varnachitram

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Malayalam Cinema 2010 – First Quarter Roundup

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Jan:
The year started with Navya Nair getting married. Wisely she did not go to honeymoon in Egypt.

After facing a bad year in 2009, with only 10 movies making money out of the 79 released, Malayalam cinema made a bold move. They experimented by releasing a lousy movie with the number 2010 added to it. The movie, Drona 2010, written by A K Sajan and directed by Shaji Kailas flopped miserably, but adding 2010 helped the public because they could differentiate between the lousy Hindi one and the lousy Malayalam one. Giving it tough competition was a film which brings bottomless to bottomless pit –  “Senior Mandrake” which looked “like a lackluster production for TV that suddenly ran out of funds.”
Bad movies can only cause a slow demise. To accelerate the death of the film industry, you need politics. As usual Thilakan came to the rescue. He accused a superstar of preventing him from acting in Christian Brothers. We are sure that superstar is none other than Tom Hanks since there is always an American conspiracy to every event in Kerala.
2009 left many male viewers depressed because Sameera Reddy was supposed to act with Mohanlal in Cassanova. After spending 3.5 crore on location scouting the movie had to be shelved. So the sexually starved Malayali – as per Paul Zachariah — was happy to hear that Sameera Reddy would act with Mohanlal in Oru Naal Varum.
Meanwhile Happy Husbands turned out to be the first hit of 2010. It did not have any superstars, but had four minor stars and more than four heroines. It was colorful. It was funny. More important – it was better than Drona 2010 and Senior Mandrake.
In January, Sathyan Anthikkad, the man who is still able to make hit films with Jayaram, started work on his latest film. The film which has emotions, sentiments and humor is different from his other films which had emotions, sentiments and humor. The expected release is April.
In January Cochin Haneefa, the veteran actor of Malayalam and Tamil cinema, left earth to join Rajan P Dev, Murali and Sathyan who live in Pandora where they show better movies and the bajji is free. Meanwhile on TV, Idea Star Singer started their 212th stage with three new rounds – songs composed by Illayaraja at age 47, Swahili devotional songs and  Duet with the ISS cameraman.
February:
February started with Jayaram declaring that he is a Tamilian. So for all Malayalis who thought he was a fellow Malayali – Sorry. This state change was a fallout of some dark humor. On TV he mentioned that he would not be attracted to his maid because  “My maid is a dark, fat buffalo-like Tamil woman. How can I even look at her?”. The only way to escape the situation was to be Tamil himself. One Tamilian insulting another Tamilian. Problem solved. He is now in great demand as a political consultant.
February was also the month in which Malayalam Cinema made some strategic moves. Analyzing last years movies they found that even M&M cannot guarantee a film. 20-20 was a hit. So make as many miniature 20-20s as possible. This is a sureshot strategy exemplified by the success of Happy Husbands. So shooting started for movies like Pokkiri Raja (Mammotty-Prithviraj), Christian Brothers (Mohanlal, Dileep, Sharath Kumar). The iceberg which is waiting for the Titanic called Malayalam Cinema has to wait.

A quick look at the box office results showed that Shafi’s Chattambinadu was still making money and was at the No 1 position. Second was Avatar. Both Bodyguard and Drona 2010 went to the dustbin. Much awaited movie of February was Kamal’s Agathan, which went to the place where recent Kamal movies go – the barnyard up in the sky.

Mammotty did not say Thilakan was nuts, but AMMA – the judge and executioner of Malayalam cinema did. Innocent asked Thilakan to apologize. Thilakan asked Communist Party to interneve. Communist Party asked Thilakan who are you? Then Sukumar Azhikode jumped into the fray and said Mohanlal’s romantic scenes are obscene to which Namitha got offended. The public wanted this to be made into a movie called 30-30.
Meanwhile on TV, Idea Star Singer progressed to the 213th stage, where all candidates we put in the elimination round and then restored back using various excuses. Mayans probably saw this and predicted the end of the world to put an end to this program.
March:

Some thinkers think that Superstars are the bane of Malayalam cinema. Just replace them and flowers will rain from the heaven and Urvashi, Rambha & Mumaith Khan will dance all around. Just like how Tom throws a live dynamite to Jerry’s face,  Malayalam Cinema threw four new movies on the face of those thinkers: Cheriya Kallanum Valiya Policeum, Nanthuni, Kausthubham and Valiyangadi. The thinkers threw those movies back at Malayalam Cinema and there was a loud explosion to Scott Bradley’s music.
Thilakan vs Alphabet Soup organizations was still the biggest news in March. Various pedestrians like  Vellapally Nadesan, Late Veerappan, all jumped into the fight and Malayalam news channels gave proper publicity to this feud. If this was made into a movie, it would have fared better than Cheriya Kallanum Valiya Policeum, Nanthuni, Kausthubham and Valiyangadi.
One of the hyped up movies was Nayakan. This was not Maniratnam’s Nayakan, but a local variant in which Indrajith plays a Kathakali artiste “, who has to wage a battle against a world of crime and injustice“. This is quite different from films like Puthiyamugham and Chess because the heroine is different. Then guess what. It turned out to be a decent movie.
Looking for divine inspiration to save Malayalam Cinema, the industry turned towards two people who know the pulse of Malayalis. These people have been in every possible situation you can imagine and have an opinion on everything under the sun. We are talking of Boban and Moly.
Malayalam Cinema has two thinkers:  Mammootty and Prithviraj. If you have listened to any of their interviews,(samples here and here), they have an opinion on everything from how to repair the Hubble telescope to eradicate flooding in Machu Picchu. One talent they both lost in March was in reading scripts. Mammotty acted in a movie called Pramani which was a poor man’s version of Parunthu, which was a poor man’s version of Vargam, which was a poor man’s version of Devasuram. Prithviraj meanwhile acted in a movie called Thanthonni which was a clone of Puthiyamugham and various Jayan movies. Worse, there were suggestions that Prithviraj was aping Mohanlal and many scenes were chopped from the movie. Both movies(Pramaani and Thanthonni) collected firewood, lay on top, and lit the pyre themselves.
While Malayalam cinema continued providing the same fare and wondering why movies are flopping, Idea Star Singer moved to the 214th stage, where again all candidates were again put in elimination round and restored back. This time viewers who had died during stage 1 and reincarnated were also added as new contestants.
PS: Mohanlal didn’t have any releases in 2010’s first quarter, but he was busy facing googlies from Thilakan and Sukumar Azhikkode

PPS: In Ghost House Inn shows promise in the box office, but lacks in content.

12 Comments

  1. What a wonderfully humorous post…..! I am glad that i stumbled on this blog…great going, mate! Keep the good work up. Thanks.

  2. A good detailed and humorous analysis on the first quarter.

  3. hilarious…genuinely funny

  4. Question: How is Nayakan doing in Kerala?….based on the trailer it looked rather unique…and I think Indrajith is one of the more versatile younger actors in India (far better than his brother for sure!)..also for those who have seen it…is it good?

  5. Saw Nayakan last week;there was not too of a rush in the theater.I must say that the film was made sincerely.There can’t be too much claim regarding the freshness of the story;Its revenge story but what lifts the film is the treatment and i think the debutant director shows promise.Indrajith has a role that gives him ample scope to act and he does a really commendable job.He has also worked out his body well and emotes well and at times underplays his role which was nice to see.
    The movie is divided into four using the kathakali terms.The story happens in the backdrops of cochin and one might might feel the similaries of the shots and the places we saw in Big B.Siddique as the villain/magician and Thilakan who does a Godfather of sorts to indrajith does their roles well.Siddique’s character is a bit confusing and some part of it reminded me of Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige”.The script is good and there are some good dialogues too.But the film and the story can’t be told to be foolproof but still i would rate it as one of the better movies released these days.The Kathakali parts are a bit overdone sometimes but Indrajith with his performance make it a really worth watch movie.Like filmbuff i too think he is a far better actor than Prithvi.

  6. Sarcasm at its very best ..congrats vc…continue posting such hard hitting articles

  7. IS nayakan hit? very nice article by VC probably their better works in recent times.

  8. had seen nayakan frm sridhar ,the second day of its release…very few ppl were there to watch it,,about the movie..ts a usual revenge story…its watchable till the interval..after that there is no real story to tell and it really bores yu……slightly better than thanthonni..but still borin…the direction was good and technically also the movie was good..dats abt it….on the whole its a different attempt…yet not that entertainin…..but even the recent hit films like ghost house were just repetitive stuff

  9. thanks for ur views. @nikhimenon

  10. GREAT REVIEW of 2010 starting dear friend,it was very nice.. some points i want to mention,and answer to questions in the coments- 1. bodyguard,u said was thrown into dustbin.definitely considering the pre release publicity and buzz,it came as a huge disapointment from siddique. bt the film,as per the reports has been able to secure the cost of production,i mean the film has returned its investment…even though profit is negligible.so,as far as the other films are considered,bodyguard has turnd to ae an AVERAGE EARNER 2.nayakan was a descent movie tis year,bt the reports says that,due to its lukewarm marketing techniques and a short release in just 44 centres,and due to the arival of new releases,the film has not able to take back its investment,it is just a BELOW AVERAGE runner in box office,despite a good work from its crew.thats someting shame 4 malayali viewers…4 closing eyes to such good muvis. 🙁 3.in ghost house inn is collecting good,and it can easily be said to be a SUPER HIT.. 4. now,janakan has released.and the initial responses are good. the film,even though resembles last year’s VAIRAM,with the presence of MOHANLAL and SURESH GOPI,is expected to be a SAFE RUNNER,in box office..

  11. Hey bro , thts the most i have laughed today,Hilarious post ,have written for the quarters too

  12. This is hilarious. I wish the stupid directors and producers of malayalam movies read this. Wishing for movies like the ones we had during the golden age of malayalam cinema with bharathan and padmarajan is just what it is going to be…a wish.
    Malayalam industry is doomed if they dont focus on good stories, scripts, acting and direction. Bollywood dance numbers are for bollywood and not for malayalis.

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