Category Archives: Malayalam Movies

Joji Review

Joji Review – Joji is a Malayalam dark crime drama released in 2021. The story revolves around a family of brothers where everything seems to go fine from the outside but internally greed lurks around. How a simple amazon order triggers the chain of events that would bring out the worst in people is what Joji is all about. Joji is a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Joji is Dileesh Pothan’s third outing with Fahad Faasil after Maheshinte Prathikaram and Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum. One could notice the signature style of Dileesh Pothan’s world that captures the essence of reality as it is. This one may not be pleasing to anyone and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are people who dislike this movie.

Dileesh has taken time to introduce the characters and the surrounding of the story visually without explicit words. A courier delivery person riding through a small town and then through rubber plantations to reach Joji’s house, the empty dining table in a big house filled with members, each of them not looking into the eyes while talking, absence of any house help for a such a big wealthy family and many more such visuals tell you a lot about the family.

Fahaad’s performance as Joji is brilliant. He has lost a lot of weight for this character. He is the son that his muscular father is not very proud about. He treats him like a trash as he is just a boy in a blanket, for he feels solace is confining himself to his closed room (Joji’s palace) wrapped in a blanket. He tries hard to impress the family that he has a seat at the table by doing horse trading but none of them takes him seriously.

The only person in the house on whom he can exercise some control is the son of his eldest brother. The other person in the house, who treats him equally is his sister-in-law ( wife of his second brother ). When the father of the family meets with an unexpected accident that puts him in mortal danger, the dark side of the family turns up. It’s not just the family the film also brings out the selfish nature that is everywhere. His father’s friend asks the son to get the liquor bottle from his father’s case while his father is still unconscious. The priest is obsessed with the latest gadgets. The people spreading rumors around the mishap in a wealthy family,

The only sequence that happens outside of the estate is few shots at the hospital. Otherwise, the entire movie happens within the estate. For the most part of the movie, there is no background score but at key moments the symphony kicks in elevating the impact of the scene to a different level.

High Points: Direction of the movie, performance of Fahad Faasil, background score, visuals.

Low Points: Its a slow burner and is very dark. It may note suite the taste of general audience.

Overall Joji is an excellent film that stays very true to its genre. Once you get connected to the world, you would feel you have lived with the family for 90 odd minutes. If you love slow burner, crime dramas then don’t miss Joji.

Must Watch

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion Review

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion Review – Baahubali 2 is a Telugu historical fantasy fiction released in 2017. This movie is a sequel to the Baahubali: The Beginning released in 2015. Shivdu, after rescuing his mother from the prison has to take over Mahishmati kingdom by defeating Bhallaladeva to regain his father’s glory. The movie is also released in Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi as well.

More than Shivdu’s plight, the expectation has turned towards the reason as to why Kattappa had killed Baahubali. There are no much surprises here. I am not going to reveal it and spoil the fun for you.  The movie is an out and out visual grandeur with a lot of war sequences. The visual effects are quite stunning with some great production quality. Rajamouli is a true magician for he makes everything believable and when you sort of think logic he has slipped in emotions for you to overlook it.  Prabhas, Ramyakrishnan and Sathyaraj have a more elaborate role to play in this edition. Anushka plays a younger avatar and the love interest of Amarendra Baahubali. Rana’s performance comes only in the second half of the movie.

Certain key sequences in the movies have been done really well. The initial war sequence in Anushka’s palace, the pivotal scene of Kattappa killing Baahubali, the interval block. All these sorts of gives you goosebumps.  There are many minimum guarantee cliched sequences as well in an attempt to please a wider variety of audiences like the introduction of Prabhas, catapulting using a Palm tree, the final war sequence. Despite these the movie still keeps you engaged for the 2 hours 47 minutes of run time. The creative touch in the titles using brass statue figures to cover the highlights of the first part of the movie is brilliant.

One of the key element I look forward to in Rajamouli’s movies is the characterisation. The stand out is the characterisation of Rajamaata and Amarendra Baahubali. Rana and Anushka’s characters have been constructed well. I felt Kattappa’s characterization has mellowed down from the first part. He fills in for the role of hero’s sidekick in the first half of the movie. While the performance is enjoyable, but having seen Kattappa fierce fully jumping on his enemies to save Sivagami this did not go well for me. While focussing on visual grandeur the script loses the emphasis on drama. For instance, Anushka trying to practice with two arrows just passes through subtle when compared to Shivdu’s irresistible desire to climb the mountain in the first part. You could see many instances where the script hasn’t given any time for you to soak in the drama of the scene. Whenever the drama is created even fewer instances it is quite a treat to watch for instance Bhallaladeva stopping his father from speaking in the meeting and letting him loose at an opportune moment, the crown ceremony during the interval block.

The climax fight looked to be a cloying overdose of special effects and emotions.

High Points: Visual Effects, the interval block as in the first part, Prabhas, Rana, Ramyakrishnan and Sathyaraj’s performance, the initial war sequences, Kattappa killing Baahubali.

Low Points: Cliched sequences of the hero worship. The BGM scores well in key sequences otherwise it was a forgettable affair for me. Kattapa’s character transformation to be hero’s sidekick performing comical acts. The Catapulting sequence using palm trees.

Overall Baahubali 2 is a much greater visual grandeur compared to its prequel. In a haste to cater to formalities, it fails to bring in the punch like its prequel. Nevertheless, it is a treat to watch this on the big screen.

Worth a Watch

 

 

Adi Kapyare Kootamani Review

Adi Kapyare Kootamani Review – Adi Kapyare Kootamani is a Malayalam comedy movie released in 2015.  A young woman Adhista Lakshmi enters Men’s hostel for sake adventure with the help of a hostel inmate Bhanu. But getting out of the hostel without being caught doesn’t seem easier.

A very simple plot tied in with some of the nostalgic memories of a hostel is the strength of Adi Kapyare Kootamani. Guys who have lived in a hostel would be able to relate to many of the incidents in the movie. In particular, the scenes in which there are watch guards making animal sounds to announce the arrival of the hostel in charge, hiding liquor in the room, doing dance rehearsals, playing volleyball all would remind some evergreen nostalgic memories of a men’s hostel.

Dhyan Srinivasan, Aju Varghese, Namitha Pramod, Vineeth Mohan and Neeraj Madhav essay their roles well. Mukesh is a good pick to play the role of Father Alfred.

High Points: The plot is based on some nostalgic hostel memories everyone could relate to. The sequence of Father Alfred comes in for inspection amidst of many voice signals indicating his arrival is hilarious. The comedy has worked very well.

Low Points: There is a dramatic twist added to the movie in the end which does not seem to fit the script. They could have made an ending without getting a paranormal angle to it. There is no much scenes to establish the character of the lead characters in the movie but for Mukesh. Hence you might take time to connect to the characters.

Overall I found the movie to be very entertaining one. The comedy works well. The screenplay stays to the core plot. If you have spent some part of your life living in a hostel you would relate to this much better.

Worth a Watch

Action Hero Biju Review

Action Hero Biju Review – Action Hero Biju is a Malayalam drama film released in 2016. The story revolves around the daily life of a local town sub-inspector in Kerala.

The movies title and trailer are a bit misleading for it to be a typical commercial cop drama. However the tagline “A ride with a police officer” is a more apt title. Nivin Pauly had switched gears after the blockbuster Premam to do a realistic cop drama. The word realistic is key because the movie is very simple and revolves around the day to day life of a cop. After watching the movie for 140 minutes you get a feeling of having been a spectator in a police station. You see the police officer trying to resolve the cases, adamant to not to submit before power, deal with emotional situations with a straight face as it is a routine, enjoy the music played by a convict. The conflicts are not dramatic like any other movie. Barring the last fight sequence, the movie is a sincere attempt to pay tribute to the cops.

The best part of the movie is the screenplay. It is almost like a theater where the next set of characters arrive to perform on the stage once the previous ones are done. Here the police station is like a stage. You see a plethora of characters including a local drug dealer, a stalker, a nuisance creator in public, a separated couple, a human right activist, a spoilt rich man to mention a few. Each of the characters adds an interesting facet to the narration. In many parts, you see parallel tracks going on a different case and each of them gets a logical resolution. The start of the movie creates the necessary suspense needed to glue the audience to the seat.

High Points: A sincere screenplay without any frills, Nivin Pauly’s performance as sub-inspector Biju, character sketches in various cases.

Low Points: I want to leave this blank to laud the effort of an honest film.

Overall Action Hero Biju is a movie for all movie buffs. The makers have proved how you can make an interesting movie without falling into the fray of items forced in for commercial reasons. I would recommend this to be a Must watch for the sincere script.

Must Watch

Jacobinte Swargarajyam Review

Jacobinte Swargarajyam Review – Jacobinte Swargarajyam is Malayalam family drama released in 2016. Jacob lives a very happy life with his family in Dubai. But as one of his business partner cheats him he has to flee to Liberia to avoid getting arrested and his son Jerry has to step in to pull the family out of crisis.

The movie is based on a true story. Director Vineeth Sreenivasan has attempted honestly to portray this as a family entertainer on screen. His effort needs to be lauded. The movie begins with sequences that are loaded with too many positives that it starts to become a cloying in some time. However once the characters are faced with the core problem it becomes very engaging.

Off late there are very less number of movies based on core family values are getting released. It was once very popular in the South film industry when likes of director Visu and V.Shekhar were making movies. It is definitely refreshing to see a movie built on family values after a long time. And to everyone’s surprise, it still works well with the audience.

The first half of the movie belongs to Renji Panicker and his character is built very well in front of the audience. Nivin Pauly has a lot of scope in the second half. This movie is in quiet contrast to Premam for Nivin Pauly, where he has to underplay for his character and does not bring out his heroism. Even in the scene where he and his brother pick a fight with the neighbor Nivin stays at the side to watch it. This is so true to the definition of the Jerry’s character being played. Nivin, stay like this forever and don’t fall into the fray of becoming a mass hero who is only destined to bash bad guys. Lakshmi Ramakrishnan has a very powerful role to play in the movie as well. She is the portrayal of woman power in the movie.

High Points: The movie based on a true incident, a plot revolving around core family values, Performance from Renji Panicker.

Low Points: Cloying screenplay at the first 20 minutes or so.

There are lot of positives in Jacob’s kingdom of heaven. Go with your family and you would enjoy this one more.

Worth a Watch