Brother’s Day

What is the movie about? :: Ronnie (Prithviraj Sukumaran) is your average handsome guy next door, leading a catering service, taxi, hotel and restaurant run at Fort Cochin by Joy (Kottayam Nazir). His sister Ruby (Prayaga Martin) has been paralysed from waist down, and is undergoing treatment at an ayurvedic centre. He is helped by Munna (Dharmajan Bolgatty), a chronic bachelor spending his leisure time looking for a suitable match so that he can get married at least this year. During a wedding reception, he meets Jema (Madonna Sebastian), the daughter of George (Spadikam George) who is getting married at an old age after his wife left him. Even though their initial introduction is rather messed up, they become good friends later. Ronnie and Jema have their own saddening stories to tell, but both find happiness visiting the old age homes and spending a few moments together.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: He is also comes across Chandy (Vijayaraghavan), a businessman whom he meets by accident and lands in the police station as well as the hospital. He become good friends with Ronnie, Jema, Munna and Joy after a series of incidents. Ronnie is also introduced to Santa (Aishwarya Lekshmi), Chandy’s beautiful daughter who seems to be a cheerful and energetic young lady from outside, but seems to be holding a secret or two. They also come across Thaneesha (Miya George), a woman whose wedding ceremony was cancelled, and is searching for the reason behind her father’s suicide. Then there is Shiva (Prasanna), a mastermind behind many events involving the rich families and politicians of the city. The question remains about how these people are linked, but their paths are going to cross at some point.

The defence of Brother’s Day :: The movie which begins in a happy, funny mood, gets to the darker mood in the second half, even though there are traces of the same already seen in the beginning, right after the opening credits, and also in parts during its early run. The early comedy is nice, and unlike some of the other movies which pretend to be entertainers using cheap and vulgar jokes, there is none of such kind here. Then we have the twists happening, the suspense, and we also see how the characters and events come together nicely. The songs are good, and the background music is catchy. There are some fine visuals to go with the same too. Unlike the other movies which deal with the similar themes, there is no over-use of style here, and it also maintains a direct approach rather than trying to keep projecting the protagonist as the great hero all the time. The importance given to the antagonist is nice, and the use of red herring and foreshadowing are worth mentioning.

The claws of flaw :: It can be seen that some of the characters do disappear in the second half, and at least some them deserved to have a better role in the latter stages. There could have been some investigation going on here too, with the missing parts being found out rather than revealed. The second half of the movie goes in an entirely different path in comparison with the first half – even though movies like Drishyam also did the same, the core had remained the same in that case. The movie could have also been better if the small details were taken care of, and if there was not that much of predictability in the final stages. The movie also reminds one of the flicks like Mikhael and The Great Father with the dark mood and the kind of problems as well as the antagonists that the main characters have to deal with – but this one has the same one step better, and has a comic side which those movies completely lacked. There is also some violence to make some people uncomfortable.

The performers of the soul :: Prithviraj goes through the movie smoothly with his character – there is a certain special quality in his movies, as 9, Ranam and Koode had something more than what a usual Malayalam movie would have; not just with the settings, but with the feelings that it reflected on the audience. This one is no exception. Dharmajan handles the comedy with ease here. Vijayaraghavan’s character is a mixture of many things, and we see him doing what he has been doing the best once again. Vijayakumar plays another police officer role in his usual style. Kottayam Nazir and Shivaji Guruvayoor have lesser roles to play here. At the same time, Prasanna makes a fine, menacing villain, psychotic in nature and with no remorse even when he sees possible death in front of him. The presence of such a strong, and mysterious antagonist leaves the movie with further effects.

Further performers of the soul :: Madonna Sebastian was so close to becoming the main heroine of the movie, but then comes Aishwarya Lekshmi to take away the honours. This is still Madonna’s best after that fine introduction in Premam. Aishwarya has a similar character as she did in Varathan, as she is stalked by a different figure this time, something which she can’t ask to go away. In the second half, Madonna passes the heroine tag to Aishwarya, and towards the end, the latter handles it very well. Prayaga Martin and Miya George are just sidelined as their characters are rather minor. Both don’t have any sequences together even though each get about fifteen minutes each in different parts of the movie. Even with four heroine-like figures present in the movie, there is no real romantic angle for the protagonist, which is a good thing considering how the overall mood of the movie changes at the interval, and through the second half.

How it finishes :: As Brother’s Day finishes as a fine entertainer touching all aspects, it can be said that Kalabhavan Shajon books his seat as a director for many more to come – an interesting debut can be seen here, and he also makes a cameo appearance as the police officer in the end. Even though there can be opinions that it could have been a better thriller, this one is strong enough as it is, and maintains the comic side so clean and elevated that, it brings the lower level but self-proclaimed big entertainers like Amar Akbar Anthony and Kattappanayile Rithwick Roshan to shame with those little moments of fun. Brother’s Day has a full entertainer packed in there, and even though the family audience won’t be that happy with the violence, the rest can easily go through the same and celebrate Onam. As long as you are expect the Malayalam movie industry to have its necessary turns, you will like this one enough. Happy Onam and continue enjoying the vacations! 🙂

Release date: 6th September 2019
Running time: 164 minutes
Directed by: Kalabhavan Shajohn
Starring: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Madonna Sebastian, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Prayaga Martin, Miya George, Prasanna, Aima Rosmy Sebastian, Vijayakumar, Vijayaraghavan, Dharmajan Bolgatty, Maala Parvathi, Kottayam Nazir, Spadikam George, Ponnamma Babu, Shivaji Guruvayoor, Kochu Preman, Anil Murali, Jayasankar Karimuttam, Vinod Kedamangalam, Kalabhavan Shajohn (cameo)

Also check the reviews of other Onam releases, Ittymaani and Love Action Drama.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Virus

What is the movie about? :: Kozhikode District collector Paul V Abraham (Tovino Thomas) gets an urgent call when he is about to leave home. There are a series of events that lead to the same, and most of it happens in the Kozhikode Medical Centre. A nurse named Akhila (Rima Kallingal), was taking care of a young man named Zachariah (Zakariya Mohammed), who was admitted to her hospital for fever, but is now suffering from the same symptoms. Dr. Abid Rahman (Sreenath Bhasi) is having his normal shift in the hospital as his lover and medical student Sara Yakub (Madonna Sebastian) shows signs of ending their relationship – at the same time, more and more patients are being admitted in the hospital. But the signs that some of these patients show are not natural, as the doctors figure out that something strange and unusual is coming up. It is also not limited to one or two people anymore, and there is panic.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: The samples are sent to Manipal to be tested by the experts led by Dr Suresh Rajan (Kunchacko Boban), and it is confirmed that it is Nipah virus which has affected the patients. With no vaccination or specific treatment available for the epidemic, the only hope for the goverment is quarantine, and hope to find the source, as well as make sure that it didn’t spread to many people. The team lead by Health Minister CK Prameela (Revathi) includes the collector Paul V Abraham with Dr Smrithy (Poornima Indrajith) and Dr Annu (Parvathy) in an attempt to stop the infection from spreading. First identified in 1998 in Malaysia, the disease, in most cases has taken the lives of those who were infected. With people not related to the first patient, like Unnikrishnan (Soubin Shahir) getting infected, there are questions raised how the source could be found. Are the authorities good enough to find it?

The defence of Virus :: The movie nicely deals with a situation that Keralites, especially those from Kozhikode and Malappuram districts in the north of the state had to go through. With the virus showing its signs of return in the central area now, the case has gained further significance. One won’t fail to notice how the movie has kept itself close to reality, and how each character has been given significance, with each actor having a job to do. The movie is never dependent on one person, as there is no main character – there are only people who tries to help others, and a few others who try to survive in a world which is threatened by something new, and something deadly. The movie was a need, as the world needed to know the story, and making it a memorable one was Aashiq Abu’s duty, which he did with ease, as we have three good memories in a row, with Rani Padmini, Mayaanadhi and this one.

Positives and negatives :: The movie might feel slow at some points, but it quickly goes past the same. We are able to place ourselves in the place of the characters, and we go through their emotions with ease. The emotional strength of the movie is high, and it can even be more with different people, and their perspectives. The thrills are also there, and we keep close to the whole thing, each moment. Parts of the movie might be fictionalized, but our director surely knows where to stop that. The location is as nicely captured as the people themselves. The view from the top more or less makes us feel the city. You know what is going to happen in the end, and you want to know how we reach there, and to go through that journey, we are with the characters like never before – in creating that closeness to the characters, the director has succeeded.

The performers of the soul :: The movie has a fantastic cast, and the talent can be seen in each part of it. Parvathy comes up with another great job after Uyare, and this one has one more natural performance from her. Two of the three best movies of the year belongs to her, with the other one without her presence is Kumbalangi Nights. Tovino who was Parvathy’s co-star in Uyare had only memorable performances, with Lucifer, Ente Ummante Peru, Oru Kuprasidha Payyan, Theevandi and Maradona giving him a continuous impressive run in Malayalam movie industry. Here, once again, he owns his role. Kunchacko Boban didn’t have that much of a great run with his previous movies, but he is right there, solid with this role of a doctor. Asif Ali continues his choice of some good movies with another emotional role. Vijay Superum Pournamiyum had provided a great beginning to the year for him. Joju George, after Joseph, continues to strike our emotions in a beautiful way.

Further performers of the soul :: Indrajith Sukumaran and Rahman has smaller, but memorable roles, especially with the former who manages to come up with some nice moments in between. It is also great to see Poornima Indrajith after such a long time, and this is a role to remember for sure – nice to see Remya Nambeeshan there too. Revathi manages to do the job of Health Minister in a believable manner. The similarity in appearance has also been achieved up to an extent. Madonna Sebastian doesn’t have much to do here, and neither does Sharafudheen. Rima Kallingal is quick to come and go, and stays in memories because of the emotional connect with the real-life character being attained. Meanwhile, Sreenath Bhasi gets a different role this time, and he manages to provide complete justice to the same. He had provided some signs of the same in the last movie, but that was a mute character – this time, he raises the bar. The roles of Jinu Joseph and Dileesh Pothan are small, but to be noted. Unnimaya Prasad and Soubin Shahir also catches our attention.

How it finishes :: Virus is already the biggest movie of the weekend, with so almost all shows being booked early. The success here lies in the fact that it shows everything in a realistic manner, never do we see those unreal heroes – we feel that almost every character in there are people like us, and therefore part of us. We can feel the pain and troubles of the characters, as well as reflect the same. As Nipah virus once again becomes a cause of concern, this becomes a thing of focus yet again. Virus is a movie that needs to be watched for how it shows the people showing their fighting spirit and their concern for others, in a battle for survival. It is also a memory of the people who lost their lives in the process, especially the nurse, Lini Puthussery who died while doing her duty. It is the same reason why this movie needs to be watched more than any other.

Release date: 7th June 2019
Running time: 152 minutes
Directed by: Aashiq Abu
Starring: Tovino Thomas, Kunchacko Boban, Asif Ali, Joju George, Jinu Joseph, Rahman, Soubin Shahir, Indrajith Sukumaran, Parvathy, Poornima Indrajith, Remya Nambeeshan, Revathi, Madonna Sebastian, Sreenath Bhasi, Indrans, Rima Kallingal, Dileesh Pothan, Senthil Krishna, Sharafudheen, Shebin Benson, Zakariya Mohammed, Sudheesh, Savithri Sreedharan, Darshana Rajendran, Basil Joseph, Lukman Lukku, Ann Saleem, Haris Saleem, Sajitha Madathil, Leona Lishoy, Nikhil Raveendran, Sreekanth Murali, Vettukili Prakash, Sreedevi Unni, Ambika Rao, Divya Gopinath, Unnimaya Prasad, Sundara Pandyan, Binu Pappu,Vimal Muraleedharan, Nilambur Ayisha

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Premam

premam (2)

Vampire Bat: My dear vampire brethren, and the zombies who have decided to joined us by free-will. We have fought many battles together. We have fought side by side in the War of the Four Nations, the Tactical Warfare against the Werewolf Intrusion, the Conquest of the New Vampire World, The Battles against the never-ending Zombie Hordes and even the Magical Attacks of the Dark Elves. Zombies, please erase the zombie horde part from your memories instead of beginning to get offended, and do not return to your graves. But this is nothing like that. This will be the biggest battle that we have ever faced, and a task which is near impossible. It is called getting a ticket for the movie Premam.

Vampire Hamster: This is actually very scary. I need to go home and recharge my courage. I have heard that humans provide courage recharge centres at some religious places. Is it true? We could have also reserved the tickets, right? The ticket reservation is quite common these days.

Vampire Alligator: Can you just shut up and listen to the full speech? This is not even being recorded and you might not score well for the vampire apprentice exams if you miss parts of this which can come as annotation.

Vampire Owl: We don’t do reservations because we won’t support them – don’t you know that vampires are against all kinds of reservations? We are suffering because of this thing which gives nothing for the General Category to which the vampires belong. And you will be banned if you speak between grand, emotional speeches. The Vampire Crow and the Vampire Raven were banned once. Just listen to the speech.

Vampire Bat: We face the monsters here, and they are not like the ones we have faced before. We face the legendary warriors of the other world with human masks. We face those furious humans standing in queue for the movie Premam. We might not make it out of this queue in one piece, but lets fight for our righteous chance to watch this movie. We demand the rights to be equal and watch this movie which almost everybody except us has watched. Yes, even Werewolf Anger has watched it – can you believe that? The Lich Queen has watched it twice. It is the right to the movie ticket that we demand here, and it is clearly written in the vampire constitution, Article 007. Without watching this, we can’t even look at the face of Uncle Dracula, as you know what he is going to ask us when we return to the castle. The Vampire Penguin and the Vampire Panda have tried for this alone and failed, but we will win as this time we attack together after issuing the fake notice that we are not going to attack.

Vampire Panda: This is going to be awesome because I know part-time Kung-fu. You should all watch me and learn.

Vampire Penguin: I told you all that he is Kung-fu Panda in disguise.

Vampire Owl: Most probably, we won’t get tickets this time too, but in the name of Uncle Dracula and all the vampire elders, charge!

Vampire Crocodile: On this day, the night will be day and the day will be night. Attack!

Vampire Bat: What? No! I am the only one authorized to say that! So attack!!!

[Runs to the long queue and stands at the back end in silence].

What is it about? :: George David (Nivin Pauly) who lives in the town of Aluva and studies for pre-degree has completely fallen in love with Mary George (Anupama Parameshwaran) whom he usually sees on the way. She is the local beauty whom a lot of people are after. He has no interest in studies as he moves towards a possible failure in the course, and his only aim seems to be this girl’s love. Helped by his best friends Koya (Krishna Shankar) and Shambu (Shabareesh Varma), he attempts to make her fall in love with her, but that doesn’t go as planned. The movie also tells the story of his two other love interests, a Tamil girl called Malar (Sai Pallavi) with whom he falls in love at the first sight itself, and a girl named Celine (Madonna Sebastian) whom he meets much later as time moves forward through his love stories. His life related to these three ladies and his feelings towards them are depicted in the movie.

The defence of Premam :: By claiming to be the second film in the history of world cinema with nothing new in it, the movie seems to make a psychological move, but the truth is that the move is new if we look at how it is presented on the screen. I would give full credits to Alphonse Puthren for this one. He surely knows what the youth wants, and how to make the best use of Aluva as an Aluvaite. It is is his magic that Premam is such a delight on the big screen. I traveled to Aluva to watch this, and it was clear that there was no Aluvaite left without love and appreciation for this movie. Its nostalgia is powerful, and the central theme of love connects the three paramount pages of the protagonist’s tome of life – only three pages which connects directly to the title of the movie is taken and the word itself is used to make the much needed connection, and it is done in a beautiful way. There is infatuation, but there is no lust, and it is a sure positive thing. The second love story is a forbidden one, and clearly wrong for the standards of our civilized society, and we see poetic justice being served there as it ends in a much deserved tragedy – love fails there for the right reasons only. The comedy is working for most of the run.

The claws of flaw :: Yes, there is nothing new in the story – the liberty which was taken before the release of this movie arrives to make the impact here, and also reminds us that this is what they were talking about. There are some sequences which were aviodable, including the problems between the groups of friends at college and the missing dancer. The first of the three parts also has some exaggeration. The movie could have been shorter too – it would have surely helped the theatres to add another show in the morning to control the big crowd, and the very slight drag could have disappeared too. There is a little too much of drinking and smoking too, but I guess that they have only given the new generation’s normal audience what they wanted – crowd should get what the desired, for the good of the industry. The writings on the screen could have also been avoided, and it should have been left to the audience to come up with such ideas.

Performers of the soul :: Alphonse Puthren, with his brilliance, has given us some memorable characters along with those incidents, and he has also chosen the perfect cast as it seems from the look of it. When we look the performers here, this is “the Nivin Pauly movie” from the beginning to the end, and the way in which he goes through the three stages of his life is simply amazing. Here is another Aluvaite giving us the performance that we will always remember, and his transformations through the movie becomes the big boost. Among the heroines, I would choose Madonna Sebastian as the one making the best impact, with what seems to be her inherent cuteness and the way of dialogue delivery, and above all, as being the “right lady”, she steals the final moments. Sai Pallavi has what might be the best moment though, with the dance steps – she surely has an amazing screen presence. Anupama Parameshwaran is the charming simple beauty who disappears too early. Do look out for Vinay Forrt’s best comic moments too. All young actors deserve some applause here! Also look out for two awesome cameos from Renji Panikker and Jude Anthany Joseph.

How it finishes :: I would consider this movie as the journey of a man from love powered by infatuation to love strengthened by admiration, and then to the love based on commitment here, with those three heroines. Premam is undoubtedly the result of the hardwork of Alphonse Puthren who also comes in a role which he manages very well. All credits to him more making such a simple thing work so well. It is already taking the theatres by storm, and I had to go to the theatre and come back only to try again – these repeated for so many times to watch this movie. I was impressed even when this was not my genre at all, and I can guess how much effect this is having on the normal people. For those who are around Cochin, I would suggest watching this at Aluva and having a walk on the sides of the river and on the aqueduct which are shown in the movie. This movie also has another big personal effect on me – and it is to see the Union Christian College Aluva, on the big screen; I miss the place, and the most shown location in this movie, the college canteen 😀

Release date: 29th May 2015
Running time: 164 minutes
Directed by: Alphonse Puthren
Starring: Nivin Pauly, Madonna Sebastian, Sai Pallavi, Anupama Parameshwaran, Shabareesh Varma, Krishna Shankar, Vinay Forrt, Eva Prakash, Alphonse Puthren, Maniyanpilla Raju, Soubin Shahir, Wilson Joseph, Renji Paniker, Justin John, Hormis Paulachan, Althaf Salim, Anju Kurian, Jude Anthany Joseph, Sharafudeen, Maju Mathew, Rinsa Jacob, Vivek Vinod, Mahadev Ramakrishnan, Faisal, Manek Jose, Sandeep Varma, Viswajith Odukkathil, Vimal Pillai, Aishwarya R. Nair, Zuhair Sait, Deepak Nathan (I have put the whole list from wherever I could dig the names out, because they have all contributed so well)

premam

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.