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

Best of 2018 in a Moment

2018 had some interesting movies, and 2019 might be having even better ones. Until then, lets look at the best of last year. The Malayalam movies of the year had its highs and lows, and had no movie that would go on to break the Pulimurugan box-office record, even though at least two movies were expected to come close, but they didn’t. Still, these six movies are surely the kind of flicks that you can choose to watch without second thoughts. You have to give them a try, because they deserve it. We appreciate the efforts in creating the same. At the same time, we wait further glory in 2019 even though Kumbalangi Nights already brought a good amount of awesomeness already.

1. Joseph :: This is one big, pleasant surprise like no other movie. When it was said that Joju Joseph was going to be the protagonist of a thriller, people had their doubts. But with this movie, we understand that he is one great actor who was restricted to comedy as well as those certain police and thug roles. He has brought to us the best movie of the year with an investigative thriller which is also a highly emotional family drama, a combination which worked so well for everyone, and even scored further with its beautiful songs which we can’t watch without tears in our eyes. The whole movie itself has that sad feeling going right through, and it even comes home with us.
Read review at: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2018/11/18/joseph/

2. Kayamkulam Kochunni :: The tale of the thief who steals from the rich and gives to the poor is something that has stayed with us for a very long time. It is that story that we have heard since childhood and had so many adaptations in different fields. It might not be the one which everyone wanted, but the age has been nicely recreated and there are some moments of glory in there. It also rises above the other movie about the thief who helps the poor and the subaltern, Robin Hood, which struggled to do well, especially with its dumb portrayal of Little John and the wastage of its premise with silliness. Our thief here becomes a symbol of more than one thing, and we have to appreciate this effort.
Read review at: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2018/10/13/kayamkulam-kochunni/

3. Hey Jude :: This is the movie in which Nivin Pauly plays a character which is divergent from all those which he played until then, and it also has Trisha Krishnan in her Malayalam debut. Here, we can see that both have played the youngsters with certain not so normal side to perfection. Set in the beautiful Goa premises, this is the kind of movie that the so called superstars of next generation would hesitate to play, but it is not the case of Nivin Pauly who makes sure that Jude is one character who is there to stay.The songs are also very nice, and after Mili, here is one movie which shows a fine transformation of the main character who seemed like a misfit, but is actually more.
Read review at: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2018/02/03/hey-jude/

4. Oru Kuprasidha Payyan :: Tovino Thomas is one superstar who is one among us, and the same was proved during the Kerala Floods, as he was in the front for everything, among the crowd. He is also the one star who could rise to prominence by playing secondary roles like those in Ennu Ninte Moideen and the villain in Style. But here he is now, playing some roles which we are to remember, and this is one of them. He plays the outsider who has nobody to help him when facing trouble, and Nimisha Sajayan nicely plays the saviour. In a world of heroism, this one chooses another path, and it is that kind of a journey which is admirable and will stay with us for a long time.
Read review at: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2018/11/09/oru-kuprasidha-payyan/

5. Pretham 2 :: There are only a few movies which could claim improvement over its predecessors. Punyalan Agarbathis 2 and Aadu 2 starring the same leading actor failed to do so, but it is not the case of this particular sequel. It raises the level above the first movie, not just with its subject matter and setting, but also with the jokes which are used here – there were too many low level comedies in the first movie, but that has been solved effectively here. The young cast nicely contributes to the same while Jayasurya leads the way. There is mystery and suspense along with the horror that is present. It easily became the best movie of the Christmas season, and it deserves a sequel more than those other overrated ones.
Read review at: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2018/12/25/pretham-2/

6. Njan Prakashan :: As this one brings the usual tale of our new generation youngsters who are looking for easy money, we can see the characters here reflecting in our daily lives. Fahadh Faasil’s excellence on the lines of Maheshinte Prathikaaram helps the movie further, even though that level in totality is not to be expected. There is fun and there is the presence of emotions, as we see the change coming in the protagonist as he moves towards the final realization. With its fine messages and by quickly going on to become a favourite of the family audience, this one had a great run during the Christmas season and vacations, especially there was no real Onam vacations and celebrations due to the Kerala Floods.
Read review at: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2018/12/26/njan-prakashan/

***All images used in this blog post are from the Facebook pages of the movies or the actors performing in the same.

*Click here to go to the previous post.

TeNy

Best of 2017 in a Flash

2017 had its own interesting flicks to make things better, and among them, here are those which I found to be the best Malayalam movies of the year. Even though there might not have been a movie which would break all records, or would be considered as one of the greatest of them all, we surely had some excellent works. We all need more movies to be released so that the choices increase, but it is up to us to make sure that most of them will be watched, and will not get the negative result that they don’t deserve. These six are surely the kind of flicks that you can choose to watch without second thoughts.

1. Take Off :: Quoting from my own earlier post here: “This one is Malayalam movie industry’s answer to Airlift, but takes the time to get more out of the emotional side with a first half which establishes the main characters and the situation of the protagonist really well. Taking a page out of a real incident and adding the needed creativity, Take Off becomes the movie that is not easy to find fault with. There is Parvathy as the protagonist doing an excellent job, and there is Fahadh Faasil who gets things to be more intense in the second half. Kunchacko Boban remains serene with his act. The positive opinions received are all deserving.”
Read review at: http://moviesofthesoul.com/2017/03/26/take-off/

2. C/O Saira Banu :: Quoting from my own earlier post here: “This one is an interesting movie which moves from family drama to its twists after the half time. It deals with some interesting incidents which have happened in our society, and also leaves with a message along with an ending which comes as a pleasant surprise with a nice turn of events. It questions not only a past, but also the present and the future in a prejudiced society that we live in. Manju Warrier and Amala Akkineni are the ones who shine in this movie which will work for not just one category of viewers. Along with Rani Padmini and How Old Are You?, this one will be on the list of the best works of Manju Warrier after her grand return.”
Read review at: http://moviesofthesoul.com/2017/03/18/co-saira-banu/

3. Sakhavu :: There is the strength of ideology behind this movie, and it goes towards taking a righteous stand, especially when a political leader is concerned – on what the left ideals really mean, if they are implemented in the right way. The message is strong, and there is the presence of feel-good elements. Here, Nivin Pauly comes in two roles, and among the two, it is the new-age role that suits the best for him – the other role also demands him to play the elder version of the character, which also leaves a mark. There is the new generation social worker portrayed nicely with all the shortcuts of life which are taken, and there is the maturity of the old generation comrade, who has struggled so hard with everything in life for the party as well as the society.
Read review at: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2017/04/15/sakhavu/

4. Godha :: One quality that Godha has retained from the same director’s Kunjiramayanam is its quality in simplicity; as we look through these two movies, we see simple things made beautiful or memorable. The latter was all about making its comic side more and more effective while the former here works on delivering the inspiration on the big screen. In a world which is being swallowed by those sporting events which has more money and bigger heroes, there are the sports other than cricket which struggles to find a path towards attention, and Godha has certainly caught your eyes. Tovino has another big movie with Wamiqa debuting great in Malayalam.
Read review at: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2017/05/19/godha/

5. Tiyaan :: The thought-provoking moments of Tiyaan are intense, with that intensity like never before. The dialogues are stronger than ever, and we feel all the correct emotions in each of them, whether it is anger, hate, fear or grief. There are signs of what is to come from the beginning itself, and we feel how this is going to be something different, and it is. The whole thing remains a thought-provoking saga, and we are left with hope in a world which doesn’t have much of the same with almost everyone being hypocrites. There might be complexity within, but the final message is rather too simple, with all religions leading to one God, and love being the path.
Read review at: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2017/07/08/tiyaan/

6 Mayaanadhi :: As this one brings a new love story of this age, the melodrama never finds a seat. There is a realistic approach in this movie, and we never really gets tired of the same, even when the movie seems to get slow in between. We see how much people need each other, when things get better, or when they get terrible. The protagonists are two people who have struggled with their lives, and their world is something which is not difficult to relate as we understand their circumstances. There is the overall sadness in this movie, which seems to reflect on the depressing human condition which remains the same, no matter how the world changes. There are also some harsh realities reflected too, with either fate being so cruel, or the society being against the individual. Tovino and Aishwarya makes a wonderful pair.
Read review at: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2017/12/23/mayaanadhi/

***The images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook pages of these movies. Also read about this years movies, Hey Jude, Aadhi, Street Lights and Shikkari Shambhu. Also read about the best of music.

<— Click here to read the previous post.

TeNy

2017: Flashback with Music

*Here is the list of those which I consider to be the ten best songs in Malayalam from the year 2017.

10. Entammede Jimikki Kammal – Velipadinte Pusthakam
There is no need for an introduction to this song, and there is also no need to describe this one, as this particular song had risen above the movie itself. Then there was the performance by the students of the Indian School of Commerce at Kakkanad, who were dancing to this song, ‘Jimikki Kammal’ and it was one of the most watched videos on the site. The leading performers in the video, Sheril and Anna, had also become popular, with so many trolls following the same. The song was so popular that you just kept hearing it wherever you went, and schools and colleges were just full of dance performances with this song.

9. Thechille Penne – Role Models
This one might have been one movie which caught our attention in all those music channels, with that newly found evergreen “theppu” idea. The song was going to be instant hit for the youth, who have been looking for trolls to be added with this theme. The song, even though not that much suitable to the situation in the movie, looked well and sounded nice, staying in the playlist for long. The movie was kind of confused about its conent and about where to go, but managed enough to be there as mostly a fun movie, which wouldn’t justify its title except for being the name of a college group within the flick’s flashback.

8. Vaaniluyare – Vimaanam
Vimaanam is a sincere effort with noble intentions, and the same can be seen reflected in this song. Prithviraj Sukumaran – Durga Krishna pair is perfectly suited for this particular setting of this song, and the cuteness factor related to this one is rather high. With some wonderful visuals, watching this song with video transports us to that mood which is reflected the best in the video even better than the movie. Coming after Aby which dealt with the same theme, and with the youth’s attraction towards Aadu Oru Bheekara Jeeviyaanu 2, this one might not become that huge a hit as we had expected when it was first announced, but it is good, as is the music.

7. Ozhukiyozhuki – Oru Cinemakkaran
There was the certainty of confusion regarding this movie, which kept wandering through the genres, as romance, drama, thriller and murder mystery, mixing things up so much that it kept losing its essence here and there. But this particular video with Vineeth Sreenivasan and Rajisha Vijayan has no trouble, and it can be one of those factors which seemed to have attracted the audience to this which was not that much far away in quality from the rest of the movies which released at the same time, Avarude Raavukal and Role Models, all three of these movies having songs becoming part of this list.

6. Minnunnunde Mullapole – Tharangam
There are two songs with Tovino in this list, and the other song comes at the second spot, with “Ivalaaro” song from Oru Mexican Aparatha just missing the chance to be here on this list, dropping out of top ten with Maayanadhi and Vimaanam getting in there this week. This song was one of the reasons why this movie became the first preference to watch even with bigger movies releasing at the same time. One can even say that this song itself is a level above the movie itself. Tovino Thomas and Santhy Balachandran make a wonderful combination in this particular song, as you will notice early.

5. Ethetho Swapnamo – Avarude Raavukal
Taking us directly into that mood of the 1980s and 1990s which had some of those slow and beautiful – then there is Vinay Forrt who surprises with a different avatar than what we have been seeing from him. When you first hear it, you would feel that it is from the last century, and what a lot of people have felt was that new generation of movies will not have songs which have that special, slow, feeling, but they are proven to be wrong again with this song. Malayalam movie songs are not about the party music, and it is not about the pub culture which has people jumping and dancing with alcohol – our music is divergent in traditional mode too, as it is here.

4. The WOW song – Godha
Godha might be more or less the Dangal in the Malayalam movie industry, even though the mood here is not that serious, and is not that close to real events. As it dealt with wrestling, one might not have been expecting this kind of a song in between, but we have it, and just ahead of the other song in the same movie, “Aaro Nenjil”, this one with Wamiqa Gabbi at the centre of everything, was quick to steal many hearts. Battling and winning against an experimental movie Adventures of Omanakkuttan, Godha was a movie to look out for, not just with its content, but also with the music.

3. Uyirin Nadhiye – Mayaanadhi
Maayanadhi is one movie with a different feeling, and its divergent ways in portraying a love story is nicely reflected in this song itself. In rising about the fake love stories with claim to be real, like Annayum Rasoolum, and exaggerated tales of love based on real life incidents like Ennu Ninte Moideen, Mayaanadhi‘s success in doing the same is due to its music too, and this song is just one of them. With the whole movie being something like a river flowing smoothly, music like this, nicely contributes to the same. After you watch the movie, you will feel the strength of the song even more.

2. Arikil Ini Njan Varaam – Adam Joan
Along with this song and the one from Vimaanam, there are two other songs featuring Prithviraj Sukumaran which deserves to be somewhere in the list, which are “Lailakame” from Ezra, and “Eee Kaattu” from this movie itself, but sung by the star himself, this song gets the edge, as does “Entammede Jimikki Kammal” with its popularity. The song video becomes the reflection of the whole movie itself, with its visuals as well as the mood. Everything in the movie provides us with an idea of what is to come in the movie, and you can choose to watch this one with the flick itself, with those events.

1. Njan Varumee Paathayilaayi – Theeram
There has been a number of movies which didn’t get the attention, but managed to have some superhit songs in there, and along with this song, we also have “Njaanum Neeyum”, another delightful work which stayed on the top of the playlists for long. This Pranav Ratheesh – Maria Yohannan starrer has some amazing visuals to go with these songs, which if a reflection of the romantic movie, could mean a lot. But the movie disappeared from the theatres rather too fast with shows gone missing, and we had to wait for the DVD to release. This is my favourite song of the year and my ringtone on the mobile phone too.

+Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 🙂

Also read about the best of movies.

TeNy

The Ten Movie Commandments

It is during these times when there are more fans with hate than true lovers of movies, which has made me come up with the Ten Commandments for true movie lovers, that I had earlier posted on Facebook. We have had fans of actors and actresses spreading hatred all over the internet earlier, and now it has been replaced by the fans of movies, which is clearly reflected in the abuse which the Baahubali fans have been producing all over. This makes one wonder if they actually get paid for abusing others by someone related to the movie, and only God knows why they are feeling so insecure to bring those sexist and racist comments even with such huge box-office collections. So, here are the commandments which will be helpful in finding the original movie lovers among us, and all statements will start with “Will” in honour of Will Smith 😛

1. Will have more than one all-time favourite movie different from the crowd: Well, it is not necessary to love a movie just because it comes from your language, your state, your country or religion, and most brainless people are to feel that one movie is the best because a lot of people are saying that, but it is not, for things are rather subjective.

2. Will appreciate the choice of others not to watch a movie, or not to like one particular popular movie: You will surely have to get rid of these people who keep forcing you to watch a movie or to tell someone else that you like this movie so much, when you don’t. They are playing with your free will, and just ban them from your lives.

3. Will feel no need to watch a movie just due to everyone else watching it: Okay, so everyone says that this movie is so great, and that if you don’t watch it, you will miss something great in your life. Well, this is pathetic thinking, and a third rate way of making others watch a movie – these people are mostly fakes, as one movie is certainly not life.

4. Will not like a movie just because it has his/her favourite actor/actress: Some actors feel the need to be treated as VIPs and sometimes, they just say that they are also common man. Then there are those fans which are so dumb that they keep on believing all those lies which are thrown at them. Movies make stars, and not the other way around.

5. Will not keep talking for about 100 times on how great a movie is: Yes, this movie is the greatest movie of all-time and you need to watch it – they will keep saying all the time, not just by mouth, but also on different posts for no reason. They need to be sent to Antarctica immediately, because there are more significant things in life.

6. Will not reveal the big suspense of a movie publicly: Some people are just too much into revealing the suspense of a movie for no reason; maybe they like some other actor who hasn’t acted in that particular movie. But this selfish act has no explanation; it is nothing that a true movie fan should do.

7. Will not abuse or support abuse of other movie fans: You have no right to abuse people for not liking the movie which you feel is the greatest – maybe you are just dumb that you liked that movie; it doesn’t matter if you have a whole nation liking the same movie, because the whole world can be wrong. Abusing and supporting the same is just pure evil.

8. Will support the other viewers’ right to have opinions: Why is that you want everyone to accept that your favourite movie as the greatest movie of all-time? Instead, it will be nice to grow up and not keep showing up on others’ posts to say that, especially on those strangers’ profiles as if the director or producer of a movie is paying you to overrate a movie.

9. Will not pretend to like a movie just to seem cool: People who likes this movie is cool, so thinks your friends. But you don’t need to be dumb and like the movie just for that reason. You just need to like the movie if you like it. Otherwise, you are just being an idiot with no real opinion about the movie or anything in life.

10. Will be a good boy/girl at the theatre causing no disturbance: There are people in those movie halls who are just nuisance and nothing else. There are those who howl, clap or make other noises in the halls – there are others who just abuse, and we also have those who talk loudly along with the ones who spit, put the legs on front seats etc – all need to be expelled.

TeNy