Dangal Movie Review


Well, the apparent disappointment of not able to watch a Mollywood film this Christmas and new year season for obvious reasons has been put to shelves, thanks to Aamir Khan and Co through a terrific and brilliant movie in the form of Dangal. This is one movie which has earned its place to be called a masterpiece on all counts. Carrying a heavy burden of expectations on its shoulders, Dangal serves to appeal to every class of audience irrespective of the age factor and genre preference.

I was thinking before the release about how Dangal is going to make it count and sustain at the box office when a similar movie dealing with the sport of Wrestling in the form of Sultan hit cinemas and went on to taste success. But the similarities just end up there. The stories are totally different and poles apart even though both deal with wrestling. Sultan was more of a fictional story having prominence for romance and thrills, Dangal is more of a biopic on real life characters.

Dangal is the story of Mahavir Singh Phogat hailing from Haryana who was a national wrestling champion turned coach. He wanted to represent the country and win a gold medal. Fate had other plans as Mahavir could not realize his dream but he retain the ambition of achieving his dream through his son. There also fate played its part as to his disappointment the man is blessed with four girl childs. Whether Mahavir can achieve his long cherished goal is the big question and Dangal the movie show what happens next.

Bollywood has a special preference for sports biopics. Movies like Chak De India, Budhia Singh, Mary Kom, Baagh Milka Baagh and Iqbal are all ample testimony to the fondness the industry has towards this genre. Each of these movies were able to make a deep bonding and instant connection with the audience. Dangal also is also on a similar terrain, if not much more than them.

Its an all out Aamir Khan show with excellent support from his co-actors but a movie cannot taste success unless it is backed by beautiful presentation and exciting screenplay. It is here that Dangal score the perfect rank or the full marks to take it to another level. Singh is King says our professional boxing hero Vijender Singh but in a movie, to be effective and successful, i would say writing is the King.

Director Nitesh Tiwari who is in terrific touch here along with his writers have been able to come up with a special film, by far the best to come out of Bollywood for a long time. In fact the director has set a new bench mark as far direction goes surpassing some best movies. Chillar Party, Bhootnath Returns are some of the movies to Nitesh's credit and he has made Dangal an exceptional and outstanding film.

Geeta Kumari and Babita Kumari's exploits at the Commonwealth Games representing the country is a known and familiar thing to the people loving and following this sport. Now it is a matter of how their story is going to be executed. The big question that will be raised is, has the movie done justice to their story with less predictability and ample excitement as a movie? Well, the answer is pretty simple and straightforward, Dangal has more than lived up to the hype with a near perfect film and is a pure must watch and a clear winner.

He is called Mr.Perfectionist by his ardent fans and followers and the media too has only golden words to describe his credentials as an actor and the the film that Aamir chooses. The role of a perfectionist is to ensure that the standards set by him is maintained every time he is out there, no matter what the role he is enacting. Aamir Khan has just done that.

A brilliant display of acting where each and every scene has this perfection in such a way that we cannot pick a scene which is the best since each and every scene that the actor is part of is done in remarkable fashion. The transformation he has done to his body to show different phase of his life is truly laudable.

Even though we can see Aamir Khan claiming bulk of the screen presence, few actors in spite of his towering presence still made it count and made performances which are truly memorable. The first and foremost among them are the two people who played Geeta Kumari, the eldest of the four daughters of Mahavir. The little girl who portrayed Geetha's younger days was upto the task. It is Fathima Sana Shaikh who is the chosen one to play Geeta when she is in her youth and believe me she was simply awesome with her acting as well as fighting skills. I think she is a real wrestler and if not have taken time and efforts to learn the sport.

Same goes for Sanya Malhotra playing Babita Kumari bringing in lot of freshness to the role. The girl who portrayed the little Babita too was noteworthy. The guy who played cousin brother to the girls as well as the actress (Sakshi Tanwar) who did the role of Mahavir's wife too deserves a word of mention here though their roles were quite small.

Cinematography is excellent while the cuts were perfect. One can say that one hundred and sixty one minutes is on the higher side but never does the film makes you bored or for that matter overstay. Pritam has given soulful music with a local flavor. Background score also had the apt feel in it. Another notable area is the way in which all the fighting scenes (Wrestling) has been choreographed. Whoever has done it deserves a round of applause.

Dangal is one film that will make you weep and at the same time provide excitement, joy and inspiration by the time the final scene wrap up on screen. I would say it is a remarkable movie that is a must watch. Goosebumps started appearing when the climax of the movie was on display. Such was the feel and power that the movie had in its possession to win over the audience. Go and grab your tickets is the final word from me.

Rating - 5 / 5

Arrival Movie Review


Arrival is a smart Sci-fi movie that calls for quite a bit of thinking to do unlike the alien movies that we have seen. A certain level of complexity is there in the plot but that extra level of complication adds a different dimension to the movie enriching it with thrills, entertainment and surprises. The tag line of the movie goes like "Why are they here?" and Arrival for the major part of its two hours running time explore and try to find out the purpose of the uninvited guests in our part of the earth.

When huge spaceships touchdown at twelve different parts of the world, an elite team gets into action. Linguistics professor Louise Banks is hired by the US military to unravel the mystery behind the surprise visit of these aliens to earth. Louise and her team have a tough proposition as within a limited time frame and in the process risking their life, they have to try some methods to communicate with the extraterrestrial life to know why they are here. The whole world is waiting with anxiety as nothing is clear and the movie slowly gets its shape with some unexpected surprises in it.

The movie is quite different from the usual alien movies and gives a new meaning to the genre. Arrival moves at its own pace and is not a fully packed thriller. Still, it has entertainment value in it and is a highly thought-provoking one bringing in unexpected surprises which goes all the way in giving a fitting finale to the movie. The thrilling feel is provided in a different manner and with the backing of emotional power in the whole story, this movie directed by Denis Villeneuive is a smartly executed work.

What makes the Arrival a special film is that it could retain that mystery element behind the whole drama till the very end as nothing conclusive comes out through the communication between the two parties. Credit to the screenplay for retaining suspense and at the same time deliver the results through a balanced way of storytelling. Production values are at its best here. Background score and sound design have played a major part in boosting up the scenes to the level the makers wanted to showcase. Cinematography also is of high quality standards and is soothing for the eyes supported by brilliant visual effects especially in creating those misty backdrop when the aliens appear.

Though both Forest Whitaker as Colonel and Jeremy Renner as the physicist didn't have much to perform they do decent jobs in their respective characters in front of the camera. But in the end it is Amy Adams as Louise Banks who steals the show from everyone. She is the real star here in a brilliant performance with a character of troubled and disturbing mind going through lot of confusions within herself. All these dilemmas were very much evident in her facial expressions and body language.

As a Sci-fi movie, Arrival is special of a kind with a different approach to story telling and an unconventional treatment in presenting the alien stuff. Without any gimmicks and giving the story the ultimate control to drive the movie till the end, this movie is something you can watch without any inhibitions.

Rating - 4 / 5

Dear Zindagi - Review


"Do not allow your past to blackmail your present and ruin your future", says Dr.Jehangir Khan, a brain doctor / therapist which is the character that Shahrukh Khan plays in Dear Zindagi, the second feature film of Gauri Shinde. This movie asks us to say Hi to life as there are many inspiring words that tries to create a positive vibe throughout and succeeds. Dear Zindagi is a refreshing film, a beautiful one that makes you laugh and also cry towards the end, it is emotionally touching and makes you think to drive our life in the right way through the right path.

Life is a scrambled puzzle and someone like a therapist can pick the missing pieces of ones life and join it together and guide our life in the right direction. Thats what Dr.Jehangir Khan does to Kaira's life, the young protagonist in Dear Zindagi who is going through a rough patch not in her profession but in her attitude towards life. Kaira is a promising cinematographer trying to build a career in this field but her troubled childhood is casting a huge influence in her present life. She is sad, depressed and sleepless and the film show how she recover from that phase to a new one with the help of an individual who is curiously a brain doctor.

Shinde's movie is woven with little and precious moments blended with thought-provoking dialogues. At times the movie makes you laugh, then it makes you cry and sometimes it preaches, preaching in the right way and sometimes you are emotionally drained in the whole drama. The dimaag kaa doctor theory is a nice concept in reel and real life. If we need to remove our inner fears and anxieties from minds and if someone can help overcome those, then what is showcased in here calls for a serious look.

Though the film runs close to two and a half hours at a snail pace, there is steady flow without that element of boredom and that is a big plus for a movie like this which can go into a shell affecting the flow. Still a two hour movie for this theme would have been an ideal proposition. All the beautiful moments has something in it as takeaways for the audience and at the same time they have valid message in the whole scheme of things.

Both in English Vinglish and Dear Zindagi, the two movies directed by Gauri Shinde has the prime focus on two females but the comparison just ends there. The approach and the intention of both the films are poles apart but both of them successfully passes good and valid messages.

On the performance side, this one is ought to be the best of Alia Bhatt. She is on top of her acting and ensured that a connecting link is established between her character and the audience. That final scene with SRK which was the final session of the therapy that Kaira was undergoing with Dr. Jehangir was a class act in an overall brilliant acting in the movie. There are many other scenes where she has gone one step ahead of the script which was fully visible in each and every moment.

Now coming to SRK, well what should I say. It was a different Shahrukh we are witnessing to who has shed all his superstar image and perfectly fitted into the shoe of the dimaag kaa Doctor role. All the supporting actors were also given ample space to perform. Be it Kunal Kapoor, Angad Bedi or Ali Zafar or for that matter the two friends of Kaira played by Ira Dubeh and Yashwasini Dayama are able to make their presence felt even with little roles.

Music was breezy, cool and peppy. All the songs matched the situations and were perfectly timed. It was not a heavy background score and the same was done as per the mood and situations. Cinematography was done effectively and edits were fine.

Overall, Dear Zindagi is fine piece of work and it establishes Gauri Shinde as someone who could be trusted and relied upon with a second successful film that has every right in to be called a beautiful film sans any mass masala elements that one would normally witness in a superstar film.

Rating - 3.5 /5

Kahaani 2 - review


Remember Vidya Bagchi, the pregnant software engineer who came all the way from London to Kolkata in search of her missing husband? I am obviously referring to the character played by Vidya Balan in Sujoy Ghosh's Kahaani. The movie gets a rebirth in the form of another installment to the series. Kahaani 2 directed by the same man with Vidya Balan at the helm once again is not a sequel as such since the story, characters and backdrop is completely different from the first part of the franchise.

Talking about the latest of the Kahaani series, its gripping and engaging but less thrilling like the first part. The film is shredded with mystery, tension and suspense right from the beginning but the suspense element is revealed way too early making way for predictability in each and every scene from thereon. Still the film is watchable for its quality performance, good direction, unconventional camera work and thrilling background score and little bit of tweaking in the end towards twist.

SPOILER ALERT : The content written in this paragraph has certain aspects relating to the plot that can be spoilers and hence the advise here is to skip it and this apply to all those who are yet to watch the film. Vidya Sinha and her paralyzed daughter Mini are living a middle class life in Bengal when Mini is kidnapped and Vidya gets seriously injured in an accident. This makes way for Sub-inspector of police Inderjith Singh for doing the investigation. But things are not as easy as he imagined and the case goes through different angles bringing Durga Rani into the picture. What is Durga's role here and what is actually the case all about is what Kahaani 2 narrates.

Sujoy Ghosh has perfectly recreated the Bengal/Kolkata we know just like the first part. Major portions of the film is shot at night and has few surprises also on offer but the surprises and twist are less effective here unlike Kahaani the first one which was less predictable and was so intriguing with exceptional performances. The movie happens in the present and also goes to the flashback angle also. Scenes are mixed this way without affecting the overall flow making the gripping feel retained for a fair share of time till that big revelation happens.

Screenplay has its share of credit in giving the push so that no element of boredom creep in at any moment of time. There are tense moments created by this effective and focused screenplay that gives a good build-up to the story narrated through the present and flashback mode.

Vidya Balan is a great performer and if she gets a character that has substance in it, she is one actress who has the ability in her to go up a level and make that role brighter and shining. Its that case here in Kahaani 2 where the characters of Vidya Sinha / Durga Rani are structured neatly to give the actress something in it to perform and she has successfully enacted it in the best possible way.

Arjun Rampal as the investigating officer Inderjith Singh and Kharaj Mukherjee as his superior officer were the standout performers on the supporting side. Sujoy Ghosh who tried many unfamiliar Bengali actors successfully in the first part goes for the same pattern by choosing unfamiliar but good actors to do supporting roles. Jugal Hansraj, the blue eyed boy (of course not a boy anymore) with his chocolate looks of the late nineties and early part of 2000 is back in a small role that had the minimal stuff in it to make a performance that can stay in our mind.

Cinematography was similar and resembled how it was done in the first installment. Excellent and unorthodox camera work with a color pattern matching the mood and tone of the story. This genre demanded a gripping background score to give that perfect feel and the same was done as it needed. No songs in the movie with just one that appear right at the tail end of the film when things gets wound up.

If you are going to compare the movie with its predecessor, you are in for a slight disappointment but if the approach is to take the movie as a totally different one with no connection with the first part, then Kahaani 2 would be a watchable film providing relief in the form of good excitement and thrills.

Rating - 3 / 5


Ore Mugam - Malayalam Movie Review



Our fondness for campus based stories have paved the way for many directors in Mollywood to tell stories based on this genre. Many of those movies have went on to become boxoffice spinners as well as getting critical accolades. A recent movie with a campus tag Aanandam from Vineeth Sreenivasan camp directed by newcomer Ganesh Raj is still running to packed houses. Another debutant Sajith Jagadnandan tries his luck in Mollywood through Oremugham, a movie that was getting indefinitely postponed and finally reaching theaters after those delays.

Oremugham belongs to a thriller genre narrated in a campus backdrop. Now the next big and valid question is whether the movie can thrill you for the suspense and murder mystery. Also can the movie provide enjoyment and entertainment for the campus portion of the story. Sad to say, the feedback from my end based on the satisfaction I received after watching Oremugham is a No.

Agree that this movie is coming from a director who is new to the field trying to make a big mark and at the same time going through some tough times to ensure the movie reach the audience. Major problem that caused uneasiness in the viewing pleasure was the over dramatic feel created when the campus portion of the story is told. Bulk of the dialogues and the way it was acted with an artificial flavor was the chief architect that created a feel as if we were watching a stage drama.

On to the story which is told with the past and the present begins with the murder of Aravind Menon, a wealthy businessman and an NRI. The resulting murder investigation shift its focus to Zachariah Pothen and his younger days in the campus. Story is structured and narrated with both the flashback and present moments shown one after another and naturally there is the chance of confusions happening with many characters being actively involved in the plot.

The screenplay had its share of confusion in establishing a proper flow as it struggled to give a clear picture to the story to successfully give the plot outline a clarity. The murder part and the final revelations were decent enough but how the screenplay approached that with a big share of confusion is a major factor that pulled the trigger in pushing the movie to a below average level even though the overall plot was good enough.

The romantic angle in the story all happening inside the campus wasn't effective at all and was more of a speed breaker halting the pace of the movie. A half baked screenplay, bad performances and poor presentation did the major damage to the movie that had potential in it to turn out to be a promising movie. But the above-mentioned elements didn't allow the product to get a result that the makers wanted and in the end Oremugham end up on the losing side.

Coming to performances, the character of Zachariah Pothen demanded an actor who was strong enough on the acting side to create a big impact. With all due respect to Dhyan Sreenivasan, in my opinion he was left wanting and missing at many places. There is a saying in Malayalam which when converted means something like asking a butterfly to lift a big stone. Same thing I felt while Dhyan was performing as Zakariah Pothen who couldn't get into the skin of that character due to his own limitations as an actor.

Aju Varghese, Deepak Parambol and Arjun Nandakumar are the other actors who acted as the close friends of Zakariah Pothen and they were just okay. The two female leads Prayaga and Gayathri were not able to do something worthwhile to make their presence felt with the latter going too artificial with her dialogue presentation. Chemban Vinod, Devi Ajith, Renji Panicker, Maniyan Pilla Raju, Haresh Perady, Abhirami and Jewel Mary were the other actors belonging to the supporting side.

Cinematography and the color tone used in the movie to create that eighties feel was quite good. Same goes for the decent cuts. Bijibal is the man behind the music and BGM scene and they were reasonably good.

Here is a classic case of a movie that had the quality and ability in it to be a more better product but unfortunately end up far lesser than it should have. Some of you might find it interesting to a certain extent based on the little dose of surprises waiting for you in the end but for me it wasn't.

Rating - 2 / 5

Moana Review


Disney has come up again with a cute little and beautiful entertainer in the form of Moana, an adventurous journey narratted through a beautiful island amidst some catchy songs and state of the art animation and 3D images. The movie is set against the backdrop of an eye candy island of Polynesia. 

Moana the Island chieftain's daughter is the title protagonist who sets out on a journey through the sea to save her island from destruction. Her job is pretty straightforward as she has to find Maui, the demigod who has stolen the Heart of Te Fiti (an ancient artifact), get the Heart from him and restore the Heart to save her island and her people from the environmental disaster they are going to face.

The movie is cool and a breezy entertainer no matter what age you are. Excellent music with that Samoan flavor added more spice to the proceedings. Animations are stunning and have been brilliantly done along with the visual background of the sea and island giving the perfect match and tone providing a soothing visual experience. The emotional touch in the story is an icing on the cake as it holds together the story where adventure and fun is guaranteed.

Voice of Dwayne Johnson and Auli'i Cravalho for the characters of Maui and Moana respectively were the best you can get that matched the appearance of the two. As I said, animation is top-notch and the bluish background provided an eye candy experience. Songs were highly notable for its rhythmic feel which had that Samoan touch in it since the story happens in an island inhibited by Samoans.

So venture out for this beautiful and visually enthralling animation film to relax, enjoy and make your weekend a colorful one. Take out the kids as well since Moana is one movie that can be enjoyed by everyone as no age barrier tag is attached with it.

Rating - 4 / 5

Befikre Review


As a writer, producer and distributor, Aditya Chopra is making his presence felt in the industry every now and then but as a director he is quite silent now maintaining a low key affair with the high profile job as the last of his directorial movie happened way back in 2008. That's eight years down the lane and it was an SRK starrer Rab Ne Bana De Jodi that we last saw this man wielding the megaphone. Befikre that hits the big screen today marks Aditya Chopra's fourth directorial venture has Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor playing lead roles which is extensively shot in Paris.

About the movie, its a rom-com and the prime intention is to present something entertaining and colorful with a romantic and sexy tone in the story. There is lot of energy involved with both Ranveer and Vaani putting in lot of efforts to infuse life into the film but the purpose is served only partially in the movie which has nothing fresh to tell and follow the same old pattern and template of stories that we have seen and are familiar in Bollywood.

Dharam and Shyra are the people in focus here as the two with a free spirited and carefree attitude meet in Paris and the story tells their sexy, hot and romantic affair that goes through ups and downs, highs and lows. The present and past moments are shown one after the other through the picturesque streets of Paris.

The opening scene has a series of kisses of different people both young and aged in the street of Paris with the Labon Kaa Kaarobaar song and at the same time the beginning title credits gets mentioned. The intentions are crystal clear from here as the film dwell through breakups, live in relationships, romance and mood swings in a casual, colorful and joyful manner. But the tempo stops somewhere in between and the movie could not sustain the energy level showed in the beginning till the end.

This can mainly be attributed to the lack of freshness in the story and also the story itself falling under the category of a wafer thin one. Music, Songs, dance, lip locks and everything that one can add to make the story lively and entertaining is flavored in the film in traditional Yashraj style in which the screenplay and story is written by the director himself. Everything looks perfect for the eyes as a colorful candy but these things works only partially as the movie struggle after a stage to get things wound up.

Ranveer Singh was high on spirits and energy as the free spirited and loud Dharam. I would say it was a good casting and the actor has done justice to the faith shown in by the makers in casting him as Dharam. On a lighter note, don't miss his complete naked show from the back which was a very brief shot but nevertheless will make you laugh and at the same time makes you surprised.

Vaani Kapoor played perfect foil to Ranveer and acted with the same energy like her male counterpart and their onscreen chemistry was very much notable. She was hot and sexy and that was as per the demands of the sexy tone in her character as well in the film. Not much supporting actors are part of this film as the entire frames are very much focused on the lead pair either together or separately.

Cinematography was very much notable and successful in capturing the essence and beauty of lovely Paris. Music, songs and dance required a colorful and peppy feel in it and it was quite good meeting the requirement of a story of this nature.

As an entertainer, Befikre does its job only partially as the film run out of steam after the halfway mark and struggle to end on a high. I would recommend the movie only for its bubbly on screen chemistry between the lead actors and also for some genuine funny moments that pops up here and there making you laugh.

Rating - 2.5 / 5

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

Kavi Udheshichathu - Malayalam Movie Review


The premise and setting of Kavi Udheshichathu is way too predictable but the treatment of humour holds together the movie without breaking apart. In the end you have a little film without any tall claims which is good for a time pass as it entertain you for a major part, provided you are ready to forgive little lapses on the writing side. The duo of Thomas and Liju Thomas who had earlier made an impressive and memorable short film Remaniyechiyuday Naamathil makes a decent debut outing on to the big screen with a film that no one can complain about except for some minor faults.

Kaavaalam Jimmy played by Asif Ali and Vattathil Bosco enacted by Narein are the pivotal characters around whom the plot of the movie takes its shape. The two of them are school mates but turned out to be foes as they grew up. They land up in a betting connected with the game of volleyball and the result of the tournament have a far reaching impact on their life.

Comedy is the main element used in the story to lit up things and the director duo have succeeded in making the audience laugh with lighter moments.There is no boredom as such as the film just makes us rooted to the seat and in the end we are able to leave the cinema halls without any damage. That's a big plus for a movie which has a plot that is quite easy to predict where it is heading upto from a very early phase of its narration.

On the making side, the treatment is quite simple giving more prominence for comedy and fun. The short film the director duo have made has been wisely and effectively recreated in this movie and though it was a borrowed concept from their own creation, it gelled very well with this plot with proper writing.

Its the second half where the story really takes its shape from a lighter and simpler first half. We recently saw the game of volleyball as a plot in Karinkunnam Sixes and on that aspect, Kavi Udheshichathu is a little late arrival but here in KU, the sports theme gets a gradual shape unlike the former which is a full-fledged sports film. The only complaint is in the way the game part is treated and quite naturally the element of predictability is way too high here on the total story as well as the gaming side.

Asif Ali did what was expected from such a character. It was well executed from him as per the demands of that character. Sudhy Kopa, Balu, Ganapathy and Abhishek Raveendran played perfect foil to Asif Ali as the gang of friends. Narein was okay but there were some roughness in the way he acted in the comic scenes.

Biju Menon enters into the thick of things only at a very later stage but once he is in, he does it in the way he goes about these days creating good fun. Heroine Anju Kurian is passable along with a long line up of supporting actors like Saiju Kurup, Sunil Sugadha, Lena, Sasi Kallinga, Dinesh Prabhakar, Sija Rose and Bindhu Panicker to name a few who were all okay in their respective characters. Jakes Bejoy and Vinu Thomas are behind the music scene with Jakes doing the background score also. It wasn't a great attempt but was a decent effort on the music side. Cinematography was apt and editing was neat.

I had very little expectation from the movie and was wondering why the team decided to release it with two biggies from Mollywood. But the film was to my liking in a reasonable way as it is an above average entertainer that created some genuine laughs inside the cinema hall.

Rating - 3 / 5

Vijay Speaking Malayalam ● Exclusive

The Scene from the movie Theri where he speaks Malayalam.

MS Dhoni : The Untold Story - REVIEW


The biggest challenge for any director to achieve success while attempting a biopic in my opinion is the time factor wherein they have to condense the entire life into a two and a half hour drama, something which is not that easy considering the different facets of the life of the person to be depicted on screen. So refining the most important, unheard-of but attractive part of life that would becatchy to the audience becomes paramount importance.

We have seen some best sports biopics emanating from Bollywood and I would pick Baag Milkha Baag, Paan Singh Tomar and Budhia Singh: Born to run as my personal favourites. Mary Kom is also not bad but I wouldn't put it in the league of the first three which were much more refined in their narration.

Neeraj Pandey attempts a biopic on the life of M.S.Dhoni. Well, thats a towering challenge considering the stature and fan following that Dhoni has along with some of the criticisms that he is part of. Also the fact that Mahi as he is fondly called by his close associates and relatives is still very much active in International cricket and that makes it almost a herculean task for Neeraj and his team to deliver it big.

After watching M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story, what that comes up to my mind is 'Playing It My Way", the autobiography of Sachin Tendulkar. Just like the book on Sachin, this film on MSD also choose the safe passage of staying away from some controversial innings of the cricketer's life that would have made the film much more exciting paving the way for some hot discussions in the coming days. Of course, some little known but interesting things are shown but overall the film with all the limitations in the form of Dhoni's active involvement in International cricket in the shorter and slam bang versions of the game even now puts it on a safe and watchable platform.

The story, well doesn't need a big guessing game as such. Its the rise of the boy from a little known place called Ranchi who went on to become one of the most successful captain of Team India. Captain Cool as he is referred to, the movie throw lights on his initial years before getting noticed and also gives a picture on how he comes into the limelight of Indian cricket. Beginning from the year of his birth in 1981 till 2011 when India wins the Wkrl Cup, the film is a journey of how he achieve success and who all are the people behind his transformation to a successful cricketer.

A highly impressive first half is where the film scores more and it is this portion that really show his real life from where he starts from scratch and become one of the best finishers of modern day cricket. Little known things like how he learns the famous helicopter shot, Mahi getting the autograph of Sachin for a fellow passenger during a flight journey, his rivalry with Yuvraj Singh at the domestic level when the two are yet to make their International debut are all some highlights that catch your attention. That World Cup winning moment both the T20 and 50 over finals gets recreated and are truly goosebumps creating moments for anyone who loves the game.

The shift in focus in the second half towards the romantic side of Dhoni's life, the movie loosen its style and pace. Screenplay isn't that effective and is primarily intended in glorifying the cricketer and in that the director has succeeded. So for the fans of MSD, it is a treat but for others it is partly good.

There is no mention of any controversies connected with the IPL fiasco nor does the names of senior cricketers mentioned during a selection committee meeting where Dhoni bats for youth and for taking some tough decisions. They have purposefully blacked out the voice part in that scene. The reason for Dhoni getting himself promoted up the order in World cup finals ahead of a padded Yuvraj was a discussion point those days and the answer to that is there in the movie. At three hours the duration is on the higher side but it doesn't affect the pace as such in a big way.

For Sushant Singh Rajput, its never an easy task filling into Dhoni's shoes and transforming himself to a cricketer on screen. The challenge was huge but the actor has put in lot of efforts which is clearly evident from his body language. The way Dhoni walks, his facial expressions and body movement all of which are so familiar to us have been given a perfect facelift by the actor and it was a ideal casting. All those cricketing shots when he plays for India I believe have been morphed but at the domestic level cricket we can see Sushant perfectly enacting the shots that Dhoni plays.

Anupam Kher though had little role effectively did his part as Dhoni's father Paan Singh Dhoni. Rajesh Sharma was a notable actor among the supporting side as he was entrusted to play the role of MSD's coach during his school days. Both the heroines Disha Patani and Kiara Advani were not bad. Bhoomika Chawla in a less prominent role couldn't do much.

Overall, MS.Dhoni: The Untold Story is not a bad attempt considering the challenge it had but it falls short of something exceptional. Definitely a must watch film if you are a die-hard fan of cricketer Dhoni but for a normal audience its just a passable film.

Rating - 3 / 5

Ola Peepi Malayalam Movie Review


Its a rarity these days in Malayalam cinema to find movies with a homely feel. Those films that were too simple and direct in their story telling approach with the essence and flavour of traditional Malayali life have almost vanished from the scene. But Krish Kymal's Olapeeppi has a different tale to tell unlike the kind of cinema we see nowadays.

The movie is a trip down our memory lane, infact a nostalgic ride to the seventies and deliver it with utmost simplicity. The title itself has that homeliness to it, with something that was a valuable playing thing in those days for children which the present generation kids would have no clue about.

Coming to the storyline, the movie focus on a rich Tharavaadu that suffer due to the land reforms of the seventies. Unni returns from United States to his ancestral home after spending a long thirty years of his life abroad to the resting place of his grandmother. He recollect his childhood days that he spend with his Muthassi and goes back to US a satisfied man after realising something new in his life.

The film is very straightforward with its approach without any gimmicks and tell what it wanted in a neat fashion. There are some moments that brings about a feel of sympathy towards the grandmother and her grandson seeing the plight of them now. Many poor people have benefited from the land reforms but some wealthy homes were also at the receiving end. The thing is the ones suffering now are in no way part of or neither responsible for the zamindari and feudal system followed by their forefathers.

Poverty and helplessness are the two obstacles standing tall infront of the kid and her grandmother and the sufferings of the two makes our eyes wet and touch our heart. Krish Kymal, the director is successful in conveying the beautiful bonding that the two share through many finer moments. Making side is quite simple and orthodox. It has its share of faults and uneasiness at times but that cannot take any credits from the other positive things Olapeeppi offer.

Biju Menon is casted as Unni in a character that we haven't seen him in the recent past. Not a challenging role for the actor but nevertheless he did what he was supposed to in a sincere manner. Eighty year old Punnasery Kanchana is the one who plays the role of Muthassi with such finesse with lot of innocence and simplicity to it. She was an yesteryear actress of the sixties, if I am not wrong. She is making a comeback and through this performance she has proven that age is not a factor for making a comeback in acting.

The little boy who enacted the role of Unni's childhood days was also notable along with Paris Laxmi and Anjali Upasana. Sreejith Ravi in a role that doesn't have any kindness plays it perfect as a heartless man. Few more unfamiliar actors are part of the supporting side who were okay.

Cinematography handled by the director himself is a major highlight capturing the beauty of Kerala village life with elegance. Background score was done as per the moods and tone of the film. There is one song in the movie and it was okay.

Olapeeppi trying to stress the importance of relationships, bonding and love is a movie with a heart and deserves a watch. When very little of the traditional Kerala life remains in reel and real life, it is heartwarming to see there are still attempts going on like this which can bring back old memories for the good. My only prayers is that Olapeeppi doesn't end up as another Torrent hit since we need these films also to make a strong presence in theatres.So the recommendation is to go and watch on big screen itself to give the film a befitting response that it deserves.

Rating - 3.5 / 5

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

Oru Muthassi Gadha - REVIEW

The group of grandfathers and grandmothers are getting vanished from the scene of late. I am taking about cinema where it is very rare these days to find a grand father or a grandmother as the storyline now do not have any space for them. Jude Anthony Joseph who had previously directed Om Shanti Oshana comes up with his second film titled Oru Muthassi Gadha. The presence of Muthassi is not just limited to the title alone as OMG has the lively presence of Leelaamma, a grandmother and infact she is the backbone of this movie.

About the film, its a simple film with a wafer thin storyline that spread lot of goodness, makes you sad and at the same it has lot of fun and sentiments involved. The trailer of the movie was conveying the vanishing of the older generation from the movie scene in terms of characters and in OMG, there are not many of them justifying the trailer but Leelaamma is enough to fill the void of so many as her acts and screen presence compensate for the absence of a few more of them.

We have a family of Shiby and Jeen along with their elder daughter and son but in the family, its Sibychan's mother Leelaamma who is ruling the roost. She has anger at the tip of her nose and makes the life of others in the family a miserable one due to her strictness and involvement in each and everything that comes up before this family. Unexpected arrival of Jeen's mother create a different atmosphere at home and uncover another face of the old woman which is narrated quite well by Jude in his second film.

We find the helplessness of Sibychan many times and the screenplay conveys them in a funny way. The sentimental presence along with humour also helped the movie to sustain its life for the entire running time of one hundred and forty four minutes. The problems especially the isolation that the older generation gets is treated in a lighter way here with humour and fun. That helped in enjoying the film to a great extent as the film takes a serious tone in only limited scenes that too as per the demands of the situation.

Jude has left some messages and also some thoughts for the present generation. Older people enjoying the company of people of similar pages, a thought endorsed by one of the characters in the film was a nice thought but for that pushing the old people to old age homes for that is something that cannot be sided with. The movie wants to convey something good which we will realise in the second half through very lighter and emotional moments. The storyline as such is quite simple and at the same time a threadbare one but ultimately what matters is the presentation and in my opinion, the director has succeeded in conveying what he wanted through his movie.

Suraj Venjaramudu and Lena plays husband and wife and they were apt in their respective roles. Suraj these days is trying roles that has something in it to perform instead of going for the length and number of scenes involved. The selection of the character of Sibychan is yet another example of this. Though he is the hero of the film, the character vanishes after halfway mark and doesn't have a major role to play thereafter but nevertheless what he performed in the first one hour was enough to make his presence felt. Lena also played her part quite well.

Aparna Balamurali had dual roles to play and she was convincing as Leela as well as Alice. Dubbing artist Baagyalakshmi appear as Susamma towards the latter stages in an important role and makes it perfect. Pisharody and Vijayaraghavan were also fine along with that Bengali character whose name I am not aware of. Vineeth Sreenivasan makes a cameo appearance which is limited to a song and a few scenes. Jude himself appear in a humourous role towards the latter stages.

The star of the show is definitely the sixty five year old Rajani Chandy. She was a perfect choice for Leelaamma. Her mannerisms, dialogue delivery and acting gave full life to Leelaamma and once we finish watching the film, we realise that she has perfectly fitted into the shoe of Leelaamma as per how Jude has visualised that role.

Cinematography is neatly handled by Vinod Illampally. Shaan Rahman is the music director. Though none of the songs stays in our mind, the one pictured on Vineeth and Aparna was good to watch as the visuals added extra colour to the song. Background score was synching well in creating the right mood for each and scene.

The story inspired from what actor Nivin Pauly told in a discussion with the director though a very light one gets a good treatment by Jude who have added the right ingredients required for the plot to make it watchable. Though the older generation is getting very little presence in today's movies, just like how they are sidelined by today's youth, these types of subjects depicting the dream and wishes of our grandfathers and grandmothers can atleast open up our eyes for the good.

Rating - 3 / 5

PINK Hindi Movie Review

Courtroom dramas have always found a special place in Indian movies. With the intensity and excitement these genre offer along with the thrill, suspense and twists they provide to the audience, courtroom dramas is one of my favourite genre. Movies like Jolly LLB, Oh My God, Jasbaa, Aitraaz and No one killed Jessica are few examples that are flashing in my mind and belonging to the genre that have impressed me in the recent past. Malayalam film Melvilasam is also a powerful film that holds a special place within me that stood out in the way it was presented.

Now coming to PINK, here is another movie wherein bulk of the events unfold inside a court. But Pink is not just another movie. It is much more and way above that. A powerful, intense and hard-hitting drama that shocks and touch├ęs you, Pink belongs to the must watch category and tells what it wanted to say straightforward without going for the shortcut route.

Three girls Minal, Falak and Andrea based out of urban Delhi during a night party with three boys gets involved in a messy situation as Rajveer, one among the boys try to molest Minal. As a self defence, she bashes his face with a bottle injuring him very badly. Little did the girls realise that this incident will have a nightmarish outcome on them as the boys using their powerful political influence turns the case upside down which is infact a familiar thing for the common people. Enter Deepak Saighal as the defence lawyer and from there the courtroom drama and the case takes a new shape.

Pink questions many things in the process. It questions the society and its mindset for numerous things when the defence lawyer puts it across as a set of rules. Women partying, traveling at night, when she touch a man and give a smile, when she stays separately from family as an independent women. In all these cases, the society has a predetermined rules which are not applicable to men. Strange indeed but thats the reality and thats what the film questions and emphasise that when she says NO to anything irrespective of whether she is a wife, a sex worker or anyone for that matter , it is a NO and no one has the right to outrage her modesty for saying a No.

The movie is so intense and touching for an engaging watch. The way they have presented it with the seriousness involved, it has a lasting effect and makes for an engaging experience without affecting the viewing pleasure. A short first half of just an hour is followed by a much lengthier post intermission portion. The courtroom proceedings actually happens only in the latter half as the plot gets into the thick and thin of the plot in the beginning with the girls being followed and hunted thereby making life miserable for them.

Performances, I should say is topnotch. Amitabh Bachchan plays the Defense lawyer Deepak Saighal, a man suffering from bipolar disorder. No words can describe the intensity he has shown in presenting this character by going one step ahead. Anyone who has serious doubts over his acting credentials, then go and watch Pink. Why I raised this point is because couple of my friends during our informal movie discussion have debated with me on this.The answer to them have been given by the actor many times before and here too it is no different. We have one more addition to that elite list of movies that due to his sheer abilities is taken to another level.

Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang plays Minal, Falak and Andrea respectively. The girls were equally competitive conveying very well their helplessness in court especially the first two. Supporting casts were equally good and among them, Piyush Mishra who acted as prosecution lawyer was impressive. Angad Bedi playing Rajeev was also notable. Dhrithiman Chatterjee as the judge was appropriate for that role.

The film gives an impression of going through high level of detailing making it almost perfect and the story as such and what it wanted to raise its hands for have been given an apt treatment. All credits to director Anirudha Roy Chowdhary and his team. Cinematography and the colour time used matches with the dark subject. Editing is fine. Background score is used only in a limited way and it was effective in conveying the exact mood of each scene. Infact the film uses silence at times to convey many things. One song that gets repeated on couple of occasions was noticeable conveying a totally different feel. Writing is clearly done with utmost care and dialogues have so much depth in it making us think.

Shoojit Sircar's presence is there on the story side as I saw him credited for that along with two others. Also he is involved in the production side too. He can be proud to say that he is part of PINK, a film which gives a tense and gripping feel right from the start till the end credits wind up. A must watch movie at any cost is what we have and cheers to the entire team for boldly depicting a plot and seriously questioning some valid things in the process.

Rating - 4 / 5

Train to Busan - REVIEW

I am a total novice as far as Korean movies are concerned. Of course I do have information about the richness in content and quality of films from Korea through my friends who are active followers of films emanating from that part of the world. After getting recommendations from my friends, I decided to watch Train to Busan which is my first Korean experience. The experience turned out to be a highly rewarding one and I regret that I am too late in stepping into the world of Korean films, so now lot of catching up to do. Thanking everyone who gave the green signal in nominating Train to Busan, let me try reviewing this movie.

Well, having seen many English movies in the Zombie-horror genre, even though hearing positive feedbacks didn't shake my mind before watching the movie as I was expecting just another film from the zombie world. But the movie proved me big time wrong in my perception towards it. It was a thrilling as well as an emotional rollercoaster that kept my focus right from the very beginning till the final scene.

As the title suggests, its a bullet train journey starting from a local station in Seoul to Busan. Among the people who board the train, the ones occupying pivotal roles with dominating presence are; a fund manager who is a divorcee and his little daughter, a pregnant lady and her husband, a high school baseball team and a homeless man. How their journey to Busan turns out to be a painful and frightening one is what that forms the basic crux of the story.

The harrowing experience that the travellers pass through is captured very well. The thrills, the horror and fear factor are all present and intact for a zombie film. But where the film score apart from the thrills is the sentimental presence in the story. The characters have so much depth and have blended so well making us really feel for the plight of the people on board.

The little girl and her relationship with her workaholic father who finds very little of his time to care for his daughter though he loves her, the love for the man towards his pregnant wife and his excitement of awaiting his baby are all well placed and connected in the plot even if the thrill and horror factor holds the upper hand in such plots which is something commendable. We should not be selfish just looking on our own things but rather should reach out to any extent to help others when they are in distress. I think this is something the makers wanted to convey and they have achieved the desired end result in conveying that simple but all-important thing.

At the same time, the film never fails to entertain and satisfy us and makes for a thoroughly engaging and touching experience. It may have similarities with a movie like a World War Z or some other movies of the genre but Train to Busan has a heart at the right place and an extra element of emotion that connects so well with the main subject making it more special as far as entertainment and thrill goes. On the performance side, its a team effort as everyone who is part of the ride has chipped in with extra efforts.

The colour pattern they have used , cinematography, cuts, sound design and high quality background score have all helped in making the ride to Busan an overwhelming experience as far as the making and technical side goes. Moving at a breathtaking speed just like a speeding train, Train to Busan is one movie that in the end has a penetrating feel as the curtains finally comes down through the final scene.

Rating - 4.5 / 5

Dulquer Salman Lovers watch this for GOOSEBUMPS

Dulquer Salman is definitely the next superstar Kerala is going to have. The new bread of Malayalam actors including him is definitely going to take the Malayalam film industry to new heights. Dulquer salmaan is blessed with fans all over India. This video will be a treat to watch for any movie lover who likes Dulquer and his movies.

BAAR BAAR DEKHO Review


Given a chance, we all would like to travel back in life to make the necessary corrections for whatever wrongdoings we have done. Baar Baar Dekho has such a story where life gives a second chance to its hero to correct himself for the wrong way he chose. Time Travel as a concept and thought is a good choice but when it came to this movie, apart from the interesting concept, there is nothing else in it. BBD is uninteresting, lacklustre and lacks energy in it. A dull film with no life in it, the movie by all means is an underwhelming experience.

Jai Verma and Diya Kapoor are the two people whose life is discussed in the movie. They are childhood friends and decides to get married though the male protagonist had some confusion over his future on starting a new phase in his life. On the eve of his wedding, Jai gets into a minor fight with his fiancee and gets drunk.

The next day, when he wakes up, to his utter dismay finds that ten days have already elapsed since he got married and he is now in Thailand spending his honeymoon. This process continue and moves ahead to another thirty years as the movie shift from past and future based on the time travel concept.

The present generation doesn't care for certain things in their life considering those as unimportant. But actually those minor things will have far-reaching consequences in our life. It is this aspect that the makers have tried to say in a dull manner.

Idea of time travel is quite good on the story part but the screenplay doesn't have the punch in it to make a pleasing experience while watching the movie. Literally it is a weak and lifeless script that provide a bad experience. What the movie wanted to convey was appreciable but how it was showed didn't have that flair in it to give a much needed facelift to BBD. Characters lacked any depth in it while the dialogues were overly dramatic at times.

Sidharth Kapoor plays Jai Verma and Katrina Kaif fills the role of Diya Kapoor. The character of Jai is a confused one and the role gets aged too with the passage of time. Apart from doing extra make-up for looking aged and matured, the actor in Sidharth was found wanting in many areas on the acting part. Just like his confused character, the acting also was in a confused state. There was something missing in his performance. Katrina Kaif was okay as Diya though we have seen her doing much better. Sarika plays Jai's mother while Ram Kapoor plays Diya's father and even though both of them had only minor part to play, their efforts were noticeable.

Ravi.K.Chandran is the man who has handled the camera department with elegance. The frames and visuals had a rich tone in it. Music was also good with few peppy numbers. Same goes for the effective background score which was used only in a limited way.

The settings have a glossy feel, thanks to the beautiful camera work, the concept looked good and the music scene came up with some fine tunes but there ends the positive side of Baar Baar Dekho. Nitya Mehra who was part of few Hollywood flicks (Life of Pi is one among them) as an assistant gave more focus on the visual beauty of the film than the presentation of the story thereby making her debut experience as an independent director not a sweet one.

Rating - 2 / 5

Oozham Malayalam Movie Review


Post Drishyam, the biggest challenge before director Jeethu Joseph is of quenching the expectations of the audience. Irrespective of the genre, audience expect a thriller with suspense and unexpected twists in his movies. So the director is forced to make statements clarifying what the audience can expect from each of his release. This happened in Life of Joosootty and also for his latest release Oozham wherein he had to make it clear that there is no suspense and heavy twist in the film and the film belong to a different genre than Drishyam.

Oozham is more of a revenge drama than a suspense thriller with the familiar cliches that we normally come across in movies of this type. But the presentation and how the movie is built or constructed by Jeethu and his screenplay makes it a pretty nice movie good for a watch.

Krishnamoorthy is a Health Inspector and he is settled in Coimbatore with his family consisting of his wife, daughter and adopted son. His elder son Soorya is employed in US and he is an expert in Controlled Explosion, something which is not that popular in this part of the world. Its nothing but destroying old buildings after their life and conditions have become unsafe for a living. An unexpected turn of events affect the existence of Krishnamoorthy's family and Oozham shows the investigation by Soorya to find the perpetrators responsible for destroying his family and subsequently taking revenge.

The movie begins with the happenings inside this small family and showing the deep bond they share. Then we are shown a group of goons hunting down Soorya and at the same time a parallel narration where the protagonist along with his brother and fiancee looking for the whereabouts of the criminals and doing the revenge part is also part of the storytelling.

Jeethu on his part ensured that even though the story lacks any freshness, the execution side doesn't go waywardly by smartly showing the revenge part with little bit of twist to make the movie in a safe zone. The director has a knack of handling suspense films and thrillers and uses that skill here to portray a familiar story land safely without any sort of roadblocks.

Prithviraj plays the character Soorya very smartly. Actually the role is nothing new for him as we have seen him doing this angry young man character in some of his past movies. Oozham's character is just an extension of those. Neeraj Madhav as Ajmal, adopted son of the family was notable while Divya Pillai as Gayathri, the female lead also did her part. Rasna played the sister character to Prithviraj and she was quite impressive.

V.Jayaprakash, the pharmaceutical giant and villain was a correct choice for the role but it would have been better had he dubbed himself. Pasupathy appear as an aid to the villain and it was a clean act from the actor. Balachandra Menon, Irshad and Anson Paul did their small roles effectively as per the demands of the character.

Visuals from the camera department were pleasing for the eyes. The usual way of cinematography in previous Jeethu Joseph's movies like using lot of aerial shots are there in Oozham too and they added in giving a different dimension to this area. Edits were okay while the music department had done their job on the songs part. Background score was quite impressive suitable for a film of this genre in giving that extra punch.

This is no Drishyam or Memories. If you accept that fact and goes to watch the film with lesser expectation, I am sure you would find Oozham an engaging movie without any boredom or uneasiness.

Rating - 3 / 5

Kochavva Paulo Ayyappa Coelho - Malayalam movie Review


I cannot remember a movie in the recent past that made my eyes wet. Sidhartha Siva's curiously titled Kochavva Paulo Ayyappa Coelho had many emotional and sentimental scenes forcing my eyes to shed tears. The movie is beautiful and simple. At the same time it is inspiring as well as a motivational tonic with a good message in it. 

Ayyappa Das fondly called Appu is the central character around which the whole plot is built. The little boy has a dream of travelling in a plane and the movie takes us to a remote village in Idukki where rest of the plot unravel. Whether he can achieve his long cherished dream is shown in KPAC with lot of sincerity.

Those who have followed the career of the director will know what kind of movie he makes. It will have a minimum standard in it with values attached. He has a knack of telling simple stories with a simple narrative. KPAC is no exception but the difference from his earlier movies here is the presence of little dose of the so called commercial flavour in it making it a pleasing movie watching experience for any class of audience. I for one have watched a couple of his earlier flicks and at the same time unfortunately missed a couple. The making style is simple and straightforward, very much common in his movies which has become a trademark style for him.

The story as such isn't that heavy but it is the presence of lighter and emotional scenes that have helped in conveying the right mood and elevating the movie to the next level. If you have a dream and is passionate and honest about it, the whole world and even the nature will stand with you for realising that dream. This thought is often stressed and quoted in the movie on numerous occasions by Kochavva, the character played by Kunjacko Boban. Kochavva reference this quote to Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelo and his novel The Alchemist.

In KPAC, Ayyappa Das is ready to go to any extreme to make sure his dream one day turned into a reality. The plot connect this thread to a sporting activity and that's how the characters of Kochavva and Ayyappa Das gets involved with each other. Infact, this aspect is delivered in a convincing and believable format. Certain things which I cannot reveal at this point can be questioned considering the practicality of the situation, those things can be ignored considering the noble cause and values for which the movie stand out.

Kunjacko Boban played the character of Kochavva and have come out in flying colours. His character is an innocent person who is very sincere at heart and cannot withstand the pain and helplessness of others. The actor has done what he was supposed to do in the best possible way. Nedumudy Venu, KPAC Lalitha, Suraj Venjaramudu, Muthumani, Irshad, Muthumani, Aju Varghese and Mukesh were the actors who impressed me among the supporting actors. Some had meaty roles while others like Mukesh and Irshad didn't had a major part to play but nevertheless acted their part in a neat fashion. Anusree as the female lead was okay in a brief role.

The movie is incomplete without Master Rudraksh who enacted the role of Ayyappa Das. He was so natural that it didn't look like he was acting. With due respect to all the actors and their performances in KPAC, I would say Rudraksh was the best for me in the movie with the way he has expressed himself supported by his natural dialogue delivery. (I assume he has dubbed himself)

Dialogues, performance and background score are three areas that have immensely helped the film to achieve a positive end result. Touching and emotional scenes as I said before makes you sentimentally attached to the film. Bijipal has given a score that aided in lifting the spirit especially in the critical scenes. Visuals of the village in a background surrounded by nature added extra value to the movie and all credits for that goes to Neil D'Cunha the cameraman. Songs were also have come out well tuned by Shaan Rahman and Sooraj S Kurup.

Udaya Pictures considered to be the first production house of Malayalam film industry makes a return to production through Kunjacko Boban after nearly three decades of hiatus and have wisely chosen a project which no one can complain about. Return on investment is a different thing but the quality of the film have not been compromised here. Based on the satisfaction it gave to me, I am going with four out of five and a thumbs up to Sidhartha Siva and his team.

Rating - 4 / 5