Basheerinte Premalekhanam

What is the movie about? :: Somewhere around the city of Calicut, at some point during the 1980s, there is a village which uses its only radio, that is owned by Hussain Haji (Joy Mathew) who is also the Panchayath President, for entertainment. Everyone from the village , without any discrimination according to their social status, religion or caste, usually goes to his house to listen to the drama performance which is a usual thing in the radio during the later evening. They all sit on the verandah with the radio in the centre, listening to the performances. One day, Usman (Manikandan Achari), Hamid’s sister’s son who is in Dubai, sends them a black and white television. He is also supposed to marry Suhra (Sana Althaf), Hamid’s only daughter who is studying in the second year of BA English Language and Literature at the nearby college. The arrival for the television changes things at their home as well as the whole village which has its first television.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: Now, everyone is at Hussain’s house again, but this time to watch television. But nobody knows how to make it work, and for the same, they call for Basheer (Farhaan Faasil) to connect and begin the show for the whole village. There are still people who oppose the same, as it makes everyone sit in front of it for such a long time – but there is a change in the situation of the village, something which nobody can deny. Hussain is proud of being only house in the village to have a radio and a television. Meanwhile, Basheer falls in love with Suhra, but it is clear that Hussain will only marry her off to Usman when he returns from Dubai. Basheer who is from a simple family, seems to have no scope in getting the girl. With only her grandmother (Sheela) in support of the relationship, Suhra will have trouble in making her relationship with Basheer go on. Who will support them and who will support the most influential man in the village? What effect will Basheer’s love letter to Suhra bring?

The defence of Basheerinte Premalekhanam :: There is something about the romantic movies set in the eighties and before – it has a lot of nostalgia with simple humour related to the life style of the people of the time; kids up to those till the nineties would relate the best to it. There would also be those emotional moments concerning people who are more of common men than anything else. It is on the emotions and the humour that this movie seems to rely on, and it keeps working nicely, here and there. There is the simple romance of those times getting the strength here, unlike movies like Ennu Ninte Moideen which made things complicated, Anarkali which made it the visual stunner and Annayum Rasoolum which made it a terrible drag that never ended. The simple people and everything simple about them, remains the strength of this movie. There are also some nice songs to go with it, and the romantic saga is established between the two youngsters – thus, the love letter is ready with some good visuals of the village, but has nothing new.

The claws of flaw :: The strength of the romance depicted in this movie is something which is disputed, because the scope for more is missed out. The secondary tale of romance is actually more striking, and that is a surprise because it is there only in the end for a few minutes only. For a romantic movie which tries to use the name of Vaikom Mohammed Basheer’s Premalekhanam not just in the title but also inside the movie could have done more during this age. It is the title itself which leads to the higher expectations, which would clearly work against this movie in more than one way – not enough for the older generation inside the movie, and not much for the younger audience even in the title itself, except for the Malayalam literature lovers who are a group which are decreasing in number. The theatre didn’t seem to have called that many people either. A better tale of romance, with more depth in the story would have helped this one for sure. Some characters are also less developed.

Performers of the soul :: Farhan Faasil and Sana Althaf are two people who haven’t really got enough with the Malayalam movie industry – they never really had enough of those movies to show their calibre. Rajeev Ravi’s Njan Steve Lopez, the debut movie and the only other movie of him had the former as a famous name, and this happens to be only his second film – here he is in a look that resembles Kunchako Boban; got confused myself when I saw him in the first song which was released long ago, he does okay here, and the role is still not that interesting as his earlier movie. Sana Althaf’s Mariyam Mukku was quite the disaster that nobody would want with the first leading role, and she was seen only in a small role in Rani Padmini after that. She is the cute presence here, and manages to do her role with the necessary elements for the character, not more or not less. She is someone capable of repeating the cute Nazriya act of Om Shanthi Oshana and Bangalore Days in her absence. They look good together, no doubt about that.

Further performers of the soul :: The one person who leaves the biggest effect on us, is Manikandan Achari, known for the power-packed performance in Kammattipaadam and the strong comic side displayed in Alamaara. Here, he once again shows how good he is, with the emotional sequences as well as the funny side – when the protagonists’ love story gets less from the emotional side, his tale of love gets all, and elevates this movie. Sheela also comes up with a performance which will remind us of her Kochu Tresia in Manasinakkare, but it is not that much when you look at both movies. Madhu’s presence good, but could have been in some other way as real part of the tale – same is the case of Indrans. Joy Mathew scores big time in the movie too as the father. Hareesh Perumanna and Noby Marcose gets some nice humoruous lines, along with the others including Shivaji Guruvayoor and Sreejith Ravi who make it a combined effort. The other two actresses, Renjini Jose and Asha Aravind also make their presence felt. Aju Varghese also makes a cameo which feels rather unnecessary.

How it finishes :: Basheerinte Premalekhanam is a movie which had a lot more possible with its content, but is a fair thing as it is. It is to be noted that the three other Malayalam movies, Tiyaan, Sunday Holiday and Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum haven’t really stopped the hunt, and are still in the game. There are also the other new releases, including Minnaminungu – The Firefly which won Surabhi Lakshmi the National Award for Best Actress, Team 5 starring Sreesanth who gets into another area other than cricket and music, Pulimurugan getting its much awaited 3D release, Theeram which already has its name among the superhit songs and a lesser known horror movie known as Mythily Veendum Varunnu. The point to be noted is that none of these movies got any superstar from the Malayalam movie industry – maybe with the recent incidents related to actors’ real life, they are all waiting. Until then, this one brings the feel-good factor.

Release date: 21st July 2017
Running time: 130 minutes
Directed by: Aneesh Anwar
Starring: Farhaan Faasil, Sana Althaf, Renjini Jose, Sheela, Madhu, Manikandan Achari, Noby Marcose, Joy Mathew, Sooraj Harris, Shanavas, Sunil Sugatha, Sasi Kalinga, Hareesh Perumanna, Sreejith Ravi, Sivaji Guruvayoor, Indrans, Asha Aravind, Ponnamma Babu, Aju Varghese (cameo)

PS: You might also want to check out a cute Chinese romantic short-film, The Story of 90 Coins.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Adventures of Omanakuttan

What is the movie about? :: Omanakuttan (Asif Ali) is a young marketing executive at the customer care centre of Clintonica, a company selling hair oil, based out of the city of Mysore. He is evidently very good at what he does, which makes him getting selected as the best employee multiple times by Chandrasekharan (Siddique) who owns the company, and tries to keep expanding the same. It also makes his co-workers jealous of him, and sometimes even irritated, as Omanakuttan is ready to work even on days of harthal and bandh, mostly because he has nothing else to do with his life. As Omanakuttan is an introvert, he never really goes to social gatherings and doesn’t have that many friends, and a lot of his colleagues are even hesitant to talk to him. He shares the room with Philip (Saiju Kurup), who finds it okay to stay with him because he doesn’t ask many questions, and also never hesitates to give his share of the rent.

So, what happens next? :: As one his co-workers easily reject his proposal and everyone at the office seems to find it funny, he gets some advice from his boss who tells him to market himself, and decides to do what he is good at, with the girls – to talk on the mobile, and never to come face to face with them. It is with the same idea that he gets the mobile number of a number of girls and get to just chat with them, under different names, and as different people in different fields of work, and at the same time avoiding any chance to meet them. It goes on easily for him as it has been his job for quite some time at the office. One day, he comes across Pallavi (Bhavana), who seems to be a big fan of the Malayali singer living in Karnataka, Siddharth (Rahul Madhav). He also manages to get to talk with her as Siddharth, and Pallavi, who is a parapsychologist looking to travel to Spain to continue her studies, also considers it to be nice to keep in touch with the famous singer.

And what follows the events? :: One day, while returning home, Omanakuttan gets into trouble, and after being hit on the head, wakes up in the middle of a waste disposal area with no memory of who he is. He just has his second mobile phone with him which he was using to call the girls, and each person on the other side calls him by different names, which leads him into more and more confusion. It is then that he comes across Pallavi again, both not recognizing each other. After he helps her to repair her car’s punctured tyre, she gives him a lift to the city. Later, they meet again, and she agrees to help him find who he is, but in return for his own help with her life. But it turns out that Omanakuttan is just one of the names that they come across; there will be other names including Michael and Jerry, and a news that he had died in an accident on the highway. Pallavi’s former lover Shiva (Aju Varghese) also drops in. So, how do they finally figure out what is happening out there, and who the man really is?

The defence of Adventures of Omanakuttan :: Considering the way this movie progresses, one might feel that it could be kind of television series, like Arrow or The Flash, just in a funny way, as there are so many interesting characters in this movie. There is more than one mystery to solve, and more than one or two twists to follow, which could be effectively used as a series, and even in a possible sequel later with mysteries still to be solved. Along with bringing the twists, the movie’s funny side also gets to another level in the second half, as we see Adventures of Omanakuttan repairing its problems, and making things better in the latter part, finally reaching that climax which is more than what we had expected. Well, if you want change and don’t accept the change which is Adventures of Omanakuttan, there will be same kind of movies again and again, and by appreciating movies like these, we will have better divergent movies that will make things even better. You would at least need to watch this flick so that you will have a better understanding of your taste, and where the alignment of the same stands.

The claws of flaw :: What should bother a lot of people is the pacing of this movie, which is so slow, and it certainly drags with its story in the first half. It is also too long for most of the people, as the total length was nearly three hours for us with the breaks in between included – we are not longer ready to spend that much time continuously unless there is something spectacular happening on the big screen. A lot of people inside the theatre did feel that this was so slow and going on and on – there was the fear that this was going to go nowhere, but that problem was solved in the second half. Whenever there is the sign of things getting upgraded in the first half, it just doesn’t happen – there was the need to get rid of a few minutes which showed the protagonist’s character, because the same was already established, and had no need to be shown as what he was. The humour was is not always working, and the curse was certainly on the first half here.

Performers of the soul :: Asif Ali does a fine job as the protagonist, his different faces which are handled nicely, and special mention needs to be given to the comic side with him around, and with a later support of Aju Varghese who gets some very nice dialogues, keeps the movie floating well on the troublesome waters in the middle. The latter who is also seen in Godha at the theatres now, seems to be completely in form. Kalabhavan Shajohn and Siddique are the two other main contributors to this one, they have one nice sequence of dialogues in the end, which is undoubtedly the pick of the whole thing. Bhavana is really good in the role of a bold girl who decides to do whatever she wants with her life, holding one certain aim as her dearest thing. There are some smart ideas that her character comes up with in the movie, and they are also a lot funny, and well acted. It is also a lot of fun with her around, contributing to the overall humour.

How it finishes :: Taking a divergent path, Adventures of Omanakuttan is certainly not the movie to be appreciated later, as there are not many movies which builds so well on an ordinary beginning and first half to elevate itself to such a high level by the end. This is a movie which has to be watched in the theatres so that the experimental and different flicks like this one makes more film makers to try more. Adventures of Omanakuttan decides to go differently, and won’t go the path you want it to be, just like Natholi Oru Cheriya Meenalla, but becoming funnier and smarter in treatment for sure. You don’t need this one to be Guppy, because it is not the movies for the masses that we need, but movies that differ from each other in a good way – we need a good dose of good movies, and along with Godha, Adventures of Omanakuttan will make sure that there is more for the fans here this weekend and next week.

Release date: 19th May 2017
Running time: 166 minutes
Directed by: Rohith V.S.
Starring: Asif Ali, Bhavana, Aju Varghese, Kalabhavan Shajohn, Siddique, Saiju Kurup, Rahul Madhav, Srinda Arhaan, Aditi Ravi, Arya Rohit, Sivaji Guruvayoor

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Ennu Ninte Moideen

ennunintemoideen! (3)

What is it about? :: In the 1960s at Mukkam in the Malabar region of Kerala, Kanchanamala (Parvathy Kottuvata), one of the many children of a landlord, studies medicine. Meanwhile, Moideen (Prithviraj Sukumaran), a socialist political worker from a renowned family of the region spends his time with the common people. Their parents are good friends and the families know each other. They fall in love, but are restricted by the society as Kanchanamala is Hindu and Moideen is Muslim. Moideen is thrown out of the house by his father for declaring his love for the lady, and Kanchanamala is locked inside her room in the house. The options available here were to run away or to forget each other, but they decide to wait. A lot of things happen in the world around them, but they just wait for things to change, and this wait goes on as fate keeps intervening in their lives.

The defence of Ennu Ninte Moideen :: The best argument in favour of this movie is that it is unbelievably clean. The humour is good and love is strong. There is nothing other than pure love that takes the centre stage – there is almost no romance, and there is no talking nonsense; there is just the decision to get married and live together. It is something worth all the applause at a time when true love is dead and buried under the fake emotions. This movie becomes a lesson to the people who can’t wait or adjust, as the world are full of the “partially loving” ones who leave their lovers to follow their ambitions. The visuals are really good, and there some very nice dialogues which the audience can remember for long. The fact that this is a true love story also makes this movie better than what it actually is – there should be thousands of great love stories which go forgotten, and it is nice that this one didn’t. Also, the first half is superior to the second.

Claws of flaw :: One problem with the movie is its length. Even though it is not at all empty like Annayum Rasoolum, there are moments which drag, and this happens mostly in the second half after a well-made first half. There are certain moments of stretching in the latter part which could have been avoided. The signs about that powerful socialist-capitalist clash which the trailer gave goes completely missing as the same only appears here and there only to disappear without leaving any trace. It is unfortunate that there is nothing about righteous politics as expected. The songs don’t have much here. Cliches are also abundant. The overrating of this movie by the fans reflects as a flaw for the flick – you exceed expectations and give a movie some “greatness” title, and it becomes a flaw for those who watch the movie with expectations of unlimited greatness. Flaws will rise easily in a movie which you declare flawless, my dear fans; keep that in mind.

Performers of the soul :: Prithviraj brings Moideen to the screen with great sincerity and wonderful skills. If you ask me, I will prefer his performances in Ivide and Picket 43 more as they were a lot more intense; but this one is serene, staying within the limits of his character – the three are his best of the year. We await his much expected movie Amar Akbar Anthony as we watch this! Parvathy impresses most of the time, and is just fine on some other occasions, and she reminds me of Sangeetha of Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala fame. Bala also does a very strong job in this one. But the one who steals the show with two shots is Tovino Thomas who strikes an arrow into our heart and soul twice with one moment at the heroine’s house and another at the hero’s club. Sai Kumar and Lena Abhilash also leaves strong impact on our minds with their characters.

Soul exploration :: The origins of the love story of the lovers of this movie are not much explored, as they go straight towards the point. There is not much shown about what made them so much interested in each other, and the focus is on the fact is that they decides to wait rather than run away with each other or forget each other. They wait for the society to accept them, and take that risk with two reputed families belonging to two different religions. There is more than one dramatic interference from fate along with some additional melodrama as if this love was not supposed to happen, but the story remains true to love. The thing to be admired more than anything else is that they get older and older by waiting for approval, but the society remains the same and doesn’t accept their relationship. It is a strange world, isn’t it?

Further soul exploration :: The situation which is seen in the movie still exists in this world, even without talking about love and marriages. There is a certain amount of rise in the number of people who talk about religion and make decisions or judge people based on the same. It is a surprise that it happens in this modern age; the divisions were not this strong when I was a child – yes, the number of inter-religious marriages have increased, but it is not the case with the rest of the talks about religion as you can see less love for one’s religion and more hatred for other religions. We are getting divided further and further with more and more ridiculous reasons added. The non-believers only join in to make fun of everyone creating further trouble in between, instead of working to find a solution for any possible problem. Hating people is never a solution.

How it finishes :: There is a big problem with this movie, and it is with the fans. There is too much promotion going on related to this movie, and I have always found this overrating of movies rather irritating. I have seen the same with Premam, and now I am witnessing the same with this movie. It is time people stop overdoing the promotion and stick to talking about what they liked and didn’t like in a movie. When the word “best” is used without any limitations, it can make your favourite movie suffer, and fans should keep that in mind. I have had very high expectations about this movie due to some of those random comments, and this high number of comments have led to me liking this movie less. My advice to the fans is not to overrate a movie so much that it becomes irritating; Premam had early gains from it, but understand that luck changes and so do the games of fate.

Release date: 19th September 2015
Running time: 167 minutes
Directed by: R. S. Vimal
Starring: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Parvathy Kottuvata, Tovino Thomas, Bala, Saikumar, Shashi Kumar, Lena Abhilash, Sivaji Guruvayoor, Sudheer Karamana, Sija Rose, Sudheesh, Kalaranjini, Surabhi, Indrans, Devi Ajith, Emine Salman, George Tharakan

ennunintemoideen

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.