Banaras Diaries: Pyarelal and his Incredible Ink Pen Sketches!

Pyarelal on the Varanasi Ghats

As you walk towards the Dashashwamedh Ghat from Assi, the steps rise further steeply towards the Panchayati Akhada Shri Niranjani Ghat, abruptly throwing open a large expanse before you that wear an almost deserted look, with little or no crowds at all in sight.

And its here, that I see this quaint little middle aged man perched on one of the steps beside the pathway, paying no heed to the odd passer by, and scribbling away on a thick note pad placed on his lap. Lying beside him are several small sketches of the Ghats that he has made on paper, and cautiously slipped further into plastic sheaths. Continue reading “Banaras Diaries: Pyarelal and his Incredible Ink Pen Sketches!”

Seafood Delights: Naadan Koonthal Thenga Roast

squid koonthal kalamari roastI have always had this very special nose to sniff out some yummy sea food from kilometres away, and have not held myself back when it comes to hopping right into the kitchen to try out a new seafood recipe that springs to mind.

Squids (Koonthal or Kanava in this part of the world) have remained a favorite since time immemorial, and I still savor the memories of Kanava Thoran that Amma used to dish out when I was a kid. I used to be real amused by this deliciously rubbery thing that required quite a bit of chewing, and later when I started out my experiments with cuisine, discovered that its the over cooking that turns them into this adamantly untearable pieces of meat that they evolve into. Continue reading “Seafood Delights: Naadan Koonthal Thenga Roast”

Honey Bee 2: Celebrations (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen


Despite its many flaws, ‘Honey Bee’ did manage to drive in super keyed up youngsters to the cinema halls. Something which its sequel might not be able to achieve, given that it comes across as an exhausting and mostly needless retread that shouldn’t have been attempted in the first place!


Lal Jr’s third directorial outing, ‘Honey Bee 2: Celebrations’ is a film that gawks and squints back at you, for having decided to give it a go. I have been no great fan of ‘Honey Bee’ either, which is perhaps why, the sequel struck me as an unfunny film that will probably even have fans of the original film running for cover. Continue reading “Honey Bee 2: Celebrations (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen”

Take Off (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen


The biggest realization that ‘Take Off’ leaves in its wake is the thought that even as I key in this word in the comfy confines of my study room, thousands of horrified humans elsewhere are being subjected to unimaginable terror and torment for no fault of theirs. Which is what makes Mahesh Narayanan’s film an upsetting and thorny experience, but one without which your film year is bound to remain incomplete.


As the border gates between Iraq and Kurdistan are thrown open, the worn-out Indian nurses who had been through hell fire and back hurriedly stagger across the border towards the Indian tricolour fluttering at the other side, and then break into a run, respite and joy writ large on their faces. This stellar climatic scene of Mahesh Narayanan’s ‘Take Off’ is perhaps the best that I have seen in recent years, and one that could only be watched with goose bumps all over. Continue reading “Take Off (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen”

Banaras Diaries: The Long WaIks along the Ghats!

Yoga on the Varanasi Ghats
                                                      Yoga on the Varanasi Ghats

My second visit to Banaras was a week back in March, and the old city seemed to be in rumination and it looked like it wasn’t really sure if it wanted to blow off the last bit of chill from the air and brace itself all up for the sweltering heat that is to follow.

The last time I was there was almost half an year back, when the Ganges seemed to be rising and rising. The roads of the city were flooded and the Ghats, for which Banaras is so famous for, had all been under water. Amidst all the misery, was a populace who stringently believed that the Ganges was washing all their sins away. Continue reading “Banaras Diaries: The Long WaIks along the Ghats!”

Alamara (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen


‘Alamara’  states plainly that all those that are involved in the film deserved a material much better than this. Which is why, despite an impressive line up of a cast and crew, ‘Alamara’ barely rises above the fascinating concept at its core.


Mithun Manuel Thomas’ ‘Alamara’ is a film that is dragged down by some sloppy writing and routine execution. With almost zilch inventive fun moments, ‘Alamara’ strikes a low in both style and substance.

An almirah, gifted by the bride’s parents wreaks havoc in the lives of a freshly wedded couple Arun (Sunny Wayne) and Swathi (Aditi Ravi). With their respective parents adding to the ever escalating tension,  Arun and Swathi realize pretty early in their married lives, that wedlock could indeed turn out to have a bolt that isn’t easily unfastened. Continue reading “Alamara (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen”

C/o Saira Banu (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen


Loaded with sensitivity, humour and wisdom, ‘C/o Saira Banu’ is an evocative take on parental care and personal bonds. And with a terrific cast at his disposal, Antony Sony makes certain that his film sticks with you, long after the show.


Antony  Sony’s directorial debut is a gusty walk along the shores of life, as it follows a woman and her son grapple with an unforeseen storm that blows in. ‘C/o Saira Banu’ puts together some real sturdy acting feats from its lead actors and comes across as a competent feature debut, that works as much on emotions as it does on human experience. Continue reading “C/o Saira Banu (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen”

Weiner (2016) English Documentary Short Review

Weiner Short ReviewIts only with a sense of awe at Anthony Weiner’s irrepressible wit that one can sit through the documentary directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, at the very end of which Weiner is asked why he has let them film all of this. Weiner looks lost in thought for a moment, before he shrugs and admits that he has been hoping for the best. Continue reading “Weiner (2016) English Documentary Short Review”

Oru Mexican Aparatha (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen


‘Oru Mexican Aparatha’ swerves between brisk and blue with its inconsistency in tenor. Which is why when Paul finally stands tall having thrust that red flag in place, the emotions evoked are mixed – that of exhilaration but much more, of relief.


mexican Aparatha VeeyenWe have been through some real overwhelming films in Malayalam that have so dexterously captured the exalting spirit of the Communist ideology, and there have also been awe-inspiring movies on campus life that have since remained re-watch weekend treats to us. You cannot really blame me then for craving to grab a DVD of  ‘Sarvakalashala’ and ‘Lal Salaam’ yet again, while  watching Tom Immatti’s political campus flick ‘Oru Mexican Aparatha’. Continue reading “Oru Mexican Aparatha (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen”

Angamaly Diaries (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen


The Angamaly that filmmaker  Lijo Jose Pellissery and writer Vinod Jose scribble their diary notes on is a dusty, deafening town that smells of pork and sloshed human blood. The ceaseless squabbles for honour, money and might render it a land with almost dystopian proportions, where a terrifyingly realistic tale of subsistence unfurls.


Angamaly Diaries VeeyenThe Angamaly that filmmaker  Lijo Jose Pellissery and writer Vinod Jose scribble their diary notes on is a dusty, deafening town that smells of pork and sloshed human blood. The ceaseless squabbles for honour, money and might render it a land with almost dystopian proportions, where a terrifyingly realistic tale of subsistence unfurls.

The Palliyangadi team of Angamaly is headed by Vincent Pepe (Antony Varghese), a graduation dropout twenty something guy, who dreams of moving abroad with his girl friend, and settling down in Germany. Together with his team mates Bheeman (Vineeth Vishwam), Pork Varkey (Githin), Kanakuna Marty (Ananthu) and Parippu Marty (Sreekanth Dasan), Pepe gets embroiled in a crime atroce, and in no time finds himself in a quandary where the future looks uncertain and frightfully bleak. Continue reading “Angamaly Diaries (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen”

The Rover (2014) English Movie Short Review

the-rover-short-review
Courtesy of therover-movie.com

There are films that stun you on account of a performance that you certainly had not rooted for, and Robert Pattinson’s Reynolds act in ‘The Rover’ is one that catches you by surprise. There are instances when the young actor even towers over the veteran Guy Pearce who is as effective as ever, playing the sober and all broody Eric, as they drive across the Australian waste land, post a global economic collapse. Continue reading “The Rover (2014) English Movie Short Review”