varnachitram

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Review roundup: Arjunan Sakshi

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Making socially relevant movies, though needed, is commercially risk prone. This is because most writers and directors try the preaching path. Then within that preaching angle, they inflict too much melodrama that people stay away from it. Then some movies like Sheelabati and Kathavaseshan are simply boring. There are some excellent movies like Kanne Madanguka , Padom Onnu Oru Vilapam etc, but it could not find lot of viewers.

As we all know from what we have seen in Kerala, such social movies have not caused any revolution. Forget revolution, they have not made even a dent in our corrupt/don’t care attitude. If movies had any impact, all those Suresh Gopi movies should have eliminated corruption from Kerala. Revolutions only happens when the mass is motivated like during the Kerala’s 100% literacy project or like what is happening in Egypt now. One movie or movie maker may not make any impact unless the society is already in the tipping point. These important ideas will get into our mind only if it is consistently hammered into our head by a host of writers and film makers.

Movies addressing social issues usually use either comedy track or vigilante justice route or one man against system mode. In Malayalam, Movies like Vellanakalude Naadu, Varavelpu, Sandesham, Nadodikattu remains in our memory. So it is obvious that the comedy movies remain in our mind than other types.

In this movies, like in the previous one, Ranjith Shankar, has used the hook of adventure/mystery to propel the story.The movie has ingredients like vigilante justice , mistaken identity, and one man against the system . The difference is that it talks about the apathy in ourselves to live without getting bothered by the traffic or anything.

So will this movie bring up the discussions on the Metro Rail or why no progress happens in Kerala while Narendra Modi’s Gujarat zooms ahead industrially and economically.  Or will this movie be forgotten by the end of the World Cup?

Prithviraj has got a lot riding on this movie, as his previous releases didn’t exactly make a good impression on the box office. From the reviews, let see the quality of the writing, direction, cinematography and music.

IndiaGlitz shows how movies should be analyzed:

Though the movie impresses with the one line, and different opening presentations, the scripts leave a lot to be desired. This time too, Renjith has chosen the cyber world as an anti dote for powerful social problems. The spy cam and related technologies, which we have been used to in much of the today’s films, once again surface as prime determinants in the twists in tale. Apart from the loose talks about mafia, the movie still remains as another mass hero oriented flick (with the title tracks when hero is introduced , innumerable stylish cars for him to roam around and even a few slow motions after punchlines).The other pitfalls are that the movie ends up just as a murder mystery solved through the intelligence of hero, who hardly find any identification with common people. Ranjith shankar has really faltered with the scripts and his poor dialogues also fails to raise the interests on the movie. The story stagnates in the later reels with the regular dialogue drama, where the crude and sharp thinking  business gang  transforms to cowards with below average intelligence.

NowRunning writes

Ranjith doesn’t let Roy gain super human proportions and has his protagonist retain a very human air around him. You even see him go through those odd moments when he is real scared, confused and indecisive. At times he makes the wrong choices and bumps into dead ends. It’s only when he shakes a leg at a party or gets to slam his fists in an action sequence towards the climax – two sequences that simply do not deserve to be there in this film – that you see him flashing those heroic traits, albeit for a very brief while.

Despite all this, if you walk out of the theater with a feeling in your mind that probably you had expected something more from this film, its because the thriller ride that ‘Passenger’ was, is still fresh in your minds. Also, ‘Arjunan Sakshi’ moves ahead at an unhurried pace, and though it has a running time of about two hours appears much longer than that with the leisure taking its toll on the viewer.

Yentha.com too looks at the story and writes what goes wrong

The film is very organised, every next step coming up right on cue. No confusions, no pauses. A viewer would not for a second, lose touch with the film nor can afford to be diverted. Things are happening all the time.

The story tries to tell the concerns of a common man. A common man who wants to speak out, but made afraid to do so by a system that cannot assure his security. A good message carried out successfully to an extent. Flaws appear, however, as in the middle of the movie, the ‘common man’ism seems to be forgotten about. That is what made Passenger different – throughout the movie, Sreenivasan continues to be the common man who does everything in his power and wins because of the purity of his mind. Ranjith Sankar may want to take a look at his first attempt and learn a thing or two from himself.

Rediff.com as usual is devoid of analysis

One Comment

  1. Thanks VC for the review roundups. the film started mentioning the necessitty of saving ‘kandalkadukal’ and had a promising first half. But he completely lost the plot on the second half. it was as if he wanted to make an ‘all in all’ film , which has some social outlook , which brings up a new issue (traffic jams of kochi) and which has all the commercial ingrediants for a super hit film .Bad luck , he could not live upto his own expectations.

    nevertheless his intentions to make films which has something new in it should be appreciated, and he deserves credit for the innovative story idea. that of a common man who wants to react , but is afraid to .

    All the Best renjit shankar for your future ventures too . Arjunan Sakshi might be a flop, but not you. You can come up with a smarter film next time.

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