More than anything else, fate is the biggest antagonist in the life of the lead pair, says Sudheer Karamana's voice over in Ennu Nintay Moideen.
Moideen and Kaanchana from what we have read and heard about is a case of divine and true love. Kaanchana in a way is a living martyr who has sacrificed a good portion of her life to the man whom she loved more than anyone else. Ennu Nintay Moideen based on true incidents woven around the two characters dating back to the sixties is a honest and sincere attempt to portray the relationship between two evergreen lovers Moideen and Kanchana.
The story is set in Mukkam and is pretty the same thing shown in the documentary where Kaanchana and Moideen from different religion fell in love. The documentary says it is the story of Kaanchana who dedicated herself to the memory of Moideen.
At a time when the orthodox lifestyle was ruling the roost, a Muslim youth and a Hindu girl hailing from wealthy, respected and powerful families of that time fell in love and had to face the wrath of their family members who opposed their divine relationship tooth and nail. They desperately wanted to unite and waited for that day.
"Jalam Kondu Murivettaval" is the documentary directed by R.S.Vimal and Ennu Nintay Moideen is a cinematic version of what is narrated in the documentary by real Kaanchana Maala. Written and directed by Vimal himself, ENM is an intense movie that will touch you, makes you nostalgic if you have loved someone at some point of your life (I am sure you have) and takes you to that era of the past.
Those who have seen the documentary will know that apart from Kaanchana, Moideen's brother Rasheed comes up with his memories in the documentary and endorses the dedicated love of Kanchana for Moideen and the other way also. But in the movie, I could not find a reference of Rasheed anywhere. Correct me if I am wrong.
Director Vimal who himself has written the screenplay deserves all credit to make the real incident look less dramatic on screen. Dialogues had the needed feel at most of the places. The one at the stroke of halfway mark in the talk between Moideen and the girl's elder brother, confrontation between Moideen and his father on more than one occasion are ample proof of the quality in dialogues and screenplay.
Coming to the performances, no one needs to be specifically mentioned since the director was able to extract the best out of every actor who played a major part. Still it will be unfair if I don't pick some of my personal favourites in the movie whose performances which I was more impressed with.
Prithviraj as Moideen is right at the top of my list putting up a very matured and intense performance that definitely deserves a place among the top five performance of the actor. Parvathy played a perfect foil to Pritvi as Kaanchana.
Saikumar as Unni Moideen Haji and Lena as his wife are two other notable actors who were very impressive. Tovino Thomas too has a role that can be ranked as the best one of his short acting career. Sivaji Guruvayoor as Kaanchana's uncle had a memorable role to play while Bala too had a well written character at his disposal along with Sudheer Karamana.
Jomon.T.John's camera work perfectly blended with the film with some of the shots being topclass ones. Edits by Mahesh Narayanan was smooth. Another major contributing factor for the movie to provide the feel of each and every moment is Gopi Sundar's well orchestrated BGM. Songs tuned by M Jayachandran and Ramesh Narayanan were good ones and how they were pictured deserves special mention. Also the art department have done their job of taking us back to an era which is unfamiliar to most of us.
In a nutshell, a real magical love story gets a perfect depiction on screen. ENM is a truly remarkable piece of work from R.S Vimal and his talented team. My rating is four out of five.
Rating - 4 / 5
More than anything else, fate is the biggest antagonist in the life of the lead pair, says Sudheer Karamana's voice over in Ennu Nintay Moideen.
Subhash Ghai directed Hero with Jackie Shroff and Meenakshi Sheshadri in lead roles. This happened way back in the eighties. Now Nikhil Advani try to recreate the same film with a moden outlook. But the writing with poor dialogues in a listless screenplay doesn't do any good for the film other than giving the the lead pair of Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty a launchpad in Bollywood. Its not a perfect launching pad but still the couple do gets noticed for their reasonably good performance.
The story is the same that was shown in the original Hero with little changes. Radha is the daughter of IG Shrikanth Mathur. Radha is kidnapped by Sooraj, a goon at the behest of underworld don Pasha. But the couple fall in love pretty quickly and the movie portray the struggles of these young romantic pair to cement their relationship inspite of the tough stance taken against this relationship by their parents.
Actually Radha's dad is investigating a case involving Pasha while Sooraj is the foster son of Pasha. This makes things more tough for the boy and girl to unite.
Nikhil Advani while remaking the movie added more melodrama into the scenes that backfired. The dialogues didn't gell well with the scenes and performances apart from the newbies were below par. Towards halfway mark, it was okay for a watch but thereafter only boredom was there in sight.
Sooraj Pancholi (Son of Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab) delivered in the action sequences and also in dancing. On the emoting side, there are scope for improvement but being a debutant, it was acceptable with the performance put up here.
Athiya who is the daughter of actor Sunil Shetty also doesn't make a bad debut though as an actress she has miles to go. It is to be remembered here that Jackie Shroff and Meenakshi Sheshadri were overnight stars after Hero released but the same success for the modern stars is unlikely to happen though both Sooraj and Athiya were sincere with their efforts.
Aditya Pancholi as Pasha was less menacing with his looks and dialogue delivery. Tigmanshu Dhulia was just about okay as IG and dad of Radha. Vivan Bathena as a late entrant as the antagonist was the better actor among the supporting casts. Though he appear very late in the film, he was able to make a mark.
The only solace in an otherwise lacklustre movie is the way action and dance sequences are choreographed. Cinematography was okay while edits were too sloppy. Background score was notable. Songs which were tuned by Laxmikant-Pyarelal duo were chartbusters those days but in the remake songs could not make much of an impression.
Overall, the new version of Hero other than giving the lead pair gets noticed from the industry bigwigs doesn't have anything fresh to tell. Recycling story from a distant past to the modern day life had an outdated feel. With a less inspiring presentation, bad direction and over the top drama, Hero fails to provide wholesome entertainment as a romantic action movie. Rating for the movie is two out of five.
Rating - 2 / 5
Even with a tight screenplay with lots of classy one liners and powerful dialogues (that too with the "f" word repeated countless times), what makes Black Mass really special is a spellbinding performance from Johnny Depp. The film narrating the true story of one of the most notorious gangster in American history makes you sit in awe and appreciate the style in which it has been presented.
The story revolves around James Whitey Bulger played by Depp's character who is the kingpin behind many crimes and exortions in the City of Boston. Whitey has a brother named Billy Bulger who happens to be a Senator. Whitey acting as an informant, with the help of his FBI friend John Conolley helps the police to catch many mafia dons who were basically his foes. The turning of Whitey as an informant basically had some hidden agenda in it. The events that unfolded after this forms the basic crux of Black Mass.
The pace of the movie is sluggish but every now and then Depp arrives on screen to enlighten the proceedings. More of a performance oriented film tracking the criminal track history of a dreaded gangster, Black Mass would have been a great film if the screenplay had taken more care in presenting the supporting characters with more screen presence rather than focusing entirely on Whitey Bulger.
On the performance side, Johnny Depp is at his vintage best. Looking stylish, he was able to create a sort of fear in us with a mesmerising effort. For me, James Whitey Bulger is one of his best characters to date.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Whitey's brother was upto the task but in a film largely focusing on the chief character of Whitey, the actor could not make much of a presence. Joel Edgerton as FBI agent Conolley was a good casting who inspite of remaining in the shadow of Depp throughout the film was able to make a reasonably good impact. Rest of the actors were good but as I said they were mostly overshadowed.
Overall, with a powerful performance from the lead actor and good direction from Scott Coopper, this biography works well as a crime film portraying the criminal life of a real person. I am giving three and a half out of five for Black Mass.
Rating - 3.5 / 5
Director Nikhil Advani close on the heels of his last venture Hero has another film to his credit releasing back to back. This time the theme he has chosen is love, break ups and live-in relationships. Seems the director is obsessed with his very first work Kal Ho Na Ho. There are no similarities in a broader view but the things that unfold in Katti Batti towards the latter stages in the movie has a remixed feel of KHNH.
Katti Batti is the story of Maddy who falls in love with Paayal while they are in college. Later they have a five year live-in relationship that suddenly gets broken. The film show the romantic side of their relationship apart from dwelling on the reason for the break-up between the young couples.
To put it straightaway, direction and screenplay is an unconvincing one. It doesn't make you bored but there is nothing exciting or anything to ignite excitement in the movie. The romance and to an extent the comedy side worked in parts along with some finer moments until that latter stages and the climax showing the reason that led to the separation of Maddy and Payal moving in a cliched zone which made the film loose out.
Both Imran Khan (who is making a comeback after a small gap of two years) and Kangana Ranaut are good actors especially the latter whose filmy carrier has two phases; Pre Queen stage and post queen stage . True to their potential, they have done their job but to be fully convincing in their roles, the characters demanded much more detailing from the writing department. Still inspite of these odds, their onscreen chemistry was perfect.
Vivan Bhatena inspite of an extended cameo as the antagonist made a big mark in Hero lose out here and couldn't make any impression largely due to the uneven screen presence. Rest of the actors do not have anything much to do nor do they come into the picture regularly.
For me the biggest positive from the film is Shankar Ehsaan Loy's music. Though the songs have close resemblance with the music they give, still they are worth hearing for their peppy tunes and rendition by the singers. Cinematography was quite good to give a rich and cool feel with each and every frame.
Not a smooth and fresh love story is Katti Batti. With a cliched treatment and uninspiring climax, the movie cannot make you connect with the characters of Madhav and Paayal though Imran and Kangana who portrayed these characters did their best all for a loosing cause.
At best it could be an average watch with the least of expectation but for me it was below that mark. My rating for Nikhil Advani's Katti Batti is two out of five.
Rating - 2 / 5
A virtual snowy and mountainous experience on screen, thats what sums up the movie experience for me after watching Everest. With breathtaking visuals, here is something that literally makes you feel as if you are actually on top of the mountain in a snowy and windy atmosphere.
The last time a similar experience but a different one from the Everest was created is in the movie Gravity. Not comparable but both of them takes us to an altogether new experience; one of them transported us to the space while the other took us to another terrain, the mountains of Everest.
The film is based on a true incident that happened way back in 1996 where two groups goes on an expedition to the ultimate trekking experience for a mountaineer,The Everest. Though they started their mission separately, at some point of time, they have to unite for the successful completion of reaching the summit of the Everest.
Everest basically explore the journey of the team, the trauma they had to face battling adverse and unfavourable conditions on the climate front.
Since the film is based on a real incident, too much drama is missing from the narration. Still the makers are successful in maintaining the right amount of balance between real story mixed with the emotional aspects to make the audience experience what they see on screen as a cinema without compromising on real facts.
The best part is of course the first half of the movie where we are shown in detail about the expedition to the top of Everest passing through different phases and camps. It is almost a learning experience and more of an informative piece and the second half where the return journey from top is presented with more emotions without drama.
Jason Clarke as Rob Hall, leader of one of the expedition group was a perfect casting. The guy had it in him the attributes required for the character. Rest of the actors were equally upto the challenge of presenting their respective roles look well on screen.
Whatever that is shown as the backdrop whether in CGI or real stuff is topclass and makes you stunned. Some of the helicopter shots if I am correct are a visual treat in every sense. Another notable aspect is the sound design. Cinematography was brilliant especially the night scenes with the right colour tone and lighting while edits were perfect. Same with the background score also.
On a lighter side, for the Indian audience there is something to laugh at. While the story is based on a real incident of 1996, there is a scene when the team start assembling from various points through road, we can hear a song from the Hindi movie K3G (released in the year 2001)in a bus.
Overall, there is nothing much contentwise but the movie provide an experience that needs to be watched on the big screen itself. The strength, the courage, the determination and the feelings of the mountain climbers have been shown with utmost sincerity, care and perfectionism that deserves a good round of applause. So, my rating for Everest is four out of five.
Rating - 4 / 5
With an interesting storyline and some good twists at some vital junctures, Yatchan had everything in it for a wholesome entertaining experience. But with predictability looming large over the entire second half and a somewhat uninspiring climax, the movie though watchable settle itself as an average one.
Chinna (Arya) a goon hails from Thoothukudy is a hardcore Thala fan. He is forced to move to Chennai due to some bizarre turn of events. There is a parallel story where Karthik who wants to be an actor also comes to Chennai after being pushed by his girlfriend. In a life turning incident, they end up in a precarious situation. The film show how they overcome the present situation and how they come out of the mess they are in.
Director Vishnuvardhan has tried to mix fun and humour in a plot that has few surprises for the audience. Action also has a good presence in the overall scheme of things. Its a mix of everything tried by the director and he has succeeded in that partially. There is a supernatural factor playing a part in the film that has been written quite lamely and lacks conviction.
Dialogues are witty and the treatment of the screenplay is handled in an unconventional manner. The storyline itself is quite interesting but the movie could not sustain the curiosity till the very end as the story runs out of steam at the half way stage. May be if the predictability factor was lessened especially while approaching the finishing line, the results could have been different.
Arya didn't do anything exceptional but made sure the character of Chinna is a lively one. The screenplay had more share of prominence and scope for Kreshna but somehow Arya made sure his part didn't get pushed down because of that. Kreshna was okay as Karthik. Among the female leads, Swati Reddy was the better one as she outshone Deepa Sannidi by miles. Thamby Ramaiah with a character that has an element of humour in it didn't disappoint while Adil Hussain as the antagonist couldn't create much of an impact.
Songs tuned by Yuvan were just about okay and a reasonably good background score. Good cinematography to give a pleasing feel to our eyes.
Overall, I would say Yatchan just about manage to score the pass mark. A one time watchable average movie that had something interesting to say but the way it was told and how everything culminate in the end is a slight disappointment. I am going with two and a half out of five for the movie.
Rating - 2.5 / 5