One for Every Year

*Sharing one unnoticed movie from each year.

2015: Mumbai Taxi Released on 7th August this year, Mumbai Taxi remains the only movie which you can still watch in the theatres, because some shows are retained. Bringing a new heroine in the form of Mareena Michael Kurisingal and re-introducing the child actor from Pappayude Swantham Appoose as the hero Badhshah Mohammed, Mumbai Taxi is an interesting thriller which has its own twists and turns which work well on the screen. With a mostly Aluvaite cast and crew, this movie had quite a big release at Aluva Zeenath theatre, and is still there. [Click for review]

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2014: Asha Black Just like Mumbai Taxi, Asha Black is another movie which has a lot of debutante performers, and it includes the director John Robinson himself. But they have chosen to take an interesting topic instead of choosing the usual path. Arjun Lal of the Thanmathra fame returns here in a thriller which deals with murders happening in Malaysia, but the roots of the same are in something else. It gives interesting messages about the wrong use of technology and how children should be brought up with care. The movie was also released as Nee Naan Nizhal in Tamil. [Click for review]

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2013: 10:30 am Local Call This should be Nishan’s best movie with him as the one main lead. The movie focuses on the thrills which it has to offer, and there is one big twist on offer as it moves towards the end. The movie has the mystery going throughout it, and there is also a less noticed message in it, as things begin to change when the protagonist receives a call at 10:30 AM. There are some interesting incidents that follows, and all comes together in the end as the truth is revealed through a flashback sequence. Lal plays the character on whom the movie depends and everything revolves around.

2012: Outsider This movie has Sreenivasan in the main role and Indrajith Sukumaran in the supporting role; reminds one a lot about Passenger in which Dileep played the supporting role to the same man. Sreenivasan is the big performer here too, and he has made one feel the troubles of his character without failure at any point. Here, we can see the life of a common man whose life is affected by a criminal who gets out of jail. It also has the power of Pasupathy playing the menacing villain. There is a certain feeling throughout this movie which you can connect in a different emotional way.

2011: Melvilasom Yes, this movie did get a lot of critical acclaim and was appreciated, but is still a movie which almost nobody watched in the theatre (I did though), and same is the case of another movie, Veettilekkulla Vazhi which tells the story of a doctor who doesn’t hesitate to help a terrorist who killed his wife and son. Meanwhile, Melvilasom is a movie which sticks to Aristotelian unities of action, time and place, as it is all about the court martial of a soldier as there is an exploration of the reasons which lead to this situation. This is surely one of the best movies of Suresh Gopi ever, and the level is very high.

2010: Raama Raavanan You know that there is interesting in store from the title itself. The doubts about who and what is right prevails throughout this movie. Based on the novel Manomi by Madhavikutty, the story takes place in India and Sri Lanka and has relations to the riots that took place in Sri Lanka, as a Sinhalese child is taken into the care of a Tamil Indian who returns to Tamil Nadu. Suresh Gopi is excellent as Thiruchelvam, and Mithra Kurian as Manomi gives a strong performance. But it seems that people did have trouble in accepting this theme.

2009: Vairam I am still to find enough people who have watched this people, and I think that my search will continue for a long time even though this movie has come to the television so many times. It is actually surprising because it had quite a big cast including Pasupathy, Suresh Gopi, Jayasurya, Samvrutha Sunil, and Dhanya Mary Varghese. Telling the story of a person who takes law into his hands when everything else fails, this movie might have been a better success if the story-telling was more direct. But I surely thought that this movie was another interesting watch.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Facebook Pages of Mumbai Taxi and Asha Black.



This is Dogville

Dogville gives you an order, and that order is to talk about it which can’t be avoided. The effect of knowing about its mere existence is that you have to feel and talk about it. Dogville is that cute town in the middle of nowhere, where people are supposed to be simple and good. It is that place where civilization has less effect and therefore it should be beyond the evils of modernity. But William Golding’s Lord of the Flies has already taught us about the danger of the same, but this one has some distant contact with people and therefore that problem is not directly visible.

Dogville is a 2003 movie which has Nicole Kidman as the central character of Grace who runs away from gangsters and is provided asylum in Dogville. They do demand things in return, and even as it begins as some physical labour, things get worse and she is turned into a slave. It is not a bloody violent movie, but is still disturbing in many ways, and it strikes a poisonous arrow right at the heart of the innate goodness which is supposed to exist in all human beings. Once we are poisoned with that arrow, it will grow in us, not like an idea in the mind, but like a stake in the heart. I will share just four areas of that infestation.

Grace (Nicole Kidman) among the apples, a shot which stays in the minds of the viewers.

Grace (Nicole Kidman) among the apples, a shot which stays in the minds of the viewers.

1. Inherent evil in man: The innate goodness in man is replaced by the inherent evil which goes back to centuries while leaving a mark on the way as time flies. This evil can spring out of anywhere, whenever the situation is appropriate. As the Overlord (game character) would say, “evil always finds a way”. This tendency to sin which stems from the idea of original sin is something from which humans can never really escape. It is easy for humans to fall into the abyss of temptation, and it has even happened to saints. The same can be said about the townfolks’ treatment of Grace.

2. Contempt for outsiders: Here, Grace was not one of them and therefore an outsider who was to be treated differently. They can’t show that directly, but there is always the fear of the unknown, and it develops into hatred up-to an extent. These people will never be accepted into the group, but are often considered as an appendage who can be thrown out or even abused. The beginning should be from denying some basic human rights. We can see that certain people in some religions and castes do talk in the same way and only caring for their own people. Such people are just another version of these inhabitants of the town.

3. Biblical connection: The name of our heroine Grace, which can be seen as “the grace of God” is rather the person sent to that world to help them as they give refuge to her, as she does prove herself more than just useful in their daily life. But she would be tortured and abused just because she was not one of them, and there were enough reasons created by random thoughts just to mistreat her. In the end, she will be called back, but she will be willing to offer them another chance, but not for long as another Sodom and Gomorrah awaited.

4. Democracy’s limits: The town depends on votes, and this might be the best form of government. But if their supposed leader could choose by himself, wouldn’t it have been better for Grace? Everyone is so much powered by their own selfishness, and instead of thinking for the common good or about the damsel in distress, they choose wrong. The evil people can always outnumber the good and devastate the purpose of democracy. The people who are lesser in number will never get their rights, even if their demands are justified.

The outsider in chains, as the society turns more and more against the other.

The outsider in chains, as the society turns more and more against the other.

Dogville can be your religion, caste, creed or community. It can be your land, and when you mistreat someone in your world for being an outsider, you are only strengthening that presence of inherent evil. It is okay to fear and take precautions as we know the story of “the camel and the arab” and there will some people ready to do the same to us, but that won’t give the right to hate. There are two things I am sure about; I have never loved a performance from Nicole Kidman like this, and there is no movie that has kept me thinking like Dogville. But be warned that this is not a movie for entertainment.