At its start, ‘Pada’ does purport to be a story of the four men at the centre of action, but eventually widens up until it reveals itself to be an exemplary treatise on the displaced tribal populations across the world, who have fought injustice for years and continue to do so. As such, it is a much valued cinematic piece that advocates for a deeper consideration on our part and prompts us to come up with our own versions of the truth.
Geethu’s refusal to stick to stereotypes and her affecting reading of a love tale that tears up the social tapestry earn for ‘Moothon’ a distinctive place amidst the sparsely lit up landscape of queer cinema in the country. The howls and catcalls and the loud sniggers and the off-colour jokes in the cinema halls notwithstanding, it’s a cinematic composition that needs to be appreciated for its compassionate and unapologetically adult take on human sexuality.
Pretty much similar to the unproductive climactic sequence that involves man and a shark and the ultimate finale that follows, ‘Pranaya Meenukalude Kadal’ tells a story that hardly transcends. With waves and waves of clichés lapping against its shores, this is a sea that appears as bland as it is blue.
‘Thottappan’ is a bittersweet film that appeals to you on several levels and yet leaves you wanting for more. The performances are outstanding and there are several moments that you would carry back home with you, but you would also wish that it had not stuck to the template that you have by now, grown so familiar with.
‘Varikkuzhiyile Kolapathakam’ makes for gripping viewing, and the atmospheric skill that the director displays in the film is admirable. With a brisk running time of not much more than a couple of hours, it unspools a tale of mystery that retains your focus right on the screen.
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.
Efforts are made to keep the fervour level hitting the ceiling, and it possibly even means well, but ultimately ‘Ladoo’ ends up a film that doesn’t deserve any hate, but is hard to like as well.
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.
‘Neerali’ is quite like the vehicle that latches on to a tree trunk, hanging on for its dear life. It’s only a matter of time before the trunk gives way and the final drop down ensues; carrying down with it a script that is more of a slog, dialogues that are corny to the core and performances that are utterly misplaced in all the chaos.
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.
The year is about to draw to a close, and it’s that time of the year when you loll on the couch and recount the best cinematic experiences that you have had in the course of the past twelve months that had swiftly flitted by. It has been one eventful year for sure, that saw many an appealing and inventive film, making it to the theatres and readily being applauded and acknowledged as first-rate efforts. What follows is anything but a comprehensive list, and what it endeavors to do instead, is to lay out five films that I deem as movies that are certainly not to be missed, and which make it to my final December chart this year!