Waiting for Godot is Real

***A list of Malayalam films we are waiting for, like Vladimir and Estragon waited for Godot!

Thuramukham: Following the much appreciated performance in Moothon, this is another film which has something big to do for Nivin Pauly, as he has moved away from the predictable on only a few occasions. It does remind one of the grandeur that Malik had displayed, and with some of the cast members from that film being present here too, we can surely have a similar experience here. Seemingly a very long movie in comparison to others, and after having its first show at the 2021 International Film Festival Rotterdam, this one will have to wait to have its first show in the theatre, but this is that kind of a movie which should be available for non-Malayalis, and an Amazon Prime release would be the best choice for this one.

Kurup: Based on the life of the most wanted criminal of Kerala in the 1980s, Sukumara Kurup, this one should have something different in store. We do remember the incident, which continued to be popular talk even in the 1990s, and we as children were very much aware of such an incident. As one of the longest standing cases in Kerala history, this one is of significance to many. With Dulquer Salmaan in the leading role, let us hope that there is no glorification of criminal activities, as having a superstar in the lead has that kind of a tendency. Still, if taken well, this has a lot of scope, but it remains to be seen on what element does this particular movie focus on. This is not the first film based on the same though, and I would guess that this is not cent percent connected to it.

Marakkar: Subtitled as Arabikadalinte Simham in Malayalam and as Lion of the Arabian Sea in English, this movie has waited for its release for an eternity, and is still continuing to go through the same trouble in getting the release due to COVID-19 pandemic. It was going to have its grand release in March last year, and had declared the release on August 12th this year, but they seem to have completely avoided the possibility of another wave of the pandemic. They completely neglected the possibility of releasing the same on any OTT platform, maybe because of the high budget and the use of special effects. So, it seems that they are not taking the Drishyam 2 path, and we will have to wait for this one for so long that its graphics might get outdated. Do you think that COVID-19 will end this year? I don’t think so.

Minnal Murali: Tovino Thomas’ superhero film comes as an answer to our requirement to have a superhero film in Malayalam, and even though many other movies seemed to become close to the same, that was never really achieved. Basil Joseph who is best known for two light-hearted entertainers, Godha and Kunjiramayanam has this movie seemingly maintaining the same feeling. Well, we all need our superheroes, and this one should serve really well. We know that Indonesia had a superhero universe with films like Gundala, and I would say that we could have something like this soon enough. After all, we have grown up watching the smart heroes like Shaktimaan, Betaal Pachisi and Captain Vyom, and had the mystery of watching miserable nonsense like Krrish later to move us to disappointment.

Kaaval: This should be the first one among Suresh Gopi’s grand list of films which are to be released soon. It marks the return of the character plays by him in the film, as much as it marks Suresh Gopi’s own return to Malayalam cinema in an action thriller role, the category which suited him the best many years ago. From the trailer, it seems that this could be the one role in which we would love to see him again, even though some people might be doubtful due to the long gap in between. But it is to be noted that we found no such problem when he was there in Varane Aavasyamundu, a family drama film which released just before COVID-19 made its terrifying presence felt. Well, we do know what he is capable of, and I would let him save the day once again in style.

Jana Gana Mana: Prithviraj Sukumaran has already has his time with Kuruthi and Cold Case, two movies I have enjoyed watching on Amazon Prime Video – both of these are also thrillers, and this one also promises to be something similar. The trailer had promised the same earlier and seems to provide a police officer and criminal reasons to go against each other, with Suraj Venjaramoodu seemingly coming up with a role similar to what he did in Driving Licence with the same actor on the other side. I hope that this one would also release on an OTT platform, most probably Amazon Prime Video, like Prithviraj’s earlier movies. Thrillers these days have been best suited for online release, with more audience from outside Kerala giving it a try too. Well, you can’t wait for theatres now, considering the present situation.

Paappan and Ottakkomban: Along with Kaaval which was mentioned earlier, Suresh Gopi has two more movies to bring him to the genre which had suited him very well earlier. In one movie, he plays Mathan a.k.a. Pappan who is a retired police officer trying to solve a case, while the latter film has him as Kuruvachan a.k.a. Ottakkomban, an aging plantation owner trying to fight against influential men trying to destroy his family’s reputation. In both cases, he seems to be playing the roles which suit him very well even at this age. The former also has his son Gokul Suresh, as they will be seen together in a movie for the first time. I would personally love to watch Pappan before the others, but with the theatres to remain closed for long, we cannot be sure which one would be coming to us first on which platform.

***The images used in this blog post were taken from the pages related to these movies and the people associated with them.

<— Click here to go to the previous post.

<— Click here to go to the previous film review.

TeNy

What Follows with Fantastico

Here is another list of more Fantastico entertainer movies from the last century which needed to be shared here. The titles are not brought here in any particular order.

Sandesham (1991)
Director: Sathyan Anthikkad
Cast: Jayaram, Sreenivasan, Thilakan, Maathu
This movie can be considered as one of the smartest satires of all-time. With Jayaram and Sreenivasan in the lead and being part of two of the major parties of Kerala, this political satire makes use of the available elements really well. Most of the dialogues in this movie are used even now, and in some cases we see the reflection of the same even during these days. Political satire is not the easy genre to deal with, and there haven’t been many successful ones; even the success stories don’t deal with full time satirical take. This is where this movie is different.

Summer in Bethlehem (1998)
Director: Sibi Malayil
Cast: Suresh Gopi, Jayaram, Manju Warrier, Kalabhavan Mani
One of the best drama movies of its time comes in the form of Summer in Bethlehem. The usual drama movies have been going through the same path, but this one happens to be different; I would also consider this one as the best family drama performance from Suresh Gopi who was not really known for such roles after getting into the action genre and doing the police role consistently. Along with some fine support from Jayaram, there is also one of the best guest roles ever from Mohanlal. This is also Manju Warrier’s best roles ever in more than one way.

Ramji Rao Speaking (1989) and Mannar Mathai Speaking (1995)
Director: Siddique-Lal (1, 2), Mani C. Kappan (2)
Cast: Mukesh, Sai Kumar, Innocent, Vijayaraghavan
One of the funniest movies of its time, Ramji Rao Speaking was remade into Hindi as Hera Pheri. The team of Mukesh, Sai Kumar and Innocent are in full flow here, and there was even a very successful sequel made for this one by the name of Mannar Mathai Speaking which often has more fun than its predecessor. The dialogues from both movies are so much used these days, and it is safe to say that this has always been a movie which has been special with its comic side then, and continues to be the same even now. The third movie which released just two years couldn’t do that well though, and it is more due to the amazing quality of the first two flicks.

Lelam (1997)
Director: Joshiy
Cast: Suresh Gopi, M.G. Soman, Nandini, Spadikam George
Rivalries among families have always had something special if the whole thing was dealt with nicely. Lelam happens to be one of those movies which has things done very well. Suresh Gopi doesn’t go with the usual police role here, but Aanakattil Chackochi is one of his most remembered characters. In the last movie of M.G. Soman, there is a lot of drama with powerful as well as emotional dialogues, and there is also a good amount of action. Lelam is one of the movies which deal with a similar situation in its story, but among all those flicks, this happens to be the most popular and best known.

Minnaram (1994)
Director: Priyadarshan
Cast: Mohanlal, Shobana, Thilakan, Jagathy Sreekumar
This movie surely had the strength to appeal to the family audience as well as the youth. Minnaram doesn’t bring anything huge, but is still one of the most enjoyable drama flicks of its time, and the comedy sequences of the movie, especially those handled by Jagathy Sreekumar are extremely delightful – his role as Unnunni who always doubts his wife stands apart. The songs are really good, and the movie can also boast about having a huge support with its cast, as Sankaradi, Maniyanpillai Raju and Kuthiravattam Pappu are also part of some of the nice and funny moments here. Minnaram gets into the list of those simple, yet powerful fantastico movies.

Kilukkam (1991)
Director: Priyadarshan
Cast: Mohanlal, Revathy, Jagathy Sreekumar, Innocent
Winning five Kerala State Awards including the Best Actor Award for Mohanlal and the Second Best Actor Award for Jagathy Sreekumar, the movie was also supported by some fine songs. The comedy scenes in the movie are also considered among the best, with Mohanlal, Jagathy and Revathy contributing so well; Innocent’s comedt scenes are big ones too. It was remade in Telugu and Hindi, not living up-to the original, and its sequel Kilukkam Kilukilukkam also didn’t stand as it did nothing other than to bring shame on this fantastic comedy movie. At a point of time, Kilukkam was considered as the one fantastico movie with its extremely strong funny side. When you watch the movie, you will know that the success of Kilukkam is much deserved.

In Harihar Nagar (1990)
Director: Siddique-Lal
Cast: Mukesh, Jagadish, Siddique, Ashokan
Successfully using its cast and thriving in its comic side, In Harihar Nagar was a movie for the youth with all the comedy and addition of thrills in the end. The team of Mukesh, Siddique, Jagadish and Ashokan has been the factor which worked so well. Remade into Hindi as Dhol, the original has been the one top level comedy experience which also had two laugh riots in the form of successful movies, 2 Harihar Nagar and In Ghost House Inn. The comedies are kept simple with these movies, and the cast has been so much suitable for the situations. You have admire how they were created here.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

TeNy

A New School of Abuse

These days, we see people thriving on a school of abuse. May be they are striving for graduation and post-graduation on the same instead of doing something constructive. Whenever there is a chance for a debate, things turn to abuse and it is all about who can be the bigger foul-mouthed creature. May be they have the experience of winning so many battles with abuses. But does that win them the war of life? Have they won all the battles and still lost the big war? Do they even care? What has education provided these people with? An extreme case of nothingness?

It has been a few months since the Maria Sharapova abuse program was launched by Indians, lead by Keralites seemingly making an attempt to be champions at that high quality program which is going to win India medals in Olympics. They flourished through her Facebook Page hurling the worst kind of misogynistic and degrading comments, and after giving the worst possible abuse, all they have earned is a bloody elephant egg that never really existed. I had never thought that so many people in Facebook are so anti-female – but that helped me because I could remove a few idiots from my friends list in Facebook.

Maria Sharapova has the best fans, but not at this part of the world.

Maria Sharapova has the best fans, but the worst are at this part of the world.

That was their global problem. The abusers did go back to their local level after that incident. The question that Maria Sharapova asked was just one of their problems. Being active in local programs was always in their blood. There was always the need for controversies. Prithviraj Sukumaran hasn’t been giving much interviews, but once their found that his daughter’s name had the “Menon” in it, they came up with the caste based controversy. The big surprise is that it came from those people who won’t say no to reservation for their caste. They still need to go after a name and enter the abuse mode – this one was short-lived though.

Abuse at television and news paper pages happens to be another common thing. Without realizing that there is an unlike option on every page, these people wander around hoping to come up with an abuse here or there. Some of them come with extra fake accounts and the rest with their friends. They choose some random news and start the daily program. They have special love for entertainment news and after passing some rude comments at celebrities, they starts advice-oriented abuse. The moral policing and abuse combination begins here and spreads to celebrity pages.

There was the recent controversy about them teaching an actress how to wear clothes. Yes, there was teaching class available for free, but not without abuse which comes along with the same. At another time, they had problems with another actress becoming the news-maker of the year 2014. What they don’t understand is that this choice was made by people – those who were inspired by her performance in a motivating movie. She was far above the level of the movie, and it had inspired too many women, which was why people voted for her. So the abuse should go to the common people who voted right? Why don’t they try abusing everyone on the streets?

He was selected by Asianet as the youth icon of the year - eat it.

He was selected by Asianet as the youth icon of the year – eat it or leave it.

Then there were the blind fans becoming so sad that their favourite young actor who had so many flops in 2014 didn’t become the youth icon of the year. They were a developing category in the school of abuse and decided to protest against it in a foul-mouthed manner. Yes, they just did that and finished it as if it is a program conducted for some festival. The celebrity fans are the biggest abusers available. The problem with them is that they donate their brains to that celebrity when they should have instead given a kidney. If you abuse one celebrity for another one, you are showing your lack of brain which hurts the zombies who want to eat them.

Some people were after Suresh Gopi because of something he said. If he had mentioned that one community should strive for something doesn’t mean that the others shouldn’t. The only mistake he has done is by giving some help to the contestants coming for his reality show. Seriously, one has to wonder how many other celebrities are as philanthropic as he is. The other crowd favourites for abuse include Rimi Tomy and Ranjini Haridas. Sometimes, I am so surprised at the reasons that they find for abuse that, I doubt if I belong to this world. This world is slowly, but steadily going to the school of abuse. Being a cent percent literate state, Kerala is showing the rest of the country that literacy means so less when online.

Isn’t it a good thing to stop interfering in the lives of others and begin to respect their opinions; being nice to others? ***The images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook Pages of the celebrities.

TeNy

Knowledge: Where it Stands

How often do we hear the phrase “knowledge is power”? It has been known to us for such a long time that it comes to mind for no reason, again and again. It was with us during our childhood and stays now too. Based on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, the Malayalam TV show Ningalkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran also makes multiple references to the importance of knowing and learning through its anchor Suresh Gopi, who has been among my favourite actors.

The show has been a good knowledge booster, and becoming what is to Malayalam like Kaun Banega Crorepati was to Hindi speakers, this show has been something worth the watch due to the knowledge content as well as the way in which Suresh Gopi was presenting the whole thing. It was all about the value of gaining knowledge, and how important it was to read and learn things, something which was reiterated. It was a great relief at a time when depressing serials and stupid reality shows were ruling the channels.

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But as much as the show has money associated with it, people would surely choose money instead of knowledge on any day. It has been the thing guiding people, and in the outside world, people would choose money if it was placed with knowledge on a table. Yes, there is the need for money, but this is a greedy world – just money might not be enough in this case. There is the need for more and more.

The more saddening thing is when teachers say so. Is this what they are taught with BEd? If it is so, what is the value of education. There have been people who wanted to live forever. But if someone wants to learn at least for some more years, it becomes a hideous crime. Yes, after finishing the necessary course, go and do some job because there is the need for so much money – it should keep coming in bigger quantities.

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More tha anyone else, the teachers should know the value of knowledge, and if those from the school level can’t realize it, there is no point in education. Yes, we have a flawed system. Just getting the BEd degree doesn’t make one a good teacher. Just learning things by-heart and vomitting them at the UGC NET exams can’t make a good professor. We need better things – we need good men and women, and not those who memorize or can score marks.

A flawed system of selection is what has lead to the new generation having even less hope. Already the relatives try to stop students from learning more and force them to earn money against their wishes. Then there are the teachers who think the same. When there are relatives who are teachers, it is even more horror. Why would they stop someone who wants to learn more, when lots of people hates that process? Shouldn’t those who want to learn be allowed to do so?

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We have got lots of quotes about learning and power of knowledge and some people keep saying them. But does anybody care about that? Why are they often used, but why not when a real life situation comes? Why is the same applicable to only some people and not the others? Society makes us do things, but does it really know that we can do better even without crossing the limits? Is there the right to learn and acquire knowledge? Am I supposed to be money making machine or the knowledge seeker? Truth can only get further bitter.

*The television show says that one question can change one’s life, but I am left with all questions and no real change 😀 **All images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the television show, Ningalkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran (https://www.facebook.com/Kodeeshwaran). For further reference, the Facebook page of the 1997 National Award winner, Suresh Gopi – https://www.facebook.com/ActorSureshGopi.

TeNy