Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Lucky The Racer [Race Gurram] - Malayalam Movie Review - Allu Arjun, Shruti Haasan


 Directed by     Surender Reddy
Produced by     Nallamalapu Srinivas (Bujji)
Dr. Venkateswara Rao
Written by     Vakkantham Vamsi
Music by     S. Thaman
Cinematography     Manoj Paramahamsa
Editing by     Goutham Raju
Studio     Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Productions
Distributor E4 Entertainment
Release dates  April 25, 2014


    Allu Arjun as Lakshman (Lucky)
    Shruti Hassan as Spandana
    Shaam as Ram
    Tanikella Bharani
    Saloni as Swetha
    Ravi Kishan as Maddhali Siva Reddy
    Prakash Raj as Bheem Prakash
    Pragathi as Spandana's mother
    Pavitra Lokesh as Ram & Lakshman's mother
    Bramhanandam as Kill Bill Pandey
    Ali as Dr. Bali
    M. S. Narayana
    Raghu Babu
    Jaya Prakash Reddy
    Kota Srinivasa Rao
    Mukesh Rishi as Peddi Reddy
    Srinivasa Reddy
    Posani Krishna Murali as Govardhan
    Sayaji Shinde
    Debi Dutta in Item song

Lakshman aka Lucky and Raam are brothers who are at each others throat from their School time. Lucky grows up to be a our normal Telugu movie hero, No job [His ambition is to go to US and work there], boy next door, partying, dancing, bashing up goons etc while Ram grows upto be your typical 2nd hero/ Hero's brother Good, well educated, sophisticated, plus he is a Police Officer too. & as usual the paths of Hero and villains cross, Hero fell head over heels for our heroine at the very first sight and the rest of the story is how Hero ends up with heroine, bash up villains, patch up with brother and fly to America.

 'LTR' is your typical Telugu non-brainer mass masala entertainer, with a story (if there is one) that is ages old. But still the film works to a larger extent thanks to the packaging and tons of Humor embedded into the script. Plus most of the cast also did impressive job, to keep us entertained through most of its run time.

The film may not have 'logic' in most of the scenes, action sequences may be over the top, will break into songs unnecessarily every often, so it may not be your cup of tea if you are not accustomed Telugu brand mass movies. The scripting is what covers many of is flaws and it movies at rapid pace. In the 2nd half  the pace lags a bit, but with the into Kill Bill Pandey the movie reaches the crescendo. For the 20 mins or so following that, you may not really get sense of whats happening, but its damn sure that you will be clapping, whistling, screaming and even rolling on the floor laughing. One of the outrageously entertaining sequences in the recent memory. In that small run time Brahmanandam walks away with the trophy. 

Its a typical Allu Arjun mass vehicle where he has done everything to cater his fan base, especially kids and teenagers [in Kerala]. Those who expects jaw dropping dance moves might be slightly disappointed. He was good in Action, comedy sequences too, as always. Jis Joy, the voice of Mallu Arjun did a neat job, but the 'Eeshwara' couldn't make the same impact as 'Devudaa'. The only thing striking about Shruti Hassan was her lips [Jobbed or Pumped like Anushka Sharma said?]. She has nothing much to do than the regular heroine of mass movies. Brahmanandam as I said before was a scream, brought down the entire house with his Kill Bill Pandey act. Ravi Kishan was able to bring some difference to the villain act. Shaam got a good role after a long time and he was convincing. Posani Krishna Murali rocked in the short role. Think Prakash Raj should stop doing such an unimportant roles (May be to fund his 'Duet Movies').

Direction was good, packaged the whole film without giving people much time to think. Scripting was efficient for a mass film. Dialogues were okay. Music was good, even though the Malayalam lyrics were laughable as always. Background score was superb, especially the Lucky theme and Kill Bill Pandey theme. Cinematography was okay, editing was perfect.

In all if you are a fan of Allu Arjun movies or like Telugu mass movies, you won't be disappointed with 'Lucky The Racer' aka Race Gurram.

Rating: 2.75/5

Verdict: Above Average

Box Office: Telugu version is already a Blockbuster and Allu's biggest hit ever. LTR has taken a superb opening across Kerala too, looks like will end up Allu's biggest hit in Kerala too.

Monday, 28 April 2014

'Samsaaram Aarogyathinu Haanikaram' is an interesting watch - Malayalam Movie Review

 'Samsaaram Aarogyathinu Haanikaram' - Malayalam Movie Review

 Directed by     Balaji Mohan
Produced by     S. Sashikanth
Varun Manian
Screenplay by     Balaji Mohan
Story by     Balaji Mohan
Starring     Dulquer Salman
Nazriya Nazim
Music by     Sean Roldan
Cinematography     Soundararajan
Editing by     Abhinav Sunder Nayak
Studio     Y NOT Studios
Radiance Media
Country     India
Language     Malayalam


    Dulquer Salman as Arvind
    Nazriya Nazim as Anjana
    Madhoo as Sreedevi
    Maniyanpilla Raju as Prabhakaran Thanchappuzha
    Arjunan as Sathish
    John Vijay as Boomesh
    Ramesh Thilak as Ramesh
    Vinu Chakravarthy as Thambidurai
    Chemban Vinod
    Dinesh Nair

 'Thenmala' is a hill range village situated in Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. Aravind- a sales rep, who likes to talk a lot, Anjana- a Junior Doctor, who prefers silence, Nulear Star Bhoomesh, his fans who are gathered in the village showing support against the protest organized by Drinkers Association, Prabhakaran- Health Minister, Madhoo- Writer cum house wife & Anjana's step mom, Thambidurai- a rich landlord are the major characters in SAH. Each of them have different kinds, ways and reasons for talking, One day a new kind of disease called 'Dumb Flue' spreads through out the Village which prevents people from talking. What changes happens to these characters when everything gets settled forms the rest of the story.

The story may not be unique but the film do offer a good enough message. So special credits to Balaji Mohan for the daring attempt. Watched the film after reading many reviews about both SAH and Vaayai Moodi Pesavum, its Tamil version, which were extremely contrasting. So went to watch the film with a clean mind and was some what satisfied with the output. 

'Talking' can solve almost all problems, people sitting up with their egos bottled up and refusing to talk are the root cause for most issues is what the film is trying to tell us. The director uses candy floss romance, satire etc to deliver the message, which is where the film falters a bit. Sticking entirely to a satire format would have worked more I think. 

The film has a Tamil flavor too, too much detailing, hero with heart of Gold and delivering good old quotes and messages every now and then, separate comedy track etc could have been avoided. The news reading also gets irritating after a point, if it was meant to be funny , failed miserably. The ticker news too failed to raise laughs, apart from 1/2. 

Even though failed with Male lead, the way female lead character has been portrayed is pretty impressive. Kudos to Nazriya too. With out much dialogues, was able to draw out the character perfectly, esp Nazriya's intro scene and the scene after 'Talking' becomes prohibited. 

Its the 2nd half that people have harsh opinion about, where there are no conversation for major porion of the time. But I thought that too was beautifully handled. Reading all the reviews also kinda help me prepare for the 30-40 mins of 'no dialogues' and just actions [Subtitling could have helped those scenes I guess] 
Nazriya's initial conversation with Dulquer after this, Fans and Drunkard meeting [on 2 Occasions] etc were 2 of the noticeable scenes in that portion.

For Dulquer, it was a cake walk of a role. Nazriya for a change gets a completely contrasting character and she has done a great job, repeating her 'OSO' feat. Madhubala's much hyped comeback turned out to disappointing one and she was struggling with Malayalam too. Chemban Vinod rocked as the head of Drunkards while RJ Shaan disappointed in his big screen debut (?). Should have used somebody else for 'Satish's' role as like the character think he messed up. Maniyanpilla Raju, Vinu C etc were Okay.

Balaji Mohan did a great job of directing the movie, but his writing faltered.May be few lines got lost in translation too. There are many cliches which could have been avoided. Cinematography was good. Background score which was loud and at times disrupting dialogues in 1st half proved to be a blessing in 2nd half. BG had a great helping hand in making the 2nd half interesting (at least for me). Editing could have been better as the film lacks pace.

I liked the movie, reviews are out, so make up your own mind, but personally don't think it deserves the harsh criticism it has been receiving especially when the Tamil version have released with glowing reviews. It will be a nice watch if do like experiments.

Rating: 2.75/5

Verdict: Above Average

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Kerala Release Paper AD with Theater List

 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Kerala Release Paper AD with Theater List

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Kerala Vishu/April Box Office - Exclusive Report

Kerala Vishu/April Box Office - Exclusive Report

7 Days has passed in Mollywood's biggest season, Summer Vacations and its time to have a look into how the movies have been performing at the Box Office.

1. 7th Day

We have a surprise entry at No.1. The film opened to a superb response, especially in main cities, beyond all expectations. 7th Day leads the Vishu releases (as of now) despite the film not belonging to mass entertainer genre, which audience used to prefer on Holidays. The last 2 thrillers Prithvi did worked on long run and WOM and didn't have an opening to boas off. 7th Day took the best opening for a Prithvi starrer.

Gross: 5.15 crores in 8 days
Superb Opening, Marching towards Super Hit

2. Ring Master

Dileep's Mass sumer vacation entertainer aimed at Ladies and Kids didn't take a grand opening, but the status has remained even through out without major drop either.

Gross: 4.58 crores in 8 days
Good Opening, Marching towards a Hit

3. Gangster

After a terrific opening the film fell badly like a pack of cards at Box Office. The film was removed from most of its stations within 6/7 days.

Gross: 3.95 crores in 9 days
Great first day, fell after wards - Disaster

4. Pauly Technique

The film took an average opening, and with average WOM future doesn't look much good for Pauly and his Techniques.

Gross: 2.65 crores in 8 days
Above Average

5. Ohm Shanthi Oshaana & Drishyam 

Still Continuing their blistering run in selected main centers and in many B & C class centers.

Mega Hit & All Time Blockbuster

6. Maan Karate

The film got an almost free week as Summer releases were pushed to 1th due to elections. The film was bought for a meagre prize and collected many times that amount. Film performed beyond expectations and many theaters chose the film to continue for a 2nd and 3rd week.

Gross: about 85 lakhs in 15 days


1 By Two *ing Fahadh Faasil was released this pat Friday (April 19th) to an average opening and below average WOM. So looks like that won't make any difference to the tally. Last Friday of April will 3 releases
Dulquer-Nazriya's Samsaram Arogyahtinu Hanikaram, Indrajith's Masala republic and Allu Arjun's Lucky The Racer [Race Gurram]

PS: The figures are approximate values and may not necessarily be actuals

Kerala Box Office First Quarter 2014 - Exclusive Report

Kerala Box Office First Quarter 2014 - Exclusive Report

Like 2013 it has been a slow start for Malayalam Film Industry in 2014. 2 of the biggest earners of the 1st quarter of this year are 2013 Hold Overs [meaning released in 2013, no the other HO]. So lets look at the top 5 performances at Kerala Box Office in the first 4 months of 2014.

1. Drishyam

Undoubtedly the film that grossed most in 2014 from Kerala Box Office is Drishyam. Releasing on Dec 19th, the majority of the film's total gross came this year. In Outside Kerala, Overseas markets too the film had extraordinary run in 2014.

Kerala Gross: 41 crores (Approx) Worldwide: 60 crores (approx)

All Time Mega Blockbuster

2. Ohm Shanthi Oshaana

The biggest hit amongst 2014 releases so far.

Kerala Gross: 10 crores (approx) Rest of India 1 core+

Mega Hit

3. 1983

Cricket based movie did exceedingly well and made Nivin Pauly part of 2 successful films in 2014.


Kerala Gross: 7.25 crores

4. Oru Indian Pranayakatha

Released on December 20, 2013 the film worked due to Fahad Faasil's impressive performance, his chemistry with Amala Paul & Sathyan Anthikkadu brand

Super Hit

Kerala Gross: 9 crores (approx)

5. Jilla

The Presence of Mohanlal even though helped the film to take the biggest opening ever for any movie in the state, the very same became the factor that pulled down the movie in the following days, as most of the Audience felt that Mohanlal was made to play a second fiddle to Vijay, only to boost up his character.


Distributors Share: 3.60 crore (approx)

Saturday, 19 April 2014

44th Kerala State Film Awards 2013-14 - Complete Winners List

44th Kerala State Film Awards 2013-14 - Complete Winners List

    J.C. Daniel Award (for outstanding contributions to Malayalam cinema):
    Best Film: CR No 89
    Second Best Film: North 24 Kaatham
    Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value: Drishyam
    Best Children's Film:Philips & the monkeypen

    Best Director:Shyamaprasad (Artist)
    Best Debut Director: KR Manoj

    Best Actor: Fahadh Faasil (Artist, North 24 Kaatham) & Lal (Ayaal, Zakhariyayude Garbhinigal)
    Best Actress: Ann Augustine (Artist)
    Second Best Actor: Ashok Kumar (Cr No. 89)
    Second Best Actress: Lena (Left Right Left, Ayaal)
    Best Child Artist:  Sanoop Santosh (Philips & the monkeypen) Baby Anigha (Sethulakshmi in 5 sundarikal)
Best Comedy Actor : Suraj (Daivathinte Swantham Cleetus, Pullipuliyum Aatinkuttiyum)

    Best Story: Aneesh Anwar (Zakariyayude Garbinikal)
    Best Screenplay: Bobby-Sanjay (Mumbai Police)

    Best Lyrics:  Prabha Varma, Madhu Vasudev
    Best Music : Ouseppachan (Nadan - Ottaku padunna)
    Best Background Music Director: Bijibal (Balyakalasakhi)
    Best Male Playback Singer: Karthik (Orissa)
    Best Female Playback Singer: Vaikkom Vijayalakshmi (Nadan - Ottaku padunna)

    Best Cinematography: Sujith Vasudev (Memories& Ayal )
    Best Film Editor: Rajagopal (Oru Indian Pranayakadtha)
    Best Art Director: M Bava (Amen)
    Best Sound Recordist: Harikumar
    Best Colorist: Raghuraman, Riya Digital
    Best Makeup Artist: Pattanam Rasheed
    Best Costume Designer: Siji Thomas (Amen)
    Best Dubbing Artist: Sreeja Ravi
    Best Choreography: Kumar Shanthi

    Best Sound Editor: Harikumar Madhavan Nair, N Harikumar

 Jury's Special Mention 

Afzal Yousuf (God for Sale, Emmanuel)
Suresh Unnithan (Ayaal)
Mridula Warrier (Kalimannu - Laalee)
 Aneesh Anwar (Zakariyayude Garbinikal)
Kalabhavan Shajon (Drishyam)
Sanusha (Zakariyayude Garbinikal)
Rojin Thomas and Shanil Mohammed (Zakariyayude Garbinikal)
Vijay Babu, Sandra Thomas (Philips & Monkey Pen)

    Best Documentary:  
    Best Book on Cinema: 
    Best Article on Cinema:

Full Updates coming sooon

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

61st National Film Awards 2013-14 - Complete Winners List

61st National Film Awards 2013-14 - Complete Winners List 

Best Feature Film - Ship Of Theseus
Best Popular Film -Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Hindi)
Best Director- Hansal Mehta, Shahid (Hindi)
Best Actor (Shared) - Raj Kumar, Shahid (Hindi) & Suraj Venjaramoodu, Perariyathavar (Malayalam)
Best Actress - Geetanjali Thapa, Liar’s Dice  (Hindi)
Best  Supporting  Actor - Saurabh  Shukla,  Jolly  LLB  (Hindi)
Best  Supporting Actress  (Shared) - Amruta  Subhash,  Astu  (Marathi)  & Aida   El-Kashef, Ship  Of  Theseus
Best Tamil Film - Thangameengal
Best Malayalam Film - North 24 Kaatham
Best Audiography & Sound Recording - Madras Cafe

Best Non-Feature Film, Rangbhoomi
Best Director ( Non-Feature) - Pranjal Dua, Chidiya Udh
Best Book - Cinema Ga Cinema (Telugu)
Best Film Critic - Alaka Sahani (English)

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Monday, 14 April 2014

Naan Sigappu Manithan - Tamil Movie Review from Kerala


 Written, Directed by     Thiru
Produced by     Vishal, Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapoor
Music by     G. V. Prakash Kumar
Cinematography     Richard M. Nathan
Editing by     Anthony L. Ruben
Studio     UTV Motion Pictures, Vishal Film Factory
Distributed by     E4 Entertainment (Kerala)
Release dates     April 13, 2014 (Kerala)
Running time     149 minutes
Country     India
Language     Tamil

CastVishal as Indran
    Lakshmi Menon as Meera
    Iniya as Kavitha
    Saranya Ponvannan as Indran's Mother
    Jayaprakashas as Meera's Father
    Sunder Ramu
    Jagan as Sathish
    Pyramid Natarajan
    V. I. S. Jayapalan

'Indran' is suffering from a rare kind of sleeping disorder called 'Narcolepsy'. Any sudden outburst of emotion will put him to immediate sleep.But even during his sleep all the conversations happening around will be recorded in his brain which he can recollect while waking up. Due to such an incurable disease he faces lots of difficulties, in every step of his life. So he has made himself a bucket list, which he gets to complete on by one with the help of Meera. Their Acquaintance slowly develops into love. One night gang of 4 goons ambush the car they were traveling & rape Meera in front of Indran, who falls asleep in the sudden shock, and leave her to death. Meera is in coma and Indran sets out to revenge with the vague clues he gets and the sounds that got stored in his memory while he was asleep. What happens next forms the rest of the story. 

Thiru has worked with Vishal twice in the past, both the times failed to give us a satisfying film. Samar even though had a great plot, failed to develop into a great film. Looks like its 3rd time luck for the duo as NSM is a good revenge drama with suspense, twists, action, sentimence etc. Thiru managed to package the films nicely and present it in an entertaining manner. 

The film begins as a drama, explaining Indran's condition, the difficulties he face, shifts gear to the usual meet girl, fall in love track. Its slow, but nice and breezy till it shifts gears toward intermission. In the second half its more of a thriller which has been conceived intelligently ye entertainingly by Thiru. He managed to complete the story without hurting our sensibilites and using brain more instead of brawn. Plus the Narcolepsy feature also doesn't disappear unlike in most mass films, instead the way he comes out of it or beats it each time is shown is smart work, something rare in Mass movies.

The twists in the 2nd half have worked out well. But the 'reason' feels kinda far fetched. The songs are average and prove major hindrance to the proceedings. Also they could have used a better actor as the main antagonist.

Vishal performed exceedingly well as the Narcoleptic suffering Indran. Got almost all his expressions and emotions in check. There were rumors that Mohanlal was supposed to do the project first, and the script was tweaked later when Vishal entered the scene. Without naming the star Vishal himself said he is scared to do the role as acting legend was supposed to do. Any way he has made this completely his film now and can relax. Laksmi Menon did an okay job. Iniya was good in the cameo role.

Thiru's direction and writing have improved a lot. Cinematography was good. Editing was efficient. Songs were average, BG was okay. 

In all NSM is a good revenge, drama, thriller that you might wanna check out this summer.

Rating 3.25/5

Verdict: Good

Last Word: You  Won't be Narcoleptic while watching the movie, except may be during the songs, that's a guarantee !!!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

7th Day - Malayalam Movie Review - Prithviraj, Janani Iyer

 7th Day - Malayalam Movie Review


Director: Syam Dhar  
Producer: Shibu G Suseelan 
  Music: Deepak Dev  
Cinematography: Sujith Vasudev  
Art Direction: Vineesh Banglan  
Story/Writer: Akhil Paul  
Costume Design: Arun Manohar
Editing by John Kutty 
Distributed by     August Cinema
Release dates   April 11, 2014
Country     India
Language     Malayalam


    Prithviraj Sukumaran as David Abraham

    Janani Iyer as Jessy
    Vinay Forrt as Shan Shahar
    Anu Mohan as Vinu Ramachandran
    Tovino Thomas as Eby
    Praveen Prem as Cycle
    Joy Mathew as P.T.R. Bhattathiri

    Yog Japee as Charlie

Suspended IPS officer David Abraham on  Christmas night involves in an accident. The Jeep driven by him knocks off a bike and its passengers from the road. One of the passenger commits suicide that night and the other one seen beaten up pretty badly. So David takes the matters in to his own hands and starts unofficial investigation without the knowledge of the Department. Slowly things began to unravel before him. Who where those passengers, what happened with them, why did the guy commit suicide etc gets revealed in the following reels, and ends with a typical Hollywoodistic (post) climax shock twist and open ending for possible sequels, which I personally think will not be made.

'7th Day' will be the 3rd investigative/mystery movie Prithvi is being a part of in the past 12 months, and the 15th cop role in his career so far. The 1st look of the film has created quite a flutter in the internet.The look and feel of the movie made it look like a dark gritty slow paced thriller. The makers didn't even release a trailer to avoid unnecessary hype and people coming with strong preconceived notions.

But unfortunately the film ends up just a half baked, kinda predictable thriller with lots of loose ends. Malayalis have been offered quite a few brilliantly executed thrillers in the past, especially last 12 months, like Mumbai Police, Memories, Drishyam etc. 7th day is one such movie that desperately tries to squeeze in to that league, yet look a class apart, and end up neither here nor there. 

The intention was to make an eerie dark noir thriller, and the mood was perfectly set too, thanks to the brilliant work of Sujith, the DOP. But unfortunately both the direction and scripting falters. The dialogues have been rendered with unnecessary amount of stretching and pause (in quite a few scenes), which gives a drama feel. Prithvi's character cleary doesn't have an identity (or the writer wanted him to be mystery for us), coz he behaves like the guys from 'Island Express sometimes, sometimes Mumbai Police and some times London Bridge. Not only the character, the script is also confusing making us wonder what is happening at times. The movie does picks up pace towards interval portions and interval onward, but soon falls to the predictive track.

Felt there are many loose ends in the script. The film throws up more questions than answers. Most of the twists and turns were predictable, especially the finale one (but majority of the audience didn't felt so, looking at the reaction).

Like I said Prithvi's character is bit confusing and contradicting. But anyhow he has excelled in what was asked of him. Vinay Fort was good as Shaan. Anu, Tovino, Praveen did okay job while Janani doesn't get much screen space or scope to perform.

Direction was good in parts, could have given a better product with a better, closely knit script. Too many loop holes and unanswered questions (Or leaving too much to the viewers sensibility) predictable twists and turns made the scripting look weak. The dialogues were Good, even though have different opinion about the the rendering of the same. Cinematography & BG were excellent. Art work was good. Locations were beautiful and apt for the movie. Songs comes as part of narration, which aren't noteworthy.

So, what could have been a promising thriller end up just half baked.

Verdict: Average

Rating 2.5/5

Last Word: Many who watched the movie along with me like it pretty much, so give it a try if you are a fan of the genre or the new Prithviraj that we got to see in the past 1-2 years

PS: Moriarty ????? Reallly ???? ......