Pulimurugan Malayalam Movie Review

By chance, happened to read an interview on the eve of director Vysakh's much hyped and publicized movie Pulimurugan's release wherein the director categorically rejects his movie belonging to a mass masala movie in the league of a Narasimham or a Ravanaprabhu with heavy punch dialogues appearing every now and then. As per Vysakh, Pulimurugan is more of a film suitable for the family audience and at the same time one that can appease the hardcore fans of Mohanlal.

After watching the movie, the impression that I got is something justifying the statements of the director only partially as the film is heavy on the mass side giving a glorified picture of its title protagonist. The film has its share of negatives and has cliches on the narrative side but where it scores is on the action side and for that Peter Hein the action director and of course Mohanlal who at this age too has put in enormous efforts to make the stunts look so effortless deserve a round of applause.

Set in a dense forest area called Puliyoor where Pulimurugan is the man the people reach out to whenever tigers are on the prowl creating casualties on the human side. Born and brought up under the toughest of condition, Murugan has this exceptional skill in fighting the wild animal. How he does that and how some uninvited guests becomes his nemesis is narrated in the film.

Its a treat for the diehard followers of the superstar who will be a satisfied lot seeing the actor doing some breathtaking action sequences. Where the film could not make an impression is on the family life of Murugan that was plain irritating and boring creating a feel that acted as a speed breaker. Had these portions been trimmed, it would have made a big difference.

Mohanlal appear in the title protagonist role and as far as acting is concerned its not a challenging one but where he needed his contributions were on the action side. For a man of his age, it was something really commendable executing those difficult steps brilliantly directed by Peter Hein. The character that Kamalini Mukherjee plays as that of Murugan's better half was plain annoying displaying the same set of emotions all the time. It was the result of a badly written role for her with poorly sketched dialogues that did the damage.

On the supporting side, Lal, Telugu actor Jagapathy Babu, Suraj Venjaramodu and Kishore were the notable ones. Siddhique and Makarand Deshpandey didn't get anything meaty to display their acting skills.

The visual beauty of nature as the entire story happens inside a forest has been brilliantly captured by the cameraman. Gopi Sunder's background score gave a major face-lift to the movie and the songs were also quite good especially the lullaby that appear in the beginning. The song sung by Yesudas was also a melodious one worth hearing a second time. Editing was sharp especially on the action sequences but the overall length could have been pruned a little.

As I said, Pulimurugan is a movie for the hardcore fans who will accept it with both hands seeing their star doing heavy action and also doing his traditional twirling of his mustache on several occasions. With lot of thrilling moments with good support from the technical side and at the same time with a predictable and weak storyline, the movie can be enjoyed provided the expectation is slightly brought down.

Rating - 3 / 5

Thoppil Joppan - Malayalam Movie Review

A certain template which is all too familiar is followed in all of his movies. I am talking about director Johny Antony whose latest flick Thoppil Joppan has just hit the big screen. Joining hands with Mammootty again, which is their fourth movie as a combination, Thoppil Joppan is an entertainer trying to cash in on some of the memorable Achaayan avatars of the megastar which are quite popular and successful except a very few. But being too formulaic and with a less inspiring screenplay, the movie end up just as a passable one.

The story revolves around the title protagonist who has a failed romantic story behind him. Starting in a flashback mode, the plot unravel through Joppan, his family and close friends who all try their best in getting a suitable girl for him by any means. But things are not that easy as said as Joppan who is still unable to erase memories of his past love interest is stubborn in his decision to not enter into a wedlock. Rest is all about how Joppan is lured by his close ones to change his mind.

Mammootty's Achaayan roles except a few have always been lively movies and their main success can be attributed to the fondness of the audience for such characters when he is doing it. All these successful films be it Kottayam Kunjachan or Oru Maravathoor Kanavu or Sangham for that matter have been highly effective due to the humor, slang and style that the actor has brought into it.

Here in Thoppil Joppan too, the director has tried to be safe by handing him a character with the shades and similarities of those roles Mammootty has done in the past. Humor and heroism is the main ingredient through which the story unfolds and it has some good moments in parts to laugh and cheer. But with an uninspiring and familiar looking screenplay, the movie does not end up as an outright entertainer but at the best an average movie.

There is no target audience for this movie as the fans and the family and anyone who wants to try something that is primarily an entertainer can give it a shot provided you are not averse in watching the same old thing in the same old format with little bit of changes. Johny Antony has used his all too familiar style in dealing with the comedy part and it is pretty much the same in other areas of the movie too. At times, the script just wander aimlessly but here again the relief comes in the form of average jokes which provide little dose of fun.

Mammootty effortlessly plays and fits into the title character. Joppan's character is an easy one for him considering the numerous roles he has portrayed on similar mould in his long and illustrious career. Mamtha Mohandas is Maria, one of the female leads out of the two. She was lively and quite good in that role. Andrea Jeremiah the other heroine was okay but the role was too short to make a strong presence. Renji Panicker in a less prominent role made his presence felt while Jude Anthony to put it straight was plain annoying.

Alencier Lay, Saju Navodaya, Sohan Seenulal and Sreejith Ravi are the gang of friends around Joppan and they provided good fun and did their part for the drama to unfold in the right direction. Salim Kumar and his comedy in his trademark style was a major highlight of Thoppil Joppan and it was good to see the actor doing a humorous role after a long gap. Kaviyoor Ponnamma and Harisree Asokan are also part of the onscreen proceedings. Music is by Vidyasagar which was nowhere close to his standards.

The movie is an entertainer providing occasional fun only and just about manages to get the passmark. Anyone who doesn't mind watching a subject that has been presented in different formats in many movies earlier might find it to their liking. Old wine in old bottle, thats the bottom line about Thoppil Joppan.

Rating - 2.5 / 5