Ittymaani

What is the movie about? :: Ittymaani (Mohanlal) was born in China to Malayali parents who settled down in the Eastern nation because his father was a martial arts expert. After spending a childhood close to the Forbidden City, they return home, his father begins a Chinese restaurant and catering services at Kunnamkulam in Thrissur district of Kerala. Ittymaani himself adds more to this business including creating duplicates of almost everything he wants to, as it was a popular thing happening in the town itself. With Sainuddhin (Dharmajan Bolgatty) and Sugunan (Aju Varghese) for help, Ittymani continues his business as well as some commission programmes which become part of it. He is happy with his life, even though he never even came close to being married, much to the dismay of his mother Theyyamma (KPAC Lalitha). He does agree for marriage, but even after seeing more than thirty girls, there is nothing positive coming out of the procedure.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: Ittymaani is also in charge of the church committee, but things are messed up when Joji Pothen (Hareesh Parumanna) takes revenge on him for rejecting his sister Lissie Pothen (Honey Rose). But with the help of his old friend who becomes the new vicar, Fr. John Paul (Siddique), he manages to get back some of his pride. But it is at the same time that the extremely wealthy Plaamoottil Annamma (Raadhika Sarathkumar), their neighbour and good friend has a heart attack. She has been a widow for a long time, and has lived alone for a long time with her sons and daughter having left her in the name of their jobs and childrens’ education. They tell her that they would come and see her soon, but nothing happens – even when Annamma lands in the Intensive Care Unit, they leave everything to Ittymaani and go for a pleasure trip, leading to the worsening of her condition. Ittymaani decides to help her, but how can he?

The defence of Ittymaani: Made in China :: There is a certain amount of humour in this movie which keeps it going, and even though there are actors working for it throughout the film’s run, there is also a certain amount of the same from other more serious characters. There is also the message about how parents are treated by the sons and daughters once they get old, and after the children get well-settled with their own kids in the city. It also becomes a tribute to the old parents abandoned in such a way, as the reference is there even when the movie is not referring to the same; we have to forget those jokes made in bad taste though – in the end, there is also a full strength preaching regarding the care that the elderly people deserves. The movie does stick to the Onam festival mood though, as this is also a kind of movie that the family audience wants to watch during vacations – it could be reflected in the number of people who came to watch the movie too.

The claws of flaw :: The movie does have that tendency to reveal the saint out of the protagonist in the end, as it is a heart attack which becomes deus ex machina too – Its a little bit like Madambi where the main character is misunderstood, even though the golden heart is revealed to the audience a little too early this time. A number of characters are also wasted in this movie, and some of them are played by some fine actors, which is disappointing. Some of the jokes are also disappointing, and one could have avoided them to make this one feel more appropriate in relation to the message that it wanted to convey. The movie had to live up to the cause, but it never tries that. The movie is also too long, and with not much of an interesting story in there, it has to depend on comedy all the time. The drag that the movie shows in the middle part makes the whole setting go less interesting. There are also no good songs in between to bring a better mood.

The performers of the soul :: Mohanlal once again has himself as the centre of everything, and all the other characters make way for him, as he finds something out of this lesser tale. With his character being highly popularized with much hype, the audience was also banking their hopes on him. But this is certainly not a challenging role, and also for KPAC Lalitha, this mother-son combination comes easy. Madhuri Braganza plays her younger version with no trouble, after that touch with Joseph. Raadhika Sarathkumar doesn’t get that much of a lead even though the movie soon gets centred around her. Aju Varghese and Dharmajan Bolgatty get to add some fun as usual, but some jokes seem to be rather cheap and missing the mark. Kailash and Swasika do have some little moments of humour to add here too. Hareesh Perumanna is the other actor to add to the comic side, but his role is also side-lined.

Further performers of the soul :: As far as Honey Rose is considered, there is nothing more decorative than she is, contributing nothing to the movie, other than being there for about ten minutes, half of the same being in video chat – even during the rest of her moments in the movie, she has very less to speak. If this is not a cameo, one would wonder what it is – another actress, a model could have done the job, serving the ornate purpose. It wouldn’t have been that difficult with Viviya Santh being there in the cast, with not much to do. We see the need for the actress to be on the screen and act disappearing, and that is disappointing. There are also many other actors and actresses whom we might miss if we miss a few seconds of action on the big screen. The actors like Saju Navodaya and Salim Kumar are restricted in the same fashion, and Sunil Sukhada gets even lesser moments. But thankfully, Siddique gets his due yet again, as he once again shines in the priest role, and has some fine scenes of comedy.

How it finishes :: The movie does struggle hard to get to its message, and goes through the journey with a certain amount of humour, and a part of it going the wrong way. But it is still an entertaining movie considering the fact that it has a good number of moments to cheer for, and a message for the society coming in the end. Even though Love Action Drama also focuses on the funny side, it never felt trying to be serious or logical, but Ittymaani is trying a little bit too much to be dealing with something serious, and it is a serious challenge to its quality of completeness, as the story itself never really becomes a whole. Still, as it is Onam, we get to see movies like this one, and enjoy them to the fullest, leaving with a mood of celebration – after all, the students get only eight or nine days for holidays during this Onam season. I wish you all a Happy Onam, do watch all these Onam releases in the theatres along with those which have carried on from earlier, like Porinju Mariyam Jose and Thanneermathan Days!

Release date: 6th September 2019
Running time: 158 minutes
Directed by: Jibi Joju
Starring: Mohanlal, Honey Rose, Madhuri Braganza, Swasika, Raadhika Sarathkumar, Aju Varghese, Johny Antony, Dharmajan Bolgatty, Salim Kumar, Sijoy Varghese, Saju Navodaya, Sunil Sukhada, Siddique, Hareesh Perumanna, Kailash, Vinu Mohan, Aristo Suresh, Sethulekshmi, Saju Kodiyan, Anjana Appukkuttan, Asokan, KPAC Lalitha, Rajesh Paravoor, Antony Perumbavoor (cameo)

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✠ The Vampire Bat.

Porinju Mariyam Jose

What is the movie about? :: Porinju (Joju George), Mariyam (Nyla Usha) and Jose (Chemban Vinod Jose) used to be close friends from childhood days itself. Porinju has been in love with Mariyam since then with the support of Jose. She continued her studies at school even though her friends dropped out, and found one or two reasons to meet Porinju every time. But because of her dead father’s opposition, she has been keeping Porinju waiting. Porinju is the butcher of the village while Jose did even smaller jobs to support his family which included his father, brother, wife and daughter. Both of them never really missed a chance to enjoy life though, with some local alcohol and cigarettes. They are much loved by the people of the village, as they look forward to the local church festival to have the best of fun. Mariyam has been the village’s money lender since her father Varghese’s (Nandhu) death.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: Set in one of the villages in the outskirts of Thrissur town in the 1980s, there is a lot of focus on the church festival which forms the basis of everything. It is during such a festival that something happens, which changes the equation. As Prince (Rahul Madhav), the young blood of the house of the rich and powerful Iype (Vijayaraghavan) falls for Mariya, chaos errupts. As he grabs her backside, Jose is there to beat him up, only to find the members of Iype’s family beating him up together. Porinju who has been in good terms with Iype decides to help his friend, but this fight doesn’t end there. Prince is a typical spoiled brat who wouldn’t stand being beaten up by someone of lesser social status, as he decides to return during the next festival, and teach Porinju and Jose a lesson, much to the dismay of Iype.

The defence of Porinju Mariyam Jose :: It can be clearly seen that Porinju Mariyam Jose is not a typical mass masala movie which is often expected when knowing about a premise like this. There are some fine introductions in the beginning stages, and we come to know about the incidents in the movie from the common village people themselves. The spirit of the age and people are nicely captured here, and the setting is nothing less than catching one’s attention. The action scenes are violent, but feels realistic with the intensity that surrounds it. There are some thrilling moments, and we have the funny sequences here and there. The romantic side remains emotional, and we feel its effect that would go through decades and into the grave. The touch of realism keeps this movie apart from the other movies from the same director, and we become part of this world with ease.

The claws of flaw :: There might be the feeling that Porinju Mariyam Jose is more suited for the time period of 1980s and 1990s, but I would say that it wouldn’t have this much of a beauty if it was presented then. A certain amount of stretching can also be seen in the second half, and the story doesn’t rise to go further away from the usual stuff – there is no special ingredient regarding that. This movie could have actually had more, with other happenings of the village, and a solid reason for all these twist of events. The messages could have been stronger, and this never-ending cycle of violence could have been given a pause at some point. Some people might say that this is not as good as the veteran director’s earlier movies, but I would consider that to be a case of personal opinion, because this movie’s case is to be considered separately, like a deviation.

The performers of the soul :: Joju George had greatness written all over Joseph, and here is back with another lead role, and something else to remember in a different way. He had also won the National Film Award – Special Mention for that flick which is considered to among the best emotional investigative thrillers of all-time. As we also remember two other emotional roles from him in Virus and June, it can be seen that this movie explores another side of him with the character of Porinju. The man here plays a lovable character even though he is always there in the middle of the fights. The emotional moments once again has the best here, and we see that the same touch our hearts again, and the ending does provide that Joseph-like feeling for us. From the release of Joseph itself, we have been aware that there is really nothing that Joju can’t do, and only he can make it better each and every time.

Further performers of the soul :: As a movie which thrives with its performances, Joju is not the only person who serves as the lighthouse, the fixed mark and guiding light to this movie. Nyla Usha, who is best known for Punyalan Agarbathis, was not to be seen in its sequel Punyalan Private Limited, but we did see her in Lucifer. We knew how well she could suit this role from the trailer itself. She plays a strong character, and she does that with so much ease, and makes us believe the same with a realistic side. Chemban Vinod Jose is a master of many things, as he had proven with the award winning Ee Ma Yau, but that was just one part of it. He blends into some roles so well that we feel that he is providing another flawed character to be loved by all. Vijayaraghavan plays the man caught between two loyalties very well that we feel for him, no matter what he does. Rahul Madhav’s role is rather small, and with too weak an antagonist, he serves okay.

How it finishes :: The first half of the movie is indeed better than the second, when things get kind of slower and predictable. Maybe a little bit more of an effort could have made everything better, but we can say with confidence that Porinju Mariyam Jose jumps far ahead of the director’s last few movies with ease. One can also have no doubt about the fact that this movie thrives on its performances with the best possible cast for each role. We are taken to that world of rivalry and revenge, as we also become part of it. Porinju Mariyam Jose is a movie which is there to stay in the mind for long – it doesn’t have to pretend to gain that recognition. It is a movie which is there to stay, and go on strong until the Onam releases try to take over, but as of now, special appreciation is needed for this movie which is kept family-friendly even with the different themes which could have been explored in another raw manner.

Release date: 23rd August 2019
Running time: 130 minutes
Directed by: Joshiy
Starring: Joju George, Chemban Vinod Jose, Nyla Usha, Sudhi Koppa, Sinoj Varghese, Rahul Madhav, TG Ravi, Swasika, Vijayaraghavan, Salim Kumar, Malavika Menon, Kalabhavan Niyas, IM Vijayan, Sarasa Balussery, Nandhu, Jayaraj Warrier, Disney James

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✠ The Vampire Bat.

Kattappanayile Rithwik Roshan

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Vampire Owl :: Why isn’t the name spelled Hrithik Roshan?

Vampire Bat :: Because a change of spelling will make all things right.

Vampire Owl :: I am really annoyed with any bad spelling.

Vampire Bat :: Dude, this is intentional.

Vampire Owl :: Which is why I am intentionally protesting against it.

Vampire Bat :: I don’t understand your intentions.

Vampire Owl :: You only need to get me one cup of tea, vegetable puffs and cheese popcorn. It is a good understanding of intentions.

Vampire Bat :: You needn’t fight for that. You can have them with ease.

Vampire Owl :: A fight is cent percent needed. See, all things are lies. They say there is no money, and see the number of people who are here to watch this movie.

Vampire Bat :: Well, even we are here. It is a crowd-puller as you can see.

[Gets the tickets with tea and caramel popcorn].

What is it about? :: Geo (Siju Wilson) is ditched by his lover Neethu (Swasika) who is about to get married in a grand function. Disappointed and feeling hopeless in losing the girl whom he thought was his true love, Geo decides to commit suicide. But when standing at the suicide point, he finds a letter under a stone which was written by a stranger named Krishnan a.k.a. Kichu (Vishnu Unnikrishnan). He continues to read on, as he finds his whole life there. Kichu’s father Surendran (Siddique) was a fan of Jayan and wanted to become an actor like him, but becomes a failure. So, he decides to make his son a hero in the movies, but seems to fail in that too, as everyone think that Kichu is not fair enough, and there is also a mark on his forehead which gives him only smaller negative roles in movies. But Kichu doesn’t stop trying to reach his aim.

So what happens next? :: Kichu’s only good friend is Dasappan (Dharmajan Bolgatty) who has always been there to support him, right from the childhood. They can’t stop being jealous of Giridhar (Rahul Madhav), another person who seems to have everything including the looks and money. His neighbour Kani (Lijomol Jose) has been in love with him for a long time, he fails to notice it, as his dream is to marry a very beautiful girl. She still tries to catch his attention all the time. It is when he keeps getting the roles of thieves and criminals that the director James Antony (Kalabhavan Shajohn) provides him with role of a main character in the movie. At the same time, he falls for the rich, beautiful girl who comes to live in the town, Ann Maria (Prayaga Martin). But there are twists waiting to happen in his life, and it is a little bit too early for him to be happy. Will he survive the upcoming tests?

The defence of Kattappanayile Rithwik Roshan :: There is fun in store in this movie, that is for sure, and an attempt at message is made, just like it was done in Amar Akbar Anthony. But this one is a better movie than the directorial debut of the man at the helm, and an improvement in the overall quality. This one also pretends less than the other one, as Amar Akbar Anthony is supposed to have done something gargantuan, but it didn’t, except for pretending to be this and that all the time. Here we have some genuine scenes which invokes laughter, and they are the ones which save the day more than any other. Even though occasionally overdone, most of the characters in this movie are common people with whom we can relate. With them right in the camera, the humour works better than Amar Akbar Anthony which was a little bit of a low class pretender. Kattappana is also well captured. Yes, the message is there to be taken, if you want it.

The claws of flaw :: For some reason, Kattappanayile Rithwik Roshan suffers from a complete lack of brains, something which would surely save it from the zombies, but makes the intelligent viewer feel the pain, for even a movie in the comedy genre like this one can use it to make the funny side clever rather than foolish – but that is a rare thing between the cliches that stretches its arms towards climax and the finish. The movie is also hypocritical in its core, often working against whatever it seemed to convey, a terrible beauty of a quality which Amar Akbar Anthony also possessed. A lot of comedy scenes are repetitions, or something we have heard before – we knew that from the trailer itself with the use of the word “photogenic” which is a comedy that goes years back. The emotional side is also only partially working. The songs are just terrible, and the predictability factor is so strong.

Performers of the soul :: Vishnu Unnikrishnan does a fine job in this movie, and we are glad to see him performing as the protagonist. He has no trouble in going through the different stages of the hero’s career. Meanwhile, Salim Kumar makes a great comeback, and in the flashback scenes, he and Siddique are too good – the two manages to use their years of experience to the best, and makes us laugh. All humour is kept steady by Dharmajan Bolgatty though, and most of his jokes are right on target – the exceptions can be forgotten considering how well he has managed his character with nonstop fun, and even an emotional side that comes in the end. Among the actresses, Lijomol Jose is the pick, and once again after Maheshinte Prathikaram, in this second movie, she is amazingly good as the simple girl. Prayaga Martin doesn’t have much to do, and she is there looking good – no part of the movie is really about her character. Siju Wilson drops in to score too.

How it finishes :: The movie’s first half is cent percent superior to the second half, and we end up hoping for more in the second due to the same. The humour here is the reason why you can go for this movie, and for everything else, there are other movies. If you can go beyond the stereotypes and a certain amount of drag which comes along in the second half, this is surely going to be a fun experience without much to take home, of a better level than Amar Akbar Anthony. I would have liked to skip the final scene though, where Nadirshah makes an appearance – that was totally unnecessary, as it should not have been due to the trust on the audience that he would have casted our hero, but due to the need for bringing a skilled young man as the hero in a good movie – by placing the trust in the viewers, it has gone completely against the overall message of the movie, which is disappointing. But think not about it when you enjoy this entertainer.

Release date: 18th November 2016
Running time: 140 minutes
Directed by: Nadirshah
Starring: Vishnu Unnikrishnan, Prayaga Martin, Lijomol Jose, Dharmajan Bolgatty, Rahul Madhav, Siju Wilson, Salim Kumar, Swasika, Kalabhavan Shajohn, Thara Kalyan, Sethulakshmi, Neena Kurup, Devika Nambiar, Kottayam Nazeer, Nadirshah, Kottayam Pradeep, Jaffer Idukki

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.