Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Nee-na(2015)

Published / by Elizabeth / Leave a Comment

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.

PK (2014)

Published / by Elizabeth / 3 Comments on PK (2014)

Pk movie poster

PK is a movie that should be watched with an open mind and I now realize why there was a lot of outrage when Aamir Khan talked about his wife wanting to leave the country. Now that I have seen PK, it is easy to understand that much of the anger against him was against his audacity to act as a lead role in a film that would have hurt religious sentiments.

We Indians have become quite touchy-feely about our religion and Gods that we get so worked up when someone points fingers at our faith. I do agree that no one has a right to insult anyone, but we do take things a bit more serious than necessary?

PK is otherwise a refreshing take on a lot of things – our perception on Pakistanis, religions and religious beliefs. If you see the trailer or the songs, you may fail to understand that PK is an alien who has come to earth to explore our life. Things go wrong within minutes after landing on earth when someone stole his remote to signal his spaceship. PK sets himself on a search to find the remote and the rest of the movie is all about his life during his search. PK calls upon all the human gods and expects them to get him back the remote.He meets Jaggu (Anushka Sharma) during one of these travels and they strike up a friendship.

PK gets into trouble with Tapasvi Maharaj (Saurabh Shukla) when he questions him during his public discourse and later live on TV. PK is a movie that pokes us about our blind faith, teaches us to take a different perspective on a situation to solve any misunderstanding and accept what is right. But then things are always easier said than done.

PK has some lovely songs and some great chemistry between Sushant Singh Rajput and Anushka and an easy-peasy friendship between Aamir Khan and Anushka. Saurabh Shukla as Tapasvi Maharaj does a great job. If I think of any swamis, his face is the one coming to my mind.

A fun movie to watch and one of the best Hindi movies I have seen in the recent times.So open your mind and watch this.

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Ohm Shanthi Oshaana (2014)

Published / by Elizabeth / Leave a Comment

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.

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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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The Martian: Science fiction movie for the common man

Published / by Elizabeth / Leave a Comment

The Martian movie posterStory

“During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crew mates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return.”

Director:Ridley Scott
Release: October 2015
Writers:Drew Goddard (screenplay), Andy Weir (book)
Stars:Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig

My Thoughts

First day, first show! I had never done that till I watched The Martian. I didn’t realize this until we were half way through the movie.

The Martian was a book which I had planned to read after seeing few great reviews, but I never actually got to getting a copy of it to read. I ordered the book yesterday, but didn’t have the patience to wait to see the movie after reading the book. So we just saw the movie.  We don’t watch movies in theaters regularly, but I didn’t want to miss this one after I missed watching Gravity and Interstellar in theaters.

Now over to the movie.

The Martian is an amazing movie. I don’t know how much the movie varies from the book but I am assuming that there are not much variations from the original story written by Andy Weir from what I read from Wikipedia. When I was watching the movie I was awestruck  by the wonderful story that is being played out in front of my eyes. I was blown by the concept, the thought process applied by Mark Watney and other geeky stuffs like making water which made this a brilliant science fiction movie, and that too without breaking my head with all the scientific facts. Hats off to Andy Weir!

Matt Damon as Mark Watney has once again proved what a great actor he is. I am sure that this role would be something that he will be really proud forever. I had found it a bit funny when I read that a person of Indian origin is not playing the role of Vincent Kapoor. But when I actually saw Chiwetel Ejiofor playing Vincent Kapoor, I feel quite different. The only Indian whom I think can pull such a role would be Irrfan Khan, but when you consider the screen time involved, I think Chiwetel Ejiofor was a  good choice; I found him awesome as long as I didn’t think of the name of the character played by him – Vincent Kapoor :P.

Jessica Chastain may be considered as the female lead, Commander Lewis who decides to abort their mission and leave back to Earth when the mission is threatened by a severe dust storm. One of the most beautiful scenes of the movie happen when Commander Lewis and Mark Watney float in the space just after he was rescued by his original crew.

The Martian is a funny movie which got the geeky stuff correct too. It is rare that a sci-fi movie has a funny narrative. This one seriously does and few things that Mark does out of desperation leaves you chuckling. I loved that about the movie. What wants to see a serious movie with lots of sad stuffs?

The Martian is a must watch according to me…

Personally I am done with 3D movies in Bangalore. I don’t think it is worth the extra cost to watch most of the 3D movies in theaters which are not well equipped to bring out the quality of the 3D technology. I didn’t feel that I would have missed out much if I had watched The Martian in 2D in the same theater.

Have you seen The Martian? Have you guys read it? Do let me know. I am still in two minds if I should read the book as soon as I get it. What do you guys think? Should I read it right away? Is the movie better than the book?

Verdict: Must watch. The Martian – Flawlessly made science fiction movie with lots of funny & happy moments.