Category Archives: Drama

Mazhalai Inidhu Short Film Review

Mazhalai Inidhu Short Film Review – Mazhalai Inidhu is a Tamil short film released in 2016. The short film explores the space between the importance to career and personal family life.

In the fast paced moving world with nuclear families and both couples working the time they get to spend with the child gets minimized. In case of high flying jobs, the child often gets lonely and longing for the time with the parents. Mazhalai Inidhu short film does an honest take on the problem.

High Points

The plot for the script is very common and connectable one. It also addresses the real world problems in a family. Kudos to the team for choosing it. They have also included the plot devices of showing two extreme characters of one being career oriented and the other willing to lead a balanced life at work. This helps in painting two contrasting picture. The climax of the film is very effective in driving home the message. Meesha Goshal has done the character with ease and is very convincing on the screen. Be it conducting team meetings, chasing down the kid to get ready or breaking down she has done it well.  The background score blends well with the theme of the movie. Also, the team has used many different locations for the shoot.

Low Points

When it comes to a nuclear family the burden should be equally shared between husband and wife. However, the plot hasn’t given importance to that. The length of the short film for its message is a bit too long. It would have been more effective to have it under 20 minutes.

Overall Mazhalai Inidhu is a very good attempt by director Gopinath and team. The team has a good potential for making more such intriguing dramas. Kudos to the team and all the best for their future endeavors.

You can watch the short film here

https://www.shortfundly.com/video/29281/ 

 

 

Lipstick Under My Burkha Review

Lipstick Under My Burkha Review – Lipstick Under My Burkha is a Hindi  Black Comedy released in 2016. The movie revolves around 4 women of various age group living in Bhopal. Each one of them has a dream that appears “Rosy” to them.

First and foremost this is a very bold movie and many of you may not like what you see on the screen. Although deep inside it reflects some of the true facts in an overly dramatic fashion that needs to be done to drive the point home. The movie captures the conservative background the four women live in and how contrasting wild their dreams are. A college-going girl Rehana wants to free herself from her Burkha. She idolizes Miley Cyrus and loves Led Zeppelin. Leela, about to get married wants to become an entrepreneur and start a honeymoon package for couples.  Shireen, a mother of three kids living with an insensitive husband is a successful sales women and wants to grow in her career and a 55-year-old lady Usha who had lost her husband very young finds solace in fulfilling her desires by reading a soft porn magazine.

The events build up and the transition between the lives of the lead characters are filled in with the description from the book Usha is reading. Rosy is the lead lady in the book and it talks about her dreams. Rosy is a metaphor for the dreams these women wish for. The rosy picture in the dream is not so rosy in reality. There are very brilliant moments in the screenplay subtle yet powerful that exposes the stereotypical nature of the society. The scene where Usha introduces herself as Buvaji and then realizes she has a name. Another scene where Rehana steals items from the shop to look fashionable.

The problem with the plot is not everyone would be able to relate to every woman. But definitely, they would be able to relate to one aspect of it.

High Points: The plot and the premise is an interesting one, the narration style of using text from the book for the transition has worked well, The lead characters have performed well, in particular, Rathna Pathak’s performance.

Low Points: The story touches some sensitive subjects which many might find hard to digest, Due to the content this is an Adult movie.

Overall Lipstick Under a Burka is a bold movie that paints the picture of various stereotypes women are subjected to. Not all that one dream is as “Rosy” as the reality is.

Worth a Watch

Vikram Vedha Review

Vikram Vedha Review – Vikram Vedha is a Tamil Neo Noir film directed by the duo Pushkar and Gayathri. The film released in 2017. The plot is akin to the folklore tales of Vikram and Vethal where Vikram was a righteous king who set out to the deep dungeons to capture Vethal. Vethal kept telling him tales where the lines of right vs wrong were blurred. In the end, the Vethal asked a riddle as to what is the right thing to do. Once Vikram answered it escaped. The movie starts with the animated version of this and the story has the same theme with a police officer and an encounter specialist Vikram after a deadly gangster Vedha.

Madhavan plays the role of the encounter specialist Vikram and  Vijay Sethupathi plays the role of Vedha. The plot is definitely a very interesting one that can keep you glued to the seats. Vijay Sethupathi has literally rocked the show in his role as Vedha. From a characterization perspective, this is written strongly as well and has a good character arc. Madhavan too has equally performed well in bringing out the demeanor of an encounter specialist.  The movie starts with what appears to be a casual outing for the police team and ends in a deadly encounter mission.  Very nicely done and it sets up the tone of the movie and establishes Madhavan’s character very well. Even before Vedha appears on the screen there are tales about him which establishes him as a deadly demon. And when he appears it stays up to the expectation. When he narrates the first story it is quite gripping and the twist of his escape from the situation is also well planted. The movie had been extraordinary till this point.

Post this there are more occasions he narrates the story to Vikram but quite unsure as to why Vikram listens to it patiently. He is shown to be a cop who doesn’t take even seconds to leave the bad people alive. Why does he have to listen to Vedha is still a question. When Vedha knows he would escape from the situation why does he have to tell a story to Vikram is also not established well. We did not know why Vethal told stories to Vikram as well isn’t it. That’s the only analogy I could draw for this.

Shraddha Srinath and Varalakshmi’s roles help in moving the story forward.

High Points: Vikram and Vethal as a plot device, Vijay Sethupathi and Madhavan’s performance, The initial story narrated by Vedha, The background score, and cinematography.

Low Points: The screenplay has many loop holes in the second half and it is hard to reason out why Vikram’s and Vedha’s behavior changes.

Overall Vikram Vedha is a Flamboyant and stylish encounter that would make you whistle at many moments. If you are able to ignore the loops holes in the screenplay you would enjoy this very much.

Worth a Watch

The Salesman Review

The Salesman Review – The Salesman is an Iranian drama released in 2016. The couple Emad and Rana move into a new apartment after their current apartment building collapses. Some unforeseen events happen that change their lives forever.

The movie has won the Academy Award for foreign film category for 2016. Director Asghar Farhadi creates a very emotional drama drawing parallels to the “Death of the Salesman” play by Arthur Miller which the couple is enacting in the theater.  The screenplay keeps you guessing until the end. The movie is quite engaging and there is never a dull moment. The climax as it unfolds explores the struggle between anger and forgiveness.

Shahab Hosseini’s performance is a standout in the entire drama. In particular, the way he has performed during the climax portion is impeccable. His performance is ably supported by Taraneh Alidoosti. Her looks convey more powerful emotions. Unlike some run of the mill thrillers where an action is thrilling here the way the characters react to a particular situation causes the thrill.

After such a powerful climax I felt bit hanging in the ending as it was open ended. I couldn’t immediately connect the interpretation that the director wanted us to have. However only later I got the emotional conflict portion between anger and forgiveness. You might be able to draw a different interpretation. If you do share it in the comments section. Although this is a well-made movie, I wasn’t sure if this is path breaking to win an academy award compared to the other nominations we had in that category.

High Points: A very engaging screenplay, The performance of the lead actors, the powerful climax and the conflict drawn between anger and forgiveness.

Low Points: If you haven’t read or watched the play “Death of a Salesman” you would find it hard to understand the parallels. The ending leaves you hanging for you to decide the conclusion.

Overall The Salesman is an excellent thriller drama and stands apart from the run of the mill thrillers. You would enjoy this more if you have watched the play by Arthur Miller. The climax being open ended may not connect with everyone.

Worth a Watch

 

Paulina Review

Paulina Review – Paulina is a Spanish drama released in 2015.  A young woman leaves a promising career as a lawyer in Buenos Aires to go back to her suburban hometown and teach in a high school. In a sudden turn of events, she becomes a gang rape victim. Amidst of disapproval from the people she still returns back to teach in the same school.

The movie is inspired by the 1960 movie La patota. I had got to watch this in Bangalore International Film Festival 2017. The movie deals with the subject of a rape victim from a point of view of the victim. The movie explores the point of view which usually is ignored by many movies dealing with the same subject. The movie is characterized by some lengthy shots. It also repeats the same scene in from a different point of view one of the lead character and the other of the different characters in the movie. This has effectively played into the treatment of the plot.

Dolores Fonzi has performed the role of Paulina very well. The way she copes with the situation and stubborn to do what she wants to do is brilliant. The lengthy shot of her walk along with the camera is so impactful.

Many of you may not be able to understand Paulina much like her father or her boyfriend. You dwell more into what is moral and what is the right thing to be done for greater good. She doesn’t speak of morals. She does not harm herself, does not go after to avenge the criminal, does not forgive him. Instead, she wants to find out who he is, wants to talk to him, continue doing what she had been doing in her village. She is a character that is always wanting to live a normal life. When she is faced with some tough questions by her father, boyfriend, and her colleague, she has a blank stare as the answer she wants to give them is beyond words.

High Points: Long shots to increase the intensity of the drama, the two perspective shots from her front and back. The front conveying her perspective and back conveying others is a brilliant stroke.

Low Points: This is not a feel-good tale, it is going to hurt your emotions and in a way make you feel guilty. There is no logic to the solution.

Overall Paulina is a high intense drama that would hit you hard. Still, you can’t forget those look in her eyes questioning the behavior of the society. The society thinks that her life has changed forever after the incident, but she thinks she still has the right to lead a normal life. The contrast is brilliantly portrayed.

Worth a Watch

Kaatru Veliyidai Review

Kaatru Veliyidai Review – Kaatru Veliyidai is a Tamil romantic drama released in 2017. VC an Indian Air Force fighter pilot is captured by Pakistani army as a war prisoner during the Kargil war, his hope to meet Leela once more keeps him alive.

Director Maniratnam creates a yet another gem out of his “Akshaya Patra” (inexhaustible vessel) of love. He still has some much more stories to tell. In Kaatru Veliyidai, he deals with yet another tale of romance the core conflict being male chauvinism. The canvas for the tale he has chosen is quite interesting. It is a love between an Air Force fighter pilot and a doctor. The swag of a pilot naturally makes the male chauvinist behavior very believable. I will not dwell more on the story and spoil any fun for you.

Ravi Varman’s cinematography is a great plus. The entire movie is a visual treat. The breathtaking view of the Himalayan mountain range makes it even richer. I couldn’t take the eyes from the screen. Extreme close up shots, communicating with eyes, a lesser number of dialogues, a slow movement of the scene to build up the drama all makes it very appealing. I love drama in the movies, off late watching the treatment of directors like Hari, KV Anand and many other directors I have led to believe that slow moving shots, communication through silence all have become old fashioned. But this vintage magic of Mani sir is still magical. Those short and sweet dialogues still evoke the emotions in you. Those silent visuals still teleport you.

The most striking performance is from Aditi Rao Hydari. She is not only eye candy but her eyes speak a lot. The scene in which she looks into the mirror and questions herself, she has performed so well. Karthi’s performance is also good. At times you feel he goes overboard with his performance but all this works well to establish his male chauvinist attitude. RJ Balaji for a change has acted in a mellowed down manner. He could make you laugh even with serious dialogues without trying too hard with mixing Tamil and English.

The music and background score of AR Rahman is very apt for the visuals. Mani sir has re-used some of the iconic romance scenes from his earlier movies shamelessly. And we too would enjoy these shamelessly as they still stay fresh after so many years.

High Points: The treatment of the core conflict of love, Breathtaking visuals, slow drama and communication through silence, Aditi’s performance are all high points.

Low Points: If you don’t like silence in movies or slow drama you might feel a bit restless.

Overall I would say Vintage Mani Sir is back. He still has a lot of love (stories) left in him. If you love movies like Mouna Raagam, Alaipayuthey, Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya, you would love this one too.

Must Watch

 

A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove – A Man Called Ove is a Swedish comedy-drama released in 2015. This is based on the book by Fredrik Backman. 59-year-old Ove decides to end his life and join his late wife in the other world. But ending his life doesn’t seem so easy.

This is yet another gem of a movie which I was able to see at Bangalore International Film Festival 2017. The movie is nominated for the Academy awards 2016 under the foreign language films and best hair makeup and styling category. I haven’t read the book yet. The movie was as enjoyable like reading a book. The simplicity of the tale and the reaction of the characters to the day to day problem is a great strength to the movie. There are no larger than life incidents or characters.

Rolf Lassgård’s performance as Ove is the best part of the movie. The other characters in the movies are also sketched beautifully. Director Hannes Holm has maintained the naivety of the tale in the movie as well.  This makes it a very pleasant watch. The movie has good humor that arises out of the characters, situation and the interaction between them. The portions where Ove’s obsession for Volvo cars is involved were hilarious.

High Points: Simple story line, the innocence of the tale is a strong point, Performance of Rolf Lassgård is a big strength for the movie, The romance sequence between husband and wife is picturized well. The humor in the screenplay works very well to keep the audience engaged throughout.

Low Points: For the love of Ove you would tend to ignore any low points.

Overall the movie appears to be a sincere attempt in getting the book to real life. Combined with great visuals and stunning performances the movie is a pleasant watch.

Must Watch