The Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios de motocicleta)

US Presidential hopefuls take RVs, Che went on a motorcycle. The point is you need to go on a road trip to become a successful leader of the people

Ee Adutha Kalathu (Recently)

Strange and familiar make an appearance together for the first time in Malayalam cinema and the pair is a hit

Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl

Four feisty ladies, upbeat music and a handsome conman. Anushka gets Ranveer. Bollywood gets Parineeti

Das Boot (The Boat)

Best WWII film ever, in fact the best war film ever. In true German fashion, restraint is applied by shooting the entire movie inside a U-boat

Neelathamara (Blue Lotus)

Blue lotus shares the same stature of blue moon in Malayalam, so do good remakes. This one bucks the trend.

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Oct 14, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine


A very European movie from the United States. Most of the American indies I've seen are individual obsessed, this one has as its core a dysfunctional family or rather a normal family which is not perfect like all the other normal families. It is a commendable effort from the first time feature film directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.

A road-trip in a rickety old VW van with quirky characters - although everyone looks alright on the surface, brings about unexpected events. The choice of actors is brilliant and everyone fits into their roles perfectly. The title character of the movie, the youngest of the family who is going to enter a beauty pageant called Little Miss Sunshine is played by the seven year old, little Miss Abigail Breslin who lives upto the role.

The movie shows the triumph of common man against not so-gigantic but the everyday-type odds. The film identifies with the average, the everyday, the common-place yet different, which is how the human life is and that is the recipe for its success.

Oct 7, 2007

Pakal

Pakal is the first movie of the producer turned director M.A.Nishad. Before I go postal on the movie with an acerbic review, let me confess it is one of the true to life, watchable movies that had been made in Malayalam in the recent years. Wonder why all of them has Prithviraj as the hero? Although to tell the truth that point shouldn't cause much wonder, because lately he is the only believable hero in Malayalam.


Pakal takes up a contemporary social issue - the suicide of farmers trapped in debt, an issue that has caught national media attention. Prithviraj has the role of a TV journalist who has taken up the cause of bringing public attention of the plight of poor desperate farmers in the hill-district of Wayanad in Kerala. T.G.Ravi acts as a debt ridden farmer whose family's story becomes the central plot of the movie. Jagadish has a very different role as a unscrupulous money lender, a role he handles with panache. The main female characters in the movie, the farmer(T.G.Ravi)'s daughters are played by Sreeja and Jyothirmayi, who do justice to their roles.

What disturbs me about the movie is that, the anger it exemplifies is the blood-boiling-rage of the youth and it is shown that this anger does finally bring results, bring down the bastilles of the establishment. Knowing the political pandemonium in India it is hard to believe that truth is going to triumph this easily. In a way the movie gives an idealistic solution, which is hardly the case ever.

Then there is the usual resort of Malayalam filmdom to win the ladies' votes - send them a truckload of tears and get them over to your side. Maybe the subject matter of the film will justify the presence of sentimentality.

For a first time director it is a not-so-bad film, exceptional if you consider the current state of Malayalam movie industry and thankfully M.A.Nishad's direction is not as cliche-ridden as Blessy's - the other director who is driving the social cause-current issue bus in Malayalam.

A watchable movie, which is a rare treat in Malayalam these days.