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

Music of the Swamps

It had gone quite dark as he walked through the swamps. It was the shortest path to the other side, and he had to get there somehow. Getting a car and traveling through the road meant that he would have to waste an extra hour and a quarter on the journey. But he didn’t want to reach his destination late. He wished to be there as early as possible. His phone was dead, and so was his only option for some light.

“Welcome to my world” he heard a voice from behind.

He turned around to see two eyes shining in the darkness. There was no light around except for what moon was providing. There was a shadowy figure right in front of him. It was rather like a small person, but the shape resembled that of a tree.

DSC01334

“Who are you?” he asked.

“Does it matter who I am? Do you know where you are?” it asked him.

“I asked you a question, didn’t I?” he asked again.

“Okay. I am the keeper of these swamps. I know who you are. I believe that you are here to steal the music of the swamps” the voice replied.

“I don’t understand. I was only taking a shortcut because I have an urgent thing to do. Please make way before I go through you” he said.

“You don’t walk through the swamps on a full moon. These are the days on which the swamps produce a certain kind of music which you are not allowed to hear. Well, hearing is stealing, and then I will have to punish you” said the keeper.

“Well, I don’t care about your music, but I have to go through the swamps to reach the village on the other side. I don’t care who are, because this is an emergency. So, stand aside, little person” he shouted.

“This won’t do you any good. The music of the swamps is sacred. This action of yours will have terrible consequences” the keeper warned him.

“I don’t give a damn” he said as he walked around the keeper to keep moving.

“And here you walk towards your end. Whatever you are hoping to achieve will never happen” the keeper was heard yelling.

He didn’t care at all. He did feel that the someone was making some music though. He wondered if the swamps do make some music. But he didn’t care to return or stop to think further. He kept walking, but the swamps seemed to extend a lot more than his expectations. This path no longer seemed to be the shorter one for him, as he felt that he should have taken the longer route by road. The music was getting stronger and soon, it turned into some kind of chant supported by some primitive musical instrument. He stopped to see a tree carved into something which resembled an entrance. He walked right in through it, but nobody got out through the other side.

“So, it is done?” the keeper was seen asking a huge shadow which covered the moon.

The next day, the body of a young man was found at the end of the swamps. The villagers attributed the death to a little shadowy demon which was believed live in the swamps. But the post-mortem revealed the cause of death to be because of hitting the head on a hard substance, which was believed to a thousands of centuries old holy rock on which he slipped and fell.

On the very next day, clouds covered everything on the sky, and a few villagers reported at the police station that they had seen a young man walking on the swamps with a singing young lady, and their feet never touched the floor. They also told the police that there was the music of the dead going on at the same time, which was a variation to the praise of the dead, that was sung when people died and their soul never really left this world. It was recorded as “the music of the swamps”.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

TeNy

A Tale of Lethal Navigation

It was during one of the darkest of nights that Vampire Bat and Vampire Owl came across the teleportation gate, and with the device perfectly administered by Doctor Victor Frankenstein in his undead form, they stepped through it only to reach a certain dark space, and there was some highly modernized space which seemed to be having never-ending corridors that lead to nowhere.

Vampire Owl: We are not really supposed to be here. This is not “the place”. This doesn’t even qualify to be “a place”.

Vampire Bat: Well, I know that already.

Vampire Owl: It is a dead end now. I think that what we see in front of us are two seats and a few switches along with some levers. Wait, are those things coming towards us stones and rocks?

Vampire Bat: I think that there has been a teleportation failure of the first degree. We have reached a spaceship instead of the shadow world. I wonder if this thing navigates through space by itself. It also means that we will never get to see the Shadow Vixen anytime soon.

transyl (1)

Vampire Owl: These things are so complicated. There is our magical realm, there is the human side of the magic-free world, there is the shadow world, there are planets, and there is the bloody black hole. How can someone freely teleport through all these? All these planets, worlds and passages keep changing their locations! I am kind of glad that we are not sitting on one of those rocks in space!

Vampire Bat: I have been wondering which kind of aliens created this spaceship. Will they have horns or fangs? Can they understand the Old Vampire Languages?

Vampire Owl: Good question. But I got another one for you. Do you know how to navigate with a spaceship? I know the answer – we both don’t! We are going to die! Death in space! I can’t be even buried with the elders. The immortality clause doesn’t cover the death happening while traveling in a spaceship!

Lady Death [appears on the side]: Did I hear the magic word?

Vampire Bat: Why does she always arrive out of nowhere when death becomes a hot topic?

Vampire Owl: Why are you here? This is out of your boundaries. You don’t take the souls leaving body in outer space!

Lady Death [looks outside]: Wait! This is not what I intended. I was planning to take your souls from the known dimensions which is why I established a connection. Now, how can I go back with my link not being active in space? You are not supposed to be here. What are you people doing? Vampires don’t navigate with spaceships. Even those ships going through oceans don’t navigate that well under the vampire control.

Vampire Bat: I see that we are in this together now. Now, we can think about getting out of here with one extra brain.

Lady Death: This is so terrible. Because of you miserable vampires, I am already missing my time with my dead people. Who will torture the souls in my absence?

Vampire Owl: The thing on the right side looks like a phone. Call Doctor Frankenstein! Right Now! He should know this because he gets himself abducted by the aliens very often for stealing their brain essence.

Vampire Bat: Nice phone! This one has the options to call to all realms. We can even call the goblins at their underground layers. Doctor Frankenstein…got it! I will put this one on loudspeaker.

Doctor Frankenstein: Greetings, most valuable travelers of my teleportation device! Where are you now? Did you reach the destination intended?

transyl (2)

Vampire Owl: We have landed in a spaceship and there are space rocks all around us. Help us with navigating with this thing, and be quick!

Doctor Frankenstein: Okay, do you see the round red button under the main control lever coloured blue?

Vampire Owl: Yes, I will press it now; done!

Doctor Frankenstein: I was going to tell you that you should never press that button no matter what happens!

Vampire Owl: Oh! My bad!

Doctor Frankenstein: This activates an artificial black hole which will take you to a dimension outside the the known, which is also far away from the other dimension.

Lady Death: This should mean that I can be Dead Lady Death. This means death in more than one form, right? Will your immortality clause work in that dimension? I doubt about my control over death. But it is also another way of navigation and a new world will come to light.

Vampire Bat: Well, that was some nice way of navigation, Mr. Vampire Owl.

[The spaceship disappears].

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the movie, Hotel Transylvania.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

TeNy

Ready with the Punch

Even though this movie came after the multiplexes were established here, it never came to any of the malls. It is actually a shame considering what kind of nonsense comes to the big screen these days. There are movies like After Earth which had absolutely no idea what it was going to do for the audience here, but still managed to be here. So, with hopes that whenever an interesting movie doesn’t get released here, a punch is delivered, I would like to talk to a movie which was not critically acclaimed and neither was it a box-office star.

Here is another unknown movie, an equivalent of supreme visual power, the Emily Browning starrer, Sucker Punch. There are only a few reasons why this movie failed to click for people. The number one reason is that it is too intelligent and the basic idea went right over the head of the viewers, and they only managed to see the entertainment that was on the screen. Another major reasons include hatred for no reason, having absolutely no idea about what is happening, and agreeing to some pseudo-intellectual critics because there is a fake veil of intellect.

suckerpunch (1)

Sucker Puch tells the story of a young girl nicknamed Babydoll (Emily Browning) who is sent to the mental asylum after blamed for the death of her younger sister. Her abusive stepfather plans to get her lobotomized so that the truth related to the incidents are not revealed. To save herself from the fate, Babydoll creates a plan to escape from the institution, and it includes four things which she should find. She imagines a fantasy world for the same, and attains the help of the other inmates, Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), Amber (Jamie Chung), Rocket (Jena Malone), and Rocket’s sister Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish).

The support of music that the movie receives is really good. It sets the mood for the happenings of this movie as it begins with “Sweet Dreams are made of this” – it remains my ringtone since a few years ago. From there, it goes on to be a visually stunning experience. There is beauty on the screen, and the action sequences are really well-made. It is like going through a video game and have such quality in the rendering which is rarely seen with the best graphics card. There is more than one beautifully created worlds here, and they are very well connected to the original story.

suckerpunch (2)

Zack Snyder is someone with cent precent record as far as I am concerned as a viewer. As we wait for his Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to come up, we remember movies like 300, Watchmen and Man of Steel; Sucker Punch might be less critically acclaimed, but I would consider this his best creative work ever. It is not only creative on the screen, but also leaves the audience to find the layers on which it works. Talking about the same, there are two fantasy worlds inside the real world and this structure leaves something for the brain. Things are not directly told this time.

The layers are actually connected in an interesting way, and it is the kind of thing that we all wanted in our lives. It is this pure escapism that all of us need to get a better in this terrible world as we create our own wonderful universe. The cast here which is lead by Emily Browning is very interesting as the support from other ladies including Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung remains strong as well as beautiful. You have to love how things come together in the end, with the story of courage and sacrifice getting to its appropriate finish.

If one is to watch Sucker Punch, it has to be done surely without prejudice, and not with a negative state of mind. There might be enough reviews to put you away from Sucker Punch, but the truth about this movie is different. You can love it or hate it after looking at the entertainment from a distance, but while thinking about how it actually works in a more detailed way, there are not many options. You have to be prepared for something different though, and also to think in that path of variety set by the movie. Here is another #UnknownMasterpiece.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Sucker Punch.

TeNy

The Fire Still Burns

The list of interesting movies which didn’t get the attention of the mainstream audience is endless. I would add a movie released in 2008 to the list. It had less scope to be popular here because the first big mall in my state opened only in 2009 and a multiplex in the form of Cinemax only followed at the same mall much later. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the people I know haven’t watched this one. Yes, Star Movies is once again the channel which has made this movie known here.

I am hoping to have more people getting to know about this movie. It was a box-office flop, and I can only wonder about the reason for the same in North America. May be people misunderstood and expected the wrong thing from this movie. The reviews were positive to mixed, but things didn’t work well with the audience. This movie is an adaptation of a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by Jeanne DuPrau which was published in 2003, and this lone flick which remains the only one in the franchise is known by the name, City of Ember.

cityofember (2)

The movie was released just about two months after the release of the last book in the series; The Diamond of Darkhold – but thanks to the terrible reception by the audience, it remains the only movie of the franchise, with any hope for a sequel lost without hope. City of Ember is a movie which deserved more. May be it released a little bit too early, considering the increase in the viewership of English movies now and also the better love for the movie adaptations from books. It can do well with a reboot during these times.

City of Ember has a very interesting setting. It takes us to a dystopia which has existed for a long time after something like an end of the world had happened. The human civilization is limited to this world underground which is actually running short of supplies. As the new world was established inside a giant cave, the generators falling apart meant continuous darkness and the trouble with plumbing works happened to be other reasons along with the food shortage. As the leaders refuse to accept the doom and won’t allow an exploration to the outside, there is no easy way out.

cityofember (1)

The movie uses the idea of the dystopia, and how it chooses to remain the same without going to explore the other possibilities due to concern, fear, anxiety and thoughts of losing power. The present city gives them what they want, and it goes on and on in the same way without any change, and it has worked for them. So, even in a distant future with things seemingly getting worse, they have that feeling that everything will get back to normal and everything will be all right.

The design of the world is indeed special and has a special dark beauty for itself. The performances add to the total charm. Saoirse Ronan leads the team with that charm that not many young actresses could come up with. It might be one of those movies which established her talents so early. Harry Treadaway follows and he does a significant job in keeping side efficient. I would still say that even with fair performances from the rest of the cast, nobody can match the leading lady on the screen.

City of Ember itself is a reflection of our present world in which the situation is getting worse and nobody cares. The only difference is that our planet can still be saved, and an escape is not the best solution. But the much needed qualities to inspire the same is missing, and people were fed with a need to win at any cost, right from their childhood – so it will actually be a strange thing if someone actually bothers about the humanity as a whole without caring for the personal gains.

***The images used in this blog post are cropped from the screenshots taken from the movie.

TeNy

The Simona Update

It has been some time since I updated something on Simona the Kitty. She has been doing good around here, even as we missed her during our journey to Delhi. She was taken good care of as we had arranged for the same. She didn’t leave from around my legs since we returned, and we actually gave her a lot more freedom after we returned. She did turn more peaceful and matured after our return, it seemed. There are significant changes which happened since we returned.

No more hugging, but a lot of leaning: The hugging procedure has mostly ceased to exist. Now it is more about leaning against the legs. Whenever she finds me, she needs to lean against my legs, as if she is trying to push me. She even pushes open the doors and also pull her legs in between to push them apart, trying to find a few human legs. Yes, she needs them, and she considers it her newly found right.

Jpeg

The new sleeping programme: She sleeps a lot nowadays, and prefers to sleep on a lap or chooses to find a human sleeping and stay asleep close to the legs. She is finally making her choices clear. She belongs to the clan of that mighty hunter of the jungle, and so if she decides to rest, she should have the royal right to do so. She is Simona the Lionhearted, honourable princess of the concrete jungle.

A special need for massage: Nowadays, she overtakes a walking human, and lies down asks to be given a massage. She keeps doing that until enough of the same is received. It has become so regular a practice now that she is on the floor on more occasions than she is doing anything else. But you can’t deny her that, can you? After all, she is a valiant kitten who decided to defeat all odds.

Jpeg

Climbing the first tree: She actually managed to climb a tree for the first time, and it was a zapota tree which is of good height and with a lot of branches. She got to the top very quickly, trying to touch an analyze the smaller branches, finally deciding to come down slowly and carefully. She was on monkey mode for quite a long time, and only after she was tired that she got back to the original kitten mode.

Catching the first big lizard: She is known to have caught spiders, cockroaches and lizards, but this is her first live-action attack on a big lizard. Even though I won’t expect her to go after a rat, this is a fine start. It was as if she was planning a tactical game with her prey, and she successfully became the smart predator. She has always been the survivor, and he is slowly, but steadily becoming the hunter.

Jpeg

As Simona keeps transforming into the big cat of her concrete jungle, I hope that she remains happy in this small world which has a road on one side, houses on two sides and and emptiness on the other. She hasn’t gone beyond the wall so far, and has wished to stay close to us. Hope she remains with us as the symbol of optimism forever rather than thinking about wandering away 🙂

***The photos used in this blog post were taken on my new Asus Zenfone 5 yesterday. The new phone is very good, and I shall write about it later 😀

Jpeg

Click here for Airtel Recharge!
Click here for any Mobile Recharge at Paytm!
Click here for Flipkart!
Click here for Snapdeal!

TeNy