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Archive for April, 2008

Adlabs Cinemas opens at Coimbatore

Posted by harino1 on April 26, 2008

Adlabs Cinemas, part of the Reliance ADAG, has opened at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The four-screen cinema, KG Adlabs formerly known as KG Cinemas, is Adlabs’ first cinema in Coimbatore.

Tushar Dhingra, COO, Adlabs Cinemas, says, “We are excited to offer the Adlabs experience to cinema lovers in this region through one of the most prestigious cinemas in the state. Our focus has been to constantly innovate and provide a world class movie experience. We have just begun to penetrate the Southern region and expect to capture a big market share in the South by end of 2008.”

“Coimbatore is considered to be the Manchester of south India with a booming textile sector, engineering hub and plans for major IT players to start operations in the city. We see immense potential for this property which presently sees over 10,000 admissions a day.” Dhingra adds.

The new Adlabs will have four world class wide screen viewing screens with a total seating capacity of 2253 seats. Adlabs Cinemas is one of the largest cinema chain in India and presently has 156 screens spread over 58 properties nationwide.


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Krazzy 4 – Masala flick with moments of brilliant patriotism

Posted by harino1 on April 12, 2008

After the court verdict on the settlement of the hassles regarding the music of the film, Krazzy 4 releases peacefully this week. The film under Rakesh Roshan’s Filmkraft India banner marks the debut of director Jaideep Sen . As the film relases across Ajay Devgan’s U Me Aur Hum, not many know that Jaideep has been an assistant director on two movies starring Ajay-‘Jaan’ and ‘Itihaas’.

So does the controversy on the music and the competition from Devgan’s film tamper the openings of the film? Does Jaideep live up to people’s expectations?

The movies talks about 4 so called crazy men at a rehab center.

Raja(Arshad Warsi)- Suffers from intermittent explosive disorder , hits out at the slightest provocation or even without.

Dr.Mukherjee (Irrfan Khan)-Suffers from obsessive compulsive personality disorder, a perfect doc, clean and orderly, loves to be the captain of the team. Gangadhar (Rajpal Yadav)- Suffers from Schizophrenia, lives in the past with his mates Ghandhiji , Nehru , Tilak and Patel. He is so busy fighting for swaraj that he’s lost his sanity.

Dabboo (Suresh Menon) – Refuses to speak and nobody knows why! Cute and adorable and is everyone’s pet. Their lives revolve around Dr.Sonali (Juhi Chawla) who loves the ‘mad’ bunch .She firmly believes that the only way to treat her patients is to treat them with your heart and not just your mind.

One fine morning, Dr.Sonali decides to take the boys out of the rehab centre to watch a cricket match and eventually she is kidnapped by some men. The series of events that follow reveal how this so called Krazzy bunch unveils the identity of the criminals and rescue their doctor.

Firstly, one should understand that Krazzy4 is a typical masala film and isn’t meant for the so called intellectuals. The film doesn’t offer something unique in its storytelling or so but the execution and series of events keep you glued. Jaideep Sen does well as a first time director. He may not be an ace at comedy but besides comedy he captures some very good moments that evoke patriotism like the Indian flag being pinned upside down in a building notice board being placed right by Rajpal etc.

The drawback exists in terms of Rakesh Roshan’s story and Ashwini Dhir’s screenplay. It gets bumpy through the journey. The film tracks off from the comic elements to the typical cliché terrorist angle with the cops being involved etc. Even the Dia Mirza sequences as the reporter was a bit overdone.

The dip in the screenplay is saved with the presence of SRK’s dance number. The song comes in as a face lift for the film and the audiences are set to go gaga.

The music of the film by Rakesh Roshan is impressive  and visually appealing too. When you just think everything is over when the film ends in a ‘to be continued’ fashion , Hrithik’s version of the title track comes in a splendid manner. Cinematography and editing are ok.

On the performance graph, the 4 are equally impressive. Arshad explodes well in his hot tempered character. Watch out for the sequence where he goes to meet Dia Mirza’s dad. Irrfan makes you giggle with his constant ‘I’m the captain’ and other lines on cleanliness. Rajpal Yadav makes you burst out with constant references to Ghandhji and the freedom movement. In fact he moves you in a sequence where a child at a mall is singing the national anthem and he pauses in attention and reverence; observing him various people from the mall too stand in attention and honour the national anthem. The lines to follow are simply brilliant.

Suresh Menon the prankster and the so called jabber mouth of Indian television this time does well in complete muteness. It’s his body language and cuteness as the foodie that impresses.

Juhi Chawla does really well as the doctor expressing her love and care for the bunch. Dia Mirza lacks the essence of being a Tv reporter in spite of doing the same role before. Rajat Kapoor , Mukesh Rishi , Zaakir Hussain are ok.  Makhrand Deshpande is hardly there.

Finally, Krazzy4 is not the finest or funniest film around but with the right mix of comedy and the visual treat in the form of King Khan , Hrithik Roshan and Rakhi Sawant the film is bound to do well at the box office. Also with some really comic scenes and fabulous heartwarming sequences particularly towards the end of the film, looks like the audiences are surely on the lookout for the sequel.

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U,Me Aur Hum – Amazing cinematography and a versatile Kajol

Posted by harino1 on April 12, 2008

U Me Aur Hum marks the directorial debut of Ajay Devgan who comes in this year with a bad start at the box office with movies such as ‘Halla Bol’ and ‘Sunday ‘not faring too well. Much seems to be riding on this film too as one sees the Kajol-Ajay, husband-wife pair after a very long time. Ajay Devgan who is more known for his action packed films be it a ‘Gangajal ‘or ‘Apharan’ explores the romance genre with his debut film. So what’s in store with U Me Aur Hum? Does the film truly live up to being a truly romantic film on soul mates?

The film takes off with Ajay (Ajay Devgan )a renowned psychiatrist  on a cruise with a bunch of friends on a cruise with his friends — Nikhil [Sumeet Raghavan] and Reena [Divya Dutta], who are unhappily married and are looking forward to a divorce, Vicky [Karan Khanna] and Natasha [Isha Sharwani], who are seeing each other and plan to get married once they can dance the salsa together. Ajay comes across Pia( Kajol) a bartender and takes a couple of drinks to admit his feelings.

Ajay works day and night to win over Pia by understanding her likes, learning Salsa etc. The two eventually get married and with every marriage, its share of problems too creep in the form of Alzheimer’s.

To start off with, U Me Aur Hum has its moment s of brilliance mostly in terms of cinematography and performances. U  Me Aur Hum lacks majorly in its storytelling, though the basic concept of the film is a very good one, the loose screenplay and the slow build up of events really affects the film. The first half of the film fails to create that much hyped romantic impact and is all the more dragging with the silly jokes mostly from Karan Khanna and major portions of the film are wasted in cliché thoughts of impressing a girl by learning salsa etc.

Though a lot has been said about U, Me Aur Hum being inspired from Hollywood films such as ‘Notebook’ and ‘Iris’ , Ajay Devgan has done a great job of adapting it to Indian standards. But there is a little glitch here, Ajay fails to make the romance germinate within you.

The film indeed picks up during the 2nd half and is much better and relevant in comparison to the earlier portions. The screenplay team of Robin Bhatt, Sutanu Gupta and Akarsh Khurana fail to keep the viewer glued. The time duration of the film also hampers it quite a bit.

The true winner of the film is Aseem Bajaj’s cinematography. He excels in almost every scene and credit only goes to Ajay for his visual sense. The silhouettes, the close ups, the 2 shot compositions are just brilliant. Aseem Bajaj just tends to draw so much attention for his work and takes you on a complete scenic ride.

On the performance front without any doubt the film truly belongs to Kajol who proves it once again that she is one of India’s finest talents.  More than the usual chirpy smile sequences and Naach-Gaana she expresses well in states of complete stillness and perplexities such as the observation of the lizard on the wall. Even the pregnant Kajol skipping to lose weight in a state of Alzeheimer’s really hits you. Ajay Devgan too does well but it’s very obvious that Ajay excels more in direction. The best from Ajay comes towards the climax of the film where he explodes in an attempt to remind an Alzheimer struck Kajol about his identity.

Divya Dutta and Sumeet Raghavan are impressive. Karan Khanna and Isha Sharwani are totally wasted. Karan Khanna annoys with his constant PJ’s. Sachin Khedekar is ok. Aditya Rajput and Hazel are hardly there.

The music of the film is not the finest around and tracks like ‘Saiyaan’ just interrupt with the flow of events. ‘Jee Lee’ and the title track leave an impact. On the whole, U Me Aur Hum gets a little dragging primarily in the first half and is a little loose on its screenplay. In any case the film is worth watching for its splendid Cinematography and Kajol’s first rate performance. Also looks like Ajay Devgan the director has arrived.

Posted in Hindi | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Innathe Chintha Vishayam – A watchable, big screen soap

Posted by harino1 on April 12, 2008

‘Innathe Chintha Vishayam’ is a film with a serious subject and worth a watch. Especially if you are interested in the likes of tearjerker soaps dealing with marital discords. ‘Old wine in a new bottle’ may not be the apt adage to describe the film. The plot is not daringly unconventional but it’s packaged refreshingly with multiple dozes of strained relations.

Nine out of ten television soaps have marital discord as its plot. Nine out of ten television soaps have women as their privileged viewers. And this film, meeting the both elements, belongs to that genre. Sathyan is using the tried and tested formula to create movie- soap made for the fair sex, who gives the best support to all his endeavors in the box office. This is one of the films that were made keeping in mind of its strict target audience and marketing strategies. And so it may never fail to bring in applause, at least from some corners.

In fact, the movie superficially sums up many a jilted plight of individuals when they are desperately trying to pick up the pieces after an unequal relationship, where partners are separated on silly issues but is still in need. Trying to dwell on the present scenario and comment on the societal mores of today, the movie finds it hard to effectively convey a precise message about ‘understanding’ in the place of ‘adjustments’.

The movie opens with the voice over of the director who presents three different couples in the verge of disseverance. Dr .Murali Krishanan (Mukesh), the most successful dentist in the city is more interested in having female associations, more than often. He hides them from his wife Teresa (Sukanya), even by assigning male names for them in his mobile. One fine day he is in a tight corner with his wife raiding his mobile contacts, and for evading the conflicts associated, he walks out of her life even leaving his daughter Lakshmi.

The second family, Pithambaran (Vijayaraghavan) and his wife Premila (Mohini) with their lovely children Malavika and Madhavan are leading a good life. But due to increased possessiveness for his wife, Pithambaran returns home from gulf throwing away his good job, and starts escorting his wife all along. He even develops inferiority complex which further complicates things for Premila, ultimately resulting in continuous fights and separation.

And in the third family, Rehna (Muthumani) is not able to continue with her lawyer profession due to the orthodox attitude of her husband and his family. She too walks out of his life, and starts working independently

Into the lives of these three ladies who starts living separately arrives, G K alias Gopakumar, a garment exporter. He has bought the house where Teresa is staying away from her husband Muralikrishnan. Now left in a difficult situation which does not allow G K, to throw out Teresa and her daughter, to establish his office, Gopakumar is trying newer ways to get the couple together. And in the process he meets the other similar ladies who happen to be friends of Teresa. The film follows how G K with his fashion designer Kamala and land Broker Immanuel, succeeds in getting the feuding couples back to lives of reunion.

Mohanlal as G K don’t have anything exceptional and is repeating the Good Samaritan act for the umpteenth time, but still it is a pleasure watching him in a role that seldom goes larger than life. There may seem to be some exaggeration in the portrayal of the idealist Gopakumar, but Lal is effortless in presenting the character convincing, with least obvious loopholes. The director who is also credited with writing the script integrates many topical issues in the story, but this time he is consciously making them the centre of our attention in every now and then sequences. The idealistic lines goes up to the level of preaching in the later half, which partially destroys the charm of narratives.

And then there is Meera Jasmine as Kamala with a precious little to do. She says her lines, flutters those eyelashes and looks ravishing. Her repeat act of ‘Rasathanthram’ and ‘Vinodhayathra’ as a girl with a sad past are not inspiring as the original. In terms of chemistry, none of the couples from Mukesh, – Sukanya, Vijayaraghavan – Mohini and Ashokam – Muthmani share any vibes. But all have taken care to do a competent job to display them with no visible warmth.

At times, you do feel the film, almost two and a half hours long, is bit stretched and that it loses pace in the second half after a rollicking first part. In fact is one of those films, that aren’t as much about the happy finale, as it is about the insightful journey about relationships, which is at times, hilarious. And definitely the director falters in getting it around for a more  logical  climax, which seems forced and infantile with every weak male counterparts mercifully  turning up  to realize what they have been in their life -chauvinists, freaks and psychos.

Azhakappan has once again excelled behind the camera, with his limited resources capturing the mood of the movie. Ilayaraja gives a couple of hummable tunes that seems to be the recycled versions of his earlier hits in Malayalam. Sai Babu in the costumes and Santhosh Raman in art department had definitely added colors to the proceedings.

Despite its many minuses, ‘Innathe Chintha Vishayam’ is still endurable on account of the subtle smiles that it generates and the running time of just 145 minutes. It is not a bad film to watch at least once, especially because it tries to discuss one of the grave issues that our society faces, and reiterates some of the eroded values and ideals that is presented without too much glorification.

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Shaurya – A brave effort!

Posted by harino1 on April 12, 2008

Former journalist turned director Samar Khan returns to direction after the collapse of Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye. This time Samar explores the very essence of bravery in a film that deals primarily with the army and its court martial procedure.

The film talks about Captain Javed Khan (Deepak Dobriyal) who is charged with killing his superior. He is also charged with mutiny and treason. And even though the case appears to be an ‘open and shut’ one with the army just following proceedings of the Court Martial with a Defense and a Prosecution lawyer appointed, Javed refuses to speak. Siddhanth Chaudhary (Rahul Bose) and Major Aakash Kapoor (Jaaved Jaffery) are best friends with conflicting views on the case.

Things start getting a little sour between the friends when Major Siddhanth Chaudhary who is appointed to defend Javed, stuns his friend Major Aakash Kapoor who is the prosecuting lawyer by drawing Brigadier Pratap [Kay Kay Menon] to court. The Brigadier is questioned about his operations and techniques of functioning. Why is the Brigadier against Javed? Will Javed’s silence speak up? Meanwhile, journalist Kaavya Shastri (Minisha Lamba) is out there to unveil the truth.

To start off with, Shaurya isn’t a jingoistic film. It isn’t an LOC or Border kind of film with bloodshed and all the works. The film is centered upon a court martial and the silence of the accused. A lot of comparisons have been drawn to Rob Reiner’s ‘A few good men’ starring Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson with Rahul Bose essaying Tom Cruise and Kay Kay, Jack Nicholson’s character.

Director Samar Khan no doubt outsmarts his previous piece of work. Shaurya has its moments but the buildup of the plot tends to get a little dragging. The first half of the film really doesn’t have much to offer and the script tends to get loose.

No doubt Samar has carefully crafted the characters and most of all, their setting. The look of the film is sleek with the militia essence being expressed in every aspect of the film be it the tidy uniforms, the court room , the body language of each and every character etc.

The film really catches on towards the last 15mins or so. The court room sequence which has Rahul Bose questioning Kay Kay is just splendid. The dialogues are intense and just observe the way Kay Kay explodes in that scene. Kay Kay does well as Hitler’s younger brother. Though he is hardly there in the film, he simply steals the show. Kay Kay is surely headed for greater roles post Shaurya.

Rahul Bose does well but certainly this isn’t his finest piece of work. He walks and talks in style but certain scenes in the film could have been avoided to make the character crisp. The Rahul –Minisha Lamba tea encounter was a waste.

Minisha Lamba on the other hand lacks believability as the journalist yet she does ok. There isn’t much scope for her in the film and it’s so hard to see Minisha in a role that transforms our cute Yahaan girl into a street smart journalist.

Javeed Jafary surprises you with his performance. After all those Salam Namaste and Dhamaal comic roles the actor proves that he too has genes to get serious according to the script. He too impresses in the court room sequence and elegantly carries himself.

Deepak Dobriyal is one actor who truly impresses with his silence. He carries himself with utmost poise and excels. Seema Biswas as his mother is ok. Amrita Rao is effective in a tiny role as the widow of the officer who has been shot.

The film offers not much scope for music and the much hyped Shahrukh Khan poetry appears as the credit rolls. ‘Dheere Dheere’ is good but songs such hinder the flow of such a film.

The cinematography is good and editing ok. But somewhere the film fails the hold you as it proceeds. The characters are sharp but the buildup is a little wavy. No doubt the film has some great performances and a court room film such as this hasn’t been done for a while now.

So here comes a movie that puts it right across that bravery is not about slaughtering but rather doing things right. On the whole, Shaurya is a good effort but the movie needs to catch on this week to prove successful at the box office as the coming week see’s the clash of the Titans- Krazzy4 , U Me Aur Hum.

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Bhram – No illusion, just a bad plot

Posted by harino1 on April 12, 2008

Bhram the so called illusion has been in talks right from its shooting schedule as constant arguments between Dino Morea and Milind Soman were pushed across the media. Considering the fact that both the handsome hunks were dating Bipasha Basu a long time back; can this be one of the many reasons for a rift?

Nari Hira the media baron behind magazines such as Stardust, Society, Savvy and Showtime steps in as producer for this illusion –Bhram. Pavan Kaul, the son of Surendra Kaul (noted writer of Namak Halal) is the captain of the ship.

Bhram-An illusion is the story of Antara Tyagi (Sheetal Menon) and Shantanu Rawal (Dino Morea) and their love marred by the reality of life. Antra [Sheetal Menon] is a successful model, but is hiding behind the veil of a traumatic past. Shantanu [Dino Morea] is the most eligible bachelor around who is attracted to Antra.

The two develop a strong bond eventually and Antra is introduced to the family and Devendra [Milind Soman], Shantanu’s elder brother. Trauma strikes as Antara connects Dev to her unfortunate past. Is Dev really behind all of it or is it just Antara’s illusion?

To start off with director Pavan Kaul’s so called thriller has no such element at all. The conceiving of the film has been terribly poor. The film just keeps confusing you over and over again and when it’s all done you have a hundred reasons to point out to the writers of the film.

The writng by Bhavani Iyer and screenplay by Radhika Anand has been miserably faulty. The film at times takes a narrative form by Dino Morea and the past and present fuse in to just confuse further. Even the movie starts off like a ‘Woh Lamhe’ with Sheetal Menon in the hospital and just traverses into a road trip of sorts. The interaction of Dino Morea and Chetan Hansraj with various characters they come across lacks believability.

The suspense intensifies and as the events are revealed at the climax its just not effective enough to reason out the prior events. The dialogues of the film courtesy Radhika Anand are crass. Maybe one of the first film’s where the dialogues are just an overdose of the F’S and B’s. Several dialogues involving Sheetal Menon make the viewer just hate her rather than feel sorry for the traumatic child.

Many scenes in the film are purely unwanted. Take for example Dino Morea’s interaction with his Bhabhi-Simone Singh where he actually gives her suggestions of having an affair with him so that her husband gives her due attention. Wonder which brother-in-law would do that?

On the acting front the poor script and crass dialogues leave Sheetal Menon no scope in actually proving her acting credentials. Dino Morea and Chetan Hansraj are wasted. Simone Singh is definitely a talented actress but hardly has anything much to do in the film. Deepshika too is ok.

If there is one person who stands apart from the rest, it’s none other than Milind Soman. Milind passes off well as the business tycoon. He walks elegantly in those well fitting suits and bearded look. No doubt that the weak script hits back at Milind too. But the actor delivers extremely well at the climax. Milind walks in very much like Antonio Banderas from ‘Deparado’ and impresses with his delivery too. He transforms from love towards his brother to shades of anger with ease and elements of believability.

Milind surely deserves better roles and needs to take his acting career more seriously. With the right choice of films, he sure can emerge as on the finest actors around.

The music of the film is good but emerges just about anywhere. ‘Jaane Kyun’ the plagiarized number by Pritam and the ‘Teri Ankhon Ki Narmi’by Sidhart-Suhas fit well.

Cinematography an editing offers nothing great.

On the whole, Pavan Kaul’s Bhram is a poor one. The film is vague in large portions and none of the actors can really save the weak plot. At the box office, the film faces though competition from ‘Khuda Ke Liye’ and ‘Shaurya’.

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Mr Garagasa – Time pass cinema

Posted by harino1 on April 12, 2008

Director Dinesh Baboo is highly influenced by Hindi film ‘Bejafry’ in making ‘Mr Garagasa’. Apt and precise in his approach in the past Baboo handles the entire film in one house and minimum of characters, minimum number of days of shooting he has extracted maximum of output. Yet the major shortfall of this film is humor that is expected from Komalkumar and Ananthnag.

This is all about the story teller tale of woes. Before Muniya (Komalkumar) unravel his story he engages everyone and unites the broken hearts. On an invitation he comes to the house of producer Parathasarathy (Ananthnag) where he has a young daughter and wife Madhavi who is almost similar to Parthasarathy daughter age. Parthasarathy wife has walked out of the house suspecting her husband affairs. Suffering back ache in the fall at this juncture Parathasarathy receives Muniya who is after him to narrate the story for a film. In the turn of developments Parthasarathy becomes sick of Muniya but he is not able to get rid off him. In confusion Muniya send the wife of Parathasarthy out mistaking her when some other lady is discussing with Parthasarathy. This further boils up the situation. The estranged friend of Parthasarathy director Sharath an ex friend of Madhavi also comes closer to him forgetting the old feuds. But Madhavi went in anger is untraceable for Parathasarathy. Muniya who is in the house solves the cases one by one and wins the heart of everyone. Finally it is because of a tragic tale in his life you would come to know Muniya has suffered so hard he has been able to patch up relationships.

Komal Kumar is a chatter box. Throughout the film he talks too much that is boring at places. While talking too much Komalkumar body language is missing in this film. Ananthnag is the perfect choice. Actress Lakshmi (Julie Lakshmi) was the pair to Ananthnag in the yesteryears Kannada cinema. Now even her daughter Aishwarya is a pair for Ananthnag in this cinema. She looks plumb has nothing much to do. Lakshmi Hegde looks cute, TS Nagabharana the familiar director in a short role is convincing.

There is only one passable song in the film scored by Manikanth Kadhri. The cinematography by director Dinesh Baboo is not up to the mark.

This is a time pass cinema.

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Posted by harino1 on April 12, 2008

The eleventh film from ace director Lal Jose – ‘Mulla ‘ cannot perhaps be called a bad film. But neither can it be called a brilliant movie. After such critically appreciated movies  like ‘Arabikkatha’ and ‘Classmates’, one did expect a lot more from the director who gave us path breaking hits, even with lesser stars. An average film that may not make much of an impact at the box office, that’s what ‘Mulla’, is. Though a colorful film that is entertaining at times, ‘Mulla’ falters on many counts, being too far from an engrossing stuff and is perhaps indicative that Lal Jose and Sindhu Raj failed miserably this time, trying to give a long elusive hit to Dileep.

‘Mulla’ takes us to the Karakadu colony, a settlement of thieves, sex workers and goondas. Here we have got every representative from a microcosmic colony ranging from the reigning goonda gang headed by Thampi Annan to Thotty Sasi, the pimp and manager to the sex workers. Lal Jose tries hard to layer the story with issues ranging from human trafficking to parent less rearing of children who ultimately become criminals. But the juggling act of creating an action based romantic comedy is too unsuccessful with ‘Mulla’.

Our protagonist ‘Mulla’, named after his mother who was a silent sex worker known by her smile and bunch of jasmine in her hair, grows up as an orphan following the suicide of his mother. Thereafter he becomes a dumb left arm to Thampi Annan. By a quirk of fate, he spots an abandoned child on the train while on an encounter with a money lender.

He immediately hands over the child to Lalchi, a girl who is a regular traveler in the train. Lalchi, working in bakery, on the other hand, has her share of problems, and after a day returns the child to Mulla in the colony. With nothing else to do Mulla and his men plans to rear the child. Lalchi, who is a bold, smart and outgoing girl, becomes a regular visitor to the dreaded colony to take care of the child which gradually paves way for a romance with Mulla. He tries ways to readapt himself to the new life but destiny had different designs, already set for them.

The scriptwriter seems to have followed the Balu Mahendra’s classic ‘Yathra’ or its Hindi version ‘Milan’ in the narrative style and the film even showcases some shades of ‘Dhalapathy’.   The problem with the movie is that after establishing the premises, whose majority  is shot  on the moving train, the later half falls too predicable, even though not clichéd. The film would have come in for less criticism, had it been from a less accomplished director. Lal also seems to have failed to utilize the desired elements of the plot points to race into a riveting climax, which stands inadequate for the work that he has done in the build ups to the story.

The highlight of the film is the excellent camera work by Vipin Mohan, who has beautifully covered the entire proceedings, a work that will match the best of his career. And that is the case with the art director Gokuldas who has taken pains to display the best from his team, creating the sets of the colony. . What saves this film is the cast that has given noteworthy performances. Dileep is good as Mulla, though not extraordinary. But the decision to keep him with very limited dialogues definitely did backfired, as the actor without much easy talking  had always been less effective. Meera Nandhan as Lalchi proves herself in her first outing and is the surprise packages who carry the film in her tender shoulders. Biju Menon, with his towering personality and evocative eyes, looks every part the enigmatic ring leader. Anoop Chandran, Reena Basheer, Suraj Venjaramoodu and Salim Kumar, excel in the supporting roles with well timed comedies while Saiju Kurup takes a mature look as C.I. Bharathan. Bhavana too makes an appearance in a wasted and overly done cameo.

After seeing the film, one gets the feeling that the script should have been a lot slicker. The screenplay credited to Sindhu Raj, does not however make us emotionally involved with the plot, but rather opt for a detached way of narrating the story. The overall pace of the film dispels the average audience especially since the film dawdles to establish it. Ranjan Abraham in editing could have gone for some harsh cuts to initiate a momentum.

In the past, it was the music that was one of the highlights of the Lal Jose flick. But that cannot be said about ‘Mulla’, even though some songs from Vidhyasagar like ‘Kanavukal’ and ‘Arumukhane’ are not unimpressive.

To sum up, ‘Mulla’ is a passable fare, but not up to the mark expected from Lal Jose. A film that make you  watch  glazed, get amused and entertained at times, but one that make you leave the theatre exactly the way you entered…….. With not much   new thoughts or feelings to linger….. . And that is the rarest disappointment that you can have from a Lal Jose movie.

Posted in Malayalam | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Kerala Police – An average fare

Posted by harino1 on April 12, 2008

Bits and pieces of investigative drama, that we have seen umpteenth times with the other super star movies, too sleepy paced narratives, Kalabhavan Mani in usual maneuvers, and an outdated presentation style- These could be  the taglines of ‘Kerala Police’ which doesn’t offer anything refreshing in terms of visuals, presentations or narratives..

The skeletal of the story is the same as in any Mani film of the past decade and half. Only the garb of the characters has changed to the police uniforms.  Despite half a dozen movies to his credit, it appears that director Chandrasekharan ,after a long gap to filmdom ,still needs to work on updating his film making techniques .He  doesn’t try to experiment much, simply tweaking formulaic stuff a little to claim originality of plot.

The film is as usual about an honest cop Circle Inspector of Police Satyanath, bogged down by the system in his fight for righteousness. Just because of his backward class, many like Mukunda Varma (Baiju) and Venugopal in his same grade sidelines and ridicules him and takes credits of everything that Sathyanath does. He being an upright officer faces a lot of troubles from official circles, but with the help of his god father and Superintendent of Police, Philip Tharakan (Innocent), he survives in service.

As he smells some mysterious links  in the death of a Goan based freelance photographer Bimal Roy, whose body was  found in a tile factory, Sathyanath  follows in close steps with the incidents that led to the murder and spots popular actress and a national award winner Sanjana ( Lekshmy Sharma) , behind the murder. On the further investigations Sanjana admits her part in the murder .But Sathyanath is not convinced that she alone can commit such a dreaded act and refuses to arrest her.

This leads to the case being wrapped up and taken away from state police to be handed over to the CBI group headed by Nandini Verma (Swarnamalya). She is highly critical about the way the police department is run in the state and from the day one, the stage is set for confrontation between Sathyanath and Nandhini. Sathyan now take leave and start a personal level investigation on the case with the able aid from constable Balram. The movie follows how the Kerala Police and the CBI race it to the finish to grab the enshrouded killer.

In this obvious attempt at making a formulaic masala movie, the resulting experience is far from satisfactory. The narrative loses steam post interval with the arrival of C B I , as it becomes a typical murder mystery without much momentum, which leaves the movie to be just an average one .More over, the liberal use of the caste cards even in punch lines and the related  generalizations   is not a case to be encouraged, even though they appeal to a very few .The only highlight of the movie is that the creators has managed to keep the suspense till the finale, even though the  ultimate find is not a matter of bigger surprise.

As usual with the Mani movies the script by Vinu Narayanan based on a story by Anwar Abdulla doesn’t offer much for him to improvise. The proceedings are not so gory that people in the movie theater along with this reviewer often have to search for the clocks. As far as histrionics go, the less said the better. Kalabhavan Mani has his way through, with nothing worth mentioning. Swarnamalya catches our attention once in a while as Nandhini but Lekshmy Sharma as Sanjana doesn’t fit too much to the bill. The other saving grace of the movie is Biju Kuttan who provides a little comic relief. The technical crew also doesn’t give any mentionable outputs.

All in all, the movie doesn’t offer anything extraordinary in terms of content and performance. You can be a part of it, if you still have an appetite for investigative movies that appear at least in dozens, every year in Mollywood.

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Accident – Magnificently made ‘Accident’

Posted by harino1 on April 12, 2008

‘Accident’ is the name of greatest of all inventors. Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives.

This explains everything about Ramesh Aravind third directorial venture made by Vishista banner headed by G.Raghunath. The beauty is in the taut screenplay of the film. Fed in excess on the series of suspicions the proceedings make you sit on the edge of the seat of this social thriller. This is a fabulous film to watch indeed. The home work of Ramesh Aravind has in fact paid him rich results. There is no scope for dent in this ‘Accident’. One could call it as a picture perfect for the family who are bored with usual ruts in their idiot boxes.

There is no such thing as ‘Accident’. It is a fate misnamed for sweet looking chap Sawanth (Ramesh Aravind). His better half for two years Vasudha (Rekha) is a bundle of courage and hell bent on standing against the injustice. Every time every where Vasudha is a hard nut to crack. She is a fighter. One of the important investigations she makes locks her in absolute trouble. The extent and penalty is so high that she is murdered with her friend Bushan (Pathy Iyer). This murder is made to believe as ‘Accident’. This is what Sawanth investigates. He goes so close in his investigation but stands far away as the clues lead to something else. Whodunit! It is a workaholic task for him.

This is such a film that does not deserve full explanation of contents in the review. The suspense element should be maintained to keep the viewers interest in tact. In the series of follow ups Sawanth makes it is the technology that finally lands him to find the right clue and his intelligence pays him rich dividend. But surely there is a shock in the end which you would not have imagined.

Ramesh Aravind playing the disenchanted husband losing beautiful wife has been effortless. He is already the darling of middle class audience. In this film ‘Accident’ as a director and actor he gets full marks. The right locations, team of artists and technicians has further increased the quality of this film.

Rekha has done a fine piece of job. Pooja Gandhi has nothing much to do. Thilak, Rajendra Karanth, Sudharani, Mohan, Longa Mahesh, Balaji are apt for the roles. There is a real freshness in Rajendra Karanth role.

Rickey Key the new man in the Kannada cinema music has not only given lovely tunes but has done a spectacular job in the re-recording. The music brings in the right mood while veteran G.S.Bhasker is peerless. Bhaskerji an institution in himself has lived to the present competent job in his field.

Right from the title card till the last frame it is a Ramesh Aravid film very well supported by Vishista productions. A right producer has caught the right actor and director. This is of course a wonderful choice of you in favorite theatres.

Go watch it without fail.

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