Monday, September 21

Loudspeaker - A lovely feel good movie from Mammootty after a long long time..

Movie - Loudspeaker (Malayalam)
Director - Jayaraaj
Producer - Jayaraaj
Cast - Sasikumar, Mammootty, Gracy Singh, Janardhanan, Salimkumar, Jagathy Sreekumar, Kalpana, KPAC Lalitha, Bheeman Raghu, Suraaj Venjarammood, Cochin Haneefa, Anoop Menon.
Music - Bijibal
Cinematography - Gunasekhar
Editing - Vijai Sankar
Story - Jayaraaj, PY Jose
Screenplay, Dialogues - Jayaraaj
Release Date - 20th September 2009. 

This is Jayaraaj in a Sathyan Anthikkad mode. Mammootty is back to good acting after a series of terrible films. And this feel-good movie is released during a festive season. And best of all, was the joy of watching a Malayalam film with completely natural performances from the entire cast after Sathyan Anthikkad's Bhagyadevatha. This movie doesnt have the usual trappings of a superstar movie. No heroism, no song and dance routines, no loud costumes, and best of all, was that the comedy was very much situational rather than being vulgar and lame. So its a delight to watch Mammootty in full form, without all these burdens after a long time. And Jayaraaj does a good job in his first outing as a screenwriter. This movie also deserves special mention because it is the very first movie in Malayalam to use Sync-Sound or spot recording, where the dialogues are recorded on the location itself, instead of dubbing it later. (Thanks to the influence of Mr.Resul Pookutty)

The story is pretty simple. A village bumpkin comes into the city to help a man who is going through a terrible health condition. He starts living in the apartments where this old man stays. He is a very innocent, down to earth villager who means no harm, but is hated by everyone around. How this guy brings about a change in the attitude of everyone towards him and how he helps the old man get back to loving his life forms the rest of the story. The innocence and love of the man from the village wins the hearts of the city bred people who live their own isolated, miserable lives. I said Jayaraaj is in Sathyan Anthikkad mode this time because the entire movie is full of things which we can see only in Sathyan Anthikkad movies. Completely natural performances, a feel-good narrative and melodious, well-written songs. There is nothing new in the story, and you all know where the story is heading to, but still you are glued to the movie because of the sincerity and genuineness of the performance(s) and the simplicity of the storyline.

Though it is a predictable story, what makes this movie immensely watchable is Mammootty's completely natural portrayal of Mike Philipose, a man who speaks very loudly, hence getting the nickname, Loudspeaker/Mike. He is all heart, and does everything for the good. But people around him end up hating him for the same. He changes from being a nuisance to a great human being in the eyes of everyone as the movie progresses. It is perhaps the best performance from Mammootty in this decade after Kaazhcha and Ore Kadal. You immediately fall in love with his portrayal of the innocent and lovable villager. It is a complete delight to watch him in every scene. He gets to mouth some really hilarious dialogues as well. His story about the fight between his father and an elephant is extremely funny. Mike Philippose is one more addition to Mammootty's very few effective comedy based roles. Some of the others being Kottayam Kunjachan, Azhakiya Ravanan, Oru Maravathoor Kanavu, Thommanum Makkalum, Rajamanikyam and Mayavi.  He does comedy in his own style, and the best thing is that the comedy here is not cheap, like the comic tracks in his recent movies Pattanathil Bhootham and Maya Bazaar and all were.  It is a great relief for people who had begun to hate Mammootty for doing such senseless roles repeatedly. He shines in the emotional scenes too. Whether it is the one where he talks about his father's death, or the scenes towards the end, Mammootty gives an amazing performance throughout. 

Sasikumar, one of the pioneers of television media (former chairman of Asianet) in Kerala, faces the movie camera after a long time (for the second time in his career). He does a neat job of portraying Menon, a man who has lost interest in his life. Menon is suffering from a serious disease. He is not interested in continuing his miserable life and lives in memories of his wonderful childhood. He hates Mike during their initial interactions. But gradually, Mike becomes a part of his life, and a beautiful friendship forms between the two. Menon is taken for a nostalgic trip down memory lane by Mike in the second half. Those scenes are truly wonderful. And both the actors have performed very well. It is interesting to note that Sasikumar's name comes before Mammootty's in the end credits. ;) Sasikumar proves that he has got great talent and is a great casting option for many character roles from now on. 

During his stay at the apartments, Mike influnces the lives of so many people who live there. From children to a great grandfather, everyone hates him at first. But then, like Menon, they also fall for the innocence of Mike Philippose. There are a host of characters who stay in the apartments like the grandfather played by Janardhanan, and several other characters played by the likes of KPAC Lalitha, Bheeman Raghu, Kalpana, Jagathy Sreekumar and a lot of children as well. Most of them come up with competent performances. But Jagathy Sreekumar, our most brilliant comedian, was seriously annoying in this movie. His role is a mixture of his own roles from Minnaram, Mr.Butler and Kilukkam and also, the role of Bhrahmanandam in tamil film Mozhi. He even repeats one of his really famous lines from Kilukkam, "Ini elakaan onnumilla'', after getting injured. Truly disappointing performance from such a wonderful artiste. I dont know why the casting of Suraaj Venjarammoodu is an absolute necessity in all Malayalam movies (especially ones where Mammootty plays the lead) these days. As I mentioned in an earlier review, he is going from bad to worse. There was absolutely no requirement for his role in this movie. It is only when he comes, that an otherwise lovely movie goes down in standard. He is okay initially. But he starts his brand of toilet humour later on, which looks totally out of place in such a neat movie like this. (I seriously hope Mammootty hasnt cast Suraaj in the historical Pazhassiraja also :P) Either he should start doing decent comedy, or people shouldnt cast him in their movies. Gracy Singh, is imported from the north to play a very unimportant role in the narrative. She does well though, and her lip sync is near perfect. I heard the dubbing was also done on the spot, rather than doing it in the studio. Maybe that is why the lip sync has come out well.  Salimkumar, Cochin Haneefa and Pakru Ajayan are good in their small roles. 

Jayaraaj is successful in getting first rate performances from the lead cast, especially Mammootty and Sasikumar. Though his job as a screenplay writer needs to go a long way, he is good with dialogues. He has written some hilarious lines for Mammootty and other characters. The reference of the apartments as an 'erumaadam' was a clever one. Though his screenplay is weak, and has nothing new to offer, he has rectified that by extracting clever performances and writing witty dialogues. Jayaraaj has done very few comedies in his career (Thilakkam, Johnny Walker, Vidyarambham), in which he has focused mainly on serious art-house movies. The movie is a little slow paced, but compared to other Jayaraaj movies, this pace itself is too fast (:P). Jayaraaj manages to get a huge round of applause by making his character Mike, played by Mammootty, a fan of Mohanlal's Aadu Thoma from Spadikam (who isnt a fan of him in that movie?). There is a short action scene where Mammootty does stunts inspired by Mohanlal's Spadikam stunts. The shots which showed Mohanlal's photograph in Mammootty's suitcase got the maximum applause in the entire movie. A clever touch by Jayaraaj. His last movie Gulmohar found no takers though it was a brilliant film. So he has gone much more commercial this time, but without compromising his work with the usual trappings of a superstar movie. He has managed to deliver an extremely likable movie. But my only complaint is about the inclusion of stupid scenes by Suraaj.

I have already done a review of the lovely music of the movie by Bijibal. The movie has 4 beautiful songs written very well in chaste Malayalam by Anil Panachooran. Hearing good lyrics in pure Malayalam is itself so refreshing in these days of terrible songs with even more terrible lyrics. The best of the lot was the recreation of the timeless melody 'Alliyambal Kadavil' which was originally done by Job Master, P Bhaskaran and KJ Yesudas. The new version has vocals by the most rightful person to sing the song now, Vijay Yesudas. He has done a tremendous job. The song has been visualized beautifully too. In fact, this song is one of the most beautiful parts of the movie. Mammootty himself has given vocals to 2 songs with the children. He sings as the character Mike would sing, in an extremely odd voice, which adds value to those songs. The final song, 'Kaattaarinu Thorathoru' by Jayachandran is a beautiful song, but is not picturised well. Though the placement of the song was dot on, the visuals used didnt do full justice to that wonderful song. 

The cinematography varied from bad to okay to brilliant. Certain frames were extremely beautiful, like the crane shot where Mammootty and Sasikumar cross the river on a vanchi. On the contrary, many shots were totally bad as well. Editing had its share of flaws too. The movie could have moved at a tighter pace. It lags at many instances. And towards the end, I noticed so many jarring shots put together. I was shocked to see such careless work. I dont know if it is a mistake from the editor or an error from digital projection. Many shots are slowed down to give some kind of an effect, but they totally do not work. It clearly shows that the slow motion was done during post production. I noticed a lot of zebra lines (a camera error) in several shots too (again, I dont know if it is an error in projection). 

The unique factor of this movie is that the sound recording was done on the spot. But most of the dialogues by people other than Mammootty and Anoop Menon, werent clearly audible. All the mistakes of doing sync-sound for the first time were there. I guess the sound which was recorded on the spot was mixed directly without treating. A little amplification of those voices would have made a lot of difference. Mammootty speaks very loudly and has great voice-throw so his voice is heard distinctly. Another person who has good voice-throw is Anoop Menon, though he has a very short role. Certain scenes give you a feeling that you are watching the actual shooting because of the voice errors. I support sync-sound but it should be done effectively, like in Hindi films (Dil Chahta Hai, Lagaan, Black,etc.) and few Tamil films (Aayitha Ezhuthu). Such an error shouldnt have occurred. It was nice to see just one name in the list of dubbing artistes in the credits at the end of the movie (for Gracy Singh). Dubbing cannot even give half the impact that the actual shoot gives for the spoken lines. So my view is that live sound recording should be done for each and every movie (which will get rid of a sick practice called prompting for scenes also). I hope they rectify the errors in this movie and do better work from next time onwards. This is seriously an inspiration for other filmmakers in Malayalam to experiment with sound recording. 

On the whole, this movie made me feel very good. Though it is predictable, the performances, music and sincerity of the whole movie made it work very well for me. A wonderful performance from Mammootty, a new talented character actor in the form of Sasikumar, witty dialogues by Jayaraaj, great music by Bijibal and Anil Panachooran, and the recreation of an evergreen melody made this movie a memorable one for me. All said and done, I'm doubtful about the movie's success in the box office. This movie may not be appreciated by the so-called fans of Mammootty. (who support all his nonsense movies and stay away when he does good movies like Karutha Pakshikal, Ore Kadal, Kaiyoppu, etc.) But this is certainly not a movie made for the brainless fans. It is a movie which you can watch with your family on a nice evening, and feel good about, while going back home. I hope the movie gets a good response from the family audience, who are subjected to atrocities like Oru Black & White Kudumbam  and all these days. Thanks to Jayaraaj for bringing our Mammookka back into doing good movies. :)

Rating - 4/5
(Being very generous so that Mammookka does more such movies instead of the kind of movies he has been doing till now)


  1. Nice review.But seems like a Mohanlal fan's review..

  2. I'm a fan of good cinema first.. Second Mohanlal and then only Mammootty. Maybe thats y u felt so.

  3. @above
    Waahh..Kya Bolaa Vivekji...Jiyoo Mera Sherr!!!

  4. a small correction is required........
    this is not the first film of sasikumar. He was a hero in sme 70's film.....he told that in an interview.....forgt the the name of the movie

  5. @ anish, wasnt aware of that.. sorry.. in most interviews he had been sayin it is his first time..

  6. sasikumar has also directed an off -beat hindi film....i forgt ts name! but this one s its first commercial venture...

  7. this review sounds like a pain of a mohanlal fan who has to accept a good mammootty film by no other way.....anyways, except some irritatable comments other seems just ok even if it biased....Do remember mammotty is always best

  8. the answer to u is there in my first comment here.. and yea dude, watever!! u dont even hav the guts to post ur name here.. i dont hav any pain in accepting good films.. whether it be of mohanlal or mammootty..

  9. Don't answer to such craps viveks....ther will be always some frogs like this...

  10. and good review btw.....

    ya ts kaaya tharan... i hav seen it.....

  11. It’s really pity to read the guys comment who tells that mammootty only his third favorite. Better this guy can keep away from posting this kind of comments. We can accept if the comment is neutral. But in some areas we will feel that this comment is not neutral, but trying to boost another hero. Mammooty is in ease in various roles. The previous flicks are very much intended to entertain kids, that what they had advertised in many medias…this dude would have missed it and would have watched those movies with the same mind set when he watches a class movie……anyways, some of his comments deserves an applause, good luck dear friend.. Loud speaker will be an hug hit, no doubt..not only in box office but in the minds of good film goes…

  12. All over kerala, the movie carries very good reviews....Ikkaaa Rokzzzzzz as usual.

  13. @ peter b, i hav no intentions of boosting another hero whatsoever.. i loved mammootty in this role and is really happy that he is back to doing good roles.. and since u mentioned the earlier film, i shud say, it wasnt a film which even a kid would enjoy.. and a kid's film is not supposed to have vulgar comedy, double meaning dialogues and all, which were all there in plenty in that movie.. i havnt seen any kid who has been entertained by that particular movie.. and i'm not a fool to go in for that movie expecting it to be a class movie.. if it had come up to the level of at least a sakshal sreeman chatthunni, i would have loved it.. this is a forum to express my viewpoint.. and nobody forces u to read this.. if u like it, read it.. otherwise, y waste ur time and my time?? and i seriously hope loudspeaker turns out to be a huge hit..

  14. Just loved ur review Bro.... I like your way of writing.... im a little jealous too... hehe... all d very best bro..!!

  15. i hope u hav joined this blog... pls do if u havnt..

  16. Good review Vivek, actually the best I've seen from a Lalettan fan. With regards to Mammootty's recent films which were pure masala, please note that he's an actor who does all kinda roles. Some you like and some you may not. Ee pattanathil Bhootham was done for children like Thuruppu Gulan. And I'm sure that children have liked it. And there were craps like Love In Singapore. But you can't predict a script duo like Rafi-Mecartin can come up with such crap scripts. With regards to fans, I think Mammootty has got better fans who understand cinema, that's why his non-commercial films also attract good audiences like in the case of Ore Kadal, Kaiyoppu etc. And Mohan Lal never had this luxury (refer Paradesi, Aakaasha Gopuram). So please be true to the fact while writing comments.

  17. if bhootham was a film for children, y did it hav so many double-meaning dialogues? i've not seen a single child who liked that film.. i dunno y ppl r supporting that terrible film saying its a children's film.. children today would rather watch transformers or gi joe or the cartoons on tv rather than mammootty with horns and ponytail..
    if the fans of mammootty had appreciated films like kaiyyoppu, y did it go off from theatres in lesst 2-3 weeks.. i had come from chennai to cochin to see that movie, and it was gone.. i was lucky to have caught ore kadal on the last day of its 3/4 week run in cochin.. u can go see it in front of the theatres itself, loudspeakers has a far lesser audience than his crap films used to get.. but its slowly picking up thanks to the good content.. and one more thing was that ppl were scared to go watch a mammootty movie after the continuous craps..
    and for me, paradeshi and aakashagopuram were not quite good movies, even though they are supposed to be critically acclaimed.. those movies didnt hav it in them to attract an audience.. but ore kadal and kaiyyoppu were far more superior films.. but still they didnt do well.. who is to blame then?

  18. Vivek, I had watched Ee Pattanathil Bhootham for my nephews and nieces and they enjoyed it. If you've not seen a child who liked that movie, it may be your fault. And Kaiyoppu ran for more than 35 days in Kochi (and theatre was almost full, but yeah, it's a small theatre). I watched that movie in 5th or 6th week from Sangeetha whereas I couldn't watch Paradesi as it didn't run for more than 2 weeks. I haven't watched Aakaasha Gopuram and what you said is correct, Paradesi wasn't a class film. When I watched it after some time, I didn't like much, but appreciated Mohan lal trying to do a variety role. But then it was an eagerly waiting movie, because Mohan lal was acting in a non-masala movie after a long time. I thought it would get good crowd in the initial days, but the result was shocking. No crowd absolutely! If I'm correct, Ore Kadal and Kaiyoppu were hits (producer made profits, not just from theotorical run, but incl. satellite rights and all)

  19. Vivek, you came to Kochi from Chennai to watch kaiyoppu, but it was gone after 2-3 weeks? Man, why are you lying? I can prove that you're lying. I myself watched it in 5th or 6th week from Sangeetha.

  20. ore kadal may hav made profits maybe from film festivals.. but not by theatrical run.. and i dunno whether it was exactly 2-3 weeks when kaiyoppu had gone, but i came pretty soon after the movie got released in ekm, and it was gone when i had come.. it was playing in kalabhavan in tvm later though.. i havnt seen kaiyyoppu from theatre, so i dont know about its run.. but wat bout karutha pakshikal? or even palunku? all these were good films that deserved a better run.. and they didnt fall into the art film category.. they were good movies which anyone could watch.. yet, ppl turned thuruppugulan and all into hits, so mammootty continued doing stuff like that.. paradeshi and aakashagopuram were complete art films and were not successful in being good art films also.. pakal nakshatrangal is one mohanlal film which deserved a better run..
    my point was that the excitement and support ppl gave to films like bhootham and maya bazaar was missing in the case of such a nice movie like loudspeaker.. thankfully, mammootty has some interesting projects lined up in the coming months with kerala cafe, pazhassiraja and palery manikyam.. and aftert that, he would be back to nonsense roles like chattambi nadu, pokkiri raja and all that..

  21. Theatrical performance of Ore Kadal and Kaiyoppu were average. Neither bad not they could have gotten more. With regards to KP, it was more of an off-beat film, with more silence in that film, so I wasn't surprised when I saw that movie didn't run for more than 3 weeks. Palunku also didn't get the result it desired. It could have gone and become a bigger hit but it also became as an average grosser like Bhramaram. I would have been very pleased if those movies grossed a lot more but with the mindset of the people of Kerala, it'd not gonna happen. It's not just the problem with fans. And I agree with you, fans don't show that eagerness, which they give for masala films, to films like Karutha Pakshikal. And yeah, Mammootty has got some interesting films coming up in Pazhassi Raja, Kerala Cafe, Kutti Sranku and Paleri manikyam and some masala films like Chattampi nadu. Pokkiri Raja confirmed aano? Who's the director? As I said before, mammootty is an actor who likes to do all kinda rules, may be he's doing those masala films to exist or to do variety. But then you have to experience the taste of karntaka meals to know how good is Kerala meals :-)

  22. average grosser like bhramaram? wat r u saying man? palunku's business was nowhere near bhramaram.. bhramaram completed 65 days in many places and 100 days in some theatres as well..
    i hav no objection on mammootty doing masala or comedy films.. i'm all in for masala films.. i loved his mayavi and thommanum makkalum and all, and i even liked annan thampi.. but the prob comes when there is no script and he is reduced to doing buffoonery.. which he cannot do.. thats what happened in maya bazaar, love in singapore and bhootham.. bt pokkiri, chattambi ennokke peru kekkumbozhe ariyaam, entho peshakondennu.. instead of doing the same kind of comedy in this pollachi set-up, he can do intelligent comedy like loudspeaker, which can bring out his true potential..
    mohanlal and mammootty have the power to change the kind of cinema that is coming in our industry and they r not doing it and r trying to play safe.. but after a while, ppl will get tired of these same formulas and start rejecting their movies..

  23. Vivek,

    From what I've noticed Bhramaram had the same issues of Palunku, film carried good reports, but there are not much viewers. How many theatres the movie completed 50 days as REGULAR SHOWS? We can't take into consideration if it run just for the sake of running, which most Ashirvad films' do. I can't come up with the proof of posters of these two films because I'm not someone who collect posters. However, I'd only be happier if Bhramaram had collected more than what I though. Good for malayalam cinema. With regards to our extremely blessed actors acting in cheap films, we can't blame them. Chattapmi nadu is a film by Shafi who has directed Mayavi. If they're acting in such films, it's due to the demand of viewers. Why Mayavi has collected lot more than what Loud Speaker collected after 20 days? It's not just the fans, but also the family audiences who likes to goto the theatre to laugh. The meaning of cinema entertainment has changed in the past decade. People would prefer Shivajis or Pokiris instead of Loud speakers or Bhramarams if both release on the same day. That's how the situation now is.

  24. well, bhramaram did extremely well in the cities even after 50 days.. i saw myself when i went to sreevishakh to see kaminey, which happened in august, that quite a good number of ppl were present for a first show of bhramaram, during a weekday.. even in ekm, it had a good run..

    i know that ppl would prefer mayavi and hallo over bhramaram or loudspeaker. wat i am saying is that these 2 actors have the power to decide wat kind of cinema comes in our state.. ppl r watching more of masala movies coz thats wat is coming out nowadays.. give them more bhramarams and loudspeakers, then they will definitely watch them.. like mohanlal said in udayanaanu thaaram, the filmmakers are cheating the audience and underestimating them.. if our audience is able to appreciate innovative efforts taken in tamil cinema, y cant they do so for malayalam films? if kerala cafe succeeds, it would bring a big change..

  25. Nope, I don't agree. If films like LoudSpeaker and Bhramaram become huge hits, more such films will come our way. When films like Mayavi and Hello get high collections, producers will try to produce similar films. It's actually the directors and producers decide what kind of films to be made, not the actors. Actors can only reject films, but I think they'll be forced to select a few any way. The situation now is they're not offered quality films nowadays, especially Mohan Lal. It can also be said that the actors are not looking for such scripts. They're just accepting what come their way, rather than trying to fetch good scripts.

  26. exactly, if they keep deny majority of such films and do maybe one or 2 of that kind with extremely entertaining scripts, the producers and directors would hav no other option other than goin in for fresh and different storylines.. our industry revolves around these 2 ppl, so they hav all the power to decide wat kind of cinema can come out of the industry..