MOVIE REVIEW: CHINATOWN [Malayalam]


Day 3 of my cold. I woke up at 0330 am to see Vishu Kani. Took a shower in the morning and went to the temple. Prayers for a better year ahead and on the way back, I remembered I was to reserve tickets for the family – to watch a Vishu release movie. Choice was limited, only 2 releases this year – Chinatown vs Doubles. Mixed reviews from the previous day, but Chinatown seemed to have edged over Doubles. So I went forth and booked for the second show.

Come evening, getting into the Archana – Aradhana theatre was hectic. The first show was JAM PACKED in both theatres. Feelings of  ‘Oh, this might just be worth it!’. With a sundae in hand, I sat amongst my cousins, surprised at the amount of family crowd that was out there for a 9pm second show.. either the Vishu effect or the 3 names this movie was riding on – Dileep, Mohanlal and Jayaram. [I go for the latter!]

An Aashirvad Cinemas production [Mohanlal’s], directed by the celebrated Rafi-Mecartin duo, the onus was always gonna be on humor and the humor went through a plateau of phases as the movie progressed.

The movie begins in the beautiful coastal state of Goa, where gambling and Casinos are legal. 4 Malayali friends were running a Casino there and minting money. In the quest for money and power, the local Goonda Mr. Gawda [Pradeep Rawat], murders all 3 of the Mallus, whilst the 4th [Mr. GomezCaptain Raju] survives.

After 25 years, Gomez is back in Goa, purchases a casino and plots revenge on Gawda. He recalls Maathukutty [Mohanlal], Zachariah [Jayaram] and Binoy [Dileep] {Children of his 3 friendsto return to Goa and manage the casino. Maathukutty is known for his avid indulgence in fights and has a number of cases registered against him; while Binoy is a guy who keeps falling in love with girls every 6 months and Zachariah has only one thought all throughout the day = MONEY!

The first half of the movie is filled with umpteen moments where one literally bursts out in laughter at the mimicry, the raw as well as the adult jokes delivered in the script. Jayaram and Dileep deliver comedy with ease, while Mohanlal seems to have lost a bit of his touch.

Kavya Madhavan [Rosamma] alongwith Poonam Bajwa [Emily] and Dipasha [Chandni] form the female trio in the movie. Rose was supposed to marry Maathukutty’s brother, but she eventually falls in love with Maathukutty. Emily is Gomez’ daughter and she pairs up with Zachariah; and Binoy has the hots for the home minister’s daughter – Chandni.

While Kavya has some substance to her role, the other two are merely involved in the merriment. Suraaj Venjarumoodu [Chandran]  as a goonda gives us both the extremes of the good and the bad of humor.

The buildup of the movie until the interval is brilliantly interlaced with humor that is so naturally depicted by all the actors and makes us go for the interval snack with the satisfaction that yes, this movie is gonna be a HIT.

Following the break, the movie does a COMPLETE U TURN to our expectations. The likening to the English movie ‘Hangover’ is strongly felt as the 3 heroes go through varying stages of intoxication as they party all night long leaving the 3 friends in a confused state on what did or didn’t happen the previous night. The sudden complicity of events took a heavy toll on the audience who were enjoying light humor until then. The ugly state of events characterized by the obnoxious Sumo wrestler who spends more screen time than any other in the last one hour, combined with the pathetic dialogues delivered by Dileep  in particular left the audience bewildered and surprised to how quickly the standard of the movie spiralled down!

To cap it all off, Jagathy Sreekumar‘s arrival towards the end of the movie as Jaggu Bhai [the biggest criminal in Goa] – oh well, no one was really bothered to figure that out by then!

Jassie Gift‘s music is foot tapping good as usual, but this will be one movie I will list among my ‘not worth watching 2011’

Kavya Madhavan on twitter: “So China Town..out n out entertainer for relax n watching..Leave ur thoughts n worries in schools n offices n come…..Sit..Relax..n Enjoy”

Final Verdict –  **1|2 out of 5. 

MOVIE REVIEW: MAKE-UP MAN [Malayalam]


Shafi’s latest venture Makeup Man is the first movie of 2011 which finds home well in the genre of a complete Family Entertainer. From my following of Raju’s fan page in facebook, I was aware of the midweek release and since I had just got done with another exam, felt it would be an appropriate outlet to channel out some 2 hrs of fun. Personally I have had no hard feelings against the actor Jayaram, always enjoyed his contribution to the industry over the years and justifiably welcome his Padmashree status.

Balu [Padmashree Jayaram] is one of those blokes who is broke in life, owing loads of money to multitude of blade companies, one of them run by [Jagathy Sreekumar]. The movie begins with a bit of humor where Balu gets arrested for sneaking to his own rented house in the middle of the night, trying to avoid paying the landlord. He gets taken to the local “Mathrika” station where he gets let off when he narrates his perils. A girl Soorya [Sheela], is in love with him and runs away from home the day before her planned wedding.

Soon they go get help from Balu’s friend [Suraj Venjarumoodu], who is a production controller executive and get married at a temple with the help of some junior artists pretending to be their relatives.

In the meantime, director of the movie ‘Cinderella’, [Siddique] is fed up with the ‘actress’ the producer [Janardhanan] has brought for the movie, the female being some reality show winner. 😉 So he asks her to leave the set and decides he wont move ahead without another worthy actor instead.

Coincidentally, Suraaj arranges accommodation, just for one night for the newly wed Balu and Soorya in the room where the previous actor stayed. A purely accidental incident wherein the producer sees Soorya go into the Actress room, gets mistakenly convinced, she will be the perfect actress for the movie. In dire need of money, Soorya, who has no clue about acting tries to give it a shot, and once again, theatrically timed coincidence, convinces the director that she is the perfect one for the role.

Here on the movie picks up with real good pace, and Jayaram’s inability to stay with his wife, needing an excuse, he adorns the role of the Actress’ Makeup man, and that is how this movie develops.

As the movie grows on, Soorya becomes aware of her innate talent of acting and is unable to resist offer of a second movie. A couple of misunderstandings, strains the relation between the husband and wife so much so that Soorya aka Anamika [Filmstar name] circumstantially denies ever being married to him, so that she can sustain in the industry.

Final Verdict 7.5/10

  • Padmashree Jayaram, might have lost bit of his fluffy hair, added a couple more wrinkles to his face, apart from that, it is a typically comforting genre wherein he easily marks his territory.
  • Sheela is fantabulous as the housewife turned actress, with a well toned figure, she carries the role given to her fairly well, though when the movie started, I felt she could emote more. But overall she does well to keep our eyes glued on her whenever she had the screentime.
  • The strength of the actors in the fringe keeps the movie enticingly rich. Humor has no limits when the maestro Jagathy with his junior Suraaj are involved. Kunchako Boban and Prithviraj appear as themselves [cine actors] and are restricted to guest appearances and do justice to their cameos.
  • Siddhique needs special mention who plays almost second fiddle to Jayaram all throughout, though it was difficult to even fathom him and Sheela as a couple 😉
  • Comedy, Love, Tragedy and a happily ever after; you can definitely take your family out to this one for 2.5 hours of entertainment.

P.S. The music didn’t impress me much, hence no mention.