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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Sep 22, 2011

Sankaranum Mohananum

This is Malayalam’s own “I can see dead people” film. Here Jayasurya has the Haley Joel Osment condition otherwise known as the Sixth Sense. He also gets to play double role as brothers Sankaran and Mohanakrishnan. Sankaran - an itinerant spirit is dead for most part of the movie but shows up in interesting costumes throughout and Mohanan, an ad photographer represents the living world.

Jayasurya has bagged many interesting roles these days – from the incidental villain in Cocktail and the happy go-lucky dude in Payyans to a forty five year old balding ghost spouting perfect Kannur Malayalam in this movie, he has shown quite a range. He is supported competently by Reema Kallingal, Meera Nandan, C.V.Sreeraman, Valsala Menon and others. Except for Kalpana who felt like an import from Travancore to Malabar, everyone else seemed to belong.

Most of the reviewers have been hard on this film, maybe they were expecting a more heavy-duty product from T.V.Chandran. Oh, can’t a man let his guard down once in a while? I, for one, in fact liked the existential comedy, a tad ‘Woody Allen’esque had Allen moved out of Manhattan to Malabar. The idea of 9 months grace period after death, the explanation for it and the new take on life after death titillates me enough to find pleasure in the film.

Wikipedia informs me that there is an autobiographical aspect to Sankaranum Mohananum. T.V.Chandran’s own brother died in Nigeria at an early age and the story setting in North Malabar where T.V.Chandran’s own birthplace(Thalassery) is serve as pointers to this fact. Now if I could lay hands on Alicinte Anweshanam and Susanna, I can be pre-qualified to give free unsolicited opinions on T.V.Chandran’s films, the only one I remember watching is Padam Onnu: Oru Vilapam.

Sep 15, 2011

Band Baaja Baaraat

If anything sells in India, weddings will top the list. Band, Baaja and Baaraat, the three irreplaceable components of a typical North Indian wedding make the title of this recent sleeper hit movie from Delhi boy – Maneesh Sharma and his script writer Habib Faisal. I had no clue it was Habib Faisal who wrote BBB before I googled, although it strongly reminded me of Do Dooni Char – another one of Faisal’s scripts. No wonder.

BBB does not approach the wedding using the tried and tested Bollywood formula where the whole movie is a giant excuse to showcase hero-heroine's wedding. In BBB the spotlight is shifted towards the back, behind the scenes of a planned wedding - a role traditionally played by parents but fast being taken over by professional wedding planners.

Like Do Dooni Char, Band Baaja Baaraat is a tribute to Dilli. Dilli 6 may have Dilli in the title and Chandni Chowk’s galis as shooting locales, but Band Baaja Baaraat and Do Dooni Char live and breathe Delhi. Punjabi infused Hindi delivered effortlessly by Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh – the actors who play the two main characters of Shruti Kakkar and Bittoo Sharma, lifts you from your couch and puts you right into a Janakpuri kind of day.

The film is also an acknowledgement to a new brand of Indian - the young entrepreneur. Shruti Kakkar - the wannabe business woman who dreams of making it big as a wedding planner personifies the optimistic and daring new India. Anushka Sharma gives her best shot to-date as Shruti Kakkar. So does newcomer Ranveer Singh, a virtual nobody before he landed this gig.

It is good to see production houses like Yash Raj films coming out with quality films, giving opportunity to emerging directors - Chak De India, Rocket Singh and Band Baaja Baarat, the list is growing, these movies can cover up their mistakes like Pyaar Impossible.