The International Movie Review

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Minchina Ota – Unconvincing

Posted by harino1 on July 14, 2008

Director AMR Ramesh got laurels for good cinematography done by Randy in ‘Cyanide’ and he continues it in ‘Minchina Ota’. Thanks to cinematographer of high caliber P.Rajan this time. His work is the only redeeming feature of the film. The siblings Vijaya Raghavendra and Srimurali for the first time do not set a tall order. The lack of good story and usual screenplay is a big bottleneck of this film.

For the trumpeting what the director AMR Ramesh made has not given the triumphant results. His over confidence and immature thoughts gobbled a few crores of rupees. Why the senior producer Sa.Ra.Govindu was not vigilant on the making of this film? This is not the time to make a film with very low standards. The involvement of siblings Vijaya Raghavendra and Srimurali is also lacking. At least they could have given some refreshing thoughts for the film. It is nothing but just one more addition to their list of films.

What this action packed ‘Minchina Ota’ says – Bhadra (Srimurali) and Vijay (Vijay Raghavendra) are at loggerheads. What is the strong reason? The director has forgotten to add. Lakshmi Rai the bubbly tall beauty has liking to slum living Bhadra. Vijay is interested in Lakshmi Rai but the humanity of Bhadra earns the love of Lakshmi Rai. Hesitantly Bhadra agrees to love Lakshmi Rai but Vijay on the other hand unknowingly that Lakshmi Rai is the sister of strong underworld don Rai in Mumbai inform him to see the end of Bhadra.

The major attack that follows from Rai gang puts down Bhadra severely hurt. Lakshmi Rai begs her brother not kill Bhadra and agrees to come with him to Mangalore. She even agrees for the marriage in Mangalore. At one corner of her heart she is optimistic that Bhadra will come to take her.  Vijay knowing the pure love of Bhadra and Lakshmi Rai prior to this attack comes forward to give medical aid to Bhadra. Vijay even gives three bottles of blood to save Bhadra from death bed.

After recouping from severe blows it is time for Bhadra to reach Lakshmi Rai who is in Mangalore. Vijay also accompany Bhadra in the car and it is chasing time. As the caption of the film indicates it is ‘Live to Chase and Chase to Live’. The Rai gang is very cautious on the moves of Bhadra gives him all sorts of trouble on the way. The big tormentor is the heavy truck driven by Rahul Roy who is given task of finishing off Bhadra. Against all odds Bhadra and Vijay reach underworld Rai spot in Mangalore. Rai is convinced that Bhadra can look after his sister very well.

A highly talented Vijay Raghavendra is not used properly in this film. The heroism is attributed to his brother Srimurali. When the siblings do not have equal roles where was the need to bring them together? Srimurali is splendid in action scenes. He has built the physique accordingly. Rangayana Raghu and Umasri combination is tortuous. Others do not deserve any mention.

The car hitting the train last bogie is not chilling. What the director explained has not come out on the screen.

V.Manohar is able to give only two lovely tunes. The main hero of the film is cinematographer P.Rajan. There are some beautiful shots that look like paintings on the screen. He is sure to be in the competition for awards.

AMR Ramesh it is time you make better films and save the sincere producers like Sa.Ra.Govindu. You have disappointed completely in ‘Minchina Ota’.

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Meravanige – Must see

Posted by harino1 on July 14, 2008

Director of two box office hit films ‘Arasu and Akash’ (both Puneeth Rajakumar and Ramya starring films) in Kannada Mahesh Babu has extended his dexterity in direction once again in his third film ‘Meravanige’. He has made a good screenplay, defined the roles very well, selected the right artists including the debutant Andrita Ray, looked at the right locations and technicians to make ‘Meravanige’ for producer Kantharaj. If the trend of Mahesh Babu continues like this he will be one of the rare directors to make the film according the pulse of the audience. A worth watching film and paisa vasool guaranteed!

The bubbly Nandini (Andrita Ray) and shining Vijay (Prajwal Devaraj) are at loggerheads in the college days. Nandini’s father Avinash is ACP while Vijay’s father Bhanuprakash is DCP. They are very good colleagues in the police department. Vijay has the knack of tackling anything in a novel style. One and only kidnap he makes for question papers of Commerce subject in the college lands him in piquant situation. Nandini hates him very much for this foul practice. Around this time Vijay’s father and Nandini’s father looking for terrorists surround the dangerous Basheer brother in a shoot out and bring him to the lock up. Basheer is on the look out for the end of ACP and DCP is expected. When Vijay notice that his father is about to be gunned down he traces the culprits and hand over another important companion of Basheer to the police. Knowing the valiance of Vijay the ACP and DCP decide to arrange for the marriage of their son and daughter.

Vijay agrees for his father opinion and Nandini is ready to meet Vijay at coffee day to discuss on the marriage. Both of them are shocked when they meet. They throw tantrums at each other once again but before they leave the place they are kidnapped. Vijay and Nandini the estranged friends who are supposed to become life partners in the eyes of their parents are in the dense forest that is controlled by Basheer and his gang. Vijay proves that he is tough guy to tie down. He escapes with Nandini but they are lost in the dense forest. Still disliking in the difficult times Vijay and Nandini after reels reach the situation where in Vijay shows how immensely he is in love with Nandini. In fact Nandini was also secretly in love with Vijay but that does not bring them to the marriage hall. Basheer and gang extend their rigorous search and on the other hand the police department looking at the torture of Nandini CD clipping sent traces the hideouts. Vijay in the nick of the moment finds the route to reach home. He sends Nandini in a stranger vehicle but that stranger is the informant of Basheer. Nandini is in the captivity of Basheer and Vijay on the other side is looking for Basheer gang. At this time the police reach with a truce plan. The bloody battle turns very interesting for the front benchers.

This is the perfect kind of role for Chocó faced Prajwal Devaraj. He has improved considerably in his fourth film in dialogue delivery. He is too good in action and romance is also cake walk for him. He has the timing for comedy too. The Chaco bar chocolate is the pretty looking Andrita Ray. A very beautiful looking Andrita Ray is good in her expressions and dance. She has freaked out in a song that reminds actress Malashri’s ‘Nanjundi Kalyana’ song Olage Seridhare Gundu…the song still popular. Andrita has minimum of costumes in this film because she is kidnapped and kept in the forest with Prajwal. Kannada film industry has got a diligent actress.

Bhanuprakash, Avinash, Sadhu Kokila, Komalkumar and Ravi Kale have done their roles very well. Vidya Murthy and Srisudha are apt in the mother roles.

V.Manohar has given three lovely tunes. The mixture of a song with hero and heroine singing on their way to meet is a good thought. The cinematography by Mahesh Talkad is impressive.

On the whole ‘Meravanige’ is a nice entertainer.

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Nee Tata Na Birla – Could have been better

Posted by harino1 on July 14, 2008

Director Nagendra Magadi Pandu is influenced by various comedy films and situations that evoke laughter. He has the age old theme but does not convince despite of having two well known stars V.Ravichandran and Jaggesh. He has not baked the script properly and it looks jaded. How long we can see the similar themes. At least good comedy situations would have been a well thought proposition. Even in this director Nagendra Magadi has failed miserably.

Fooling people and at the same time helping the needy Ravi and Jaggu are traced by a don for meeting his requirements. The deal is fixed for Rs.40 lakhs for Ravi and Jaggu. They are supposed to trace the code numbers of two beautiful lasses Pooja working in Jet Airways and Jennifer working in Kingfisher. They dupe both the girls but unfortunately they will not having the code numbers. The joining of respective wives of Ravi and Jaggu further creates confusion. The house on rent Ravi and Jaggu living also create confusion with the entry of actual owner. Finally it is a big battle and frank admission. The trace of secret code number by police solves the confusion annoying the viewers.

Ravichandran and Jaggesh have acted according to director Pandu. They have put on weight and struggle to emote. Urvashi as a cook in the film has not got the right kind role. For Jennifer it is a fashion parade showing her legs. Pooja, Keerthi Chawla, Nikitha and Jyothi Rana have nothing much to do. Sadhu Kokil, Bullet Prakash comedy is tolerable but not the over all length of the film.

Gurukiran has not offered one good tune for remember. Cinematography by Ramesh Babu looks colorful on the screen.

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Kamannana Makkalu – It is a mediocre

Posted by harino1 on July 14, 2008

Producer cum director Gurudut estimating the demand of Sudeep, Rockline Venkatesh and Doddanna fans in Karnataka has given a right preparation with very lively moments in ‘Kamannana Makkalu’. Strongly inspired from Tamil film ‘Majaa’ (starring Vikram produced by Rockline Venkatesh) this film is a revenge saga. There are many shoddy situations that could have been deleted so that the film would have looked crisp and clean. The dialogues are loud for all the key artists.

Kamanna (Doddanna) has brought up Ramanna (Sudeep) and Kittanna (Rockline Venkatesh) from childhood. All the three are efficient thieves. One fine day they all decide to give up their profession of stealing and settle down in some other place. They are traveling in a lorry that develops mechanical defect in the midst of a forest on a dark night. To their destiny they find a house in the next morning to live. This is the house of Kanaka (Vaibhavi). Her father is facing a difficult situation in front of the village chieftain. The stay of trio in this house gives some relief and courage to the distressed family. The trio – Kamanna and his two sons barge on chieftain and solves the litigation further enrages the village chieftain. The trio decides to stay in this village thereafter doing cultivation. In a fare Ramanna ties the mangalasutra to Gayathri daughter of village chieftain just because he liked her evokes noise. The village chieftain give up his harshness for the sake of his daughter Gayathri and if the audience think everything is OK and it will lead to marriage hall they are mistaken. The director brings in mistaken identity and a villain at this point of time. Siblings Ramanna and Kamanna turn temporary enemies and the villain a relative of Gayathri wants to marry her at any cost. The stage is set for a battle in which ‘Kamannana Makkalu’ wins.

Here is a right kind of film Sudeep fans are looking for. The dialogue, looks and action of Sudeep cheer up the fans. Rockline Venkatesh the noted producer who had given up acting after a few films in the past matches the role. Doddanna wins in the dialogue delivery and natural acting. Ramesh Bhat is as usual in the supporting role. Vaibhavi has the mesmerizing looks but she has not been used properly in this film. Deepu as counterpart to Sudeep looks good. Sadhu Kokila comedy is bit irritating.

There are only two songs worth hearing. The splendid outdoor location is a treat to the eyes. The wrong Kannada grammar atop the lorry should have been corrected.

This is a fairly good entertainer.

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Minnaminnikkoottam – Strictly for Kamal fans

Posted by harino1 on July 14, 2008

When one of the most awaited movies of the year, ‘Minnaminnikkoottam’ with a stellar cast hit the theatres, expectations were naturally high. An intented emotional drama from reel one to the last, Kamal’s new flick is a tiresome effort which only succeeds marginally to live up to the expectations.

The movie opens with Charulatha (Meera Jasmine), a software techie in Singapore getting a wedding invitation via email, from Kalyani, one of her long lost friends. The movie, after leisurely unfolding the credits, goes on to a long flashback. Then we see Charulatha and Abhilash (Narain), both software engineers working in the same firm, allegedly in love resolving a recent spat, which is common between them.

Their eight-member techie gang including loudmouthed Manikunju (Jayasurya), the diplomatic Rose Mary (Roma), the pious Kalyani (Radhika), the Tamil-speaking Parthasarathy  (Anoop Chandran,) who all  assemble together in the flat of happily-married couple Siddharth (Indrajith) and Mumtaz (Samvrutha).

Abhi’s dad (P Sreekumar), an I A S officer who holds a big position in the Prime Minister’s office comes down from Delhi to meet Charu and her family and   make mock off her father (Saikumar) Balan, a bank officer. This   ignites more problems with their relationship and finally, results in the death of Charu’s father. The much repressed Charu then move off to Singapore, away from her friends, unable to reconcile with Abhi.

Watching ‘Minnaminnikkoottam’ , the two hour 25 minutes drama, devoid of any strong plot and characterization was pretty demanding than entertaining. The egocentric relationships and strains in the ”the rich boy meet poor girl” story planted in an IT backdrop are not at all convincing.

Moreover, the problem with ‘Minnaminnikkoottam’ is that, it will be accepted only when you have people who can associate with them. So the movie seems to be just aiming at the urban audience, with its plush beautiful apartment sets, brightly colored interiors and dashing work spaces.

Amidst its lavishness and grandeur, Kamal loses the life of the plot about the complexities of relationships, which hardly leaves a couple of scenes to linger with us.

He proves his brilliance only in the remarkably pictured songs, and not many sequences few and far between, which shows some amount of life. The talk of love, commitment and relationships, gets prosaic after a while, as the director and actors goes overboard with some emotional scenes going out of proportion. The biggest flaw that remains is this overblown sentimentality   in lengthy wide shots, which repeatedly fills the movie’s ever-stretching, never-ending story.

This can be a better movie if you are the type who doesn’t demand a movie with the script racing away. And in that case, it’s quite medium paced with some flavor which   conveys the dilemmas of persons in love. I surmise these types and getting rarer, these days.

Although the chemistry between Narain and Meera Jasmine is to become the mainstay of the film, they hardly have any and just not ooze any feeling as if they are in love. Narain has his grace and shows his potential of being at the centre of events. Meera Jasmine as a woman living life her way, trying to come to terms with her own inner conflicts, feels inadequate for the character, with some more added injuries from her carefree dubbing. Jayasuriya and Roma as confident, ambitious, modern youth seems the couple who provide some sort of relief to the proceedings with their share of humor and fun. Indrajith, Anoop, Samvrutha and Radhika does have cardboard roles, with not much meaty built ups.

The technical section of the movie is worth mentioning with Manoj Pillai once again, creating frames that are  bright and glossy. Biji Bal’s songs  and rerecording suit the mood and few like ”We are in love”,”Thara Jaalam” and ”Kadalolam valtsalyam” are definitely hummable. Gokuldas in the art department  does his bit to boost the looks of the techie atmosphere. But that cannot be said about the editing by Rajagopal, who could have trimmed down the sequences to pace it, better.

In conclusion, ‘Minnaminnikkoottam’ ends up as  pedestrian, vacuous, body-beautiful, soul-lacking film, despite holding some amount of promise that signify nothing.

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Kanichukulangarayil C B I – Kanichukulangara is miserably lame

Posted by harino1 on July 14, 2008

As a film critic, we often pass through despairing and regretful times, forced to watch some of the movies that itself cannot be called as feature films. And in Malayalam it is more than regular to see such films that are made just for the sake of being made, with lame to nil story lines and the worst, in the technical sides.

‘Kanichukulangarayil C B I’ is one such movie, that was made just to cash in the importance of its title and the popularity of the murder mystery. And as expected, apart from its intriguing title, there is nothing that you can relish in those 115 minutes of directions from Suresh-Vinu.

Many would have expected this to be an investigative thriller, but apart from boredom from a ludicrous plot, there is no investigation or thrill associated with this movie.

Ajith and Suresh (Saikumar and Meghanathan), the proprietors of  Aanamala Chit Funds, catapulted to greater heights of  goodwill and reputation mainly due to the sincerity and hard work of its  Managing Director, Ratheesh. But when he realises about the ugly deals of his bosses, Ratheesh resigns and set up another firm with the support of legal adviser, Advocate Rahim.

Ratheesh become a new success story in financial business within a nick of time, and then Ratheesh and his sister gets killed, hit by a truck, at Kanichukulangara.  Dy.S.P James George, begin investigations but is cornered by another police officer ‘Krishnagopal’ who teams up with the baddies. In this juncture Inspector Arjun from C B I make an entry to crack the case and nab the evading culprits.

The movie suffers, as usual, due to the nonexistence of a script. Harikumaran Thampi, credited for the scripts seems to have more interests in bizarre thinking like the maltreatment of convicts unleashing scorpions and iron rods by the police officers and in organizing abounding running races, in the name of chases. Nothing is exceptional from any of the departments of the movie or from actors like Manoj K. Jayan as Arjun, Saikumar, Meghanathan, Saadique, Rajan P Dev or Kollam Thulasi. Suresh Krishna as James George tries to hold the movie at times, but in vain.

The technical aspects are extremely worse than amateurish theaters. M D Sukumaran’s camera work doesn’t suit the pace of an action flick. And the art director needs to be given an entry in the list of the worst that we have ever witnessed in Mollywood movies. The makes didn’t even refrain from using the musical theme from the original C B I series for this movie, which could be the most regretful kudos that could be given to a music director of the original, Shyam. And the only song in the movie, not to say about the artists on which its is picturised, are too unimpressive that it could have well been avoided. And why should we mention the extensive list of each of the avoidable parts, when such a movie itself could have been averted?

If you still have appetite for thrillers, just rent a DVD of C B I series and watch it at home, than to get in for this poor excuse for an investigative C B I thriller.

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Maadambi – A typical Mohanlal flick

Posted by harino1 on July 10, 2008

The biggest deserving debate of the recent times in Mollywood has been mainly about the non availability of refreshing story lines and imaginative writers. Recycling seems to be word that is awfully repeated in this industry from the word ‘go’.

Adding to the list of these rehashed genres is B Unnikrishnan’s ‘Maadambi’, which doesn’t have anything fresh to offer. Every events and characters that you witness in the movie reminds of many that you had been with, much before. With a basic storyline as old as the hill, and Mohanlal in his every typical mannerism, why do you find ‘Maadambi’, an above average film?

With typical commingled formula stuff sprinkled all through, the movie largely captures our interest mainly due to the slick pace and undeviating narratives which never wander out of the lead lines.

The film is scripted in the lines of plenty of the old hits like Midhya, Vesham, Balettan, Valiettan and Valtsalyam taking bits and pieces from its every predecessor. The plot lines of sacrifices of the elder brother for the younger, seems one beaten up to death, but smart packaging is all that makes a difference to make the movie work.

Mohanlal for the first time in his career is appearing as a cunning money lender and a local banker, Puthen Veetil Gopalakrishna Pillai, from Ilavattom village in Pathanamthitta. And off course this is one of the rare films in which the super star has taken particular care to sound his accent so original to that of this central travancore district.

Set against this feudal Nair backdrop with ancestral mansions to the majestic ‘Gajaveeran’, Goplakrishna Pillai has a horrifying past, where his irresponsible father (Saikumar), a patron of arts and temple festivals has mismanaged their entire fortune to end up pennyless. The cheating of his good friend Parameshwara Kurup, who then built up a decent life for himself with the grabbed accounts, made Pillai’s father vanish from the village leaving his wife and two small children Pillai has given a word to his father -to bring up his younger brother and to look after his mother without peril and for that he has rebuilt all the lost grandeur, working day and night from his younger age  as a shrewd businessman, more a cunning money lender.

So the stage is set, with Kurup and his venomous sons always looking forward to devastate Pillai and the protagonist taking all steps to remain unscathed from the brooding enemies. Into this atmosphere arrives Jayalakshmi with a branch of a new generation bank. Pillai’s younger brother Ramakrishnan is an aspiring movie star who does not like to work on any thing, seriously. The whole twists came up when Ramakrishnan falls for the Kurup’s daughter. Kurup and his sons agrees for the marriage but had already plotted the plans for the ultimate destruction of Pillai. They persuade Ramakrishnan to bring down his brother .How Pillai stands the tycoon unleashed against him follows the rest of the very predictable flick.

The major drawback of the plot other than its recycled feel is the unconvincing final twists and flash backs. Even the court scenes appear too stagy and dramatic. Mohanlal as Pillai acts effortless but little can match his earlier similar ”ever sacrificing brother” roles like that of Balettan. Unnikrishanan has taken special care ” even to present the most brilliant actor of Mollywood, just the same way he was presented in ”Vellanakaludenadu”, 18 years  ago. Kavya appear pretty but is in an undemanding role with not even a single romantic scene with Lal. Ajmal Ameer as the self-centered younger brother and Mallika Kapoor as his sympathetic wife looks out sync with the timing of the other seniors in the frames like Pillai’s lawyer Mohankumar ( Jagathy) or  the local ‘Karayogam’ president (Innocent). Infact the Ajmal’s and Mallika’s character sketches are straight lift from the hit movie ‘Vesham’, with events shaping up very much similar to the later. Even the supporting characters and villains are typically regular ones, in their most regular outings and dialogues. Infact, the scriptwritor in Unnikrishnan seems to have never attempted to create anything in original than to recreate. Instead, he sticks to the most conservative image and sequences that hit films of Lal always exhibits.

Despite the shortcomings, ‘Maadambi’ works for a number of solid reasons and that’s what the viewer carries home. Mohanlal has got his share of punch lines like ”athu nee thaangathille’ which goes  very well with the audience , and he maintains a  brilliant restrained  act ,all through .Apart from the lead star’s unfussy performances, the movie hold fast  a strict pace  thanks to  good editing from  Manoj. The music and rerecording of the movie by M. Jayachandran is another highlight of the movie. The songs like ”Ammamazha” are quite hummable. Vijay Ulakanathan’s camerawork also perfectly suits the mood of the movie, though a couple of scenes seem to have been shot at noon with dark shadows all around.

Don’t expect too many fireworks and typical Lal numbers from ‘Maadambi’. It’s an extremely simple, uncomplicated old faschioned tale that never goes over the top. And if you are too addicted with the family movies of the eighties and nineties, this seems to be your best bet that has arrived in the recent times.

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Mizhikal Sakshi – A memorable film

Posted by harino1 on July 10, 2008

In an era when cinema is all about slapsticks, violence and vulgarity, ‘Mizhikal Sakshi’ by Ashok R Nath is a good reminder that cinema can be much more. This feel-good movie while raising several pertinent issues lets you walk out the theatre, with something to think about.

The movie tells a tale of a mute mother, who finds it hard to come into terms with the fact that her only son is convicted as a terrorist and is sent to gallows. She, after a long journey in search of her son, finally lands up in a temple premises where food is offered free, everyday. She becomes popular in the area as Kuniyamma, doing necessary cleaning and allied works in the temple environment. But all havoc break loose when someone finds that she is not a Hindu and is the mother of a revolutionary, who is supposed to have planted a bomb on a moving train, killing hundreds. The story does get interesting till the post-interval portions. But the sequence of events then follows the beaten path, till the climax which has its share of appeal.

The narration is simple, yet captivating. The director has used flashbacks to tell the story, using the discussions of an officer on investigation, Aditya Varma, as the tool to move the story ahead. The highlight of the movie is that it’s extremely realistic for most of the times and looks straight out of life. And that being the USP of this grim tale, it’s also a downer considering that the viewer of today is just not interested in watching a drama that’s too realistic.

But as a movie that appeals more too serious audiences, director Ashok has deftly handled the script. He had maintained throughout, a monotonous pace, despite the somewhat predictable plot. Anil Mukhathala, in the scripts have maintained a distinct style and crisp dialogues with reasonable food for serious thought.

‘Mizhikal Sakshi’, presents Sukumari in the role of a life time. The most experienced actress of our times who had never been exposed to such meaty roles gives in a power house performance through her subtle act, all through the sequences. She emotes through eyes on several occasions- a hallmark of an accomplished actor. It is a difficult to think of any other actress who would’ve essayed this complex role with such sincerity. Mohanlal aptly supports Sukumari with an effective cameo, for which he can be proud of. Hats off to the star for agreeing to be a part of the movie, or else the film may not have seen the light. Another actor who made it his best is Kochupreman who had been first rate as Chollu Swamy.

Ashok has also been able to bring out the best from his technical crew, be it in much picturesque and emotive cinematography by Ramachandra Babu or in editing by Beena paul. Another highlight of the movie is the musical scores by veteran Dakshinamoorthy in the lyrics of O N V Kurup. Of all the four good songs set by Swamy for the movie, ‘Chethiyum’ and ‘Thazhampoo’ are real gems, which arose nostalgia of our good old film music. Kaithapram Viswanath also ably supports the director with his skillfully done background scores.

All in all, ‘Mizhikal Sakshi’ is a memorable fare, which doesn’t disguise itself as a high class entertainer. Have a watch, to witness some of the finest performances from one of our best known actress. The movie may well be remembered, more for Sukumari’s bravura performance than for the experience in totality!

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One Way Ticket – An average fare with a cold ‘finale’

Posted by harino1 on July 10, 2008

Fans associations had been always crucial in ensuring an awesome opening for those movies, which star their favorite on screen demigods. Especially in Mollywood, stars and their fans share an unique and interesting relationship .What director Bibin Prabhakar was trying to explore through his movie ‘One Way Ticket’  was this interesting relationship between a superstar and his fan, which ultimately results in the star making some important amendments in the life of his fan. But mishmash in plot points, the culmination to the story and the note on which the film ends mars the impact of the film completely, making it an average fare.

The movie has Prithviraj as Jehangir, the district president of Mammootty fans association. Popularly called by the name Kunjapoo, he is the third rank holder in Plus two examinations. He was forced to become a taxi jeep driver, due to the dismal financial conditions of his family consisting of three sisters and widowed mother, for whom he was the only savior. Kunjappoo had made it a point to harass his uncle Bava Haji, by projecting stories about his love with Bava Haji’s daughter Sajira and spreading false stories about his plans to marry her. But Haji is hell bend on bringing up some proposal to keep Kunjappo away from his daughter. His trusted aides broker Sakath Beeran (Salim Kumar) and Kanakkapillai Salahudeen (Jagadheesh) is always up to something in this direction.

Kunjapoo accidentally falls for a girl, who comes for an ‘Oppana’ dance at one of his friend’s marriage. Mislead about her as ‘Rasiya’, he tries to track her whereabouts. This news comes as a big relief to Bava Haji, who immediately reaches Rasiya’s house and officially announce her   relation with Kunjapoo and plans for the marriage. But later Kunjappo realizes that it was another girl named Sunanda (Bhama) whom he mistook as Rasiya, while agreeing for the marriage. Kunjappoo turns away from the deal and Bava Haji is now forced to marry off his only son with Rasiya.

Sunanda on the other hand, has her share of   problems. His venomous uncle Karunakaran Ezhuttachan (Thilakan) is hatching plans to get her agree to marry his widower son (Nishanth Sagar), and thus seize her huge family fortune. Even though Kunjappoo and Sunanda part ways initially, they cross each other’s path at regular intervals, try to find solace in others’ arms.

And ultimately Kunjapoo is destined to become the savior of the girl, whose father has already been murdered and her mother, at the verge of another fatal disease. How Kunjaapoo works out plans to save her with the help of the real superstar, whom he admires, forms the plot the film. The film has a freeflow   till the half way with rollicking comedy from Jagathy, Salimkumar and Jaffer Idukki. But thereafter the story comes to a screeching halt and starts focusing on the romantic side   than the story of fanships and ends up without fireworks as an ordinary fare.

The second hour drags and the climax would’ve been better, realistic to be precise. The final reels has been extremely pathetic with wayward screenplay coupled with  plastic performances .The poor  treatment of  the script  in the final reels, written without any attention to details  ruins the chances   of  an other wise safer movie. A fine-tuned performance from Prithviraj saves the film from becoming a much bigger dud. He plays his part, particularly the lighter comic sequences with amazing timing and ease.

In fact, the actor has graduated to a natural actor to the core, handling the most complex scenes with flourish.  The other silver lining in the film is the presence of Mammootty who does an eventful cameo, which couldn’t raise the expected applause. Bhama, as the love interest, has some significance in the beginning, but she is totally lost by the end of the film. Thilakan as Bhama’s uncle fails to evoke the necessary villainy, with the director trying to dismantle the flashback sequences and present the story only through dialogues. Jagathy Sreekumar essays Radhika’s father, Bava Hajyar to perfection. Salim Kumar, Jagadheesh and Jaffer Idukki handle the comic department proficiently

But the technical side remains average with even cinematographer Vipin Mohan’s work, so tailor-made with   old fashioned wide shots. The background score by Raja Mani is jarring. Except for a couple of songs including the oppana song, the music by Raahul Raj is not up to mark. Ranjan Abraham also fails to sustain the interest, with the needed sharp cuts in the later half.

‘One Way Ticket’ is too ordinary a ticket for a fare that doesn’t leave any impression whatsoever. On the whole, it meets   the expectations partly. At the box-office too, the film will end up as   an average earner .See it once, if you have the time and inclination.

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Mayakazhcha – An apology for a film

Posted by harino1 on July 10, 2008

In this day and age of innovative story lines and novel scripts, comes ‘Mayakaazhcha’ a film based on the same old story set around the mysteries behind old palaces, loosely based on many successful films of the past, like ‘Manichithra Thaazhu’. Except for the one line,  any comparison with the previous better ventures is strictly out of point, as the movie directed by Akhilesh Guruvilas(credit reads, it has a director), draws a bizarre picture of a movie that is worser than an onslaught on your senses. An apology of a film, ‘Maayakaazhcha’  proves once again that direction is not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s high time mollywood realises that.

‘Mayakaazhcha’ has an extremely loose plot by Sumesh Lal, whose distress is accentuated by a ludicrous screenplay by John Zakhariah(?). As a director, the hallmark of Akhilesh and his film seems to be consistency in boredom and irregularity in narratives.

The movie is set in Umayanoor Kottaram, where the royal family has a curse on the younger daughters of each generation, passed off from ages. Ashwathy Thamburattty (Kiran), the daughter of younger Raja Narendra Varma is now at the receiving end of this damnation, as she  faces some woeful happenings, one after another. The kottaram astrologer advises only one preventive to redeem the ultimate untimely  deaths- some one needs to complete a song set on Simhanandanathaalam which was disrupted, two hundred years ago, as the musician who composed it was murdered in the palace.

And according to this prognostication, the rebirth of Utharayan-the murdered musician, will appear on the third day of the pooja, that is  to be done to diminish the destructive effects of the curse. He will then complete the song, marry aswathy and all will go on well, after that for the further generations of the family.

On the day of pooja, arrives five youngsters in the place of the expected one sreehari, the son of Narendran’s eloped sister, Aravindan-the heir from Killikurishimana and three singers who accidentally happens to be there. The movie goes on to tell how Aswathy and the royal family realize the real rebirth of Utharayanan and all the hideous plot behind all happenings.

The film altogether gives us a feeling that there was none precisely, to call the shots and direct the actors, who appears plastic and cold all through the proceedings. Incompetent direction makes the movie looks absolutely lost and the lead characters, be it the characters played by aravind or nishanth sagar lacks conviction. Only Saikumar and Jayakrishnan seems to appear with their regular ease.

Kiran as Aswathy once again falter in her attempts at histrionics. Even more disheartening is to see experienced and talented actors like captain raju and Cochin haneef getting burdened in unnaturalistic acts. Machan varghese and indrans fails to evoke laughter in sequences which are forced into the narratives.

Every thing in the technical side is worth mentioning for the silliness and amateurisms with which the crew has handled a film. K P Nambiathiry’s cinematography appears flat and disinteresting. The rerecording and background scores are pathetically incongruous. Poor set designs and sloppy editing make this dreadful two hour forty minute movie, a must watch as  the best example for the most inept and embarrassing film making.

Sitting all through the movie was really a test of endurance and character, as the very few members of the audience who watched the film with me would agree. Don’t waste your time or money on this one, which can’t offer a single scene to relish.

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