While there has been no dearth to films set on an engineering campus of late, ‘B.Tech’ thankfully doesn’t stick to the common campus caper norms. After an easy, non-eventful former half, the film pulls out a present-day social issue out of its backpack and does a pretty okay job at brandishing it without much of a fuss.
‘Aabhaasam’ is a scathing lampoon on the disgruntlement – social, political, religious and sexual – that underlies a literate society, and is a daring overnight drive to where we stand today. It holds fast to none of the conventionalities that one would expect of a commercial pot-boiler and truly living up to its title tosses cinematic decorum right into the drains.
‘Chanakya Thanthram’ lacks the writing to be a fantastic, edge-of-the-seat thriller. It simply goes about its job, and feels like many of its unproductive predecessors, but with a variant, pertinent note thrown into a messed up plot.
With ‘Ee.Ma.Yau’ Lijo Jose Pellissery surpasses himself, asserts once and for all that he’s a master craftsman who sees his dough even in a theme that is as stiff and unmalleable as a corpse (pun intended), and astutely crafts a chimerical ode to mortality. Hauling a perfect family portrait off the walls, Lijo smashes it on the floor, leaving us horrified beside a blue, lifeless body that grows colder by the minute, a bunch of riotous, bawling mourners and glimpses of nothing less than what looks like hell opening up above, as streaks of lightning intermittently part the dark skies.
There is a final tornado that Sruthy’s mom rakes up at a police station in ‘Uncle’ that makes you wish the rest of the film had half the vigour that this closing scene has. The social undercurrents are laid bare, the message is served, the speeches are done and the obligatory slap delivered. Inflated to the point of having swelled beyond recognition, ‘Uncle’ could have been the riveting film that it had aspired to be, in less than half its current screen time.
‘Aravindante Athidhikal’ has a plot that is very basic, but filled with characters that are lively enough to sustain viewer attention. It might not be the most original movie ever either, but is a sweet retelling of a familiar tale, that still leaves a few giggles and a faint gulp down your throat.
‘Thobama’ is at best, an adequate spin on a theme that we are more than familiar with. There isn’t much of a push for diversity here, and it lists and meanders for a while, leaving a flicker here and there, before finally drifting away.
Looking back, ‘Kammara Sambhavam’ strikes you as a strange case of having a bit too much and yet having never even nearly enough. Teeming with characters, ornately mounted and extensively shot, it’s the sort of film that could have been an epic, but ends up anything but a legend instead.
There is a final sewing up of the loose pieces that is expected to do the film good, but you are hardly concerned by then. The boat has already been missed, and the dock has been long closed.
Yahiya’s film is at best a cinematic accolade to Mohanlal, but far from a glorious one. It strikes you more as an animated and keyed up rant on how much Lalettan is adored all over, but does little justice to the deep ingrained adulation and esteem that we hold for this terrific performer and person, or to the spectacular emotion called Mohanlal that leaves numerous generations of Malayali film lovers, all over the world, hopelessly enthralled.
‘Aalorukkam’ tackles the complexity of the issue that it confronts with élan, and does not flounder around in dramatics as is usually the case. And for once, the promise is kept; perhaps it’s the first of its kind, at least thematically, in cinema in this corner of the world.