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”

Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol Movie Review: It’s never too late to Fall in Love…Again

The men who share a camaraderie in the apartment complex have all gathered for their daily round of drinks on the rooftop (after all the days of the regular bars in Kerala is now history) and Ulahanan (Mohanlal) is pissed off because he realized that the chapter of the lady who was enticing him over the last few days is now a closed one. Irritated and angry at the same time, he forces his neighbour and friend Venukuttan (Anoop Menon) to make him speak with one of his numerous girlfriends over phone right then. Though initially unwilling, Venukuttan does go on to dial someone on his mobile phone eventually and gives the phone to Ulahanan without revealing the name of the lady. Ulahanan goes on to speak to the person over the phone, only to realize that he has been tricked by Venukuttan, as the person on the other end is none other than his wife, Annyamma (Meena). This is just one of various wonderful moments from Jibu Jacob’s Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol, which has finally hit the theatres after a delay due to the film industry strike in Kerala.Continue reading “Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol Movie Review: It’s never too late to Fall in Love…Again”

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”

Pinneyum Movie Review: Not Quite the Classic Expected From the Return of the Legend

There was a time when one watched Malayalam films partly with a view of getting that reassuring feeling of how life continues to be a lot less chaotic back home in Kerala. Of course this is generally with reference to a non-resident Keralite like me. Times have of course changed, Kerala isn’t really all that tranquil overall as it used to be. There are signs of development and change all over and not really restricted to a Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram or Kozhikode, but even in the interiors as well. Of course once in a while we do get to see films like Maheshinte Prathikaaram which still enable one to soak in the ambience and the feel of the days gone by. While I am all for development and personally enjoy a lot of the so called new generation films, I do admit that I also do yearn from time to time for tales that are simple and rooted and giving me a glimpse of the state that usually serves as a place where I get to recharge myself once in a while.Continue reading “Pinneyum Movie Review: Not Quite the Classic Expected From the Return of the Legend”

Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s “Pinneyum”: Trailer

Pinneyum Poster 2Pinneyum ( Once Again) is a forthcoming Malayalam film that sees veteran writer-director Adoor Gopalakrishnan back after a long gap of 8 years. He has written, directed and co-produced Pinneyum (with Baby Mathew Somatheeram being the other producer). The film features an interesting star cast, with popular pair Dileep and Kavya Madhavan in the lead and the supporting cast sees Marathi actor Subodh Bhave making his Malayalam debut. The rest of the star cast includes Nedumudi Venu, Indrans, Vijayaraghavan, Srinda Ashab, KPAC Lalitha etc. The music is by Bijibal while M.J.Radhakrishnan is the DOP and B.Ajith Kumar is the editor.Continue reading “Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s “Pinneyum”: Trailer”

Leela Movie Review: A Tale of an Unusual Individual

At times the human mind does play around with us quite a bit, or else how can we easily account for fantasies, fetishes and all sort of (weird?) desires that we come across or think of from time to time. There are some characters whom we encounter or hear about, who seem to revel in following a slightly convoluted path towards achieving satisfaction on various levels. Popular writer-director Ranjith‘s latest Malayalam film Leela talks about one such interesting character, Kuttiyappan. Ranjith has always been one of the few filmmakers who have managed to maintain a fine balance between art and commerce, as seen by a majority of his films. But it’s also true that he hasn’t really been in form of late, with his previous film Loham being especially disappointing. Leela also sees him play the producer, a role that he takes upon from time to time and not for all his films.Continue reading “Leela Movie Review: A Tale of an Unusual Individual”

Maheshinte Prathikaaram Movie Review: Simple yet Cheeky Slice of Life Tale

We all like to see tales of the underdog scoring a victory, don’t we? That’s practically why David vs Goliath is one of the tales that continues to see various interpretations even today. Of course not every such tale manages to hold your attention, or even impress you in any way. That’s where the power of a story teller, narrator and filmmaker comes into play. In particular I like tales focusing on an underdog where the setting is as close to reality as possible and where one identifies with the tale by itself or the characters or perhaps both. Fahadh Faasil is someone who has time and again proved his worth as an actor, pulling off diverse roles in various films with ease. He is easily one of the most versatile of the actors in India these days, especially among those playing the leading men. Cast him as a suave urbane character, or a simple down to earth man and he still sinks into the character easily.Continue reading “Maheshinte Prathikaaram Movie Review: Simple yet Cheeky Slice of Life Tale”

The Best of Malayalam Cinema in 2015: A Perspective

At the very outset while I do feel that 2015 wasn’t an exceptional year for Malayalam Cinema, there were some interesting films and certain interesting trends were noticed as well. The number of releases overall dipped a bit this year, with an overall number of 153 releases (140 straight and 13 dubbed releases) compared to 163 last year. There were disruptions to the movie business seen in the form of the exhibitors association shutting down the theatres in Kerala on 2 separate occasions. While in July we saw a strike (thankfully only for a day) due to protest over the piracy controversy surrounding Alphonse Putharen’s Premam, we saw the the Christmas releases being threatened thanks to the strike over the Government’s decision to introduce a Rs. 3 cess on tickets intended to be used for helping poor artists of the industry with a monthly pension. There were quite a few films which saw success at the box office, including 3 bonafide blockbusters, all of them bringing in a fresh aspect of filmmaking.Continue reading “The Best of Malayalam Cinema in 2015: A Perspective”

In Conversation with Malayalam Filmmaker Salim Ahamed: On working with Mammootty, his latest hit Pathemari and More

Salim Ahamed shot to fame with his multiple National Award winning Malayalam film, Adaminte Makan Abu. He has since then gone on to make Kunjananthante Kada and Pathemari, both featuring Mammootty in the lead. Here in an exclusive interview with MAM he talks about his films, working with Mammootty etc.Continue reading “In Conversation with Malayalam Filmmaker Salim Ahamed: On working with Mammootty, his latest hit Pathemari and More”