MOVIE REVIEW: AMEN [MALAYALAM]


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This is gonna be a short review since I have got to get to work early tomm morning and it is already encroaching into my sleep hours. I think March is probably already the month with the maximum number of releases in Malayalam in 2013 but somehow I have been occupied with work et al and there was no burning desire to go out of the way and watch a movie. My last movie was Celluloid and that was a different genre in itself. Hearing poor reviews about Red Wine, I decided to skip it and opt for Aamen on the off day we got thanks to Good Friday.

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I had already read peer reviews (Courtesy: Sarah )and heard about it on FB and was raring to go for it. I knew it was three hours beforehand. I was prepared. From the first minute though, I have to admit, I was proven wrong.

3It is a story revolving around a church, the people involved in the church band and how they try to revive the dying band. For once in recent times, I walked off the theatre knowing Fahad was a part of the movie, the script and the way the script Lijo presented to us was the real star. The contemporaries involved in this movie – Indrajith, Fahad, Swathi primarily along with Kalabhavan Mani et al have all proven track records. Fahad seems to be living characters out lately that it is almost questionable whether he is acting. Indrajith’s variegate performance is something that is becoming his identity. Swathi (is this her first movie in Malayalam?) with her insatiable eyes (emphasized by ? eye liners) keeps you strung up on screen.

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The satire is what drives this movie. The comedy has class, it is mixed just in the manner one sprinkles salt and pepper – here and there just enough to add that extra spice to your taste. What leaves an indelible mark in my mind is the aerial shots panning in and out giving a finishing touch to each shot.

5The music is nourished by laymanistic lyrics apt to the scenarios. This was indeed the perfect movie to befit the festive weekend.

One of the few things that did irk me was the dubbing for Swathi – it stood out as the movie started but otherwise it was indeed a joy ride. Thanks Lijo for this.

My rating: 4.0/5

 

 

 

 

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MOVIE REVIEW: ANNAYUM RASOOLUM [MALAYALAM]


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After a fortnight spent at home, getting back to the work routine was tough. Coming towards the end of the week, a spontaneous idea to head for a movie to freshen turned out to be worth every minute. I had overheard one of Fahad’s recent interview on #ManoramaNews. When asked ‘What would like to tell the audience about the movie?’

He said ‘I really don’t know how to promote my own movie. Do come and watch it. If you like it, tell others.. if you don’t, tell me’

That did me in. There was sincerity and commitment to the way he put it and I wanted to know how genuine it really was. Fahad has this thing about him that makes you want to head to the theatre and it wasn’t difficult to choose Annayum Rasoolum over nee koo nja… something.

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Plot

The title is self revealing – it is clearly about a guy and a girl. But what is really great about this movie is the way debutant director Rajeev Ravi paints the canvas for us. The movie is a narration from Ashley(Sunny) who is returning from sea to his native place in Kochi. Resul (Fahad Fazil) is a cab driver who lives off the meagre salary he earns. He does gang up with a few of his friends (linked up with the darker side of Cochin) to make some quick bucks when the money is short. In one such instance, he incidentally comes across Anna (Andrea Jeremiah) whilst making a run. He instantly falls in love with this orthodox Christian girl and starts innocently following her daily as she goes and returns from work. The innocence and purity of the feeling he has for the girl is expressed with, to be honest, I was amazed, at the amount of work Fahad put in.

 

 

3533979173_annayum-rasoolum1The first half then slowly and steadily builds on his love for the girl as he communicates with the girl merely through expressions. Eyes talk, and talk they do in the entire first half. In the background Rajeev is able to give us a picture of the underbelly of the real life in the city – almost as though it was a page ripped off from the life of a Kochiite. As the movie builds on, there is passion, there is love and the movie is able to carry across a simple and yet lovely emotion of love. The innocuous delivery by Fahad as a guy who genuinely cherishes each and every moment he shares with his love, is indeed heartwarming and genuine.

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The peripheral characters execute their roles so beautifully – the brother who looks for better prospects abroad but is held back unable to get a passport; the mature father who sends across a strong message to his son to make the right choice; the friend who’s dirty deals eventually consumed him as well; the guy who never told the girl about his love but eventually does… It is difficult to put in words the way the movie is woven

 

 

 

 

The ‘For’s

  1. It is a love story – a fairly realistic one many can easily relate to
  2. Fahad – he is turning another milestone in 2013 with this movie – I left the theatre happy to know I can genuinely go watch his movies without thinking twice. He was given the opportunity – he took it with both arms wide open.
  3. Andrea – she is foreign, her role does not involve speaking kadicha pottunna malayalam (dubbed by Rima Kallingal I think); she has done probably 85-90% justice to her role.
  4. You walk out of the theatre – its not entertainment ; it seems like another page turned in your life

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The ‘Against’s

  1. There is no item number
  2. If you are looking for comedy, action, dance – don’t look this way
  3. Long? Well if you are really watching it, you won’t realize it.

My rating: 3.5/5

MOVIE REVIEW: 22 Female Kottayam [Malayalam]


The moment I read the title of this movie, it reminded me of the good old school days of chatting in mIRC where in the first question always used to be asl?  (age/sex/location).

Radio Mango is a regular introducer nowadays to most of the new movie music and it was one such morning wherein I started hearing the songs of this movie. Neha Nair has given voice to the lead character Tessa (Rima Kallingalthough I have to admit no song really got me stuck on.

One thing that I did notice though was that there was a lot of talk about the movie on twitter. Usually I book a ticket in either Cinemax or Q cinemas in Kochi and to my surprise I was not able to book a seat for a week since the release. To have attracted so much attention for an entire week in continuity, I knew there was definitely something in it and I decided to finally see it in my home city (Kollam)

I drove to the Aradhana theatre and was surprised to see a long queue for the 2pm show. The age group was definitely in the 20-30s and the ladies were equating to the men in number. I also saw quite a few families with children < 10-15 yrs in there. (in retrospect maybe the kids probably shouldn’t have been there)

The storyline.. 

The story talks about the life of a young aspiring nurse who wants to move abroad for work and higher studies. Tessa  happens to meet this guy at the Visa agency Cyril  and slowly becomes friends with him. Through friendship, they start texting, eventually calling and falling in love. The progression during this phase is depicted so aptly that for a moment I could recall my college days. The element of romance is something that every young current generation passes through and it is literally as though somebody is taking a leaf out of your life and depicting it on screen. Soon friendship turns into love.

The brilliant romantic buildup with humor and subtle yet balanced display of emotions form the platform for the story to develop on.  The sudden turn of events, the element of surprise, the amount of hurt, the peril of the hapless young girl brings every viewer to empathize with the ill fortune of Tessa. 

The gruelsome period and the turmoil that ensues in the life of the young nurse is demonstrated beautifully while the second half of the movie shows how circumstances can change a person and the person’s outlook.

to sum up.. 

  • There is a lot of take home messages in this movie. Some of them blatantly put through and through, whilst others need to be absorbed.
  • Rima Kallingal has done quite a few movies till now. I haven’t seen her recent movies off late, but in comparison to City of God last year, I think this was an ideal platform for her to showcase her skills and she was brilliant. Her physical makeover was justified by the emotions she delivered so much so that you wonder if Tessa could ever be portrayed any better. Kudos to her.
  • Fahad is getting stereotyped a bit unfortunately, but he does brilliantly to pull off the male chauvunist pig he is and the shit he does to deride women.
  • The yester year stalwarts need special mention as they continue to demonstrate their acting prowess in the limited screen time.

Final verdict = 4 out of 5 : Must watch!

There are movies that move your heart, this one sure does. The element of reality that is etched in it makes it difficult to not relate to and it holds a good message to all the youth.

With some amount of profanity involved, bringing kids along might not be advisable.