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About Malayalam Movie Review

Reviews Of all the new Malayalam Movies

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mammootty-Shafi shooting Venicile Vyapari in Kochi

Director Shafi has already started shooting for his upcoming movie Venicile Vyapari in Kochi. Malayalam superstar Mammootty has recently joined the the director for the filming after ending the Income tax raids issue. Cinematographer Syam Dutt is handling the camera work for the shooting of the film.

Venicile Vyapari tells the story of a police constable named Pavithran, who served the force in the eighties. Mammootty is playing the role of the police constable. The actor will appear in three different getups. He dons the period costumes, wearing khakki trousers and tall cap, which will be the highlight of the film.

The movie revolves around Pavithran, who lost his parents in his childhood. He enters police force by chance as it is not his ambition. So he resigns this job and starts coir business at Alapuzha. He starts exporting coir products. It is during this period he meets a bank manager Lakshmi and both became friends. Another character is Ammu, who is the union leader of coir workers. Pavithran loves her, but does not reveal his love.

Actress Poonam Bajwa is reprising the role of Lakshmi, while Kavya Madhavan appears as Ammu in the film Venicile Vyapari, which is being produced by Madhavan Nair under the banner of Murali Films. Bijibal will compose music for the lyrics of Kaithapram. Vijaya Raghavan, Jagathy, Salim Kumar, Suraj, Sreeraman, Kalabhhavan Shajon, Rajan Padoor are in other cast.

Manushya Mrugam Review

Baburaj in Manushya Mrugam plays Johny, a lorry driver, with an insatiable sex drive. Married to Lissy (Kiran), he has an eye for a younger girl Sofie (Oviya) who has come to stay with them. He repeatedly tries to goad her to marry him, but she doesn't comply. In a fit of rage, he smothers her, stabs his wife and murders his eleven year old daughter as well.

That's the story in a nutshell. So when does Manushya Mrugam become the investigative thriller that it is expected to be? When Crime Branch Officer David (Prithviraj) smells that something is rotten in this small haven in Central Kerala. Off he goes probing into the case, until several skeletons tumble out of the closet.

Essentially a murder mystery, the film tries to maintain a list of suspects handy. There are deliberate attempts to build up the suspicion quotient all the while, like the continuous attempts to throw a veil of distrust over the local priest (Jagathy). But these efforts do not really bear fruit since by now, the viewers have mastered every trick of the trade.

The film is also a showcase for Baburaj the actor, and it provides him abundant opportunities to boost up his macho image. Rough and quite sturdy, he plays a coarse man, who doesn't pay heed to the lives of those whom he tramples. Within in no time of arriving at the village, he ends the long winding rule of the local ruffian Vasu. And in jail, he takes on single-handedly his big-headed cell mates and mashes them into pulp.

Perhaps because the film is about a man with an uncontrollable lust, it is replete with instances of his desire finding an expression. He spends his time hiding behind the bushes near the river, where the women come to bathe. Johny soon finds a woman who is bowled over by his charms in Mary (Aishwarya), who runs the local arrack shop. This doesn't however satisfy him and neither does it deter him from peeping into bedrooms.

Manushya Mrugam looks and sounds weakest during the last fifteen minutes, when you realize that all you have been waiting for till then, was for a deliberate twist that feels like it has been pushed into the story, since someone had to be made the murderer. The natural blend of the climactic piece with the rest of the narrative is sadly missing.

Baburaj does a neat job of playing Johny, and is every bit the callous man who succumbs to the desires of the flesh. Prithvi merely adds star power to the film. He walks about in definite strides and solves the case with a casual indifference. Of the women, Kiran and Oviya lead the pack and deliver fine performances.

Manushya Mrugam that tells the story of a lecherous man has plenty of skin on show. It might not hold any surprises when it comes to the tale that it tells, and the writing further relegates it to two-dimensional fluff.

Christian Brothers - Movie Review

Much-hyped and much-expected Malayalam movie Christian Brothers has released this weekend. The film has everything like family sentiments, fights, music, dance and twists and turns. But there is no much gist in the story selected by director Joshiy. The screenplay has been made as to attract the fans of superstars like Mohanlal, Dileep, Suresh Gopi and Sharath Kumar.

Christian Brothers is a mass entertainer movie with all the commercial elements. Mohanlal, Dileep, Suresh Gopi's acting is the main attraction of the film. Deepak Dev's music, Anil Nair's cinematography and fights sequences are the other highlights of the film. But all these entertainment elements are made in such a way that fans of each actor should be impressed. There is more of artificiality than natural flow.

The duration of the film is 2.55 hours because it is multi-starrer film and each lead actor has been given equal focus in it. In fact, it is not easy to handle the subject of multi-starrer flick. But script writers Sibi K Thomas and Udayakrishna have done it very well. They have maintained equal focus to all the lead characters, which help the film to hold the attention of audience. The movie is all about a retired army officer and his two sons. It also throws light on issue like land grabbing.

Palamattathu Varghese Mappila (Saikumar) is a retired and well-to-do army officer, His sons Christy (Mohanlal) works as an informer in Mumbai and Joby (Dileep) is sent abroad to study theology. Situations make them fall out of their respective responsibilities, which irk their father and make him loose interest in them. What happens next will form the interesting part of the film.

Mohanlal has larger scope in the film when compared to other lead stars. The comic scenes between Suresh Gopi are Dileep are really good. Sharath Kumar has just guest appearance role. Leading ladies Kavya Madhavan, Kaniha and Lakshmi Rai do not have much scope in the film.Saikumar, Biju Menon, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Vijaya Raghavan, Suresh Krishna, Salim Kumar and others have done justice to their respective roles.

Deepak Dev has composed music for four songs like 'Karthaave...', 'Kannum...', 'Mizhikalil Naanam...' and 'Sayyaave...' and all of them are melodious and good to listen. Anil Nair's camera work, Ranjan Ebraham's editing are also commendable. In a nutshell, Christian Brothers is a good entertainer for this weekend masti

Producer: AV Anoop and Maha Subair

Director: Joshiy

Cast: Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Dileep, Sarath Kumar, Kavya Madhavan, Lakshmi Rai, Kanika, Saikumar, Biju Menon, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Vijaya Raghavan, Suresh Krishna, Salim Kumar, Suraaj Venjaramoodu, Jagathy Sreekumar and Kavya Madhavan

Music: Deepak Dev

Urumi – Movie Review

Director Santhosh Sivan's much-awaited movie Urumi has hit the screens across the state. Although there are some dragging moments in the movie, its rich production values hold the attention of audience till the climax. It is an excellent effort by Sivan and Prithviraj. Hats of to them.

Urumi is a historical epic film written by Shankar Ramakrishnan and Prithvi and Genelia's performances are the main attraction of the film. Deepak Dev's music, Anal Arasu's action, Sivan's camera work, Shankar's dialogues, costume designing, make up, choreography are other highlights of the film. But a few forcibly inserted songs and slow paced narration are the two minus points of the film.

The film is set in the backdrop of the fierce warrior clans of Northern Kerala in the 16th century and focuses on the cult of Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar. It is all about boy, who wants to avenge the death of his father, who has been killed by Vasco da Gama. Santhosh Sivan's dragging narration in both first and second half tests the patience of the viewers. The climax scenes seem to have taken from another epic film Pazhassi Raja.

The story starts with present generation and soon goes back to history. Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar (Prithviraj) sets on mission to kill Dom Vasco da Gama, the Viceroy of Portuguese Empire in India. But he faces lots of odds on his way to reach his target. He has to encounter many conflicts within the kinsmen, kings, ministers, peasants and Muslim warrior princess Ayesha (Genelia D'Souza) of the famed Arackal Sultanat. He has a forte, a legendary golden Urumi, which is made from the ornaments of women and children, who were burnt alive by Vasco da Gama. Kelu is supported by his childhood friend Vavvali (Prabhu Deva). How he creates his own army and starts movement against the first Colonial advance in India will form the crux of the film.

Santhosh Sivan should be applauded for his perfect casting and tapping out mind-blowing performance from each actor. Prithvi has delivered excellent acting and audience can not stop loving him. He just looks awesome in emotional and action sequences. As Vavvali, Prabhu Deva has done justice to his role. As Ayesha, Genelia's sword fight (kalaripayattu) scene are superb. Vidya Balan steals the heart of viewers with her item dance. Nithya Menon, Jagathy, Amol Gupte, Alex, Robin, Arya, and Tabu have also done justice to their roles.

The technical team of Urumi has done a wonderful job. Firstly, it is Deepak Dev, who has composed six excellent songs along with stunning background score. Song 'Arya Kidukki Aaranu Aaaranu...' is melodious. Locations, choreography and picturisation in all songs are wonderful. Action sequences composed by Anal Arasu are also one among the major highlights of the film. Shankar's dialogues, Ekta Lakhan's costume, Renjith's make up and Sreekar Prasad's editing are also commendable.

Finally, it can be said that Urumi is a great movie, which has excellent acting, awesome technical values. It is a must watch movie.

Producer: Shaji Natesan, Santhosh Sivan and Prithviraj

Director: Santhosh Sivan

Cast: Prithviraj, Genelia D'Souza Prabhu Deva, Vidya Balan, Nithya Menon, Jagathy, Amol Gupte, Alex, Robin, Arya and Tabu

Music: Deepak Dev

Rathinirvedam - Movie Review

Director T K Rajeev Kumar has taken the risk of remaking a cult classic like Rathinirvedam, which was made almost 35 years ago. Despite putting in a lot of effort in recreating sound technical values, the director's attempts seem to be falling flat. The movie seems to have failed to retain its past glory.

Rathinirvedam is a remake of the 1978 classic film with the same name, which deals with the lusty affair of a teenager with an older woman. The director has retained the basic theme of the original, but he has surely made every possible attempt in maintaining the taste of present generation.

Rajeev Kumar has made some deliberate attempts to show the time frame by using switches, cigarettes, car, scooter and magazines and few other things that were there in that age. Although his wardrobes for Rathi offer a lot of fantasy, it looks artificial and takes out the innocent charms of the character.

Pappu (Sreejith Vijay), who is an engineering student, comes home to spend his vacation. He develops a friendly relationship with his neighbour woman called Rathi Chechy. Smitten by her ample charm, his relationship turns into adolescent love. What happens next will form the crux of the story.

Shwetha Menon has delivered a wonderful performance in comparison with Jayabharathi. Shwetha appears to be much better than the demands of the character. But her skin show seems to be forced with deliberate camera shots intending to expose. Sreejith Vijay has delivered a natural performance and he is a treat to watch. The chemistry between Shwetha and Sreejith is good. Shammi Thilakan, KPAC Lalitha, Maniyan Pillai Raji, Undapakru, Maya and Shobha Mohan have also done satisfactory performances.

M Jayachandran's music is the major attraction in the technical front. His background score heightens the emotional quotient of the movie. His composition of songs is a feasting to the ears and song like 'Kannoram...' is worth listening. Samudra's choreography is a good match to its music. Manoj Pillai's camera work has added a lot to the beauty of the movie. B Ajith Kumar has done a good job in editing department.

Rathinirvedam may not be equal to the standards of the original, but it surely has its own moments and charms. Don't miss it to watch Shwetha Menon's glamour.

Producer  : Suresh Kumar

Director   : TK Rajeev Kumar

Cast         : Shwetha Menon, Sreejith Vijay, KPAC Lalitha, Shammi Thilakan, Maniyan Pillai Raji,                                  Undapakru, Maya and Shobha Mohan

Music       : M Jayachandran

Adaminte Makan Abu - Movie Review

As a travel consultant, Salim Ahamed watched hundreds of people passing by his desk. Now, he has brought one traveler's realistic story to the screen through the movie Adaminte Makan Abu. The story is simple and interesting. Although his lead characters are ugly, yet they are very appealing.

Adaminte Makan Abu is a family drama and Salim Kumar's excellent performance remains as the major attraction of the movie. Salim Ahamed has painted the sorrow and suffering of an elderly Muslim couple, who struggle to find money to fulfill their dream of going on pilgrimage to Haj.

Abu (Salim Kumar) goes about collecting money for his pilgrimage with his wife Aishumma’s (Zarina Wahab). He sells Unani medicines and athar that nobody wants. How he makes an humble and honest attempt to collect money for his Huj trip will form the crux of the movie.

The specialty of the film is that it has very little space for negativity or negative characters. Salim Kumar, who is known for his comedy, has appeared in a serious getup in Adaminte Makan Abu. He has delivered wonderful performance, which truly deserves the National award. Zarina Wahab, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Nedumudi Venu and Sasi Kalinga have also done justice to their respective roles.

Ramesh Narayan composed songs are good and Isaac Thomas and Kottukapally's background score surely heightens the effect of the story. Madhu Ambat has captured some of the shots in a very beautiful and convincing way. Vijay Shankar's editing work is also commendable.

Overall, director Salim Ahamed, who has penned story and screenplay, has created a masterpiece out of a simple story. His movie Adaminte Makan Abu is quiet engaging and entertaining, which truly deserves the National award. It is really worth watching.

Producer: Salim Ahamed, Ashraf Bedi

Director: Salim Ahamed

Cast: Salim Kumar, Zarina Wahab, Nedumudi Venu and Mukesh.

Music: Ramesh Narayan, Isaac Thomas and Kottukapally

Ninnishtam Ennishtam 2 Review

he finest moments in the sequel to Ninnishtam Ennishtam are over even before you realize it, the reason being that they pass by while the title credits are being shown right at the beginning of the film. And you see that wonderful song 'Ilam Manjin Kulirumayoru Kuyil' from the film that was released several years back.

About an hour later, you get to see that song again in this film, and you realize how terrible things have turned out to be. But first things first. Why does one even consider making a sequel to a film that was as done as done could possibly be?

We thought it was the end when Sreekuttan (Mohanlal) was stabbed in Ninnishtam Ennishtam. Who could have thought his nephew Sreekuttan (Suresh) would make an entry twenty five years later to fall in love with Chikku's (Priya) daughter? Well, not many, except the makers of this film.

So the film has been shot around the Sree Padmanabha temple in Trivandrum, where almost all those characters from the original film, including the fortune teller (Sukumari) and the palmist (Jagathy) still make their living. A few have passed away like the hotelier (Bobby Kottarakkara) and the street Kuthu player (KUthiravattom Pappu). The latter however has passed the baton on to his son, played by Suraj Venjarammoodu.

Twenty five years sound a short time, and this is perhaps the reason why the new Sreekuttan literally bumps into the heroine time and again before love strikes. Bumping was the in thing a few decades back, and there was something about being thrown off balance that would put Cupid up to some mischief. We thought those days were gone, but obviously we were wrong. So here, the guy keeps tripping over her, and each time he does, you hear a bunch of girls singing classical music in chorus.

There are several scenes from the original film that have been lent a Sepia tone to suggest that time has flown. But what is ironic is that the fresh scenes appear even more jaded and outdated. The story doesn't move an inch forward from where it had ended a few decades back. True, people have become old, and a new generation has come up, but how does that contribute to a story?

I need to specially mention the remix of the song 'Thumbapoo Kaatil Thaane Oonjaalaadi', that has to be seen to be believed. As if the song rendition wasn't terrible enough, you get to see one of the worst choreographed scenes in recent times, that mars even those sweet memories of the original song.

This sorry film would further add some bad name to the already maligned word 'sequel'. I am running scared already.

Orma Mathram Review

Orma Mathram is quiet almost to the point of being sleepy and wants you to fill in all the gaps in the narrative. It fills its mouth with too many things that it neither manages to chew nor swallow. 

Madhu Kaithapram's Orma Mathram is a film that stars off with a whole lot of promise, but ends up totally disoriented half way through. It has Dileep playing Ajayan, a clerk at an advocate's office, who takes up editing assignments as well to make both ends meet. Married to Safiya (Priyanka), he is happy and the couple decides not to have another child, since Deepu (Sidharth) their only son deserves all their unshared love.

And life is good, until Deepu goes missing one fine day. Thereafter, Ajayan's search for his lost son becomes as unsettled as the film itself. The few strands that had tied the tale together initially snap, and it lies scattered all over making lesser and lesser sense as the moments pass by.

The protagonist in Madhu Kaithapram's 'Orma Mathram' is at one point in the film, caught in a dilemma. He seeks advice from an astrologer, who tells him that an inter-caste marriage does no one any good. Unfortunately, the quandary that he has landed himself in makes him meekly lower his head in agreement.

Though it never actually takes a firm stance, the regressiveness in 'Orma Mathram' is quite apparent. For instance, abortion is an issue that it gravely concerns itself with. It goes hammer and tongs on the act, but substantiates its arguments with juvenile suggestions.

For one, we get to see a childless woman outside the clinic, who laments that God hasn't been kind to her. Intended to rake up pangs of regret in someone who has probably, very painfully decided to put an end to an unwanted and unintended pregnancy, she goes on and on. Furthermore, there are also subtle implications of a penalty in store.

Following the boy's disappearance, Orma Mathram puts itself on a trail behind Ajayan. Strangely Safiya disappears from the picture. Ajayan's journeys in search of his son keep him further away from home, and the film never dwells much on the couple thereafter. Loss is more of a man's issue here, and his failing eye sight further compounds Ajayan's trauma. The climax, is once again one that cleverly pays no heed to Safiya and when you think of it, its neither an end nor a new beginning.

Technical aspects of the film are nothing much to be discussed about. But the background score is one that juts out like an uneven rock throughout the film, that makes you trip over it time and again.

Dileep is strictly okay as Ajayan, and perhaps the role held much more promise on paper than in the way it has eventually unfurled on screen. Priyanka is a natural performer, who does have a couple of moments in the film. Sidharth, the young actor, leaves a mark.

Orma Mathram is quiet almost to the point of being sleepy and wants you to fill in all the gaps in the narrative. It fills its mouth with too many things that it neither manages to chew nor swallow. 

Veettilekkulla Vazhi Review

Veetilekkulla Vazhi (The Road Home) probes into the by now familiar and much discussed issue of terrorism, and in doing so doesn't really break any new ground.
As it stands however, it remains a commanding statement on the worthlessness of wars fought in the name of religion. 

I remember having read somewhere that there are just a handful of stories in this world. You tell them once, and then everything that is left is just retelling. And yet, a few manage to grab our attention by the way they express themselves, and you feel you have never heard this one before. Veetulekkula Vazhi is one such film that makes you want to believe in it, though in parts.

Here is a doctor without a name (Prithviraj), who takes upon himself a strange task - that of delivering a young boy to his father, who doesn't even know he has a son. The father happens to be a dreaded terrorist Tariq, and the doctor has his own reasons for embarking on this voyage.

The message that the film carries is loud and clear. There is no ambiguity about it at all, and in no time does it state that the hate in the world is without a reason. There is even an argument between the doctor and Razaq (Indrajith), a terrorist, on the futility of it all. Razaq cuts it short with a remark that this discussion is headed nowhere, and its better hence that they stopped bickering over it.

The film could very easily qualify for a road movie in that it starts off at Kerala, moves to Delhi, and then to Rajasthan - to Pushkar, Ajmer, Jaisalmer and finally Ladakh. The journey is a strenuous one, and at a point the heat gets the better of the doctor and he falls down exhausted. At the end of it all, he finds himself at another end of this remarkable country where the chilliness seeps into his bones as he sits in wait.

One cannot be beguiled however by the vast expanses of Ladakh though. The blemishes are there as well, and some very jarring ones at that. At the centre of them all, is the astonishment that everyone that the doctor runs into expresses, on his extraordinary act of kindness, that eventually sounds like an effort to dab a few subtle touches of heroism over the protagonist.

There are also attempts to deliberately explain the obvious like in the scene where a terrorist opens up a football to let us have a peek at the bomb inside it. Dragging in Orhan Pamuk into the picture, and telling the boy an uncharacteristically philosophical bedtime story that should have sapped him out further are other frail spots on this film.

Prithvi delivers a restrained performance in Veetulekkulla Vazhi, and adds up another film that's worth a mention in his repertoire. Indrajith in a few scenes proves yet again, what a charming actor he is, while Govardhan, the five year old actor matches up in talent with both of them. Uday Chandra who plays the Baba in the desert should not be missed as well.

M J Radhakrishnan's frames are undoubtedly the best thing about the film. The picturesque landscape of a spectacular land has been marvelously captured on film, thereby making Veetilekkulla Vazhi a visual delight. There is also the soulful background score by Pandit Ramesh Narayan that lends a further polish to the film.

Veetilekkulla Vazhi (The Road Home) probes into the by now familiar and much discussed issue of terrorism, and in doing so doesn't really break any new ground.
As it stands however, it remains a commanding statement on the worthlessness of wars fought in the name of religion.


Salt ‘N’ Pepper movie review

Salt ‘N’ Pepper

Release date: 08/07/2011
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
Director: Aashiq Abu
Produced by: Lucsam Cinema
Script: Syam Pushkaran, Dileesh Nair
Cast: Lal, Asif Ali, Swetha Menon, Mythili
Cinematography: Shyju Kahild
Music Director: Bijibal
As Fresh As a Flower!!..

Salt ‘N’ Pepper is not for everyone.  If a nonstop funny entertainer is what you expect, chances are that you get disappointed with Aashiq Abu’s latest attempt most probably. This is not a swashbuckling mega movie event of the year. But in case you are just fed of watching the run of the old mill types and searching for something different very badly, this is just the right one for you.
For a change we don’t have villains here, no guns and fights, no punch dialogues, not even a handsome hero and a cute lover. Instead, you have an archeologist who suffers from midlife crisis (Lal) and a dubbing artist who is in to her 30’s (Swetha Menon). However they have two things in common. They are still not married and they have a passion for great food. And how this common passion connects them as well as their friends (Asif and Mythili) forms up the story.
The film’s major strength lies in its dialogues; a highly ignored department in Malayalam cinema, which calls for the highest attention in fact. You can degrade a good script to average, an average one to below average just by out of date and predictable dialogues which is a common sight in our industry. And you can bring life to an average story with innovative dialogues which exactly happens in the case of Salt ‘N’ Pepper. There is not a single dialogue you got tired of listening a million times before, nor a single scene you are familiar with.
Sharp and careful editing right from the word go till the very end, makes salt N Pepper an amazing visual experience. Add Shaiju Kahlid’s brilliant cinematography and outstanding background score to that, Salt ‘N’ Pepper turns real tasty for those who have an eye for details.
In acting department, everyone does their bit. Lal and Swetha are proven, established actors; the roles of Kalidasan and Maya respectively are just pieces of cakes for them. Asif Ali once again makes you smile with his charming presence. We all know he can excel as the boy next door, which he has proved yet again. But its time he starts looking ahead for more challenging roles. Probably he is trying to settle down first, but should not limit himself in the process by just doing the same stuff again and again. The real surprise has been Baburaj however, who easily steals the show in a never seen before avatar.
Salt ‘N’ Pepper may not go down as a trend setter, but this is definitely a foot forward in the right direction and an inspiring one for aspiring film makers. And it could help in breaking the conservative mindsets of our beloved film makers who still live in the 1980’s, hopefully.