School Bus Malayalam Movie Review

There is a scene in this film where Jayasurya's character Joseph says to his wife Aparna that had his son talked with him the problem the boy was facing it would have helped to solve every issue. The immediate following dialogue by Aparna had a feel of regret in her as she convey a sort of a failed mother since her son didn't discuss with his parents the problem that was taking a toll on him.
Rosshan Andrews combine with script writing duo of Bobby and Sanjay in School Bus, a movie primarily targeted at the parents of today. Communication and direct talk in a family is something that is eluding the homes these days. Rosshan through this film stress the importance of communication and talking within family so that problems are solved by talks and discussion rather than taking the issue to outside world for resolving them.
There is nothing new in the story but the intention to pass a very relevant message to parents deserve a special applause. Though there are some takeaways for parents, School Bus is also partly a children's film narrated through kids and at the same time involving parents too in the process.
Joseph and Aparna are husband and wife and they have two kids Anjo and Angelina. One incident in the school involving the kids blow out of proportion and the story shared by Rosshan Andrews with his scripting team of Bobby Sanjay explore how the issue is settled.
The film has a convincing and pretty interesting first half that primarily discuss the family issues of Joseph and Aparna. The couple are finding it tough to adjust mutually. Along with their family life, School Bus travel to Trinity International School where the kids Anjo and Angelina are studying. As I said, the first half is decently portrayed making it believable.
The second half takes a complete U turn from the pre-interval session. Though the idea was good and it had good scope to do an extra bit on the technical aspects, the incidents shown in these stages were a bit unconvincing and somewhat unbelievable.
Not saying it was too bad, but I felt an exaggerated narrative in the screenplay in the final one hour. It was as if things were forced to create a sort of thrilling feel along with some suspense thrown in.
Jayasurya played Joseph without any trouble at all. Yet another winning act making the character of Joseph who is egoistic and arrogant more convincing and impressive to us. Aparna Gopinath as Aparna was okay. Kunchacko Boban appear as a police officer in the second half and he did his part without any fuss.
Kids are the real stars of School Bus. Though what they talked had a dramatic appeal and at times sounded more than their ages, the performance factor cannot be ignored. Akash Muraleedharan and Angelina Rosshan are the two kids who played Anjo and Angelina respectively and out of the two, the girl was better.
Sudheer Karamana was only there for couple of scenes but I should say that his emotional scene with Jayasurya was a touching one helped mostly by the actor's input. Nandu as the subordinate police officer was quite good.
Camera work by acclaimed cinematographer Muraleedharan.C.K was a major bonus for School Bus and provided a facelift. The scenes inside the forest was shot brilliantly with nice visual effects. Gopi Sundar's background score gave the momentum and feel and it was apt for each and every scene. A film under two hours, School Bus is neatly edited without affecting the total flow. Sound design especially from the halfway mark was commendable.
I wouldn't say the film is a must watch but for the message it tries to convey, parents can give it a shot. For others along with kids, I would say what that started as a simple film looks more of a complex one in the end. An average experience for me and going with two and a half out of five for Rosshan Andrews's School Bus.
Rating - 2.5 / 5

RGV's Veerappan REVIEW

The one notable thing that you get to know after watching Veerappan is that director Ram Gopal Varma still hasn't regained that magic touch in him that once made him an acclaimed director of Bollywood. Veerappan is by far one of the better works from RGV in the recent past but still the film that starts very promisingly makes you exhausted and literally tired in the end. A messy work from the director that goes too much out of the way in presenting the life of the dacoit.
Veerappan, the dreaded dacoit who ruled the dense forests of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu is brought to life on the big screen by RGV through this film that has compromised on some areas taking cinematic liberty and at the same time deviating from facts.
Operation Cocoon in 1984 was launched by the Special Task Force to nab Veerappan and this film tells how it was planned and executed though it has deviated on how the man was persuaded to travel in an ambulance. In the real scenario, it was medical treatment while RGV has mixed some masala by bringing in LTTE leader V.Prabhakaran as a mention without showing him.
Ramu definitely has done some homework here in making the film look decent. But from an audience standpoint, the amount of violence mostly in the form of how the notorious Sandalwood smuggler kills and chops his abductors and police officers through guns and axes takes a heavy toll. In the end, we feel too tired. Atleast for me it was such a case.
I am not complaining that there is a case of excess violence in Veerappan the film. If I do that, I would be a fool since the story of this man for whom blood and life of people is nothing has violence written all over it. So naturally things demanded such a detailing but RGV has gone an extra step in portraying them so gruesome making it look too gory.
Sandeep Bharadwaj portrayed the character of Veerappan and it was a brilliant effort conveying the various mannerisms that the real Veerappan had. In terms of looks, body language and apperance, Sandeep the actor was a perfect choice for the role.
Sachin Joshy was a disappointment with his blunt act as the STF officer. Lisa Ray as widow of a police officer was far from convincing with her dubbing going haywire. Usha Jadhav played Muthulakshy, wife of Veerappan with flair and vigour making it looked nice on screen.
Cinematography was as usual in RGV's recent flicks was a pain in the eyes. Background score was too noisy and annoying and should have been better.
Cannot imagine this is the man who made such cult films like Sarkar, Company and Satya struggling to get a grip over film direction. Its two out of five for Ramu's Veerappan. The only saving grace was Sandeep Bharadwaj and to an extent Usha Jadhav without whom the film would have been a disaster. Thumbs down again to RGV.
Rating - 2 / 5

Aadupuliyattam Review

On a comparison, there are improvements to be seen in Kannan Thamarakulam's Aadupuliyattam if we take his first film Thinkal Muthal Velly Varay. But that slight improvement is not enough to make the experience of watching Aadupuliyattam a sweet one. Its a bitter feeling after seeing this horror and family drama that has more of substandard elements, poor scripting and direction weighing more than any positive highlights.
The film tells the story of Sathyajith, a successful businessman who starts experiencing strange things. This force him to meet a Swamy who advise him something to get over from this. Aadupuliyattam goes into a flash back mode digging into Sathyajith's past life that bear some connection to his present situation.
The main problem with the movie is that it has everything cliched to make the viewing pleasure very bad. Each and every scene is highly predictable. Agree that it is not an easy task to make a convincing horror movie these days but that is not an excuse to escape from criticism.
Occasionally you get entertained through the comic moments created by the combination of Saju Navodaya, Ramesh Pisharady and Sreekumar. Even then, at times their humour turned into substandard mode making life difficult. It seems the writers and makers have borrowed the concept from Tamil horror comedy dramas but sadly the execution is a let down making Aadupuliyattam a disappointing film.
We have flash back portion and present moments shown and the change to the past had no clarity whatsoever creating confusion in our minds. Later we get to know what had happened but by then it was too late. Screenplay had its share of problems with over dramatic situations.
Technical side also did its best in making a bad flavour come out of Aadupuliyattam. Not so good cinematography and poor visual effects complimented by not so good action sequences. Editing gave a sloppy feel.
Jayaram in terms of looks had a different appeal altogether on screen. The bearded look was stylish while the other one was something that we have seen him previously. But on the performance side, he didn't have a meaty stuff to enact. Ramya Krishnan as Mathangy was impressive and the same goes for the two child artists.
Saju Navodaya, Sreekumar and Ramesh Pisharody were the lone bright aspect igniting the screen and making the film lively with their humour and fun. Om Pury was a miscast as Swamy and felt an actor of his calibre was under utilised and wasted. Sampath Raj appeared in a half baked role, not clear if he was a villain or a nice guy. Pradeep Kottayam was irritating while Sheelu Abraham didn't do anything and was a let down.
Overall, this is a better outing for Kannan Thamarakulam if we are to match Aadupuliyattam with his debut film. But with poor making and nothing new on the execution side this horror comedy drama falls flat and was a tiring watch for me. I am going with one and a half out of five as my personal rating for Aadupuliyattam.
Rating 1.5 / 5

Kammatipaadam Review

As a director, Rajeev Ravi adopted a realistic approach in portraying the stories in his first two films Annayum Rasoolum and also Steve Lopez. With a different content but using the same realistic way that he used for his first two directorial projects, he brings his next one titled Kammatipadam.
This film has a dark subject with lot of blood and violence occupying the bulk of the story. Rajeev Ravi infact do not go down in terms of the standard he has set and has only gone up the hill with another successful film through Kammatipadam. The excess dose of crime, bloodshed and violence has landed it with an adult certificate from the Censor board but that doesn't deter the film to claim its status to be a well directed one.
In terms of story, the plot unravels in a place that has a curious and attractive name called Kammatipadam. Krishnan, Ganga and Balettan are all part of this place and Kammatipadam the film tells their story with a multi-layered story telling approach that has the flash back scenes and present situations going hand in hand.
The place is famous for crimes and the story is narrated from the viewpoint of Krishnan given life by Dulquer Salman. The background and lifestyle of the people lands the youth into earning money through taking quotations and engaing in crimes.
The film as I said is no different from Rajeev Ravi's previous two films on the making and treatment side. Of course the story is poles apart and is a pretty decent one that has been visually conceived quite well by the director with his screenplay written by P.Balachandran.
Character visualisation and casting is one of the major highlight of Kammatipadam. Each and every character has been solidly sketched in the script and that has helped a lot for the film's overall quality. Natural way of talking helped by realistic dialogues and their rendition made the viewing experience a bright one.
The way in which the life of Kammatipadam has been captured makes one take notice of the making style of the director that has stood out from the very first scene. One can complain that at close to three hours, the film is a lengthy one but for me there was never a dull or boring scene and it was more of a refreshing experience with this movie.
All credits to Rajeev and his team in casting apt actors very much suited for each and every character. The character of Krishnan had dual shades in it and Dulquer Salman had the required maturity as an actor for portraying them with utmost conviction.
Kammatipadam is an incomplete film without Vinayakan and Manikandan, the two actors who were literally the best among the lot. The body language, the mannerisms, the dialogue delivery and behaviour of Vinayan has transformed perfectly into an arrogant Gangan and it was a spellbound act from this actor.
Balan was a very rough and tough character and Manikandan.R.Achari who is a theatre artist has played that role with such perfection that we cannot imagine another actor in that role. Shaun Romy is the heroine who was entrusted with the role of Anitha. The actress appearing without a make up with Srinda's voice was an ideal casting.
Alencier Lay, Suraj Venjaramudu, Shine Tom Chacko, P.Balachandran, Vinay Fort and Muthumani also support the film with bigger or less prominent roles. It was a surprise seeing Soubin Shahir in those action sequences and for a welcome change they looked nice on screen.
Technically, the film is one step ahead with beautiful frames captured through the camera angle of Madhu Neelakantan. Though the length was on the higher side, editing was flawless and sharp. Background score was highly impressive and suited for the theme of the movie.
Kammatipadam is one film that may not go well with every class of audience but the treatment, making and visualisation along with top notch performance and excellent support from the technical department made me impressed. You can definitely try it if you had liked the director's previous two films. I am going with three and a half out of five for Kammatipadam.
Rating - 3.5 / 5

Happy Wedding Malayalam Movie Review

Happy Wedding doesn't make you big time happy but at the same time it doesn't make you sad or disappointed either. A funny entertainer that doesn't care for anything on the logical side, this film directed by debutant Omar Lulu is a passable one provided the baggage of expectation is nowhere near you.
I wasn't prepared to watch the film on the very first day as another movie was on my list for Friday and Happy Wedding was on my agenda only for the weekend. An unexpected cancellation of that film forced me to watch Happy Wedding, a day earlier but I don't have any regrets of losing my time and money after watching this flick.
Its not a great film with standard jokes and humour that will stay on your minds for a lengthy period of time. But the film has something in it with light hearted comedies to tickle the funny side of our bone. That makes it a one time watchable entertainer with the least of expectation.
The film is mainly targeted at the youth audience and has three central characters named Hari, Robin and Tyson who are engineering graduates. The story focus on their funny side and takes us to their college days through a flash back part and gets back to the present with some fun filled moments that would not make one bored.
Its not a common thing in comedy films to have twists which are normally a part of suspense thrillers. But here in Happy Wedding some unexpected twist in a humorous way lighten up things. The film distributed by Eros has given platform for many youngsters to make their mark both on the acting side as well as the technical department.
Director Omar Lulu being a first timer has done a decent job with the screenplay that is written by another set of new comers Maneesh and Praneesh. Light hearted comedy film with a new generation flavour has a certain pattern and way of telling the story and Happy Wedding just follow that format without trying anything different.
Certain dialogues with double meaning could have been avoided. Slight draggness is felt towards the initial stages but later on the pace picks up momentum. Some of the performances were not that impressive adding to the list of factors on the downward side.
One thing that strike you first when you look at the promos and posters of this film is the presence of Soubin Shahir, Sharaf U Dheen and Siju Wilson. Who can forget these actors who all played a major part in making the film Premam a blockbuster. Happy Wedding brings back these actors again and they had a good chemistry between them making their combination scenes very lively and entertaining.
The pick of the lot was Sharaf U Dheen who with his one liners and peculiar mannerisms took total control of the comedy part. The character had shades of Girirajan Kozhi completely but it was a treat watching him with his counter dialogues and one liners. Soubin was not far either and made us laugh with his usual style. Siju Wilson played the role of Hari without much trouble. Then there is Justin John who too was part of Premam and here he was acting as Tyson, one of the youth among the trio and he fitted perfectly into the gang.
All the heroines are new to me and we have three or four of them without much importance. Couple of them were okay while the rest were below par. Saiju Kurup, Sudhy Kopa, Shivaji Guruvayoor, Thesni Khan and Aby are also part of the cast.
Cinematography was just about okay while editing was not bad. Songs weren't that impressive while the background score was passable.
Overall, this film projected as a fun film and a logical entertainer has shaped quite well into a passable and watchable one. The primary purpose of Happy Wedding is to make you entertain through a hilarious fun ride and the team behind this venture have succeeded in that objective to a certain extent. The rating is three out of five for Happy Wedding.
Rating - 3 / 5

Azhar movie review

I was wondering after watching the film Azhar and relating it to the disclaimer that was displayed at the beginning. Not a biopic says the disclaimer and it goes further mentioning that the film is loosely based on personal and on field plus off the field incidents picked up from Mohammed Azharuddin's life. Contradicting things with Azhar himself promoting the film that has used every first name of cricketers that were in the limelight during the playing days of Azhar.
Well, Azhar the film fails to live up to its name as a result of poor screenplay. The makers seems to be a confused lot. They should have gone with showing actual facts of Azhar but instead they adopted a mix strategy wherein the film has the presence of actual facts and at the same time the interpretations of the writers which pushed the film backwards.
The story is nothing new as we see how a boy from the interiors of Hyderabad who always dreamed of playing 100 tests for the country went on to become one of the most successful Indian Captain of all times. Motivated by his grandfather, Azhar the film has also his personal life touched leading up to the famous match fixing controversy.
Happenings and chit chats inside the players dressing room, something that the public is unaware of is thrown open. Kapil giving a pep talk for motivating young Azhar after Manoj and Ravi not listening to the new captain was an interesting scene. Same way, the way in which the bookies target each player during the match ignoring players like Sachin, Rahul and Saurav was also a lighter moment.
Poor writing, bad dialogues and not doing proper research on the life of one of the most celebrated and controversial Captain of India led to the film's downfall making Azhar a mediocre film on all counts. I would say Tony D'Szousa the director has faltered in his mission. Showing incorrect matches where the booking issue broke out only made things look too silly.
Emraan Hashmi presents himself well with his looks and mannerisms that we have seen in Mohammed Azharuddin. Seems the actor has done some research keenly observing the videos of Azhar to make it look natural. On the acting side, one could clearly see the Emraan Hashmi that we are familiar with. So its a mixed bag of acting performance from the actor.
Peachi Desai as Azharuddin's first wife Naureen looked beautiful and was okay but the other heroine Nargis Fakhri whose character is based on actress and model Sangeetha Bijlani was disappointing.
Kunal Roy Kapur as Azhar's friend and lawyer among the supporting actors was able to do justice to his casting. Same goes for Rajesh Sharma as the bookie. The court drama that occupy a major chunk of the film to be honest was plain boring and the blame is to be put on the dialogues and to some extent the way how the lawyer on the opposite side acted. The actress is none other than Lara Dutta.
Technically too the film is weak with poorly orchestrated cricket matches. Cinematography is just about okay while editing had its share of trouble. Music was good though.
To conclude, Azhar the film is something that should have been told in a much better and bigger canvas. Compromising on the real things and giving more importance for cliched filmy things , this is one film that you can miss without much trouble saving some time and some money in the process. The rating is two out of five.
Rating - 2 / 5