Monday Malayalam: Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, Indian Warfare in India

Kind of odd watching a movie which hits so many familiar beats, even in the same time period, but it is about Malayalis fighting the British instead of Americans.  But then, that’s the point, the British are the British wherever they are, and there is only one particular form of warfare that is effective against them.  Well, at least in the 1700s.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Monday Malayalam/Happy Independence Day: Njan, A Different Kind of Independence Story

Well, this was fascinating!  Random pick from my Malayalam shelf, turns out to be the Malayalam version of an Independence film which is very very different from anywhere else.  Which I am particularly aware of, having just written a bunch of Independence themed posts!

Continue reading

Monday Malayalam Special: I Was Stuck In Traffic Behind Nivin Pauly!!!!

Last night I went the North American Film Awards, which are essentially the Malayalam IIFAs.  So, the IIFAs without any backup dancers or rehearsals, but with a lot of really detailed eloquent speeches and as much applause for the directors as their was for the stars.  And in a theater which is about the same size as a high school auditorium, and wasn’t even sold out.  But that’s not important, what’s important is I got stuck trying to get out of the parking lot because I was blocked in by NIVIN PAULY!!!!

Continue reading

Monday Malayalam: ABCD, Not a Very Good Movie

I am continuing my “well, it’s the DVD on top” decision making process for films as I unpack.  After two good Malayalam choices and one so-so Telugu, I have landed on a really quite bad Malayalam film.  It looks like it was a big of a box office hit, but most critics agree with me that it is generally no good.

Continue reading

Monday Malayalam: His Highness Abdullah, Comedy is All About Shock

I just cycled through a whole bunch of variations on that title, “unexpected”, “juxtapositions”, “breaking boundaries”, but really it’s just shock.  That kind of “I can’t believe they went there!” shock.  Which is why it is really too bad that I saw this film after having already seen a whole bunch of other movies that went to the same kind of shocking place.  Since all the others were just imitating this one, it should have had the privilege of shocking me first.

Continue reading

Monday Malayalam: Gandhi Nagar 2nd Street, A Movie to Sit With For a While

I fell behind this weekend, and now I have to write my Monday post seconds after finishing the movie.  Which is really too bad, because this is a film that really needs you to sit with it for a while before you are ready to talk about it.

Continue reading

Monday Malayalam: Ramante Edanthottam! A Love Story That Takes a Twist

Isn’t this amazing, that there is a whole Indian genre of “women escaping relationships that aren’t terrible, but aren’t what they deserve”?  I watched this movie and could compare it with Queen, English/Vinglish, How Old Are You?, and plenty of others.  But this film has a twist, this film ends with the “unthinkable” actually happening.

Continue reading

Monday Malayalam: Shajahanum Pareekuttiyum, What if Movies are Just Conning Us?

This was a kind of interesting film.  Not a great film, maybe not even a good film?  But an interesting one.  Well, interesting in the last twenty minutes.  The set-up for that was a bit of a drag.  But most important (for me), this was a FREE film!  It suddenly popped up at my library, while I was in the middle of the move (DVDs finally unpacked as of this morning, but books still in boxes), and I had to watch library DVDs.  So it was perfect for me.

Continue reading

Monday Malayalam: Leela, a Movie About Musth

Well, this was a bit of an interesting downer!  A movie about sex that was not at all sexy.  Appropriately so, sex work is not sexy for the sex workers, it is just a job that they do from necessity.  And it’s not necessarily sexy for their clients either, it is also something from desperation and misery.  So, woo!  An accurate depiction of life for a sex worker!  Which means, depressing and grinding and tiring and dangerous and yet dull at the same time.

Continue reading

Monday Malayalam: Oppam! Priyadarshan Does a Thriller! (SPOILERS)

Well, I finally saw Oppam.  Only 6 months late.  Oh well, this is what happens when the theaters only give one screen to Malayalam films, and there are 4 (or 5?) major releases for Onam weekend.  I saw Oozham, which was in a similar genre but not quite as good as this.  Because Prithviraj is not quite as good as Mohanlal and Jeethu Joseph isn’t quite as good as Priyadarshan.

Continue reading

Monday Malayalam on Wednesday: Comrade in America, a Very Communist Film in the Best Possible Way (SPOILERS)

This is a nice small idea film.  But it is a real gem of an idea, and one I very much appreciate, especially since it is following the highest ideals of communism and treating the world as a community by highlighting an issue totally unrelated to Kerala.

Continue reading

Monday Malayalam: Munnariyippu, the Brazenness of Youth Against the Intransigence of Age

I avoided this movie because it looked scary, and I don’t like scary movies!  But it really wasn’t bad, because it was less about the “scary” parts, and more about the character parts.  The specifics of the danger weren’t the point, it was the way our heroine rushed headline into the danger that was the point.  Because young women are very very foolish!

Continue reading

Su Su sudhi Vathmeekam: Learning to Accept Your Flaws, Not Hate Them

What an interesting movie!  It’s about stuttering, but not really.  It’s about growing up, but not really that either.  And it’s also a little bit about Mukesh being a really nice guy.  It’s all of these things combined, it’s just sort of about life.

Continue reading

Tuesday Telugu/Tamil Special Edition: BAAHUBALI!!!! Second Half, Second Post! (SPOILERS)

Baahubali!!!!!  Instead of my regular Malayalam post yesterday, I put up the first half of this Baahubali review, because it was dubbed in Malayalam and a big hit there too.  And now the second half is today’s Telugu/Tamil post, because obviously it was also a big hit in Telugu and Tamil versions.  And also, I am putting so much work into going through the film scene by scene, I don’t have time to do any additional post yesterday or today.

Continue reading

Special Monday Malayalam Post: BAAHUBALI!!!! (Part 1) Let’s Talk About 1, Before 2 Comes Out!

BAAHUBALI!!!!!  I saw it 7 times in 10 days in the theater (Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday again, and another Tuesday), and then pre-ordered the DVD and watched it 4 more times with the few friends who had missed it in theaters.  But that was a couple months before I started the blog, so I’ve never actually written a review of it.  But now that Baahubali 2 is about to come out (FINALLY!), it’s time.  And since this is a looooooooooooooong one, I am splitting it in two days, Monday and Tuesday.  Hey, it was released in both Malayalam and Telugu/Tamil, right?

Continue reading

Monday Malayalam: City of God, Love Is What Ties It All Together

My second Pellissery Monday!  And 3rd Pellissery week over all (counting the Tuesday I saw Angamaly Diaries).  And this movie is rawer, but still better than Amen.  But not as good as Angamaly, which combined the powerful spirit of this film with the technical brilliance of Amen.

Continue reading

Monday Malayalam: Amen, Art Above All

I’ve watched this movie twice now.  Once really seriously, pausing and rewinding if I thought I missed something, and once more just skimming, letting it play while I brushed my teeth in the morning or wrote blog posts at night.  And I know I have still missed SO MUCH.  But I am going to do my best to try to understand it and present it to you.

Continue reading

Monday Malayalam: Udayananu Tharam Asks Does the Film Create the Star or the Star Create the Film?

What a fascinating movie!  Oh my goodness, SO INTERESTING!!!!!  Starting from the opening shot, which sent me down a whole mental wormhole of film history.  But mostly, I am SO GLAD I watched this film the same week I saw Angamaly Diaries!  Because this film makes the hypothetical argument that Angamaly Diaries proved in reality.

Continue reading

Angamaly Diaries Review (SPOILERS): An Old Story Made New

If you want to know why this film is just breathtaking, then you should read my no spoilers review.  Because the amazing part of the film isn’t in the story it is telling and what happens, it is in how the story is told.  But if you want to read a little more in depth discussion about the film and every aspect of it, not just the breathtaking parts, you can read on.

Continue reading

Apoorva Ragam: Another Malayalam Pioneer of New Cinema

You know the problem with pioneer films?  They are so groundbreaking and wonderful when they come out, but then after they have cut out the new path, the films that come after it are so much more luxurious and elaborate, it makes that poor struggling scratched and damaged first film look like nothing in comparison.

Continue reading