Write & Watch

Salesh Dipak Fernando

Tag: MALAYALAM

Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu – MOVIE REVIEW

 

Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t hear much about the film when it came out. There was no warning or the usual critically acclaimed label to warrant a watch on the big screen. There was a positive buzz but nobody screamed that it was an outstanding film. Baiju caught me off guard. 

It was simple, sweet and soul-stirring. I would even call it the best Malayalam of the year so far.  For starters, Baiju’s experiences aren’t alien.  Baiju’s life is a perfect ode to those unfulfilled wishes we have within ourselves. It is an ideal representation of the pauses we yearn for ourselves. In short, we all aspire to be in Baiju’s shoes at one point or another.

There’s no rush or commotion as we travel along with Baiju and his quirky group of friends. It is almost as if Baiju has a lot of time in his hands to cherish the inherent simplicity of life. To the naked eye, Baiju is an overgrown man who thrives on nostalgia. But there’s more to this tale than what meets the eye. There’s a simple soul which effortlessly lives it up. You don’t need a lot of to keep you happy.  Just a simple existence where you don’t have to fit in with the rest of the participants will do just fine.

Baiju’s world explores how affinity to a particular place can instil a sense of belonging and togetherness to members of a particular community. The place becomes a part of their identity. The place becomes a part of their daily existence.  The place and the person are inseparable. As kids, we all had that one place which we loved visiting again and again. The memories remain fresh even to this day.

Baiju’s world thrives on these memories. This is one film which I didn’t want to end. Do yourself a favour this weekend.  If you have nothing else to do live Baiju’

 

GODHA – MOVIE REVIEW

Godha is a glorious surprise.  I knew the film would be good but it turned out to be a wonderful lesson on smart film making. It is yet another sports film but what stood out was the simple narration. The film is just 2 hours but it has traces of Woman Empowerment. Inclusion, Individual Aspirations, and Collective Strength. Godha addresses all of these topics yet it never tires the audience.

The Joie d verve touches you at the beginning of the film remains intact till the very end. And for once there is no gender bias when it comes to empowerment.  The yearning for an equal space finds a lovely voice in the film.

The film doesn’t scream to make a statement. Godha isn’t in your face either. It is smart, funny and subtle with pearls at the right places to drive home the messages scattered across the two hours. The warmth that embraces you when the end credits roll stays with you for a very long time.  

Another major plus is the way the creators amplify the locality to draw the audience into the narrative. Malayalam cinema has been fairly consistent in this aspect over the years. Almost every story has a local flavor to it which is very distinct and helps in establishing the characters as well.

Godha pairs up two unconventional fresh protagonists and both Tovino Thomas and Wamiqa Gabbi play to their strengths and perform well. Tovino Thomas might just be the next big thing in Malayalam Cinema. Wamiqa Gabbi is the surprise package in the film. She was splendid in Malai Nerathu Mayakkkam and with Godha she scores once again. Music by Shaan Rahman and cinematography by Vishnu Sarma blend well with the mood of the film.

And then there’s the small detail of Renji Panikar once again coming up with a top-notch performance. Kudos to Basil Joseph and team for a well-made film. What baffles me time and again is why other industries aren’t able to replicate the simple storytelling pattern of Malayalam Cinema. The scale isn’t big yet they consistently deliver in terms of content and a big fat salute for the same. I know most of you wouldn’t have watched this in theatres. But do catch it on DVD. A must watch,

Godha – Punches above it’s weight.

BANGALORE DAYS – SARAH AND ARJUN

Bangalore Days is one movie which makes me go Wow again again and Again. It wasn’t the stellar cast or the camaraderie which fascinated me. Very rarely does celluloid mirror real life when it comes to representing people who are specially abled. Even if it does there are compromises made for the big screen. But whenever I see Sarah and Arjun my face lights up. Oh yes I have been there done that. The joy that erupts from within is Surreal and unmatched.

THE VOICE

You hear a voice which represents the joie de vevre of Bangalore. The fascination grows within as you paint a thousand different images to match the enthusiasm of that voice. It’s a dare. Why not meet her in person and take a chance. Maybe her voice could help you find yours too. 

THE IMAGE

The image stuns you. It isn’t what you imagined. You realize how unique it is when you match the image and the voice. It’s almost mystical and before you question “Why Her”she grows within you transforming you into a completely different person. The anger that was burning within takes a different diversion. You re-discover your zest for life as your heart sings Ethu Kari Raavilum

THE BOND

Her strength is infectious. It gives a different interpretion to the eternal muddle that surrounds your life. It gives you the clue that was missing all along. You decide to travel with her forgetting the world around you for you know she’s the ONE

Sarah is probably the most unique and definite representation of all those who are special. Jyothika from Mozhi comes a close second. Most of the other portrayals are cringe worthy. I wonder if it’s possible to bring in such an ensemble in a Tamil Script. For now that remains a mere wish.

1983 – A FATHER'S DREAM

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I guess the title says it all. 1983 – The most significant year in Indian cricketing history. The year India lifted it’s first cricket world cup. It’s the story of all of us. It’s a story of how the euphoria of a single sporting event can ignite a passion towards the game.

The film hits the right notes from the very first scene – It’s a wonderful parallel to how the 96 World Cup impacted our own lives and made us look at cricket as a religion. For people who don’t know the game it’s madness. For the fanatics who follow every ball without blinking their eyes it’s passion.
Along the way there is lost love, a lesson in how life always gives us a chance to redeem ourselves and re-live our dreams. There is a saying that hard work pays but the film in it’s own subtle way reminds us that relentless passion has it’s own rewards too.
There’s bonding, hope and warmth – an endearing mix of all the right ingredients. Nivin Pauly is impeccable as the cricket fanatic. It’s good to see someone from the younger brigade take up such a versatile role. Niki Galrani is ravishing. The real surprise though is Srindha Ashab as the innocent housewife. The scene before the interval is an absolute treat. Anoop Menon and Joy Mathew play their parts to perfection.
Gopi Sundar’s melodies takes you back to the days of maestro Illayaraja especially Olanjali Kuruvi track. Abrid Shine takes up a theme which appeals to the masses and delivers a film which is sure to tug your heart.
My Rating 4.5/5

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