BHRAMAM : The Insipid Remake

Bhramam is a scene by scene remake of Andhadhun, minus the eye catching performances of Ayushmann Khurrana and Tabu, the scintillating music of Amit Trivedi, and the eclectic charm of Shriram Raghavan’s masterful direction!

Prithviraj, Mamta Mohandas and a Wild Boar are not a patch on the original show stealers, and even a ‘Drishyam’ joke falls flat while painting the make believe worlds of the blind-foldeds! In an attempt to notch up the commercial tonality of the film, KA Ravichandran lets go off the subtle, intelligent black comedy treatment of the original and makes way for a louder, banal comedy that’s rather uninspiring!

Shit happens!

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The Colliding Worlds of AARKKARIYAM and KAANEKKAANE

2021 is possibly going to be remembered as one of the strongest years for Malayalam cinema. At three quarters of the year milestone, it may very well happen that if we sit down to list the top 10 or top 15 Best Indian Films of the year now, three quarters or at least half the spots will be occupied by Malayalam films. Two films that will most definitively occupy some of the top billings in those lists (alongside Joji and Malik) will be Sanu John Varughese‘s underrated quiet gem Aarkkariyam and the most recent addition to the Malayalam cine bouquet of 2021, Manu Ashokan‘s touching human drama Kaanekkaane. It is important to dive a little deeper into both these films together because there are some striking similarities and colliding dissimilarities between the two when looked through the unified lens.

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#HOME : And its Sugar Sweet Heart

Rojin Thomas‘s new Malayalam movie ‘Home‘ can be brushed off as saccharin sweet and too emotionally manipulative to be considered as one of those feel good movies that we will go back to again and again and discover new things. Personally if I have to watch movies on dysfunctional families, I would watch a ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ or a ‘Kapoor and Sons’ any day over a ‘Home’, because the former films have relationship dynamics playing at multiple levels of depth and intrigue, and have characters arcs that are fuzzy and complex which gradually get delayered over time. Home is not that film.

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JALLIKATTU : Overwhelming Technical Brilliance, but…

Noted Malayalam filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery‘s recent film Jallikattu got released on digital within a month of its theatrical release, and though the dazzling film is crafted in a way to be best consumed at the cinemas, this quick digital release will definitely help it to reach far and wide to many who have been wanting to experience the film, given the interest it has already generated with its critical acclaim and positive word of mouth. In fact there is much to learn from Malayalam and Tamil cinema how well integrated is their digital strategy in the overall distribution planning of their films, which has helped them to move ahead of the curve to gain much wider national/global following and appreciation. Jallikattu is no exception.

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KOODE : Lust for Life

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So I finally watched Anjali Menon‘s Koode yesterday night, a film that I wanted to watch for long, and finally had the opportunity once it released on Hotstar Premium recently. Quickly scribbling what I thought..

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PAHUNA : Blissful Innocence

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PahunaThe little visitors is a sweet little Nepalese language film directed by Paakhi A Tyrewala. The Sikkimese film is produced by Priyanka Chopra’s Purple Pebble Pictures, and tells a heart warming story of two young kids and their little baby brother on what happens to them as they flee their homes in Nepal and reach a small village in Sikkim all alone estranged from their parents.

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