Friday, September 01, 2006

Some Onam Movies, A Little Nostalgia, An Odd Thought...

Once upon a time, there was a certain excitement, which drove us, crazed college boys to the theatres...we loved the thrill of bunking class, having a quick beer, pushing and shoving other ruffians like us out of the way to the front of the ticket couter, cheering for our favorite actors, and at the end coming out satisfied at having "studied" another day in college, outside the rusted gates! These days cars have replaced bikes and buses as our means of transport, a hot tea /coffee is preferred to a visit to the bar, we huff and puff our way to the same old theatres, scowling at the rogues who wont stay in line while taking tickets, passing harsh stares to guys who whistle and etc, etc, etc. I guess we come here nowadays for the love of movies, for finding something of the old days in the new. Its funny, my approach to movies has changed, though only subtlely, i still go there deciding i am here for timepass and i wont come out irritated, however horrible the movie is...but nowadays i try to observe the screenplay, the camera panning in and out from the actors faces and visualizing how the script has translated to celluloid...oops wonder if that made sense!!

Keerthichakra didnt disappoint. An average though elegantly made film(discounting mohanlal's tummy) without all the masala that ruins war movies. What we call average movies in kerala these days invariably becomes moneyspinners...that better than anything else signifies the depths to which we have plunged. Mohanlal's dialogues have a punch that gives you goosebumps, Jeeva proves to be a very lively actor, the melodious songs come alive in beautiful picturisations of kashmir and kerala, the movie races to the interval but thereafter the director, Major Ravi loses his grip on the script for a while, before turning on the intensity with a violent climax.

Moonamathoral - Its a pity keralites have turned their backs on a very talented director who dares to be different. V.K.Prakash who debuted with that brilliant movie, Punaradhivasam gets the cold shoulder again. Malayalam cinema's first complete digital movie, stands out for awesome technical perfection, the camera, editing and sound design at par with the best, the rest of India can offer...but as usual our superstar crazy people stayed away. A horror movie, the first half kept us on tenterhooks, i tried to figure out all along which hollywood movie was being adapted here, but failed...the story seemed original though i am still not sure. What lets the movie down, are the two songs carelessly placed in the 2nd half that kills the suspense and damages the script beyond repair!

Classmates - If Vadakkumnathan was a great movie-going experience in May, this movie by Lal Jose, is my favorite this Onam by miles and miles. It is a must watch for all you people who studied in the tension-ridden atmosphere of Kerala's colleges and student politics and have suffered and enjoyed from it, if you have written loveletters to your sweethearts or to help out your friends, if you have called your best friends "aliya" and last-bit-not-the-least been part of college intrigues. It is also a must-watch for all you people who are looking for a well-crafted film with a riveting climax, with a script which irradiates freshness and stands out different from the cliched campus movies of our age. If Prithviraj isnt accepted as a good actor by malayalis even after this movie, I give up on him...he has given a superlative performances as a fiery student leader. The supporting cast of Indrajith whose comic timing is a revelation, Sunil who plays a crucial role in the film, Jayasurya in a surprisingly subdued comic avatar besides Kavya Madhavan and a whole lot of other actors, wonderfully cast for their bit roles...this movie sure is going to be the big hit this Onam. Just like me, I was sure Shan and Anoop must have been flooded by memories of our eventful college life, watching this movie...i had to drag them out of their homes to watch this one, but the grateful look on their faces when we came out of the marquee, was worth the nagging!

I dont even think Mammootty's Bhargavacharitam, Lal's Mahasamudram, Dileep's Don and Suresh Gopi's Pathaka deserve to find mention here...malayalam cinema's curse today are directors, scriptwriters and actors who are past their creative best but yet refuse to yield ground to a new generation, those who steal from others like Sreenivasan does in Bhargavacharitham, or repackage their old films like Shaji Kailas seems to have done in Don(seeing the trailer reminded me of Aaraam Thampuraan).

To wind up this post on movies, i picked up what i thought is an integral part of the indian male psyche while watching kabhi alvida...I was amused at how viciously people have badmouthed the movie coz i thought it was a decent it i found a karan johar having a keen insight into human emotions, his only fault lay in taking up an issue still taboo to most indians and trying to present it in the by-now-beaten-to-death romantic formula that DDLJ introduced in India. The friends I went to watch it with, came out with ghastly faces, telling others this was a movie about adultery(i certainly felt johar deserved more sensitivity than being called an adultery-panderer), they couldnt understand how people could cheat in their relationships...i asked them, dont you think this can happen to you too, dont you think even your marriages can fail? What i said must have shocked them...most Indian men, seem to think they they are infallible in life...if something unfortunate like this happens in their lives god forbid, i wondered how unprepared these people are for countering that situation and how wrongly they will analyze their position. Most chillingly, I realized I wasnt too different from the people above, until a couple of years back...well enough of my crappy hypothesis...wish all you readers a Happy Onam!!


Thanu said...

I saw Rapakal, I liked it. If DDLJ formula works in Hindi, Manasinakkre kind works in Malayalam.

Happy Onam.

DD said...

Well, personally (I also) felt KANK sucked,...and for many reasons! Could not really find a reason why Rani wud leave Abhishek! And tht is just one of them, personally felt the movie did not deserve even a review :)
Anyways all things aside, wish you also a great Onam!

joseph said...

but the grateful look on their faces when we came out of the marquee, was worth the nagging!

he he he.. i can just imagine how that wud be... shud see this sometime i guess!!!
Happy Onam Jabba

silverine said...

Happy Onam Jiby :)

Praveen said...

Thanks for giving the update on Onam releases, now i know which to watch and which to avoid :).

I did watch Bharhgavacharitam...., it is definitely avoidable.

Happy onam :)

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Karthik said...

Catching up with your old blogs. Bhargavacharitham is a truly forgettable movie from Sreeni. But dont forget the number of golden scripts he has provided Malayalm cine ma with.:-)

THARA MANI said...

Its pretty late to comment for this
i felt the same when i watched "Moonnamathoral" but later felt it was largely inspired from the Nicloe Kidman starrer " the Others"
nevrtheless i like the movie said...

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