Category Archives: Malayalam Movies

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

Ain Review

Ain Review – Ain is a Malayalam drama film released in 2015. Maanu is a lazy and aimless youngster living in Malabar area. He has a weird interest towards the smell of blood from the slaughtering of animals. Things change when Maanu happens to witness a murder which makes him flee from his village. This movie has won the National Award for the best feature film in Malayalam.

Director Sidhartha Siva has painted the life of a jobless youngster very well. He has brilliantly used the canvas of local political situation. The movie questions the responsibility of an individual towards the society. While there are organizations fighting for rights of animals there are a lot of human slaughtering that goes unquestioned. Thanks to Bengaluru Film Festival, I was able to see this on a big screen.

The tone of the movie is very realistic and takes you into the life of an aimless youth in the region. The nativity of the region is very well covered in the movie. The script has a very good sense of humor built in which makes it a very interesting watch. In particular, the dream sequences of Maanu are well done. The lead actor Musthafa has portrayed the character of Maanu very well.  There are no dramatic turns in the movie. The movie just captures the coming of age process of the lead character.

High Points: The performance of Musthafa, a very realistic tone, the nativity of the Malabar area, the dream sequences

Low Points: If you are not aware of the Malabar area you might miss many subtle things portrayed in the movie

Overall Ain (The Eye) is a movie made sincerely. Although about an aimless youngster, the movie has an aim in questioning some of the social injustice that happens and emphasizes the duty of the citizen to stand up for it. If you are interested in watching good cinema without the usual song and dance then this one is a must watch.

Must Watch

Charlie Review

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.

Must Watch

Kunjiramayanam Review

Kunjiramayanam Review – Kunjiramayanam is a Malayalam comedy movie released in 2015. Kunjiraman a youth living in a village called Desham unknowingly brings upon some curse to the place. The plot revolves around the curse, the superstitions and how the people living around deal with it.

Director Basil Joseph has taken a very innocent story that deals with the simplistic lives of the people. The movie is sort of a bouquet of memories that you would have experienced from childhood spent in a village. The movie is a lighthearted fun watch with some good quality humor. Vineeth Sreenivasan has essayed the role of Kunjiraman very well. The ensemble of cast who also have significant role to play in the movie ably supports him. Dealing with so many characters and providing them some significant screen space is not an easy task for a first time director. Basil Joseph has handled it very well.

The liquor shop sequence involving the liquor brand Salsa is hilarious and is the best part of the movie. Aju Varghese and Dhyan Sreenivasan are part of a sub plot in the movie, which is also very entertaining. Similarly the sub plot featuring Mamukkoya as Well done Vasu is entertaining. There are many such things to look forward to in this movie. There is no one person who is central to the movie but the village and its people form the core of the story.

High Points: Very simplistic plot, Good humor and good ensemble of cast, screenplay and characterization, liquor shop sequence, multiple subplots that are entertaining.

Low points: If you are expecting a larger than life movie then you might be disappointed. You need to catch the subtle references to enjoy the movie.

Overall Kunjiramayanam is a wholesome entertainer that would give a hearty laugh to the viewers this Onam. While you can argue that it can be done much better, still it is a very laudable effort for a first timer. Go and watch it in the theaters.

Worth a Watch