We get so much joy out of Kerala films, we really should give more back to those whose culture and society has helped create them.
My sister’s visiting, I’m feeling lazy, and it’s World Elephant Day on Sunday. So that’s as good a reason as any to look at people with elephants, right?
I reviewed this movie ages ago, and I am not an expert on Tamil history or society or even film. So in honor of Karunanidhi’s passing, this is the best I have to offer.
Look, I watched an actual good movie! A classic even. It just took all of you listing off the good movies for me on HotStar so I could avoid their gosh awful search function and go directly to what I wanted.
I can’t believe it!!!! An actual happy Malayalam film! Or maybe I have just been worn down in my definition of “happy”, so that it now expands to accept illegitimate children, forced commitments to insane asylums, kidnapping, sibling murder, and so on. But hey, it doesn’t end with the heroine being raped and/or the hero being arrested, or a sad song in the rain, so HAPPY. (you understand I kid because I love, right? Malayalam movies are beautiful and brilliant but MAN can they be depressing sometimes!)
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.
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.
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!
Happy first TGIF post after Shahrukh month! And it will be (almost) Shahrukh free! Because he isn’t always “cuddly”. In the “teddy bear” kind of way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
I was sailing along through this movie, dum-de-dum, more or less seeing where it was going, and then BAM! The last half hour hits, and everything changes! Such an odd experience! Kind of like when you miss the last step on the stairs.
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!
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.
It’s not super super the world is hopeless depressing. But it’s not cheerful! Although, in some ways, it is also a direct answer to Kireedam. So I am glad I saw them back to back.