America Mappillai

What is the story about? :: Rangarajan (Raja Krishnamoorthy) and Vasantha (Leela Samson) along with the children Ganesh (Arjun Chidambaram) and Sunanda (Namita Krishnamurthy) seems to be living pretty much a good life until Ganesh gets very much afraid of being forcibly married to Mythili (Gayathri), the daughter of Ragunanthan (Delhi Ganesh). He plans with his friend, Michael (Rakesh Ram) to get rid of that problem, and finally decides to tell his parents that he is gay and has a boyfriend named Karthik (Gokul Anand). He hopes to bring Karthik home, and make everyone believe the same, but as he is actually homosexual, hesitates in acting as Ganesh’s boyfriend, but the confusion which this situation was to create had only begun there, with more to follow.

How is it different from what you see all the time? :: Unlike the usual series that we get to see around here, this one is more or less direct, even when it keeps the limits – there is no unnecessary melodrama that comes in here. There are moments when you think that the drama is going to reach another stage, but thankfully, it doesn’t. There are moments when it thinks divergent so well, and we can applaud on its ability to do so, without making things complicated at all. Being simple and powerful is surely not an easy thing to do, but America Mappillai does manage to do so. It also rises above the usual predictability factor to deviate the experience to the new path, the one which is not usually taken. We are no longer slaves to that repeated world of usual serials, as we have programmes like this.

What is so special here? :: The characters are indeed special – with so much of a simple story here, they had to be better, and they really are. They are the ones that keep this story going, and the actors and actresses have done a very good job with their characters. Well, even those who are there for only those smaller roles do nicely. Some moments just go cute even when least expected. Each episode comes in the name of a colour, and the reflection of that particular colour can be seen nicely. With a usual home and its people facing different and rather complicated situations, the series try to do something difficult, but that is achieved without alienating the family audience – there is always that kind of a risk and this one nicely goes past the same without trouble. Maybe this would mean that ZEE can come up with an interesting one in Malayalam too, later.

How things have been getting further divergent :: Nowadays, ZEE is targeting the young population as they are coming up with new and original shows on ZEE5. Well, ZEE Entertainment has been known for its traditional approach, as we know the channel for bringing us all the entertainment in the old fashioned way. Well, now we see that things have changed, with welcome divergence. We also see that ZEE is focusing different language based content too, and it is the privilege that we get here by using the ZEE5 app. The app has a fine collection of television shows, originals and movies in different languages, and it is always fun to get it in the language that we want them to be using. The collection is interesting, and one would need to take a look to know more.

The problem of being in doubt :: As it was with Hamlet and many others, the protagonist is in doubt. Well, you can say that he is in more than just doubt – he doesn’t want to be committed for more than one reason. Along with the same, he is also bothered about what people would think, and still wants to do things according to his desires. It is a certain confusion that most of the people are facing these days, with unnecessary inputs from many relatives causing further trouble. Among these relative concerns, a job and marriage are two of the most significant things that keep ringing into one’s ears. The idea is that not having a job or not being married is just not the right thing, especially if most of the relatives of the same age has already done these. Well, this comparison can cause problems, as it does for our protagonist here too.

Soul exploration :: As the series shows, the idea of being divergent is difficult to accomplish. Whatever be the idea, people usually find it difficult as part of a society. The world has its own written rules, anything that doesn’t match that, is in trouble. It brings that confusion which never really ends, and even with the seemingly happy ending of this series, we can expect that to come back at some point. As we do know, there are no happy endings in real life, and there is certainly no happily ever after. This series makes sure that it gets close enough to that by giving that feeling of all coming together well enough, and satisfies the audience who wishes to have something similar to that. With the short length and good work from the cast, the series makes sure that this gets its point right there, without going away from the core.

How it finishes in the end :: Well, America Mappillai is a series that can’t be ignored. As ZEE5 brings this new kind of entertainment outside the usual and expected path, we are sure to be in need to try the same with premium subscriptions, seeing how it is supposed to work so well to bring all the fun. Praveen Padmanabhan who has directed the episodes seem to have made sure that it will work well with almost all kind of audience. Give it a try and download the ZEE5 app to watch the show as well as others. It can bring more to your world of entertainment, and there is a good chance that the next most interesting series in your own mother tongue will be there. This is the time to spend some time to explore #ZEE5 and #ZEE5Originals with #AmericaMappillaiOnZEE5.

Release date: March 2018 – April 2018
Running time: 10-15 minutes per episode
Directed by: Praveen Padmanabhan
Starring: Raja Krishnamoorthy, Leela Samson, Arjun Chidambaram, Namita Krishnamurthy, Gokul Anand, Rakesh Ram, Gayathri

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Enemy

enemy (2)

*The Soul Exploration paragraphs can have spoilers and therefore read wisely.

Vampire Owl :: I haven’t even heard about this movie.

Vampire Bat :: It is quite natural. It never came to our theatres.

Vampire Owl :: Then I need a DVD of this one. A movie that doesn’t come to our theatres is always worth a watch.

Vampire Bat :: I was going to recommend it to you, anyway.

Vampire Owl :: Everyone is creating one protest after the other. May be we should protest against the wrong movies being shown on the theatres.

Vampire Bat :: We shall call it the Hug of Movies.

Vampire Owl :: No Kiss of Movies? Okay, we will hug the movie DVDs of those movies which never had the chance to release here, and are so awesome.

Vampire Bat :: The change should start by not releasing some of those dumb movies just for the simple reason that they are too stupid for the human brain.

Vampire Owl :: I think you watched a Bollywood action movie in the last few days and is waiting to write a review on it.

Vampire Bat :: No, but I will leave you with a review of Enemy.

[Switches on the laptop].

What is it about? :: The movie tells the story of Adam Bell and Anthony Saint Claire (both played by Jake Gyllenhaal), the first one being a history professor and the other being a small time actor, both looking exactly the same despite having no real connection or relation with each other. The former’s girlfriend Mary (Melanie Laurent) is troubled and worried as Adam finds this man who looks like him in a movie and is determined to discover more about him. He even searches and finds the man’s number to call him and talk to him about the same, and hopes to meet him one day as curiosity keeps building inside him. Anthony’s pregnant wife Helen (Sarah Gadon) is also worried as a stranger who sounds like her husband calls home, and she is surprised as well as shocked by the similarities between the two, or the lack of any difference as she visits the university to see this man who looks the same. The men will one day meet in a hotel room only to bring further deviations in their lives.

Positives and Negatives :: The movie deals with the conflicts of the mind and leaves with a powerful message against adultery. It checks the extra-marital affairs and asserts that it is never too late to come back and be truthful to one’s partner. Here, it is shown as a situation of the mind which should be overcome within oneself rather than asking help from someone else, as long as one can. The atmosphere that the movie uses is perfect and how it shows everything is very powerful, even as not that effective for everyone as some might find is strange and not easily understandable, even coming up with too obvious explanations not doing justice to this movie’s twisted power. Even its slow progress, this is never the slowing down or the loss of power here, and I haven’t seem it happening like this so efficiently on so many occasions. There is a lot to think about in this case, that is for sure, and for the same, watching this movie becomes more necessary. I would recommend this to anybody who wishes to watch and give it a long, deep thought.

Performers of the soul :: Jake Gyllenhaal comes up with a stunning performance as two characters who look so much the same, but are yet different as themselves. He has to portray this doubleness which is less easier to do that most of the other roles that he has been doing, and one has to wonder if most people could have accomplished this with so much power. Even with his amazing work in the movie, what strikes the most though, is the extreme sadness and a terrible pain of the soul in the eyes of Sarah Gadon as she plays the character of the pregnant wife; an image that we cannot get out of our heads, especially because the movie never comes with a perfect explanation of things and our idea about all these is just what we can make out of it. But the tears on her face tells things and make everything more clear. Compared to them, Melanie Laurent does less, and mostly graces us with her beautiful presence.

Soul exploration 1: The choice of curiosity :: It is the curiosity that works both ways. Mark the words in the movie; “chaos is order yet undeciphered”. This curiosity had once made him to cheat on his wife, and has now forced him to think about himself. The transition from his wife to his girlfriend and then back to his wedding woes is because of the choice that he made – the curiosity that makes the protagonist search for the other person who looks like him is actually a search into his own mind which has to spots, one for his wife and the other for his girfriend, one with his desire to be an actor and the other with the reality of being a History professor – and he adjusts with the latter in the end, the thing that is actually him rather than what he wants to be just because of some obsession – something that can be equalled with his girlfriend too, all because of a second phase of curiosity.

Soul exploration 2: The fear of oneself :: The movie has two people who are basically one single person, and this manifestation of the other is just the one person that we see. Our potagonist is scared of himself, his other side which he wants to control, but is not within his power. Along with his fear of commitment, this fear about his other face troubles him throughout the movie, the result of which is reflected in him knowing about another person who looks and sounds like him and when he meets him, he is too scared. He knows that one of his faces is a mistake, and it is only in the end that he realizes that the right thing is to be with the wife rather than anybody else. This act of leaving his girlfriend – the extra-marital affair is portrayed as the death, both of his other side and the lover outside the marriage. Who is a man’s biggest enemy? He himself is, and it is the fear of that enemy that he conquers.

Soul exploration 3: The web of life :: The movie is about people caught in the webs of busy city life and hoping for a relief. There is repetition after repetition, and the images of giant spiders show this, especially the tarantulas which feed on the protagonist’s mind, and each big decision that he makes seems to have a spider, a negative thing. Even watching a movie is a first in his monotonous life. The web is actually as complicated as the life itself, and adultery becomes part of such a life. If another spider of adultery weaves a web in the life of the protagonist, it is up-to the wife and her love for the man that can crash it destroy those webs, saving him from the capture and the predator can no longer feed on him. The power of the webs created by the giant things need time to destroy, and the effort taken is also supposed to be enormous.

Release date: 8th September 2013
Running time: 95 minutes
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Kedar Brown, Darryl Dinn, Stephen R. Hart, Jane Moffat, Joshua Peace, Tim Post, Misha Highstead, Megan Mane, Alexis Uiga

enemy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Amazing Spider-Man

✠ I would be surprised if the loyalties of the fans have not shifted from my favourite superhero of the childhood to what could be termed as the Iron Man mania or the Batman addiction. They have taken over, and my other childhood superhero He-Man is nowhere to be found. The Revival of the interest in Spider-Man can go back to the Tobey Maguire – Kirsten Dunst starring adaptation of the same and its sequels. Still, the favourite actor of the series happened to be James Franco, thanks to Spider-Man 3. As everyone was waiting to watch The Dark Knight Rises, there was a little lack of interest in the same, but I am glad that the movie has managed to survive. Spider-Man was my favourite comic-strip in the Sunday newspaper, and I remember waiting eagerly for it, even as for the cartoons section, the winner was Ducktales. I had a good collection of Spidey’s graphic novels, and I can remember buying despised chewing gums just for getting the Spidey stickers free, giving the gums to my friends. Spider-Man defined my childhood, even as I never tried to climb the walls. I would add that Spider-Man is also the first “typical superhero” video game I played.

Count Dracula: Spider-Man? Seriously? I mean you are the Vampire Bat, always wearing that black costume and pretending that you can fly, and you still like Spider-Man? You should like Batman, he is your kind sharing the “bat” added to your names – he comes in black, while this spider person comes in red and blue. Even Robocop comes in black pretending that he is Judge Dredd, and it is the new trend. Think about it – Spidey boy is too thin for you; it might feel okay for you now, but from the way you are gaining weight, you might become Vampire Bane and not Vampire Bat.

Vampire Bat: I have no special interest in the character, nor am I interested any spider. I have a fair share of spiders and their webs in my room though. I used to raise a little spider on my motor-bike, but it wasn’t radio active, and went missing on a rainy day. I didn’t have photo of it, which is why I couldn’t ask people if they have seen the little one. Do come here, and count the spiders. I wake up every day, and see a lizard or cockroach, thats how I usually start my day. If you need a centipede though, there are some beautiful pictures right here at Harsha’s place (http://allresourceupdates.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/centipede-they-are-quite-fastarent-they/)

Count Dracula: No, thanks. There was a time when a centipede got into my coffin. I won’t blame it as I am obviously the dead Count walking. It seemed to love the time in my ear, and I had to use drown myself in blood to get it out. I had to run after the local village people with an axe three times a day to reduce the fat that I had gained by taking in too much dark elf blood. Thank God for Goblin Markets, otherwise it would have fed on my brain and the childish zombies would have mocked me. Let me tell you this though, no centipede or a spider will ever become a vampire.

Vampire Bat: But Peter Parker is bitten by the spider, that too a genetically modified one. As you know, the abilities were transferred like vampirism. Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man, along with most of which you already know – of Spider-Man Origins as the man becomes Spider-Man after his uncle’s death. That would leave the question about what are the two different things – they are Gwen Stacy and Dr. Curt Connors a.k.a The Lizard. I would say that they both score better than our heroine and villains of the earlier Spider-Man trilogy. I wouldn’t just judge our hero in comparison yet though.

Count Dracula: Only one villain? That is depressing. I heard that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will have two of them, The Rhino and Electro. It is usually the number two movie that comes up with the best villain. Now that is going to be a cliche for sure.

Vampire Bat: I doubt that. I know who you are referring to, but I loved Batman Begins, and Liam Neeson’s Ra’s al Ghul is my first preference for a Batman villain in the new trilogy. The Scarecrow could have been so much better too. But we just can’t deny our Lizard his due. We don’t have an evil man there; he is no Joker, as he falls to his tragic flaw rather than anything that motivates a normal villain. He is the victim of science. He succumbs to that feeling that he can use technology to his advantage in doing the right thing, but ends up doing the exact opposite.

Count Dracula: Someone I know said this “Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain”. It was someone I despise a lot. But the situation here demands that to be true.

Vampire Bat: Yes, I remember Van Helsing. But it doesn’t begin or end there. The Lizard’s only possible true comparison is with Doctor Octopus of Spider-Man 2, another experiment gone wrong and another bad man created. The emotional turmoil, the consequences of his actions and the way their minds deviate – lots of things might be similar. Lizard’s clear advantage is the more advanced CGI and the movie being the origins story. Spider-Man 2 was the last good story in a series and this one is the first. I would still think that the Spidey villains need to get better, as Ra’s al Ghul, Joker, Bane, General Zod – they are all scoring for DC. Marvel’s only hope lies in Loki along with Magneto and his side-kicks as long as they are not taken away by Krrish.

Count Dracula: Talk about Andrew Garfield. He is surely Spider-Man, as the one that you might have read in those Sunday comic strips. He looks young and surely looks like the youngest superhero that is popular with us. He is not burdened by experience as Batman, nor is he troubled by his alien existence like Superman; he has not the need to be He-Man and protect a universe of magic either. He is more or less closer to being the comparatively normal superhero than he is. At least he is closer to being what he claims than you are; you still can’t fly.

Vampire Bat: Why should I fly? Even Batman doesn’t fly. I have a logo like him and I even have dark costumes which can scare people at night. Why don’t you concentrate on Wichita instead? I mean Emma Stone. I can’t get over that name at all – thank you Zombieland. She looked so good in it with the black hair, but this character needed this colour change. This movie has a better romance than the former trilogy, thank God. No overdose of crying romance to follow, we hope. But we can only hope that the Venom episode would be handled much better.

Count Dracula: It took them only five years after the trilogy ended to release the first movie of the reboot franchise. I don’t think that this one can offer too much difference from the previous adaptation. Batman and Superman got rid of the style of wearing underwear on the outside, but as Spider-Man never had that practice, that gesture is not possible. The dark style might not suit him either. May be he can dress like me and hold a spider in his hands. The symbol of ‘bat’ worked for Batman, and the alien nature worked for Superman. Neither the spider symbol or the nerdy character can do something like that for Spider-Man.

Vampire Bat: There are a few things that the trio of superheroes, Superman, Batman and Spider-Man can offer, and one of them is great delight in the form of box-office success. There are many others for sure, but along with Wolverine and Iron Man, these three carry immense potential to break records. The only character from the west who might be more well-known than these should be you. You are our synonym for vampire, and if there is something that they relate with sucking good amount of blood that is you, even as I know a few mosquitoes who might disagree.

Count Dracula: That is not right. I have maintained the disguise of a simple farmer here. I just cultivate corpses, and keep the environment undead. Don’t you have your own vampires out there, the vampires of wealth in the form of celebrities and politicians, vampires of food in the form of restaurants, vampires of truth in the form of media and so on? Do not bother me with that – try your superheroes instead. They shall entertain you and make sure that your childhood concepts remain almost the same.

Vampire Bat: The dignity of superheroes was stolen away by Krrish. It has been partially saved by Thor, but only with the next sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man that it can be claimed back completely. It is up-to Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone to keep the work going. The villains will help, and so will the CGI.

Count Dracula: I am not the kind of person who would believe in superhero stuff. But let me tell you a few things I am sure about. The first thing is that Spider-Man will never be my favourite superhero. The second thing is that I still believe in Spider-Man movies. The simple light shade that the Spidey manages gains my respect.

Vampire Bat: Yes, the movie is excellent in many ways. There are not many flaws to be associated with it. We loved the performances and the way in which they have shaped the story. It is still too early for a reboot and there is nothing spectacular tried this time, and no attempt to deviate into another path like what happened with Batman. Get that DVD, my friend.

Count Dracula: Yes, I think I will. Good bye, brother in fangs.

Vampire Bat (to himself): How can we ignore our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man just because there have been an overflow of superheroes? There is no chance for such a cruelty towards the first Hollywood superhero movie to release in the theatre near my place. There will be no such avoidance. This movie will be more recommended than any other Spider-Man movie. As the origins story has been setup already, the sequel is only going to be better, and I am very confident about it.

The Amazing Spider-Man is another superhero movie which you have to watch. Even without any particular innovation of supreme significance, the movie is a treat to all the fans of the genre as well as the Spidey lovers. The web is stronger than ever this time, even as it will not win any awards in an arachnid competition. Watch this one as the origins story, and there is a lot more to come. You may or may not like spiders, and in most cases loathe them, but lets make sure that this is one creature of the web who gains our attention. Even Count Dracula does that wall crawling stuff very well, and he would indeed love to see something really amazing from the two-legged partial arachnid who just cannot stop itself appearing again and again. Along with the two villains that we have in the upcoming sequel, lets hope for the other interesting villains like Mysterio and Chameleon, as its going to be a long race for the Spidey.

Release date: 3rd July 2012
Running time: 136 minutes
Directed by: Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen, Sally Field

theamazngspiderman copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.