Movies for Holidays

As the season of holidays is coming up during April and May after the early lockdown for Corona virus pandemic, there are a few movies which we can look forward to. Even though the theatres are closed for now along with the schools and colleges, we can be sure that we will go past the epidemic and come strong during the next month, or maybe even earlier. Some movie releases might be missed in the mean time, but as we follow the instructions of the health department and come back stronger, there will be more movies for us to watch in the theatres. The summer holidays will have a lot of these, are some might even have a late release to go with it.

1. Black Widow: Marvel might have lost some of its greatest heroes in the form of Avengers, but it is not yet over for them, as this time we go back and follow the events of Captain America: Civil War, with Natasha Romanoff finding herself against a conspiracy. Well, we never really had enough of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and she was surely the one superhero who needed a solo movie over the much overrated Captain Marvel. The potential for a character like this is so much, and it could rise above the usual superhero stuff with ease. Whatever those people with superpowers could do, Black Widow can surely do better and in a smarter way, and you no longer miss all Avengers.

2. The Personal History of David Copperfield: We are never really short of watching the novels of Charles Dickens on the big screen. Coming from the greatest novelist of Victorian Age dealing with the common man, all these novels make great impact on the big screen. Even though my favourite novel remains A Christmas Carol and The Great Expectations has been one novel which works really well on the big screen along with Oliver Twist, this one also would have enough for us. It is never too late to go through Dickens’ most autobiographical novel even when not on the pages.

3. The Green Knight: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a tale from English medieval period which gave its poet the name, Gawain Poet. One of the best known tales about King Arthur, and the version known to us being written in Middle English, the movie takes us back to the Arthurian Legend. The movie has Alicia Vikander, and that is a name we would love to have in a medieval setting. The legend of King Arthur, his knights, queen, the sword in the stone Excalibur and the final resting place Avalon have always inspired literature lovers, and may this movie also do the same.

4. Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea: The Malayalam movie with Mohanlal in the titular leading role is also something much awaited, even more than the overrated Bollywood movies – it has made that kind of an impact already, and even though a similar movie out of history Mamangam didn’t receive that much of an appreciation, one can only keep waiting for this one considering the grandeur and the effort. I also have my own doubts about it, but I am also hoping for the best – it should release next month itself, as the theatres here have closed due to Corona virus this month.

5. Artemis Fowl: Somewhat taken from Eoin Colfer’s works of the same name, the movie takes one back to the world of a twelve year old criminal mastermind. A much known book here is not something that we have followed much at this part of the world, even though it has been well known. The movie becomes an opportunity to get back to this. A thriller fairy tale and the conflict between good and evil never gets old. The whole setup leading to the movie does look good. Now, it is to be seen how well the movie turn out to be – it also needs to be seen if this is released here.

6. Spiral and Run: We also need the regular dose of horror movies and thrillers, and these two seem to come up with some of it. Both movies seem to have something grand in store, with very much sinister secrets out there. It seems that we will know very less about these, but sometimes, it is the beauty of the same. Lets have more of similar movies, as long as they release here – we are surely going to have a rush of movies as the theatres come back to life next month, and we can hope that these would also join in between all the rush which has been happening.

***All the images used on this blog post were taken from the official Facebook pages of the movies and the actors or actresses performing in them.

**And belated happy birthday to me.

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TeNy

Age of Thrillers: Death Trail

As the year began, it became clear that the Malayalam movie industry was attempting to go through a path which it had earlier tried and succeeded, but later left behind – creating an age of thrillers around a death or a few murders. The success of the Kunchacko Boban starrer Anjaam Pathira might have set the thriller wagon moving, as Anveshanam is also on the trail, even though not becoming that much of a success both commercially and critically with a slow moving drama side keeping it away. Now, what the audience is waiting for happens to be Forensic, the Tovino-Mamta starrer with a well accepted trailer.

Anjaam Pathira made the impact with a series of murders happening, and policemen getting murdered one after the other. It used the darkness effectively, and the suspense was nicely maintained, even though it gave away its strength a little too early in the second half, making it a revenge drama too easily. But Anjaam Pathira found it easy to make the impact that Memories did a long time ago, even though not that much in quality – it has set the wheels of the thriller wagon moving. There was something about Anjaam Pathira in the trailer itself, and it is still running strong in the theatres even with some movies with bigger stars also showing presence there.

At the same, Anveshanam‘s journey could only make itself a pretender to the thriller genre, as it became more drama and less thriller, struggling to create the suspense and thrills, with audience not taken into account as it goes through a slow journey. Set in a hospital, it tests the patience of the audience a little too much that at some point, most of the people would stop caring about the main characters. It also doesn’t end with the right points in the best way, as the struggle continues. Pretending to be a thriller is one of the worst things that a movie can do to its fans, especially with such a talented cast doing so well. Thriller movies not done well make rather too negative impact.

The case of serial killers has always impressed the audience, and Anjaam Pathira is something which couldn’t use its ripper well enough, with Forensic, one can be sure that there is something bigger coming up. The trailer seems to promise a lot more than the usual investigation thriller in Malayalam. There is the extra expectation coming up from the writers of 7th Day. Tovino Thomas in such a role was always going to be interesting. Along with the same, we have Mamta Mohandas and Reba Monica John in the leading female roles. The premise looks too good to avoid, and this is the kind of movie that the thriller fans would be looking forward to on any day.

We await the release of Forensic this March, hoping for the best, with scope for bringing thrillers to the next level. With the number of Hollywood movies getting released here on the decrease, the need for thrillers can only be met by movies like these. Horror hasn’t been getting its due, and it becomes a necessity for thrillers to step up and take the spotlight. It might not be that easy a task, but the audience deserve more from an industry which has evolved so much over the years, and has a the talent and realism which Bollywood never really had with its mass masala and the eternal love for sons and daughters of superstars being the actors who get all the big movies.

Watch the trailers of the three thrillers below:

Forensic

Anjaam Pathira

Anveshanam

 

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TeNy

2019 and its Movies

This year surely has been an interesting one for Malayalam movie industry. There are movies like Mamangam and Edakkad Battalion coming up, and there could be a great change to the list, but we already have some highly appreciated movies on the top. The next three months are going to be crucial with some very interesting titles getting ready to be released. We also have had some nice songs this year, but we will talk about them later. The following are the movies which have created great impact in Malayalam movie industry, and I would consider them to be among the best, rising above the level created by the movies last year.

5. Uyare: Parvathy leads another movie to positive criticism as well as positive word of mouth, as both the critics and the commoners approved of this movie as among the best. Telling the tale of an aspiring pilot who became a victim of acid attack, Parvathy excels in this role, as she did another real-life inspired movie, Take Off. There is fine support from Tovino Thomas, and Asif Ali is also there along with Anarkali Marakar. This inspirational story was one flick which couldn’t take any negative opinions, and ran in the theatres for a very long time, gaining more and more audience as time passed.
Read review: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2019/05/26/uyare/

4. Virus: The medical thriller is a step forward for Malayalam cinema, as this movie provides a fictionalized account of how the state of Kerala valiantly dealt with the Nipah Virus outbreak which claimed the lives of a number of people in the North of Kerala, especially Malappuram and Kozhikode. A huge number of leading actors including Tovino Thomas, Kunchacko Boban, Indrajith Sukumaran, Asif Ali, Joju George, Parvathy, Poornima Indrajith, Rima Kallingal, Sreenath Bhasi and others. The movie is an emotional and thrilling ride, as well as a tribute to those who suffered and lost their lives while trying to save the Nipah infected patients. It is a welcome experiment like never before.
Read review: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2019/06/08/virus/

3. Unda: This Mammootty starrer was made fun of due to its simple and yet strange title, something which the film makers wouldn’t have thought about on another day, related to another movie with the same theme. Dealing with the problems faced by cops who travel to a Naxal infested area, the movie doesn’t take sides, but satirizes the situation really well. Mammootty stays strong in this movie, and plays the vulnerable cop and leader nicely, and there is a lot of support here, starting from Shine Tom Chacko. The way in which the movie deals with its situation is worth one’s attention. It is that kind of a movie which could have a sequel with another mission for the police force.
Read review: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2019/06/16/unda/

2. Finals: Rajisha Vijayan already had another movie centered on her, June – she had also won the Best Actress Award from the State Government in her first movie itself. Finals is a step forward for her, even though it is not fully centered on her character. The other two giving her support are Niranj Maniyanpillai Raju and Suraaj Venjaramoodu, both also coming up with some fantastic performances. The former surely has a long way ahead for him after this emotionally strong performance, and the latter is once again a revelation in this kind of role – we saw him providing such emotional performances in Action Hero Biju and Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum, and here we are even more glad to have him here.
Read review: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2019/09/14/finals/

1. Kumbalangi Nights: The best movie of this year won’t have the haters that the top ten movies usually have from the mindless fan boys who decide to have their part. Taking a perfect setting of the model tourism village Kumbalangi, and thriving through its beauty, this one comes up with a beautiful tale of the common man, powered by some fantastic performances lead by Fahadh Faasil, Shane Nigam, Soubin Shahir and the rest of the perfectly chosen cast. Unlike some of those movies with place names in their titles, this one is very much close to perfection – it has the spirit of its surrounding, and the people who live there. It is a tale of redemption and hope like no other.
Read review: https://moviesofthesoul.com/2019/02/09/kumbalangi-nights/

It would be nice to know your choices for the best Malayalam movies of the year so far. Even though there have been these brilliant movies, there was no shortage of some terrible movies, which would be nice to know about too. The hope once again is to move away from those usual terrible movies starring superstars without any content. We are always looking forward to experimentation, and lets hope that such experiments prove to be interesting, and inspire many more of such movies.

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TeNy

Grand Palace of Movies

Varikkasseri Mana is one of the oldest traditional Brahmin houses of Kerala, located at Manissery, a small village in Ottapalam, within the district of Palakkad. It is the place where two of the most loved movies Devasuram and Aaraam Thampuran were shot, along with Rappakal, Drona, Simhasanam, Sufi Paranja Katha, Thooval Kottaram, Rudra Simhasanam, Valliettan, Madambi, Manthrikan and the most recent one which specifies the name of the place itself, Pretham 2. As far as Malayalam movies are concerned, the place is something special, and no movie lover from Kerala is to fail to identify it. There are other common locations too, but this one stands taller. There is more than one path to take while traveling here from Cochin, and it will be a tiring journey if the trip is during March, April or May. It is better to have some milk shake or juice in between. Without the movie setting, the place might seem to be lacking something, but for the small entry fee of Rs. 20, it is worth the journey.

*The photos on this blog post were taken by me on my Asus Zenfone Max.