Top 50 Malayalam Film Songs of 2019: A Compilation

If 2018 was a grim year for Kerala (with Sabarimala and floods dominating the mental and emotional space of people), 2019 has been quite a distressing year for the nation as a whole with the fervid protests rocking the public space across. At a time like this when the nation is going through a rather tumultuous churning phase, it is kind of awkward to pause the political scene and take a peep into the musical world of entertainment that has enthralled our spirits this year. But life must go on – governments will come and governments will go but the strains of music shall continue to touch our souls as all great art does….Continue reading “Top 50 Malayalam Film Songs of 2019: A Compilation”

Top 40 Malayalam Film Songs of 2018: A Compilation

2018 was a year that a lot of folks in Kerala would want to forget. First you had one of the greatest floods of the century causing immense damage, quickly followed by the all-encompassing Sabarimala issue which kept all its denizens busy for most of the season. Maybe it is a reflection of the mood of the state for most of the year that this period did not provide too many cinematic works in the mainstream space that made an impact. Yes, there were exceptions like Ee Ma You, Sudani from Nigeria, Eeda and Poomaram but otherwise there was very little to write home about, despite a fantastic 2017. With mega biggies like Odiyan and Kayamkulam Kochunni creating more hype about the business done rather than artistic merit and falling short of pleasing either the audience or critics, we probably need Dileesh Pothan to make a film every year!Continue reading “Top 40 Malayalam Film Songs of 2018: A Compilation”

Top 30 Malayalam Film Songs of 2017: A Compilation

Despite major rumblings in the Malayalam cinema industry in the form of Dileep’s actress assault case and incidents of online trolling of women actresses highlighting the rampant misogyny in our artistic space, I’d like to believe that it emerged stronger with more and more people debating the patriarchal nature of our cinema. It was, therefore, appropriate that 2017 closed with Aashiq Abu’s ‘Mayaanadhi’ – a film that spoke for a lot of women by giving its heroine agency. However, be cautioned – for every Mahesh Narayanan, Ranjith Shankar and Aashiq Abu creating strong independent woman characters, you also came across the likes of Nithin Renji Panicker (Kasaba) and Omar Lulu (Chunkzz) whose disgustingly trashy films belied the idea that the new generation has a different world view, when it comes to women.Continue reading “Top 30 Malayalam Film Songs of 2017: A Compilation”

Top 20 Malayalam Film Songs of 2016: A Compilation

As 2016 comes to a close, there are familiar rumblings in the Malayalam film world about new film releases with the distributors, producers and theatre owners slugging it out leading to no releases on a Christmas weekend! This is a familiar scenario for Malayalam cinema buffs but let’s hope this perennial bickering gives way to new releases waiting to hit the road, for an industry which has perked up a bit recently in the mainstream space. Meanwhile, I decided to spend time to look at the audio tracks this year and see how they stack up.Continue reading “Top 20 Malayalam Film Songs of 2016: A Compilation”

Waiting Movie Review: An Anatomy of Grief

Two strangers meeting in a hospital waiting for their beloved partners who are in a comatose state, is a perfect subject material for melancholy with a capital M inscribed all over it. But director Anu Menon’s tragically witty, humorous take on grief and desolation ‘Waiting’ is strangely uplifting and philosophical, without at once being pedantic or languorous. Beautifully described by a critic as a cross between ‘Lost in Translation’ and ‘The Descendants’, it is refreshingly restrained (a bit more restrained than maybe what it should have been).Continue reading “Waiting Movie Review: An Anatomy of Grief”

Tamaar Padaar Movie Review: A Film that tries to say a lot in the Wrong Manner

Quite a few films suffer from a mysterious cinematic ailment called ‘Curse of the Second Half’, which practically means that a movie that floats around steadily with some promise in the initial phase rapidly nosedives in the second half – apparently, the director has a story in mind but is at his wit’s end on how to bring it to a grand finale and eventually, it takes the easy way out and embracing a conventional ending.Continue reading “Tamaar Padaar Movie Review: A Film that tries to say a lot in the Wrong Manner”

Bangalore Days Movie Review: Fun Filled Youthful Entertainer

Bangalore Days 2014As the opening lines of Anjali Menon’s enchanting Bangalore Days tells you, Bangalore is the utopia every Malayali youngster wishes to escape to in search of his dreams, away from the sluggish pace of Kerala. Shyamaprasad did appear to sell a similar idea to us in a rather morbid and clichéd form in Rithu but Anjali Menon’s film is far more promising in its portrayal of the so-called Bangalore crowd, making the characters far more likeable and easy to relate to.Continue reading “Bangalore Days Movie Review: Fun Filled Youthful Entertainer”

How Old Are You Movie Review: Return of a Diva

How Old Are You- Manju WarrierManju Warrier is back and how! Rosshan Andrrews’ How Old Are You brings back Manju to the silver screen after a decade and half and one of Malayalam cinema’s most-loved actresses makes a spirited return as a middle-aged woman restoring her identity and finding new direction in life. This easily is one of the more anticipated movies this year and to that extent, there is a sense of mild nostalgia, coupled with a sense of satisfaction that her re-launch vehicle is the perfect one for the occasion.

(Mild Spoilers Ahead)

How Old Are You (HOAY), follows the ‘boring’ middle-class life of Nirupama Rajeev (Manju Warrier), a 36-year old UD clerk in the revenue department. Her life comprises a run-of-the-mill government job which she has been doing for the past 15 years, her family and colleagues, after she settles down and adjusts herself to the reality of a post-marital life. Her husband Rajeev (Kunchacko Boban) who works with All India Radio, and her high school daughter Lakshmi (Amritha Anil), have big dreams in life and want to migrate to Ireland to carve a new life for them.Continue reading “How Old Are You Movie Review: Return of a Diva”

God’s Own Country Movie Review: A Surprisingly Engaging Hyperlink Film

God's Own Country MovieThe phrase God’s Own Country is probably Kerala’s most successful tagline. Our chests swell in pride (not the 56’ one) at the successful marketing of the state’s natural beauty but privately many smirk at how a naturally endowed state has become a laggard, especially when compared to our immediate hard working neighbour. As a protagonist remarks in the movie which goes by the same name, Kerala was not coined as God’s Own Country by the Gods but by fellow humans!Continue reading “God’s Own Country Movie Review: A Surprisingly Engaging Hyperlink Film”