Actors and Birthdays

I have not cared much about birthdays, and as I am not specifically inclined towards any actor or actress except for liking a few people, I have never found the need to post on the birthdays of celebrities. Birthdays were never really the days which interested me, as they have always been the dates which started counting towards the end of our lives. But I was randomly going through a number of Malayalam movie industry related pages and found that it was Dileep’s birthday yesterday. Then I thought that I would just provide something for the day, a list of the most popular movies which he has acted in, and those which I have liked more than the others.

Well, Dileep has always been the favourite of the crowds. He did have three smooth movies this year with Life of Josutty, Love 24×7 and Chandrettan Evideya, all three of them deserving better reception at the box-office than they got, because Dileep was very good in them and they were of fine quality as well as working for people from all walks of life and generations. But the movies below are the ones for which I remember him for; the same is the case with a lot of Malayalis. The true fact is that even before he became the leading star, he had started becoming a favourite with his comedies.


1. CID Moosa: There are movies which have many memorable comedy scenes from Dileep, but CID Moosa is a movie which is full of them. The story of the jobless youth who wanted to be a police officer, but ended up being a private detective is one of those movies which is full fun. The memorable moments include the protagonist trying to learn Hindi from cinema posters, situations related to his pet dog and the adventures of the private detective himself. The support is amazingly grand here with a long list of awesome comedy actors who bring awesomeness, but Dileep is once again the man to look out for.

2. My Boss and Darling Darling: The former has Dileep paired with Mamta Mohandas who plays his boss, and this movie was the funniest movie of the year, and the best comedy entertainer from Jeethu Joseph, the maker of Drishyam and Memories. The latter is a movie from a much earlier stage, as Dileep played a funny character with negative shades which came as a surprise to many – he plays a man who tries to marry the girl whom his best friend is supposed to marry; what follows is the comedy which remains classic; most memorable one is the “pennu kaanal” scene, which might be the best ever in Malayalam cinema after the same in Sandhesam.

3. Meesa Madhavan: Establishing Dileep as the big star in the industry, Meesa Madhavan provided Dileep as well as the viewers with the magic of comedy as well as feel-good, as it also brought Indrajith Sukumaran as the grand villain. The process had started with Kuberan, but that was not of such grand scope as Meesa Madhavan which was heroic with him playing the role of the good thief. With movies like Two Countries and King Liar coming up, what the viewers expect would be something that reminds them of this glory. Beginning from Father Abel’s Kalabhavanat Cochin, Dileep has come a long way, and this movie was the right deviation.

4. Punjabi House and Kalyanaraman: The speciality of these movies is that they were combined efforts, and they had Dileep in a team play. While the former had Cochin Haneefa, Harisree Asokan and Indrans doing the big support, the latter got Innocent, Salim Kumar and the other serious actors contributing to the comedy. The former was remade by Priyadarshan in Hindi as Chup Chup Ke with Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor, but could never be the same, and it is more of a credit to Dileep and his team rather than anyone else. Both movies were huge hits of the times!

5. Marykkundoru Kunjaadu: I haven’t forgotten Romeoo, Pandippada, Thilakkam, Chanthupottu and Ee Parakkum Thalika, but I would finish the list with Marykkundoru Kunjaadu because it came at a time when we were looking for such nice comedy from Dileep and it was missing before that. With a sequel already announced, this movie had great fun in store, with Biju Menon nicely contributing and supporting Dileep in such a way that we just loved each and every moment of their presence. The title translated as “Mary had a little lamb”, this movie became what Kaaryasthan had partially become.

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***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the movies Love 24×7 and Life of Josutty.


The Game of Three

In the year 2015, there has been no movie which has created that big an impact for me other than Mili. The same was the case of 2014 which had only Iyobinte Pusthakam, even though 2013 had Celluloid, Amen, Drishyam, Philips and the Monkey Pen, Memories, North 24 Kaatham and Left Right Left as part of that golden year for Malayalam Cinema. But the year surely has the chance to bring the change, with three movies ready for release. I have very high expectation about the first two, and the third should be the surprise big one. There is also another special movie to go with these.

Life of Josutty: Coming from the man who has never failed to impress, this might be the simplest and yet a heavy contender for becoming the big movie of the year. Jeethu Joseph not only has the success of “the family thrillers” in the form of Drishyam and its Tamil remake, but also awesomeness in different genres, like one of the best psycho-crime thrillers in the form of Memories, full comedy entertainer in the form of My Boss, family drama in the form of Mummy and Me, and his highly interesting debut work which was the investigative thriller Detective – I have liked each of them a lot, and I am banking on him to make this one another interesting flick.

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Dileep also returns to the territory which will do great for him, the signs of the same already being there with Love 24×7 and Chandrettan Evideya. It is supposed to be a simple family story with messages about life, and Jeethu Joseph can manage it considering what he has already created for the audience. It is also the first Malayalam movie from Eros International. This should be as close to life as it can, and the audience can hope that they can return home with that emotional and feel-good effect and lessons for life. Simple can be powerful, and I don’t doubt the strength of simplicity – coming to theatres on the eighteenth of September.

Ennu Ninte Moideen: Set in the 1960s in the backdrops of Kozhikode/Malabar and based on the real life love story of Moideen and Kanchanamala, this is a romantic story which was talked about a lot and what most of the Keralite audience have been waiting for. With Prithviraj Sukumaran and Parvathy in the lead, this one is certain to bring the much needed strength to the Malayalam movie list of the year which needs more quality for 2015. Even though the trailer music sounds too familiar, there is the power of visuals and a certain presence of the revolutionary theme which strengthens the movie further.

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We remember what Thalappavu with Prithviraj himself as the revolutionary could do, and then there was Left Right Left with that unparalleled strength of finding change and bring the right revolution from the people; also remember the power of revolution withi Iyobinte Pusthakam. This one brings romance to that scene, and lets see how big this one makes – may be the biggest solo hit of Prithviraj ever. There is truth in the righteous revolution and lets see how well it combined with the romance of the age. This is going to begin by bringing the masses into the theatre on September eighteenth.

Kohinoor: There is the promise of an interesting story with Kohinoor. There seems to be a game of smuggling and heist in store in this movie which stars Asif Ali and Indrajith Sukumaran in the main roles, and is supported by a long list of cast starting with Aju Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose and Vinay Forrt. A new face, Aparna Vinod will also be seen in the movie as the leading actress. “Hemanthamen” song from Rahul Raj sung by Vijay Yesudas from the movie is a melodious return to the music of the past, and it is another highlight of Kohinoor. There will be surprises with this movie, that is for sure.

Kaliyachan: This is the non-commercial side as the story of this movie goes backs to the 2012 Kerala State Film Awards. It is based on the 1959 poem Kaliyachan by P. Kunhiraman Nair and won the Best Debut Director Award for Farook Abdul Rahiman in that year, along with Second Best Actor Award for Manoj K. Jayan and the Award for Best Background Music which it shared with Ozhimuri. Bijibal also won the National Award for Background Music with this movie. It is finally getting the release here at the theatres on September twenty fifth. This should prove to be an interesting watch outside the commercial movie area.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the respective movies and the actors who are part of the same.


What Needs to be Remade

How much do we help of a person in need? Ranjith Sankar’s directorial debut talks about the same in the form the 2009 movie Passenger. He has brought the genre of social thrillers to full power into cinema, and he continued the same into the less efficient Arjunan Sakshi starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Ann Augustine. Even though that movie also brought a picture of the society and criticized the system from the government to the police and the other people in charge, and reiterated the common man’s need to take the responsibility for the society, it was nothing like Passenger.

He had also shown the problems faced by someone who wanted to start a new business venture in Kerala with Punyalan Agarbattis and a different perspective in Molly Aunty Rocks!. But each and every time we watch Passenger, we realize that none of them can be a match to this debut movie from the same director. It was there on television on the day before yesterday too, and one has to wonder how it manages to be so fresh even after being watched so many times. I have watched it more than twenty times myself, and it was the big reason why I watched Arjunan Sakshi on the first day itself.

In the life of modernity, what is it that we can do for the society?

In the life of modernity and tall concrete, what is it that we can do for the society?

The story has Sathyanathan (Sreenivasan), a common man who works in a private company as the major protagonist. He is one of those simple people who goes to work in the city and comes back to his place in the regular passenger train. He finds happiness in the simple things like the local temple festivals, talking about news with the friends and having a few cups of tea. There is nothing special going on in his uncomplicated, predictable life which goes on and on, as he follows the machanical procedure. But as he is the last among his friends to get to down, one day, he falls asleep and misses the station near his place.

On the day on which he falls asleep, he wakes up to find that he was sleeping for so long, and asks another person Nandan Menon (Dileep) about the present situation. After a few moments of humorous conversations, they get down at the Guruvayur railway station and separates. But as Nandan is suddenly kidnapped by a group of goons in a car, Sathyanathan wishes to help, but is caught in a situation in which he can do nothing. He decides to travel to the man’s place inform his people about the same. But it is about more than what meets the eye, as he is a lawyer fighting a case against the home minister, and his wife is a leading journalist looking into the same case.

The journey of life continues, but at the end, what do we earn?

The journey of life continues, but as we reach that end, what do we earn?

There are no songs in this movie, and there are no stereotypes either. But life of the common man caught in a strange situation is brought to light here in a realistic manner. There is nothing spectacular done by the protagonist, but simple acts, as he goes on to make a difference without trying to be the superhero. There is a certain amount of simplicity in the portrayal of the character by Sreenivasan as he perfectly fits the role of a common man, something which might not have been the case with a superstar added. It is the kind of role which suits him without anything special added to it.

Dileep also plays a role which has no heroism, despite the character consistently trying to bring a change in the society while fighting the powerful politicians and businessmen in a legal way. Meanwhile, Mamta Mohandas has played the role of a determined journalist hoping to bring change in the society, with a lot of strength. Jagathy Sreekumar plays the man who wants to hold on to the political power in any manner possible, and Nedumudi Venu plays the character who is a reluctant helper and he turns the man who realizes his duty as the story gets tougher and things get to the next level. I would love to have Irrfan Khan or Naseeruddin Shah in the lead.

Passenger is a movie which should have been remade in many other languages, and not something like Bodyguard. With its situations, Passenger asks a question to the common audience about why one should help a fellow human being when there is a chance. It asks the common man to understand that one simple help might mean many things, and may be this helping hand can bring a big change in the society. May be someone will think that he or she is not capable of that change, but it is the sincere attempt that makes all the difference in the end because none of us know what results it can bring despite we being the weaker ones. It needs go further like the original Drishyam to be remade like Drishyam in Bollywood.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me at Aluva (Alwaye) on my Sony Cybershot Camera.