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.
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.
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
Thattathin Marayathu – is a Malayalam romance drama released in 2012. A Hindu boy living in Kerala falls in love with a Muslim girl. Were they able to get together in life is the plot of Thattathin Marayathu.
Thattathin Marayathu means “behind the veil”. A very apt title for the movie as it is related to the beauty of the lady behind the veil. A very well-known plot of an Indian romance movie, yet the movie is enjoyable for the way it has been presented, the characters are sketched and the sequences are tied together. The nativity of Malabar area is captured well and people from that area would be able to relate to the movie and its location better. Nivin Pauly and Aju Varghese havedelivered a very convincing performance for director Vineeth Srinivasan. One of the big positives for the movie is that the scenes are very realistic and sketched with a feel good factor in it. If you are a fan of feel good romantic entertainers this one is a must watch for you.
Om Shanthi Oshaana – is a Malayalam romantic comedy released in 2014. The story revolves around a girl who falls in love with a guy in her teens. The guy doesn’t accept her love as she is still a kid. She waits six long years till she is on her own and completes her degree. Was she able to get the guy of her dreams is the plot of Om Shanthi Oshaana.
The plot is a very old one and has been dealt in numerous movies. Certain plots are like a fresh coffee in the morning… no matter how many years you had been having it, the first sip in the morning always tastes fresh. Only thing to take care is to make the coffee right. Director Jude Anthany Joseph with his fresh screenplay has made a perfect blend. Being his first full length movie he hasn’t compromised on the elements of his plot. Nazriya is cute with her performance and the story sails around her. Nivin Pauly has given a much matured performance and the Neram pair strikes gold again with their onscreen chemistry. All the characters you meet are positive, “there is a cool breeze, general warmth and greenery” (you will understand this phrase once you see the movie) throughout the movie. It is one of the movies where even the sad scenes look beautiful. While people are struggling hard to make something big, innovative and out of the world love stories… this one comes with simple, beautiful and down to earth love story. If you are girl kid of the 90’s you will have more things to relate in the movie. The dialogues are witty and makes you laugh at many places. Overall the movie is right for the season and it is a feel-good entertainer throughout.