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.
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
Premam Review – Premam is a Malayalam romantic comedy movie released in 2015. The plot revolves around the life of George living in Aluva, his love interests, his happiness, failure and transformation through various phases of life.
The movie is from the Neram team. Director Alphonse Putharen has delivered yet another interesting tale that would keep you engaged throughout. Premam does not follow the usual three act structure rather the entire screenplay is organized like a bouquet of pages from the diary of a person. You get to peek into the life of this person in 3 periods of time. The core theme of the movie is love and the factor that would connect the audience throughout the movie are those nostalgic moments that one could associate with. The director has used some extreme close up shots of the surroundings to give the feel for it. The director has also banked heavily on the star value of Nivin Pauly which he has gained since Neram. This has worked very well. Nivin Pauly has grown into a versatile actor. He could transform himself from a soft spoken, shy chocolate boy to a fearsome angry young man in jiffy. This is a major strength for the movie. Rajesh Murugesan has delivered yet again in the music department for the director. The editing is also done well in particular for the songs.
High Points: Nostalgic moments, Nivin Pauly’s performance, Editing and Cinematography, Comedy in the script and Of course love.
Low Points: The screenplay is tad bit longer for the content of the script. The second half gets a bit dragging before it gets back on track.
Overall you will fall in love with love (Premam) once again and watch it when it is in the theaters. Kudos to Alphonse Putharen and team for giving a light-hearted and breezy movie
Worth a Watch
London Bridge Review – London Bridge is a Malayalam romance drama released in 2014. Vijay is a successful businessman settled down in London. He gets the chance of his life to become the son in law of another famous businessman CS Nambiar. But with a strange turn of events a girl who is the bread winner of a poor family gets hit by his car and her right hand is paralyzed which prevents her from taking up a job. What will Vijay do now is the story of London Bridge.
London bridge did not work for me. Other than the pleasant visuals of London and UK countryside there was nothing enjoyable in this tale of romance. Majority of the movie happens in UK barring a few scenes in India. Through the entire movie the lead pair looks jet lagged. Nandita Raj’s expression is between A and B. Most of the intense emotional sequences fall flat with her single expression face. Prithivraj has tried hard to act but the chemistry between the pair goes missing. The plot of the story is very unique where the conflict is between the romance and morality of self. However it takes a U turn trying when the transition in the hero almost happens very quickly and you would be able to guess the call he would take naturally in the end. The second half of the movie happens to be just a formality to witness the predictable eventuality. If the stress has been made more on the inner conflict of the hero and kept him strong till the end of the movie it would have made a very interesting tale.
Prathap Pothan and Andrea Jeremiah are a big plus for the movie. Although they don’t have much scenes but the sequences they are present are watchable. Another drawback in the movie is its length and pace. The pace is too slow.
Overall this is a forgettable movie for Prithivraj. It had the promises but has failed to deliver on it.
Can Skip it
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Vellimoonga Review – Vellimoonga (Barn Owl) is a Malayalam political drama released in 2014. The movie revolves around the life of a middle aged man Mamachen who is still single and actively involved in politics. He aspires to setup his family and also rise up in politics but it is not easy as people who are jealous of him try to play spoilsport.
The movie had released without making much noise and is a very engaging drama. There is no unnecessary song and dance in the movie. It is filled with some neat performances, humor and dialogues. As the plot is drawn on a political canvas every character in the movie talks a lot. Hardly will you find any silent sequence in the movie. Biju Menon is a great choice for the role and he has carried out his role with perfection. His acting and his unique mannerisms would make Mamachen character loved by the audience. The way he always finds a way to ride in the front seat of the jeep, never pays for his ride and his mom says that he never travels in an auto as it does not allow him to sit in the front are great examples to develop a character. Aju Varghese is very successful in making us laugh yet again. The rest of the characters in the movie are also developed well and help in moving the story along. Director Jibu Jacob has presented an engaging political drama that is fresh and satisfying. The election preparations and processions have been done well. He has also very well portrayed how the meaning of Khadi clothes has changed over time from Gandhiji to the current politicians. It has now become a trademark of Indian politics. Usually for political drama Chanakya would be used as a symbolism, but the use of Barn Owl as a symbolism in the movie is very creative.
Overall the movie is a very enjoyable affair. If you like movies with political background you would definitely enjoy Vellimoonga. There is never a dull moment in the movie and it entertains you throughout.