Aviyal Review – Aviyal is a Tamil anthology film released in 2016. This movie is a bouquet of four Tamil short films directed by different directors.
Anthology films are a boon to the film industry for multiple reasons. It gives opportunities for new talents to work with well-established artists. It also gives opportunities for well-established artists to experiment something new with a lesser risk compared to a full-length feature film. Aviyal is one such movie. Although the plot lines are something we might have seen or heard before, the treatment is fresh. Each of the four stories engages well with the audience. And as a special treat, the last one is directed by Alphonse Putharen starring Nivin Pauly and Bobby Simha. I couldn’t pinpoint one movie to be better than the other as all the stories were equally good.
Indian government should support such anthology films to help identify and nurture new talents. This also serves as a platform to test some new treatment and genres with the audience, which can go a long way in making the quality of films better and profitable.
High Points: Short and enjoyable tale with a good sense of humor, Good performances from some of the new-comers. The short film by Alphonse Putharen starring Nivin Pauly and Bobby Simha stands out due to the star cast and narrative style.
Low Points: The movie was promoted with Nivin Pauly and Bobby Simha so people coming in for them would be disappointed as they feature only in the last film. The length of the movies could have been maintained at 20 mins to make it more engaging.
Overall Aviyal is tasty with all vegetables cooked well to give some true flavours. It also stays true to its recipe by not including too much masala. Support good cinema and budding talents by watching this one.
Premam (Malayalam movie) has been one of the wholesome entertainers of the year. Though the usual commercial masala elements with some cliched sequences still Premam had an irresistible run at the box office. Post the success of the 70’s blockbuster Sholay someone asked Sippy the secret behind the success of Sholay. He answered movies like Sholay are not made to succeed they just happen. The same analogy could be applied to Premam as well. In this week’s Friday Fundas I wanted to explore some of the facets that made Premam entertaining.
The most appealing element of the movie was about memories. Atleast more than one sequence in Premam would have appealed to you and brought back the memories of your past hidden deep inside your heart. It had some similarities to the movie Autograph by director Cheran. However, Premam was more on a lighter note. The movie is arranged in three phases school life, college life and life beyond college. During the first phase of the movie, more of Macro shots had been used. The movie starts with the shot of a small wall beside the garden which is seen in a typical middle-class household in Kerala. Such type of shots has been used throughout this phase like the jars of the tea shop, close up of the juice in a glass and so on. These shots help in touching one of the five senses in you as I had talked about in Recipe for movies to connect with Audience. The entire gang hanging around in the tea shop, stalking girls, using landline phone to call friends bring back some of the good old memories.
Nivin Pauly’s character George is the pivotal character in the movie. The character arc of Nivin Pauly is done very well across the three phases. A clean shaven look without mustache during the school days, a fully grown beard with a black shirt and white dhoti during the college days and clean shaven with a neatly trimmed mustache look post the college phase brings in a good amount of variation. The innocence in the character during the first scene transitions to a rough and tough look and then transitions to a calm composed look. Nivin Pauly’s body language to depict these transitions is one of the strengths of the movie.
The casting for the heroines has been a big plus. Featuring new actresses who are not from mainstream cinema has worked wonders in connecting with the audience very well. If anyone is planning on a Premam remake, use new faces rather than resorting to actresses who are already well established. This plays a very effective role in connecting with the audience well. A girl next door image helps the audience in associating with the lead character.
The songs were not added just for the sake of adding songs. Although one could argue it had commercial intentions, I felt the songs were cleverly woven into the story giving a musical tone for the film. The songs were also very pleasing and merged with the tone of the movie.
The movie had well-written humour which worked well. The absence of emotional melodrama is a big plus for the movie.
The above are some of the points that worked well with movies. Overall if the script connects with the audience irrespective of it being a commercial entertainer or an off beat film it will succeed.
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
Neram – A comedy thriller movie which had been made in Tamil and Malayalam simultaneously. The plot revolves around Vetri who has lost his job just before his sisters wedding. He borrows money from a goon, who is known for his cruel acts when people fail to repay the dues. 3 months later he is not able to repay as he has not found a job. His girl friend comes out of her house as her father is planning to get her married to someone else. The goon is after Vetri. His brother in law is asking for the remaining dowry money. Vetri somehow manages to get money from his friend but on the way loses it to a roadside thief. He is at cross roads where he has to get his girl friend, get money to repay the goon and his brother in law all in a matter of few hours. Will he be able to do it is the rest of the story.
Although the plot is simple the handling is very novel and the director Alphonse Putharen has done a very neat job with the narration. The movie starts slowly and builds up pace as it moves forward and engages with the audience. You would see a lot of influence of Tarantino and Guy Ritchie style of narration in parts. The characterization is a big plus for the movie. All of the characters have played their part very well. The director has created a complex knot in the build up phase and he has handled the climax very well to remove the knots in a very dramatic and comical yet convincing fashion. The movie and its narration style are fresh for Tamil and Malayalam audience. New directors coming up with such different scripts is a very welcome change for Indian Cinema. Watch it for its novel treatment.