Author Archives: kjvambu

Manjadikuru (Malayalam: English: Lucky Red Seeds)

This movie has won lots of awards. National and International. Deserves everyone of them. Yet another riveting movie from Kerala.

The movie is in four layers.The elder (father) of a family (disjointed)  in a Kerala village dies and the family (4 sisters and two brothers) comes down for the last rites. The siblings are not necessarily happy and friendly to each other.  A few of them are also vying for the property. They form a layer.

The children of the siblings (two boys, Vicki, Kannan and a girl) form the layer two.

Roja, a domestic help trafficked from Tamil Nadu to work in this family  and treated badly by the people of the house hold (played by Vyjayanthi whose real life is no different to the character she plays ) is the layer three.

The fourth layer is the narration (voice and a small appearance by Prithviraj), in the background, by the older Vicki of his recollection of the happenings of the 16 days that follows someones death.

Anjali Menon (writer and director and awardee ‘Best Debut Direction by a Woman at New Jersey ISACF, New York, US’) like a ‘spinning plates’ trickster, spins a wonderful and intriguing story of each of the layers by themselves at times and together at other times. The movie handles expertly the complexity of  the grownups and contrasts it with pure happiness of childhood. The backcloth for all the drama is a beautiful Kerala village. Prithviraj acts with his voice! The rest of the cast is maneuvered skillfully by the director into good performances without overdose. With so many people in a  small space, the characters do not crowd you and create a chaos. You simple get a window seat to watch the family functioning in this case dis-functioning. Trade mark Malayalam movie.

The movie has a strong message about child labor and trafficking of girls into Kerala as domestic help and their abuse.In my opinion it teaches a lesson to the audience in  a way cinema is meant to.

Powerful movie and good watch for the whole family. Get young children to watch and teach them the right ways of life.

Rated G. Few scenes with a dead body and you may want to be with your young children.

 

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Su.. Su… Sudhi Vathmeekam (Malayalam)

I find a new meaning for the word ‘Movies’. It moves you somewhere within.This movie did that for me and I am sure you will feel the same way. This is an extraordinary movie about an ordinary person, Sudhi, with a short coming; Stammering!. Life is not easy and the movie revolves around how Sudhi’s normal life is (nothing really is normal if you have such an unfortunate problem). The narration is crisp with a stellar performance by Jayasurya supported by typical non-nonsense Malayalam cast. Shivada Nair (Kalyani) is a Malayali and looks the part.

I have become Jayasurya’s fan, instantly.  Like many of his contemporaries  Jayasurya becomes the part. You see an ordinary everyday Malayali with stammering to make his life difficult and at times unberable. Yet there is a light at the end of his tunnel. The story is simple and the movie keeps it that way.

Another classic Malayalam movie with no excess, silly comedy or sentimental overdrive.

I have rated it 5 stars.

I never thought I will write this. But, please do see this movie with your family.

Rating G

Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol (Malayalam)

(English: When the Grapevines Sprout)

Munthirivallikal_Thalirkkumbol_poster

Movie tailor made for Mohanlal. He does the trick again by not acting but becoming the part. Such is Mohanlal’s talent.

This is a story about a bored middle aged person rediscovering his spouse, the love they shared, he forgot and he rediscovered. Once again very Malayalam movie and no nonsense. The acting is sensible and realistic without excess. There are no punch dialogues, no terrible comedy, no one man beating ten people for thirty minutes and no double meaning words. Also good see that the the movie’s dialogues are in Malayalam,

Meena and Mohanlal have a combined chemistry and screen presence. She provides a simple and effective performance.

The message for Young girls is impressive, specially when the neighbouring Tamil mainstream is propagating ‘every behaviour and crossing limits are acceptable. I would have loved see less drinking scenes but part of it is the story line.

Good weekend movie.

Rating MA15+  Lots of drinking scenes.3 STARS

Jomonte Suvisheshangal (Malayalam)

JomonteJomonte Suvisheshangal (Jomon’s Gospels) is about a spoilt son of a rich man coming of age/maturity the hard way and come to term with real life.

Dulquer Salmaan in the lead role charms you no end. He is natural talent combined with boyish charms make his movie very watchable. He is supported by wonderful performance by Mukesh as the father. Credit to the director Sathuyan Anthikad not to over drive the sentimental screw.

Aiswarya Rajesh as usual lights up the screen with her dusky appeal. Another chunky role well delivered. You can’t help becoming her fan. The chemistry between Dalquer and her is something to look forward to in future movies.

Yet another Malayalam movie which manages to underplay and under perform and keeps you  very interested. ‘Neelakasham’ song and its picturisation is a rare treat. Instant hit song. Good family movie.

Rating G3 STARS

Pa Paandi (Tamil)

Pa PandiThis is a different movie. Specially, for Tamil movies stooped in masala chewing gum, this is a refreshing change. A 60+ man feeling lonely is seeking to find his first love from his younger age. He is known as Power Pandi, a legacy from his work as stunt master for movies.

Raj Kiran is Pa Pandi. He fits the part. I normally like his style of acting. But felt something was missing. Not sure if Dhanush’s first direction venture left some stones un-turned.

Yet, Pa Pandi is very watchable and is a good entertainer. Revathi is a gem and can make herself felt in one scene. Prasanna lends good support. Good movie for easy watching.
Rating M (some violence)3 STARS

Pathemari(Malayalam)

Pathemari_film_posterPatemari (Malayalam) (Dhow) is about the life of an immigrant worker in Dubai. Mammooty holds the movie with his brand of silky smooth acting and restricted sentimental dose. Brilliant!

If you ever lived and worked in the Middle East this movie will make a lot of sense and bring a wave of nostalgia.

One man earns and the rest of the family find way to spend and overspend. He lives and perishes and feels a sense of achievement.

Why only Malayalam movies make them so natural and life like. The cast don’t act but appear. You get a window seat in their life. Adore it.
Rating G3 STARS

Bahubali 2 Conclusion (Telugu)

Rarely the sequel is better than the original. Bahubali 2 is a colossal production improving on 1. The visual effects are mind boggling. This is a VMAX theater movie and a must see for big production lovers. The story continues from 1 and the producers have fine tuned the overall impact. I saw it on VMAX and was sitting spellbound for three hours. The sound quality is brilliant. Truly mesmerizing.

Don’t judge it, look for logic or look for rationality.  Sit back and live through the fantasy unfolding with tremendous impact. Hats off!

All the actors look like your characters from ‘Ambuli Mama’ have come true. The physicality of the two lead actors is a Telugu screen specialty.  Pity there is no Bahubali 3.

Not long from now you will see Mahabaratham and Ramayanam following. One day they may even make ‘Ponniyin Selvan’.

The movie is a giant leap and puts Indian cinema, specially Telugu cinema at its best and at par or better than  Hollywood big budget productions.

Rated M 15+ – Extreme violence.5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars