Charlie Review – Charlie is a Malayalam romantic comedy released in 2015. A young woman Tessa moves into a house and finds the previous tenant Charlie has left his things as is in the house. As she cleans she finds the narration of incomplete incident and attempts to find more about it. Her attempt turns into a journey of her life and she falls in love with Charlie before she meets him.
Charlie is a soul searching journey filled with love. It seems to be a fairy tale of sorts that each one of us try to find in our life. The characters in the movie are sketched beautifully and each one of them stays in your mind later as well. The comic tone of the movie adds to a pleasant watching experience. Dulquer Salman and Parvathy Menon have essayed their roles with perfection. As the movie progresses they grow on you. The curiosity and eagerness to meet Charlie grows on with Tessa. As it grows on her it grows on the audience too. The other significant character in the movie is played by Aparna Gopinath. She is a great addition in the second half.
The screenplay never dulls for a moment and it is one of the best interval blocks I have seen for a romantic movie after Vinnaithandi Varuvaya. The movie also captures the essence of the culture of Cochin very well. The background score and songs merge with the sequences well. The climax sequences happening amidst of Thrissur Pooram has been done well. Kudos to Director Martin Prakkat and team for believing in Charlie and being candid in presenting it.
High Points: Fresh screenplay, Characterization of the artists, Comic flavor to the whole movie, Culture of Cochin, Performance of the lead actors.
Low Points: Not many low points here.
Overall, if you have been complaining about the usual cliches in movies go and watch Charlie it is fresh, emotional and provides a great viewing experience.
Masala Padam Review – Masala Padam is a Tamil new wave cinema released in 2015. A conflict between online bloggers and a commercial masala film producer results in a challenge wherein the bloggers have to come up with a commercial film script without the cliches in six months and the producer would produce it. To come up with a script they decide to follow three different persons in real life to create their incidents.
First and foremost this is not a spoof movie which it seemed to be due to the casting and some of the promos. Rather it is about making a masala movie.
The movie is a new wave cinema and is abstract for a common viewer. It deals with the core question if making a masala movie necessary to woo the audience. There are a lot of technical references to script writing and the social media. This may not have connected with many folks. I thoroughly enjoyed the buildup portion of the movie and the core conflict. However post the midway the movie’s purpose shifts from script writing to the lives of three people. This is where it lost the plot.
If the script writers for the movie have given more emphasis on movie making itself, it would have been a great movie.
High Points: The plot and core conflict, The scene in which the TV reporter asks a common man if he has seen any reality movie and he refers to the Baasha sums it all, Bobby Simha and Shiva’s performance, there are no unwanted song or dance in the movie.
Low Points: Casting and promotion could have been better for instance for the rom-com hero they could have had a cast who was as popular as Shiva and Bobby Simha, The shifting of core conflict from script writing post the midpoint caused a disconnect.
The movie is well made despite its flaws and definitely would interest you if you are interested in movie making. If you are not interested in movie making then this may not engage you so much. I am giving this a watchable rating for the plot.
Worth a Watch
Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam – is a Tamil film released in 2014. Director R.Parthiepan said it is a film without a story. How will a film without a story be what the story would deal with? He also said it is a tribute to 100 years of Indian Cinema. Well the movie is about a team of aspiring film makers trying to search for that convincing story to make their first film. Through their journey the director has conveyed how difficult it is to make a movie that is entertaining for the audience. Making a film is not always as it is perceived by people; it is really a tough job. Years and months of hard work can be trashed by audience in minutes. A magic is only as good till the audience can guess the trick… a film is only as good till the audience can predict the flow. Finally they do realize they can create script from their everyday experiences but the final question is will a producer agree for it? How long they can run behind their aspirations with family commitments each of them have.
The first half of the movie is about the nuances of script writing and also through their discussion covers some of the amazing gems in old Tamil Cinema which has concepts and outlook that none of the modern day movies have. Due to some of the amateur actors and lack of dramatic elements of the story you would feel disconnected in the first half but the second half is very engaging. Through this R.Parthiepan has tried to experiment multiple things; he has tried to narrate a story to the audience that can be made into a film, he also broken all the grammatical rules of script writing but still the end product has come out decently.
This is not for those who search for a standard story and plot in the movie but for those who appreciate the magic of cinema in whatever form it might be. This one deserves a watch for the sincere attempt and for the love of cinema.
Thanks to all those who has the perseverance of creating good cinema and midst of so many difficulties devote their life to entertain the audience – a true tribute to 100 years of Indian cinema.
Watchable – for the love of cinema