Where Did They Go?

I have watched so many Malayalam movies in the theatres. It is a procedure which started long before I began watching the movie in other languages. I have always loved them for the power of their scripts. There were interesting flicks even from the new directors. But nowadays, one has to wonder what has happened to the quality of the flicks. There have been too many mediocre movies being released, and the quality has really come down. There seems to be a struggle going on with finding the right story.

Lets go back to 2013. There were seven top quality movies in the year, or even more. I can easily remember a few of them right now because they had created that awesome impact like no other movie which came in the later years. Celluloid had become that tribute to Malayalam cinema which seems to have created that impact among all kinds of audience. I consider it as the best movie of the year and Prithviraj Sukumaran had lead the way in the story of J. C. Daniel, the father of Malayalam cinema.

Among the movies of 2013, Amen had a status close to glory. It was a fairy-tale kind of tale with magic realism, and using the strength of the backwaters of Kerala to create scenes of visual magic. Lijo Jose Pellissery builds on and on through that magic, and in this love story of divinity and hope, Indrajith Sukumaran and Fahadh Faasil runs through with their brilliant performances. It stays in one’s mind for long and makes sure that it feels awesome. There was also news that there were chances for the same to be remade in Bollywood having Ranbir Kapoor in the lead role.

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Philips and the Monkey Pen was another beautiful work which made the point perfectly, and with kids as the major characters, the movie comes up giving very relevant messages. It manages to be a heart-touching story with simple elements. Sanoop Santhosh stars as protagonist in this movie which has the older performers like Jayasurya, Remya Nambeesan and Joy Mathew playing supporting roles. It is sad that the same producers couldn’t recreate the magic in their later movies and the two directors of the movie were not much heard about after that.

Then there was Drishyam. There are no doubts related to the highest grossing movie in the history of Malayalam film industry. Jeethu Joseph’s masterpiece which has been remade into four languages already, has the final one releasing this month-end. With Mohanlal right there with what he always does the best, Drishyam was the one movie everyone was talking about at that time, ruling the theatres for quite a long time. Lets hope that the Bollywood version will also do justice to the movie like the Tamil version, Papanasam.

Among the movies of the year, Left Right Left also had a special place in the heart of the common viewer, as it was the political drama thriller which was closest to that less explored genre. It was great to see so many powerful characters in one movie, and those amazing performances in it. Then there was another class act from Jeethu Joseph, in the form of Memories, which was a special dark thriller. With Prithviraj’s stunning performance and the script which is once again the winner, this one is also wonderfully taken with a protagonist having his lack of perfection.

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The final movie is North 24 Kaatham, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam and also provided Fahadh Faasil with the Kerala State Award for the Best Actor. The man had played a character suffering from OCPD, and with very less words being said, could create a big impact. The movie goes through the incidents which changes his life on a day of harthal. Are there movies of this quality these days? May be one or two which can be found here or there. Is it too far away from 2013 to continue making movies of such quality? The best we had this year so far is Mili, and the last year, it was Iyobinte Pusthakam.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the movies, Amen and Memories.

TeNy

Creating New Destinations

There have been lots of occasions when movies have created future travel destinations for us, just like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara created and developed Spain as a popular destination among us, even as I don’t have that much of a high opinion about that bourgeoisie movie rooted in Carpe Diem. Some of the popular destinations include the United States, UAE and Malaysia as far as Malayalam movies are concerned, but these won’t be part of this, as I would rather talk about some movies which has given us certain destination to keep in our minds.

The movies that I have listed here are all recommended, even as I can’t guarantee that they will work for everyone. But there is certainty about its assertion of location, and we shall not go on without feeling something for the places where these movies were shot. There will always be people who are not in need of magic or imagination in their lives, and for such people, I hope they will find their own movies of this kind. All the images used in this post are from the official pages of these movies (Amen, Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal and London Bridge).

The masterpiece which was Amen; it is also a visual spectacle at its best

The masterpiece which was Amen; it is also a visual spectacle at its best

5. Mazhavillu (Germany)
This is a tragic love story set in Germany, and the songs as well as the cinematography makes one fall in love with a location which was not much popular in Malayalam movies. The movie has about five beautiful songs, two of them powerfully linked to the seasons of the place, and clearly reflecting the moods of nature. Even as there is city life, the rural locations are given a lot of significance in this movie as it focuses on the romance and the terror that awaits the lovers which would break down their life and can send them into the depths of a never-ending abyss. I would strongly recommend the songs of this movie with the video, especially “Ponnolathumbi” – the lyrics and the tune nicely works in the minds of the viewers with the visuals.

4. Yodha (Nepal)
Nepal has been one of my favoured destinations since the first time watched this movie, and with its wonderful monuments, and the feeling that this movie gives, there should have been a lot of visitors to Nepal. But that time of release was not really a period of travel, wasn’t it? The human life used to be so simple at that time, and we could live life as it was meant to be. One thing certain about Yodha is that it has undoubtedly created that spark for one day traveling to Nepal in the minds of a lot of people, and even as it won’t come alive now, that factor will show its flame sooner or later. Such is the influence that this movie, its situations and dialogues got for its viewers.

Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal nicely portrays the scenic beauty and connects it to the idea

Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal nicely portrays scenic beauty & connects it to the idea

3. Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal (Lakshadweep and Andaman)
This movie takes its viewers to that enchanting world of islands, lagoons and sea like never before, as it explores human selfishness in comparison to the sword-fish, and a love story that stands the tests of the world, and another which blossoms into beauty. With its excellent style of narration and the beautiful world that it brings to its viewers in the form of seaside splendour, Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal is a thought-provoking adventure with a strong romantic side, working strongly to create an eternal bond with the islands off the Indian coast and will surely boost its tourism up-to an extent – only if people had the brains to understand its idea better! Read review at: http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/mosa/

2. London Bridge (London and Scottish Highlands)
Despite its average performance, London Bridge is a powerful display of the beauty of the city of London as well as the natural splendour of Scotland. If you get a chance to go through any of the songs of this movie, it would be perfectly clear. As a beautiful movie with beautiful people and beautiful locations, this movie has got complete control of its locations as it uses them to full advantage, especially the seasons of autumn, winter and spring. The bridge itself is the symbol of the connections in this movie, and we can see it quite often. If nothing much has inspired you enough to visit the United Kingdom, this surely will, as long as you have the eyes to appreciate beauty and a mind worth enough. Read review at: http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/london-bridge/

London Bridge has that beauty which can make Dracula take a stake through his heart

London Bridge has that beauty which can make Dracula take a stake through his heart

1. Amen (Kerala Backwaters)
The visual glory of Amen is something that can never be questioned even in the least spectacular shot that the movie can offer. It is undoubtedly Lijo Jose Pelllissery’s magnum opus, and along with itself being a magical movie, the visuals are also simply out of this world. Set in Kuttanad, the movie tells the story of a group of people living around a church, and there is a romantic love story nicely woven around music and a competition among the music bands. Supposed to be remade in Bollywood with Ranbir Kapoor in the leading role, one has to wonder if the beauty of the backwaters which this movie has so efficiently using in portraying its message and visually mesmerizing the audience can work this well anywhere else. Read review at: http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/amen/

TeNy