Celebrities and their Fans

I was watching an episode of Vellanakalude Naadu (The Land of White Elephants) on Asianet channel on last Sunday, and I found the idea talked about to be a very interesting one and more valid than anything else for the present time. The satirical tv series has been doing a good job every weekend, but this one can be considered the one episode more close to life than any other. They have come up with an idenity separate from the big satire program Marimayam on Mazhavil Manorama and it feels good.

The episode dealt with the blind fans and their great role-model celebrities. It showed us how ridiculous the celebrity worship and the fan clubs happen to be. There is absolutely no point in these as the fans are never really the admirers as they should be. There are only two kinds of fans who are usually seen during a movie release; one is the type which got no ability to think for themselves and blindly worship a person for some strange reason, and another is the kind of fan who stick to this for material benefits.

Yes, there are fans who are not part of these two groups, but they are rare and as they don’t hate and abuse others, their voices are less heard. The other groups of fans whose lives are based on hate will make them heard because they are intolerant. What they do in the name of their favourite celebrities happen to be the curse of the movie industry. I have always believed that a movie should be watched and appreciated without caring about who acted in the flick.

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We know the most significant work which these fans do. They go around telling everyone and posting on the Facebook media that a terrible, average or above average movie of their favourite actor or actress is awesome. They abuse people who say that the movie is not that good. They also degrade the movies of other celebrities telling everyone that they are pathetic. Some do it because they are blind followers and others for some material benefits. But both types of fans are such pain on the social media.

What they do in the theatres happen to be even more ridiculous. They make sounds in the darkness and clap and scream so much for their favourite actors that listening to the dialogues is impossible. The howling which they do for the movies of other actors make sure that listening to dialogues is hard otherwise too. They try their best to make the theatre experience hell of the common man and make it even worse for the family audience. According to them, the world belongs to them only.

The fans also do pour milk over the giant flex hoarding of their favourite actors. Well, wastage of food when children are in need of nutrition comes easy, doesn’t it? Earlier, there was an incident in which a fan climbed over a flex hoarding of their favourite actor at Thiruvananthapuram and fell down while trying to give the huge thing a shower in milk. What did he earn other than the loss of his own life? It is a strange thing about life, that you make the people who love cry for you in the name of a person who doesn’t know or care.

The celebrities need their fans to make them popular and the fans need money while some fans are just dumb. The celebrities will surely make advantage of this, creating fake campaigns about their greatness, simplicity, skills, social work and everything else. If you see a lot of such posts from fans about “simplicity”, “social work” and the rest of the qualities, there is a big chance that these situations are created and paid for. It is not the media and fans that need the celebrities, but it is the other way around; otherwise, we would have seen the celebrities talking against the fan clubs – do we see such a thing? Not at all. Vellanakalude Naadu on Sunday showed how disgusting this hero worship is, in a clear manner.

***The image used in this blog post is a screenshot of the first screen of a video of the television series shared by Asianet.

TeNy

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Removing the Wrong Scenes

Among the movies which have been running successfully this year, Ennu Ninte Moideen has a big place, and it might already be the highest grossing Malayalam movie of the year and was already the Malayalam movie with highest collection all-time after Drishyam, Premam and Bangalore Days when last checked a few days ago. It is a movie that claims its position by the quality of true love more than anything else. It is something that none of the newer movies could claim, and even so, it has been overrated by the fans as the greatest love movie of all times.

I recently came across two of the deleted scenes from the movie, which were uploaded on Youtube by the men behind the flick. Even though I liked this movie very much, I had my thoughts that some scenes which should have been there, had gone missing, making this movie incomplete at some parts. At some points, the movie was just rushed without having the connecting links. The character of Moideen surely deserved more moments, and with these two deleted scenes, we have two big ones!

The first scene has the character Kottatil Sethu (Bala) confronting Moideen (Prithviraj Sukumaran). This is a scene which has a very high impact in the rivalry between the two which develops after Moideen’s love for Kanchanamala (Parvathy Kottuvata). It has not just the intensity but the right display of the twist of events. There was the need for a big impact scene showing the change of things around and this is one such sequence which has been sadly removed from the movie.

Here, the football match has its announcement of players which begins and Sethu is nowhere to be found, only to appear later in the rival team. As he refuses to shake hands with Moideen, it shows his intention which is just to injure Moideen during the game, and Moideen plays along making sure that it doesn’t go on to become a fist fight and a possible communal riot later. The big brawl is nicely averted by Moideen with his intelligence, which is revealed in the end.

Prithviraj, Tovino and Bala has performed very nicely in these sequences. There are powerful feeling expressed around here, and you will love how Moideen reveals his intention towards not making a scene and inspiring a brawl or riot among his own people. The goodness of his mind and his smart ideas are on display here. One has to wonder why this wasn’t included in this movie. The fans would want the man to be a rowdy and beat everyone up and so they won’t want this intelligence sequences, but the thinking audience deserved this.

The second scene is even better and never deserved to be even though about to be deleted. It once again showed Moideen’s righteous state of mind because if he was murdered by the crowd, that would have caused a communal riot, even though the blind fans will want this removed hoping for the hero to beat up the whole crowd or stopped them with some punch dialogues. But here, Moideen chooses the right method, to retreat, something which every common man would have done.

The second scene also fills up some parts of story and Moideen’s character well. The fans wanted this character to be a rowdy or a murderer, which is why they would also want these scenes to be deleted. Those who thought that this was not quality enough will still love the “class” of Amar Akbar Anthony. There is also more of Sija Rose in this character rather than in the theatrical version. Someone with the ability to think will wonder why these scenes were deleted though! The only reason could be the total length of the movie, but for the same, there were other scenes which were better removed including the stage drama sequences.

TeNy

Satire of White Elephants

Even though Marimayam of Mazhavil Manorama is the better known satire on Malayalam television channels, there is another program which is aired at 10:30 PM every Saturday and Sunday, keeping a high standard for itself too. Vellanakalude Nadu, the satire shown on Asianet has its name inspired from the 1988 drama satire directed by Priyadarshan, scripted by Sreenivasan and produced by Maniyanpilla Raju. It had Mohanlal and Shobhana in the leading roles supported by a fine group of popular names of that time.

With its memorable comic scenes and its work as a political satire on the system as well as the people who were around it, the movie is often considered as a classic even though its Hindi remake Khatta Meeta with Akshay Kumar and Trisha Krishnan in the lead roles didn’t do that much. Translated as “The Land of White Elephants” with its title, this television series deals with the random situations that a common household come against, and it usually has someone from outside trying to interfere with their lives.

The last week’s episode had the protagonists, Sivadasan and Kunjumol being fooled in the name of providing visa to work in the Middle East. It is a commonly used idea, and the episode actually added an addition layer to it along with creating some more funny situations with the neighbours and the relatives. Cheating related to visa has been quite common with agents making fools of the people who are in need of an urgent job. Such characters are also common, making an appearance also in the recently released realistic flick, Pathemari.

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All the stories revolve around the two protagonists, and the rest of the cast actually changes their personalities. Susu is the neighbour and friend of Kunjumol, but both friends are jealous of each other. Susu’s husband is played by two actors, one playing the character called Vinod and another Jimmy. Both characters are part of the television series in one role or the other, with one who doesn’t play the husband role plays another person in the locality. Another character is Manjulan who comes up with something new every episode.

The rest of the characters include the sister and brother-in-law of Sivadasan along with two other characters from the locality. The need for them arises according to the story of the episode. There are times when the story is almost fully shot inside one house only. Sometimes there will be more focus on the different offices. The episode usually starts with Sivadasan and Kunjumol, ending it also with them, with other characters dropping in between. There have been a few exceptions about it though.

There have been a good number of interesting episodes in Vellanakalude Nadu, and almost all of them have left some nice and valuable messages on the society. There was one episode which dealt with the mobile tower related issue and another one with the phenomenon of fake certificates. The issue of companies making false promises towards its customers, was one of the best taken episodes. They could even take the common problem of alcoholism and bring the message in a very interesting way.

The advantage of this program is that the cast is not just very good, but they are also a lot suitable for the characters which they play here. The earlier episodes were different though, set more in the offices than anywhere else in the Marimayam style, and the characters were also somewhat different, even with the core remaining the same. The change of the focus to houses instead of the offices has helped the program to bring an identity of its own, different from Marimayam, and it has been a good positive thing which will make sure that the program does better!

***The image used in this blog post is a screenshot of the first screen of a video shared by Asianet.

TeNy

The Weekend Satire

There is a certain amount of difficulty in finding the interesting satires these days. As far as the movies are concerned, the last big one goes a long way back to Pranchiyettan and the Saint as a full satire, even though there were others with some qualities of the genre. Bringing effective full satire to the audience needs a lot of skill and understanding the viewers as well as the society in a critical way. It is clear that most of the television programs never really understands what the viewers want. But there are surely exception in the same field.

There are two programs which successfully brings the satire to the next level though. One of them is Marimayam which deals with the corruption in government offices and other institutions, and makes fun of the situations. Broadcasted on Mazhavil Manorama on Saturdays and Sundays at 9:00 PM, it is one of the longest running satires ever in a Malayalam channel. Meanwhile, the second one is Vellanakalude Nadu which is broadcasted on Asianet at 10:30 PM every Sunday, bringing the satire related mainly to two families and their surroundings.

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Existing since the time we remember Mazhavil Manorama has come to the viewers, Marimayam still continues its awesome journey. Even with its major actors S. P. Sreekumar and Rachana Narayanankutty not being part of the program, the rest does manage to hold things together. This Saturday had the funny version of how KSEB had decided to charge extra money if people are not at home when the employees come home to take the electricity meter reading. It was another fun episode to watch, and proves to be very interesting to the audience.

The Sunday version was even funnier with the episode dealing with dogs, dog lovers, common people and the government authorities, taking the satire in the right direction concerning the recent events. Another program in Mazhavil Manorama, the family comedy serial, Thatteem Mutteem also had the same theme this weekend, and Marimayam successfully takes it to the next level. We are given some idea about how it is going to be on Saturday itself. This is more of an episode which understands the pulse of the audience.

It is difficult to watch anything else when Badai Bunglaw is running on Asianet, but Marimayam has the worthy episodes which make us do the channel change in its direction. The last week’s flex episode was one of them; the same can be said about the episode on how people fall victim to money lending firms, and now this one is there for the week. This episode has one of the characters being bitten by a dog and in retaliation, the person beats the dog, and all of a sudden, the dog lovers appear.

What follows this incident is a series of funny situations which lead to an even funnier finish with the message that we can take to heart. There is the talk about how co-existence is something which is not forced, but has to come from mutual understanding and respect, and with respect for the life of the other – it is not hate that brings co-existence to life, for situations are not always the same. It is also the two hundredth episode of the same program.

Marimayam is the political and social satire which you have been looking for!

Lets get to the other program. Vellanakalude Nadu had a nice weekend earlier with a simple story. But this weekend’s show had a higher level of comedy. Beginning the episode at a police station, this one starts and ends with full fun, even though a message is less conveyed. The two programs made sure that this weekend was more fun than it was expected to be, at least the nights. Add the episodes of Badai Bunglaw and Onnum Onnum Moonu and that finishes the interesting weekend!

***The images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook Page of Marimayam.

TeNy

Your Cabin in the Woods

Horror is forever; just like the vampires. There are only a few full horror movies which can claim to have 91% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and in the last three movies, no entertaining horror movie has managed to gain that. Do mark that I don’t consider the overrated flick, The Babadook as entertaining – I am still to figure out what brought the better ratings for that one, and I will write about it when I do find out the truth behind the same. Even The Conjuring did fall short, and so it is a great achievement that one movie has made among the usual ones.

The name of this movie can be guessed from the title itself – it is The Cabin in the Woods which did excellent with the critics and good at the box-office, but still remains a rather unknown title in South Asia. Well, it never really released here, and may be it could have got a theatre after the release of The Conjuring, after which all those horror movies started releasing one after the other, none really making the same impact with the audience. The Cabin in the Woods just came a little early, and the big horror fan teams were not active at that time.

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The Cabin in the Woods is not just horror, as it is also a slasher. Another thing that it manages to be is to become a satire on the movies which can be classified more into the category of torture porn than anything else. It can also be considered as a horror comedy which makes fun of the use of violence, nudity, torture and sadism in those movies which uses them for no reason instead of integrating them or working them as necessary part of the flicks. The Cabin in the Woods doesn’t add them as stupid fun, but uses them effectively to mock a few other flicks which have brought the genre down.

There are horror movies which have used all the elements in the right manner, and while making use of those which never did along with becoming the satire, The Cabin in the Woods actually becomes that horror movie which is never to be missed. It also knows where to use the elements and when to stop. Even its bloodiest moments are controlled, and never going beyond a certain limit. The dumb movies like Kingsman: The Secret Service which tried some of the similar things and miserably failed becoming the true nonsense, which was strangely appreciated, can actually learn from this movie.

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Kingsman: The Secret Service was a bloody stereotype which should have been blown right out of the theatre, as it is kilometres away from being funny or interesting. It couldn’t go on to become a satire and glorified all the possible stupidity. Meanwhile, The Cabin in the Woods manages to become every good thing that this year’s spy movie couldn’t. The people without the ability to think differently will still consider this one as just another horror movie. It should happen with a lot of people, and so a warning has to be issued related to the same.

This movie uses the idea of the “deserted cabin” which has been successfully used in many other horror movies. The movies which used it successfully include the Evil Dead franchise, and Cabin Fever has it in the name itself; I Spit on Your Grave and Wrong Turn had their own cabins, and here, we use the perfect example of the same, and at the same time making fun of the whole setting. This one has college students at an abandoned cabin, and a number of horror cliches are unleashed on them leaving them with no option but to fight them off watched by unknown people.

Dana Polk (Kristen Connolly), Holden McCrea (Jesse Williams), Marty Mikalski (Fran Kranz), Jules Louden (Anna Hutchison), and Curt Vaughan (Chris Hemsworth) are the five people left for the fate this time. The performances are really good, and they themselves make fun of the stereotypes used in horror movies. There is also a final twist in the end, and the movie itself becomes a reflection of how horror movies are made, or a thought about what would happen if reality shows were made based on horror rather than the repeated things that are shown on television. This is fun, and it works on brilliant idea, that of more than one existence – as a horror, comedy, satire, slasher, thriller and also that of a separate existence in the mind of a horror lover and inside a possible reality show.

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

TeNy

A Man of our Times

There have been so many movies in Malayalam with the feel-good factor provided throughout them intending to target the family audience. But among them, one flick stands apart due to being not only a feel-good movie, but also a satirical comedy which ends up being more thought-provoking than most of the other movies which have been brought to the audience of Kerala. I know that this might not that have been one of those Malayalam movies which did manage to have a place outside Kerala like AmenDrishyam, Memories and a number of others, and so lets speak something about this movie which I can watch so many times.

As one of the movies which I watched on the first day itself standing in the queue for about one and half hours, Ranjith’s Pranchiyettan and the Saint was a movie which was worth every single moment of the wait. The Malayalam movie industry wasn’t going through good times then, and a number of mindless superstar movies were threatening to take over. But then, there was this movie all prepared to stand strong between all the superstar nonsense which were making its way to the audience, along with another good movie Elsamma Enna Aankutty.

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Some of those blind superstar fans didn’t like this movie, but this was far above their intellect. There is no stunt or overreaching romance here, as this movie tells the story of a man who is just like anybody else and also thinks like a regular person. He is a simple rich man who is troubled with one thought only; that is – what others think about him and how he can be a better person in the eyes of the others, as even with so much money that he has earned through business, he remains with very less education and even after getting so old, remains unmarried.

He has had a certain number of failures, with the school as well as his first love, and he also has that title of being a rice merchant even as he is in gold business now. What he is in urgent need of, is to have a popular face in the society. He demands that people see him as more than just an uneducated man who took over the rice business of his father and grandfather. He is ready to do anything for the same, and has got a number of advisors who keep helping him in achieving his aim of being the big name in the town, hoping that they would also be rewarded for the same.

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For the same, he attempts to run for the post of president of a club and losses, as he completely losses his focus due to a silly talk from his rival who is married to his former romantic interest. He tries sponsoring the felicitation for an Oscar award-winner, but that also fails. Then he tries to be honoured with a Padmashree, but a corrupt politician who gives him the offer for the recognition cheats him and steals his money. He is also unable to express his love towards the girl whom he admires, and believes that he is too old and has lost too much.

As our protagonist has a conversation about all this and his latest attempt to adopt a boy to Saint Francis of Assisi at the local church (fictional conversations come quite naturally to him), the saint shows the man three visuals which makes him realize that what one thinks is a loss might not be a bad thing, and that good things come to those who wait. He acknowledges that we see as success might not always be that, and a certain amount of failure doesn’t decide future lives. Whatever impression we make in the eyes of the society doesn’t define us as an individual.

Pranchiyettan and the Saint is a movie to watch for each and everyone who think that being rich and famous is everything, and also to those who are depressed that they have been a failure throughout their lives. The movie is highly inspirational and with creating the fictional conversation between the protagonist and Saint Francis of Assisi, there is the divinity and a certain amount of innovation which works in favour of the movie, and nicely brings the climax to the next level. The movie is also a lot fun! Everybody needs to watch this one! [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pranchiyettan_%26_the_Saint]

***The images used in this blog post are taken from http://www.impawards.com/

TeNy

Kingsman or King Kong?

I accept the fact that most of the world did like the movie which they call Kingsman: The Secret Service. But, I have to disagree with saying that “everyone liked that movie”, mostly because I could find nobody in the theatre or rather the multiplex of my choice liking this movie. May be it is because we are more of common people who choose to think different. Come on, this movie is not even original. Adding random sexual joke in the end adds to nothing. Still you might ask why? Here are the reasons.

Kingsman is not working in its genre: Kingsman: The Secret Service is a complete failure in its genre of spy action comedy as it somehow manages to be unfunny throughout its run, and the best scenes of the movie were already shown in the trailer. It is surely not action comedy, and even if you divide that in the middle, there is not much gained. About the spy stuff, it is too boring and a lesser version of what we have seen in many movies.

Here is a movie that worked in its genre. May be new generation needs more nonsense.

Here is a movie that worked. May be the new generation needs nonsense instead.

It has nonsense in the form of violence: This movie makes no sense with its violence as it has the most disgusting and the most boring scenes of violence, with people being torn apart, their heads being blown up and a hatchet to the head become amazing. I would say that if any kind of violence which is shown on the screen becomes enjoyable as comedy, it only shows a certain amount of degradation that occurs in the minds of the audience.

The script makes no sense even for a braindead zombie: There are dumb movies and there are incredibly dumb movies – among them, this movie has found a new low. Get Smart and Johnny English were so much smarter, but the problem with the critics and the new generation people is that they go for cheap jokes, and it is the reason for the glorification of this movie. They actually misguided me into watching this ridiculous movie which stands as the worst of the year so far.

The failure to know what is comedy: Whatever this movie feels as comedy doesn’t even exist. There was not even one little moment of laughter among he audience when this movie was going on and that shows how much this movie degenerated into something boring and ridiculous. It fails to pay tribute to the movies that it mocks, and is also a complete failure in bringing the fun element. It is like a bloody drag that happens from the beginning to the end. Yes, there is the message to be an idiot, that this movie provides.

Do you know what makes a good spy action comedy? Not Kingsman, but Get Smart.

Do you know what is a good spy action comedy? Not Kingsman, but Get Smart.

Better action comedy movies: Yes, there are too many of them, and as I have mentioned earlier, there are so many of spy comedy films which are actually funny unlike this piece of nonsense. There are better Indian movies which do nicely with action comedy, and the only thing that this movie manages to be is the Hollywood model of Besharam and become one of the worst movies ever – you don’t listen to the critics with this one; this is plain stupid.

I don’t usually waste my time writing reviews about stupid movies, but this is not that much of a review. This is just a collection of things that came to my mind while I came out after the show, with a few things added from what people were talking about in the theatre. Let me make one thing clear here: it is only when one becomes short of ideas that more and more blood and gore is added to a comedy movie. They are exact opposite things, and it is time that people realize that some things are not supposed to be funny. Movies do need violence because there are situations when it is needed, but that is not funny – it gives out a wrong impression to a mindless new generation. After all, murder, torture and rape, even when brutal in depiction, are funny for some people, isn’t it?

*I agree to what The Telegraph said abut this movie – “obnoxious”, and they have given this movie the right rating – the minimum. ***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of Johnny English and Get Smart.

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TeNy