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Jun 9, 2009

Calcutta News

Blessy has a whole lot to say within the confines of one film. That's not a fault if he knows how to package it within 2-2.5 hours. In Calcutta News he fails trying to shoot too many birds with one stone. A small sampling of the subjects he dabbles with in the film are as follows, prostitution, sex-racket, mental issues, ghosts, seances and mediums, growth of media, increased use of mobile technology and underworld kidnappings. It feels like the film didn't want to spare any smoking gun issues plaguing contemporary Indian society.

Bringing in Dileep as the ace news-reporter of the TV channel Calcutta News didn't save the movie either. The new improved version of Dileep with intellectual glasses and santoku sideburns could not make a media-brain out of the actor who is more comfortable playing himself - in films like Meesha Madhavan, Kalyanaraman etc. Infact that plus the use of English in Blessy's script is enough to drive a sane person away from the screen.

Blessy's English might make the British regret ever to have colonized India. I wish he had kept the dialogs to Malayalam, instead of making the characters speak in broken bits of English now and then to reiterate their socio-educational status. The diction of actors and the dubbing artists add injury to the insult. Please, it is Malayalam movie, lets the actors speak in their mother tongue. I wonder how the Bengali in the script (ample opportunities to squeeze it in since the story takes place in Calcutta) would sound to a native Bengali person?

Contemporary issues are Blessy's strong point from his film # 1 - Kaazcha, which he followed thru' with Thanmatra and Palunku. For me, of the above mentioned three films Palunku was the bearable one, even good in places. Calcutta News is riveting at the start, you have to give credit where it is due, but it becomes embarrassing to watch in the second half with mis-information, mis-interpretations and misuse of English.

Too many shortcomings to list, but it had not-so-bad camera work, songs were ok and so was Meera Jasmine and Indrajit in the roles given to them. Review: 2.5 stars