once, “zomcom”, “romcom”, “zomrom”, or even “zomromcom”.  This movie is a pleasant surprise, in a world where teenagers wish to lose their humanity and be the Twilight vampires, this one comes up with something different. It is the story of a zombie who reclaims his humanity, and leads to a transformation among his own zombie people. The first question that should come to one’s mind is about how much it would work in a world of movies and literature where the vampires are glorified, and the werewolves are also given their due with the cross-connections (thanks Underworld and Twilight), and zombies are still shot on the heads with no hesitation. As the question remains about this prejudice, this movie comes with a pleasant surprise which reverses both the zombie situation as well as the supernatural glorification giving the world back to humans. There might still be no zombie wishing for a human to bite them and turn them human, but as we have seen in Daybreakers, there is always the scope to try the reverse transformation.

There is the direct, secure packing and sending of the viewers into a post-apocalyptic world instead of any explanation of what caused the same, which is actually a good movie, as there are always the logic-seekers who would find something wrong in turning these zombies into human. The human survivors who keeps getting lesser in numbers have retreated and have barricaded themselves inside a walled area surrounded by our dear little protagonist zombie and his friends. Most of them are still in comparatively human phase compared to the horrid skeletal structures called Boneys attacking anything that lives, which they become after they lose all hopes (another moment of reminder about Daybreakers, where vampires degenerate into subsiders, the psychotic bat-like creatures). So when the zombies increase in population to infect most of the world and the human supplies get low; Julie Grigio (Teresa Palmer) and her trained friends go out to the zombie world to get something from the abandoned buildings. They are attacked by a group of zombies, but she is saved by R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie who narrates to us, and from whose angle we see the world (not before he eats her boyfriend’s brain though).

So, this R who has been trying quite hard to seem more and more human, has now a girl with brain for company; a brain he doesn’t want to chew on. He keeps her safe in a permanently grounded airplane and the bond makes him move even further towards humanity. Affected by the fact that R killed her boyfriend, the girl of brain leaves the brain eater and manages to reach home safely. But the problem remains that the whole thing has caused such a chain reaction in the zombie society that more of them seem to show the signs of humanity including R’s best zombie friend M. But the Boneys seem to detect this life and is all set to attack both the remaining zombies with their superior strength, agility and the lack of humanity. It is up-to R to get to the human world and find the girl, along with using all the memories from that brain of her boyfriend which he has been chewing on for quite a while. As vampires and zombies are practically the same, and there has been quite a lot of popularity for Twilight, this should have been received better, but these coffin-less, fang-less poor corpses haven’t got the attention they deserved in this part of the world, and it is our supernatural duty to give it to them. I would believe that there are many different ways to read this movie. [Preachy-philosophical stuff ahead: Uninterested people are expected to skip to the third-last line of the last paragraph after the next].

✠ As the reversal of situation: It is the reversal of the vampire addiction and the overdose of humanity in vampire fiction. As the zombies have been portrayed as the most mindless attackers even in the recent World War Z as well as in the collection of Resident Evil movies and games, this could inject an amount of thoughts which might make people value their human existence. Daybreakers couldn’t achieve this and there was no attempt either, as the vampires were more powerful, intelligent and also always winning. Teresa Palmer has looked more like a blonde Kristen Stewart throughout the movie and there are times when she sounded similar enough, but this is undoubtedly better characterization and a better performance in a well created movie. This character is surely one of brains, and not Bella, and can thus create a good replacement for her, and surely there are expressions – the character doesn’t fall for the supernatural like Bella did, as she is clever enough to value her humanity, and neither does she asks him to turn her into a zombie; may be she realizes how gorgeous she is too. Nicholas Hoult’s R is a more hardworking type of undead, even as this one also worries incredibly about keeping his girlfriend safe. When blood-drinking is replaced with brain-eating, there is another psychological impact which brings people back to their human nature.

✠ The old Shakespare and the Fairy Tale: The R should surely stand for Romeo and Julie for the one Juliet, with forbidden love set in motion. R just remembers the first letter of his name, and the lady can surely use a “T” if needed. They do see each other by the balcony, and trust me, there is no sad ending this time. In one way, it is the drama of the dead and in another way, this is the fairy tale of the dead/undead. There has been so much the need for the superman and the knight in shining armour that here, the need to be alive takes that place, and the need to have a beautiful girl with brains. This tale involves the brain used for thinking instead of satisfying the hunger, and the drams taking over the void initiated by one huge nightmare. It is up-to the zombies to connect with the human world, as the humans would do about the Supreme Being, and the ones who give up the hope and belief would be left with their skeletal structures, with no faith and no real life. There is always the hope for a better place, and for the zombies, humanity is one of them, and one man-zombie gets connected to that world by chance.

✠ When most of us are zombies: The middle group represents most of us, when we move on through life doing what the others, the zombie friends do; when we join the course they join, and when we study what we don’t want to study, and live a life of survival which everybody does. But when we choose to be different, we are the zombies for the others, and in our own point of view, we are the chosen ones to be alive. We are not them, and what they feel important can’t be of any significance to us, and vice versa. R became alive when he chose to be different, and one has to wonder if he is one of those people who had chosen to pursue arts instead of the professional courses, and made him realize how important it is to be different, and how much is there to know and understand instead of feeding on those brains symbolizing logic. He understood what creativity is, and its pure awesomeness above logic. It is choosing that good path to be different that matters, and for all the others who take that different evil path, there is the world of the walking skeletons. The advantage of this gained humanity is that one would know its value and it won’t be wasted on anything silly. It is our choice, and out of the knowledge of the Supreme Being, and the world would become more of truth and wisdom. The opportunity to reclaim the lost humanity is to be embraced.

✠ The value of humanity and faith: By the end of the movie, it is the human contact and never ending faith that saves the day. There is always the need to take that leap of faith at some point of life, and the strong belief in God and being humane are all that matters. If a zombie could go beyond his needs and prevent himself from devouring what he needed for diets, where does the humanity lie? Does the zombie’s need to feed strike lower than the human need for war and destruction? When an undead creature could come up with so much faith, why is it that humans fail miserably? This is where the questions begin and answers hide behind the bushes. The movie might not interest those who are looking for quick undead action, but this clever twist to the old myth of undead is a must watch for all those who feel like a zombie, or has the desire to see humanity in action at its base level in the most humane way. After watching this movie, some of you might surely hesitate a second before shooting an undead during the next zombie apocalypse. From what this movie has achieved, that much I am sure about; the rest is for you to decide.

Release date: 1st February 2013
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, Cory Hardrict, John Malkovich

warmbodies copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.