Clint

What is the movie about? :: Edmund Thomas Clint (Master Alok) is the only son of MT Joseph (Unni Mukundan) and Chinnamma Joseph (Rima Kallingal), and was named after the famous Hollywood actor Clint Eastwood, as his parents were his fan at that time. While his mother remained a housewife, his father has been working as an upper division clerk with the government. He loved colours so much that he started painting at a very small age. His work impressed his parents as well as people around, but their decision to accept the boy’s decision to not attend school anymore was considered, and often declared as radical and foolish by so many of his well-wishers. He has been known to be a curious boy who wished to travel and see things, reflecting them on his canvas, and when he couldn’t, he used the descriptions by the people around him and the books given by his father to come up with an idea of how things could really be, as he combined them with his creativity and sharp intellect.

So, what happens with the events to follow in this biopic? :: It is one of Joseph’s friends Mohanan (Vinay Forrt) who appreciates his work the most, among those outside his family. It is when he is getting more and more attention, and even while getting selected to participate in a number of competitions, that tragedy strikes. His doctor and nephrologist Joseph Abraham (Joy Mathew) lets his parents know the terrible thing, that his kidneys are failing, and there might not be many days left before him – they can only try, according to him. Shattered by this news, Clint’s parents’ life won’t be the same again. But they try their best to keep their child happy during his last days. But fate always wins, and there is no chance to stop him – but can they delay the inevitable as much as they can, and bring some hope? There is the certainty of more being painted by the boy, even when being so close to death.

The defence of Clint :: Showing the life of a child prodigy who is known to have drawn over twenty five thousand paintings during his short life of a little less than seven years, here is a certain amount of inspiration in store with this movie, and we get close to life of the little genius on the big screen. Telling the tale of a naturally skilled person, this one nicely explores how he had been doing what was best at. There are some nice visuals and a few memorable moments to go with the same. The setting is very good, and helps to make the movie better. Even though the child is at the centre, there are some familiar names who get to show their skills in the movie too. The best thing about this movie is that it hasn’t complicated things that much when it could have done the same, and it never does concentrate that much on the disease when the usual tendency to do the same. Without that, the movie provides us a pretty good journey through the life of the famous child prodigy.

The claws of flaw :: There is the movie going so close to melodrama, and some moments just seem to be added to bring the cliche stuff in a predictable manner rather than anything else. We also find some dialogues rather too much for the child, and the sequence involving Salim Kumar is rather strange instead of being funny – it is the worst point of this flick. It even has a barber who looks on like a butcher. The movie also drags in between, which is rather strange, because they could have kept things going just with the paintings, and children playing; also those dialogues between father and son, which could have been the highlights of this movie, goes rather restricted, despite the promise shown in the beginning. There seems to be limitations around here, with the story and its moments, for there was scope to bring in more and more, which could have made this movie a big, colourful thing just like the real child in his real life is known to be. There was the need for quality.

Performers of the soul :: It is never that easy to get a biopic related to the life of one special child with amazing skills at a very young age. It was essential to find the right cast, and Master Alok, despite providing us with a few doubts in the beginning, does a fine reflection of the character he plays here. The existential questions do provide him the chance to take it further, as life after death, one’s existence as stars after that, and many other come to him. He has his best moments after getting the disease though, and goes throughout without struggling at any point. Baby Akshara is good support to him, even though some dialogues given to her just go strange, as with Alok on a few occasions, but latter has better control. Children and their world, if given more life with the colours on the canvas reflected into them, would have provided these two something further cute to work with though.

Further performers of the soul :: It is only after the movie gets to come up with a talk with the real life parents of Clint that we get into the movie. After we get in there, it is Unni Mukundan and Rima Kallingal, especially the latter, who gets to work through the pillars of this movie, and hold it together for its protagonist to manage. Both of them provide us with what seems to be an honest attempt at making this work, and their presence makes some of those problems in this movie to be forgotten. They are really good right from the beginning, and they excel at the emotional sequences. There is not that much revealed about their characters, but the two rightly portray what is needed here. The next big role here goes to Vinay Forrt, who is not far behind in his portrayal of the friend and well-wisher. Renji Panicker comes in and contributes in a good, smaller role, but Joy Mathew is indeed the next noticeable one, as he does his doctor act with no problems.

How it finishes :: One can be sure that this is a good attempt at making a biopic on the life of our own child prodigy. But there will still be doubts if this couldn’t be any better. With four movies being there in the theatres from last ten days, including Thrissivaperoor Kliptham, Varnyathil Aashanka, Sarvopari Palakkaran and Chunkzz, along with the leftover movies Basheerinte Premalekhanam, Sunday Holiday, Kadam Katha and Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum, Clint is going to have a tough time in the less number of theatres it is being screened. With some more, attention, this movie could have competed well, and even won against most of these titles – there can be more from the life of a child prodigy who has gone on to become someone whom we all know. As of now, as this movie stands, it becomes also our opportunity to check this movie, and feel the strength of the life of a little master of colours – it is where this movie has our attention, making an attempt not to be forgotten. I watched this one because I wanted to know, and I wished to see everything alive – don’t you too, for such a skilled child?

Release date: 11th August 2017
Running time: 138 minutes
Directed by: Harikumar
Starring: Unni Mukundan, Rima Kallingal, Master Alok, Vinay Forrt, Joy Mathew, Renji Panicker, Baby Akshara, Salim Kumar, KPAC Lalitha

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✠ The Vampire Bat.

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.

Phata Poster Nikla Hero

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Even as the comedy movies are not having a good time these days and I have been mostly against them with the exception of Go Goa Gone, this one comes from the same person who had earlier directed Andaz Apna Apna, and so it was to be watched also because it had positive reviews from a good number of people whom I trusted. No, I don’t like Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, and so lets leave it out of this. Watching the Malayalam movie Sringaravelan worked completely against that idea though, and delayed the procedure even further with the reminder of the horror that a comedy movie can be. But the need to watch a movie featuring Ileana D’Cruz came up, and as most of the people did in last year, I didn’t watch Barfi nor did I watch Nanban, which made this movie closer to a must-watch. To add to it, the trailer was pretty good too, considering the standards which one expect from a mindless comedy movie. No, the movie doesn’t live up-to the trailer as it is not a fun riot throughout as it mixes things. Well, its mixed reviews are justified for sure, as the film raises its bar as a comedy movie which is not for one age group or just a generation of viewers, even as it never reaches that high level of something which is to be remembered for a long time.

If this movie was to raise the bar high enough, this review was to feature an interview with Count Dracula himself, but as it didn’t do that well enough, Dracula has to stay with just one interview provided (moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/hotel-transylvania/‎) and this won’t be the time for the second. The movie starts very well if we look at it, but it loses most of its strength in the second half, and the use of sentiments and there is that little more action which is more than needed, that doesn’t really help the cause. The movie is a breeze throughout the first half, and a disoriented wind in the second half. The movie required more comedy too, even as most of the existing funny lines surely work. With this movie with a title that is literally translated as Poster Rips Open And Out Comes Hero, there was a lot more possible. This could have been the best comedy movie of the year in any language from India if it had taken over from the base which was set in the first half, but unfortunately it trails to its own early half. Still, it doesn’t lose its path completely, as it holds on and on to the mindlessness and provides us with something which looks more like a parody at times, but is still funny enough.

The movie has a simple story if not the simplest of the age. There is nothing complicated in a young man from a village, Vishwas Rao (Shahid Kapoor) who hopes to become a big superstar by gaining a leading role in a movie. He is raised by his mother (Padmini Kolhapure) by driving an auto-rickshaw, hoping that her son will grow up to be a Police Inspector and beat up the evil guys, restoring order to a world lacking in righteousness and truth. She hopes that through her son, there will be justice which was destroyed by her own husband who was a corrupt police officer until the moment of his death. As Vishwas tries to make it to the big screen, his mother tries even more to make him a police officer, but he retaliates by depicting himself as unfit in front of those who conduct the tests. As he is called to Mumbai as the last chance for a police job, he goes there happily and tries his luck in the movies instead. But as a he comes up against a social-worker Kajal (Ileana D’Cruz) who confuses him as a police officer and he is pitted against the gangs of the city. He accidently catches another thief, and he hesitates to tell the truth as he falls for her slowly, but steadily.

The arrival of his mother who thinks that he is a police officer, also complicates the situation. He gets his aspiring actor friends to help him in the life-time acting of the police officer and even convinces the police commisioner to act so that he can help his mother. He is forced to save those who were vacated by goons due to his mother forcing him, and then again Kajal makes him raid a dance bar, an act which saves a number of women and exposes a lot of black money. The result is that the underworld don Gundappa (Saurabh Shukla) and the corrupt inspector Ghorpade (Zakir Hussain) on his payroll comes to consider him as a serious threat to their business and begins a big search for him. There are talks about an international criminal nicknamed Napolean and a dangerous terrorist mission known as the White Elephant, but at the same time, the police commissioner comes to stay near the place where our hero and his mother are staying, which adds to his woes, as he tries hard to keep his mask of the non-corrupt police officer on his face. Now, the hero has to become the real-life star rather than the big-screen star.

This is Shahid Kapoor’s favourite performance as I am concerned. I haven’t been his fan, but I liked his performances in 36 China Town and Fida. This is the first time that I have seen his performance which is fully comic in character, and there is no doubt that he has done the best among the actors. The best scenes include those when he meets Salman Khan when with his future love, and the dialogues with the police commissioner. He gets some good funny lines as expected. Yes, Salman Khan does make a cameo in this movie as himself, and Nargis Fakhri is there for an item dance which is more of a stage performance. Ileana D’Cruz looks lovely and dazzling throughout the movie, even as her character seems to make regular attempts to look cute and stupid, and turns incredibly gorgeous in the songs. Talking about the songs, it has to be said that they spring out of nowhere, like the demons of The Conjuring, but we get to see Shahid Kapoor at his stylish best and Ileana D’Cruz with serene beauty. The songs are undoubtedly forced on the movie, just like the climax. Ileana has her best lines in the beginning and the end, and in between, she has not much to outside the songs, alone.

As I had mentioned earlier, Ileana D’Cruz is the main reason why I stumbled upon this movie, and I have to say that she is part of my list of favourite actresses in Bollywood, even though I should have been familiar with her movies from the movie industry of the South, which I am not, just in her case. One fact about her character is that it is both a stupid as well as a lovable one – all the characters of the movie are pretty much stupid for sure, except for Padmini Kolhapure’s mother character. Ileana’s character has used that stupidity to perfection though, as she plays the lady who is nicknamed Complaint Kajal for the large number of complaints which she files in the police station for various reasons. It is a character who is supposed to be so, and Ileana’s portrayal of the same makes her instantly likable. Her portrayal of the character is second only to the hero’s performance. The name Ileana, having its own Greek origins, meaning “of Troy”, derived from the Greek name Helen, and here too, the origins are quite justified, as she remains the most beautiful side of the movie, even as no wars were fought on her name.

Padmini Kolhapure plays a good, righteous mother perfectly, as its been a long time since I saw her on the big screen, as I missed the Hamlet inspired Malayalam movie Karmayogi in which she is supposed to have been a part of. The other actors have also did their part well enough to entertain us. The best thing about this movie is that there is no humour of bad taste or bad words which keep the families away, and there is nothing of adult jokes which some of the movies of this age uses when the makers run out of ideas. There is also assertion of truth and righteousness and in the end it is asserted that being a hero in real life is better than being a fake hero in the big screen, an idea which lightens up what seems to be an otherwise inferior end to what seemed to be coming in the first half. This weaker second half could have been boosted to make this movie a better treat, but for now, lets adjust with what we have here. This is a movie which you can watch without thinking much, and you can give your brain a rest. I could watch this one for just rupees fifty and this is more than just worth it. Watch this one for the Helen of Troy that is Ileana D’Cruz, the charming stylish Greek hero that is Shahid Kapoor, and all the fun which has a hidden goodness element – forget the plot and leave your brains behind though.

Release date: 20th September 2013
Running time: 146 minutes
Directed by: Rajkumar Santoshi
Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, Padmini Kolhapure, Darshan Jariwala, Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Mishra, Zakir Hussain, Mukesh Tiwari, Rana Jung Bahadur, Deepika Kamaiah, Tinnu Anand, Nargis Fakhri (cameo), Salman Khan (cameo)

phataposte copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.