Those Movies and Characters

Yes, I have finally made another return to this blog after a long time. This is that kind of a topic that can inspire a return, even though I am not sure how long this stay will be. A lot of things have happened in between, during those journeys from home to the city and back, and some fine moments during the time of work. I am still not sure if they would go on to become another post, but this topic is going to get a blog post right now, as I get to those interesting and impressive characters in movies!

Ammini (Aranyakam: 1988): Here, I think about the year – and we had a female protagonist who dares to think differently and lives in her world, close to nature and away from the hypocritic world that surrounded her. Saleema plays this role to such perfection which might have been easier during this century, but during those times? I have found more inspiration from this character rather than any other, and during a lot of situations in the movie, I found the protagonist as a reflection of myself.

Harikrishnan (North 24 Kaatham: 2013): Fahadh Faasil plays the geek who works at an IT firm and has OCD which makes him highly unpopular with his colleagues. During a journey during a harthal day, with his three newly found friends, he will rediscover himself, and along with friendship, he will also find love. The movie is a lot fun and very much thought-provoking, as Fahadh makes Harikrishnan and his journey a really memorable one. This was one of the best movies of that fine year which had so many big names!

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Solomon (Solomon Kane: 2009): James Purefoy is Solomon Kane in this adventure which has him running away from the Devil’s Reaper to save his soul which is claimed by the dark side for the atrocities committed by him. In a journey for atonement, Solomon Kane will realize that saving his soul is not really about going through a sad and depressing path towards nothing, but to stay on and fight for those who believe in him. In this dark adventure set in the seventeenth century, James Purefoy makes us feel the depths of this character.

Sudheendran (Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam: 2015): The protagonist here goes through his limitations and understands that it is up-to him to make the best use of his talents rather than become someone else as the society wants him to. Living through his stammering problem and bothered about what people have been thinking about, his life seemed to be going to be reaching nowhere, but that was to change later in his world. This is surely one big inspirational movie here.

Charlie (Charlie: 2015): This character from the 2015 movie Charlie is a traveler, and a man who wishes to leave a positive impact on everyone whom he meets on the way. He is the djinn for many people as a lot of them never really meet him again, but he creates that kind of an impact on their lives that he is remembered for long. His never-ending journeys and all the positive side that he leaves behind in the lives of the strangers makes sure that the protagonist, Tessa begins another journey in search of this strange and mysterious character.

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Philipose (Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi: 2015): Even though the movie might not have become that big a thing as it was expected to be, it was a fine attempt with a message to save the environment. As the protagonist, Philipose John Varkey assembles a group of strangers to save the forest and the people inside it, the same shall provide people with thoughts on what they can do for a similar purpose no matter how small their contributions might be; for Earth is no private property of any greedy human being.

***The images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook Pages of North 24 Kaatham and Charlie.

TeNy

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Where Did They Go?

I have watched so many Malayalam movies in the theatres. It is a procedure which started long before I began watching the movie in other languages. I have always loved them for the power of their scripts. There were interesting flicks even from the new directors. But nowadays, one has to wonder what has happened to the quality of the flicks. There have been too many mediocre movies being released, and the quality has really come down. There seems to be a struggle going on with finding the right story.

Lets go back to 2013. There were seven top quality movies in the year, or even more. I can easily remember a few of them right now because they had created that awesome impact like no other movie which came in the later years. Celluloid had become that tribute to Malayalam cinema which seems to have created that impact among all kinds of audience. I consider it as the best movie of the year and Prithviraj Sukumaran had lead the way in the story of J. C. Daniel, the father of Malayalam cinema.

Among the movies of 2013, Amen had a status close to glory. It was a fairy-tale kind of tale with magic realism, and using the strength of the backwaters of Kerala to create scenes of visual magic. Lijo Jose Pellissery builds on and on through that magic, and in this love story of divinity and hope, Indrajith Sukumaran and Fahadh Faasil runs through with their brilliant performances. It stays in one’s mind for long and makes sure that it feels awesome. There was also news that there were chances for the same to be remade in Bollywood having Ranbir Kapoor in the lead role.

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Philips and the Monkey Pen was another beautiful work which made the point perfectly, and with kids as the major characters, the movie comes up giving very relevant messages. It manages to be a heart-touching story with simple elements. Sanoop Santhosh stars as protagonist in this movie which has the older performers like Jayasurya, Remya Nambeesan and Joy Mathew playing supporting roles. It is sad that the same producers couldn’t recreate the magic in their later movies and the two directors of the movie were not much heard about after that.

Then there was Drishyam. There are no doubts related to the highest grossing movie in the history of Malayalam film industry. Jeethu Joseph’s masterpiece which has been remade into four languages already, has the final one releasing this month-end. With Mohanlal right there with what he always does the best, Drishyam was the one movie everyone was talking about at that time, ruling the theatres for quite a long time. Lets hope that the Bollywood version will also do justice to the movie like the Tamil version, Papanasam.

Among the movies of the year, Left Right Left also had a special place in the heart of the common viewer, as it was the political drama thriller which was closest to that less explored genre. It was great to see so many powerful characters in one movie, and those amazing performances in it. Then there was another class act from Jeethu Joseph, in the form of Memories, which was a special dark thriller. With Prithviraj’s stunning performance and the script which is once again the winner, this one is also wonderfully taken with a protagonist having his lack of perfection.

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The final movie is North 24 Kaatham, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam and also provided Fahadh Faasil with the Kerala State Award for the Best Actor. The man had played a character suffering from OCPD, and with very less words being said, could create a big impact. The movie goes through the incidents which changes his life on a day of harthal. Are there movies of this quality these days? May be one or two which can be found here or there. Is it too far away from 2013 to continue making movies of such quality? The best we had this year so far is Mili, and the last year, it was Iyobinte Pusthakam.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the movies, Amen and Memories.

TeNy

Does it Really Feel Good?

There have been so many so called “feel-good” movies, and it makes one wonder if it is a title which is just used because there is nothing else could used to describe that movie. There has been too much use of that word to describe the recent movies, even the recently released Bangalore Days which actually has nothing to feel that good with even motherhood given no positive points. So many other movies have been asking for that title, or have adorned the movie like a colourless garland. Is it too easy to make some people feel good, or do they make themselves feel good by pressing a button after watching any movie?

So what does feel-good mean? Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary says it is “causing happy and positive feelings about life”, and this is where Bangalore Days completely misses out. But the fans of the movie have been wandering around forcing people to accept their opinions, as it includes fans of too many actors who are part of the multi-starrer. This has become a new device to make bad movies good – a “feel-good movie”. They said the same about Salalah Mobiles, Pattam Pole and Annayum Rasoolum, none of them having that element and are pretty much among the worst.

The poster of North 24 Kaatham (cropped from movie's official page)

The poster of North 24 Kaatham (Cropped from movie’s official page)

To this world of fake feel-good movies, North 24 Kaatham comes and proves to the audience that a true feel-good movie is not about what the fans say, and it can only be understood by the people whose eyes are not tied by the black clothing of celebrity worship. Even as movies like Immanuel, Punyalan Agarbathis and London Bridge do have a certain amount of this feel-good effect, there is nothing like the one cent percent feel-good influence that North 24 Kaatham has on the audience. The winner of Best Feature Film in Malayalam in the 2013 National Film Awards and getting the Best Actor for Fahadh Faasil in the State Film Awards, the movie is making more marks.

The movie has the protagonist going on a journey, and ends up on the road with two strangers on a harthal day with no means of transportation. Our hero is a geek and an introvert with OCD who is not liked by his colleagues. But this wonderful journey will change him in such a way that he is able to go beyond his problems. The journey is woven very nicely with significant lessons at almost every point of the tale. The other two people are also interesting ones, an older honest politician and a social worker. The aim of the journey changes to another one which involves getting the old veteran home as his wife is seriously ill.

The movie has a hero who doesn’t speak much, and the more heroic deeds are rather performed by the female protagonist. She is the smarter and the more active participant of the journey. This is a road movie, and lets not deny its role in the genre, and unlike the movies like Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi, this is not a selfish one, but a powerful message to help others rather than saying that much known dialogue about one deciding his own life and how others don’t really matter. This movie from Anil Radhakrishnan Menon is also a bildungsroman, a story in which the protagonist changes or even gets better over the tale progresses.

Innovative posters by Shilpa Alexander (From movie's official FB page)

Innovative posters by Shilpa Alexander (Cropped from movie’s official FB page)

North 24 Kaatham is a movie that keeps the humanity’s hopes alive for a better tomorrow, and its message of compassion and kindness makes sure that it gives a lot for the audience to be happy about, and obviously feel good. It will play a significant role in restoring faith in humanity sooner or later as we are fed with dumb movies full of mindless violence and sex. The celebrity worshipers, the fans of the worst kind will take it over and praise those movies as greater than whatever movies are known to man, with a ten out of ten rating. There were good and sensible people among them, but where are they? Nowhere to be found in the open?

The main problem which this movie also faced was with the fan-boys and fan-girls, and this was a movie for them to dislike because of its goodness. The interesting thing is that most of them can only use abusive language or illogical excuses without watching the movie. There will be good movies and there is hope in all movie industries, but for that, the fan clubs have to learn to behave instead of abusing other movies and the makers just in the name of appreciating bad superstar movies. The procedure of expressing one’s opinion in a decent way seems to be unknown to some people. This movie could somehow rise above it, but should have had an even better response.

TeNy