Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Seeing and Thinking and Reading and Wondering About This February

Happy February First!  We made it through another month of winter!  Boy, this winter is somehow really getting to me.  Luckily, I am taking myself on a medicinal trip to sunshine next week, so that should cheer me right up.

This is just an open post to talk about movies you have seen, ask questions about them (unless you want to ask questions on the official Questions post), make recommendations, and also talk about news articles or books or anything else filmi that you feel like talking about and there is no other good place to bring it up.

 

I’ll start!  I have now read both Karan’s autobiography and Rishi’s.  I got them both last week and just gobbled them up.  Karan’s is a much easier read, and has a lot more content to it, but Rishi’s is fun as well.  I was going to do posts on them, but really there is just way too much there-there.  So instead, they are just going into my memory bank for handy background reference next time I want to write about the 90s film industry or the Kapoor family or anything.

Also, Arjit Singh is coming to town in a few months and I am debating whether I should buy tickets.  I should, right?  Even if they are very very expensive and I will have to drive an hour and a half to get to the venue?

Advertisements

54 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Seeing and Thinking and Reading and Wondering About This February

  1. You absolutely should go to see Arijit Singh! I’ll bet he is AMAZING live! Is there a website that lists his tour dates? All I could find on Ticketmaster was a date in San Jose.

    Like

      • Aw man, he’s only playing San Jose and Chicago. Drats! It’s going to be “the Biggest Show in Music History”! If Chicago was a bit closer of a drive (I think it’s about 8 or 9 hours) I’d totally go. There’s no way I can sell my wife on that large of a road trip.

        Like

  2. I followed doctor’s orders and rested, which was the perfect opportunity to binge-watch Humsafar! I laughed every time the subtitles said “hunky-dory”. Then I was feeling well enough on Sunday to finally see Raess, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would (not too fond of explicit violence). I even bought the soundtrack, which I love more with every listen. I am watching a series about Indian food on Netflix, which makes me hungry (a good thing). Netflix DVD delivered the 1931 3 Penny Opera for a change of pace, and now I am waiting for Dhoondte Reh Jaoge.

    Oh! And the political news had me so anxious I started rewatching KKHH.

    Like

    • So glad you watched Humsafar! It is the perfect comfort food while sick. Watch out, Zindagi Gulzar Hai is much more exciting and stressful! I am still stalled on episode 13 because I know it will be too addictive for me to stop in the middle. And I am also glad you now know why all my posts said “Hunky-Dory”! I realized later that I never explained it, so if people didn’t read the subtitles closely or had different subtitles or hadn’t seen the show yet, they would just read those and think “Huh! Kind of an odd phrase Margaret is using!”

      I haven’t seen either the 1931 Three Penny Opera, or Dhoondte Reh Jaoge, so I have nothing to add for those. Report back if they are worth watching!

      On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 9:38 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

    • I’ve never really enjoyed German films. Possibly an after effect of minoring in it in college. Every semester we would have to watch some depressing black and white social drama, or modern thing about oppressed Turkish guest workers, and now whenever I hear German on film I just tune out.

      On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 10:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

    • Brecht and Weill are my favorites! I have two audio recordings of the Threepenny Opera, the Lenya one and a later one. I just checked Netflix Japan and they’ve never heard of it, unfortunately.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Action Hero Biju was another excellent film. It was very different than the other Malayalam movies I’ve watched but equally as interesting and enjoyable. One thing I’ve noticed is, even with the serious dramas or thrillers, there is always a sense of humor inherent in Malayalam cinema. There were moments I laughed out loud (similar to the reaction I had to moments during the first half of Kali). Nivin Pauly is superb, no surprise there, and once again he disappears into the character that he is playing. He becomes the character. That quality, along with his screen presence, makes it incredibly easy to engage with his movies and go along for the ride. The rest of the cast did a wonderful job, as well, and really made this feel like a complete world.

    I enjoyed the structure of the film- the series of vignettes that, taken as a whole, give an accurate picture of the daily lives of these police officers. The episodic nature made it a more complete portrait than if it just focused on one large case. It was fascinating to watch how Biju reacts and responds to each individual case and how his method and manner changes to suit each situation. He reminded me of the best teachers and baseball coaches that I had growing up. They understand that every kid responds differently and that there is no single approach that works across the board. Some need a pat on the back and gentle encouragement. Some need guidance and some kindness. Some need a stern lecture and discipline. Some need to get fired up and motivated. It was fascinating to watch Biju momentarily assess the situation and then act accordingly. And in most cases, his solutions to the problems and the way he dealt with people was perfect.

    There was one scene that fascinated me- the Independence Day celebration that Biju attends and gives a little speech to the students. It seemed that it could have been a throwaway scene. It was three or four minutes and one of the only moments that didn’t involve a case. However, that scene seemed key to the entire film and his character! Biju tells the kids the anecdote about getting caned by one of his teachers and hiding it from his mother by not bathing for a few days. He realizes now that those punishments came from a place of love and care. He believes that moments strengthened him and taught him how to deal with life’s difficult times. Times have changed, of course, and Biju feels that the kids now are coddled and shielded from so much, that when they grow, they can’t deal with problems as they arise. There is no longer a coping mechanism. He credits his teachers for all the success he has achieved in life. Biju, in his way, has almost built himself in the image of one of those teachers. You realize that the coconut beatings, slaps, shouting, all come from a place of care and concern. You mentioned in your review that the beatings aren’t something he seems to derive pleasure from. There is a workmanlike quality to all of it- as though he turns it all on and off like a switch. It’s all in a day’s work. Also, in that short scene, he met a young girl that would feature in one of his later cases.

    The beating of the criminals didn’t bother me so much. This is probably even toned down a bit from reality. When my wife and I were on our honeymoon in Akumel, Mexico we did a day-trip to the shopping area in Playa Del Carmen. It was a total tourist spot, and locals were trying to sell all sorts of stuff on the sides of the road, from marijuana to bootleg soccer jerseys. A local man tried to grab a tourist woman’s purse but she held on tight and after a struggle, he ran. All of a sudden, about five or six armed cops were on top of the guy, throwing him on the ground and stomping and kicking him, before taking him away. It was about fifteen feet from us. Afterwards, one of the cops came over to the crowd and said “we’re sorry that you had to see that, but we need to send a message to these criminals. It’s the only way to make these streets safe for you”. We went from being pretty shocked and horrified, to saying “You know what? It’s awful but it makes sense.” I think Biju even said something similar in the film. If one criminal gets beat and scared, word gets around, and it could end up preventing multiple crimes down the road.

    I just loved the song that the drunk flasher and the chai wallah sang, while drumming the percussion on the desk. It was so good! And then afterwards, the next criminal case comes in (the man was selling paan to kids, I think?) and the drunk slaps him for not answering Biju. The drunk flashes his big, toothless grin and Biju can’t quite contain his grin of approval. I laughed so hard. What a wonderful, well played scene!

    Like

    • So glad you saw Action Hero Biju! And enjoyed it. I showed it to my parents, thinking they would love it because they liked Ohm Shaanti Oshaana and Bangalore Days, and they had a hard time with the violence. Which didn’t bother me at all.

      I hadn’t caught the meaning behind the school speech before, but now that you describe it, absolutely! That makes complete sense to me!

      Margaret

      On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 11:30 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • Did your parents enjoy Annmariya Kalippilannu? I’m surprised more people aren’t raving about that one. It hasn’t made any of the Malayalam “best of” lists I’ve come across.

        Like

        • Yes, they did! My father especially. My mother too, although we all agreed that the father is just going to end up flaking out again.

          On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 2:25 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

          • Action Hero Biju and Annmaria have something in common in that their respective trailers failed to convey the plot and mood of the movies successfully.AHB was mistakenly believed to be a commercial pot boiler with Nivin playing a macho police man.The audience who went to theater expecting a mass masala movie was disappointed.The intended audience stayed away.But the movie movie was hugely popular with the Police crowd(as Ayalum Njanum Thammil became popular with the doctors) and became successful on the DVD circuit.Annmaria and Guppy were both intended for children and were released at about the same time with the result that each of them affected the other one’s business.

            Like

          • Your point about the trailers makes a lot of sense. I can imagine how frustrating it would be to go to the theater to watch a fast-paced action movie and end up seeing a slow, humorous and thoughtful film about the daily existence of a police sub-inspector. It’s a shame it didn’t fare so well at the box office- it was a wonderful movie!

            Like

    • datablue..ur info about action hero biju is wrong..it is one of the biggest hit in malayalam last year..it survived severe campaigns that initially denied its worth but went onto become a blockbuster…aan maria too was a hit

      Like

  4. Just finished Zindagi Gulzar Hai . Oh, my. NOW I see why Fawad is such a heart throb. I didn’t really see it in his Hindi films. The social messages in ZGH are very mixed. I love some feedback when you’ve finished.
    As to reading: this is one of the best analysis of Raees that I have read. Its worth your time. The author interestingly is a politician.
    http://www.dailyo.in/arts/shah-rukh-khan-raees-hindutva-indian-mulsims-bollywood-nathuram-godse-kailash-vijayvargiya/story/1/15409.html

    Like

    • Fascinating article! His argument about how Aamir’s films present an argument that works for the people who already agree reminds me of the flak Karan Johar got for Dostana and other films. Yes, maybe his view of homosexuality doesn’t perfectly fit the liberal ideal. But billions of people watched those movies and were confronted with those issues for the first time, people who never would have thought of them otherwise, and never would have watched the liberal ideal film.

      On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 11:30 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  5. Yes! Arijit Singh would be amazing in concert. Am waiting for him to come to Sydney.
    Salman Khan is touring in April and I can not wait.

    Saw Lion the other day. Dev Patel is bloody gorgeous.
    A well made movie. Some similarities to Slumdog Millionaire.

    I’ve been convincing everyone I know to watch Pink. Was super pleased that my parents watched it and enjoyed it.

    Like

    • I was so excited when I saw that Salman was touring! And then there were no American dates at all. I’ll send Arjit Singh to Australia for you, if you send Salman to America for me!

      On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 5:11 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  6. Well I finally saw Befikre and I didn’t think it was that bad. I was just disappointed that Aditya Chopra decided to make this quite routine. After Ranveer and Shyra broke up and became best friends, I never felt like they were falling in love with each other. In fact, if the song Je T’aime wasn’t in the movie I would have thought that the only reason Ranveer proposed to his girlfriend was because he was feeling left behind. It would have been really interesting if Aditya Chopra made Befikre on the idea that two people don’t have to eventually fall in love with each other. I’ve never seen that in a Hindi movie so far and it would have been quite unique.

    Like

    • Am I remembering right that there is a Madhavan movie in which his best friend is a girl and they really are just friends? And maybe some kind of sport is involved? I haven’t seen it, but I’ve had it described to me.

      On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 5:57 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • Hmmm, I haven’t heard of that movie actually. There was this Telugu movie called Oh My Friend about a boy and girl who are childhood friends but don’t want to end up together even though their family and friends expect it to happen. It’s starring Siddharth and Shruti Haasan. I thought the movie wasn’t made as well as it could have been but the ideas were nice.

        Like

          • Oooooohhhhh!!!! This movie is the Tamil version of Vasantham! Oh my god Vasantham was my favorite movie when I was like five years old! Yes, the guy and the girl are best friends since childhood and they don’t see each other as anything different. And the hero is a state cricket player. I’ve been meaning to rewatch this movie forever but I’ve always hesitated to do so because I was scared that I wouldn’t like it now. Vasantham is starring Venkatesh by the way and according to wikipedia both movies were shot simultaneously.

            Like

      • I am a bit sceptical about this, particularly because of Aditi. While she ‘looks’ fantastic in the teasers, I doubt she has the acting chops to pull this off.
        And wiki tells me that Sai Pallavi (the teacher in Premam) successfully auditioned for this part, but Mani Ratnam felt she did not look old enough for it. What a missed opportunity! I hope Aditi doesn’t mess it up.

        Like

        • I was going to complain about them bringing in a Hindi actress for the lead, but then I looked her up, and Aditi started down south? How did I not know this already?

          And so long as I was wiki’ing things, I also looked up Karthi. He’s an engineer!!!! There is nothing hotter than that. (this isn’t because of some kind of IIT preference brainwashing from the films, long before I got into them, when we were little little girls, our grandmother taught us that we should marry an engineer because “Engineers make the best husbands”. Really, all five granddaughters instinctively say this every time engineering is mentioned, like we are little stepford wives. And we’ve followed her rule, my sister married an engineer and my cousin is close to marrying another one)

          On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 8:13 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

  7. I had so many internet/computer issues this week. I tried to watch either Pink or Udta Punjab on Netflix Saturday, but could not connect to the Internet. That made me quite mad, even more so when I discovered Sunday that my router was not properly plugged in. Then I tried to watch Manzil on Eros and it kept freezing. Then I made four separate attempts to watch Guide and IT kept freezing, and I finally watched it yesterday on my computer at work, where I could not make it full screen but at least I could watch it. I guess I’m going to have to just start buying DVDs.

    So, I finished Guide and it was wonderful, although I have a few reservations about the way the final scene was conceived, which I will share with you when you finally watch it. There is an incredible scene where Waheeda is basically hate-dancing at Dev Anand. (Like, really hate-dancing, not I’m-flirting-with-you-by-pretending-to-be-mad dancing.) I found out while Wikipediaing that there is an English version which I guess is dubbed, but it has a whole different screen play written by Pearl Buck. This movie is real super Indian for so many ways, starting with the length, and I can’t imagine it being successful in the US. Which I guess it wasn’t, since I had never heard of it.

    Like

  8. I’m literally forcing myself to turn off the news at the end of the day and escape into the movies…for the sake of my sanity! I even rewatched Ki and Ka last night. I still hate the overall messed up messaging, but I still have a soft spot for the potential of this pairing. Plus, there’s Arjun Kapoor trying to match the grown-up sexiness of Kareena Kapoor Khan and that kind of makes me like the first half of this one. Plus the epic scenes with Amitabh and Jaya.

    Also rewatched Kismat Konnection…another ill-fated pairing that still slightly worked for me. If only the plot of this one weren’t so boring. And, I know that Vidya Balan gets so much crap for her styling in this period of her career but this one is kind of tragic. The music is fun in this one and there is the wacky Juhi Chawla appearance.

    And I can’t wait for you to see and comment on the AIB podcast with SRK, too. I could follow a lot of it even with my mostly non-existent Hindi, but I hope that they add subtitles at some point. I do believe that there is absolutely nobody like SRK in the filmi world and this is an epic interview that really showcases his intelligence, wit, and innate likeability and sexiness. I’m going to add him to my dream dinner party because he’s the perfect guest to sneak outside with and have a smoke and just bs with. My favorite bit was when he talks about people telling him that he needs to do more serious roles and then he does one and they immediately say “do a love story” next. He’s a great storyteller.

    Like

    • As I’ve mentioned before, I love the Kismat Konnection soundtrack! The movie itself however, is not so great. And you know what, I could say the exact same thing about Ki and Ka!

      And I am watching the AIB now, only I have to go to work, so I probably won’t be able to finish it until tonight 😦

      Like

  9. Please watch Luck By Chance as soon as possible! And Hrithik’s hat only shows up for like a minute 🙂

    By the way, how are you feeling this week?

    Like

    • Better! Finally! I suddenly got over the cold in the middle of the day yesterday. And I am trying to crank through all the posts I should have written over the weekend and didn’t.

      and thank you for asking!

      On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 10:35 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

        • I hadn’t! And I think they may not be showing up in the general India category. Which is typical, Netflix just cannot seem to grasp the idea of sorting films by country. So thank you for the alert! I may need to watch Janam Janam a few million times.

          Like

  10. I’ve watched My Name is Khan and the original Malayalam Drishyam the last few nights.

    My Name is Khan was the only feature length Karan Johar movie I hadn’t watched (I haven’t seen his contribution to Bombay Talkies yet). You know, I really enjoyed the first half. Shahrukh’s performance was very good and consistent throughout the movie. He disappeared into the character and I actually forgot I was watching Shahrukh Khan. Kajol was also very good. The chemistry between them was off the charts. Unsurprisingly, I thought the portrayal of his childhood, and the building of his relationship with Kajol, were excellent. Karan always does a nice job with relationships.

    The second half was so uneven, and at times ridiculous, that it took me out of the film. The whole Georgia section was really really bad. It seemed like Khan missed his bus and hitchhiked a ride in a Delorean or something. The actors playing Americans were just awful. It seemed as though Karan had plucked random people off the street and offered them a few bucks to be in a film. I can’t imagine any of them make a living from acting. The detective, airport security man, and husband of the neighbor were the absolute worst. The actor that played Obama was rotten- he didn’t look or sound like him at all, and the worst part was that he pronounced ‘Khan’ wrong! The mosque scene irked me with its discussion of terrorism plans with a complete stranger fifteen feet away. And it was obvious that Karan had never watched an American newscast before, as they were presented with the exuberance and glitz of American Idol or something.

    A lot of the second half felt kind of lazy and hastily conceived. It was very strange. For a man who fancies himself a great observer of people, this showed quite a disconnect from reality. I enjoyed a lot of it and appreciated that Karan was trying to make something more serious and outside of his comfort zone. I would not normally criticize a Karan Johar film for lack of realism but he opened himself up by trying to make a serious, politically driven movie. He was in over his head. He should have tried a bit harder, and done more research, and it could have made a better movie. There was a way he could have tackled these issues on a smaller, more personal scale. There was a good movie here, somewhere. It definitely made me appreciate Student of the Year more!

    I liked Drishyam a lot more. It was my first Mohanlal movie and he really impressed me with his performance. I thought the first part, the relationship with his family and the people in the town, was so well done and really lulled the viewer into a sense of safety and comfort. I enjoyed the interaction of Mohanlal and his family- it showed how tight-knit of a unit they were. I can understand how viewers could find the first hour pretty slow and rather dull, but I didn’t mind. I thought it set up the second part in an effective way. Once it got going, it REALLY got going!

    The second half was riveting. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I tried to recall little bits and pieces of information from the first section that just seemed to slip right by. It was so unassuming, by design, and the little details become such big parts of the story. I’m sure there were many hints and clues within the films that he watched but those were obviously lost on me, not being familiar with the movies. I didn’t pick up on that extra layer and how those puzzle pieces might fit together. I thought the pacing, and suspense created in this film, was just perfect. The Malayalam thrillers I’ve watched have all been very good and well executed. I think a re-watch would be interesting because I would be a lot more aware and alert during the first part.

    Like

    • My Name is Khan is a bit divisive. For the people for whom it works (I am one), all of the obvious issues with the acting and the plot hiccups and so on just go away because the emotional sweep of it is so powerful. And then if the emotional sweep doesn’t work for you, there really isn’t anything else to grab a hold of.

      One big thing to know about My Name is Khan, which you probably already know because I feel like I mentioned it to you in a comment before, is that it just barely got released. The Shiv Sena was putting out serious threats to theaters if they showed it, there was a protest march to Shahrukh’s house, death threats, burned in effigy, etc. etc. Which kind of makes it more meaningful for me, that Karan and Shahrukh were willing to put their careers and lives on the line to get it out there. And that the Shiv Sena were willing to go all the way to the wire to prevent the release.

      Oh, and I have heard third hand that much of the Wilheminia (that’s the name, right?) townfolk were actually South Africans, because that’s where it was filmed. And they had no idea what was going on much of the time, what with the language barrier. Which kind of explains a lot.

      The “Obama” guy has been around for ages, is a regular working actor. A regular on TV shows from Veronica Mars to Coach to The Jamie Foxx Show. And Jennifer Echolls, who played “Mama Jenny”, has a similarly long filmography. So at least for those two speaking roles, they actually did use regular experienced actors. Which is interesting from an industry standpoint, that they must have contacted some official US agency to get them, instead of just non-Union people off the street. Oh,and you know the random evil teenage boys? One of them was also a random non-evil teenage boy in High School Musical!

      I’m glad you liked Drishyam! As you saw from my review, I appreciated the cleverness with which it was put together, although I had some other issues with it. And I am really really glad you have now seen a Mohanlal movie!

      On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 1:16 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • I think you had mentioned about all the pre-release trouble with My Name Is Khan. I definitely appreciate the courage involved, not only in making the movie in the first place, but also in refusing to back down to powerful groups with their intimidation tactics. I felt like it was all coming from a good place. Karan also mentioned in his book that he recognized some of the flaws in the flood scenes. I’m sure he would change a few things if he could make the movie again. It makes sense that some of the problems with actors may have stemmed from language or cultural confusion. I’m usually a pretty “go with the flow” kind of viewer. I also get swept up in the emotion of most movies. I’m not sure why the issues affected me so much but they did.

        With Drishyam, I could see where you were coming from (especially after watching the wonderful portrayals of women in the other Malayalam movies). As you wrote, a bit of acknowledgment from Mohanlal’s character, that it wasn’t his daughter’s fault, would have gone a long way. It was a good point- the movie never actually addressed that aspect. The mother was begging the guy, saying they were all going to have to commit suicide. The poor girl was just having a shower! Some scumbag sneaks in and shoots a video, and that somehow brings dishonor to HER family? I tend to cut foreign movies more slack- recognizing the cultural differences and that certain things are an accurate portrayal of how their society and communities operate. I think with My Name is Khan, it was closer to home, so the problems stood out more. With Drishyam, I had an easier time getting past the issues.

        Like

        • Yeah, My Name is Khan is an interesting one. I can never really predict who will be swept away with it and who won’t. It seems to be about 50-50, even within the film fan community, no real firm rule about why it works for some people and not others.

          Speaking of, no idea why Drishyam triggered a very specific irritation with the culture for me! I’ve seen plenty of other movies that were almost exactly the same that didn’t bother me at all. But I can definitely appreciate the technical mastery of it.

          On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 2:48 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

  11. I watched Arth (1982 supposedly semi-autobiographical) by Mahesh Bhatt. Shabana Azmi playing the wronged wife but it opened her (wife) eyes and gave her a new purpose and goal in life.

    Then Zulfiqar – Bengali adaptation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar combined with Antony & Cleopatra. It was OK/alright. Songs were nothing special. I think it could have been better and would have been if Vishal Bhardwaj had directed/produced it.

    Like

      • I saw the Einthusan version. I just checked the length of it – it runs for just over 2hrs 16 minutes. IMDB says it is 2hrs 18 mins. So there must have been some cuts but I don’t think I noticed anything glaring when I was watching. One thing I found a little annoying was the audio track was a bit echo-y, like they were all in an empty room.

        Last night I watched Deepa Mehta’s Fire – again Shabana Azmi and Kulbushan K. as husband and wife and again Shabana leaves him, lol. But a very interesting, tender film.

        Like

        • Oh, that doesn’t sound too bad. I think I can live with two missing minutes. I’ll watch it for sure now. Thanks! Maybe I’ll watch Fire as well and have a Shabana double feature soon. I thought Earth was a really interesting film.

          Like

  12. I re-watched Annmariya Kalippilannu with my wife (she loved it), as well as Hum Saath-Saath Hain and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. I did manage to squeeze in a couple of Malayalam films that were new to me- Mili and Jacobinte Swargarajyam.

    Mili was interesting. I liked, but didn’t love, it. I thought your Cassavetes comparison was perfect. I hadn’t thought of that but it does bring to mind his films like A Woman Under the Influence or Opening Night, where you feel uncomfortable watching the character, and the situations, onscreen. While I was watching, I was reminded a bit of Ingmar Bergman’s Persona. It is a quiet, personal, little movie but it’s filmed, scored and executed like a thriller. It’s a very interesting way to portray psychological issues. It’s very claustrophobic. I think you mentioned in your review that it almost puts you in that head-space, where every small object, event or moment is filled with terror and dread. The way that teddy bear waste basket kept peeking out of the closet was so menacing! The second half was more enjoyable and the overall character trajectory was fascinating to watch. I thought Amala Paul was excellent in the lead role and the supporting cast were all very good. The music was pleasant (except the ominous score at certain parts), although the “Manpaatha” one was the only song that really popped. I did find it incredibly slow, especially the first half, and couldn’t believe that it was under two hours (it felt much longer). I’m glad I watched it but I don’t think it would be something I would ever want to see again.

    Jacobinte Swargarajyam was fantastic. Renji Panicker’s performance was pitch perfect as the patriarch of the family and set the tone. He cast a long shadow and his presence loomed well into the second section, even after he was physically removed from the story. It broke my heart to see him near the end, broken, grey and defeated. Nivin was so good. It is such a pleasure to watch him in something like this, or Action Hero Biju (even Mili), where he isn’t involved in an ever-present love story. You can tell that he relishes sinking his teeth into these roles. This is a true coming of age, boy-to-man, type film and he played it so well. There was one key scene early on, with his sister, where they were joking around with each other very much like children (she made fun of his weight, he cursed her future husband). It showed just how immature he still was. There were other similar moments in the early part that really made me doubt whether he would rise to meet the difficult circumstances later on. It was such a well told story of family struggle and really gave the feeling that this is just one of many, many families that go through similar ordeals. When the credits rolled, and I saw that it was based on a true story, I was even more moved. These are the types of stories that deserve to be told and honored. I also found it pretty cool that the director was the man that played the doctor in Ohm Shanthi Oshaana and the journalist in Traffic (as well as the self-made businessman in this). What an incredible amount of talent in that Malayalam new wave!

    Like

    • I’m so glad you liked Jacobinte Swarigam! I really really loved it, but I haven’t heard that much acclaim about it. So I was thinking maybe it was just me, maybe it was because I was so in love with Nivin, maybe it wasn’t really that good.

      But it’s such a great coming of age movie! And not a made up sort of coming of age, but a real tragedy that happens to families all the time. And I loved that it had a happy ending, but not a “happy ending”. They didn’t become rich again, those years are never going to come back that they lost, everyone is in a different place than they should have been in at this point. But on the other hand, the family is together again, and that’s all that really matters.

      As for Mili, yeah, your feeling was the same as mine. I like it more in memory, I think because the first half is less boring and and terrifying knowing that it will all work out so well in the second half.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s