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Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar's Journal Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar" journal:

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September 10th, 2018
07:20 am

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Theevandi
Watched Malayalam film Theevandi yesterday, the story of a smoking addict (played by Tovino) told in the backdrop of a village political satire. The gentle humor in many of the scenes is enjoyable, and the film was interesting overall.

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September 8th, 2018
10:08 pm

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Merku Thodarchi Malai
Tamil film Merku Thodarchi Malai shows the life of workers in the cardamom plantations in the Western Ghats. Rangaswamy, the main character in the film is a youngster who wants to buy a small piece of land for himself (which was his late father's unfulfilled dream). A significant part of the movie shows in detail Rangaswamy's life as a laborer cum messenger cum accountant, and the camera brilliantly captures the beauty of the Ghats as well as the hardships of people going up and down the mountains.

I guess all the actors in the movie are new faces, and the narrative is very realistic. The last scene in the film showing Rangaswamy sitting on a stool alone in a field, and slowly zooming out to bring several gigantic windmills to the frames, was indeed very touching and meaningful.

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August 26th, 2018
03:40 pm

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Patang
Read Patang, an investigative thriller novel written by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay. Set in Mumbai, the book is about a private investigator catching a serial killer, only to see that killings of similar pattern resume even after the criminal is put into jail. The plot is very convoluted, but the book makes an interesting reading.

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July 29th, 2018
08:14 pm

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Shunya
Read Shunya - A Novel by Sri M. Set in times possibly in the 1960s or 70s, the novel tells the story of Shunya, a wandering Yogi who arrives in a village near Thiruvananthapuram. He settles in the backyard of a toddy shop, and though initially regarded as a crazy man by the villagers because of his peculiar ways, soon attains fame through various miraculous deeds. Much of the novel contains descriptions of the supernatural deeds of Shunya, which would appear like tales from Aithihyamala.

Some of the incidents and characters in this novel would remind us of real life characters which Sri M has written about in his autobiographical works, Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master and The Journey Continues. The novel is a very easy and engaging read.

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July 28th, 2018
02:27 pm

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Uncle
Shruthi, a student at a college in Ootty, has to reach her home in Kozhikkode, and she gets a lift from her father's friend, KK (played by Mammootty). Malayalam film Uncle follows the events during this trip.

The last 30 minutes of the film are crafted brilliantly, and the climax of the movie is an effective criticism on "moral policing" and hypocrisy of Malayalees. There are some fine performances, by Mammootty, Joy Mathew and Muthumani in these scenes. However, it looks like the makers of the film were a bit unsure on how to build up a story thread that would take to these scenes handling a social issue. They attempt a thriller format, with elements of mystery shrouding the the character of KK, and assembling some scenes like a road movie, interleaved with scenes showing the worried parents of the girl at her home. I felt that the conversations between the girl and KK were often very boring. Nevertheless, Uncle is a decent effort from director Girish Damodar, and certainly a watchable film from actor Mammootty who has been acting in atrocious films like Masterpiece and Thoppil Joppan these days.

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July 26th, 2018
09:07 pm

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October
Watched Hindi film October, and liked it. While the narrative has the touching quality of some of the good old Malayalam films, the frames are beautiful, and the music was good too.

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July 23rd, 2018
08:27 am

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Isle of Dogs
Liked Isle of Dogs, for Wes Anderson's unique style of animation and some witty dialogues. The music was interesting too.

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July 22nd, 2018
05:56 pm

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Penumbra
Read the detective novel Penumbra, written by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay, in which he introduces his detective, Janardhan Maity.

Prakash, a freelance journalist living in Kolkata, receives a letter from a person who says he is his uncle who has been living in Europe for a long time. He has returned back to India, and he invites Prakash to his home for his 60th birthday. Prakash accepts the invitation, and reaches his uncle's home, a bungalow located in a remote village. There are a few other guests as well and they get to know each other. Late in the evening, two murders take place in the bungalow, and the rest of the story narrates the investigation process.

Though the story is set in current times, the settings and narrative style of Penumbra has an old world charm that is reminiscent of Byomkesh and Feluda mysteries. I enjoyed reading the book in one sitting, and ordered three more books from the author.

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July 17th, 2018
05:25 pm

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Mayaanadhi
Watched Aashiq Abu's Mayaanadhi. A skillfully directed film with excellent performances from the lead actors (and Aishwarya Lekshmi deserves special mention for being such an expressive actress), I felt that this was the best one from Aashiq Abu so far.

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July 15th, 2018
10:08 am

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Sudani from Nigeria
Malayalam film Sudani from Nigeria, debut by director Zakariya, gives the experience of reading a touching short story, and I never for a moment could feel that it is the first film by the director.

Sudani from Nigeria shows the life of Majid (played by Soubin Shahir), manager of a local football team in Malabar. Samuel, a player from Nigeria, who is sponsored by him, is injured and needs to take bed-rest for a couple of months. Majid doesn't have financial capacity to arrange a hospital bed or nurse for Samuel, so he takes him to his home.

After his father's death, Majid's mother had remarried, and Majid holds a grudge against his mother ever since then, even though several years have gone by and she is very old now. He doesn't speak or even acknowledge the existence of his step-father, who lives in a separate home (due to the hostility shown by Majid), and his interactions with his mother are also very limited. Looking forward to go through the experience of being wanted as a mother, Majid's mother takes care of Samuel through this period, and by the time Samuel returns to his homeland after recovery, Majid also manages to recover from his inner fights between ego, pride, self-pity and feelings of guilt. The film focuses on the inherent goodness in all people, and the climax scene where Majid brings his aging step-father home, with a priceless smile lighting up the old man's face, is very touching.

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