Monday Malayalam: Ennum Eppozhum, Mohanlal and Manju Reunited

This was a nice movie!  Not a great movie, the plot kind of went up and down and all around, but a very pleasant movie.  The kind of sunshine and nice people movie that the Malayalam industry does not quite like anywhere else.  And which was perfect to watch on an overcast late winter day in Chicago.

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Monday Malayalam: Aadhi Review (No Spoilers), Nepotism Perks and Parkour

Another Malayalam film in theaters!  I braved the cold, and left the dog home alone for 8 hours, and it was kind of worth it.  Not super worth it, but not horrible.  If nothing else, it was nice to feel warm for 3 hours watching a movie in Kerala.

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Monday Malayalam: Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol, the Artificial Divisions Between “Love” and “Marriage”

I watched this movie in a self-serving grab for views, knowing it was popular last year and therefore a lot of people would have seen it and want to discuss it.  And then, much to my surprise, I actually ended up enjoying the thing!

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Monday Malayalam: Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal, a Very Light Romance in a Very Dark World

Well this was fun!  A really really good romance, from back when Mohanlal was young and charming (versus now when he is old and charming).  A good romance that took a progressively darker tone as it went on, but still somehow got through to a satisfying ending.

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Monday Malayalam: Avidathepole Ivideyum, I Am Still in Love With 80s Mohanlal

Oh young Mohanlal!  Why are you so wonderful?  One of my first Malayalam films was Aalkkoottathil Thaniye which is mostly a Mammootty film, but in his two scenes, Mohanlal stole the show for me.  And now with them as equal actors, I am even more convinced that Mohanlal is the one for me.  At least, in the 1980s.  Haven’t made a decision yet for the other eras.

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Monday Malayalam: Narasimham! Thilakan FINALLY Gets His Comeuppance!

Welp, I did it, I finally watched Narasimham.  And it was pretty much as expected.  Not exactly what I look for in my Malayalam films, but Mohanlal was there, and so was Mammootty for a bit, and now I have seen Most Successful Movie of All Time, or whatever the accurate superlative is.

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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.

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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.

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Tuesday Telugu: Janatha Garage, Mohanlal Does Telugu, Jr. NTR Does Hero

I was at my library checking out yet another DVD set of Murder She Wrote (it’s the perfect “have the TV on in the background for company while you unpack/blog” show), and there on the “recently returned” shelf was Janatha Garage!  So odd!  I took it as a sign and checked it out and watched it.

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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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Two News Items Too Big To Ignore: National Film Awards and New Shahrukh Stills!

Long time readers may have noticed that my news round-up posts have been less common lately.  I am sooooooooo busy writing up Hindi Film 101 and answering Monday questions and all my other new-ish features that I haven’t had as much time for news.  But today there were two big things that I just can’t ignore!  Both of which I learned about through twitter (I do still follow @iamsrk and @karanjohar and all the other big newsmakers of the industry)

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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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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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Iruvar: Okay, Is It My Fault That I Didn’t Understand This Movie? Or Is It Because I Needed To Know 60 Years of DMK History?

I was watching this movie so closely!  So closely!  I know the drill with Ratnam films, he just drops in these little bits and then moves on so you can’t look away for a second.  And yet, I was still completely lost.  But I don’t think it’s my fault!  Or at least, not my fault because I wasn’t watching closely enough, but because I didn’t have the expected background.

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Kireedam: Well, That Was a Total Downer!

Everyone said “Watch Kireedam!  Watch Kireedam!”  They did not say “Watch Kireedam and then be depressed for a week!”  Evil!  You got me to watch it, and now I am all depressed!  And not depressed in a “the nobility of the human spirit triumphed, even if the ending was kind of sad” kind of way like a classic Amitabh movie, but in a “Gosh darn it!  Why’d it have to end that way?” kind of way.

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Thenmavin Kombath: Hey! That Hindi Director I Like is Actually From Kerala!

Priyadarshan!  I love Priyadarshan, his comedies are always funny, and yet somehow heartbreaking.  Sort of “you look at the worst situation possible, and you can either laugh or you can cry” feeling.  And somehow I did not realize until I watched this film that he came out of the Malayalam industry.

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