‘Trance’ does address a theme that is radically important and proffers a compelling investigation into the unexplored realms of religion, faith and belief. But it’s also a movie that eventually gets choked by the mistiness that pervades its plot and design, and ends up a pale shadow of the head turner flick that it should have been.
Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s ‘Super Deluxe’ is a riveting and dexterously observed noir piece that spawns a sense of unease on its viewers with an unnerving subtlety. Building on the terror further, it pulls open a wardrobe of disquieting truths – on gender roles, fidelity, faith, morality and several others – that tumble down in heaps and bundles all around us. A bolstering black comedy that is also a twitchy exploration of tormented human lives, it is an exciting and excruciating film that would leave you squirming in the best possible ways.
Filmmaker Vivek proves beyond doubt that he has an eye for visual detail, and even does a brave crossover to a few alien realms, but what he seriously lacks here is a compelling tale that would keep the viewers dangling on the edge. Which is why, despite all the creepy moments, and that final mandatory twist at the end, ‘Athiran’ feels like it actually set out to be so much more than what it actually turned out to be.
‘Kumbalangi Nights’ is much more than an account of four brothers on a frenzied quest to find themselves and each other. Drenched in a matchless mix of human emotions that range from hilarity to hopelessness, it’s a superb film that drives you into raptures and which is infused with figurative undertones, structures and symbols that hold a striking mirror to the times that we live in.
Here is a look at some of the out-of-the-world performances from male actors, that we got to see in Malayalam in the course of the past year. Needless to add, some of these acts will be discussed and remembered for years to come.
‘Njan Prakashan’ does not break any new ground when it comes to the tale that it narrates. And yet, it is a film that needs to be watched for the performer that Fahadh Faasil is, and as much corny as it might sound to state that the actor in him has surpassed the ruts and dips in the script yet again, it couldn’t be any closer to actual fact.
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.
‘Carbon’ is a draining film; a confounding piece of cinema that requires as much an effort from the viewer to make sense of it, as from the film maker himself in its creation. This certainly isn’t its flaw, and where it tires the spectator out is in its decision to remain obstinately abstract throughout, conjuring up smoke swirls of obscurity and vagueness, and decisively dropping a cue here and there, driving the audience to connect together its disjointed pieces into a rational whole, and compelling them to hunt out the key to the puzzle.
The incidental pleasures that Dileesh Pothan’s film ‘Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum’ offers are many, like the sardonic wisecracks and the continual cackles, while it fundamentally holds an indelible charm inside. A luminously acted rumination on the ifs and buts of life, ‘Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum’ has enough emotional and dramatic drive to let it qualify as a class act with exceptional intelligence and grace.
‘Role Models’ neatly fritters away a talented cast and comes across as more galling than humorous. This is a missed opportunity for sure, and one that lacks any real spark or spur.
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”