Rockstar

rockstar (1)

Vampire Owl :: I have absolutely no relationship with music. I have doubts related to the effectiveness of this movie on me.

Vampire Bat :: Your are talking as if I have such a relationship.

Vampire Owl :: Well, the elder vampires say that you did sing a song when you first joined the vampire team.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, the result of that action was eight vampire elders having heart attack, thus losing their immortality. It was the first vampire death due to a heart problem, and the first case of missing immortality by natural reasons.

Vampire Owl :: It should be a record then. I have never witnessed such a thing after I joined the vampire team.

Vampire Bat :: Well, it is because I don’t sing anymore. I am the one responsible for bringing the current elder vampires to power as the great vampire elders as the reigning elders of that time had that heart attack. So, these people appreciate me, but they have begged me not to sing again.

Vampire Owl :: Well, I do come close to having heart attack while listening to some of the new generation music. It should be a natural thing, unless you are the Lich Queen. She has no heart and replaces parts of her brain in five or six days.

Vampire Bat :: This one is a romantic musical comedy. So, you have to be aware that we are going to listen to a lot of music.

Vampire Owl :: I am prepared for it. I just hope that movie will work for me due to my non-musical owlish background.

Vampire Bat :: Lets find that out then.

[Gets the tickets].

What is it about? :: Anand Abraham (Siddharth Menon) is a musician who is part of a popular band and is a very famous personality in Bangalore. The youth, especially girls have some special love for him. Hailing from the Keralite town of Palai and always into music, he spends his life with alcohol and having relationships with many girls with no seriousness or commitment. During a wedding function, he meets Athira Menon (Eva Pavithran), and that changes the situation quite a lot. Athira is against the idea of marriage itself as her parents have been living separately for many years. She is a beauty stylist who wishes to adopt a child without getting into matrimony. So, when their not-so-serious relationship brings pregnancy, both ends up being confused about what to do next. Both have different opinions about what to do next, even though marriage is not the first choice.

So, where does the grand solution come from? :: The problem with Anand is that he wishes to give his son his surname, and still he can’t go into any kind of commitment. His desire is to continue to be the rockstar that he has been. Meanwhile, Eva detests marriage, and wants to take care of the baby herself. She keeps repeating that she doesn’t want to marry him, but Anand wants his son to be known as his own. With a lot of advice coming from their friends and acquaintances, they finally decide to come up with the grand solution, to get married and get divorced later after the baby is born. With this new variety idea, they goes to the registrar’s office and submit the application. What happens after this with their lives as well as what their parents have to say about this is all that movie talks about.

The defence of Rockstar :: There are only a few movies which keeps getting better and better as the movie progresses, and Rockstar is one of them – may be if the movie was longer, this one could have been a better flick? One has to wonder, because the earlier quicker pace of the flick was actually working against the movie considering the genre that it belongs to; a romantic musical should allow the audience to get that feel, and it only arrives later with its strength used to the advantage. The movie is not short of ideas, about freedom and people living their lives their own way, along with understanding the meaning of love and affection. There are some nice, enjoyable moments; with the scenes at the registrar’s office, the grandmother-grandson bonding moments, the final emotional sequences and a few more can be mentioned. Some of the humour will be remembered, and the movie is emotionally touching.

Claws of flaw :: The beginning of the movie is a catastrophe and it will keep telling you that you need to leave the theatre right now. It is more like an inspiration to get yourself out of the theatre – the first thirty minutes are the worst that you might have ever seen for some time, and from there, it slowly begins to get better and with fourty five minutes passed, it begins to get better as you will notice. Rockstar seems to be a movie which could have achieved a lot bigger if focus was there, and with the first few minutes cut. The ideas which the movie talks about don’t really show themselves with the strength that is was supposed to have, and some of them are easily lost. There is also a certain amount of immaturity in the way the movie as a whole comes to the screen. Maybe a better narrated and better edited movie was needed here to bring the ideas to the audience in a better way. The songs are not that good and humour could have been used more. It could have have done without some scenes and predictability.

Performers of the soul :: Siddharth Menon does pretty good as the protagonist on his debut, as he does suit his character very well. There is nothing special for him to do here though. One would have expected a lot more musical stuff from his character though. But the movie often deviates from its musical self, making one wonder if that should have been done with a singer becoming the leading actor here. The character here is focused in the wrong way, if you ask me. By the end, it matters less if he is a rockstar or a businessman, and it still works for the usual audience in another way because he is more of a common man and not a star at that time. The daughter of the director VK Pavithran, Eva Pavithran is really good in her second coming debut here. She seemed amazingly suitable for this role, and she is sure to get bigger roles from now. There will be a few moments from her which you will appreciate very much and keep in your memory.

How it finishes :: It was nice to see Praseetha Menon of Badai Bunglaw fame doing an interesting role. Poornima makes a nice return to Malayalam cinema after a very long time. M Jayachandran had the role of a totally unnecessary character, as there is nothing good in it. Anumol has a notable character and Sona Nair has some good moments along with Mukundan Menon even as they are short. Mallika Sukumaran is seen in Malayalam cinema after a long time and she has some nice moments too. The funniest moments of the movie still belong to Saiju Kurup in his short stay. Most of the remaining support is rather wasted. Rockstar might not be the movie which you expected to watch after having a look at the trailer and hearing a lot about it – this is the advantage as well as the disadvantage of the movie, and it is a watchable flick; just don’t expect something huge.

Release date: 3rd December 2015
Running time: 123 minutes
Directed by: VK Prakash
Starring: Siddharth Menon, Eva Pavithran, Sona Nair, Anumol, Praseetha Menon, Saiju Kurup, Poornima Bhagyaraj, Mallika Sukumaran, Prakash Bare, Mukundan Menon, M Jayachandran, Dinesh Prabhakar

rockstar

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Ivide

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What is it about? :: Varun Blake (Prithviraj Sukumaran) is a police officer in the Atlanta Police Department, with the Indian origins as he was adopted by an American couple from a church-run orphanage at Kottayam. Roshni Mathew (Bhavana) is his ex-wife who had decided to separate from him due to his violent behaviour and never-ending insecurities. Krish Hebbar (Nivin Pauly) is her new boss at the new job, and he is someone who used to be her classmate. He is also her newly found love interest at the time of crisis. At the same time, there are murders happening in the city, and the murdered people are all immigrants of Indian origin. As Varun goes after the case and discovers a link, but he might be presented with a choice in the end, which will define his quality as a person and a police officer.

What is it really about? :: We are introduced into the story and are provided with narration when needed in the voice of Prithvraj who himself talks in Malayalam, a language his character is not able to speak. It makes things clear, that it is his subconscious speaking in the only language which he knew during his childhood, and the movie is all about how he finally manages to let go and becomes a better person. He is a man of bad temper and insecurities, but as the movie reaches the end, he becomes a changed man, and all the other characters and incidents are just reasons to bring him to that end. Yes, it is all about Varun Blake, the Indian child adopted into an American family, as he moves towards that change which is rather too radical for him – everything else including the murders are reasons.

The defence of Ivide :: Ivide has the touch of the highly skilled director, Shyamaprasad who refuses to let this go as an investigative thriller, and rather takes it into the minds of the characters who are just simple human beings caught in the web of life. There are reasons for each and every action which defines the lives of the main characters and everyone around, as things come together and there is one touch of integrity, vanity or brutal ambition which creates that butterfly effect exhibiting a ferocious core. Ivide is not really that thriller that you were looking for, but powerful drama of the modern world which makes one question the past, the present and the future. This is set in a beautiful world which has been well transformed on to the screen by the camera – love those skyline shots and the natural beauty on screen; the songs are pretty good too.

The claws of flaw :: The movie is slow; surely a lot faster than movies like Annayum Rasoolum which asks you to go and have Chicken Biriyani and come back only to know that nothing has happened and then you need to go for tea and see if anything good occurs on the screen. In contrast to that, Ivide‘s lack of pace is beautiful, and it adds to the mood of the movie, but still it is drag for the common man. The thriller element is completely lost while the movie deviates to other territories, and thus it does give the fans of the genre certain disappointment if they were just looking for that, and nothing else. Ivide also has other minor struggles here and there with its progress, but if you can get into the rhythm, you might be able to forgive most of them. Even with mixing of genres, the focus on murders is rather lazy. The entertainment factor rather misses out for the regular audience too.

Performers of the soul :: This had to be Prithviraj Sukumaran’s movie, and it surely is. It is all about his character as he moves through that life in which there was always the need to let go, but it is only realized much later. The identity crisis and the confusion about love and care are portrayed very nicely with all the complexities as Prithviraj becomes the true show stealer. He also gets the most memorable lines, and once again establishes himself as the right one to play the cop. Nivin Pauly’s character becomes a major reason for all these to happen, but he is left with less to do, and in a not so challenging role, he does fine. Bhavana is also nice, but once again she and Nivin just do the support in the game lead by Prithviraj. Prakash Bare makes a good appearance too. The foreign actors and actresses also create the needed impact.

Soul exploration :: The movie takes a ride through roots and the absence of knowledge about it, love and the search for it, hope and the desire to believe in it, and love and the search for it in a modernized world in which we can’t go through by looking though just one perspective. There are many things which are dealt with in this movie, and it starts with the racial alienation, and it goes on to explore the insecurities felt by different people because of a wide variety of reasons. There is inability to belong somewhere or with someone, and there is consistent feeling of not being what someone is. There is the corporate evil also in display. Well, even in the end, the fact remains that there is absolutely no reconciliation with his girlfriend and adoptive mother for the main character, and it is a let down for the movie which explores themes like these.

How it finishes :: If you are looking for an investigative thriller in the model of Memories or Mumbai Police, you might need to look for another options, as this is not that kind of Prithviraj movie meant to keep you guessing about the murderer. It is not intense by that order, but surely is intense by the feelings, if and only if you can relate to the character Varun Blake played by Prithviraj. You need to get that emotional connection here, and unless you try early enough and realize the need, you might not get there, and might miss out experiencing the hidden beauty of this movie. It might make you believe that a thriller is in store in the beginning, but do not fall into that trap, and instead fall for the emotions and begin having that emotional connection with the characters right from the start, and then the ride will take that twist of fate and go the right way. Be warned though, about so much of English in this one – still, there are enough subtitles in Malayalam.

Release date: 29th May 2015
Running time: 159 minutes
Directed by: Shyamaprasad
Starring: Nivin Pauly, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Bhavana, Alexandra Bartee, Prakash Bare, Jia Patel, Dhanish Karthik, Deepti Nair, Sathi Premji, Haridev, Sunil Veettil, Shaun Xavier, Tim Naddy, Juan Alexander, Kirstein Gilbert, Robin Cole

ivide

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Silence

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Questions of the day :: The first question of the day is less relevant, and it is about the day of release. Why would this movie be released on a Saturday? That gives the impression that the movie is less confident about fighting face to face with movies that release on the Friday as usual, and this was more of a “weak week” except for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire striking the multiplexes; that won’t help – it gives more of a feeling that by releasing on a Saturday or a Sunday, more family audiences can be lured to the theatres without reading a review. That is rather pure lack of confidence, something which we audience have more on all those who are behind this movie than they might have had on us. The next question is about the lack of publicity – this might be the least publicized movie of Mammootty as well as V.K. Prakash in a long time. Nobody really knew that this movie was going to release last Saturday. It was updated on multiplex lists much later, and there was no talks about it. Seriously, why release a superstar movie in secret? There are some posters, but in a week such as this, the movie could have done incredibly well with better marketing.

What is Silence? :: From the director who gave us Beautiful (my favourite movie from him), comes this flick which is more of a thriller. No it is not just Silence if you look closer into the poster, as it is The Power of Silence, with Silence written in big letters. I didn’t like his last few movies, but I was sure that there will be something good coming up from him soon. Only if they had marketed this well as they did for the inferior movies like Natholi Oru Cheriya Meenalla and Poppins. This has to be the least popularized Mammootty movie too, breaking the record of Kunjananthante Kada which also came sneaking into the theatres. But Silence is still moving silently, and there needs to be voices if it has to take it to the next level. Just because the name of a movie is The Power of Silence, would that mean its better to sneak into the theatres and run for a week with not many people knowing that it has released? Except for jobless people like me, of course. The fans will know, but for a neutral, this one had to be told about. What is the motive behind making this movie if nobody knows it has released? Who knows? Well, lets move on to what might point to our movie concerning corpus delicti!

What is it about? :: Aravind Chandrasekhar (Mammootty) is the newly appointed Chief Judge of the Karnataka High Court after a great run as a lawyer with absolutely no blemish. He is praised as the youngest person to achieve that honour and everything goes smoothly as he goes to his ancestral home with his wife Sangeetha (Pallavi Purohit) and two children. He is harassed by a phone call from an unknown person who seems to know almost everything about him, and tells him that he is not fit to be a judge. There are cars chasing him, people around his house, his daughter is given gifts by strangers and his son is found missing only to be found later. With the help of Neil George (Anoop Menon), an IPS officer and a good friend, he attempts to solve the mystery behind the people who are shadowing him. He finds that there is something about his past there, and goes back to look at the cases which he dealt with, and with the advice of his former rival Markose (Joy Matthew) and his juniors, he would find out the same just after the first half and gets to make things right.

The defence of Silence :: The movie does have the power of silence as it moves on silently, but with some hidden fire throughout the first half. It is a good attempt by the crew to make a thriller after the same director and scriptwriter did join earlier to make comedy movies. The movie is serious and is successful in making people think that there is something big coming up and there are surprises in store. The questions have been brought to light and the train of answers have been set up in such a way as to make sure that there will be no derailing except for some shaking in the second half. There is that feeling which has been missing in the thriller movies in Malayalam, which audience might have been waiting for. There is that point where the interval is set and it is where the movie is at its peak, and at the top it sends people to buy popcorn, kappa varuthathu, kadala and tea, waiting to pounce on them again after the interval, and people are left with high hopes.

Claws of flaw :: The second half takes an unnecessary leap and takes away the hopes. The beginning of the second half is okay, but as it progresses and reaches the second part of the second half, the curse takes over and by the climax, it is almost completely gone with the ship barely holding on at the top of the sea level with only the mast remaining on the top. The way they end this movie is rather despicable, and there is an underwater fight scene as they attack each other as if they were born to live underwater, but that place looks rather like an aquarium. Why all the stupidity and dialogues of nonsense in the end is a question which can spring up. The loopholes catches on, and the background music which comes out of nowhere and becomes disturbing for the ears with noise pollution is another despicable thing. The movie becomes rather amateurish as a thriller as it reaches the finishing line. The points that the movie scores is for the first half, and the for the second, it gets some points just because it doesn’t fall into the bottom of the abyss.

Performers of the soul :: Mammootty is the one who saves the movie again and again as the flick keeps losing steam on regular occasions. He makes sure that he does all that he can to keep this ship from sinking from the holes created by itself during a moonwalk with a glacier, and there is a lot of them which can make a regular Titanic sink. Anoop Menon has given him great support right from the beginning and his performance is as good as it can get, while Pallavi’s debut in Malayalam is just decent with nothing special added to the menu, and one often wonders if that character is there just because our protagonist needed a family and someone was to be kidnapped and left for dead by the villain. Aparna Nair has nothing but a presence, like the dead twin sister in Geethanjali. Joy Mathew has a very small role, but when he is there, he makes that impact that he always makes, and his character could have been further explored rather than left behind with a few dialogues. He would have been a better villain than anyone else in the movie. The child artists are also good.

How it finishes :: Silence is a silent scene for most of the viewers as the movie which doesn’t have even a wikipedia page (even small budget movies without superstars often manage one). Its power as a thriller might be disputed and its strength as a superstar movie might be questioned. V.K. Prakash and Y.V. Rajesh surely make a great combination (yes, I liked Gulumal: The Escape and Three Kings, no matter what). Not among the more interesting thrillers in any manner, and don’t compare this to Memories though, as it remains the best Malayalam thriller movie not only of this year, but also of a long time. Silence doesn’t rise even as a mediocre contender to that. But this one does have its moments of thrills which doesn’t go beyond a certain point. The thrillers with psychological as well as the investigative sides always make it interesting to watch, as proved by Memories, Nadia Kollappetta Rathri and Sahasram. Silence has a certain doubt if it should go with these three or last year’s Grandmaster, and there it confuses itself as well as the viewers, and gets drained of energy, yet holds its ground. There is information that it is inspired from multiple Hollywood flicks, but none I have watched. We need more thrillers in Malayalam, and so I suggest we should make this one a success!

Release date: 7th December 2013
Running time: 120 minutes (estimate)
Directed by: V.K. Prakash
Starring: Mammootty, Anoop Menon, Joy Mathew, Pallavi Purohit, Aparna Nair, Kavitha Nair, Ravi Vallathole, Basil, Prakash Bare

silence copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.