Wednesday, September 21

Tejabhai & Family - The best comedy film ever!! :P

Movie - Tejabhai & Family (Malayalam)
Director - Dipu Karunakaran
Producers - PK Muralidharan, Santha Murali
Cast - Suraaj Venjarammoodu, Prithviraj, Akhila, Thalaivasal Vijay, Suman, Jagathy Sreekumar, Jagadish, Ashokan, Indrans, Siddharth, Bindu Panicker, Salimkumar
Music - Deepak Dev
Cinematography - Shamdat
Release Date - 31st August 2011

This script made its lead actor Prithviraj cry out of laughing too much. He reportedly said that it is one of the best comedy scripts he has ever come across. And yes, Tejabhai is perhaps the best comedy film made in Malayalam. Every filmmaker who has tried his hand in comedy in Malayalam including Priyadarshan, Sreenivasan, Sathyan Anthikkad, Siddique, Lal, Rafi, Mecartin and so many others should take a lesson or two from Dipu Karunakaran on how to make a brilliant comedy film. 
Superstar Prithviraj needs to be appreciated for so many things in this movie. First of all, as the brand ambassador of Malayalam Cinema, this is the kind of movie through which he wants to put Malayalam Cinema on the world cinema map. And secondly, for playing second fiddle to a brilliant comedy actor like Suraaj Venjarammoodu, despite the fact that he is the reigning superstar in the industry. His styling, body language and dialogue delivery as the don Tejabhai are exceptional as usual. But he really comes into his own when he does comedy and gives those fantastic facial expressions in comedy scenes. It is a delight to watch him in those scenes. All this Mohanlal and all should learn from him on how to do such scenes. Its really sad that you dont get to see him doing more of such scenes in the film after Suraaj Venjarammoodu takes over the hero's role. And yes, he gets to do livewire action sequences and deliver punchlines in the language which only he is an expert at, in South India - English, which goes something like - "Never, ever see you again!!". Some people may wish that he had said that to the audience. But no, we need more such films from him so that Malayalam Cinema grows further!! With Tejabhai, Prithviraj completes his blockbuster trilogy of films that brought him superstardom - Thanthonni, Thriller & now Tejabhai. (Interesting that all these films start with T, numerology??)

Coming to the film's hero - Suraaj Venjarammoodu. His jokes like getting scared of his own image in the mirror, commenting that he's going to get beaten up or killed everytime somebody comes opposite him and of course all the wonderful below the belt humour are really the strong points of the film. Actors like Jagathy Sreekumar and National Award winner Salimkumar are nothing in front of his comic prowess. He also should continue doing more such films and enrich the sense of humour of Malayalis who used to appreciate below average movies like Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu, Panchavadippalam, Sandesham, Chitram, Nadodikkattu, Kilukkam, etc. It is sad that Suraaj does not have a heroine in such films. He also should do dance numbers, fight scenes, etc. Maybe he also would become the next superstar. 

Heroine Akhila's second film after the wonderful Karyasthan is almost equally good or better than her first film. She is very pretty and like the last time also, she has to settle for the second hero, when the actual hero of the film is Suraaj. Poor thing. When will she get to go with the real hero of a film. But yea, she gets to dance in 3 songs. Yaay!!  And of course, there is an absolutely fantastic remix of 'Oru Madhurakkinavin', a song which was performed by a small boy Rahman who didnt know what he was doing back in the 80s. He really wasnt a hearthrob back then, especially when compared to Prithviraj in an afro hairstyle. Now, thats the stuff heartthrobs are made of!! 

The supporting actors really dont matter in this movie when Suraaj & Prithviraj are leading the show. There are 2 bad scenes in this movie - when Suraaj tells a dialog from Chitram in Mohanlal's voice with the theme music of the movie playing in the background and a scene where Akhila watches Thenmavin Kombathu running backward on Asianet. These scenes dont work because they remind you of certain old bad movies which arent even close to the brilliance of Tejabhai. 

All in all, there is no stopping Prithviraj now!! Mammootty & Mohanlal and all are no competition for him anymore. If he continues like this, he might even challenge the position of Superstar Rajnikanth soon. So go and watch this movie and make it a megahit to get more such awesome movies from the young superstar. 

PS - ഇത്രയുമൊക്കെ എഴുതിയ എനിക്ക് വട്ടാണെന്ന് നിങ്ങള്‍ കരുതുന്നുണ്ടാവും. സ്വാഭാവികം!! ഈ ചലച്ചിത്രം കണ്ടു കഴിഞ്ഞു വട്ടായില്ലെങ്കിലേ അത്ഭുതം ഉള്ളൂ!!

PPS - ഒരു കാര്യം കൂടി പറഞ്ഞോട്ടെ, ഇതിലെ നായകന്‍റെ introduction കണ്ടപ്പൊ പറയാന്‍ തോന്നിയതാ - കിലുക്കത്തില്‍ Innocent പറയുന്നത് പോലെ - കോട്ടും സൂട്ടും ഇട്ട്, ഒരു പൂച്ചയെയും കയ്യില്‍ പിടിച്ച്, ഒരു കൂളിംഗ്‌ ഗ്ലാസും വച്ച്, നാല് തടിയന്മാരെ പൊറകില്‍ നടത്തി, ഇങ്ങനെ ഞെളിഞ്ഞു നടന്നാലേ, സൂപ്പര്‍സ്റ്റാര്‍ ആവില്ല!!  (not to hurt the sentiments of the fans of the superstar, but couldnt help it!!)

Friday, September 9

Seven(e)s should have been named Quotation instead.

Movie - Sevenes (Malayalam)
Director - Joshiy
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues - Dr. Iqbal Kuttipuram
Producers - Santhosh Pavithram & Sajai Sebastian
Cast - Kunchacko Boban, Asif Ali, Vineeth Kumar, Nivin Pauly, Aju Varghese, Vijeesh, Rajith Menon, Ameer Niyaz, Nadiya Moythu, Maniyan Pillai Raju, Mahadevan, Bhama, Rima Kallingal
Cinematography - Ajayan Vincent
Music - Bijibal
Editor - Ranjan Abraham
Release Date - 8th September 2011

Well, to begin with, I had a lot of expectations from this movie. First of all, any Joshiy movie would certainly have some amount of expectations. There is a certain guarantee of engagement that his films offer, however average or bad they might be. And when a good writer like Dr. Iqbal Kuttipuram (Gramaphone, Arabikkatha, etc) decided to join hands with him, the expectations increased further. And when a completely young cast including Kunchacko Boban, Asif Ali, Nivin Pauly & Vineeth Kumar was announced, the excitement increased manifold. And from the name and the stills, me like every other person waiting for this movie thought that this movie would be about football and would end in a racy football final match. But cheating all of us, the makers chose to tell the story of youngsters falling into the trap of quotation teams and crime, instead of football. 

Sevens (Kunchacko Boban, Asif Ali, Nivin Pauly, Rajith Menon, Vijeesh, Aju Varghese & Ameer Niyaz) are best friends and football players and due to unwarranted foul they commit during a match to Aravindan (Vineeth Kumar), they are obliged to get money for his surgery. In desperation to make easy money, they decide to do take up quotations, on the advice of Habib (Maniyan Pillai Raju). They make many enemies in the process and due to more pressure, they decide to do one final job and then call it quits. But that very job lands them up as the accused in a murder case. From then on, it is the struggle of these friends to get out of the mess they are in, with the help of Commissioner Amala (Nadiya Moythu). 

The movie began well, and then proceeded to become a mish-mash of the cliches from almost all the Joshi films from the past, Christian Brothers being the latest. The only difference was that this movie had younger heroes instead of big stars. Football is forgotten after the first twenty minutes and then the movie becomes a preaching vehicle against youngsters falling into the world of crime, due to desperation for money. The preaching is so much that the writer has brought in the character of Nadiya Moythu, just for that purpose. Another sad part in the movie is that none of the heroes take any decision or action on their own. They do things suggested by other people, from the beginning of the film till the climax. So there is no heroism whatsoever in our heroes and we all know its not wrong to expect some amount of heroism in a Joshi film. The final nail in the coffin is when the heroes take the 2 different sets of villains to the usual godown/factory and instead of them doing anything, lets the villains kill each other, so that our heroes can walk away scot free in slow motion. The extremely poor script is held together only by Joshi's vast experience of handling such movies for years and good performances from the actors. 

Kunchacko Boban is earnest. His lover boy image as well as a tough side is showcased. Asif Ali received the loudest applause during his introduction which indicates that he has a strong fan base growing now. He was good too, but he can improve his expressions in emotional scenes. Nivin Pauly who registered a strong presence in Malarvadi Arts Club, is not given much to do here and still he makes his presence felt. Vineeth Kumar is good. The others in the team hardly get any dialogue. Out of it Aju Varghese has minor funny bits and Ameer Niyaz gets to flex his muscles. Nadiya Moythu got a terribly cliched role and she couldnt do anything to make it any less cliched. One must say she looks quite hot as a police officer. But yea, thats about it. Bhama & Rima Kallingal appear in blink & miss roles where they have to look pretty and cry, and they do that well. Maniyan Pillai Raju is okay. Mahadevan, with Riza Bawa's dubbed voice (last heard for Anupam Kher in Pranayam) is the same as all his other movies. 

Bijibal's background music is really loud and does not provide the right punches in the few scenes that could've actually created an impact. The couple of songs in the movie sound nice while they play, but they do not stay with you after the movie. Ajayan Vincent's camerawork cannot be counted among his good works. The football match was shot in a very amateurish way and so were the fights with football moves. 

Overall, Sevens is a film which is watchable only because of decent performances from the actors and some okay moments created out of a poor script by the experience of director Joshi. But yea, Sevens is definitely one of Joshi's weakest films. The young guys deserved a better film!! 

Bottomline - Watch if you have nothing else to do.