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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Angamaly Diaries: Lijo Jose Pellissery Finds his Place Besides Orson Welles and Martin Scorsese

That headline isn’t hyperbole.  There’s one sequence in this film, way at the end, which should be shown in film classes right along Welles and Scorsese from now on.  It’s an amazing technical achievement, but you don’t even notice that, because it is such an amazing artistic achievement at the same time. (Very very long and detailed SPOILER review here)

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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.

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Monday Malayalam: Ezra Puts a Twist on Manichitrathazhu

I went to see a Malayalam movie in the theaters again!  Actually, I saw two, and was completely unproductive otherwise all Saturday.  It was a great weekend.  And next Monday, you get to see a review of the other movie!

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Jomonte Suvisheshangal Review: My 4th Malayalam Film in Theaters! And 3rd Dulquer Film in Theaters! (SPOILERS)

I missed Monday Malayalam, because I was completely impractical and not time effective, and I went to see Dulquer’s new movie in theaters at the 8 o’clock show on a work night.  Because it’s Dulquer!  And it’s cold and grey and depressing, and Kerala is so pretty. And I was hoping to write the review when I got home, but it was midnight and my brain finger typing thoughts not coming.

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Monday Malayalam: Oru Muthassi Gadha, Wait The Heroine is YOUNGER THAN MY MOTHER?????

Second week for this, going okay so far!  Having a schedule to stick to is really driving me to watch movies.  That was the initial purpose of the To-Do List, but then it just got so big I couldn’t deal with it.  But needing to have a new Malayalam film watched and reviewed every Monday is good for me.  Oh, and this movie in particular I have been wanting to watch since last Onam (at my local theater, we got Oozham instead).

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Monday Malayalam: Annmariya Kalippilannu, Kerala Does Dangal Better

Okay, I’m going to try something.  Before, I would get a big DVD order or have a slow week at work, and post a ton of blog posts from Kerala or Tamil Nadu or whatever all at once.  And then hit a point of being busy at work and running out of DVDs or whatever and post no reviews at all for a while.  But that’s not good, this start and stop.  So, now that the big Hindi release season is about to end, I am going to try to stick to a schedule, Monday Malayalam, Tuesday Tamil or Telugu.  And then Hindi or whatever other random thing I am watching (Zindagi Gulzar Hai?) the rest of the week.   Continue reading

Megham: One of Those Movies Where Everything Clicks Once You Find the One Character You Care About

What an interesting movie!  I mean, of course it’s an interesting movie, it’s a Priyadarshan comedy.  There’s more human tragedy and quiet despair in a Priyadarshan comedy than in a whole Sanjay Leela Bhansali epic.

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Veruthe Oru Bharya: ENRAGING!!!

This was not the best movie to watch the same time as Pink.  Or maybe it was the best movie to watch?  It certainly helped highlight exactly why Pink is groundbreaking!  And yes, I know, it’s another one that wasn’t recommended, but it’s the last one on the Netflix list.  And I really hope it isn’t the first Malayalam movie anyone watches, because ENRAGING!!!!

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Positive: Not the Greatest Movie

As I have mentioned already, I just re-activated my Netflix discs and immediately requested every Malayalam film they have available.  Which means I am going to end up with some stinkers.  This one wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t very good, or interesting.  But not quite bad enough that I could justify stopping in the middle (it takes a lot for me to stop in the middle of a movie).

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Innathe Chintha Vishayam: A Pleasant Unambitious and Quietly Radical Film

I gave in!  I re-upped my Netflix DVD subscription!  Just because they have 2 dozen Malayalam films listed, and I am so sick of dropping subtitle files onto youtube videos, or waiting for international shipments, or paying $2.99 for googleplay videos, or squinting at eithusan on my laptop screen.  Anyway, now I am cranking through all the random films Netflix happens to have available.  Like this one!

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Bhavum: My Favorite Character Actress Gets to be a Star

I don’t quite know what to think about this movie.  They left a lot of things open and a lot of things to our imagination, and there are no easy answers in it.  But what I know for sure is, I love Mita Vasisht and am thrilled I finally got to see her in a lead role, instead of just showing up and giving awesome advice for a few minutes, and then going away.

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Happy Onam! I Just Started with Malayalam Films, So Forgive the Shortness of the Post!!!

I know this is a huge holiday and there most be hundreds of songs about it.  But I’ve only been watching Malayalam films for less than a year, so I know very very few of them.  Forgive me!  And feel free to mention some better ones in the comments.

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Ivide: What Makes Someone Indian, What Makes them American, and What Makes Them Both?

This movie is about a lot of different things, but what leaps out at me is they way it handled the hero’s childhood adoption into an American family.  It managed the difficult task of avoiding any easy answers, acknowledging the challenges of the situation without blaming anyone for them.

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