Mohanlal

What is the movie about? :: Meenakshi (Manju Warrier) a.k.a. Meenukkutty is a die-hard fan of Mohanlal who was born on the same day on which the actor’s first movie, Manjil Virinja Pookkal released. Right from childhood, she used to be that huge a fan of the actor that she couldn’t stand anything said against him – she could only be pleased by things related to Mohanlal. After growing up, nothing changed for her, and she is finally married to Sethumadhavan (Indrajith Sukumaran) who has been in love with her since their childhood times at the same classes in the same school. As Meenakshi just goes on watching Mohanlal movies on the first day first show, and fighting with people who speaks against the actor, the marriage itself seems secondary to her. Sethumadhavan who couldn’t even think about not loving her, decides to keep her happy by allowing this strange addiction which goes over everything else.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: But things only get worse, and Sethumadhavan decides to end his life by jumping in front of a train. There he meets a stranger (Soubin Shahir) who is sitting in the railway station with his dog. Sethumadhavan tells his story to the new friend who seems to be a little crazy himself. The story begins from their childhood when he develops certain interest for Meenakshi, and to their marriage and beyond. Meenakshi’s interests only get stranger, and it gets to the worst situation with her getting pregnant after a long wait, and them losing their child because of her need to watch another Mohanlal movie on the first day first show. But that wouldn’t change her, and after moving to a new place, there would me more to affect their family life in a terrible manner. How can they fight through this struggle which keeps repeating itself?

The defence of Mohanlal :: There is nostalgia being awakened in this movie, as Mohanlal movies had been defining our childhood. We see a fine beginning to this movie, with reference to Manjil Virinja Pookkal in which Mohanlal made the entry as a villain. The song in the beginning is the best of them all, and sets a fine mood for everything. The scenes involving the children are too good, as they grow up watching Mohanlal in his movies, and the youth also has a few moments during its short existence. It is the first half maintaining a certain level that makes sure that people are very much interested in knowing what is to follow. The movie is also a clear improvement from the director’s earlier movie, IDI: Inspector Dawood Ibrahim. The comedy is also better than the earlier fan stuff movie, Pokkiri Simon, even though there is no twist or suspense to this one.

The claws of flaw :: There seems to be not much care given for the story here, as it is rather too ordinary, with nothing innovative happening, even though there was surely the chance for something special. The reflection of fan stuff is also done in a strange manner. The fan thing is more or less irritating at times, and the length of the movie is also a little too much for such a story which never tries to raise its level. The justification provided for extreme fan worship is even stranger, and never does it seem to bring things together – its ending is rather forced to become a happy one, and the reality, as one would expect, can only be much worse. There was the chance to lighten up the nostalgia with each moment of life, but such a plan is never there. This never seems to have the plan to show a normal fan who has controlled love for the favourite superstar. The first half is some fun, while the second half drags on.

The performers of the soul :: Even though we can say that Manju Warrier is perfectly suited for this role, there will be opinions that the character has been overdone, and is more or less irritating for anyone’s taste. Some of the actions of the character just can’t be justified, and providing justification here would do more harm than good. Coming out of C/O Saira Banu, Udaharanam Sujatha and Villain last year followed by Aami, this character has no strength, no matter into which genre we put this one. Yes, there are moments which stay, and the comic side is handled better in the early stages, while the latter moments never even come close. Indrajith had two thrilling adventures last year in the form of Tiyaan and Lakshyam, both taking different paths, and here we have a change again. He seems comfortable in this role, and he plays the helpless husband facing fan nonsense with no problems.

Further performers of the soul :: Meenakshi, known the best for Amar Akbar Anthony and Oppam, makes the childhood moments memorable, with Vishal Krishna of Maalgudi Days and Annmaria Kalippilaanu fame. Shebin Benson and Krittika Pradeep also have some shorter moments of glory, with latter earlier being seem in Aadhi as the girl who admires the leading character. Soubin Shahir provides some fun, but the character never really suits this movie. The same can be said about Salim Kumar who has too short a role, which makes no contribution to the overall story. Even Aju Varghese who plays a major character has the role being given less attention, with ineffective jokes – Hareesh Perumanna is also wasted in a small presence. There are many characters, with faces that can be recognized easily, but most of them seem to be present for the sake of being there.

How it finishes :: This is the movie that needs Mohanlal to fuel it, but it doesn’t deserve the star due to the ordinary stuff that it provides in the name of an extraordinary actor. When you name a movie Mohanlal, there is a certain expectation about keeping a level, but we see that it is the only thing this one tries to focus to bring the fans. We do feel those movies with which we grew up with, and at the same time, we keep wondering if this is the best tribute that was there to be watched. After all, this is Vishu, and we Keralites deserve more. This year had many movies, but as of now, it has been struggling to catch up with the flicks which released last year during the same months. Is this the loss of creativity around here, or because the big ones are yet to come? We will see that, and until then, Mohanlal might be the movie that families can enjoy up to an extent along with some Mohanlal fans, depending upon what you are looking for.

Release date: 14th April 2018
Running time: 140 minutes
Directed by: Sajid Yahiya
Starring: Manju Warrier, Indrajith Sukumaran, Aju Varghese, Krittika Pradeep, Baby Meenakshi, Shebin Benson, Master Vishal, Unni Krishnan, Salim Kumar, Soubin Shahir, KPAC Lalitha, Hareesh Perumanna, Sreejith Ravi, Anjali Aneesh, Siddique, Balachandran Chullikkadu, Pradeep Kottayam, Riyas Doha, Sudhi Koppa, Sunil Sukhada, Manoj Guinness, Sajan Palluruthy, Kottayam Nazeer, Anjana Appukuttan, Praseetha Menon, Sethu Lakshmi, Asha Aravind, Unni Rajan P Dev, Sreya Remesh, Molly Kannamaly, Prithviraj Sukumaran (voice)

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

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.