Living the Sims Family Life

I had earlier written about the game, Sims Mobile, and it has been going on very well, much better than any other games I had played on Android mobile. Well, Android has not been the favourite platform of the PC gamer in me, but nowadays, I use the laptop only for education purposes, and therefore, the platform had to change. I was also playing Empire City on Android, but I have finished building in all the available space, and there is nothing more to be done with it, but the same is not with the case of Sims Mobile, which always provides us with something to do. It can be played slowly, and according to the time we have to spare. There is no need to think too much about it, as the whole thing is just like we are living a family life, with the needs and objectives being the commonly known ones.

So, now I have bought a second home in the game, and with a total of twenty sims in two houses combined, and with four playable sims, it continues to be fun, even though I have finished all the available career options and hobbies in the game, undergoing a long wait for an update. There are also those interesting missions which come in between, which we can accomplish we have time. Otherwise, we can just go on playing freely. It is not mandatory to do anything in this game, even though the initial missions will help you to advance better. Below are some moments which which felt lovely, and those which could be shared. The screenshot option nicely did the job, and I have cropped these images to keep the focus at the right place.


This is an image of the new house which I built in the game after buying a new plot. I brought some of the furniture in the other house to this new one, and also brought some new ones. I created an open space in the middle because I wanted it to be different. This is a home close to nature, with a certain amount of divergence.


When there is a teddy bear in the house, you know where the toddlers would be focusing all the time. The areas is quite crowded, and there seems to be a plan to get closer to the teddy too. But the game doesn’t have the option for the toddlers to interact directly with this toy, and it is really a shame.


Now, this one comes as a Corona special moment, as this sim keeps washing her hands. At least there is one person in the house who is rather too careful. Well, with COVID-19 around the corner, you can never be careless. The game has its moments of care for its sims, as we are still going through the same pandemic in real life.


The happiest toddler in sims is the one that is fed. You can find the same here, and even though there is no particular time for the child to be fed or put to sleep, these can be done at regular intervals to build a happy relationship with the kid which will be useful when he or she grows up. Option for toddlers to ask for food needs to be added.


There is always time for some cooking. It is actually a hobby which one can keep up, and it is also one of the first ones which you are introduced to. The other options like writing and music will quickly follow, but this one can come up with the necessary equipment quite early. Sometimes, we can also find some cooking mess up too.


The duck toy is a favourite, and the toddlers in Sims Mobile love the same, and it is cute to see them play with this particular toy. Almost every toddler seems to have one of such toys with them, and this image makes one feel that one toddler is going to snatch the toy from another, but that doesn’t happen in the game at all.


The yoga hobby is a very effective one, because you can get most of the equipment for it at a low cost, and these mats looks nice on the floor. There are some nice movements in yoga which are being practiced here, and it is surely not like any other hobby in the game. I always prefer hobbies over career – after all, it is Corona time.


If the biological mother of the babies is spending her time working on the mobile, someone else has to do the job, and this time, two people have come ready for taking care of the little ones. The babies will surely have their revenge when they grow up. These two became toddlers quicker than anticipated, and never stops moving around.


No matter how old you are, you just can’t avoid a unicorn toy. It attracts the toddlers as well as the elder children, and one might even want to say a hi and talk to the toy. Well, direct interaction is needed in this case too, and Sims Mobile should add that and more options for toddlers and children. It can take something from Sims Freeplay.


Everything needs to be planned, and here, the sim is taking a perfect measurement of the shelf. Sims Mobile has got some nice things to buy for home, and if you keep playing the game like two times a day, you will earn enough to keep you going, buying new clothing and household items. You can take it slow, or you can pay for items.


<—Click here to go to the previous post.

<— Click here to go to the last film review.

***The images used in this blog post are from my gameplay in Sims Mobile (Android Version).

TeNy

Marvel’s Marvel and DC

***Following is the list of Marvel and DC movies I wouldn’t miss after COVID-19 is over.

Suicide Squad 2: Suicide Squad is one of the most underrated superhero or rather the supervillain movies of all-time, and it has always deserved to be considered a classic. It was strange that it wasn’t that big a hit, and people were not intelligent or creative enough to immerse themselves in the beauty of that flick. Now, with the second part of this movie coming up for release, one can be sure that the aesthetic beauty on the screen can only get better, and there is the certainty of those anti-heroes whom we are going to love more than anything else. There is nothing better to watch than Margot Robbie as the psychotic Harley Quinn. Then we have John Cena here too, and we know that this is going to be big. We will still miss Cara Delevingne as the Enchantress.

Morbius: Jared Leto who was the Joker in Suicide Squad is now Morbius, the man who gains the superhuman abilities with a thirst of blood to go with it, making him a vampire hero with a dark side. This one can make one fine anti-hero movie which can go through the same seriously, without having the dumb side like Deadpool did. These are the times when vampires have the advantage over others, and with the releasing date shifting to 2021 from 2020, this one can be the lesser known superhero making it big after COVID-19. Yet, the thing about vampires is that you have to make it good, and there is the change that some unnecessary elements can come in, like we had seen in Twilight and its sequels. If done well, this one from Marvel can be one fantastic work with this man in the lead.

Black Widow and Doctor Strange 2: Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff is one of the best female superheroes, and is clearly a step ahead of the overpowered superheroes like Captain Marvel. The same more or less reminds us of Batman who also thrives so well without the superpowers. A movie focusing completely on Black Widow was something much needed. At the same time, Doctor Strange is one character that goes beyond all superheroes, having a special place among the Avengers. He has also required a sequel, and with the sequel to Black Panther not really seeming to be a reality during these days, it is the sorcerer who can keep this franchise more interesting – no more Captain America and Iron Man demands that for most of the fans.

Eternals and The New Mutants: The tale of these creatures from outer space living on Earth and trying to defend them makes us interested in Eternals. To add to the same, most of us don’t have any idea about what the film is about, as they are not the usual superheroes whom we know about. The New Mutants is supposed to have released already, but the movie didn’t reach here as our theatres are still closed – it is a really a disappointing thing because a lot of people would have wanted to watch it on the big screen when COVID-19 was over. All those powers coming together would have been a treat on the big screen in 3D, but we will miss that. Even though the rating are not that great, we know that our audience have appreciated certain movies better than the North American movies.

Thor 4: Among the Avengers, there is no superhero who can have so many tales like Thor, as Asgard and the other worlds have so many things in store for sure. Thor: Ragnarok might have been the best the superhero movie featuring one hero from Marvel, just like Aquaman can boast of having a similar status from DC, as far as the last few years are concerned. With the turn of events happening related to these superheroes, there can be some interesting events related to this particular immortal. We can also be certain about the fact that we will have more visual splendour in store here. After all, the world is not the same after what Thanos did, and Asgard has also changed its place. Even the hammer has made way for the axe, and you know that innovation is to come up here.

Venom 2: The present version of Venom is actually better than Spider-Man, when we have a closer look at the characters, their quality and maturity. As the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the date of this one’s release to 2021 too, we can’t wait to see the next symbiotic human, Carnage, unleashing himself against Venom. It is always good to have an anti-hero who is not foolish and ridiculous as Deadpool. And in working with that role, Venom is a successful work. Unless we have more mutants from X-Men becoming anti-heroes in their own style, Venom will remain Marvel’s classic anti-hero, with further additions in this version which could connect nicely to other superhero tales from Marvel.

The Flash and Wonder Woman 84: The two movies from DC are of much interest, as the latter has us waiting for Cheetah, a lady villain suitable for Wonder Woman. We can only hope that the character as well as the costume provides what we need to see on the screen. Meanwhile, The Flash has always required a movie, and with that speed, one needs to see what all can be done, different from the limited idea which we had in the television series. As one feels that Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have been stealing the show a little too much, and only Aquaman has stood in the way against the same, we need the fastest human on Earth to make an impact.

<—Click here to go to the previous post.

<— Click here to go to the last film review.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Facebook Pages of these movies.

TeNy

The Great Jackfruit Family

As most of you might already know, I am not a fan of the television series in Malayalam which have been part of different channels. But there was Thatteem Mutteem which became a show which I regularly watched, and that had changed. With the children in the series growing up to have children, things were never going to be the same again. Then, with the beginning of COVID-19, the episodes stopped, and we were no longer interested in this particular programme. I was never a fan of the much hyped Uppum Mulakum, even though in the beginning, I had found the same to be okay. As of now, one can be pretty sure that it can only live on its past hype and can come up with nothing new.

Then in August, we had another television show focusing on a family and its members at home, and that changed the situation by a long way. After watching television continuously for a long time during the pandemic, we had lost interest in watching anything anymore, and that was evident in the time spent in front of the television in the later stages. Chakkapazham which started its journey on August 10 was quick to catch our attention, and we have been watching the show without fail, every day from Monday to Friday. Even the presence of the WWE-like entertainment like IPL didn’t change that as we were stuck to this show like never before. It is after a long time that a programme has created such an effect.

This show feels that good because of its funny side which works so well, without adding any emotional side in between. Uppum Mulakum and Thatteem Mutteem have the tendency to turn emotional at times, but Chakkapazham manages to be a complete comedy with feel-good elements. The funny moments are all effective, thanks to a group of talented actors and actresses doing a great job. Lead by SP Sreekumar who plays Uthaman, a veterinary compounder who take care of the house which has more members than one would expect. The members of the family include Uthaman, his wife Asha, their three children, his jobless young brother Sumesh, his sister Painkili and her son, his brother-in-law who visits at times, his parents and also his grandmother.

SP Sreekumar is no stranger to us, as we have known him from Marimaayam, and as that villain in Memories. He does a natural job in the series as he has been doing for a long time. Aswathy Sreekanth who plays his wife makes the entry into acting from anchoring here with a touch of comedy, really well. Shruthi Rajnikanth who plays the sister Painkili is a joy to watch, and it is her along with Mohammed Raffi who plays the brother Sumesh that elevates the comedy to the highest level. Both are united by the interest in doing nothing, and if the former’s main interest is in sleeping, the latter spends his time trying to find some way of making the family members fight with each other or find any way of making some quick money without hardwork.

Arjun Somasekhar who plays Painkili’s husband Shivan makes some nice appearances, even though he is not there in all episodes. In his acting debut, he brings some memorable, funny moments. Amal Rajdev plays Kunjunni, the father figure who pretends that he was a pilot in the airforce until retirement, while Sabeeta George plays the mother figure of Lalitha. Both are also interesting characters, and blend in really well. Indira Devi plays the grandmother who is also an integral part of the fun. The children are also really good, and they contribute to the tale so well. Such natural acting from child actors are rarely seen, but they just manage to make the whole thing better.

The fight scenes in the television series are funny, and it is to be noted that there is something very interesting coming up every time. The characters are people whom we fall in love with – they are all simple people, and their life and tales are also really simple, even though strange in a really funny manner as we look at it. I would say that the best thing which started in television during these days is this programme, and telecasted at the same time as Thatteem Mutteem in Mazhavil Manorama, this one is sure to have won the battle. Flowers channel seems to have programmes for all categories of people – even Star Magic and Koodathayi seems to be much loved, while in the case of Mazhavil Manorama, we only have the new and updated Udan Panam, which thrives on its anchors.

At the same time when Koodathayi and Star Magic are running in Flowers, we have Udan Panam in Mazhavil Manorama, a show which has been lifted to the next level, thanks to its new anchors, Meenakshi and Dain. One has to say that other than these, there is not much that can be watched on television these days. There are the movies for sure, like Kilometres and Kilometers being released on Asianet, and we also have those songs which can be watched here and there. Then we only have the sports. Well, with the COVID-19 cases showing no signs of coming down in number, and the number of deaths increasing, we need to stay more at home, but there is not enough entertainment within, and the need to work is also not the same for everyone.

***The images used in this blog post are promotions used by Flowers TV.

<— Click here to go to the previous post.

<— Click here to go to the last film review.

TeNy

UT99: Gaming Nostalgia

Unreal Tournament, with the original one often known along with the year 1999 or with the Game of the Year Edition addition to name (UT99 or UT:GOTY) was one game which changed our gaming concepts, a very long time ago. Coming from Epic Games and Digital Extremes, this was the second release from the franchise, and managed to make all the impact by revolutionizing the gaming idea with its arena first-person shooter mode which involved playing against computer as well as other human players in multiplayer mode. I remember this game as the first one which I played online with friends during the early years of the new century.

The game’s domination mode which involved the capturing of control points and defending them, was my favourite during the time. During the lock-down period, I did spend enough time playing the game through LAN, along with Age of Empires 2: Conquerors and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. It was a nice refreshing of those good old days for me. I would play Unreal Tournament’s original version any time again, and Unreal Tournament 2003 and Unreal Tournament 2004 which came after this game were not that effective in comparison, which makes this version the one game which I might never forget. Remember that there is also a fine background story to this adventure which involved a lot of shooting. There is nothing that matches a perfect head-shot with a sniper rifle or the heated shrapnel launched by a Flak Cannon.

This pyramid level arena has us fighting for our lives in space.

A Gothic model of an arena will have us fighting hard.

A graveyard level is special for Halloween and the inner horror.

The level set on a galleon had some fine moments with visuals.

Sometimes, a few head-shots which a sniper proves to be the best.

This arena map called DM-Hyperblast has been a crowd favourite.

This is an arena which reminds one of hell & those Doom games.

Nothing suits Unreal Tournament 99 like the blood-red colour.

Another level in space means another chance for defying gravity.

DM-Morpheus map is the arena of suicides by falling into space.

***All images are from my game-play with Unreal Tournament much earlier.

<— Click here to go to the previous post.

TeNy

Return to Gaming: Sims

You have been reviewing movies in different languages – you think that you are done with gaming, and then you find the mobile version of The Sims, a game which you had played and enjoyed a long time ago on computer. This is one game which you will love because it is virtual life itself, and you go through the usual household things including buying and maintaining a home, as well as work and relationship matters with no exaggerations. Most of you might have tried this one once on computer or mobile – otherwise, you can give it a try, and I have left you a few moments from the game so that you can know what it is about, and for the former computer gamers, this is one peaceful game which can take you back to those golden days, this time on Android. You will still require a GB free for this one, and an internet connection, as interaction with the characters or sims of other players also happen regularly along with the non-playing sims.

From the following images, you can find out that there are a number of sims which you can control, as you start with one, quickly get another, and there are two more to be unlocked, leading to the total number of four under your control. These sims will be working, going through different relationships, actions and events like fashion and visit to a restaurant, along with going through hobbies like yoga, cooking, music and others. You can have a total of twelve sims in your house including the four which you can control. Along with the same, you can buy a few things for your home, including furniture, electronic equipment, bathroom and kitchen items, things for the hobbies, special items for children and more. More land can be added as well as rooms and floors. You can also add another floor, and spend a lot of time at other areas of the town, as well as attending parties, meeting other sims who are not part of your household, some of them belonging to other players, while others being independent.

The babies and the kids ask for your time here.

There is no waiting when the kid needs food.

There is still some time for the yoga hobby.

You keep wondering if the kids have enough sleep.

Sneak in to get something from the refrigerator.

One simple wedding function at home being enough.

You talk about a bad day, and the kid drops in.

Always provide the plants with what they need.

Having some time out with friends at a special restaurant.

Acupuncture remains an interesting option, right?

The scientists are doing all they can at the laboratory.

When the kids have too many questions, you wonder.

***All images are from my game-play with The Sims Mobile on my Samsung Galaxy A20S.

<— Click here to go to the previous post.

TeNy

The Green Campus Within

These are some of the photos of Rajagiri Viswajyothi College of Arts and Applied Sciences, a college which is located right within the greenery, and stays close to nature by all means. I had written about the same college before, which you can also refer, and these are the news images of the college in its present form. The courses include BA English Literature, Communication and Journalism, BBA, B.Com Finance and Taxation Model I, B.Com Finance and Taxation Model II and B.Com Logistics Management Model II. As we are not sure how the admissions would turn out to be during this year, it is better to have a seat booked for any course of your interest. Due to the same, admissions have been open early, and now, it is your choice to make. A fine green campus in the village of Vengoor near the popular town of Perumbavoor awaits you, as the management admissions are open, while the university admissions will begin sooner or later, and there is not much of time left to think as far as the Post COVID-19 future is concerned. You can go to the website (https://rajagiriviswajyothi.org) and there is an online scholarship exam coming up on July 27th, which will provide the toppers with some fee concession.

***These images can be seen on the Official Facebook Page of the college, and the admission for next academic year is now open.

<— Click here to go to the previous post.

<— Click here to go to the review of last movie watched in the theatre.

Thanks,

TeNy

Movies in More Languages

This has been the time of sadness, depression, fear and many other things with the Corona virus making its move everywhere, and we were left to spend time in the lock-down. Even though there were many relaxations provided, we didn’t have many changes in our life beyond lock-down. The situation doesn’t seem to be getting any better, and we surely need that vaccine sooner or later. Until then, we can go on with what we have, and watch more movies. There are so many movies coming up in different languages, and they are often better than what we usually watch, and some of them are really divergent, along with providing us the wonderful view of another land which we would also love to watch. The following is the list of languages in which I have watched movies and reviewed them for the first time during the Corona virus pandemic.

1. Romanian: As this post talks about movies in some new languages which I have come across only now, the first one is indeed Romanian. The case of Korean, Spanish, French, German and Chinese were already there, and I really wanted to watch a Romanian movie when I came across The Whistlers, a divergent crime thriller which took its deviation quite seriously, and ending up as an efficient one. One of the best foreign movies which I have watched in a long time, this one surely is a silent killer. From the land which we have known for being the setting for the home of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, it is only a matter of time before we wish to get more of the world in Romania.

Click here for The Whistlers Review

2. Vietnamese: The movie Furie, is a marital arts movie which makes us very much interested in a mother’s search for her daughter, reminding us of Taken, but providing an entirely different feeling. There are so many action sequences in this movie involving some on the top of a train, as we go with the mother to see her fight the criminals while making her way to the daughter. A movie from the beautiful nation in East Asia which could have been our destination, also has such wonderful visuals, not just of nature, but also of the city area. Earlier, we had come across Thai and Chinese movies which focused so much on martial arts, and this one will bring another level to the same.

Click here for Furie review

3. Latin: We haven’t heard much about Latin movies around here, and the only time when we hear about them is in some of the language related papers or when referring to the church. The First King is a movie that surely changes the same, because it takes you on a journey through the times just before the establishment of Ancient Rome which would go on to become a republic and later an empire which would control major areas of Europe and parts of Asia and Africa for centuries, and will have its legacy living on through the Byzantine Empire even though not based on Rome. The tale of two brother who were believed to have found Rome is told in a realistic way without exaggerations.

Click here for The First King review

4: Italian: The only Italian movie with colour I had watched before Piranhas was Life is Beautiful, an Oscar winning film with the setting of Second World War and the Jewish holocaust. Otherwise, I had watched Bicycle Thieves, the movie which was part of the Italian neo-realism. Piranhas deals with the youth taking these weapons into their hands, and leading gang wars in the streets there. You see the Italian streets, as beautiful as they are, and there is also a reflection of a violent new generation which is looking for easy money, and the lack of interest in education. This Italian movie did seem to have some elements from the past films being maintained around here too.

Click here for Piranhas Review

5. Russian and Polish: The first Russian movie on Movies of the Soul was Abigail, which was quickly followed by The Iron Mask: Mystery of the Dragon Seal. Both are some interesting fantasy movies, and the second one with a Chinese touch looks even more different. It was amazing to see the quality maintained there, and the movie Guests followed with some horror. The Balkan Line, a Serbian-Russian collaboration movie was also in the picture, and in that case too, we could feel the ability of Russian movies to rise up to Hollywood. There are actually some more Russian movies coming up from my side to prove the same. The Polish movie Diablo pretty good, but not that much as we had expected with a racing flick trying to be Fast and Furious.

Click here for The Iron Mask review

6. Dutch and Portuguese: The first movie I watched in Dutch language is Torpedo U-235, a movie set during the Second World War, as a group of unexpected soldiers move on to deliver uranium to the United States in a German u-boat. It has an interesting premise, and is entertaining, even though it could have been even better with better focus. The Portuguese movie from Brazil, Bacurau is a very divergent movie, which is not for everyone, but makes a special flick with the way it deals with its main idea. I will be coming with more movies in different languages, which are watched and reviewed less in this part of the world, because there are so many of them which need the opinions.

Click here for Bacurau review

***All the images used on this blog post were taken from the official Facebook pages of the movies and the actors or actresses performing in them.

TeNy

Waiting More For Movies

As Corona Virus has continued to keep us in the lock-down, there is not much happening around here. I have been coming up with some foreign movie reviews including Korean, Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Latin and Chinese, and you can look at them if you want. You can check the review of The Divine Fury with which the process began, going through First Love, and more movies which are to follow. Limiting the reviews to just one or two languages was not going to be the right thing to do, as I wanted to explore the flicks in other languages from other nations further. The result has been the increase in the frequency of film reviews, which was rather expected during the time of lock-down. After all, this is a situation which none of us had expected, and clearly, nobody was prepared for it. We are all locked into ourselves these days.

It is to be noted that in the last year and the year before that, April-May season was a time of foreign trips. We had one to Indonesia‘s Bali last year, and to Thailand’s Pattaya and Bangkok before that. It makes one wonder about how much the world has changed so quickly. Kerala has had its own problems in the last two years with the floods coming through, and the year before that, there was the Cyclone Ockhi. Well, the world doesn’t seem to be anywhere close to being the one we knew before, as we look at what has happened in those nations which reported the most cases, United States of America, Russia, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Brazil, Iran and Turkey registering over one lakh cases – are we safe anymore? Will everything return to normal on any day? We ponder over that, and also look at what I look forward to, if the cinema theatres open any time soon.

1. Kunjeldho: Starring Asif Ali after the much appreciated Kettyolaanu Ente Malakha and the cute newcomer Gopika Udayan, this movie seems to have all that is needed for a campus movie. It began with a beautiful song from the plus two days which has us immersed in it, and then it has one of the most beautiful green campuses you might ever know. The movie seems to have been mostly shot in UC College campus, Aluva, the exact place where the middle part of the movie Premam was shot, as Nivin Pauly was the student in the college, finding his love in the inappropriate places. But it has to be noted that the movie had failed to capture the beauty of the college in the best possible manner, as UCC was always more than that. But when it was there, they could manage to do justice to the central area. Uyare also had a little bit of the college when Parvathy was dancing and talking later.

Kunjeldho can do much more, or rather a lot more than what has been done so far in the college campus. Premam could never absorb the spirit of the college, and as we look into the glimpse of Kunjeldho, it might have done that with clarity. This movie is directed by RJ Mathukkutty, different from the director of Helen, even though the names can have you confused. It seems that he has captured the campus life as it is, with its feel-good factor and happiness rather than those negative factors which often get the focus. He is someone who did study BA Malayalam from the same college, and that also adds to the understanding of the spirit and soul of the college. The feeling has to be different when you are shooting a movie at the place where you studied at college level, and it is up to him to bring full justice to the location this time.

It is to be noted that the plus two moments of the movie were also shot in a famous Jayakeralam school, this time near Perumbavoor, another town near the town of Aluva where UC College is located. This proximity makes one have the realistic factor closer than ever, within a distance of twenty something kilometres – this increase in distance is due to the fact that the college is located about three kilometres from Aluva town centre on the road to Paravoor, and the school is located about four kilometres from Perumbavoor town centre, on the road to Muvattupuzha. I had also seen the shooting progressing at Jayakeralam, and when things get close to reality, and what you know, you feel it to be part of your life, lile Kunjeldho can do. But we have to wait and see how much of that is seen on the big screen when it releases.

2. The Priest: The first collaboration of Mammootty and Manju Warrier in their long careers is here in the form of this movie, which reminds one of the 2011 movie with the same name, which had priests as elite warriors against vampires, sent by the church. When we look back, that was quite a strange movie, and here, we have a horror mystery with Mammootty in the lead, and playing a priest. We were eagerly waiting for it, and it became another film which was postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. These are not the best times for a movie lover, as he can no longer watch movies in the theatres, and as he keeps reviewing those older movies, not many people want to support him by reading those opinions, as they are not about movies which are at the theatres where people wish to visit with the family.

3. Meppadiyan: There has always been something about this movie. It is a crime thriller with Unni Mukundan in the lead, and it was always going to be good, as he has been into crime on the big screen in Mikhael, even though that was just a shadow – we know what he is capable of playing a man into crime. This movie could bring him back to his original form, as he hasn’t had many movies these days, and none to test his caliber at all. Let us hope that this is the one movie which does trick in style. Among those other movies which people keep waiting for, like Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, something which is supposed to be the grand film like Mamangam – you know what expectations can do to you, as proven by that Mammootty movie, and much earlier with the Mohanlal starrer, Odiyan. Let us hope, and not think about this one too much, as the risk factor is certainly there.

***All the images used on this blog post were taken from the official Facebook pages of the movies and the actors or actresses performing in them.

TeNy

Movies for the Year: Level II

We have some more of the movies which we are waiting for this year. Along with that, also check the special reviews at Movies of the Soul. Ten of them are given below, and the much awaited movies of the year follows after them.
1. The Divine Fury.
2. Polaroid.
3. Brightburn.
4. In the Tall Grass.
5. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged.
6. Doctor Sleep.
7. The Prodigy.
8. Girl on the Third Floor.
9. Pet Sematary.
10. Child’s Play.

1. Eternals: There was always the need for something for the Marvel fans after Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame took away all those loved Avengers away from the fans. Now we will have Eternals, an immortal alien race who have secretly lived on Earth for over 7000 years, and has now decided to save the world from a huge threat. This seems to be much larger in scope, but there will be the question if they can create that much of an influence and impact on the audience as Avengers could – for they are not established superheroes like Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and Hulk, but lets hope for the best, as the grandeur could easily be there.

2. Venom 2: There is further representation of Marvel with another anti-hero Venom getting the sequel. As Venom is an anti-hero who doesn’t go full dumb like Deadpool, we are always looking for sequel from this side. Being the symbiote infested anti-hero creature, lets have some more fun with this one. After all, the end of Avengers should mean more for Marvel – just like heroism never ends, the anti-hero stuff also would continue to make an impact. More of Venom means more of Spider-Man indirectly, and the Marvel fans have this as a requirement rather than anything else. Lets call for more of alien symbiotic stuff rather than some silly pool dead anti-hero.

3. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It: A few years ago, The Conjuring had set things in motion for the horror genre, and it has continued the same with The Conjuring 2; this one will be The Conjuring 3, with Annabelle and The Nun spin-offs looking on from a distance. Claiming demonic possession as a defence in the court, this one would be something that could go far beyond. There could be those areas which are not explored before, being a part of this particular horror movie, and lets see how far this can go. There can be an extra dose of fear and mystery running through The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. New faces of terror are ready to be unleashed.

4. The Purge 5: The Purge has been one franchise which fed on our fears, and there has been a certain amount of realization related to it, as in a future dystopian United States of America had an annual national holiday known as the Purge, all crimes, including murder are legal for a time period of twelve hours. It regularly reminds us of the harthal and bandh which we have here, and there is the feeling of a great amount of truth associated with this, and our future. Purge has always been there, and one day, it could be more clearly visible, and another movie in the franchise can only do good as it follows The First Purge and The Purge: Election Year. Lets look forward to what more it can bring to the idea.

5. Morbius: A long time after we loved the Blade movie series, there is this superhero vampire for us, from the Marvel universe itself, as we ponder over the loss of most of the much loved Avengers. With vampirism on one side, he could be one tragically flawed anti-hero rising far above Venom and Deadpool. Jared Leto playing the character would make things even more interesting. Rising as a superhero out of a failed biochemical experiment which was supposed to cure his rare blood disorder, the living vampire could be a fan favourite or end up being the exact opposite, and we can hope that the character can be given justice through this movie.

6. Candyman: Who can avoid horror during times like these? There is enough scares all around, and let Candyman bring more. A direct sequel to the 1992 film of the same name and the fourth film in the Candyman franchise, it is based on the short story, The Forbidden by Clive Barker, the master of horror. Candyman franchise has always been there to keep us in the horror genre, and lets hope that this movie too adds to the group positively. After all, only a regular dose of horror can keep us going during these days. Desperate times need great horror, and it is the realization of the existence of such horror that will inspire us to keep our lives moving forward.

***All the images used on this blog post were taken from the official Facebook pages of the movies and the actors or actresses performing in them.

<— Click here to go to the previous post.

TeNy

Movies for Holidays

As the season of holidays is coming up during April and May after the early lockdown for Corona virus pandemic, there are a few movies which we can look forward to. Even though the theatres are closed for now along with the schools and colleges, we can be sure that we will go past the epidemic and come strong during the next month, or maybe even earlier. Some movie releases might be missed in the mean time, but as we follow the instructions of the health department and come back stronger, there will be more movies for us to watch in the theatres. The summer holidays will have a lot of these, are some might even have a late release to go with it.

1. Black Widow: Marvel might have lost some of its greatest heroes in the form of Avengers, but it is not yet over for them, as this time we go back and follow the events of Captain America: Civil War, with Natasha Romanoff finding herself against a conspiracy. Well, we never really had enough of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and she was surely the one superhero who needed a solo movie over the much overrated Captain Marvel. The potential for a character like this is so much, and it could rise above the usual superhero stuff with ease. Whatever those people with superpowers could do, Black Widow can surely do better and in a smarter way, and you no longer miss all Avengers.

2. The Personal History of David Copperfield: We are never really short of watching the novels of Charles Dickens on the big screen. Coming from the greatest novelist of Victorian Age dealing with the common man, all these novels make great impact on the big screen. Even though my favourite novel remains A Christmas Carol and The Great Expectations has been one novel which works really well on the big screen along with Oliver Twist, this one also would have enough for us. It is never too late to go through Dickens’ most autobiographical novel even when not on the pages.

3. The Green Knight: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a tale from English medieval period which gave its poet the name, Gawain Poet. One of the best known tales about King Arthur, and the version known to us being written in Middle English, the movie takes us back to the Arthurian Legend. The movie has Alicia Vikander, and that is a name we would love to have in a medieval setting. The legend of King Arthur, his knights, queen, the sword in the stone Excalibur and the final resting place Avalon have always inspired literature lovers, and may this movie also do the same.

4. Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea: The Malayalam movie with Mohanlal in the titular leading role is also something much awaited, even more than the overrated Bollywood movies – it has made that kind of an impact already, and even though a similar movie out of history Mamangam didn’t receive that much of an appreciation, one can only keep waiting for this one considering the grandeur and the effort. I also have my own doubts about it, but I am also hoping for the best – it should release next month itself, as the theatres here have closed due to Corona virus this month.

5. Artemis Fowl: Somewhat taken from Eoin Colfer’s works of the same name, the movie takes one back to the world of a twelve year old criminal mastermind. A much known book here is not something that we have followed much at this part of the world, even though it has been well known. The movie becomes an opportunity to get back to this. A thriller fairy tale and the conflict between good and evil never gets old. The whole setup leading to the movie does look good. Now, it is to be seen how well the movie turn out to be – it also needs to be seen if this is released here.

6. Spiral and Run: We also need the regular dose of horror movies and thrillers, and these two seem to come up with some of it. Both movies seem to have something grand in store, with very much sinister secrets out there. It seems that we will know very less about these, but sometimes, it is the beauty of the same. Lets have more of similar movies, as long as they release here – we are surely going to have a rush of movies as the theatres come back to life next month, and we can hope that these would also join in between all the rush which has been happening.

***All the images used on this blog post were taken from the official Facebook pages of the movies and the actors or actresses performing in them.

**And belated happy birthday to me.

<— Click here to go to the previous post.

TeNy

Age of Thrillers: Death Trail

As the year began, it became clear that the Malayalam movie industry was attempting to go through a path which it had earlier tried and succeeded, but later left behind – creating an age of thrillers around a death or a few murders. The success of the Kunchacko Boban starrer Anjaam Pathira might have set the thriller wagon moving, as Anveshanam is also on the trail, even though not becoming that much of a success both commercially and critically with a slow moving drama side keeping it away. Now, what the audience is waiting for happens to be Forensic, the Tovino-Mamta starrer with a well accepted trailer.

Anjaam Pathira made the impact with a series of murders happening, and policemen getting murdered one after the other. It used the darkness effectively, and the suspense was nicely maintained, even though it gave away its strength a little too early in the second half, making it a revenge drama too easily. But Anjaam Pathira found it easy to make the impact that Memories did a long time ago, even though not that much in quality – it has set the wheels of the thriller wagon moving. There was something about Anjaam Pathira in the trailer itself, and it is still running strong in the theatres even with some movies with bigger stars also showing presence there.

At the same, Anveshanam‘s journey could only make itself a pretender to the thriller genre, as it became more drama and less thriller, struggling to create the suspense and thrills, with audience not taken into account as it goes through a slow journey. Set in a hospital, it tests the patience of the audience a little too much that at some point, most of the people would stop caring about the main characters. It also doesn’t end with the right points in the best way, as the struggle continues. Pretending to be a thriller is one of the worst things that a movie can do to its fans, especially with such a talented cast doing so well. Thriller movies not done well make rather too negative impact.

The case of serial killers has always impressed the audience, and Anjaam Pathira is something which couldn’t use its ripper well enough, with Forensic, one can be sure that there is something bigger coming up. The trailer seems to promise a lot more than the usual investigation thriller in Malayalam. There is the extra expectation coming up from the writers of 7th Day. Tovino Thomas in such a role was always going to be interesting. Along with the same, we have Mamta Mohandas and Reba Monica John in the leading female roles. The premise looks too good to avoid, and this is the kind of movie that the thriller fans would be looking forward to on any day.

We await the release of Forensic this March, hoping for the best, with scope for bringing thrillers to the next level. With the number of Hollywood movies getting released here on the decrease, the need for thrillers can only be met by movies like these. Horror hasn’t been getting its due, and it becomes a necessity for thrillers to step up and take the spotlight. It might not be that easy a task, but the audience deserve more from an industry which has evolved so much over the years, and has a the talent and realism which Bollywood never really had with its mass masala and the eternal love for sons and daughters of superstars being the actors who get all the big movies.

Watch the trailers of the three thrillers below:

Forensic

Anjaam Pathira

Anveshanam

 

<— Click here to go to the previous post.

TeNy

Kodaikanal: Hills and Us

Kodaikanal has been as much a well-known destination as Ooty has been, during our childhood. There hasn’t been many people from around here who didn’t go to the place, it reminded one of Ooty itself, and the temperature was around eleven. Coming from Cochin, Kodaikanal is almost as the same distance as Ooty, and both becomes perfect destinations for vacation as they have served for a long time to the students and families of Kerala. There are many routes to Kodaikanal, and we decided to go through the one which goes through Kuttikkanam, Kumily, Cumbum and Theni. It was a fine route except for the high traffic of Sabarimala season. Unlike the other hill stations, I have felt that Kodaikanal is not a place of different tourist attractions, but a grand attraction all by itself. We stayed at the TTDC Tamil Nadu Hotel, and that proved to be good too.

Journey through the mist means towards eternity.

One side of TTDC Hotel Tamil Nadu located close to the town.

The clouds are never too far away when in Kodaikanal.

The views are grand, and we need to be there again.

Some smaller, but lovely views are yet to be had here.

Always have a look from up above when in Kodaikanal.

You have to stop often, either for tea, or for some fruits.

Some places of spirituality are around when at this hill station.

A foggy morning serves Ford Figo Aspire with tea.

Some roads are divergent, and less traveled, but too good.

***All images here were taken on my Samsung Galaxy J4+

<— Click here to go to the first big movie of the year 2020.

<— Click here to go to the last big movie of the year 2019.

TeNy

Mango Meadows: Through Nature

Kerala always has new places to visit, and Mango Meadows had only become a new much appreciated attraction just a few months before we went on a trip there. The nearest town is Kaduthuruthy, at five kilometres, and the place provides a fine experience close to nature. Claiming to the world’s first agricultural theme park, it has all that is needed for a person to stay there with family the whole day. You are walking through the greenery, and there are many things to do, from archery and shooting to cycling and fishing. There are even more activities to do, and even staying there without doing anything is interesting too. There is nice food, and in this green world, there is some happiness in store with nature. The place seems to be still being built, and one can be sure that there will more to be seen during the next visit there, but even as of now, it is an interesting place to visit.

A stop on the way near Government Hospital, Perumbavoor.

Good restaurant just before Koothattukulam on the way.

The fishes do have some good feeling here.

This one is supposed to be the largest Malayalam Bible sculpture.

Parashurama, the sage who is supposed to have created Kerala.

Some boating together can always give a better feeling.

The coracle boats make an interesting option.

The bridge here leads to the centre of this lake.

The view from the watch tower in the theme park.

Ford Figo Aspire as usual makes the perfect companion.

<— Click here to go to the previous post.

<— Click here to go to the Bali post.

TeNy

2020: What Awaits the Cinephile

With the biggest releases of the year already done, having Avengers: Endgame breaking a record which was supposed to be there for a long time, we are almost there at the end of the year as far as big Hollywood movies are concerned. The year 2019 will be known for having the highest grossing movie of all-time, as Avengers finally did what was considered to be impossible except for Avatar‘s own sequel which is to come two years later. Well, we have had another interesting year for the movie lovers, and Hollywood has played its part – now, we can see what is to be expected from the next year.

The Grudge: There is the need to begin well, whether it is related to a battle, a trip or a course – the same is the case of an year of movies, as this movie returns to bring the horror of our past yet again, as just like The Ring, this one has that kind of an impact which is there to stay, and another movie with the same theme can set things right in January 2020 itself. The return of the vengeful spirit will make sure that there is more movement under the bed and on the walls leading to the roof, along with a lot of hair. When the bathroom itself gets the worst of it, the need for a shower might not be that much.

Wonder Woman 1984: We have had Gal Gadot as the Wonder Woman whom we loved, and the movie had set DC Universe back in motion earlier, and DC has been just holding on these days, thanks to some occasional wonderful movies like Aquaman. So, this sequel to Wonder Woman attempts to repeat the same success story, and with Cheetah as the villain, things are only going to get better. This antagonist can be a heavy improvement from the first movie, and also from Justice League, which had a villain which was too weak in the end, something which Marvel’s Avengers would never have. So, we have another movie to take DC back.

Godzilla vs Kong: One day after my birthday next year, this movie is going to be released. I don’t find a better way to celebrate my next birthday, as these two monsters coming right out of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island are going to be too big for the screens, with a lot of action expected. The strength of the two monsters is already established, and when these two would finally collide, there is going to be more. This is the path which was not meant to be crossed, but when they do cross, we can be sure about the best which is to follow in the coming days. The monster battle is going to go a long way here.

The Conjuring 3: A few years ago, The Conjuring redefined the horror genre once again, and brought the falling genre back to life. It was the time of those horror movies which didn’t mind coming up with some low level work even though it was not going to be appreciated. From there, The Conjuring lifted the horror world to a level which brought some of the more creative and innovative horror movies like Don’t Breathe, Lights Out and It Follows, lighting the terror with grace. The eighth installment in the Conjuring Universe franchise will be arriving next year, and we can be sure about the darkness which is to be unleashed here.

Gretel and Hansel: This is another horror movie which comes early next year, and the elements of fantasy are there to be taken, as it is once again based on the German folklore tale of Hansel and Gretel. We had another movie with the same name with the kids getting older, and with witch-hunting all around. The trailer surely gives the feeling that this is going to be dark and different, more divergent than any other versions which have come before. We are never short of love for some dark fairy-tale, and Maleficent was just one of those which used only some part of the dark power.

Halloween Kills: Here is another slasher horror movie coming back to us, and with none of the slashers really making it to the theatres here, one can expect this to be here. Supposed to release just before Halloween, this film can set the mood right for next year’s Halloween. It will be followed by a sequel Halloween Ends, exactly one year after that. Well, Halloween, My Bloody Valentine, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street are the kind of slashers that we never want to end. So, lets hope for another fine slasher with Halloween Kills, and the genre needs the same these days.

*Special mention for the Margot Robbie starrer superhero movie from DC, Birds of Prey. It is the one unpredictable flick which I can’t afford to miss, but is also something I have my doubts about – there is certain chaotic beauty which can go either way.

*All images used here are from the Facebook Pages of these movies.

TeNy

2019: Songs for the Soul

There are those songs which are there to stay. This year, we have many more of similar songs, some of them raising the level like never before. Some of those songs are close to the themes of the movie, and the rest can stand alone, making an impact separately. Well, we can be sure that these songs are ahead of the ones from last year, those which had released at the same initial period of time. Talking about this year’s songs, we can also be certain that there is more to come, especially with some big releases coming up including Mamangam already having one hit song in the bag.

6. Nee Hima Mazhayayi (Edakkad Battalion 06)
This movie is known the best for this wonderful song rather than anything else. The flick which is centered on an army officer played by Tovino Thomas also made sure that the successful Theevandi pair of him and Samyuktha Menon came together again. The film might not have managed to get the same appreciation that the song got, but it could manage that fine opening, and some reviews which could support it. Also, there is no question about the grand feeling that this movie songs, with the visuals and the words used. Nithya Mammen’s voice has caught a lot of attention with it.

5. Pavizha Mazha (Athiran)
The Fahadh Faasil – Sai Pallavi starrer was something that caught attention through days and week, reminding one of A Cure for Wellness and Shutter Island. Athiran was one movie which came to the theatre without much hype, and refused to go, even after the flicks which released after it had gone early. Along with Uyare, this became one of the longest running movies of the year, and in malls, it never really stopped having the interested audience. The song is also nicely visualized, and it gives a great feeling while driving through the rain and listening to the song on a starry night.

4. Aalolam (Love Action Drama)
This movie had marked the return of Nayanthara to Malayalam cinema after a very long time, under the direction of Dhyan Sreenivasan. Even though the movie did make one feel strange with its treatment of the subject, and the humour was rather too stupid, this song does give a nice feeling – maybe could have worked even better if it was in a serious feel-good romantic flick. This one might have been missed if it was seen in the movie, as such beauty often gets hidden in the foolishness and strange behaviour of the main character – but we can always take it out and enjoy.

3. Parakkam Parakkam (Finals)
In one of the greatest sports drama movies of all time in Malayalam or maybe even South India, there are two beautiful songs, both in the first half of the movie. There is the absence of the terrible melodrama that are common in most of similar movies. The usual routes taken by sports drama are also avoided. If this going to be the usual stuff, that would have been very disappointing, but with Rajisha Vijayan around, who is well supported by Suraj Venjaramoodu and Niranj Maniyanpillai Raju, the movie gets its wings with ease. There is no usual greatness of the protagonist being shown with a thrilling match in the end – this movie is much more.

2. Uyiril Thodum (Kumbalangi Nights)
The best of the year came early with Kumbalangi Nights, and its song also gets the best out of the mood. Set in the island village of Kumbalangi, the movie is as close to a realistic world as it can get, and we have the feeling of seeing real people in realistic circumstances. It is the kind of movie that is not usually seen, but this one finds it easy to capture the attention and love of people. The beauty of visuals can also be seen in the movie as well as this song in particular. Kumbalangi is a place to look out for, as beautiful island near Cochin, and this movie makes things even better – the numbr of tourists visiting the place should have seen a rise.

1. Parayuvan (Ishq)
This movie provides the best feeling when we are traveling in a car at night, like the protagonists themselves do. The music and the voice in the song comes up with a feeling out of this world with ease. The movie is surely not something great, as it often goes some other way, but it is another song which touches soul – this is something completely different from what we have heard, it feels new, but feels perfect for the old soul. Try listening to this one while traveling in car on a rainy day; maybe even a KSRTC bus would do. This also feels closer to the music of Ranam.

*See the year’s best movies.

TeNy

2019 and its Movies

This year surely has been an interesting one for Malayalam movie industry. There are movies like Mamangam and Edakkad Battalion coming up, and there could be a great change to the list, but we already have some highly appreciated movies on the top. The next three months are going to be crucial with some very interesting titles getting ready to be released. We also have had some nice songs this year, but we will talk about them later. The following are the movies which have created great impact in Malayalam movie industry, and I would consider them to be among the best, rising above the level created by the movies last year.

5. Uyare: Parvathy leads another movie to positive criticism as well as positive word of mouth, as both the critics and the commoners approved of this movie as among the best. Telling the tale of an aspiring pilot who became a victim of acid attack, Parvathy excels in this role, as she did another real-life inspired movie, Take Off. There is fine support from Tovino Thomas, and Asif Ali is also there along with Anarkali Marakar. This inspirational story was one flick which couldn’t take any negative opinions, and ran in the theatres for a very long time, gaining more and more audience as time passed.
Read review: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2019/05/26/uyare/

4. Virus: The medical thriller is a step forward for Malayalam cinema, as this movie provides a fictionalized account of how the state of Kerala valiantly dealt with the Nipah Virus outbreak which claimed the lives of a number of people in the North of Kerala, especially Malappuram and Kozhikode. A huge number of leading actors including Tovino Thomas, Kunchacko Boban, Indrajith Sukumaran, Asif Ali, Joju George, Parvathy, Poornima Indrajith, Rima Kallingal, Sreenath Bhasi and others. The movie is an emotional and thrilling ride, as well as a tribute to those who suffered and lost their lives while trying to save the Nipah infected patients. It is a welcome experiment like never before.
Read review: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2019/06/08/virus/

3. Unda: This Mammootty starrer was made fun of due to its simple and yet strange title, something which the film makers wouldn’t have thought about on another day, related to another movie with the same theme. Dealing with the problems faced by cops who travel to a Naxal infested area, the movie doesn’t take sides, but satirizes the situation really well. Mammootty stays strong in this movie, and plays the vulnerable cop and leader nicely, and there is a lot of support here, starting from Shine Tom Chacko. The way in which the movie deals with its situation is worth one’s attention. It is that kind of a movie which could have a sequel with another mission for the police force.
Read review: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2019/06/16/unda/

2. Finals: Rajisha Vijayan already had another movie centered on her, June – she had also won the Best Actress Award from the State Government in her first movie itself. Finals is a step forward for her, even though it is not fully centered on her character. The other two giving her support are Niranj Maniyanpillai Raju and Suraaj Venjaramoodu, both also coming up with some fantastic performances. The former surely has a long way ahead for him after this emotionally strong performance, and the latter is once again a revelation in this kind of role – we saw him providing such emotional performances in Action Hero Biju and Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum, and here we are even more glad to have him here.
Read review: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2019/09/14/finals/

1. Kumbalangi Nights: The best movie of this year won’t have the haters that the top ten movies usually have from the mindless fan boys who decide to have their part. Taking a perfect setting of the model tourism village Kumbalangi, and thriving through its beauty, this one comes up with a beautiful tale of the common man, powered by some fantastic performances lead by Fahadh Faasil, Shane Nigam, Soubin Shahir and the rest of the perfectly chosen cast. Unlike some of those movies with place names in their titles, this one is very much close to perfection – it has the spirit of its surrounding, and the people who live there. It is a tale of redemption and hope like no other.
Read review: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2019/02/09/kumbalangi-nights/

It would be nice to know your choices for the best Malayalam movies of the year so far. Even though there have been these brilliant movies, there was no shortage of some terrible movies, which would be nice to know about too. The hope once again is to move away from those usual terrible movies starring superstars without any content. We are always looking forward to experimentation, and lets hope that such experiments prove to be interesting, and inspire many more of such movies.

***Click here to go to the most recent movie review.

TeNy

Return of Kalopsia

Kalopsia, the inter-school and inter-collegiate fest from Rajagiri Viswajoyothi College of Arts and Applied Sciences has returned. The new addition is the presence of school events. This academic year’s theme is ancient India. The school events happen on September 24th and the college events on September 25th. Please see the events below and make sure that which one is for the school, and which is for the college.

*Click here for the latest movie reviews.

TeNy

The Two Sides of Kappil

Kerala’s long coastline continues to assure us of the presence of more beaches, and there are a few which are less known, but are more beautiful than most of the other beaches around. One such beach is Kappil, in Trivandrum district, but close enough to Kollam. It is a place which you can visit in combination with the journeys to the beaches of Varkala, Kovalam and Vizhinjam. It is located at around one hundred and fifty kilometres from Cochin, fifty kilometres from Trivandrum and twenty kilometres from Kollam. Varkala Beach itself is just about eight kilometres from there. The places is less crowded in comparison, and there is more than what you see from the roadside, about this beach.

Kappil has lake on side and the beach on the other, separated by a tiny stretch of land full of sand, and on the side of the lake, we can see some jelly fish at times. It makes a beautiful view on both sides, and even better when you see both together. With less crowd, it is enjoyable in a better way. The parking needed to be more though, even as you can choose to park on the side of the road some distance away from the main beach area. On most part it is clean, even though on some areas, some waste thrown here and there can be seen, mostly on the side of the lake. But Kappil is clean as a whole, and the beauty that it provides is to be witnessed and loved, as it stands above many other overrated beaches.

A small, beautiful church of the local people near the sea.

Parking the car near the lake on the sands.

Just the lake being beautiful as usual.

Finding the jelly fish around the place.

Beyond the sands, sea on one side & lake on the other.

Just the usual day at Kappil Beach near Varkala.

Not many people to be seen at the Kappil Beach.

Two worlds, of the lake and the sea – call Aquaman.

Looking towards the lake between the trees.

The path on the side of Kappil Beach.

Click here to read reviews on some of the best movies of the year, Unda, Virus and Uyare.

TeNy

Varkala: The Beach and the Cliff

With its long coastline, Kerala is certainly not short of its beautiful beaches, and the names which everyone knows and is full of visitors at all times might be Kovalam and Cherai. Muzhappilangad is our lovely drive-in beach to remember. On that long list, there is one place which stands tall. Varkala Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches, one which is not to be forgotten. It is the only beach in Kerala with cliffs like these so close to the sea. It is the kind of place which reminds one of Dover Beach, and that wonderful lyric poem by the English poet Matthew Arnold, which we have studied more than once – “the cliffs of England stand, glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay”. About 170 km from Cochin, and 35 km from Kollam, the beach is Thiruvananthapuram district, with its capital 45 km from there. The town of Paravur is only 12 km from the place.

Along with its beauty, Varkala also have some places of spirituality with its temples. There are some fine options for food while walking through the cliff. There are some nice shots to be taken both from the beach and the cliff. In comparison with other beaches, this one has its shops opening late in the morning and closing late in the evening. When coming from the North of Kerala, both the Kottayam and the Alappuzha routes can be chosen. There is much to be seen through the latter route, even though both routes can be joined at different places except for certain parts of the low lying areas filled with water. There are some fine choices with food and accommodation, and if it is off-season, the better idea is to book directly from location as rooms should be available, unless some huge event comes up.

You look down from the cliff, and you want to be there right now.

Reached the hotel a little late for lunch, and had to rush through.

As the sunset approaches, you are always hoping to stay on.

Just another side of Varkala Beach which is not that explored.

Spent some time looking at Varkala beach and cliff at night.

The colours of the sunset spreads, and leaves us with a happy feeling.

Not exactly the while cliffs of Dover, but Matthew Arnold won’t mind.

Had some variety food from God’s Own Country Kitchen on the cliffs.

It is happy walking through the Varkala Beach and surroundings at night.

Thiruvambadi Beach Retreat Resort provided some good space.

Also read on the Indonesian Bali journey.

TeNy

The Indonesian Saga

Being at Indonesia, especially at the island of Bali is a fantastic memory, something which would stay for a very long time. Before visiting the place itself, we knew that the two things which would rise above others were to be the temples and the natural beauty. The beaches were to be there, and the greenery too. It was just a few days before we planned the journey that there was a fire at the Bali airport, and there was a volcanic eruption just the day before we had the tickets booked. It is the same thing which kept us wondering as we couldn’t find the name Bali on the list of flights – well, the place was named Denpasar, and that was were we had to go in Bali. From the moment our flight landed at the beautiful airport with sea around, we know that there would be a lot to see.

We actually had a very good guide to help us there, and the person named Putra from Pacto was a very understanding person. Everyone around there would ask if we were from Delhi whenever we said that we were from India – maybe because all Keralites are going to Thailand focusing on Pattaya, there are not many people from South India who come that way, except for Hyderabad which a few people knew. Being close to nature, this is the first time I am seeing an active volcano, and also the friendliest beach around – there is also the first sight of terrace farming, and we could also deal with money in lakhs and many thousands – considering the fact that one rupee was two hundred rupiyah. It is one way of becoming a millionaire even though you need to spend thousands to buy anything. There are two sides to a few things, but Indonesia remains a cheaper destination for sure, and Bali proves the same.

One of the two active volcanoes of Bali – the lava flow route can be seen in black.

There is something about the sunsets of Bali – they make you feel immortality.

This marks our first encounter with rain when in Indonesia – the highlands with clouds.

Watching sunrise from a hotel at Semanyak with a cup of tea never gets tiring.

You look at the options you have, with beaches as well as these rocky beaches.

Mountains and lakes will have your attention, as you stop at different places.

More than one happy monkey family will wish to say hi to you from the trees.

This certainly looked like a perfect place for a wedding shoot, but its too late.

The rice terraces of Bali are worth your attention, a closer one, will do more good.

The Kuta beach makes sure that you have a lot to walk around and into the sea.

*All these photos were taken using my Samsung Galaxy J4+ that replaced the Asus Zenfone Max which I used for taking photos in Bangkok and Pattaya.

TeNy