Christmas Special: 2015

This year’s Christmas is going to be special around here. No, I am not going to celebrate much this time too, as celebrations are not really part of my life, whether it is a festival, birthday or any significant day. The celebrations are going to be about the movies this time. You know that the movies like Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani have already released, and the Malayalam movies like Anarkali, Amar Akbar Anthony, Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam, Pathemari, Rajamma@Yahoo, Salt Mango Tree and Ennu Ninte Moideen are still running in the theatres here, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the way. Lets take a look at the Malayalam movies getting ready for release on this Christmas.

Jo and the Boy: Manju Warrier once again takes the role of protagonist here after sharing the space with Rima Kallingal in the highly inspirational flick, Rani Padmini. The movie seems to be centred around the theme of “happiness” and there is something about finding the same. Sanoop Santhosh of Philips and the Monkey Pen fame will play the character of “the boy” here. This one will surely remind us of that same movie, and so we can be sure that something feel-good and inspirational can be found in this one too. Aren’t these the kind of movies that we need? It seems to be so as of now, but lets wait for this movie to release. The challenge will be huge for Christmas, and this one needs to thrive!

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Charlie: The most awaited movie is indeed Charlie. It comes from the maker of big hits like Best Actor and ABCD, but both are not among the movies which I have liked. It had me in doubts, but unlike those two movies which had nothing new, Charlie looks special, and it remains so with only a few days to its release. With all the hype which has been built around this movie, Dulquer should be the star of this Christmas; Charlie even comes one day before the rest of the movies as it releases on December 24th. I also need to get out that terrible feeling from his previous movie, 100 Days of Love. No, I don’t need any dumb fan to come up with the list of box-office collections for that particular flick; for it is that attitude of the blind fan groups which needs to change.

Style: Now that sounds simple, and what this movie has more than anything else is this style. This one is supposed to be a big action thriller, and should have some masala around it too. Unni Mukundan plays the hero, and it seems to work very well, while Tovino Thomas who also stars in Charlie is here as the villain – this will be the performance that many people will be looking out for, that is for sure. Meanwhile, Priya Kandwal makes her debut here, and she has a charming presence in the trailer. Balu Varghese will handle the funny side. There are some interesting song sequences which will add to making this one a full entertainer. Style comes from the same team that brought us the movie Ithihasa.

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Adi Kapyare Kootamani: It should be another fun movie in store for Christmas with Adi Kapyare Kootamani, as it has Dhyan Sreenivasan, Aju Varghese and Neeraj Madhav coming right out of Kunjiramayanam, the big fun movie of the year. If we replace Dhyan with Nivin Pauly, this would be more like Oru Vadakkan Selfie, and that is fun too. Namitha Pramod comes out of what might have been her only meaningless role in her career which she played in Amar Akbar Anthony, and she is rightfully suitable with this team. Mukesh will play the role of a priest, and as the story unfolds in a boys’ hostel, there seems to be scope a lot of comic sequences. We can only wait and see how much it can make us laugh.

2 Countries: The first thing that comes to your mind while seeing the poster of this movie is My Boss which was the complete comedy entertainer starring Dileep and Mamta Mohandas who returns here. That should make it interesting for the viewers to go for the movie, even though the name Jeethu Joseph is not associated with it. There is also a nice supporting cast including Aju Varghese, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Mukesh and Jagadish. Even though the title does make sense with its literal meaning, how it will work more might be in the form of how we Keralites use the word “country people”, and that should be where this movie can manage to make things even funnier. Dileep once again goes to another country with marriage, like in Life of Josutty – it seems.

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With all these movies around, the question might be more about getting the theatres ready to show the flicks. We are actually coming right out of a theatre strike, and Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani staying there, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will also arrive, and there will be a battle for theatres. I don’t remember many occasions when five movies giving high hopes came to releease at the same time. Thankfully, Mohanlal starrer Puli Murugan, Mammootty starrer Puthiya Niyamam, Nivin Pauly starrer Action Hero Biju and Prithviraj starrer Paavada won’t be coming here for this season – think about these four too in the theatres next month – and there are big Hollywood movies coming in January!

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the movies (Jo and the Boy, Style and 2 Countries).

TeNy

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What Remains of Christmas

*I would like to begin this post with a statutory warning which has been issued by Uncle Dracula in association with the whole vampire community and a message from Simona the Lionhearted. She asks everyone to wear your helmets during this Christmas, and not to drink too much that you might end up forgetting your helmet, as it is not too different from forgetting the significance of your head. Simona loves her helmet and prefers to save herself inside it, a lesson for all the humans to learn. Use your helmet, no matter what 😀

Simona likes helmets and chooses to save herself. Do you? :D

Simona likes helmets and chooses to save herself from those possible injuries. Do you? 😀

Now, what can I say about Christmas? I doubt its existence as the big thing that it used to be. It still exists for me because it needs to. There is the loss of power of celebration that I associate with a number of festivals, and I can do the same with Christmas. I haven’t really seen a Christmas carol for ages. But no, this is not a festival that you can let go that easily. Unlike the others, this one keeps coming back, and the best reason for the same may be the time of the festival. May be there should have been full power snow here – that should have worked a lot better.

Christmas has had its charms during the childhood days. There was Santa Claus, and there was hope; even as nobody really gave me the presents; none of those self-proclaimed loving uncles or aunties – not even the big cousin-brothers, when I have seen my dad giving to the relatives, and a lot of my friends receiving from their uncles. Nobody even gave me five rupees to buy black tea. But I still believed at that time, because others did receive, and I thought Santa Claus might give something to me directly.

Every year of not receiving anything, the level of that hope comes down. Now, we are left with the absence of Santa Claus as well as that hope. As it is said in the end of the movie, The Polar Express, “At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe”.

The Christmas Crib there - prepared it again after more than fifteen years.

The Christmas Crib there – prepared it again after more than fifteen years for no reason.

We were all dreamers, but when we grow up and choose not to believe – I live in my doubts, created from the chaos that is in my mind. I have been that close to disbelief that I could never believe in anything anymore. Christmas had its magic, but it seems to be disappearing, just like all the traditions and those celebrations that we had. Who wants magic in the world of science, right? Who wants tradition when without it one can be free evil and do anything and everything? Then there are the saviours of traditions who rarely makes sense. There will always be non-believers who choose religion for material benefits.

We are left with people who celebrate the festivals for showing off, or for some random personal benefit. Everyone wishes to show the money power and the Merry Christmas is no longer merry. The only thing that comes with a certainty is its reverse, Remy Martin – people take this as another occasion to drink along with the hundreds that they have ever year, and it passes. Santa Claus gets stuck in the chimney with his reindeer sent to the slaughterhouse and nobody will care – thank God that Mahabali comes from the underworld; he only have to save himself from the pot-holes taking him back to his abode. We have gone on to become a selfish group of people, and every festival has gone on to reflect the same.

The star for Christmas - put it once again after a long time just because I could.

The star for Christmas – put it once again after a long time just because I could.

We have reduced faith in God and it has reflected in our love and care for people. The hatred that we see everyday is just too high. Some people think that it can be solved by converting people into one religion. They are as responsible for this as much as those without faith. We are being thrown into a world of mutual hatred, and it is getting only worse. Whatever happens, the fact remains that we are influenced by more than one religion in our life time, and we don’t belong to just one. Why would Santa want to come and receive the news about Peshawar? Why isn’t there the chance for every child to celebrate Christmas and get the presents? Isn’t there at least a chance for them to live?

We need all the customs and traditions, and we need each and every world religion with all those good things that they teach. The world needs all its beliefs because humanity was shaped by them. We need people to explore each of them, and understand the basic message of love. Lets do something good on this Christmas, and not publish it on Facebook. That would be a good idea. It will bring back a part of the magic of Christmas; lets give it to someone else who is in need. Lets do it irrespective of religion, and let no one take away our right to be good to people, not considering their backgrounds.

I shall keep my doubts, but all of you have a wonderful Christmas nevertheless 🙂

The decorations for the crib are from
I. Trinity Supermarket, Keezhilam
II. Pittappillil Stores, Kuruppampady
*Just mentioning because they proved effective and substantial in making the crib, something I did after a break of fifteen years or so.

TeNy