‘Drama’ has an impressive line-up of actors led by a dapper Mohanlal, none of whom have anything spectacular to dish out. It’s an inept satire that lacks the bite that whirls and wheezes all the while, trying vainly to get its stage, settings and actors all in place.
K B Maju’s ‘French Viplavam’ is a rebellion gone all awry, though it dabbles with a theme that holds plenty of contemporary significance. Satire is what the film has in mind, but what it ultimately turns out to be is a drab cinematic piece that has neither the vigour nor the vitality that characterizes a raging revolution.
‘Johny Johny Yes Appa’ is neither funny nor edgy and leaves you high and dry at the end of its running time. Undermined by emotional incoherence and comic incompetence, this is an unfocussed film that fails to hit its target by a hundred miles.
‘Dakini’ has none of the inventiveness that its trailer so blatantly suggested the film might have. At best it merely strikes you as a collection of cardboard caricatures that flit around on stage, with plenty of empty talk and emptier circumstances that leave you tremendously worn out at the end of the day.
MC’s ‘Nonsense’ is a bitter sweet concoction that leaves you confounded; partly on account of the sparkles that it has on offer, and partly because of its lack of consistence. This is however a film that is a dare for sure, since it boldly crushes the conformities associated with structure and plot, and tries its hand at something distinctly diverse.
‘Aanakkallan’ is a disappointment of colossal proportions that makes you want to reach out to Biju Menon and point out that he needs to take a breather. One long look at the kind of choices that he has made of late, and he should sense that it’s time for him to perhaps take it a bit slow, lest the crowd enthusiasm in his films drops down like a stone tossed from the top of a hill.
Prem Kumar weaves together an intimate love tale that probably requires a certain leap of faith, which preserves a pristine purity in its narrative. Devastating and delightful by turns, it’s a tragic tale of a man and a woman hopelessly caught in a vortex of love, continually washed towards and away from each other, with not a leeway of redemption anywhere in sight.
Roshan Andrews appears out of his depth in ‘Kayamkulam Kochunni’, and the film appears more like a misspent opportunity than the highly agreeable jaunt that it should have been. Mounted on an epic scale, this is a film where the gargantuan efforts are all conspicuous, but the results quite regrettably, patchy and uneven.
‘Mandharam’ has very little special in it, despite the individual charms of all its actors. Scratching not much deeper than the surface of its characters, it’s a film that fails to find its own voice, forget its fragrance.
What ‘Lilli’ with the double ‘L’ and ‘I’ would probably be remembered for, is the flicker of sure promise that its director Prasobh Vijayan displays. The debutante filmmaker does get all his survival thriller tropes right and crafts a terror climate with great flair, but falters in his choice of a script that thwarts his ambitions.
Vinayan’s ‘Chalakkudikkaran Changathi’ is ultimately undone by the flaws in its script. It hardly lays bare the multiple layers that made Mani’s persona appear so appealing and complex to people like us, a principal failing that leaves Mani’s screen portrait a far from perfect one.