Thursday, January 28, 2010

Drona Movie Review

Drona ,the most awaiting movie of Superstar Mammootty. The movie just average and its stories is not acceptable.It has to be accepted that Drona is one of the best attempts by Shaji Kailas in recent times. This is unlikely to work in the film's favor though, because the last few of his cinematic outings have been anything but comparable. But the director who had flashed those sparks of brilliance some years back, and who had since disappeared into the shadows is out again in Drona. The film accentuates that all is not lost and the man still has got it in him.

What is it then, that works against this film? It is a real slow starter for one, and it's quite some time before things get gripping. Even then, the kicks that it delivers are not strong enough, and there is always a sense of something seriously lacking throughout. Soon it becomes pretty evident that what is missing is a passion that sometimes makes even the most mediocre of works appear outstanding.

When it comes to the account, there are some grave lapses in continuity that absolutely flusters the viewers. The flashbacks are in abundance and are arranged in a slapdash style, and with the present and past continually intertwining, the logical string that binds them all together eventually gets severed.

Singly though, the past almost appears out of the world in Drona, and Shaji has crafted the scenes with elegance. Thankfully those technical ploys that had almost become a trademark in his films are kept to the minimum here. Ekambaram's camera slithers around like a snake, never letting spookiness out of sight. And of course Don Maax too, who with his slick editing ensures that murder and mayhem could look modish as well.

A K Sajan juggles between a gory tale of revenge and a mystic story that brims over with vedic chants and black magic. It's here that the film loses its grip; there are too many of those crooks and their henchmen to tackle and a screaming ghost to boot. It appears a bit overblown after a while, even as the script goes on with its sermons on Vastu and the mantras and the divine laws of justice. Ultimately Drona is neither the horror caper that it seeks to be nor the action thriller that sends those flickers of excitement flying. The story fails, and massively so.

There is simply no beating Mammootty as Pattazhi Madhavan; garbed in saffron dhotis and long flowing kurtas with solid Rudraksha beads strung around his neck, this strapping sage has the might to burn you down with an intense gaze. Clout is not all about muscles, the actor reiterates.

There are equally competent thespians on the other side as well; Thilakan and Manoj K Jayan match up the lead actor's performance with impressive feats of their own. And last but very certainly not the least, Dhanya Mary Varghese in a special cameo turns out to be the most gorgeous blood thirsty spirit to have roamed around on screen.

Whether you like Drona or not depends a lot on what you look forward to, on your thriller night-out. The film sags down to tedium by the final reel, and by then its too late for a reversal of its (mis)fortunes. Most of the errors that it commits are fatal, and most of its flaws terminal.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Paleri Manickam Movie Review

Language : Malayalam
Banner : AVA Productions
Director : Ranjith
Producer : Subair
Cinematography : Vijay Shankar
Story: T.P Rajeevan Screenplay, Dialouge: Ranjith
Music : Sarath, Bijibal
Distribution : Varnachithra Release
Release : 2009 December 10
Starring : Mammootty, Gowri Munjal, Swetha Menon, Mythili, Sreenivasan, Siddique, T Damodaran

After directing some good films like Thirakkatha and Kaiyoppu, and conceiving a world class project like ‘Kerala CafĂ©’, Ranjith is back with yet another film with a niche subject titled ‘Paleri Manickam:Oru Pathira Kolapathakathinte Katha’. A movie that hardly have any prototype in India, this extremely rare kind of movie is structured to be an intriguing, textured, moody and exceedingly well crafted suspense drama.

The movie that thrills and amuse a learned audience also showcase the passion for intense acting of its superstar lead actor Mammootty, and off course, a bunch of freshers and theater artists who debut through the film. Easily providing what the serious fans of the quirky actor had requested, the movie also succeeds in preserving the quintessential Mammootty in another role.

The movie with a narrative that spans for around fifty years, have a fable like tenderness that runs through the whole narratives. Based on writer T P Rajeevan’s celebrated novel, this investigative thriller (a closest of the name of the genre, that we can attribute) has Mammootty as Haridas, a Delhi based private detective who with his closest friend Sarayu (Gowri Munjal) comes to Palery to clear off the mystery behind the murder of Manickam (Mythili), that happened in 1957. Apart from being the first organised murder of a woman in newly formed state of Kerala, it also had certain links with the investigator, which if unveiled now will act as a spoilsport.

Maanikyam was killed on the eleventh day of her marriage with Pokkan, the only dumb son of Cheeru. (Swetha Menon). Major suspicion fell on Murikkumkunnath Ahamed Haji (Mammootty again) a rich, landlord who ruled the area with the help of locally powerful communists and his henchmen. A staunch womanizer who hardly cared for anyone's emotions, Haji was cruel to his poor peasants who worked for him. Haridas who ran far and wide assembling parts of the whole incident, still finds that some curious missing links were still there to fill the actual story.

The movie is narrated through the viewpoint of Haridas. There are many turns in this carefully laid out mature narratives that emerge in subtle fashion, as the film progresses smoothly, even if a tad slowly in the middle. Interspersed with flashbacks depicting periodic backdrops, the film is languorously paced but is still gripping, with some good writing and superb, sharp dialogues from Renjith. Some of the lines, especially the ones mouthed by the Haji are extremely witty and elicit chuckles.

The other highlights of the movie are the awesome and neatly framed cinematography by Manoj Pillai capturing the greenery and brownish tones of the period. The historical recreation by Murugan Kattakada creates a whole world of its own and gives the film much of its great character. The background score by Biji Pal and Sarath, the off repeated title song of the movie and seamless editing by Vijay Shankar are also perfectly complement to the mood of the film.

Mammootty shines in what is another brave acting choice by the veteran actor, who gives a meticulous appearance in all the characters that he depicts in the flick. After some good work in ‘Pazhassi Raja’ this film allows Mammootty to truly come into his own strengths. Restrained, real and totally in the skin of his various characters, the movie will be showcased in his list of the bests. Swetha Menon as Cheeru also display the immense talent of the actress who was mostly seen as a glamour gal in the industry, till recently. A bunch of fresh faces act their heart out in most of the scenes, though very few shots still shows their inclination into dramatic proceedings. Mythily and Gowri Munjal appear pretty and just remain to the demands of their roles.

After ‘Pazhassi Raj

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Chattambinadu Movie Review

Language : Malayalam
Banner : Big Screen Entertainments
Director : Shafi
Producer : Naushad, Anto Joseph
Cinematography : Manoj Pillai
Story, Screenplay, Dialouge: Benny P Nayarambalam
Editing : V. Sajan
Art Direction : Joseph Nellickal
Action Direction : Anal Arasu
Lyrics : Vayalar Sarathchandra Varma
Music : Vijay Antony
Distribution : Play House Release
Release : 2009 December 24
Starring : Mammootty, Lakshmi Rai, Maithili, Vinu Mohan, Manok K.Jayan, Salim Kumar, Suraj Venjarammoodu, Viajayaraghavan, Cochin Haneefa, Janardhanan, Meenakshi, Bindu Panicker

Shafi has been a lucky director all this while. He has had it all, Megastar dates, rollicking scripts, and mostly super duper hits, except a sour Lollypop perhaps. But this time I would say he has stretched his chances beyond limits and blown it up into bits. For his latest Chattambinadu, is nothing more than witless banter, cashing in on star power and little caring for anything else.

A Chattambi from Karnataka, Veerendra Mallayya (Mammootty) lands up in Chattambinadu to buy a mansion, caring two hoots for the threats issued by Kattupalli Nagendran (Siddiq). The scuffle that ensues between the two is no ordinary one, since both of them have been the uncrowned kings of their respective provinces for long.

The winter entertainment needs you to keep your eyes far off the story though. The source material that it banks on cannot be attributed to any one particular film of the past. Rather, it's a thorough mishmash of several potboilers that have had their day long back.

Even as some films remain formulaic to the core, attempts are made to rework the done to death blueprint. Shafi does nothing of the sort, and moves right ahead along the beaten path and ensures that his film is a harmless time-killer. Maybe the film is less ambitious as well in that it has set its targets real low. Which is why it never takes itself too seriously, and is content being a re-run.

The one thing that you will have to repeatedly push down while watching the film is the feeling that you have seen this all before. Bearing in mind the talents involved, it's really a shame, and Benny's script looks like it has just emerged out of a sugarcane crusher with all the sap squeezed out. There is nothing that it has created on its own, and the washout plot is a letdown on all counts.

Ask me if the film doesn't have a few undeniable laughs, and I wouldn't say it hasn't. There is Suraj around as the local thug Dasamoolam who brings the house down with his incomparable antics and Salim Kumar as Makri Gopalan who retains the tempo with his rib tickling one liners. There isn't any shortage of laughter hence, and if being funny is the main goal of the film, perhaps it scores as well.

If you still have your doubts if a dashing Mammootty hasn't saved the day, you could head straight for the cinema hall near you. For he is the only reason why you should be in there to watch Chattambinadu. Clad in sparkling white and sporting a drop-dead sexy stubble, the man looks chiseled to perfection. He mouths abuse in Kannada, and sometimes matches them up with crackling Malayalam equivalents. I wouldn't blame Shafi for believing that the magnetism of its lead actor could save the film.

Chattambinadu is certainly not a film that you should expect to transform the world. Just sit back, relax and hang around for the laughs. Or head straight for the park and get some fresh air instead.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mammootty as King Marthanada Varma

Mammootty as King Marthanada Varma

Mammootty, who stars in the lead in the period movie 'Pazhassi Raja', has been offered the lead role in a movie on King Marthanada Varma, it is reported.*kc5EWtvMRaQa2xcui-OtZ8-AC9p-odHzNriPQYZZcsQzh*Y7vQGTNg/mammootty1.jpg

The grapevine has it that Mammootty was approached by a Chennai-based producer with the project for a bilngual, in Malayalam and Tamil, to be produced at a budget of Rs 40 crore. It is heard that the superstar gave his consent immediately and the project would take off in early 2012.

Marthanda Varma, who ruled Travancore from 1729 to 1758, could be described as the architect of modern Travancore. He extended the boundaries of the small princely state to Kochi through a number of wars and treaties and made Travancore the strongest state in Kerala.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mammootty is 'Ganapathy'

Director of family hits, V M Vinu has named his new movie with Mammootty as ''Ganapathy''. The movie scheduled to start this March will have the Megastar donning the title role of a wealthy man named Ganapthy who has a passion of rearing elephants. The movie is scripted by Reji Nair who has earlier written for movies like 'Oruvan' and 'Pattalam'. Omkar movies will produce this movie, which will be at theatres in July.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mammootty –Adoor receives D-Litt

Megastar Mammootty received the honorary D Litt award from the University of Kerala. Together with famous filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Mridangam maestro Umayalpuram Sivaram, the popular actor received the D -Litt degree from the State Governor R S Gavai. The state Minister for education M A Baby and other dignitaries were also present in the function held at the University Senate hall at the capital city.

Mammootty, the three time National award winner was bestowed the honour for his histrionic talents that have earned him fame at the national level while Adoor Gopalakrishnan is the first film director to be honoured with a D.Litt. by the University of Kerala.

‘Pramaani’ into half way

The shooting for ‘Pramaani’, the new Mammootty starrer directed by B Unnikrishnan is 50 percent complete with the recent schedule in Ernakulam. Mammootty is playing the role of Viswanatha Panikkar, the president of a panchayat in Kuttanad area. Mammootty is acting in a role speaking Kuttanad slang after 12 years, the last being 'Thachiledathu Chundan' which was a big hit.

The movie with enough punch lines and family sentiment will have Sneha as the heroine. The others in the cast include Siddhique, Biju Pappan, Suresh Krishna, Kaviyoor Ponnamma, Baiju, Lakshmi Priya, Diya and Shanu Fazil. Gireesh Puthenchery and M Jayachandran handle the music section of this movie, which is produced by B C Joshy in the banner of Surya Cinema. ‘Pramaani’ will hit the theatres by the first week of March.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In search of Mammootty’s pair

After much hype and hoopla over her Mollywood entry, Shriya Saran is finally into the world. The actress will don the female partner of Prithiviraj in the new movie ‘Pokkiri Raja’. Shriya is expected to join the sets of the movie by the fourth week of January. She will have two songs in the movie, set to music by Jassie Gift to lyrics of Kaithapram. Directed by debutante Vaishakh, an associate to Joshy and Johny Antony, this big budget movie is produced by Tomichan Mulakupadam under the banner of Mulakupadam Release.

But another major thing haunting the producer and director of this movie is that they haven’t found the right girl for the mega star Mammootty. The movie will get still bigger once they finalized the big name.

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