Tel Aviv On Fire Review – Tel Aviv On Fire is an Arabic comedy-drama released in 2018. Salam is a Palestinian living in Jerusalem. He is working on a Soap opera as a scriptwriter. He gets his plot ideas from the commander at the check post he passes through. As the show becomes popular, the commander wants the climax to be changed the way he wants.
Director Sameh Zoabi has crafted a witty screenplay at the backdrop of a socially tense situation. The movie is hilarious right from the first shot. The scenes shift from the soap opera to the real life effortlessly. The brilliance in the screenplay makes you interested in progress of both the tales the real story as well as the story of the soap opera.
Kai’s Nashif is very convincing as Salam. His performance is witty and enjoyable. The inspiration he looks for writing the script is quite hilarious and later we see that it has a stronger connection to his life too. Yaniv Bitton steals the show as the commander at the check post. His asks are unexpected and helps in bringing some surprises in the plot.
High Points – The comedy in the script, the background score elevates the scenes, the interwoven plots of soap opera and the real life, ending of the movie is very entertaining
Low Points – Folks who do not like this kind of comedy may not enjoy the movie.
Overall, Tel Aviv On Fire is an entertaining drama, that has a very satirical take on the Soap Operas and also brings the funnier side of people although separated by political system to the forefront.
The Bra Review – The Bra is a silent comedy-drama that is shot in Azerbaijan. Train driver Nurlan on his retirement day finds that his train has snagged a blue bra from the neighborhood. He sets on a journey to return the bra to the owner.
They say silence is golden. And it aptly fits the movie for if they have added dialgoues it would have lost its beauty and lost into either a cliched tale or become a gross comedy. People hesitate to speak about the undergarments as they are personal. So making it silent fits well with the plot.
As the movie starts we get to witness the beautiful landscape of Baku in Azerbaijan. The picturesque view of the mountains is equally matched with the sweet characters that are portrayed in the congested township through which the train travels. The boy at the tea shop who warns people every day of the train arriving steals our hearts instantly. Nurlan’s character is well established too as every day he goes back to the township to return the things that were snagged by the train. So it doesn’t come as a surprise when he sets out to return the bra that has been snagged by the train during his last ride.
The entire episode is a laughter riot as he adopts various techniques to return the bra to the owner. His obsession to find the right owner makes the tale very interesting one. The kid at the tea shop joins him in the quest and they make a great team. His efforts lead to unpredictable circumstances and how he eventually finds the owner when all odds are against him forms the rest of the story.
“Miki” Manojlović as Nurlan brings life to the character with his performance. His expressions speak a lot and you don’t feel the need for a language. Director Veit Helmer has dealt with the screenplay very well. The treatment of the movie is so artistic in nature that you don’t feel there are any obscene moments in the film. The cinematography and sound editing is amazing and adds additional charm to the visual. The scene in which Nurlans co-worker practices his musical instrument with running engine sounds is well made.
High Points – The movie being a silent is a high point, the visuals of Baku are breathtaking, performance of “Miki” Manojlović and the little boy, enjoyable comedy
Low Points – Hardly any low point for this one
Overall, The Bra is a movie for every cinephile. Board this train that takes you through picturesque landscapes and let’s you meet those beautiful people. You will walk out of the screen with a big smile on your face.
Ali, The Goat and Ibrahim Review – Ali, The Goat and Ibrahim ( Ali Mizah wa Ibrahim ) is an Arabic comedy drama film released in 2016. Ali a man who considers his goat Nada as his fiancee and Ibrahim a sound engineer who hears disturbing sounds in his ears meet at a clinic and embark on a journey together to find cure.
I watched this movie in the Bangalore International Film Festival 2018. The movie has a very interesting plot. Director Sharif El-Bindari has created the character of Ali and Ibrahim very well and makes us fall in love with them. You cannot fully understand the suffering of someone until you are in their shoes is an underlying message of this comedy drama. Right from the first shot the movie has a subtle reference to the prejudiced world that goes based on appearance and behavior. Police detain Ali for carrying a Teddy Bear suspecting it to be a smuggling racquet while they miss capturing a gang of folks kidnapping a women. Even Ali himself is seen having some prejudice about Ibrahim during their trip.
At time you would feel Ali is doing bit too much of being obsessed with Nada the goat. He can’t take any one calling his Nada as goat and he furiously. The journey puts them through various trials and builds a strong bond between them until some unexpected turn of events.
The lead actors portraying Ali and Ibrahim have done well. There are many moments you would laugh and the climax tops it all and makes you feel good. Nada the goat is yet another lovable animal character on screen. Although there are some cliched moments in the film, it still makes it a very enjoyable ride.
Overall Ali, The Goat and Ibrahim is a feel-good movie that would make you laugh and fall in love with life.
Parandhu Sella Vaa Trailer – Parandhu Sella Vaa is a Tamil romantic comedy film set to be released in 2016. The movie released their audio and trailer last week in Singapore. A befitting event for a movie that has been shot in Singapore.
During my childhood days my dad took me to the Tamil movie Ulagam Suttrum Valiban. He wanted me to experience the visuals of foreign locations on a big screen. I was definitely thrilled by it. The trailer of Paranthu Sella Vaa reminded me of that feeling.
The movie is directed by Dhanapal Padmanabhan after his successful first outing with Krishnaveni Panjaalai. The trailer has some witty dialogues and establishes what we can expect from the movie. What impressed me most was the visuals of Singapore. The trailer opens with a beautiful top view of Singapore Flyer and transitions to the same scene lit in the night. This visual spectacle continues through the trailer. It promises to be a visual treat.
The music is composed by Joshua Sridhar. We haven’t seen much from this talented music composer after Kaadhal. This seems to be marking his comeback with his forte of romantic songs.
The cast ensemble is impressive for the genre. With RJ Balaji, Satish and Karunakaran it should have enough to be a rib-tickler. The main protagonist is Luthfudeen (son of actor Nasser). We are seeing him onscreen after his role in Saivam. Aishwarya Rajesh plays the female lead. Addition ofNarelle Kheng a popular artist from Singapore band adds more color to already colorful cast.
It has been quite a while where a foreign location has been a significant part in a Tamil movie. This trend is picking up again with movies like Parandhu Sella Vaa and Kabali shot in Singapore and Malaysia. I am looking forward to a visual spectacle combined with some good humor in Parandhu Sella Vaa. If you haven’t watched the trailer watch it now and share your opinions in the comments section.
Bhoo Short Film – Boo is a Tamil Short film released in 2015. The central plot of the movie deals with the fear of a young man Kathir regarding the presence of Ghost.
The short film Bhoo deals with the Horror comedy genre. The movie starts with an unfortunate death of four people. Meet the hero Kathir who suffers from Phasmophobia. There has been a lot of time taken to establish the character of Kathir through a series of incidents. The team has also put together a song sequence which introduces the protagonist. The song combined with the list of establishing shots makes the introduction a bit lengthier. However once, the story reaches the main plot about few friends ending up in the house haunted by the ghost it gets back on track. This portion of the movie is done well with the limited resources the team has had.
High Points: For me the entire sequence in the house involving the ghost has been the most interesting part of the movie. This combined with a twist, in the end, makes it an interesting watch. Having a music video for a short film is yet another high.
Low Points: The Team has tried their best to bring a good movie with limited resources. The only low point is the length of the movie which could have been shorter.
Overall Bhoo is a good attempt at the horror comedy genre. The end with a twist definitely makes it a good watch. But for the length of the movie Bhoo has a lot to offer for its audience. Kudos to director Ajith and team. Best wishes for their next venture.
Worth a Watch
You can watch the full short film here
The team also went the professional way of promoting the movie with a promo song combined with an audio launch at Spathagiri hall in Coimbatore. The team organized a ticketed show at RR Grand auditorium on September 27, 2015 which was a well-participated event. These are good signs for the upcoming short film market.
Post the short film release the team has also released the making video which is funny and at the same time highlights some of the challenges the team has gone through in making the movie.
Muthina Kathirikai Review – Muthina Kathirikai is a Tamil comedy film released in 2016. Muthupandi is a 40-year-old bachelor who is aspiring to make it big in politics. He falls in love with a 25-year-old girl. His political rivals plan to spoil both his politics and love interest.
This is an official remake of Malayalam movie Vellimoonga. I loved the Malayalam movie for the humor element it had. Having Sundar C reprising the role of Biju Menon the movie looked interesting as we know Sundar C for comedy timings. However, the expectations fell short as I heard the title of the movie as Muthina Kathirikai. I felt that the makers have missed the core strength of the movie which is more about politics rather than the problem of a 40-year-old man finding a bride. Even the teasers emphasized on the romance portion than the politics. The Malayalam movie had a very apt title Vellimoonga (white owl) which represented the white kathar dress the protagonist wears and nails the theme as political drama in the heart of the audience.
If the audience goes into the movie expecting a romantic comedy they wouldn’t find one. This becomes the biggest weak point of Muthina Kathirikai. The part I liked in the Tamil movie is a sincere attempt to remake the original. However when the movie deviates from it and focusses on the romance portion it completely looks out of place. Also, I felt the cast of VTV Ganesh and his brother could have been done with different actors. They have definitely played their part well but having their names established as good comedians they don’t appear a big threat for Sundar C who could beat him.
High Points: The political drama part has come out well. Sundar C definitely feels comfortable in his zone of comedy. The comedy is definitely enjoyable in many places.
Low Points: Cliched Romance portions, Casting of the opposition leaders, The title and teaser of the movie could have emphasized on the political aspect of the movie.
Overall Muthina Kathirikai is unable to make a delicious dish, however, the dish is also not bad to discard if made at home. You could wait to watch this when played on TV.
Wait for DVD/TV
Orange Mittai Trailer
Vijay Sethupathi’s next movie directed by Biju Viswanath Orange Mittai Trailer is released. The way the trailer is presented itself gives a taste of what to expect from the movie. This is expected to be a laugh riot on lines of Soodhu Kavvum. Watch the Trailer now.
Presenting a trailer without much glimpses from the movie is definitely innovative. Probably they did not want to give too much away. However the trailer reveals or hints on the following
1. The movie is of comedy genre
2. Vijay Sethupathi is playing the character of an old man
3. Three characters are travelling together in an ambulance
4. The film may not be just slap stick comedy but have mixed bag of comedy and emotions
5. The movie also stars Ramesh Thilak who had worked with Vijay Sethupathi in Soodhu Kavvum.
The trailer has definitely hyped up the expectations. Will have to wait and watch if it is able to stay up to the expectations it has set with the audience.