STORY: Rachna Nambiar, a journalist, is in pursuit of a story about traffic violations. She is surprised when the quest lands her in a police station, as a crime suspect. The cops find that there is something ghastly happening with those Rachna was supposed to contact for the story, and Careful tracks the reason for the same.
REVIEW: How can you win the attention of the audience when you are handling a film about an issue that results in the death of many but is conveniently ignored by the public and authorities alike? In the quest to find a novel yet impactful mode to convey the message, the makers of Careful have chosen an unusual angle to say the story.
Sadly, all it awards a viewer who watches the thriller with interest is a laughable and pitiful wrap up.
Rachna Nambiar (Sandhya Raju) is a trainee journalist and a poor performer, who is trying to do some good stories and earn bylines. She chances upon the issue of repeated traffic violations and also lists down the details of a few offenders, with whom she plans meetings. However, something unexpected starts happening with them and the movie becomes an investigation for its reasons.
The film starts off with a few glamorous shots of Sandhya Raju, who is also a dancer in real-life. Though it has the background of a cheesy song, those are some of the best sequences in the whole movie. Pre-interval, the film manages to keep you intrigued, about what exactly is going on with those who crossed path with Rachna. However, soon you realise that it’s all a build-up for nothing.
A journo, who has no bylines for a whole week, takes up a so-called investigative story based on a subject that hardly any editor might approve in the real world. The skewed presentation of investigative subject has enough professional loopholes for you to lose interest in the same. It’s not likely to be different even for those who have no background of journalism. Interestingly, she can’t even remember the name of a person whom she painstakingly tracked down and met in the morning, by the end of the day. So truly involved in the story, one should say!
Lucky for Rachna, a suspended police officer, who still has all access to the service, helps her probe further. Last but not the least, the ultimate reason for the incidents is the most silly of the lot. One wonders, only if all those wronged people had the privilege to do the same to those who wreaked their lives.
Performance-wise, Sandhya hardly seems comfortable in the skin of a journalist to carry it off convincingly. Sadly for the rest of the actors, the story does not provide any scope for interesting performances.
Careful leaves you with the question – Couldn’t the makers be a bit more careful while putting together a movie on this topic?
STORY: Omanakuttan is a luckless, introvert. After being spurned by a colleague due to his inferior personality, he decides to market himself better and pretends as different people to impress girls. However, one day he wakes up with memory loss and has no clue as to who he really is.
REVIEW: The team of Adventures of Omanakuttan, which comprises of mostly debutants as part of the crew, had worked close to three years on the film; meaning that they have had several months to tinker with the content, edit and re-edit the film to make it appealing. And yet the film stands at 2 hour 46 minutes, stretching a wafer-thin storyline about an introvert who pretends to be multiple people, suffers a memory loss and has no clue who he is.
The movie, directed by Rohit VS, starts off by introducing its protagonist Omanakuttan (Asif Ali) who works as a marketing employee of a hair oil company. After his love is turned down by a colleague due to his lacklustre personality, Omanakuttan’s manager suggests him to market himself better. And so he does by pretending to be different persons to different people through the comfort of a mobile phone.
Some of his personalities include IPS officer, don, fashion photographer and a Brahmin. All this while, the real Omanakuttan falls for paranormal investigator Pallavi (Bhavana) but is forced to take on the guise of a celebrity singer due to the fear of rejection. After taking a cab ride at midnight, Omanakuttan wakes up in a dump yard with memory loss. Having no help to determine who is, he meets Pallavi and the two venture out to figure out who he really is.
The film is packed with twists. However, most of them come after wearing down the patience of the audience. While there are doses of comedy to elevate the screenplay, the movie still suffers from the prolonged time wasted on certain sequences – for instance, a scene where Asif walks alone in the death of the night doesn’t merit close to four minutes of screen time.
A major flaw in the first half of the film though is that Omanakuttan’s actions can so easily be misconstrued as stalking. That makes you care less about the character in the second half as the shadow of his actions still hang over as a dark cloud.
Asif as the introvert nails the character’s expressions and body language, while also bringing his style into the other characters he impersonates. Bhavana as Pallavi is a delight and the saving grace of the film. Saiju Kurup as Omanakuttan’s roommate gets some hilarious one-liners in the course of the film.
The music of the film is found wanting at times but the cinematography sort of captures that mood of Omanakuttan. Adventures of Omanakuttan is an experimental movie but one which truly tests the patience of the audience. The second half of the film does pick up a bit but to get there is an arduous task.
STORY: Three cousins and their best friend leave for a road trip, hoping for one final hurrah before one of them gets married. Their path crosses with that of two girls who are on a getaway of their own. Their plans are derailed after a suspicious death. Who was the killer and why forms the plot.
REVIEW: Director Kannan Thamarakulam’s previous two films – Thinkal Muthal Velli Verrey and Aadupuliyattam – had the director attempting two different genres, a family drama and a horror-comedy, albeit without much success. For his latest outing Achayans, the filmmaker has picked a thriller as the genre and roped in a talented ensemble cast featuring Jayaram, Prakash Raj, Amala Paul and Unni Mukundan.
The movie, scripted by Sethu, starts off with over the top intros for the main characters – cousins Roy (Jayaram), Tony (Unni), Aby (Adil Ibrahim) and their buddy Rafi (Sanju Shivram). The four are introduced as a gang who has their vices – alcohol being the main – and would rather put their need to have fun above all else.
A particular instance of jolly living causes Tony to miss his own wedding, after having passed out drunk. This forces the gang to check in to a rehab centre but their antics soon have them kicked out. This leaves them 12 days before Tony’s next wedding date to get their act together. What do they do? They plan to party hard!
This also makes their path cross with Reetha (Amala) and Prayaga (Anu Sithara) who are on a getaway of their own. A morning of a New Year’s party though reveals the death of a character, and the heroes are now the main suspects. Who is the killer and the reason takes the plot forward.
The first half of the script is filled with clichés that you would expect from a flick that shows that protagonists are here to have fun. Booze and revelry being the key ingredients along with some comedy.
The lackluster script is somewhat salvaged in the second half when the investigation starts under Prakash Raj’s character. While the mode of investigation lacks logic, Prakash Raj comes up with a saving performance.
Jayaram, Unni and Anu Sithara do their bit from what is offered to them in the script. But there’s nothing much to rave about. Amala plays her tomboyish character well.
The music and songs of the movie are jarring and don’t add anything to the film. The cinematography too is insipid at best. The movie could have been chopped by a good 15 mins, instead of floating multiple murder theories.
Overall, Achayans is a film that requires some patience to watch and doesn’t quite qualify as an entertainer.
STORY: Anjaneya Das hails from a family of wrestlers but loves cricket more. His dad packs him off to Punjab University for his M-Tech, where he meets Aditi Singh, a passionate wrestler. A series of events land them both back in God’s Own Country and a new episode of kusthi begins.
REVIEW: For our film industry, it’s a season besotted with the idea of games, playgrounds, and sportsmen. Malayalam alone had two back-to-back movies (Georgettan’s Pooram and Rakshadhikari Baiju) in the recent past which had a playground as a prominent character and here comes the third, Godha. Each of them treated the subject differently and Godha takes it forward with wrestling.
Anjaneya Das (Tovino Thomas) is an ex-wrestler who loves playing cricket with his friends. His dad (Renji Panicker), who is respectfully called Captain by all in their kusthi-crazy village Kannadikkallu, is an avid wrestler. While Das and his friends want to play cricket on the village playground Manayathu Vayal, Captain and his kusthi bros won’t let the younger crowd occupy it for the ‘kuttiyum kolum’ kali. Captain force-admits Das in Punjab University for his higher studies but there, the young lad falls for none other than a firebrand wrestler, Aditi Singh. The duo comes to Kerala for a handful of reasons and there on, kusthi takes over.
Tovino Thomas owns Godha, but it’s Wamiqa Gabbi who drives it forward. From the beginning, it’s her desire to make it big, leopardess-like fights, battle with prejudices and most of all, charm and cuteness that fill the screen with thrill and muscle. It’s her single-mindedness that stays with you after the film. Tovino brings alive his own solo battle towards self-discovery and is lively both as an apathetic guy and as a chiselled aspiring wrestler. Renji Panicker, as a veteran wrestler consumed by the idea to earn back the sport its lost glory, is also stunning. Godha has a lot of easy-yet-effective comedy, aptly conceived music and flawless acting as well.
Even as it touches a chord, you can’t help but compare it with other sports films, especially those discussing the same sport, in the recent past – though it might not be fair. The final fight, the opponent’s attitude, the moves… there are quite a few parallels. Just as you feel proud about how each of the characters soldier on to be the heroes of their own lives, you don’t feel the scenes executing them – especially of wrestling – are as powerful as the ones we have enjoyed in similar movies. Also, Aditi’s path to the ultimate glory in the second half, as per the story, seems a little too easy and thus, is not that impactful. The overall colour tone of the movie also makes you sometimes feel that you are watching an eighties’ film – maybe a brighter setting would have been better.
Godha can be a fun watch for those who don’t bother to compare it to other movies of the genre. Check it out for the effervesce of Wamiqa Gabbi and Tovino’s delightful screen presence.
STORY: Elvis and Malini have been married for more than a decade and the element of love has been absent from their life for ages together. Elvis strays outside the relationship often, while Malini leads a quiet life despite being a gifted artiste. Things take a turn once Raman, an environmentalist-cum-resort owner, comes into the picture.
REVIEW: Ranjith Sankar’s latest movie is titled Ramante Edenthottam, but probably it should have been named after its leading lady, Malini. The beauty of the Edenthottam is definitely a major part of the movie, however, its heart is Malini’s journey of self-transformation. A story about how a languid, indignant homemaker emerges as a confident woman who sets herself free, the film is a simple tale that many women today would be able to connect with.
A film producer with more of flops to his credit, Elvis (Joju George) claims that he is happily married. He has a graceful, obedient wife Malini (Anu Sithara) at home and enough of freedom to ‘have fun’ with ‘chicks’ when he feels like. The ‘cool’ man says he wouldn’t mind his wife too treading the route if she wishes. Once on a trip to Wagamon on a vacation, the family meets Raman (Kunchacko Boban), who leads a nearly ascetic life and he forms a bond with the initially spiteful Malini.
Ramante Edenthottam is delightful with some stunning, green visuals of the beautiful Edenthottam. You would want to take a break and head to rest on its lap. The story it says isn’t one we haven’t seen or heard of. It is what stands for and against the film, at the same time. Women who are forced to crush their dreams and needs, being victims of smothering, unequal marriages, despite being talented, are all around us. It does make you feel that long gone are those who feel life goes for a toss, if stuck with an ill-treating partner. Not only would they break-free, they would surge ahead, even forgetting any hatred for the ex-partner, being neck-deep drenched in peace and the newfound freedom.
We have seen umpteen movies about them, even in Mollywood. Ranjith Sankar’s movie stays free of any drippy sentimentality that generally comes along with such stories and you see Malini’s character handling it all with poise and grace. All that said, the film still doesn’t offer many take aways, moments or something special that stay with you once you leave the hall.
Those contemplating on a fit-cation or a radical break, try watching Ramante Edenthottam, for it can definitely offer a decent dose of slow yet steady rejuvenation.