Mili

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What is it about? :: Mili Nair (Amala Paul) is a girl who has underachieved throughout her life and has developed a certain amount of inferiority complex about not living up-to the expectations. Being a high level introvert and never having even one real friend, Mili is disliked by her room mates in the hostel, the group of three lead by Renuka Menon (Shamna Kasim) who hates her, and the other two Shelly (Swapna Menon) and Raji (Sija Rose) who feel irritated by her behaviour. Her only two means of happiness are the day-care where she works and the sisterly relationship with Nancy (Praveena). But one day, she is forced to leave her job, and the guy whom she has a crush on, seems to be in a relationship with Renuka. She is highly disappointed and thinks about suicide, but Nancy’s brother Naveen (Nivin Pauly) helps her, and after bring introduced to the friends circle of Anupama (Sanusha Santhosh), her life gets a twist or two as she finds the strength within her.

The defence of Mili :: Here is a movie with so much strength to make you feel and directly go through that path of the protagonist who becomes a kind of answer to Bollywood’s Queen, even as this won’t have that much of good reviews, because three out of five is what awesome Malayalam movies can get from the critics here. I would actually consider this movie better than Queen and also Highway with its empowerment of the central female character. It is also better than the last year’s Malayalam flick How Old Are You are which was less realistic and had a protagonist was too talented that what she comes up with is no real surprise. Meanwhile, Mili has the rise of the real subaltern who comes out of her problems which go back to her childhood and rise like the real queen. Mili is a completely realistic movie, and its incidents and emotions connect directly to the audience. Cheers to Gopi Sunder and Shaan Rahman for the highly effective music too.

Positives and Negatives :: The movie is a straight take on its content, even as it is an ordinary story in its base. There are some silly moments in the beginning which might have been meant to bring some fun there. May be Mili should have been shown as “just another introvert” or with a further clear background. Well, the movie touches you and it shakes your heart with its emotional power. “Manpaatha Neettunna Mohangale” is a bloody good song, and when heard in relation to the movie is a wonderful experience, something that makes you feel the power of the journey of the protagonist, as long as you have a heart with enough of empathy. It is a stake through the heart, but is something of exhilaration on one end. The movie ends with a speech which is the soul of the movie, and it is up-to you to decide if you want it in the end. But the power of the final words cannot be questioned as it is incredibly strong and the return of that song in the end is a remarkable addition to the emotional strength of the movie.

Performers of the soul :: The movie is impressive in its characterization, and it is reflected in the performances of the actors. Mili’s character goes through a great path, right from the awesome child actor to the amazing performance from Amala Paul who has undoubtedly managed her best in Malayalam with this one protagonist. It is nothing other than inconceivable bliss to watch her as Mili. Here is she acting without make-up and making it work in an amazing way. Nivin Pauly gives a great support, and him doing this role in a heroine-centred role is worth an applause. Sai Kumar is also very good; the same can be said about Praveena. One thing that is to be noticed is the presence and the nice support of the young actresses in this movie, starting with Sanusha Santhosh about whom we are well aware of, and has already left her mark. The others including the better known Shamna Kasim and the rest of the list having Sija Rose, Swapna Menon and Soumya Sadanandan makes us realize that Malayalam movie industry has so much power in its core for years to come.

Soul exploration :: It is clear that some people are not able to be inspired by Mili and can’t like it. I can understand that. It is mainly because of their inability to connect with those who have problems in their life. May be they are hundred percent extroverts or some who were born with silver spoons in their mouth, or those who had a very easy path throughout their lives. They might be big genius people who knows everything. But for us others, who can connect easily with a person having troubles, this movie is a big thing. May be some people don’t need to be motivated because they are so awesome, but I am really motivated with this, as I know my weaknesses. It is okay that some people can’t connect with people having problems, but I can. May be it is because I am not that good, and the positive thing about that is that I can surely feel the power of motivation that is present in this movie. I am an introvert, a proud introvert – and I feel the pain and the abiding inspiration. Let me tell you something about Mili – she remains the introvert even in the end, but a confident one.

How it finishes :: You can read my earlier preview and expectations about this movie here: (https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/introvert-queen). But I have a request; it is that if you can’t relate to the feelings of someone who has a behaviour problem and with people having any trouble with being “normal”, don’t watch this movie. If you think that people who are different are idiots and don’t deserve anything, please stay with your higher level of people. If you think that getting high scores in exams and getting a big job with a high salary are the only things that matter in your life, please stick to the great people who have managed to do so. Mili is for people who have empathy, and it is not for those who take pride only in one’s own achievements by degrading others. Mili has a few lessons for the parents, not to scold the children for the problems that they couldn’t solve in Mathematics or for the ten marks that they lost in Physics – love your children and teach them to be good, not scoring machines.

A few more words :: The movie ends with the lines from William Wordsworth’s The Rainbow: “the child is father of the man”, and you ask yourself; how can that not be true? The other name of the poem is My Heart Leaps Up – hope that gives you a clue. Romanticism never seems to leave me. Mili has a lot for women, introverts and all the subaltern, with a mighty message to rise. The modern world asks for winners and in the world of competition as the weaker ones are avoided, a good person is the true winner. Society provides us with labels, but it doesn’t reflect the real us. During the movie, I often wondered if Mili is a manifestation of the kindred of my soul’s unexplored side. There are those moments which tunnel through your brain and heart to send shock-waves right through. You have the right not to agree with me, but my rating stands, because I completely follow my mind and heart on this one. I will leave you with one awesome song from the movie.

Release date: 23rd January 2015
Running time: 113 minutes
Directed by: Rajesh Pillai
Starring: Amala Paul, Nivin Pauly, Shamna Kasim, Sanusha Santhosh, Sija Rose, Riya Saira, Praveena, Sai Kumar, Amol Parashar, Vanitha Krishnachandran, Idavela Babu, Anju Aravind, Ambika, Bindu Panicker, Devi Ajith, Baby Nandana, Master Neil Kaushik, Baby Ammu, Sangeetha Mohan, Soumya Sadanandan, Swapna Menon

mili

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Bangalore Days

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Vampire Owl :: So we won’t watch Bangalore Days, right?

Vampire Bat :: We will watch it. There will be force from Nivin Pauly fans, Dulquer Salmaan fans, Nazriya fans and Fahad Faasil fans and even Anjali Menon fans who will force us to go for the movie no matter what is shown in the movie.

Vampire Owl :: You mean there is no escape. Won’t the monsoon calm them down?

Vampire Bat :: No, they constitute ninety five percent of the Keralite young population. Unless we hide ourselves in a bunker, there is no escape from the fan bombs.

Vampire Owl :: Let’s not listen to them who rate the movie high just because of the people involved, and hiding that fact, just say that movie is awesome.

Vampire Bat :: Let’s watch this soon enough but not falling to those extremely high fan ratings.

Vampire Owl :: So, can we order an extra plate of fried rice with more gravy?

Vampire Bat :: I guess I will need two cups of tea too.

Vampire Owl :: Why two? One for Count Dracula?

Vampire Bat :: One before finishing the food and the other after the grand finish.

[The food happens again].

What is it about? :: There are three cousins, Krishnan (Nivin Pauly), Arjun (Dulquer Salmaan) and Divya (Nazriya Nazim) who have been great friends since childhood and shared almost everything with each other. Divya is married to the busy executive Das (Fahadh Faasil) and that lands her in Bangalore. Krishnan who gets a new job in the IT sector also gets posted in Bangalore, and that comes as no surprise. Arjun, who has the habit of leaving his home and keeping his relatives worried, also comes to the same city and does a little mechanic job bringing the three cousins together again. Arjun falls in love with a physically disabled Radio Jokey, Sarah (Parvathy). Krishnan meets an airhostess who is half-Malayali, Meenakshi (Isha Talwar) and is instantly attracted to her even as the lady of his dreams is simple and having a Malayali character. Meanwhile, the relationship between Divya and Das becomes strained due to multiple reasons, and Krishnan’s mother comes to Bangalore after his father goes on a spiritual trip. Sarah has to go to Australia while her mother despises Arjun for his background and lifestyle, and Meenakshi is not serious in the relationship with Krishnan, making things further complicated.

The defence of Bangalore Days :: This one is a joy to watch in the beginning stages. There are three cousins, with lot of love for each other and enjoying life. There are many funny moments in the movie, mostly including Nivin Pauly, as he falls for the one true love he meets who is surely not a lady of his dreams. The jokes work throughout the movie, even as the second half takes them down. There is a lot of intelligence in bringing fun in the first half, and they have smartly used the Thattathin Marayathu stuff in this one which is a nice addition. The cast is as close to perfection as it can be, especially with three male leads, Nivin Pauly, Fahadh Faasil, and Dulquer Salmaan. Among the female leads, Parvathi shines the most, and this is a different avatar for her considering the roles we usually see her in. There might still be no better happiness than seeing all these stars together, seven in total, three male and four female, and all of them young and bringing their energy all the way to the screen. This leaves a lot of the young generation fans, and the fanboys as well as fangirls will love this stuff. This is the movie that they can celebrate by bunking classes and wasting time.

The claws of flaw :: The movie has no interesting story to tell the viewers. It has just three people who are the centre of attraction, seemingly made even before the plot ever existed, and into their lives, the whole story is packed and sent. The twist that they bring for Fahadh’s character was possibly the worst thing they could do to the story as an ineffective turn-around. The bike racing stuff was quite unnecessary, as Dulquer was cool without it. But here, he will jump bike just because they can make him. He was nicely turning into a likable character from one of the worst young man in this story. May be because even non-racing fans liked Rush and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikhander had such an awesome climax, they should have thought this was the way to go. The scene after the final marriage is equally worse, and Nivin Pauly character’s “happily ever after” is ended in such a poor manner. There is a lot of drag in this movie which was supposed to be a lot of fun. The major point of this flick was to be entertainment, but this movie forgets that in the second half, making this more of a soap opera, and tries hard to make audience cry, but without substance. The ending leaves us needing more and emptiness in this movie is mostly filled by unnecessary songs. Well, this is a fire-breathing dragon which decided to breath cliches for a change, and each character seems to contribute to it when they go through the story.

Performers of the soul :: Nivin Pauly and Nazriya Nazim has been the hit pair, but here the latter is paired with her real life future husband, Fahadh Faasil, and Nivin repeats the hit pair of his first big lead movie Thattathin Marayathu with Isha Talwar. Nazriya is fine, but still not that awesome as we saw in Om Shanti Oshaana. Meanwhile, Fahadh Faasil is brilliant in a role which makes him only the fourth significant person in the movie, but an admired one for sure. He remains strong, and it is something we expect from him no matter what happens around him. Nivin Pauly is awesome, and is the best of them all, especially in the funny scenes. He should have had a little more presence in the whole thing rather than being restricted. Dulquer Salmaan hasn’t impressed me since Ustadh Hostel, and everything that came after that had me uninterested, and felt that he was choosing the wrong movies for whatever reason. But he certainly scores in this one, even as his character deserves a lot of hatred for the first half – he comes up with a memorable performance especially in the second half. Nithya Menon and Parvathi haven’t been around for some time, and it was good to see them. While Nithya has only a small role, Parvathi is very nice as the love interest of Dulquer’s character.

Soul exploration :: Everyone loves the city of Bangalore, and it is one of the cities of the South which I visited at an early age, and also that city which has most of my relatives and friends. I might just go there and find at least one person I know every day just by walking around, almost all of them engineers. Well, none of my friends who are staying there or have worked there has rated this movie high, and that is a negative for this one. I have actually found that most of the people whose opinions I care about have given this movie around average rating. But does this movie has more of a soul? Yes, it has the cousin friendship love stuff mixed and boiled in a bowl full of water, but how good is it? They are all there, but not presented in such a way that we can feel or connect. Even the most touching moments are rather dull because not enough care has been put in how the story progresses. It might be meant to make the viewers feel good, but that should require staying with the audience, but this one moves on and on, and in the presence degrading itself from being an awesome movie. Sooner or later, the question will be more about us deserving better than just expecting better.

How it finishes :: Bangalore Days has been one of the most anticipated movies by the fans of different actors. There are Nazriya Nazim fans who know that their favourite actress is going to get married and coming back to acting is not a sure thing. There are Nivin Pauly fans who have been standing tall since his two huge hits in the form of Om Shanti Oshaana, and those Dulquer Salmaan fans who are hoping for at least one good movie from him for a very long time. Then there the more intellectual ones, the fans of Fahadh Faasil who will be a calm force here. People also want to watch Nithya Menon and Isha Talwar so much, and Parvathy is also a bonus. Then there are people who keep praising Anjali Menon – all these people are going to force so many Keralites into the theatre that more records are going to be broken – there have been quite a few already. The movie is showing what the advantage of having young and good-looking actors, actresses and director is. There are too many fans who just look for that, and the days are bright for Bangalore Days, no matter how much the monsoon stays strong with the hope for thunderstorms with Koothara.

Release date: 30th May 2014
Running time: 172 minutes
Directed by: Anjali Menon
Starring: Nivin Pauly, Nazriya Nazim, Parvathy Kottuvata, Isha Talwar, Fahadh Faasil, Nithya Menon, Dulquer Salmaan, Prathap Pothen, Vijayaraghavan, Maniyanpilla Raju, Kalpana, Praveena, Vinaya Prasad, Rekha

bangaloredays copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Law Point

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That point to be noted :: There are some movies which come silently and go unnoticed. This was going to be the case of Law Point as it didn’t release in a good number of local theatres where even The Amazing Spider-Man 2 released, and that comes as a big surprise considering the fact that a Kunchako Boban – Namitha Pramod pairing has some good scope to attract audience, not just the fans of Kunchako, since Pullipulikalum Aattinkuttiyum. Now, where is that much needed hype which should have been present here at least a little bit? A movie which released in silence and went on to become a big hit was Memories, but that belonged to another class, and also to a director who had never known to have evaded victory, and the creator of greatest hit of all time in Malayalam (Drishyam), Jeethu Joseph. Meanwhile, this one comes from Lijin Jose who directed the 2012 movie Friday. It was a fine movie, no matter how some of the audience might have rated it, and it surely gave the viewers a lot to think about. Now, thinking isn’t what most of the fan-boys do these days right? If they do that, they would never be the minions of actors, but a lot above that with their own individuality. Friday had given us a director who could innovate well in his directorial debut, and it is on that same director that I trust while watching this movie.

What is it about? :: Sathya (Kunchako Boban) is a brilliant lawyer who has the ability to do wonders at the court, and spends most of his time taking the cases of big-shots and saving them from the crimes which they have committed. He is proud and shows more interest in money than anything else. After saving a rape-accused, Kuriyachan (Suraj Vencharamoodu) from the law, a millionaire named Ramakrishnan (Nedumudi Venu) comes to meet him and asks his help to get his son out of trouble. The son was in a big problem as his girlfriend tried to commit suicide as he refused to marry her and they were going to file a case against him according to the last letter that she had written. Sathya agrees to become a mediator and solve the case for which he is going to get rupees twenty lakhs and the girl’s family is going to get a crore rupees. Even as her father Philippos (Joy Matthew) seems to agree a bit, the girl Maya (Namitha Pramod) is not ready to agree. Therefore, Sathya asks her to come with him for a ride in his Volvo, to which she agrees as she has been spending too much time locked in her house. As the simple ride gets longer than expected, a lot more comes out of it, and sooner or later, it will change the life of Sathya with a twist.

The defence of Law Point :: Whatever is expected from Law Point, it has nothing to do with them, as it is not really a courtroom drama, suspense thriller or action romance or a mixture of any two of these combined in another combination. There is nothing about the court and neither is there much to justify its title. The movie chooses to be different and go in a path which might not be unexplored, but which is not expected to follow with such a cast and settings. The beginning setting is just the base for what is to be revealed in the end, and the whole thing that happens between works just to connect and make things interesting. The visuals are nicely captured, most of the best ones around Vagamon and the surrounding areas. The background music is nice (despite reminding of the Yuvvh music by the end), and the songs as well as their picturization are nice. The movie is very short for a Malayalam flick, lasting just above an hour and forty five minutes, and that makes sure that this becomes more of a fast food for the movie watchers. As the other Malayalam movies except 7th Day which has released since Vishu haven’t managed to work, Law Point might just work well with some audience with its points.

The claws of flaw :: The movie comes up with good drag in between, especially the time close to the interval, sometime before and after that. By the time the interval is reached, people might be left a little confused about where the movie is heading, as it doesn’t reach an interesting position by then. The first aim of the movie should have been to keep the viewers interested, but that is not the first preference here. The end might actually destroy the purpose of a lot of things which happen in the middle, but for others, there is good reason in the end. The end twist should have had a little more punch, and the lack of the dark side makes this one end up with a feel-good effect, but that won’t satisfy those with different expectations. The dark themes remain absent even as they threaten to come up in the beginning. The impact is less, and the movie ends when the viewers expect a little more twist or some addition to the romantic side or even a change of character from the protagonist who seems to remain the same proud young man with that over-confidence still failing to disappear.

Performers of the soul :: Kunchako Boban has a nice introduction, and comes up with a nice performance as the young lawyer even as he has just one scene in the court and the rest are all outside. He plays that kind of a proud and confident advocate who thinks that he can even save the devil himself if in trouble and he is that damn smart. His negative shade is nice, but kept under control throughout the movie. Then there is Namitha Pramod with her best performance ever, as she carries that character on her shoulder beautifully. There are times when one wonders if the middle period of the movie is meant to prove that she is pretty, something which doesn’t need any proof as far as any viewer is concerned. She looks better than ever, and her acting graces her beauty so well. They form a nice hit pair, second only to, may be the Nivin Pauly – Nazriya Nazim pair. Suraj Venjaramoodu has only the initial scenes, and there are the funnier scenes around. Meanwhile, Joy Mathew’s role is nice as usual.

Soul exploration :: Law Point plays a twisted game, something which looks rather plain in the first half, but it is not, as proven later. But this game of twists remain faithful to the lighter side. The centre of this movie is a suicide attempt. Yes, suicide is a punishable offence in India, and that is re-asserted in the movie. There have been something about repealing the same, but not active yet. Yes, the one who attempts to commit suicide and fails in the same is not just the victim, but also guilty in the eyes of the law. Here, that is often repeated in talking about the victimization, the culprit and the two sides of the same law, the only law point which keeps moving through the movie. Is it right to have the depressed suffer again just because he or she made the wrong choice at that moment of extreme emotions? As our lady protagonist asks, hasn’t everyone thought about committing suicide at some point of their lives? Still, isn’t each individual life so important that suicide is a sin? But there is that nice game that is being played, and after that twist, we come to know that all’s well that ends well.

How it finishes :: The current situation is favourable to Law Point, considering what else are the Indian movies running in the theatres released in the last few weeks. The movie needed a lot more publicity as well as a few additions here and there which could have made it complete. There is a lot that such popularity can do to this type of movies. I searched for its Facebook page and was disappointed not to find one, but found information about its release and other stuff from the official pages of the leading actors. It is a sure watch for the fans of both Kunchako Boban and Namitha Pramod. Kunchako has been a minimum guarantee star, and with Polytechnic and this one, he is coming back to the form slowly but steadily. Namitha’s success story has continued well so far, and even the lesser appreciated Puthiya Theerangal was a nice one, something which I can certify with ease. There is shortage of action and there are no real thrills, but the movie’s twists can pull it up from any trouble that it causes to the viewers.

Release date: 1st May 2014
Running time: 108 minutes
Directed by: Lijin Jose
Starring: Kunchacko Boban, Namitha Pramod, Joy Mathew, Nedumudi Venu, Praveena, Devan, Suraj Venjaramoodu, KPAC Lalitha, Kalabhavan Prajod, Shari, P. Balachandran, S. V. Krishna Shankar

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Ezhu Sundara Raathrikal

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The seven beautiful nights :: The name of the movie means “seven beautiful nights” and I would like wish everyone a very happy seven nights from Christmas to New Year, and then for eternity. You all deserve a great Christmas and an awesome New year, not only this year, but also for the years to come. The movie doesn’t do the same though, as it tells the story of a man’s life seven days away from his marriage and its title more inspired from an older song rather than anything else, and it is undoubtedly nothing like the twelve days of Christmas. It is the sixth movie of Dileep this year, and the fourth one in which he is playing the single leading role. This is also the third one directed by Lal Jose this year, and as both are undisputed super-hit providers, there was going to be no doubt about this one having good initial collections and having an extended run, even with Drishyam getting terrific reports and Oru Indian Pranaya Katha working fine enough. There has also been a certain amount of hype surrounding this movie, and it was always expected to do good.

What is it about? :: Aby (Dileep) has been enjoying his bachelor life for a very long time, and had been fighting hard to stay unmarried despite his parents trying their best to make him marry any girl. The situation changes when he decides to marry a model named Ann (Parvathy Nambiar) who was also evading marriage for quite some time. As both of them seemed to be going in a path without marriage, their parents are more than happy that they have chosen each other. But as Aby’s former lover Sini (Rima Kallingal) returns to Cochin and he decides to give her his wedding card along with boasting about his fiancee, the situation changes. As he losses his cigarette packet at her house, he is forced to help her when it is found out. At the same time, they seem to be indirectly related to the attack on a man who threatens them. He has to find the mystery behind that attack which sends the man into a comma, along with making sure that his fiancee as well as her husband Alex (Murali Gopy) doesn’t come to know more about it, and that the police doesn’t find anything about their presence during the attack.

The defence of Ezhu Sundara Rathrikal :: There is lot of fun involved in the first half, and there is good scope for a thriller from the moment a twist is introduced in the movie. Dileep scores with what he does the best and the movie goes on the lines of a thriller with a comic touch and successfully catches the attention of viewers, and stays fine till the interval. Unlike what seemed to be implied by the trailer, there is no adultery involved in it, and there is a clean environment maintained throughout the movie without the vulgar jokes. There is confusion created by certain things, but none of them are intentional, and there is no real villain in the world of this movie – nobody really does anything unforgivable, and by the end of the movie, all of them are able to live happily ever after, understanding all the mistakes counting from zero to infinity. The movie might have been trying to look into the stupidity and meaninglessness of most of the relations of the world, and how the most simple things lead to disasters which is actually the result of some random act of buffoonery. We can hope that this will bring hope that one can keep the vulgar comedy flicks of extreme buffoonery like Sringaravelan away.

Claws of flaw :: The movie keeps losing its power in the second half until it looks like a sad Superman sitting in front of kryptonite and singing the praise of Lex Luthor. It trails Lal Jose’s other 2013 flicks, Pullipulikalum Aattinkuttiyum in humour and Immanuel in goodness, the two factors which should have saved this movie if added in abundance. The movie’s power as a thriller fades as the suspense is revealed, and all the things become just minor factors of no relevance, and the movie itself becomes too insignificant as if it was made to justify Sekhar Menon singing “ezhu sundara raathrikal”. There are also unnecessary characters and strange subplots which feeds on the movie rather than add to it, being parasites in its journey towards being worthy. There are also too many things which could have kept all these troubles away, and one specific thing could have nullified all the confusion. The last few minutes drag and makes the audience feel like there has been a time-shift which has caused a slowing down of their lives. Some people are married, some are not, a few are divorced, some wishes to marry someone, others are going to get married and the rest needn’t marry – marriage all around, that is what the movie is mostly about!

Performers of the soul :: Dileep is the one who is able to hold this movie together and keep the people interested. Unlike his other movies like Sringaravelan which was horribly dependent on bad jokes and vulgar humour, this one is a decent world which keeps Dileep inside the family zone, and he shines like nobody else, as Harishree Ashokan gives him great support. The newcomer Parvathy Nambiar is just somewhat good, as she just survives her stay there on most of the occasions, unlike some other debutante heroines who have been introduced in his earlier movies. May be the character itself wasn’t her kind or vice versa, as there is a constant struggle to keep up with the other performers. Murali Gopy is good with his role even as the character turns strange by the end. Rima Kallingal holds the ground, and keeps the wounds of the movie from getting any deeper. This is not a performance that will get her anything, but she is there to make sure that nothing gets any worse. Tini Tom has done a role which is not that funny, and has made it work. While Vijayaraghavan and Sreejith Ravi have gone towards the comic side in their smaller presence, Suraj Venjaramoodu has an even smaller existence which he makes significant.

Soul exploration :: The movie lacks in soul or appears to be so. Even as it should go in the list of those feel-good movies, one can’t be sure about it yet. If anyone embodies the spirit of the movie, it is Dileep, and if anything is close enough to feeling good, that should be when he is around. The movie’s abundance of good characters or those being just naughty and not that evil seems to direct towards the goodness of the movie and its attempt to take over that feel-good tag. The movie is indeed good in what it depicts, and it distancing itself from using bad words and vulgar jokes is indeed a good sign for the soul. Even our heroine comes up with a cute angelic smile for the soul on regular occasions, and that seems to be her highlight (it reminds me of my favourite Alice in Wonderland character, you know who – and I love it). There is also that song which features her that jumps out of nowhere. That smile is one boost to the soul that the Vampire Bat might want to collect personally. This is my last movie of the year, and therefore there is not much more to explore in the soul, as there is that complete break from movies until the 31st of this year – my total movies list for those watched in theatres is 103 with 52 in the first half and 51 in the second.

How it finishes :: This is a movie which could have worked with a better second half – not by a big margin, but just enough to attract more people. It still has a good amount of viewers there, as long as there is no comparison made against a few others movies in the theatre during this same season. There are not many challenges made by movies this weekend either. Sound Thoma and Sringaravelan might have scored big for Dileep at the box-office, but this one is still the best movie of him this year and the worst for Lal Jose since Mulla five years ago. The best and the worst have been made with this combination and that is indeed strange considering the expectations that shoot up. Ezhu Sundara Raathrikal will surely keep itself running into 2014, and that is something which is ensured more by the vacations causing lot of incoming audience in the form of kids and youth rather than the movie getting better opinions. Well, let this winter season of happiness disappoint no movie maker – let them all run, as even Dhoom 3 is having a magic run of the evil type.

Release date: 19th December 2013
Running time: 140 minutes (estimate)
Directed by: Lal Jose
Starring: Dileep, Rima Kallingal, Murali Gopy, Tini Tom, Parvathy Nambiar, Harishree Ashokan, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Vijayaraghavan, Sreejith Ravi, Sekhar Menon, Praveena, Suja Menon, Krishna Prabha, Ambika Mohan

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Memories

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Memories enter this week of Malayalam movie overdose fighting for a place with four movies, all of them creating bigger hype than this one. This movie had more of a release of silence compared to what Kadal Kadannu Oru Mathukutty, Neelaakasam Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi and Pullipulikalum Aattinkuttiyum have been coming up with. All three of them were much awaited, but this movie was not that much of a subject during those talks. But it is that type of silence that grows on you, and makes an impact. As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tse had said, “Silence is a source of great strength”. Remember the quote by Aldous Huxley, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music” – now there comes the continuity of the movie connecting with the silence, for there is that background score as well as the music with which the movie begins, before going deep into the silence and breaking it again, powering itself from its slowness to the incredible strength and agility that it possesses within. The movie is a little silent dynamite which shows its signs of efficiency in the beginning itself, and explodes to bring out its best in the second half.

Jeethu Joseph had given us Detective – one of the best investigative thrillers in Malayalam, Mummy & Me – the movie which could change lives in a good way, and the big laugh riot which was My Boss. The same director has given us another treat in the form of Memories, and in the process, he might have provided us with the best of Eid. The movie goes through life of a police officer (as they say, an episode in the life of a cop), and brings that world to the audience. Sam Alex (Prithviraj Sukumaran) gets through the credit scenes supported by great background music, and stylish action before we come to the scene three years later when he is addicted to alcohol and walking around aimlessly, stretching from the bars to the beginning of the long beverages queues. He has memories of his wife and daughter who were murdered by a terrorist as a revenge for him killing his gangster brother in an encounter. He keeps himself to perpetual damnation on Earth, feeling that he and his police department are responsible for their death. He resorts to alcohol and moments of lazy depression to keep himself away from the world of the common man, drinking so much that he can hardly walk until he falls. The memories wake him up, and to keep them away, he drinks again, a procedure which would seem to last for eternity.

Meanwhile, his brother leaves the house and his mother is left worried due to his drinking habits. Meanwhile, a senior officer comes home and invites the former efficient cop to investigate the case of a possible serial killer on the loose. Even as Sam disagrees first, his mother convinces him to go through it. In doing so, he is assisted by a journalist Varsha Mathews (Mia George) and Inspector Antony (Sreejith Ravi). He investigates about the two murders, and at the same time, a third murder takes place. He has to deal with his own alcoholism along with the memories of the death of his beloved ones, which keep flashing into his mind. He fails to keep them away, as they continues to haunt them along with his love for alcohol, but the man makes great turning points in the case right from the beginning itself. As the murderer captures his victims who look very much as if they are not connected to each other, and tortures them to death, the time is running out for the police force. There is brilliance on both sides, and there remains the question if the hand of the law or the unknown force of evil wins the clash of the titans. As this is an investigative thriller leaning on the suspense factor, anything more might deal a spoiler blow.  Meanwhile, look out for Christian imagery and symbolism, that’s all I can say for now.

Prithviraj Sukumaran has had a great time since Ayalum Njanum Thammil. This year he came up with a great performance in what was undoubtedly the best movie of the year – Celluloid. While his Mumbai Police had much critical acclaim, his Bollywood movie Aurangzeb was a movie with a difference and reflected that effort which he has been putting into his job. If the questions are asked if this character is like Mumbai Police‘s Antony Moses, the answer would be a clear no. Sam Alex is clearly superior to Antony Moses, who was an empty shell which was filled only to the disappointment of the viewers. But Sam Alex is a near-perfect dynamic character, more like that Solomon whom Prithviraj portrayed in Vargam. There are not many characters who would seem to exhibit such pain as this one, even as there could be doubts if there is so much of it that the dosage could be decreased. Our protagonist never goes the wrong way, even as he doesn’t go the right path. It has been the right path for our leading actor who had not that effective police roles in The Thriller, Police, Sathyam and Khakhee. Aurangzeb, Mumbai Police and now Memories have brought to us the one man who makes an excellent police officer on screen.

Prithviraj is brilliant right from the beginning. He undergoes that transformation in a grand style, and here is that character which sheds all the power and is left with just intelligence and vulnerability. This is that type of role which brings instant likable element to the character. He is not that police officer who comes out and beats fourty or fifty people up in slow motion, and even makes them falls kilometres apart. The age of such a superhero policeman is over for sure, and what we have here is a more genuine version, and hundred percent better than the one we saw in Mumbai Police. Here, we have a protagonist who can’t shoot down one man, nor can he chase him down. In another parallel world created by the much earlier movies, the hero would have been so untouchable that one gets to be sure about how the world inside the movie is supposed to go on. In such a perfect world, there is no real scope for suspense, even as a few drops can be added according to the availability of some rather less important characters to be murdered. This is not your perfect world of superhero, as the perfection here belongs to Prithviraj, and as a whole, it belongs to our director. Nobody defies gravity and takes the form of flying mutant humans or throws the normality away.

There are the others who add to this normality in the right and the most appropriate manner. The villain is the best of the other guys for sure. Even as the shadow of doubt falls on many people from doctors to policemen, the real killer, the psychopath who is placed against the cop in a game of cat and mouse happens to be a man totally unexpected. Revealing the man would be a cruel thing right now, and I shall control myself from doing the same. But this villain is an excellent choice, as he becomes that psychopath murder who makes a striking impact on the viewers. There was the need for such a villain in Malayalam movies, coming out nowhere to strike with the element of fear and uncertainty. Meghana Raj has a striking effect in the memories, even as she doesn’t really exist during the current timeline displayed in the movie. Mia George’s character has an influential existence throughout the movie, but not that much of a presence on the screen. The veterans Vijayaraghavan and Nedumudi Venu adds to the value of the movie with their usual creative performances as the concerned superior police officer and the caring parish priest. Suresh Krishna is also there with his usual best.

The movie’s surely has a slow first half, but it still remains faster than many other appreciated bad movies like Annayum Rasoolum on any day. The ambience it creates, rules this little world of memories. When Prithviraj walks away right here with his head held high, there is a lot of claps from the audience and Memories is a beautiful, successful experience. It is the result of how well this canvas has been set, and how much mastery can be associated with the protagonist’s depiction. We had the cop age in movies during the time of Suresh Gopi, and this might be a resurrection in a different manner. There was the need for the memories to stay strong to make that inception into our minds, and there has been such a thing indeed. There is a certain amount of neatness maintained throughout, even though some computer imagery used was rather unnecessary. It was good to watch a houseful show in the local theatres on a weekday in the morning, something which has rarely happened. The necessity for a very good thrilling atmosphere has been realized, and one has to thank Jeethu Joseph and Prithviraj Sukumaran for this wonderful piece of art which has come this way.

Release date: 9th August 2013
Running time: 140 minutes (estimate)
Directed by: Jeethu Joseph
Starring: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Mia George, Meghana Raj, Vijayaraghavan, Rahul Madhav, Suresh Krishna, Sreejith Ravi, Nedumudi Venu, Praveena, Madhupal, Irshad

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