Amal Neerad’s uncompromising portrait of disillusionment and of a paradise lost and forcefully regained is a searing piece that simply slices right through you. ‘Varathan’ is a slow burning tour-de-force that is dark and disturbing by turns and a foreboding cinematic experience that is impossible to shake away, let alone forget.
Soumya Sadanandan’s film feature debut is majorly marred by some bland writing that fails to hold itself all together. Which is why, ‘Mangalyam Thanthunanena’ strikes you as a vehicle with a flat tyre that is quite unlikely to make a move across viewer hearts.
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.
Sethu’s film like many of its predecessors, is one that is obsessed with the charisma of its leading star, that everything else, including the plot and the narrative are tossed into the Kuttanadan backwaters.
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.
‘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.
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.