School Bus Malayalam Movie Review

There is a scene in this film where Jayasurya's character Joseph says to his wife Aparna that had his son talked with him the problem the boy was facing it would have helped to solve every issue. The immediate following dialogue by Aparna had a feel of regret in her as she convey a sort of a failed mother since her son didn't discuss with his parents the problem that was taking a toll on him.
Rosshan Andrews combine with script writing duo of Bobby and Sanjay in School Bus, a movie primarily targeted at the parents of today. Communication and direct talk in a family is something that is eluding the homes these days. Rosshan through this film stress the importance of communication and talking within family so that problems are solved by talks and discussion rather than taking the issue to outside world for resolving them.
There is nothing new in the story but the intention to pass a very relevant message to parents deserve a special applause. Though there are some takeaways for parents, School Bus is also partly a children's film narrated through kids and at the same time involving parents too in the process.
Joseph and Aparna are husband and wife and they have two kids Anjo and Angelina. One incident in the school involving the kids blow out of proportion and the story shared by Rosshan Andrews with his scripting team of Bobby Sanjay explore how the issue is settled.
The film has a convincing and pretty interesting first half that primarily discuss the family issues of Joseph and Aparna. The couple are finding it tough to adjust mutually. Along with their family life, School Bus travel to Trinity International School where the kids Anjo and Angelina are studying. As I said, the first half is decently portrayed making it believable.
The second half takes a complete U turn from the pre-interval session. Though the idea was good and it had good scope to do an extra bit on the technical aspects, the incidents shown in these stages were a bit unconvincing and somewhat unbelievable.
Not saying it was too bad, but I felt an exaggerated narrative in the screenplay in the final one hour. It was as if things were forced to create a sort of thrilling feel along with some suspense thrown in.
Jayasurya played Joseph without any trouble at all. Yet another winning act making the character of Joseph who is egoistic and arrogant more convincing and impressive to us. Aparna Gopinath as Aparna was okay. Kunchacko Boban appear as a police officer in the second half and he did his part without any fuss.
Kids are the real stars of School Bus. Though what they talked had a dramatic appeal and at times sounded more than their ages, the performance factor cannot be ignored. Akash Muraleedharan and Angelina Rosshan are the two kids who played Anjo and Angelina respectively and out of the two, the girl was better.
Sudheer Karamana was only there for couple of scenes but I should say that his emotional scene with Jayasurya was a touching one helped mostly by the actor's input. Nandu as the subordinate police officer was quite good.
Camera work by acclaimed cinematographer Muraleedharan.C.K was a major bonus for School Bus and provided a facelift. The scenes inside the forest was shot brilliantly with nice visual effects. Gopi Sundar's background score gave the momentum and feel and it was apt for each and every scene. A film under two hours, School Bus is neatly edited without affecting the total flow. Sound design especially from the halfway mark was commendable.
I wouldn't say the film is a must watch but for the message it tries to convey, parents can give it a shot. For others along with kids, I would say what that started as a simple film looks more of a complex one in the end. An average experience for me and going with two and a half out of five for Rosshan Andrews's School Bus.
Rating - 2.5 / 5

RGV's Veerappan REVIEW

The one notable thing that you get to know after watching Veerappan is that director Ram Gopal Varma still hasn't regained that magic touch in him that once made him an acclaimed director of Bollywood. Veerappan is by far one of the better works from RGV in the recent past but still the film that starts very promisingly makes you exhausted and literally tired in the end. A messy work from the director that goes too much out of the way in presenting the life of the dacoit.
Veerappan, the dreaded dacoit who ruled the dense forests of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu is brought to life on the big screen by RGV through this film that has compromised on some areas taking cinematic liberty and at the same time deviating from facts.
Operation Cocoon in 1984 was launched by the Special Task Force to nab Veerappan and this film tells how it was planned and executed though it has deviated on how the man was persuaded to travel in an ambulance. In the real scenario, it was medical treatment while RGV has mixed some masala by bringing in LTTE leader V.Prabhakaran as a mention without showing him.
Ramu definitely has done some homework here in making the film look decent. But from an audience standpoint, the amount of violence mostly in the form of how the notorious Sandalwood smuggler kills and chops his abductors and police officers through guns and axes takes a heavy toll. In the end, we feel too tired. Atleast for me it was such a case.
I am not complaining that there is a case of excess violence in Veerappan the film. If I do that, I would be a fool since the story of this man for whom blood and life of people is nothing has violence written all over it. So naturally things demanded such a detailing but RGV has gone an extra step in portraying them so gruesome making it look too gory.
Sandeep Bharadwaj portrayed the character of Veerappan and it was a brilliant effort conveying the various mannerisms that the real Veerappan had. In terms of looks, body language and apperance, Sandeep the actor was a perfect choice for the role.
Sachin Joshy was a disappointment with his blunt act as the STF officer. Lisa Ray as widow of a police officer was far from convincing with her dubbing going haywire. Usha Jadhav played Muthulakshy, wife of Veerappan with flair and vigour making it looked nice on screen.
Cinematography was as usual in RGV's recent flicks was a pain in the eyes. Background score was too noisy and annoying and should have been better.
Cannot imagine this is the man who made such cult films like Sarkar, Company and Satya struggling to get a grip over film direction. Its two out of five for Ramu's Veerappan. The only saving grace was Sandeep Bharadwaj and to an extent Usha Jadhav without whom the film would have been a disaster. Thumbs down again to RGV.
Rating - 2 / 5