Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar's Journal
Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar" journal:
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Set in Tirunelveli and surrounding areas, Tamil film Pariyerum Perumal narrates a story based on caste based violence, honor killing, etc. Initially, it sounds like a typical "naive rich higher caste girl falling in love with poor lower caste boy" story, but the film doesn't fall into stereotypes or melodrama, and the director handles the theme in a hard-hitting and engaging way, evolving to a powerful climax.
Sometime back I watched director Ram's acclaimed film Thanga Meenkal
and was disappointed with it. His latest film Peranbu
looks more sophisticated and he picks up characters and situations that I haven't seen anyone else portraying in Indian movies before; However the underlying methods by the director are very similar to Thanga Meenkal
- He shows lengthy sequences of suffering of people possibly to develop sympathetic feelings in the audience, and may be that is his idea of good Cinema and Art, but personally I was not much impressed with Peranbu
either, and felt that it was over-hyped. Mammootty and the young actress Sadhana in the central roles have given noteworthy performances, though.
Watched Kadvi Hawa directed by Nila Madhab Panda. Set in a remote, dry and rustic village of Bihar (the children of the village don't know there is something called as rainy season), the movie shows the efforts of an old blind man (played by Sanjay Mishra) to save his son from the bank loan recovery agent who is dreaded by the farmers. The recovery agent, on the other hands, has to meet and exceed his targets to support his family suffering from frequent floods and cyclones in coastal Odisha.
Kadvi Hawa is a well made film, and it has a straight-forward narrative similar to some of the old art-house films. Performance by Sanjay Mishra deserves special mention.
Watched Malayalam film June, a well-made and engaging "coming-of-age feel-good film" directed by Ahammed Khabeer. A lot of newcomers are involved in the film behind and in front of the camera, but the film not even for a second looks amateurish, and the production values are as top-notch as that of any other Malayalam film. There are certainly similarities with movies like Premam and Om Shanthi Oshana in terms of thematic elements, but the movie still stands out with its own identity.
The movie belongs to the director Ahammed Khabeer as much as to Rejisha Vijayan who is there in majority of the frames, and gives a very expressive and wonderful performance in the role of June, the central character.
First They Killed My Father|
Watched Angelina Jolie's film First They Killed My Father
, based on Khmer Rouge memoir
by Loung Ung. The film is a faithful adaptation of the book and shows most of the key incidents mentioned in it, with some small variations probably added for creating an element of positivity - for e.g., Loung doesn't beat up the captive soldier in the end of the film as mentioned in the book, but she seems to compare his plight with her father's, and forgive him.
The best thing in the film was the casting and performances. All the characters live in their roles, and they resemble the real people as they are shown in photographs published in the book. The young girl who played the role of Luong requires a very special mention for such an amazing performance. Also, I liked that the director chose not to make the characters speak in English, but let them speak in Khmer itself.
However, overall I felt that the film didn't give an emotional impact like the book; The reason could be a very flat narrative that just maps to the original book as it is, the only addition done by the director being the repeating sequences that show the contrast between colorful past of Luong and family with their present days of misery.
The Disappearance of Sally Sequeria|
Read The Disappearance of Sally Sequeria, the third book in Janardan Maity mystery series by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay. Unlike the first two books which are set in bungalows in distant village of Bengal or Bihar, this one is set in a calm coastal village of Goa.
The mystery and suspense are well built, though very convoluted just like the earlier books.
Watched Malayalam film Autorsha
, directed by Sujith Vasudev. Set in a village near Kannoor, the film tells the story of a female Auto-rickshaw driver named Anitha (played brilliantly by Anushree). The first half of the movie has a very enjoyable narrative. It doesn't have a clear plot, but just keeps on showing various incidents in the life of Anitha, as she takes different people (many of them eccentric) to their destinations by her rickshaw. The narrative has freshness (reminding of Action Hero Biju
), and I liked some of the amusing characterizations.
However, post interval, the director brings some mystery element to Anitha's character. The likeable flow of the first half is lost, and the film reduces to a typical tale of revenge, which disappointed me. It was good to hear some nice songs tuned by Sharreth after a long time, though.
Watched Lonappante Mamodisa directed Leo Thaddeus, a feel good film made out of a simple story. It has been after a long time that I am watching an interesting film with Jayaram in the lead role.
Jayaram plays the role of Lonappan, a middle aged man, who spends his time idling around in the watch repair shop that he inherited from his father, where he has "outsourced" the work to his friend. Outright cynical and jealous of everyone around him, he seems to find solace in indulging in petty gossips about the people in the town. We soon realize that gossiping is a way for him to distract himself from inner frustrations regarding his inability to reach a "good position in life" in spite of being known as a talented boy during his childhood. There are all indications that his own laziness, escapism and procrastination habits are possible reasons for his state, but he blames his three sisters for that, and says that he had to make sacrifices and couldn't follow his ambitions because he had to support the family after the death of his father.
The character of Lonappan has similarities with some of the characters in films like Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala and Veruthe Oru Bharya, and Jayaram has handled the role very well. The first half of the film concentrates on Lonappan's character development, and the performances and dialogues are realistic and enjoyable. In the second half, the director changes gears slightly and converts the tone of the film to a feel-good-inspirational one, with Lonappan transforming himself and reinventing the positivity inside him.
Tamil film '96, tells the story of a love affair. Ram and Jaanu are childhood friends and classmates at a school in Thanjavur. When they are in the tenth standard, Ram gets the realization that he is in love with Jaanu, and he comes to know that the feeling is mutual. Ram becomes too shy in front of Jaanu after that and is unable to even look at her properly, though Jaanu does not have such hesitations. During the summer vacation of tenth standard, Ram's family suddenly shifts to Chennai because of some financial problems, and Jaanu never gets to see Ram again until 24 years later, when both of them attend a school reunion function. Jaanu is married and settled in Singapore now. Though Ram is still shy and reluctant to face Jaanu, he starts to talk freely after some initiative from Jaanu, and they talk about their old days. It is then that Jaanu realizes that Ram had been secretly following her life as an admirer for several years even after moving out of Thanjavur, and he was even present on her wedding day. He also shows her his treasure box of all the objects associated with his unfulfilled love affair.
'96 is the debut from writer-director C Prem Kumar, and the film begins in a brilliant way, showing the life of Ram as a solo traveling photographer in a 6+ minute long song showing visuals from several remote places of India, which has some good lines and haunting tunes, and develops a very promising tone and setting for the film. The later scenes of Ram's nostalgic visit to his school are also picturized well. However, the rest of the film doesn't live up to the promise created by the brilliant song. The childhood scenes of Ram and Jaanu were OK, though I felt that those could have been shown in a more emotionally appealing way. Trisha in the role of the older Jaanu was very inadequate, and the characterizations were also a bit inconsistent. Overall, '96 is still a good one time watch, though I felt it could have been much better.
Beyond the Clouds|
Watched Beyond the Clouds, Hindi film directed by Iranian director Majid Majidi. Like many other Majid Majidi films, this film also tells a touching, feel-good story that emphasizes on underlying Goodness in human beings, etc.
Beyond the Clouds is a well made film and it has some of the most sharp, colorful and beautiful visuals of Mumbai ever seen on screen, skillfully captured by cinematographer Anil Mehta. In fact, each frame of the film is so beautiful and looks like an artwork in itself. However, I was somehow not very satisfied with this film as a whole. I felt that the character development of the protagonist Amir was a bit inconsistent - especially in the scenes where he plans to "sell" the fugitive girl at his house. There was a bit of artificiality in many of those scenes involving Amir and Akshi's family. I did not feel Beyond the Clouds as emotionally appealing as Majidi's more famous works like Children of Heaven, Father or The Song of Sparrows.
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