This warfare could have been tons more fun had ‘Padayottam’ a tighter story-line to fall back on. As it is, it strikes you as a series of intermittently amusing moments, loosely looped together by a plot fabric that severely lacks a strapping context.
Fellini’s take on a man wanting to take a final puff and chuck away a long-standing addiction is akin to the first smoke ever; drawing in a bit too much of a cloudy breath and holding it all in for a moment before the anticipated onset of the dreaded cough, throwing out a whole lot than one had bargained for, in spurts and spasms. And when peace is finally regained, the smoke or what is left of it, slowly dissipates into the air around.
The ritzy shine that ‘Ranam’ sports is of a make-believe kind, and it starts wearing away if you start scratching at its exterior with your nails. And lying beneath all the pizzazz is a hoary saga of gang fights and rivalry that is as drained out as the urban blight that Detroit has become internationally infamous for.
The estimable artistry of the film maker cannot be missed in ‘Koode’; a film that slices right through your heart with its redolent take on human relationships. Working on a fantastical scenario that plays out with an outstanding charm, this gorgeously shot film is a memorable study on love, solitude, estrangement and above all, homecomings.
‘Neerali’ is quite like the vehicle that latches on to a tree trunk, hanging on for its dear life. It’s only a matter of time before the trunk gives way and the final drop down ensues; carrying down with it a script that is more of a slog, dialogues that are corny to the core and performances that are utterly misplaced in all the chaos.
‘My Story’ snuggles into its formulaic mould with ease, and settles down for a very conventional finale, after a couple of hours of romantic non-happenings. Sappy and corny by turns, its only claim to fame would be that it features two of the best actors in showbiz who despite all its daftness, give it their very best shot.
‘Lust Stories’ takes a sneak peek at what it means to be a woman with a defined sexuality in India, and offers at least a couple of unquestioned triumphs in the process. Sporting an impish charm and delight that is often uncharacteristic of commercial Indian cinema, this is an omnibus that is a slightly uneven bag for sure, but one that remains unified through its individual films’ highs and lows.
It’s quite a recognizable mystery franchise that ‘Abrahaminte Santhathikal’ lays out before you. And it’s this throwback familiarity that holds it back throughout, even as it tries hard to fit in every known thriller trope into its folds.
In a world that is often hostile to diversity, ‘Njan Marykutty’ brightly lights up a beacon of optimism. And in a world that has long revelled in gender jokes and gay innuendos, it all might sound a fairy tale, but then its significance lies in the suggestive reminder that it puts forth, that perhaps it’s time the transuniverse had their share of fairies as well!
There are a few things that ‘Mazhayathu’ achieves without being sermonizing and its real resonance lies in its exploration of an issue that is frighteningly real. It flashes a light on a society that thrives on suspicion, where we have lost the basic impulse and inclination to trust and hold someone – even the dearest ones around – in staunch conviction.
It’s a totally incoherent and embroidered universe that ‘Abhiyude Kadha Anuvinteyum’ lets its characters roam about it in. Shamelessly sentimental and cringingly syrupy, here is a film that misses its mark by a mile.