A Blog on Cinema

November 29, 2005
by vc
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Review: Naatu Rajavu

As a fight is progressing between the villain and the hero’s folks, a car comes into the scene. The door opens and we get a glimpse of the hero’s legs as it stomps on the ground. In slow motion the hero walks towards the scene, mouths a one liner and thrashes countless people. You might think this is a scene from a Superman, Spiderman or Rajnikanth movie and you would be wrong. This is the entry scene for Mohanlal in the Malayalam film – Naatu Raajavu (King of the land).

In this film, Mohanlal plays Charlie. But the name does not matter since he is playing superman. He is a popular person and has countless enemies. These enemies (Manoj K Jayan, Siddiq) try to inflict pain on him in various ways and he beats each one of them to their game. For the climax, there is the mega villain, who gets released from jail just to get beaten up. Then as usual, there is some family melodrama with a loving mother (Kaviyoor Ponamma), sister(Nayantara) and the affable sidekick (Kalabhavan Mani). Such stories and their variations have been repeated countless times and this is yet another instance of the same stuff.

This movie is directed by Shaji Kailas who made Suresh Gopi a superstar by making him say the same dialogue in three languages one after the other. In this movie Mohanlal speaks only one language, but the lines are statements spoken by cartoon characters. Mohanlal has acted in countless such movies and in all of them he looks, acts, and walks the same. He never becomes the character and it could be intentional for his fans come to see him and not the Charlie he portrays.

It does not have to be said again and again that Mohanlal is a talented actor, but by acting in such comical movies, he is just wasting his skills.

November 18, 2005
by vc
1 Comment

Will they be able to recreate the magic

The trio of M.T.Vasudevan Nair, Hariharan, Mammootty is back together again as per the news reports.This is the team which has given one of the most memorable malayalam movie – Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha. MT and Hariharan duo are known for the quality movies they have made in the past. This new movie – is again based on vadakkan pattu theme. Movie’s about Payyamballi Chandu who is the nephew of Thacholi Othenan. P.Bhaskaran had made a movie based on this character – Thacholi Marumakan Chanthu. It’s been a while since Hariharan and MT have combined to create a commercial success. Whereas Mammootty has been delivering hits after hits. It will be a monumental task for this team to live up to the expectations created by Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha. But if it works, it’ll be pure magic.

November 9, 2005
by vc

Disowning his own movies

While researching for something else, we came across this interview with Priyadarshan from 2004. He had got bulk dates from Salman Khan and was excited about his “dream” project.

“Unlike my other Hindi films, this one isn”t a remake. With Salman in the film I don”t need to worry about an attentive market. He”ll ensure that. The untitled film is being produced by Sunil Manchanda the people who produced Salman”s ”Tere Naam”,” Priyan told IANS.[My dream project is finally happening: Priyadarshan]

He was talking about the movie Kyon Ki, which was released recently and this movie was a remake of the Malayalam movie, Thalavattom, starring Mohanlal and Karthika. And guess who directed Thalavattom?

November 9, 2005
by vc

Mohanlal’s dubbing institute

Mohanlal is one actor who has made money in movies as well as lost it. His Pranavam Arts produced successful movies like His Highness Abdullah, Bharatam, and Kamaladalam. He also lost money making Vanaprashtham, even though it won him a National award. But that has not dampened his investing mentality. He has now setup an institute that offers courses in dubbing, and newsreading and apparently it is the first of its kind in India

Voice modulation, voice control, voice pitch control and various other voice techniques have been included in the course syllabus.

Similar courses in newsreading and television presentation are also being offered. The courses have been designed by dubbing artiste Bhagyalekshmi and Mohanlal himself.

Dubbing artiste Bhagyalekshmi is a veteran in the field and has lent her voice for over 2500 movies. Her melliflous voice has added to the charm of actresses from Ambika to Geethu Mohandas.[Mohanlal pitches in for dubbing artistes; opens voice designing school]

November 7, 2005
by vc

Sequels galore

It’s sequel season in Malayalam. Every movie which was a decent hit in the past is being examined to see if a sequel could be made. When there is paucity for original ideas, sequel is an easy way out for a writer. And moreover there is name recognition – couple of generations are familiar with Sethurama Iyer’s name. On the downside – the high expectations of the viewer if the first part was a huge success. This trend is huge in malayalam only, other major movie industries(Hindi,Tamil, Telugu etc.) are not into the sequel rush. In Hindi there is Dhoom 2 in production.

Coming back to Malayalam, The CBI franchise is the most succesful in this game of exploiting past successes and managing huge expectations.That team might get into guiness book soon for repeating same director, hero and script writer(K.Madhu,Mammootty and S.N.Swamy) in most number of movies. The first movie of this series was released in 1988 and three more followed. And there is Dasan and Vijayan Series – all time favourite characters of malyalees. The first movie of that series – Nadodikkattu – was released in 1987, followed up by Pattana pravesham and Akkare Akkare Akkare. Another notable movie which had a sequel was Devasuram. It’s sequel was Ravanaprabhu.

There a few other sequels in various stages of production. Kilukilukkam is the sequel of Kilukkam with Jayasurya and Kavya Madhavan being lead pairs and Mohanlal doing a guest appearence. Bharathchandran IPS – just released and was a huge hit and brought back Suresh Gopi’s from near certain retirement. Kashmeeram – This 1994 movie will get a sequel, just in time to take advantage of Suresh Gopi’s newly revived career. Most interesting of the forth coming sequels is IV Sasi’s Taradas Vs. Inspector Balaram, in which Mammootty plays double role – playing two characters of two different movies. Taradas from Athirathram and Inspector Balaram ( from movies Avanazhi and Inspector Balaram). Now, will Mohanlal be far behind ? It’s worth looking forward for this movie – Narasimham and Aaram Thampuran doing Thandavam

November 4, 2005
by vc

Mammotty Mohanlal rivalry

Rivalry between these two are famous in Malayalam movie world, yet Mohanlal and Mammootty claim that they are best friends. A peek at their record gives an interesting look at their parallel careers.

  • Both had their career started in 1980
  • Both acted together for first time in 1981 – Oothikaachiya Ponnu.
    Mohanlal was the villain in the movie.
  • Come 1982, in the movie Padayottam Mammootty acted as Mohanlal’s father, and his role had negative shades where as Mohanlal had a positive role.
  • These two have acted together in nearly 50 movies.
  • At one point of time these two along with IV Sasi and Seema had launched an independent banner – Casino.
  • In 1989 Mohanlal bagged National Award jury’s special award for his role in Kireedam.
    Same year Mammootty got his National Award for Best Actor for his performance in Mathilukal and Oru Vadakkan Veera Gatha.
  • Later in 1991 Mohanlal got his Best actor National award for his role in Bharatham.
  • Mammootty got his second Best Actor’s National award in 1994 for his roles in Vidheyan and Ponthan Mada.
    Mohanlal got his second award in 1999 for Vanaprastham
  • Mammootty got his Padma Shri award in 1998
    Mohanlal was not far behind – he was honoured with Padmashri in 2001
  • Mammooty got his third National award in 2000 for his role in and as Dr.Ambedkar.
  • No points for guessing Mohanlal’s next award.

    November 3, 2005
    by vc

    Advertisments in movies

    Imagine a scene in a movie where Mohanlal is surrounded by a bunch of thugs. He looks each one of them as they take out weapons of single destruction like cycle chain and Malappuram knife. Mohanlal, tightens his mundu, twirls his moustache and takes a packet of tea bags and mouths an advertisment line to the audience.

    After making classy movies, this is the new direction Malayalam movies are taking. The reason – mounting production costs.

    Superstar Mammootty’s blockbuster “Nerariyan CBI”, released during the Onam season and running houseful at all theatres, has onscreen promotionals for a tea company, a jewellery shop and a biscuit company.

    “The trend is certainly going to bring in money. We do not feel there is anything wrong at all in doing this,” leading producer Sureshkumar told IANS.

    His next film, which features superstar Mohanlal, will have a few promos too.[Malayalam cinema begins hawking products on screen]

    James Bond movies are known for hawking products, like the Aston Martin, BMW, whatever brand watch he wears etc. Then James Bond movies are cartoon films, meant to sell merchandise. But Malayalam cinema, which prides itself on making realistic movies going this route will definitely put off the viewer.

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