Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

July 20, 2009

HARRY POTTER

AND THE

HALF BLOOD

PRINCE

Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter

Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince turns out to be the best film of the entire series. This two and half hour movie will be a good watch for all those who have read the book. After first two movies which were good but childish and a ‘disaster movie’ and another two not too good movies, here is one which is appreciable affair.

Like the previous movies, this movie too got some scenes which were not there in the book. The difference is that in this, those scenes have come off well most of the time.

The main cast of the movie are the same from previous movies. Daniel Radcliffe, who acts as Harry Potter, does a decent job. But the picks among the cast are Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy, Alan Rickman as Professor Snape and Michael Gambon as Dumbledore who have succeeded in creating an lasting impression even with little time they got on the screen. Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, Emma Watson as Hermoine Granger and Jessie Cave as Lavender Brown have done the love triangle part well. Jim Broadbent as Prof. Slughorn is also apt for his role.

The part where the movie scores is in the cinematography, background score and the special effects. The camera was great in the movie with most shots from rare and unseen angles. The sets too were impressive, but I felt they missed proportion at times. i.e, in certain scenes, the castle didn’t seem to be as large as it was to be. The room seemed to be lower than twice the height of human beings.

The story of the movie by J.K.Rowling is of course the best that can be. But being a very long story, in the screenplay, majority of the scenes had to be cut off or edited drastically. That has not done anything good for the movie. Many vital scenes like the Dumbledore’s funeral, fight in Hogwarts, memories of Riddle, emotional dialogue between Harry & Ginny in the end etc were missing. Actually some characters like Bill Weasley, Fleur, Scrimgeour are completely missing. And those who have not read the book are not going to understand the story, even if they have seen the previous movies.

This movie is not for those who love Harry Potter books, but for those of Harry Potter fans who have been dejected after seeing the initial movies. See the movie for a masalized Harry Potter. I would rate 7/10, 2 for the cast, 2 for the cinematography, 2 for the sound, 2 for the special effects and -1 for cutting out so many essential scenes.


Passenger – Feel the freshness

May 19, 2009

PASSENGER

Passenger is a movie that must be watched for the freshness and for the message it gives. This movie is special because it has nothing out of ordinary. The scenes are all what you see in your day to day life. But such things appear rarely in our movies. It’s that what makes the movie very special. This political thriller has a story that can happen anyday.

passenger

The movie is just 2 hours and it is also very simple. One advantage the director has enjoyed is that the characters are already well developed because they are one of those whom we see around us each day. Each scene is very natural and blends well with the whole movie.

The positives in the movie are many. A good script and impressive direction, excellent performance by the cast, pleasing visuals and good camera works and to top it all humour where ever necessary. Among the cast, Sreenivasan, Dileep, Mamta, Manikuttan and Nedumudi Venu does descent jobs. But the star performer is Jagathy, who delivers a brilliant performance acting as a shrewd politician. The camera has been handled well. Almost half of the story takes place in the train. Those scenes deserves special mention.

Ranjith Sankar, is a debutant director, and has proved his ability. He will certainly be one among the best directors in near future. There are some negatives for the movie too. The movie, though as a whole is brilliant, lacks lustre in many scenes. There were some over-dramatised scenes too. Coming from a debutant, these can be ignored.

The director is also an IT professional. But he managed to make some mistakes technically. The laptop which Mamta used at first was Compaq, but it changed to Fujitsu (I think) in between the chase. THE REST POINTS MAY REVEAL THE STORY. Mamta is shown to use internet while in a taxi and at that time, nothing has been connected to the USB. And the video is shown to be uploaded and sent via email in no time at all. She wants to publish the video as soon as possible and she can’t find anyway to do that. If she HAD such fast internet connection, why didn’t she upload it to youtube. ;) (If there are any mistakes in these observations, please comment. These are what I felt in the first watch. Maybe some of these can be explained or more can be added.)

These mistakes are only told, just for the sake of it. As far as the movie is considered, these mistakes don’t affect it.

Overall, it’s a different movie and must be watched by all those who love realistic movies. Malayalam movie industry has been going through a very dark period. These kind of movie can help to rise from the slumber. Hope it becomes a huge hit.

I would rate 7/10.


2 Harihar Nagar v/s Bhagyadevatha

May 9, 2009

2 Harihar Nagar

v/s

Bhagyadevatha

This is the contest that is going to be closely watched. This contest will summarise the malayalam movies for the first 4 months of 2009. They are the only malayalam movies to get profits during this period.

The 4 evergreen heroes comes back to Harihar Nagar

The 4 evergreen heroes comes back to Harihar Nagar

2 Harihar Nagar was released on the 1st of April to a thunderous reception by the audience. A good entertainer and sequel of “In Harihar Nagar” was what the audience was expecting for months now. Without having a good movie to watch for about 3-4 months, people now starts storming into the theaters. In TVM, all time records of most successive house full shows was broken by this movie. Earlier this was for Titanic which ran 16 continous days with all shows house full. Now this movie has overtook that record.

This is the first movie by Lal as a director (He has directed many great movies along with Siddique before). Though the movie is not as good as In Harihar Nagar, still it won’t be ever forgotten by the audience because the comeback the 4 friends back to Harihar Nagar has been made supreb by the director. The movie has a good blend of comedy and twists, a nice plot and a good suspense. The cast have done a good job. The camera and location too is good making the movie a colourful treat to watch. And the songs too are good.

One peculiar thing about this movie is that the positive and negative of the movie happens to be the characted done by Jagadeesh. It’s the positive part because he dominated all the comedy scenes. Without him, the movie wouldn’t have been an entertainer. But it’s also the negative because he was made too stupid in the movie. Most of the comedies were based on his stupidities. Another negative of the movie is the second half. Where the first half is very enjoayable, second half is a bit serious. People don’t rate this movie with the rest of the movies running now. But they rate it against “In Harihar Nagar”. That too has led to some negative reviews against the movies.

I would rate the movie 7.5/10.

Coming to Bhagyadevatha. It’s a good “family movie” by the evergreen Sathyan Anthikad. He tells a story of an ordinary family in Kuttanad. The movie intends to give a strong message against dowry. This movie was in midst of good news throughout. It’s the first movie to get profit even before it was released.

Jayaram and Kanika

Jayaram and Kanika

Ever since Sathyan Anthikad has been writing the scripts for his own movies, the standard of his movies have starting coming down. Manasinakkare was the master-piece of Sathyan Anthikad in story writing. After that, Rasathanthram, Vinodayathra and Innathe Chinthavishayam turned out to be huge disappointments. But one thing to be noted is that all these movies were huge hits. That is why Sathyan Anthikad is called the evergreen director. Even if his movies is not a good as what it used to be, it will certainly contain some elements which people like to watch and family audience crowd can be seen in the theater. His movies are the only one where a huge women crowd can be seen for the release shows.

But after three failures in the script writing, in Bhagyadevatha, he has come back a bit. It’s a simple story which is directed well. Each and every shot is in beautiful locations with lavish greenery. There are beautiful songs composed by Ilayaraja. The cast including Jayaram and Kanika have done a good job.

There are many negatives for this movie too. The story is very simple, so at times you feel the movie a bit dragging. The movie was intended to give a strong message against dowry. They wanted to convey a message that relations are much more important than money. But for me, the movie ended on a note that money is the most important thing in the world.

Overall it’s a good family-movies by Sathyan Anthikad and if you are planning to go for a movie, and you have already seen 2 harihar nagar, go for it. My rating is 6/10.

Summing up, 2 Harihar Nagar is a better movie than Bhagyadevatha by all means and both of them are huge successes. But the box office results after the movies complete their run shall be interesting. There is always a huge audience who wants to see Sathyan’s movies. And they shall guarantee this movie a very long run. Which will win over the other? We can only speculate!


Bhoomi Malayalam

May 8, 2009

Bhoomi

Malayalam

Samvritha in Bhoomi Malayalam

Samvritha in Bhoomi Malayalam

Bhoomi Malayalam – The latest work of T.V. Chandran!! For all those who have seen any of his previous movies, this introduction would be enough to carry you to the theater.

And he won’t disappoint you too much this time, but from now on, you will reconsider going to a movie just because it’s directed by T.V. Chandran. Bhoomi Malayalam is a kind of documentary on the situation of women in the present society. You see 7 women and the problems they face. It’s not exaggerated stories, it’s just a collection of various news you read daily in the newspapers. And that’s one factor which works against the movie too. There is nothing in the movie that you don’t know, that you can’t guess or that you don’t expect. Everything is predictable to the core.

One thing that captures our attention is the narration. The stories of these 7 women are mostly separate with nothing in common with most of them. But the director has found interesting methods to connect each scenes. That’s one thing which is bound to keep you hooked to the movie. There are three of four of such methods which are really striking and innovative.

The casting was not quite good. Suresh Gopi, though does double role, only one of those role has atleast a little to do. Samvritha Sunil who has gets the lions share of the screen was good, though she over acted at some scenes. I was very disappointed by most of the remaining cast. There was too much overacting and scenes were made very dramatic. There was a girl who acted as an athlete. To me, she was the most disappointing of all casts. Her long jump looked quite funny. The pre-independence part had better performace by the cast compared to the rest of the movie.

Overall this movie reminds you about the “fear” that still exists in women. It doesn’t shout at you or gives you a message. It just shows you what’s happening.

Verdict 6/10. Go for it when you are free.

(P.S. I got reminded of Adoor’s Naalu Pennungal when I saw this movie. It’s a collection of the stories of 4 women in different sections of the society. )

(P.P.S All those who complained about Slumdog Millionaire “degrading India” can see the movie and tell the same things again. But the fact remains that those things do happen here.)

(P.P.P.S. I saw the movie at Kairali Theater, Thrissur on the day of Pakal Pooram. There were quite a few people in the theater. I guess most of them came to the theater seeing Suresh Gopi in the posters and were expecting some kidillan dialogues from him. But they were terribly disappointed. :) )


SAGAR ALIAS JACKY – RELOADED

March 28, 2009

SAGAR

ALIAS

JACKY

Mohanlal in Sagar Alias Jacky

Mohanlal in Sagar Alias Jacky

PROJECT SAGAR ALIAS JACKY – RELOADED
DATE   :- 26-03-2009
PLACE :- MAS Theater, Irinjalakuda. (AC illa urappu. DTS anennu parayapedunnu)

PROJECT TEAM
Me and some of my old schoolmates.
PROJECT CAST

Actors :- Mohanlal, Manoj K Jayan, Shobhana, Bhavana

Director :- Amal Neerad

PROJECT OBJECTIVE
To study Sagar Alias Jacky and to write a report.

BRIEF EXPLANATION
How to make Sagar Alias Jacky? Take two blank sheets as story. In another page, write “Mohanlal” and put it all of them together. Cover with bright and stylish paper. What you get is Sagar Alias Jacky.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The first show was at 9:30. We reserved the tickets the day before itself. But it was not really needed. That show was not house full. Balcony was only just filled. Usually there are no morning shows here, that might be the reason.

PROJECT STUDY
Sagar Alias Jacky is another let down for the year. For a movie with such high expectations, this won’t be what anyone had expected. One of the main reason’s why the movie doesn’t reach anywhere near the expectations is because it’s a sequel. A sequel of ‘Irupatham Nootandu’ one of the most celebrated mafia movie of the yester years. It was this movie that strengthened Mohanlal’s place as a superstar.

Amal Neerad, seems to have overlooked many factors that made the original movie a superhit. He only seems to have noticed the name and Jagathy, of which the latter was a huge disappointment.

But don’t get the wrong impression by the introduction. It’s not a movie that is going to make you feel you wasted some good money. It’s a stylishly made movie. And for all those who love to see some stylish stunts, expensive cars, glamorous girls, lots of foreign locations, this is the one for you. It’s another Bollywood movie that talks in Malayalam.

It’s a good movie for the Bollywood movie lovers. You can go with your pals, clap, shout and enjoy 2 and a half hours  in the theaters. But family better keep out.

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
I feel this movies review should be done as a comparison with Big B, because they are similar in many kinds. And the director has approached both with  the same style-with-no-story. And there are many scenes which are very similar to Big B. So let’s get into the comparative analysis.

Where SAJ scores over Big B
1. First and foremost point is the budget. Money has been lavishly spent on SAJ. There are lots of exotic locations and expensive cars. Each scene is accompanied by atleast 2  ultra modern cars.
2. Story – Indeed both are devoid of any story. But in SAJ there is more masala elements.
3. Mohanlal – There are some scenes with a comic touch. In these scenes Mohanlal scores. And he also looks far better than his usual looks. It’s the most stylish Mohanlal that you have ever seen.
4. Slow Motion – They are used more sensibly by the director this time round. In Big B, all scenes had a part of them in slow motion. But here it’s used only wherever it was needed.
5. Cast – Aside from the hero’s role, the no. of side actors/actresses are far more in the movie. And some of those can induce audience into the theaters. Especially Shobhana, she’s back in movies and that too strongly, but not gracefully.

Now to where SAJ is well behind Big B
1. Mammootty in style – The seriousness of a mafia hero was better portrayed by Mammootty. His body language and posture were better.
2. Bhaavana and Jagathy – Two major letdowns for SAJ
3. Guns and fights – They were more realistic in Big B.
4. Dialogues and style- Big B had an intention of making a stylish movie and that is what they did. The dialogues by Mammootty were short and powerful, said with perfection. It was the first time in Malayalam movies that we saw that. But in SAJ, the movie had more masala elements – the dialogues too were such- very few punch dialogues.
5. In Big B, there was one comedy scene by Innocent which was perfect. Only that was needed for the whole movie. But in SAJ, all the attempts by Jagathy to be hilarious, backfired.
6. Songs – Big B had many hummable songs – Vida Parayukayano, Muthu mazha konjal etc. But here there is not even a single one. The theme music is good in both the movies.

That ends the comparative analysis.

RECOMMENDATIONS
There are some great scenes in the movie.  Let me mention some of them.
1. Jagathy’s introduction scene – really rocked.
2. Mohanlal’s introduction scene – though is not really new, but was did well. Best introduction scene for Mohanlal. The graphics too was done well in this scene.
3. The scene before interval. After a somewhat dull period after the first 20 minutes, the interval scene took the movie back to track.
4. Climax scene – I saw at many places, that the climax was not upto the mark. But I felt it was very good. Amal Neerad has proved his ability in delivering non-thought-of climax.

CONCLUSION
Sagar Alias Jacky is for the fans and for youngsters who enjoy bollywood movies, that is action, masala and style.  And I feel it’s certainly a NO for the FAMILIES. There is too much violence in the movie. Some of the scenes are really disturbing(One where the neck is cut and another one where hand viens are cut are shown realistically). And there is also many glamorous scenes in the movie. A song with Jyothimayee doing a “guest” role.

PREDICTIONS
The movie theaters shall be crowded the first week or so. But from the time, the family has to enter, there won’t be such a good opinion. And being vacation time and having no great competitors, gives some hope for the movie.

CERTIFIED :-  6/10 for the style.

SIGN              :- PROJECT MENTOR.


Orkkuka Vallapozhum – Not Perfect but certainly worth a watch!

January 17, 2009

ORKKUKA

VALLAPOZHUM

Director: Sohanlal

Cast: Thilakan,Shilpabala ,Jagadeesh, Rejith Menon, Krishnachandran, Meera Vasudev, Baby Malavika, Master Dhananjay, Chali Pala
Producer: Vinu Y.S
Lyrics: P. Bhaskaran, Gireesh Puthencherry
Cinematography: M.J. Radhakrishnan

Thilakan in Orkkuka Vallapozhum

Thilakan in Orkkuka Vallapozhum

I went to see the first malayalam movie of 2009 “Orkuka Vellapozhum” last Thursday in Sree Theater, Thrissur.

It’s a movie worth a watch. A one liner of the movie will be “ An old man, going back to the place where he lived during his childhood in search of his lost love”. The narration method the director adopted is impressive. Script, done by the director himself, has got a good mix of present and the past blending well. From British rule to Indian Independence, from love to lust, childhood to adolescent to old age, student life to retired life, spring to winter, this movie has a lot of elements. There are three parts in this story. One is when the hero and heroine were children and friends. The next is during their adolescent when they fall in love and are separated. And then there is the present when Thilakan is old and is searching for is old love.

There are many positive elements in this movie. The casts are good. Thilakan has done a great job. The child artists who acted in the flashback have done what they were asked to do, look pretty and sweet. The heroine of the movie had two roles to present, one of Thilakan’s lover in his adolesense and also as her grand daughter. She too have done a pretty descent jobs. She is too good at certain scenes and not so good at others. But come from an amateur the mistakes can be forgiven.

There is also a lot of good work from behind the camera. Camera works were brilliant. The locations used to shoot the movie is also great. Each scene of the movie comes in a picturesque locations. The songs are different and they suit the movie. There are a lot of hummable tunes in the movie. Another beautiful aspect of the movie is that it’s well paced and also a comparitively small movie, less than 2 hours.

This movie is not perfect. The movie got a dull colour, which lessens the impact the beautiful location could have made. At times, you feel the movie deviated to unwanted terrains, especially during the after interval scenes. There is a long flashback where the story moves very little. A lot of importance was given to the romantic scenes which didn’t create so much of an effort. The cast except Thilakan and Jagatheesh struggled a bit, especially with their dialogues.

Coming from a debutant director, these mistakes can be forgotten and the positives should be glorified. So another director joins the growing list of new director’s from whom great movies can be expected in the future.

I would rate it 7/10.


Pakal Nakshathrangal – Lacks Beauty

December 7, 2008

PAKAL

NAKSHATHRANGAL

Mohanlal in Pakal Nakshathram

Mohanlal in Pakal Nakshathram

I saw the movie Pakal Nakshathrangal on 4th December, 2008 in Sree theater thrissur. Though the theater is a small one, it was not even half full, which shows the lack of interest in common public towards non-masala movies.

As a movie, Pakal Nakshathram lacks beauty. The one line and theme of the movie is fantastic, the philosophies terrific, yet the movie lacks beauty and totally misses out grace. Anoop Menon has done justice to the script and dialogues. The director has failed to make some mark in the movie. And from a director behind many award winning movies, this is not what I expected.

The main fault in the dept of direction was in the narration. There were better ways to approach the story. I would say the script was wasted by the director.

Mohanlal has failed to deliver this time round. Especially in many scenes as a spirit, his actions and body langauge resembles some art forms (Kathakali), and test the temper of the audience. He also has some sensual scenes which surprisingly wasn’t that good. His looks in the movie was well suited for his role as a director. But looks could only help him that much. Either Mohanlal was that bad or director failed miserably to utilize him.

Anoop Menon has done a fair job. There was no high expectation from him and he exceeded expectations. Suresh Gopi was another failure. He too couldn’t yield any magical performance. The heroines have got very little things to do to be noticed.

A part of the movie I liked very much was a philosphy, “If we consider from the beginning of human life, the number of people alive now are very less when compared to those who have died. So if the dead and live assembles, the alive shall be outnumbered by the dead. So whose world is this? Is it that of the dead or of us alive? What is death? Is there a new life after death? So is death a new birth?” The movie revolves around this.

The reason for the name of the movie is also well justified. It is said in the movie that the dead can be seen, heard and felt if we wan’t to. They coexist with us in this world. So they are like stars in the day. They exist but can’t be usually seen. They are “Pakal Nakshathrangal”.

The movie resembles the movie Thirakatha many a time, which is another factor which plays against it. The editing work is one of worst in recent malayalam movies. In a song I felt it would have been better had it been left unedited. There is a good suspense for the movie. The irregularity is another factor which affected the movie. At times its fast paced and promises to be an investigative entertainer and other parts it is too slow to make an effect.

Besides all these, the movie is watchable, but it’s just watchable. The movie keeps on shouting at it’s crew “You could have made me better”. I would give 6/10. Watch it because there is good intensions behind it.


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