Adi Kapyaaray Koottamani Malayalam Movie Review

If one is to look deep down into the depth and content of "Adi Kapyaaray Koottamani", it gives an impression of a threadbare storyline exaggerated into a two hour movie. But what makes it a watchable outing is the combo performance of Aju Varghese and Neeraj Madhav who just rocked giving the film another dimension and much needed facelift.
It all revolves around a girl who lands up in a Boys hostel locked up unable to come out of it without getting caught by anyone. A hilarious plot indeed with ample scope for some witty moments to keep things moving.
But the thing is that the story seemed too stretched for a one hundred and thirty minutes of full length film. Humour plays a huge part and what that saved the film is definitely the performance of Neeraj and Aju whose comic timing was a major highlight boosting the film from sinking.
Adding another angle and twist to the finishing stages was a good thought and it worked out nicely but still I feel it could have been better.
Friday Film House introduces John Varghese as the director, their sixth introduction into that job which is a good thing giving chances to new and talented people. John has not done badly in a weak plot that in my view would have been best as a thirty minute film.
On the performance side, as said its Neeraj Madhav and Aju Varghese who stole the show from the rest. Dhyan Sreenivasan could not make much of an impact while Vineeth Mohan looked okay. Namitha Pramod did her part as the girl locked up inside the hostel. Mukesh and and Biju Kuttan created some good laughs and on the whole their performances were notable.
Good cinematography and clean edits with an okay background score from Shaan Rahman. That song captured in a single shot was definitely a good attempt to break from the conventional way of shooting and thinking out of the box.
Overall, the film does not have a great storyline to boast about. With a wafer thin content, there is a feel of stretching things too far but the humour, witty dialogues and acting of Aju and Neeraj as Bruno and Remo respectively saves the film from a total whitewash. Its a watchable film but all at your own risk. My rating for "Adi Kapyaaray Koottamani" is two and a half out of five.
Rating - 2.5 / 5

Two Countries Malayalam Movie Review

Two Countries can be divided into two portions. One is where the story that happen in Kerala while there is another portion that unfold in Canada. Without doubt Dileep has a major role to play in both these. While Aju Varghese give him company back home, it is Suraj who is there with the actor in the foreign land.
The chemistry between these actors on the comedy side is the major highlight of Two Countries. Of late, the comedies we see from Dileep were getting substandard though for some unknown reasons, they used to work out at the box office. At the same time, critics were panning those films showing no mercy at all.
Here in Two Countries, comedy is the backbone and it has worked out to the advantage of the film without any sort of irritating feel. For a festive season, this is an apt film that you can pick to watch and enjoy with your family.
The story revolves around Ullas and Laya. The former is a petty fraudster dreaming of making it big one day. He is settled in Kerala while the latter is a Malayali girl from Canada. Situation bring them together and the movie show us all the fun that happen during the course of their union.
Though director Shafi is going through a lean patch of late with a series of duds at the box office, his films with Dileep (Kalyanaraman and Marykundoru Kunjadu) were superhits. So naturally there were some expectation and hope that the reunion of this successful team would not be a bad experience.
They haven't disappointed here and have come out with a movie watchable for all class of audience. Comedy is the main ingredient of Two Countries though at a certain point as per the demands of the storyline situation takes a serious tone.
Scripted by Shafi's elder brother Rafi, Two Countries has a screenplay that is trying to exploit the festive mood of the people here and has come out with flying colours in that mission. Though couple of things shown were questionable, it is a basic fact that in movies of this genre there are no questions involved.
For Dileep, performing the role of Ullas is a cakewalk. He has done innumerable roles like this before and this character is just an extension of some of his previous flicks. The thing is there is zero presence of non-veg jokes that will literally push the family audience to theatres to watch him.
Mamta Mohandas did her role as Laya in a neat fashion. We have previously seen her onscreen chemistry with Dileep in My Boss and this is another film showcasing the success of this combination and the form they are in when they unite.
Aju Varghese and Suraj Venjaramudu handled the comedy side with success teaming up with Dileep evoking some hilarious moments. Hareesh of Kunjiramayanam fame is also there in a brief role with his typical Kozhikodan slang.
Mukesh excelled in his role in the latter half of the film in a character that had a humour shade. Asokan, Srinda, Lena, Vinayaprasad, Jagadesh and Vijayaraghavan are also there who supported the main actors well. Rafi also is playing an important role that looked okay. Makarand Deshpandey who made a big presence in Amen could not do much while Isha Talwar had little role to do.
Nice cinematography along with decent music and background score from Gopi Sundar. Edits were also okay.
Overall, Two Countries is an ideal film for a vacation season that you can choose without any inhibition. With right dose of fun, drama and emotion, the film has the thread in it to entertain you.
The rating is three and a half out of five which many of you might question given the genre of the film Two Countries is but the kind of entertainment and enjoyment it gave to me, this score I feel is a fair one.
Rating - 3.5 / 5

Jo and The Boy : Malayalam Movie Review

Rojin Thomas who was one among the directors of Philips and The Monkey Pen write and direct Jo and The Boy, a film that has a thought provoking subject and told with lot of importance for music and visuals. There is some element of positive energy in the film as the plot tell us to go for the limits to achieve our childhood dreams.
On the downside, we have a film that preaches too much and also after the second half, the plot runs out of steam to put a full stop to the proceedings.
Each one of us have aspirations, passion and dreams when all of us were young. Some of us think the unthinkable and realise our goals and dreams while some others fade out achieving nothing.
Jo and The Boy belong to one such Joan Mary John played by Manju Warrier who had a dream and to achieve that, she quits her teaching job and become an animator in the field of animation and film making. How this is achieved and with whose help and support she complete the biggest aim of her life is what is shown in the film.
So we have a lively and colorful first half that gets a bit torturous and indigestible towards the final stages. Screenplay should have been reworked to give a normal feel in the final one hour or so.
The transformation of the boy Chriz to an overnight celebrity and his actions thereafter was too much to ask for and looked too melodramatic and artificial. Also, how the change in mood happened to the boy and how his relationship with Jo went to a stage of beyond control was told in an unconvincing fashion.
Manju Warrier who is in her second innings had the bulk of the screen presence as she is there in almost every frame as the title character of Jo. It was a good effort that sometimes looked a bit over too. Sanoop Santhosh did his part but as I said, his swing in the moods was taking a toll on the boy who was till that moment doing a fine job.
Lalu Alex, Kala Renjini, Pearly Maney, Rekha, Kiran and Sunil Sugadha are part of the supporting casts. By the by what was Sudheer Karamana doing as the leader of a "dreaded" quotation gang. Well his transformation was funny in the way it was done.
Rejin and his team has given maximum care in the visual aspects. Rich and colorful frames along with the beauty of the locale where the film was shot gave an eye candy experience for the audience. Also the animation team has done a cool job to give the film a fillip.
Jo and The Boy is projected as a musical film but did too much of songs cast a bad shadow on the overall outcome is the next question. The answer is to an extent yes as each time some sort of positives and success happen to the leading lady and her team we have a lengthy song appearing to boost the success party and to convey the same.
What this did was extending the overall duration and also slowing down the flow of the plot. At one hundred and fifty six minutes, Jo and The Boy is too lengthy. Background score was good while the camera work was excellent.
Overall, there are takeaways for everyone of us from a movie like this. At the same time, the momentum with which the film was progressing could not be sustained till the very end leaving one watching it only partially satisfied. The film is watchable for its technical side and also for the visual richness. My rating is two and a half out of five.
Rating - 2.5 / 5

Charlie Malyalam Movie Review

All the hype surrounding "Charlie" the latest film from Martin Prakkat reached its full crescendo before its release. Actually, the makers had kept a low profile for the film but it is the fans and the audience that created a big noise about the film creating an impression that something big and special is on its way.
If you look from that angle, Charlie would be a disappointment. But without the baggage of expectations, the film is an average one good for a one time watch. Trying to present a film in a different format, Charlie is a mini road movie where one individual is in search of another.
Tessa who loves freedom and does everything in an "abnormal" way end up in a lodge occupying a room previously occupied by a young man. The identity of this man is a mystery to all and the way he moves along in his life in a total unpredictable nature makes Tessa curious about this guy.
She goes in search of Charlie and the movie basically show her journey and also show the life of some people who are influenced by him.
Martin Prakkat along with his screenplay writer Unni.R has tried to narrate a waferthin storyline in a totally different format. I would say they have succeeded in that mission only partially. As the film approached the finishing stages, I was expecting something different and that didn't happen. Though I liked the ending, a feel of an abrupt ending was felt.
The film takes some time to get some life into it. Slowness is there that acts as a major barrier in taking the film forward. The latter half begins well and on a personal note, loved that scene where our hero does something that was a major delight for the fans of Dulquer. What it is, well I don't want to be your party spolier.
One of the major factor that played a part in creating a big buzz before the release was the bearded appearance of Dulquer Salman that brought out some guessings that he is playing a larger than life role.
Nothing of that sort here. Charlie our title protagonist is an ordinary man living life in a casual way spreading happiness in the life of others. He has done the job given to him with sincerity and was able to pull himself up with an effort as per the demands of the character.
Parvathy who is one of the highly successful actress in the recent times enjoying a success wave is back pairing Dulquer. She didn't disappoint either and the first half has her enjoying more screen presence than our hero who takes over from the latter half.
Aparna Gopinath, the other heroine does not have a major role to play. Nedumudi Venu and his flashback story made a good impact. Shoubin Shahir was in a small role but even then he made his presence felt. Supporting roles for Chemban Vinod, KPAC Lalitha, Kalpana and Tovino Thomas.
Jomon.T.John as usual with his camera gave the film a different visual experience. Gobi Sundar's background score was notable and among the songs not all of them could make its say to my favourite list. Loved that title song and would like it to hear it again.
Charlie is not everyone's cup of tea. Leave all your expectations back home and then try watching it. For me it was an average film. The treatment is different but the content is not big with an uneven pace that acts as a roadblock . I am going with two and a half out of five for Charlie.
Rating - 2.5 / 5

Bajirao Mastani Movie Review

When it comes to the visualisation part, Sanjay Leela Bhansali always go one step further with lavish sets, elegant and colourful frames with lot of songs & dance. All in all it will be a film rich and high in production values. His latest film Bajirao Mastani, a period drama has everything mentioned above in the true Bhansalian style.
Bajirao Mastani is a film with soul backed by powerful performances, excellent background score and couple of well choreographed war sequences. Even though these factors compensate for the lagging post-interval portion, one gets a feel of exhaustion once the final reel runs.
I am not taking any credits away from SLB who has conceptualised a magnum opus that falls short of that but still is a watchable film for its artistic and quality value.
The film which is set in the eighteenth century revolves around Maratha General Bajirao Bhallal Bhat who fought and won many battles making the Maratha empire a strong and powerful one. In one such battle, he helps Bhundelkhand Maharaja whose Kingdom was about to be invaded by another ruler. During this war, Bajirao win over the heart of Mastani who is the daughter of Bhundelkhand.
Against the wishes of his wife Kasibhai, his mother and the Brahmin community, Bajirao marries Mastani. The film basically show the efforts put in by Bajirao in giving a status equal to his first wife for his second wife too.
Bhansali and his scripting team should have taken little more care in avoiding the dullness and overdose of melodrama that creep in after the halfway mark. There are many cliches typical of the director's usual pattern of presentation but those cliches only enlighten the feel of the film.
As mentioned the cliches are mostly in the form of grand sets, beautiful frames, songs and dance which all are most common in an SLB film.
The biggest contributor to this film are the performances. Director has been successful in extracting the best out of all the actors including the supporting casts.
To be honest, I was not expecting something extra from Ranveer Singh. But the actor in him surprised me. As Bajirao Bhallal, the guy has shown lot of maturity and sincerity to come out with flying colours. Watch him out in those final stages that really show his calibre as an actor and how far he has improved.
Deepika as Mastani was upto the task and has taken lot of pain and effort in portraying the role assigned to her. The result is there for all of us to see. Priyanka Chopra was outstanding and the best among the heroines though she has little screen share compared to Deepika. Kasibhai was safe and secured in her hands. Tanvi Azmi as Bajirao's mother Radhabhai was powerful in her portrayal of the character she was enacting.
The actor who portrayed the role of Bajirao's brother was also a notable one who could make a big impact. Small small roles for actors like Milind Soman and Aditya Pancholi but nevertheless they were quite good too.
One cannot forget the contributions from the camera work of Sudeep Chatterjee who has beautifully created a visual treat with his work. Background score is excellent while the art and costumes department have done a remarkable job in giving the film a vibrant feel.
There are hiccups and flaws, there is lagness as the pace is lost towards the end but in spite of these cons, there are some pros too in this Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie. Its a watchable and a good historical film that had ample scope in it to be a far better one. My rating for Bajirao Mastani is three and a half out of five.
Rating - 3.5 / 5

Creed Movie Review

It would have been a big miss had I not seen "CREED", the latest from the Rocky Franchise. Released few weeks back here, somehow I was hesitant to make a move to watch Creed. Strangely what kept be unmoved to give it a try is still not known to me.
Anyways coming to the film, in my view Creed is a perfect movie to follow the franchise of Rocky and perfectly fills in the boot of the Stallone starrers that was high in spirits, motivation, inspiration and energy. Creed quite perfectly fill in the gap created by Sylvester Stallone who is by now quite old to do anything as age has caught up with him. Michael.B.Jordan takes the baton from the aged superstar in a remarkable fashion.
The film has Adonis Donnie Johnson as the title protagonist who is actually the son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. Coincidentally, Junior Creed hires Rocky Balboa as his trainer who was once a rival to his father but later turned out to be friends.
Adonis has the blood of his father and his passion is definitely boxing. He wants to earn a name for himself without using his famed surname and prove to the world that he is not a mistake. To achieve his dream and passion, he convince Rocky Balboa to help him.
I should say the film just like its predecessors offer lot of energy and action both inside and outside the ring. Though physically and health wise Rocky has lost it, in terms of motivation and giving inspiration to fight, he still has it in him to go for the ultimate. It is this spirit that keeps Junior Creed in better shape of mind till the very end.
The choreography of action needs no special words as it is the major highlight of Rocky series. True to its style, Creed retains the same punch and excitement keeping the audience on their toes for the entire duration.
Last of the fight, the twelve round bout between Adonis pitted against an experienced Ricky Conlan was an absolute delight to watch and the fights were looking brutal and had the feel of a real boxing match. The edits were too sharp that made it look so real.
Michael.B.Jordan perfectly fitted into the role of Adonis Creed while Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa just rocked. This time Stallone had more to do on the acting side as the coach with lot of talking to do. Tessa Thomson as Bianca and the love interest of Adonis did her part quite well. Rest of the actors did the supporting part in a neat way.
Nice cinematography and perfect cuts required for this genre of a film. Background music was also giving a pumping feel to lift the overall mood.
We have been seeing Rocky Balboa rocking the boxing arena through the franchise for decades. Creed is the perfect movie to come out following the footsteps and legacy of the Rocky series.
Overall, a well crafted, action packed and emotionally binding film from Ryan Coogler. If you are a keen and an ardent follower of the Rocky series, my advise is you shouldn't miss out Creed. The rating is four out of five.
Rating - 4 / 5

Dilwale Hindi Movie Review

One could easily identify the zone where director Rohit Shetty belongs if we are to take a quick glance through all of his films for which he has wielded the megaphone. Famous for mass masala entertainers, it would be foolish of anyone to expect something classy even if its a love story bringing back one of Bollywood's greatest romantic pair into their safe zone.
His latest film Dilwale is no different either . Following a similar tone of his previous flicks, this SRK starrer apart from the massy substance on offer and also the nostalgic factor suffer from bad writing and poor presentation.
On the nostalgic factor mentioned above, I was referring to the lead pair of Sharukh Khan and Kajol who were last seen together five years back in "My Name is Khan". Their onscreen chemistry doesn't need any endorsement from anyone now since they are a proven pair sharing unbeatable onscreen chemistry. But sad to say that they could not save the film and their chemistry was very limited and the blame baggage should definitely go to the director here.
The story has romance between Raj and Meera that is more than a decade old. We are taken fifteen years back on how they met and fall for each other. The whole plot is built around two underground mafia gang lead by actors Kabir Bedi and Vinod Khanna. Into the present, we also have youngster Varun Dhawan (brother of Raj) with his romantic track that was far from convincing either.
Dilwale begins on a shaky note with the first one hour just wandering about without much excitement introducing the audience to various characters and of course the flash back part of the storyline.
Rohit was able to bring about some element of life into the film after the initial one hour infusing energy through action, comedy and songs shot in a colourful way. Those are all areas in which he is an expert. But the overall packaging and writing cannot save Dilwale from sinking.
Talking about comedy, it did not work out completely well with some of the jokes falling apart without any impact while some could evoke good laughter. The thing is we had comedians Johny Lever, Sanjay Mishra and Boman Irani partly in a negative role to make us laugh. If the writing lets down the film, what can these actors do!!
One could never expect the magic of DDLJ and the magical screen presence of the lead pair to do wonders again. As a romantic entertainer, Dilwale suffer mainly due to a badly written screenplay with a no substance storyline. I am disappointed though I was not expecting a miracle from Rohit Shetty to show something special. The rating is two out of five.
Rating - 2 / 5