The Paramedic

Vampire Owl: Another good Spanish film to watch? That sounds fair.

Vampire Bat: Well, we have always wanted to have more foreign movies to watch.

Vampire Owl: As we speak, the theatres are opening here too.

Vampire Bat: Well, the question remains – for how long?

Vampire Owl: So, you think that the next wave is coming soon.

Vampire Bat: I can already feel it to be close. One only has to wonder about the terror the virus can unleash this time.

Vampire Owl: Nobody is afraid of the Corona virus anymore.

Vampire Bat: They need to be afraid. It is a shame if they are not.

Vampire Owl: Well, people make their own strange choices these days.

Vampire Bat: Not people, just humans. All the other species are fine.

[Gets a chicken samosa and three cups of cardamom tea].

What is the movie about? :: Angel Hernandez (Mario Casas) is a paramedic who doesn’t care about his patients, and he also steals valuable items from them if he gets a chance. He is also disappointed about not having a child with his girl friend, Vanesa Francois (Deborah Francois) with whom he shares an apartment. He is also very possessive towards her, and blames her for them not having a child. But she wouldn’t care that much about the same, as she is ore interested in her work and advanced level of studies. Things get only worse when their ambulance which his colleague Ricardo (Guillermo Pfening) was driving meets with an accident, and Angel is paralyzed from waist down, leaving him on a wheel chair. This also further strains the relationship between him and Vanesa, and he begins to feel that she is cheating on him. His doubts only increase, and he also starts spying on her – when she realizes the same, she leaves him. But he still remains obssessed with her, and wouldn’t stop stalking her.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Soon, he comes to know that Vanesa has also started a relationship with Ricardo. Soon, he feels that they are going to have a baby, and that further disappoints him. As he goes through his therapy, Angel is more and more concerned about the sequence of events which had occurred earlier. Therefore, he decides to take matters into his hands and calls Vanessa to come back to their apartment, and take her remaining possessions. But when she arrives, he injects him with medicines that leave her unconscious, and ties her to the bed. He also sends messages to Ricardo from her mobile phone, about her not wishing to have the baby, and that she is also not interested in continuing the relationship anymore. He also injects him with drugs so that she temporarily losses the use of her legs. Now, he has plans of them living together like this, and also raise the baby which she would have. Now, it is up to her to try to escape, and him to continue with his strange plans. The question remains about who will succeed in the end.

The defence of The Paramedic :: The Paramedic is partly a thriller and in part a drama, as we look at it. There are moments which raise the level of the movie, and it is very strong in parts, as we look at it. Some moments will be remembered, even though not fully, and the weirdness and sadness of the main character who often gets psychotic will be remembered. The tension does become stronger at times, and at times, we have some anguish and melancholy taking over, even though not at the strongest with the same. Yet, the same doesn’t reach the full potential, even when we feel that it is rising. The setting is really good, with the Spanish streets and an apartment proving as good backgrounds to the work. For a good amount of time, the movie has a certain amount of realistic feeling, and it is also simple enough, even though its characters are indeed complicated. After all, considering the times in which we live in, there are not many things which are not possible among humanity which has come down by a long way.

The claws of flaw :: The Paramedic had the chance to be something bigger, but it doesn’t use its scope to the best advantage. After the premise changes, and the quick turn of events create something for the film to use in the best possibly ways, it keeps itself back instead. In between everything that happened in the movie, we could have been able to add so many things here and there, but this one chooses to go the usual path, without adding the innovative. The movie is also too slow, and it doesn’t pick up the pace even when there was the certain chance to do so. The drag that it had in between could have been easily avoided. The ending is also not that strong enough, as we were expecting something huge happening with the climax too, but that was also not there. It could have also had some very disturbing and scary things to be added in between, and we feel that they could have arrived at many points. It could have been more fun, or with more substance, but both cases are ignored by the film which just goes on without the deviations.

Performers of the soul :: Mario Casas is solid in his role, which turns out to be a very negative one only a few minutes into the movie. He maintains the characteristics of the role throughout the run, and that does brings some unpredictability in between. Deborah Francois also comes up with a strong performance, as it is required from her here. Her character also changes, and gathers a lot of strength throughout the existence. The other characters give some support, and they are of lesser significance. It is to be noted that there are not characters whom we can call good, as most of them have a neutral vibe or the grey side in action here. We are not admirers of any of these characters, and most of us won’t even make friends out of them. Among the smaller performers who catch our attention, the first one is Maria Rodriguez Soto who has a lot of melancholy going on with her, and Guillermo Pfening who becomes a reason to keep the story going. Celso Bugallo also adds a bit there.

How it finishes :: The Paramedic was a fine opportunity to come up with something huge, but the film refuses to take that risk, and manages to provide us with the usual rather than anything else. While reading about the movie, the expectations were surely higher. For a movie which is known more as a thriller, more thrills are surely required, and with such fine performers, the film could have achieved more. With the theatres all prepared to open, one can wonder if what people would choose now, to go to the OTT platforms or go back to the theatres. I would wait in that case, and go for the movies which are still available in those platforms to watch. After all, the third wave of Corona virus might still be ready to come. You have to stay safe during these periods of time, and it has to be a thing of priority, not just for yourself, but also for the people around you. The two doses of vaccine are no guarantee for anything, and so we are supposed to continue to be as careful as we used to be in the beginning of this pandemic and during the lockdowns and quarantines.

Release date: 16th September 2020
Running time: 94 minutes
Directed by: Carles Torras
Starring: Mario Casas, Deborah Francois, Celso Bugallo, Raul Jimenez, Pol Monen, Gerard Oms, Guillermo Pfening, Maria Rodriguez Soto

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

<— Click here to go to the previous European film review.

<— Click here to go to the previous Western European film review.

<— Click here to go to the previous Spanish film review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Kuruthi

What is the movie about? :: Ibrahim (Roshan Mathew) lives in the pain of having lost his wife (Navya Davy) and daughter (Aiza Hassan) to a devastating landslide which killed twenty four people during the heavy monsoon rains and the resulting floods in Kerala. He hopes that he would be united with his wife and daughter in heaven soon enough, while his community is blaming the United States, Israel and the North of India for their plight while trying to recover from the remains of the earlier destruction. Most of the local people including Ibrahim’s good friend Kareem (Shine Tom Chacko) has moved to an area further away from the devastated area, but two families have remained at the same place, and Sumathi (Srindaa) who lives with her brother Preman (Manikandan R Achari) at the nearest house is only happy to help them whenever required. Is then that on a usual night, the town Sub Inspector Sathyan (Murali Gopy) comes into the house with a young murderer, Vishnu (Sagar Surya) whom he hopes to protect from religious violence, as this murderer himself was part of a similar religious crowd long ago.

So, what happens with the events here? :: But for the same, he has to fight the biggest religious fundamentalist that he has ever known, Laiq (Prithviraj Sukumaran), who had already attacked the police earlier with his violent group of religious fanatics. He is also the son of the man who was earlier killed in the violence, and he seeks revenge in the name of religion, community and family, while Ibrahim finds it difficult to understand the neverending hatred in his eyes. He makes a grand entry with his friends, and knows that his prey is there. He had come back from Paris earlier after getting into trouble there, and now he only knows vengeance. Laiq gets into the house with the help of Kareem, and with another helper, they manage to outsmart the police officer, ending up stabbing him. As Ibrahim sees the violence, and takes the policeman’s gun and forces Laiq and his friends to go outside, the dying policeman makes him swear an oath on his holy book that he will protect the man at any cost. But that wouldn’t be acceptable to those who just went outside.

The defence of Kuruthi :: Thrillers have been the need of the COVID-19 times, and here, one more gets added. With just above two hours of run-time, this movie manages to go through the thrills in the darkness. What is striking about this film is that it deals with the hatred which has always existed in the mind of man, something which has spread in the minds over humanity, leading to the idea of the “other”, thriving through the world. But the characters in the film are not just motivated by the same, and are instead having their own reasons for what they are doing during the one fateful night. Due to the same, there are some unexpected twists along with those which people can guess, and we also have some very strong dialogues going on here. Some of them might be very much memorable too. The performances also fuel the film really well, and it often comes from those characters who are considered to be lesser, but with less number of characters here, they all have roles to play in what happens in an eventful night.

The claws of flaw :: There were many routes for this particular thriller to follow, and the trailer had suggested many. The film follows its own, and not every moment of the same seems to go in the right direction. It does misses many opportunities to create the elements of fear when the protagonist is locked inside the house with other characters, and when it could have done better, it tries to go without taking risks. There is also a scarcity female characters in the movie, and other than Srindaa, there is only a new face, Navya Davy in a flashback along with a child actress. It also seems to be in a hurry to finish things, rather than using the atmosphere in the best possible ways. Being caught in an area like this would have brought the chance for more thrilling and scary circumstances, but while looking at philosophy, the movie seems to forget the same. It could have done that at least with the total run-time being increased by a few minutes. Well, we know where vengeance can lead a movie when there is something more to fuel the same.

Performers of the soul :: Prithviraj Sukumaran who was last seen in Cold Case, another thriller which released in Amazon Prime Video, is once again strong, and even though menacing from the beginning, he could have shared this more with Shine Tom Chacko. The purpose seems to be more or less as adding the star value rather than getting him more to perform. The evolution of Roshan Mathew from that very small role of Adi Kapyare Kootamani and the student role of Aanandam has been a thing to remember, and the same will be much talked about after this film too. He is the protagonist in the film, and how the film moves on, depends on his actions. He has that pain in his eyes which is reflected in his actions. It is nice to see Shine Tom Chacko getting some nice roles, but as he was last seen in a smaller work in Operation Java, this is also a comparatively smaller screen-time, even though he has a presence throughout the film. Murali Gopy has a role which is quite easy for him, and even though he is there only for a short period of time, he leaves a mark with his actions and dialogue as he has always done.

Further performers of the soul :: It is also good that Srindaa is doing roles like these instead of silly stuff like Aadu and minute as well as useless things like in Sara’s, as her work was becoming more and more of clichés. Here, she is amazingly strong in her character, and she is the only female character in the whole movie’s present. After the grandeur of Kammattipaadam, we have seen very less of Manikandan R Achari when we think how much he has been capable of doing, and he contributes well too. Then, Mamukkoya in a serious role is memorable here with a touch of humour, and we have seen the same effect with so many of actors who were focusing in comic roles in the past – he also gets the best dialogues here. Sagar Surya whom we recognize from his light-hearted comic role in Thatteem Mutteem series in Mazhavil Manorama is also here, doing the serious role, which he does in a fine manner. It is nice to see such names familiar to families coming to the big screen. Naslen K Gafoor whom we remember from Thanneermathan Dinangal also has a strong role here to play, further away from the funny side which he had then, and the same is done effectively here.

How it finishes :: Kuruthi, even though feels like a full thriller, it is surely more than just that. It seems that during COVID-19 times, ideas of making a good thriller has also been worked on, really well. Along with the same, it also takes on a society which is driven by hatred rather than anything else, as people are divided on different lines here. It shows the people who acts differently under strange circumstances, and it also has a little bit of humour in between the bleak times, and that is a nice surprise. Kuruthi is indeed a film that tries to speak about how people have been divided, and it ends without hope for the future – the bleak times of our world, with its uncertainties get reflected here, and the same is done without COVID-19 being the villain. Well, you don’t need a virus to end the world, as you always have humans. If you have seen the Russian film, The Blackout, you will have an idea of what a virus really would be, if an alien was to look at Earth before planning a full-scale invasion of the planet. Well, the only war which you win with hatred, is that which the future generations will lose, and you can see the signs if you look backwards in history. Back to the present, you fight on social media, you battle on those Youtube comments like you are brain-dead. What is the point?

Release date: 11th August 2021 (Amazon Prime Video)
Running time: 122 minutes
Directed by: Manu Warrier
Starring: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Roshan Mathew, Shine Rom Chacko, Murali Gopy, Srindaa, Manikandan R Achari, Mamukkoya, Sagar Surya, Navas Vallikunnu, Naslen K Gafoor, Navya Davy, Aiza Hassan

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

AUFDRUCK

AUFDRUCK

What is the movie about? :: Beginning with a quote from Heimito von Doderer, the movie features two women, Pansen (Mary Krasnoperova) and Schluppe (Kira Mathis) who are having some talk about various things as they sit facing each other at a cafe. These two young women who are somewhere in their twenties will talk about anything under the sun, and the focus also remains on the cup of coffee and the cigarettes which they are having; they don’t seem to ever end up with enough of these and they are of the opinion that people should be better. They don’t seem happy at all with what happens around them, and have that kind of opinions which are not just strange, but also too direct and won’t be really acceptable to many.

So what are the points of discussion about? :: The exact translation of AUFDRUCK is “label”, and LABEL is also the English title of the fourth short-film directed by Jaschar L Marktanner, who have taken six films so far; this is also his first work as an editor. Each dialogue in the movie reminds us of the labels, the symbols of those miserable conclusions that the society come across related to what we do; something which is often declared by our own relatives themselves. A “label” is something from which there is no escape, as it has been pasted on us with so much ease, as the repetitive words work as the glue. There are times when we wonder if the society had already made a decision on us when we were little kids; sometimes we feel that the relatives always knew what to label us according to certain factors which we know nothing about. It is really difficult to get rid of the labels.

Soul exploration :: The movie is shot in black and white, except for the little colour in the end, and there is a certain piano sound playing on the background. The subtitles are in colour though. The language used won’t go on well with everyone, especially a lot of people from this part of the world. But it can be seen a reflection of the new generation types which we see all around these days. Even around here, we can see such abusive language being used in local languages throughout the social media. It has become part of our lives, and people just randomly use it against people whom they don’t like. The two lady characters in the video are reflections of such people who can do nothing much other than being disrespectful and abusive to the strangers about whom they come up with random opinions in a negative way. The funny thing here is that they even brand the aliens!

More soul exploration :: Such opinions which become nothing less than labels, are put upon people based on just random thoughts. It is clear from the opinion about waitress job that is said with such clarity and confidence that it will make one wonder how people can so easily have a personal opinion regarding people just based on their jobs. The case of dignity of labour is still not there, even after so many years of modernity, and even with the teaching in schools that no job inferior. The teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of our nation, never really maintain any influence on most of our countrymen as we have a look around and see how the labels fly and how some people are mistreated. The class divide has only increased with the new millionaires, and so many people still living below the poverty live a miserable life.

Further soul exploration :: If it is looked at directly from the point of view of a common man here, the points are that the two things here coffee and cigarettes have been considered as more of the capitalist matter. The replacement for cigarettes have been beedis, which were the common man’s cigarette for quite a long time, and has had a relationship with the socialist and communist movements here. Nationalists also used to support beedi in favour of the home-made products. The situation is even more radical in the case of tea. Coffee became popular here because of the IT companies and call centres which have the machines offering free coffee to which the professionals are addicted. The common man’s drink has always been tea, as it remains the cheapest available drink in the country.

And a little more about it :: Tea has been considered the socialist drink, and the communist parties here have used them through the ages, with some movies featuring the same providing tea with the title of being the drink of the masses. Tea still remains the most consumed drink here, and is also the national drink. India’s ruling nationalist party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also successfully used tea as part of its campaign, with “conversation over tea” idea for the common man. So, the idea of having coffee and cigarettes and being abusive towards the working class is a symbol of the class divide which has been widening, with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The poor gets the labels put on them by the rich and the successful people – even the parents of the successful men and women comes up with such labels, don’t they?

How it finishes :: But these people who belong to the higher class can actually act very well, and they will pretend to be good. They can hide their contempt as much whenever they want to because they are trained to pretend. They will just blame the society which consists of the working class, and as they are the more influential ones in the society, this society will take over the labels which these people create, and paste them right on the common man. When they see people who are different, they are even quicker to come up with the labels; it is the depressing state of our society. It has the first leading role for Kira Mathis and the first role for Mary Krasnoperova, and the two ladies have done some excellent job in reflecting the true nature of the society – the latter is my favourite here. It is an interesting work from Jaschar L Marktanner, which will work for you depending on how you think about it, and what you decide to take from it. I consider this flick as a representation of the class divide and the basic human contempt/vanity that leads to labeling others. You will also see the reflections of the online trolls and abusers who do nothing, but keep talking in an abusive tone. The message here which you can take home is to stop judging people, especially based on money and job! If you get deeper into it, you will want this short-film to be at least a little bit longer. You can watch the trailer of the short-film below, and the full movie will be available online soon.

Release date: 10th October 2014
Running time: 4 minutes
Directed by: Jaschar L Marktanner
Starring: Mary Krasnoperova, Kira Mathis, Steffi Charlotte Fluri, Jaschar L Marktanner

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Hate Story II

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Vampire Owl :: But I didn’t watch the first movie of this franchise.

Vampire Bat :: No need. This will not be connected to the prequel even that much as Sachin Tendulkar is to Maria Sharapova.

Vampire Owl :: That is indeed reassuring. Isn’t this Surveen Chawla the one who paired with Sreesanth in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena?

Vampire Bat :: And in many Hindi serials with unknown people and those which none of us watches. She even hosted a television show called Comedy Circus Ke SuperStars.

Vampire Owl :: So this will create something new for the erotic genre in India or recreate whatever the first movie did?

Vampire Bat :: I would think that the only eroticism will be in the poster and the songs. She should be shooting people all around.

Vampire Owl :: So it should be cheating by the posters?

Vampire Bat :: Just like any other movie around here. Every movie pretends.

Vampire Owl :: At least we can watch the movie for her.

Vampire Bat :: Well, she is incredibly cute, even with a gun.

[Enters the movie hall].

What is it about? :: The scene shifts to Mumbai where Sonika (Surveen Chawla) who is attending regular photography classes. After the death of her parents, Mandar Mahatre (Shushant Singh) had become her guardian and is keeping her as a mistress. Mandar is a powerful political leader in Mumbai who is feared if not respected by all. She is forced to succumb to his demands until Akshay (Jay Bhanushali) comes to her life, and the two photography classmates become lovers. But as our villain understands that she is with some random guy, they are forced to run away to Goa, but that doesn’t stop our villain from going there and attempting to kill them both. She ties Akshay to the seat of a car and drowns him in a river while he buries the girl alive in a cemetery, but is found by a man who comes there to mourn a death. As she is shifted to the hospital, there are attempts to murder her, but soon she gets out of trouble and begin planning her vengeance. As expected, she starts from the lesser ones to go to the big fish, and the question remains if she can be good enough to take on such a powerful man who controls a lot of things in Mumbai including the police.

The defence of Hate Story 2 :: Well, our heroine no longer uses her body or sexuality to take revenge. She doesn’t go to that level of the protagonist of the first movie and just goes on to murder people – not in that much of a bloody fashion as Killl Bill, but she does finish them off nicely. Surveen Chawla is the highlight of the movie, but the erotic scenes are rare, and even absent in the case of the movie without the songs. It is in those songs that such scenes occur and so do those bikini scenes. Some of them even waits till the movie to end until coming up. So one can watch it not as an erotic movie as the songs will be available on television (haven’t checked them myself yet). Yes, she doesn’t stand with a bare back and a gun and neither does she appear like in some other posters which seems to have offended a few. I would say that the poster gives a different opinion about the movie, and being erotic is not one of the strong points of the movie. But the songs are really good, and they are nicely picturized without losing the mood of the movie except for one which comes with the hallucination. This should have enough to satisfy the fans of Surveen as well as the revenge movie fans. Unlike Ek Villain, this is also more original in its soul.

Claws of flaw :: With choosing to do away with the erotic scenes which actually powered it before the release, the strangest thing in the movie is Jay Bhanushali coming back from the dead as the glowing avatar as part of her hallucinations. I do wonder why they even had to think about it. Then the romantic side comes up with him at the wrong moments, and in the end it also helps to add a few more erotic scenes in a small screen with the credits. But most of the photos on the posters never really happens in the movie. Even with those which happen, they are in the songs, and that would give rise to the question if getting some video songs later will be enough. It has so much less erotica and compared to its predecessor, it even lags in the thrills and the cast performance – even the dark shades becomes less and the story is just average. It is not something that we haven’t seen before, and adds to the large number of revenge movies which are part of our movie collection. It is really a predictable end that awaits the audience too, and you know what it will include. We needed a lot more and with the kind of views that the trailer had, a much better movie was expected.

Performers of the soul :: This movie is about Surveen Chawla and the character that he plays, and it is the story of her hatred which can only be destroyed by the taste of vengeance. She is nothing less than wonderful on her debut. I was pretty confident about her being good as this had to completely depend on her. She maintains her level through different emotions, and her transformation is good. She is comparatively better as the lover and the one facing her own troubles, and I would guess that the face suits a damsel in distress. But the same can’t be said about the rest of the cast who falters. Jay Bhanushali struggles and it was a bad idea to bring him back as hallucinations, as he was quite good until then – later he was made an illusion with the support of music and the time of entrance is mostly terrible too. As the movie was about the heroine, it is still mostly fine. Sushant Singh is okay, and there are moments when he is very good. But overall, he had the potential to be a better villain which is ruined by some lazy writing and leaves the movie to our heroine as expected, and thankfully, she excelled. Sunny Leone is there just for the item song “Pink Lips”, which is also okay, but the song scene springs out nowhere and disappears without trace.

Soul exploration :: The movie asserts the need for revenge, but its hatred is weaker than the prequel even with the presence of a villain worth hating, right from the beginning to the end, at no point stating otherwise with his action or speech. What our protagonist does is actually something that she should have done a long time ago. She is scared, but as she comes back from the dead, she becomes fearless. Near-death experiences do bring the best, doesn’t it? Or is it the love that guides her? I would say a little bit of both, but she becomes the revenge seeker without remorse. It has its messages about the evil that is in the society and its ability to destroy the life of a common person, but doesn’t really work on it further. The movie has the hero being murder by water, the heroine attempted to be killed under earth, one villain killed by fire and the another one by air – good use of the elements, I would say, but I do wonder if that was actually meant to be so. Ek Villain and Hate Story 2 are still signs that the thriller genre is doing fine in Bollywood, and it is actually a good sign – along with the matching fact that the heroine gets murdered early in the former and the hero in the later.

How it finishes :: I hope a certain lack of more ideas could be forgiven as I was having heavy fever while watching this one at the theatre. Well, fever is such a mortal thing and it can’t stop the Vampire Bat, even as there is no denying that things got worse after watching the movie – the air conditioner and the fan stopped in the theatre, still the fever got worse. I guess as far as I can walk, I can go to a theatre and watch movies. I had thought a lot of things about this one while watching, but I guess I can always come up with more in detail later at http://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/. Still, I can say for sure that if you liked Hate Story‘s first entry, you can go for this, but remember that this not that erotic and there is no working on the same lines as the prequel except for the fact that there is revenge by a female protagonist. I haven’t been a fan of Surveen Chawla, but if you are, I guess you will surely need to try this one – otherwise, just try your luck. This is a movie which can go either way for the audience, and it is more of an opportunity which could have been better used.

Release date: 18th July 2014
Running time: 129 minutes
Directed by: Vishal Pandya
Starring: Surveen Chawla, Jay Bhanushali, Sushant Singh, Mika Singh, Siddharth Kher, Rajesh Khera

hatestory2 copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.