Category Archives: Malayalam

Nee-na(2015)

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neena-2015-malayalam-movie-deepti-sati

Film: Nee-Na
Date Released : 15 May 2015
Director: Lal Jose
Actor: Vijay Babu, Deepti Sati, Ann Augustine
Cinematography: Jomon T John
Duration: 147 minutes
Story: R Venugopal
Review Rating: 3/5

I have huge expectations from a Lal Jose film after watching Diamond Necklace. Yes, I think Diamond Necklace to be a flawless movie in terms of story, screenplay and acting. Otherwise I might not have invested around 2.5 hours for watching Nee-na about which there was minimal news.

Nee-Na is a women centric movie with Neena and Nalini as the lead characters portrayed by Deepti Sati and Ann Augustine respectively.Vijay Babu plays the lead male role called Vinay Panicker. Almost all the movie frames involves one of these 3 characters and Lal Jose doesn’t waste much screen time.

Neena is an extremely talented creative director in an advertising company and the new head Vinay Panicker realizes it quickly.  Neena is portrayed as a chronic alcoholic, a tomboy who drives a two wheeler and has a short hair style. To be frank, I found this setting apart of the character from the usual Malayali woman going a bit overboard. Or did Lal Jose actually wanted the viewer to initially dislike her character when she breaks a lot of invisible barriers – drinking, smoking, riding a bike, partying in discotheques, a short hair style and of course falling in love with a married man? You can see that Lal Jose was indeed risking things a bit when he portrayed an unconventional woman as his central character.

Nalini is on the other extreme. For a person who has returned from Bombay after a long time, Nalini is shown as set-mundu/saree clad, a very traditional woman in her costumes. But she is educated, sophisticated and very self-restraint.

The first half is predictable, yet I wanted to see what is happening and how things unravel. But the most irritating aspect for me was the long dragging first half where Neena will be talking endlessly in her supposedly-drunk voice. I almost gave up on the movie because I couldn’t stand that dialogue delivery.

Vijay Babu takes over the second half of the movie giving it a different direction and that is when I started enjoying the movie, feeling the emotional turmoil of each character. This is where they keep the story going in a steady pace till the end.

The ending is sad but realistic and it doesn’t go on to preach what is right or wrong.Nee-na doesn’t force you to take a moral stand and have left it to the viewer to absorb, think and ask yourselves what you would do if you were one of them. May be that is what I liked best about this movie.

Ohm Shanthi Oshaana (2014)

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nivin pauly nazriya nazim ohm shanti oshaana

It is a bit funny how you start paying attention to things or people around. Sometimes a favorable comment from someone whose opinion you respect is good enough for us to start pay attention to a person.

Nivin Pauly is an actor whose entry to Malayalam film industry was known to me, but somehow I never gave him much thought. I remember watching a bit of his ‘Thattathin Marayathu’ and was not much impressed (hehe).Then my husband who saw the movie during a bus travel mentioned how much he was impressed by his acting during the scene in the jail cell. TH cannot understand Malayalam much, so being impressed by an actor without understanding the dialogue left an impression in me. That is how I started paying attention to the phenomenon called Nivin Pauly.

Today I am a true Nivin Pauly fan – fan of the whole package. I just hope he will retain some of his unpolished side which is what I admire most. I hope he stays grounded too.

nazriya-nazim-fahadh-fazil

Ohm Shanthi Oshaana – a simple love story of a school girl named Pooja who develop a crush on Giri (Nivin Pauly), pursues him and wins his heart after few years. That is the theme of this romantic comedy. The movie leaves you with such a warm and happy feeling. The whole movie with some wonderful acting, script, dialogues etc just make it a visual and audio treat. Then there are a few songs that has become my favorites over the months.

Nazriya Nazim is another person for whom I have a soft corner. I had watched Bangalore Days few days before this and was impressed with her. I feel deep respect for this girl who can come in closeup shots infront of the camera sans makeup or bare minimum makeup. I was under the impression that Nazriya went sans makeup on screen for  Anjali Menon – the director of Bangalore Days. But when I watched Ohm Shanthi Oshaana, I realized that this is her usual style.

The subtle and sweet chemistry developed between Pooja and Giri is the highlight of the movie. The transition from a school girl crush to a mature adult love which has withstood the test of time and different hurdles is what is shown beautifully there.

Aju Varghese and Renji Panicker does justice to their role as Pooja’s cousin and father respectively. Aju provides the comic element for the movie and keeps the narration interesting.  The career switch of Renji Panicker from a script writer/director to an actor happened with this movie and the malayalam film industry will be eternally grateful for this evolution.

I viewed Ohm Shanthi Oshaana for the first time about 2 years back and then have watched bits and pieces of it on TV. This is a movie that I have learnt to appreciate more over these viewing and this will be one of those movies that I will be watching many more times in the coming years. This movie does not get a place in any of those ‘best malayalam movies to watch’ listicles that you find floating around on the internet, but this was one of the best malayalam movies that I have watched.

Do grab a DVD or watch it on TV whenever you get a chance. You will love it.

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Drishyam (Malayalam) – 2013

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Drishyam malayalam movie poster with mohanlal

I think Drishyam would be one of most watched movie in Malayalam in 2013-2014 (Bangalore Days may have changed this now)and yes it deserves all the attention it got and I hope all the remakes are worth the effort.

Ok. Now onto some serious thoughts about the movie.

I liked it very much and had some idea about the story considering that you will end up hearing bits and pieces when a film is so popular.

But then am I the only one who thought the first half was a little dragged? We spent more than 2 minutes watching a new police officer come to a new place and then he is seen no more in the movie or does not have any significant role in the rest of the movie? (update: that is the producer of the movie…so let us forgive him for the waste of screen time)

Then there is a scene where Mohanlal’s character Georgekutty watches some intimate scene on TV and goes home to surprise his wife. Somehow I did not like the 2-3 scenes that followed. Georgekutty trying to woo his wife, their small debates, then discussion about previous night on breakfast table next morning…I clearly did not understand what the script writer was trying to convey here.. And my mother asked me “Did you put this movie to show such scenes to me?” Something about these scenes came out weird and unnecessary for the overall script of the movie.

I was not much impressed with the first half, but then the second half makes up fantastically. The second half is brilliantly edited with all the just ingredients to make it as thrilling as possible.

I don’t know how many people will agree with me; but it is true that I am so happy that Mammotty declined this role. He may have done a good job, but Mohanlal seems to be the best person to do the role of Georgekutty. The casting of Meena as Georgekutty’s wife and the two children are exceptionally great decisions.

Asha Sarath as the IPS officer and Siddique as her husband are other great choices in the movie. Asha looks a little artificial at few places, but then she has done justice to most of her scenes.

But then the most surprising about this movie could be casting of  Kalabhavan Shajon as the villain in this movie. I salute the confidence of the producer and director and casting director when they gave such an important role to a comedy actor. I believe his effort was well rewarded by the number of awards he won for his role.

Ok. The most important point that drives the whole story is about a yellow car. Guess I should give a spoiler alert at this point – *SPOILER ALERT* – How can an intelligent character like Georgekutty who is depicted as an exceptionally brilliant person can make the mistake of driving a car in daylight through places where he can be too easily recognized? That is the place where the script is most weak..Do you agree? The police officer does not see Georgekutty by accident in a far away place..He saw him drive the car in his locality itself. I know this glitch drives the whole second half, but I believe this part could have been a bit more convincing.

Even with all these flaws Drishyam would be one of the best movies made in the recent times and I am not surprised if it is remade into many more languages in the coming years. But yes, a little more tighter script and editing could have done this movie a favor.

traffic malayalam movie 2011

Traffic (Malayalam) Movie Review – 2011

Published / by Elizabeth / Leave a Comment
traffic malayalam movie review 2011

When I start writing about this malayalam movie, I feel that it may be too late to write about this two year old movie, but then I really felt a need to write my thoughts down. I watched it for the first time few months after it was released, had liked it but never bothered to watch it later.. Then I happened to see it last day and was once more smitten by this brilliant movie.To watch a flawlessly made movie is a rare treat and when it is a thriller which keeps you at your wit’s end worrying what is going to happen next is one of the best experiences in entertainment. The only other alternative is to read a suspense thriller novel. (Sorry I am not into horror movies or horror novels).

Rajesh Pillai has done a great job for a debut director. Every scene, every camera angle, every single dialogue was totally focused. There are no super human beings in this movie, there are no dramatic dialogues, no blood pumping action sequences in this one. This movie is a combination of all those every day stories that you seen around you – bribery, road accidents, heart failures, extra-marital affairs. The duo – Bobby and Sanjay should be given the full credit for tying up all this stories into a suspense thriller.

This movie has an ensemble cast – A cast where each character gets more or less the same screen time. ( Says wikipedia…I learnt  the meaning today). Since I had not watched ‘Elsamma Enna Annkutty’ when I first watched this movie, this was my first experience watching the new Kunchacko and I really loved him in this one. Lena as Riya’s mother does not require any more praise considering the no of awards she bagged for this role. Sandhya as Raihan’s love interest did a good performance by being so self-controlled in her grief.

A superb cast, a tight plot, and awesome direction makes this one a true delight to watch.

Now onto to some quirky thoughts…SPOILER ALERT

For a movie which was made as realistic as it could be, I could not understand why they made 18-year old Namitha Pramod( she is 1993 born) act as the 13 year old daughter of Sidharth Shankar. She looks too old to be a 13 year old, though most of the scenes involves her lying down in an hospital gown.

I think Shwetha’s scenes with Able (Kunchacko Boban) was too romantic for a wife having an affair with her husband’s best friend. Or will someone convince me that she was acting her part too well so that Able is not suspicious of her?

Will a trainee journalist just out of college get to interview a superstar live on tv and that too on his first day  of job ? :P

To conclude this movie is worth every minute you spent…

If you don’t follow Malayalam or don’t want to watch it with subtitles, don’t worry this movie is being remade in Tamil, Hindi etc. The fact that Manoj Bajpayee just ensures that this is going to be another viewer’s delight…

Traffic (Hindi) -2013
Chennaiyil Oru Naal(Tamil)