Titli Hindi Movie Review

A movie with a realistic touch, Kanu Behl's "TITLI" is a remarkable and engaging crime drama focusing on a dysfunctional family from Delhi's underbelly. Though not belonging to the mainstream Bollywood cinema, Titli has a clean execution from the team behind it to make it a must watch movie.
So its not a conventional crime film that we are used to. The treatment is realistic giving a dark and violent feel. Emotions and attachment do find very little space in Titli as the film transport us to the Old Delhi where this family is located.
On the story side, we have this three brothers and their father and Titli our hero is the youngest of the lot. Unable to find a decent income to run their daily life, they resort to crime and related acts in a desperate attempt to earn quick bucks.
Titli though reluctantly is part of all the disturbing and shabby things that the brothers become part of, he sometimes wants to come out of that messy life conveyed mostly through silent expressions and not through any dialogues.
Some of the violence will naturally have a bad effect on you but once you come out of the cinema halls, Titli is bound to stay on your minds for some time. All credits for that goes to director Kanu Behl and his screenplay.
On that count one cannot take away the contributions from camera man and editor who have splendidly done their part along with the art department in creating a messy home for the family that more or less convey the life that they lead.
Coming to performances which is another area that the film can showcase, Shashank Arora as Titli and Shivani Reghuvanshi as the strong Neelu and Titli's wife; both rank newcomers deliver a matured performance. Amit Sial as the second brother of Titli was natural in his portrayal of the character he was given. Also,the father character done by Lalit Behl has very little to do but have a was a notable presence that should not go unmentioned.
But if you ask to pick one among the actors who is outstanding in the film, it should be Ranvir Shorey who has come out with a career best performance till date to make the character of the elder brother Vikram look so cruel and at times helpless too in a remarkable way.
On the production side we have Yash Raj Films teaming up with director Dibakar Banerjee and really surprised to see YRF making a presence in the parallel film market.
Overall, Titli is NOT your conventional Bollywood crime drama but belong to a different category altogether. With good direction backed by solid acting performances, the film is highly recommended from my side. I am going with four out of five for Titli.
Rating - 4 / 5

Paranormal Activity : The Ghost Dimension Review

Paranormal Activity :The Ghost Dimension has very little as a horror movie that can scare you. Whatever little is there to horrify is all reserved for the final twenty minutes or so.
Until that time, it is more or less boring and as a horror movie; PA The Ghost Dimension is a failed attempt in catching up to match the excitement and horror of the very first part.
People who have watched all the six parts (correct me if I am wrong) know very well that the franchise was on the downward slide. Its too much now with all the thrills vanishing into thin air with nothing fresh to say. So the bottom line here is that its high time the franchise gets a much needed full stop.
In an all too familiar storyline, a couple Riyan and Emily move to their newly created home along with their little daughter Leila. Another couple join soon them. Strange things start happening and the family realize that their daughter has an invisible friend who has something bad for the family.
Just like all the series, its the camera from a third person's viewpoint through which the activities are captured.
The problem with the movie and for most of the movies from this genre are that they are running out of steam and failing to create something fresh in treatment.
PA The Ghost Dimension is shot partly in 3D but with very little effects to boast about. Just to show the presence of the ghostly figure, they have gone in for the third dimensional view but it has not worked out and at the same time didn't do anything good for the movie.
In a nutshell, its a disappointing film offering no thrills at all. I wouldn't recommend Paranormal Activity : The Ghost Dimension for a watch. The rating is one and a half out of five.
Rating - 1.5 / 5

Main Aur Charles Hindi Movie Review

Leave aside the overall sluggish pace of the movie along with the predictability and familiarity in the story of serial killer Charles Sobhraj. Except these minor things, "Main Aur Charles" is a well made film from Prawaal Raman.
Story of the half Indian half French conman/
murderer Charles Sobhraj based in Thailand is not a new stuff if you have read about him. Still the director is able to present this biopic with a retro feel of the late sixties tracking another twenty years or so in the process of the man who was in the most wanted criminal list during those days.
Prawaal has given a different treatment to the narrative so that the predictable storyline doesn't make the audience bored. Of course the slow nature especially of the first half do reduce the thrill in many ways, it cannot take away the other positive aspects of the drama.
Charles has his own modus operandi wherein he uses his charm and skill in attracting women. Once the girl fall for him, he uses her for his pleasure and then kill her through drug overdose. The movie primarily focus on the attempt by the police in nabbing him for numerous such crimes.
If I am to pinpoint the major highlight of the film apart from direction, I would say its the performances especially from two actors; Randeep Hooda and Adil Hussain.
Hooda resembles the real Charles on the physical apperance side. But that alone cannot ensure that an actor can successfully put a convincing act in front of the camera to make his act looks perfect on screen.
Here Hooda has done one of his best act of his career to make sure we are seeing the real Charles on the screen. The way he talks and walks, his accent while speaking Hindi as well as English and also the various gestures he makes through the eyes; all have been perfect and a balanced acting effort.
Highway, Saheb Biwi aur Gangster are still fresh in our minds and we can definitely add this one to that list.
Adil Hussain as Delhi cop Amod Kanth is another actor to have come out with a top notch performance that matched Hooda's performance. Actually, Amod is the "Main" in the title "Main Aur Charles" and is narrated from his perspective and based on information provided by the real Amod Kanth.
Richa Chadha, Tisca Chopra, Vipin Sharma and a few other actors are also part of the supporting actors who did their brief part in a positive way.
Art department and costume section have done their task well to make sure that the retro feel looks perfect on screen. One cannot ignore the BGM also that played its part towards this goal. Cinematography was nice snd edits were sharp.
Quite suprised to see in the beginning title credits that the film has no resemblance to any person living or dead and still if there is any similarity, its only a coincidence.
Overall, the life of the lady killer/ bikini killer have been depicted in a neat way as a biopic. "Worth Dying For", says the tagline and the movie is worth watching too. I am going with three and a half out of five for "Main Aur Charles.
Rating - 3.5 / 5

Rani Padmini Malayalam Movie Review

Aashiq Abu was keeping a low profile and without much hype for Rani Padmini, his latest release after the debacle of his last flick. There is not much to say about the plot that doesn't have much of a depth but the film provide a different visual experience as a road and travel movie.
Narrating the adventurous journey of two young women through the Himalayas with a parallel plot of a Himalayan Car Rally and a group of gangsters chasing one of the lady protagonist, Rani Padmini is devoid of the regular entertainment stuffs but not a movie to be discarded citing this petty reason.
I would say Aashiq Abu makes a good comeback after a disastrous box office result for Gangster. Syam Pushkaran is the script writer here and his screenplay is an exciting one providing a novel experience for our eyes. Of course on the story part, its a pretty wafer thin one but that's not a fault to write off a movie like Rani Padmini.
For the first time, I am seeing a movie in Malayalam with a short running time for the first half. Out of the one hundred and forty two minutes of running time, the pre-interval portion is limited to just fifty minutes or so. Beginning with the story of Padmini and then to Rani the film brings them together to form a strong bond though they are poles apart in terms of personality, behaviour and character.
Without the presence of any major stars, two ladies Manju and Reema carry the film entirely on their shoulder and pull of a winner here. Such a thing is not a new thing for Manju Warrier but for Reema it should be a first of her career and both of them deserves equal credits for their individual performances. The way some humorous situations were handled by the two and the way the dialogues were presented bringing the lighter side of the movie deserves special mention.
Sajitha Madathil as Padmini's mother in law delivered a clean act along with Jinu Jacob in a surprisingly dual avathar (not a double role). His wedding video where we see him in a traditional Kerala attire was a surprise and it was quite a good makeover considering we have been used to seeing him always in a stylish getup.
Soubin Shahin as a cameraman for a local channel had a very limited role to play and was utilised very little here as per the demands of the story but still he was able to make a mark along with the actor appearing as the reporter. There were some laughs created by the gangsters chasing Rani. The gang leader had a notable presence in the movie. Sreenadh Bhasi makes a cameo apperance in the second half in a good way along with Srindha who was also good in a humorous character playing a small part in the movie.
Its the technical aspects that score here. Cinematography is brilliant helped by the picturesque locations as nature plays a big part in the movie. Editing is not bad while Bijipal has done an excellent job on the music side. The title song was a homely and a lovable one. One more song with the same feel is also nice to hear. Sound design is another notable area that has been done in an apt way.
Overall with good visuals narrating an adventurous and bold journey of two women characters, Aashiq Abu's Rani Padmini is a movie providing wholesome entertainment in a different form. I enjoyed it except a brief portion in the latter half and going with three and a half out of five as my personal rating for Rani Padmini. Good movie with no masalas, less in content and high in visual beauty and freshness thats how I would sum up this movie.
Rating - 3.5 / 5

Naanum Rowdy Dhaan Tamil Movie Review

Its been a pretty long time since Tamil film world had a complete entertainer to their credit. Vignesh Shivan after a not so successful 'Poda Podi' comes up with his second. A clean entertainer with a different story line, "Naanum Rowdy Dhaan" has a treatment and presentation that can easily connect with the audience from the very first scene itself where a little boy inside jail getting advice from a rowdy on who is better among a cop and a rowdy.
So we have Pondy Pandi, the young guy who wants to be a hardcore rowdy contrasting to the wishes of his mother who wants her only son to be a cop like her. True to the rom com genre, Pandi falls for Kadambari a hearing impaired girl at the very first sight. But Kadambari whose parents were killed by a goon wants to take revenge through her boyfriend. Then only Pandi will have her as his own. How Pandi and his team execute this is what the movie "Naanum Rowdy Dhaan" is all about.
Through humorous dialogues and comic situations backed by cool performances, Vignesh Shivan is successful in presenting a colourful entertainer. There is no time for boredom nor does the movie has moments testing our patience, thanks to clever writing and good direction understanding the pulse of the audience.
On screen, we have a confident looking Vijay Sethupathy appearing as Pondy Pandi. After watching the movie completely, one would easily say he is the ideal actor suited for this role. Nayanthara continue her success journey yet again. Her portrayal of the innocent but vengeful Kadambari made every sense in casting her. Partheban as the local thug, RJ Balaji as the hero's side kick, Raadhika as Pandi's mother are some of the notable performances from the supporting side.
It would be an incomplete write up if a word of mention is not made about two baddies of yesteryear Mansur Ali Khan and Anandaraj excelling in comic roles.
George C Williams has come up with some fine visuals to enrich the overall feel. Sharp and nice edits and credit to editor Sreekar Prasad. Another backbone of the movie is the musical department coming up with fine work both in the songs and BGM side and full marks to Anirudh.
Vignesh Shivan has presented a neat and nicely packaged entertainer here suitable for all audience. When some of the biggies with big stars from Tamil failed in the recent times, it is heartwarming and refreshing to see smaller films with lesser known stars making a mark. I am going with three and a half out of five for "Naanum Rowdy Dhaan".
Rating - 3.5 / 5

10 Endrathukulla Tamil Movie Review

Vikram with his sheer screen presence entertain you but 10 Endrathukulla the movie disappoints. There is ample car chases and action to bring life and thrills into the film but sadly the execution and screenplay is a big letdown that has more amount of boredom than entertainment.
Loosely inspired and modelled from Jason Statham's Transporter movie Vikram's no name character in the film is one who transports anything without caring for what the purpose and content of his assignment is. He meets Shakeela (Samantha) and from there they are moving to Mussori, a scenic place in Northern part of India. What is the mystery behind this journey from Chennai is what 10 Endrathukulla is all about.
The only plus point in an otherwise lacklustre screenplay and boring movie is the onscreen chemistry between the lead pair. As I said, Vikram with his screen presence try to add and infuse life and energy but all for a loosing cause as 10 Endrathukulla is a movie that makes a tiring watch almost till the final stages. The only major excitement happens in the final forty minutes or so.
In other words, we have a badly presented first half and a somewhat entertaining second half. By the time something do happen, it was too late. There is plenty of action and car chases in the first half but that alone cannot save a film if the screenplay could not bring in some energy. By half way mark, as said the film was heavily gasping for some much needed breath which sadly director Vijay Milton could not pump in.
Vikram tries his best be it action, light humour in the way he approach things in a larger than life character. But inspite of his positive energy, he was not able to save this wafer thin story from sinking. Samantha was good in parts. Her onscreen chemistry with Vikram did work out well but some unexpected twist in her character towards the final stages was a clear case of overacting. Pasupathy acted his part well. Rahul Dev repeated his usual antagonist character while Abhimanyu Singh becomes just an ordinary baddie with nothing to do.
Technically, the visual effects were poor. Though the camera work was good in the second half, the pre interval portion had many shaky scenes which created irritation for the eyes. Editor Sreekar Prasad did a good job overall but an experienced technician like him should have taken care of some flows.
Background score was dull and songs by D Imman could not create any magic. Action and chase sequences were choreographed quite well but the climax sequences could have been better.
Overall, 10 Endrathukulla turns out to be a below average movie with a bad execution from Vijay Milton who couldn't repeat the feat of Goli Soda. A R Murugadoss is one of the producer along with Fox Star Studios. I am not sure how they are going to recoup the money invested and if the budget is a higher amount, well then they are in for a big disappointment here. My rating is two out of five for 10 Endrathukulla.
Rating - 2 / 5

Kanal Malayalam Movie Review

The unpredictable nature of director M.Padmakumar's movies forced me to watch his latest venture Kanal with the least of expectation. That actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the movie was a digestible one from a viewer's point of view. With mystery and suspense retained almost till the closing stages, Kanal is a passable film from the combination of Padmakumar and Mohanlal rejoining after Shikhar.
The film is narrated in the backdrop of American recession that had a big impact in the Gulf especially UAE. Due to the aftershocks of recession, life takes an upside down for Kuruvilla and Reghu two highly successful business magnets of the Gulf.
That part ends there and we are back to Kerala where John David played by Mohanlal meets Anantharaman (Anoop Menon) and rest is all a mystery surrounding the journey of the two revealing more hidden stories connected with them during the course of time.
As a suspense movie, Padmakumar and his script writer Suresh Babu have succeeded in keeping the mystery about the characters and the story behind everything in the dark. Of course at some point of time, the big thing have to be revealed which we could almost guess when sixty percent of the film is complete which itself is a big gain these days.
I would not say, the film is a big lag or there is boredom but the overall slow pace of the film do gets somewhat a bad feel in the movie especially the first half. Also, towards the end, the narrative gets too snail paced to dampen the mood. But having adopted such a narrative right through the entire duration, can't complain much. Its the post interval portions starting with the interval punch that are more thrilling giving the mysterious character of John David a negative shade.
Mohanlal's character John David reminded me of Sivankutty in Bhramaram. The roles are not similar and poles apart but that negative shade in the character do make one compare both the roles. About the performance he was apt in the role that has shades of romance, humour and as said the negative elements too in it.
The next actor who has more screen presence is Anoop Menon appearing as Anantharaman. Their combination scenes blended very well. Atul Kulkarni, Prathap Pothan, Honey Rose and the rest of the actors did their part on the supporting side.
Ouseppachan's songs were strictly okay but his background score was perfect for a thrilling and suspense movie demanded. Cinematography was nice and edits by Ranjan Abraham was choked out neatly.
Overall, Kanal though is slow in nature and has lagness it is passable as a suspense and mystery thriller and settle as an above average movie. My rating is three out of five.
Rating - 3 / 5

Crimson Peak Review

May be the expectation of an ordinary horror flick played its part in arriving at this outcome as Crimson Peak offered me a reasonably good experience of a mix of horror and fantasy movie. It has enough thrills and the story has that extra cut to put the film in a safe zone.
The story revolves around a writer named Edith Cushing who is the daughter of Carter Cushing, a wealthy American Industrialist. Thomas Sharpe on business purpose meets Carter but during the course of their meetings, Edith and Thomas gets romantically attracted towards each other. Rest of the movie basically show Edith's life at the house of Thomas with a haunting and horror feel.
A romantic thriller with the horror element presented quite nicely, Crimson Peak is engaging almost till the very end until they reveal the suspense part a bit earlier to spoil the excitement. But thats acceptable since the film is successful almost till the closing stages and that itself is a big deal especially in fantasy horror thrillers, the early revelations and cliches quite often spoil the overall tempo and mood.
On the acting side, Thomas Hiddlestone was the pick of the lot with his looks. He should also thank his costume team as they have come up with the perfect style and feel for the character with their designs to give his character a big lift. Jessica Chastain played a key role in the film and it was a good casting. Mia Wasikowska had a fairy look in her costumes and her performance was also notable. These three are the main characters around which Crimson Peak moves along. Rest of the actors had little prominence in the overall mix and doesn't get much importance.
Technically, I would say the movie has rich production values. Good camera work supported by excellent work from the art and costume department. BGM was apt for the story.
Overall, director Guillermo Del Toro has been quite successful in creating a fine horror atmosphere throughout with the suspense element retained almost till the end. The thrills and out of the box thinking to present a ghost story has succeeded to make Crimson Peak a watchable and engaging experience. The rating is three out of five.
Rating - 3 / 5

Bridge of Spies Review

Well well, Oscar nominations are smelling and when it is for a Steven Spielberg movie, I won't say it is guaranteed but Bridge of Spies the new movie directed by the director is almost there. Brilliant execution and direction, topclass screenplay complimented by an intense acting performance from Tom Hanks put this movie as a pure must watch one and one of the best from the director and also from the actor.
Spielberg is a master craftsman as a director and having proved it many times with most of his previous films he need not do that again. But each time he come up with a movie, he almost breaks the standards he has set. Bridge of Spies is ample testimony again displaying the calibre of the veteran director.
Tom Hanks is a lawyer named James Donovan (based on a real life character) based in Brooklyn. The film is set in the cold war era where CIA uses Donavan's negotiating skills to release US Spies caught at many places by Russians. Though Donovan helped US in many negotiations which are shown as end title credits, the film focus primarily on a single negotiating mission of releasing a young US Air Force pilot Gary Powers. But its not a cakewalk task as there is much more drama and Donovan have to bring in all his negotiating skills to the table apart from certain compromising aspects for the US Govt which the film will show.
The film is a gripping thriller and a highly engaging one till the final scene. There are emotional aspects also come into limelight and Spielberg has been highly successful here in connecting each and every aspect with the audience, thanks to his execution skill and to the well sketched out screenplay.
Dialogues, the emotional bonding and relationship developed between the Russian spy and Donovan, relationship between Donovan and his family and finally the realization of the importance of the central protagonist fighting for commutation of death sentence for a spy by the public as well as his family have been portrayed in a manner that conveys it without any sort of complexity.
On the acting side, its brilliant show from the actor par excellence Tom Hanks. As the negotiator, James Donovan, Hanks is at his best and has staked his claims for the Academy Awards. Though Hanks is all over the Bridge of Spies, one cannot forget the part played by the supporting actors like Mark Rylance playing the Russian spy Rudolph Abel. We feel for the character of Abel once the end credits start rolling down. Amy Ryan has a small role to play as Donovan's wife still it was a memorable one. Rest of the casting also were apt ones.
When it comes to war films, Spielberg is at his best and situation here is no different. When one give lot of praise to the director and the main actor, it would be unjust not to mention about the gripping screenplay. Editing is taut while cinematography was good.
Its the master craftsman at his best again and the movie has quality written all over. A pure must watch drama, the movie has the class of one of the best director and one of the topclass actor to pull the audience to theatres. I am very much impressed and go with four and a half out of five for Bridge of Spies.
Rating - 4.5 / 5

Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi Malayalam Movie Review

Anil Radhakrishna Menon is one director whose films have a novelty and curiosity associated with the title. Both North 24 Kadam and Sapthamashree Thaskaraha had catchy and unusual titles with it. But at the same time, they didn't end up merely as a title grabbing movie with no substance in their contents. Both these films had something different and interesting to say.
Now the director is back with his third film that also has an unusual title to it. Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi, thats the name of his new film. The billion dollar question is whether the content of the film also has something in it and whether the director is successful a third time too with his new project matching the success of his previous two flicks.
LL7K is not the regular entertainer we expect nor does it suit every kind of moviegoers. I won't say its an offbeat movie but within a limited framework and budget, they have tried to present it as a travel film. The intentions and the message that have been conveyed are too good and have very high relevance in the present life style of this generation. But LL7K more than a feature film portray itself as a documentary trying to pass the message that we should preserve our forest, wildlife and nature.
Philipose John Varkey is the pivotal character in the film who love nature, forest and its inhabitants. Certain threats from corporate and business houses to the very existence of Lord Livingstone forest and its inhabitants makes him a worried man. He plans and assemble some people who are poles apart in terms of location and personality to be part of the mission to ensure the safety of the forest and its people.
Technically I would say its a brilliant make with excellent visuals especially the aerial shots of the deep forest captured very well and supported by nice sound design perfectly suited for the backdrop. The greenish colouring pattern used throughout the film matches the forest backdrop through which the story runs.
So where does the film falter or in which area is the factor that pull down the film is the next question? Well its the screenplay that doesn't have the fire in it to keep the focus intact till the very end.
As I said, what the director wanted to convey is definitely passed on and to be honest the attempt and the message is to accepted with both hands. The thing is this is a feature film and to convey this sort of subject, though the boldness and sincerity is to be appreciated, its a herculean task to make sure it is accepted by all class of audience. So I am not sure of the box office success of this movie.
On the acting side, none of the actors have got a meaty role. But still from a review perspective, each of the actors be it Kunchacko Boban, Nedumudi Venu, Sudheer Karamana and Sunny Wayne have acted their respective roles doing justice to the faith reposed by their director. Bharath has a very limited role out of the the eight while Reenu Mathews was good but had some issue with the dubbing and if I am correct, she himself has done that part.
Chemban Vinod and Gregory had bulk of the screen presence along with Kunchacko who appear towards the end of the first part. Both Chemban and Gregory had enough dialogues and humour scenes which are their strong zones and did it to create some good laughs.
Whoever has done the camera work has done a brilliant job in capturing the frames giving thr true feel of the forest. Art department has done a commendable work while the music department has also done their part to make LL7K a technically sound film. VFX is done pretty well while the costume department too has put in good effort.
Unlike a N24K and Sapthamashree, in LL7K Anil Radhakrishna Menon takes a totally different approach to films and has explored an unknown area to Mollywood. and trying to pass a good message to the society. He has succeeded in each and every aspect of it. But as a movie, there are drawbacks with the subject chosen this time. Still I am going with three out of five for Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi, mainly attributing an extra half for the making and also the social relevance of the film.
Rating - 3 / 5

Amar Akbar Anthony Malayalam Movie Review

Just as an entertainer offering rollicking fun and enjoyment, Nadirshah's Amar Akbar Anthony has succeeded in its presentation. So the bottom line here is do not look for the content and just leave your brains at home and go to the cinemas before watching this movie. Now you can guess what is there in store for you.
A film with a wafer thin storyline, the primary intention of the movie is just time pass for the audience without too much digging into the storyline. If you are ready to accept this fact, then you can definitely enjoy the movie as the presence of three major stars of the younger generation with equal prominence makes their presence felt through their own style.
Amar, Akbar and Anthony are thick friends and the film portray minor incidents in their life in a light hearted manner creating laughs at many places.
The fun part overall is good and have worked very well but the unnecessary twist in the plot forcefully bringing some serious stuff into the overall scheme of things somehow didn't go well with me. The unexpected turnaround was not that predictable but in an otherwise nonserious plot, it turned out in creating a thorn in the smooth flow of an entertainer.
Since nothing much was happening for almost the major running time, the final drama that unfolded looked more of a forcefully intervened writing to put a brake to the film and didn't go well. At the same time, there was a preachy feel to some of the dialogues towards the end.
Nadirshah has done a decent job as a director. Though it is his debut venture, one cannot call him a debutant since he has good experience behind him as director of stage shows and comedy programmes. So with that experience I would say, he hasn't reached the expected level but in managing such a threadbare storyline from another set of youngsters, he deserves praise for ensuring the film do not fall off to a low level.
Also credit goes to the director for making sure a balancing act is done as far as roles are concerned for Prithviraj, Indrajith and Jayasurya. All three were equally good and one could easily make out from their expressions that they enjoyed doing this movie. Comedy for Indrajith and Jayasurya is not a new thing as both have in the past come out with successful humorous roles to their credit. For Pritvi, that area is still something that haven't worked well but here without going overboard, the actor has presented it with success.
Among the supporting casts, KPAC Lalitha, Sreeraman, Srindha, Shajon, Sasi Kallinga, Bindu Panicker, Siddhique, Abu Salim, Pradeep Kottayam and Thesni Khan made their respective roles look memorable irrespective of whether it was a major role or not.
Music wasn't that catchy while the background score done by Bijipal was good. Cinematography by Sujith Vaassudev was a bright aspect.
Overall, this is a movie for the masses and those looking for logic and depth in content can better stay away from it. It has nice humour to create some good laughs. Barring an unconvincing turn of events towards the end, Amar Akbar Anthony end up as an above average movie for me and I go with three out of five as my personal rating for Nadirshah's maiden entry as a director into the world of cinema.
Rating - 3 / 5

Rudramadevi Malayalam Dubbed Movie Review

Just like Chimbu Devan, director of Puli, it seems Gunasekhar too had an ambitious plan in mind. But an ambitious and big project needs a top class execution which was clearly missing in Rudramadevi, the period movie and a biopic based on the life of Queen Rudramadevi of Kakatiya dynasty. If execution and narration failed miserably, visual effects and graphics went totally clueless which were totally tacky and lacklustre.
The film portray the life of Rudramadevi, the brave queen who was brought up as a male till the age of fourteen and continued to hide her gender for another eleven years for the survival of the Kingdom. Later she had to reveal her identity but she was brave enough to fight against all the local kings trying to dethrone and eliminate her. Rest of the plot goes into the efforts of Rudramadevi in a battle to protect the people of her Kingdom.
I watched the dubbed Malayalam version and for me it was a bad experience. The dialogues could not make any impact and sounded irritating.
The biggest challenge any period film releasing after the post-Baahubali era would face is that a benchmark has been set for Indian period films. So war sequences and visual effects do tend to be compared and it is virtually a herculean task for any film to break that standard. Not that it is never possible but nevertheless it is not an easy task either to break that benchmark.
It is unfair to compare films even if it is in the same genre and has involvement of similar elements for a comparison. But the way certain aspects have been dealt in Rudramadevi makes you feel pity on how the treatment is done. Certain illogical and silly scenes added makes you sit and ponder what the hell is happening here.
As far as performance is concerned, the only bright side was Anushka. We can see the efforts she has put in and the same deserves to be applauded. Allu Arjun and Rana Daggubati did not get meaty roles to showcase something and make an impression. Out of the two Allu's role was slightly higher as he is part of some war scenes where he could display heroism. Prakash Raj, Suman and Nithya Menon are also part of the cast.
VFX as said earlier was done very poorly. The background and the characters did not blend at many places. Still the war scene at the fag end where the warriors form a snake like pattern and Garuda pattern was outstanding. Cinematography was okay while edits should have been much better.
Overall, watching Rudramadevi the Malayalam dubbed version will only give headache and nothing else. May be the Tamil or original Telugu could make some difference but that too very little. The rating is a very generous one and a half out of five.
Rating - 1.5 / 5

The Walk Movie Review

The experience and awesomeness provided in the final half an hour more than compensate for a somewhat tiring first half. The Walk takes you literally to the top of the twin towers of Newyork City and makes you sit in disbelief about the daring and stunning Walk between the two tallest man made structures of the world.
A true story based on the French wire artist, Phillippe Petit's daring walk on ropes between the World Trade Centre buildings in 1974, the movie recreate that same attempt on the big screen in 3D. Walking 1350 feet above the ground, the visuals makes you feel as if you are right up there making you almost fainted.
Its a slow starting movie with a tiring first half but as I said this is hugely compensated by a thrilling second half especially the final thirty minutes providing non stop visuals that transport you to the top of the world. The initial one hour or so show how Phillippe gets interested in the high-wire walk and how he trains keeping his dream and passion to realise it.
Once he has set his goals, the next portion of the film is devoted to Phillippe's efforts in assembling a team that can help him to achieve his mission. Once that is done, another portion show the way how they assemble the equipments and stuffs before finally taking up the challenge to conquer the twin towers.
Joseph Gordon Levitt as Petit and Ben Kingsley playing the circus showman Papa Rudy are the two standout performers on the acting front.
More than an entertainment movie, The Walk is more of an inspirational and motivating movie that show us that nothing is impossible if we have the desire and willpower to achieve our dreams and goals. With its thrilling visuals, good direction from Robert Zemeckis and a cool performance from the lead actor, The Walk will not disappoint you. I am going with three and a half out of five as my personal rating for this film.
Rating - 3.5 / 5

Jazbaa Hindi Movie Review

Sanjay Gupta is more famous for sleek, stylish and action oriented movies like Kante, Shootout at Lokhandwala, Zinda and Mussafir to name a few. In Jazbaa too, the style quotient is definitely there in each and every frame but the compromising factor here is the content.
Of course the film is touted to be the launching pad for the second innings of Aiswarya Rai Bachchan. On that count, the film is quite successful in giving a new lease of life to the actress coming back after a five year gap with a role that has something strong in it. But after watching the film in its entirety, I felt the sole purpose of Jazbaa was to project Aiswarya as someone extraordinary going all out.
Jazbaa is all about the search by Anuradha Varma, a leading criminal lawyer who is more famous for taking cases of the people who are accused of crime. Here the search is for her kidnapped daughter.
As a film, Jazbaa had the potential to be a racy, taut and edge of the seat thriller but sadly it thrills you only in parts. It could have much much better if the content and screenplay was given more prominence than giving Aiswarya and her character a boost up in each and every scene, the dialogues and the overall scheme of things.
As in most of the films of Sanjay Gupta, Jazbaa too from what I have read has a source film based on which the movie is being remade and here we have a Korean connection. Dialogues were quite good with nice one liners spicing up the tempo at some places.
On the acting side, Aiswarya makes a good comeback and excelled as Advocate Anuradha Varma. But at the same time one cannot ignore the melodrama at some places connected with her character that created a bad feel.
Irrfan Khan as always can be trusted in whatever roles he is given and it repeats here in Jazbaa too. Though his character didn't have the same mileage as that of Aiswarya's, still the actor through his trademark style of acting pulled it off to ensure he is not reduced to the sidelines. Shabna Asmi and Jackie Shroff were two notable actors who didn't get their due share of screen presence though the former had something to show towards the end. Same can be said about Atul Kulkarni who also seemed to be wasted considering the talent he has.
Just like most of his recent movies, Jazbaa too had that tone of green and yellow in its visuals that have that sleek feel to it. Background score was okay but could have been better.
In the end, you can say, Jazbaa is a stylish film packaged with less substance. With the main intention being the projection of Aiswarya Rai to the forefront after her break from the industry, the story part and presentation aspect in providing ample thrills and suspense gets a beating. Now to the ratings, I am going for two and a half out of five for Jazbaa.
Rating - 2.5 / 5

Pathemari Malayalam Movie Review

The topic discussed in Pathemari, the new movie directed by Salim Ahmed cannot stake a claim for freshess in content still it touch the bottom of our heart. Some outstanding performances and simple narrative makes the movie a brilliant one. A nice family movie that dwell upon relationships and realisations, the film explore the adventurous journey of the protagonist to Persia in a Pathemari to earn his bread and support his family.
For people of our generation, Dubai and Middle East are a funda zone now with all those hi-tech and fast development happening in that part of the world. But there is another side to this too. People who migrated sometime back when migration to Gulf region was not a common thing will have lot of things to say. The hardships and struggles they encountered to reach their destination and in finding a job, meeting the demands of the families back home and keeping them happy ; all these were no mean task and that too at the cost of sacrificing their life.
Pathemari narrates the life of one such man named Pallikkal Narayanan who is one of the early migrants to the gulf and spend a good fifty years of his life there solely for the purpose of meeting the financial commitments of his family that includes a big line up starting from his elder brother and his sisters.
Salim Ahmed quite convincingly tell the story without too much drama in just under two hours. The pace is slow, agree but it doesn't cast a dark shadow pulling the film down. Some finer and touchy moments bring about a positive vibe in the film. Dialogues were quite nice and screenplay both coming from the director himself did that extra element in boosting the apt feel and flow for the film. There are clichés that you normally see from characters like these and from movies that tell such plots but they are acceptable and can be ignored considering the overall depth in the plot and presentation. Characters were established well before going into the bottom of the story.
Now to the performance part. Performance is one of the major contributing factor that lifted the film and to top it all, we have Mammootty delivering an impressive performance as Pallikkal Narayanan. Before the release, I read a statement that we cannot see Mammooty but only the character of Narayanan in the film. His performance here is a true testimony to that statement and underlining that claim from the director.
Credit also goes to Jewel Mary who played wife to Mammootty's Pallikkal Narayanan. This is her debut film though Utopiayile Rajaavu was her first release. The actress didn't show any signs of nervousness sharing screen with one of the superstar.
If a character with depth and emotion is a presence in the film, there is no other choice than Sidhique. Though not a meaty role, the character do have some touching dialogues to act and deliver. Without any doubt, he was at his usual best in that. His son Shaheen makes his tinsel town debut through Pathemari. Though he is no match for an established actor like Sidhique, being a newcomer he was okay playing son to Mammooty.
Rest of the actors like Sreenivasan, Joy Mathew, Sunil Sugadha and the rest did their part on the supporting side. As I said, performances play a big part here with each actor contributing as per the demands of the character entrusted to put the film on the right path.
Being a low budget movie, certain areas have been compromised like the visual effects done quite lamely. Cinematography by Madhu Ambat was just okay while edits were not bad. Bijipal did a neat job with the songs that blended perfectly well with the movie and its content. Sound design by Oscar winner Resul Pookkutty added additional dimension to Pathemari.
Overall, I was impressed with Pathemari and Salim Ahmed just like his previous two movies. Pathemari can definitely be added to some of the recently released films that could create a good impact with the audience. Its not a movie that can be called as an "award movie" but a higly watchable commercial and family film without the normal colour and loudness that is commonly associated with the such films.
All those who have family members moving to the gulf and coming back for vacation say two decades back and for all those early inhabitants to Persia, Pathemari and its story will easily make a connecting link with them. I am going with four out of five as my personal rating for the movie.
Rating - 4 / 5