First Attempt: Big Impact

Malayalam movie industry who had a number of directors who have made big impact with their first movies. Talking about this impact, I would like to stick to those directors who haven’t directed another movie as of now, and also to only those who have directed solo. They still remain those who have made those particular movies wonderful, and it is this debutante impact which I am planning to share right now. Here are six of such interesting movies with debutante directors at the helm, not put here in any particular order.

Om Shanti Oshana: Jude Anthany Joseph (2014)
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cast: Nivin Pauly, Nazriya Nazim
I haven’t really found someone knowing how to make each moment of a movie work so well as a debutante director, and this man has done exactly that. Coming out of the depressing experience which was the fan display of vanity in the form of the overrating bloated thing called 1983, Om Shanti Oshana released a week later, saving our movie season, and making the impact with its nostalgia as well as unlimited amount of fun. Watching the movie on the first day for the first show had enough impact to make me go for the movie for the second time, and it is one of the two movies which I have watched in the theatre twice in the last few years.

Angels: Jean Markose (2014)
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Cast: Indrajith Sukumaran, Asha Sarath
The thrillers from debutante directors usually have some problems with making things work according to what the viewers wish for, but not in the case of Jean Markose. This movie is a well-executed thriller which has your attention right in the beginning. There is even a message which is brought to the audience really well, making an impact as a responsible human being. Angels is the unexpected good thriller which is something quite rare. But with someone like Indrajith Sukumaran as the protagonist and Joy Mathew doing another important role, there is no way that this one could have fone role with the performances – the plot never fails either.

Vellimoonga: Jibu Jacob (2014)
Genre: Political Satire/Comedy
Cast: Biju Menon, Nikki Galrani
I am pretty sure that there will be almost nobody who can question this movie’s success and its ability to work with the common audience. This one actually started slowly at the theatres, but it picked up to become that movie which collected even more than a good number of superstar movies of that time. Movies like Vellimoonga showed good signs for future, as we had another simple movie without the usual heroes and with a debutante director creating that heavy impact at the box-office. It was also after a very long time that we had a political satire which actually made some fine impact. The later success of Salt Mango Tree with Biju Menon in the lead also had a lot to do with this movie’s impact.

Ormayundo Ee Mukham: Anvar Sadik (2014)
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cast: Vineeth Sreenivasan, Namitha Pramod
There is some beautiful music to accompany this romantic comedy, and the best of them happens to be “Ee Mizhikalin”. Vineeth Sreenivasan is better known to come up with romantic comedies as a director as we know what Thattathin Marayathu brought for the audience and went on to become that huge success. But this movie also works really well, and makes a fine emotional impact on the viewers. Very well supported by Aju Varghese, this movie goes on to become that smooth romantic love story with a fine emotional side, and some good comedy all around. Even though inspired by the Hollywood movie 50 First Dates, this one does develop an identity of its own.

Kunjiramayanam: Basil Joseph (2015)
Genre: Comedy
Cast: Vineeth Sreenivasan, Srinda Ashab
There is one thing about which everyone in the theatre was clear when we watched this movie – that this one was really enjoyable with its comedy. It surely has the shortage of logic which is clearly explained in the beginning of the movie. But the comic side of this movie is terrific. There is so much fun in this movie, and some moments are so good that they stay in our minds for very long. The impact that this movie makes is of pure comedy and nothing else. Along with the same, we have to appreciate Basil Joseph to make the impact and bring this simple movie as the best of Onam releases, without casting even one big superstar, at the time when the stars had their own releases.

Adi Kapyare Kootamani: John Varghese (2015)
Genre: Comedy
Cast: Dhyan Sreenivasan, Namitha Pramod
There hasn’t been this much fun with a movie for quite a long time, as this movie’s comedy is rather unlimited, as the laugh riot begins and continues on and on. There is a big team here, including Kunjiramayanam‘s own Aju Varghese, Dhyan Sreenivasan, Neeraj Madhav and Bijukuttan, along with Mukesh, Namitha Pramod and Vineeth Mohan joining the team. It is Aju and Neeraj who holds things together, and Bijukuttan has some of the funniest moments here – this movie is rather a result of fine team work, and the director has successfully made it what is in the end, a fine comedy flick from a debutante director, which won’t make us feel that it is from someone new at the helm.

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

Advertisements

Angels, Demons and Humans

There was a certain supernatural action-thriller released in 2005 which became my instant favourite at that time. With Keanu Reeves playing the protagonist, I ended up knowing more as John Constantine rather than being part of Speed and The Matrix. Constantine was a movie which created such a huge impact on my mind. It redefined my ideas about this world and the other. There was even a game based on the movie, and it also helped; that one was an interesting third person shooter.

Along with being the shooting game, Constantine reflected the movie and had those spells too. The weapons were interesting and there were some captivating cutscenes. The darkness was something even more interesting, and it was my second favourite action game featuring the slaying of demons after Undying. Coming back to the movie, it even had Rachel Weisz in a double role. I loved the depiction of hell in that movie, the shot of a particular cat, the special mixed qualities of the movie, and how the story developed.

The movie and the game are exactly the big reasons why I wanted to watch the television series following the same story and one of the most interesting protagonists in a movie featuring the supernatural. I did have my doubts about this one in the absence of Keanu Reeves who has been the true Constantine for long. But that one never had the sequel it deserved, and here we get used to Matt Ryan as the titular character, and by the half of first season, we are over the film and take him as Constantine.

constantine (2)

I had loved Lucy Griffiths as Liv Aberdine, but that character disappeared after the first episode. She seemed to be the one who was going to assist the protagonist, but that was not to be. But there was Angélica Celaya as Zed Martin, the psychic who assisted Constantine for the rest of his missions. I have felt that she did an amazing job there; this character is mysterious, and becomes the best thing about this television series. I would still love to see a few appearances from Lucy Griffiths at some point.

So, Constantine as the television series brings the adventures of the demon hunter, exorcist and master of the dark arts back to the scene. Here, he starts at a mental institution after a failed exorcism from where he immediately gets out, and starts saving the souls and sending the demons to their own worlds. As the worlds get closer, more paranormal activities occur, and investigations become necessary. After leaving Liv Aberdine and meeting Zed Martin, things get a lot better from the fifth episode, if you ask me. I have actually found the seventh one, “Blessed Are the Damned” to be the best of them all.

So, even if you are not going to be impressed by the first episode which losses its main lady character by the end after wasting too much of its ideas on her, you can keep going, because things are only going to get more interesting. You get the demons, angels, strange humans, fallen angels, and so many kinds of creatures from the other world that you will wish to keep the whole thing going. Even though it started in a rather funny way, things do get more serious later, and also more complex.

constantine (1)

The types of evil has rather increased here and the creatures catch our interest in an easier way, but compared to the movie, I have found the television series lighter. There are some moments and dialogues which are rather memorable, and will keep us wishing to return to the series. What this television series has left me more though, is a desire to watch a sequel to the Constantine movie, but that is not going to come anytime soon, I guess. But as I have nothing to do, and have been keeping my patience level high, I shall still wait. I have read that this series will see no more light, and so what other choice do we really have?

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook of the television series, Constantine.

TeNy

Songs of the Stars

There are many singers who have acted, and there are those who can both act and sing. We have been blessed with people like Vineeth Sreenivasan who have done not just both, but has also been the successful director and screenwriter. But there are only a few who have made more impact as actors and are known to be performers, but have managed to sing in their flicks too. Among the songs sung by these actors who have proved to be multi-talented, here are my favourite songs. These were the ones which managed to be in my playlist for long, and I didn’t know that most of them were sung by the stars when I first heard them. Even though I like the first song better than the rest, the numbering is only for the sake of it, and not meant to evaluate the quality of these songs.

1. Ee Mizhiyimakal: Angels [Indrajith Sukumaran]

This song deals with the sequences of the fall and rise of the main character who is a police officer named Haider who was last in search of a serial killer. Spread over the time period of him being injured and removed from the case due to external pressure to his return to the police force, I find this song a heavy inspirational one which I listen to very often. I have always found Indrajith Sukumaran to be the one actor whose movies do bring some variety, and still there are so many good movies with him in the lead which were less appreciated. Angels was one of them, and Naku Penta Naku Taka was pretty much another one being an above average thriller; Up & Down – Mukalil Oralundu was also okay and Outsider a simple and smart tale, but less noticed yet again.

2. Aashichavan: Punyalan Agarbathis [Jayasurya]

Here is a song from one of those part-inspirational movies which happens to be among the feel-good movies which made quite a big mark. The lines of the song as well as the visuals are reflections of the dreams of the protagonist who hopes to make it big at a time when things are not working for him. Along with Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam, this one of the special movies of Jayasurya and it ran at the theatres for quite a long time. About this one, it was clear that he was singing the song, and we can easily conclude that it is one of his most successful movies as the solo hero.

3. Chundari Penne: Charlie [Dulquer Salmaan]

This one works mostly due to the overal mood of the movie which supports songs like these, and in the end, the song has been done in such a way that it is different and works for the audience very well. Those who have watched the movie and has developed something special for the main characters of Charlie and Tessa will love this one even more. Dulquer has made the right decision to sing this one, because his character in the movie could easily take this one as part of the many things that Charlie had accomplished. This is my second favourite song of the movie with the other one already mentioned earlier in another post here. Maybe this one will inspire more actors to sing!

4. Aattumanal Paayayil: Run Baby Run [Mohanlal]

This song was undoubtedly one of the best of 2012, and we had this one in our mobile phones for a long time. Dealing with the relationship between two news reporters as well as the twists that happen in their lives related to the reporting of one particular news, this movie was one big blockbuster of the year, and this song followed that trend. The movie is also one which is a lot recommended as a thriller. Featuring Mohanlal and Amala Paul, this song competed with some big ones to reach this status of being still one of the most listened to songs around. Another fact is that it is not just a song loved by the fans, but by a lot of the family audience.

5. Kaane Kaane: Puthiya Mugham [Prithviraj Sukumaran]

This is from the movie which happens to be one of those earlier mass entertainers of Prithviraj. I don’t consider this movie to be that grand, but it was an enjoyable affair, while this song as well as the other songs from this movie were really good. It came as quite a surprise during that time to see Prithviraj singing, even though the actresses like Remya Nambeesan and Mamta Mohandas singing were not. I do feel that with these songs around and the style also being present, this movie had the potential to be something better, but it decided to go the way of the mass.

6. Kuttanadan Kaayalile: Kaazcha [Kalabhavan Mani]

You might remember this one a lot. Kalabhavan Mani is known for singing some of those traditional songs during the television programs and stage shows, but it was never known to me that he was one of the singers who were behind this song. If your memories go a little more behind, you will remember that this was one of the superhit songs in a much appreciated movie. Almost all the functions and stage programs had this particular song present there. I remember that our Onam programs after the release of this song had multiple people singing this solo. This is rather an exception made here with this name, but he is also more popular as an actor, as you know.

TeNy

Appreciation: Version Two

Ever since beginning its journey on 5th February 2013, Movies of the Soul was not a blog which I was expecting to be popular. It reached one lakh views just after its two year anniversary, but that was also not something which I expected so early to happen. Beginning with the movie Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, it was not initially meant to post Malayalam reviews, as the idea was more Hollywood, which explains the 132 English movies which I have reviewed there.

This explains why I haven’t reached fifty reviews in Malayalam yet on Movies of the Soul, as the number of Malayalam movies which I watched at the theatre only decreased, and it came down in the last year while the number of Hollywood movies remained the same. It was not just about the quality of the movies which was the best for Malayalam in 2013; for it was also about the appreciation which was rather less for Malayalam movies which were like people only wanted to criticize whatever opinion you came up with.

ividee (3)

The only significant change was related to the movie Angels, when my blog was mentioned in a video created by the Official Facebook Page of the movie, which was shared by the director Jean Markose and also the one skilled actor who played the central character of the movie, even though not the movie – Joy Mathew. It was important for me as I am not someone used to appreciation. Most of the people I know are only consider people who make a lot of money as “humans”.

It has been a major feature of “The Theory of Relative-IT”, which Albert Einstein might have also thought about. I have been writing so much for no reason, and it was becoming a mechanized process of writing opinions when this appreciation came. It has been like that for quite long, with and even though I had tried hard to write even better, and wrote so many times about the movie Mili, there was almost no appreciation for my ideas. Then I thought that Angels would be the last review from me which would get noticed, but I was wrong.

ividee (2)

It was some time since I watched a Malayalam movie; the last one being Fireman. So I finally watched the movie Ivide, and wrote on all those ideas which came to my mind after watching the movie. It was only later that I noticed that Priya Chokshi, the assistant director of the movie had chosen to retweet my tweet with the link to the movie review. She did share other opinions, but I was happy to see someone in the movie field actually choosing to share my review having the link to this review post.

I have been writing Hollywood reviews at Kiagia.com, and so haven’t been caring about the Malayalam movies much. Malayalam movie industry has been going on too much with its fans rather than the regular viewers. But I am glad that I watched this one in the end. The word “ivide” means here, and I am glad that I am here. The Official Facebook Page of Ivide also shared my review on their blog with what I wrote in depth. It is the first time that an Official Facebook Page of a movie is sharing my review too.

ividee (1)

It surely feels good when I write about a multi-starrer movie with two of the biggest young stars in the movie, Prithviraj Sukumaran and Nivin Pauly, and that big name in the actress list, Bhavana, plus that amazingly skilled director Shyamaprasad – and then it get shared. It might not be that big for others, but for someone who is always blamed by the relatives in the name of not getting a job and not being married yet, it is the big boon from the heavenly abode.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Ivide. For the review, please check: [https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/ivide]

TeNy

Appreciation Matters a Lot

Movies of the Soul is a blog which I started on 5th February 2013 as part of a desire to express my purely subjective opinions on the latest movies that releases in our theatres. The first review there was on Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, a movie which I watched at Cinemax, Oberon Mall after the show got cancelled at Q Cinemas, Gold Souk Grande. Still, Annayum Rasoolum at Matha theatre, Aluva was the movie I watched first in the year. 2012 was already an year which saw me watching so many movies. It was my second blog after Travel Diaries: Of this World and Beyond not considering the abandoned ones.

The idea behind the same was based on the fact that I spend above ten thousand rupees an year (even when not including the travel, food and parking fees) for the movie watching experience in the theatre watching one hundred plus movies on the big screen to almost no result at all – not to forget the time spent. I have supported a lot of movies just because I felt that they deserved to, and even tried to watch those which I had less hopes as I felt they could use some support. But I had to do better that just staring at the theatre screen, because as a jobless person, the money I spend for the movies was too high – it had to work at least for the intellect.

A screenshot from the top half of Movies of the Soul.

A screenshot from the top half of the blog, Movies of the Soul.

The total number of movies I watched in the theatre last year was 103, along with the number of flicks I watched at home having a much bigger count – this year’s count is now close to one hundred. I visited nine theatres last year, a number which has increased to fourteen this year. I have travelled kilometres just for a movie that I really wanted to watch, and I have made journeys in a limitless manner in the circle of Ernakulam, Paravoor, Aluva, Angamaly, Perumbavoor, Muvattupuzha, Vytilla and Edappally on a two-wheeler in the rain as well as the extreme heat.

When the newspaper shows the wrong information and I end up on the wrong theatre to watch a particular movie, I travel more, until I find the particular movie. Sometimes, a cruel multiplex cancels a show saying that they can’t have the movie there unless there is a minimum number of viewers, and then I have to travel from one mall to the other. Sometimes, I watch two or three movies on a day continously in a theatre. That was with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, The Smurfs and Cowboys & Aliens at Q Cinemas, Gold Souke Grande. I have spent all my pocket money for the movies as if I didn’t have to eat or buy new clothes.

A screenshot of the Facebook page of Movies of the Soul.

A screenshot of the Facebook page of Movies of the Soul.

I have spent too much of my time watching movies, and in the words of some people, rather “wasted”. I have also had Film Studies as my elective for post graduation. With all these, I did hope to be noticed. I have had a seventy five thousand plus viewers so far, so it is more about being “seriously noticed by Keralites”. I don’t know if this has happened before and if it did I have failed to notice the same, but I didn’t miss this one, thanks to my friend Ajai. It was shared by the movie on its official page itself (Angels) Malayala Manorama and PrimeGlitz, and was noticed and shared by the director of the movie, Jean Markose and one of the main actors, Joy Mathew. This one has a mention for my blog, even as they messed up the spelling.

I have had very less attention from Keralites for my blog, and with fan clubs making decisions around here, I was sure that the hope was very less. It is the same reason why I decreased the number of Malayalam movies I watched this year, and I even ended up missing a few movies which I really wanted to watch. Yes, my take Malayalam movies do get read more, but the appreciation has been very low for the opinions. People would be more like, “you don’t really have the right to opinion”, unless they are also blogger, and know the value of opinion. Meanwhile, I make clear that I have always wrote opinions on how I felt, without any prejudice.

Due to the same, I am glad that my blog gets a mention somewhere. Not that I am in desperate need for the same, as I have lived without the same for quite some time now, but this mention makes me happy and it is one of those things that assures me that I am not really wasting my ideas on a blog, and neither am I always a jobless person who is of not much use. At the same time, thanks to my blogger friends, who have made sure that there is a meaning for my blog and has kept me going all these years to this point, and it is something that I admire unconditionally, no matter how much appreciation I get from the world outside 🙂

Watch the video; the mention is by the end of it 🙂 

Do spend some time at https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/ with the Vampire Bat and his partial best friend, the Vampire Owl 🙂 To go directly to my post on this movie which I strongly recommend, go to https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/angels/. I know that there were times when I have been a bit careless about the Malayalam movies (it also took me some time to develop my style in writing reviews), because I felt that nobody outside my blogger sphere really noticed them or cared what I wrote, but this small mention is a big boost to my confidence, and I will try to watch more of Indian movies and will try to explore them in a deeper and a more detailed manner. I do wonder if they changed the spelling of my blog intentionally though; after all, I am a cynic; but thanks nevertheless 😀

*Edited from the original post; another one, this time with the right spelling, blog mentioned second 🙂

Thanks to Anoop (http://anooppillaiz.wordpress.com/) for finding this one, and thanks to those behind this video 🙂

TeNy