This is a collective that offers three films in the increasing order of effectiveness, starting off with quite passable stuff at one end and ending with an engaging component at the other. As such, it does not spin off much in an interesting fresh direction, and for the most part makes do with some disposable stuff that tries to pass off as observations on gender equations.
Most of ‘Valiyaperunnal’ ends up like the elaborately choreographed dance sequences in it – exquisite to initially look at, but exasperating after a while. This film does have a very human back-story of social exploitation that could have benefitted from some focused writing and crispy editing but as such strikes you as a slog piece that never gets to strike the target that it had originally set out for.
‘Porinchu Mariam Jose’ does not have specific points where it starts losing its way. Rather the antique tale that it narrates usurps both the aspirations of its maker and the efforts of its terrific cast, rendering it a stylized cinematic piece that is bracing to look at, but which sounds obsolete to the core.
‘Virus’ is an effectual ensemble piece that marvellously bonds together the pieces of a jigsaw, thereby rendering complete, a story of how fortitude eventually stamps over irrepressible fear. Emotionally pervasive and unnervingly real, It is also the kind of film that makes you go for a few extra dabs of your hand sanitizer, as you get all set to key down a review.
There is a mature balance that Khabeer strikes in ‘June’ that is also its most redeeming feature, and he lures us into a world that we have lived in all the while. He then sits us down and tells us a tale that we have probably lived ourselves. It’s a bittersweet story that gets us nodding in no time, it’s the month of June, and it rains.
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.
M Padmakumar’s ‘Joseph’ would be remembered for long for the actor that Joju George is, and belongs to the category of films, where an actor towers over everything else around with an astounding performance that overwhelms.
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.
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 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.
‘Kadamkatha’ has little to proffer apart from a few faux insights that make an appearance towards the very end. And it’s a very long wait indeed for that final statement, with a screenplay that runs along a done-to-death trail for almost all of its running time.