Monday, 5 December 2011


2011 by Samuthirakani- Tamil movie

I heard couple of opinions, read few reviews before going for this movie and all were not that positive. Nobody said it was a bad movie, but they all seemed to say this is not what we expected from Samuthirakani who made a brilliant movie in Nadodigal. Only one reviewer mentioned that it is actually nice, but it looks a bit more like a typical entertainer, with a funny first half and an action packed second half, which is quite routine stuff for entertainers.

So may be I didnt expect that much as I walked into the movie hall. And it is true, the first half is quite typical of ordinary entertainers with super star heroes, inspite of its wonderful opening scene. A very good hero who is an ideal man and bla bla. And there is a bus station song too to cherry it up. But except for that song and some comic scenes, I thought there was still a lot of excellence in the first half, for the way it was shot. Not exactly routine entertainment stuff. And all the characters we are introduced in here, are really wonderful.

But what was shocking was the second half, which was a brilliant action packed thriller. Except for the very final scene, the anti climax, this was a true master class of a thriller (I would have liked a different climax too). Most of this second half is 'flash back' of the main characters which involves some really brilliant scenes. So nicely planned, executed, shot and edited with brilliant support from the acting crew. I was really on the edge of the seat for most of these scenes. Thrilling action it was. Brilliant performance by Sasikumar and his friends. And the show stealer was a female character, the village girl Maari who is brave like a warrior princess, brilliantly played by Vasundhara. What a great show by this young actress. Just only a couple of scenes, but she will stay in the minds of every body walking out of the theatre.

If only the movie was told in a very straight forward fashion, then it would have looked quite different (as against the complainers that the first half is fun and second half is for action). But then, this would have been very different. I liked it as it is, even if both the halves are so much different. If only the first half was more short, without that first song and some comic scenes, and the climax was a little bit more planned and different, this would have been a brilliant classic entertainer. That is true, for all its thrilling second half, the climax lacks some real punch.

Samuthirakani is really an excellent director. He manages without any hero-heroine duets or item numbers, but it is perplexing why he went for the initial bus stand song. And he deserves a salute to shoot all those action scenes so nicely and to get such a brilliant performance from almost all his actors. He also manage to get couple of messages across through this entertainer, which has a routine theme, but told in a very different way. 


2011 by V K Prakash - Malayalam movie

Yes this is a norm in Malayalam cinema now, our movies should have English names to be successful. How sad. Waiting to get inside the theatre, I heard more than a few people saying that this too is remade from some English movie. And there was a heated debate going on within a group of youngsters whether this is ok or not. Couple of guys were saying that except for Traffic, all the noted Malayalam films of 2011 have been copies/inspirations or what not. And his friend was arguing that since most Malayalees havent seen this foreign films, it is ok. Anyways. I was a bit disappointed to hear that. Anoop Menon had made an excellent copy with his previous writing creation. So he can probably do it again. And VK Prakash too, inspite of making a very good movie in Mullavalliyum Thenmaavum, had tried to copy with his Gulumal. So there is a probability of this being a copy too. And since I knew that Jayasuriya is playing a paraplegic, like in Mar Adentro, the Spanish movie in which Javier Bardem played a similar character, I was thinking , ok, may be this is that one. But it is definitely not Mar Adentro, and nor did it look like any movie which I have seen. But the character has shades of few characters which we have seen in few other movies. I guess Anoop Menon created a very good character from many others. Whatever..

For V K Prakash, this is definitely a very good step. Though the plot, of relatives trying to get the assets of a weak man, has been told many times, the way it is told in this movie is very interesting. There is a touch of freshness in it for which all credit should be given to  V K Prakash. He has made a very different entertainer, which looks absolutely nice, compared to the horrible stuff we are dumped with these days in Malayalam cinema.

Jayasuriya as the paraplegic has done a good job. Just wish the camera, which is also excellent compared to typical Malayalam standards, had chosen to concentrate on his straight face on few occasions when the character was supposed to give some really challenging emotions. But in all such moments, the camera instead opted for a profile frame, which was surprising. Jayasuriya might regret it I am afraid. Because with a camera on his straight face, those moments could have got him real recognition. He still has come out with a really nice and endearing performance.  Anoop Menon, was all right just like his character. Here is yet another routine sympathy seeking Malayalam hero character and he did exactly what it was meant for. If only there was something different with this character, Mr. Menon too could have had a top notch performance. I really thought, the way he sang some of those songs were quite poor.

My favourite part of this movie involved three female characters. One is a doctor who makes a talk on extra martial affairs, with our hero. The other is the maid played by Tesni Khan. And the last is the leading lady, Anjali, played by Meghna Raj. The first one is a cameo role, but it is nice to see a Malayalam female character talk frankly. The second one again speaks out, without the typical Keralan hypocritic moral senses, and possibly is making a break with female characters in Malayalam mainstream cinema. The third one for its feminity. It has been really long that a female character looked so beautiful, feminine and unintentionally seductive. For me, these three characters require a brilliant rating. However, the climax does raise certain questions on the nature of Anjali and on the whole plot. Anyways, this is only meant to be an entertainer. So let it be. The movie is still very enjoyable. And Meghna Raj has bloody beautiful eyes.

People seem to love this movie and there was a real applause at the end of it, which happens very rarely. However, I still heard someone saying that this is an English movie, as the crowd was rushing out of the theatre. I would really like to know which one it is, if at all this indeed is inspired or copied from a single movie.