2016 has turned out to be a slightly low key year for Malayalam Cinema overall, with strangely a decrease in the output, both in terms of quantity and quality. Talking of the number of releases there has been a sharp decline in terms of both straight as well as dubbed releases. From 153 releases overall last year (140 straight and 13 dubbed), 2016 saw the release count drop to 122 overall (118 straight releases and 4 dubbed films). And sadly the culmination of the year has ended on a really sad note for the industry, a pity considering the kind of promising films which were lined up for release in the Christmas-New Year festive season. What started off as a tussle between the producers and distributors/exhibitors over revenue sharing and was expected to get resolved well before the Christmas weekend has extended into a huge deadlock of sorts. As a result all the major festival releases continue to wait for a release and will now in all certainty turn out to be the first few releases of 2017.Continue reading “The Best of Malayalam Cinema in 2016: A Perspective”
The Malayalee obsession with booze is something that by now people across the Country and perhaps even overseas are aware of. With all the drama over the closure of bars and the recurrent courtroom battles over the same, even those who weren’t aware of Kerala being the highest alcohol consuming state in India, now know the same. No wonder that the topic is subtly being touched upon in films as well, after all for a state that has always looked at drinking as a social past time, it’s not really easy to show scenes of drinking in bars in Malayalam cinema now. Another topic that has some special relevance to the state of Kerala is that of soft porn films, after all this is a phenomena which has been in existence for a very long time, even having its own periods of highs and lows to talk of. Now when someone attempts a film which in a way brings a connection between these two aspects, how would you expect the film to be? If your answer is boisterous, raunchy and maybe even crass, well then that’s exactly what G.Marthandan’s Paavada is not.
Continue reading “Paavada Movie Review: A Tale of Alcoholism and Soft Porn Films That’s Effective and Non Sleazy”
I have always been a die-hard romantic like so many of you out there and grew up on a staple diet of romantic tales, derived from literature and cinema. Whenever I would think of those classic love stories like Romeo-Juliet, Heer-Ranjha, Shirin-Farhad, Dhola-Maru, Devdas etc I have always wondered whether such romantic tales are practical in today’s times. But then these tales seem to be certainly having many takers, why else do we find adaptations of Romeo-Juliet and Devdas happening time and again? When I watched Yash Chopra’s Veer Zara I again felt what’s the reason that makes Veer and Zara remain in love for so many years, despite being separated and not even knowing if they will ever get to be with each other. The film may have been a typical YRF vehicle, but it was special in many ways especially for the way the romance between Veer and Zara was projected. Time and again I ask myself what would make someone wait so much for his/her beloved, what is it about love that could make one attempt to survive amidst all odds, why would go out of the way to live, breathe and celebrate love? R.S. Vimal’s Ennu Ninte Moideen is a film which makes me think of all these once again.Continue reading “Ennu Ninte Moideen Movie Review: A Timeless Tale of Love”
National Award winning Malayalam filmmaker Shyamaprasad is back with his new film Ivide (Here) which is a tale totally based in the U.S.A. In an unusual departure this time he has attempted a thriller as the film is apparently based on the serial killing of IT technicians in major US cities. While the star cast is spearheaded by Prithviraj, Nivin Pauly and Bhavana, the rest of the cast includes American actors as well. Ivide is produced by Dr.S.Sajikumar while Gopi Sunder is the composer,Eric Dickinson is the DOP and Manoj the editor.Continue reading “Ivide: Trailer”
Major Ravi is back with the next outing in his ‘military’ line up of films based on stories set around the lives of men in uniform. I have personally not seen any of his films but have been following his graph closely both in media and through word of mouth sources. It is safe to say that Major is not having a great time with his recent releases. Does he redeem himself with Picket 43? Does it tell a good story within the military backdrop without getting caught into the usual traps of jingoism, melodrama or unrealistic action which a lot of our films suffer from?Continue reading “Picket 43 Movie Review: Hope Prithvi pockets many awards for his services in this Picket”
Army man turned writer-director Major Ravi has been in poor form of late with his recent films like Kandahar (2010) and Karma Yodha (2012) failing miserably. He is now back with his latest film Picket 43 which is produced by O.G.Sunil. Prithviraj plays an army havildar who is guarding a picket on the Indo-Pak border all alone. Javed Jaffrey plays a Pakistani soldier and others in the cast include Renji Panicker, Sudheer Karamana, Hareesh Peradi etc. Music is by Ratheesh Vega while Jomon T.John is the DOP and Ranjan Abraham is the editor.Continue reading “Picket 43: Trailer”
The best of the year lists will be out soon. It is December and an annual ritual for people who love and crave good cinema worldwide; so that rest of the brigade are abreast with the best that they missed out. Critics and cinema lovers will be divided on their opinions with regards to the best of cinema. Some will have a list constituting the best of cinema which includes world cinema and international films, some with their Indian counterparts and some regional.
And in all this lies the high probability of a film called Munnariyippu which may not find any takers. Continue reading “Munnariyippu Movie Review: The Best Indian Film of 2014, Period”
The setting is the thirties – forties of the twentieth century in the culturally rich and famous ‘Athens of The East’. The golden era of Tamil theater, with vocals and chords reigning supreme, had just been ushered in. South of India, drama as an art form had previously existed as ‘Theru Koothu’, but Western practices heavily influenced the roadside drama form to follow a set format. Music lovers had moved on from the confines of the gramophone record and their doorsteps to relish the magical lively moments on stage and the new-found excitement was pretty conspicuous. People started thronging theatrical plays like frenzied gatherings for a temple festival, camping for several nights at random shelters around the theater houses and waiting for several days at a stretch to get tickets. A few plays even had special trains plying from Madras, an indication of the kind of influence these shows had on the audience. A firework into the skies used to be the indication that the play would begin in an hour, sending fans into a kind of hysteria.Continue reading “Kaaviya Thalaivan Tamil Movie Review: Good Ol’ Drama!”
Vasanthabalan who is known for his Tamil films like Veyil, Angaadi Theru, Aravaan etc now returns with his latest film, Kaaviya Thalaivan. Written by Vasanthabalan along with Jeyamohan,the film is set in early 20th century and talks about the lives of two theatre artistes and the competition that exists between them in a small drama troupe. Produced by Varun Manian and S.Sashikanth the film features Siddharth, Prithviraj, Vedhicka, Anaika Soti, Nassar, Thambi Ramaiah etc. While the music by A.R.Rahman is already quite popular,the film has cinematography by Nirav Shah,while editing is by Praveen K.L and N.B.Srikanth. The film is finally all set for a theatrical release on 7th November.Continue reading “Kaaviya Thalaivan: Trailer”