Padmarajan’s Aparan (The Imposter): A Malayalam Neo Noir Movie

Vishwanathan Pillai (Jayaram) is a young graduate, who is preparing for his next interview. Anyone who has given interviews in India will know that it is just a lucky draw of sorts. The question ranges from what is the distance between the Moon to the Earth, to who is the CM of a particular state.

We see Vishwanathan mugging up from a GK book, Padmarajan beautifully establishes the contrast of India, where here this once upon a time rich upper caste family is finding its way in the new world order. In turn of events, Vishwanathan is mistaken for a criminal who looks like him and is detained by police.  George (Mukesh), the inspector turns out to be his college friend and releases him.Continue reading “Padmarajan’s Aparan (The Imposter): A Malayalam Neo Noir Movie”

Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu (1990): ‘The axe forgets; the tree remembers.’

Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu (In this Cold Morning) is termed as a murder mystery film, but to term it is a murder mystery would be being lazy on our part. Directed by Joshiy and written by Padmarajan, the film offers an interesting perspective for the audience as to how different directors bring a certain style and have their own take on a screenplay.Continue reading “Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu (1990): ‘The axe forgets; the tree remembers.’”

The Best of Malayalam Cinema in 2014: A Perspective

While doing a similar exercise around the same time last year I found it hard to do the analysis of the year that’s coming to an end in terms of Malayalam Cinema’s output. This was especially true while compiling my list of the best 10 films of the year, but this time around the process has been a lot simpler. In a way it is a little alarming as that means the quality of films has dipped a bit as there haven’t been too many films to short list and fight among themselves for a spot in the compilation. While the year began on a cautious note thanks to the satellite T.V. deals not happening like before, resulting in many films from late 2013 waiting in the cans finally releasing one, by one, eventually the year still saw 163 releases (apparently 150 straight releases and 13 dubbed releases). The year saw a few films doing very well commercially, not all of them featuring big stars. Also as usual a few good films were given the miss by the audience despite the good reviews.Continue reading “The Best of Malayalam Cinema in 2014: A Perspective”

The Best of Indian Cinema in 2014: A Perspective

At the very outset I wish to express that I personally felt that 2014 was overall an ordinary year for Indian Cinema. It was largely devoid of truly path breaking content and Hindi Cinema in particular was very disappointing, especially the second half of the year. This is even more alarming considering that the 1st quarter of the year saw some decent films like Dedh Ishqiya, Hasee Toh Phasee, Highway, Queen and true blue indie films like Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely, the long pending Om-Dar-B-Dar of Kamal Swaroop and Rajat Kapoor’s Ankhon Dekhi. The last among the films mentioned (Ankhon Dekhi) in particular was a delight, more on that later. But with subsequent weeks throwing up disappointment after disappointment, I had almost given up on the year but thank goodness for the last 2 Fridays of the year which brought in some relief. 19th December saw Raj Kumar Hirani’s Aamir Khan spectacle PK release, one of the most awaited films  of the year while 26th December saw Anurag Kashyap’s long pending Ugly release. PK for me is Raj Kumar Hirani’s weakest film, but it is still an earnest film and Aamir thankfully is good in the film. So while I have no problem with the film’s spectacular success, I do oppose the way the so called moral and religious police are dragging it into an unnecessary controversy.Continue reading “The Best of Indian Cinema in 2014: A Perspective”

Munnariyippu Movie Review: The Best Indian Film of 2014, Period

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”

Munnariyippu: Trailer

Munnariyippu-Mammootty and Aparna GopinathAce cinematographer Venu, popular for his work in Malayalam Cinema over the last 3 decades turns director once again. His debut film as director, Daya (1998) had won 3 National Awards including the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director. While Daya was a fantasy tale (based on The Arabian Nights) his latest film Munnariyippu (prior notice) is a contemporary tale and is produced by writer-director Ranjith. Featuring Mammootty in the lead the film also has Aparna Gopinath, Nedumudi Venu, Joy Mathew, Renji Panicker, Saiju Kurup etc. Based on a story written by Venu himself, the screenplay and dialogues are by Unni.R.The film has music by Bijibal while cinematography is by Venu and editing by Beena Paul.Continue reading “Munnariyippu: Trailer”

Celluloid Movie Review: A Tribute Movie of a Special Kind

Celluloid movie poster
Celluloid movie poster

Against the backdrop of films like Lincoln being under the spotlight we keep hearing of why there are very few biopics in India getting made of late. In fact it’s true that Paan Singh Tomar was one of the rare biopics in India last year and a rather good one at that. This post is not about exploring the scenario of biopics in India (we can save that for another day) but to acknowledge a really well made biopic in Malayalam, Celluloid. Continue reading “Celluloid Movie Review: A Tribute Movie of a Special Kind”

Celluloid: Trailer

Veteran Malayalam filmmaker Kamal is now all set to present before us his latest film, Celluloid starring Prithviraj and Mamta Mohandas in the lead roles. Celluloid is a biopic based on the life and times of J.C.Daniel, considered to be the Father of Malayalam Cinema. Continue reading “Celluloid: Trailer”

Spirit Movie Review: Social Entertainer served Ranjith Style

Spirit PosterAll those who follow Malayalam Cinema certainly would agree that writer-director Ranjith is one of the more reliable voices in the industry in the recent times. His recent films have time & again indicated that he is willing to tackle interesting themes while still remaining within the confines of mainstream cinema. So when his latest film ‘Spirit’ got announced it certainly made news for a lot of reasons.Continue reading “Spirit Movie Review: Social Entertainer served Ranjith Style”